Monday, November 15, 2010

Mr. TastyKakes

Graphics by Pugly Pixel.
I have spent the last few days in Philadelphia
At a model UN conference.
I sat in a room with students from
University of Chicago
and other 'prestigious' Universities
thoroughly intimidated.
As the first session began, I looked around the room flabbergasted
at the note passing, placards thrust in the air and students tromping to the front of the room to make superfluous speeches that left me speechless.
I have an aesthetic eye and a passion for 'grassroot' ministry.
I absolutely do not have the passion for
national sovereignty
private investors
points of inquiry
making motions
Two moments of enlightenment:
I was briskly walking down 16th street of Philly and past once and then twice
a man and son squatted on the cold ground
with a flimsy piece of cardboard scribbled with sharpie.
My papa knocked on my heart and reminded
me that every time I love another
I am serving the face of Jesus.
I turned around for the third time and tentatively
scooted over to this man.
I began by roughly asking
Tu espanol? (rough)
"No. Roma."
Ce Faci?!?
Cum te ciam? (Rough; What is your name?)
And this is about as far as our conversation got.
I was just so excited to meet a family with whom I could share even a tiny tidbit of understanding. I am sure he felt the same way.
How hysterical for me to be so absorbed in my own academic
misery that I almost missed the mission, the calling
placed on my heart.
I have been given the talent to tell stories.
Not to write resolutions and pretend to be political.
This european man and a Pastor from Washington
gently reminded me of the place where my
Story Telling
has been requested.
How daunting.
And not so very specific.
Mr. TastyKakes.
I sat on the airplane in route to Dallas and knew that the minute my seatbelt clicked it would be a very long flight.
I had a paper due the next morning at nine and had promised myself diligence on the flight.
However, Charles introduced himself immediately
and was not in mood to silently stare out the window.
I noticed how he clutched a faded black book labeled
Holy Bible,
Stuffed with papers and photographs.
Charles was a man who let you no immediately
he was not about sitting behind a desk the rest of his life.
He loved to work with his hands,
a plumber
a painter
a poet
and many others trades
accumulated into a very colorful man.
Charles had a story to tell.
(I kept thinking how much Charles would enjoy a conversation with my dad.)
He was a simple man with simple convictions
and a heart transformed by Boet.
How funny that I could spend five days in the presence of such brilliance
and see these University elites deny any amount of self corruption.
And then see a man who understands brokenness and clings to the only thing that makes us whole.
Dear Charles,
Thank you for the Philly made TastyKakes.
They are inspiring.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Never to early to celebrate...

So it might be two weeks until Thanksgiving,
but I believe that a season of giving thanks can easily be fused with a time for good cheer.
Lauren and I made paper ornaments while Angela snuggled on the couch.
And that leads to the second thing worth celebrating...
They really do make life interesting and swollen with joy.
We have laughed unconstrained,
cried for no good reason,
filled our bellies with Lauren's Spaghetti,
played practical jokes,
farted around

Needless to say I am thankful for these two bucketheads.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Today has reminded me of Winnie the Pooh.
Chuckling as he fights against the blustering wind
watching Piglet fly by yelping for assistance
And Christopher Robin in his blue shorts, cardigan and bright red scarf.
All I want to do is bake.
Take a walk
Wearing this.
And these while petting him.

I just really love Sheep.

A side thought.
I finally went grocery shopping and felt an overwhelming amount of peace as my cabinets filled. I wish that life could be that easily satisfied. When you hear a grumble and notice cobwebs in the kitchen, simply nod, grab your keys and trot over to the market.
But life requires so much more than one decision for change.
It takes a daily pruning of self.
Who do I want to be? Am I empty? Well then, lets get to work.
In the book of Ezra, the Hebrews begin to worship at the site of the temple before the ground has even been broken.
It begins with redemption of the heart.
Reconstruction cannot occur until our hearts are completely surrendered to Christ.
Otherwise we build up soggy well groomed behaviors.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sad Bird's looking chipper.

You see this little guy? His name is Sad Bird and he lived on the window tint of a borrowed church van. Sad Bird represents something not so sad at all actually. In the midst of a scheduled discombobulated summer, I had the rich privilege of hopping onto a "cheap" flight to Portland, Oregon to celebrate the wedding of my authentically joyful cousin Mandee. A complete treat, like a pumpkin spice cupcake with cream cheese frosting. A time to gather for
S'mores roasts,
ultimate frisbee,
assembly lines,
gut busting circles of laughter,
more prayer,
delicious home cooked food,
pizza and veggies on the patio,
Good Beer,
Beach trips,
and Photos.
When I worry about being stressed and losing little joys, I remember Sad Bird and all the jokes told while staring out his old window. The life giving weekend that reminded me of the vitality of celebration. Of Laughing. And the anticipation of another family reunion rapidly approaching in the honor of my brothers wedding.
So hats off to Good Times Van Round 2!! T-minus 19 days.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Cancer is not good. But it is not the end.
Deeply rooted in our being, when all hope is stripped from us,
we cry out to Boet. The Christ.
Where is the sting of death? It's here. Daily.
Why do we rejoice in the death of Christ?
Because it was not the end.
"Laughing with" By Regina Spektor

Saturday, October 30, 2010

An ode to food and friends.

