March 5th, 2012

Ten o’clock in the morning and 37 degrees in Kansas City Missouri. The 4 Bohlender Girls have been up since 6.30am. Actually, they’ve been up since 6, I thought I could get them back to sleep until 7 but by 6.30 I gave up & all 4 tumbled out of bed & sleepily down the stairs where I dropped on the couch & they piled on top of me to watch the sun rise. It was a sweet morning, but soon gave way to the crazy that is a 5 year old, twin 3 year olds & a 2 year old.

By 10, and at 37 degrees Grandma & I bundled them up and sent them outside to run off “the grumpies”. I sit in my coat, curled up with a blanket & mug of tea watching my precious little sisters run and play, and breathe gratitude. February was 29 days of battling grief. By the afternoon of Monday the 27th I whispered a desperate prayer for adventure to pull me out. I’m so glad the Lord always takes me seriously. Within hours a message came from the Bohlenders that the adoption of their twin girls –  twin siblings may actually go through, asking if I could come to Kansas City and help with their little ones while they stayed in Florida to receive the new babies. Insert Chaos, bizarre situations, stress & 6.30 Friday morning, after an incredibly eventful drive to the airport…….and I was going home. Filled with smiles though sleepless, and filled with Joy. Knowing that my sister would was waiting with tears and welcoming arms. Knowing that 5 days of sleepless nights & long days awaited me. Knowing that a city of people who love me awaited me. Knowing that an all too brief visit from my beloved parents awaited me.

Filled, with Joy.

And that’s all I’ve been able to think about since I’ve arrived. That is the very way we are to live every situation, every season. As the Redeemed, those who’ve been brought from death into a living hope, that our portion is to Live. Live Filled. Filled with Joy. And One Thousand Gifts

Sister Portrait’s

Some weeks ago we had the pleasure of a visit from my dear friend and amazingly talented photographer, Shelley Paulson. I’ve talked about Shelley a number of times and last summer shared a photo session that she had done on the IHOP-KC Shiloh property.

Shelley is a cold drink of water to a dry soul. She has a way of listening to the depth behind words and pulling out the meanings, hiding those treasures in her heart and using them to bless you at the most needed moments. While driving down the road she told me of a photo shoot she had done the day before at an abandoned house. At that exact moment we were passing a property I have frequented that contains a condemned Frank Loyd Wright style house. This land held some adventure for me earlier this year and we immediately turned around so that I could show her the place and of course tell the tale.

Shelley dined on the excitement in my story and at the end promptly informed me that she was bringing my sister and I back that week for some photographs. I think that I will look back on that morning as one of my favorite memories from this year. My sister is a priceless treasure, and Shelley one of my dearest friends, and that land holds dreams long buried in my soul. Tramping around, laughing our faces off, reveling in the history and storytelling of the wreck, enjoying the presence of one another and Shelley’s eye for capturing beauty.

Please visit her blog and join in our fun 🙂

5 years later..

When I first moved to Kansas City to do the Fire In the Night internship the Lord blessed me with an amazing Romanian Roommate named Simona Stan. Simona was a hairdresser and each week on our day off she would cut my hair.  It was AWESOME. I showed up in Kansas City like this:

Yeah I’m on the back of the couch. Long hair with highlights. Simo’s the one with crazy hair. By the end of those three months I looked like this:

Yup, I’m on the right. Short hair with feisty red bangs. Each week as the hair cuts grew (get it?) shorter and shorter I pleaded with Simona to shave my head. Unfortunately I’d told too many stories about my amazing parents and she refused to do anything causing them anger.

Over the last five years I have talked and talked about “someday” buzzing my head but have never followed thru. Last night the bug bit me. Around 1 am. I tried to convince Katrina to do it right then & there but she adamently refused to believe that I was serious & walking to her room tossed back “If you can’t do this in 24 hours then there is no reason you should be doing it right now.”

Challenge served. It was the right button – pushed.

So we did. At 9.30 tonight:

And at 10.30: