A Beautiful Mess


Graceful Seasons of Change by Kristen Bishop


Kristen Bishop is a grad student studying Child Life Development.  But more importantly she is s student of life.  You can read about her learnings here on her blog. Recently she relocated from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest, which matches up with her love of fall and coffee.  You will find her working with children at a local hospital making sure they understand what is happening in their situations and easing families’ burdens with her gentle nature and wise soul.  She is one of the most creative minds I know, taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary.




if you were to look through my art journal, you would find a common theme.


i really don’t like it. and choose to deal with it through writing, painting, ripping paper, scribbling, painting more, ripping more magazines/paper/tape… you get it.


change means things are no longer in my own control.

and change means that i must fully put my trust in the Creator of the Universe.

and that scares me. because, well, i can’t control the Creator.


while change is inevitable, time and time again i have stood face-to-face with change, showing her my angriest face. and as a result of that, all i found was deep pain. the changes occurred, despite my efforts to stop them. at times, i felt like my heart was literally being torn in half. these changes were significant- friends getting married, graduating from college, moving to a new city, moving to a new state. and now i face the completion of my graduate program- which means redefining my identity as a student to an employee, a workin’ girl, a real adult (i think…).




throughout all these experiences, i have been learning how to accept change with grace. i have also learned that i have serious control issues. it has become a bit of a joke among family and friends. i like being in charge and i like when things go my way. there are times when this control (or “organization”, as i like to call it) works to my advantage. but more often than not, it leads to a lifestyle of inflexibility and lots of disappointment. so, like i said, i’m also learning about grace. and as i learn about and practice grace in my own life- there is growth.


i find that the seasons can be the most beautiful example of grace and change and growth. here in the PNW, i have seen snow and ice turn into gorgeous shades of pink and yellow. as spring arrives, the trees start to bud and flowers begin to bloom. bright yellow daffodils grow wildly on the side of the freeway and tulips add sparks of color wherever i look. and the beauty of it is that the change from winter to spring is a process. these flowers did not bloom overnight. it has taken months. and there are still trees that need to blossom, flowers to open up, and vines to produce fruit. change, with grace, is a journey.



this next change is a big one. finishing my Master’s degree and learning a style and rhythm of life that does not include papers, research, and due dates will be an adjustment. what will i do with my time? what will my new rhythm be like? where will i live and work?  as i finish up my internship in Washington, i begin to search out where God might have me in the next stage of life. and saying that, is a lot easier than doing it. i feel like i am constantly asking God for His lead in my next step. then i say, “amen” and start thinking about all the things i need to do. there it goes, i loose trust in Him the minute it becomes about me and what i need to do to make things happen my way… Lord, help me.



i vividly remember a conversation i had with Kristin [Ritzau] a few years ago. i shared with her that i couldn’t wait until the day when i had my life, my emotions, my relationships “all together”. Kristin paused, and with the most love and grace said to me, “you will never have it ‘all together’, my dear.” and she’s absolutely right. things are always changing, growing, and adjusting. i am continually learning to show up to my life instead of being frustrated and anxious about each process. i can’t plan the next steps. i don’t know what will happen. and that.is.scary. but i know that the Creator is in control. no matter what. and for that, i truly am thankful. because let’s be honest, i am a mess. i am not in control of my own life. and i will re-learn this throughout my entire earthly existence. but by the GRACE of God, i am alive from one day to the next. i learn more about the Creator and more about myself through each situation that presents change. and invites grace. and produces growth.


  1. Eternally grateful for the mentorship & love from one dear Kristin to another dear Kristen. Thank you for showing her that coloring & living outside the lines can result in pure beauty & grace. <3

  2. Krisin—Your blog blesses me every time you post a new understanding/growth! Your insight and maturity in how God molds and makes you more into His image astounds me with each and every step you boldly take! How you seek God’s direction in everything you do, how open you are to the Holy Spirit’s voice, and how your will to honor our Lord and Savior with your words and actions impresses my socks off!

    Change although good or bad—is scary! The lesson of CONTROL is a huge one that many of us struggle with throughout our walk with God. The opposite of control is submission and complete surrender! This lesson is a constant journey, but just acknowledging it brings joy to the Lord. When one can completely surrender, God’s will can be accomplished in your life and He can use you in ways you never could imagine. Then and there is when God’s grace is sufficient. “God will never lead you where His strength cannot keep you” by Carolyn Johnson. God’s grace is the power of God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves! It is the gift that never stops giving!!

    Kristin you are an amazing woman of God and a true example of living your life out loud in the name of Jesus Christ! I am so excited to see where God provides for you in the near future!

    Blessings friend

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