Lessons from Above become life for today!
A butterfly danced with me in my yard today, as I admire the vibrant colors of the flowers shining in the sun. As I watch the carefree dance of the butterfly, and it’s world showed me the essence of metamorphosis.
It’s joy and sense of freedom was luminous. It’s delicate strength came from having to let go of all attachments the security to who she was … and listen only to the quiet calling inside her. She had to trust herself in her knowing and go through the scary process of transformation that we all go through in key moments of our life. The shock of massive metamorphosis-transforming so dramatically you are unrecognizable? (like from a Caterpillar who crawls to a butterfly who flys)
Imagine the feeling inside… Awakening to new realities and truths you had never known, as everything you know “falls apart” and deconstructs; body, home, relationships, identity, lifestyle!
We are all on a journey of metamorphosis.
Perhaps you have felt this way… Scared and lost or uncertain of things like jobs, relationships, houses, help, money and more falls apart.
Because you too have been through deep and dramatic changes in your life… Transformative experiences where that what you knew to be the norm dissolved and you had to find the strength, courage and love to step forward into the unknown and see what that new life will be like.
The great news is on the other side of the awakening, no matter how difficult, He promises better… So much better, you and your current state of mind, can not even imagine what it will be like. Because, God has been with you and is with you transforming you for His purpose – isn’t that what we are all here for? I can’t wait to fly!!
Happy New Year I hope you all had a peaceful Holiday season with your family and loved ones. A NEW YEAR, a clean slate, a fresh start well, I guess that’s what we all have before us. I am starting mine off with a bang I’m moving again, this time to Winter Garden, Florida. Yes, I am tired of moving!
First let me get you caught up. I believe most of you know that I feel a calling to work with young people that are lost, searching for a place they can feel rest, able to take a deep breath and know things will be OK. A sanctuary where nothing matters but where you are right then. To me it’s a place I can go take a deep breath and feel Gods presence where I can Lean Into all he has for me and not be distracted by this world. After Phil died I was praying about what I was to do with the rest of my life. I felt God spoke the name forever home to me. Because I felt this so strongly I bought the domain name ForeverHome.org and forever-home.info which I still own. My prayer was to open a home for young people getting out of foster care or for people rescued from sex trafficking. Neither have come to pass as of yet but my desire is still there. To do something with young people and speak into their lives is what attracted me to becoming a house parent for international students thus having the jobs I have for the past 2 yrs. Although a part of me enjoys what I do the biggest part of me is unsettled. I know this is not what I am to do for the rest of my life. I know it is a stepping stone for what God has for me. One of the churches that has had a huge impact on me the last year or so is Calvary, Fl. Rev. Jim Railey is the pastor. I watch it online all the time I love this church I love what they stand for every message speaks to my soul. I have been wanting to go there since I found it online. About six months ago As I was watching and they announced it would be a special service that Sunday for one of the outreach groups of the church called Excellerate it is for young people getting out of foster care. Needless to say I was exstatic – these kids go through a program to learn life skills and strengthen their walk with the Lord. When they graduate they are given a car that is donated to the church to help them be able to get to their job and get a decent start at life on their own. (I did drive there and talked with one of the leaders of Excellerate.) when I was leaving I was handed a pamphlet about the program which I didn’t read till the next day. In the pamphlet The founders of the program were sharing their vision for this program and one thing they said the only confirmation I needed to move to fl and volunteer with this program. They said, ” we want these kids to feel like they have a Forever Home.”
Anyway to make a long story short I am moving to another house parent job near Orlando so I can be involved with this program at Calvary Florida. The first meeting for their new group is Jan. 21st. I move the weekend of Jan. 16th to my new Houseparent position. I will be a little over an hour from the church but that’s much better then 5 hrs.
In the past 3 1/2 years and especially this past year I have come to realize how important a home is. I know how I constantly feel unsettled, I can see and feel the restlessness and longing in my kids. We all feel very disconnected from everything. Yes, we have the Lord and ultimately our home is in Heaven we are very aware of that but we still need a physical place our family can be together, a place to call home a place we can just be. The structure doesn’t matter the size doesn’t matter the location doesn’t matter. What matters is it’s ours in the sense that it’s a place where we feel we belong. To me it’s a place that holds your heart, the things your memories are wrapped in where those memories can speak to your soul. It’s not about the things it’s about the memories and the feelings they bring. A place you can go and know you are welcomed as you are a place to be reminded of the past while embracing the future. I guess I have never really thought about a physical home (house) like that untill this Christmas when my kids and I didn’t know where we could go to be home together.
