I’ve mentioned before that I’ve joined a Make Blogging Fun Again group. Let’s not talk about how good I’ve been at keeping up with it (aka horrible). With a heavy heart this morning, I opened my inbox. Some ‘fun’ and some creativity seemed like a good idea, so I opened up to where I had left off before – and found myself staring at a prompt on gratitude.
I immediately brightened up a bit. Gratefulness. It’s used to make anyone’s day better, a small trick countless boast of to improve both your mood and your life. An “attitude of gratitude” is a hip thing to have these days; it’s supposed to win you more friends and lower stress levels. And I have plenty to be grateful for. I’ve actually started practicing (what some call) the Prayer of Reflection – taking time each night to reflect on the day, where I saw God show up, what I was most thankful for. Then, from that place of gratitude, praying for the next day, for more of God’s presence, for more awareness. It’s a game changer, people.
All that to say, with the prompt of gratitude, I beyond ready. Let me tell you all about what I’ve been grateful for lately – I reflect on it every night! Let me tell you about the wedding I went to this weekend, the faces I was reunited with. Let me tell you about what God has been growing in me lately, where I’ve seen such unexpected providence. Let me tell you about all the little things I’ve become extra thankful for in my life. Let me write you the most beautiful, reflective, eloquent blog on gratitude.
And then, I stopped, because I remembered why my heart was so heavy 5 minutes prior, why I had escaped the land of newsfeeds and news stories and retreated to my inbox.
I was going to write a status. (Isn’t it funny, how that’s our idea of doing something? I’m gonna go on Facebook and write a status!) I was going to write about the anger, the shouting, the hate filling up my newsfeed. Bombs in New York, bombs in New Jersey. Police shooting in Tulsa, police shooting in Charlotte. It’s been a terrifying week in America, and it’s only Wednesday. And what are we doing? Mourning? Grieving? Rallying together? No, we’re yelling. Read More
You probably know Mike McHargue as ‘Science Mike’ – co-host on The Liturgists podcast. Or maybe you know him from his own podcast, Ask Science Mike. Maybe you’ve seen his blog, caught some of his appearances or interviews on other platforms. Maybe you recognize his name, maybe you recognize his ability to take anything simple and make it incredibly complex by providing a scientific, logical definition with lots of big words (or is that just me?), maybe you recognize his calming voice with the southern lilt. I used to know him as all those things, too, but now I know him as another thing: friend.
No, we haven’t met. Although he was gracious enough to chat with me on the phone last week (on the morning of his book release, no less!) and I follow him on Twitter, I doubt he would consider us very close. But after reading Finding God in the Waves, it’s impossible to walk away and not feel as if you just gained a new friend. Read More
As if I haven’t talked about it nearly enough, a lot of my girls are heading off to college. Girls that I met as little freshman, who were just learning how to navigate high school, who were 14 years old like three seconds ago, are now college students. I’m not freaking out, you’re freaking out.
I’ve been asked for all kinds of college advice: tips on what to pack, questions about giant lecture halls, how in the world to go about making friends. Then a blog was officially requested: “23 things you wish you knew before going to college, Krysti. 23, that’s a good number. That will make a good list.” Oh, will it? Read More
I unlocked my car – bwoop bwoop – and instantly wanted to cry. I stopped in my tracks, about 5 yards away from my parking spot, and took a deep breath. It was one of those Fridays-from-hell after an already long work week, so that may have contributed to my emotional state. But I took a look at my Life is Good tire cover, my faded and peeling LA sticker, my embarrassing license plate holder from high school (not telling what it says) – my insanely dirty car in all its glory. I blinked back tears, because it would never be in this parking lot again.
I left work, and my check engine light went from “on” to “angrily blinking at me”. My car shook – enough so that my arms were involuntarily jumping – at every red light I came to. I was doing my new normal: praying that my car would make it to my destination. I was on the official countdown: less than 24 hours! In less than 24 hours, my beat up CR-V would be dropped of at our family mechanic – hopefully to be fixed but at this point who knows – and I would be picking up my shiny new (to me) CR-V that was simultaneously saving my life and draining my bank account. I should have been ecstatic – within a week of my car getting a death wish, I miraculously found exactly what I was looking for, exactly in my price range, with lower miles than I expected (thank you, random family moving to the Netherlands). Instead, I was heart broken. Read More
Seasons of my life seem to always be defined by John Mark McMillan songs.
