It’s been a while…

So it’s been awhile…

And a lot of change has happened since I posted in May.

We moved from Colorado to Indiana over the summer. This was something we had been planning since earlier this year, but to say that it came out of nowhere would have some truth to it. We love Colorado and had no intentions on ever moving. But only God can change your heart and mind and give you a legitimate excuse to pack up your life and move across the country, like “You know, we love it here but its getting too expensive and crowded. We will probably start a family soon so that makes it’s a little unreasonable to stay. And well, we both aren’t that happy at our current jobs so a change is needed in that area.” But we also know that God is up to something moving us here and we are fully trusting that He will reveal His plan to us in His time.

I spent the first month in Indy as a “trophy wife” or “stay at home mom to our fur children.” I got to know my new home and got to travel with the hubby to Chicago and play tourist while he worked! When I wasn’t having fun, I was studying. I decided to change careers and become a teacher. This wasn’t something that came up in the midst of the move. I had decided on this at the end of last year. So I went from studying architecture to become a licensed architect, to studying most people’s least favorite subject in school…math. Yep, when the idea of teaching popped in my head, I knew right away that I wanted to teach math. Its straightforward, there is only one answer (usually) and its not based on anybody’s theory or opinion. So now my free time revolves revisiting math concepts that I haven’t done or even thought about since high school so I can pass the required test to go back to school to get my teacher certificate. I’m sure you wondering why the career switch…well I still love architecture. While I was in Chicago, I was in heaven looking at all the architecture I had studied during school. But being an architect and working in the office wasn’t appealing to me anymore. The deadlines and overtime were taking toil on me. I felt like there were times where I had to choose between my family and friends and my job. Plus, I wasn’t being fulfilled in my job. I felt like I slaved away to make my clients happy only for them to realize they didn’t have enough money to make their building what they wanted or needed to be. So I would slave away again to make the necessary changes to work within their ever-changing budget. They weren’t completely happy with what they got and neither was I. So being a teacher where I could actually make a difference in people’s lives, knowing I would be challenged everyday to find new and creative ways to teach math, and having a schedule that worked with raising a family sounded way too appealing to pass on. Plus Indiana has a teacher shortage.

So far it’s been a good and smooth transition. We have found a church and have begun to make friends and have a sense of community there. I got a job at one of the best high schools in the state as a teaching assistant in a special education resource room. I get to help the kids with their math homework and sit in on their math classes to take notes. It’s been a blast so far and making me even more excited to become a teacher. The hubby grew up in Indy so many of his friends are still here. So he has had fun showing me his old stomping grounds and I have had fun finding new places for us to explore. We found an apartment that is close to everything and have started looking at areas of town where we would like to buy a house.

But I would be lying if I said it has been perfect. There are those days where we miss Colorado, our friends there, and our church there like crazy. There has been a few days that we wondered if we made the right decision. There have been days where we feel extremely lonely. Days where I ask myself if going back to school and changing careers at this point in my life is a smart decision.

But God always comes through with his quiet and gentle whispers. He reminds me that its not I that is in control, its not I who can predict the future, and its not I that knows the full reason of why we moved here. Yes, this is scary and unnerving. But at the same time its floods me with peace knowing that God’s sovereignty will prevail and that trusting Him to take care of all of this is the only thing He needs me to do. I don’t have to have it figured out and worrying about things won’t make this big life change any easier. Its this daily reminder that He knows the plan for me that allows me to sit back and enjoy the adventure He has for me.

