Kids Life Tuscaloosa January/February 2022 - Page 20


KRIS CULBERTSON Nominated by : Stephen Culbertson
I would like to nominate my wife Kris as a Supermom . She is an amazing mother to our 13-year-old daughter Peytyn , our 9-year-old son Easton and our “ fluffy ” ( her words ) puppy Charlie . She is the hardest working and most talented person that I know . She recently felt led to go back to school at UA to become a teacher and will graduate this May with her Bachelors in Elementary Ed . The workload of classes and student teaching has been pretty demanding . In addition to that , she is the Children ’ s Ministry Director at The Word Community Church . On top of that , I have been in the Active Duty Air Force for 11 years , and she has overcome deployments , moved across the world , and adjusted to demanding schedules . With all of these the demands , she would have every reason to be stressed to the max , yet she handles it all with so much Grace . She is never too busy to pause and take the time to stop what she ’ s doing and care for our children or any other child that she crosses paths with for that matter . She truly is an amazing human being and absolutely a gift from God for my children and me .
Kris is the Children ’ s Ministry Leader at The Word Community Church in Northport where she has been serving children grades Kindergarten to 4th grade and their families for the past two years . She is married to her high school sweetheart Stephen , and is mom to Peyton , Easton , and a fur baby Charlie . Kris also currently is a senior at The University of Alabama . She has been a full-time student since Fall 2019 studying to complete her bachelor ’ s in Elementary Education and is on track to graduate in May 2022 . Kris explains that “ this added an intense dynamic to our family life . I took 15 plus credit hours in person each semester in hopes of graduating as quickly as possible . In all attempts to prioritize my family , I worked many late nights and early mornings to savor evenings with my family . When I walk across the stage next May to receive my diploma , I will be doing so in honor of our entire family . The support and prayers received from my husband , kids , and close family and friends is something I will be forever grateful for . There is no way I could have done this without them .”
As if obtaining her degree while being a mom , wife and Children ’ s Ministry Leader weren ’ t enough , Kris is also a military spouse : “ My biggest challenge since becoming a mom is becoming a military spouse only two years after our daughter ’ s birth .
Our walk in the military is a massive part of our family ’ s testimony . We have met wonderful people , seen the world , lived in many states and are still connected with people who now live across the United States . We have had too many life changes to count . For short , we move every four years - from South Carolina , to Japan , to Florida and now Alabama . During those four years we must find a new home , new friends , new church community , and the pressure to stay positive throughout the process to make the moving process seamless as possible for our children is undeniable . I have learned to love making a new house our home , finding a community to volunteer in , and exploring new places . We also battle with Stephen ’ s deployments and many training trips throughout the year . It is honestly difficult to put into words and explain what it is like . Another part of you is across the world , in a different time zone , unable to get a connection , unknown if they are safe or unsafe , and when they are actually coming home . It ’ s a frustrating and exhausting experience . I believe the biggest challenge for deployments would be having to pretend everything is ok for my kids . I attempt to go forward in my day like everything is normal , and we usually stay extremely busy to make the days and weeks go by faster . The support of my family , even if they are far away and the excitement of a homecoming keeps me going .”
Since parenting is never without challenges , we are always interested to hear about those of other real-life moms : “ My greatest challenge while juggling my family , work , and school life would be expressing when I need help . I am a strong willed and independent woman , who usually can juggle a lot before dropping a ball , only figuratively - I can ’ t juggle to save my life . I find myself over thinking and stressing about simple things that can be delegated or honestly marked off the to do list as unnecessary . It has taken a lot of trial and error from me to learn how to ask for help . It is still a major work in progress , but this current season of life of school and work responsibilities , plus two kids involved in after school clubs and sports has taught me to stretch past my comfort zone and ask for help from loved ones .”
We asked Kris what advice she would give to new moms : “ Before you know it , life will be filled with soccer games , dance practices , homework assignments , after school activities , church , baseball , you name it . Sometimes there can be little space in your week for quality family time . My advice would be to first make church a priority . Know and respect its value in your family and allow your kids to see that value each day . Second , set aside time for your spouse . Even a quick coffee date will do . Lastly , give yourself some grace , momma ! The pictures do not need to be perfect , the house does not need to be spotless , and the dinner does not need to be gourmet . Put down the cell phone and experience the chaotic life in front of you . Cherish each day and be a light to those around you .”
We think Kris is pretty inspiring , but we wanted to know who inspires her : “ I know this will sound cheesy and cliché , but the person who inspires me the most is my husband . He leads our home with integrity and love . He supports my random ideas and dreams usually without hesitation . His humor can turn my bad day around in a flash , and most importantly , he stands on the Word of God . He is my best friend . It is with his leadership our family supports each other and loves those around us .