Tag Archives: Liberty

amazing grace…

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I usually don’t get interrupted during the singing part of bedtime.  It seems to be my kids favorite part.  After we pray for everyone in our family, including pets by name and a list of emergency responders, plus Kaylee added years ago anyone who needed a hug and a kiss, I sing.  For ten years, I have sung each child “their” song two times through.  I have sung Amazing Grace to Kaylee almost every night of her life and even on nights when Daddy put her to bed.  It is her song and I picked it to be her song, because it was her Grandma Ruby’s favorite.  When Ruby passed away ten years ago this November, we found countless versions on CD’s and cassettes and even played two different versions at her funeral. When Kaylee was just a little newborn, I mourned that she wouldn’t know the adoration and affection of her Grandma Ruby.  I wanted her to have a connection even if it was only a song.

Two nights ago at bedtime, my sweet eight-year old daughter stopped me during our nightly singing ritual.  She had reached out and touched my arm as I sang to her.  She said, “Momma, I sure hope that Chad is found, since he is lost.”  My throat closed up, my heart raced and my tears welled up instantly.  She made such a deep connection while I was singing “her song”… Amazing Grace.  Earlier that day, I had shared with her some high-level details about how our community was gathering to find a lost runner.  Our conversation had ended with little discussion, but she had continued to process being lost.

When she heard the line, “I once was lost, but now I am found,” it struck like a gong and impacted her heart greatly.  She showed me how she understands our connection with those in our family and in God’s greater family.  Her tenderness as she asked to pray with me that God would be with Chad until he was found was pure love.  I have witnessed pure love, self-sacrifice and unrelenting spirit this week.  I have been so impressed by the many Spirit-led posts and offerings on the Bring Chad Rogers Home Facebook the past five days.  I think our town of 29,000 (and something) realized how blessed and gifted we are collectively when the Holy Spirit leads us to one another.  No one wanted this ending for the search.  We hoped and prayed for happy news.  Some will question why God would do this, but instead of question I hope they seek stillness and prayer.  To search for their own Amazing Grace with God.

Like Chad Rogers, Ruby left us much too soon with a hole in our family.   And not a day goes by that her name isn’t spoken from my lips with my children.  She would have continued to go bananas for the 4 grandsons she had before she passed and she would have gone ape-wild for her one granddaughter and five more grandsons.  Even with the hole, I find that I can keep her alive to my children.  I mention how she would call Ian “Butch” as  baby or how Rhett and Kaylee have her nail beds or how as a retired junior-high math teacher she would have been delighted to see my children love math.  The hole seems smaller then, but even after ten years I can still remember so many details of her and I want so badly for my kids to grow up knowing their Grandma Ruby loves them all the way from heaven.

I hope and pray for Amazing Grace for Chad’s family that now has a hole like ours, when someone you love leaves too soon.  I hope our community shows the same level of rallying and support the trust fund in Chad’s name to help his family. Please consider donating to the Chad Rogers Memorial Fund c/o US Bank, 1909 W Kansas St. Liberty MO. 64068

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In Search of Chad Rogers… here’s what I have found…

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Liberty is the town I visited for Dairy Queen ice cream, while I was growing up near Smithville Lake.  Liberty is where my Dad introduced me to his alma mater on the hill.  Liberty is where I fell in love with William Jewell College and my husband on that very hill. And when it came time to settle down and raise our children, we came back to Liberty.  Liberty is where we live, shop, worship and find community.

I always felt that Liberty was special for its small-town charm, americana and overall friendliness. But when one of our own went missing this week during a routine run, I realize now how special Liberty really is. Now, I know for certain that it is filled with generous, determined, kind and sacrificial citizens, leaders, churches and businesses.

The outpour of volunteers to search has been remarkable.  This is our typical hot July in Missouri, where most of us hide inside and yet the volunteers keep coming.  The volunteers have had long stretches of waiting to search, yet so many people keep gathering at LCF (Liberty Christian Fellowship) to do what they can.  Some know Chad and need to be there, because he would do the same for them.  And then there are the ones who want to respond even if they don’t know Chad. Because really Chad is not a stranger to us.  We have Chads in our families – – we have brothers, uncles, nephews, husbands, sons, grandsons, cousins and fathers.  We are all connected to Chad and each other.

