Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010.

OK. I just want to show off my cutie kiddos...and the fun that they found in their stockings! We sent them on a scavenger hunt to find their final "big"'s how it went.
Opening Stockings:


CLUE #3!!




YAY!! A trip to Great Wolf Lodge is in our future!! We promised the kids we'd do something fun when all the stress of the house was over and done. And, our house is supposed to close at the beginning of this week. SO, Yahoo!! Time to celebrate and leave the difficulties of this year behind us and look forward to the exciting things ahead!! And I will try to keep you all posted more's my New Years Resolution, if that makes you feel any better. Oh. And here is some more Christmas pictures of my kiddos, I just think they're so cute.


So, That's what happened with us...I'm also not sure why my lettering turned blue. But...whatevs. Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010



Wow. It's REALLY been a while since my last blog. But, I have some pretty good excuses. First, we moved. And, that's exhausting. Second, we didn't have internet for what seemed like a long time and now that we finally do, we don't have a wireless router so I need to blog in the office, where, OH YEAH! I don't yet have a desk! So, here I sit in my circle-y chairs, balancing my laptop on my lap while trying to stay connected!!

Anywho, I'll get down to the nitty gritty. As you may have read, we had an offer on our house back in September. It took the bank 45 days to even assign a negotiator, and now we are scheduled to close on or before the 23rd of December. I know that seems like a very brief summary. And it is. To go into detail on the craziness that this whole short sale process has been (not to mention all my feelings, emotions and life lessons that I'd need to share), would be stinkin' long. It would also require me to remember a lot, and I'm just not super good at that. So, yahoo!! I can't quite put in words how excited and ready I am to be done with the whole process!!

What I DO want to share is everything that's been happening in the mean time! We have been blown away by the warm welcome and generosity from the people at North Seattle Alliance. But, I have to let you in on a little secret. I don't know if its a phobia? or a prejudice? Or a combo of both...a phobjudice? I don't know. But, it's against old people. They scare me. I've had so many encounters with them saying off the wall, hurtful things, that this phobjudice is not unfounded. Also, they drive bad and are a cause of a lot of serious vehicle injuries. Anywho, all that to say, NSA is very gray. HOWEVER, I have been so blown away by their warm welcome of my family, their kindness, and their generosity that I'm starting to think that God might have brought me here to teach me a little somethin' instead of bringing us up here to school them. You know, things I might need to practice more grace and patience? And other things like the importance that everyone, in spite of age or race, plays in furthering his Kingdom? Hmmm... it makes you think. I'll keep you posted on my old people fears. Oh. And don't judge me. Micah fears middle aged women...he also has good reason.

So, for those of you who wonder, our family is adjusting. My kids still haven't found good friends, and that makes me sad. But, they've started swimming, youth group and other stuff. So, we're hoping for some "friend" opportunities! OR "friendtunities".

I do miss all you guys down in the "Couv". I feel like no one up here really gets my jokes. And for those of you who know me at all...that's very important to me. I don't expect others to be funny...just to laugh at (or with) me. At the appropriate times. At the appropriate decibel level. But that's pretty much the only requirement I have for a friend...laugh. Oh, and don't say mean things to me. And if you do, don't be all mad if I punch you in the ovaries. That's all. I miss laughing with all of you. And I miss the serious stuff too.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New House!

I never know how to start these stinkin' blogs. I feel like I should hook you with something catchy, but WE FOUND A HOUSE!! YAY!!

