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Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's here!

Well folks! Moving Day has arrived, although I hope to get a few hours of sleep before we begin!! It's 2am on June 30th, Kroeker Moving Day! It should be a national holiday right??!! :)
I'm still up finishing all the last minute tasks like organizing what I'll need for the drive out, last load of laundry, updating my phone, making road trip music playlists!! :) And it's quite, since the rest of the house is far off on the train to dream land, I'm alone with my thoughts.

We've spent many moments reflecting on the time we were here in Cali. Cheyenne since he was 10, and me since I was 19. God has allowed us many blessings and privileges while we have been here. What a great God we serve to allow our lives to be so full after only just 9 years of marriage here! The friendships we've been entrusted with have been family to us! We can never express just how thankful we are for each of you who are in our lives! We were never alone!!

And now technology is so awesome!!! We  can skype, facetime, facebook text and call! No more waiting 4 weeks to hear back from a snail mail letter like when I was a kid overseas!!! :) I'll still be able to feel connected with my friends even though geography separates us! ;)

Well, must catch some sleep if the train will slow down! :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Counting Down

If Little Miss were older, I'd probably have made her a paper chain for her to count down the days till our big adventure East! Each morning we'd wake up and tear off one more link and count how many we'd have left.

Today....there would be 4 left.

4 days. 96 hours. 5,760 minutes...and counting. That's not much time left. But it is what we have, and I'm grateful to have 4 more days with my friends. I'm thankful God has allowed me 9 years here to build friendships and find my place of belonging. I'm thankful He directs my steps and I don't have to guess! Boy would that be chaotic!

Yesterday was a major packing day here in this house! Taryn so graciously took Little Miss for the day and Lacey came over and helped us pack! The kitchen is complete and Cheyenne packed up all his clothes. Literally ALL!!! He forgot we still had a couple days still and was so focused!! Good thing I hadn't finished the pile of laundry or you'd have seen him in the same thing for the next 4 days! Today I continued and got the laundry room all packed. 2 complete rooms down, 4 more to go! :) Little Miss's room is nearly done! That kid has more stuffed animals and books than I've seen in one room before!! She must be our child!! :)

It's strange to think that 9 years of our lives can be packed up into boxes. But as Cheyenne loves to remind me "it's all going to burn"! :) Yes that's true, but for now, I'll treasure it all! :)

Sleep has become elusive lately for me. Lots on my mind obviously. I've lain awake staring up at the ceiling praying about all the worries (casting them on God), for my family spread all over the country & world, for my friends who will have to carry on life without us next week, for my husband who so valiantly provides and leads our family, committing all my ways to my Lord.

Psalm 37:5 "Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Today

Today is our goodbye party, or "send off" as I prefer to think about. Some very special very dear friends have decided to be selfless and host today's event. It takes strong, truer than true friends to be able to do that. Me? I'd be unpacking my friend's boxes as they pack and probable let the air out of their moving truck tired!! (don't anyone get ideas!!!)
This morning I woke up filled with anxiousness, and I had to cry out to God for strength to face today. For anyone else who's moved like this you know the feelings. I've done it twice and internationally and every year while overseas I had to say goodbye to people who would leave the mission field or move. Not easy that's for sure.

My brothers and I talk often about how we've each individually handled goodbyes and moves. It's so easy to become calloused to it, but that makes it harder to then make new friends, so that's not good. Early on I made the conscience decision to try to avoid callousness and so I've become the person who's ultra sensitive and cries more than probably necessary. I cry when I'm sad, I cry when others cry, I cry at sentimental commercials, I cry just because! But sometimes it gets do hard that I bottle all my emotions up until after goodbyes and I'm alone and then I cry my eyes out!

Today will be so difficult, but it's because we've been blessed with so many amazing and wonderful friends! If we didn't, it'd be easy to leave.

I occasionally tell people about how long it took me to make friends when I moved to CA. 5 years!!!! Now I had great people in my life, but to make the kind of friend I could call on a bad day, or truly open up to, it took a while. Now my work family was a different story, they were there for me from day one and I had awesome mother figures to go to as I adjusted to culture shock and being a newlywed. They saw me grow up from a scared young girl to a confident women! :) and then God brought my awesome friends into my life that have walked life with me the past 4 years!! (you know who you are!) I've been so blessed!!! I haven't had friends like this since I was 12 and had to bid farewell to the two most important girls in my life at the time. And as adults we make friends differently and I think deeper. It's amazing that our circle of friends has grown throughout the years and how God has brought each couple into our lives!! I can honestly say that I have the best friends in the world!! And if you consider yourself my friend then I'M the blessed one!!!

