Wednesday, May 14, 2008

there and back again

a title that would make any baggins proud. and, methinks, samwise gamgee as well.

on march 4, 2006 i posted my first blog post. i found this sign while wondering the streets of venice beach with my friend rocco. i was about to embark on a great journey and felt that one chapter of my life was closing while another was beginning. i believe since then i have written not mere chapters, but an entire book on this blog. i find it appropriate to close with this same picture. for surely, this is the end.

i have been informed that three angels will be looking for a couple to take over in the position as house manager. this fits the biblical picture of a family and i believe it is a good decision for the organization.

in light of this, i think it would be fairly ridiculous of me to go on posting on a blog whose address places me in haiti when clearly, i am not. and i cannot go on commenting as you-you . . . a nickname that in time will fade as many nicknames do.

some brief highlights:
* in the two years, two months and 12 days that i have been posting on well . . ., this is my 179th post. in contrast, the blog gretchen and i started for the children ran from october 2006 to december 2007 with a grand total of 205 posts!
* during this time i have watched children enter and exit the orphanage by many various means, i have seen transformed lives, i watched a complete miracle in the life of guerda (layla), i fell in love with countless children and haitian people, and i was blessed abundantly by Christ in meeting all of you: my incredible support system!
* i have had "visitors" on my blog from many many far reaching countries.
* i learned a new language
* i have started my own . . . "family."

i want to thank you for sharing with me in this journey. i don't yet know what the future holds, but as for myself, i will abide as i have always said in this: that i know Whom i have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which i've committed unto Him against that day!

i cannot lie: i'm scared. i'm sad. i miss my children everyday. but the Lord is greater than that which is in the world and i can rest in that.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

it's time

noah when i first met him (march 2006)
noah when i last saw him (dec 2007)
mia when i first met her (march 2006)
mia when i left (dec 2007)
tiny little hope (march 2006)
school girl (dec 2007)
baby alixson (march 2006)
cupcake man (dec 2007)
itty bitty nancy (sept 2006)
bright eyed beauty (dec 2007)
oh my little steven on his second day (march 2006)
what a big guy! (dec 2007)
the day angela came in (may 2006)
grown up mama (dec 2007)

i have been praying these kids home since as early as march 2006 when i first arrived at the o! some of you have been praying a lot longer than that!!! and FINALLY it's getting down to coming home time!!! this is the home stretch and i cannot wait for them to slide into base! what a day of rejoicing that will be!!!

come quickly, kids, we're waiting for you!!!!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

i want to thank you

this is a post for all of you. there are so many of you out there who have been so incredibly supportive of me in the past number of months. i have been amazed at Christ in you. i wish i could thank you properly. there are so many of you and i couldn't seem to find pictures of each of you. but i made this video to recognize you because you have truly been the body of Christ. you have taken on His grace and forgiveness in dealing with me as your sister and i have been blessed a thousand times over because of it. hopefully most of you will see yourself in at least one picture. some key people who are not pictured here are duane and doreen, teresa (except for a tiny shot behind the collins at the airport), kea, jim and deanna, abbie, jodi d, ron and tammi, steve and angie, michelle crawford, thane, nate, donald, and nancy and allen, not to mention numerous people at OEFC (but they don't read my blog). the visits, the letters, the phone calls, the PRAYERS that have been sent my way or heavenward respectively have been my sustenance. i want to thank you.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

freedom of speech, freedom of press . . .

this afternoon my brother and i went to see the new ben stein documentary expelled: no intelligence allowed.
and i would like to say: see it. go learn. and while some of the imagery may be a bit hyperbolic, the message is true and clear: it is an infringement on our freedom to not be allowed to explore the THEORY of intelligent design in the classroom. ben stein is not a Christian. ben stein is not even advocating creationism. he is simply asking why are we not allowed to bring an alternative theory to the table?
there are some incredibly bold statements in this film which i was impressed that he was willing to make and that the theaters played. go see for yourselves and take along a friend. the ties between darwinism, nazism all the way down to planned parenthood were chilling. but don't let me tell you. seek out the truth for yourselves.

