Kris Mares

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

God is Faithful August 5, 2015

Filed under: Ministry — Kris @ 7:01 pm
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Have you ever been driving down the road, with your jams going, thinking you’re obeying the laws of the land and then seen those flashing lights and hear a “whoop whoop” behind you? When the officer approaches the car, you’re baffled! You thought you were going the speed limit (ok, actually had your cruise set just a couple of miles over), only to find out the speed limit was 45 and not 55? And then, when you find out what the law was, you’re hoping, praying, for no ticket? When you got off with a warning, you are grateful for the grace shown by the officer. Grateful for the opportunity to correct your ways and obey the law. Grateful that a punishment wasn’t served.

In that moment, you didn’t even know you needed grace. Before you knew you needed saved from the consequences of transgressing the law, you had to know that you had transgressed the law. You had to be convicted of your transgression.

It’s that way with sin too.

Many understand grace as God’s assistance or comfort in times of trial or need. But salvation requires more than a warm smile from the Divine. A basic prerequisite is the necessity for a person to realize that one stands in need as a sinner before God. Unless a person recognizes that condition, there is no real hope for salvation. When we don’t recognize sin as a basic reality in our lives, the message of God’s salvation falls on deaf ears. (NRSV Wesley Study Bible, notes on Lamentations 3, “Wesleyan Core Term: Convincing Grace,” pg. 978)

It was that way for the ancient Jewish people. God’s message through the prophets had fallen on deaf ears. They were reminded of their covenant as God’s people. They were reminded of God’s ways of living. They were boldly told to stop committing spiritual adultery and to admit their guilt and to return to faithful worship of the one true God. (Read Jeremiah sometime.) The speed limit signs were up, they flashing electronic sign was put up that showed their actual speed but they still didn’t heed the call.

It wasn’t until they were conquered and destroyed that the ancient Jewish people really realized their need for repentance. Their need to turn from their own way of doing things to God’s way of doing things. Lamentations is an emotional record of the crying out after the destruction. It’s a poem. In Lamentations 3, the writer has been totally devastated and blames God for the destruction. He was warned. His people were warned. But God still got the blame.

And yet, in the deep of the destruction, in the length of the lament, the writer remembers.

My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope; (Lamentations 3:20-21, NRSV)

Perhaps he learned it as a young boy in temple school. Perhaps he remembered a conversation with a friend. Perhaps he recalled the words of the nagging preacher.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24, NRSV)

I wonder if too often we’re like the early Jewish people. We see and hear warning signs all around us. We hear the Word of the Lord and brush it off if it doesn’t fit into what we think is a good way of doing things. We don’t take heed and instead, we ask God to bless us and our way of doing things and to change other people. What might happen though, if we allowed the work of the Holy Spirit to really open us up to the power of the Word of the Lord? Maybe we’ve heard those words from a Sunday School class. Maybe we’ve heard those words from a friend. Maybe we’ve heard those words from a nagging preacher.

I wonder sometimes, if we’re more like the person who goes to the doctor for a check up and hears “eat healthy, get some exercise and lose some weight.” We say “I know doctor, I know. Thanks for the reminder. I’ll do better.” But it’s not until we have a health crisis that we get scared straight right? And even then, we pray and want God to make it immediately better without the dedication and faithfulness to healthy eating and regular exercise that must also come with good health. Yep, sounds a little like the early Jewish people. I wonder how much that sounds like us? We hear the words, we brush them off and then when destruction comes we cry out “Why God?” and get angry and blame God for whatever has come.

Instead of needing a great event to shake us into faithfulness to God, what if we allowed the Holy Spirit to show us on a daily basis our need for God? What if we went to be each night, asking to be shown our sin and then resting in God’s faithfulness to us, despite that sin? What if we woke up each morning, asking for God to help us remember that we – and every person around us – is created in the image of God and then live accordingly?

