better a funeral…

November 27, 2006 at 7:22 pm (Uncategorized)

 

A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume.
And the day you die is better than the day you are born.
Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties.
After all, everyone dies—
so the living should take this to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
for sadness has a refining influence on us.
Ecclesiastes 7:1-3

if i am anything, i am a girl…a mushy, insecure, silly, little girl.  i pride myself on being tough, but i’m not…not really.  deep down inside, i’m a pansy and i cry about silly things.  its what i do.

recently, i had the privilege of attending a memorial service.  i’ve had a hard time finding the words to describe such an event and the impact it had on my life.  i’ve taken the last 2 weeks or so to simply allow God to put things in perspective, and He is.  she was a Godly person…not good, not great, but Godly.  it made me rethink my priorities and what i strive to be.  i don’t want to be good, and i don’t want to be great.  i want to be Godly.  i want to make Godly decisions and do Godly things and be a Godly person.  all the sudden, greatness isn’t good enough.

i’m learning.  i’m a slow learner…mostly because i don’t allow myself to process things and i decide not to deal with stuff and i just let it fester until it becomes too much to ignore.  then, i wonder what the problem is, and why i find myself dealing with things for so long.  hello, kristi…if you can color-code your laundry, you can let go of silly things.

moments in time are hard to come by…i only get so many.  this isn’t nintendo…i don’t get extra lives.  i just have one.  sadness has a refining influence…its true.  i would not be who i am today without all of those things…but sometimes, i find myself a little sad over them.  this is a truly wicked and depraved world.  i don’t want to be a great person for Christ.  i want to be a Godly person who looks like Christ.  a light in the darkness.

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seriously, what is in this pie

November 23, 2006 at 8:48 am (Uncategorized)

i’m sitting in my grandma’s basement, still in my pajamas, curled up in a blanket.  the smell of turkey has seeped in from outside and i can still smell the apple pies we baked last night.  it’s barely 8am and i am already planning out how i will arrange my plate to hold all the food.  thanksgiving is my holiday…i like to eat, and food is good around here.  well, except the pumpkin pie.  we have to choke those down out of obligation…but my mom will make a good one tomorrow.  i’ll just be honest…grandma’s pumpkin pie does not taste like pumpkin pie.  we still haven’t figured out what it tastes like, we just know it is not good.

today, i feel extra thankful.  i am blessed beyond what i ever dreamed or imagined.  somedays, i complain because i’m not where i want to be, or things aren’t how i think they should be.  but today, i am overwhelmed by all He has put in my life.

tonight, i will put on my scrubs and venture back into the doors of st. francis.  i cannot lie…i am not excited.  these days, i like to go to bed early and get up early.  i do not like to stay up late.  and i do not like to stay up all night.  but tonight, i will…i will stay up all night with sick, naked people and i will drink more caffeine than is natural.  but the good side: tomorrow, i will have funny stories of those sick, naked people, and you will get to hear about them.  unless you’re april and you receive my hospital stories via email (courtesy of the nurse’s station computer that is always vacant right around 3am)…if you aren’t her, i’ll see you tomorrow.

happy thanksgiving, my friends.
i hope your pumpkin pie is better than my grandma’s.

edit:
no work at st. francis this evening.  i quit.  congratulations, kristi, for putting all your eggs in God’s basket.  hello, next step, nice to meet you.

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He is it

November 21, 2006 at 12:20 pm (Uncategorized)

life is funny.  i won’t lie.  if you were wondering and needing the honesty, i’m here to give it to you: life. is. funny.

today, two very important things happened.  the kind of things where you think, “ok, God.  what’s up?”

first:
i remembered why i love my job.  i love it because i get to empower other people to do ministry.  to some extent, as a child of God, i am called to full-time ministry, no matter what my career is.  loving God is a way of life…it affects everything i do, say, and think.  or it should.

i love the holidays.  a lot.  today, i was reminded that people are hurting.  everywhere.  today, i listened to my friend share his heart.  he explained why the holidays are so tough, and how it serves as a reminder that things will never be as they used to be.  which is good in someways, but hard just the same.  with tears in his eyes, he thanked me for working so hard to create a place for him to serve (toys for tots).  i never thought about that before.  sometimes i just let myself get caught up in what needs to be done or the frustration of my to-do list, and i forget the real reason we do events.  not only is it my ministry, but it is someone else’s.  someone who needs a place to go and give a gift to someone who will appreciate what he has to offer.

second:
life has a way of coming full circle.  years ago, i sat at a table in a coffee house with a boy i thought i loved.  ultimately, it was simply a long-term crush, but i loved him as much as a 15 year old girl could love a boy.  our friendship ran deep…he watched me cry and held my hand during some of the darkest days.  he was everything i thought i wanted.

but life has a way of changing.  i moved away and we both moved on.  he made his decisions and i made mine.  today, after 6 months of sporadic conversation, we talked again.  he has been on my heart the last few days…and today he called.  its been a long 6 1/2 years since that day, filled with tears and heartache and a single prayer: “God, restore him.”  wednesday night, i will have the opportunity to see my friend again, tell him what he meant, and show him that nothing changes a friendship.  not even bad decisions.

