Saturday, August 25, 2007


When I was little I loved playing house with my Cabbage Patch Dolls (Shout out to my favorites: Lyle..a red headed bathtime baby, Xena...a premature, bald headed baby, and Sheldon... an African American baby that I dressed in a tuxedo). That is the beginning and ending of the typical girl-y things I partook in as a child. I refused to put on a dress till I was in 5th grade, I asked for race cars for Christmas, and I loved going hunting with my dad.

On weekend hunting trips with my father I would sit up in the deer blinds for hours looking for deer (or as my dad initmately titled them, "The Infamous Whitetail Buck"). My job was to silently indicate that I spotted a deer by gently nudging or gesturing. Then Dad would quietly lift up his rifle, aim, and hopefully kill the deer (if you're grossed out, keep reading...I promise there is a point). When he succeeded in hitting his target, we would load up in his truck, drive to where the animal fell, and haul it back to camp. From there the deer had to have it's flesh and insides removed, and I have many vivid memories of watching deer be gutted and skinned. To skin the deer my dad would hang it by it's hind legs, and remove it's skin until all that remained was raw meat.

**Allow me to pause for a moment to enter a disclaimer: 1) I now know that this is something I am supposed to be disgusted by, and 2) this is not something that most girls partook in as children. However, it seemed normal before I was issued my Dallas-ite card. Please continue...**

My prayer tonight was that the Lord would strip me of all my selfish control, ideas, plans, pride, etc. The word raw kept coming to mind. So, I prayed that God would strip away all of my flesh until I was left completely raw. As I prayed, God illustrated it with memories of hunting with Dad. I could once again see the animal hanging helplessly, stripped of all of it's outer skin until only rawness remained.

After this hunting entry 90% of you will never read my blog again, but before you log off recall what Romans 6:6-8 says,

" We know that our old self was crucifed with him in ordert hat the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him."

So if you are in Christ, dying to yourself and asking him to strip you of your flesh is actually a beautiful thing. Obviously death to our fleshly desires doesn't come easy or feel natural, but be encouraged that we are promised to LIVE WITH HIM (v.8). For me to attempt to capture that hope of life with Him in words wouldn't do it justice, so just allow the promise to sink in, resonate with your soul, and produce worship.

FYI: If you think that I am inhuman for hunting or have a crazy belief that animals will go to Heaven , you'll be happy to know that I no longer consider hunting a hobby. However, thank God my dad still does so that we can forever enjoy the delicious meals his cruelty produces :).

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Room

She closes the door behind her forcefully in hopes that the shadows of the day will disappear and the sounds of the world will remain trapped on the outside. She instantly feels at comfortable, but somehow knows instictively this is not her home. However, the solitude of the environment seduce her to stay. She breathes in the air and then releases slowly. The process repeats until life's monotonous repetition fades into a memory and she can once again feel her own skin. She cautiously opens her eyes and realizes this is not a dream, she is finally alone with herself. Her eyes wander around the room to drink in the surroundings; the room is ornately beautiful, plush, and comfortable. A small voice whispers, "leave", and for a long moment she glances at the door contemplating exiting the utopia she stumbled upon, but a more charming voice woos her to stay and assures her safety. She again forces herself to relax until and longs to be numbed from the pressures from the world.

The girl walks to the center of the room and twirls as if she were a small child in a dance recital. She does this again and again until she collapses and she is laughing uncontrollably. When the room stops spinning, she notices a small wine refrigerator in the corner of the room. She walks over to pour herself an expensive glass of chardonnay. She drinks the wine quickly and immediately feels it's effects. Her eyes close, and the small voice returns saying, "leave", but again ignores the voice and pours a second glass of wine. She settles into the plush couch with a magazine, and for the first time in years is please with herself and feels lucky to have found such an exquisite place of escape. As she buries herself further into the couch she catches a glimpse of her reflection in the mirror across the room. She stares at herself for a long time until a subtle smirk creeps across her face. She returns to the magazine, but finds that she drawn to her own reflection. Her eyes return to the mirror and she finds the image staring back completely captivating. She walked towards the mirror inching closer and closer to the girl staring back at her. She stares...hours pass. The girl likes what she sees as she studies her own reflection inch by inch. Her mind is entirely consumed and she loves it. She turns back toward the couch to find a mirror in it's place. She tries to look past her reflection, but cannot see anything beyond herself. Feeling a buzz of confusion, she looks to the right and again is met with her own reflection peering back at her. Very slowly she turns her head to the left and finds her eyes gazing once again on herself. The girl panics and runs to the door that she entered the room through. The door is mirrored and she fights against herself to get the door open. Tears sting the corners of her eyes and slowly fall down her cheek. Sobs exit her throat and she collapses on the floor. She's been here before and never intended to return. The door unlocks and opens. Jesus picks her up and carries her away from her reflection.

A few months as I was overwhelmed with myself and repenting for the amount of times I thought of myself before everyone else, while I was praying God gave me a picture of me in a room filled with mirrors. He communicated to me that often I enter this room and am selfishly consumed with my own reflection. Obviously this is not just my physical reflection, but symbolic for how much I considered my own needs and preferences before other people, the gospel, and God. I hated the picture of this because it was lonely, selfish, and prideful. I literally could not see beyond myself and it was frightening. Praise Jesus, he doesn't leave us alone with ourselves or our own reflection. He will enter that room and carry us away. He is graceful and merciful. For me, I prayed he would shatter the mirrors so that I could see beyond myself and gain an eternal perspective. At times my flesh longs to escape into a serene environment like I described in the story above. There have been moments that selfishness wins and I am again in that room surrounded with my own reflection. However, I am never satisfied when all I can see is myself, so I find myself again begging God to shatter the mirrors. God is faithful to come quickly to my rescue and forgive. Instead of being captivated by my flesh and the image I see in the mirror, my prayer is that I worship the Living God that created me for His glory. I want to be found at Jesus' feet peering up at His face.

