Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I have lots of thoughts.
If you came to my senior recital, you would know that. :-)
These are some thoughts for today.

Am I graduating on Saturday? No. Surely not. Already? Nah. The Cap and Gown sitting next to me must have been meant for someone else.

I only had one final. One. And it doesn't really count because it wasn't written. I had to act out a scene for Fundamentals of Acting. That's it.

I had my last SAI meeting yesterday. That was sad but I know that good things are coming for my lovely SAI girls.

Cap and Gowns are UGLY.

I'm old. Really really old. 22. Eesh.

Where should the wedding reception be, anyways? In the yucky gym or on the HPU campus. From one undesirable option to the next.

Now I have to go teach.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Excuse Me?

Today I went to Wal-Mart to pick up some things for the Delta Pi and Sigma Alpha Iota Winter Bonfire. I didn't make a list of things that I needed before I left so I stopped by the produce section to write everything down while Kris made a quick trip to the bathroom. The following occured while I stood there in between the seasonal cookies on my right and the apples on my left. (All things in italics and not quoted are my thoughts throughout this conversation)

"Excuse me, are you Kristen."
Who? Kristen? Uhhhh...
"No sir, I'm not"
Ok, back to my groceries now.
"Are you sure you're not Kristen? I think you're the person I'm looking for!"
Seriously? Did you find someone named Kristen on eHarmony and agree to meet her here? At Walmart? Classy.
"No sir. I am definitely not Kristen. I think I would know if I was."
Do I look like the kinda girl that would meet for a blind date at the Wal-Mart? In these ridiculously cute tights and boots? No. Kristen is probably in something trashy. Yeah.
"Well do you know the name Jesus."
Ah, so since Kristen isn't here you're going to hit on me instead.
"Yes, actually I do very well."
"But you're not Kristen?"
O. M. G.
"No! I am NOT Kristen."
"So you know the name of Jesus but you're not a Christian?"
Christian? Wait.
"Oh! I'm so sorry! Are you asking if I'm a Christian?"
"Yes, exactly. I have this book here if you're interested in learning more."
Now, it's all coming together!
"I'm sorry, sir. I thought you were asking if my name was Kristen. I totally misunderstood what you were saying. I am a Christian and I have my own Bible."
"I see. That was the devil. He's always trying to distract us from the goal."
"Ah. Yes."
Ok, I'm SO glad that we're on the same page now. Back to my grocery list. That's right, walk back to your buddy over there. Now where was I? Oh yeah, marshmallows...graham crackers...
"Excuse me ma'am but I would love for you to have a copy of this book."
He came back. Again?
"Oh, no thank you. Like I said, I have my own Bible."
"But this isn't a Bible. It's a book that can't be bought in stores and I won't charge you anything for it. It's free to all people."
"Really, I'm ok. I'm sure you can find someone else who could use it."
Pushy much?
"No, I would love for you to have it. Do you know what happens to people when they die?"
Haven't we established that I'm a Christian already?
"I think it depends on what they believe."
"So you believe in a heaven with God and an eternal hell?"
"Yes, that is what I believe."
"Well, you're wrong."
What the mess?!
"Excuse me?"
I have never. Ever. Met someone so pushy.
"Please. Just take my book. It explains everything. The Bible never mentions heaven or hell. Christians have been deceived by society and I want you to know how to be a real Christian."
Flaring frustration. Are you even allowed to do this to people in Wal-Mart?
"I'm sure it's a lovely book but I know and understand what I believe."
"Please just take it."
"No thank you."
Forced smile.
"Take it!"
"No! I need to start my grocery shopping now." (Best clever come back ever.)
Because I came to Wal-Mart to shop not to have a book shoved under my nose by a pushy dude.
So I walk toward the frozen foods just to get away from homeboy. Then Kris walks up. Praise Jesus! (Whom I believe is my Lord and Savior. Just in case you've forgotten!)
"Do I need to go beat somebody up."
"No, he's just looking for Kristen."
"Yeah. That's exactly what I thought."

Monday, September 7, 2009

An Update. Stage 4.

An Update. Stage 3.

Literally 2 days after getting engaged we undertook yet another adventure!
We visited this campus...

With these wonderful people...

And we even stopped here along the way.

That's right, folks! We went on our very first grad school visit with my parents to the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary!! The campus is just gorgeous (humidity soars, but that's ok!), the people there were all very nice, and we felt very comfortable with the school. We're not making any decisions yet, but this was a great place! As you can sort of see from the last picture, we also made a stop at the Audobon aquarium. It was really awesome!! We walked in from the pouring rain, which is why Kris and I look like we just stepped out of a pool. Oh, in the picture he's pointing at Stingrays and I'm just excited about being newly engaged, hence the ring-flashing. We both enjoyed the trip and the quality time with my parents. The drive was long, but we shortened it by stopping along the way there and back at the Fi's hometown. His parents put us all up for two nights and they gave us a party. But, alas, the details will have to wait for tomorrow!

An Update. Stage 2.

The weekend after my lovely SAI convention I sang at a convention for Eastern Star. I got all dressed up and sang "How Deep the Father's Love For Us" and "The Lord's Prayer" when suddenly I was surprised by an unexpected guest.

I'm engaged! He surprised me at the convention and in front of over 1,000 people he asked me to marry him! I said...
And now we're engaged! Things work out like that sometimes. :-)
We're coming up on our two year mark this month and what better way to enter this time in our lives? Knowing that I'm going to marry the man that God designed for me is more fulfilling than I ever imagined. The wedding is on June 5, 2010. Are you coming?

An Update. Stage 1.

I have been quite the delinquent blogger as of late. To all 2 of my readers, I apologize. In an attempt to catch up on all the things that have been happening in my life, I will be updating my blog in stages. It will all happen in chronological order and today is Stage 1! Get excited!

July 29-August 3 I went to the Sigma Alpha Iota national convention in Chicago.
I made some lovely new friends and we made our own Crystal Glass Choir when we were supposed to be listening to speeches.

I got lots of compliments on my chapter's SAI ladybug shirt on the same evening had my face painted with a sparkly red treble clef.

At the end of the trip when my new friends andI changed our departure time we got upgraded to a limo! This was the first limo ride I've ever taken, so I was excited!!

The convention was absolutely wonderful and I'm very glad that I have that experience. I learned so much about the women's music fraternity that I'm a part of at school and got many ideas for the coming year. I spent most of my days in the meeting room doing lots of official business "stuff" but there were many mini-recitals throughout the day to keep things spiced up. I bought a few things at the Phlea-Phlam picnic which was carnival themed. Phlea-Phlam is an opportunity for chapters to set up booths and sell homemade SAI merchandise. It was really creative and fun! I was sad to leave at the end of it all, but the next weekend held an even more wonderful and exciting event. You'll hear about that tomorrow.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I would like to register a formal complaint against a particular brand of internet user. The kind that has Facebook notes, blog entries, Myspace profiles, or any other type of publication that looks something like this:

LOLZ my momz like totaly jst got so POd at me 4 wat i sad to my lil broz 2day! itz crazee the way she jst cant C how matur i am.

Or maybe like this...

joe jonas iz like a hottie deelux!!! i cant wait 2 C him @ a concert 2morrow!!!~!!~ when he seez me itll be like love at 1st site! i no that he will LUV me, rite?! lolz

Or possibly as hideous as this...

my japinese Naruto character hadiwasi (did i spel that rite?!) is so kicka##!

Not only are you publicly showcasing your own ridiculous behavior...you're making American youth everywhere look like uneducated, immature, dingbats.

Oh wait, they already do.

The rant is now complete.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

So this is love...

I just love looking at old pictures.
This is one of my favorites.
Of all time.
I mean, they just look so happy!
I'm glad that God placed these two people together. They're very special and I love them SO much.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stop tripping on your safety nets!

Life is so unpredictable.

However, I often find myself trying in my very most stubborn attitude to predict it. I am a planner. I very rarely enjoy spontaneity...only if it's pertaining to something trivial can I find myself being spontaneous. I like to make decisions quickly because I want to be able to plan accordingly. Also, the longer I take to make a decision the more I stress out about it. (by the way...I'm also indecisive. Go figure. God and His sense of humor...)

While talking to The Boy on Sunday about some very important education decisions that we've both been considering, I became very overcome with emotion. So many times we lay down all these "Safety Nets". We literally cover our future with prospective options and ideas just in case something "Falls Through". For instance, someone might think "I shall get a degree in Music Education. That's the responsible thing to do because, you see, education is a sturdy field to pursue. Yes, I feel God calling me to music ministry but that can wait. There's no way I can make a living and provide for a family with those plans." Or someone else might say "I think I'll get my Master's degree from a respectable seminary even though they don't offer the program that will prepare me for the type of ministry I feel called to. I don't really need the education, just the degree, right?"

So. I had a thought. This is something that happens to me often, believe it or not.

This "Safety Net" crap is pointless! If I am truly following God's will, listening to His voice and understanding his protection then why do I need to lay down all these Nets? I don't need to think about every option and have a finger in every pie, if you will. Now, I'm not saying that being prepared for wherever God takes me is a mistake, not at all, but I am realizing something important. If I start walking along the path that God has prepared for me and I have all these little "Safety Nets" at my feet just in case something "Falls Through" Then I am going to be distracted and I will get my feet tangled up and trip on them. However, if I start walking that path with focus on Jesus Christ and His perfect will, then I have no need for Nets.

I have a million more thoughts running around in my head about this, but this is all that I can write that would make sense in actual words.

So, I leave you with the original quote from my conversation and I hope that it does some good for somebody...
"You have got to stop laying down all these safety nets! Otherwise, you're just going to trip on them!"

Adventures of the Froomies!

I live for my weekends.

My weeks are wonderful, don't get me wrong. I really enjoy my jobs and voice lessons and practicing. But, my weekends are just a nice, relaxing get away.

This past weekend I went to see my Froomie a.k.a Sammi Slamma Jamma. Both of these names involve long stories which I shall not disclose here due to, well, not wanting to take the time. Anyways, I digress too often. I left HPUville on Friday morning and went to spend the weekend with Froomie in her hometown. I had never visited and since a mutual friend was getting married very near SSJ's home, we figured this was the perfect opportunity. It was a lovely weekend. We got to catch up over dinner before going to a bible study with some of her friends on Friday. Then Saturday was the wedding!!

But. (there's always a but) (and a butt). I forgot my dress in HPUville!

Seriously. Who does that!! I had two dresses set aside; one for the wedding and one for church and they both stayed hung up in my apartment. The funny thing is, I remembered the coordinating jewelry. But not the dresses. I crack myself up sometimes. So...my Froomie and I made a little trip to the local Walmart and picked up a super cute dress which happened to match the jewelry, nail polish and shoes that I packed. Also, it was $9! So maybe, overall, I'm glad that I left the dresses at home.

So, now I shall post a few of my favorite pictures. :-)

My Froomie and I when we arrived at the church.
We were early so we had fun taking pictures at the church playground :-) This showcases my cute new dress!
He sang to her! Oh my goodness, it was beautiful!
The stunning bride and I.
The Risners!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ich vermisse....

This past Sunday, June 21, marked one year since I left for Germany. I started the process of praying and looking for an opportunity to serve there in August of 2007, and thanks to a friend that God placed in my path at exactly the right moment, everything fell into place. I had been longing to go back for 4 years. God is so good; He sent me back with wonderful plans. I was able to meet some of the most amazing people in the world and also to reconnect with old friends.

This week has been rough for me.

When I first came back to Texas I was ecstatic to be with my family and friends again, but it was a difficult transition for me. I know why God brought me back; I couldn't stay forever. :-) But big parts of me wanted to stay.

