Tag Archives: peace

Faithful-Child Looking {In from the Outside} as a Lost Twenty-something – A Reflection

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Cars go past building after building — zipping toward their next destination.

A set schedule must be kept to succeed.

No time to take in all that is around them.

Can’t lose time or slow down.

The cars are not driving on their own.  The driver is making decisions on the route and pace.  There are places to be and things to do.  Life is a blur.  Only living on the surface and never stopping to see that life could be different.  Zipping and zooming – while weeks lead to months, than to years.  Calendars full of where they feel they must be with no time carved out for what was important in their youth.  They may deny nature, church and God, because they feel they are connected enough but by self-imposed limits and religion is complicated.  For a decade, I was this kind of driver.

Zipping & Zooming

But when I was a child; nature, church and God were my only focus.  I was constantly outside amazed by God’s design from the fuzz on caterpillars to the way my body could cartwheel.  I was blessed to be part of a community where children and adults always asked where people went to church and it was a sign of community and not exclusiveness.  God was the cornerstone of all my interactions.  Time was spent in prayer in communion with nature and community.

Then my twenties were a decade of independence.  I had grown-up and changed.  I wasn’t a little girl anymore twirling outside on the farm.  I didn’t know how to have a relationship with God.  I felt that I could not rely on God as if my life depended on it.  I felt that I had a lot of control in what happened in my life and I could decide if I wanted to succeed.  If I had the determination and worked hard, I could succeed at anything and be anyone I wanted.  I was one of those drivers who zipped and zoomed.  I rarely slowed down.  I was oblivious to the lessons of my youth.  I was in denial of how important my relationship with God needed to be. With that said I wasn’t searching for the rhythm of God that surrounded me and that was beating within me.  I even felt that nature would always be there.  I didn’t realize I needed nature to center myself to God.  If I wasn’t busy and plugged in to the greater world, I wasn’t making the right choices to succeed.  Yet I wasn’t happy.  I was left yearning for something that I couldn’t fulfill.

Looking back I wasn’t the only one zipping and zooming.  I was conditioned to be oblivious and it wasn’t just in my personal life.  When I was at work, God was off of the table.  Even though I know the sales force and leadership secretly prayed that the market would improve and deals would be made.  My work-life became segmented like my personal life.  This increased my need for control and being self-made.  No reliance on anyone, but me.  I didn’t let God in, because I avoided deeply trusting, building new relationships or expressing my faith openly.  I wanted to be enough on my own, but I craved more.

I kept God in the Sunday morning box I was used too.  Since I was on my own; church became optional.  I didn’t know God had created me to live fully within community.  I denied what I craved.  I didn’t know if a boxed-God was going to accept me anymore.  I felt I was calling, “Hello? Hello? Anybody there?”  I didn’t know if I could belong to a communal life where I could rely on God and others to teach, engage and love me.  Relying on God to find a faith community that could help me understand the world around me seemed overwhelming.  How could I be accepted?  Could I just decide to start over my own way with God?  Would God have me even if I didn’t fit in the box any longer?

I stopped zipping and zooming, when all my questions started in my late twenties.  By listening to the rhythm of my heart, I drew closer to God and continue to seek.  I started answering my heart’s true desires.  I slowed down and spent lots of time in prayer.  I would listen to anyone who would share their faith story and show me that God could accept me and the box was my own to destroy.  That helped me to start looking for my own faith community where I could challenge and celebrate my relationship with God.  I am no longer that child from my youth or that self-absorbed, success-oriented twenty-something.  And the world doesn’t look like the one I used to know so well.  It took some time, but I figured out that the risk was worth identifying myself as a Christian who is still an open-minded, free-thinker who wants to serve God by loving others.  The work hasn’t been easy and the struggles are still real.  I feel God has reassured me that I am here to love and lead.

I started to see the connectivity of God and all the creation around me.  Churches need to be a place where weary zippers and zoomers can seek comfort, love and community.  And that they can find their way back to God.  There is risk in slowing down and vulnerability in stepping outside what is considered normal.  It is counter-culture to  live fully in the dependence of God.  I feel that our role as God’s people is to create kind, loving and supportive communities that are an extension of what matters.  God’s people not the type of man made religion they practice.  I believe churches can flourish in the future, it the God they have boxed-in is able to be freed from the constraints placed by others so that true community can be extended.

Praying we all can find the community God calls us to create and live into even if it means slowing down.

Would love to hear if this piece resonates with you and your story.  Hoping it touches many.

{This piece was written as a response to the decline of the church for my course, Writing for Effect – – Central Baptist Theological Seminary – Spring 2013}

Free Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Clevedon_MMB_99_M5.jpg

JUST ONE WEEK… only 7 more days… (YIPPEE)

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Summer break is nearly over. 

Did you survive?

Did you thrive?

For our family it is a toss-up!  We had some fun travels, spent a month rotating the flu (which I never succumbed to… another sign that God designed mothers very well) and we had a whole lot of busyness.  Sure, we had sweet moments of playing together (and not fighting), swimming and seeing sights.

But now we are a week from school starting and we are at a fevered-pitch of burnout of all this togetherness, 3 kids (and a mom) full of nerves for a new year to begin and too much togetherness (YES – I mentioned that twice).  I know that this sounds like I am being way too personal or real, but I am just calling a spade a spade.  We are READY!  Well, we are READY or NOT to get this year moving along.

