Monday, March 30, 2009

A Monday

Greetings,


This is the start of my week....


All of these need ironing and folding....

And these need to be washed....


Laundry is not an easy task here in Greece. The average wash time is about 1 hour 30 minutes. Easy enough if you schedule properly... the bathroom will flood if ANY other water is running. FYI do not take a bath, brush your teeth, and do NOT flush the toilet!


As for the dryer.... have any of you used a dryer withOUT an outside exhaust? Well, that's all we have here. So before you start a new load... you need to toss out the old water.





Oh, did I mention my washer and dryer are foreign? Yes, the washer speaks Italian (I am loving those many years of Italian lessons) and the dryer speaks Greek... (no such luck there)






Do you see the 3 words I know?

Off
Start
Stop



After many tries... I have found the right setting... not sure exactly what it is or translates to. But for me... it translates to a 2 hour dry time. The dryer does not have a blower.... so the clothes just spin and spin in extreme heat while the excess water collects at the top.


Sometimes... I just wish things could be a little easier here... just once in a while. I think laundry is going to spill over into my Tuesday.


Blessings to those with a proper exhaust,

Kristie

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sheep Jam

Greetings,


Chapel was cancelled today. It's the Annual War Protest.... for our safety... the base closes it's gates, therefore if you are on you cannot get off and if you are off you cannot get on until everything clears.


There were several streets we were cautioned from being on... luckily we live out in the streets and were free to leave the house.


However, instead of an angry mob of protesters blocking the thoroughfare.... I encountered a sheep jam.





Unlike our 1+ wait time in Atlanta this jam only lasts a few minutes. The springtime weather has began it's approach on us. I saw several little ones jumping and frolicking about.... I guess they feel it too.

As I passed I thought I would roll down the window to get a better shot and that's when it hit me... their smell. Ugh... bad. I think it's all that fur matted up and collecting dirt, clay, muck, and probably little critters. Thankfully with the change of season...the shearing is soon to come.

Maybe, that's what I need.... a shearing for the new season. A shedding of the old smelly last season's exterior to be replaced by a fresh trimming a weightlessness for spring. Um, a shearing by the Master's hand... that's a thought.


Blessings to those with this season's coat,
Kristie

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Weeks End

Greetings,

We have finally come to the end of this hectic week. One that has been both physically and emotionally draining. However, spiritually... it has been the complete opposite. We... Harry and I have felt His presence. We have felt His strong loving arms holding us and NSA Souda Bay.

Harry kept busy. He stayed, cared, and counselled with the Seabees... only leaving them to check on others in different departments.

Thursday, our Seabee left the island. In an emotional procession his fellow Seabees walked him to his departing flight. It was so windy and cold. With the sun shining and the wind whipping these guys followed behind their friend and co-worker. The short walk along the tarmac seemed such a long hard road. One filled with suffering and loss.

As his fellow comrades marched behind him my heart ached for these guys. As they folded the US flag and placed it on top... the breeze of loneliness swept through me. All I could think about was the loneliness of this sailor going back to the country he served. The loneliness of this son son going home to his parents. This husband going home to his wife. This void now only filled with loneliness.

The Memorial service took place on Friday. This was my first and oh how I wish it would be my last. But Harry... well he was amazing. God has truly called him where He wants him. Harry has a way of bringing comfort and start the healing process.

The Chapel along with half the base (I did not get a chance to ask the entire base.... or I am sure they would have helped as well) pitched in to provide an astonishing amount of food for the Public Works department. Our guys and gals set up, cooked, prepared, served, and cleaned up without a second thought.

I saw a spark in our old dry bones. Like I said earlier... Spiritually we were not drained, but renewed. A sense of purpose... a sense of helping others in need. A way to show Christian fellowship and love outside the confines of the Chapel. God's loving embrace had moved from building 53 (the Chapel) to the conference room of Public Works... to the shops of the Seabees where hardhats are required... to the outside around the smoke pit.

And considering the circumstances the week was fulfilling. As we poured ourselves out... we were filling others with a sense of Love. A Sense of Peace. A sense of much needed Hope.

"The King will reply,
‘I tell you the truth,
whatever you did
for one of the least of these brothers of mine,
you did for me.’
Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

Again, I am so thankful for the group we have at NSA Souda Bay and at our Chapel.

Blessings,
Kristie

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Proud of our Chapel

Greetings,

I would like to thank all of you who have continued to pray for us here in Souda Bay.