What if we remembered that God will have compassion according to the abundance of God’s steadfast love? (v. 32)

What if we remembered that God does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone? (v. 33)

What if we remembered to examine our ways and return to the Lord? (v. 40)

What if we remembered to lift up our hearts as well as our hands to God in heaven? (v. 41)

What if we remembered that God comes near when we call on God, telling us “Do not fear?” (v. 57)

It took the depth of destruction for the writer of Lamentations to be convinced of God’s faithfulness.

How will you be convinced of God’s faithfulness?


That’s Why God is Good August 3, 2015

Filed under: Marriage — Kris @ 7:34 am
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Marriage is hard.  God is good.

This year, Racer and I celebrated 10 years of marriage and hard work. It’s been a lot of hard work. We both brought luggage into our relationship. His parents divorced when he was young. I had been married and divorced. He had expectations. I had expectation. Our premarital counseling was minimal. We did read a great book together (and I highly recommend it to anyone considering a second marriage), but we were pretty ill-equipped for this journey together.

That’s why God is good.

I have not always been a good wife. I still have bad days when I rant and rave and want my way. But over the last 10 years I’ve learned that God brought me a good life partner. Racer is a good match for me. Even though we are very different (in a LOT of ways), he balances me and challenges me and loves me when I act unlovable.

That’s why God is good.

Over the years, I’ve prayed for my husband a lot. Friends have prayed for my husband. I’ve prayed for him to change, to be different, to do things different, to have a different vocation – basically I’ve prayed for God to change him into something he’s not. In the process, God changed me. That’s the funny thing about prayer. If we are really listening for God’s direction, it’s often us that gets changed in the process. I’m a much better wife now than I was in the earlier years of our marriage.

That’s why God is good.

The main thing we have going for us, is that we are trying to keep the main thing the main thing. For Racer and I, keeping God in the center of our marriage and family life is the main thing. God, marriage, family, vocation. Those are our priorities and in that order. We have to have an ear to God’s calling for us. We have to have a solid relationship to stand as a solid foundation for our family and vocations. In this season of life, we are busy with kids and work and stuff. But we have committed to having a date night – out of the house and it can’t include groceries or Wal-Mart – once a month. Sometimes it’s late at night, but we need that time together. Being intentional about our committment to each other is keeping us strong together.

That’s why God is good.


5 years ago… August 1, 2015

Filed under: Me — Kris @ 8:15 am
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It was 5 years ago that we left our home in Kentucky and drove to North Carolina to make a new home.

You can read memories of that time HERE and HERE.

You can read my letter to a friend making a similar journey HERE.

But let me tell you what I learned in the last 5 years.

I learned that God is indeed real.

I knew it before. I had a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ before. I knew God’s love for me before. But the last 5 years has helped me see in a new way that God is indeed real.

I’ve seen specific needs met (while still in KY we got an unexpected check from a friend for $250 just as Racer was here in NC buying a refrigerator for $250).

I’ve seen provision for housing when we wouldn’t have been able to pay the rent (rental house was in forclosure so the landlord wouldn’t take our money since the bank wouldn’t take his – for 10 months).

I’ve experienced a local seminary education – debt free – when I’d been called to seminary twice in my past with no “logistical” way to make that happen.

I’ve seen my eldest daughter make healthy choices for her life that changed the early trajectory life placed her on.

I’ve watched a community of people come around my family to become our family of support when ours are so far away.

I’ve seen  work experience from my past come to use here as a friend was in great need.

I’ve seen each member of my family have a kingdom impact on the people around them.

I’ve seen provision, answered prayer (big ones and little ones), protection and growth.

In the last 5 years, I’ve seen the reality of God in the life of our family in ways I never dreamed. On this day, I choose to remember. I choose to tell the story. I choose to proclaim:


How is God real to YOU?


Open Letter to my friend that is making a similar journey that I made 5 years ago… July 29, 2015

Filed under: Friendship,Me — Kris @ 6:24 am
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Dear friend,

I remember the day well. Our church friends came and helped us pack up most of our belongings into a truck that was too small but somehow expanded in a quasi-loaves-and-fish sort of way. It was hard. And the next day, we left. Our family went on a new adventure.

