Chase Fireflies


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Paul Wants a Snuggie and I Have Frito Residue in the Keyboard

Some of you are feeling bad for me due to the last post.
Please don’t. That wasn’t the intent. I just want to make changes.
Most of my posts are random. Like Paul in a Snuggie (poor hubs has bronchitis) And like the Frito Residue (at 9:48 every evening I crave salty awful food, when I do so well all day eating like a rabbit.)
I love random. But I’m holding out for random with a purpose, in community. Writing about what I sort of know and love (God, dreams, family.) Like more practical, takeaway stuff. Where other voices are heard, just as much as mine. A listening more than talking deal.
 
And balance? I struggle with this. (Case in point = my house = current disaster + I just ate a million Frito’s)
You have to admit… My blog does end up teetering on the sad, weepy, introspective side:)
 
If I am to imitate my Jesus, that’s an unfair assessment of Him.
Life has its tears, yes. But life with Christ has hope, above all. And laughter. That’s the stuff I don’t want to forget. Cause there’s beauty in the whole of it.
Hope that makes sense. Thanks for listening, friends.
Much love, tears, hope, joy, peace, and the whole shebang,
Kristin


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Five Reasons Why I Won’t Read My Own Blog

1. It’s wordy.
2. It’s melodramatic.
3. It’s glum.
4. It meanders.
5. It’s one-sided.

I’m not really sure why you’ve chosen to read this blog up till now, except that you’re awesome and kind. Thank you for that, really. It means a lot to me that you care.

I started blogging because writing is cathartic to me, like a tall Starbucks on a bad day. Putting my writing online held me accountable to something deep within me. I liked that.

But recently, I read over old posts. What I found made me so sad. It’s for sure my heart, but only on a day where I’m stuck in the house without air. And I live for the windows open.

Do you know that I perform flying leaps into my bed at night? (They’re spectacular.)

Or that I like to break it down?

Have I told you about running on the Great Wall of China? Or snorkeling in coral reefs? And the time that we explored North Korean underground tunnels (Guns pointed our way, but no worries.)

Did I mention that God rescued me from crazy fears? And is still rescuing?

Nope.

Most of all, I neglected you very nice reader of mine. So, keep posted, if any of you are still left.

Some changes are a brewing.
The windows are opening.
I’m ready to chase this life with friends.
And I sure hope you’ll come along.


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Stage Lights Off

I am a performer. Always have been. Maybe it’s the first-born thing going on. Maybe it’s the classical ballet training. Maybe it’s because I crave being loved and valued.

Truth be told, it’s all of it.

As a child, I lived to hear my mom’s words of affirmation. I fought hard to get my dad to glance my way. I was a student obsessed with grades, to the point of pulling near all-nighters as a 6th grader. After 3 hours of ballet lessons with a stringent ballet master, I spent another hour in pointe on a tiled kitchen floor, feet blistered and bleeding.

I am a performer. If something can be measured, I will exceed any expectation. Test scores will be perfected and the choreography will be flawless for the performance. But that’s just what it is. A performance.

I’m done performing. I’ve stepped off the stage. It’s not authentic. It’s not real. It places value only on measurable assessments. It lives for the approval of others – the accolades, the applause, bouquets of roses.

It’s taken me a long time to realize that my value does not lie in a trophy, a degree, or in any achieved goal. I’m embarrassed to admit that. My value does not find itself in any success, nor does it lose itself in any failure. It does not lie in my children.

My value comes from being a child of God. He died to set me free. From the stage, the expectations of others, the approving and disapproving alike.

It is by grace that I have been saved.

It is by grace that I have been saved.

It is by grace that I have been saved.

So help me Jesus. To live for One name. To die to everything else.
So help me friends.
So help me family.

If you hear me value the words of others more than the words of my God,

call me out.

If you feel in your heart that something is fake. And I’m just not being real,

call me out.

If you see me investing time and money into costumes that hide insecurities,

call me out.

Sometimes I just can’t see beyond the stage lights, but I so desperately want to.

It is by grace that I have been saved.

I still can’t comprehend how Jesus has loved me on the stage and off. How His love has been my constant, always a constant; never swayed by any ridiculous direction I’ve turned. I so love that about Him.

He values me, because I am His. And that’s all that ever mattered anyway.


