Once upon a time....

Flash back to 1999, we were a family of four. Happy in our new roomy house and comfortable in our ways. A few years later, the Lord blessed us with an additional little package, little boy #3. Now we were a family of five and sure that would be the end. As time moved on, so did we. The Lord used the time that passed to open our eyes to His will. Several years ago, Bob and I individually heard the call to adoption. It has been a long "pregnancy", but during this incubation time, the Lord has brought us to where He wants us to be. Spring 2010, we traveled to Ethiopia where two little angels were waiting for the Lord's timing - to become our children. Now we are home and can't imagine life any differently! What a blessing to be in His will.

Galatians 4:5 says "God sent Christ to buy freedom for us, who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as his very own children." We are just following his model. A Perfect picture of salvation.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Today I had the honor of serving at Compassion International.  During the regular Chapel meeting, the current President, Wess Stafford, interviewed his predecessor, Wally Erickson.  Compassion's work has grown from modest beginnings in South Korea in 1952 when American evangelist Reverend Everett Swanson felt compelled to help 35 children orphaned by the Korean conflict.  Today Compassion has a worldwide ministry where more than 1.2 million children are now reaping the benefits of one man's clear, God-given vision.  As I listened to their conversation, I was moved by the connection these two men had.  Their friendship centered around their love for the children of the world and for the responsibility that God has put on each of us to care for the vulnerable and oppressed.  Their passion was clear and demonstrated through comments and tears shared as they relived moments in the history of their friendship and ministry.  The Chapel ended with a slideshow of moments captured on film... Wally with children on different continents, in different countries, at different ages, always smiling, always serving the children.

After Chapel, I had the privilege of assisting in the serving of lunch to Wally, Wess and various employees that had served at Compassion during Wally's tenure.  I watched as Wally and his wife reminisced with old friends and relived even more memories.  I was touched by how moved Wally was...even surprised at how much Compassion had grown since his retirement.  

That made me think.  What legacy will I leave?  How am I making a difference?  Wally just followed his passion, God's leading.  He invested in those around him and those around the world.  He "trained" Wess for 17 years before his retirement!  Who is right under my nose, that I should be "investing" in?  Obviously, my children.  That's an easy one.  But who else?  The Lord has been leading me into moments and encounters with the people around me.  Each conversation is laced with Him... How He brought us here, Why we said "yes", How He has been faithful to show Himself to us, How we are trusting Him daily.  Not preachy, mind you, just trusting and real.  Slowly and steadily, God is building our base for us.  The foundation on which we will build friendships, support, influence.  Last night, I attended the PTO meeting at our Elementary School and co-volunteered with a neighbor (that I have met once) to organize an event at school, today I served at Compassion, Friday I will attend a Parent gathering where several of us Middle School Moms to pray for our children's school!  I am determined to reach out.  Influence requires ACTION!  

The catch is... good or bad, we all leave a legacy!  Positive influence or Negative influence?

What legacy are you leaving?  It's worth thinking about.... better yet, It's worth ACTING ON!!

Friday, August 10, 2012


I have been dropping the proverbial ball lately on updating the blog.  So, in the interest of getting more fiber in my blogging (a.k.a. Get things moving!), I am going to attempt to post a nugget of Koning-ness once a week.  As the kids get into school, I may find more time to blog... So, here goes!

