Author Archives: hopekrissie

About hopekrissie

The Lord has blessed me with life and in living each day I have found the struggles, joys, and triumphs to be each an opportunity to encourage those around me.

Sweetness

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The honey bee finds food here and we find food from the honey bee.

Sweetness in food is good, but sweetness in spirit is better.

How does one find sweetness in this life?

Where is the best place to find those things which make up a sweet spirit?

Peace, gentleness, kindness, thoughtfulness, genuine compassion,
love.

These things are difficult to find in the marketplace.

It’s amazing that with the variety of items for purchase, kindness cannot be.

Gentleness is not a garment which can be worn at will.

True love which gives and sacrifices without looking for personal gain is precious indeed, yet no amount of money will secure it.

Thoughtfulness takes careful training and continual practice to be a daily reaction.

Yet, as difficult as these things are to find, the world would certainly be a howling wilderness without them.

Where do they come from?

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV

So the most valuable items are not for sale.

Instead God offers them to us freely.

The only way to truly walk in these things is to be in close personal relationship with God Almighty.

It doesn’t happen over night.

It doesn’t come upon demand.

It’s a by-product of self-to-death and God-as-Lord.

When Jesus Christ is the very fabric of a person then there will be these things present also.

“Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the most priceless gifts. I’ve never known a time when I couldn’t find peace in Your arms or gentleness in Your comfort. When I’m struggling You give me the  self-control I’m lacking. When I’m tired of the battle You give me long-suffering and love abundantly, for I know every battle against evil is worthwhile, please help me to remember we do not fight flesh and blood. Your goodness sustains me when all the World seems full of wrong. Thank You, Father. Thank You!”

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Moving

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Moving requires work.

In this case we were moving dirt.

In our daughter and son-in-law’s case they will be moving everything.

I’m working on parts of our yard and much of it requires moving.

Whether it’s brush or weeds, rock or branches it’s work.

I have also been going through a different type of moving lately.

Moving from one set of normal to a new set.

For the next 7 weeks I will be Mom to only 2 kids at home.

I can say it’s taking some real moving on the Lord’s part to prepare my heart.

No, I’m not worried about their safety.

No, this really is a good thing.

Yes, I am having some struggles letting go.

There are so many things I could say about this.

Yet, I have found silence sometimes is more.

I’ve taken my feelings and struggles to the Lord and He has answered.

Trust Me, for I am doing this.

Look to Me, for I am the One Who goes with them.

These belong to Me, and I will hold them in My hands.

Which has required me to face a truth I’ve not long understood.

God loves my children more than I do and He’s always working in each circumstance for their good.

So when the enemy is allowed to steal, kill, or destroy I can trust that God is using it to teach our children about Himself or to reveal themselves or both.

Fear wants to whisper incredible nonsense which always makes sense at the time.

Yet the Lord is teaching me discernment, so I can capture each lie and dispose of it quickly.

(I might add this is easier said than done!)

Within this moving of children and changing of household I have been revealed.

I never realized how deeply I was afraid of the loss of my little ones, now grown large.

The Lord is so gracious and has been walking me slowly forward with more compassion, encouragement, and love than I can express.

He has wonderfully blessed me daily by the presence of each child.

Now is the time for them to be allowed to bless others, anyone He has placed in their lives.

What more can a mother want, than for her children to be adults who shine the love of Jesus Christ?

So as we all move, I’m praying.

“Dear Papa,

Thank You for the gift of each person in our home. I’m struggling with sadness on letting go. I trust You to hold them and to walk daily with them. I trust that any circumstances which You walk them through are simply a tool to further their hearts in love with Yours. Please use them, touch others, spread Your Gospel, and continue to hone their character daily. I have made so many mistakes with them. Please help them to forgive when they are wronged and to choose not to be offended. I know Your promises. I’m resting in the knowledge that they are each in Your hand. Thank You. I love You Jesus.”

Times and seasons

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There was a time when I couldn’t imagine the season I find myself in now.

