Kris Mares

Just a woman trying to love Jesus and others a little bit more…

Remembering 9/11 September 11, 2011

Filed under: Me — Kris @ 9:47 pm
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Ten years ago, I was up in the morning, getting ready for work. I turned on the Today Show as I normally did. I was 4 months pregnant with Professor. The I watched in disbelief and confusion. I went into work, into my safe little office in the midwest. I watched some more.

A couple of things are significant here in that I worked in a Red Cross area headquarters building. I didn’t work for the Red Cross; the program I worked for simply rented space from them. It was interesting seeing first hand what is done to begin preparing for a massive event that has happened. We were nowhere near any of the points of impact, but preparations began – equipping disaster trucks, mobilizing specially trained volunteers, manning phones, helping the community make sense of what they could do. In the next few weeks, I learned what the Red Cross can do and do quickly.

Second interesting point is that the small midwest area I lived in happened to be the world headquarters of a major construction manufacturing company. Because of the nature of their work, this company was put on a higher level of alert. It also meant that new purchases came in and contracts would be had. Clean up would need to happen for a long time.

Outside of those two major points, that’s the most of what I remember. I worked for a group that dealt with violence exposure and young children, so we did quite a bit of para-professional counseling and talking with parents/educators about how to talk about the terrorist attack with their young children. We did what we could to give parents and educators tools to help children process what they were seeing and hearing on tv and in the adult discussions around them.

September 11, 2001 changed my outlook on the world.

I admit though, with a baby on the way and life as a new mom to adjust to… I wasn’t that personally affected. Sure, hearing the stories brought sadness, but I didn’t directly know anyone that died, was injured or was even in one of those locations on that day. My life just went on as normal.

On year later, September 11, 2002, as the news replayed the events of that morning just a year prior, my live changed even more dramatically than it had one year prior. I was getting ready for work – as normal – and my husband at the time was in the office. He was sitting at the desk and I remember thinking that he was in quite a funk. I asked what was wrong and didn’t get an answer that satisfied me, so I asked again. I got a response like “We’ll talk about it later.” Being the pushy kind of gal I am, I persisted.

I got this response “I don’t love you romantically anymore.”

I wasn’t expecting that.

I remember asking “So what do you want to do about that.” Him – “I don’t know.”  Me – “Well, think about it and get back to me.”

Then I went into the bathroom and cried. I finished getting ready and went into work. I remember what I was wearing. I didn’t stay long. As the media replayed planes crashing, towers falling and nation in turmoil, my marriage crumbled around me.

September 11, 2002 changed my life.

Everytime 9/11 rolls around everyone always talks about that day in 2001 when our nation changed. I remember that day in 2002 when my life changed. But just as our nation rallied and became stronger, so did I. Just as New York rebuilt, so did I. New York’s skyline will never be the same and neither will mine. We both have scars.

Somehow with time, healing and determination to become something greater than what was destroyed, something beautiful takes the place of what was. Forgiveness creates a path to grace. Hope is found. Faith is renewed.

As I sit tonight with Racer and watch footage from that day, I remember the other day. I can still replay that other morning in my head. I can still feel the emotions of it. And then I look around me – at the family I have now, at the husband I have now and I know I have been blessed beyond what imagined.

I know grace. I know beauty. I know love.

Precious Father, while we all sit here and remember, give us reminders of our emotions. Give us a grateful heart and a spirit that honors the sacrifices of those who died so innocently on that day. And while we remember, some of us have other memories too – memories of babies being born, memories of engagements, memories of car accidents, memories of marriages… memories of so many things not connected to terrorists. God, help us honor those memories without guilt for not feeling patriotic enough. For not feeling the right way on these anniversaries of major events in history. Healing God, continue to bring forgiveness, healing, reconciliation and hope in the lives of those families directly affected by the events on September 11, 2001. And God, bring forgiveness, healing, reconciliation and hope to those people whose marriages are falling apart or have ended in divorce. Only you know the beauty and grace that can rise from the ashes of life. But like the phoenix, Your Son Jesus Christ rose from the dead, giving hope to the hopeless. As we forgive those who trespassed against us, help us embrace the new life You have available for us. Help us see and know that Your ways are good. And thank you. Thank you for always being in the midst of our lives, even when we can’t see. Even when the despair and destruction seems insurmountable, You are there. Thank you for carrying us when we need it. I love you Jesus and ask in gratitude and praise, Amen.


