Sunday, September 11, 2011


Approximately 10 years ago I wrote this song, as a meditation on 9/11/01


Entire world turned upside down today
Thoughts and fears, freedoms and fears
Will it ever be the same?
How could I forget you never went away
And that it's by your grace I even live today

And I'll keep waiting for you to come
And I'll keep waiting for you to come
For you to come

I'm living in a dying world
Man next door, what's he live for
Maybe I should learn his name
Physically fine, but what's on the inside?
Why's it take calamity for me to see?

And I'll keep waiting for you to come
And I'll keep waiting for you to come
For you to come

Some questions still remain
What can I do and can it even ease the pain?
But in your word you say to me,
"Child, I've given you the hope, now just be ready."

And I'll keep waiting for you to come
And I'll keep waiting for you to come
For you to come

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I just had my last concert yesterday at school which means that I am teaching free for the next three weeks. It's a good feeling, though I suppose it would feel a lot more liberating if the week before Christmas wasn't always my busiest week at my church job. But today I've got a day off and I'm grateful. I'm trying to take some time this morning to chill, but in a more purposeful way than doing whatever comes easiest to me. I suppose blogging is a perfect example. I get to sit on the couch with my laptop keeping my legs warm (cause it's 54 in here) but I do have to think a bit.

I'd like to make a confession. Lately I feel like I've been buying things all the time. I suppose that Christmas is a big part of that. However, we've had to buy a fair number of gifts for Christmas, spending a considerable amount of money (we need to plan better next year) and that should mean that I tighten up everywhere else. But it doesn't seem like I am. I was thinking this morning, "Krystle, can you go a whole day without buying something?" And by something I mean like a coffee, not a $100.00 pair of jeans. I don't spend money that way. I do it in slow increments, at the craft store, the thrift store, in small increments of $5.00. But when you do that everyday it starts to add up. And I think more than anything what I'm worried about is my desire to do that, not so much the money. Why do I feel the need to accumulate? Do I really have nothing better to do? Ugh. Yikes.

The husband and I have been feeling a little bit...oh...disenchanted about some things lately. Namely about how we live our lives as Christians and what we do in the church. It feels like we aren't going anywhere. I know I've been feeling much too comfortable lately. I know that Sunday morning church has its purpose and is important, but that shouldn't be it, and I feel like for most people it is. I'm included in that much of the time, which is even worse for me because much of Sunday morning just feels like "work." Shouldn't we be doing something a little more radical? Shouldn't we be just a tad more concerned about the people outside our walls? Do we really think that having a special service is what's going to bring people to Christ? Okay, once a blue moon that might actually happen. But from everything I know and have experienced, it's time and relationship that brings people in...people from the outside, not people who are already Christians and just looking for a new church. Do we really think doing one or two programs on one or two days a year is going to make a name for us in the community? Who really do we get to know from that? No one. And no one ever comes. We say it will bring people in. It doesn't.

But at the same time, God has told us to be part of a community, not to abandon it. Where would the church be if Abraham had shrunk back? Moses? David? Isaiah? Jonah (hmm guess we know what happened there)? John the baptist? Mary? Paul? John the beloved? What is right is never easiest. Leaving is almost always easier. Isolation is almost always easier. That is, until you're miserable. So we're just trying to figure things out.

It's Christmastime, which means I'm supposed to be reflecting on light coming to darkness, strength making itself completely vulnerable, a door being opened to us, peace coming to earth. I guess this is the start of that.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


This is something I haven't really processed yet, but I thought I would get it down anyway. Lately (as in the past couple weeks) I've been in one of those "It's so weird that I'm married" modes. It's not that I'm anxious or freaking out during those times, nor am I extra sentimental or happy. I just have these times where I look back on the last few months and go, "Wow, we really did that? That's weird!" I'd have to say that our marriage ceremony was one of the weirdest things I've ever experienced. Not because it was unusual. It wasn't really unusual at all. In fact, I do believe it was quite beautiful. It was so weird because we walked into that church as single people, we stood up front, sung a song, said some very important words and exchanged rings, and BAMMO! We walk out and we're married. Isn't that totally odd?

That's not really what this post is about. The thing that goes along with that which I'm trying to process is the fact that we chose one another. I am here with this other flawed human being, and I am quite flawed myself, but nonetheless he took the plunge anyway. He wanted (and wants still, praise God!) to spend his life with me. He thinks I'm beautiful, and funny. And I'm sure sometimes he thinks I'm very annoying and confusing. But he chooses anyway! It's amazing really!

