Pleasure in the Process

I often get inspiration from other people – whether it comes from a conversation, a book I’ve read, a podcast I’ve listened to, a video I’ve seen, a sermon I’ve heard, or a song that strikes a chord with me and I feel so touched that I have to write about what it means to me.  I come up with plenty of original and creative thoughts, but I’m so grateful for the ideas that come to me because of someone else’s touch on my life, and most of the time I don’t even know these people.  For instance, Sara Groves will write a song like Hello Lord, or Going Home and I’ll be so undone by the words and wonder how she got into my head and heart, lived my life and knew exactly how I felt!  Those words she wrote are MY exact same thoughts….I just didn’t know how to put them together in that way.

Today’s blog is inspired by an interview I saw recently by a young singer named Steffany Gretzinger who spoke about her inspiration for a new album she had recorded.  It was an amazing interview and hit right at the heart of where I believe I am in life.  The interview was about our “undoing“.  That’s where I am these days….in the process of being undone.  Undone of me, myself and I.  It doesn’t happen all at once simply because I like to hold on to all three of those very important people….at least in my own mind they’re pretty important.  There’s “me” again. Ugh.  How does “me” walk hand in hand with grace?  That, too, is part of the undoing.

You may have heard me say that this life of mine is a journey….a process.  Part of that journey is God’s process of undoing us until we are one day reunited with the One who created us – when all the scales have fallen off, the cords and knots wrapping us up have come untangled, and we are undone of ourselves.  Undone of our selfishness.  Undone of our brokenness. Undone of me, myself and I.  Undone of anything that gets in the way putting others first and glorifying the One who created me.  I assumed that would come at the end of my life but Steffany helped me realized that it’s an ongoing un-doneness – it doesn’t just happen when you come sliding in cleats up in the Promise Land.

Learning grace is part of my undoing.  I’ve learned that life lived is an undoing and life lived has seasons.  There will be seasons of brokenness, seasons of joy, seasons of despair, seasons of growth, seasons of being misunderstood, seasons of pleasure, seasons of transformation, and seasons of truth.  And during each season it will hurt when the BandAid peels away those ugly ME scabs with the undoing.  OUCH.  But God will lead us through this sometimes painful process of getting rid of all the things that constipate our life, and when we walk out the other side we will be rid of the ugliness that holds us back from great relationships and being great people, serving and blessing those around us.

Be patient with me – the stuff in this life that trips me up is just temporary.  The flaws you see in me will one day be undone…some sooner than others depending on how “me-ish” I am on a particular day.  At first the unraveling is hidden, but as God goes about the business of working all the kinks out gracefully and I’m being gently unwound all those temporary things will disappear and the eternal things that were born to be most apparent to others will be the only thing left in me after the undoing.

So there you have it.  I’m in the process of being unwound and undone.  If you see me spinning like a top and ugly things flying off – duck and get out of the way….and then throw your arms around me and whisper in my ear “there’s beauty in the process, Kris“.  And just that idea brings me great pleasure for the process that I’m in.  And thanks Steffany for showing me that the Promise Land is found IN the process…not at the end of it.



Worship in Relationship

I sat down with a girlfriend the other day and we talked about our husbands.  Girlfriends do that, you know.  Sorry guys….but we use one another as sounding boards and function as encouragers as we walk through life together.  But if those of us who are married are honest and are keeping our marriages “best” in mind, we endeavor not to badmouth or bash our husbands but rather ask one another the hard questions, and help one another walk through the difficulties that we face as women and wives.

As I processed our time together, once again, I was reminded of what a great example she was to me in how she processes and maneuvers through difficulties in her marriage.   She’s kind of my hero because she almost always shows grace and kindness to her sweet husband, and when Salsa guy and I have differing views on things I tend to be much more “no nonsense”….perhaps critical and impatient with him.  I so often perceive weakness, flaw and childishness and then get weary and just want to drop-kick him through the goal posts.  HA.  Now that’s a Godly I Corinthians 13 woman for ya!  NOT.   

This particular meeting I was supposed to be functioning as the encourager to her, as she needed a sounding board to process what she was going through.  I don’t know that I helped her much other than to listen, but God sure used her to minister to me.  And isn’t it just like God and His grace to use people when they are struggling and at their weakest to help others?  Because of my friend’s Godly example I walked away with a new conviction to love Salsa Guy less selfishly, and then as I prayed about it God gave me a very clear message that I am to view the act of loving and caring for him as just another act of worshiping the Father.  And isn’t marriage really just another act of worship? Honoring God by our behavior and submitting to His will rather than our own.  HA!….what a concept.  When I view it that way…it’s less about Salsa Guy and more about God…and I think that is going to help me walk through any difficulties better in the future.  It only took 34 years to come up with that one.

It makes me sad that my selfishness often gets in the way of wanting to do the right thing and react in the right way with the person I love most.  But the picture God gave me – showing me that love and patience to the most important person in my life when it is the hardest is the same as sitting in church, raising my hands to the Heavens and singing songs, or listening to a preachers sermon…now that’s revolutionary!  (I’m pretty sure God’s looking down and saying “Big giant duh!”)  I think it will be so much easier to swallow my pride and let down my defenses and show him unconditional love and grace when I view it that way.

