Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Our Mighty Warrior

Well, after all his name does mean Mighty Warrior.
Yes, he snuck out of the house with out any pants and really, it's not very warm.

But at least he didn't forget the essentials: some shoes (those would be Hunter's), a ninja sword, and the Darth Vader mask.
665. our Mighty Warrior: what a gift he is!
666. fear not for He who is in you is greater than He who is in the world (my paraphrase)
667. a new year of school (4th grade is a lot harder than 3rd) ;0)
668. a friend's courage
669. warm smiles and kind words
670. watching the Body of Christ work together and feeling this cup runith over at the wondrous gift that it is


Monday, 17 September 2012

Little Reminders

It is no small secret that I am forgetful....a little scatterbrained. I can't fully take all the blame for this. I think it that the "fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants" gene was passed along by the one I call mom, and sometimes Kathy Delrene to be funny because she often middle names me (endearingly of course) and I like to remind her (like she's forgotten) that her middle name is Delrene. Not that I'm blaming her, but I don't accept the responsibility either. Ok, I'm blaming her. Sorry, mom (she knows I'm kidding...well, at least kind of.)

The good news is that I only forget semi-important things like birthdays (if you think birthdays are more important than semi-important we probably shouldn't be friends), what day the church yard sale is on exactly and mixing up when I need to help b/c I didn't write it down, to make a dozen cookies for the Christmas time gifts to the Airmen in the dorms (oops!), to bring the ipod with me to the gym (grrr...hate it when that happens), where I laid that ______ down last (this could be anything from a brush to a child...kidding about the child....well, most of the time at least) and calling people back  (again this could be a deal breaker for those of you that feel this is more than semi-important.) I think the lady at the Ear Nose and Throat office was a bit upset that I forgot to call 24 hours in advance to reschedule an appointment. Again, oops and ugh. Oh and lets add a little *sigh* for good measure.

You'll be glad to know necessities (at least these are the ones that feel necessary in our lives) like feeding the 4 children, giving them water and love, making them change their undies once a day, and brush their teeth twice daily, schooling them are all usually, more often than not taking care of. But I do like to have reminders all over the house. I shared this reminder with you a few weeks ago. It's a good one to remember. I have framed verses here and there. I also have them up on this board that I made while actually doing something about the things I pinned on Pintrest. This is where I leave doctors appointments also (yes, the ENT one was on there...told you I am forgetful!)

Jordynn and I made this together. Hunter did help a little too.

Part of the idea came from an assignment from the My Father's World curriculum that we use for school and we thought up the rest. The pictures came from numerous magazines including some from a Compassion International Magazine.

It is easy to get so caught up in being American that we seem to forget that there is a whole vast, wide world out there and people living in and apart of cultures where the freedom to worship how one chooses is taboo and children go to bed bellies hungry, sleeping on a dirt floor. And I'm complaining about gas prices. It is easy to forget isn't it?

Jordynn typed out John 3:16. It begs me to remember that Jesus died for the sins of everyone, not just mine...those I love who are dear to me, but also for those in far away lands that sometimes feel like Never-Never Land. Now they are here. Right here with me, with us.

She loved that. And I loved making it with her. And there it will hang above those baskets of toys and books. It will beckon us to pray by asking us if we will as reminding us to pray for these two.

Yes, David and Ernstia. Those two who have captured our hearts through letters and a love that only Christ can give. These pictures on those glass doors, they are reminders too. Because we are a family that needs to be reminded. Aren't we all though?!

So someday when all of you that we love are able to come up to the Yooper state and have a cup of coffee (or tea if you like) and make a snow fort (or at least watch out the window while the kids do) please don't give a second thought about all those Bible verses, pictures of third world children, quotes and sayings around the house. It's not because we are super spiritual. And it's certainly not about who walks through the doors. Quite to the contrary: we are in desperate need of being reminded in every moment what and Who is most important. Thank you God for Grace....