for sarah, who asked

i am: saved by grace!
i think: flowers are amazing.
i know: how to make a perfect latte.
i want: to go home.
i have: the greatest family ever.
i wish: it wasn't so freakin' cold!
i hate: mushy bananas.
i miss: sleeping on my tummy.
i fear: not being with my kids again.
i feel: ginormous!
i hear: the heater kicking on.
i smell: like my shampoo (thanks, shanley!).
i crave: peanut butter!!
i search: for perfect pieces of flair.
i wonder: boy or girl? boy or girl?
i regret: not being more kind.
i love: spring! no . . . summer!! no . . . fall!
i ache: for papa judah, nicole, bethany, noah . . .
i care: about doing things right.
i always: enjoy a glass of cold water.
i am not: going to vote for obama or hillary.
i believe: in Christ alone!
i dance: not so much. you don't want to see that.
i sing: in the car.
i cry: because i'm a pregnant girl!! i can't help it!
i don't always: cry so much.
i fight: for clarity and truth.
i write: a lot . . .
i never: say 'never' whatever i do.
i listen: fairly well.
i need: to read my bible more.
i am happy about: the coyote that just passed by the window, that i'm gonna see my friends this weekend, that i'm going to hang out with my brother today . . .

i think i'm supposed to pass this along. let's see . . .
cara, cara, tanya, hope, and michelle.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

musings, Scriptures, prayers, planifications, patience, and hope

hold on, folks: this is gonna be a long one. i am prepared to call it "ode to kristina" considering the length, honesty and soul-searching that may be involved!

there is a picture on my parents' fridge of my brother, cousin and i. i am guessing i am about 6 and elias is about 4 in said picture. you know, i'll share it:

i look at this picture often while i'm in the kitchen. we are at my grandmother's house and clearly enjoying ourselves, though not really doing much of anything. what i see when i look at this picture (as most pictures of children invoke) is innocence. we were so young and so innocent. and yet that idea clashes with what the bible teaches us about human nature. we are not born with a "tabula rasa", sorry aristotle, sorry john locke. not a single one of us has a clean slate from birth. romans 5:12 tells us that sin entered the world through one man and that death (the consequence of sin: eternal separation from Christ) spread to all men because all sinned. continuing in verse 14, paul outlines that death reigned . . . "even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of adam." there it is. we are all sinners because we are all of adam, regardless of age or "innocence."
so at age 6 so bright-eyed and "innocent" i was already a sinner. not only that but psalm 139: 16 says, " . . . in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me. when as yet there was not one of them." He, Christ, foreknew EACH of my days. (selah)

He formed me, He knit me together in my mother's womb. and He KNEW what i would be come. He knew all my sins before i ever committed them and yet He knocked on the door of my heart. He sought me out. He saved me!!!!!

i know i say this all the time, but, "what a mighty God we serve?!!" His grace overwhelms me. that He would go to the cross on my behalf knowing that i would sin against His holiness is unfathomable.

i know many of you have heard me say my favorite verse is james 1:27. and it is. james may be my favorite book. but my other favorite book is ephesians. actually, that section of my bible is so worn out, i can pull pages of ephesians right out of my bible and read them on their own! ephesians 2 in particular is wonderous. however, i have another favorite verse. something carsen shared with me recently called this verse to mind:
"and what do you have that you did not receive?" 1 cor 4:7b
i don't think anyone should read this verse and not take a moment to reevaluate . . . everything. what do i have that i did not receive? life? breath? family? job? friends? health? security? my home? my three cars? my bed? my couch?
do you follow me?! with this perspective, we need to change how we view ourselves in relation to Christ and others. okay, i now acknowledge that Christ has given me all things because without whatever talents i may possess, i would not have whatever job or friends i have. therefore, since my talents and my very life came from Christ, i have earned none of this, rather it has been given to me. therefore, i cannot boast in any of it. and furthermore, i must have incredible amounts of compassion on others!! because we are all heirs of grace. not a single one of us earned any of this. i was given these gifts. and i was not worthy of them. so how could i ever be so foolish as to think that someone else may not be deserving of the gifts given them?!! who am i?!
as Christians, we must have a love and compassion that far outweighs the "love" the world shows. because we understand our humble and meager position before Christ and the grace He has bestowed on us.