We've been up and back from Seattle for Micah's job quite a bit lately. And every time, we try to squeeze in some appointments to look for rentals. And every time, I come home so depressed! The houses that we were looking at were soo crappy! We did find one that could have worked, but Micah was super grossed out by the kitchen (I was too, I just think paint fixes everything). It was super grimy (to the touch...ew.). The fridge was in this sawed out hole in the wall of what must have been the pantry, and sat about 2 feet up off of the floor with a big ol' creepy gap above it (it looked like mice, rats and spiders would be very comfy up there). But, it had a pool AND a hot tub, which was a huge selling point for my kiddos (and me, to be honest). But, it was so green and full of algae, that if they jumped (or fell) in, we'd never see them again! What is up with me and loving gross old houses? Because I really do. This house was like ours BEFORE all the work we did on it. Micah talked me out of that one, though. And it was the only one I kind of liked. After that, we went on to look at 4 more. 2 of which were still occupied by tenants. Here's a little tidbit: When people are renting, they don't clean up before people come to look through. Why would they? So, we found ourselves climbing over people's boxes and laundry to poke around THEIR house. It was really quite awkward. But, what makes it depressing is coming home to my own house after those unsuccessful house hunts. It brings up all those feelings of giving everything up. And I have to make that choice all over again. It's hard and it's depressing.
In fact, when we got back from this particular trip, I had a little melt down. I was done looking for houses. I was done trying to move. I was done giving up everything in my life and, at the time I was done being in ministry. It is too hard. But, don't worry. It doesn't end there. I say these things, then God does some stuff in me to help me see things a little more clearly.

As I was throwing in the towel, it hit me again how stinkin' wishy washy I am. Just 2 days before, as we were stressing about money for kid's clothes, etc., a friend of ours just showed up at the door with a little gift that his father-in-law (who we don't really know that well) wanted to give us. There is no question that that is God's provision. Because we've seen God work like this over and over again. And I am first to give God credit for these provisions. But, I am also so quick to forget when times get really frustrating. I had just shared this little story with someone Sunday morning, and by Sunday night was throwing in the towel on ministry. That's a problem. And it made me realize that I've made this transition harder on myself. I've not pursued my relationship with God, I've let it go. I can't help but think that had I remembered how He has shown up every time we've needed something, then when times got really frustrating and hard I would have that to hold on to, to remember, and to look for. I just chose not to remember. And that filled this transition with a whole heck of a lot of doubt and questioning rather than just waiting and getting to see how God works this stuff out.

A couple of years ago, I went through this little thing called focused living. It's pretty intense. I spent 3 days with 5 women in a hotel room going through this program in which you write down your whole life line on sticky notes with every memory you can remember, good or bad. Then you put those in order, along with some other stuff, and you see God's thumbprint on your life, what your gifts might be and how God might want to shape your future. Anyways, that's the super tiny nutshell version...not the point. The point is, going through that was the first time that I felt OK with who God had made me. Because he had a purpose for me, and I didn't have to be any one else. The way He shaped my life was specific to a purpose he had given me. I think that He created me to be a little goofy and wild, a little "outside the box", a "loose cannon" (as Micah says), for the purpose that He's laid out for both Micah and I. What does this have to do with anything? While I was going through my little tantrum and wanting to throw in the towel, I had 2 very good friends going through focused living at the same time. Both of which came over, and both of which God used to remind me of the purpose he's given me and how fortunate I am to live out that purpose with Micah.

Maybe some of you are feeling sorry for Micah right now? Because I'm so wishy washy? And sometimes don't want to do churchy stuff anymore? You probably should. I did. I realized too, that every time I threaten to quit, it's a blow to him and not only his career choice, but the life that God has called him to. Its like saying I no longer want to support what he is doing, and he can go it alone. And that was never the wife I intended to be. Micah is my best friend. I love that guy so stinkin' much and have the utmost respect for the man and the leader that he is to me, to my family and to the people around him. He is amazing. And, for whatever reason, he loves me and is incredibly patient with me. I think that God allowed me to be hit pretty hard with the truth of what my words might do to Micah's heart. And it made me sad. But, it also gave me hope. Because I see now what I am doing and the hurt that I am causing. But I am more hopeful because my God is a God that you can come back to and start over with...and so is my husband. Just so you all know, in case you're worried about us...don't be. Or do be. At least be worried enough to continue to pray for us. I think that Satan would love to yoink us apart. And, apparently I'm an easy target.