Now it’s your turn. Five years later, those same church friends have now packed up your family and sent you off on a new adventure. I know your emotions. I’m tearing up right now remembering them so well, but remembering them from the other side.

You see, I know that you know it’s a God thing. Sure there is uncertainty and sure you question the decisions and the facts and the craziness of it all. But deep down, you know it’s a God thing and it’s really hard to explain it well to other people. Especially to the people who have loved you through hard things. Especially to people who have prayed you through hard things. Especially to the people who have loved your children and helped raise them and change their poopie diapers. Yep, I remember those hard emotions. But I know it’s a God thing.

And being on the other side of that God thing, I see you setting off on this new adventure and I remember and I cry and I smile because God is so good. God is so faithful. God keeps those promises that you thought you heard in the middle of the night prayer time whispers when you couldn’t sleep and there was nothing else to do but pray because the tears had been cried out.

But warning, my friend – there is still a lot of hard to come. There is still a lot of grieving to come. There is still a lot of “are you sure we did the right thing? I think we made a huge mistake” to come. Sometimes those moments come when you expect them. Seeing gatherings of your “old friends” on Facebook and wishing you were there. Having milestone moments in your family’s life and wishing your friends were with you. Those moments, you expect them and somehow you’re prepared to deal with the emotions.

It’s the unexpected moments that will get you. Like when you’re wandering in a new grocery store with the kids and can’t find that one snack they had at your friend’s house and you realize you can’t just text her and ask what aisle the darn snack is in because she doesn’t know the new grocery store. Like making a new friend and laughing at her joke and feeling bad because it’s not your old friend. Like ordering rice and beans for your child at a mexican restaurant and remembering when your babysitter complained because of the diapers that always resulted. Like sitting in a movie laughing and then starting to cry because you just know your old Sunday School class would’ve found it hilarious too. Yep, those unexpected moments will take you down.

But God will raise you up. And I don’t say that lightly but with all seriousness and hope for your family. Now, looking back, I see how we are in the exact right place. I see how God weaved so many pieces of our lives together for this new place. I see how God used friendships and experiences and love from our time together to grow me into who I need to be now. I see how learning from you and many others makes me a better pastor to the people before me.

So friend, feel the emotions. Grieve the loss. Explore the sadness. Seek the joy. Cling to your husband (because I know that mine was all I felt like I had some days and it’s made our marriage stronger and better and he’s WAY less of an emotional mess than me). Reach beyond what you think you are capable of. Be a safe and stable place for your kids (because they’ll feel all you are feeling too). Lean on God with all you’ve got because God’s got this in ways that you don’t even know yet.

And when you need an understanding ear, remember, I’m just a click or text away with a five-year perspective. You’ll make it because it’s a God thing. Remember that.

And oh. P.S. Those friends are still loving you and praying for you and cheering you on. Now they are getting the joy of watching God work some cool stuff out for you and your family. Trust me. They won’t go anywhere and they’re still there when you need them.


How DO I do it? February 18, 2012

Filed under: Me — Kris @ 2:06 pm
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As a mom of many, I often get this comment “I don’t know how you do it!” or asked this question “How do you do it?” I always struggle with a response. Most of the time I want to say “I just do.” Sometimes I do say that. Sometimes I give some other short answer about organization, letting stuff go, etc. Sometimes I get a little snarky and reply with something like “ignore my kids, yell at my husband and live in filth.” Now, while all of the above responses are true to some extent, it’s not really the whole picture.

So how DO I do it? I have five children, 2 dogs, a variety of fish/bugs/critters depending on the time of year and a hubby that travels 4 days out of the week for work. I take 3 graduate level classes, teach a Sunday School class at church, volunteer in a management position for a local mom’s group and occasionally babysit. And I don’t have any family around to help – they all live far away.

So how DO I do it? There are a variety of answers I could give. And some days I do it all much better than others. There are few tips of the trade, learned in the trenches, that I think are useful for most any family.

