Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"If I Were Born Something Else"

I was assigned to write a children's book for one of my classes (one of the joys of being an elementary education major), and this is what I've come up with.

"If I were Born Something Else" By: Traci Kuiper

At times when I’m bored, I wonder to myself what life would be like if I were born something else.

What if I was a bug or I lived in the wild?

It would probably be better than life as a child.

If I were a fish, I would swim in the sea.

It’s deeper and cooler than any pool could be.

I’d swim far and wide and explore all I wished.

You see, life would be grand if I were a fish.

If I were a frog, I would jump really high. I’d hop where and I wanted and pass everyone by.

I could live in a creek and hang out on a log. You see, life would be grand if I were a frog.

If I were an ant, I would be very strong. I would have six legs I’d use to scurry along.

I’d munch on big leaves, eating foods most people can’t. You see, life would be grand if I were an ant.

If I were a butterfly, I’d have great big wings. I’d fly through the clouds for the best view of everything.

I would be beautiful and never be shy. You see, life would be grand if I were a butterfly.

But I’m not an ant or a frog or a fish. I’ll never be a butterfly, no matter how hard I wish

I’m an ordinary boy, sitting in his backyard, letting his mind wander to adventures afar.

If I were born something else, how my life would be changed! Everything about me would be rearranged.

I don’t have six legs. I don’t live by the sea. I don’t hop place to place or fly wild and free.

But I suppose I can swim and jump pretty high. And when I swing in the air, I feel like I could fly.

I wouldn’t like eating leaves or not having toys. Perhaps life can still be grand as an ordinary boy.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


We were asked to write poems about Dawn for one of my elementary education classes...It's probably the most enjoyable homework I've had in a long time, so I thought I'd share:-)


Dawn peaks out from behind the mountains
Eager to show her bright face
The pond reflects her dazzling light;
Her sparkling beams and rays

The sky is splashed with pinks and blues
His canvas is a lovely sight
Dawn adds the touch his painting needs
To make it look just right

The mountains greet the brand new dawn
Basking in the warmth she lays
The night has bid farewell once more
Making room for the lovely day

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What's your name?

I know I've been writing quite frequently about remembering all the good Christ has done for us, but I'm going to again. I went to Kellar Park Church today, and the pastor spoke on that very topic. Coincidence? Probably not. God knows it takes me a while to get stuff sometimes;-)

The pastor talked about how to remind yourself of God's goodness when you can't feel his presence at all. He talked about how in biblical times, even people's names were meaningful in reminding them of God. That really got me thinking about my name and what it means. I don't think my parents named me Traci simply because they liked the name. I think they also liked the meaning of it.

I've looked up my name meaning, and have found a few different ones, but I think they all describe me in some way. In one (and you'll probably find this laughable), my name means "warrior." At first, I thought that was ridiculous because I'm such a non-confrontational person. But then I started to think about it differently. I am an extremely passionate person and will stand up for what I think is right. When people call me by name, maybe that is my reminder from God that I am his warrior. What am I fighting for? Who am I fighting for? Am I fighting for the right reasons? It's an important reminder...

The second name meaning is "industrious," which I find very fitting. I love to be involved in everything and work hard. I also tend to overcommit. When someone says my name, is that God's little reminder that I'm supposed to be working hard for his glory and not my own?

The last name meaning I found is actually something from a certificate of sorts I have hanging in my room. It says my name means "Diligent Harvester, " and the corresponding verse is found in John 4:35: "...behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white and already to harvest." I think this is my reminder that people in this world are ready to hear God's word--I just need to change my outlook and realize it. I can't look around and see the world as condemned. That is not what God calls me to do. My own name should remind me of that.