ANYWHO! Back to the house thing. Yes. We found one. After "the meltdown" we went back up to go house hunting 2 days later. After being frustrated every time we had been looking, we prayed and asked God for some clarity. And KaBLAM. The first house we looked at was hopeful and really quite beautiful. There were so many things that were perfect for our family...a huge kitchen (all 5 of us cook together sometimes and it gets kinda crowded), 4 bedrooms (the boys can't share a room...they're like oil & water), off of the interurban trail that runs from Everett through Seattle (we run...and bike), new construction (no fix ups!), and across the cul de sac from a Wetlands area! Looks like we're moving in November 1! Woohoo.

As far as what's up with the sale of our house, can we catch up next blog? It's a long story and a total pain in my bumcakes.

Next time...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Damn! I'm wishy washy!

Once again, it's been a while since I've blogged. Sorry if you've missed me! Pfft...(cyber laugh). I guess I need and will be better about getting on this thing. Anywho, not much has changed, but some cool stuff has happened. Here's the latest:

I think I hit a low point this week. I woke up feeling anxious about EVERYTHING! Here's the sitch: I've been doing P90x this summer, and it is a butt kicker. But, not only am I doing that, I'm also training for a 1/2 marathon in October. So on top of running, I've been putting in some serious time rolling around on the floor trying to do push ups, pull ups and sit ups that really turn into me making carpet angels all around the basement. So, you can imagine how very upset I was to get on the scale and have gained a pound! What the...? On top of that, no news with our house. And this whole transition thing is getting a lot crazy. So, when Micah asked me (when I told him of my anxieties) if I wanted to pray with him. I gave him a pretty adamant NO. And here's why (and what I told him). God is going to move us when he moves us, and all our prayers don't seem to be very effective in expediting that, so I am frustrated. And no, I don't want to pray about it!

Side note: I think from my upbringing I tend to be a little superstitious and/or formulaic about God and the way he moves. I tend to think that by my doing something down here, it will automatically force God to act. I just have to figure out that thing that I need to it praying at the same time every day? Is it fasting at just the right time for the perfect amount of time? Is it reading my bible every day? And if I don't do any of these things, then will God act at all?

So, back to the previous story. I was down, discouraged, anxious, frustrated and pretty adamant about not praying. So, I didn't. But, as Micah and I were talking in the front seat about our shared anxieties, we had an eavesdropper. EJ (our oldest) heard us, and prayed right there in the back seat, told God how we were all feeling hopeless and asked if he could send someone to look at our house. Sure enough, we got a call that night from a realtor to set up a time 2 days later at 3:30.

The same night that someone came to look at our house, I had a dream that I ran into someone picking up a house flyer while I was bringing in my mail. I started to chat with her, and she told me she was the one who had looked through the house the day before but wasn't sure that this house was where God wanted her...and the conversation stuck with me when I woke up. (I also dreamed that Francis Chan was speaking for Compass and it was in this outside grass stadium. And right in the middle of his talk, ran and tackled and pile drove my friend that I was walking with...but I'm pretty sure that didn't mean anything.) Anywho, I woke up and told Micah of the dream and he said that he had woken up with a very strong drive to pray for the people that had come through our house, that maybe they were undecided or something. That's weird. But, in my superstitious/formulaic way, I asked Micah if we should then fast all day for that. (disclaimer: please don't hear me saying that there is anything wrong with prayer, reading your bible, or fasting. I think there is something wrong in the way I view it). We didn't. Instead, we sat down to eat breakfast with our kiddos and told them about my dream, Micah's feelings and prayers that morning, and prayed with them for the people that looked through our house the day before. By the time we got done praying (which is pretty quick when you have 3 hungry kids), there was an email from our realtor. He passed on a message from the realtor the day before. The lady loved it, but her husband, who hates older homes, was not able to walk through it with her. And she would like to walk him through this one, but it wouldn't be until after the 11th. So, there you have it. Finally some good news instead or super negative feedback (or no feedback at all)!

