A blog of thoughts by Kristi Finch

Thursday, January 01, 2015

2015 - All Things New

The last few years have each held a theme for me, something that I've tried to focus on during the year, a specific area where I need to grow and allow the Lord to work in me.  You can check out the last few here.

This year is going to be quite the year in my life.  It's going to be a year full of beginnings and adventures and a lot of firsts.  And those are things I know are coming down the pipeline.  Who can guess what else the Lord has in store that I don't know about yet!  In light of all the beginnings on the horizon, this year is new.

2015 - All Things New

There are lots of very tangible new things happening in my life this year.  Probably the biggest and most significant is that I'm getting married in nine weeks.  This is the biggest new adventure I've ever undertaken, and I can't wait to take it on with my fiancĂ©!  It still seems a bit surreal a lot of the time, but I am blown away by the Lord's blessings on our lives and the gift he has given to each of us in each other.  We're very excited about our new life together, but we're certain it won't come without challenges.  New things present new hardships that we don't always get to see coming.  I've never been a wife before, so I'll have to navigate lots of new waters over the coming months and years.

Along with the new adventure of marriage, a lot of other changes will follow suit.  I'll be moving to a new place to live.  I've been at ChezMK for over six and a half years now - longer than I've ever lived anywhere before, so going somewhere else is going to be a big change!  We're still picking out a place to live, so it's fun to dream about what the new place will be like.  I'll get to rearrange furniture! (One of my favorite things to do!)  I'll get to have a dining room table!  Lots of little newnesses will come along with having a new home.

Along with a new home will come a new roommate (my soon-to-be husband, of course). But I've shared my home with my current wonderful roommate for so long!  Miranda has been a huge blessing to me and one of the biggest reasons I've enjoyed my post-college years so much.  Her friendship has been (and surely will continue to be) invaluable, but there will be a new chapter of our post-roommate relationship beginning in a few weeks.  We won't get to have the same lazy Saturday mornings where I roll out of bed and put baked oatmeal in the oven for our breakfast or make sweet tea runs to Chickfila together (as often).  We won't share a Christmas tree or host MND together.  But we'll still get to join each other for morning runs and have lunch dates and throw themed parties together! Our friendship will take on a new pace and feel, and hopefully it will be no less of a source of sweetness in our lives.

These are just a couple specific news that are happening in my life this year.  There will certainly be others, but the idea is the same.  Lots of changes are coming down the pipeline.  I love variety and change and new adventures, but they can be a bit scary and overwhelming at times, too.  These are the words of scripture I have been playing over and over in my mind as I've thought about All Things New and the changes coming in my life this year.  

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 
The new beginnings of this year remind me of the newness we have in Christ.  When he draws us to himself, he gives new life.  He has wonderful plans for us.  We get to leave the past behind and run forward into the fullness of life the Lord desires for us.  This requires us to embrace forgiveness and trust the Lord's best for us.  I sometimes struggle with forgiving myself, so I tend to hold on to guilt and shame which keeps me from the best of the new, full life the Lord offers.  So sometimes really living in the newness of Christ is hard for me.  I want to get better at that.

This year, as I face so many new beginnings, I also want to fully embrace the new life Christ offers, trusting him at his word that he forgives and forgets has an abundance of joy to offer me!

Will 2015 be a year of new for you, too?

Friday, November 14, 2014

One Year

I recently came across this on Pinterest.

Could this be any more true in my life?

A year ago today, a chapter ended that I didn't want to end.  I didn't see how there was going to be a happy ending if that chapter was over.  I knew it could happen, but I just didn't see how just yet.

I am so thankful for time.  For perspective.  For healing. 

Fast forward from that day one year ago to today.  I am immeasurably thankful that chapter is over.  Because I didn't know it then, but there was a much more amazing story to be written in my life, and last year's chapter had to end so this one could begin.  

Days like today are such a good reminder to me that the Lord is ultimately in control and truly does have a bigger and better plan than we can see.  Even now I'm sure I don't know what seeds are being planted today in order that they might blossom beautifully in the days to come.  Either way, I can trust the heartbreaks, joys, disappointments, and celebrations in life to the God of both individual moments and the whole picture.  He has a plan for the highest highs and the lowest lows and is weaving them together in our lives for his glory.  How I respond to them is the only part I can control, and how I choose to face each day can bring even more glory to him.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (ESV) says this:

 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
What a great reminder that the Lord is always at work, fulfilling his plan for me that he will be glorified!

So how was this time last year different for you?  Can you see how the Lord was writing a beautiful story in your life? Are you choosing to glorify the Lord in the midst of whatever it is you're facing today, looking forward to being able to see the bigger picture as time goes on and perspective changes?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Falling into Sweater Weather

Though a few days this week are still topping out above the 80 degree mark, September is here and with it is coming cool nights and not-so-hot days.  I adore fall and the crispness in the air, pumpkin everything (Despite its rampant trendiness that usually makes me stop liking something, I'm still a fan.  Even the PSL.  Though I've only had one and will probably not have any more because after tax the grande I got topped $5.  Unacceptable.), layering up with sweaters and boots, all the amazing candle scents that came out months ago but are only appropriate to start burning now, and the reminiscence that always seems to come with the season.

