Monday

My Upside Down World



Before bed the other night, we were reading a chapter of Do Hard Things to our 10 and 7 year old. (I'll be sharing more about this book in the months to come). I was encouraging my kids to do hard things and shared this story with them:

I was a nerd in high school.
Not the classic geek with taped glasses and a pocket protector, but a misfit, nonetheless.

I was a Christian, carried my Bible most days and even wore a rhinestone pin on my clothes that spelled the name Jesus.

And that combination pretty much clinched me a spot at a lunch table on the other side of the room from the popular kids. I also had very few dates.

I didn't feel sorry for myself though. Actually, most days I was proud to be different.

I was on the school newspaper and developed a love for graphic design (this was in the early 90's). I had a dream of making a Christian t-shirt to wear to school. I came up with a design after school hours on the computer. My idea: an upside down world that said, "I want to turn the world upside down for Jesus."

I wanted to do something hard.

My daughter couldn't believe I never had that shirt made. It just wasn't an easy thing back then. I wasn't sure she'd gotten the point of my story.

I hadn't thought about that young girl in a long time. I went to bed feeling discouraged that I couldn't even get caught up on laundry or get my toddler to eat her dinner, much less change the world.

Well, something amazing happened this past week:

I got my shirt!!

My unbelievable hubby created it online and surprised me with it.

Y'all, I cried when I read the front:


(it says "I want to turn the world upside down for Jesus."
-Kristen, Age 14

and I sobbed when I read the back:

(We are THAT family. com Kenya March 4-10)

I haven't even gone to Africa yet and my life is being turned upside down.

It's a new, uncomfortable place --

That feels right.


What is your childhood dream? Are you living it?
And how about that hubby of mine???

73 comments:

LoveFeast Table said...

Love having life turned upside down! Walking in that place is fun and exciting and new and adventurous...kinda like jumping out of a boat and walking on water, even for a minute! But, you get the experience! I'd rather jump out then be left sitting in the boat watching. Glad you are following your dreams and doing it with such a wonderful hubby! I know for me and my guy, there's nothing better!!

Jennifer said...

That was so sweet of your husband! Glad you got your shirt. I love hearing sweet stories like this. Thank you for sharing.

Jennifer (Niffer) said...

That is awesome!
I wanna see the shirt!

Sandy said...

Beautiful post! Just wish the pictures with it would show up on my computer! Thank you for sharing.

missy said...

what a priceless gift! so glad the rest of us get to go along for the ride as he uses you to turn the world upside down for jesus. love the idea of reading that book with the kids.

Robin said...

Wow! Love the shirt! I'm so excited about what God is doing through you and your little blog. I'm proud to be your friend.

flamingandromeda said...

Fabulous t-shirt...wonderful husband...keep doing those hard things! I love reading your blog...you make me think.

@ Sandy: I had the same problem...just kept refreshing until the photos appeared! :-D

Jen-balancing beautyandbedlam said...

SO SO SO amazing...yes, your hubby rocks and what a special, special time you have ahead. Can't wait to see all that the Lord will do through those ten days.

Angela @ HomegrownMom said...

What an awesome gift! So cool, I am awwwwing so much my husband had to come see! Great story :)

thatgirlblogs said...

more than a little bit cool ;)

melissabrotherton said...

What a great story! That was so thoughtful of him to have that shirt made for you! I can totally identify with what you were saying about feeling discouraged regarding your impact after looking at what's happening in your daily life. What you wrote was so encouraging for me and it is just another whisper from God that I have received recently that He hasn't given up on my childhood dream and either should I.

melissabrotherton said...

What a great story! That was so thoughtful of him to have that shirt made for you! I can totally identify with what you were saying about feeling discouraged regarding your impact after looking at what's happening in your daily life. What you wrote was so encouraging for me and it is just another whisper from God that I have received recently that He hasn't given up on my childhood dream and either should I.

Headless Mom said...

That simply rocks. Awesomely. Forever and ever, Amen.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Yeaaaa Kristen!!

Aw, thank you God for sweet husbands!!

Darla said...

That is just sweet. So special.

Love that you've been sensitive to God's call for a long time and you are living it out right now.

La TempĂȘte said...

That is so beautiful. And remember, in Africa, you'll be able to turn several worlds upside down - the worlds of all those people whose lives you are about to touch. You are a brave and special lady.

The Eclectic Dabbler said...

