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Category Archives: Other

The Military Spouse Is Me

Saw this on a dear friend’s Facebook page with an invitation to “Copy and Post.” Because we are in Holland for my husband’s military assignment, I continue to meet great military spouses. This time, though, many of them are from all over the world. I salute them as well other military spouses past and present with this author-unknown tribute.

Military spouses!

“Lots of moving… Moving… Moving… Moving far from home… Moving two cars, 4 kids, ..all riding with HER of course. Moving sofas to basements because they won’t go in THIS house; Moving curtains that won’t fit; Moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours. Moving away from friends; Moving toward new friends; Moving her most important luggage: her trunk full of memories.

Often waiting… Waiting… Waiting… Waiting for housing. Waiting for orders. Waiting for deployments. Waiting for phone calls. Waiting for reunions. Waiting for the new curtains to arrive. Waiting for him to come home, For dinner…AGAIN!

They call her ‘Military Dependent’, but she knows better: She is fiercely In-Dependent. She can balance a check book; Handle the yard work; Fix a noisy toilet; Bury the family pet… She is intimately familiar with drywall anchors and toggle bolts. She can file the taxes; Sell a house; Buy a car; Or set up a move…all with ONE Power of Attorney.

She welcomes neighbors that don’t welcome her. She reinvents her career with every PCS; Locates a house in the desert, The Arctic, Or the deep south. And learns to call them all ‘home’. She MAKES them all home.
Military Wives are somewhat hasty… They leap into: Decorating, Leadership, Volunteering, Career alternatives, Churches, And friendships. They don’t have 15 years to get to know people. Their roots are short but flexible. They plant annuals for themselves and perennials for those who come after them.
Military Wives quickly learn to value each other: They connect over coffee, Rely on the spouse network, Accept offers of friendship and favors. Record addresses in pencil…

Military Wives have a common bond: The Military Wife has a husband unlike other husbands; his commitment is unique. He doesn’t have a ‘JOB’ He has a ‘MISSION’ that he can’t just decide to quit… He’s on-call for his country 24/7. But for her, he’s the most unreliable guy in town! His language is foreign TDY PCS OPR SOS ACC BDU ACU BAR CIB TAD EPR (well maybe not so foreign to me) And so, a Military Wife is a translator for her family and his. She is the long- distance link to keep them informed; the glue that holds them together.

A Military Wife has her moments: She wants to wring his neck; Dye his uniform pink; Refuse to move to Siberia; But she pulls herself together. Give her a few days, A travel brochure, A long hot bath, A pledge to the flag, A wedding picture, And she goes. She packs. She moves. She follows.

Why? What for? How come? You may think it is because she has lost her mind……..actually it is because she has lost her heart. It was stolen from her by a man, Who puts duty first, Who longs to deploy, Who salutes the flag, And whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her Military Husband, She will remain his military wife. And would have it no other way.”

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2016 in Other

 

The Writer

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 6.33.22 PMSometimes, occasionally, I write a line I love (obviously not that one). But I have to remember that this particular combination of words may not shine so brightly for others.

For me, though, it is a bit of perfection hinting at the writer I might become. This is a line that cajoles me to continue, to craft, to play, to romp with words.

–Kristin King

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2016 in Other

 

Happy 12th Day of Christmas! (Jan.5th)

IMG_9769Retailers running 12 Days of Deals before Christmas could be giving folks a false notion of where these dozen days arose. Wikipedia says:

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a festive Christian season to celebrate the nativity of Jesus. In most Western Church traditions Christmas Day is the First Day of Christmas and the Twelve Days are 25 December – 5 January.

With two more days till our 2nd Christmas, I give you our Polish Nativity Set for consideration. This set is one that your kids can’t break (but the dog might try to chew). Purchased from the Elim Christian Center in Lwowek Slaski, Poland, this is about more than decor.Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 2.05.17 PM

The Nativity Project is the sewing project that supports many of our church’s needier families.  This project began several years ago and is continually sponsoring many families.

When the Church began, the Bethel church had an very high unemployment rate (around 90%). Many of the people in the church had come to the Lord through the Elim Mission’s ministries for the needy.

I first saw one of these sets at a PWOC Worship & Study Conference. Alas, they were fairly expensive for our budget. After waiting almost 8 years, we finally bought one and comforted our budget-conscience minds with the fact that the money helped families.Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 2.03.20 PM

Many Americans living in Europe make the trek east of Berlin across the border to Bolesławiec where they purchase Polish pottery at a great bargain. Most never realize that a little further on is the rural community where Elim trains folks to sew and support their families with these hand-crafted manger scenes.

To purchase your own or read more about the project, the sets, the symbolism hidden in them visit the Elim Nativity Project. Add this blessing to your next Christmas.

