What’s Old is New

It’s been one baby more.

It’s been two years since the last post.

It’s been three years since we became a part of the homeless Church.

It’s been a new house, new jobs, new growth.

It’s been (what feels) a lifetime of change.

I am #2599

I am #2599.

I am a mother of two daughters.

I am a woman and a wife.

I am a daughter and a sister.

I am an aunt and a niece.

I am a grand daughter and a daughter-in-law.

I am adopted.

I am a sister-in-law, a mentor, a friend, a cousin, an ex-girlfriend, a woman of color.

I am a woman saved by Grace.

I am a bad poet, a jaded idealist, an adventurer, a writer, a musician, a dreamer, a baker, a cook, an artist, a reader, a lover of fashion, a crusader, a supervisor, a change maker, a change yearner, a decorator, a believer of prayer, a searching soul.

I am passionate, loud, stubborn, sensitive, brash, compassionate, competitive, loving, annoying, zealous, animated, joy-seeking, inquisitive, independent, dependent, pessimistic with a twist of sunshine, goal-oriented, achieving, path making, privileged, and humbled daily.

And yet it feels that the church only focuses on one thing.

My vagina.

I am so much more than my lady parts. My vagina. My uterus. My birth control. My reproductive rights. My fertility. My pregnancies. My miscarriage. My sexual history. My purity. My impurity. My female-ness. 

Christ knows I am more.

He knows women are more.

I am a daughter of His.

I am a follower.

I am a player in humanity.

And because of this,

I am #2599.

NOTE: I am stealing and reposting Rachel Held Evans’ comment policy concerning the positional content of this post. It reads as follows: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are constantly negative or a general ass, troll, or hater, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us.

Pondering an anniversary

2 Loves

2 Loves…how I miss those chubby chins.

My Facebook feed was blown up yesterday due to a 40th anniversary. I read an article from Eugene Cho: To whom it may concern: Imagine the possibilities. Imagine the life that could be lived out. because of it. I’ve read many articles about it, on it, the whys and why nots for and against it. And I have to be honest with you.

I’m a fence rider.

Not because I don’t believe in the sanctity of life. Not because I don’t believe women shouldn’t have a right to determine what happens to their bodies. Not because I don’t believe that God intended humanity to be filled with beauty and life. Not because I believe that church and state are mostly and should be separated.

Not because I am sinful…or maybe because I am.

But truthfully, where is the argument or at least the point, when at the end of the day both sides are hurting? Woman, baby, families, broken in two by the loss of love? The loss of compassion? The loss of grace?

I’ve been reading a book that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas, Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. It’s focus on grace, on thanksgiving…I think is a genius answer to the hatred and pain that is felt throughout this argument. It’s exploration of the basis of sin and evil in the world being rooted in our ungrateful hearts, in a lack of thanksgiving. Through these reflections on faith and practice she connects the pieces together a little bit more for me on my own beliefs. Grace. What is grace?

I’m not looking for a debate or a fight or really anything, mostly I’m just shifting through my thoughts. I realize this won’t make sense to some and maybe will to others. As a mother, as a daughter, as an adoptee who doesn’t know her birth parents, as a child of God, and more simply as a player in humanity…I don’t dare to profess I have all the answers. I long for the goodness, the gratefulness that we once had as perfectly created and perfectly seeing, and in that longing I attempt to make a life and a belief that emulates what could have been. What is if we humble ourselves to embrace grace.

Pinteresting

Have you heard of Pinterest? I might be a bit addicted. Not in the, “spend-millions-of-hours-pouring-over-crafts-recipes-expensive-things-I-cannot-afford-home-improvement-kind” (although that may be false) but rather in the “expand-my-horizons-and-keep-my-diligently-xbox-playing-studying-husband-company-kind.” Can you see the difference? No? Never mind then.