So I got to thinking, I think this is supposed to teach me a lesson about God or something. I think the concept of being chosen by God has never really struck a chord with me. I think that can be attributed in part to my "I need to earn it" mentality (read: legalism), but I think it's also because I've never really seen it in action. Okay, you could say my relationship with God is seeing it in action, but when you're a lifelong Christian sometimes it's hard to see the difference. I now have this in-my-face, real life example of that and I'm thinking it's something I should pay attention to.

That's as far as I've gotten. It's a lesson I realize I should learn and grasp hold of, but I'm not actually there yet. And I know it's not something I have to try to do. I just have to be aware and I think somewhere along the way I will see and learn. I hope so anyway, it seems like a pretty cool thing to get.

And weird.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

still employed

I found out yesterday that my teaching job is for sure safe for next year, regardless of what happens with further fundraising for our arts program. Amazing. Well, for me. It was stinkin weird (and awful) to get a letter from our superintendent that had bad news for basically everyone in the entire school except for me. I was literally the only job mentioned that's not getting cut back in some way next year (because it was cut in half two years ago).

It's a conflicting feeling. But for now I'm at least glad to know what this next year will look like for me. And I'm glad it's a year with work.

Friday, April 16, 2010


So, things have kind of changed in the past few months. Namely, I'm married now. It was funny to log into this account and realize I needed to put my old email address with my maiden name. I have a maiden name! I was telling my grandma yesterday that I'm an old maid now, which I realize is a strange thing to tell an 86-year-old, but still, the fact remains that I'm no longer a single lady who is free to roam wherever I wish (not that I ever did that). We were talking about my cousin who wants to go to Spain this summer to teach English, and I was saying how I'd looked into that at different points in my life. But now I can't - or at least it would be much more complicated now - because I am an old, married woman.

My husband made me this fantastic drink with chocolate liqueur and his homemade hazelnut cinnamon liqueur and I've been drinking it like it was a milkshake, so forgive me if I get a bit...oh...drunken. (slight exaggeration)

Married life is funny. Mainly it's wonderful, but it's also funny. It's funny because there are so many things that are so obvious that you think you know but find you actually have never learned. Here's an example: my husband and I are two different people. Duh. That's a blunt statement of an obvious fact. But here's how it goes down in my head:

"You are so different than me! You have all these thoughts and feelings I cannot access (unless you tell me), and even if you do tell me, sometimes I just don't get it! And I will never be able to be in your head or totally understand what it's like to be you!"

Seriously, I'm stating the obvious, right? This is how 100% of relationships throughout my lifetime have been. But for some reason, once you make a lifelong commitment to a person who you love like no one else, it's weird that you still can't understand them all the time. And that doesn't even touch on the reverse of those thoughts...

"Why can't you read my mind? Don't you know that my motivation to do [such and such] was because of [said emotional need] or in response to [husband's action I didn't understand]?"

You know how people say communication, communication, communication? (no, not location, we're not talking real estate) It's so true. And I knew that going it. It makes me wonder how I ever survived in any relationship up until this point. Seriously, how crappy of a communicator am I? It's a wonder anyone wants to be my friend and all my relationships haven't fallen apart. Exaggeration, yes. Maybe it's just the gender gap that makes it necessary to be so much more clear? Probably a little bit of that, but mostly because I've never ever been in a relationship this close, and never will be again. I've never had to interact with someone in this way before. Even in relationship, I was independent. I'm not anymore.

But yet I kind of am. And that's the thing I can't even pretend to understand 1% of yet. What does it mean to be an individual...but also be part of this "we" thing? I'm not saying I didn't have myself figured out enough before or that I didn't take the time to get to know myself. I feel like I know myself relatively well (except for when I feel like I'm going insane and an alien invasion must be the only explanation), but how do I know myself within marriage? Well the simple answer is that it's only been two months, so I really don't know myself within marriage very well, and that should be okay (it's okay!). Fifty five days-or something like that-compared to the rest of my life previously. Some learning curve is expected.

I think I was inspired to write because I just started an Anne Lamott book after not reading anything of hers for ages. It's like coming home. Every other paragraph I wanted to read something aloud to my husband. She is hilarious. And profound. She makes me feel okay about myself, which is a really good thing right now because I've been feeling like a wreck lately. But we all feel like wrecks sometimes. And some day, I won't feel like a wreck anymore. The chocolate/hazelnut/cinnamon drink certainly helps.