I loved your story--it is inspirational to hear about people who (as teens) were unashamed in their bold desire to change the world for God's glory.
But wow . . . How 'bout that hubby? :-) So thoughtful! So very very touching!
Truly amazing!

Anita said...

Do Hard Things is a wonderful book and my kids were blessed to be able to attend two of the Rebelution conferences. We got to know Alex and Brett a little bit via internet and the conferences and they are outstanding young men! I highly recommend getting the DVD of the conferences and watching. The message is not only for young people but us adults could take heed of their advise.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

This brought tears to my eyes. I think you ARE turning the world upside down. 14 year old Kristen would be proud!

JanMary said...

Amen sister!

You are already influencing so many through your blog, all around the world.

Can't wait to see how else God is going to use you for His glory :)

Mom of M&Ms said...

sell the shirts.. for Compassion! I would buy one.. and my kiddos would loe to wear it

Sarah (GenMom) said...

That's so AWESOME! What a great hubby and what an even greater GOD!

Praise the Lord for the work of the Holy Spirit on your young heart and what a witness today! That's cool.

Bernadette said...

What a sweet and inspiring story. Thanks for sharing your life and testimony with the world : - )

Laryssa Herbert said...

Thank you for sharing this touching story. May we all turn the world upside down where we live for the glory of God!

Amber, That's Me! said...

What a sweet sweet gift- and I love it when they think like that!

Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

O.K., that husband of yours is pretty awesome. What a sweet, thoughtful thing to do while you were away. Hope it was great!

Tina said...

I have tears in my eyes. What a gem of a husband you have :)

Wander said...

I love it! Kristen.....that is just how my own hubby is.
They think SO CREATIVELY of ways to bless us, huh?

My dream....has been to write a book or twenty!
My husband hangs onto that dream for me (I'm too scared to). And when I hear him say things about it....I smile inside my heart!

Go turn the world upside down!
You've got so many reasons to succeed!

Wendy said...

Aww, you made me cry! What a beautiful ending to the uncomfortableness of the teenage years! What a testimony to your love of Christ. And, major brownie points for such a thoughtful hubby. Thank you for sharing.

Stephanie said...

I love that you're turning the world upside down for Jesus as a family. It's a huge encouragement.

The Halbert Home said...

Wow...that's great. How cool of him to do that for you!

mandiegirl said...

What a sweet story, and a priceless gift!

Amy@ MomsToolbox said...

That's AWESOME!!

And, as for childhood dreams... I was going to be President. Of the United States. 2008 was my target election year.

But I was also going to be a writer.
I can check that one off, but not President... And that's okay with me :)

What a wonderful husband you have there, Kristen... and beautiful dreams, too... I am so excited to see the many more ways you will turn the world upside down for Jesus in the moments ahead. :)

Melanie said...

YAY!!!! LOVE IT! Huge kudos to your sweet hubby for being so especially thoughtful! You ARE doing something big with this blog and your sweet family is a blessing to all of us. Keep on keeping on, chickie! That little "nerdy" girl is still there with big dreams... and I think that you just woke up the little "nerdy" girl inside lots of us to do something BIG for Jesus! Good for you!

Shelli Bourque said...

Oh, Kristen, I'm getting all teary-eyed. From one misfit girl to another, your dream is precious. And your husband rocks!

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Oh my, girl, you've got a lot of world turning JESUS power in that petite frame of yours! What a fabulous gift!

beckyjomama said...

THAT is awesome! Good man!

Cherie said...

Better cook that man his favorite meal! Fantastic! Can't wait to hear more about this book.

Tammy (Mom to this crazy bunch) said...

Oh, that made me get all teary!

La Familia Garcia said...

Incredible! THAT is just precious! I LOVE the shirt too!

Linda C said...

You are right- That IS some hubby of yours!:)

Love it!

Linda C

Melissa R said...

How exciting!
My childhood dreams. Well, they all kind of boil down to being brave. Which I wasn't. At all. Now I am.
Plus, all my silly dreams, like being an interior designer (I get to decorate my own home now!), and be a teacher (I homeschool now!), and travel (we do ALL the time on my husband's business trips). But mostly bravery, I lacked it in SO many ways. And now I have it in SO many ways. Still there are ways I could work on, but overall, I am ME I am BRAVE.

Kelly Fitzpatrick said...

