Chase Fireflies


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Lately

1.  Remodeling our living room and dining room… painting, chair rail, coordinating.  So excited to post pictures when we’re done!  If I really had the courage, you would see what it looks like now.  Insane!  Lots of picnics on princess blankets lately.

2.  Running in the Great Race in a month… need to have more motivation to get these legs moving again.  Ice cream is not so much doing the trick.  The fabulous Amy G is running with me.  Anyone else in?

3.  Teaching the kids this coming year through charter school curriculum… blown away by free materials received… computer, picture books, science & art supplies, manipulatives.  Psyched to learn with them!  Kindermusic, art classes, ballet included… crazy too good to be true!

4.  Reading The Hole in the Gospel has kicked me hard.  Still in process.  I have needed to be humbled, made grateful, informed.  If anything breaks my heart, it’s the American church’s apathy towards the world.  It’s my apathy. 

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.”  – Martin Luther King Jr. 

5.  Preparing the kids’ clothes, toys, and left limbs  for consignment.  Paul buys high end stuff at yard sales for pennies and when the kids grow out of stuff, we re-sell by consignment.  Usually we break even.  It’s how we get by and look cute doing it:)   So much fun!

Anyway, there’s a quick update of life.  Praying that you are well and enjoying these last few bits of summer!  We are headed to the park today to walk, feed the ducks, and climb.  I love being outside.  Or maybe I just love escaping from this mess!

Much Love,
Kristin


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Learning How to Walk in Heels

I am pretty certain that I left all my resolve at security.  When our ID’s were requested and photo badges created, I got all weirded out.  Who knew that we couldn’t just waltz in.  Poor Amy left her ID in the parking garage, so she ran like mad to get it.

Pastor Charles waited for Amy on the ground floor of the tower, so I went up to the Senator’s office alone.  I punch in 14 on the elevator and get off at 7.  I have no idea why I got off at 7.  All of a sudden I am dizzy and lightheaded and question my ability to walk in heels.

In the lobby, I meet Patricia and Erik.  Patricia is an older woman who looks just about as scared as I feel.  Erik is straight out of college and quietly confident.  Turns out we have mutual friends.  Life is weird that way.  Pastor Charles and Amy come in no time with Joanna.  Noone knows anything about Joanna. 

So we are welcomed into an office lined by hardhats.  Mr. Pope conducts the meeting in the absence of the Senator.  An intern sits in to take notes.  We are assured that everything will be conveyed accurately. 

Further introductions are made.  Through them we learn that Joanna has worked to protect the rights of bonded slaves in India.  She has witnessed the work of International Justice Mission firsthand.  Her story trumps any statistics we can rattle off.  I love her immediately. 

The presentation doesn’t rock.  It’s actually kind of awkward, but everyone knows their stuff.  I check my notes more than I would like.  Amy rattles off Senator’s names.  (She is awesome.)  Pastor Charles is as articulate as can be.  (As usual.)  And our newest friends fill in every blank and then some. 

Mr. Pope is certain that this bill will line up with the Senator’s ideology.  He provides positive feedback.  We should know definitively by August 21st.  We receive contact information and head out the door.  I think I catch Patricia skipping. 

In the bottom floor of the tower, we talk about where to go from here.  Joanna shares stories about India and I think I could listen to her for hours.  We ask questions and laugh and pray.  Somehow I know that I will see this crew again. 

As we wave and walk away in our own directions, I can’t help but smile in a giddy kind of way.  I hadn’t realized I would meet friends today.  I hadn’t anticipated anxiety getting the best of me.   I hadn’t prepared for such a favorable response. 

And in the midst of cringing about a blister on my toe, I realized that I can expect God to do incredible things.  I can expect Him to surprise me with joy.  I can expect Him to speak through a stutter.  I can expect Him to heal brokenness wrecked by trafficking. 

Please pray that He will.

Thanks friends,
Kristin


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We’re at the Senate Level

Hey guys.

I am heading to our Senator’s office tomorrow to advocate a particular bill called the Child Protection Compact.  As some of you may remember, I met with Congressman Altmire last year for this same purpose.  After consistent pressure, the Congressman decided to cosponsor the bill, which helps it to proceed to the next level. 

To be brief… the bill allocates 30 million dollars over three years to the Trafficking in Persons Office.  Its’ purpose is to prevent and prosecute trafficking and provide aftercare for victims.  It is dispersed through non-governmental organizations like International Justice Mission to select countries who display a willingness to combat the problem.  (I sound like I know what I’m talking about, but don’t be fooled.  I am learning as I go and cramming along the way:) 

I’ll be heading there tomorrow with Pastor Charles, Amy G. (one of our college students), and three other advocates that we have yet to meet.  Please pray that God gives us a clarity of thought, articulation, and wisdom to explain the bill.  We are meeting with the Senator’s chief of staff, so please pray that the significance of the act gets clearly conveyed to Senator Specter.  We are asking for his cosponsorship and praying towards those means.

I believe that God’s heart is so tender towards His children… an unfathomable thought that He could love His children more than I love my own.  I believe that the injustice of trafficking tears  at His heart.  I believe that this pandemic can be abolished in my lifetime with a concerted effort of voices, compassion, justice.

Please, please, please pray with me.  If you knew how tongue tied I can get, how inept I can be, how little I know about politics, you would be appalled.  Pray that God would use me despite me;  all of us despite ourselves. 

Much love and so many thanks,
Kristin

(And thank you especially to Courtney, who has made me passionate about this issue because she is.  I think the world of you, my friend.  You inspire me more than you know.  I love you!)


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Going on Ten

This morning is quiet and alive with promise.  I hear the birds singing their praise.  My sterling blue coffee cup is almost empty, which means that I am somewhat awake.  I’ve spent some time in the book of John and all is well. 

The kids are with Paul’s parents for the weekend so that we can celebrate our anniversary.  Whoohoo!  We’re going into our tenth year of marriage.  So crazy, so good!

 It seems like I just heard him share his heart for God with me.  It was the day we first met for the second time.  All of these years since have been him living out that love… to God, me, our families, and world. 

Last week, he confessed that the secret to our marriage is two cups of coffee a day.  He’s totally right.  (Have you seen this woman without her coffee?  It’s a beastly sight, I tell you!)  It’s coffee for me, pizza for him…  and humility, laughter, learning, seeking, and serving Jesus. 

God has taken us to Korea, Costa Rica, Brazil, him to Haiti and the DR, and me to France.  He’s loved on us with amazing family support.  He’s given us two amazing and beautiful kids (and one who found God before the rest of us.)  He gifted us with a home.  He’s blessed us with students who are changing the world.  He’s allowed great joys and many tears. 

I wouldn’t change any of it.  Paul, I love you today more than I ever have.  Thank you for being amazing you:)


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Fun Family Devotions for Kids

Hey guys!

I’ve been on a family devotions kick lately over at the children’s ministry website

We’ve been diggin our feet in the sand, picking blueberries at the farm, and making zoo animal cupcakes.  We’re baking bread, making rainbows of fruit, and tasting the difference that salt makes.  We’re also making lemonade “to make a stand for clean water.”

Check out some of the latest articles if you get a chance:)  Thanks!   

5 On- the – Go Family Devotions for Summertime

Cooking Up Family Devotions with your Kids

and

Family Service Project:  The Lemonade Stand

Enjoy:)