Today is also the day that you all find out I have this blog!! Eek!!! I'm a bit nervous!! I'm not an English major, nor am I the most eloquent of people, I just like to share! :)

Not sure how I'll be making it through today, but I do know that I'll be relying on my God's strength to walk it with me.

Philippians 4:13 "I can do ALL things through CHRIST who strengthens me."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bucket List Adventures!

Today's another Bucket List Adventure Day!!!  When we made the decision to move out to Kansas, we started making a list of all the things we wanted to do before we moved!! It wasn't a super loooooonnnnggg list, but it was long enough that we still haven't completed it!

On that list:
San Diego Safari Park - check
San Diego Zoo - check
Santa Ana Zoo
Getty Museum
Queen Mary Tour
Aquarium of the Pacific
Santa Barbara -check
Walk the trail as far as I can make it
Great Park Balloon - check!
Irvine Regional Park - check! (seriously no one told me about this why???!!)
San Luis Obispo
CBC Angels baseball game - check
Fish Fest - TODAY!
Amazon Churrascaria - check
Ikea -check


At this point, we've been able to do all the bigger/most important to us things, but as you can see we aren't done yet. So does this mean we can't leave??!!! Nope, sorry folks! It just means we have more adventures to come back and do!!

Today we're going to Fish Fest! I'm so excited! The line up is great! My favs Toby Mac, Sanctus Real, Phil Wickham & Lincoln Brewster! I've wanted to go every year for the past 8 years, but it just never worked out, so needless to say I'm stoked! (do people even say that anymore?!)

So today I'm choosing to see good in our moving out of state...we finally get to do these things we've always talked about doing!!!! And when we come back to visit we can do the rest!

So here's to good times, great friends, checking things off our list, and making the most of every day we have here.

What if today were YOUR last day on Earth? How would you spend it and with who? :) That's my question of the day for you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Needs vs Wants

"19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen." Philippians 4:19-20




Here I go again mixing up my needs and my wants. I WANT to keep my friends around, I WANT to stay here with them. I want to avoid the inevitable goodbyes next weekend, well, starting this week. But I NEED to follow God's call on my life. I NEED to follow through with the marriage vows I made to my husband to "follow him wherever God calls us, no matter where or when". Boy did I not think that through! Just kidding. :) 

Definition of NEED
1: necessary duty : obligation
2a : a lack of something requisite, desirable, or useful b : a physiological or psychological requirement for the well-being of an organism
3: a condition requiring supply or relief
4: lack of the means of subsistence : poverty

Definition of WANT
intransitive verb
1: to be needy or destitute
2: to have or feel need <never wants for friends>
3: to be necessary or needed
4: to desire to come, go, or be <the cat wants in> <wants out of the deal>
transitive verb
1: to fail to possess especially in customary or required amount : lack <the answer wanted courtesy>
2a : to have a strong desire for <wanted a chance to rest> b : to have an inclination to : like <say what you want, he is efficient>
3a : to have need of : require <the motor wants a tune-up> b : to suffer from the lack of <thousands still want food and shelter>

 

So you see my dilemma. Even the dictionary cant give the definition of "want" without using need. Can I live without what my life holds? Well, to be honest, I can live without most of what $ buys. But I'd prefer not to live without the people that fill my life. But do I NEED them? No, not when it comes down to it. All I need is God. He'll supply the rest.

 I was reading a book a bit ago and it was all about relationships and love and life. Not everyone will agree with this, but I've come to the belief that love is a choice. We choose who we love and how we love them. We can like many people, but love goes so much deeper. I choose to love my husband. I choose to look past offenses (sorry folks...he's not perfect either), I choose to forgive, I choose to love with wild abandon, I choose to follow him where he has felt God calling us. Do I want to? Nope!! I'm all about honestly! But will I? You betcha I will! Because as much as I love my friends, my life, my church here in So Cal, I love my husband so much more! And my God even more than I love Chy!

