We Wait

Before I share what is going on in our world I want to say, “THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!” So many of you shared such incredible words of encouragement with my family after my last post. I shed many tears as I read through personal testimonies – stories of strength and hope, as well as offers from complete strangers willing to stretch themselves and share in the weight of our burden. Please forgive me if I was unable to answer you personally. I have saved every single text, comment, and email with the hopes that one day I would be able to say a personal, “Thank you.” For now, please accept this heartfelt internet “hug” from me. Oh how you showed Jesus to our family and we are incredibly thankful.

Three months later here we are! We have made it to TEXAS, we are getting settled and we are happy! Despite the heat and HUMIDITY {almost unbearable}, we are making our life here. This is HUGE! One of the things I left out of that previous post was that we were not guaranteed a house on the military installation for at least 4 – 6 months. In preparation, hubby and I had furnished apartments lined up (because we wouldn’t have any of our household goods} for those months and prayed that somehow we would move up the list quickly and be able to move on post. I was packing my house in three different piles … things we needed for the next 6 months, things we didn’t need for at least 6 months and things we didn’t need at all, anymore. It was almost too much for my already weary mind. But, guess what? God had other plans and I want you to know that your prayers were a big part of that. I asked you to pray for this, “The move … for our housing to line up quickly on the military installation …”

Three days after I posted it, the housing office called us and said, “This never happens, but guess what? We have a house for you if you want it.” Let me just tell you … I fell to the floor in a puddle. God’s grace was all over that one. We didn’t have to pack up for six months of “unknown” and we were assured we had a place to call home once we arrived. This brought such peace to my soul.

We still have several hurdles to overcome, Dan’s health being one of them. He has met with the neurosurgeon and team here. We have been advised to “wait.” Because this type of tumor is slow growing and not aggressive at this point, the surgeon believes it is better to watch its growth and determine the course of action. The location of the tumor is complicated to get to and the risks are high. As of right now, the risks are higher if it is taken out than if it stays in his brain and we just watch it. This is not a typical approach to this type of tumor as the standard of care would be to remove it if it were more superficial. But because he has zero symptoms, no seizures and his quality of life is not affected at all, we wait. I hate wait.  This is a hard place for us to live. I struggle with anxiety; the what-ifs. I feel helpless and sometimes silly when I plan for the future as I really have NO IDEA what the future holds. I am constantly humbled by this verse, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Clock

I am glad He knows more than me and that He is in charge. None of us are guaranteed our health, our finances, our jobs, our friendships, our {insert}. One thing we are certain of is this, “ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

Please continue to pray for our family. Dan’s next MRI will be in November. Our hearts desire is that we would learn all that God has for us as we walk this journey – wisdom, strength, dependence, and integrity. There are things we learn in trials that we cannot learn any other way. But we can’t do it alone and we thank you for your support. We also appreciate your prayers for healing. We serve a big God and nothing is impossible.

Waiting with God’s grace … xo

KC

Posted in faith, family, inspiration | 11 Comments

Faithful

Sobbing in church yesterday I realized that we are THAT family. The family on Facebook with the story. And I cried. Hard. I haven’t been THAT family before. I’ve always been the reader, the pray-er of someone else’s hard road, the cheerleader, or the crier … I read the requests for prayer. And I pray.

We are THAT family, now.

A month ago my husband, Dan, had a few migraines in a short period of time so we figured he should see a neurologist. We were anticipating the just-a-migraine talk and we’d be on our way. After a precautionary MRI, we were shocked to hear that they found a mass. A tumor. What does this mean for him? Our family? We proceeded with a biopsy and here are my husband’s words :

“The preliminary report from the biopsy is that is is a low grade Astrocytoma. However, it was sent off to neuropathology experts at the University of Washington to know definitely. What does a low-grade astocytoma mean? From my understanding, these have a much better prognosis. Low grade means it is not very aggressive (it grows very slowly). Low grade astrocytomas are Grade I or II. This is in contrast to Grade III-IVs which have significantly worse prognosis, from life expectancies of 6-30 months in many cases.

What does this mean for me? From my understanding, the initial treatment for both low and high grade astrocytomas is similar and results in a resection of that part of the brain. With high grade tumors, the resection is followed by radiation and chemotherapy. With low grade tumors, the resection alone may be enough.

These low grade tumors are known to convert to high grade at some point and so that is why they recommend being aggressive early on with the surgical resection. These increase life expectancies dramatically (10-20 years). The tumor is in the right temporal lobe. One of the common treatments for patients with epilepsy that have seizures is a resection of a portion of the temporal lobe. These patients supposedly recover well with negligible loss of mental capacity.

So all in all, the prognosis sounds good, although it looks like we’ll still have some procedures and milestones to progress through over the next few months and year. As we are in the middle of a move, we’ll know more once we get to San Antonio and meet with the neurosurgery and oncology staff there to discuss the best approach for this particular case.

As always, we’re in God’s hands, which is the best place to be!”

