Tuesday, May 6, 2014

tick-tock




day 1
day 28



























day 59


















Time is such a strange thing.

Time can fly, and drag, and cease to exist. And yet it passes 
predictably
, second by second, minute to minute, hours, days, weeks, months, and years.
Just two and half months ago every day felt longer than the Great Wall. 
Now, time is a silky scarf that brushes quickly against my skin as it flutters by. 
It is elusive to my grasping hands that want to hold said scarf, keep it still, bunched 
up, and hidden in my hands.

I hold my baby girl and she smiles, charming her way into a place in my heart that will only be for her. I look at my little boy, who not long ago was a baby himself, he's humming the Star Wars theme as he plays. Oh, how I love them. I wish that time would take a nap, stop running around all the time, and just hide in my hands until I felt it was time to move again.
Time is such a strange thing.



(I accidentally wrote this on a different blog.
It was meant to be published on 7/12/12. Oops)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

we wish you a


and of course a happy New Year as well. This year, as in years past, we didn't put sending out a physical Christmas card at the top of our priority list... next year perhaps. We are so grateful for you our dear friends and family. We feel very blessed to have such amazing people in our lives. Whether you live near or far from us we hope you know that we love you. We are grateful for the most divine gift our Father in Heaven could bestow, our Savior, and hope you feel His love in your life.

*the christensens

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I gave a talk and it went like this:


