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Reunion…of sorts #IAmATriangle

Screen Shot 2017-08-19 at 8.02.23 AM“Raised on Sweet Tea & Jesus” says the t shirt of the young woman entering the glass door of the beauty shop. I’m sitting in the corner in the only pedicure chair facing out listening to the mixing of hair color and chat of women being themselves, sharing a little life moment. A regular happening for some, an occasional indulgence for others. I’m not sure which I will be although my last paid-for haircut was over a year ago.

Men frequent this place as well. Third one I’ve seen takes a swivel seat, tucks his sunglasses in the top of a gray baseball shirt tee and doffs hit hat. The drape drops around his shoulders, not the typical black or white plastic that catches clippings. No, this one is printed to like a worn, battered American flag.

I tear up just sitting here. How silly am I?

This time is different. I’m here for good. I cannot tell you how great it is to finally be here, not for a visit, not only for a few years and then on to an unknown. This time is different.

Hello America.

I’m home.

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Posted by on August 19, 2017 in Moments

 

Ready for VBS this year!

Our family is transition from Europe to the US, from military service to civilian life, from assigned housing to home ownership. In the midst of that, my heart and prayers are over our charity and the support for Vacation Bible School coming in 6 days. If you have any interest in the environment, Jesus or the church, please check us out. Source: Ready for VBS this year!

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2017 in Living in Holland

 

Making Up Words to #Songs

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 7.52.55 AMMy hearing tests perfect, but I am The Worst at hearing the lyrics to songs. As a child I sang Away In a Manger on Christmas Eve at Grandma’s house changing one line to “But little George Jesus no crying he makes…” Course when you’re a kid and Grandpa’s name is George, everybody thinks your mistake is so cute. Not so much when your an adult, a diplomat no less, trading out some words in The Star Spangled Banner.

This morning the temptation to keep reading an engrossing paranormal novel came at me, and I turned away thinking, Wasn’t it just last night I asked friends on our FFHA* Facebook group if there was anything I could pray over for them?  Thus, the singing began with a tune from our last church service in The Netherlands.

I sing because You are good
And I dance because You are good
And I shout because You are good
You are good to me, to me

Well, I didn’t even remember the words to the chorus I saw on screen a few days ago. My version went something like this: I shout because you are good, And I laugh because you are good, And I dance because you are good, You are good to me. And I live because you are good, and I…

You get the picture.

There’s another worship song I alter purposefully to use when speaking about Biblical Financial Principles. Titled “The Heart of Worship” we sing a prayer, “I’m coming back to the heart of worship, And it’s all about you, It’s all about you Jesus. I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it, When it’s all about you, It’s all about you Jesus.” My version repeats this chorus several times with various substitutions. “I’m coming back to the heart of my marriage…I’m coming back to the heart of parenting…I’m coming back to the heart of my finances, And it’s all about you, It’s all about you Jesus.”

I love how this song works for, well, most every thing, and it includes a confession. Keeping the eyes of my soul focused on Jesus isn’t easy. Squirrel! I’m easily distracted. Then I can turn back at any moment, day or night singing, “I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it, When it’s all about you, It’s all about you Jesus.”

In the Bible book of Psalms it is written, “Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth” (Psalms 96:1). You and I may not have the talent to write new songs, but I sure can make new songs out of old ones without even trying. Maybe you don’t even know any so-called church songs, but I don’t think that matters when we choose to sing to God. “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness.”

We might turn Hoobastank’s The Reason into a prayer or Evanescence’s Wake Me Up Inside. The Lord our God will rejoice over us.

I love that about Him.

–Kristin

*FFHA stands for Friends of Future Hope Africa, the FB group of our NGO that is currently crowdfunding the only Vacation Bible School in East Congo. Check us out!

 

 
 

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Pump Your #Brain

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Photo Credit: Mother Nature Network

Celebrated inventor and physicist Nikola Tesla swore by toe exercises – every night, he’d repeatedly ‘squish’ his toes, 100 times for each foot, according to the author Marc J Seifer.

….According to the latest review of the evidence, around 40% of what distinguishes the brainiacs from the blockheads in adulthood is environmental. Like it or not, our daily habits have a powerful impact on our brains, shaping their structure and changing the way we think.