651. working out at the Y and a boy who doesn't cry for me while there
652. silly, laughing boys and that sweet girl
653. time with friends, eating, helping, chatting, loving, and the kids: climbing trees
654. a trampoline: AKA an exercise in trusting God
655. cousins: buying a new home~ praising the Lord with you all
656. A God who is relateable, who knows suffering, and can relate
657. a friend's searching, honest questions challenging me to know what I believe
658. praying on Wed. night together
659. a blessed beginning of the school year
660. hand prints on windows
661. the soft snore of the sleeping Love who can't seem to sit on that couch with out falling asleep
662. always enough
663. good books
664. David and Ernstia: what a blessing they are to our lives

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Dear Me,

Emily at chatting at the sky has asked her readers to write a letter to their teenage self. I had been wanting to write something about the change of tide in my life this year (AKA turning 30) but had not found anything creative enough...or perhaps I was just scared to write it down....sometimes those feelings deep within are scary to behold. So, I must say this feels a bit like eating a whale one bite at a time (ok, I'm exaggerating a bit here). Still, I dunno where to start, but I'll try anyway....

Dearest Kari Jo,

The first attempt at this letter (at least written down) was deleted by your 2 year old son who also just happens to be your fourth child. I was not able to recover it. This should tell you a bit about what has happened in the last 14 years or so and..... that there is an actual undo button in blogger. How could I be blogging (you'll understand more about this term in a few years) for a year and not know this precious piece of information? So don't be perplexed when I tell you that you're still a mess 14 years down the road. You should just go ahead and give up the dream right now. You know the one. The one of wanting everyone to think you are perfect and trying oh, so hard to be that way, my dear. It's gonna save you a whole lotta heartache in the end. Oh, and in the middle parts too.

I'm not sure that you're encouraged by this or not. Knowing that you're still a mess, I mean. It seems that you have bought into the lie that says that doing or not doing certain things defines who you are. And for a long time you will do all the "right things." But it is in this very year that you have also decided to follow that heart of yours for whatever reason and well, it's been ugly hasn't it? It has become hard to discern exactly what is right....what is true. Following your heart isn't all that it's cracked up to be is it? These things, you will regret for a very. long. time. You can't live a life free of regrets, sweet Kari Jo. No, this too is a lie.

The truth is that the the life worth living will be a life full of regrets, but more importantly a life lived... forgiven....a life that has been redeemed.

For many years, when I would think about you, shame would creep in. Sometimes I still wake up from a nightmare and I can't shake this awful feeling...the searching and wanting to be loved wholly and completely. This is not a love you can expect that wonderfully handsome husband of yours to fill, no not even him, not truly in the way that you long for it because that kind of Love came down in a Person and you must know Him to know that kind of Love....to be that kind of love.

It is in this knowledge, in this truth and a whole lot of other messiness that you start to become a new creation in Christ. There is hope! Are you listening?! It is in this kind of Love, the kind that lays itself low, extends grace to those who deserve it the least, and uses the base things that you will find freedom and joy.

This kind of Love is almost too good to accept, but you will....as a gift.

Often you will hear people say that if they could go back in their lives, they would not change a thing because their mistakes make them who they are. They have learned from them and moved on.

I offer you this instead: though I would go back and change the mistakes I made, I fully accept the responsibility and/or consequences for them, knowing that in all of it God was at work. All that pain and misery that you are causing yourself and to me down the road (and those around you) God because of His greatness and long suffering will use it to glorify Himself and bring you to His Son.
See the subtle difference? One says that my mistakes made me who I am. I get the glory for learning from them. The other says by the grace of God, I have been found in Christ and he has made me who I am. Guess who gets the glory for all of it? God! Not you, sweets. Not me, but your heavenly Father. Subtle, but insanely different wouldn't you say?!

