Friday, March 31, 2006

I am from . . .

I am from pigtails that danced in dusty kick ball games
From rope-swinging summers with
brother Tarzan and sister Jane
From late nights in an underground playland
where the wooden pews loomed above like circus tents,
just waiting for daddy to unfold his arms and mommy to play that last note.
From “Great is Thy Faithfulness”

I am from pink lemonade in the summer,
leaf piles in the fall, snow skiing at daddy’s knees
and spring cleaning with mommy like a big girl.
From “Oh, forever more!” and a legacy of hymn singing women.
From men of character and consequence who loved from a distance
Until daddy came along and scooped us up into his heart.
From a Labrador pillow in a basement of Barbies and army men.

I am from middle school confusions with big hair, pegged pants,
coca cola shirts, mean boys, and girls who moved too fast.
From high school cafeterias with square pizzas, juices boxes, and stages full of dreams.
From coffee houses at 2am with homework we never did, kisses under apple blossom trees by the dorms, falling into his eyes like slipping off the diving board, and
Football field conversations under the stars and “You’re my favorite.”

I am from Christmas Eve proposals and growing up too fast
From an armful of daisies and ring full of promise.
From piles of bills, laundry and dishes that came like a car crash every day.
From lesson plans, pencils in my hair,
and dreams of changing the world every ninety five minutes.
From eighteen hours of labor, his hand in mine,
And an eight pound 13 ounce invitation to know who I really am.

I am from early morning prayers
and gold-tipped thin slices of leather bound wonder
I am from the life-giving breeze of threes
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
hope, peace, and joy
From His love, to me
to you.

"I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live." Psalm 146:2

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Women's World

"Do your best to live at peace with everyone (even women)." Romans 12:18 (added words mine)

Ok, I admit it. I am an idiot when it comes to the expectations of "Women's World" and am often reminded by my peers as to the depth of my ignorance.
Here are some rules I recently discovered:
1.) You can't ask someone what they want for a baby shower gift.
(Though I personally would not be offended if someone asked what I needed most for the baby. Isn't the point to bless them with what they need?)
2.) If you give a gift and do not get a thank you note, that is merrit for relinquishing the relationship.
(I thought the point of giving was to GIVE and not expect anything in return? What if they were busy? What if they need your time and patience instead of gifts full of expectations and rules?)
3.) Refusing to participate in a recipe exchange is rude, improper, and irresponsible. (What if I can't cook and don't have any special recipes? I know they evaluate the quality of the recipes anyway--for me, it's just a "recipe for failure.")
4.) Men are to be talked about daily as children who are beneath our scope of wisdom. (What if my husband is a lot smarter than me, an amazing man, and a much better person than I am?)
5.) Women who talk about their children too much have no life and warrant rolling eyes, smirks filled with inside jokes, and whispers in corners where the lookout can nudge if the subject gets too close. (My daughter is the coolest, cutest, most amazing kid in the world--who wouldn't want to talk about her? Who wouldn't give up and forget about the existence of regular trips to the gym, tanning bed visits, and friday nights on the town to watch her twirl around in her pretty dresses, tell me she loves me, and paint messy masterpieces?)

Lord, I pray for Your blessings on these women. They truly are wonderful women caught up in a world without knowledge of You and Your unconditional love. They are doing the best they can with their own set of life experiences. Perhaps they have a legacy of estrogen-pumping legalism passed down by their mothers. Thank you for my mother who refused to education me on the laws of "Women's World" and instead brought me to You--your freedom, your love. And Thank You for a husband who loves me as a woman even if I don't fit in to "Woman's world."

Friday, March 24, 2006

Baby Church

"Do you hear what these children are saying?" Jesus said, "Yes, I hear them. And haven't you read in God's Word, 'From the mouths of children and babies I'll furnish a place of praise'?" Matthew 21:16

We passed by a little country church this morning.
Sitting among cramped houses like two many children in a back seat.
My three year olds voice floated from her lonely car seat.
"Aw, Mommy, look a little church! Do babies go there?"
I laughed, picturing our large expansive building we attend twice a week.
"No, sweetie, that's just a church where a smaller group of people go.
But they love Jesus and learn about the bible just like us."
As I listened to her sing "Ah God is a awethumb God, He wanes fwom heaven babuv"
I smile at her wisdom. There are many times I feel like a baby in church.
Coming to be fed, cared for, drinking in the surroundings for clues to the world.
Thank you, Lord. For little country churches, big expansive buildings and any place where we can come to find You.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Stick to It

