Art, Courage, Dreams, Journey, Obedience, Passion, Thanksgiving, writing

On Teachers, Dreams and Birthdays

I stand convinced that her invitation to write served not as punishment, rather I’d call it a moment of divine intervention for my eight year old self”. 

These days I chase a dream that for a while, I lived disillusioned about how to capture and subdue. I imagined (foolishly) that dreams could be born apart from blood sweat and tears. The truth however, I am learning, is that dreams aren’t born apart from these but rather, are nailed down through the very experiences of them.

The dream I chase won’t drop as ripened fruit does from the tree, ready and waiting for me to enjoy. Seeing it come to light will not be achieved by scratching the silver foil from a lottery card, or by wearing the right shoes, or shaking the right hands, though I realize some people live as if this were true. Sometimes, dreams must be wooed, chased, pursued, fought for–wrangled into submission.

I credit my 3nd grade teacher, Mrs. Richardson, with planting this seed. While all the other seven and eight year old’s raced happily during recess, faces red and legs pumping wildly on the swings, I felt only distance and loneliness. Finding her back in the classroom, she looked up from her desk and asked me why I was not outside with the others. I’m sure I answered her with my face to the floor, lips trembling and no doubt, mumbling, (remembering how shy I was then.) She told me to sit down, and to write something.  Anything. It wasn’t an actual assignment, more of a suggestion to pass the time. She couldn’t have known she had just handed me a gift. I didn’t even fully know it then.

Any other child in that class likely would have bolted straight back out to the playground, never stopping to look back–for me, this was a chance to breath. Looking back at this, I considered for a moment, the possibility that her suggestion was meant as punishment, but ultimately, I must reject that thought as all of my faceless memories of her are nothing but encouraging.

Her classroom became a safe house for me during the recess hour. She gave me space to write, to think, to explore without having to defend myself against the dreaded dodge-ball wall, or from the torturous boys who terrorized me with bugs and worms. It was in her class where I wrote my first stories, it was in that school where I won a ribbon in the creative writing contest, it was she who watered and tended to a seed of a dream planted.

So no, I stand convinced that her invitation to write served not as punishment, rather I’d call it a moment of divine intervention for my eight year old self. 

All these years later and I have never stopped writing–never stopped imagining through words and journals and letters and stories. I had almost convinced myself I couldn’t chase the dream, but God has been whispering, nudging, opening tiny windows and big wide double doors calling me out to it.

And then there’s this blog–one of hundreds of thousands avaialable on the big wide web and still you read here, and you speak kindness and say to me, “good job.”

I count it all gift. Every last comment and e-mail and grace you have shown to me over the last year.

*It’s my bloggy-birthday, Always Alleluia is one year old. I cannot believe it. This blog, started as an act of obedience, a leap of faith, it has been a gift to me, a blessing most unexpected. YOU have been a gift unimaginable. Thank you for reading here. Thank you for sharing your hearts, your prayers, your sweet sweet words of encouragement with me. I am so deeply humbled and grateful for your kindness.

Counting on, beyond 1000 Gifts:

1035. The hapy end to a long week

1036. Conversations with peers, being treated as such

1037. Help that comes when needed

1038. Good, solid, grace-filled friendships

1039. A clean school room (!!)

1040. The boys building their pinewood derby cars with the Mr.

1041. A year of blogging. A year of stepping out on limbs- how graciously the Father has blessed it.

Joining the community of friends and Ann in giving thanks for all things. Won’t you join in the praise?

Want to keep up with me? Subscribe to Always Alleluia by Email to get my posts delivered right to your inbox. You can also find me on Facebook and twitter. 


  1. My dear, sweet friend – how I wish I could be a fly on the wall of that second grade classroom, whisper encouragement in your small ears, rejoice with you as your God-given talent began to take flight. In so many ways over the past year you’ve blessed my heart, strengthened my faith, encouraged warm tears of repentance and enriched my life with your beautiful friendship. I am so proud of you, so blessed to count you among my dearest friends.  You are mighty through Him, sister, and He is well pleased in you.  I am so grateful to be along for the ride as you chase hard after His plans for your life.  

