Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Next 5 of 10 for 25

As I plan for the future, here are the next five things I hope to see when I look back on my life:
A Missions Trip
Acts 1:8b And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Several times each year mission trip opportunities are listed in my church bulletin. And every time I see one of these opportunities listed I think I want to do that someday. I can always give a list of reasons why I can't go on a missions trip now. Not enough vacation time. No money. What would I do with Hannah. Over spring break this year the church sent parents and their children on a missions trip to Mexico. A missions trip with Hannah.....now there's an idea! The group that went this year helped a specific church in Mexico set up ministries such as Vacation Bible School. If they do a trip like this next year....I'm in!!

Build and Strengthen Relationships
Luke 10:27 He answered: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and, Love your neighbor as yourself.
I want to love and be loved! I could have used the scripture in Genesis where we are told "man should not be alone." God created us to want and need relationships. I once heard the saying "make your circles broad". I like that thought, big circles of friends, family and acquaintances. I want to make new friends, and strengthen the relationships I have now. The first part of this verse commands us to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul strength and mind. I want to fall in love with Jesus each and every day. When I am gone, I hope people will say "she loved". I want those around me to know I love and cherish them. And who knows, maybe somewhere along this journey God will place an extra special relationship in my life!

Live Healthy
I Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own
I am not good at the whole healthy living thing. I am clearly allergic to exercise, and well, the vending machine is too close to my office to pass up! Fruits, vegetables and water...not my favorites! Now that I'm in my forties, I'm noticing changes in my body. It doesn't move quite as easily. I feel a little like the tin man in the Wizard of Oz! Knee bends are out of the question because I wouldn't be able to get up. The eye doctor told me I should start to think about bi-focals since I'm over 40 and even my hearing seems to be going a bit. I sound like I'm 80! I need to start living in a more healthful way so I can enjoy living!

Numbers 14:8 If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us
In the next twenty five years I want to travel. I had hoped to go to Israel with my church this past winter, but money, or actually lack of it, kept me home. I have never been out of the country and haven't been too far in the country! I want to see a Broadway show (actually on Broadway), tour the White House, swim with dolphins, go horseback riding along the beach, use a passport, stand on the bank of the Jordan River, meet a surfer dude in Hawaii and take my daughter to Sea World. I won't be able to travel the world over, but I want to make an effort to see new places and experience new things!

And last, but not least, in the words of Tim McGraw I hope we all. . .

live like we were dying
In twenty five years when I am looking back, I want to see someone who embraced life, spent time laughing, took pleasures in the small things....and always saw the joy in the journey!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

5 of 10 for 25

Houses need blue prints. Road trips need maps. Companies need business plans. What about life? Shouldn't we have a plan for life? Months of thought, energy and preparation are spent planning the typical wedding, but how much effort is spent on planning for the actual marriage?

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, 2008 marks 25 years since I graduated from high school. I would love to tell you that in the past 25 years I have lived my life exactly the way I planned. I would love to say that I followed the life after high school blue print to a tee. Truth is I didn't really have a plan. Nope, no real plan. My plan after high school was to become a famous singer and marry the drummer of my band. After that didn't work out, I planned to get a college degree. But even that plan wasn't very well executed. I quit time after time and finally about 5 years after high school decided I needed to buckle down and get a college degree. With all the false starts, it took me about 10 years to finish college!

I wouldn't encourage anyone to follow the Krista Lee plan for life, at least not for the first half. But the second half, well now that is going to be different. I want to have a plan, a blue print, a map! Yes sirree, I'm making me a map! Well, maybe not a real map, but at least a list. A list of things I would like to look back and see when I'm reflecting over life 25 years from now.

So here, in no particular order, is 5 of my top 10 for the next 25:

Become Debt Free
Romans 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law
I have spent the last 25 years amassing debt, and it will most likely take the next 25 to get rid of it! My first step in becoming debt free is to add no new debt! Yes, that's right, I can't just have that beautiful piece of furniture that is calling my name. I really want to finish my basement, but no....no new debt! I must save and wait and save and wait. I'm really looking forward to this one!

Train Up My Daughter
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it
I recently heard on a "Focus on the Family" program that family is the most important influence for kids until age 10. After age 10, friends become the most important influence. WHAT? My daughter is 10. I just don't want to believe that a day will come when she will want to spend time with her friends instead of me. What am I talking about...that day is here! It is unbelievable that my job of training her is almost over. We only have two more presidential elections until she can vote! I want to teach her and guide her and help her to be all that she can be!

Write a Book
Exodus 25:25 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers - all of them master craftsman and designers
I believe God has given me the desire to write and I want to see where it might lead. This blog is the first step. I have an idea for a book and I want to write it! God equips us to do that which He plans for us to do. If He wants me to write, He will give me the ability and the words. All I need to do is say yes Lord, I will write!

Have Fun
Proverbs 15:13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit
In 25 years I want to look back and see fun! I want to enjoy life with my daughter, my family and my friends. I want to try new things, maybe a cooking class or ballroom dancing. Learning to cook can only be a good thing! I'd like to take an acting class. I sincerely think I could have been a soap opera star! I want to make time for fun.

