Kris Mares

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

Adoption Story… part 6 April 7, 2010

Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4  Part 5

The road to finalizing the adoption was longer than we anticipated.  In all reality, it wasn’t that long.  After Blue had been with us about 3 months it was time to move forward.  From the point that the workers began to move toward adoption (as opposed to just foster care), start to finish was 5 months.  I know, I know, that’s not very long, but in our minds it was taking forever.  We just wanted to be done.

One of the things that held us up was a name.  Blue wanted to totally change her name.  It is incredibly difficult to pick a name for a teenager who has definite opinions on what her name should be!  After a couple of weeks, we finally settled on a name – one that we could all agree on.  Then, it was just waiting on state workers.  Parental rights had been long terminated, so that wasn’t an issue.  Just state workers…

While we waited, we learned a lot, grew a lot and loved a lot.  Parenting/adopting a teenager is hard.  Developmentally, teen  should be breaking away from their parents and gaining independence.  We wanted Blue to connect to our family, bond, stay close.  It’s an interesting line to walk.  We faced some effects from Blue’s past.  We learned what it mean to be mother and daughter (still very much learning).  Racer and I became a better team.  We made mistakes – still do – but grow in faith and love most days.

Finally, it came.  Adoption day came.  We invited the Fosters, our pastor and his wife, and two other friends to be with us that day.  We dressed up.  Girlie was excited to wear a new dress for our “special dress-up day.”  Blue picked out a new, blue, top.  She looked beautiful.  Professor was so excited to leave school early that he was all packed up, cleaned up and ready to go before his class went to lunch.

We went into court, waited through two divorce proceedings (weird juxtaposition huh?) and then it was time.  We didn’t realize that we would be in judge’s chambers, so our friends wouldn’t be able to watch.  It was short, sweet and Blue came out glowing.  It was official.  She was now a permanent part of our family!  We went for ice cream to celebrate.

What was even more special in many ways came in just a few days.  On Easter Sunday, Blue was baptized under her new name.  She cried, A LOT.  I smiled.  Now all of our children had been baptized on an Easter Sunday.  The pastor we love, who will be retiring shortly, got to perform the baptism.  It was a beautiful ending to a journey of faith and love.

Not that our journey is over.  Really, the fun is just beginning.  We now have an entire life to watch how God continues to weave our family – the journey of love and faith and grace and beauty – together.  I look forward to watching Blue grow into a woman of faith who sees God working in her life.  I can’t wait to see what God does next.

Advertisements
 

Empty Wallets and the Empty Tomb April 4, 2010

Filed under: Money — Kris @ 4:51 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I have some “friends” right now that are in dire straights.  I say “friends” because I don’t know them in real life.  I only know them online.  I’ve never seen their faces, I know them by screen name (usually I can connect a real name) and I don’t even really know where they live.  Yet, we know some very personal things about each other.  We are all struggling financially in one way or another.  Most have experienced job loss due to economy, some are without employment for 2 years.  Some have made bad decisions in the past, have been paying “stupid tax,” were tight before the job loss and now with job loss are in a total bind.  Some have better perspectives, some don’t, most waver depending on that day’s circumstances.  What we all have in common are empty wallets. 

Most of my “friends” struggle with paying bills – credit cards they’ve lived off of when first unemployed, medical bills after having lost insurance from being unemployed.  Being creative with a food budget is a necessity and often selling household items brings needed gas money.  What I love about this particular group of women is that there is love, support and no judgement.  As different as this group of women is, we have one thing in common – we all have empty wallets.

Since today is Easter, I have of course been thinking about the empty tomb.  Without the empty tomb, there would be no hope.  Without our Risen Lord, there would be no redemption through the cross and eternal life through the conquering of death.  The empty tomb we celebrate on Easter Sunday is a symbol of hope – hope that our trials here on Earth are simply temporary struggles that will one day be gone.

I think an empty wallet can be the same thing.  I’m not talking about an empty wallet that needs refilling by a trip to the ATM.  I’m talking about wallets that are truly empty, along with the bank accounts that fill them.  I’m talking about wallets that are negative because the next $xxx going in are already allotted to bills that are past due.  When wallets are that empty, we can no longer live on our own accord.  There is no longer security in knowing that we can work hard enough to buy the things we need, think we “need” and want.  We can no longer live in a false sense of pride that we are somehow faster, smarter, stronger than the next and we are “blessed” more than others.  Being blessed is such a relative term.  When our wallets are echoing empty, we have nothing left but hope that our Father will provide for us. 

“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?  Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!  And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.  But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”’  (Luke 12:22-31, NIV)

Let us rest in the hope of the promise through scripture that God knows what we need and will provide for exactly that.  Let us find the hope of our Savior in the echo of our empty wallets.

 

I am Judas April 10, 2009

Filed under: Ministry — Kris @ 2:09 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Today is an odd day to celebrate.  Maundy Thursday is the day during Holy Week that we remember that Jesus was betrayed by Judas – sold for 30 silver coins.  Jesus celebrated the traditional Passover meal with his disciples then, as was a pattern with Him, went off alone to pray…

Jesus knew what was coming.  He knew he would die.  In a moment that I have had many times, Jesus asked God to take the hardship away.  I’ve done that too – “God, please stop this and make it better!” – but Jesus went further.  He asked for not his own will, but for the will of God to be done.  He was arrested, tried, brutally beaten, forced to walk to his place of death carrying the instrument of death.  Then, bloody and naked, he hung on a cross as the crowd watched him die.  All because Judas betrayed him.  Judas sold him out.  Judas looked after his own interests before the interests of others.

I am Judas.

I betray Jesus each time I fail to follow His ways – fail to love, fail to show grace, fail to believe.  I betray Jesus each time I am loyal to myself and indulge in my anger and pride.  I sell Him out for gossip and ice cream and my silly reality tv shows; I spend my money and my time on earthly “pleasures” instead of heavely pursuits.  I want things how I think they should go instead of how it is in God’s will.

So tonight as I go to bed, I remember that I too kiss Jesus’ cheek.  I too, have sold my Savior.  I am the reason he suffered an incredibly gruesome and horrible death.  He died so that I may live.  He loves me that much…  Pretty unbelievable isn’t it?

He loves you that much too.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: