Once Here, Now There

I’m going to be combining this blog with my photography blog!

So from now on, the Chronicles of Kristin will be here.

I’ll leave this page up, but all the newness will be over at my new corner of the web. I’d love for you to check it out!

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The Tension of the In-Between

“My heart doesn’t want to be in Texas right now. I don’t want to look at the red dirt or tall grass- though it’s beautiful. I want to be looking out my window at Salem and see Romanian rooftops. I want to cuddle with Marshy and be having tea while I spend time with Jesus. I want to be at home or in the thick of the foreign, and today I am somewhere in between.”
- June 24, 2012

That’s an excerpt from my journal, just after I’d returned to Texas for debriefing after being in Romania. I was tired. I was jet-lagged. I was torn in the tension of wanting to just go home and wanting to be back in the thick of things in a foreign land. But I was stuck in Texas, a place that was not quite either one.

I think it’s something we all have to wrestle with at some point- the tension that comes from wanting to be in another place, doing something different than what we’re doing in the place we actually are. I don’t think that tension is a bad thing, though; we just need to remember that God places us in different locations at different times for different seasons. There’s a reason we are where we are, just as there’s a reason we were in the place we left. There’s even a reason for those in-between places we don’t particularly want to be planted in, places like Texas.

Because I needed that time to think a little before I went home. I needed the time to enjoy my last few minutes with my team, people I’d grown quite close to in a short amount of time and may never see again on this earth. I needed to be surrounded by those people who love Jesus, by red dirt and humidity.

Because it was in that place that I came to write this:

You have made me glad by Your work in Romania. I saw so much that could have broken my spirit, but You revealed Yourself and Your purpose to me. I saw Your love for the gypsies and the poor and the lost. I saw Your answers to prayer, Your steadfast love. I saw Your hope. And because of it, I was able to walk away from Romania awed by You. I am able to sit here saying “how great Thou art!” Thank you, Lord. I love You. Let me not forget what I’ve seen and what You’ve spoken these past two weeks. Let me not forget.

You’ve spoken to me so much while I’ve been gone and I know You want to keep speaking Your heart to me. I want to hear it. I want to listen when You speak, Holy Spirit. Help me to hear and to do as You lead.

“You have stirred my soul; I am overwhelmed. I just came to be, that I may know such love.” -Robbie Seay Band

And He has spoken. A lot. And I’ve heard Him. And He’s said some big amazing things and some scary things and some things I’ve had to wrestle through. But He’s led me through it… and the desire to sit and listen came from one of those in-between places I didn’t particularly want. It came after praying and wrestling with that tension of the in-between.

There’s a purpose for where you are. There’s a purpose for the in-between and the valley, just as there’s a purpose for the destinations and the mountaintops. Believe it. Ask Him to show it to you. Then stand back and wait to be amazed.

 

 

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on one of those days

Today, I’m having one of those days.

I’m a little irritable… partly because I was honked at twice on the way to work for stopping at two different red lights before making my turn.

I’m a little overwhelmed… partly because I’ve had a rough couple of days and partly because everyone decided to need me at work at the same time.

I’m a little tired… partly because I couldn’t fall asleep last night before twelve-thirty and partly because like I said, I’ve had a rough couple of days.

I’m a little less than put together… mostly because my bangs are too long and won’t stay put and partly because I don’t quite feel well.

I’m having one of those days… and that’s okay. Life happens. Things get messy. People honk at you. It happens. It’s what you do with it that makes a difference. Do you wallow in your indignation and grumbly-thoughts or do you forgive and move on? Do you push off all the things you need to do in favor of something more fun or do you take a minute to breathe, pray and start crossing those things off your to-do list? Do you act sluggishly, nap and/or give up or do you commit yourself to working hard… and maybe reach for that extra cup of tea when you need to? Do you focus on parting your hair just so and getting it to stay there or do you shake it out and decide to actually make that appointment with the hairstylist?

All these little things that add up to one of those days… they can all be conquered. They can all be made better.

So here’s to victory over the hot-mess moments, the impatience that breeds impatience and the stressful additions to the day. Let’s choose the better things and focus on that which is pure and lovely, the just and commendable, the honorable and excellent… and then let’s wrap ourselves in thanksgiving and praise. Let’s make it one of those days instead.

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burdened

I went for a walk this evening. It took a great deal of willpower to get me out the door, but I knew I needed it. Not just for the physical exercise, though that was important. I needed it because I needed to get out of my house and listen. I had a new set of podcast sermons from some friends’ church in another state… and I was drawn to a series in particular. So I finally tied up my shoe laces and strode outside.

For forty-five minutes I walked up hills and across the fronts of rows of houses. I felt the wind on my face, noted the way the taller grassy lawns moved and how the light hit it. And through it all, I listened.

And my heart was stirred.

The idea of the message was largely about the burdens that God gives us… how one moment He imparts to us this deep desire to do something, how He changes our hearts to long for something… to be burdened. He burdens us for His purpose and for His glory.

As I walked, I thought about the ways He’s been burdening me lately. I was reminded of this big dream He’s given me… one I need to be continually praying over and moving forward with… but I was also reminded that I am here right now. I am here, in my city… with my neighbors, my peers, my family, my friends… I am here, in a city with great needs and many lost. I am here, in a city with hurting families, single mothers and unloved children. I am here, in a city with deeply broken women caught in human trafficking. I am here, in a city with areas lacking access to proper nutritious foods. I am here, in a city that so desperately needs the Jesus who has been so gracious to invite me to be His. I am here… and I am His… and I need to be burdened for my city.

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lately

Lately I’ve been pretty silent on here… partly because I’ve just been living life, and partly because I’ve been trying to make up my mind about the future of this little blog of mine. I thought I’d come to a decision, and then I changed my mind. The pendulum swings… ;)

Until I decide, though, I’ll be posting here and there…. partly because I miss it, and partly because I have stories to share.

For now, I’ll leave you with this:

“Random acts of greatness pale in comparison to habitual acts of faithfulness.” -Ann Voskamp

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