WHERE CAN I GET MY T-SHIRT? WHERE DO I SEND MY CHECK? I WANT ONE TOO! PRETTY PLEASE? YOU ARE TURNING THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN! AND YOU HAVEN'T EVEN LEFT YET. YOU ARE MY NEW BEST FRIEND! :)CHEERING FOR YOU AND JESUS!

The Mommy said...

I think I love your husband. You have an amazing partner!

Jennifer said...

Love it....

Kristen said...

You guys bless me so much!

For all those asking about a t-shirt for themselves, my hubby used Uber Print and since he was only printing one shirt, it cost around $25. I'll see if he can come up with a cheaper way so y'all can get one too!

And even better if any profits could go to Compassion!

Anonymous said...

You are turning the world upside down and inside out in the most wonderful way for Jesus. Destiny - Age 47

Anonymous said...

You are turning the world upside down and inside out in the most wonderful way for Jesus. Destiny - Age 47

The Glamorous Life Association said...

So glad you kept that husband of yours.

He is awesome.

While I was reading it I was thinking 'I am totally making her that shirt for her trip"...and then I scrolled down and laughed.

Awesome.

Michelle Potter said...

Awww, you have such a sweet husband!

jennibell said...

"WOW" is just not a big enough word. . .

Chris said...

Do you know how refreshing it is to hear that you weren't one of those girls that was a "bad girl?" I don't even know you but I freakin love you!

Brandi said...

Awww,how sweet!!!! I love how God is working out your dream, well, his dream through you!! You've touched me and so many others already without even having to leave your home. :)

Shara said...

I love the shirt! What a very sweet thing for him to do!!

Shara said...

I love the shirt! What a very sweet thing for him to do!!

Keowdie said...

I love your story! Thank you for sharing it!

And I'm planning to read that book to our 7 year old this summer.

Rooster Shamblin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sonya said...

How sweet! Great shirt and I bet you can't wait to wear it in Kenya!

Danise Delights said...

Great story!
It is so important to follow the dreams that God puts into our heart.
I volunteer at the dream center.. an inner city outreach church that helps people in the most challenging times... reachs their life dreams.
I am so happy for you~

Colleen said...

LOVE IT! Unexpected moments like that are just the very best :-)

Grateful for Grace said...

My childhood dream was to be a mama. I'm living the dream better than I ever though, though it's harder than I thought.

I want to tell you something weird: I'm impressed at the hard work you've put into your blog and what you've done with it. I thought for awhile I just didn't like you (keepin' it real), but I realized it's just plain jealousy. I'm so sorry. Will you forgive me? Continue turning the world upside down, but (in my opinion) especially your family. That's where it starts.

You will love Kenya. I went in 1994 and left a part of my heart there. I hope to go back someday and get it.

The Mom-tage said...

What a great post! Glad I found this blog tonight.

ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage and Junkologie said...

That is amazing, Kristen! An amazing time in your life. An amazing experience to come. An amazing husband that is so thoughtful. An amazing family that learns from you. An amazing you...when you are amazing, you draw amazing things to you.

Brad Ruggles said...

What a great story Kristen! I love that the shirt has the quote on it from when you were 14. It's amazing how God makes our wildest dreams come true, isn't it?

I can't wait to meet you on our upcoming trip next month!

Rydell Happenings said...

That is awesome!!! I love that you had the vision to turn the world upside down when you were 14 and your husband could see the vision in print on a t-shirt. Everything you do is an awesome inspiration. And I thank you for sharing it so openly with me.

Erica said...

A good husband is worth his weight in diamonds. They are so hard to find and so wonderful to be blessed with. Best wishes on "turning the world upside down!"

Tracey said...

So glad you're going to be discussing this book - I loved it and will make it mandatory reading for my girls when they're a bit older. What a sweet hubby and a neat t-shirt!

ellen stevens said...

love

Jennie said...

That brought tears to my eyes. Just so awesome.
Also loved the woman blessing you for your trip.
Best wishes on your journey to make everything upside down!

Mama Laundry said...

What a fab hubby you've got there!

That brought tears to my eyes.

Beautiful.

-Lauren

(It was a *pleasure* to meet you all-too-briefly at Blissdom! Maybe we'll get to chat next time!)

Chrissy said...

This is great! :o) What a thoughtful thing your hubby did!

Sarah said...

What a precious thought to share with your children. What an amazingly wonderful husband to be so creative and come up with a perfect shirt!
Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!

love said...

LOVE THIS!!

and i wanna go on this trip!! ; )