Monday, February 28, 2011

Rebel Thoughts.

I've come to the conclusion/decision that I will not be going to Uganda in April. I'm so sad about it, but it just didn't happen and with all that is going on in our family life right now, perhaps it is for the best, though I am very disappointed.

On the other hand, God is so faithful to meet our needs at every turn. Saturday night when I posted I was so down and discouraged. The thought of going to church on Sunday and leading worship seemed too much. Normally I can't wait for Sunday mornings, but I was dreading yesterday. Seriously dreading. I kept crying out to God, "I can't do this. I can't do this." But the amazing thing about my Jesus is that He knows me. He knows just what I need, more than I know myself.

Sunday morning on the way to church a song came on the radio (I was putting on my make-up as I normally do ;) ), and all 5 of my kids started singing in worship. Their whole hearts engaged in singing to God. A-MA-ZING! For a moment I just sat and drank in the sweetness of it. In that moment I felt washed and blessed. Still discouraged? Yes. Still overwhelmed? Yes. Still lost in my pity party? No. Able to take my focus off of me and choose to worship the God of the universe? YES! YES! And YES!

And then this amazing thing happened when we got to church. God surrounded me with just the right people at the right times. Coincidence? I think NOT! It is not a coincidence that the new lady in choir stands next to me and that she is a very demonstrative worshiper, and in that we are kindred spirits. It is not a coincidence that just the right friends showed up where I was at the time and place where I was to meet each need that I had. By the end of the day, I was uplifted and encouraged! Go, GOD!

Our church has an annual "Pie Auction". It's to raise money for the youth department's mission trips. Last year they raised about $20,000! It's a crazy event to watch pies sell anywhere from $100 to $2500! There's also an opportunity to put pies in the faces of the pastoral staff! It's one of my favorite events! I donated a kake which sold for $200! And I got to help Kevin put a "pie" in the face of my favorite worship pastor! We also bought a blueberry pie at the end of the night, and when Kevin saw it he got all excited, "We have a pie? Who's face are we going to smash it in?" Hahaha! As if every pie we get must be smashed in someone's face!

Back to a busy week, fully charged, ready to go! If I get things worked out with my camera and photo editing software, I will try to do a Family Dinner Night post tomorrow! Should be fun!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

In the Middle of Waiting.

When you don't know when the waiting will end, you're always in the middle. Ever further from the beginning of your wait, and never closer to the end.

I was naive to think that I could handle the wait with ease. After all, I've waited before. Long waits. Emotionally charged waits. Waits when the end is completely unknown. I thought it would be easy compared to those other waits.

It's not.

I long for the end, when the outcome is past and I am on the other side of healing. When life seems normal again. When there are no sickening fears. When there are no private pow-wows. When I can talk to my friends and family freely without them wondering what the heck is going on in my life. When life feels safe again. When we can put this horrific ugliness in the past and leave it there forever. When I don't have to second guess every decision I make.

I'm in the middle. Trying to remember that God's timing is perfect. Trying to hold on to the promise that He works everything for the good of them that love him who are called according to his purpose. I'm in the middle. Trying to find comfort in knowing that God can do amazing things through adversity. I'm in the middle. Trying to be the person I think God wants me to be.

But I gotta tell ya... I ain't feeling it tonight. I feel like slapping somebody, and I know if I even started slapping somebody I'd end up beating the ever loving daylights out of them two or three, maybe five times over. I hope the intensity of this feeling is just PMS speaking.

Please, Lord, can't you arrange for me to have a spiritual and emotional Calgon bath? I need to be washed from all this. All my thoughts need a good scrubbing. My emotions could us a good, long, relaxing soak. A quiet respite from my inner turmoil. I just need to know that in the middle of this waiting, I'm also in the middle of Your will. In the middle of Your hand. In the middle Your protection and encampment surrounding me. Safe in the middle.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hiding God's Word in Our Hearts.

Once upon a time, a long time ago (well, not that long ago, since I'm only 24 ;)) I joined the teen Bible quizzing team at my church. In case you don't know what that is, which I suspect very few people do, it's like "Jeopardy", only all about the Bible. We studied a book each year, or in my case 2 books, 1 & 2 Corinthians. We had certain verses to learn and certain questions to practice. A quiz meet would consist of several teams coming together one Saturday per month to compete against each other. You had to really know your stuff. Memory verses had to be verbatim. I remember because the first time I stood up for a memory verse I missed it by leaving out 4 tiny letters, a-l-s-o. As in, "...when you are tempted, He will ALSO provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." 1 Corinthians 10:13(b) You could challenge answers from other teams, you could challenge the verbiage of the questions, if the question asked "according to such-and-such-a-verse" your answer had to be from that verse. It was all very cranial, and I completely enjoyed it. I built some good relationships that year, in fact, I think I'm friends with my entire team on Facebook, including the coaches!