But as much as I love autumn (#autumnbliss is a favorite hashtag), I'm still mourning the end of summer.  Summer was full of fun and traveling and sunshine and tan lines (that only stay visible for a couple weeks max when you're as pale as I am) and smiles and memories, and I'm not sure I'm ready to let that go.  

There's nothing like a last hoorah to finish out a great summer though.  And this year it was a beach trip/family visit combo.  Not only did I get to spend a handful of sunny days in the Outer Banks with some great friends, but I got to make a marathon of a road trip (read: one fifteen-hour-drive day and two eight-hour-drive days for the return with only two days in between) to meet my brand new, oh-so-lovely, week-old niece.  Playing in the waves and lounging by the pool can only be improved by snuggling a sweet new little one a couple days later.  It was maybe the best week of events ever. 

Beach days with my crew!
Sometimes I feel like I spend my life in a car or a plane or somewhere besides my own house, but I love the craziness of traveling from place to place.  This next month is going to be no exception since trips to Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Florida are peppering my calendar.  

Amid the hectic travel schedule, this fall is bringing new opportunities to learn and grow.  Last night marked the beginning of a new Bible study my ladies group is doing for the next several weeks that promises to be a challenge in all the best ways.  There are books to be read, people to learn to love better, places to visit, and obstacles to embrace.  Last week I was reading in the book of Philippians, and found these words to be encouraging and a good reminder as I look forward to the busyness of the days set before me:

"...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6
No matter how crazy things get or how much I might feel like I'm not making any progress, I can have assurance that my Lord is not done with me yet.  I can hope in expectant confidence that every day is one day closer to the day I will be complete in Christ.  I'm so much looking forward to that day!

So here's to the sun setting on a beautiful summer and the start of a delightful autumn. 

Nothing beats a sunset over the water.

Monday, August 25, 2014


It's Monday.

Honestly, Mondays are one of my favorite days.  There are lots of reasons I typically enjoy Mondays, but one of the best is Monday Night Dinner (MND).  MND is a long-standing tradition at ChezMK where Miranda and I host 10-15 of our closest friends for an evening of dinner and fun.  I think we've been doing it for something like four years, just about every Monday night with very few exceptions.

I love traditions like this because it's one of the reasons our group of friends feels more like a family.  We watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy and see how many questions we can get right.  We try a bunch of different kinds of food but have a few favorites that we keep coming back to.  The evening activities vary...trivia night, a TV show, Monday Night Football, games, just chatting and hanging out.

We've seen wonderful friends join the MND crew, and sadly, we've seen some move away.  I think we've even had up to 18 people on a Monday night.  And if you've ever seen ChezMK, it is certainly should not be able to fit that many people, but we make a way, and we make it fun.

I love all the memories ChezMK holds, but the ones made at MND are some of my favorites.  

Love. my. friends.  

This was a special, birthday edition of MND a couple years ago when we went out instead of eating at home, but it's still most of the crew and some of my most favorite people.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two Years at LBM!

A couple months ago, I sat down with Patricia Spangler from Missions Radio to share about my work with Living Bread.  It was a privilege to tell her about how I transitioned into this position and how it's been a blessing to me to serve with this ministry!  You can listen to this brief interview here!  I didn't realize it's timeliness right away, it was released within a day or two of my two year anniversary at Living Bread!

As this anniversary passed (as did the four-year anniversary of my first trip to Brazil), I remain amazed at how the Lord has brought me to this place and how he continues to remind me that he is sovereign over every aspect of my life!  Despite whatever challenges may come my way, he is in control and has a plan.  He cares about the details.  He wants me to trust him with even the smallest things that I allow to fill my mind with worry and stress.  

At the moment, I'm in the middle of a painstakingly long and discouraging process of car selling/buying.  I have finally been able to sell the car I had and am now in the process of trying to find another vehicle.  If my tone doesn't communicate well in writing, let me just tell you that car issues are among my least favorite kind of trouble in the whole world.  Despite my distain for these things, I am constantly being reminded that God has a plan, even for my troublesome car situation.  He will provide just the right vehicle that will meet my needs and in just the right timing.  I just have to be faithful and trust him throughout this process.  I don't know how it will be resolved, but I am looking forward to finding out!  

Such is the truth I am learning to apply to this scenario and everything else in my life and ministry: trusting him for financial provision, relational wisdom and guidance, discernment for day-to-day decision-making.  If I had all the answers, I'm sure I would be convinced that I don't need the Lord's guidance.  Au contraire.  I am not even close to having everything figured out, and I am abundantly thankful that I don't have to.  

So, two years later, I'm still trusting the Lord that this is where he wants me to be and trusting him to provide all I need for each day and thankful for the opportunities he has given me to be part of his kingdom work!

From my first trip to Brazil in July 2010
From my 2011 trip - This little girl's family isn't at our church any more, and I miss her sweet face!
From our 2012 trip - Tracy is one of our pastor's daughter and is such a precious child! 
This is from our most recent trip in March 2014.  Getting to love on kids when we visit is great, but knowing that they are being consistently cared for because there is a church right in their neighborhood is even better.
In other ministry news... It continues to be an exciting year for Living Bread, our 10th anniversary year!  Right now our founders, Patrick and Bárbara Hubbard, are in Thailand working with our leadership there to serve the poor and finalize our plan of ministry.  Later this week, Patrick will travel to Kenya to make some initial contacts with potential leadership team members.  Please keep them in your prayers as he travels to Kenya and their whole family returns home next week!