A Saturday.
Lazy mornings with pillow talk and room cleaning.
Lunch in the water garden.
Native American Literature....Blood and Thunder.
Monks. Bottomless Coffee in a tea cup. Study. Chat. Study.
Strolling through HEB. Grocery shopping for the first time in a month.
Choosing a delicious sweet red wine. Stemless glasses.
Kale Chips. Eggplant Parmesan. Table Talk with a new friend.
Say goodnight.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Just be.

Sometimes I seek after peace so fervently I become exhausted. I know I am broken and try way to hard to perfect the art of it. How ridiculous. I either make a failing attempt at perfect outwardly behavior, or a failing attempt at inward brokenness.

"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of satan, to torment me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weaknesses. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12

The more I realize that I cannot accomplish anything righteous on my own count, the more I recognize the precious redemptive grace of Boet, The Christ.

Side Thought.
Ciao $20.
Monday night I was sitting at Starbucks, earbuds in, Native American Literature deeply capturing my attention. You see I had a plan, take the twenty out of my wallet (Thanks Dad) and buy groceries to satisfy my empty cabinet. However, no matter how mediocre, the funny thing about plans is how they seem to fizzle when life gets in the way.

Ten minutes into my enraptured reading, a Buick containing the sobbing mess of a Baby Boomer abruptly jolts to a stop next to my patio seat. Peering out at me with puffy eyes, Edna, in a state of desperation pleads for gas money so she can go to her Granddaughter in the hospital. Well of course any sensible person would assume this to be a scam. "Oh Krisi you didn't!" I can imagine a friend saying to me. A swindle, an outrage. But how was I to know? Is it my place to decide who deserves compassion and who does not?

And then it hit me.
(Just as I was typing this out, with the plan of taking a different angle.)

I was so willing to love on a stranger and not let my doubts of her authenticity rule my actions.
Yet I spent an entire weekend with my family, constantly prodding and scrutinizing their words and actions. YIKES. Again I say, "is it my place to decide who deserves compassion and who does not?"

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Let it be so. This is the definition of Amen. Continuously throughout my trip in Romania I was confronted with this word/phrase. Amen translated into Romanian is Ami. I sat in a sweltering church in the village of Susani listening to an unfamiliar language, enjoying the sounds of “let it be so” over and over again. This is a community that taught me the meaning of trusting in the love and provision of our creator.

The little village of Susani is straight out of a Beatrix Potter novel; older women toting water from the well, a plethora of geese and ducks waddling in no particular direction, and I may have even seen Peter Rabbit once or twice. This old world in which I found myself contradicted itself with modern clothing styles and the occasional Justin Bieber ring tone blaring from a thirteen year-olds cell phone. Climbing into a wagon drawn by a large mare had the potential to charm me right into forgetting any kind of other life and slipping silently into Susani’s.

Our last day in Romania, I packed up my memories and video equipment but think I forgot my heart. I was not prepared to leave. Something was missing when I climbed on the bus, the plane and then my seat at Denny’s in Dallas with my parents. I tried to explain to my mom that I needed to be in Romania, that I belonged in Europe and had left my heart behind. She quickly reminded me that where ever I am, my heart is also and if I choose to ignore it I will be miserable.

2 Conrinthians 4: 15 “And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him whofor their sake died and was raised.”

If I chose to leave my heart in Romania, I would be living for myself. I have been called to breathe life into those who presently surround me. James 4:13 says “come now you who say ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such town and spend a year there making a profit’ – yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘if the Lord wills, we will do this and that.’”

I must choose to rope in my heart and plant it right where my feet are.

I had a funny conversation in the back of a stifling hot bus with a seventeen year old translator named Adelina. She told me that God was teaching her that He holds what’s best for us, even when we are willing to settle for something just good. He has the fantastic in his hands and wants to pour it all over us…again. God is funny when he is yelling into my ear “Hey Krisi! You get it? I have some amazing stories for you to be a part of, are you ready?”

Ami. Amen. Let it be so.