  1. I don’t do it alone. Even though I don’t have family around, I still don’t do it all alone. I rely on teachers, neighbors, church family and a REALLY GREAT babysitter. I give each person in my child’s life the freedom and the authority to do their “job” with my child. If s/he’s acted up in class/church/scouts/lessons/playtime, I expect the adult in charge to discipline as they see fit. I trust people. (I know there are people who have difficulty with that, but I’m a go with your gut kind of gal. If my tummy flips when I meet someone, I keep my kids an arm’s length away. And I choose activities carefully. And I ask my kids questions to learn more about what goes on when I’m not there.)
  2. I let things slide. I’m not a meticulous housekeeper. There is dog hair and crumbs on the floor, there are almost always dishes in the sink. Clothes sit clean and unfolded in baskets for a couple of days. Toys scatter the house. Our home is lived in. It’s not a showplace, its home. We do life here. We bring dirt in (along with various nature collections) and we make messes. It’s really okay. Most everything will clean up. I don’t do every chapter of reading for school either. I do need sleep and I can’t get everything done all the time. Sometimes doing something half-way is better than not doing anything at all.
  3. I focus on relationships. Yes, I can be a task-master. My kids do have chores that they are expected to do, but in the end, we really try to be more about the relationship than the task. But always, always, I remember, I am their parent and not their friend. My goal is bigger than getting my feelings hurt over being called “mean.” My friendships are more important than TV shows or books. Loving and helping others is more important than organizing my pantry.
  4. I guard our schedule. My kids do one activity at a time. We don’t run about every night of the week. I fiercely protect family dinner time. I try to maintain bedtimes. Even though I try to be flexible (I’m still working on that part), I find it incredibly important for my wellbeing – and the predictability of life for my children – to stick to a fairly consistent routine. We rise early and go to bed early.
  5. I live with grace. I mess up – a lot! My spouse messes up. My kids mess up. We are all human. In the end, for us, it’s about living with the grace given to us by God through Jesus Christ. We are a family of faith and living in the grace and love of that faith is the biggest key to keeping us grounded and sane. When we mess up, we know that we can be forgiven – by God and our imperfect family members as well. There are many times a month when I ask my family for forgiveness. The kisses and hugs I get tell me that maybe, just maybe, something is working well.

So how DO I do it? I’m continually trying to fully embrace the woman, wife and mother that I was designed to be. I know my gifts and talents and use them. Am I organized? I’ve been told that many times. Am I efficient? I try to be. Those are gifts that I have been designed with, so I use them to the maximum capacity I can.

How can YOU do it? That’s hard for me to answer. I don’t know what your gifts are. That’s a first step. Sure the things I talked about above will work for most people. If you are creative, be a creative parent. If you are adventurous, be an adventurous parent. Know who YOU are and go with it. Guard your relationships and your time. Live within your financial means, but be generous with your love. And most of all, live in grace.


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.


Building Community August 20, 2011

Filed under: Me — Kris @ 7:51 pm
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I heard those words a lot this weekend. Building community. I think every person who spoke to us at orientation said something like “seminary isn’t just about training you for ministry, it’s about building community here on campus and beyond.” Well, that’s my interpretation of what they said. We also were warned about interpreting, but that’s a post for another day.

Back to building community.

One of the ways that the seminary I attend (I can say that now because I am officially registered for 9 hrs. Please pray for me.) builds community is by having the students “break bread” together. There is a lunch meal served each day of classes and students, faculty, even the president of the seminary, all share the same food in the same room. Having experienced that last night and today, it really is a lovely thing. The conversation was good (so was the food) and somehow fulfilling a basic human need together equalizes everyone. We all have to eat – it’s a primal human need and meeting that need together, with the same food, places the participants on equal ground.

I, however, will not be participating in that method of community building. I only have morning classes and will be rushing home to fix lunch and eat with Girlie, Gorilla and the baby. So, I need to find other ways of participating in becoming a part of the seminary community. But why?

Community is important. Community helps us grow. Community helps us feel a part of something greater than our own small selves. Community exposes us to a different kind of humanity that we see in our own lives. Community enriches us. Community humbles us. Community is the way God intends us to be and do and love and live.