This brings me to the second point this blog. I’ve been trying to buy a place where boys and myself could feel at home. I tried buying a mobile home but it fell through it just seems like we are Lost as a family. I have a dear friend that has offered to sell me her place in upstate New York at a discounted price. There is quite a bit of land with a house and barn. This is beyond anything I could ever imagine. The boys and I went up there over Christmas and didn’t want to leave I felt such a peace there. Yes, it is far and gets very cold is secluded from city life (for sure) but, I saw so much potential and peace from the second I saw it. My boys and I just walked around spurting ideas so much so I feel I really need to stop and listen to Hear Gods voice on this one. I am not sure what I’m supposed to make of it but I know I would love to be able to have a place God can use. My family and I are praying for direction as is my friend, she and her family spent 10 years living there and praying over the land. I walked around and prayed for the land and what God would like to use it for. I don’t know if this is from the Lord or not. I don’t have any answers I just have a lot of questions but I feel it’s something I need to pursue. So I’m asking for your support, please pray that God continues to unfold His plan if this is for me. That I know how to proceed, that I hear what he says and am obedient even if it’s not what I want to hear. For finances in every area. Along with your prayers I would love to hear your thoughts. Right now my plan would be to have it a place for girls rescued from sex trafficking and one cottage for a person or a family, couple that need to get away and hear from God. This place is none other than a gate into Heaven.
My Prayer is that we may all hear the voice of our father clearly, that you have a Blessed and Fruitful 2016! And that we all Lean Into God and find the Joy in what REALLY matters this year. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
I woke up on November 1st thankful for the extra hours sleep. Shortly after I woke I got a call from the nursing home in Washington were Phil’s mom has been. She was having a difficult time breathing and was put on oxygen. As soon as I got off the phone I checked to see how soon I could get a flight from Savannah to Seattle. The cheapest flight I could find was $600 so I thought maybe I could combine mileage and cash. I called Delta Airlines to check and after talking with the agent she said, “OK we can get you there by 9:30 tonight your cost is $30”. Obviously shocked I said, “really, I have enough miles” and she said “yes, we can get you a flight for 12,000 miles”. This alone was the Lords favor. The fact that it was only 12,000 miles the day of the flight in itself was a shock. The Lord provided everything I needed right from the beginning. Unfortunately when I got off my first flight and called the nursing home to check on mom I found out she had passed away while I was in the air. I called Pastor Mark Webster for help with who to call regarding her body and he took care of everything while I was on my next flight.
I was blessed to stay with Mark & Marjorie Maire who not only opened their home and gave me a vehicle to use but gave me a covering of prayer and support as did Holly Huges & Pat Hutchenson.
After four long days of paperwork, phone calls and arrangements to take care of mom’s earthly body and clearing out her room. I was exhausted but knew I had to check on the belongings we still had at the home Christopher had been renting with his friend in Monroe Washington before he went to Florida. We had not been able to connect with his roommate for a few months in my spirit I felt something was not right.
I was not prepared for what I found. No one was home so I looked in the house and it was totally empty not one thing inside. I decided to walk back down the long driveway to the tack room and open stalls which the guys used as their music room. As I was walking in the distance I could see things on tables and put out in the stalls as I got closer I realized it was all of our stuff toys, household items, decorations, clothes, books, games, TV, tools the list is too long. All the things that we had packed and keep there along with all of Christopher’s life which were destroyed I don’t know what God has for that child but I know it’s got to be amazing because he has been through the fire and is still there. They were all out in the elements pick through, mildewed a big pile that at first looked like trash but it was the valuable things to us, pictures, papers, journals, documents. They were soaked through stuck together worms and bugs crawling in it.
As I stood there in shock looking at all of our stuff the realization that most all of the earthly tangible things I had with Phil were gone. His mother that whole side of our family was gone I can’t even explain the feeling that came over me as I stood there in shock not knowing what to do, what to feel, just numb once again. I spent the next few days going through all that was left and looking for anything salvageable. Doing dump runs and goodwill with things that could still be worth something to somebody.
The second day as I arrived Chris’s roommate and friend was at the house and I did find out that he still had Phil’s piano and picture and Mom’s grandfather clock the bigger things that were very important to me and the boys. As I was digging through everything I kept thinking about mom’s memorial service and thinking how I didn’t bring anything with me. I don’t have any pictures of her life. As I was bagging the trash I came across pictures most of them not salvageable but I did find one plastic bag that had baby pictures of my kids and grandkids, school memorabilia, my wedding album and the picture of mom and dad in a frame along with a picture of Phil, his Mom, Christopher and Isabella four generations. I know God had protected these and placed them right there for me so I had them for her memorial service.
