Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autumn-Ode to Holly

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."

(George Eliot)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I prayed to God for boxes. I walked into my office and the underneath of my desk was filled with boxes.

I prayed to the Lord for encouragement when I felt the weight of the world on me. Friends came to my aid unawares with cards, little gifts and sweet words like honeycomb. Lifting my spirit, holding it up, spurring me on to keep going and press on. They warmed my heart and made it beat, putting the bounce back in my step.

What can I do but throw my hands up in praise and wonder of God. His friendship astounds me. It matters and it is everything to me. Let me tell you what He has done for me He will do for you:

  • Come and listen, all you who fear God;
  • let me tell you what he has done for me.
  • I cried out to him with my mouth;
  • his praise was on my tongue.
  • If I had cherished sin in my heart,
  • the Lord would not have listened;
  • but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.
  • Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!
Psalm 66:16-20

Monday, September 14, 2009


Last night was our neighborhood's annual Circle Picnic. Brooks and I couldn't go but we stopped by after our family dinner. Some of the long timers were sitting around chatting. I think we have the best neighbors in the entire universe. Most of them could be our parents and they look out for us. They care and are so hospitable. They were asking us questions about Australia and our big move. So generous with their sadness and encouragement.

We were talking about the house and all the traffic its brought to our dead end circle street. They went on and on about how much work we've done and how they hated to see us go. We spontaneously invited them to come over for their own little open house and they delightfully accepted. It was obvious they had been waiting for this moment. The whole pack of us traipsed into our home. They oohed and awed and asked us questions about moving walls, refinishing floors and paint techniques. It made me so happy that they all loved it and said they felt right at home. Dennis said "Brooks does SUCH a good job."

It was all so bittersweet. Realizing how much I am going to miss our quaint American neighborhood and our house on the Forest Drive circle. Tonight we sign the first contract on the house and I have been a mixture of feelings all day. As it gets down to brass tacks my emotions are surfacing and our coming adventure in Australia is becoming real. Though I know this is the good way, all I can think is, how bittersweet.

"Stand at the crossroads and look; ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I have been blessed with Grandmother's in my lifetime. Exceptional ones. Each unique in their personalities and ways of giving love. All magnificent in character quality. A lot of people fear aging. Despising how it makes them look and feel. I think there is something extraordinarily beautiful about the wrinkles, age spots and silver hair. Marks of wisdom and bravery. Marking history.

I have eaten my fair share of grandma cookies and homemade meals. She, no matter which one, would always make our favorites. I love the sound of each of their voices. I can hear them reading my favorite books at bedtime. Banging around in the morning light of the kitchen on Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I can hear their stories. I love the stories.

Today I stopped by to visit Grandma Bertha. I spent a few hours with she and Walter. It was like a soothing balm to my soul. My cares melted away and for those precious minutes I was swept up in WWII and stories of days gone by. We laughed and I cried. Good medicine for each other.

Grandmother, to me, is an expression of unconditional love.
God's pure love. Thank you God for the transforming love of a grandmother, always at just the right time.

pictured: Me with Grandma Dorothy

Mind Frenzy

My mind is a frenzy of thoughts and wonderings. There is a lot unknown. There are a lot of questions yet to be answered. Where will we live? Will we get our Visa's approved? Is the house deal going to be okay? What about the family? What about this and that? Today it has been overwhelming me. Taking me over like some wild murderous man has stolen a car and taken off carelessly through a perfectly good city. Wreaking havoc at every turn. One of my favorite authors calls it "crazy brain." Recently, quite frequently, I have thought my head may explode and that my face may actually fly off. Then I would be scattered around in tiny pieces, there to worry no longer.

Perhaps this is my problem, the worrying. To give way to anxiety or unease; allowing one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles. I've always struggled with the nerves. But, I thought I was beyond it. Since God tells us there is no need, He's got it all covered. About how He takes care of the birds of the air and flowers of the field. If I could just rest easy knowing its in His hands.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Phil 4:6

The other day I asked my Phyllis, as I affectionately refer to her, "how can I be more of an optimist?" She says to me, "well what you could do is very simple but can be difficult. Ask God to give you His eyes to see with. His eyes to see people. His eyes to see a room or a situation. With grace and mercy. Then you may begin to see more positively." This is why I pay her the big bucks.

On days like today when thoughts and wonderings go swirling in my mind making butterflies in my stomach, the most profound prayer I can muster is: Lord, I need Your help.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in time of need. Psalm 46:1

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Suss Out

The other day my boss's boss called me. I usually get a little nervous when he comes a callin'. I don't know why. He's always been very kind and helpful. This call was of personal nature. He had heard that we are moving to Australia and wanted to know "whereabouts." I told him we would be in Sydney. He said "well girl I've got a friend for you." I said "you do?" He proceeded to tell me that he and his wife had met this girl about a year ago in Paris while celebrating their 25th anniversary. They met on a ferry tour. She had offered to take their picture and because of her "british" accent the conversation progressed. They lost each other in the crowd as the boat docked not knowing if they would ever meet again. The next day they were touring a cathedral in Paris and in a mob of thousands they happened to bump into each other. Since then, they have become great friends. Jim said "she reminds me a lot of you. She's a devout christian, heavily involved in her church in Sydney. She's about your age and has long red hair. Anyway, I want you two to meet. I think you'll hit it off great. And you'll have a friend in Sydney when you get there." This made my heart so happy. I have been praying about this, about a friend, or at least some connection since we know no one.

Angie is her name and we've been emailing. I feel like we are fast friends already. She has been so helpful and excited. She even offered to take my resume and pass it out to all her friends and then proceeded to tell me "I'll let you know how our job hunt goes." She's been so generous and inclusive and warm. She attends Hillsong in Sydney and we look like we could be sisters. She says words like 'whilst' and 'suss out.' Aussies abbreviate everything and spell things without z's and ous's, like seriusly and organise. I had to Google 'suss out,' which means 'to figure out' or 'investigate'. I like this about them already.

I am bowled over by God's provision. What are the chances that a year ago my boss's boss would happen upon this great Christian girl who lives in Sydney and be able to connect the dots for us. Angie said she "was so excited & touched & moved by God that I had to go into the ladies toilet & just sit there & i cried...but with happy tears. Its just such an example to me of God providing. I mean what are the chances of me knowing Jim, and then God saying 'ok I will get Jim to refer Kris to Angie'... i mean He is just so faithful. I just am blown away by how faithful & helpful our God is."

Yes. Right on. Miraculous.

We placed the for sale sign in our yard Monday after a weekend of hard labor. Dirty hard labor. Our basement is now immaculate with freshly painted walls, sealed up cracks and sprayed for bugs. I detest bugs, especially the jumpy ones. It was a matter of minutes before the first car rolled past to pick up a flyer. Brooks showed it three times last night, that's Tuesday. A little more than 24 hours later. We now have a verbal offer from a pre-approved couple that we like, for more than asking price. COME ON! WHAT? SERIUSLY? I know these things can fall through but I am still amazed by this.

Dear God in heaven who resides in my heart, thank you for letting me experience Your miracles and Your hand at work. Some may pass these events off as "meant to be." But I know You and Your ways cannot be explained with words. You make me believe that better is one day in Your presence than a thousand elsewhere. And that yes, indeed, You are VERY FAITHFUL & HELPFUL!