Hello, My name is Kristin…

Hello, My name is Kristin and I’m a planner. This isn’t the first time I have admitted this. I admit this often and most times very proudly. Why? Because I get things done. No one has to wait for me. No one has to check in to make sure. Things are taken care of if you put it in my hands. This makes me a happier person because then I don’t have to worry that this and that aren’t done because I know it’s been done. People who aren’t planners make me anxious. I am married to a non-planner and have many friends that are non-planners. I love them to death but their “we can wait till the last minute” attitude makes me a crazy person sometimes. Because of this, many things get handed over to me or, let’s just be honest, I take over to make sure it gets done. But I have learned to let go sometimes and let others do things and quietly (anxiously) sit there and wait. For example, I never let my gas tank go below ¼ tank. I was on a road trip with friends and sitting in the backseat I could see that we were well below the ¼ tank mark. I chose to sit there quietly knowing that we weren’t in the middle of nowhere and close to home. As we pulled into the gas station (finally!), I let out sigh of relief and my friend (sarcastically) asked me if I had my husband on speed dial for in the rare instance we were going to be run out…And yes I did…

I’m also really good at planning out my life. But there are too many times to count that those plans never came to pass and most often they were turned completely upside down. There is that famous Woody Allen quote…“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” I‘m pretty sure God sees me as a comedian with all the planning I like to do. I always tell God that its ok that I do this because I don’t want to be scrambling to get things in order at the last minute whether it be a big life changing thing or planning what I am going to be doing this weekend. Scrambling at the last minute stresses me out plus what I want or think is best may not be available and I’m having to search for a substitution. But God has been teaching me how I probably shouldn’t be doing this. Mostly by closing doors or opening another one. I feel like sometimes He is just messing with me. But lately I have been just saying, “Ok God, I get it. I’m letting go, going to wait on you, and trust that you will take care of it until I need to do my part.” I’ll admit, most of the time I surrender due to becoming so frustrated that I’m ready to just wipe my hands of everything. Frustrated that I spent all this time getting things in order just to have God to shut a door or make me turn a corner instead. I know in my head he is teaching my but it’s hard sometimes to get my heart to believe that.

What it comes down to is…I’m a worrier. Saying I’m a planner sounds so much more sophisticated and not like I have a problem. I try hard not to worry and use my planning to help ease this tension. But I know I shouldn’t be using it to cover up the real problem and I know God is teaching me how to slowly rid this from my system.
By letting go and letting God, I do feel freedom. By not obsessing over things and planning them out, I don’t get disappointed when God turns me in another direction. (Side note…Hello, My name is Kristin and I’m a pessimist. But that story is for another time.) In a very minor example, a few weekends ago we went out of town for our 1 year anniversary. Normally I would have planned every single restaurant and activity that we would do. Instead I was like we can just figure it out as we go. And we had an amazing time flying by the seat of our pants.

So hello…again…My name is Kristin and I’m a recovering worrier.
The sweetness in admitting is God also displaying his super natural loving awesomeness to you when you need it most. I had been contemplating a major life decision recently. I wasn’t sure if it was me just wanting a change of scenery or if it really was God leading me onto a new path. I was, of course, worrying about this and the steps I would need to take and if I would be even able to accomplish this. I have had little mini confirmations throughout my pondering on this but was still worrying if this was truly was God’s will for my life. While I was in church one Sunday, my husband received at text and showed me. It was completely a confirmation and just what I needed to hear about it. I quietly thanked God for his crazy ways in which he speaks to me and helps me with my struggles. And just yesterday, I was worrying about something else (shocking…I know!). I had a dream last night and it was pretty funny and bit strange like most dreams are. As I’m telling my husband about it, I realize God used that dream to tell me, yet again, to stop worrying. He reminded me that he is in control and knows what’s best.

So what are you recovering from? Are you ready to admit it openly and honestly to God and possible someone else that you trust? Do it today and the find the freedom He wants you to have!

Still Learning

Sigh…It’s been a rough couple of weeks. Let’s be honest, it’s been a rough couple of months. And I haven’t been a good Christian. I have been a not so great Jesus lover.

My job has been crazy. I randomly got sick one weekend. I have had migraines, panic attacks, and exhaustion. I have been happy, sad, emotional wrecked, on verge of breakdowns, mad, angry, and frustrated. Because I haven’t been trusting God. My impatience has gotten the best of me and I have thrown almost everything I know that is true about my Savior out the window.