Wow, God is so good to me in the midst of the heap of trash He had kept these pictures safe, and brought me there at that specific time.
As I was filling trash bags and throwing them in the back of the dumpster I just kept repeating Lord give me the strength Lord only through your strength can I do this – He did give me strength.
I flew to Milwaukee met with the funeral home, cemetery and church where Phil grew up and His parents had invested their lives. Poplar Creek Church was such an example of what the body of Christ is all about. Moms lifelong friends, Pastor John Davis and staff helped me put together a service honoring this women that spent her life serving God and giving her talents to the church. I must say that it was the Lord that pulled that service together and I know it was Him. It honestly was one of the nicest the most beautiful memorial services I’ve ever been at the music was perfect, we had Phil’s CD playing then during the service we played tapes of Mom and Dad singing duets and Christopher sang. Everything was perfect Mom’s friends fixed a beautiful reception. The boys and Deb had flown in Friday afternoon the Service was Saturday at 11am. Sunday was my birthday and I woke up to my boys and breakfast fixed by my beautiful daughter-in-law the perfect gift I could not have had a more perfect birthday then being with my children.
All I keep thinking is how amazing God was and is how much he did/does for me. One of the days in Washington while driving this song came on the words are so true – Your love never fails, never gives up, Never runs out on me – as I sang the words saturated my soul giving me just what I needed.
As I was thinking about Chris’s roommate and what might of driven him to destroy our stuff. The Lord spoke these words to me –
You never know what others are going through or have gone through the hurts that have not yet been healed. I can work through my children to heal the brokenhearted but only if you live in my UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
Love heals, His love will outshine the darkness others are living under. I take this from the Lord and I pray that I can be that light and not judge others but see them through God’s eyes. We all go through the fire in different ways and learn different ways but for me having the presence of God in my life is life. I know that my life hinges on the presence of God being with me in the fire and everyday because he is refining me for His work.
One thing I recently learned is, when a refiner is purifying gold he keeps making the fire hotter and hotter and hotter until it hits that perfect point when the gold hits the perfect temperature and is purified to the purest extent the refiner knows because at that point he can see his reflection in the gold. How amazing is that!
I pray that God will see his reflection in me every day of my life I am so thankful on this Thanksgiving holiday for a God that loves me so much, for my family but most of all I Am Thankful for all the friends and prayer worriers He has placed in my life. I could feel that peace that passes all understanding when I was going through the rubble. I could feel the Lord with me. Thank you!!
May you all have a very very Blessed Thanksgiving and may we all praise the Lord for who we are in Him. I know I praise Him for each of you!
I feel like writing and sharing my heart today. These past couple weeks have been challenging at work, with family and physically. Physically because I did something to my knee a few months ago and it’s been giving me problems ever since. I was told to take Advil and keep it iced when it hurts or if I do too much. I’m sure some is due to my age, as much as I would like to think otherwise. I’m also sure a lot of it is due to my lack of consistent exercise throughout my life.
I am sure this time of year will always have a sadness to it because of losing Phil but this year it’s seemed extra hard. I guess I was hoping by the third year I would feel different than I do. I know the loneliness will always be an underlying feeling but didn’t expect it to be so consuming. I did go see the movie “A walk in the woods” last weekend I could hear Phil laughing and all of his crazy comments. I laughed so hard it felt so good for those few hours.
I do like my job for the most part and it keeps me busy but, I do miss my friends, I miss being around people that know me that know my past, most of all that knew me with Phil. Most of all I’m so thankful for the relationships I have with the Lord because, He helps me face each challenge believing my life will count for something and at some point I will be able to walk out of this battlefield into a place of joy.
I have also been blessed to know a lot of amazing Godly people. Unfortunately I have also kept myself from totally opening my heart, letting down the walls I’ve built because of my own insecurities and hurts. Because of this I have very few friends, real friends. I desperately needed to talk to someone that was not just a surface friend, Someone who really knows me, my heart, my past, my desires, my struggles, what makes me tick. I could only come up with about four people besides my boys. Fortunately I was able to take a long walk with the Lord and pour out my heart. I remember as a child going to the Lord when I needed someone to talk to because there was no one else I could share my hurts. I would go for a long walk, cry and tell everything to the Him. I am so thankful to have learned at a young age how much He cares for me and hears me. He has always been my best friend and He definitely chose the perfect place for us to walks now.