He is it:
i look so many places for answers.  i make deals with God and give Him time limits and ask for signs…rarely do i just step out in faith.  i told God what i thought i needed, and He responded in the way He always does.  “give me everything, kristi.  nothing less.  oh, and I really am all you need.”

i learned two things today:  a job in ministry isn’t about me…it’s about God, His holiness, and who He wants to reach thru me & God is writing the story.  all i need to do is simply follow the directions He gives me.  its called living by faith.  God isn’t looking for someone with great faith…just someone who is ready to follow Him.

He is it.  He is all i need and all i will ever need.  He is the reason i love the holiday and He is the reason i do what i do.  He is the reason i get up in the morning and He is the reason i can look you in the eye.  He is the reason i love, and live, and move, and breathe.  He is the only One Who loves me completely and Who will always give grace.  He is the only One Who will sacrifice everything, even His Child, in order to bring me into His grace.  when i delight myself in Him, i find the desire of my heart.

He is it.

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three hundred brownies later…

November 17, 2006 at 7:36 pm (Uncategorized)

i love being old.  i really do.  its 7:20pm on a friday night and i’m at home baking brownies.  for a bake sale.  for my girls.  its relaxing.

today, i explored the next 12 months on my calendar.  i’ll be 23(.5).  an almost college graduate.  maybe the proud owner of a house.  hopefully, on the list for adoption (to adopt, not to be adopted).

last week, i found another gray hair.  i didn’t even cry…i just pulled it.  somehow growing old…well, grows on you.  i can do this.  its kind of exciting. “wisdom is a crown of splendor.”  or so they say.

it has been the week of reminiscing.  12 months ago, i was packing boxes.  9 months ago, i was trying to figure out this whole “call to ministry.”  6 months ago, i thought a wedding was on the horizon.  5 months ago, i was learning how to move on.  4 months ago, i was thinking about my next step.  3 months ago, i was taking that step.  2 months ago, i began a journey into grace.  1 month ago, God opened my eyes.  yesterday, i thought i had it all figured out.  and now, i am wondering what tomorrow holds.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:33-34

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
Isaiah 40:28

i don’t know what tomorrow holds.  but, i like it that way.  last week, i was bored.  today, i bought game hens, brownies, medical bracelets, and mailing labels.  in the next 4 weeks, nearly 20,000 people will wander thru our halls.  opportunity is knocking on our door.  or, quite literally, walking thru our doors.

hm.
i love my job.

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tonight, i shall cry

November 13, 2006 at 7:30 pm (Uncategorized)

i stopped crying when i was a kid.  literally.

i didn’t cry for several years…i decided as a child that i would no longer allow tears to fall.  it became a struggle for control and a sign of strength if i could hold off.  my dad has seen me cry 4 times.  in 22 years.

i sit and wait, wondering if i’ll ever be the same.  perhaps i don’t want to be…perhaps looking over my shoulder is what causes the issue…perhaps i should simply look forward.  perhaps i should wipe the tears, look thru the crowd, strain to meet His eyes, and walk towards Him.

i didn’t wake up today thinking it’d be my last.  i didn’t hug my mom or do my quiet time or even feed my fish.  i got up late, grabbed a quick shower, and acted as though i’ve got all the time in the world.

i don’t.

life is but a moment…blink, and its over…turn around, and it’s gone.  my time here is simply a hint of what’s to come…a small chance to grab everyone i can and invite them to eternity.  “come along, here’s how.”

i cannot change yesterday.  i cannot wish for things that are gone.  i can only thank God for what i have this moment, smile sweetly at the memories, take His hand, and follow Him home.

somewhere in this journey, i lost my heart.  He took it and smiled upon it.  He grabbed it and chiseled the stone away.  He melted mine and gave me His.

and tonight, i shall cry.
and know that He is catching every tear.