This week has been rough for me because:
It's been one year. One very blessed year, but not a year without daily missing Germany.
I miss my friends and host families.
I long to go back.
I miss travelling on the U-bahn and the buses every day. Who needs a car, anyway?
I want to sit in a German worship service and only be able to understand half of the words, but still feel God speaking to me.
I miss the great conversations I had with Jackie while cooking in her kitchen.
I would love to be picking strawberries with Anneke while talking about silly boys and an amazing God.
I never got to go to the theater and see an opera. I want to do that.
I miss Lennart. His funny jokes and perfect english.
I want to see how much John and Tom have grown and talk about life with Van.
I miss Gisela and Bernd. And Paula. Wonderful host parents.
I want to be riding in a BMW with Philip even though he's a crazy driver on the autobahn.
I miss being able to laugh at my broken German, but knowing that it was getting better everyday!
I miss the team from Cali and spending time with Theresa.
I miss the NC team.
I miss everything. And everyone.

So, during this rough week, I'm trying really hard to focus on these things:
I work with beautiful children at FBC.
I love hpuville even when I'm bored out of my mind.
My family is in Texas. They love me beyond what I deserve.
I have friends here that have had similar experiences to mine. They are the best about really knowing my passion.
I see my nieces and nephews every few weeks. They grow so quickly and I would miss that if I wasn't here.
I have an incredible relationship with the boy and he is very understanding of my love for Germany.
I am learning about God's will.
And God's will is for me to be here.

Anneke and I in my first week.
Andi and I in Regensburg.
Inside joke.
The Kloepfers.
The Ingrams.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Not Me! Monday...oh yes, Malissa, I've jumped on the bandwagon!

Because my sister has gotten me sucked into the MckMama vortex, I am going to join in on the fun of a "Not Me! Monday" blog experience.


This weekend I definitely did not wake up at 5:25am to drive back to HPUville in order to be at church by 10:30.
And...whilst making this drive...I didn't see a sweet turtle cross the middle of the busy road. Even if I had seen a turtle, I never ever would have pulled over, turned around, ran into the road, and picked up said imaginary turtle. And after all that I would never be caught placing the turtle into my car to take home and live in my bathtub for the morning until I could come home from church and take it to the local park. I mean, what kind of insane person does that? NOT ME!

I also didn't decide that "Heart Healthy" tortillas were, as they say, "for the birds". And I never would have taken that notion so far as to actually go feed about 15 of them to the ducks and geese at the aforementioned local park. Never would I be so silly as to feed crappy perfectly lovely tortillas to a combination of fish, turtles, ducks, geese and squirrels. Nope. NOT ME!

When I talked to my Schatz on the phone this week, I never nagged at him for "never telling me anything". I don't nag. Never never never. And, in the same phone conversation I wouldn't be caught trying to coax out information about upcoming events in our relationship. I am always completely patient and am never nosy. I leave being nosy up to my sister.

Last night, after eating dinner I did not eat a huge bowl of ice cream and justify it by putting blackberries on top! I am always a very healthy new-veg who watches everything that I eat. Besides, I never let my cravings get to me. I am strong.

Ok. That's all for this week. I feel much better.

Monday, June 8, 2009


You've been hijacked!!

Just wanted to take a short minute to tell you how proud I am at the woman you have become! It has been amazing to watch as you have followed the Lord's will for your life with such bravery and grace...it takes a lot of guts to accomplish some of the things that you have, and I am so proud.

Can't wait to watch and see what's next....
Your amazed sis

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Caution: God's timing is not to be questioned.

This is sort of a continuation to my last post. I've been realizing today (well...over time, but especially today) how the tiniest details are orchestrated for a bigger plan long before I ever even know it's coming.

Scenario 1: I began considering living in HPUville this summer in January. I knew that staying in here meant that I could have an ocassional voice lesson to help prepare for my senior recital and probably find a job easier than in my hometown. Then I thought, "Hey...I've never...ever...lived by myself." That's definitely an experience that I need. At some point in my life I'm going to have to learn how to be semi-independent. Better now than later, right? So this definitely seemed like the perfect plan. Because members of my family were...ummm...less than enthusiastic about this plan, I seriously considered just staying at home and giving up on my summer in HPUville. However, somehow I just knew that I was making the best decision for me. It was difficult and it didn't come without tears but I just knew I was heading down the right path.