Monday, August 13, 2007

School days are here again

Though I made big promises of consistently blogging to rediscover my passion for writing, it hasn't happened nearly as much as I thought. Thursday I start working full-time again. So, before I am off to the real world again, I thought I would add a few pictures from the summer months.

The summer began with a trip to Chicago with my sister. One of my best friends from high school lives there, and so we thought it would be a perfect "sister-only" trip. Though are destination was Chicago, we found ourselves in Las Vegas for a few hours due to our flight being canceled to Chicago. Through a few fortunate events we ended up at The Venetian for the night...COMPLETELY FREE!! Here are a few pics of the room.

Though Vegas was an adventure, we were eager to get to our destination. The trip was filled with fun, shopping, sightseeing, eating amzing food, tatoos, and on and on.

While we were sitting in the airport waiting for our flight back to Dallas, we received news that our uncle had passed away. Though it wasn't a fun reason to spend the next week at home with mom and dad, it was good to see family. Here are a few pics of my niece at Cita and Papa's house (that is what their "grandparent" names are :).

The following weekend was a gift from my good friend, Lindsey. She bought us tickets for the John Mayer concert for an early birthday present for me. Love me some good John Mayer! Thanks, Linds.

Oh, these last pics prove how we really are grandmas.

July was just as busy and fun. I spent a lot of time working for de CLARKE ( and doing private therapy. At the end of the month, Summer and I escaped to Memphis to see Dawnie!!! I will spare all the pics since Summer stole the pics I took and put them on her blog :).

Somewhere in there Bex and I had time to crash Josh Patterson's pedicure!

Haiti Now was a big event put on by some of our good friends. God is doing major work in Haiti ( and we all were able to witness the documentary they produced. Later in August a group of 20 will go to Haiti to be used by the Lord. Pray for them. Here are the 6 of us that piled in a VW bug.

In August I was asked go to Southern California for the Connecting Ministry. I wrestled with God a lot on that decision, but finally decided that if someone had to go to San Diego and Los Angeles, I would be the one to go! So, at the beginning of August I boarded the plane with Sara Duran and Shanah Brown and then met up with two girls from Austin Stone Church and Watermark Community Church. I was the driver through out the trip, and I drove 6 people all through roads I've never been on in this car.

I realize I don't use my camera enough to capture all the amazing things God allows me be apart of. For instance, Wednesday afternoons were reserved for dates with my niece. We ate Bahama Bucks, went to the pet store, and spent time in the pool. My favorite thing about the summer is that time with God could actually extend past 45 minutes in the morning since I didn't have to rush off to work, and if I decided to spend the day in shorts and a t-shirt I could!! However, we all know that there is a time for everything, and it is now time for me to go back to work. I am thrilled about driving 6 minutes to work and acutally living and working in the same community. Updates on here will still be a priority, especially if it is my pass to read all of your blogs!!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The things you've been dying to know about Kristen...NOW REVEALED

The Rules:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules. (**if you’re a non-blogger, you can email them!)
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

My Random Facts:

1) I tore both ACL's (a ligament in your knee) playing basketball. One my sophomore year and one my junior year. The thing is, I was never really that good. I played on 2nd string varsity in basketball, but I should have stuck with track. I was much stronger in that. My best mile time was 5:53. I would die running a mile that fast now.

2) I prefer "strong" drinks. I like americanos, black coffee, cabernet, and dark beer (been known to have a Guiness every now and then). I love to eat sugar and sweet things, but when it comes to drinks I like it bitter! According to Lindsey Brittain...I look like a girl, but I drink beer like a guy. hmmmm

3) I keep a life's to-do list with things such as having a book published, riding in a hot air balloon, go to the Oprah show etc. (those things have not been accomplished). Some of the things accomplished already are: Getting my masters degree, running a marathon, going overseas on missions, etc.

4) I pluck my eyebrows at stoplights.

5) My nickname in high school was Link. Several of the guys my freshman year teased me for not shaving and having a big chin, eventually they determined I was the missing Link of evolution. It stuck for about 2 years. My youth minister still calls me that.

6) I have ridden a mechanical bull...twice.

7) I want to adopt a child from Africa even if I never get married.

8) I was obsessed with my sorority in college. I was the community service chairman my sophomore year, vice president my junior year, and president my senior year. Rules of ZTA, never walk and smoke, it's tacky. Your cig should be like an accessory, sit down and smoke with your legs crossed. PR is important. Give your shirts to cute boys to wear around campus. If you don't make your grades, you can't party with us on the weekends. Study hard, play hard. Personality always should come out, fake it if your not feeling it. You can be known by all the bouncers and bartenders in town, but you may NEVER dance on top of a bar or steal a sister's boyfriend. Crowns, strawberries and bunnies for life....Go ZTA!!

The people tagged are Kent, Lindsey Brittain, and...????? I don't know that many people that blog that haven't already been tagged. Oh wait, Kendall Vinson says she sneaks on every now and then, so start your own Kendall!! Sara Duran, I believe you do too, so get to writing!!