While Chad is lost, so many are probably rediscovering how important their “Chads” are to them.  Some are making sure others know where family members are going when they head out to blaze a trail.  And personally, it has made my husband and I establish a better plan for tracking each other as a result of Chad’s disappearance.  Some are taking care of the volunteers with donating food, drinks and air conditioning.  It has been amazing to hear of the response from local businesses. (You can follow along with 12,000+ others praying, supporting and reporting what is happening with the search  – Bring Chad Rogers Home — https://www.facebook.com/BringChadRogersHome)

Also, the response of local churches being a place to gather and provide help is exactly what God wants.  LCF is command central for volunteers, support and prayer.  And today, Second Baptist Church opened up to offer childcare for anyone who wanted to go be part of the search.  Games were played, songs were sang and community was offered and received. Today, I rocked a sweet 18-month old and sang to her like she was my own.  I would hope that my children would have gotten the same love, affection and tenderness in a stranger’s care.

So, in search of Chad here is what I have found…

1 – That Liberty is a place that rallies for it’s own.

2 – That the CERT Team, Emergency Responders and local government are for the citizens.

3 – That not knowing Chad personally, doesn’t keep you from wanting to help.

4 – That a community in prayer and response is holy.

5 – That the “Chads” in our lives need us.

6 – That waiting to hear updates is excruciating.

7 – That showing up to help how I could was good and a great teaching moment for my children.

8 – That if this happened to my family I would feel cared for deeply by my community.

9 – That I am praying without ceasing that Chad is safe.

I am praying that Chad Rogers is found soon and that God’s protection has kept him safe.  I am praying for Chad’s family and friends as they wait in the unknown and unthinkable.  And I am praying for Liberty as we support, gather, search, pray and come together as a community.

Hoping and Praying in Liberty,

Kristin

Recent News Link::   http://www.kshb.com/dpp/news/region_missouri/liberty/search-for-missing-liberty-runner-chad-rogers-to-resume-wednesday

Whitney Houston was RIGHT

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Ok not about every choice in her journey. But in 1986 she was right. I was 10 and I still know every bit of a song that she belted out.

She belted out quite a few so I will give you the answer. The song is The Greatest Love of All. It is about finding strength from within to take on your own life and not to give up. The line of it that she was right about was that I believe the children are our FUTURE, teach them well and let them lead the way.

I am here to say that I agree whole-heartedly with Whitney. Recently an important vote was counted in my town on education. It failed by 280 votes and only 9,288 voted. And that is really sad. Really a concentrated effort to vote by all the parents in our 11,000 student school district population could have turned the vote. It would have been amazing. 280 votes short makes me sick. Sure not all have to agree, but those who could have voted yes we need you to be ready next time.

I am a daughter who is proud of her mother and her teaching career. Her time shaped lives, dreams and hopes and that was not lost on me. She then helped, supported and taught families for 25 years with Parents As Teachers. I have a deep belief that every child deserves the best education that we can provide for them. That can’t happen if we don’t vote. When they say, every vote matters it really does. (don’t even get me started on why women should honor their right to vote… that is a different soapbox!) I know life can be crazy and forgetting can be easy. But sign up for absentee voting like my friend, who’s work hours don’t work with poll hours. Find a way to cast your vote.

We need to be active, not numb. I was just made less numb by spending an hour in my daughter’s class. I helped, listened and tried to do whatever was needed with a happy heart. What was needed was some one-one-on time with a little guy. I went out with him to work for 20 minutes on cutting, glueing and sounding out syllables. But I went out with the intent to be his very own cheerleader and build him up. Smiling big, clapping out syllables and cheering him on was my focus. I could physically see him filling with confidence and pride as we worked together. And I know that touched his heart and excited his mind when he started naming extra things we could clap together. We did about 30 more words and he got creative. He was impressed that he figured out cafeteria had so many syllables. Now I can’t wait to go again. I even asked him if I could come back and spend time with him. He replied, “how about tomorrow?”

I don’t know what your involvement is in your school district, but if you can volunteer. Please carve out the time and find the child who needs a cheerleader. It was only an hour and it added to my life so much that I had to share with you.

Don’t be shy with your gifts no matter your age… VOLUNTEER, GIVE, VOTE and PRAY!

Whatever you do, remember… Whitney Houston reminding us all that… I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.

PS if you have a teacher in your life, send them a note of thanks! (and a gift card to an office supply store or super store like Wal-mart and Target) They are the cornerstone in the development of our society! 🙂