Here sit our daughters, beautiful and far from the tiny stage.

Pigtails, ponies, and footed pjs are all memories.

Instead we have driver’s licenses, school schedules, job opportunities, and adulthood.

(I know only one is an adult but the other 2 are so close behind her!)

I was telling my husband recently how much I still want to teach them.

There’s so many things I want to be sure I’ve shared with them.

There’s so much for them to still learn.

But in this striving I feel the Lord speak.

Rest in My arms as I teach you how to teach them. Let your life be an example instead of your words be overwhelming.

“Yes, Lord.”

Then fear robs my peace with, “You’re not doing it right. You’ve messed it up too many times. They will sin no matter what you say.”

Grrr…

That’s when I return to the Lord and His Word.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

I have tried since our oldest daughter was in the womb to figure out how to train our children.

And I can say, I’ve made millions of mistakes.

Yet, the Lord has been so faithful to guide me, even in the moments when I realized I’d failed again.

I’m far from perfect, but I’m so thankful He is.

Jesus has our daughters and our son in His hands.

God has been working from the beginning.

And I can trust Him to continue to work in every aspect each moment.

“Dear Jesus,

Please walk with our children in a personal way. Help them to hear Your voice and to know You personally. Let Your Word reside in their hearts and minds. I’m trusting You to continue to help me train them and for their lives to bring glory to Your name. Thank You so much for our children, how blessed we are to be a part of their lives.”

Auntie Jan

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Like this California poppy

she wasn’t born in California.

Yet I always thought of her as native to the state.

My aunt, my father’s only sibling, was as much a part of the place of my birth as any of my other childhood building blocks.

I have memories of her cabin in the mountains or her home in the city.

I have memories of big dinners where cousins and other extended family gathered to share a meal.

But the memories I cherish the most are not a part of any of that.

As I was walking in the yard a smell took me back more than 20 years to the summers spent at Auntie Jan’s after she and uncle moved to Oregon.

It was just my sister and myself most of the time, but we loved it.

There was no end to the activities we could do.

My aunt and uncle’s property was gorgeous, much like a large park which butted a beautiful river.

Its sloping lawns, evergreen trees, rock walls, and quiet views are cherished memories.

It was almost like having a summer camp all to ourselves, without adult interference bothering us with their ideas of priority.

We could swim or play badminton, pool, croquet, cards, or just read.

Most evenings we sat around the dinner table and played card games with Auntie and Uncle.

I almost laugh at how truly spoiled we were on those week long visits.

Of course there’s always another side to things.

Things I rather not remember, like my aunt and uncle fighting.

Or the fact that both of them drank heavily and I learned early on that drink changes people.

Yet, even in that I can praise the Lord for the lovely memories.

I know my aunt and uncle loved us and that they enjoyed having us visit.

I cherish some dishes and mugs and a few other items which belonged to my Auntie Jan.

I still joke with my sister about the infamous “under cooked chicken”.

(Sorry family joke!)

I know that I will always thank God for my wonderful beautiful memories of my aunt and uncle.

At times I wish I could go back and be sure they knew how much I loved them, how much I appreciated their kindness.

At times I wish they could meet my children or spend time with me as an adult.

Yet, even in that I have peace that God’s timing is perfect.

His ways are wonderful.

And in the middle of my busy He blessed me with a memory.

Butterflies

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The pictures captured on my phone do a very poor job of sharing the beauty of these amazing examples of God’s creation.

I simply love the picture of a butterfly.

My heart has such a thrill when I am able to pause even briefly to enjoy the small winged insect.

The picture of a tiny egg.

The ugly worm which crawls from it.

The fat caterpillar which it becomes through gorging itself on as much food as it’s able.

The slumber and waiting.

Finally, it’s time.

A butterfly is an amazing picture of what God can do in my life with my soul.

At birth I’m tiny and unaware of the world around me.

Yet, as my body and mind grow from child to adult I begin to feel a need to be fed.

A desire to be filled.