So where does that leave my heart as I try to pack the past 9 years of our life into boxes for the inevidible move next Saturday? Torn, broken, sad, blue, upset...but having FAITH. My favorite quote right now (don't know where it started) is "Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see".






There is much truth is this saying. By having faith in my God, I'm believing that he knows what the future holds, what life will be like, how we'll settle in and how we'll create a new life for our growing family. (yes growing...because I want at least 6 kids! 3 more adoptions and then fostering or adopting or whatever God has planned for us!) Faith that even when I'm lonely and my heart is aching for my friends back here in So Cal, HE will sustain me with HIS strength and fill me with JOY and HOPE.

Today was both amazing and hard. I had to say goodbye to an amazing friend & her girls. Broke my heart. I know I'll see them again on a visit, but it's still not the same. Our girls have the amazing bond of both friendship and adoption, and it's a bond I want to nurture for all time. Their family has been instrumental in our adoption journey. They've encouraged us, prayed for and with us, and helped us navigate the seas of adoption. Because of her, my heart became open to the idea of a more open relationship with Karis' birthmother (and look at how close we are now!!). She gets a lot of what most people don't when it comes to adoption & birthfamily relationships.

Goodbyes will not cripple or paralyze me, I will NOT let them. I will pick up the pieces of my heart, glue them back together (mosaics are awesome people), and dry my tears off (tell me someone's gotten smart and bought stock in Kleenex!), and have FAITH in God for our tomorrows.

Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."

Friday, June 8, 2012

One hot mess

Today was one of those days...I was a hot mess. I woke up that way. Well ok, I went to bed that way. I'm the kind of person who takes a long time to process what feelings/emotions/thoughts are going on and what I'm really feeling and why. This was one of those times. I couldn't sleep last night. My stomach hurt. I felt sick to my stomach and in my heart, but couldn't put my finger on it. I had the strangest dreams, filled with anxiety. I woke up with a pit in my stomach.

Right, that's a great way to start ones day! Ha! Everyone has these days, so I know I'm not alone. It's not the days we have but our response to them. We all have bad days, but it's how we respond and walk through that day that really matters. It's a heart issue.

Most of the morning went along alright, my little girl was teething and not quite her usual giggly self, and I was tired for a night of less that restful sleep. This afternoon the sky fell. Little Miss decided she was less than happy with mommy, with her lunch, with everything, and was m.i.s.e.r.a.b.l.e! Someone (I won't name any names...) decided that flailing about, pinching, and throwing fits what how she was going to express her less than happy feelings. After a fun play date, she screeeamed all the way home (lovely 30 min drive by the way) but then did take an hour nap (thank you Lord that you helped her sleep!). Afterwards she started in all over again. She mashed up all her lunch, threw it on the floor and then had a competition with her self to see how loud she could scream. Needless to say I reached my breaking point 10 times over and tears were spilling over. (and there was a bathtub incident which we'll skip right over) By the time my knight in shining armor got home from work I'd broken. But sadly I let my frustration get the better of me. Instead of falling to pieces on his shoulder, which would have solved lots of problems since I cry out my overwhelmingness, I shut down. But he is one wonderful husband and instead of letting me check out and the night be shot, helped me begin to talk it out. We were on our way to go bowling with our church group, the last even before the big M, but I hated people to see that I'd been crying (thank you mom for passing on the red face from crying gene!) and I tried to talk him out of going. But we went and I did have fun and our friends still love me in spite of my red nose at the beginning. :) (thank you Jessie & Tressa!) But I still didn't really figure out what the root of my emotions was. I figured it was just all the sadness of moving and leaving my friends.

But here it is 10pm and I've just now figured out what started this bad day in motion. I lost my watch. I lost it Wednesday, but didn't really realize it was lost till yesterday. Sure it's just a watch, but this "just watch" was a gift from my fiance (now husband) when I graduated from Bible college. He flew all the way up to Canada to be there with my dad to watch me graduate! It was kinda cute at the time, I didn't really think I'd get attached to a metal object, but apparently I did. That watch, over the past 9 years, has become very special to me. And I think when I realized I lost it yesterday the realization of moving hit hard. I was processing it as "by moving it will mean I loose any chance of finding my watch ever again". We'll be in a different state. Now of course this is a bit over the top...but that's how my head works. And that thought alone sent me into a waterfall of emotions about moving, leaving my friends, leaving the relationships that go with me throughout my day. I'm quite attached to my friends. I'm more attached to my friends that I am to my watch, and if loosing my watch brings out such sadness, what will it actually feel like to bid goodbye to my friends in 3 weeks. (yes we are now down to 3 weeks.)