A side thought:

As we trekked through the great country of Romania and over the border to Budapest, Hungary I was reminded of a desire to open a Hostel somewhere in the world. Through my week of media and laughter, I understood that I have been given the ability to be relational. I love to learn about new cultures and discover the stories of peoples live. John 4:39 “Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the women’s testimony, ‘He told me all that I ever did.’” So if I can be in the business of hosting and listening and loving the quirky people of this world…let it be so. I have no idea how to make this happen, but am ready to figure it out.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer is swinging

"having the eyes of my heart enlightened."

I am once again in the state of Colorado, I spent this weekend in a sweet bliss enjoying the things I am neglected eight months out of the year.

Meadow Mountain- a cafe that screams of small town warmth. I sat for two hours inhaling their incredible cinnamon coffee and a mound of french toast. Good company is what makes any place worth the visit right? I love that during our breakfast Les (one of the mayors) and his dog Zena sat down to chat about recent rescues the volunteer fire dept. had made.

A Hike- After dehydrating our bodies with caffeine, we chose to strap on our camel backs and hike up Lookout Mountain, only to be deterred a few miles in by the massive amounts of snow that seemed to have remained only on the trail we were following. But still a beautiful morning.

With an afternoon ahead of me, I drove mouse (my car) down the canyon to my favorite quirky town Boulder, Colorado. It is fascinating to sit on a stone bench eating frozen yogurt and "people watching". This is a town so full of diversity that there is no choice but to grin and observe the whiplash of hair and clothing styles strolling down pearl street, all with various destinations. When summer swarms Boulder, it is as though hibernation has been broken releasing a plethora of winter's captives to relax on outdoor patios and fresh green parks. Hundreds of bikers swerve to avoid tourists and teenagers, dogs pant on the side walks tethered to wrought iron restaurant tables. Street entertainers bravely juggle bean bags and torches with the prospect of suckering some sap from Kansas or Texas into donating a dollar.

On Sunday I chose to join the ranks of hardcore spandex sporting bikers and cycle down highway 63, which can be confused for Ireland rather than the foothills of the Northern Rockies. Ending once again at Pearl Street with a repeated dose of pomegranate froyo covered in fresh Blackberries and an amusing game of point out the Boulder natives vs. wide eyed visitors.

And now camp training begins, another year of kids, mountains, and a community that is separated from my regular life. It is a beautiful place that demands my whole heart.

In four days I will be sitting on a plane, flying across the ocean to Lugov Romania. I am under the impression that there is something very important for me to discover in my Ten day trek in the small villages of Eastern Europe. I can only hope that I have the willingness to keep the eyes of my heart open and ready.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I am a fool.

The Princess Bride--
There is a scene in this movie in which Inigo Montoya pleads with his belated father to lead him to the place where the man in black has been taken. His sword sways wildly until landing on a rut in a tree. Silly, who would live in such a way?

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot Lose." -Jim Elliot

Jim Elliot is a man who gave up his life to risk reaching a people group know for their mercenary violence. I am selfish and afraid. If I was willing to offer all of who I am, could I live half the life of Elliot? I think the toughest part about my relationship with Christ is the surrender, and the fact that no one seems to fully understand us crazy Christians. Why give ourselves over to something that appears to be invisible and fantastical. What if in the end we are wrong? Are we Spirit seekers the same as Inigo in the Princess Bride, following blindly with our swaying swords?


Luke 9
"And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God."

Maybe Not.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Find the Rhythm.

The definition of Paradigm:
“a set of forms all of which contain a particular element,
esp. the set of all inflected forms based on a single stem or theme.”

Third grade, all I wanted was a uniform. My mom signed me up to play co-ed baseball with some construed hopes that I might finally have found my athletic talent. The problem was, I was just the biggest poser there might ever be in a little league game. I was taller, bigger, and had a pretty legit sky blue uniform, the only thing missing was the ability to swing, catch and throw.

It did not take long for me to fully understand the danger of throwing oneself under a ball just to catch it; this meant that there was always a risk of extreme pain by a leather round object catapulted at your face, making some type of bruising contact. No Thanks.

So it would only make sense for me to join an intramural softball team at the age of twenty-one and head out in my North Face hat and Nike kicks ready to try again. However, anytime a spec of white would whiz in my direction, I dodged as though that was the point and I was the high scorer. So of course it would only make sense for the only inning that I sat out to be when my roommate chose to run at me full speed, leap through the air and proceed to knee me directly in the crown of my head.

Contact sports (for me this is anything that involves the throwing/catching/kicking a ball) have only brought about serious injuries. Why is it that I feel leagues safer biking down a highway, hiking mountains, or kayaking?