It’s interesting…..when I finally figured out that life wasn’t all about me I began to see how flawed I was, in ways that I can’t even begin to imagine.  But I am so grateful that God reveals my flaws and sin to me slowly in small portions.  I continually ask Him to heal my brokenness, and lucky you….now that you’re reading this….you get to watch and see that played out.  I am just so passionately pursuing grace with all my heart in the hopes that I can learn to show it to others….but it’s always hardest at home.  So whether you’re a husband or a wife….keep at it.  Keep pursuing worship in your marriage.  Keep pursuing grace.  And thanks to my sweet friend for being the example.

And I’ll keep praying for our husbands…because even if I may not feel like he is at a particular moment, that Salsa Guy of mine…. he is a gift to me and precious.



Starting a post with a title like that is sure to gain some readers and generate interest, but I promise – this is NOT a post about something that you might find unexpectedly floating in your pool on a warm summer evening. Eeewwwww. No, but I promise you’ll find that this topic eventually winds itself back around to grace.

My sweet mom looked and acted younger than her years, and I made a vow after caring for her in the later years of her life that I would do everything I could in my power to age gracefully like she did.  There’s the G-word again…. grace.  My mom used to say “getting old ain’t for sissies“….a paraphrase from something Art Linkletter once said.  If you don’t know who Art Linkletter is then you probably don’t need to be worrying about aging gracefully, but I’m beginning to understand what she meant.

There’s a phrase I keep bumping into a lot lately that is making my life very uncomfortable, and makes me feel more and more like a sissy.  It’s used most often at medical appointments and usually in the context of describing why something in or on my body is deteriorating or breaking down.  It’s the phrase “as we age“.  It all started when I walked through the golden gates of menopause and began to seek out bio-identical treatments and the wonders of hormonal imbalance were described for me with the opening statement… as we age our bodies stop producing…..well, you get the picture.

Then again, a few years ago when I thought I was going blind.  A big ol’ blur appeared right smack in the middle of my right eye, and I high-tailed it to the ophthalmologist.  This blur appeared out of nowhere when I was driving one day, and then it was gone the next. Was I going crazy? One minute I was asking myself how my vision could have changed so dramatically in such a short time, and then the next I was asking myself if I was just seeing things.  I was wiping spots that weren’t there off of my progressive lenses (progressive is the new hip word for trifocal’s…again, something you get to experience as we age!) and I wasn’t sure if I should be seeing an ophthalmologist or a crazy doctor.

My ophthalmologist is a brainiac, and probably reads the Ophthalmology Quarterly in his spare time, but he did give me good news.  At least I think it’s good news – the news was that I wasn’t crazy.  The bad news was that I suffer from a condition that is pretty common in middle-aged women called floaters.  It always sounds so much more dramatic as we age if you say “suffers from a condition”, doesn’t it?

He explained that floaters in your eyes are basically gel-like thingamabobs called vitreous humor (I find nothing humorous about them) and as we age they thin, detach, and form fibers and float around willy-nilly wherever they darn well please on the surface of your eye.  They’re kind of like ostriches…they have no apparent reason for being here and no purpose other than to cause people to wonder why God invented them.

In trying to keep the moment light-hearted I said to him, “so what you’re saying is that I basically have a big booger floating around on my eye?” The man had no sense of humor (which I find is an imperative quality needed as we age) nor was he amused.  He did inform me that my floater was a bit artistic and beautifully shaped; more wispy than others he had seen and it swirled down and then back up with a trailing tail. How nice. At least I can rest in the knowledge that my floater is a work of art.

Well, I assumed that we could do away with this masterpiece in my eye or auction it off to the highest bidding art collector.  You know….zap it with some cool laser thing or slice it off with an Exacto knife and then list it on Craigslist or something?  No such luck.   Surgery on eye floaters risks the detachment of the retina later on….(wait for it)…as we age…so it’s best to just live with it.

On the up side, the artsy ophthalmologist explained to me that the brain does a really remarkable thing with floaters.  Eventually your brain gets tired of watching the floaters drifting about with nothing important to do all day while it has to work hard, day after day, so it eventually refuses to mentally recognize them or record that they’re there, and you tend not to notice them anymore.  Kind of like accepting the flaw and refusing to make a big deal about it.  My brain apparently isn’t that smart, because that still hasn’t happened to me.

Here’s my thought on floaters and grace.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we all could do that same thing with people? I mean, when we see something in a person that messes with our idea of what ideal is, if only we had the ability to tell ourselves that it’s not all that important to get our panties all tied up in a bunch about, and simply refuse to make them (alias a “floater” in our world) such a big deal.  I know you can’t do that all the time, but in some cases it might just be life changing and save a lot of marriages and friendships.

That would be giving someone something they don’t deserve, right?  Hmmm…that would be the same as grace.  Can we live in a world that does that?  Can we love a God who does that?  He did it for me, so how can I not do it for the person in the cubicle next to me?  Different doesn’t always mean bad.  I say we try to find the good in others around us.  Heck, I mean my floater is tickin’ me off, but hey, at least its artsy!

As a final blow in this aging chapter –  I went to the chiropractor yesterday with various complaints and Dr. Chris (who is barely older than my kids) starts to tell me that when the weather is muggier and the air conditioner is blowing, or the ceiling fan is running all night,…..STOP!  I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO SAY!!!!……yep…he said it…..”as we age our bones are more brittle and susceptible to shifting and aching.”  Sigh.  You’re killing me, doc!   I really wanted to slap the young pup, but since he’s such an awesome chiropractor I decided instead to extend him grace.

Sigh.  I’m still a sissy, but I’m working on it, Mom.