*disclaimer: this is not a “cry-for-help” entry.  i am not dying, nor am i depressed.  God is simply molding me into what He wants me to be.  it’s painful, but worth it.*

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part the waters, Lord

November 10, 2006 at 3:55 pm (Uncategorized)

i have been pouring over the old testament lately.  there is something about the israelites that strikes a chord deep within me.  i just read the part where the israelites are camped out at the jordan river, waiting for God to tell them to go into jericho.  at this point in the story, its been 40 years since moses struck the rock twice…the older generation has died and God has taken them back to His promised land.  God led them as a cloud of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night…they knew Who He was and all He had done.  the stories had been passed down….He parted the red sea, destroyed pharoah and his army, and provided for the israelites.  now, they are standing at another river looking upon another city…and skepticism begins to creep in.  HELLO!  God parted the red sea…i’m sure He can handle a flooded river.  and how many cities have already been conquered?  i think He can handle one more.

i, too, am standing at the jordan river.  He has rescued me before…can He do it again?  He sent His only Son to die for MY sins, but can the God of the israelites really deliver me again from the messes i’ve created?  somedays, it just makes more sense for Him to leave me on the other side of the river….maybe send someone else for me…or maybe just mark me down as a lost cause.  will i ever figure this whole “faith” thing out?  you’d think that God could pick someone a little bit smarter, or a little bit prettier, or someone with a better attitude.  yeah, He could…but He chose me.  He rescued me from the depths of despair before, He can rescue me from the pool of tears i’ve seemed to create for myself to sit in.  He just wants my life….that’s it.  i don’t have to clean it up, or dust if off, or even hide the big stuff…He just wants me to be honest about my shortcomings, admit my pride, show Him my broken heart and ask Him to fix it.  that’s all.

when i think i’m going under, part the waters, Lord
when i feel the waves around me, calm the sea
when i cry for help, oh hear me, Lord, and hold out Your hand
touch my life, still the raging storm in me

i need thee every hour
most gracious Lord
no tender voice like thine
can peace afford
i need thee, oh i need thee
every hour i need thee
oh bless me now my savior
i come to thee

i need thee every hour
in joy or pain
come quickly and abide
all life is vain
i need thee, oh i need thee
every hour i need thee
oh bless me now my savior
i come to thee

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oh come let us adore christmas

November 8, 2006 at 1:05 pm (Uncategorized)

my favorite day of the whole year is november 1.  it speaks of everything that is yet to come…the air is cool, the leaves are falling, and somehow, the day just smells like christmas.  i feel ironic posting that on november 8…but its true…november 1 rocks my world.

i don’t really remember Christmas last year….i don’t remember feeling the anticipation, or being excited, or even shopping for gifts.  somehow, the wonder of all that Christmas means passed me by.  i am refusing to let myself get too busy to enjoy the holidays this year.  i am celebrating enough this year to make up for missing last year.

i put up a tree in my office, and there are more decorations to come.  i have successfully convinced my family to decorate the house this weekend and i am attempting to spread the holiday cheer to everyone else’s office (an elf visited april and left a tree on her table..heehee…one may visit saundra later this month).

the high today is 80 degrees, and i am sitting in my office with the air conditioner on, a hot cup of tea in hand, listening to kenny g with my eyes squinted and staring at my christmas tree.  there is just something about christmas….i love it.  and i just downloaded the new episode of “the office” and the new third day christmas album.

ahh, life is good.

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rainy nights

November 4, 2006 at 11:20 pm (Uncategorized)

it’s raining outside.  it seems like it always rains when God is beginning something new.  i love to throw on my sweats, curl up on my bed, and listen to the sound of the thunder.  i feel so peaceful.

lately, i have struggled with a deep sense of complacency.  i don’t stay in one place for very long…it isn’t my style.  i have been asking God where He is leading me and what my next step needs to be.  this week, i have been “building” countries for the missions conference and God has been working in my heart.  i can honestly say that i do not feel called to the mission field, but my heart is certainly inclined towards it.  as i thumbed through pictures from brazil and africa, my heart ached a little.  my first thought was, “i wish full-time missions was my calling,” to which God promptly replied, “don’t get too comfortable, i will move you where i want you.”

i don’t know what the future holds.  as i look back at the last year, i am amazed at where God has brought me and the people and circumstances He used to get me here.  a year ago, i was on my way to being a nurse, moving to another city, and the proud owner of a cat named hooker.  now, i am looking at master’s programs, dreaming of adopting a little girl, and slowly turning out a book or two.

today, i will be content.
*sigh*

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