I don't like goodbyes, even if it's just a see-you-later kind of goodbye. They downright stink. And don't try to sugar coat it or make it sound easier than it really is. I've been saying goodbye to people since I was 12, and it doesn't get easier, even if you think it does. You're crazy if you think that even knowing you're coming to visit in the next year, that goodbyes aren't hard.

So after 24 hours of stomach churning and anxiety, I've now found the source. I'm dreading June 30th. And the sadness is overwhelming. But by God's grace I will live to glorify Him through it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

When Life Seems Out of Control...

Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
    God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
    how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
     he burns the chariots with fire.
10  “Be still, and know that I am God.
     I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”
11  The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah


This Psalm was the subject of the sermon on Sunday. How timely, especially considering my last blog post! All week long (well it's only Tuesday) I've been mulling it over and over in my head, re-listening to it in my mind and letting it sink it. So many thoughts and aspects to this Psalm and the points from the sermon. I can't set it aside, it's been consuming my thoughts. A good thing I'd say. The subtitle to the sermon was "A God in control". And each point started with "When Life seems out of control...". Now, my life may not appear to be out of control, but internally, that's kinda how it feels. My life is not going as I would have chosen, and thus the out of control feelings. 

 When Life Seems Out of Control:
1. Let prayer change my perspective
*when God's people pray....God responds
*God may not remove our trouble, but he will be with me in it.  {I was watching a movie a couple nights ago and a young woman was trying to understand how a loving God can allow such heart-wrenching things to happen. I loved the simple explanation the man had for her:  "The truth of God's love is not that he allows bad things to happen. It's His promise that He'll be here with us when they do."  This resinated so strongly with me and I reflected on how His promise Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 & Deut. 31:6. God never promised me specifically anything; no promised of a happy and easy life. No promises of children. No promises of blue skies, rainbows, and bubbles. He DID promise His people that we would NEVER walk alone! For those of us who call God our Abba Father, He will ALWAYS walk with us, carry us even, but He will never leave me nor forsake me. What comfort in difficult times and seasons that is!}
*Phillipians 4:5-7 " Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
*God is in charge, I am not
*Give things to God "palms down" - letting go with no intention of taking them back. :)  
*The more uncertain and terbuletn my life gets, the more I need prayer & to be humble.
* 1 Peter 5:6-11 "6Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11  To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen."
*Hebrews 11:23 "23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king's edict."  {Moses' parents had faith when they put Moses in the basket. They had no idea what would happen to their innocent little baby, but they trusted that God did and had it all figured out.}
* Romans 8:28 "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." No matter what our circumstances God has a plan in them. He knows the whys of it all, no matter how painful. I don't know why we're moving, but HE does and He has a plan in it all. I don't understand why we lost our babies, why my friends have lost babies, why Cheyenne's mom died so suddenly and so young. why there are children living on the streets or without families who love and protect them, why the world is so filled with pain and suffering, why goodbyes are so hard. 

When Life Seems Out of Control...
2. Remember Who I belong to.
*Remember who's kid I am...God's kid!
*Cling to him... Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Deut. 31:6
*Be like a child: It doesnt matter what you are going through; it only matters who is going WITH you." - A child will go anywhere with their parent they trust, even if it's scary, because they are with them. God will never lead me through a situation only to leave me in it, or push me into something frighting. He loves me and will ALWAYS be with me.

When Life Seems Out of Control...
3. Know God Wins & So Do I
*We will see peace, we will be vindicated
*Eternally these things are solved! - don't try to fix everything here
*The Kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our God - Rev 11:15-19 
*Psalm 37:5-7 " Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. 6He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your justice as the noonday.Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!" "Be still..."


So in all this...as my life is feeling out of MY control, it is fully in GOD'S control! :) My job: Be Still