I also wanted to take a minute to introduce our Chapel community.

We are a diverse bunch of folks brought together in Souda Bay by our desire to gather and worship Christ. We come from all over the US, as well as South Africa, Greece, Cameroon, Africa, Canada, and many others.

We are from the Navy, Air Force, Fire Department, Computers Techies, the civialian world and many others.

Within the Navy we hail from the Chapel, Post Office, Security, Media, Seabees, Public Works, Library, Operations, Flight line, Port operations, Education department, PSD (Money People), Admin., Medical, Fire department, Supply, Fuelers, and MANY more.

We are Caucasian, African American, Latino, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian, and MANY more.

We are Baptist, Church of God, Lutheran, Assembly of God, non-denominational, Presbyterian, Methodist, Adventists, and many others.

And this week we have all came together for the needs of others. And I am so PROUD of our bunch.

Yesterday, we provided Public Works, the department who lost their friend and co-worker, with deserts. Our guys and gals produced quite a spread. And I did not eat a thing, not even a small slice (remember the whole Lent thingy), however, I did lick a brownie bowl before I even thought about it!

Friday, after the Memorial Service our amazing group is going to provide a Meal for the entire department. Last night at Chapel when I mentioned all the food we would need along with servers, and a set / break down crew.... well these guys did not even blink an eye. They were eager and willing to help.

And that my fellow blog readers... is why Harry and I love this group of hodge podge Chapel goers. This is how Harry and I have been blessed beyond measure with our experience here in Souda Bay. Because we may have different back grounds, different cultures, different denominations, and varying opinions.... but when it counts... when it is time to help someone in need...

That's when we are all .... well just Christian's serving others as Christ came to serve us.

Blessings,
Kristie

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pray for Souda Bay

Greetings,

It has been a rough day for Souda Bay.

One of our fellow sailors committed suicide last night. A young kid full of promise gone before what seems possible. We are having a hard time understanding why right now.

As a Chaplain's wife I question...

Where was God last night?

Where is God in this?

Why would God let this happen?

How could a loving God allow such misery?



My head knows that God is Sovereign. God is both Omnipotent and Omnipresent. And His plan is beyond my comprehension. But my heart aches for the pain of this family. The two (my head and heart) have a hard time wrapping themselves around this tragedy.

Souda Bay has had its trials these last few months. Within the past six months we have experienced five deaths of base personnel and the newborn baby of our friends. Since the holidays we have had 2 suicide attempts.

Really high numbers for such a small close nit bunch, I am not sure if this is normal? I have never been around situations such as these. Maybe… our life in Atlanta included a “smaller” family. Our number of friends and family well...has greatly increased here in Souda, so we are blessed beyond measure. But also saddened by the loss. I guess there is a cost in growing your friends and family.

So please extend your thoughts and prayers for NSA Souda Bay and this sailor's family.

Blessings,
Kristie

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tilling

Greetings,

In our front, side, and back lawn.. I guess all the way around really… we have a vineyard. Or our landlord has a vineyard that he tends to throughout the year. All year he is preparing the soil / red hard clay, but the Greeks call it sand. North Florida calls it clay. But the landlord is preparing the land, tying off the branches, pruning, then harvesting. I had a post last fall during the harvest, but I never posted it… I will have to find it.

This past week our landlord came early morning… earlier than I would have liked …to clear out the vineyard. I was scared to go outside considering Peabody’s stash of goods. That dog will pick up anything off the street, dig out anything from the trash bins, and take our things from the house. They all go outside in the landlord’s vineyard… to be buried.

We give her the good doggie treats from Costco, out the door she goes. Now we check her mouth not only when she comes in, but also when she goes out. She wants to bury her treats… so that she can dig them up months later for what? Old moldy red clay crusted leftovers? I have tried to tell her when we leave there goes all her treats and her hard work of burying them.

So Vasilis, the landlord, succeeded to waking the late sleepers too early when he decided to run the tiller. I should have taken a picture… or video of the noise vibrating through my walls at such wee hours of the morning.

But as he was tilling, I watched out the window and top balconies, not in a voyeuristic kind of way, but just wanted to see what he found of Peabody’s. The only interesting thing was a pair of Harry’s shoes. The old Coke bottles, beer cans, and dead animals that she collects were old news…. She brings those home all the time.