I think what I realize in my little story is this: although I was stone walling God, he returned that with grace. My formulas and superstitions would lead me to believe that I should have been punished for acting like a spoiled child who isn't getting what they want. But God isn't a formula or a superstition, and instead taught me a bit about his grace. (Its never about the house, is it?) While I was giving him the silent treatment, he loved this family enough to bring us a little glimpse of hope when we were feeling hopeless. He was gracious enough with EJ to answer his prayer, and he was beyond gracious to me by giving me a dream that spelled out for me what I needed to pray for, then again to give such a quick answer to that prayer. God can take our frustrations, and our anxieties when they're directed at him. It just amazes me at how he chooses to deal with them. Its pretty counterintuitive in my tiny head.

P.S. P90x didn't have much to do with this story, it just made me mad cause it hurts. I'm still doing it, though. You know, just in case you wonder! (look for pics of my hot body later to come!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The latest? (which isn't much)

Whoa. I haven't been on here in almost a month! And, sadly, there isn't all that much to report. In the last month the fam did a little mosquito battling/backpacking, Lake Chelan watersliding, a bit of Leavenworth sausage munching, some family hoo-ha, and then more family hoo-ha, went to Seattle, Micah had a meeting, went to the Woodland Park Zoo, drove around, came back from Seattle, and here we are! And, though there isn't that much happening, that's exactly what is causing some anxiety! Being in transition super sucks. (Except all the fun stuff up there...those were good times).

So here's the very latest: Our house is being lowered 5k every 2 weeks until it sells. (I'm kind of over that whole thing...I think I've made my peace with it. And thanks for listening on that one.)

As we were in Seattle, there was talk of Micah sharing a basement in some guy's house with Andy (the guy Micah will be working with for the next 2 years) a couple nights a week until we get a house up there! I just about barfed. That seems to me to be the last straw. I am ready to be apart from my friends, damage my credit and take a loss on my house, move to "who knows where" at "who knows when:30" and rent a house (so, probably no painting or knocking out walls), but to have my family separated for the majority of the week and weekends is not ok with me! I don't really know what else to say about it. Micah and I have often had arguments about ministry being "his job" vs. a "we're in this together" thing. This seems to me to drive home the "his job" side of it. It just seems so separate! It's hard to be "us" in that. (AND, I just really like to have that guy around! He is my best friend). But, all that gets me pretty nervous.

So, I guess there's some stuff going on, I just wish something was happening! There really doesn't seem to be a sign of a move on the horizon. And, I have to admit that I'm having a hard time keeping the faith that God will (not that he isn't capable) rise above the economy to make a way for us to get there. As a family, we've talked and come to the realization that aside from God stepping in and moving us, we cannot get there on our own! Stay tuned, though, I'm holding on to that mustard seed (by the way, we bought some mustard seeds and they are super small) of faith that God will step in and do something. I'm hoping to share it with you.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cry fest