Monday, January 18, 2010

8 days

Why does it always come back to a Sara Groves album? Seriously, the woman has a gift.

I'm sitting here listening to an older album "The Other Side of Something." The song "Compelled" is getting me at the moment, harkening me back to a different season in my life. It's tugging at something deeper in me, reminding me that something is going on right now - something must be going on, or I fear I might go insane (or numb).

I'm not sure how the past eight days could have been any more of a roller coaster. Grandmother's death, consolation from dear friends, bridal shower/dinner, other Grandma in hospital, ceremony planning, Disneyland, food poisoning, Dad having heart issues. This morning I'm just trying to survive and rest. I quite literally went through the ringer yesterday (at least my stomach did).

I bought a new CD late last week. Josh Garrels' Jacaranda. It's not like what I normally listen to, but it's different and creative and a bit on the cheerier side. He also happens to be a creative and intelligent lyricist. He is also the writer of what I have decided is my "line" for this season of my life, however long it might last.

Oh learn this lesson well, my friends. There's a time to rejoice and lament. Every season will find an end. All will fade and be made new again.

Monday, January 11, 2010


This is an impromptu sort of thing so I don't know how well it's going to work out. I realized it's been almost seven and half years since I experienced this. I'd say that's a pretty good stretch of time to go without a loss, right? Not that there's ever a good time to lose someone near and dear to you.

I spent about five hours yesterday at the hospital. Most of it was spent in the third level lobby near the elevators. I sat with my cousins and talked and joked and watched my cousin's five month old baby. That child was a God-send, that's for sure. My cousin called her the "mood lightener" or something of that sort. Her description couldn't have been more accurate.

Baby drool, bean and cheese burritos from taco bell, crude jokes, cafeteria lunch, a trip downstairs to the vending machine with a crisp five dollar bill from my cousin, Starbucks, pacing...all ways the time was passed.

Well, that is except for when I first got there and I went into her room. Her husband was there and so was my aunt (my dad's sister). She was asleep...or something like asleep. It sounded like she was snoring because of all the fluid in her lungs. Her breathing was labored. Between each breath was a pause. I was very aware of the fact that for her every single breath was a deliberate choice. "She's such a fighter" I told my aunt. She grabbed her hand and I rubbed her arm. A minute or two later she gasped and turned her head toward her husband and opened her eyes a bit. He called her name, told her that he was there and so was her daughter and grand daughter. And then she went back to her previous state. I have no idea if she heard or understood, but that moment was enough for me.

She held on all morning and afternoon until her mother could get there from three hours away. She had said that she didn't want her mom there, but obviously she wasn't going to stop us now. My dad's cousin wheeled my great grandma in. They were gone for a while. Then someone came back - my uncle's wife maybe - and told my aunt she should be there. She was gone...with mom's permission. My mom came back at that time too. She said, "Don't you ever do that to me. No mother should ever watch their child die." We cried in each other's arms. At that moment my cousins laughed at something someone else had said. I was annoyed in that moment, but understood that any laugh at this point was a plus. Anyway, minutes later they were all a mess too.

We stayed a while longer. Two of my cousins went in after she passed. My other cousin declined, saying, "I know my limits." I felt the same way. I had had my moment with her and I didn't want to chance putting a worse experience in my mind. That was hard enough.

Today has been weird. It always is when you experience a loss like this. Your world stops, but no one else's does.

Tonight I was at the gym. I didn't do anything strenuous, but it felt good to move. I rode a bike for twenty minutes then walked on a treadmill for twenty-five. As I got on the treadmill I thought about these kinds of circumstances, the condolences we wish to people and the things we pray for them. I started thinking about how I would pray for God's grace for someone in such a circumstance, and I wondered what that meant for me. What is God's grace in this circumstance? I do not feel him. I did not know, I still don't. But I do know that about five minutes later one of my dearest friends walked into the gym and I got to talk to her in person about my loss. A little while later I realized, oh, I think that was it right least for now.

So I'll try to get through the next few hours and see where they take me. Tomorrow I'll go to school and hope that the distraction will be good and that I'll have the energy to make it through. I'll enjoy a non-surprise surprise party in my honor on Wednesday. I'll enjoy my fiance's birthday on Thursday. And I will revel in the gracious timing of a trip to southern California this weekend and a chance to see friends I love with my whole heart. Plus we're going to Disneyland, and I'm going for FREE! Who says God can't work through Disney?