Family update:
  • All of the kids are now enrolled and scheduled and such in school.  We start back to school nights next Monday.
  • Bob is loving the company that we moved out here for: Compassion International. If you are familiar with the company, let me tell you, it is everything you think it is!  They really do care for the children and in a way that is God-honoring.  It is all about the kids!
  • Marshall has found his other half... A kid named Matt that lives down the street. And although he misses his Missouri friends, this one seems to take care of his social needs!  We call them m&m!
  • Levi has found his niche in following m&m around.  Which works most of the time! He also has a buddy, Scotty, that goes to our church and whose family is in our small group, that he gets along with well.  They will be in the same school next year (although different grades 4th/5th).
  • Nardos has found her nirvana!  Two little gals that live a block away, both adopted from Guatemala and close to her age.  They also love princesses and dress up, so it's a good fit!  She "found" them one day while riding her bike and brought them and their Mom down to meet us!  They have been down to play a number of times, and now Nardos is at their house for a play date and lunch! I am sure it will end all too soon today and she will be begging for more play time!  Nardos also has latched onto a little gal that is in our small group, Sami.  She happens to be Scotty's littlest sister.
  • Beti is Beti.  She is content to stay at home and is willing to go out with us when we go somewhere as a family (ie. the park, or for a hike).  She does not crave the social scene, but has asked if I can find out if Levi's friend Scotty is in her class next year.  She likes our small group (which meets every Sunday evening) and hangs out with Scotty's sister, Ashley.
  • I, Audra, am enjoying getting our home organized and keeping our family sane!  I have recently started "meal planning" and am shocking the socks off the hubby!  I have found the creative side to structure and it suits me fine!  I love that I am feeding my family well and saving money at the same time.  I will do a post later with suggtions and tips for making meal planning work for you.  I want to give hope to the naturally disorganized and unstructured individual!  I can relate to you all!  
  • In addition to Bob's work, he has been invited to serve in the church praise team band!  He is so excited he can't stand it!  He will start in a few weeks and he will be on a rotation for three months.  Then, if he wishes, he can continue for another three month rotation.  On the rotation, he plays one weekend a month.
Ok, I am going to end it here.  Check back for more family stuff!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rocky Mountain High...

If you are younger than say...30, you may have the wrong idea about the Title of this post... If you are as old as me... You will recognize this as the line of a famous song written and performed by John Denver YEARS ago. Although I don't agree with many of John's beliefs, I do admire his ability to see the world around him and admire it for the unique creation that it is. In this song, he reflects on the "feeling" that he gets from being among nature. I get that feeling too. Every time I look out my window and see Pikes Peak, or walk outside and smell the pines, I admire and adore the maker of the heavens and the earth. Moving to Colorado has forced me to slow down and SEE the world around me. And oh the beauty! As hard as it has been to be away from our family and dear friends, the fact remains that God has a purpose for us here and everyday I seek to find it and fulfill it. How long will that take? Don't know. How will I know that I have found it? I trust that God will show me. Is it just one purpose? Probably not. What I DO know for certain, as a believer, I am called to seek Him first EVERY day. To do His will (sharing the love of Christ, taking care of the widows and orphans, Loving God with all my heart, mind, and soul) is what I am called to do. That's my purpose. I have found myself volunteered (by God,I think) to be a volunteer with Compassion International. I will be giving tours this summer and assist with a children's program that allows children to experience life as a child in an impoverished country. I hope that God will use me in this season to reach out to the children who come and make a difference in their lives as they learn how they can be involved globally. I also hope to launch Noonday Collection and continue to have a positive impact on the lives of the artisans who create our products. (check it out: www.audrakoning.noondaycollection.com). Ok, so mostly this is an update, but I also wanted to reflect on our mission here as a family. We want to impact our children and our world. Blessings!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

His Purpose

With the imminent change of moving....I chose to quit my job as a Speech Pathologist in the Fort Osage School District.  This was graciously accepted by the School Board and I officially became unemployed at the end of the first semester.  This was a difficult decision that we knew would result in the loss of our second income (note:  We had just purchased a second house in Colorado), but it would allow me to focus on being "Mom" and meeting the needs of our five children during this time of transition.  May I also mention that my sanity was in grave danger!  I LOVED my school, my co-workers and especially the students that I worked with.  Little did I know that it would just be the beginning of the painful changes that were to come.  Much to my relief, I was replaced quickly.  A new Speech Pathologist was located and hired.  She is doing well, I am told.  Parts of me miss the "being needed" part of a full-time job.  Other parts of me can't imagine how I managed to keep it together for those two and a half months at which time Bob had moved out to start his job and I was here with the kids - working and holding down the household.  How did I ever get the grocery shopping done?

"Ok - get to the point, woman!" - you may be thinking....