The result of all that is that all these years later, I can still quote many of those verses, verbatim. While some of the references are fuzzy, the words are still very familiar. If you start talking about Corinthians chances are if I don't know it exactly, I can probably find it in a few page turns!

It struck me last summer that hiding God's Word in one's heart never leaves them. It also hit me that I have not been teaching my children scripture, and right now, while their minds are sponges, is the perfect time to teach them. And so we began as a family to memorize God's Word.

We began with a favorite of mine, 1 Corinthians 13. The whole chapter. Yes, my newly 3 year old Izaak, who could barely pronounce most of the words, learned the whole chapter. It took us about 2 months. Next we learned Psalm 71. It was something I was reading that had meaning to me. Those 24 verses took us from September until the end of the year. When we finished that my daughter recommended Proverbs 3. Currently we are learning verses 31-32, hoping to complete the last few verses by the end of February, making these 35 verses the fastest chapter per verse that we have learned so far!

It's kind of funny because every now and again when we try to start Proverbs 3, we actually begin the first verse of Psalm 71. Oops.

If you want to know how we do it, stay tuned. I'll write a post soon to describe our method. And maybe, just maybe I'll figure out how to get the videos off my phone and post the sweetest 3 and 5 year olds saying their chapters!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Words of Comfort

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; ~Isaiah 43:1b-3a

Praise to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. ~2 Corinthians 1:3-5

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body ~2 Corinthians 4:7-10

Therefore, we do not lose heart, though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~2 Corinthians 4:16-18

New International Version 2010.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Holding Fast.

Just so all of you out there in bloggy land don't worry, I'm popping in to say HI! Hi!

We are holding fast. It's somewhat like a rollercoaster of emotion for me, though I still feel settled in my spirit. Each day seems full of moments of extreme pain, following and followed by moments when God's spirit sweetly ministers to our spirits.

I'm impatient. I want healing to come quickly. I want to work through all this and be done. NOW! But, healing doesn't work that way. TIME. Healing takes time and lots of it.

In the midst of all this we are trying to get back to a sense of normalcy. Life goes on. While we must take time when we need to deal with things, we also have to continue to live and function in the day to day. That will get easier as the shock and dismay wear off. Maybe.

Keep praying.


Friday, February 11, 2011


For three days I have wrestled with raw emotion. A battle between my flesh and my faith. Anger, bitterness and rage against justice, mercy and grace. Man I've been all over the map. Moment to moment swinging from utter heartbreak to rage so strong I wanted to destroy anything I could get my hands on. I have had no appetite, though I've tried to make myself eat, but a bowl of cereal in the morning and a brownie in the evening hardly counts for anything! Seriously begging and pleading with God to give me more mercy and grace.

God is faithful. Everytime I have needed grace, He has provided. Everytime I have needed mercy, He has given it freely. Everytime I was about to be overwhelmed by the flood of the rawness of my emotions, He sent someone to encourage and lift me up. God is faithful.

This morning I turned the corner. God finally broke through to show me the truth of where my anger could take me. And how futile it was. Then He clearly showed me the path of mercy, love and compassion. He also revealed to me by prophetic word, his protection and tenderness.

There is much more battle to fight. But, my heart and soul are settled. I finally have peace. True. solid. peace. God and I, we have a plan. He gave me his eyes for just one second and I saw what I needed most to see.

It's all settled.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Snowball Effect.

I feel like I'm a cartoon character stuck in a snowball, rolling down a hill. Picking up speed. Completely out of control of the path I take. Pitching and tossing this way and that. Bumping and plowing full speed ahead. My head is spinning. My stomach is full of butterflies. All over the place. Gathering chaos as I go. When will it stop? Will this giant mess come to a halt and give me a chance to get my bearings and dig out, or will it hit an immovable object and explode?

At least I'm stuck in here with my hubby. Hold on baby, this ride is just getting started!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Psalm of the Broken

Broken. Broken.
Helplessly broken.

Blind. And deaf.
Hopeless and broken.

Tattered. And torn.
Utterly lost.

There is no wisdom in me.
There is no peace.
Anger and hate fill me
where once were hope and joy.

My righteous anger
is ineffective.
Completely impotent
to bring any good.

I am undone.

I call to you
from my pit
in anguish.

I cry to you,
oh Lord
whom I love.

Do not cast me away
in my shame.
Do not be silent
to my pleas.
Empty me of all that
displeases you.
Empty me
of me.

I call to you Lord,
I, whom you love.
You hear my cry.

You answer me
in the darkness.
You who are faithful.

Come quickly, Lord
to save me.
Rescue me from despair.

You fill me with grace.
Your mercy overwhelms me.
In your hands are justice
and mercy.