I’m addicted to trying new things lately. Maybe it’s my “next step” in the grief process or maybe it’s because I’m simply feeling antsy, ready for something new. I can’t be the only one that gets that wanderlust feeling? Unfortunately and fortunately, I don’t have the resources for such large adventures so I’m content to keep my changes small and continuous for the time being. Enter Pinterest! So many little and new changes that I can implement in my cooking/baking repertoire and on my kids and in my house! Okay, I totally lied about being that kind of pinterester.

Any way. I wanted to share with you a few of my recent successes and also failures from my adventures. I’ll try and get better at documenting said projects but until then, I’ll just “repin” from my arranged boards and  (<= insert lots of Pinterest jargon that no one really cares about). In fact, I’m digging this change and new adventures thing so much that “Pinteresting” is going to become a regular (by that I mean once a month–I do still have somewhat of a life) feature at Kimchi Sauerkraut.

THUS, here are my top 5 Pin Wins of late October/early November:

I used a vinegar/baking soda method to get the weird funk out of my bath towels and so far, so good.

Okay, so I’m combining the two cleaning pins as one since they’re about deep-cleaning appliances. And this one totally took the stench of standing water away from mine. If you want deets, leave a comment and I’ll fill you in.

And my top 5 Pin Fails:

ANNND, next up for me and the girlies’ breakfast tomorrow:

This concludes the Oct/early November Pinteresting round up…for the time being. I’m looking forward to sharing more of my “Pin Wins” and “Pin Fails” on upcoming installments of Pinteresting. Let me know if there’s something in particular that you found through Pinterest that you think I should try or would make my life easier (isn’t that the lie intrigue that it sells us?).

Day Twenty-Eight: Someone That Changed Your Life

Since the blog has been an homage to daughters and husband as of late, I’ve decided to pick a different character that has heavily influenced (read =changed) my life.

This comes up again and again but I truly don’t see that changing anytime soon (or ever).
I would choose four people as one unit that cohesively, and regardless of each other, shaped my life dramatically.
My birth mother.
My birth father.
My Dad.
My Mom.

I don’t really feel like getting into it right now. I feel like there’s more than I could ever say. Maybe someday I’ll expand more.

What I know now about parenthood–motherhood–is that I cannot fathom the decisions that were made and how they came about. And yet, I am so grateful that it has turned out the way it did.

I have three beautiful reasons for that, among a million other blessings.

Day Eighteen: The Person You Wish You Could Be

Life by the Spirit

“(13) You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. (14) For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (15) If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 


“(16) So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (17) For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. (18) But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 

“(19) The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; (20) idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions (21) and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 

“(22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (24) Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (25) Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (26) Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
NIV, Galations 5: 13-26

Day Two: Your Vices


My vices. Hm….

Well this pregnancy has certainly brought on a sweet tooth like no other…but then again, I’ve always loved sweet. Now I just have (or feel) a better excuse to indulge it more often than not.
Procrastination probably merits high on the list as well. Because um, well, I’ll tell you later.
Rumination and the need for control are probably the biggest, realest and most debilitating vices in my life. Thankfully they rarely ever get to the point of stopping the ongoings of the day to day, but they certainly don’t make it any simpler. I think it’s a personality thing–I’m moody–I’ll admit it and artsy (I’ve been told that these tend to go hand in hand) and a bit impulsive. I’m learning to trim and tame these aspects of my personality. And that’s certainly not to discredit the fact that I view them as gifts (well, maybe not the moodiness). God gave me this personality for a reason and I intend to use it to live a fulfilling and purposeful life.
I’m learning. If anything, that’ll probably be a theme throughout this 30 day challenge. Learning to let go.

A New Child

RELAX.

We promise we’re not pregnant.
Nope. Nada. Nil.
Definitely.Not.In.Any.Way.
(Knock on wood.)