Psalm 143:5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands
We shall remember the days of old. All the fun I plan to have (as mentioned above) will be carefully and artfully preserved. In 25 years I want to finally be caught up on my scrapbooks! I want to preserve all of our precious memories through the art of scrapbooking. For those of you that know me, you are probably now rolling with laughter because you know how long it takes me to complete one page!

The next five on the list to come soon. . .

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Feeling Nostalgic

Last weekend I met up with some friends from high school. I haven't seen most of these people for 25 years! I can't believe it has been 25 years since I graduated from high school. It seems like just yesterday I was walking the halls of Piper High as a nervous freshman. I brought all four of my high school year books to our pseudo reunion and we all had a blast revisiting the past.

I have some wonderful memories of high school. I remember being a Pirateer and a Pied Piper! What in the world is a pirateer and a pied piper you ask? Our school dance team was called The Pirateers and the Pied Pipers were a small ensemble vocal group. I have great memories of dancing and singing my way through high school! Two of my favorite classes were Spanish and guitar class, but yet I can't speak any Spanish or play the guitar! I remember driving to school my senior year in my cool metallic gray Trans Am! I remember proms, plays and hanging out at the "plaza". (You have to be from my home town to fully understand the meaning of the "plaza".)

Senior Picture

Drill Team Spring Show

Trans Am!


As I look back over the past 25 years my mind is flooded with great memories. There have been good decisions made and not so good decisions made. Reflecting back makes me think more about the future than the past. Will I like what I see looking back on the next 25 years? The old saying rings so true, "if I knew then what I know now...."

I want to take that thought, and take all that I have learned and live the next 25 years with both purpose and passion! I think my next blog will be the top ten things I want to accomplish in the next 25 years. What was your favorite high school memory?

Friday, April 18, 2008

I Don't Want To Be That Mom, BUT.....

I never wanted to be the that parent. You know, the parent that yells from the sidelines and seems to complain constantly. I am pretty easy going and usually just go with the flow. BUT Hannah has her first dance competition this weekend and I am sorry, but I absolutely, positively unwaveringly, without hesitation HATE the costumes.

It goes beyond the amount of money spent....but let me tell you....the money isn't insignificant. But it is more than the money. The dance routine is so good. The choreography is incredible. The costumes are NOT.

I did not like these costumes when they first arrived at the dance studio a month or so ago and neither did the hip hop instructor. In an effort to make them look a little more "hip hoppish" they cut off one of the sleeves and added some rhinestones. OH NO....very bad idea. Now they look worse and they are not completely sewn together correctly where the sleeve was cut off. It is held together with a safety pin. Another mother said she was going to sew it herself to try to make the missing sleeve area a bit better. This is bad for me. In high school I took every music class offered, but I didn't take home economics. Oh how I wish I had taken a home economics class! I don't sew, I can't really cook, and well my cleaning skills aren't all that great either. A great home maker I am not (although don't get me wrong I do have some good home making moments as mentioned in this post).

Although I don't want to be that parent....I can't just stand by on this one. I sent an email to the owner of the dance studio and asked if we have any options. We probably don't have options, but I guess it doesn't hurt to ask.

Hannah asked me this morning if I ever had dance costumes. Well, yes I did! I was on my high school dance team and every spring we put on, what was so creatively called, the "Spring Show". We used routines that we had done throughout the year at football and basketball games as well as new routines. Every routine had it's own costume. I have wonderful memories about my four "Spring Shows". I don't remember ever hating a costume. In fact I loved most all of them. I remember baby doll dresses, cowgirl shirts with fringe, kung fu outfits, flapper dresses and even a chicken costume. My mom spent weeks gluing tissue papered chicken feathers onto our costumes! What wonderful memories!

I suppose if we have no options, Hannah will forever have the memory of that costume which turned her mom into that parent. And 20 some years from now even the ugly costume will be a great memory!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Family Created

A couple in my neighborhood have been trying to adopt a child for quite sometime. I don't know this couple very well, in fact I don't even know their last name. But during the past summers, when families are outside soaking up the nice weather, we have struck up a conversation or two. In one of those conversations they told me of their desire to adopt and I shared with them our adoption story of Hannah. They were extremely discouraged at the time as their efforts toward adoption seemed hopeless.

My heart broke for them because I know exactly how they were feeling. I know how it feels to have an overwhelming desire for something that you have utterly no control over. I know of the sleepless nights where you wonder if you will ever hear someone call you mommy. I know of the jealous feelings you must swallow as you watch others around you relish in new parenthood. I know the feeling of disappointment, failure and hopelessness.