Hi. So, I had a little cry fest the other night with some of the only people that I feel I CAN cry around. Side note: When I cry I feel like I make an ugly face, particularly in the mouth area of my face, and I don't really know what to do with my hands. I ended up poking my nose repeatedly and thinking "Why the H... am I poking my nose?" I'm not a crier. Most of the time when life gets stressful, I am prone to laughing attacks. But, I think I was in the midst of coming to some realizations, and those are sometimes hard.
Micah and I committed to praying for a couple days for God's will and direction with the whole house sale thing. But, when I sat down to pray, I had absolutely nothing to say. I sometimes think that prayer needs to be this thing that is all nice and sweet and mooshy and leaves you and God feeling better about your relationship. But that isn't true for human relationships, and it wasn't true here. Instead, I was surprised when I began telling God that I am frustrated and angry. And it made me cry to be so honest with God and, also, to be that honest with myself. I realized as I continued to pray that I get it. I let my house be the thing that consumed me. That thing that got my heart. And now, after everything that I have invested, I am being asked to give it away, and not only give it away, but give it away and sacrifice my credit score! But, I also came to the realization (while I was telling God how frustrated and angry I am) that giving the house away represents something bigger than a bad credit score. It means for me that there is no longer anything holding me here. And that forces me to face the much bigger sacrifice of having to say good bye to friends that are like family, and watch my kids make those same sacrifices.
Praying for God's will is a funny thing. Because sometimes I just might not want to know. I ignore what I hear and keep praying for a different answer. Or I just get confused! How do you really know? That's when God makes it exceedingly clear, I guess. Or he did for me. Here's how: right after praying that morning (when I was fuming a little bit), our family devotions ask "why do you think people are sometimes slow to step out to serve God?" Or next day topic "The search for God's will" where it says "our job is not to hunt for the secret will of God, but to do what God has clearly told us to do." (Riiiight.) Or, I open a Francis Chan book (same day) to a quote that says "I think dwelling on God's plan for the future often excuses us from faithful and sacrificial living now. It tends to create a safe zone of sorts, where we can sit around and have "spiritual" conversations about what God "might" have planned for our lives. Thinking, questioning and talking can take the place of letting the Spirit affect our immediate actions in radical ways. God wants to see His children stake everything on His power and presence in their lives." So, there you go. I know that God's will for my family is to start thriving churches in the city of Seattle. God's call was very clear, and he continues to pull everything together...up there. The only thing keeping us here is the house.
So, we've decided to stake everything on Him and we've begun the process of a short sale. It's crazy, I feel pretty relieved. There is no more question on what His will is in this process...because I'm sure this has been it all along. I just didn't want to hear it, because it went against what I thought I knew of God and what he would ask of us. But, I also was reminded (in another devotional) that He did ask a man to marry a hooker once. So, He's not always so predictable.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Stinkin' house order to get a wiggle on up to Seattle, we need to be freed of this stinkin' house! And there is soo much history in this house, its hard to explain! But, I'll try...with bullet points, because bullet points are awesome.
Over the last 6 years:
  • we bought a 1500 sq. foot house with an additional 1500 sq ft of unfinished basement and a huge yucky yard. Being the visionaries that we are, we totally saw the potential and pretty much started remodeling and landscaping right away
  • We built a room for Zeke and E.J. in the basement (they were sharing a small room with Hannah)
  • We knocked down an old outdoor brick fireplace, chiseled the mortar off of the bricks (they had dates on them that I wanted to 1954...those kind of dates, not the fruity kind), and dug and re-layed a winding path to the front door (but first I took a sledgehammer to the old cement path and hauled that to the back yard) and we planted grass seed around our path
  • Boys moved into their room but then got the boot back into Hannah's room to allow for a young couple moving to the area to live with us while they searched for their own place to live...(they stayed too long).
  • First mow (and first break from the couple that were living with us)!! Micah yells from outside "hey! come smell this!" (Note to self: don't smell stuff that is bubbling up from underground and pooling all over your new grass!)
  • septic system overflowed...(we were under the impression that we were on city sewer!!)
  • We got some money (from the old lady who used to live here) to be hooked up to city sewer...and were able to bring the lines in low enough to put a bathroom in the we cut into the concrete floor in the basement for that! (Micah and my dad caught one of the concrete saws on fire and almost passed out from the gas fumes in an enclosed area)
  • We framed a bathroom and closet, built and tiled a big ol' shower, tiled in soaking tub and the rest of the bathroom and did all the plumbing...eew.
  • We rebuilt stairs
  • We framed a master bedroom, an office, another bedroom, a laundry room, a studio, and a family room into the basement, and ran electrical
  • We slapped up sheetrock (we super sucked at that skill) attempted to mud and tape (super sucked at that skill too), and eventually hired someone to sheetrock/mud/tape the rest of the basement
  • We painted the entire basement (then I repainted...its what I do)
  • We payed someone to lay carpet in the basement, had to let him go then hired someone else
  • We pulled up carpet (from every room including the bathroom) upstairs and painted (then I repainted everything a few times)
  • We tiled the upstairs bathroom, then retiled some more stuff in that same bathroom.
  • We built a deck outside, a pool pad for an above ground pool, raised veggie garden beds and a dog kennel (for Bob)
  • We layed grass, pulled it up, planted some stuff that died, pulled those up and replanted grass in the front yard
  • We painted the entire exterior (that kind of painting made me insta-grouchy, though)
  • We put on new garage doors
  • We painted and added new trim and handles to the kitchen cabinets and poured concrete counters.
  • AND, we planted a church.
So, it's complicated. We've gone ahead and built our own little heaven on earth! We've made ourselves a home with everything that we thought we wanted. It has allowed us to give our staff (on more than one occasion) someplace to stay. It's allowed us to cook, entertain, counsel or just welcome friends and neighbors. And, with all that's already been done, I can still dream about the next house project I'll be starting on, which color I'll paint next and on which wall! I think that its pretty clear that my house has gotten my heart. We've invested 7 years of our time, energy, and money. We've sacrificed Saturdays (our 1 day off) evenings, vacations and entire summers. We've sacrificed precious time with our kids that we can't get back. We've sacrificed financially, emotionally and physically. Its been the source of so many arguments and frustrations between Micah and I, that there is a residual "funk" when it comes to anything house related!
At a pastor's conference (yes...I had diarrhea about it) in January, the speaker had asked the question "what are you willing to sacrifice so that others might hear the good news of Jesus?" I KNEW that it was going to be my house! And in my head, I thought that I would have no problem with that. I believed that because God is huge (and bigger than our stinking economy) He would sell it, most likely for MORE than its worth so we could pay off ALL our debt. He'd have no problem selling it in a down market and maybe even bring a couple people to squabble over it in a bidding war...because then there would be no question that it was God moving us along. And all I had to do was let go of it. Not so much! As I thought about how great I was that I was willing to sacrifice my house, and how God should really be pretty happy with me, I realized I wasn't sacrificing anything.
I came to realize that sacrifice isn't just letting go of something to get something else. It isn't giving something up only if God shows up in a huge, miraculous way. Sacrifice is just giving without a promise of some reward or replacement! And for me its a little painful. It means I have to face reality about what's really gotten a hold of my heart, and then give that up!
So, here I am. Trying give up that thing that's consumed me and gotten my heart. The house has shown 3 times in 2 months. The first 2 God used, I think, to get me to start thinking about sacrifice. SO, we lowered the price to a price that'll pay off the mortgage, our realtors, and buyers' closing cost...nothing more. No paying off debt. No looking for awesome house #2 to sink all of our "talents" into. And today (the 3rd time), I'm pretty sure they were smoking doobie. They didn't even stop for a walk through because they didn't like the area!! We live in one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Vantucky! Pfft! The next step is a short sale. And I'm surprisingly ok with that. I do trust that in all of this, God is huge and knows me, my family, and what we need...when. He sees the big picture and his timing is perfect. And I'm excited to see how it all unfolds. I know that He is a loving Dad who wants the best for me, even if it means ripping things away to get at my heart. Ouch.