God is community. God is community through His triune nature of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God exists by community.

Now I understand why I heard that phrase – building community – so much. As we build community with those around us – fellow students, co-workers, neighbors, other parents of small children, other single people, others who are similar and different from us – we find ourselves stronger that we ever could be in solidarity. We are designed for the relationships of community.

How do we do that? We eat together. We play together. We work together. We sing together. We worship together. We serve together. We laugh together. We cry together. We live life together.

And we have to be willing to be real. Today during lunch, one of my fellow students was feeling a little sad that we wouldn’t be in any classes together. Why? “You are so blunt. I think it would be so much fun to be in class with you and get to know you and how you think.” I’m not sure that being described as blunt is a really positive thing, but what I was being was real. I am who I am and while I’m working on improving some aspects of me, I’m not going to hide behind false pretenses of all happy and sunshine and roses.

I am me and I try to be real. I get mad (more than I want to). I yell (and I wish I didn’t). I cry (sometimes in the shower so no one knows). I get lazy (just look at the cobwebs and dust/dirt in my house). I mess up and I’m not always right (but don’t tell Racer that). I get jealous (sometimes even of my BFF, but she knows it). And then, I feel guilt and have to confess all of those things. Thankfully, I also have grace.

(And I know I’m not all bad. I have a lot of good qualities too. Just ask me. I’ll tell you.)

To me, being real is part of building community. If I think the price of the meal plan is higher than I want to pay, I’ll say it regardless if the president of the seminary is sitting two seats down (he was). I’ll also take my shoes off and dangle my feet in the cool water of the fountain because I’m feeling stressed and need something tangible to bring me back (and I did). Yet, I’ll respect the “don’t walk on the grass, use the sidewalks” wishes of the folks in charge, even thought I really want to cut across. But that’s part of community too. Learning about the quirks of others and loving them in spite of it all.

Building community. It’s a chore sometimes. It gets messy sometimes. It takes longer than just going it alone sometimes. But it’s well worth the effort. When we build community, the journey is longer, lighter and lovelier.

And we just might find ourselves in the midst of something unexpectedly wonderful. Thank you to each of you who have taken the time to build community with me – friends, neighbors, “secret groups,” congregations, other mommies, others in ministry and many more. I’m glad we share life together.


Orientation August 19, 2011

Filed under: Me,Ministry — Kris @ 10:07 pm
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Tonight I attended the first part of the orientation process for seminary. There were two parts of the evening that were very lovely. The rest was a little overwhelming. I’ll start with the good stuff.

We began with a song. A lovely hymn that so many know and love – “Blessed Assurance.” The great part was that everyone sang. And sang loudly. So many times during Sunday morning worship, it seems like the only people singing are those leading the music. Sometimes there are individuals that can be heard and sometimes the congregation is audible, but not at the volume level one would expect for the number of people present. Tonight, it seemed as if 45 people sounded like 100. It was a lovely, joyful sound. It made me smile from deep within.

The second great part was the dinner meal. It was good food (extra good because I didn’t have to cook it), but the food was not the great part. I had good conversation. The best part of the conversation was learning that one of the faculty members I will have, grew up in my former state of residence and even has friends in the small county I lived in!! That is no coincidence. That is one small way that God continues to confirm for me that I am correctly taking this step of obedience.

You see, as the first day of seminary has loomed closer and closer, fear and anxiety and uncertainty and doubt are creeping in. I’m wondering if I discerned the prompting of the Holy Spirit correctly. I’m wondering if I’ve made a wise decision. I’m anxious about how I’m going to pay for this venture. I’m anxious about how life balance will work out. I’m doubting and second guessing and… basically I’m letting Satan get the best of me.

As the evening continued, I felt overwhelmed. Then I left and a situation I thought was taken care of fell through and I continue to wonder how this mommy/student/wife/self life balance thing is going to work. What happens when the kids get sick? What happens when the babysitter gets sick? What happens when schedules collide? What happens when I put wife and mommy duties first (as I think I’m supposed to) and my student responsibilities don’t get done? What if…

It all sounds crazy doesn’t it? So tonight, as I set my alarm to get up early so that I can have everything for the babysitter ready when she comes at 7:45am so that I can go finish “orientating,” I will lay my head on the pillow and give all those “what ifs” to God. Because I don’t know the answers. I can’t handle the madness of it all. But He can. I will remember that it is in my weaknesses that His strength is shown.