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Sometimes I Forget Sugar

Made some incredible Pumpkin Scones for a breakfast with some friends tomorrow. Yum. Haven’t cooked them yet, but they’re hanging out in the fridge. They sure better turn out because their counterpart failed me.

The Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread had the illusion of perfect and easy. But alas, I left out sugar from Loaf Number One. (I’ll blame it on the children, who were fighting fires in their bathing suits.)

With Loaf Number Two – nothing was left out, but I left the lad in. In the oven indefinitely whilst reading Horace and Morris, but Mostly Dolores will fail you every time.

Oh well. Banking on the Scones.

Megan, thanks for getting me cooking again, beyond the old standbys. Now for following directions.


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It’s a Yes!

Congressman Altmire has decided to co-sponsor the Child Protection Compact Act!

Whoohooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoohoooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Got an email Friday from his DC foreign affairs staffer confirming his sponsorship. Still waiting to actually see his name on the legal document, but I suppose there is some paperwork to file first. For now, I’ll take his word for it:)

Thank you all so much for praying! Thank you, also, to Pastor Charles and Amy Gerwig for coming with me as advocates. Not sure I was so willing to have gone alone:) And Paul, thanks for getting on my case about calling his office, even though I was intimidated by the lack of prior response. Yay!

Now to pray that the bill gets passed. And that money can go to bring hope, freedom, and healing for children around the world.

Yeah, God! Whooohoooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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This is to my Father’s Glory

I’m a girl who doesn’t cry often, but when I do it’s anything but pretty.

Deep red splotches creep up to hide my pale complexion as ivy covers a wall. And I don’t cry in a one tear trickle kind of way, but in torrents of a hyperventilating disaster.

Most often, I cry about stupid stuff. Like another dinner disaster. Something so small gets added to the top of a teetering tower and I lose it. The tower crumbles.

Yesterday’s tears had more substance than a burned casserole, though they certainly caught me off guard. I sat in a chair with a coffee and Bible – my favorite time of day. All settled in and quiet, I expected a nice feel good devotions. Spend time with God, then carry on with my happy little afternoon as usual.

I think yesterday Jesus wanted more.

The burden on my heart for a little girl whom I didn’t even know was so strong that I felt I could barely breathe. She is a girl who is as sweet as my own. A girl who wants so desperately to be found, valued, and treasured. A girl who has been a victim of indescribable abuses. A girl, esteemed by her Creator, even in the prison of someone else’s indiscretions.

I tried to read the Bible, but all I could do was pray and cry. Maybe spending time with God isn’t always about getting the good vibes. Maybe it’s allowing His heart to filter into this very selfish heart of my own. I so need God’s vision, because mine can be so taken up by the next best thing. Forgive me, Jesus.

Forgive me for not taking the time to fight for your children. To pray for them. To be persistent in letting their voice be heard.

It had been 2 months since my last contact with Congressman Altmire. He still hasn’t decided to co-sponsor the Child Protection Compact yet. Paul had been faithfully at me for contacting him again, even though I had given up.

So I bit the bullet and dialed his Washington office yesterday. Nothing new to report, but his international affairs staffer and I had a good talk and another contact was made.

After our call, Ecclesiastes 5:8 found me at random. “If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.”

This verse gave me the creeps. The trafficking of children is a rich business. The third largest in our world. Many are making money off of this girl. Her poverty is another’s riches.

Who knows what Altmire will decide. There are a total of 82 co-sponsors now. That seems pretty good for a bill to me. What I do know is that this girl’s fate does not lie in my hands, nor in any government official’s hands. Her life is held in the firm grasp of God. A God who is good and just. Who offers hope from hearts of despair and beauty from the face of evil.

I cried a lot yesterday. But those tears were good. Cleansing. Repentant. Valued. And in the unsightly sobbing, the Holy Spirit’s presence in me was undeniable. Word after word came out of a source deeper than my shallow one. Peace for me. And a blessing of peace for this young girl.

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you, He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him.” Isaiah 30:18

“Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, He will come with vengeance; He will come to save you…” Isaiah 35: 3-4

“A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out. In faithfulness, he will bring forth justice.” Isaiah 42:3

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory…” John 15: 7

My wish is for her rescue.
Freedom.
Justice.
Arms of compassion.
Strength.
Healing.

This is to my Father’s glory.