Wednesday, April 13, 2022

on a new season for the beloved sparrow...

Friends, it has been a LONGGGG TIMEEEE since I have updated this little corner of the internet! I am happy to be back and to announce THE BELOVED SPARROW IS NOW A MARRIED WOMAN.Also, can we talk about how changing your name is a full-time job? Like, honestly? Goodness! 

I plan to share the whole day with you, but for now I just want to post a little something to say STAY TUNED, there will be lot's of fun things ahead here! I have been thinking through what I want this space to be and to become in this new stage of life, and I am SO excited for the creative dreams I have swirling around in my head!

Stick around, it's going to be good. 


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

on repentance and COVID-19...

Every Spring, I study through Exodus. It's a rhythm that the Lord and I have found, and it proves to be so good every year. This year, with Easter, Passover, and COVID-19 all coinciding, it seemed especially timely. 
"Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the LORD.’ ” 

- Exodus 6: 6 - 8 

The LORD will. There are seven "I will" statements in these three verses. He is declaring who He is and what He will do, despite the circumstances and doubt of His people. 

A few chapters before, He declares that He is the "I AM"; some scholars believe that this translates to "I will be to you all that I AM". And He proclaims that to the Israelites in this portion of Scripture. Right after this, in verse 9, the text tells us that the Israelite could not see past their "anguish of spirit and cruel bondage". And maybe that's where some of us are in this pandemic; we can't see God past the fear, the sickness, the pain, the bondage of being isolated. And I think that we need to repent. 

We must repent of our feelings of torture as idols and comforts are taken away from us. We must repent of the idle, unused time. We must repent of the shallow expectations that we have for the Almighty Jesus Christ in this season. We must repent of our displaced longings and desires. 

Many of us are asking, "How long, Oh LORD?" when instead maybe we should be asking "What do you require of us, Oh LORD?"

If a pandemic doesn't change our heart postures to repentance, shifting our focus, creating a desperation within us to seek Him above all things, then what will?

May we learn to not just seek Him, but be desperate for Him on behalf of ourselves and others during this time. He will be to us all that He says He will be; we can trust the Great I AM. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

on counseling, leaves, + roots...

"Counseling is like a leaf," he said.

"How does a leaf fall?"

I sat there, thinking about the leaf. A leaf falls quietly, follows the wind, loops around a bit, then eventually lands. It floats, with vague direction, until it reaches the ground.

"Exactly. And that's kind of what the goal of counseling is; you meet with someone a few times, they ask you questions, you loop around and mention a few things here and there, then you finally land. And Kristi... you just landed."

I am a huge advocate for counseling, for anyone and everyone. You don't need to have experienced trauma to necessitate counseling, you just need to have experienced life, and friends, we are all experiencing life. If you are breathing, you should be in counseling.

Unfortunately, I have experienced many a trauma in my life; I have been surrounded by much and it has influenced how I view God, people, myself. Alcoholism, broken relationships, abuse, addiction, generational sin... It's all apart of my story. My trauma is not my fault, but it is now my responsibility. These burdens that have been placed on me are now an opportunity to seek God. 

"The trauma in your life is NOT your fault, but it is now your responsibility..."

So I sit, every two weeks, with a man who pastors me, shepherds me, guides me, and leads me inward, outward, and upward. We talk about childhood, unhealthy tendencies, strengths, weaknesses, relationships, Jesus, healing, hurts, friendships, boundaries, fears. This man, these mornings spent with him, have come at a time when I so desperately have needed healing. I honestly don't even think I was aware of how bruised my heart had become over the past year. 
We are working on re-wiring, re-framing, re-imagining. Every two weeks, we talk through the topics that make me cringe, some of which I have no answer for, and maybe that's the whole point. I don't have all the answers, and that's totally okay. 

So as the leaves fall with the changing weather, so do the leaves of my heart. 
Slowly but surely, the leaves are falling, the tree will be bare, and the roots will be exposed. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

a coffee date...

If we were on a coffee date, we might end up having coffee at the beach because it is so hot and the only way I know how to solve this is by iced coffee, sandy toes, and ocean waves.

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you how your summer has been.  

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about how God is doing a huge work in my heart. I have been reading through Nehemiah, which is all about restoring, redeeming, rebuilding, which is what my heart has needed after the past six months. 

If we were on a coffee date, you might tell me that God is doing the same thing for you. Or maybe He feels distant. Or maybe, you don't really know what He is doing right now. And that's okay, too.

If we were on a coffee date, I would probably ask you if you have ever been to New York because I am planning a trip there in the Fall! One of my sweet high school girls was asked to join a ballet company out there and if that isn't God trying to tell me to go on vacation, then I don't know what is! I found round-trip tickets for $250 and I have started a Pinterest board of all the places I need to visit, the foods I need to eat, and the adventures I need to have. 

If we were on a coffee date, I would probably share a Strawberry Chocolate Chip Larabar with you, because they are AMAZING. They taste like a chocolate covered strawberry and would pair perfectly with our iced coffees.

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that I bought mascara because a woman I follow on Instagram told me to. And I love it. Find it here

If we were on a coffee date, we would talk about Phil Wickham's new album, "Living Hope". His song "Anthem" makes me weepy in the best ways.

If we were on a coffee date, I would probably need a second cup for the road. 

If we were on a coffee date, what would you share?

Friday, July 13, 2018

on the "liked" and the "liker"...

We all know them. Maybe we are them. The selfie girls. 

The ones who post photos of themselves with a smile and a Bible verse or a fun caption about summer or Netflix or tacos. The photos are well-angled, well-filtered, well-timed. Now, don't get me wrong, I absolutely love social media. I am Instagram and Twitter's best friends. I love being able to see the lives of friends in other countries, of being able to share the Gospel in a caption, and to have a place to remind myself of life highlights. BUT, yesterday, my social media scrolling hit an all time low. I definitely had a log versus speck moment (Matthew 7 for reference).

I scrolled through, and there it was, THE selfie. I sat there, looking at this girl and I instantly was filled with rage, comparison, jealousy. My heart became anxious and I started wondering if people liked her more than me, if I was less attractive than her, if she was going to get the boy, if I need to start posting selfies in order to remind people that I am here and I am beautiful. HELLO, LOOK AT ME AND LIKE ME. Sure, maybe girls (and boys too!) post things out of insecurity, wanting to be reminded that they are beautiful and loved, wanting an instant gratification of self, and maybe they don't. We can assume and judge and criticize all we want, but I realized something in that other girls' selfie... It revealed my insecurity. I don't need to post a photo of myself in order for the Enemy to make me question my worth, all I need to do is watch others post theirs. Friends, the Enemy is sneaky and manipulative, he turns beauty into something to be jealous of and simultaneously ashamed of; he has been doing it since The Garden.

"...I realized something in that other girls' selfie... It revealed my insecurity..."

One thing that I know to be true is that whether you are the "liked" or the "liker", social media can become a breeding ground for insecurity. We begin to question our beauty, our strength, our quality of life, our identity. If not put in it's proper place, social media can deteriorate the innate and inherent worth of our souls. No matter what side we are one, the "liked" or the "liker", we are all searching for affirmation. We are all asking the same questions... Am I beautiful? Am I enough? Am I worthy of attention? Am I liked?

Our identity is NOT measured by an app on our phone.
Our identity is NOT completed or found in a single good photo.
Our identity is NOT compromised when she looks better than we do.
Our identity is NOT measured by the amount of "likes" and "YOU CUTE" comments.

My identity, OUR identity, is found in Jesus Christ, the one whose image we bear. We are each made in such a way that reflects Christ's uniquely physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Instagram cannot fully express or affirm who we are in Christ. Whether you are the "liked" or the "liker", may you measure yourself ONLY by Jesus and His words about you, those are truly the only ones that matter.

How are you clinging to His words versus the affirmations of this world?
How are you reminding yourself of your worth in a world that seeks to tear it down?