"Don't sit there watching the wind. Do your own work. Don't stare at the clouds. Get on with your life. Just as you'll never understand the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman, So you'll never understand the mystery at work in all that God does. Go to work in the morning and stick to it until evening without watching the clock. You never know from moment to moment how your work will turn out in the end. Before the years take their toll. Oh, how sweet the light of day, And how wonderful to live in the sunshine! Even if you live a long time, don't take a single day for granted."
Eccelsiastes 11:4-8a

Spring break is right around the corner
and the countdown begins
Lord, help me to stick to it
live right now right now
and glorify You in every precious moment.
I can still change lives and bring them closer to You-
even in the two weeks before spring break.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Table Talk

"Friends, don't complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner." James 5:9

"No more cosmetic Christianity – we’re not strapping the righteousness meters to our external behaviors anymore. We’re strapping those righteousness meters to our hearts. Jesus can make us righteous to the core - grace invaded core. " Rob Wegner

I got sucked in today Lord.
Sucked into the table talk.
I laughed at the jokes, agreed with the whining, and chimed in with the speculations.
Like Pavlov and his bell, the approval addict overruled the savior.
Lord, refresh my heart with You and your Holy Spirit.
Let me be offended again and quiet at the right moments.
not to be concerned with the details and the actions,
but with the heart.
It's Yours, lord, and I'm sorry I misused it today.
Forgive Me.
Make me righteous to the core--
a grace-invaded core.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Woof, woof, Oink, oink

"Don't give holy things to dogs, and don't throw your pearls before pigs. Pigs will only trample on them and dogs will turn and attack you." Matthew 7:6

I love how You just said these big things and left us guessing.
There's so much here--so timeless, vast, so universal.
Images and questions burst and dance
like popcorn when the heat is just right.
Jenny who gave her virginity away to early
Because her daddy left too soon.
Marshall who gave his future away to his "boys"
because they just needed some quick cash.
Heather who kept the baby as her new toy
as a couple's hopes crashed
like a freight train through an empty nursury.
Chris who gave up on school
because his teachers gave up on him.
Or were you just telling us to use our time wisely?
To invest our efforts in things that last?
or our money in things that pay off?
Was it a comment about frugality?
generosity? common sense?
Some might say
life is like a math problem, or even a puzzle.
There is only one right answer,
but there are many ways to get there.
I agree that You are the only answer
and there are many ways to get to You,
But, to be honest, I was bored in Math, Lord.
I got straight A's, but it just seemed too easy.
I'd prefer life as a poem, a vague ambiguity,
an endless chasm of wisdom unchartered.
But that's why I love You so much--You're both.
A simple answer and a never-ending chase
Where art and science combine
male and female complement
and especially
when God became man.
Thank you Lord,
for the gift of mystery
and the comfort of absolutes.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Just Call Triple A

"Be careful! When you do good things, don't do them in front of people to be seen by them. If you do that, you will have no reward from your father in heaven . . . When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites. They love to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners and pray so people will hear them . . . your giving should be done in secret. Your father can see what is done in secret, and he will reward you." Matthew 6: 1a, 5a, and 4

"Those who suffer from the 'Disease to Please' . . . feel the uncontrollable need for the elusive approval of others like an addictive pull." Dr. Harriet B. Braiker

My name is Kristin Baker, and I am an approval addict . . .
As a child, I thrived on attention,
living my life for the next fix
which was somewhere between
"Aww . . . she's adorable!"
"She's only how old?"
As a teenager, I played the comparison game
when B's were failures
perfection was just another pound away
and theatre was relief
because I got to be anyone but myself
even just for a moment.
For there was always a curtain call . . .
But if Shakespeare was right and
"all the world's a stage",
then who will applaud?
The pattern monster is alive and kicking,
But You are stronger, Lord.
Help me to live for an audience of One,
For the applause comes only after the entire play is finished.
but with You, the end is only the beginning . . .

"Welcome to Approval Addicts Anonymous"
I've been sober for, uh, two minutes . . .
is that good?

Friday, March 03, 2006

Salt Shaker

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage." Matthew 5:13 (Msg)


At home, at work, everywhere I go,
may I be a salt shaker.
Making people thirst for You,
Like eating oreos with no milk
Spicing things up so people wake up from a life without purpose,
like an alarm with no snooze button.
Preserving the truth of Your word in the midst of moral decay
Like beef jerky on Survivor, but I brought enough to share. : )
Enhancing the flavor of You in this world,
like when I bring out the best in my husband, my students, my little girl.
Lord, at home, at work, everywhere I go,
may I be a salt shaker for You.
(Chicka- Chicka)