I know in my mind that Jesus loves me and will work out everything according to His good and for His purpose. But my heart has been worrying away. What if what I want isn’t what He has for my life? What if what I think is Him speaking to me is just me making up some crap? What if His purpose looks bad to me and I just have to deal with this?

A bunch of worry that leads to a bunch of anxiety, due to my inability to just keep going, take it one day at a time while waiting on God and fully knowing (in my heart and my head) that God’s got this.

Yep, I have been a bad Christian lately. And a bad Christian starting out the Lenten Season.

Lent has become one of my favorite seasons. Just as advent is the waiting and preparing season for Jesus’ birth, Lent is the waiting and preparing season for Jesus’ death. It’s not as fun and joyous as Advent, but its different kind of joy. Joy in knowing that Jesus loved me so much that He came to die for me. Joy in knowing that the God I love is so powerful that He can raise the dead. But the not so fun part is that Lent sometimes brings suffering. Whether it be by my doing or His, I am easily reminded by the things that I need to repent from and that I want to do better. And I have been convicted almost every day that I need to repent from worrying and being impatient and I need to do better at trusting and waiting on God. My church is reading a devotional for Lent and every single day it has just slammed my heart and convicted me. I have been reading it aloud with my husband and always at the end we just look at each other and just sit there in silence. Because in reality, Jesus might as well just sat down beside us, and said “I have a parable to share with you,” and then said the exact words in the book. It’s been that applicable and very much God speaking clearly to us.

“Sovereign Lord, help us to trust You when things seem out of control.”

“Help us, gracious Lord, to be wise in our disciplines, to celebrate your new life, and to put to death all that detracts from it.”

“…help us to turn back from all that gets in the way of your rule in our lives”

Yes, Lord, I hear you. Yes Lord, help me to trust, to not worry, and to be patient while I wait.

But the beauty in all of this is grace. Yes, it’s been rough and I haven’t had this level of stress in my life in a long time. But as I have matured slowly in my relationship with the Lord, I have come to understand grace better and have accepted it better as well. Yes I am frustrated at myself for not trusting well but I’m not allowing myself to beat myself for it. I’m allowing His grace to cover me and asking Him to help me do a better job. And because of this, my relationship with Him has grown and its helping me to be less self-sufficient and more dependent on Him.

It still frustrates me that it takes suffering for me to get back on track, to realize that I need Him in the good and bad times. But I’m learning. And I think that’s all He really wants from me.

Bittersweet…

IMG_3088

Grandmommy and me, Christmas 2014

My Grandmommy passed away Thursday morning so my weekend was spent in Texas among family and friends celebrating her life. It was bittersweet.

Bitter…
Death sucks especially when it’s someone you love so dearly. Grandmommy was the youngest in her family and had two older brothers. Grandmommy had three boys, one of them being my dad. My dad’s oldest brother had the first grandchild, a boy. But then I was born. The first girl among many boys and because of that Grandmommy was tickled pink to finally have a girl to buy dresses, bows, and dolls for. So we instantly had a special bond with each other. My sister and I were fortunate to live so close to both of my grandparents. So most of the time spent with Grandmommy was going shopping with her and her always wanting to buy us things. She spoiled us. Grandmommy and I also had many similar talents and interest. She grew up dancing, twirling and playing musical instruments. I also did the same and she was at many recitals, prep rallies, and football games watching me perform. She had a love for architecture. When my love for architecture began at 10 years old, it was always Grandmommy buying me a new architecture book and sitting with me for hours looking at the plans I had drawn. She so loved her family and her smile was always bigger when all of us were at her house. So it was hard to hear that she had passed. It was a realization that I wouldn’t have any more magical times with her on this earth and now all I had were the memories.