I will be still and know.


Without a doubt… August 15, 2011

Filed under: Ministry — Kris @ 10:26 pm
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I know I am supposed to be in ministry. Tonight was the first night of my church’s Vacation Bible School. VBS is a big undertaking for most churches. There is a lot of planning, prepping and praying that goes into it. It’s hard work. It’s necessary work. It’s important work. It’s tiring work.

This year, I’m helping lead opening and closing worship time. I get to get the kids excited about the night and then send them home with even more excitement. I get to help them learn to love Jesus out loud and I love it. I feel with purpose and with meaning and with energy that is not normal for me. I feel alive and energized and right.

I know that full-time ministry is my calling. I’m gifted in teaching and I love to challenge people in how they think about their faith. I love that God can use my flawed self – full of all the mistakes I’ve made and will continue to make – to somehow help usher in His Kingdom here on earth. Not just that He can, but that he wants to. He wants to use me.

I’m in awe of it, grateful for it and yet not understanding of it all at the same time. But yet I know it, in the depth of who I am, I know that this is my purpose. I feel most alive when I’m fulfilling my purpose. Yeah I mess up. I’ve done it plenty of times. I’ve asked forgiveness from God and many of the people I messed up with. That’s not easy. But I’m learning. I’m learning more about who I am and how to best use my spiritual gifts to glorify my Creator.

As I type, I’m feeding the baby and I also remember that my first place of ministry is at home. I’ll be honest. I struggle with that. In the daily grind of running a family of seven, do I really live out Jesus to my husband and my kids? Do I really show who God is through my actions? Sometimes I don’t think I do a great job there, but in the end, I hope that our family is about love and grace and giving and gratitude. And if that’s the best Racer and I can do, that’s not too bad.

As I get ready to start my seminary career, I’m excited to grow and go deeper in this journey of faith. I look forward to better understanding the nature and nurture of God. The academic nerd in me is excited just to be in a classroom again. (I’ll admit, I love school.) In the end, though, it’s not really about all that. It’s not about the church I hope to have, the understanding I hope to share, the baptisms I hope to perform, the lives I hope to see changed. It’s not about all that and it’s certainly NOT about me.

It’s only about one thing.

It’s about a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

I want that more each day.

Without a doubt.


Lately August 14, 2011

Filed under: Me — Kris @ 9:04 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Lately I’ve not been blogging.

Lately, I’ve been busy.

Lately, I’ve been trying to enjoy a summer that has slipped away all too fast.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about emergency preparedness – do you have a plan?

Lately, I haven’t been eating like I should.

Lately, I’ve started to actually enjoy going to the gym and exercising.

Lately, I’ve figured out that I might actually miss Racer when he’s at the track.

Lately, I’ve been anxious about starting seminary.

Lately, I’ve been trying to raise money for books.

Lately, I’ve spent too much time on the computer and not enough time reading books.

Lately, I’ve been teaching Gorilla how to pee in the potty.

Lately, I’ve realized that I’ve actually started to put roots down in my new community.

Lately, I’ve been taking on leadership roles.

Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about writing a book.

Lately, I’ve felt like writing again.

Lately, I’ve been tired, but filled.

Lately, I’ve been sensing God and His presence through the Holy Spirit.

Lately, I’ve realized that the dents in my fender and the rips in my jeans are simply talking points in my journey of faith.

Lately, I’ve tried to figure out how to make it all work and realized that I can’t, but God can.

Lately, I’ve cut myself some slack.

Lately, I’ve tried to be a better mom, but failed and then tried again and then failed and then realized that I’ll never stop trying.

Lately, the word family is morphing again and taking on new meanings.

Lately, I’ve had to let go and pray.


What have you been doing lately?


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