Baptism and Pie Crust Cookies

Kruse Kids 1971ishToday marks a year since we lost my brother, Brian. I’ve been missing my family, worrying a bit about my parents, and thinking about my siblings. Last night I made chicken pot pie for dinner and had leftover crust. So, of course I had to make pie crust cookies. You see, when I was four years old, my dad went away to the war in Viet Nam. Continue reading

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Do Me A Favor?

It’s been a rough week. I’m getting to know myself all over again, and in some ways, it feels like the first time. I was nineteen when Doug and I got married, so I was never a single adult. I’m still me, still that crazy girl, but I love the person I’ve grown into over the years. I know I’m better because of Doug. He was so good to me, so patient and affirming. He adored me and pretty much thought I pooped rainbows. If I believed everything he said about me I wouldn’t be able to walk through the door, my head would be so big.

He always pointed out my strengths. If I were bemoaning a weakness, he made excuses for why it was okay or not as bad as I thought, or he’d say that I had already improved in that area. One of his attempts at deflection that made me laugh was when he would point out some strength that had absolutely nothing to do with what was bothering me, and say that because I was (insert anything good here,) nothing I was worrying about could be a problem. But the thing that always seemed to turn my face back to the path ahead was when he talked to me about how much he loved my relationship with God. It wasn’t just the details that he observed in that relationship; he gained strength and encouragement from it. My churning emotions would become calm. I was like Peter, walking on the water but looking at the waves; and there was Doug, lifting my face to look back at Jesus.

How amazing that someone so broken and hurting could be so strong and tenderhearted. I am blessed to have been deeply loved. I am blessed to have been greatly admired. Will you do me a favor? Look at your spouse, children, loved ones of any kind; and when you find what you can admire in them, do it with intention. Look at those beautiful and good things about them and thank God for them; then tell them what you see. Look at their relationship with God with an eye to see the uniqueness, and love that part of them more; then tell them what you see. Live that way. It will change your lives and the world around you. It changed mine.

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I paid the bills today. This process of being open and honest as I walk this journey is painful. I want to be strong all the time, and I know God is worthy of all my faith and trust, but I’m weak. I prefer to look at the growth and transformation in me, and it’s a beautiful life in God that I have, but I’m still weak. The area I struggle most to trust God with is our finances. That’s probably true for a lot of you. Here’s the thing, though. It’s been a year now since we had Doug’s work income, but the household bills have been covered each month. Continue reading

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Attempting Honesty

This is attempt number four in the last couple weeks at a blog entry. It’s never been so hard to put words together. I’m writing in my journal more, but not the kind of thing that I want to blog about. There are a couple impressions and areas I feel God is expounding to me that I thought you might like to hear, but I I’ve tried to bring them from journal to article, and all I get is evidence of how disconnected my brain is. Today, I decided I’d share something from my journal and leave it at that. I want to be honest and raw, and this is the only way I can think to do it. It feels self-indulgent, but I’ve been told more times than I can remember that I need to share these things and that it will help others. I hope somehow it does.

“So many emotions. Thankfully, the one that keeps threading through them all is gratitude. God, how do you do it? How do you bring the dross to the top, scoop it off, and let me cry out my confusion and regret, leaving me feeling your love? I know you’ll never leave me, but I can’t help begging you to stay.”

God is helping me move. My heart has been numb, my arms limp at my sides, and my feet uninterested in any activity. We start the day together. He’s surprised me again with how he works in kindness and grace in my spirit. I start every day blessed.

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I’m learning a lot about myself, life, and God as I walk this new path. I want to be fully aware of what God is bringing about in me and soak in every moment. I don’t want to miss anything that God is doing.

One thing I’ve learned about myself is that somewhere in the last fifteen or so years I’ve become a team player. Continue reading

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There is a gone-ness. We shared everything. We were one. It seems we must have shared a heart and lungs and countless other essential things, because everyday, ordinary parts of myself don’t seem to work right these days. I know he didn’t take all of my heart with him, because I can still feel the love I have for my kids and friends; indeed, I’m more aware of that love than ever before. And yet, it doesn’t feel quite right. There is a certain feeling of something, someone, some vital piece in the beating of my heart, just…gone. Continue reading

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It’s All Good

I talk a lot these days about mindset changes. I know it’s a buzzword in the world today, but I can’t help what the world will say about something God wants to do. What a man thinks in his heart, so is he; so we must be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  (Proverbs 23:7; Romans 12:2) I cannot adequately express how transformed my life is since God renewed my mind. I traded in my victim mindset for one of a conqueror. Continue reading

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I’m coming awake. Some days I don’t want to, but I’m coming awake. One thing God is waking me to is my true heart’s desires. A couple months ago, I had ideas about the direction my life would take, but I’m realizing my heart is no longer there. Without Doug, so many of those dreams and plans have no shape. What I used to be passionate about as a team, feels empty when looked at solo. Continue reading

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Are We Toddlers?


“I wouldn’t let him finish eating dirt”

Have you seen the collections of “Why my kid is crying” pics? Continue reading

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Sharpening the Axe

Sharpen the Axe“If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I would spend four hours sharpening the axe” Abraham Lincoln never said these words, but they’re great words to live by.

Another step completed! The Fill the Freezer project is my tree, and this whole phase of planning every detail before we board the plane is my four hours of axe sharpening. My assistants and I took a few minutes to assign each of them their prep work per day. I thought it was going to take longer to discuss and I expected that there would be a lot more work per person per day. I was surprised when we got to the end and I was thinking, that’s it? That’s everything?

All of the mind-numbing planning that I’ve done up to this point cleared the way and this was the smoothest job yet. There is still a lot of work for each of us. We’ll be working for two solid weeks without any days off, but hard work that runs smoothly is somehow more enjoyable. It’s what allows you to whistle while you work!

This axe is getting so sharp it’s almost gleaming!

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