10 things you may not know about me

I was an only child and the only grandchild in my family.

I was raised by my Mom & her sister- who were raised by their Mom & her sister.

I always wanted to have 4 daughters.

I wanted to be a missionary since I was in 6th grade.

I am 4 years older than my husband.

When I was a little girl my pet was a black cat named snowball. (Yes, I’m serious.)

I have been to 14 different countries.

My Dad was on both the Minnesota Vikings & the San Diego Chargers football teams but was injured in the preseason games. My Uncle played for both the Washington Redskins & the Green Bay Packers, and played in the first Super Bowl. However, my daughters honestly think football is a sport you play with your feet.

I love Mo’Town Music.

Both my mother and father were coaches, but I have never been able to play a sport with a ball.

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The Pit

To you, O LORD, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. Psalms 28:1

I could feel myself slipping into The Pit and yet it seemed nothing I did could stop me from descending. It was July 9, 2006 when she was born. Her tiny limp body rested in the gentle hands of my doctor. Her arms and legs, so small-hung lifeless. At first I was afraid to look, …but I needed to see her.

I had been emotionally numb for days after learning that she had died. And when my doctor suggested a natural delivery, I thought him insane. But as I laid in bed feeling the pain of induced contractions, tears began to fall down my cheeks. In that moment, I knew why he had asked me to consider not taking pain medication. Tears I desperately needed to shed, but had not been able to express came as a natural response to my pain. And that was very good for me.

Two short months after that night, I was shocked to discover that I was pregnant again. The next two years were a blur. I was preoccupied being pregnant & preparing once again for a baby. Then there was caring for a newborn and waking all through the night. After she turned one I became aware of the darkness. I had been so busy I had hardly noticed my emotional decent. I was empty and exhausted. How was it that I could have so much for which to be thankful, and yet feel as if dark walls were closing in around me.

It mattered not what I told myself, depression wrapped around me like a heavy cloak and I was unable to break free. Beyond all my common sense, emotionally I was spiraling downward and I could not see the bottom of The Pit. I slept, I cried out to God, I asked why and then I sat silently in the darkness.

In that darkness Christ met me. We sat together, cried together, …suffered together. I am not sure how long I shuffled through life just going through the motions, but one day I realized that I was no longer descending into The Pit. I could see my days becoming brighter. Little by little Christ lifted the heavy cloak until my hope was restored. He strengthened me until I could stand once again in His presence.

Once free from the dark abyss, I discovered that while there Christ had changed me. He had smoothed my rough edges and molded me into a gentler more compassionate me. And although The Pit was one of the most difficult times in my life, I would not choose to erase it. For it was there that I discovered His word true. In my weakness He is strong.

Baby Steps

Take Baby Steps today. Don’t look to far into the future! Keep your eyes on Me! I will meet your every need and give you strength to stand & walk. Remember to embrace the pain but don’t cling to it. Feel it and then let it pass through you and float away like a cloud. Remember you will have good and bad moments. Don’t feel guilty for either. Cry when you need to cry, but in those brief moments when you smile or laugh and forget the pain, don’t feel guilty. Enjoy the moments as gifts for you…specially wrapped packages to brighten your day.

I have promised to not give you more than you can handle. You can do is! Don’t take your eyes off if me! As you learn to walk on these stormy seas, know your faith is growing stronger and you are growing stronger. It will get easier!

When those around you are falling apart, don’t be pulled under by their inability to understand your steadiness. Love & Serve them…in doing this you are being broken bread and poured out wine for my Glory.

I love you and will never leave nor forsake you. Take a moment to curl up on my lap an let me hold you before the day begins. Then take my hand and let’s walk these little steps together. Like a toddler holding her fathers hand rely on me to sustain you as you take these baby steps.

You can do it! I believe in you!
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God

(A God inspired letter to my dear friend & Shepherd’s Heart Missionary, Karlee as she faces the loss of her Mother. Lisa Blanchard had her “rendez-vous” with Jesus November 17, 2013.)

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Gust

Sometimes, like tonight, I sit alone and read your post…I feel your words penetrate deep within my soul. It’s as if, allowing myself these moments somehow helps me share in your grief. If only I could help carry your burden. Knowing that I can not, I go to “The One” on your behalf, sure that He hears my meager prayer and that He is carrying you.

Your words search deep within me, touching unhealed fragments of my heart. Seven years have past and somehow there remain little wounds. For so long I was numb…unable to experience emotion. Now, I allow myself this luxury of experiencing the pain. It reminds me that I am alive. Then after being exposed, your words cover my hurts like a salve.

You have weathered the impact of the gust. And because of your openness, the storm that knocks you back blows gently over me. God is using you to touch me…to heal me. I know that I am not the only one. God is using your deepest hurt to minister to countless others, my friend. Thank you for allowing Him to do so!
With admiration-
Kina

(Written as a response to: Gust, By:Amey Fair, http://atypicalmiracle.com/2013/11/13/gust/)

Barn Raising

In early America, whole communities gathered to help each other “raise” or build their barns. My generation knows little of what it is like for an entire community to come together and build a barn or church. That is, laboring together voluntarily, perhaps pouring concrete and carrying block, working toward a collective goal. Yet that is exactly what our brothers and sisters in the Garifuna village of San Juan, Honduras are doing. Due in part to a donation from Shepherd’s Heart supporters, Pastor Cruz and Co-Pastor Jerry, both indigenous community leaders, have been directing their congregation and community in the building efforts of what will be an annex to their sanctuary. This open air pavilion, which is larger than the church sanctuary, will not only provide a covered area for their large children’s ministry, but will also be used for meetings, conferences and social functions hosted at the church. One of the most exciting purposes for this new addition will be during the middle of the day when over 60 local children are fed from the small church kitchen as it will provide shelter from both the heat and rain.

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Flourish

In our yard there is a large brick wall. For years this wall was barren, ugly and old. One Mother’s Day the girls bought me 6 small ivy plants. We divided them evenly and planted them at the base of that wall. For two years there was no noticeable difference, the ivy appeared to be the same size as when we planted it. The third year it began to grow a little and extend on the wall. But after that initial growth, there was a period where it seamed impossible that the ivy would cover that drab wall. The fifth year the ivy exploded with growth and covered the entire wall. Today, extending in all directions, we struggle to keep the growth contained.

Many times our lives seem like that old wall; drab & unattractive. Our christian walk does not flourish as we would like. Let us not give up hope, but instead be faithful. Faithful to refresh our spirit with nourishing water from His Word. Spend time in His presence, allowing our spiritual roots to grow deep in Christ. Choosing to live this way we will have no choice but to change. His character will grow big and beautiful within us. And one day, after years of drawing close to Him, Christ will cover all our drab parts and beautifully display His presence in our lives in such a way that we can not contain Him.