But I watched as he finished one section of the yard and moved on to the next…. finishing our neighbors, stopping for a break (he has a little shed with a cot in it), then going back to work tilling the other neighbors. I liked it.

I liked the look of the tilled side. It appeared to be cleaner. The side yet to be tilled still had weeds scattered throughout, but the tilled side, with it’s recently turned earth looked neater… Remember I like clean neat lines… and that’s what this now looked like.





Tillage is the agricultural preparation of the soil by ploughing, ripping, or turning it.

I like that… ploughing, ripping, and turning it. It dawned on me maybe that’s what God is doing to me right now. Maybe? Here in my waiting room… my dissatisfaction with the lack of direction in my life…. Maybe it’s preparation. Maybe He’s preparing me for something. He has definitely turned things over. I went from having involvement with multiple ministries to sitting on a pew. And that is substantially ripping me inside.


Purposes Of Tillage

  • Ploughing loosens and aerates the soil which in turn facilitates deeper penetration of roots.
  • It helps in the growth of microorganisms present in the soil and thus, maintains the fertility of the soil.
  • It is used for destroying weeds



Ploughing aerates and loosens the soil for deeper roots….


As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord,
so walk in Him,
rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith,
as you have been taught,
abounding in it with thanksgiving.
Col 2:6,7 (NKJV)


Growth and maintaining fertile soil….

You visit the earth and give it rain;
You make it rich and fertile with overflowing streams full of water.
You provide grain for them,
for you prepare the earth to yield its crops.
Ps. 65:9 (NET)





Destroying weeds….

The Parable of the Weeds

He presented them with another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a person who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. When the plants sprouted and bore grain, then the weeds also appeared.
Mat 13:24-26 (NET)



So as I look at our newly tilled vineyard....

I cannot help but think...

Obviously my soil / soul could use some turning and ripping so my roots can grow deeper and firmer. Maybe, I need to air out a little?

My soil / soul needs to maintain it's fertility... not have babies, but be rich in nutrients, contain sufficient minerals, good structure, and a range of characteristics that support and sustain life.

Surely, I have weeds that need destroying. Little seeds of doubt, insecurities, and lack of direction. Seeds that grow into weeds destroying the good stuff. Weeds will steal the nutrients of your harvest. They will literally suck the life out of your plants.



In the 65th Psalms, David is praying for victory over his enemies. He is calling for God to still the turmoil of the nation.


You saturate its furrows,

and soak its plowed ground.

With rain showers you soften its soil,

and make its crops grow.

Ps 65:10 (NET)


So I guess my prayers this week have been for God to do just that...plow up my soil, saturate it with His will, soften me so I may receive what He hs in store for me, and grow in Him


Blessings for the harvest,

Kristie


Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Fonz

Sunday, Monday, Happy Days,

Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days,

Thursday, Friday, Happy Days,

Saturday, what a day,




I have a new and immediate prayer request...








Kayne, now known around here as The Fonz bought / brought this home today.... there goes his income tax $$. And my sanity with my peace of mind. And my Happy Days.

Driving here on Crete has its challenges within the confines of a steel metal framed car. I do not even want to think about the difficulties without the safety cage. Kayne has always had a sport utility vehicle of some sort, 4-wheeler from the time he was 12, ridden dirt bikes (remember we are from the South), even a small moPed. Except these were recreational in nature, not his only means of transportation on a paved highway.

Never a dull moment here.


These Happy Days are yours and mine (oh Happy Days)


Blessings from a concerned sister,

Kristie



Outdoor Market

Greetings,

This weekend Harry and I headed down to the local outdoor market.

Here you can find “organic” vegetables along with a few other necessities, but only early every Saturday morning…

We bring a small Ikea bag to hold our purchases. We have yet to reach experienced shopper status…. Then your goodies are wheeled around in a shopping bag with wheels.

On the top of the hill, a shopper can find anything from clothing to household goods.






Here I am bartering for onions and potatoes.



Yummy organic vegetables.






And into the household goods section. Or what I refer to as Domestics.




I searched high and low, I dug deep for...

Christian Louboutin

Manolo Blahnik

or

Jimmy Choo

but... to no avail.




I searched for...

True Religion

Seven for All Mankind

Jean Paul Gaultier or the

Roberto Cavalli Dark Wash Skinny Jean

but again... to no avail.





And once home… you can make a wonderfully delicious Greek salad.




Greek Salad Cretan style

Slice:
Tomato
Cucumber
Onion
Green Bell Pepper

Then add:
Hunk of fresh Feta cheese
Olives

Dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste



Blessings to those home grown,

Kristie

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ecclesiastes III

A Time for All Events in Life


There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under heaven:

Ecc 3:1 (NIV)



Our legs have arrived!!



Today we received the long awaited box of table legs.

Ordered: Summer of 2008.

Arrived: March 18, 2009








a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance.

Ecc 3:4 (NIV)



Remember we ordered 1 table with legs and received 2 tables without legs....


Well, only 1 set of table legs were shipped....

So we had to decide which table received their bearings ... their legs...

And the round table lost.





a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

Ecc 3:6 (NIV)



So we are unsure how to proceed with the round table leg issue?


Blessings to those with a good sturdy pair of legs,

Kristie


I'm a slow oxidizer

Greetings,

I have decided to find a way to rid myself of the 12 pounds acquired here in Souda. In my endeavor hear people say....

You needed the weight.

It looks good on you.

Where? I see no weight gain.

You could use the weight gain.

If I were you….


Well I have to say:

No I do not need the weight. Who ever needs more weight?

It does not look good on me… what a mean thing to say.

Would you really like me to show you?

Exactly how can I use weight gain?




And you are not me!


And a couple of other things I would like to add….. I am cheap. That may come as a shocker to some, but like to shop at outlet and discounted stores. Name brands yes, but discounted. So I am very disappointed when I can no longer fit into my clothes. And cannot afford new ones.

When I was home this past Christmas break my sister commented on how I was wearing tight jeans now. To which I had to explain… I am not going for the hoochie momma look, my clothes are just too tight. And like I said before…. I do not want to buy other clothes. I like the ones I have, they are comfy and already stretched!

And who in their right mind wants to break down and buy a bigger size? I mean come on!

So I have decided to start a workout regime. Previously, I went to base for Yoga / Pilates, but who wants to be seen in yoga pants in front of your friends and Chapel goers.

In Atlanta, I ran. Our neighborhood had a nice lighted paved walkway; except for the dog pooh it was ideal. Here in Starvos I had tried running, but just not into it, and here there is sheep pooh. It’s still too cold and my ears get cold.


The problems I have encountered...





....this chair, however ugly, is quiet comfortable.


Also.....




... these shoes just sit there. I am waiting for them to sprout wings, lace themselves onto my feet, and fly out the door and down the street like Wile E Coyote after the road runner.


So I decided on the Jillian Michaels workout. Harry loves her. I think we watched Biggest Loser so Harry could see Jillian motivate others in her yoga pants. Just kidding!





So I went to her website and did the whole customize your workout thingy. And here's what they gave me...


Here's Your Customized Weight Loss Plan:Based on your answers, here's my triple-threat plan for you. My online program makes weight-loss simple, with real solutions for people who want to lose weight and keep it off.

1. Sweat

You're a Pear — but you can pare down!

Like all pears, you tend to store fat in your lower body, so you're probably carrying extra weight around your hips, buttocks, and thighs. Anyone can be a pear, but this shape is more common among women, and it actually evolved because fat stored in these areas aids in fertility and breast-feeding. It's an interesting fact — but I know as well as anyone that this type of fat is harder to lose. Not to worry! I have exercises that will target your fat storage areas. My personalized program will help you alter your pear shape. But you got to get a grip — you can only win against genetics up to a certain point. Once you understand this, you can let go of unreachable goals and replace them with real ones.


I encourage you to:
Power walk. You can do it anywhere, and at 4 mph, you’ll be burning at least 250 calories an hour.Run indoors or out. All you need are good running shoes. And at 5 mph, you’ll burn over 400 calories an hour.


2. Science

You're a slow oxidizer.

Because you crave foods like fruit, bread, and crackers, you may be a slow oxidizer. This is the fancy term for your metabolic rate. It simply means that you burn through the nutrients in your food slowly and that energy production is therefore delayed. Fat and protein slow down your rate of oxidation and energy production even further. So to best serve your metabolism and feel energized both physically and mentally, you require foods with higher percentages of carbs.


Your ideal meals and snacks should break down to a ratio of 60% carbs, 25% protein, and 15% fat. But the bottom line is, you have to burn more calories than you take in. That's it. And to really do this successfully, you have to eat the ideal diet for your body and metabolism. Believe me — I've struggled with this myself. And I've done a lot of research and work to figure out my ideal diet.