So I wait to be moved.....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hi, I'm Kristen.
I'm a mother of 3 and a wife of 1. My husband is a pastor/church planter, so I suppose that makes me a "pastor's wife"...but I kind of hate that title. To me its reminiscent of denim jumpers, playing the piano (and singing) and bratty kids. So, I don't really want to be lumped into that! I do play the piano a little though. And I do sing. And sometimes my kids are boogers. But I've refused (up to now) those homemade denim jumpers! And, I like big shoes.
I don't have strong "filters" and sometimes say bad words.
I say inappropriate things, sometimes at church (or during).
I find that I leave a party and have to text apologies to people I'm convinced I have offended.
My nose is pierced and I have several tattoos.
I hate pastor's conferences and hanging out with other pastors makes me so nervous it sometimes gives me diarrhea!
So, I suppose I'm not your typical "pastor's wife". But, I love people and I love Jesus. And so I guess I'm in the right spot, in spite of myself.
Which brings me to the purpose of this blog. I want to share with you the journey that we, as a family are on! We are starting on a brand new journey as we leave a city and a church that we've planted and move on to plant a new church in a new area where we (so far) know no one. BUT, I really wanted to start this because where we sit, we get to see God in pretty big ways. And, I want to share the things that he does along the way! So, STAY TUNED!