No Artificial Colors or Flavors

Christina had been living a very charmed life raising two beautiful children, Judson and Jessie, with her wonderful husband Drake (married since 1996) in sunny southern California with little hardship or turmoil.  That is, until tragedy pierced her heart.  At the end of May 2007, their sweet, bright and articulate little boy Jud, began to have his body unexpectedly and rapidly deteriorate. After weeks of testing, misdiagnosis, and a steady decline in Jud’s abilities he was diagnosed with Krabbe leukodystrophy: an extremely rare, genetic, incurable, terminal disease. And in less than five months he went completely paralyzed, blind, mute, and more. Ultimately, the critical functions in Jud’s body shut down and he died in Christina’s arms on November 7, 2007, just shy of age three. 

Although Judson has been set free from his affliction, Christina’s life is filled with an intense, pervasive pain.  She is committed to walking through her loss and sorrow as openly and honestly as possible, hoping others can grow and learn through her hardship as she writes and speaks publicly about her journey.  Most of all, she longs for the day she will be reunited with her beloved son in eternity with her Savior.

How did you go about choosing the title of your blog, and where can we find it?
My blog is titled “No Artificial Colors or Flavors…A Journey Toward Wholeness.”  It correlates to my appreciation for natural, whole foods that are not contaminated by synthetic, fake, impure, processed ingredients and additives.  But most importantly, the title reflects my desire to live without artificiality.

On my personal journey toward wholeness, which cannot be fully achieved until I am face to face with my Lord, I want genuineness to permeate my life. I long to see my soul purified and become less tainted by the things of this world. Therefore, I hope my blog reflects a real, authentic, look at the deep, heart-wrenching challenges of faith and life without any notion of manufactured, phony, or contrived “faith”.

You can find my blog at http://www.storyofjudson.com/christina

What do you find yourself writing about the most?
I am on a profound journey of grief and loss—it permeates the majority of my writing in one way or another.  Though generally speaking, I’d love to categorize my blogs as vulnerable, candid pictures into the struggles of life lived by a grieving woman growing in faith and trust of her Heavenly Father.

What prompted you to start blogging, and when did you launch your site?
I began my blog “No Artificial Colors or Flavors” in June of 2006 on a social networking site—posting very infrequently about life circumstances that grabbed my attention.  However, when my son Judson got ill with Krabbe disease, my blogging took on a whole new purpose, form, and frequency.  In the wake of his death, and on the anniversary of his diagnosis with Krabbe disease—July 18, 2008, we launched www.StoryOfJudson.com and transferred my blog to the new domain.

How much thought and time does it generally take you to write a post?
I take a lot of time to carefully craft each blog.  I would estimate that an average of at least one hour goes into every post, with some requiring far more time than that.

What are some of your hobbies or accomplishments outside of blogging?
I have a BA in Communications and an MA in Education both from Biola University and prior to having children, enjoyed my work as a college administrator and instructor at a local private college; I oversaw the campus educational enrichment initiatives and taught strategic learning courses.  Though I left my work in higher education to stay home and care for my family when Judson was born, which now involves spending time with my sweet 2-year-old daughter Jessie, my love for teaching remains.  I am part of the women’s teaching team at our local church and continue to be honored to speak and share about my “journey toward wholeness” in other venues.

Besides writing and teaching, it is also not uncommon to find me enjoying iced tea or coffee at the local coffee shop, riding my bike with Jessie seated behind me, snapping photos of nature and family, working on some sort of graphic design project, enjoying a meal out with family or friends, catching a movie with my hubby Drake on date night, or beating him at all sorts of board and card games. 

What struggle have you experienced with keeping your blog updated?
Sometimes my grief and sorrow keep me from writing and other times I simply do not have the time to post as frequently as I desire.  However, I never seem to be at a loss for something to write about—I keep a running list of blog ideas, and it keeps getting longer, not shorter. 

What are some of your favorite blogs?
I am hesitant to admit that though I am an avid blog writer, I am not a huge blog reader.  That being said, I periodically check in on Leilen’s
Tales from the Cribwhich is a very humorous take on the day to day joys of parenting, and Lim(b), a blog about eco/conscious living produced by a friend of mine.  Furthermore, I read several “care pages” from other parents of children who are currently afflicted by terminal disease or have recently died.

What Bible verse has God recently placed on your heart?
I find myself reading most frequently in the Psalms.  David’s cries for help in affliction, his honest struggles, but his ultimate trust in the Lord speak significantly to my grieving soul.  Most recently, I have connected with Psalm 31:
 

Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am still in distress;
my eyes continue to grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and my body with grief.

My days are consumed by anguish
and my life by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak.

But I trust in You, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”

My times are in Your hands.

Let your face shine on me, Your servant;
save me in Your unfailing love.

Let me taste of Your great goodness,
which You have stored up for those who fear You,
which you bestow in the sight of men
on those who take refuge in You.

Is there anything that you’d like to add in closing?
Losing my precious Judson is a glaring reminder that this life is only a springboard into the next. I cannot wait to be reunited with my beloved boy and want to live each day with a perspective that keeps eternity in view!  Come quickly Lord Jesus, come!!

Visit Christina at her blog:
http://www.storyofjudson.com/christina

Visit CWO’s Blogroll page for fun and fellowship. 

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