3. Self

My 7 steps to behavioral modification

Lots of so-called "experts" talk about willpower. Well, I say screw willpower — there's no such thing! Sure, we all have fleeting moments of bravado. But that virtue comes and goes. I'm going to teach you some basic techniques to change your habits and program yourself against failure! You are going to have to do the work, though. I don't want to hear that you don't have the time. If that's your excuse, then get back to me when you're ready. I'll be here.

Ready? Okay, good. Let's make some changes together:

1. Avoid dangerous situations. STOP driving by the doughnut shop on your way to work. When you go out to dinner, ask the waiter not to bring bread to your table.

2. Get a hobby. Start taking your dog on longer walks. Fix up your attic. By focusing on positive activities, you'll find yourself becoming more relaxed, happier, and thinner!

3. Curb mindless eating. Don't eat while standing up, and don't skip meals. Brush your teeth after every meal and snack. Food never seems as appealing when you have that toothpaste taste in your mouth.



....and yes there should be 7, but of course you need to pay for the others..... so I am going to try her workout video and the few free tips she suggested. I may be brushing my teeth all day!


Blessings to those motivated,

Kristie



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Go green

Greetings,


In honor of Saint Patrick's Day... we're going green.

Here in our agrigarian society...we try our best to remain true to our green roots.


Yeah right... we do not even have recycle bins to separate the trash.


Of course it is my luck that the one of the ways we, over here on Crete, can help with the environment is with our hot water heater. Our solar powered water heater.











Yes... you see how small our tank is? Equate this for me....

1 small hot water tank

3 persons living in house

3 persons needing hot water shower / baths everyday

1 person needs minimum 3 baths per day



Another equation:


1 small tank that heats with sunlight

1 winter season with no sunlight only clouds and rain

3 persons living in house

3 persons needing hot water shower / baths everyday

1 person needs minimum 3 baths per day




Luckily the 3 persons do not need the facilities at the same time... so we flip on the electric switch... there goes the "going green", and wait about an hour for somewhat hot water. Once the tank is empty... repeat the process.


Except on Sundays when 2 persons are trying to get out the house at the same time. No wonder Harry and I are always late for Sunday School.


I'd rather recycle. That's a lot of work for a bath. The precise timing and everything involved... but I am dedicated!



Blessings to those with a large tank,

Kristie

Monday, March 16, 2009

More Christmas

Christmas in March,

We had a few more Christmas presents arrive this past week….

For Harry
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary for the Old and New Testament
(he’s really happy… he said I cold use them if I wanted. Do they have an electronic version?)










For Kristie

A computer chair. Do not ask we why I would not ship our original chair and when we return home we will now have 2 computer chairs, but I was tired of sitting in a kitchen chair to surf the net. Although, it did limit the time our bums could take the discomfort. Now it is hard to get a turn at the computer… it’s so comfortable, once you get there no one wants to leave…. unless the Internet is out.
















I think I am getting used to this Christmas all year round thingy!

Blessings from comfort,
Kristie

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Outage or Outrage

Kalimera or good morning in Greek,

We have been experiencing an electrical problem….

We have none. Typical for summer, the power goes off almost everyday for a few minutes up to an hour or so. A few nights last summer we experienced a night with no electricity at all…. A very hot night.

During the winter months we experience a lot of wind…. The wind causes the Internet to go out, but usually not the power. Or we have what we call dirty power, where the power dies down to 50% percent. The lights dim, and we scurry around to turn off all appliances….if we do not we can kiss them good-bye.

The problem in winter….. I think we fry the lines. Greek homes have 1 outlet per wall. One single outlet, not the 2 plugs per outlet like we at home take for granted. One.







We have our usual montage of electrical appliances to include:
Transformer / converter
TV
DVD player
Satellite
Xbox
Phone charger
Glade air freshener (you know the necessities when living with guys a dog)





And that’s just the television area…..you should see the computer area. I have no clue what all Kayne, Harry and myself have plugged up there. I just know there is 2 (two) power strips plugged into 1 (one) Greek outlet…





But during the winter months we have to include the radiator and electric heater. So we tend to cause self-induced outages here lately. If you use any 2 combinations of electrical appliances that use heating elements, then lights out.