This brings me to the theme proposed in the Title of this post:  His Purpose.  As I mentioned in my previous post, God has been stirring things up a bit and has allowed us to see a bit of what He has planned.  What I had been particularly struggling with was the fact that Bob had found his dream job - rather, his dream company.  He had been eyeing Compassion International for some time.  He had even applied for other positions, but this was the position that the Lord had in mind and this was the timing He had in mind as well.  So, Bob is where he is supposed to be, doing what he is supposed to be doing, and ... we are along for the ride?  I didn't believe that for a minute.  BUT, I did wonder what was in store for us, for me.  I struggled with and prayed about whether or not God wanted me to continue to work as a Speech Pathologist or move on to something else.  Ultimately, I wanted to be where HE wanted me to be and do what HE wanted me to do.

[Enter Noonday Collection]

I was reading the Facebook post of an acquaintance of mine.  A woman I GREATLY admire.  She mentioned a recently formed company called "Noonday Collection".  Through the format of Trunk Shows in people's homes, they sell Fair Trade items made by individuals from all over the world; individuals that are marginalized due to disease or in situations of poverty.  By representing these artists and selling their creations, these individuals can make a modest (very modest) living which in turn allows them to feed their families, get an education for their children, and potentially employ others in their community.  I was hooked!  I immediately began praying, "Lord, is this it?"  It hit all of the high points in my dream job.  I talked to friends about Noonday, I called Bob and told him to start praying that I would have clear direction about this.  I contacted the owner and asked to be considered as an Ambassador for Noonday Collection.  I had talked to so many people about this company and I hadn't even had an interview yet!  My enthusiasm was growing.  I had three people commit to hosting a Trunk Show before I ever formally submitted an application!  Time passes, interviews are held, I am offered the opportunity to become a Noonday Ambassador, I accept, I commit.  To what?  I commit to represent these artists, to tell their story, to educate my community about the oppression of others, to change lives, to follow His direction.

The jury is still out on the Speech thing.  I may continue it on a part time basis, But my heart is Noonday.  My heart is in telling people that God loves them and that they can make a difference.  Check out my website:  http://audrakoning.noondaycollection.com.  God is making a difference in my life and I am paying it forward.  And, if you are so inclined to have a show, contact me.  My info is on the website.  Blessings!

A new start

I was chatting with a friend last night on Facebook and it hit me.... In about 8 weeks, we will be relocating to Colorado Springs.  I will no longer be geographically close to her... that started the "waterworks".  I'm not going to lie, it will be fabulous to live in Colorado Springs, but I will miss so many people here.  I am like a 40 year old tree being uprooted.  I was born and raised in Independence.  I went away to college, got married, and returned to raise our family.  Much of my family lives here.  We LOVE our church!  We have so many connections and they are being re-routed from physical connection to wireless!  It is a painful experience.  Most of the time, I am caught up in the daily grind, but being the sole adult in a house of six people and a dog has been taxing.  Being 600 miles away from my Man, has been a long, lonely experience.  I miss him and we are ready to be all together again.  One of our kids is having a bit of an emotional time with the changes that are coming.  His tendency is to withdraw and avoid the painful reminders, but the pain is still there.  We are all learning to cope with change, loss, unfamiliar territory, pain, and the dichotomy of wanting to be in two places at once.  

How do we go on?  Five months ago, when we started this leg of our journey, I was confident in my declarations:  "God is in control.  He knows more than I do.  His ways are higher than our ways.  He has a plan for us - a plan to prosper us and not to harm us.  He will never leave us or forsake us.  He goes before us."  I said them loud and proud.  After all, He started this.  He will not forget us or abandon us.  However, with the realization that this is REALLY happening and SOON, my voice is becoming shaky.  My confidence is wavering - not in God, but rather in me.  In this realization, I am reminded that I am faltering because I am trying to stand on my own.  Did I really believe all those things I was saying five months ago?  Absolutely!  And in some ways, I think I believed them more - somehow.  In NOT knowing all of the details, I found it easier to trust God to take care of it all.  It was such an immense undertaking and new turf for me, that I knew I couldn't take control or ownership of the details.  Frankly, I didn't want the responsibility.  I was much more comfortable letting God take the fall for the pain.  After all, He orchestrated this!  I still believe all that I said, way back then, but now my heart has to get out of the way and let His word speak to me.  

