Friday, April 24, 2009

The Birds, The Bees and The Ark

I love light bulb moments. You know those rare moments where all of sudden you finally get it, whatever it is. Somehow in a blink of an eye, everything aligns perfectly, all the dots connect and aha, the light bulb comes on! My daughter had one of those bright glowing occasions yesterday morning.

Her grandfather had just died. We knew this day was near and we had prepared our hearts through prayer as best as we could. She was talking to me about her feelings and asked why we couldn't live to be 900 like they did in Bible times. I told her that even if we lived to be 900, we would still be sad when a loved one died, even after 900 years.

But she persisted with why. Why don't we live that long anymore? I explained that things changed after the flood. I don't know all the in's and out's of how exactly the earth changed, but I know things did in fact change dramatically after the flood and I believe the length of life changed as a result.

A little background information is needed to help show how the dots were finally connected in Hannah's head, resulting in the flash of light!

Recently Hannah has become fascinated with the solar system. They are studying the planets at school and she has decided she wants to be an astronomer when she grows up. This has prompted many conversations about creation and science. She has done a lot of thinking lately about life on planets and how life is sustained. Also fresh in her mind was all the information she had learned earlier in the week as the fifth grade girls viewed the video "Growing Up: For Girls." I'm sure you can imagine the subject matter of this video! I had asked for the video to be sent home so that Hannah and I could view it together prior to the showing at school. I want to be the one to answer her questions and viewing it together at home allowed me to talk with her about God's view regarding all the subjects discussed in the video.

Now you have all the background necessary, back to the story at hand:

After my flood answer, she thought for a moment and then said "yeah, they probably didn't have any food after the flood because all the cows were killed in the flood." I scratched my head and countered with "no, I'm sure Noah had two cows on board the ark." I saw a quick flicker of light, and then the light bulb was fully illuminated! "Oh, that's why Noah had two animals of every kind, one was a boy and one was a girl!" And so went our morning conversation about the birds, the bees and the ark!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'm A Published Writer!

There are few better words than "By Krista Grier." Today was the first time I read an official by-line for myself and it exceeded all expectations. It just totally rocks to see your name followed by the small, but oh so extraordinary preposition "by."

My first ever published article is officially in print! Family Journal is a local Christian magazine and this month they have an article titled "The Monster in the Crowd," by Krista Grier!!! My article is about the loneliness singles deal with and how we can overcome those unexpected and extreme moments of loneliness. I actually think my favorite part is the table of contents....The Monster in the Crowd by Krista Grier page 30!

When you turn to page 30, they have added a picture of a man lurking in an alley which goes along well with the content of my article. This is such a fun day! I am excited to see what God will do next! Book publishers look out. . .here I come!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Little Old Woman

My church just moved into a brand new sanctuary and it has been a huge adjustment. Each Sunday since the new facility opened I have been sitting in a different seat, but always in the same general area. In the old sanctuary, I not only sat in the same area but also the same pew and most of time in the exact same seat! We Baptists are creatures of habit I guess!

One of the first Sunday's in the new building, I found myself distracted. During the sermon I heard the voice of a woman. If the pastor said "By grace we are saved," the woman would say, in a very high-pitched voice, "yes, Lord, grace!" Now, I was raised in a charismatic church so I am used to a few amens and hallelujahs during the service, but this took me by surprise. First of all, she was always the only one talking. It wasn't like the crowd erupted with amens. And second of all, it happened several wasn't just a runaway hallelujah. I found myself looking around for her. Who was this woman with the high-pitched voice? Frankly it was kind of bugging me. It was a distraction, and this is after all, corporate worship time.

The next Sunday, sure enough during the sermon I heard her again. Hmm. I looked around but couldn't find the woman behind the voice! Finally the third Sunday she sat directly in front of me. I noticed her right away as I sat down, but of course didn't realize she was "the woman." She couldn't be taller than 4'11" and she has to be in her 70's if not even older. During the welcome time when we shake hands she shook hands with everyone in my row with a gusto that I had never quite seen before. Her excitement to shake your hand and welcome you was contagious. She said "good morning, good morning, good morning" over and over as she went down the row. Her hair is short and gray, her face filled with time gone by, but her eyes glistened with sheer joy. This little old woman was excited to be in church and she was excited you were there with her! I smiled, still not realizing, she was the "woman behind the voice." I thought to myself, "wow this woman truly knows the joy of the Lord!" And then the sermon started. Aha! I had found THE WOMAN!!