Good afternoon brothers and sisters. I’ll begin by giving a brief introduction my name is Katie Christensen. I was born in Utah. I met my husband Adam at BYU. We married in 2007, graduated from college and had our first child, Jonathan, in 2009. We moved a little under a year later, 6 months after purchasing our first home, to Seattle for a new job for Adam. We have lived here for 3 years now. During those three years we have moved homes four times and been in five wards, we added another member to our family, Gemma. Adam changed positions at said job, was laid off a few months later, and now works at a game company called Popcap.
Did you notice a theme in that introduction? I did. Change, and lots of it, accompanied by times of uncertainty and certainly a few challenges along the way. How can faith in the Lord Jesus Christ help us in our day to day lives, especially when facing challenges, uncertainty, and change? I believe the answer to this question is very valid to all of us. We will all face times of uncertainty, change is a constant in this life, it is as unavoidable as death, and challenges will surely come. Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, in our Eternal Father’s goodness and love will guide us, strengthen us, and focus our efforts in this life.
We have been given a guide of how to live through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through his example and the example of his servants we can know what a life dedicated to God and righteousness looks like. We have many examples from the early saints of faith. In Elder Dube’s talk Look Ahead and Believe he quoted an account Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin gave of the saints leaving their homes “In 1846, more than 10,000 [people] left the thriving city [of Nauvoo] that had been built on the banks of the Mississippi River. With faith in prophetic leaders, those early Church members left their ‘City Beautiful’ and struck off into the wilderness of the American frontier. They did not know exactly where they were going, precisely how many miles lay ahead, how long the journey would take, or what the future held in store for them. But they did know they were led by the Lord and His servants” (“Faith of Our Fathers,” Ensign, May 1996, 33). 
I’m going to paraphrase from the Bible Dictionary. Faith is “to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true, and must be centered in Jesus Christ in order to produce salvation…faith comes by righteousness.  All true faith must be based upon correct knowledge or it cannot produce the desired results. Faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel and is more than belief, since true faith always moves its possessor to some kind of physical and mental action; it carries an assurance of the fulfillment of things hoped for.” The saints leaving Nauvoo exemplified faith and trust in God. From the same talk by Elder Wirthlin “Faith of Our Fathers” He says:
 “A major reason this church has grown from its humble beginnings to its current strength is the faithfulness and devotion of millions of humble and devoted [members] who have only five loaves and two small fishes to offer in the service of the Master. They have largely surrendered their own interests, and in so doing have found ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.’” 24
With the Lord to strengthen us, “we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things.” 25 He encourages us to “be not weary in well-doing, for [we] are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” 26 May we be faithful in fulfilling the duties of whatever calling we have in the kingdom. Let us pay heed to the “small things” that make all the difference. Let us be faithful in keeping the commandments as we have made sacred covenants to do. As our heritage and our growth clearly show, we are, indeed, “laying the foundation of a great work.”
I know that the Lord strengthens those who strive to serve him. He strengthens us through our challenges and through uncertainty. While I can’t compare my experience to that of the early saints, or even pretend to be filled with faith, I have witnessed the Lord teaching me and helping me. When I found out I was pregnant with Jonathan, I was very anxious. I’m often paranoid and I worried that because I had not been taking prenatal vitamins, for though the plan was to have children it wasn’t according to our timeline, that whatever child I would have would have some kind of disability. I didn’t feel like I would be equipped to properly care for such a child. I had waves of fear and paranoia for a long time. Even after the routine 20 week ultrasound should have quelled them. We lived in my grandparents basement at the time and they would sometimes leave their backdoor unlocked while they were home. One evening we heard a great raucous upstairs my grandfather shouting, “young man what are you doing here?” We then heard loud running steps coming down the stairs. A young man with downs syndrome came into our apartment and nervously, and quickly walked around, opening cupboards, entering every room. Adam and I quietly followed him asking him if he could tell us his name and where he belonged. He didn’t say a word. Upstairs I could hear my grandfather talking to the police. I went up to the young man and grabbed his hand and lead him gently back upstairs, I asked him if his name was Bobby as I had heard of such a young man entering other neighbor’s homes and going through their fridges. He looked in my eyes and I knew I was right. My grandfather told the police who then sent his sister to come get him. That experience and the quiet and calm I had felt while interacting with Bobby, taught me that the Lord would be there for me no matter what the outcome of the pregnancy would be. I think the Lord was trying to teach me to trust in him, and to have faith in His plan and His purposes. Something I will admit I am still struggling to learn.
If we choose to have faith, if we choose to believe and act in obedience to God he will give us direction, and purpose.
Elder Dube told a story of how he learned to look forward with purpose from his mother. He said “While I was a boy working in the fields with my mother, she taught me one of the most important lessons in life. It was late in the morning, the sun was up, and we had been hoeing for what I thought to be a very long time. I stopped to look back at what we had accomplished and said to my mother, “Look at all we have done!” Mother did not respond. Thinking that she had not heard me, I repeated what I had said a little louder. She still did not reply. Raising my voice a little higher, I repeated again. Finally, she turned to me and said, “Edward, never look back. Look ahead at what we still have to do.” He continues on…
My dear brothers and sisters, the covenant we made with the Lord when we were baptized, “to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in” (Mosiah 18:9), is a lifelong commitment. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf counseled, “Those who have entered the waters of baptism and received the gift of the Holy Ghost have set their feet on the path of discipleship and are charged to follow steadily and fully in the footsteps of our Savior” (“Saints for All Seasons,” Ensign or Liahona, Sept. 2013, 5). The Lord through His servants calls us to serve in various callings, which we accept with total commitment. When a release has been extended and a call in a different assignment has been issued, we joyfully accept it, knowing, as our forebearers knew, that “in the service of the Lord, it is not where you serve but how” (J. Reuben Clark Jr., in Conference Report, Apr. 1951, 154).”
This is how faith should focus our life. We address our challenges, change, and uncertainty by striving to keep our covenants. By focusing on securing our salvation, and by helping our brothers and sisters secure theirs.

 In Alma 44:4 it says: Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are afaithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith.

In Elder Uchtedorf’s talk  “You Can Do It Now!” he said
It is a great source of spiritual power to live lives of integrity and righteousness and to keep our eyes on where we want to be in the eternities. Even if we can see this divine destination only with the eye of faith, it will help us to stay the course.
 We have many examples found in the scriptures of great faith and an eye that stays focused on the eternities. One that came to mind while preparing this talk was Job. I know we hear about Job a lot. He faced the greatest challenges man can face the loss of his children, his wealth, and his health. After the death of his sons he in Job 1: 20-21 it says “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” He was discarded and reviled by his friends. Though at times he questioned why he was born, and whether he had transgressed in front of the Lord, he even prayed to die but he never lost faith in God and his eternal promises. In Job 13 verse 15 and 16  it says “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” In the end Job is blessed beyond what he lost. I will end with a final quote from Elder Uchtedorf, he said: My dear brethren (and it isn’t a stretch to add sisters), my dear friends, there will be times when you think you cannot continue on. Trust the Savior and His love. With faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the power and hope of the restored gospel, you will be able to walk tall and continue on
One of my grandfather’s sayings is “life is hard, and then you die.” While this is true, none of us will escape difficulties, or change, or death, we all can accept the promises and blessings of a faithful life. I know that God lives, that his son is our salvation, that truth exists and that we have a prophet on the earth today. We are blessed with the Holy Ghost, as we live righteously and faithfully, to comfort us, to quell our fears, to teach us, and help us feel God’s infinite love for all of his children. I pray that we will strive to apply faith to our lives so we can say at the end as Paul of the New Testament “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” 2 Tim. 4:7  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

G is for...





I can't believe she's one. I can not believe it. Yet it is true. Everyday she grows up a little more. Yesterday she insisted on feeding herself with a spoon, and guess what, she actually got three bites in her mouth.
We all adore her. We wondered about J liking her for a long time there but even he has fallen victim to her charm. We were able to celebrate her birthday with a lot of wonderful people. Really we are so lucky to know such great people. We missed our family members and wish they all could have been there.
A lot is going on in our lives right now but I don't feel like writing about it so I'll end by saying I love my family, my friends, my faith, and my life. Cheerio darlings, cheerio!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I wrote a poem, don't judge.

I was laying in bed late one night this week and I composed this poem after trying to decide how I was feeling at the time. Don't judge. Here she is...

Oh vim, dear friend
where have you gone? 
Vigor has run off too. 
All that is left is a lump on a log, 
a sigh, 
and a worn out shoe. 


Friday, March 1, 2013

M & M

epic pouty face today when I asked  him to make a face
My little sister got engaged on Wednesday! I can't believe it. I knew it was coming, we've all been rooting for it, but I find it hard to believe that she is old enough to get married (which is odd considering I was two years + younger then she is when I did.). She and her man Melvin both seem so young to me , perhaps that means I'm getting old.

As a family we were driving home from picking up Adam from work, Adam and I were talking about her engagement, marriage, etc. At one point I said "J., Maggie's getting married." J.'s response was so cute and a little unexpected and very different from his cousins. He said with some worry in his voice "I don't want her to get married. I want her to stay like she is." We asked him why he wanted that and  quickly realized that he thought it meant Maggie would change in a bad way (apparently we haven't talked about love and marriage very much). We told him that marriage was a really good thing, and that Maggie would still be Maggie she would just live with Melvin, just like mama and dad. He liked that.

I'm so excited for Maggie and Melvin. Marriage can be so wonderful and I'm so grateful for mine. I have every confidence that they will be grateful for their's also.

Hooray for the happy couple! Hooray for another brother! Hooray for eternal marriage!

Friday, February 8, 2013

dream houses

I have this re-occuring dream (though it leans more towards nightmare than dream) there is always a house that is either perched in the trees, on a steep slope, or some other precarious foundation. Inevitably I am in this house and if I move even a step too far to the left or right the house begins to lean. I can actually feel the sinking feeling in my stomach. I quickly have to right the wrong and get everyone in the right place again (sometimes Adam and the kids are in the house too, which makes it even harder to keep upright). The dream consists of trying to keep the house in balance. I wake up feeling uneasy.

Last night I had the dream again. This time the worst happened. I lost the war of balance and the house fell. The crazy thing about it was that the world didn't end. The house fell, nobody died. The house fell. I failed. The house fell but in the dream we were going to lift it with cranes. Life kept going. I was not in control but things would still be o.k.

I tend to overanalyze. So, this dream has me thinking about my life, wondering if a bomb is going to drop. I told Adam and he said that maybe it meant I was going to go insane (yeah, thanks for that one babe.) I really don't think that was the point of the dream... if there even was a point. I think it's my mind's way of saying "Katie, you can't control everything but it will be alright." I can't control how people act. I can't control what people think. I can't control natural disasters. I can't prevent people from getting hurt. I can't make other people happy and I don't HAVE to. The house can fall. Mistakes can and will be made. Life will not end.