Literally, we are now in the dark. And frustrated….. before we use the coffee maker or rapid tea pot we check to see if anyone else in the house has turned on the space heater or iron or dryer. There is nothing worse than flipping a switching only to hear the house go silent. Followed by the walk of shame to the electric box to flip the breaker back on… but only after we have disconnected the original electric source that caused the outage.





We though, here in the Hansen household tend to melt the fuse. We take the whole house down. Then make the call of shame to the land lord, who calls the electrical company, then replaces our fuse.




We are smarter now…. 35A that’s what he uses and I found a local hardware store that sells them. And needless to say…. We have a Costco supply of them now!



Blessings to those with Power,
Kristie


Friday, March 13, 2009

Fishing with Madie

Greetings,

This would be a Friday the 13th moment for me..... 4 year old in a fishing boat.

Just wanted to pass along fishing advice from a 4 year old toddler.... (you will want to mute to music for this)




video



My advice: Do not take a four year toddler anywhere near a fishing boat.

But Kadence's dad is a very courageous man. During hunting season....which we (me and Harry) are not advocates ...Lucas took Kadence out for a little duck hunting.


Day began with a 4 a.m. wakeup call, cranky toddler..... 30 minutes into the hunt, stuck on a boat in the middle of a pond....Madie needs a bathroom. Her dad explains she will have to "go" in the woods. To which she informs him....she needs a "real" bathroom.

My grampa was also along and I think it was a memorable experience. Last time he took any of us girls fishing...we turned over the bait sending crickets flying in all directions, rocked the boat, almost lost a pole, and hooked either ourselves or him...I do not remember. Some things you try to forget. That was the last time he allowed us to go anywhere on a boat with him.


Blessings to those with patience,

Kristie




Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sleepless in Souda

Greetings,

I come to you with raccoon eyes. Here lately, I have had a few restless nights. Not sure exactly what the uneasiness is, but I have a slight inclination.

I think I have worn my patience with this place. Not necessarily Souda, but with this whole concept…. it is really not me.

I am sure you have seen the decline in actual spiritual reflections in these posts… God and I are at odds right now. I say odds…. I just do not know what else to call it.

I feel like I am floundering here. A fake. A phony. I hope I am not disappointing all our friends here in Greece, but I am really struggling to find my place. What does God what me to do here?

On the surface everything is fine. It is perfectly normal. Days are filled with Chapel / Base functions. Chapel on Sunday. I teach the kids Sunday School class. I even use a Veggie Tales curriculum… I know what you guys in Gritney Baptist are thinking…Kristie with a structured curriculum? (Yes I find curriculum confining at times, but this is working.) We have the Women’s Bible study here at my house on Tuesdays. Chapel again on Wednesday nights. We pay our tithes. Everything is functioning normally.

THE PROBLEM.. I am not normal. Never have been.

This is where God and I are at a stand still. I keep questioning why I feel a void. I keep waiting to hear from Him…and I get nothing. Which translates to me… either
A.) I am doing fine, and am not in urgent need of a Word from Him
B.) I am not in His will and He is waiting for me to submit
a. But submit to what?
C.) I am in some kind of waiting period meanwhile:
a. Developing faith
b. Building character
c. Relying on Him

**For you guys here in Souda... see both Harry and I use these.... point A, B, C, with subsets and more subsets... It's a Souda joke!**


So you can see my dilemma….I have no clue what to do. Do I try to conform to the normalcy or do I do what comes natural to me? The times in my life where I feel am living a fulfilling Christian life are when involved in the "different" kind of ministry. Not a normal one. Not the typical mundane church experience. Please do not feel I am in any way slighting the typical church experience… I know there is a place and a season for everything.

I grew up in church. My parents met in church and have raised us kids there our entire lives. Have I strayed, of course….but the foundational elements have always been there. Maybe that is why I require more.

I like the down and dirty. I like the ministry that happens in foreign lands. At the homeless shelters. In the sewers of Ukraine. In the blazing heat of Africa. At the Israeli Lebanon border. That is what I crave. That's where I feel the presence of God strong in my life. That's where peace fills me. That is where I fell the call on my life.

Regular church services, Sunday school lessons, and Bible studies are amazing opportunities for Christians to fellowship and join together with corporate worship, But I crave more. I have had these things my entire life. And they are no longer enough. I need to apply these fundamental preincipals where my heart and His Spirit directs. And to date it is not in ordinary places.