You will stand before my enemies
with righteousness and truth.
You will destroy the evil.

You will bring healing
to the broken.
You alone.

My future is secure.
For I will trust in you.
You have refined me with fire.
I am wholly yours.

May all who hear of your mercy
fall on their knees in worship.
May your name be praised forever,
God of my heart,
Lord of my life.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Rebel Thoughts - Taking Care of Business

Next week is Valentine's Day. I'm taking orders for Kakes for your sweetheart. These kakes will be heart-shaped and you have a choice of chocolate or carrot cake for $40. If you'd like ganache filling in your chocolate kake it will be an extra $10. Place your order by emailing me at

I also want to give you the opportunity to support me on my trip to Uganda. The total cost of the trip is $3100. If you can help, please send your support directly to:

River Church
860 Plymouth Dr.
Durango, CO 81301

Please write "Karina P. Uganda April 2011" on the memo line of your check. If for some reason I don't go, the support you send will be donated to other team members who need support to go care for the orphans in Uganda.

Whether you can support this trip monetarily or not, please support me in prayer as I make preparations both logistically, spiritually and emotionally for this trip. I am SO stinking excited to see what God is going to do! Less than 8 weeks away!

We had a productive weekend. Friday night my band led worship at our teen drop-in center, Movement 5280. We had a blast! Saturday we got some much needed housework done, including some reorganizing and purging. That felt SO good! I hate when my life feels cluttered by STUFF. Seriously, we tossed our entire collection of cassette tapes. We have no way to listen to them and even when we did have a tape player it has been years since we've touched them. Years. Now I just need to do that in every other room in the house, every drawer, every closet. I wish I could just get it all done at once, but the thought of that is a bit overwhelming.

Sunday was another awesome day of worship, and a day of rest! I enjoyed having coffee with my niece and getting caught up on what God is doing in her life! She's an amazing woman and growing in her faith. She'll be starting her own blog soon and I can't wait to see how her story changes lives!

I think there was some big football game on, but it couldn't have been too important since the Dallas Cowboys weren't playing, though they did play on the Cowboys' field! I was rooting for my friend Leah's team to win, but sadly she was disappointed. Haha! And, now that football is over we will have to find something else to watch through our eyelids on Sunday afternoons for the next 6 months!

We had a funny conversation at breakfast this morning. It seems when you're little you don't really have the concept of dreams, or rather, your concept of a dream is a movie that you watch when you close your eyes!

Now it's back to school and life as usual.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ok! Ok! You Can Put the Sledge Hammer Down!

I lost my job in December, just before Christmas. Things have been tight. I did the whole Christmas cake thing to make money for Christmas, which turned out a be a beautiful experience. We've been praying for God to move, to show us what to do or bring income our way. It's been really hard on Todd, he just wants to fix it by jumping into a second job, but bless his heart, he's been praying and waiting on the Lord. I've been hoping to replace my income with more kids, thinking that an infant and toddler would be nice to have around, but also make ends meet. I did have a LOT of friends tell me that I should do cakes, even my bestie joked several times that God was beating me over the head with a baseball bat about it, and she thought He'd soon pick up His sledge hammer.

Last Wednesday I was telling a friend about Uganda and my lack of job and all that was on my heart. Her response was to sit me down and pray for me. (I love that!) We sat and she prayed, and I told God in my head that if He wanted me to do the cake thing that He was going to have to send me an order by the end of the week. People don't normally spontaneously ask me to make them cakes for money, so I figured I was safe. HA!

Later that night Todd and I got a chance to sit down and talk about finances, job, cakes. I was just about to tell him about my cake fleece (you know, like Gideon), when he jumped in and told me that his co-worker's daughter was getting married in June and they wanted to know if I'd do the cake. Nuh-UH!!

Now my biggest problem with going into the cake business is that, while I know how to make cakes, really good cakes, I have no idea how to run a business. So, I told God that a cake order in June was all fine and dandy but when I said an order by the end of this week I MEANT an order by the end of this week for next week.

My cell phone had rung earlier in the day, right about the time my friend had been praying for me. Of course, I ignored it, and tried to return the call to my friend Heather later. But we didn't reconnect until after my conversation with Todd. We shot the breeze, she couldn't remember why she had called. I told her all about the cake stuff, which suddenly sparked her memory. She'd called to order a cake! Nuh-UH!!! Nuh-UH!!

Seriously? While I was asking God to show me what to do by sending me a cake order, she was calling with a cake order? NUH-UH!!!

Alright God. You can put the sledge hammer down. I get it! Go into the cake business.

We're working out all the details, like website and marketing and a thousand other things. But God so clearly, undoubtedly answered my prayers, the ones I didn't even utter aloud, that I know He will provide what is needed. To His glory and His alone!