Meet Kelsey. Kelsey Kava.
When Kelsey came to Portland, I’m not sure that she was clear of her WHY — why she decided to drive across the country with her best friend, Steph (who we met last week), and land in a city that she knew little-to-nothing about, save rain drops, and vegan restaurants and green, lots of green.
When I first met Kelsey she was about four months into her Portland life. It was at an event she was helping lead for a local non-profit. As I watched her greet guests and talk to volunteers with such grace, it seemed like she had grown up here — for only a native or close to it could love their guests so fully, right?
It has been nearly a year since Kelsey moved to Portland, now. I’m sure that it has been both long and short, beautiful and trying. Most of all, I’m sure this move has been revealing.
When you get down to it, the journey is much more than the book ends of year one to two. It’s more a compilation of the day-to-day, the blessings and the struggles, for that is each day: blessing and struggle… and questioning.
And in that questioning, as we try to figure out why we are here or there, or not there, I’m pretty sure that the search for a crystal clear reason is a lost cause.
For the most beautiful life journeys are the ones when the traveler, looking out on a fog-covered path, dedicates her whole heart to Trust, and so she walks.
One step at a time.
She listens, takes a step, listens, takes another step. Or waits. Sometimes there is waiting in the journey, too. Truth be told, there is often a lot of waiting. And then there are big jumps. Jumps across chasms filled with rubble, darkness.
But you must jump. You must jump or risk never knowing, never living the calling that was placed on your heart.
Kelsey’s journey, as you are about to read for yourself, is one of Trust.
As I’ve learned from Kelsey, the path will have many stops that we can never expect or anticipate, but what we are called to do at each stop is the same.
We are called to love.
We are called to love fully.
We are called to love fully everything.
How does the word “movement” fit into your life? How does it relate to what you are currently doing?
Even though I’ve been in Portland for almost a full year already, I still see all aspects of my life as moving. All parts of my life still feel very new – friendships, work, church community, bike commuting, learning about my city – so I’m still moving into them. Still finding comfort, familiarity, and stillness.
How does “stillness” fit into your life? How does that word sit with you?
As I’ve gotten more connected with my church community, Leaven, I’ve been drawn to find stillness and Sabbath within my busy life. Finding a space to be quiet to focus on God; to focus on myself; to sit/stand/lay in wonderment of the world around me has become a vital part of my spiritual practice. Finding time to be still each morning allows my brain the space to put the moving thoughts in my head onto paper, and into deeper clarity. Finding time to physically move my body, by running or walking, allows uninterrupted time for prayer and reflection. Finding time for stillness is essential to my spirituality, connectedness to the Creator, and overall wellbeing. 🙂
What is one goal you have this year?
I draw inspiration from possibility. Every day holds so much room for the unknown – for beauty and love and inspiration to take place. And while I usually have slated activities or engagements each day like work, every day is filled with the chance to start over and to be made new. I don’t need to hold on to whatever “junk” I experienced or felt or dealt with yesterday. I have the opportunity to make a choice and say, “Today is my day!” everyday no matter what the circumstances of my life are.
What is one thing you know to be true? What is your statement of faith that drives you to keep doing what you’re doing?
I know that the Creator loves every stinkin’ single thing in this universe – and my purpose in this world is to make that known to every stinkin’ single thing. 🙂 Every one has worth and value and is beautiful just the way they are. If my interactions with others can be a reminder of that, then I believe I’ve made a good dent in this sometimes messy and hard world.
What is something new that brings Joy to your life?
Everything! Seriously. I understand that’s somewhat of a cop-out answer, but there are few things that don’t bring me joy these days. Friends, a church community, and mentors that bring me laughter, love, and hope on gloomy (and sunny) days. An awareness that God is alive and present, working through people to eradicate the injustices and heartbreaks of this Earth. Every new experience or interaction or possibility for a new experience or interaction makes my heart so excited for what is to come.
Thank you so much, Kelsey, for sharing part of your story with us. Your insight to make lovingkindness known to every living thing is something that can spark Joy in the hearts of everyone. What a different world we would live in if we would all live by that truth. Thank you for inspiring us to do so!