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–Kristin

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2016 in Other

 

Bavarian Manger Scene

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Purchased by my mother on her first trip to Europe, this linen nativity came from either Bavarian Germany or Austria.

“Do you hear what I hear?” the traditional song asks.

“Do you see what I see? (sing along) A star, a star …with a tail as big as a kite.” I sang those words but never saw a nativity star in America that wasn’t bright white and stationary. Then I visited Europe where the famous star is yellow and has a huge tail fanning out behind it. That made a lot of sense in some ways. A star leading the way. You could picture the three kings looking up and following it, right?

Except…

Well, we don’t navigate by moving stars, do we? Okay, I don’t navigate by the stars at all, and I know we are the ones moving so they all appear to move. What did those wise astrologers bearing gold and frankincense and myrrh gifts for a the new king do? They got close to their destination and stopped to ask for directions.

Very wise men indeed.

Happy New Year! (Or Merry 8th Day of Christmas)

–Kristin

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2016 in Other

 

Sad Tree (6th Day of Christmas)

IMG_9761“Aww…what a sad Christmas tree,” my friend said.

I couldn’t believe it. I just decorated the thing perfectly. Sure, it was only 6 feet tall, but that’s all the room we had. Pre-lit with bright colors, each ornament carefully placed, garland draping in even sweeps around the boughs: what was wrong with it?

I said, “What? How?”

“There’s not a single handmade ornament on the whole thing. No childrens’ art projects from school or church, no help from children to decorate it.”

Huh.

The next year we invited friends to a Trim-the-Tree party, and I let their kids go wild with decorating the tree. So many ornaments weighed down the middle. The rest were scattered like shot-gun blasted decorations everywhere. Here a patch, there a blank spot.

IMG_9762And I saw it. The mysterious beauty of childhood wrapped around my tree. I didn’t change a thing….okay, I moved a few breakable ornaments further up toward the top.

What’s this got to do with my Days of Christmas Nativity sets? My sons made these handcrafted pieces, and now they are a treasurer. They bring the light of Jesus together with the joy of childhood in one holiday decoration.

Marvelous!

–Kristin

 

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2015 in Other

 

3rd Day of Christmas – Nativity

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A gift from precious neighbor in Maryland

Once, before Christmas, I was sitting down to a late lunch in The Hague with a new Dutch friend. I’m not sure how Nativity Sets came up, but she said, “I wish I had a nativity scene.”

Not ‘I wish I had a pretty nativity set’ or ‘I wish I had grandma’s nativity set’ or even ‘I wish I had a Delft nativity scene.’ No. She wished she had one at all.

Saddened I tried to offer encouragement.

I actually have a small collection of scenes which I’ll share with you over these next Days of Christmas. Perhaps you’ll see one that reminds you of another or find one you particularly like. The first day of Christmas I shared the one made by my grandmother and told a story about my son.

Enjoy the Twelve Days of Christmas!

–Kristin

 

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2015 in Christmas, Other

 

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Broken Angel (Unexpected Blessing)

IMG_9759As I handed the old box to my son, I neglected to mention how I treasure the contents. You see, a white ceramic nativity set (i.e. crèche) made by my Nonnie lies within, some of the figures in their original tissue paper which has yellowed with age. My grandmother died while I was in university, but the memories and the faith she gave me throughout my growing years is strong. This set represents all that to me in a tangible way.

So when my son came to me not long after to tell me he broke the angel, I tried not to over react. “I can fix it,” he spoke quickly, a young voice edged with worry after seeing my face.

Later, he came back to say the broken wing was hardly noticeable, and the angel was now secured above the scene with duct tape. Duct tape! My smile was weak as I went to see his handiwork (photo above).

What he had done amazed me, though not because of the angel. I had to look closely to even pick out which wing he repaired. No. It was the scene he arranged that strummed the cords of my heart and made me proud of my son.

Adults like me, who know how do to these sorts of things correctly,  normally arrange the people who visited the Christ child in an arch which opens the scene for the viewer who remains outside. What my child did was to crowd the shepherds, the kings, even the animals close around the baby. Every ceramic person vying for a place in the circle nearest to our Savior.

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Arrangement made over this year

My son captured a truth I had never seen before and showed it to me with the handiwork of a great-grandmother he has never met. How could it not have been like this? Especially after the angels told the shepherds the Good News? Even more so after the shepherds went around telling everyone they’d met about the Christ child’s birth.

God is with us. He’s finally here. Come see!  What was broken will be made new. What was lost will be found. This is “Christ”-mas.

May your holiday be blessed in unexpected ways this year.–Kristin

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. 10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 [b]For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

14 [c]“Glory to God in the highest
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

(Luke 2:8-14 NABRE Version)

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Kristin King is an author, publisher, nonprofit co-founder, and mother of four sons who break things on a regular basis. She has gotten much better at handling that than she used to be.

 

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2015 in Christmas, Other

 

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