Scenario 2: I'm a Vocal Performance major. Vocal = singing and Performance =performing. Add these two together and you get a scenario such as opera or musical theater where one sings and performs simultaneously. Those of you who know me well know that I am not currently, nor have I ever been, an actress. I've improved, but only because I have excellent teachers! When it came time for the HPU homecoming musical auditions last month I was so stoked, but frazzled beyond my wit's end. I picked my audition piece, worked really hard on preparing it, and went into the audition with a stomach in knots. When the cast list was posted, my first reaction was disappointment. My second was pure excitement for a couple of my friends. Of course, the green monster of jealousy creeped up for a bit, but I got rid of him pretty quick. The green monster and I are not friends, you see. Anyways, I was leaving for home right after congratulating one of my friends and I had a long drive to think about things. Something inside me just didn't feel right. I can't completely explain it but I'm going to try. When I sang in the operas this past semester I had the time of my life and it was a wonderful experience. It's something that I would enjoy doing again someday but when I look realistically at my future I know that performing isn't going to be my focus. Ministry is. Being in the opera gave me the courage to reach out of my shell and know that I can actually enjoy performing. But, when I'm on stage with the chapel band my heart opens up in a way that chokes me up and makes laugh at the same time. It's joy and passion that I just can't shake, nor do I want to shake it. I can't live my life between performances and auditions. As a side project, bring it on...as a career? I just can't see it. I cried and it broke my heart, but I decided to not participate in the musical in the fall. This was not a reaction in bitterness or frustration or jealousy. This was simply my assurance that God had something else planned for me in the fall that he wanted me to focus my attention on. I had not a clue what it was but...

Then, out of no where I'm in a position that all but forces me to graduate in December. Suddenly, all of this makes sense. Had I not chosen to live in HPUville for the summer, I would be coming back in August completely unprepared for an hour-long recital in November. Impossible. And my unsettling feeling that God had something else planned in place of the musical? I believe that was God setting everything into place so that when I found out that I would be graduating in December I would be able to focus completely on my recital.

Over the past couple of weeks I have really questioned God's timing. Why December? I don't know what He has planned for me after graduation and that truly scares me. But, knowing that He's already been preparing my way gives me so much comfort. I could never ask for a more caring, gracious, sustaining God. He is never going to leave me. So, even though I'm hurting some feelings (mine included, believe me) I am going forward onto a path that has been paved by God and that isn't going to lead me away from Him. I'm not perfect, so this is not going to be easy for me but because I am finally in the place where I can see God's perfect planning I have so much peace. Praise God for his Love, Timing, and Perfect Provision.

Friday, June 5, 2009

All by myself...

In January, when I first started thinking about my summer plans, (yes, I plan that far in advance) I decided that I needed this to be a summer on my own. My plans consisted of 1) trying to find a decent job or two in HPUville b) learning how to live/function by myself c) and get into stinkin' shape!

My plans came out just the way I hoped. I'm working in an office here at HPU and also interning at my local church. My roommate is home for the summer so that takes care of point B. Point C is...well...it's developing. I thought that I would be miserably lonely but...

...enter VBS. Oh my goodness! I taught music at this year's VBS "Crocodile Dock" and it was such a blast! The only time I was alone this week was while I was sleeping. Because, yes, I prefer to sleep alone. :-D The kids were fantastic and they learned their songs with so much enthusiasm and joy. I was expecting to have at least a few whiners, but they stepped up to the plate and completely surprised me. Last night, the last half hour of our normal schedule was family night. The parents/siblings/etc. of all the kids came to see exactly what it was that rocked about the Croc Dock. Most of the presentation was taken up by them singing 4 of the songs that they learned. I was standing in the back cuing their motions and enjoying the sounds they were making and the big smiles on their faces. God teaches me so much through children. Being able to teach them something and impact them even in the smallest ways gives me so much fulfillment. Maybe this is a sign....

So back to the original intent of my post. All by myself. Next week is going to be much different. There actually will be time spent by myself. A lot of it. But, bring it on. I have some reading to catch up on. This weekend one of my 3 best friends is coming to HPUville to see me! (I should probably go shower before she gets here at noon...hmmm.) I'm really looking forward to some girl time to help me wind-down after the long week.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

So maybe...

...I decided not to use my blog while in Munich. I used lots of email updates and facebook contact instead.