Friday, September 30, 2011

How to plead for a life.

I never knew I could love two little babies so much. Last night I held them both for equal quantities of time, gazing at their fluttery eye lids and perfect lips. Burritos. Wrapped in blankets and love.

So when the in-house doctor came to speak with the parents...alone, my mom got a little nervous. I thought nothing about it. What started as a heart murmur was re-diagnosed as a heart defect.
Itty bitty Bryce has a heart defect. Walking out of the hospital, we were met with a whipping wind and the signs of a storm, inside the Baylor Medical Center, the storm had already begun to beat down on Stephanie, Nick and those little lives.

We gathered and prayed, it was a sight of beauty. Six sets of hands covering Bryce from soft round head to swaddled feet.

God and I have been weird lately. Who he is and what he is about has been the forefront of my questions. But last night I pleaded with Him, I boldly asked him to heal Bryce and shelter them all.

To stand like a brick wall against the penetrating wind and rain.

"Even the darkness is not dark to you." Psalm 139.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

How to hold a life.

Say hello to Travis.
And say hello to cool Aunt Krisi.

My brother is a father.
I remember scenes from Hook and Father of the Bride II when the Dad holds his son for the first time.
What beauty and absolute joy. 
I have held babies, I have snuggled and kissed them. 
But Bryce and Travis are my little nephews. The First.
Lots and lots of blonde hair, deep blue eyes and itsy bitsy red bodies.
Five pounds, four ounces. Five pounds, eight ounces. 
Bryce Daniel and Travis Avery.

The birth of two little lives has astounded me. My connection to Nicks wife Stephanie and been tightened and sealed with a new level of sisterhood. I am an employee, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a niece, a cousin, an aunt

THE OAK by Lord Tennyson
Live thy Life,
Young and old,
Like yon oak,
Bright in spring,
Living gold;

Then; and then
Gold again.

All his leaves
Fall'n at length,
Look, he stands,
Trunk and bough
Naked strength.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Accepting the truth.

I wrote this Christmas of 2009: 
Last Saturday I went to a wedding of two friends and witnessed love sewn together simply and in sincerity.

Since I could spell I have been doodling the name of Jesus in the margins of bulletins and notebooks. Sometimes I would add a cross or a few swirls and hearts. I have always boldly claimed that any man I married must love God first. He would be romantic and spiritual like a twisted prince charming mixed with the fictional heroes Christian authors are creating.

But it was Saturday, listening to the vows that I was stunned with a new revelation. The pastor reminded both Brittany and Meguell that they would never be each others 'first love' and that the covenant they were entering was between three and not two. It made sense of course, Christ had to be the foundation or the point of the triangle; yet as the words came out of his mouth my heart protested. 

I shocked myself with the honesty I masterfully repress when it contradicts my doctrine. All romantic tears which were welling quickly gasped and hid exclaiming the unjustness of this fact; Not my first love? I have to remind myself that I know all this, but why did it smack like my mom's chewing gum?

Knowing the answer doesn't always bring contentment, because awareness of the truth still leaves us with the decision to accept it. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sex sells itself...

for everything else...there are salespeople.
In school, we are pumped with career options, and tips and tricks for landing the perfect job. One of the main phrases my professors would use was "everyone is in sales, because you have to learn to sell yourselves." Well I am here is to tell you that unless sales is in your title, you are NOT in sales. 

Did you know that most service drives at car dealerships are walls of glass? 
I cautiously park mouse the Honda between two shiny new Lexus', quite aware of the nervous looks from a receptionist beyond the tinted windows. Deep breaths and a free note pad carry me past the sign reading 'service' and into a long garage lined with glass doors, glass windows and men in snug oxford's or polo's branded with names like Larry, Kevin, George.  

It reminds me of the game battleship, I can see the board but have no idea what awaits me in the water. The minute I open my mouth is the teller, 
I receive one of the following looks:
1. do I get rid of her? 
2. Free swag?! (Stuff We All Get) 
3. Hmmm...a girl, she's young. Her name reminds me of Three's Company. 
4. This business card looks like a coaster. 

I receive one of the following answers:
1. Uh, we have been using our glass guy for 65 years.  
2. We are looking for someone new, but let us call you. 
3. Oh great! Sure! And go see my friend at Blahblah Body shop (Snicker behind the hand)!

I recently was told to remember the client is not rejecting me, but my product. 
This is great advice...unfortunately, I have not yet mastered the separation of myself from my work.  

Lesson learned: Selling glass is a lot like backpacking in Europe. Read why here

Monday, September 26, 2011

Case of the Mondays...

Taking a hike is a glorious adventure. Driving to work on a Monday is not.
Three weeks ago I started up 'Mouse' the Honda and rumbled off towards the three lane mess-o-traffic when I made a conscious decision, I said "Krisi, today is going to be the best day of your life."

Not Possible. I was in traffic. On a Monday. Going to work. Not New Zealand or Ireland or Boston in the Fall.

You know what? It was not the best day of my life, not by scale of all the days of all time. But it was better. When I quit complaining, I saw all the good life being lived around me.

1. Not being the only woman in the office. (There are only two of us.)
2. Learning a lot about glass. A lot.
3. Cooking meals under the wisdom of a seasoned chef and mother.
4. Discovering that my nine-year old sister turned 15. FIFTEEN.
5. Learning how to walk into a car dealership for the eighth time in one day and not speed away out of fear of rejection. And learning how to beat the snivels with a Sonic hot dog when the ninth car dealership does reject me. Check out where I work here.

What good life is happening around you?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bumper to bumper.

Commuting to Kindergarten. 

The twenty-five mile commute to work everyday can become quite wearisome.
I have a little advice for those like myself who can no longer rely on their one-speed cruiser for transportation:

1. Get a library card and start an audio book list.
           Do not rely on the generosity of librarians to provide you with listening material WITHOUT your card. I repeat, they may make you cry, or slink out humiliated for not having the proper identification.

2. If you are lucky enough to live near a reliable train, use it! I would trade in all of these hours idling guiltily in traffic for a good book in a smelly train car.  Emissions decrease and brain grows. Perfect.

3. Find your local public radio, NPR has some fabulous interviews, and they have incredible taste in music.

4. Drink an Americano. I grab a cup at Starbucks that is five minutes from work. It is my reward for patience in traffic.

5. Don't be 'that guy' on the road who cuts everyone off and acts like there is a woman giving birth in his backseat. You know who you are.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Nest

Three months ago I was ushered into the adult work force. I was also added to the ranks of recent graduates who cannot afford to live independently, fortunately I have gracious parents who willingly handed back over a set of keys. Moving home was difficult for several reasons:

I crave independence...
Some of us leave our parents nest rather reluctantly, others are forced out, I closed my eyes and lept         with grand expectations. For four years in Abilene, I succeeded in gathering up friends and community who encouraged and challenged me to grow; Sunday meals and late night chats with a glass of wine became anticipated events. Evaluating the faith I claimed was an accepted process and shared with my peers. Thinking on my own and making decisions effecting only me was a daily routine.

Living with family means cooking cannot be exclusive, driving anywhere must be announced, politics, theology and philosophy will be questioned and challenged by my elders, leaving my bed unmade becomes offensive, ect. I am learning how giving up my tiny freedoms as an individual can exemplify sacrifice and prepare me to face every day life with a renewed humility.

Responsibility for more than ME can be exhausting, but richly rewarding.

 Jeremiah 29:7
"Seek welfare of the city where I have sent you...".