After we found out we had been chosen by a birth mother and that she was expecting a girl we began the joyous task of picking a name. We eventually landed on the name Hannah. I knew Hannah was a biblical name and that she was Samuel's mother, but that was all I remembered. One night, I opened my Bible to 1 Samuel and started reading about this woman named Hannah. I cried all the way through Hannah's story. I am amazed at how God speaks to me through His word! As I read Hannah's story, I was reading my own. She was a lot like me. She yearned for a baby, but yet as hard as she tried she could not get pregnant. She was taunted by her husband's other wife Peninnah (another reason it is not a good idea to have multiple wives...we don't share well!). Peninnah would taunt Hannah about not having children until she was weeping and unable to eat. This went on for years. I imagine Hannah had the same feelings I had, wondering if she would ever be called mommy, or would get to kiss boo-boos all better. I know of her desperation, and her anguish. Hannah cried out to the Lord for help. 1 Samuel 1:10-11 In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord. And she made a vow, saying, "O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head." In versus 19 and 20 we are told God remembered her and gave her a son. Hannah went on to have six more children.

The times and traditions are different today, but we have an unchanging God, who is still on the throne. The same God that heard and answered Hannah's prayer so long ago, heard and answered mine. A few days ago, my daughter was outside playing. She came running into the house breathlessly saying "come look mom, the neighbors have a baby". Sure enough, our neighbors just adopted a beautiful baby girl. They picked her up from the hospital the day she was born. I love to hear of adoption stories, because it is just another way God creates families. God is so good!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Not Your Typical Morning Conversation

Hannah and I are not morning people! We could both sleep all morning if possible. On weekdays we wake up at about 6:15 am and walk around in a sleepy stupor until we head out the door. Our conversations usually center around things like "where is the other shoe", "eat your poptart", or "what do you mean, you have homework". But not today, no sirree, not today!

Today Hannah took morning conversation to an unexpected level. As I stumbled around trying to get us both ready, Hannah asked "mom, how do you know God is real?" Thoughts raced through my sleepy head "uh oh, this is an important one, don't blow it". I answered slowly, "um, well, the bible is my number one source. Based on God 's word, I have faith that He is real". I must think that if I say many words it will come across as if I know what I am talking about so I continued with something about the world wanting to prove there isn't a God, but by just looking around at God's creation His handiwork is evident.

Hannah interrupted my lengthy answer with "how can you have faith if you don't know God is real". Wow, it isn't even 6:30 yet, and I've barely had my first can of Pepsi. "Well sweetie", I respond, "faith is believing in that which is unseen." The scripture reference was totally no where to be found in my less than alert brain, but I got the idea across. Of course I continued with trying to recite the premise of Lee Strobel's book "The Case for Christ" stating something about historical and archaeological evidence. She seemed to be content and I didn't feel like I had done too bad of a job.

We seemed to have a reprieve. For a few minutes we were able to go about the readying of ourselves for the day. The reprieve ended as she confidently said "I think God is going to come back very soon". And so our theological journey continued this morning. I answered with the profound "oh yeah." "Yeah", she said, "the weather is really weird and a man is having a baby" (a reference to the pregnant man that has been plastered across every media channel from television to internet to magazines). Hannah continued "the world is crazy and God isn't going to put up with it too much longer." I think my mouth dropped open and I stood there speechless. I am completely and utterly amazed at the faith and knowledge that a child can possess. Rather than try to teach her with more of my eloquent speech, I just agreed and said "you just might be right."

On my drive to the office I pondered all that had been said. There are days I wonder if I am teaching her anything of value, but this morning I discovered the answer to that question is yes, I am teaching her something of value....eternal value.

Thank you Lord for my daughter. I pray that she will know you more each and every day. I pray that her faith will continue to grow and that she will be a witness for you. I pray that you will place a hedge of protection around her as she goes out into the world. Thank you for bringing her into my life. Guide and direct us both. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Beauty of a Princess

Recently a little boy in Hannah's class told her she was ugly. I think he probably likes her, but his "ugly" comment has made her begin to doubt her appearance. This is the same little girl that when people told her she was pretty she would reply with a confident "I know". What bordered toward arrogance has now shifted to complete self doubt. Can we not find a place in the middle people?!

As a society we tend to judge people, especially women, based on their outward appearance and we equate beauty with self worth. I work in advertising and I am the first to admit that everywhere we turn we are bombarded with messages about how to be prettier, thinner, younger, wrinkle free and on and on. Don't get me wrong, if an inexpensive cream in a jar that truly erases wrinkles is discovered, I'm in! But I have learned over the years (and am still learning) that my self worth has little to do with my outward appearance.

One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 139:13-14 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." I love the thought of almighty God, the creator of all things, carefully knitting me together. Every part of me from the color of my eyes to the exact placement of every freckle was designed specifically by Him because it pleased Him. Although I haven't always looked at my freckles as a gift, that is exactly what they are.

Not only did He create me but He loved me so much He sent His son to die in my place. Through my relationship with Jesus Christ He calls me His child. "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1. I am His child and that makes me the daughter of a King. Not just any king, but the KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS! I am a princess! Wow, my self worth just went through the roof!

Looking to the world for approval and acceptance will always be hollow, as the world will let us down again and again. But knowing who I am in Christ when I look in the mirror will always bring the reflection of the God of the universe who loves me exactly the way I am.