I write in hopes of not offending my fellow Chapel goers or Women’s Bible study groupies, but in hopes of you guys better understanding me. I struggle with what God has in store for me. Just because I am a Chaplain and Pastor’s wife…. does not mean I no longer struggle with my faith, with a lack of motivation, with a spiritual dryness an emptiness, and that I do not question Him almost daily.

I have had this post and many more…. about 30 unpublished posts... for a while. All questioning what I am doing here in Souda Bay. But something has stopped me from publishing them…. Maybe I felt I did not want you guys to know all the doubts that filter in and out of my head. No one wants to think the Chaplain’s wife is unsettled. Or so I think, but here it is….and maybe I will post some of the others later.


My mother commented on the last post (remember the one on boredom).....

RV momma said...
Find something to do to help other people. Go to the mission in Hania. Volunteer in the school. Take dance lessons. Be a BIG SISTER. Take a pottery class. Buy your momma some rings from 'Everything's a Euro' store. Buy your momma some more pottery from Greece. GET A REAL JOB!!!!!! Think of ways to brighten Harry and Kayne's day.

I knew when I read the comment that my momma knows me. She knows how I like to help other people. If she knows me than so does my Heavenly Father…. He made me ….so I am feeling these things for a reason. Do I know what to do?? No, but I know where to start looking. He always provides.

Blessings to those comfortable with normal,

Kristie

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Souda Haiku

Greetings,



Souda Bay's a bore.

I must find something to do

or I'll lose my mind.


It works.... 5 - 7 - 5 Right?


As you can see I have nothing to do at the moment. I have been clearing out the clutter here in our office space. The books, cd's, dvd's, mail, school work / junk has began to visually impair the sticky notes.


While cleaning I found an old picture of Harry and myself. A real picture... from an old camera, not digital and printed on real paper. Since we lost our computer along the journey over and the back-up disk was packed with the household goods that stayed in the States for 2 years..... we do not have a lot of old pictures lying about. I have no clue how this one made it here and on the desk.





The back reads Tokyo 04. We had taken a mini vacation to Japan.... it's hard to believe that has been 5 years now. Look how young and THIN we look. And Harry looks tan.


The trip down memory lane which led me to Japan had me thinking ... for some crazy reason.... of Japanese poetry...... which led to the boredom haiku.


Traditional haiku is a form of Japanese poetry consisting of 17 syllables, in three metrical phrases of 5, 7, and 5 respectively. Thought I would give it a try.... I had nothing else to do.... or I will just find anything to distract me from cleaning!


Blessings to those with rhythm,

Kristie

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The stubborn veggies

Greetings,


Last night, Tuesday nights… we have the Ladies soon to be called “Protestant women of the Chapel” over for our weekly Beth Moore study. I know….those of you in Florida are thinking…. “What in the world is Kristie doing?” And you guys are right…. not my typical cup of tea. You will be happy to know I have behaved myself and to my knowledge have not offended anyone yet… far exceeding Harry’s expectations.

Because of my lack of group bible study devotion I have agreed to host the event at my house… hard to not go when it is at your house. I even cook a meal or at least attempt to prepare an edible meal. It also gives Harry and me a marked day that the house has to be cleaned… well at least the bottom floor. No one ventures up the other 2 flights of steps.

Here are a few pictures of my attempt at a chicken roast. These are more for my mom and sister… who think I still never cook..





I loath raw foods, but nothing is more disgusting than raw poultry. I mean, look at this guy. And he feels … well it is the most horrible feeling to touch an uncooked chicken. And I am not talking about the many thoughts flittering through my mind of SALMONELLA bacteria. I would have been a vegetarian if I were born in the old days. I have a hard time touching a dead carcass … there is no way I would have killed it first.







I was going to show you guys a nice picture of the finished product, but I had stubborn veggies. The potatoes and carrots cooked for 2 hours and were never fully cooked.

We discussed the homework questions, which I have yet to do. I have no clue where my workbook is….I think I may have given it away? We even watched the hour long video and the blasted veggies were still not ready. The chicken looked a little done, but not were still crunchy.

Today, Kayne transferred the veggies to a boiling pot and after a boiling steam bath of 2 hours; they finally decided to become edible. I have no clue what they were holding out for?


I guess even veggies take their time to get ready? Very similar to how I feel about group bible study….I guess maybe I am getting there. I am sure everyone back home is in awe now. I like the veggies can be a little stubborn.


Blessings to those fully done,

Kristie
 

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