Only as I learn about Christ and His bridging the chasm between my sin and the Most Holy God, do I find the food my soul has longed for.

Once the plate has been passed to me there’s no limit on how much of Jesus and His plans for me.

I can gorge my heart and soul in the wealth of love and wisdom from His Word.

These are the days I live in, yet I have so much more to look forward to.

Some day this body will die.

Someday Jesus will renew my spirit and give me a new perfect body.

Someday I will emerge into what I can’t even comprehend, any more than the fat fuzzy worm can grasp the effortlessly beautiful floating on breeze  butterfly he-will-be.

How great is God!

How amazing is the work of His hands.

My husband, my blessing

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Yup, those belong to me!

Bell and her dad are two peas in a pod.

They both enjoy being able to work out.

They enjoy the outdoors.

They are super funny!

And anyone who knows them well can say they have many sides to their personalities.

Infact, I can easily point to characteristics which each of our children have that are a reflection of their father.

It’s amazing to me how blessed I am to be married to this guy!

I was chatting with someone about how my hubby had learned to dance as a teen and had shared it by teaching all of us how to dance.

It was one of the best memories from the wedding last summer : Daddy dancing with the bride.

It has become one of my favorite things we do as a family.

I am so thankful for the gifts God has given through my husband.

He is a hard working man, not unlike my father.

He is a brilliant man who has poured hours upon hours into learning as well as teaching.

He’s amazingly creative and has written and preformed in many skits.

His ability to act as well as write skits has brought Bible truths to kids both here and in other countries.

He’s a loving father.

It’s not been easy for him to divide himself in so many directions, but his love for his children has caused him to put off more and more of the things he enjoys to be at events or to touch their lives.

He’s a wonderful man who loves me, but most importantly, loves Jesus.

He’s not perfect.

Neither am I.

Yet through our broken battered sin-torn lives he has walked with me and Jesus.

We still have a lot to learn.

We still have areas of healing.

Yet we are determined to hold hands while we face the future together, with Jesus.

Dear Jesus,

Thank You for my husband. Bless him today as he walks into whatever You have planned for him. Please teach me how to be a good wife to him. Please protect him from the evil in this world and help our family to grow ever stronger in You.

Goals

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“Way to go Bell!”

She was so blessed to receive a medal in both the 800 meter and the 100 meter.

This morning she was talking about her plans to train for next year.

Smiling, I replied that it’s good to have goals.

Lately I’ve noticed the emphasis on “be yourself”.

Which I get.

The point is don’t try to fake it, be who you are.

There’s something lacking.

Mostly because the idea is missing the One who knows who each of us is.

Paul wrote that no one is pure, not even one.

So our sinful state distorts the truth.

We can only be who we were created to be by being in close, minute by minute association with the Creator.

When our daughter said she had a goal which she wanted to work toward, I was glad.

Goals are our way of gaging and measuring where we are and where we want to be.

The goal needs to be directed by Jesus and patterned by His will.

When a goal is birthed from our own flesh ruin can be the result.

Solomon is a perfect example.

God asked him what he wanted and his reply was honorable.

He wanted wisdom to rule Israel well.

God granted it and blessed him.

Yet we see Solomon’s end as very sad.

He didn’t follow the wisdom he had from God’s own word.

He was the wisest and one of the wealthiest men who ever lived, yet in Ecclesiastes his words reflect  depression, a man who has lost the joy of living.

What would his words have been had he stayed focused on his original goal to be a wise ruler?

We can’t tell.

Yet there is nothing keeping me from walking in God’s will daily so I can discover His goals for my life.

I can state that as I’ve walked this far I have found so much peace and joy when I’m squarely centered on His goals.

Continued anger and frustration are the evidence of my goal-making-done-to-please-myself.

James puts it perfectly.

“Where do wars and fights come from among you?  Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? ” James 4:1 NKJV

I want to avoid setting my goals in a way that would take me away from my God.

Instead, I am working to know God’s will for me daily, to put off my pleasures, to grow in the wisdom of God’s Word.