Goodbye 2013

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It’s time to bring this year to a close, and write an obligatory year-end blog post.

This year, man. Kinsey turned 1. We bought a house in Salt Lake City, which gave everyone who knows us well the signal that we planned to stay here longer than a year. We managed to surpass our usual 1 year 1/2 state occupancy, which is a pretty big deal considering we’ve lived in 5 states in the last 5 years. WHOO HOO!

We had some heartache. Every year, does. But, there has been a lot of special moments too.

I also like myself more this year. Is that weird to say? Like, I think I am sorta kickass. I’ve maintained my goal to create community with people, and I’ve managed to stay true to myself. I am uncompromisingly true to who I am, and I feel like knowing who I am at my very core at age 26 (27 here in a couple weeks) is a pretty kickass thing.

I love my husband. I love him more today than I did yesterday, and more than I did 9 years ago when we had our first date. He loves me so wholly, and unconditionally–which is perfect, because I’m really mean sometimes.

My kid. She will be two in a couple months, and I get weepy just thinking about it. I don’t know how I was chosen to be her Mama, but I feel incredibly thankful to know her. She can be a real butthead sometimes, but even in those moments I smile, because I know she got that from me.

2014 has much in store for us. In previous years, I’ve hoped for calmness; I’ve hoped for stability. Every year that I hoped for those things, BIG changes happened. We had a baby and moved across the country and then back again. I’m comfortable just taking life as it comes. Big or small, this year can do as it pleases, and I’ll go along for the ride.

Top Blog Posts this Year:

A Letter to My Daughter on Her First Birthday

My Let’s All Watch the Bachelor Series (you guys should be ashamed of yourselves! 😉

Work It’ Girl Guest Post by Brandy (You can read the rest of our Mom Series Here)

I Saw HER and Cried Real Tears

Bravery (my post about our Miscarriage)

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We Need A Flawless Constant

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{photo by Julie de Waroquier)

Sometimes, I feel like I put out a lot of effort, and it often feels like it goes unanswered.

It feels empty, sometimes.

I force myself to send it out, and often get nothing back.

But, I am starting to realize that this may just be what it is supposed to be.

A lot of push and pull.

A lot of unanswered effort.

We win sometimes, but we will lose most of the time.

Community is messy.

Heart friends are hard to find.

When you find them, you have to hold on like hell, because they are rare.

This sounds depressing, but I think it might be freeing.

Freeing to realize that beauty isn’t supposed to be common.

Divine moments would be less divine if they were experienced so frequently.

It may be better to expect to be burned. Low expectations means there is less disappointment and more surprises.

And since I’m stating a bunch of really hard truths, I will say this:

I don’t want to be the kind of person who doesn’t trust others, in fear that they will hurt me. I want to give people the benefit of the doubt. I want to leap, and then tend to my heart. But, I am starting to understand why guarding and protecting our little hearts is necessary.

And, I may not be very good at it.

I think I am at a place in my life where how I am treated, has little effect on my core. My faith has come too far to let people munk up its’ waters. I know who I am. I know where I stand. My ground is firm.

But, community can be messy.

Heart friends can be hard to find.

But, my spirit can not be weakened by others. I won’t allow it. I love myself too much to let other people be assholes to me.

That might be the most profound truth in this long list of self talk.

I love my family. Love my husband. Love my little daughter. I love us, too much, to let others wreak us.
And so, maybe I need to learn to jump a little less often. Maybe I need to learn to protect us harder. Maybe I can’t be the kind of person who trusts easy. Maybe, it is necessary to guard stronger. Because I love to love people, but in life, I’m learning that people don’t love back easy. We are too messy as a collective people to freely love each other, and do it well.

I think this is why we need a God that never fails. We need a flawless constant.

I do, at least.

{self talk: brought to you by me, in this strange little heart place that I am in}

Small Prayers

I remember how broken I felt last summer, as I watched the news coverage for the Waldo Canyon Fire. I remember wiping tears off my face and whispering prayers for the helpless. It was unimaginable then, and now, not even a year later, my city is in flames again. It’s hard to be here in Salt Lake when my heart is at home. Some of my favorite memories as a kid are the days that we spent at my grandparents house in Black Forest. I remember watching antelope through binoculars with my grandfather on their big porch. I remember helping my Nana in her garden. I remember running around in their corral with my cousins and playing in their pond. And,  I remember burying my grandfather in the Black Forest cemetery.

My sister’s husband lost his grandfather last week. His parents returned home from the funeral, and had to evacuate their home. So in midst of grieving, they had to leave a home that they have made memories in for over 20 years. At this point, their address is still not on the preliminary assessment list. And, as I sit here and wait for updates on the destruction that my city is facing, I feel like my faith is being challenged.

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Last summer when the Waldo Canyon Fire was engulfing neighborhoods of friends that I grew up with, I said this about prayer…

“It sounds so insignificant when we are faced with the heaviest of circumstances, but it is all that we can do, and Jesus calls it enough. He commands us to do it, tells us that nothing is too great, and we should bring all requests before Him. His House. We must pray for His House.”

I felt faith well up inside me, and though it was hard, I remember it was easy to trust. But now, in this moment, if I am honest, I feel like my prayers are empty. I feel like they aren’t enough. I know in my heart they are heard, but in my head, they feel so small.

I feel small.

I wish that I felt like my prayer was powerful. I wish that I could say that I can feel them move. I have faith. I have hope. But, in this moment, I feel so very small.

All we can do is wait. Sit and wait for this horrific tragedy to end. And, all I can do is pray. Pray and hope that my faith is enough. I want to bravely say that our prayers sustain. In my heart, I know that they do. In my heart, I know that they are worthy. But, in this moment, my soul feels uncertain.

Join me in prayer, no matter how small you may feel. 

Donations:

To donate $10 to Care and Share, text “donate” to 41010. The donation will appear on your next phone bill. Or you can make a donation online at www.careandshare.org. Indicate that the donation is for “fire response.”

To make a donation of any amount to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund, launched Tuesday to benefit nonprofits providing local disaster relief, visit www.ppcf.org/products/emergency-relief. The fund is modeled off of last year’s Waldo Canyon Firefighters Fund but will have more flexibility, according to the website.

You can also purchase a Wild Fire Tee. 100% of profits go to the Pikes Peak Emergency Relief Fund.