Sweet…
Grandmommy had been suffering with Alzheimer’s for about 10 years. It was hard to watch the Grandmommy that I knew, sharp and intelligent, slowly change into someone who she wasn’t. I was grateful that every time I saw her and talked on the phone with her, she never saw me as a stranger and would always tell me how much she loved me and how proud she was of me. Though her mind was slowly leaving her, her joy and happiness that I loved so much was there. Right before Thanksgiving she began to have many more breakdowns and started to not eat as much so my parents and Grandaddy put her in a nursing home. A month ago, she got the flu and her body had gotten so weak that she wasn’t able to fully heal and so she was put in hospice. With her passing, I know that she is in heaven and not in pain anymore. And I know she is fully Grandmommy there as well, smart and sharp and happy to be with Jesus.

I got tIMG_3302o see a lot of family that I haven’t seen in such a long time. It’s one of the hardest parts of living out of state for me, not being able to see them as much. I also got to see many friends of my grandparents as well. I hardly had to introduce myself to anyone because Grandmommy always talked about me to her friends and I look just like her. I have been called Little Sue my entire life. My family had displayed pictures of her throughout the years and everyone came up to me and said that I looked exactly like the ones from when she was younger.

The hardest part of the whole weekend was watching my dad and grandfather. They are both tough guys but seeing them cry and knowing how hard this was for both of them broke my heart into pieces. My grandparents had been married for 60 years and my grandfather had been the dedicated caregiver to Grandmommy during her disease. My parents had been watching over my grandparents and supporting my grandfather the past few years. So though Grandmommy’s passing was somewhat of a relief to my dad and grandfather, it was hitting them the hardest since they had been the most involved in her well being.

IMG_0825

My sister and me with Grandmommy and Granddaddy, Christmas 2013

Through all of this, I’m reminded how I don’t need to take anything for granted. I always love spending time in Texas and enjoying 80 degree weather in February. I love eating the best food known to man. And I love being with my family even though they can be crazy! I think I hugged all of them a little harder and a little longer when I said my goodbyes this time. I am thankful that God gave me an amazing Grandmommy that loved me so much from the time I was born until the day she passed.

I love you and miss you so very much, Grandmommy. You are such an amazing and special lady that was loved by many and now dearly missed. I hope you are loving heaven and can’t wait to see you again.

felix culpa

I was jamming to some new tunes the other day and of course had to recommend them to my hubby. I said, “Go check out Kings Kaleidoscope,” and listed some of the songs that I liked the best, one being the song Felix Culpa. One of the things I love about my hubby, is that he will google anything that he doesn’t know and whenever anyone ask. So being his usually self, he tells me he googled the meaning of “Felix Culpa” since he didn’t know and really liked the definition. So since I didn’t know what it meant, I then googled it and was like…whoa…felix culpa

Here is what Wikipedia had to say…
“Felix culpa is a Latin phrase that comes from the words felix (meaning “happy,” “lucky,” or “blessed”) and culpa (meaning “fault” or “fall”)…..”
“The medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas cited this line when he explained how the principle that “God allows evils to happen in order to bring a greater good therefrom””
“The concept also occurs in Hebrew tradition in the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and is associated with God’s judgment. Although it is not a fall, the thinking goes that without their exile in the desert the Israelites would not have the joy of finding their promised land. With their suffering came the hope of victory and their life restored.”

Just let that marinate for a bit…

Recently I was having a conversation with a friend about how she was learning from the mistakes in past relationships. Which made me remember that I randomly thought about what the point of me going through a really bad relationship was. Granted, I will fully admit that I was the one that stayed in it when God gave me many opportunities to leave and the mistakes I made in it I completely own up to. But when I had that thought a few weeks ago, I reluctantly came up with, “Well I guess it helped me not take for granted my husband and what a healthy relationship looks like.” To be honest, I sometimes get angry at God for not intervening sooner and radically removing me out of that relationship.

But after that conversation with her and reading about felix culpa and how God can bring good from bad and how the Israelites are always remembering and thanking God for their freedom from the Egyptians, I had to rethink my answer.