It has become so crazy at times that I can’t even spend 2 minutes alone without crimes against The Geneva Conventions being committed.  (That works for kids too, right?)  The injustice occurs when I am barely out of sight.  Then they have to follow protocol and report the crime against all humanity and especially themselves IMMEDIATELY.  No matter where we are from one another I hear my name called with a shrill and sometimes the overwhelming/choking/gagging tears.  This call sometimes happens when I am in sight.  But usually it is when I am in the bathroom.  (YES – I said it)  Then they proceed to talk to me through the door.

I don’t know about you, but this makes me lose it!!  The sounds of uncontrollable crying of one to three children, the yelling of enough circumstantial evidence that they could conduct an on-the-spot trial and I can’t forget the gnashing of teeth towards one another can make a mom go crazy.  And all I have to protect me is  a one-inch hollow door and a flimsy door knob lock.  It is enough to make my insides boil.  After a summer of requesting 2 minutes alone until I can come out and process the crime with my full attention, I have come up with a new policy in our home and I have posted it for all in the land to see.

 

If there is no...FIRE, or BLOOD loss, or ALIEN INVASION... IT CAN WAIT UNTIL  YOUR MOM IS OUT OF THE BATHROOM!!

If there is no…FIRE,
or BLOOD loss, or
ALIEN INVASION…
IT CAN WAIT UNTIL
YOUR MOM IS OUT
OF THE BATHROOM!!

It has been up one week and it is definitely helping.  I am praying it will continue to lessen as school is in session and our time for togetherness is a little less.  This is what it has come down to in our home.  How about you??

Please tell me what you think or if you have any ideas for 3 children to allow for 2 minutes of privacy I am all ears!

Feel free to print our your own copy for your bathroom door(s).  Yes – you see a plural on that… I have two posted and both help!

If you can relate and feel others can too as we head into this last stretch to school, please share this along.

We all deserve a good laugh and for some reasons as moms we want others to understand us, but we have a real hard time being the real us to others.  This is me today with one week to go.  And yes, 2.5 months ago at the beginning of summer I wrote a sweet piece about not wanting summer to go too quickly.  I still feel that way… but again summer break has proven that all good things come to an end… AND WE ARE READY!

We are in this together – – let’s claim back our 2 minutes!!

Praying for your 2 minutes and mine without ceasing!

Kristin

The PROUD mom of a 5th grader, 2nd grader and 4 year old preschooler

Summer Pep Talk for You and Me

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There is a saying that floats around Facebook.  You may have heard it from well-meaning women in grocery store check-out lines while your tribe is begging for all the impulse candy.  I know I hear it often in my head. 

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Oh! This saying creates a sense of panic in me.  What about you?  I start questioning my involvement, my intentions and my priorities.  Am I too caught up in the moment-to-moment emotions, homework and conflicts to see the good stuff in front of me?  Am I wishing my days would either smooth out or go by faster instead of soaking up that our house is great when it is noisy and crazy?  I know I have done both over the past 10.5 years of my mothering journey.  (I still can’t believe my first-born is 10.5 years old… how did that happen? I bet I blinked.  My Mom warned me not to!)

Mothering has changed me in ways I didn’t know it would.  It has built me up and broke me apart.  Being a mom has brought me closer to what truly matters to me.  I have gained a deeper relationship with my God, my self and my family.  It has granted me the sweetest moments of love, pure and true.  Each time one of my children holds my face in their sweaty little grip to kiss me gently or they give me eskimo kisses I feel that love.  And I have seen God in their love for each other.  Sure, they can fight to the death at times, but those fights are few compared to the countless times I have caught them doing right by one another.  They help one another, they stick up for one another and they go on great-caped adventures around our home together.  I have also seen God in their love of all creation.  During the times we slow down, we become grass-stained, freckle-faced and sun-kissed together.  Those days make mothering feel long in a good, carefree way.

The long and short of it is that someday we will swear all the carefree and stress-filled days went faster than we ever thought possible.  If only God would let us push pause, I know we all would.  Here is a glimpse of my paused world maybe you feel the same.  

~ I would pause to have the table full of clanking silverware, dropped napkins, spilled milk that floods everywhere to feel bliss.

~ I would pause to have full beds of the ones we love under the same roof each night to feel peace.

~ I would pause to be the one our children turn to no matter if it is a fly they know for sure is a “bee” or a scary dream that they need to be comforted from.

~ I would pause to be the short order cook/nutritionist who wants to raise healthy people.

~ I would pause to be the one that hugs when they bubble over for no good reason when hormones have started to wreck their bodies, minds and spirits.

~ I would pause to be the one that teaches them to find God in everything around them and in everyone they meet.

In the long and the short of our days, I am praying for you and I to fully sit in the brevity and choose to honor the moments we have been given.  God has chosen us to be a guide in our children’s lives. We point out the path and then let them lead the way.  They are to be our guide as well to bring us back to what truly matters.

Let your children guide you this summer and let’s all enjoy the days we are blessed with.

Remember – try not to blink!

Blessings and Peace to your families and YOU.

Kristin

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(This was originally shared with MOPS@2BC in May 2013.  I re-read it today, because after a crazy week with 2 rounds of antibiotics for major spider bite infections/pain/illness for Rhett and I, a small bathroom renovation, boys traveling for the week, usual wild week stuff plus Kaylee getting sick with the flu early today – – I really needed to be reminded that the days are long and the years are short… share on if you think others might need a reminder too.  Let’s be honest we all do.)