So what's your name? Are you living up to it?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Since the invasion of the flu virus, I have had little else to do but watch television. I normally do not watch TV, and today I realized why....there's really just nothing on! We have over 500 channels, and still, I cannot find something worth watching. Why do I want to know what celebrities are pregnant and wearing bikinis? Why do I want to watch what the Kardashians do in their day-to-day lives as I sit on my couch doing nothing? Today, I discovered a show called "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" It's about nice girls who go out with guys who cheat on them and treat them like crap. So it's basically girls with no standards who are willing to date guys who are tools...and they pain they all suffer as a result. Wow. TV rocks.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I remember

I distinctly remember Anneke and I hiding in her closet making prank phone calls to her mom's business and trying unsuccessfully to stifle our giggles. I remember staying up late and sneaking out of her room to get a snack when we were supposed to be asleep. I remember building forts in her basement using ugly, floral sheets and furniture. I remember the time we put soap all over the floor of a public bathroom because it was dirty and we wanted to help by cleaning it...when really the soaping resulted in lots of people falling on the slippery (but clean) floor.

I remember finding out her family was moving to Colorado, and how I cried myself to sleep for weeks. I remember promising we'd be best friends forever and making plans to talk to each other as much as possible. There were long phone calls almost every week and visits every summer.

I remember the sinking feeling in my stomach when I found out she'd started cutting herself...and how things between us were never quite the same after that. I remember being a helpless 7th grader with no clue how to be there for her.

Remembering makes me sad sometimes. I haven't talked to Anneke consistently in about 3 years. Her mom e-mailed me today asking me to pray for Anneke. She struggles with drug addiction and has already had a friend die from a heroine overdose. She's been in rehab, but can't manage to stay clean. She probably has no clue how much Jesus loves her...

I once again find myself feeling like a helpless 7th grader with no clue how to face the struggles ahead... Remembering makes me sad sometimes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Time to Start Living

Church on Sunday was wonderful. I didn't feel I connected much with the message that morning, yet God still spoke to me so much through the music and a woman named Carolyn who prayed with me after service. I could almost hear Jesus saying: I died that you may have life. It's time for you to start living!

It was one of those days where things you already know becomes like new again. Maybe I'm just stupid and forgetful, but I love the fact that, in spite of that, God will continue to remind me of his love. Always. It's time to start living, folks. Don't allow your fears to paralyze you!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I quit my job Monday because they didn't give me any hours--I worked 1 real shift in 3 weeks. I have high hopes the doctors' office will re-hire me, but I haven't received official word. I have no idea where the money for my tuition is going to come from. I have no clue how it will be possible for me to go to Bethel next year... I don't even know what to do.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Always Remember

"Never doubt in the darkness what God has shown you in the light." --David Winter

There's been a lot of death lately, and I'm not just talking about celebrities. In the past month or so, I just feel like there's been so much loss in people's lives. There were some siblings I used to swim with in high school, and their mom passed away two years ago. Their dad died this weekend...there are 8 kids, the youngest in 2nd grade. The 24 year old moved home and is paying the bills and taking care of the kids. My heart just aches for them, and for everyone who's experienced such terrible loss.

I was talking to my friend Jamie about how sad I was for people and how it was hard to not think about it sometimes, and she offered this wonderful advice: Always remember God's goodness to you in the past.

I immediately reflected on the past year and the word "grace" automatically came to mind. This year, God spared Kortney's life, and He healed my dad's body of cancer. God restored friendships I never thought could be restored, and He put the most wonderfully encouraging and godly people in my life to help me get through the year.

It was the hardest year of my life. I experienced a lot of heartache and grief...but I've gotten to a point where I'm so thankful for all that happened because of how much I've learned about God. I understand words like "grace" so much better. I understand God's love and provision so much more. How could I lose sight of that?

It's okay to be sad for people and to have a heavy heart, but it can't get to the point where my view of God's goodness is clouded by grief. God is good all the time. His will is perfect always. If it's hard to put hope in God's promises for the future, then just look to the past at all He's already done for you. Always remember.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I've recently been hit with the fact that I'm settling in a lot of ways. This summer, I had one major goal: to follow God's will for my life. I chose not to take a full time job, because I didn't want to make myself too busy (as I'm prone to do) so I could have more freedom to do whatever God called me to do.

I loved the idea of being so open to God's calling. I would have more time to read my Bible, I would have time to invest in friendships, I would have time to find a church I liked and get involved. I felt that I would be able to say yes to whatever God wanted me to do.