As I am typing this, Air1 radio station is playing a song by Group 1 Crew titled "He said".  The lyrics take me back to the foundation of my faith.  God, in His Word, made promises.  He is the ultimate Promise Keeper.  He is integrity embodied.  He never breaks His Word!  Read through these promises with me:

So your life feels like it don't make sense
And you think to yourself, "I'm a good person,
So why do these things keep happening? "
Why you gotta deal with them
You may be knocked down now, but don't forget
What He said, He said

"I won't give you more
More than you can take
And I might let you bend
But I won't let you break
And know, I'll never, ever let you go"
Don't you forget what He said
Don't you forget what He said, He said

Who you are, ain't what you're going through
So don't let it get the best of you
'Cause God knows everything you need
So you ain't gotta worry
You may be knocked down now, but just believe what He said

He said "I won't give you more
More than you can take
And I might let you bend
But I won't let you break
And know I'll never ever let you go"
Don't you forget what He said

Don't fear when you go through the fire
Hang on when it's down to the wire
Stand tall and remember what He said

"I won't give you more
More than you can take
And I might let you bend
But I won't let you break"

"I won't give you more
More than you can take
And I might let you bend
But I won't let you break
And know I'll never ever let you go"
Don't you forget what He said

Don't you forget what He said.

"All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He'll never let you be pushed past your limit" (The Message Version) The rest of the Scripture that this comes from is an important component:  "He'll always be there to help you come through it."  1 Corinthians 10:13 (The Message Version).  The key is that HE will be there to HELP ME!  I don't have to stand up on my own.  I need to hold onto Him.  He will give me the strength necessary.  

A few days ago I read some very applicable and poignant points from a friend as she was sharing parts of her daily devotional.  Her point was that it matters that you are following Jesus (claiming to be a believer), but it matters more how closely you follow Him.  This world is fraught with teeming masses that blur our vision and line of sight with our Messiah.  If I am following at a distance, not taking time to connect with Him, read His Word, commune with Him, I will get lost!  I must follow closely!  I cannot put it on Cruise Control and expect to get to the destination that He has in mind.  And as I stated before, His ways are higher than my ways, HE has a plan and I should follow it ~ closely!  

He has been so faithful and generous to allow us a glimpse of things to come ~ ways that He is providing for us: emotionally and physically.  Thank you God ~ for your love and provision.  Thank you for knowing what I need before I need it.  Thank you, Jesus, for coming to die on a treacherous cross... so "that I might have life, and have it abundantly!" (John 10:10).  I long for the abundant life, not a dull, predictable, routine; rather one that is full of YOU, full of divine events and excitement!  Thank you Jesus!

As we close out on this geographical location.... leaving this area.... moving west, I pray that I will follow Him closely.  I want to follow so closely that I am ticketed for tailgating!!!  I pray that in the midst of change and all that comes with it, I will trust Him and follow His ways to the abundant life that He has planned!

Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, Colorado

And if you are in the area - stop  by.  This is the view I get every day!  One great BIG reminder of His Majesty!  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Show Hope!

The things they say...

We were reading a book and in the story the dog gets sick. 

The text goes like this: 

     "What's wrong with him?" I ask. 

     "He ate too much," says Dad. "Someone overfilled his food dish."

At that point, in all seriousness Nardos says, "Wasn't me!"

Now that's what I call getting caught up in the story!

Monday, January 16, 2012

You know you are a Mother when...

I found this poem (in myriad of "stuff" I am unearthing in my house!).  I hope you enjoy it!

You Know You Are a Mother When…

  • You count the sprinkles on each kid’s cupcake to make sure they are equal.
  • You hide in the bathroom to be alone.
  • Your kid throws up and you catch it.
  • Someone else’s kid throws up at a party.  You keep eating.
  • You consider finger paints to be a controlled substance.
  • You’ve mastered the art of placing large quantities of pancakes and eggs on a plate without anything touching.
  • You cling to the high moral ground on toy weapons; your child chews his toast into the shape of a gun.
  • You hope ketchup is a vegetable, since it’s the only one your child eats.
  • You find yourself cutting your husband’s sandwiches into cute shapes.
  • You hear your mother’s voice coming out of your mouth when you say, “NOT in your good clothes.”
  • You stop criticizing the way your mother raised you.
  • You say, at least once a day, I’m not cut out for this job,” but you know you wouldn’t trade it for anything.

-- Author Unknown