I pray that all of you along with my sons, daughters and grandchildren will have this type of relationship with your heavenly father. For those of you like me, I would like to end this letter with a piece of motherly advice – allow yourself to open your heart and embrace the people God has surrounded you with be it for months or years, allow them to penetrate who you are in this crazy lonely hurting world. I’m going to try!
As I sit here in the quiet listening to the chimes blowing in the wind it seems like a perfect beautiful day! Then my mind begins to go crazy thinking about everything that’s happened this month with work, Christopher, Heather and my grandkids and I think of all the kids in this world that are so displaced and desperate to just be loved and be in one place it makes my heart and soul ache. I am thankful for my friends and your prayers. I wonder, along with many of you, if this situation will ever end before the Lord comes. I don’t know, but He does and that’s what I’m banking on. He sees all the hurting kids and families so torn apart because of the sin in this world. Thank you all for your continued prayers for my grand kids. I got to talk with them last night and they are ok. Christopher is working hard trying to get them back I know his heart is aching more then mine and ever opposition Satan can throw his way is being done. I pray he will not lose hope and stay strong in Gods word.
On the other end I am settling in my new place with my girls I have it pretty easy as far as my house goes. I only have 4 girls this first semester and three of them are mine from last year. It’s so great to have them all back. Two of them are on the cheer team at school so I’ll be busy running them around. They are a good distraction from the craziness outside but knowing God is in control sure helps.
It is amazing how easily I can be pulled from Gods peace if I don’t keep praying and focusing on His word. If I allow my emotions to take over I become a basket case in about 2 minutes. It’s so easy to get caught up in the distractions and needs constantly occupying my thoughts. I admit I am blessed to be close to the ocean where I can take a walk and talk with Him while surrounded by the beauty He created. I pray each of you have a place you can go and be surrounded by His peace.
Thanks again, and again, for your prayers and support I Thank God everyday for my spiritual family.
Trooper got married on Father’s Day at the Santa Ana Zoo in Santa Ana, California. He married the perfect person. It was a perfect day for the perfect couple. I’m so happy and proud for Troop and Deb and honored to be a new mother-in-law I couldn’t pick a more perfect mate for either. When God puts a couple together he doesn’t make mistakes and this is definitely a marriage made in heaven. Deb looked like a princess! The whole wedding was just amazing.
I cannot begin to thank of the people that helped make such a perfect day. I know there are so many of Troopers friends that put so much time and energy to help. On my end I need to say thank you to Bill Batstone for playing and singing and for being willing to step in at the last minute and making the ceremony special. Greg and Marilyn Calvillo you guys set the tone for the reception with your music everybody loved and said it couldn’t of been more perfect throughout the afternoon and evening so tasteful. Your the best! Thanks! Jeanni & Craig Whitaker, I don’t have words to express the gratitude and love I have for you guys, you helped make this wedding perfect! The flowers were beyond beautiful, orchestrating the whole day was a massive undertaking but you made it happen without a hitch. Troop and Debs wedding was a big family celebration enjoyed by every age. I could not talk about how great the day was without mentioning all the work and planning Trooper and Deb put into the months of planning and creating every little detail of the day. The gifts, the decorations, the handmade games, down to the popcorn for the zoo. God has Blessed this beautiful couple and our family with the best friends! Phil’s comment to Trooper would of been, “Hey buddy, you scored!!” I know Phil would be so proud of Trooper and would love Deb. His spirit lives on!!! He was missed but still very much a part of the day.
Before I go I would like to apologize. It came to our attention a few days before the wedding that a great number of friends and family we invited to the wedding never received an invitation. We are so sorry and very sad we didn’t know ahead of them. We are not sure why they did not get delivered but sad they didn’t.
I am so glad I am a part of the family of God. I may live on the other coast busy with work, and life, I miss my friends, the fellowship, a quick cup of tea or coffee. But when I do get the chance to come to CA I once again feel a part of Gods family embraced, accepted and loved. THANKS
This week was an emotional an exciting week being able to watch the memorial service for Andre and then the broadcast of CCMUNITED 40 years in contemporary christian music. They were both so overwhelming the memories, the friends. I remember riding in Andre’s buss from California to New York for my wedding. Andre and the Archers were the first major tour groups Phil toured with. one of the first groups Phil toured with so to see his memorial service and have so many memories come flooding back. Then to watch CCMUNITED and see so many of our old friend and listen to music and think that was my life is just so surreal. It made me realize two things.