Did you see the comment about being in the middle of a cross-country move? Yep, we leave WA in 11 days. Needless to say, this has been a crazy last few weeks. I walk around my house saying, “packing, and Texas and tumors, oh my”. Not to make light of it, but sometimes I say it to keep from crying (which I have already done, a lot). As if moving isn’t hard enough – leaving amazing friends, a great church, and a life we’ve grown to love the last 5.5 years – now we have a significant health issue with terms like ‘life expectancy’.

I can’t say I haven’t wondered or straight up asked God, “why?”. It is so easy to get caught up in the moment by moment. Boxes are being packed, we are leaving all that is familiar and I don’t know what tomorrow holds, for any of us. I am afraid. I can’t be in control, of any of it. I am u n c o m f o r t a b l e. Right now, the only constant in my life is God. And He, in his amazing grace, has given us peace. The kind I can’t explain. My husband’s strength doesn’t waiver in this place of uncertainty because his strength doesn’t come from the “treasures” on this earth. His hope is found in something bigger. I learn from him, every day. I make it a priority to remind myself of the promises of God the very minute fear begins to creep in. I recite verses I have memorized over the years. I talk to Him. And I walk through the long list of happenings over the last 2 months and praise God for the unforseen blessings behind all of them. For example, finding the tumor in my husband’s brain. We have learned that this tumor has nothing to do with his migraines. In fact, he has no symptoms from this tumor whatsoever. Had he not gone in, we would not have caught it this early. I could go on …

So yes, we are THAT family. We need your prayers.

Specifics?

1. For healing. Dan experienced significant vision loss when he had the biopsy. Would you please pray for healing? And why you are at it, pray for complete healing of the tumor! :)

2. The move – protection, extra grace and love for the tears that will inevitably be shed {by all family members}, for our housing to line up quickly on the military installation, and for patience as being in a car for long periods of time can get you know, um, crazy!

3. For wisdom on how to proceed with Dan’s treatment.

4. Most importantly, that we would keep our eyes fixed on things above.

Ephesians 4:13 – 20 – When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Thank you so very much.

When I started this blog so long ago it was to tell the story of how God is shaping and sanctifying me in this crazy life. He is not done yet. I will keep you posted as our journey continues. For now, I will leave you with the closing song at yesterday’s church service. How fitting. And, exactly why I named this post “Faithful”.

XO,

KC

Posted in family, inspiration | 32 Comments

A new LOVE day …

It is 10:24 pm the night before Valentine’s Day and I haven’t figured out what “special” thing we’ll do for our kids in the morning. Pinterest don’t fail me now! I joke, sorta. The pressure is there, can you feel it? I was already beating myself up for purchasing the store-bought Valentines because life has just been too busy for another project. So here I sit … pondering, and then blogging.

What is my heart behind giving a valentine on this Hallmark holiday? A smile? A cute IG picture? My child’s reputation? My reputation? It’s to celebrate LOVE. To be kind and thoughtful. It is purposeful. RIght? Isn’t that why we pour over Pinterest? Stay up late and bake? Decorate the house? Um, ya. But for some reason tonight and for the last few weeks I feel a bit overwhelmed. Not by the pressure of finding the perfect Valentine’s day craft, but because as a believer in Jesus, this should happen everyday. And believe me, I don’t act like everyday is Valentine’s day. For sure.

Wouldn’t it be easier if everyone had their hurts written on their foreheads? Then, when we walked past someone, we could simply read it and act {or not, I guess that option exists as well}. To give. To help. To love. To hug. To offer a kind word. To help financially. To pray. To have eyes like Jesus. You might be rejecting the idea of wearing your hurts on the outside for others to see.  Wear a mask. HIDE IT! “Ain’t got time for all that mess.” As a church, I think we have failed in that way. But the truth is we ARE messy.  The messy, dark, and hurtful places are best concealed. Or so we think. But, for those whose eyes are opened to the mercy of Jesus understand that the darkness cannot hide the light. The Gospel is fearless. It pierces. It saves. It heals.

Pause for a minute and consider the kind of parent you would be if God opened your eyes to the hurts of your children. When talking with our children we could read “afraid” or “insecure” or “alone” and with the power of God’s spirit we could breath life and soothe a hurt? Better yet, when frustrated and impatient, we could read their struggle and bring healing instead of pouring salt on a wound.

The stranger you pass on the street … “worthless”

The server … “tired”

The friend … “hopeless”

… “empty”

… “unnoticed”

… “ugly”

…”addict”

… “unfaithful”

… “shamed”

… “depressed”

We live in a crazy, fast-paced, unforgiving world. We need more days like Valentine’s Day. More days to stop and focus more on love and grace.  We’d all agree that this kind of action would be better than any store bought Valentine. Yes? The beauty in all of this is that while we read the hurts of others and ask God how we can be his hands and feet, we, too, have our struggles written on our foreheads and someone else is reading. Someone else is praying for us and asking God how they can serve us.

fearful1

What would the church look like then? Vulnerable. Real. Solely dependent on God. It would be the Gospel lived out. And this would be a true LOVE day.

