Monday, September 29, 2008

Getting to Know: Krista!

To quote Groucho Marx, “I must confess, I was born at a very early age.”

And I was. One bonny May Memorial Day, I was born. My mother gave birth to me at home, in the yellow third floor apartment down the street from my grandparents’ home. I was – and still am – my parents’ first daughter and my grandparent’s first granddaughter.

Two months shy of my second birthday and before memories began to stick, we moved to a small New England town twenty minutes away, into a house with two brick stoops and a large backyard. For the past twenty years, this house has been home. I watched my aunt and uncle exchange vows in our living and was there when my sixteen year old brother was born in my parents’ bedroom, but not when my other three siblings were born at home.

From my bedroom window, I can see the trains go by in the distance and feel the vibrations of the wheels against tracks. Growing up, the windows would rattle in their casements as the boxcars went by. I can still tell time by them to this day. You can tell time in this New England town often without looking at the clock. The church up the street, ringing its bells throughout the day, chiming the hour. Neighbors walking to work. Factory bells and streams of employees flooding the streets.

I remember kindergarten: dancing the hokey-pokey in the kitchen with my mom and finally learning the difference between left and right. The dining room table was my desk and my mother my teacher, kindergarten through high school. The table looked large to me then, but throughout the years turned strangely smaller with each addition of a brother or sister to the family.

Today, that table is too small for the thirteen people in this family. Five brothers and six sisters. Two tables to hold us all. And Thanksgivings are always an experience.

When I was about seven, my family began home-churching with several other families on Saturday and we have never looked back. Today, we still fellowship with several other families, meeting on Sabbath afternoons for church here in the same living room where my aunt and uncle were married. We observe God’s Torah, His commandments, including celebrating His Holy Days – Passover, Shavuot, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot and more. We are not Jewish. We simply believe that God has not done away with His commandments and would have us continue to obey them. It isn’t a matter of doing them in order to gain brownie points with God or to redeem ourselves; it is a matter of observing God’s commandments because I love God and wish to please Him.

As I grow more and learn more and more from His word, I find myself more and more in awe of Him – of the beauty, the grace, the awesomeness of it all. Occasionally, you might hear me talk about what I am learning; it might be in conjunction to a Holy Day or even from learning more about a traditional siddur, or prayer book. It is an exciting journey for me and I am glad to have you along. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask and I will be more than happy to try and answer them as well as I can.

I devoured books from an early age; the library fed my mind, with books held in stacks up to my chin. It was through reading that I discovered writing. Stories turned words into magical worlds in my mind. I began to write and haven’t stopped since. I’m still reading and doubt I’ll ever stop, as long as God gives me eyes to see.

Less than a month after my seventeenth birthday, I wore a blue cap and gown and received my high school diploma. There were still braces on my teeth and looking back, I smile at the gawkish teenager I was then. Such a dork was I.

Such a dork am I still.

I taught piano to several students – cousins and siblings – until I found a job as housekeeper at a hotel. Years of washing and folding laundry at home prepared me for huge loads of sheets and towels to fold. Several months, I transferred to the front desk and became a guest services associate. For the first time in my life, I actually enjoyed working (in spite of the horrible blue uniforms!), for somehow, this shy girl found making reservations, answering phones and checking people in and out of the hotel her forte. Slowly, my shyness and insecure naivety began to wear away and I learned that the world, as scary as it seemed to a sheltered home-schooler, wasn’t all evil and was populated with people – not caricatures, but real people who want to love and be loved.

I’ll always remember my first job with fond memories, from fish abandoned at the front desk at 3 AM to sharing jokes with co-workers. And meeting people from all over the world: Japan, India, England, Iceland, Mexico, Ireland, Canada, Australia, France. Accents, glorious, beautiful accents.

And then I changed jobs. I left the hotel to work as a secretary in a nearby, local business. This summer, after nearly three years of administrative work, I have switched to the accounting department. My job is just that: a job. I don’t necessarily love the field I am in, but God has me where I am at the moment for a reason. I’m learning many things, both in accounting, but also in how to rejoice with what God gives me right now.

Today, I am still living at home with my family. This house that was large when I was two is now small with thirteen people. There is a baby in the house, yet still, and who knows what else God has in store.

Some of us might have grand plans for the future and I admit that I wish that my plans extended further than the next few months. I’m going back to school part-time in the spring semester, Lord willing, but will continue working full-time. God has also opened another door and has provided me with the amazing opportunity to travel to England with my father in November. I still write and read and sing. Someday, maybe, I will have finished my first novel. Someday I might be married. Someday – what a wealth of excitement in that one word! – someday, well, we’ll see what happens someday.

For now, I am here. Hello. Hello and welcome.


Rebecca September 29, 2008 at 5:56 PM  

no way!! I was born at a very early age, too!!! *smirk*

Danae September 29, 2008 at 8:09 PM  

I love the picture of your little New England town! :)
And I always really enjoy it when you share about how your family observes Torah.

Miss Deb September 29, 2008 at 9:15 PM  

One of these days I wanna see New England :D

Lovely intro:)

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