Maybe the relationship that caused me so much grief and pain and scars that I ended up in counseling is my felix culpa. It was after I ended the relationship that my relationship with Jesus really began. And like I said, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t appreciate my husband and his love for me and how God made it all work out if I hadn’t gone through something like that.

How small am I to think that I know better than God…that I would expect God to just bless me continuously and I would never take it for granted.

So I’m thankful for my felix culpa…my fortunate fall…God turning the mistakes in my life into a greater good.

Thank you Jesus. Thank you for Your grace.

What’s your felix culpa?

TNT!

Is it already the end of January? It feels like it’s the end of July to me, like New Year’s Day was years ago. January has been an extremely busy month for me. With work trips, mini-vacay, the crazy things that life throws at you, and grandparents who nearing their end of time on Earth, I am surprised my head is still attached to my body. But I am learning how to really rely on the Lord through all of it and its been ever so sweet. I’m continuously thanking Him for being there for me and keeping me afloat. Thankfulness….

Did you pick a word for the year? (Read my previously blog.)
Have you been doing well focusing on it?
Or are you already succumb to the busyness of life, like I have, and struggling with keeping up.

I challenged my husband to pick a word for the year. God gave him trusting.

Trusting and gratitude…
Yall can start praying for us now cause you know The Lord is going to use those two words to give us a lot of “growth opportunities” this year.

Throughout this crazy month its been pretty amazing to see how trusting and thankfulness have intertwined through both of our lives. There are days that I have to remind him to be thankful. There are days he has to remind me to trust the Lord with everything. Its bringing us closer together and to the Lord.

To help us stay focused, I bought us a journal to daily write down things we are thankful for and trusting God with, challenging us to try not to repeat things.

I labeled it our “TnT Journal” (Thankful n’ Trusting) and wrote under it that “2015 is going to be dynamite”… haha. Super cheesy but it has helped remind us how life can be somewhat explosive with the things that come up (both bad and good) but we can always trust God and thank Him for being there.

So I guess we ended up with two words for the year. Two very important words that I hope will forever change us.

I hope you are finding ways to stay focused on your word even if it’s a cheesy title and a journal. And that you are trusting God and thanking Him for the amazing journey He will take you on in 2015!

He’s Her Lobster

Who is excited about the complete series of Friends being on Netflix?!? This girl!! I have to admit…I was slightly obsessed with this show when I was in middle school. And I have to admit that I’m glad my naivety back then kept me from really understanding most things on the show.
Anyways…one of my favorite episodes is “The One With the Prom Video.” It’s the one where Ross and Rachel finally get together and Phoebe talks about how Ross is Rachel’s lobster. Explanation in case you haven’t seen it…Phoebe tells the gang that Ross and Rachel are meant for each other just like lobsters fall in love and mate for life. It’s pretty hilarious and also super sweet when at the end of the show Rachel kisses Ross after watching an old prom video.

Which brings me to the topic of soul mates. Do they exist? It wasn’t something that necessarily kept me up at night while I was single, but was a topic that I did ponder often. I had friends that didn’t believe in the notion, stating that out of the billions of people in the world, how could there be just one perfect person for you to marry. I totally agree with that statement. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not perfect. And I’ll also step out on a limb and say that nobody is perfect. So how could there be a perfect person out there for me to marry when nobody is perfect? And if that is the case, then I’m not limited to one fish in the sea and can live, work, hang out, and go to church wherever I want. This gave my “late 20s, recent graduate degree holding, unemployed, living at home with the parents in a very tiny small town” self a peace of mind knowing that my soul mate wasn’t wondering around the planet looking for me. I have many friends who met their spouses in high school and college or by chance a coffee shops and bars. This totally proves to me that even though it was by whatever circumstances they attended that school or went to that coffee shop on that day, you can easily meet your spouse anywhere you go at any given time. As I did agree with my friends who truly believed in this theory, I always quickly added that I did believe God knows our future therefore knew if we would get married and to whom because He is God.