okay, let's go back to mini me. washed by blood and lavished with grace, sinner that i am, i grew up. and here i am today in a situation i never meant to be in; one that is not in itself glorifying to my Savior. but what does the Scripture say? "and we know that God causes ALL THINGS (caps mine) to work together for GOOD!! (caps and punctuation mine) to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." rom. 8:28

and this i have found to be true. the Lord, Who is sinless, has used my sin to glorify His name a hundred times over since the time of my confession. and i am amazed. is that not grace? is that not compassion? what a mighty God we serve!!

this "situation" as i called it has taken me from my home. i feel a million miles away from where i want to be. i ache for my chlldren and for the employees of angel house. i miss them constantly. others who have been in my "situation" (that's starting to be a funny word to me) have not always had to leave their homes. not only that but those who possibly did leave their homes probably were free to decide for themselves whether or not they could return home. my case is different. or so i sometimes am so disillusioned to think. but that verse comes back to me. what do i have that i did not receive? are other women free to decide anything for themselves? am i? or does the Lord know "all the days that were ordained" for me?
there is so much to consider about going home. is it the right choice for me? is it the right choice for my child? is it the right choice for the children or employees of angel house? is it the right choice for the organization?
and sometimes my sinful, selfish side thinks, "why does anyone else get to decide what happens in my life?" but that thought is laughable. do i really think it's up to me anyway?!! He already knows!! He has gone before me! He has plans to prosper me! (jer. 29:11)

as you know, i recently worked on a fundraiser for some friends in southern california. in so doing i had the opportunity to design tee shirts for some of the kids i know and love. one of them was for miss suterlande hope cundiff, whom i adore. she used to call me "mama you-you" but has dropped the "mama" now that she has one of her own!! anyhow, the shirt i made for hope had these balloons on it and read "hope floats." in october of last year i posted a picture of this precious little girl and talked about having hope even when the outlook is bleak. today i have no idea what tomorrow holds. i don't know but my God knows. He has each and every day written down in His book. and so i will have hope. i will trust. because He knew all along that i was coming to this point. He saw that little girl in her patchwork slippers looking so "innocent" and He lead her to haiti. He instilled that love and compassion for His people, His orphans, His widows into her heart at a young age and He knew where it would all lead. so i have nothing to fear and everything to gain in simply following Him.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


i have had some interesting feedback from my previous post though not all of it was through comments so a lot of you don't know about said feedback. for those of you interested, i would highly suggest checking in with copperhill and listen to brian's other sermons. i am currently listening to his series about living on mission. the Word of God is powerful and transforming; listen to it!!

i know that most of you readers are already parents and have read this a number of times already. if so, you can sit patiently and wait for my next post. if not, i thought it was sweet and worth repeating here. i have no idea who wrote it so i apologize to the author ahead of time for my blatant plagiarism (or piracy, if you will!).

a child's view

when you thought i wasn't looking i saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and i immediately wanted to paint another one.

when you thought i wasn't looking i saw you feed a stray cat, and i learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

when you thought i wasn't looking i saw you make my favorite cake for me, and i learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

when you thought i wasn't looking i heard you say a prayer, and i knew that there is a God i could always talk to, and i learnt to trust in HIm.

when you thought i wasn't looking i saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing, and i learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.

when you thought i wasn't looking i saw you take care of our house and everyone in it, and i learned we have to take care of what we are given.

when you thought i wasn't looking i saw tears come from your eyes, and i learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's alright to cry.

when you thought i wasn't looking i saw that you cared, and i wanted to be everything that i could be.

when you thought i wasn't looking i learned most of life's lessons that i need to know to be a good and productive person when i grow up.

when you thought i wasn't looking i looked at you and wanted to say, "thanks for all the things i saw when you thought i wasn't looking.

each of us (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher or friend) influence the life of a child.

i'm not really sure what else to say tonight. i am praying that the Lord gives me the grace to be a good mother. please pray with me.