Surprisingly, I wasn't annoyed or even really distracted once I saw her and actually watched as she audibly agreed with the pastor. This woman exudes the love of Christ! It is bubbling out of her! Several weeks have now past and we are both still sitting in the same section of the new church. Each week I find myself smiling as I hear her sweet, aged voice. And I have discovered that sometimes what we think is a distraction or even a bother just might be a blessing...the blessing of the little old woman.

Father God,
I want to be more like this precious servant! Help me to show your love to others. I pray that those around me will see You through me and that your love will shine through everything I do. Help me to see the many blessings you have placed in my path!
In Jesus Name, Amen

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Words of Wisdom

If I only knew then, what I know now! The older I get, the more often these words seem to fill my head. If life gave us "do-overs," most of us would jump at the chance to change a thing or two from our life's journey. For some reason my little brother comes to mind when I think of the phrase "do-over." I'm sure he would disagree as we seem to have very different memories of our childhood, but I have a memory of him yelling "do-over" anytime we played a game!

No "do-overs" are allowed in the game of life. But for every mistake, wrong turn or misstep, wisdom is hopefully being acquired as we move along life's path. In my wise 40 plus years, I have figured out one thing, maybe a few more than one, but one really important thing! Life is all about the relationships we build. King Solomon knew it! Proverbs is filled with advice about relationships with a spouse, parents, children, friends, neighbors and even enemies. As wise as Solomon was, I'm not sure he always followed his own advice. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines, that just doesn't sound too wise! Speaking from experience, one wife and one concubine is one concubine too many!

Oh how easy it is to get caught up in the things of life and soon discover our Christmas card list is filled with people we barely know. This past weekend I spent some time with a few people from my Christmas card list and it dawned on me that this is what life is about. God created us for relationship - first with Him, but then with others. I want to embrace and nurture the bonds with those I love. I want to savor every moment of being mom to my daughter. I want to enjoy time with my family and friends. I want to build friendships with people I don't even know yet. And I don't want to wish for a "do-over" when my life's journey has ended!

Some of the wisest words ever uttered were by Harry. You know, in the movie "When Harry Met Sally." Harry finally figures out at the end of the movie that his relationship with Sally is more important than anything. He says to her, "when you decide you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible!" Harry was a wise man. . .possibly wiser than King Solomon!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Snug As Bug

Last week my daughter Hannah got a new bed. This bed is much better than her old bed. It is bigger, softer and it no longer has the oh-so-cute-must-be-for-a-three-year-old picket fence headboard, which by the way was hand made by her grandpa. Her new bed has helped her entire room make the leap from child to almost teenager. The absolute best part of the new bed is that Hannah is actually sleeping in it. . . at least most of the time!

Hannah has been sleeping with me since she was just shy of 2 years old. It started with my unexpected, totally unplanned divorce. My life had been turned upside down and I needed her with me. Having my baby near me through the night provided a needed comfort that is hard to describe. I can look back on that tumultuous time now and see that had it not been for her I probably would have just let the world crumble in on me. But I had a toddler to take care of and that responsibility got me up in the morning.

Somewhere along the journey of the past nine years, our sleeping arrangements turned from me needing her to her needing me. I can't tell you how many times I have been startled to full alertness in the middle of the night due to an elbow hitting me in the head or a knee lodged perfectly into my side or a flailing hand landing smack in the middle of my face. I have a queen size bed, but somehow the two of us only used half of the half of course.

Oh how I have longed for her new bed. I have dreamed of the day she would sleep in her own room and I could sprawl across the boundary of my half into the unknown territory waiting for me on the other half of the queen-sized bed. I told myself she would eventually get tired of sleeping with old mom and want her own space, but I'm not so sure that would have ever happened.

The time has finally come. She has her new bed and much to my surprise I have found myself struggling a little to let her go. The first two nights I stood outside her door while she was sleeping and just gazed at her sweetness, which is much more evident when she is sleeping! For those first two nights I found that I slept perfectly aligned on my half of the bed, not even daring a toe to cross the imaginary dividing line.

But, now, after a few nights of her sleeping in her own bed, I have started to embrace this new chapter in our lives. After she is tucked into her bed snug as a bug, I crawl into my own bed and pray that God will keep her safe through the night. And then I stretch out across the big bed without a worry of a knee, elbow or runaway hand smacking me in the face. Ah, this must be what heaven will be like!