But then my thoughts switch quickly. Is not believing in soul mates limiting God’s supernatural ability to create “the perfect” unperfect person just for me? And doesn’t God plan out my life to the precise detail to make sure it goes according to His purpose and plan? I would assume that one of the details He has planned for me is who I would marry. And so I sway to the soul mate theory ever so quickly when thinking about these statements. Like one of best friends met her husband through her ex-boyfriend’s sister’s roommate who pledged our sorority after meeting my BFF. They became friends and realized her cousin (who even lived out-of-state) would be perfect for my BFF. (I hope that makes sense haha). That’s like total soul-matey, so random that God had to have planned that out, right?!? God can totally make sure (despite free will, if that exist) I end up the one person that He wants me to be with.

I feel like the story of meeting my husband lies somewhere in the middle. We ended up both at the same church through his best man. I had a roommate that did mission work through the same organization that Best Man had done and said organization connected her with him, so we ended up at Best Man’s church. Husband was going to another church and met Best Man while playing on flag football team together. Seems kind of random for both of us to end up at the same church and very much God orchestrated. But what if I had got a job in Texas and never moved to Denver. Or what if I had moved somewhere else entirely? What if I found “the perfect” unperfect person there and was happily married to him right now?

Do I believe in the lobster theory? I think I do. Do I believe in soul mates? I seriously have no clue what to think. And I guess that’s ok.

I think the moral of the story is that whichever way it is or whichever way you truly believe, don’t get caught up in it. There are good and bad to both sides if you really think about it. The thing to do is trust that God holds the future in His hands and His plans for you are for good whether you end up with your soul mate or not.

This Year, I Will Be….

Happy New Year! It’s crazy to think that 2014 has come and gone. 2014 will always be such a special year to me. The obvious is getting to marry an amazing man and everything else that goes along with getting married and being newlyweds. Some of our dearest friends had babies this year so we both became unofficial Aunt and Uncle. With the wedding and various vacations we got to see a lot of family and friends this year. This is one of the hardest things for me not living in Texas. But I truly appreciate this year’s opportunity to spend time with those that I love so much. I became a runner which I never thought I would be. I camped and climbed a mountain which was not on my list of “Things to Do in 2014!” But I did it…barely…haha! There was also a lot of change this year. I use to not be a fan of change but I’m learning it’s a necessity and constant in life. And I’m learning to celebrate changes, both good and bad, by trusting that God knows what is best. Also God has taught me a lot this year and I can honestly say that I have seen our relationship and my love for Him grow significantly. So I’m super excited to see what He has in store for me in 2015.

One of my goals for 2015 is to become a reader! I haven’t been good a being a reader in my post-school days. I do get excited about books and buy them but I either never finish them or get “busy” and never start. But being married to one and best friends with many, I decided it needed to happen. So when I (finally) finished the last book I was reading, I went to our bookcase to pick the next one out. I kind of reluctantly, decided upon a book that I had received 3 years ago about Thanks. This was one that I started, but never finished. By reluctant, I mean, it was by a psychologist so I knew it would be meatier and not just an easy read. And did I really want to admit that I wasn’t good at being thankful and allow God to start working on that.

My friend blogged about choosing a word for year. I absolutely love this idea and quickly prayed about what mine could be. Gratitude quickly came to mind especially with my pick (let’s be honest…His pick) on the next book to read. I know that it’s something that is essential to life. And I know that with practice and purposefulness, I can make it a habit and will help me to have a better attitude consistently. Plus it’s an all-encompassing word in that it will cover many aspects of life. I will have to learn to be thankful in the good and bad times that come up this new year. I will have to learn how to be more giving and sharing of the blessings that I have so graciously been given. I will learn how to be thankful for exactly what I have. And I will learn how to be more thankful for the life and gift of Jesus that the Lord has given me.

So I wish you a Happy New Year full of thankfulness! And I look forward to sharing this journey of gratitude this year with you!!