I scrawled “Future / Past” onto my mirror when I moved into this place, now over two years ago. “You are my first / You are my last / You are my future / and my past” is now faded, but still there to greet me every morning. “Skeleton Bones” was my anthem for new life, my mourning and rejoicing interwoven, when my world seemed to have shattered in my fingertips. I feel like I don’t even need to mention “How He Loves” – that changed everyone’s life, at one time or another, right?
And then, for the longest time, it was “Counting On”. And, to be honest, it wasn’t a place I wanted to be. “When the bombs break right outside my door / and I can’t shake the onset of my wars” felt a little too familiar; “I’m throwing stones up at your window … You’re what I’m counting on” felt too much like a whispered dream – one that I never knew if it would come true. A desire, a longing. But not quite my reality. Read More
My name is Krysti.
I have to tell people
when they see my keys,
when they see the bracelet with ‘Sierra’ attached.
My pencil skirt is itching, and my blazer really needs to be dry cleaned. (Am I now the type of person that gets things dry cleaned?? Note to self to ponder later.) I’m covered in goosebumps, as I wish for the 50,000th time over the past few months that women’s office clothes came with a few more layers, that ‘office chic’ involved wearing a blanket, because even with my space heater hidden under my desk I’m always freezing in this office. Then I have to remind myself all the times I promised myself, as I was melting to death in Malawi, that I would never again complain of being cold…
And just like that, I’m reminded of what my life used to look like, what my future used to seemingly hold. Glancing around my office – complete with hardwood floors and a headset, a desk of post it notes and print outs – I’m quickly reminded none of this was in the plan.
I was the non-profit girl for so long. And then, all of a sudden, I wasn’t. Which was fine, really, I’m fine, I would tell people. Because I was. I was still the youth leader girl, after all. I still had one of my passions, after all. And then, all of a sudden, I didn’t. All of a sudden, I wasn’t sure who I was. Read More
It’s no secret this election season has been… interesting. The primaries were rough. The RNC was basically a circus. The DNC definitely woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I’ve really, really tried to keep my mouth shut around stupid people, tried to stay out of Facebook debates, tried to keep my distance and, therefore, my sanity.
Buuut there are just a few things I really, really need to get off my chest. Mostly if you’re going to enter into a political debate where you laugh at or mock other people’s points of views and deem any other opinion than yours as inferior, consider proof reading before you press “post” (the future of America is not at steak, this isn’t the worst election in historu, and your really not write). These are not political stances, not any kind of endorsements. Simply things I have wanted to, again and again, comment back to people, yell at others, or politely voice my thoughts on. This isn’t me being pro one party over another, pro one candidate over another. This is simply pro common sense. Read More
My office building caught on fire Wednesday.
Well, we weren’t sure it was a fire, the man pointed out, as there was smoke pouring out of his suite and fire fighters rushing in. There was just a lot of smoke.
It was a normal afternoon. I was stressed out, trying to prioritize too many tasks given to me at the same time, trying to figure out a way to make everyone happy. I really had to pee, but sometimes I ignore my bladder for the sake of getting work done. Healthy, I know.
I finally got up to walk to the bathroom down the hall, and smelled smoke. Not a lot, not a scary amount, but definitely smoke. I walked past a suite with the door open, smoke wafting out, and some people in the hallway. Awkward smiles, no explanations offered, I kept walking. Weird, I thought. Maybe someone blew something up in the microwave.
Until, a few minutes later, as I excited the bathroom, and I immediately smelled smoke. A lot, a scary amount, of definite smoke. I walked back and hesitantly asked, “Do we know what’s going on…?”
“Oh, there’s a fire,” a woman answered nonchalantly. Almost as if I simply asked what color her shoes were. Read More
This is very unedited and very raw. Sorry for any unprocessed ramblings, but I’m not processed right now. I’m grieving.
I get it.
I get it. I get that you may have grown up in a bubble, that all of your interactions with police officers were safe, friendly, lawful. Maybe your experience with minorities is limited (no, having “one black friend” does not count). Maybe your racism has gone long unchecked, because it was simply an unknown byproduct of your upbringing. Maybe your privilege has gone long unnoticed, because you’ve been lucky enough for no one to pop that bubble just yet. I get that you might not understand.
I get it. I get this is a scary reality to accept, I get that reasoning it away seems much safer. Hiding behind arguing over facts, debating the the unknowns, making it into a political statement – that is a whole lot less uncomfortable for you. Empathy involves pain. Empathy involves feeling. Maybe the names are too hard for you to read, the faces are too hard for you to see. Maybe the videos of crying children, grieving parents, lost widows is to much for you. Like not making eye contact with that homeless person on the corner, it’s easier to drive on through this. I get that you might try to reason it all away. Read More