Monday, April 30, 2012

A Glimpse of Me

For three hours I stared at the screen, listened to music, stared again blankly at the screen.  For three hours I typed, backspaced, typed some more, erased everything and started over.  For three hours I wrestled a massive case of writers block.  Suddenly inspiration struck.  I would consult the ever wise sage "Facebook" for wisdom.  Surely, one of my extremely bright and witty friends would inspire me.  So I posted a plea asking for a suggestion of what topic people would enjoy reading about.  I told myself I would arise to whatever literary challenge that was presented long as it wasn't about my sex life (hey there are some topics that should never be blogged about..this tops my list;)  A wonderful friend responded that I should blog about myself.  Easy peasy right?!? After all, my blog is always about my thoughts.  But this is where my friend's genius came in (some may claim evil genius....I'll let you decide that for yourself after you have read this blog;).  She stipulated that I should write about what goes on in my head apart from family and autism.  No longer is this the walk in the park I had anticipated.  It is much harder for me to still myself to actually hear my own thoughts.  So everyone fasten your life jackets and hop aboard this boat if you dare. You are about to enter my stream of consciousness and there be rapids ahead;)
I must be honest, this past week I gave myself and the boys a partial week off.  We have switched curriculum and needed a moment to exhale after 8 months of being in a pressure cooker.  I spent some time reading  books, reviewing a couple of others, staring blankly into space and daydreaming.  When I was a girl my daydreams had several plot twist (Yes I dream in full novel form).  In one such plot I was an Olympic  figure skater.  I overcame unspeakable odds to achieve the highest of all accolades in the sport the Olympic gold medal!!  Now, those of you who know me need to pick yourself off the ground and get your uncontrollable laughter under control.  I will assume your untimely outburst is due to the trauma that was inflicted upon you as you watched my two less than successful attempts at even standing on ice skates.   I'm sorry you had to see that. If I could, I would remove your memory of me repeatedly falling and taking out every other skater within ten feet of me.  Needless to say, I am still Olympic gold medal-less.  My foolish daydream never came to fruition.  My daydreams have aged as much as I have and yet they are still as foolish.  When I find myself that spare moment to stare into space and drift into the comforting arms of my imagination the scenes are very different.  No longer am I a figure skater or a judge on the Supreme Court or the female version of Indiana Jones.  No, now my day dreams revolve around waking up and finding my house completely and miraculously cleaned.  Wonderful little sprites come in the still of midnight and scrub, sweep, mop and launder everything in sight.  In this daydream, I awake to birds chirping brightly, a wonderfully cleaned house (I am of course many pounds lighter as well).  My perfectly groomed and well mannered boys knock quietly at my door and offer to make me a gourmet breakfast and to call the cleaning sprites back to re-clean the kitchen. CRASH!!!!  Oh, I'm sorry that was the sound of a lamp crashing and rudely jarring me back to reality;)

I also read several books this week.  The one that sticks with me the most is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.  My pastor is doing a wonderful message series on the book of Hosea.  It is a harsh but beautiful love story in the Old Testament.  The story revolves around the prophet Hosea being called by God to marry a prostitute.  His wife strays repeatedly from him and yet he loves her through everything ( even when his love is tough love).  It is a picture of God's love for Israel and by extension His love for us. I mentioned to a good friend that other than in Bible school, I had never heard a message series on the book of Hosea taught in church (mostly because it is a very hard story to preach and the text is full of words like whoredom. Not everyone appreciates hearing about whoredom from the pulpit).  I was so refreshed to see our pastor take up the challenge.  My friend responded that I HAD to read Redeeming Love.  Since it was my semi-off week I took her advice.  My friends, if you have the time READ THIS BOOK!!  It is an amazing fictionalization of the story.  The book of Hosea lends itself well to dramatization.  Like Shakespeare's plays some stories are meant to be seen.  Hosea's story is definitely one of those.  Be prepared this is a harsh book to read and has some very disturbing themes.  This novel made me go to some places in my own life that I thought best forgotten.  However, even in our deepest pain God wants to minister his healing love and mercy.  There is no sin so great and no hurt so deep that God will cease to love us.  His love is deeper, wider and yes tougher than anything we can throw at it.

I also spent a lot of time thinking about friends that are in seriously hard places in their lives.  I have one friend in particular who is hospitalized with a serious illness.  If she comes to your mind please send up a prayer for her.  My heart breaks that I can't rescue all of you who are facing such hard places, whether emotional, physical, financial or a combination of all three.  I am by nature a doer.  Right now, it seems all I can do for you is pray.  And praying I am!!  You, my friends are not alone even when it feels like you are.

