Can I tell you a little something?

I know it’s been a while.

Some time ago… I faced a dark situation – where I couldn’t really see beyond what I was dealing with. It effected every facet of my life: my work, my health, my relationships. For years when things felt dark, I’d write and somehow my words would bring me back around. God would reveal Himself in between sentences and vowels. But this time, I was dealing with a situation that made me feel helpless a lot of the time. I’d started second guessing myself, because I was being told I was making mistakes often. I stopped believing in myself. I stopped writing completely.

But somehow God still found a way to reveal somethings to me. First of all, reminding me my voice can be powerful even when it’s shaky. My handwriting can write the truth, even when I’m being told I “misunderstood things.” And the Truth is the truth, no matter what. Period.

Last year our word as a Family was Faithfulness, and I gotta say it was a sucker punch of a word. We were taken aback by how often our faithfulness was stretched, and pulled. But in the end, we learned time and time again when we were Faithful in even the little things- God was Faithful in the big stuff. And boy, did we need that.

This year our word is Joy. But it actually goes beyond just Joy, it’s Choosing Joy really.

Writing brings me Joy. So here I am.

Recently, one of my oldest friends Amanda found a letter I wrote to her in 1998.

In it I wrote the following…

Please pray for Chris and I. We always need a little bit of prayer. I was on the phone with my Mom and I told her we were getting married. Not that we’re engaged or anything, but I got all choked up cause I know now more than ever that Chris W is my vocation.”

Ok, forget the fact that I wrote Chris and I, when I should have written Chris and Me. I was 19. We’d been dating maybe a year and a half? But even then I knew. Even then I chose him.

You see a vocation isn’t just a choice. Not to me. When I knew we’d be together, I was much younger than I should have been deciding that stuff. But I knew there was a divine pull that brought the two of us together. Ask anyone who was there before we became us. It was more than attraction. It was more than the fact that we genuinely liked each other. I felt from the moment I saw him, that He was the person I would marry. A year and a half later I knew He was my vocation.

At 19 I didn’t know we’d face some of our darkest skies together. I didn’t know we’d have a house burn down, and that I’d have to save his life pulling him out of the fire. I didn’t know we’d say things to each other over the years, that would make us hurt to forgive one another. I didn’t know we’d struggle to pay our bills, especially after 9/11 when appraisal jobs ran out. I didn’t know we’d grieve a child, and I didn’t know the grief doesn’t ever go away. I didn’t know how much His career would impact our every day life. I didn’t know we’d lose loved ones, and for a while wouldn’t know how to comfort each other. I didn’t know there would be months where we’d never seem to speak the same language. I didn’t know we’d lay in bed and comfort our child sobbing over a broken heart, neither of us knowing the right thing to say. But still we’ve faced them…and we’ve chosen each others hand under the covers on the darkest days as we’ve fallen asleep.

We’ve also faced the brightest sunshine together- the stuff that’s easy to write about. Slow dancing over the years in our kitchen. Our letters to each other brimming to the top in boxes. Our traditions we’ve made together, things our kids will always remember. Date nights every week for the last 22 years. Our kids- OUR KIDS which are the absolute best of us. Being able to pay our bills. Being able to buy movie popcorn(luxuries we couldn’t afford for so long). Surprising each other. Praying together and over each other. Being individuals who just fit. Being best friends.

We chose this life. We chose each other. We choose each other under every sky. And even at 19 I knew where we were going…the same direction. It’s not been easy. It’ll never be easy. But I choose Him.

And He chose me.

A couple months ago I decided on a whim to change my nose ring from a stud to a ring. I called Chris in the parking lot of the place- to let him know I was changing it up. All He had to say was “Surprise me.” If there isn’t a more accurate definition of us I don’t know. He rejoices in who I am- because He loves me for who I am. He always has.

Now more than ever- after 40 years of life- this year I am choosing Joy. So I figured I’d share one of my biggest sources of Joy, God has gifted me.

Real life.





What a gift that joy is!

I hope you find a sliver of it today. Some days that’s all you need.

Love, kristin ann

Ps: what do YOU choose today?