What we mean by “a new child” is that we have decided to sponsor another child through Compassion International. We already have a little girl whose name is Dayana. She is almost eight years old and lives in Ecuador with her family. She likes to play with her dolls, go for bike rides, run around and play games with her friends. We were given the opportunity to sponsor her two and a half years ago and have enjoyed corresponding and getting to know her since. What prompted our hearts to re-evaluate our financial situation and to make this decision was after attending our Pastor’s presentation on his Compassion International visit to his family’s sponsored child in Ethiopia. While we had already been considering it for some time, this was the final tug on our hearts and we knew that we couldn’t put it off any longer.

No, we are not rich by any means. Yes, we do get more support from our family than we probably deserve and we are blessed everyday by their generosity and love. But, with that said, we also are not so poor that we cannot share. C.S. Lewis once said “Nothing that you have not given away will truly be yours.” This applies to so many things in life, friendship, love, respect…and certainly it does not seclude whatever monetary wealth we may have. Christ called us to love one another, to reach out to the poor and to love the unlovable in whatever way we could. For those of us blessed to be living in such a country of luxury (whatever your thoughts on recession might be), there are always a few things that can be forgone.

For us it’s cutting back on entertainment (eating out once costs just as much as our support a month for Dayana; thus not eating out twice in one month will pay for two children to receive adequate food, education and love). It’s something easy for us to cut back on, we like to cook and ultimately believe that by establishing a routine of cooking in and dining together, we will build a strong family.

There are so many things that we do not need but seem to “have to have.” “It’s the greatest poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish,” lamented Mother Teresa. And nothing could be more true.

This is not a post to brag about how “righteous” and “selfless” we are. It’s not to guilt anyone into sponsoring a child, that is a personal decision one that we hope would be made with thorough deliberation and deep commitment. This isn’t a paid for plug for Compassion International (it’s entirely free). What it is is just a reflection of how God is working in our lives.

Thus, without further ado…our new child is five-year-old Jose, also from Ecuador. We will be receiving a packet in the mail sometime in the near future containing more information about him and we are eager to get to know him in the same manner as Dayana.

“When a person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.”
Mother Teresa

 

Ada’s Dedication and Such

Last Sunday we not only celebrated Katie’s first Mother’s Day but also Ada’s dedication at church. We really enjoyed spending time with our family and friends that day and also appreciated the support that was shown by them being there. There is nothing that we want more than to raise Ada in a secure, loving home lead by deep faith. We want to raise her to know that she can make her own decisions and choose her own path, but ultimately we will always pray that she will choose the one that is specifically laid out for her by God. And we are thankful everyday that both of us were blessed to be raised in atmospheres that allowed us to become who we are and to develop the kind of faith that we prescribe to.

One Down, One More to Go.

So today marks Dylan’s last finals…not necessarily for forever but for a good, long while. We are excited for this chapter in our lives to begin coming to a close (Katie still hasn’t finished–it’s not a race you know) but are anxious for what the future holds. Where will we be in a year seems to be the ever looming question. Yet, we know that God’s created a perfect plan and we’ll do our best to follow along.

“Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there…The LORD had said to Abram,

“Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”

So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.”
Genesis 11:31, 12:1-4

This passage has been comforting and inspiring as we look for jobs, build our family and seek God’s will in our lives. In chapter 11, verse 31, Abram’s initial goal was to make it to Caanan, but instead they settled in Haran. He built his life there with his wife and family. They were settled and comfortable, they were happy. And yet when God called Abram to leave for his original destination, the place where God intended for him, he didn’t question. He just went. Abram knew that even though he had become settled with his family, that it was just a transitory period; one in which he would eventually have to leave. It definitely wasn’t easy but Abram trusted God and that He would not only take care of him and his family, but that life could not be lived to its potential if it weren’t Father-lead and God blessed.

It is our goal to be like Abram in this regard. We love our family and our friends (we hope that’s obvious) and we are comfortable where we are. But when the time comes that God chooses to open the door for the next chapter in our lives, we pray that we’re ready and that we will choose to be blessed by following.