I came to several realizations about myself this week as well.  One is that I miss my me time.  I am drained by all that this year has held and I need a break. Another is that I am homesick.  I was driving behind an  Old Dominion freight truck and I nearly broke down into tears.  I am homesick for the Chesapeake, salt air, blue crabs, sand in my shoes (and other unmentionable places), for historical monuments on every corner, and for my family and friends that I have not seen in so long.  I am going home in July for my cousins wedding and it can't get here soon enough.  Lastly, I spent time thinking about where I have come from and where I am now and being overwhelmed with gratitude for God's mercy and grace on me through out the journey.  Over the past few weeks, the members of our home group each shared a bit of their journey (their testimony for those of you who speak Christianese;)  My husband shared his this week.  Seeing our journey, through his eyes, brought things back to my remembrance I had honestly forgotten; struggles and miracles that should never be over looked.  I am beyond overwhelmed by God's mercy and redeeming love.

So that is a large part of my inner thought life for the week.  I hope this gave you the glimpse into my head you wanted.  If not, no worries, I'll get back to family and autism stuff next week;)  Lots of love- Kristine

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Glimpse of Politics

I try my best to keep this blog a politics free zone. I do believe it is important to stay informed and to exercise our responsibility as citizens and vote. However, I try to stay out of the political arena as much as possible on this site. That being said, I am going to wade in a little ways today. I will not be discussing the ends and outs of my personal political leanings. I am going to discuss the importance of maintaining our integrity and witness throughout the political process. This was amplified to me through a FaceBook posting from my 15 year old niece. She called the way the campaigns are being run "dirty games". With the political landscape heating up both here in small town USA and in the national arena, I am seeing mudslinging and disrespect being stirred up everywhere.
We are blessed to live in a small town. I love the fact that although the grocery store is less than a mile form my house and I'm only picking up milk, I know it will be at least a thirty minute trip simply because I will invariably run into at least two people who will know me and want to chat. I love that people know us, our kids and even our cats;) I love being part of a community where most of the town still turns out for Christmas parades and Fourth of July fireworks. Community is often so lost in today's transient, hustle and bustle society. It is important to me that my boys understand and participate in community.
Another part of small town USA is that the political shenanigans are amplified even more simply because you are bound to personally know most of the players in one way or another. It really is no different that what happens nationally and honestly that is what concerns me most. It seems to me we have lost the ability to have civil political discourse in this country as a whole. Instead of sincere and honest political discussion and debate we have resorted to adolescent name calling and finger pointing. In doing this, I think often we lose sight of one important fact. The more you participate, the more others will judge your character and more importantly your witness. As the old saying goes "You can't fling mud without getting muddy yourself." This is especially true for those of us who claim to be Christians. The world isn't just judging us personally by our actions but they are also judging the One whom we represent. Believe it or not Jesus is not a Republican or a Democrat. His message was not about lowering or raising taxes. He died on a cross for us no matter where we stand on immigration, gas prices or the economy. I truly believe my actions and witness are way more important than what party line I adhere to. For this reason, I believe it is imperative that we examine our actions and words and how they reflect on the One whose reflection we are meant to be. I am not saying that we should not care about the important political issues that face our world today. In fact, I care very deeply about them. I vote in every election whether for City Council or for the position of President of the United States of America. I simply want to be able to walk up to the voting booth without stepping in muck.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Glimpse of Jesus

Today, this most Holy and solemn of all our celebrations, I remember. Today, I am humbled by Jesus great sacrifice for me.....human, sinfilled, mistake prone, graceless, me. Today, for me, Jesus bled. Today, for me, Jesus was betrayed. Today, Jesus looked into the vastness of eternity and carried my sin, my disgrace all the way to the cross on the hill.
Today, I am somber. Today, I am quiet. Today, I am reverent. Sunday there will be joy. Sunday there will be triumph. Sunday there will be eternity. But today I sit in reverent gratitude for all my Saviour suffered for me. Today I remember the sky grew as black as night. Today I remember the temple veil was forever rent in two. Today I remember earthquakes and the dead come to life. Today I remember rivers of blood, unimaginable pain, undeserved mercy, unfathomable grace.

This blog gives glimpses into my life. Those glimpses reveal the mundane, the important, the foolish, and the sweet moments that make my life what it is. Today on Good Friday I would be remiss if I did not give you a glimpse at the most important person in my life. He is the reason that I am who I am. He gives me the grace to live the daily life I live. He is my sanity, He is my forgiveness, He is my grace, He is my Lord. His love has saved me, His mercy has redeemed me and it is to him I owe everything. His name is Jesus and He loves you too. I know not all of you who read my blog know Him. I know some of you actually judge Him by the humanity and weakness you see in people ,like me, who claim to be His children. Oh, but He is not us. He is perfect love, He is perfect grace, He is perfect righteousness, He is perfect forgiveness, He is perfect Holiness....He is perfect peace. He is waiting for you. He loves you. He already knows everything you have done and will do and He still loves you. This is my Jesus. I pray that He is your Jesus too.

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