Thursday, May 16, 2013

Extreme Home Make-over Karina Edition - The Reveal!

I thought we were done tearing down all the walls. I was grossly, vastly, immensely, and hugely mistaken! Almost exactly 2 years ago, I made my last post on this blog before taking a hiatus. When I left, we were facing some really difficult family situations and my Bulldozer saw in me an addiction to the internet in general that was keeping me from being present with my kids and husband. As the Lord would have it, it was in putting away my computer that was the catalyst for figuring out one of the deepest roots (deeper still than the one previously discovered) of some of my behaviors that were destroying my family! This time, it really was the final bull-dozing that leveled me completely. And then began the reconstruction! OH! What amazing things God has done in me in the last 2 years! Complete healing in many respects, and continued healing in many others. He has taught me how to stand through persecution with strength and trust. He has taught me the meaning of forgiveness and helped me come to true forgiveness of one to whom it makes no earthly sense to forgive. He has given me deeply spiritual friendships that I have longed for for years, friends with whom I can be real and discuss my deepest spiritual thoughts without feeling weird. He has brought me out of a vast desert and into an abundant oasis of spiritual growth and maturity. He has deepened my understanding of and love for Him to depths I could never have imagined possible! And so many other countless, fathomless, indescribable things!! And NOW, I am on my way to getting a seminary education!! I have no idea where God will take me on this journey, but I trust Him completely to make it more than worth everything I put into it! Photobucket

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Extreme Home Makeover - Karina Edition

Part 2- Tearing Down the Walls.

I've shared before (this post) that I'm a perfectionist. In addition to that I struggle with feelings of inadequacy. I have a drive to do things perfectly, and yet I know that I can never live up to my own standard of perfection, much less anyone else's. It's part of the dichotomy of me that makes me ineffective. There is also a sense in which this need to control and make things perfect has contributed to the situation that I now find myself in. In essence, I created the circumstance which allowed the actions and choices of others to become that destructive F5 that has spun my life out of my control.

But why?

That's exactly what my Bulldozer(aka:counselor) and I have been discovering. We've been taking things apart, looking at my behaviors, taking stock of my life, tearing down the walls in chunks. Then a few weeks ago it happened. We hit the main support of my crooked house and it all came tumbling down. Neither the house, nor the bulldozer expected this, but I'm sure that the project Foreman knew it all along.


So deep. So raw. I couldn't even speak the words to my bulldozer and it took me a full 10 minutes of sobbing to be able to tell my dearest husband what God revealed to me, what was happening inside me. I'm not sure I can even share it here, but I want to, maybe another day.

And now... it's time to start rebuilding!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Extreme Home Make-over, Karina Edition.

For many years I have known that there are things in my life that aren't right. Things that are hard to show other people. Things that I try to hide, brush aside, and pretend don't exist, because, well, they're just not quite right. Like the walls of a house that are so rotten they're about to fall down, but instead of fixing what's wrong, I just slap a fresh coat of paint on it, hang a pretty picture and call it good.

For the last two years it's been really bad, it's caused some very deep depression. My dear husband has tried to get me to go to counseling, and I have adamantly refused. We can handle this. We're committed. We love God. We'll get through this. Wax the floors. Throw down a rug. Add a lamp in the corner. Better.

Then a few months ago the storm hit. Not just a little thunderstorm, we're talking an F-5 tornado. I'm in counseling. For this I need counseling. No. Doubt. About. It. When I started counseling, I thought we were going to deal with the aftermath of the storm. Patch up some holes. Fix the roof. Good to go.

Not so much.

My counselor is going deep. She's like the bulldozer that God is driving to tear it all down. All the rot. All the decayed. All the crooked. All the bent. It's all coming down. What does that mean? Pain. We are taking a painful look at who I am and why I am the way that I am. It's tough. It's more than uncomfortable. It's all my bad habits. All the ways in which I seek to be filled outside of God. It's my relationships. It's my parenting. It's even my housework. We're not just patching up this mess, we're tearing it down to rebuild it.

But. There's a plan. There's a builder. This old bent house was falling apart, and the inhabitants need it fixed to better suit their needs. Think about it....

God and I live here, inside me.

God is using this storm to tear down the walls, to rebuild a home that will better suit His purpose, for both him and me! The foundation is still established in His Truth, faith in Jesus Christ, love for God and others. But the old habits, thought processes, relationship patterns, parenting, conflict resolution, speech patterns, it's all going. I am being made new in a whole new way. It's painful in ways I never imagined. But I'm so SO looking forward to what God will build in it's place. The new me will be better suited to God's purpose, stronger, able withstand storms better, more pleasant to inhabit, more beautiful.

It's not going to happen in a week. But one day God is going to turn me around and say, "Move the bus!" And when that bus rolls out of the way, I'm going to rejoice in every detail of what He has done from the inside out.


Sunday, April 17, 2011


Sometimes there are no words. Ok, well that that doesn't happen often. But sometimes though one wants to speak it's best to keep silent.

I don't really like that concept. It isn't really in my nature to not talk about anything and everything I want to talk about. So this season of my life has been an exercise in self-discipline, in more ways than one.

But I am learning. I am stretching. I am growing.

It's difficult. It's uncomfortable. It's even painful.

But if this is what it takes to bring healing, if this is what it takes to please my Jesus, if this is what it takes to obey my heavenly Father, then this is what I will do.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rebel Thoughts.

Last week was rotten. I had sick babies all week and after a good breakthrough in counseling, I got knocked down with an abscessed tooth/root canal/PAIN! So I didn't get to do much of the "work" I needed to do. I lost about 36 hours to the pain of my tooth ache, but it felt like I lost the whole week.

This week I was very self-absorbed in my own feelings and thoughts. Can you say E-MO-TION-AL? Man, I was a basket case. My counselor told me to put down my Bible for a month. What?! Yeah, put down your Bible and experience the presence of God. Ok. Now, I struggle with guilt in this one area; reading my Bible daily is difficult. Yes, I do my Bible study. Yes, I know the Bible reasonably well. And yes, I see my counselor's point. So, I put my Bible away.

Now, last week, I spent time praying that I would die rather than spend anymore days in pain, or be cured of said toothache. Not real spiritual, but real honest! This week I had more time to spend flat on my face. And I gotta tell ya, I longed more than ever to reach for my Bible and find words of comfort. Seriously aching.

Instead, after pouring my heart out to God, and frankly not hearing any answers, I just sat in silence and waited. After a long time of silence I began a time of confession. Sin I had kept in my thoughts, but not uttered. God really wanted that part of my heart. I seem to be confessing a lot lately. And you know what happened? Nothing. Just quiet peacefulness.

Later that day came the test. Sad to say, I think I failed miserably. How easily my thoughts betrayed me, jumping right back to the point where I told God earlier in the day that I didn't want to be anymore.

Jesus be near, I need more of you.

The last of my thoughts are this: six years ago my son was born. A little more than a year before his birth an anonymous couple gave us 5 embryos. Strangers gave us 5 of their potential children. And one of those precious embryos became our Kevin. The absolutely most precious gift we have ever received from human hands (also God's hand, who is the giver of life), the gift of our son. Unfathomable. Someone who knew only that we professed to be Christians gave us our son. I am forever grateful to that couple who gave so willingly. God is good.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Right Now, Tough Lessons.

The Lord disciplines those he loves. And hardships, according to Hebrews 12, should be viewed as discipline. And discipline is training. And this training is hard and painful!

Right now, I am learning the very hard lesson of silence.

Right now I would like nothing more than to scream what is right and true at the top of my lungs, with every fiber of my being.

Right now I would like to fight for my rights.

Right now I would like to be heard.


Right now I am being called to silence.

Right now I am being called to trust God to defend.

Right now I am being called to wait for God's justice.

Right now I am being called to peace.

Unity is not won by arguing with those who will argue. Peace is not given in fighting with those who desire to fight. When division is sought, it is not overcome with wise or persuasive words.

Unity only comes through the Holy Spirit, by each individual submitting to His authority and power. For the Lord will not be divided against himself. One person cannot cause another person to submit by force of will, it must come from each person's own heart acting in faith.

I firmly believe that our goal is unity. For when a body of believers submits to the Holy Spirit and begins to act according to the Holy Spirit, it is then that God removes all barriers that hinder us from accomplishing anything He sets before us. It was God, himself, that said at the tower of Babel, that if man could be unified in one language with one purpose, he could accomplish ANYTHING. (which incidentally is why he confused our language in the first place) It was also God, who at Pentecost, when the believers where worshiping and preaching the good news in accordance with the Holy Spirit, that removed all the barriers and allowed those there to hear each in his own language and the Lord added to their numbers daily those who were being saved. Isn't that the goal? Why yes, yes, it is!

I firmly believe that I am right (just ask my husband, I am rarely wrong! ;) ). But, God is calling me to put aside my rights to be unified with Him.

Right now being right cannot bring unity.

Right now, I must choose. Will I be right? Or will I trust the God of the universe and be unified, reconciled to Him?

Though it goes against every fiber of my flesh, and I probably won't do it perfectly, I am choosing to submit myself to the Spirit. To be silent. To trust. To wait. Peace.

Right NOW.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Who Knew!?

I received a phone call yesterday from the friend who cut my hair about 6 weeks ago. She told me it was time for a haircut and to get myself in there! (Note: I am not accustomed to getting my hair cut every 6 weeks, more like every 3-4 MONTHS! And that's if I'm lucky!) Being a very obedient child, I set an appointment with her today. I figured if she wants to give me a free haircut 6 weeks after my last free haircut, then I am in!

I went in today. I got the treatment! Shampooing that felt like a massage on my scalp, a great haircut, and therapy!

This friend of mine couldn't be a bigger encourager if she tried! She listened to me lament non-specifically about our situation, and offered her support in prayer. She joked other clients until I was almost in stitches. We talked of parenting issues and gray hair. And when she finished blowing my hair dry, she looked me in the eye and told me not to worry about my gray hair, that God made me to be the exact woman that I am. In His eyes I'm famous! And precious! That the things that are taking place in my life are no reflection on me, but the choices of those who made them. That God will use this to make me more into the woman he has created me to be!

Seriously, tears rolling down my face! Who knew that a haircut could lift one's spirit from despair? This after reading this morning: "Don't spend time trying to figure everything out, leaning on your own understanding. Instead, acknowledge God, who He is with all His attributes and the fact that He is in the midst of everything that is taking place. Then He will straighten out your path." (Lynn paraphrase of the Message) God straightened out my path a bit today through the encouragement of friends.

In the words of Larry the Cucumber, "I laughed. I cried. It moved me, Bob!" Who knew all that from a simple haircut?!