I have deciding that each of us is designed with a certain rhythm. This is why some individuals can step up to a plate, swing, smack, run, score. While I on the other hand feel much more confident falling into the steady motion of bike pedals, pumping legs on an upward climb, or the churning of a paddle through silent waters.

We gravitate to what is natural, whether that is in sports, art, music, dancing, writing, mathematic equations or just good conversations.

So a paradigm: These are all drastically differentiating elements, yet they all stem from one thing:


Saturday, March 20, 2010


Be Thou My Vision
"Riches I heed not,
nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art."

What a picturesque song. A loving psalm.

Alpinista is the Spanish word for mountain climber. I have been mulling over bike naming options for the last few months and as I rode yesterday decided that whatever the name, it must represent my struggle. I have a goal to bike a canyon in Northern Colorado this summer and I am aware that to many this may be a menial task.

I have come to realize how much I romanticize adventure. In my head, struggle is cancelled out by the idea of accomplishment. If this is truth then I am most certainly a failure. I have faced life with fear as my armor, protecting me from reaching any goal. An incomplete climb of a class five fourteener as been sneering at me for the last seven months.

In the book "Three Cups of Tea" Greg Mortenson comments on the westernized ideology of success being based on reaching the summit, where the eastern world celebrates beauty and the journey. This is what I have forgotten; my mind is so encased by my own lacking that I am frozen. But isn't this the point? Where is my vision? Certainly as long as I view my life with a big letter F I can do no good for anybody.

I need to seek my own individualistic journey, modeled after the only one who will never fail me. My Boet, my papa.

A Wise thought:
Comparison is the Thief of Joy. -Randa B.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

to be released from a constrained position, as by resilient or elastic force or from the action of a spring

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stickers are beautiful.

"For he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name."
Luke 1:49; Mike Crawford and the Secret Siblings

Leaps and bounds, every morning I coax myself out of bed and head towards the kitchen for tea. I have mastered what I call "the leap" since there is one spot right by the front door that I must pass on my trek; it is where all stickers that our shoes so naively attract gather. If I have any desire to avoid a morning jolt of prickly pain, I crouch slightly, grip the couch and launch my body over the treacherous terrain.

Yet there are times that no matter how skilled I am at leaping, I still manage to secure a nice prick in the soft skin of my foot.

Today I was walking to my yoga class in sandals, treading cautiously and giving all sticker patches as wide a birth as possible. With my concentration so heavily on the ground, I was surprised by a spontaneous appreciation for the beauty of a plant that could be so annoying. I observed the unintentional patterns of the burrs and their flow with each other.

Stickers are Beautiful, Patience is not. It would be much less of an effort for me to just walk through that death trap and take the consequences of pain as it comes. So what happens when I quit jumping and I go one day, two days, and three without even a tiny prick? This just reinforces laziness and a desire for what I want.

Patience means i'm cautious, it means I leap over the apparent beauty to make it to something much more satisfying.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

No "fleeing" allowed

Two weeks to the end.
The definition of "FLEE" –verb (used without object)
1. take flight.
2. to move swiftly; fly; speed.

In fifth grade I got a ribbon for the long jump. I honestly cannot remember if it was one of those participation prizes or an actual award. Either way, I was satisfied. Long jump is one thing I have mastered, stand back...kick off...push and

Here I am some odd ten years later and am living out a long jump. However, I have forgotten to hold or wait for a result, I just keep on going full throttle until I am sucking back tears of exhaustion.

Thus I have begun the semester, maybe I hit a little too hard, maybe I thought myself a little too capable. Either way, humility strikes my face like I talked back to it for far to long.

I am on the last stick of proverbial gum in this surrender, and am curious to discover what my differences are? Where have I attempted growth?

The word flee sticks heavily in me mind.
To take flight...I can watch my own lack of satisfaction with the present; my feet are stuck in gritty mud and every pull against my current circumstances prove fruitless. I cannot flee from life, cannot take flight because that isn't why I was created. So, one muddy foot at a time, I can only hope to trudge forward.

Speed...can this ever be wise? I am designed, created, molded to enjoy a minute by minute exploit of life. Today is my adventure...cliché enough?

I will not flee.

Habakkuk 3:16
"I hear and my body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters my bones; my legs tremble beneath me. Yet I will quietly wait..."

Extra thought:
I spent a month in the Dallas area, and met an aray of colorful people who reminded me of my arrogance and a life that overflows with provision. Two weeks I worked along side a group of individuals that I might avoid in a grocery store or crowded city corner. But I learned that an education at a University is no nobler than a single mother working her ass off to pay one rent check.