I was so excited when I heard about a ministry opportunity in Korea. I thought surely this was what God had planned for me--it was perfect. I applied and anxiously awaited a response. Then...I found out I didn't even get an interview. I had started to base my summer on the hope of going to Korea, sure that that was my purpose. When it wasn't, I began to doubt whether God would use me at all.

Since I received the news about Korea, I have been unsatisfied in a lot of ways. I've felt a sort of loss of purpose. I have all this free time, and spend it sleeping, reading, and complaining about how I have nothing to do. I question God's plans for me. Now I know that isn't how God wanted me to spend my summer, so why have I been settling?

I looked up "waiting" in my Bible's concordance today, hoping for answers. In the mentioned verses, the people waited patiently, quietly, confidently, and eagerly. Meanwhile, I've been waiting impatiently and with a sour attitude.

My eyes were opened last night when I read a section of Erwin McManus' book Wide Awake, which I highly recommend by the way. In it, he said "Faith is not the Christian version a wish. It is not about speaking something into reality. Faith is different...It's about knowing what has not happened will certainly happen. Not because you will make it happen but because God has promised it will be so. It's a conviction about things unseen. It's a promise of a better world, a better future--a better you."

I have a God that promises to be with me always, to give me a hope and a future, to provide for me, to forgive me, to love me unconditionally, and to comfort me. All he asks of me is to follow Him and his will for my life...and I can't even do that without questioning? My dad reminded me that the point of praying is not to get answers, but to communicate with our Savior. Just because Korea didn't work out doesn't mean God won't use me somehow. Boy, I've had it all wrong...

Monday, June 29, 2009


God is still here
He won't leave your side
He'll take all your hurt
and restore you inside

Let Him heal your hurt
Let Him take your pain
Once you let go
You have so much more to gain

Put your hope in the Lord
Put your hurt in the past
Live for each day
Bless those in your path

This life is too short
to keep a hard heart
Don't deny others loves
Because it made you fall apart

He wasn't the one
and that's really okay
You'll heal and you'll learn
and you'll thank him one day

People will let you down
They always do
But your God is faithful
and has big plans for you

Sunday, June 28, 2009


The weary Traveler felt the pressure of the weight of his pack. He had a long journey still ahead of him, but he refused to put it down. "I can do it," he would assure himself. "It will only make me stronger." He traveled for years with the same pack. It had once seemed very small, but was now growing to unbearable proportions. However, poor Traveler had no desire to ask for help. After all, this was his burden to bear.

The path he was taking quickly approached a rather dark and ominous mountain. Due to the mountain's vast base, Traveler quickly assessed that the quickest route was indeed to climb over the mountain. He wondered for a moment how he would climb the mountain with such a heavy pack, but he allowed the thought to pass. He could do it, and when he did, everyone would be so impressed with what he had accomplished.

He started to climb. It was easy at first, but then the mountain grew steep, the temperatures grew cold, and Traveler's heart grew bitter. "WHY IS THIS SO HOPELESS?" he screamed aloud. He could hear his echo in the surrounding mountains. He was all alone. There was no one to help him over the mountain. Traveler put his head in his hands and began to cry. "I should have found my own way around the mountain," he thought angrily.

No said a voice barely above a whisper. There's a better way...Put your bag down.

"I can't," cried Traveler. "I must carry it. I can't just leave it here!"

My child, the voice responded softly, it was never yours to carry. Put it down.

"But who will carry it?"

I will. My plan for you is much better than this. Let me help you, dear child.

Traveler reluctantly began to unstrap his bag. One by one, he took every piece out of his pack and laid it on the ground. Then slowly, he stood up and continued on the path given him. Somehow he had the comforting sense that things would only go up from there. Freedom.

I really struggle with handing over my burdens to God. Sometimes I like to pretend I can handle everything on my own...and I mean everything. God has really been teaching me that sometimes handing over my problems and trusting him with them has to be a daily thing. Each day, I need to wake up and remind myself that my Creator is in complete control and that if I try to take control, I miss out on the plans God has for me. He never intended for us journey through life with heavy burdens. He wants us to live in the freedom of his grace! Walk in freedom, friends.