Einstein’s daily walk was sacred to him….He followed in the footsteps of other diligent walkers, including Darwin who went for three 45 minute walks every day.

….These constitutionals weren’t just for fitness – there’s mountains of evidence that walking can boost memory, creativity and problem-solving. For creativity at least, walking outside is even better.

For more click over to the BBC.

Doing my toe crunches right now. Totally lost count.

–Kristin

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2017 in Moments

 

Suspicious #FlagDay ?

My understanding is that the Dutch find displays of nationalism suspicious. This is quite understandable when one considers a very patriotic neighbor once promised on one day that they would leave The Netherlands alone based on their previous neutrality, and then same country invaded them the next day. So although Holland is well known for flowers, I doubt one would find an entire field carefully planted to represent their nation’s flag, especially considering that the Dutch flag is only allowed to be displayed on certain days and at well defined times.

The U.S. has a different take.

Floral Flag is 740 feet long and 390 feet wide and maintains the proper Flag dimensions as described in Executive Order #10834. This Flag is 6.65 acres and is the first Floral Flag to be planted with 5 pointed Stars comprised of White Larkspur. Each Star is 24 feet in diameter. Each Stripe is 30 feet wide. This Flag is estimated to contain more than 400,000 Larkspur plants with 4-5 flower stems each for a total of more than 2 million flowers. (Link)

Thus, to honor the 240th Flag Day of my home country, I present you with the image of the US flag, this over the top display–and I hope my tolerant Dutch friends will understand.

–Kristin

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2017 in Living in Holland

 

Top 10 Key Phrases? #lol

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Image on the book mark of key Dutch phrases

We’re actually cleaning things out of the house, but I couldn’t resist sharing the book mark I came across today. One side says KEY DUTCH PHRASES and includes such classics as “I didn’t see the sign,” and “I’d like to rent a bike” as well as “What happened?”

The kicker is number nine out of ten: Wil je met me mee naar huis?

Translation: Would you like to come home with me?

#lol

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2017 in Living in Holland

 

Goodbye #Netherlands Book Clubs

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My Netherlands Book Clubs read ONE of these. (Image found on http://www.thelifeofbon.com)

We discussed so many great reads. You brought books to my attention I might have never discovered otherwise. You read books I nominated. You forced me into genres I rarely explore where I discovered wonderful insights and perspectives. Our members were American, Australian, Dutch, British, Polish, Hungarian, Indian, Kazantzaki, German and more. Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Agnostic and Atheist. Liberal to conservative. And we gathered in delight to discuss what we enjoyed, what failed for us, what made us think. We shared wonderful moments focused on books, and yes, a bit of food as well, and life as we knew it. We went to each others’ homes. We laughed. We encouraged. And so much more. We were always welcome whether we read the whole book or any of it. We looked forward to each gathering and mourned those we could not attend.

Thank you. I will miss you all so very much. I am grateful we gathered around a shared love of reading.

Hugs,

Kristin

The Books

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande (the best of all of them IMO)
Wild by Carol Strayed
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City by Russell Shorto
The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming
The Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
Five Days At Memorial by Sheri Fink
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Breaking Night: Homeless to Harvard by Liz Murray
Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown by Paul Theroux
Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriaty
The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee
Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen
The Secret River by Kate Grenville
Shakespeare by Bill Bryson
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi
The Circle by Dave Eggers
The House on Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper
Survive Little Buddy: Iron Curtain Memoirs by Irene Kucholick
The Twins by Tessa Loo
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman
The Nest by Cynthia d’Aprix Sweeny
End of Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
A Prayer for Own Meany by John Irving
The Last Man in the Tower by Aravind Adiga
I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron
Perla by Carolina De Robertis
A Man Called Ove by Frederik Bachman
Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil by Jean Sasson
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks
The Girl On the Train by Paula Hawkins
Bolter: Idina Sackville–the Woman Who Scandalized 1920s Society by Frances Osborne
Saree by Su Dharmapala
Days of Awe: A Novel by Lauren Fox
The Russian Debutante’s Daughter by Gary Shteyngart

 

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2017 in Living in Holland