Oh, Kari Jo I know you think you have all the answers. I do wish that you could listen to me and be wise. I do wish you would quit gulping down all that kool-aide (as good as it may taste right now.) I wish that I could protect you from all that heartache. But I am here and you are there aren't you? I know your story well and since it's not a novel I cannot backspace, edit and delete. I know how your story ends or perhaps begins is better isn't it??!!

Because herein lies the hope: now, a few months after you blew the candles on your 30th birthday, we are just at the beginning of a new beginning....again. And it is sweet. And it is good. And it is joy. And it is messy, oh so messy. And it is Blessed!

in HIM,
kari jo

graceful for young women

Monday, 10 September 2012

A Prayer for These Two....

Dearest Heavenly Father,

Your grace is sufficient, and your glory is shown in my weaknesses, so I must confess: I am weak. I need you. I am dependent on your grace...upon you...upon your Son. I fail. I sin. Oh, how I sin! I cannot even see, sometimes, the fields of grace through the thick trees of my sin. It is me, Lord that gets in the way. It is in my pride that I don't want to admit that I am too weak or scared to even look upon those around me...around the world that are suffering because of the very poverty they are in.
 I. Don't. Want. To. See.

Please, forgive me father for wanting to ignore starving children, children with out homes, or an education because it is hard to look upon that kind of hopelessness and despair.

Thank you Abba, Father for giving us David and Ernstia to teach us and to remind us to open our eyes and our hearts to see. Thank you because they are more a gift to us then we could ever be to them. Thank you for all their little letters and messages of hope and praise to you written to our family in their own hand. Thank you that they point us upward to you. Thank you for the work that you have done and the work that I know you will continue to do in the lives of David and Ernstia. You are good!

 Yes, Lord I want these two to have food, clean water, a safe place to live, and a quality education that teaches them life skills. But more than anything else, Lord my prayer for these two is the same as it is for the four that once grew in my womb.....

.....save them!
Save them, Lord not just from bad weather, drought and storm. Not just from hungry bellies and unkind strangers. Not just from the poverty they were born into that can so easily overwhelm them. Merely let that poverty be a reflection of the depth of poverty in their souls. Use those working with David and Ernstia and every circumstance they find themselves in  to point them to the Savior. Do not let them loose hope, but help them...call them....
...to find their hope in your Son.
~in Jesus' precious name....amen


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Friday, 7 September 2012

Mud Run 2012

If running a 5K covered in mud doesn't sound fun....I don't know wht does..... I caught up with my Love at the very end of the race, which as you can see, is the muddiest part.
"I ran all this way and this is my reward??!!" or at least that is what I would be thinking.

Tastes like pudding??

Is it me or does he look a bit like the Heisman Trophy with out the football?
Way to go Babe! Maybe we'll join you next year......maybe not....

Monday, 3 September 2012

Jordynn's Baptism

This is what she wrote when asked to tell why she wanted to be baptised:
"One night I was thinking about how much I have sinned against God and I
felt wrong and sorry. So the next morning I prayed and asked
God to help me make the right decision.
So I went to mom to ask her to help me receive Christ, and she did.
I thought I should be baptised because I thought it would be obedient to Jesus."
This was her special verse:
"Or Don't you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death?
We were therefore buried with him though baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the father, we too may live a new life."
~Romans 6:2-3
When asked yesterday why she wanted to be baptised, she stood wide eyed in front of those friends we call family, digging her toe in the sand and simply stated meagerly:
"I want to obey Jesus."
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650. a beautiful baptism day, and to my Lord who has opened the eyes of this not so little girl. thank You! My cup runith over.
651. playing in the sand
652. boys ever so excited to be spending the afternoon at the beach
653. the lingering summer
654. oh, but those leaves are already changing color...yes, autumn is on the horizon
655. our front yard
656. indoor plumbing
657. being complete and perfect in Christ
658. sharing 1/2 the coffee pot
659. bad dreams reminding me to pray
660. my heart, hidden in His
661. Grandmommy: her green eyes
662. that windy, curvy road all. the. way. home.