It’s been 6 years… May 16, 2011

Filed under: Marriage — Kris @ 1:06 pm
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Just a few days ago, Racer and celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. Not long in the grande scheme of life, love and marriage, but each year is a bigger deal for me. Why? Well, because in my first marriage, I didn’t even make it to five. So each year Racer and I celebrate, I reflect on how much I’ve learned and what I’ve done differently and what we are doing right together.

I know that we don’t have the answer to a perfect marriage. We do a lot of things wrong. Here are a few things I’ve learned – about myself and marriage – along the way.

1. Having a shared faith is first. While Racer and I may disagree on certain aspects and fine details of christianity, what has been so important for us is a common reliance on God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Our foundation is the same. Having the same foundation makes it a lot easier to move forward in building our marriage and our family.

2. I really don’t need, nor do I want, to be right all of the time. It’s too much pressure to feel like I have to always have the answers.

3. If I am missing my spouse and feeling lonely, I need to work harder at connecting with him. In my first marriage, there were times that I felt lonely, bored and disconnected. Instead of reaching out to my spouse, I filled that void with activities – more work, dance class, Limp Bizkut fan sites… silly stuff really. These days, I’ve learned enough to talk to Racer about feeling disconnected and lonely. While we may not agree on how to go about fixing that, at least we are communicating and that is an improvement.

4. Spouses need to talk about money. Even though it’s really hard and can lead to a lot of disagreements, money talks have to happen. Spouses need to be working toward the same financial goals.

5. I need a level, even-keel partner who can balance my emotions. I tend to get hot-headed, overly emotional and on my soap box. Racer is able to listen, breath, take the hit and then move on. Most of the time, he can recognize that it has nothing to do with him and that I need a venting place and a strong place to let it all out.

6. Marriage is hard work. It’s not easy. It isn’t the rainbows, roses and happy endings you get in books, tv and the movies. Marriage is full of compromises and hurdles and stumbles and screw up and failures. What really matters, however, is how you deal with all of that. I’ve learned that my greatest ally in making it through is the man who I have beside me. (And sometimes I actually follow him!)

Racer and I aren’t perfect. Our marriage is a work in progress. We’re learning and loving and growing together. To me, that is the most beautiful thing of all.


My prayer for Jon and Kate May 27, 2009

I, along with a friend, have felt called to pray for Jon and Kate Gosselin.  You may know them from the TLC reality show Jon and Kate Plus 8.  There has been a firestorm surrounding them lately.  Their marriage is in trouble.  I have been there.  I understand the feelings.  I understand the hurt and the pain and the disappointment.  Please join me in praying for their hearts, their marriage and the Glory of God. 

If we can overwhelm Jon and Kate with mail using this prayer (or one of your own) that would be fabulous.  At time of post, their website ( was down.  But feel free to copy and past the f0llowing prayer for them into a message and use the title “Our Prayer for You.”  I imagine they are inundated with ugly words right now.  If they get a lot of emails with the same title, I hope they will take notice, read, and feel loved.  Please pray with me…

God, I lift Jon and Kate Gosselin up to You.  I thank You for designing them, for bringing them together.  I thank You for their infertility that led to twins and sextuplets.  I thank You that You have used the curiosity of the world to provide for their family.  I thank You that You have been able to use the avenue of television to show the world that families can and do love You– together.  Right now, God, Jon and Kate are hurting.  Their marriage is in chaos and they don’t know what will happen and where they will go.  So God, I pray right now for Your power and love and grace and mercy to pour into the hearts of Jon and Kate and to pour into their marriage.  I pray that You reveal yourself to each of them in a mighty way.  Reveal your love, but also show them their sin.  Show them how they have turned from You.  Show them forgiveness.  Through that, God, I know that your desire is to restore their marriage and make it more beautiful than it ever has been.  I pray God, that You are in the midst of their struggle and that You remove Satan from every corner of their hearts and of their home.  I pray that through all of this, YOU are glorified.  I pray that “God moments” are filmed and that those moments make it through to the final production of the show.  I pray that Jon and Kate have the courage to publicly turn to You and then to publicly proclaim how good You are.  I pray that you use their marriage – the ugly and the restoration to beautiful – to heal other’s marriages and to bring Your beauty back into the public institution of marriage.  God I pray that Jon and Kate are overwhelmed by love and that You place a bubble around them and their family.  Let that bubble protect them from the evil words, the ugly photos, the hurtful stories.  I pray that only YOUR TRUTH is able to penetrate into their hearts.  God I pray that many others will lift up prayers for Jon and for Kate.  I thank You.  I love You.  I ask that you grant this prayer so that all glory and praise returns to You.  In the powerful name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen


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