Open our eyes Lord! I don’t want to miss out on what’s right in front of me ever again.
I am thankful for you in my life and I pray you have a Blessed Holiday Season. It has been a long two years feeling like I’ve just been on autopilot not knowing where I’m going or what I’m doing just trying to survive it’s been hard and very frustrating. All I know is I want to do something with my life that makes life better for others and I want to work with young people.
None of the areas I initially thought I was going to work in have worked out.
My mother would always say to me , “Kristin, if you have to force something to happen it’s not meant to be. If it’s the Lord’s will things will just fall into place,” and that they did. I now find myself living on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Where I am at House parent for the JPGA golf and equestrian Academy. Since mid-November I’ve been the house mother to six girls from China and I love it. I live in one of six cottages. There are three boy and three girls cottages this changes each year depending on who comes to the Academy. But, for now I know I am here till summer and Lord willing a long time after that.
My past is all in storage and I pray someday I’ll be able to have my past and present together in one place again. But, for now I have a room of my own, a roof over my head, food and young people around to keep me focused on each day.
I would like to share some thoughts from my heart with all of you. When Phil died the boys and I didn’t just lose a husband and father we lost the center of our lives we lost our lives because we lost of the lifestyle that we knew the people that surround us. As you know when you’re a musician it’s not just a job it’s a way of life it’s a lifestyle and it’s all consuming. Because of who Phil was and what he did when he disappeared most everything about our lives disappeared along with him which is been very hard on all of us. We have been searching, all of us, for where we belong and where we fit in because we are no longer a part of what we knew we no longer feel a part of the community that we were once part of. I feel like an outsiders looking in and wanted to be able to go back and be a part of the community but can’t. I know this has been extremely hard on the boys but it’s been devastating to me and that’s hard to say but I have felt like I died along with Phil to most everybody we both knew. I can honestly say I think I’ve heard from less than 90% of the people that were a part of our lives those we considered family. Losing Phil was devastating but losing the rest of you along with him has made life seemingly unbearable at times. I am so thankful I know The Lord and that He never leaves me.
I just want you to know that I appreciate your prayers and your support but I miss seeing you, hearing your voices and just hearing how you’re doing.
My boys and I doing okay. Troopers living in Orange, CA he has a beautiful woman in his life, Deb Harvey they are in a serious relationship and I couldn’t be happier. Erick is still in Nashville going through some transitions at the gym and housing. He’s had a hard year but I see light at the end of the tunnel for him. Christopher has had a really hard time he’s been very depressed and is struggling. Lord willing he will be able to find work and move to the East Coast to be closer to his kids, me and Erick.
God Bless You Everyone!!!
I am so excited to see what God is going to do with my life. In March I left on what I call a journey. I went to Florida, Connecticut an California to visit family as well as places working with young people aging out of foster care. I believe most of you know that since last November I have felt very strongly this is where God wants me to focus my energies. Which I am very excited about.
I talked with some amazing people and visited a few places to see the work that is being done for these lost young people. When I was in East Hartland, Connecticut, where I grew up, I was surprised to find myself thinking I could actually move back there. Althought Hartland is a wonderful place to grow up I never had the desire, nor did I ever think I would, to move back there. In the center of town is an old building which has been owned by many people through the years. The building has been in forclosure for quite a few years. As I drove past and thought about the building I felt God impressed on me what it should be and shared this with Pastor Roger Viksnes. Since then (Easter week) we have both been praying about this and looking into the cost and feesability.
While I was in Florida I visited with my cousin who offered me a great deal on renting their condo. So, I have been (am) moving to Sarasota, Fl as sson a I can take care of details for my moher-in-law and tie up loose ends up here. When in CA many of my friends asked me about moving to Fl and I said, “It feels like my best option right now. Unless God puts a big arrow in from of me and shows me someplace else I am suppose to be.
Well, that arrow might be showing itself through the clouds. Pastor Roger is going to look at the building on Monday so I am asking all of you to pray for God’s direction and UNMISTAKABLE leading on this. If the church does purchase it I will move to Connecticut to help with fundraising and renovations. We would like to make the upstairs rooms for housing ageing out foster kids and help them have time to get on their feet.
I appreciate your prays and am excited to see what comes of this property and where I end up. If you don’t want updates and/or do not want to be on my prayer list please let me know and I’ll remove you. Thank you and May God continure to direct all of our lives as we live for Him. Kristin