    Happy blogiversary, Kris.  I love you so much.  XOXOXO

    1. alwaysalleluia

      Such sweet words, Jana. I am so thankful for you, for how God introduced us here in this wide world of the web and words and cyberspace.  I count you again and again among my gifts.  Thank YOU for encouraging me, and joining me on this insane roller-coaster-journey of life.  Love you so much! 😉

  2. AshlieWrites

    So beautiful, my sweet friend!! Bless that second grade teacher…she not only gave you a gift, but perhaps an even greater gift has been given to the rest of us who have the privilege of marveling at your art. I love reading your blog and it blesses me so much to hear how your obedience to Him is bringing blessing to you even through the stretching. 

    We started our blogs around the same time, and I understand about the thing being a dream but more of an act of obedience. His ways aren’t our ways, but they are always so much better and beyond our comprehension! Thank you for allowing us to peer into your journey. It has challenged me to cultivate a heart of thankfulness, too. 

    Praying the doors continue to open as you step out in faith…you never know where He will lead you!! Happy bloggy birthday, you fill a spot in the online world that no one else can fill, by His grace. Don’t ever believe otherwise 😉


  3. Bryn2u

    Dearest Krissie
    How little I knew of the influence your early elementary teachers had on you! We get so caught up in the daily grind as parents (and teaching too)we can be very near-sighted. I know Mr.Jayo was an inspiration….what a lovely tribute to Mrs. McLeod! Our Father does work in marvelous ways. Blessings on your Always Alleluia & the ways it touches our hearts Love you, Momma

    1. alwaysalleluia

      Thank you, Mom. ah yes, how well I remember sweet Mr. Jayo. I must track him down and thank him for his awesomeness. He holds a special place in my memory. His love for creative writing was contageous!  It’s amazing as we look back, how we can piece together the treasures that God places in our lives, when at the time they seemed just insignificant fragments– how the mosaic comes together as we age, eh?  Love you Mom. Your love of literature and the arts of course, has also been a huge encouragement and inspiration. I know that to be true! XXOO

    1. alwaysalleluia

      Oh thank you, Ro. You are always such a blessing and encouragement to me!  You have no idea how much it means. Truly. So thankful for you. 😉

  4. This was really touching… it really causes me to be even more diligent over my heart, considering the flow that comes from it is pouring into my children’s hearts… and to think of the impressions young children take on that have such a huge part of shaping their future… causes me to lean on Christ more as a mentor for each of them… 

    You have a beautiful blog and beautiful heart… Congratulations on your year… I am so glad I found you 🙂


    1. alwaysalleluia

      It’s true, Michele-Lyn. How easily I forget that I have such a responsibility in how I influence them. You said it well. Thank you always for encouraging, and taking the time to share your heart. Blessings, friend.

  5. Oh, my, happy blog-birthday!  It is so beautiful how He gives us eyes to trace back to the beginnings of us discovering, a bit more, who He has always designed us to be.  I can so relate to your little girl heart of using words as sanctuary from the tough stuff of life.  I am so grateful to be on this blogging journey with you, Kris.  (My blog birthday is just one month before yours!)  🙂

  6. Hi Kris,
    Sorry I missed this one for a few days – a belated Happy Bloggy Birthday! This is really cool to be pursuing a dream. I really enjoy your writing and am amazed that you managed to post every weekday and even a weekend bonus. Thank you for putting yourself out there for us to read.

    1. alwaysalleluia

      Thanks so much Mike. I appreciate your writing very much. It really amazes me, this online community of believers. I never imagined this was here before blogging. It has bee such an experience “meeting” others and sharing this wild faith journey. I am thankful for how God works in all our lives. Keep writing! You have a gift for it. God bless you.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *