Love.

Love.

Sometimes it’s romantic.

Sometimes it’s friendship.

Sometimes it’s laughter.

Sometimes it’s a companion for tears.

Sometimes it’s easy.

Sometimes it’s difficult.

Sometimes it’s coffee shops and shopping malls.

Sometimes it’s late night conversations.

Sometimes it’s rejoicing in the good.

Sometimes it’s walking with someone through the bad.

Sometimes it’s Instagram.

Sometimes it’s private.

Sometimes it’s “because”.

Sometimes it’s “in spite of”.

Love.

It’s holding hands. It’s inside jokes. It’s girls’ nights. It’s date nights. It’s opening up your heart. It’s friendship. It’s companionship. It’s knowing that you aren’t alone in this crazy world.

Love.

It’s talking with someone as they contemplate suicide, trying to get them the help that they need. It’s walking with someone as they go through a difficult time in their life. It’s being available even when it’s not convenient. It’s speaking truth to someone even when they don’t want to hear it. It’s accountability and vulnerability and everything in between.

Love.

It’s beautiful. It’s messy.

But you know what else it is?

It’s worth it.

3 years of marriage.

January 1st, 2019 marks 3 of the best years of my life.

Reinier, do you remember when you flew across the world to see me and meet the rest of my (crazy) family?

What about the time that you rented a plane (thanks to your amazing pilot neighbor!) to ask me to be your wife?

I still have all of the postcards that you sent every week during our long distance engagement, counting down the weeks until we saw each other again.

You pursued me well.

But you know what I really remember? The “little” things. The everyday ways that you make life fun and make this journey of missions and parenting and everything in between a experience that I will never take for granted.

It’s the way you make my favorite meals or bring home a candy bar from the grocery store because you know I like my sweets.

It’s the race to get into the bed first at night so that the other person has to turn off the light.

It’s the evenings after a long day that we sit on the couch and watch our shows together.

It’s the way that you spend time with Joshua. No one can make him laugh like his daddy.

It’s the way you take care of the cars and the house and anything else that somehow gets broken along the way.

It’s the way you treat our parents.

It’s how you kiss me goodnight and good morning every day.

The list could go on and on.

But as I think about all of these “little” things, I realize that they aren’t so little after all.

I would trade a plane, flying across the world, and all of the postcards for just a moment, cuddled up on the couch with you.

Thank you for making the “little” things the big things. Thank you for pursuing me well before marriage, but also making me feel loved and cherished and even more pursued after we said “I do.”

I love you!

Your wife,

Kristen IMG_5129-2

 

 

Lessons From Joshua (Part One)

 

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So since my last blog (which has been a while…oops!), we have had a pretty big life-change.

Joshua Adin Vorster was born on July 9th and has stolen our hearts (and our sleep) since then! We are thankful for the opportunity to raise him. We know that it’s an honor to be his parents and we can’t wait to see him grow. (Just be aware that most of my Facebook posts and Instagram pics will probably be of him now. He is cuter than the rest of us anyways. ha!) 

So in saying that, this is also my first (probably of many) “Lessons from Joshua” posts… I hope you enjoy!

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One thing about this little guy is that he lets us know when he wants something.

Need a bottle? He cries. 

A diaper change? Bring on the tears.

Been in the car seat too long? Yep…you guessed it. He’s letting the whole car know that he isn’t happy!

But the sweetest cry? It’s when he just wants to be held. It makes this mama’s heart smile when he just leans his head on mine or Reiner’s chest and just finds contentment. He isn’t asking for anything. He just wants to be near us.

And during these moments, my thoughts go to our Heavenly Father. There are times when we are like Joshua and we cry out to Him, telling Him our needs and asking that He provide for us. And in those moments, He is there to comfort us and give us what He knows that we need. He is good!

But how much does His heart smile when we come to Him, not because we need anything, but because we just want to be held? Those moments when we don’t come to Him with any requests except for one:

I just want to be with You. 

And in that moment, everything else around us fades away. Our problems don’t seem so big. Our priorities are put in place. And we can rest in His love, knowing that we are secure in Him. It’s oh-so beautiful.

So my challenge for all of us, myself included, is that we find times to rest in His love. Go to your Father-God, not with a long list of things that He can do, but with a desire to just be with Him.

And just like Joshua, we can find rest.

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P.S. Thanks to Debbie Click for taking these cute pics. She captured his personality perfectly. 🙂

 

 

Like An Arrow

So I think that it is safe to say that this baby has been on my mind a lot the last few months! It’s an exciting time of preparation and of expectancy… and questions. Lots and lots of questions.

Boy or girl?

Will he/she be a redhead?

What will this child sound like? (I mean, he/she has a Texan mom, a South African dad, and lives in Madagascar. The accent will have to be unusual!)

These are the basic questions, but there are also a lot of deeper questions. Not just about the baby, but about me.

 Am I really ready to parent this child?

What if those “motherly instincts” don’t just kick in like everyone says they do?

What about… (insert  more questions here)?

But y’all, God is so good. Every time these questions and worries start showing their ugly heads, the Lord reminds me of this scripture:

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” 2 Peter 1:3

He has given us everything that we need to live a Godly life. This verse has been so reassuring for the past few months. He has given it to me. I just get to reap the benefits!

And as my questions transfer away from me and onto this child that God has given Reinier and I, I am reminded about the story of David. I am currently in a Bible Study where we are going over this story, but I’ve always looked at it from a different angle than the study shows.

Basically, David realizes that he is living in a “palace of cedar while the ark of God remains in a tent” (2 Samuel 7:2).  He wants to build something greater for the presence of God. God then responds that it isn’t his responsibility and that He will actually build David a house!

But the part that has always been in my mind is in 2 Samuel 7:12-13. God says that he will raise David up an offspring and it’s his son that will build a house for Him.

God was calling His son to do what the father was not called to.

Psalm 127: 4 says, “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.”

You see an arrow goes further than the one releasing it. If the arrow stays in the pouch, it hasn’t fulfilled its purpose. If the arrow falls to the ground next to the warrior, it hasn’t done what it was destined to do.

An arrow fulfills its purpose when it goes further than the one releasing it. The arrow does what it is destined to do by being released from the hands of the warrior into the direction of the enemy.

My prayer as I begin this parenting journey is that I prepare my child for the life of Godliness, but that I’m also brave enough to release the child into the will of God. When that time comes, I want him/her to do more than what I was ever called to. I want him/her to go further than I ever will. I want to see God instill a fresh vision for the ministry. I want to pray for this child, encourage this child, and then sit back and watch how God uses him/her to fulfill His will.

And guess what? 2 Peter 1:3 will apply to “Baby Vorster” as well. God will give this child EVERYTHING he/she needs for life and Godliness.

Thank you Jesus.

-Kristen

P.S. Here is a cute picture of our little one. Baby V has grown a lot since this photo, but who doesn’t love showing off pics of their kid? 😉

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To Kimberly Patrice Evans

Kimberly Patrice Evans- my first niece. Today is your second birthday! A lot has happened in your little life in these two years. And I know that this coming year will be even bigger and better for you.

I know that I’m not with you on your birthday and I know that this letter isn’t something that you will understand now, but in a few years, I hope this letter becomes special to you. Why? Because you are oh so special to me!

I remember praying for you long before you were born. You were an answer to a lot of prayers! And God knew exactly what He was doing when He made you.

I remember hearing about when your mom was pregnant. It was over Skype. It took your Oom Reinier a few seconds to realize what was said!

I remember getting told (over skype yet again) that you were a girl. That dress that was picked out for you before you were born would be on you before you knew it!

I remember seeing you for the first time. You looked so much like your Pops! (Thankfully you have changed since that first day. 😉)

I remember getting to hold you for the first time and you were the smallest, sweetest thing. I was so glad that I got to be in the States for your birth!

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I know that I won’t be with you the majority of your life, but know that no matter how far we are, your Aunt Kristen and Oom Reinier love you so much! You have been the hardest part of being on the mission-field. I am missing you growing up, but my hope is that you follow God’s plans for your life as well, no matter what it is.

Because Kimberly, He has such big plans for you! You might not understand it now, but He loves you so much. He loves you even more than anyone on earth ever could. My prayer for you is that you will know this love and that you will trust Him with every part of your life.

As you grow older, you will have so many pressures and expectations put on you by the world. But sweet girl, you are who God made you to be. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.  Be a light in the darkness. Shine for Jesus every day. Let His love radiate through you.

Stay pure. Stay humble. And stay focused on Jesus.

And when you are older and it’s time to get married, don’t rush into your own plan. Don’t settle for anyone less than the person that God has for you. The right man will love God more than He loves you. But it is because of his relationship with God that your relationship with each other will be wonderful. He will be one that you can submit to, because He has submitted to the Lord. You are worth it!

My favorite verse is Ephesians 3:20. It says, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…” Kimberly, He has the “immeasurably more” for your life and I can’t wait to see His plan come alive through you!

Like I said, I know this letter will mean nothing to your little two-year old self, so for now, enjoy your Daniel Tiger, gives lots of hugs and kisses to your “mama” and your “dada”, and make sure that your mom keeps sending me cute videos and pictures of you. It means more to me than you know.

I love you Kimberly!

Aunt Kristen

Trust.

I wrote this blog a few days ago, but our wifi hasn’t been on my side. I can say that since I wrote this, I have seen God do some big things in a situation. You can trust Him! 

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Trust.

I feel like that is the word that is playing in my mind and heart a lot lately.

As I pray for the church. Trust Him.

As I ask God to provide the finances that we need. Trust Him.

As I present our desires to the Lord. Trust Him.

As I pray for those who are struggling in their walk with God. Trust Him.

What about you? Will you trust Him?

Even when His timing doesn’t line up with yours. Even when a relationship ends. Even when the bank account seems low and the bills keep piling in. Even when everyone else’s life looks better than yours. Even when… Even when…

As I was in the middle of typing this, a notification popped up on my phone… guess what it said?

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25.

There is that word again. Trust.

I love how God provides us with little reminders throughout our day. He is constantly leading us to better things. We might have to go through hard times. We might not see things play out the way that we want them to. But He is still good. He is still faithful. He is still sovereign.

We can trust Him.

In The Midst of the Mundane

So this blog will be short and sweet… I hope that it encourages you!

A few nights ago we had people over to our house for dinner. Reiner cooked (You are welcome family who came over. Him cooking means I didn’t… 😉) , so it was my job to do the dishes. And that is where my story begins…

I started washing the dishes and put on some worship music. As I was scrubbing and singing along, I just felt the presence of God. It was such a sweet time.

It was a good reminder that God desires to be included in the seemingly mundane tasks of our day.

When you are cleaning up your toddlers play room for the fifteenth time that hour.

When you are stuck in traffic coming home from work.

When the dishes are piled up and the laundry seems to be never ending.

While you wait in line at the grocery store.

While you sit in your cubicle at work.

While you sit and wait for your students to finish an assignment.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, God is there.

And that makes even the most boring tasks (like scrubbing apple pie off of the dessert plates) a sacred moment.

Don’t miss it.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17