Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Advent hunger

We had just finished the last chorus on the last hymn when my Smart Guy said,
“Krista, I am hungry.”

“Well, that’s great, we are headed home to eat now.”

“No, ‘rista I am hungry for THAT bread” pointing over to the communion bread.  Well, we walked over to the communion bread talked to the pastor about the bread and then Smart Guy got the bread he was so hungry for.

I have been thinking about the scene since….do I hunger for communion the way Smart Guy did? 

Advent is a time that we prepare the table for a main dish that we don’t know.  The hunger is there, and so is the feeling that the bread may never arrive.  This advent I find myself hungering for justice by asking the questions that I have faced in the past year.  When, O Lord, will everyone at least have a roof over their head?  When, O Lord, will people be seen for who they are, as your children?  When, O Lord, will your followers be more concerned about helping than judging?

But frankly, more than ever,  advent has also become practical for me.  We have prepared to have children for two years and they are here.  We have prepared to buy a house and make it our home, and while that didn’t happen, a new way of live is emerging in our new apartment.  I am done preparing.  Yet, in this phase I indeed am hungering….I want justice for my children, I want my neighborhood to be given the benefit of the doubt, and I want the communion bread to really mean something in my life.

More than ever, I want to be that the table when the main dish arrives this year.  I want to soak in the joy, peace, and hope and love only such a table can provide.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Last night,  I attended Awkward Black Girl: Race, Gender and Hollywood.  A discussion about the amazing web series The MisAdventures of an Awkward Black Girl.  I saw the discussion posted in an email listing of events that I get and it looked good about a month ago, so I decided that I would take Snap as a bonding activity.  She wasn't interested, so I watched the webisodes and decided to go myself.  So last night, I was discussing this very awesome show that provides an normal woman image for young people.  There were lots of teachers in the room as well.  They often spoke of wanting more of this type of influence rather than reality TV for their students.  I could identify.

Then I realized - I was relating not as a fellow teacher of sorts, but as a mother.

I want Snap to see this show and see herself not believing that the music videos that she often watches are actually reality.  I want Snap to see herself in media, but still on this day in 2011 - she may have to look to people that look more me and even more so Jim, before she sees herself on TV.  I want her to have her own Tina Fey.  (I probably over identify with Tina Fey.)

I also realized, sitting in the discussion last night, that I will need to be more and more open to be in discussions like these so that I can parent and grandparent Snap, Smart Guy, and Sloth in ways that are affirming to their culture and world understanding.  I need to remember that too often my children will be judged based on their skin color.  I need to remember that as much as I try - my color will not let me completely understand their experience.  And yet, continuing to grasp at more understanding needs to be on my parenting goal sheet.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In the last few days, I have done a lot of firsts... 1. First meeting of the principal to be told Snap is not the most well behaved child in the school. Jim had a first talking to Snap about how to manage the desire to talk back to teachers, managers - they can vent together at home. 2. First trip to the park with SmartGuy and Sloth....horrible! I set myself up - but wow was it a rough day. 3. First time washing dishes with SmartGuy - he loves it, which made it more tolerable for me. 4. Snap taught me how to prepare TV dinners for S&S. Apparently, they need more salt and pepper than provided. 5. First cry reading a parenting article with the realization that I am a parent. 6. My house is actually cleaner than pre-kids. Its because we feel the need to keep up instead of letting the house go to pot. I have cleaned something everyday since the kids arrived. 7. We had our first family meeting tonight. We discussed calendar events and the guidelines for our house (lots of communication, respect, and listening involved - and their are rules for Jim and I too!). 8. First meeting the new boyfriend. "What are you going to ask him?" Jim and I to each other, "Uh, give us a moment!" We introduced ourselves and then left them in the front room while we were in the kitchen. It makes me feel old! 9. First remembrance of the college pact that we made for me to take the jr highers and high schoolers of my friends. 10. First birthday celebrated - well, it was Tuesday but not celebrating until weekend! 11. Preparing for the first visit of (great) grandma and (great) grandpa Dutt. 11.
After reading some other foster parent bloggers, I have learned some ways to do it - make up names and post pictures of them doing things as not to show faces. So, let the fun begin of re-naming the kids! First, we have Snap. Snap is a teenager who quickly snaps to attend to her two children and also can easy snap at teachers, authority, and to rude people. Second, we have SmartGuy. He is 3, and he is super smart - already knows how to get to his day care from our house and is able to figure out how to get what he wants. Third, we have Sloth. He is 18 months. He is no sloth in terms of getting around - he waddles everywhere fast! However, he is fairly low key. He likes sitting in his high chair and loves picking stuff up with all his appendages.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Some fun stuff from today: Someone started to point at the bookcase - I told someone that he could go get any book he wanted. Someone picked out my greek lexicon and my sermon on the mount book that is literally 600 pages. Then someone piled them on a chair and climbed a little closer to the table to eat his dinner, glad they are getting used! Someone Else came home and asked me, "Can you help me learn how to eat healthier?" This after my secret mission was to do just that! Else also came down to talk to me in classic teen sense, "I have a formal on Friday and I don't have a dress." "Oh, I have a formal dress that might fit." in classic mom fix it all tone. She tried on several of my dresses before picking one that she had accessories to match. Now, that made me feel like a mom.

2 to 5 in a week...

I want to believe that I will write a little more than normal because we now have some kids in the house.....maybe, maybe not. Introductions must be made: After 28 months of prep (that is a freaking long pregnancy - I think elephants only have 24 months), we have a foster daughter and two foster grandsons. They have been with us for 4 days. I feel like I know too little to actually be blogging about these children. But some observations about myself in the last four days... *I feel a bit like I am living in community again! My culture and my thoughts are getting all mixed up when I think "No, you can't have chips for breakfast!" Maybe chips for breakfast aren't that bad? *I want everyone to feel at home, I want everyone to have enough, but I don't want to go on a Target run that I really can't afford. How many clothes do kids need? I have no idea, they didn't cover that in class! *When I woke the sleeping late teen this morning, I really thought - I have no idea how to do this! Last night, I was in bed by 9:30 (yes, I am sick as well) but...hope it gets better!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My thoughts, more elequently...

More and more, the desire grows in me simply to walk around, greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, throw water, and to be known as someone who wants to live with them. It is a privilege to have the time to practice this simple ministry of presence. Still, it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire to be useful, to do something significant, or to be part of some impressive project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings, conferences, study groups, and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets. It is difficult not to have plans, not to organize people around an urgent cause, and not to feel that you are working directly for social progress. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn’t be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you do not simply like them, but truly love them.

- Henri Nouwen

(Thanks to Arloa Sutter for posting this and letting me repost)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What is Your Five Year Plan?

If I had to document hours spent in March, I would label most of the hours as “vocational discernment.” Between a vocation discernment retreat, a discernment event, reading a book and meeting its author about vocation filled my days.

At DOOR, we float “vocational discernment” around a lot. We work with hundreds of college students and college grads who are asking these questions – What should I do? What am I called to do? What can I afford to do?

PBS’s Independent Lens
recently followed several folks on their journey to church leadership and the documentary that followed is entitled “The Calling”. This project also created as a way to share the journey of understanding one’s calling if in or out of church.

I appreciate how Joshua Stanton sees his call:
Watch video here.
Where are you on this journey?

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Today, I shed some tears in the San Antonio airport very unexpectedly.

On November 10, I was in SAT waiting to go home after what was 26 days out of 31 traveling. I was supposed to have two weeks at home, I was so grateful.

On November 14, I looked towards my kitchen from my bathroom and suddenly couldn’t move. After a month on bed and house (ar)rest, I had surgery. And since then I have been recovering a bit at a time, today being the first time I flew again.

While walking through the airport, I had a mini flash of life. In three months, I have come a long way. In my desire to be optimistic, I often slide past the hard stuff. This has been difficult. But now, I am through the worst. I am grateful.