“We are coming to the end of all things, so be serious and keep your wits about you in order to pray more forcefully. Most of all, love each other steadily and unselfishly, because love makes up for many faults.  Show hospitality to each other without complaint. Use whatever gift you’ve received for the good of one another so that you can show yourselves to be good stewards of God’s grace in all its varieties. If you’re called upon to talk, speak as though God put the words in your mouth; if you’re called upon to serve others, serve as though you had the strength of God behind you. In these ways, God may be glorified in all you do through Jesus the Anointed, to whom belongs glory and power,    now and forever. Amen.”

1 Peter 4:7-10

With love, KC

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Merry Christmas

I haven’t visited blogland for a while so I thought I’d pop in and say, “hi”!

Many of you will be spending time with family and friends; rejoicing in the season’s best surrounded by those you love. Awesome.

What are some of your traditions that you have held on to over the years? Any new ones you have just started?

Some of our favorites … baking not-so-good-for-you treats, caroling, drinking hot chocolate while driving around looking at Christmas lights, watching lots of Christmas movies and of course staying up way too late wrapping stocking stuffer gifts. Okay, maybe not the last one.

As I’ve gotten older, I realize how much I love tradition. We have chosen to keep a few family traditions that are dear to my heart.  For example, this week the kids and I will be baking bread to take to our neighbors. The same recipe I followed when I baked bread with my mom as a kid. I loved walking to each neighbor. And now, I get to stand back and watch their generous, excited hearts as they say, “Merry Christmas” and hand over their labor of love. Pure JOY!

Above all, I pray that your holiday season is draped in love because of God’s gift. That you hold on to dear ones extra tight this year. That you would make lasting memories. That you would give to those in need. Life is a gift and should not be taken lightly. And, for those of you that might be lonely, grieved, frustrated, angry and possibly all of the above, I pray for God’s comfort this season, That His arms would wrap tightly around you and that you would be able to walk one foot in front of the other, knowing that He has not forgotten about you.

xmas pic

{photo :: Paige}

Merry Christmas friends. From me to you …

KC

Posted in family, light-hearted | 9 Comments

Tis so sweet

I’ve been struggling with something lately. A song, a hymn rather. Maybe you’ve heard of it, ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus. It’s sweet and riddled with truth. I’ve always loved to sing this song, not for the words, but for the harmony. It has really pretty harmony. But two weeks ago, this song came on Pandora and I couldn’t sing it. I struggled. At that moment, a wonderful man with three small children was taking his final breaths. And a woman that had rescued, mentored and shaped someone very dear to me was beginning  a fight that will eventually usher her Home, as well. I don’t taste the sweetness here. In fact, I am frustrated and want my ‘whys’ answered. This is nothing but bitter.

I imagine singing this song when the sun is setting on a field of flowers, with mountains in the background. “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word. Just to rest upon His promise, Just to know, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ Jesus, Jesus how I trust Him. How I’ve proved him o’er and o’er. Jesus, Jesus precious Jesus, oh for grace to trust Him more.” But in the darkness of despair and grief, I couldn’t sing. My heart hurt and the sweetness seemed distant. Sure, I “trust” that His ways are higher than my ways and that He understands more than I, but I’ve lost the sweetness.

A week later, the song came on again. This time hubby was with me. I expressed my human understanding and my inability to grasp the lyrics to this song. Life’s circumstances felt a lot more like swallowing those horse-pill kind of vitamins than it did sipping sweet, soothing honey. Anyone with me? I struggle when the storms come. I don’t understand God’s ways. Hubby spoke and with wisdom said, “The sweetness is knowing that at the end of it all, He is still there and offers something so much greater than what we are experiencing here. The sweetness is the HOPE we have. The ‘what’s to come’. “

This made sense to me. My eyes and heart seem to get stuck in the moment when they should be permanently fixed on eternity. When I choose to fix my eyes on my circumstances I am minimizing the very God that created the Heavens and the Earth. I am demeaning His ways. And I am shunning the grace He so willingly gave me.

He reminded me of this today :: Job 38 – 41. Read it. I mean it. It is a list of all the things God has done and is able to do. It reveals his power, his might and his bigness. I know, not a word, but that seems to fit right now. I feel like a child. A child that sits at the feet of something so much bigger, wiser, and stronger than anything I have ever encountered. I am afraid yet I have peace. I have hope because I’ve been given the chance to sit before Him. Jesus gave me that chance. Jesus. Jesus.

And I taste the sweetness of His name. I can say it in my despair, “Jesus.” I can say it in my weak parenting moments, “Jesus.” I can say it with a smile, “Jesus.” I can say it through my tears, both in sorrow and in joy, “Jesus.”

I won’t understand very much in this life. I will hurt. I will battle with being circumstantial. But I will remember the last line of the chorus …

“Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.”

Oh for grace to trust Him more…

KC

Posted in faith, inspiration | 5 Comments

Parenting No-No

I have these kids.

familysun

Three of them, not the tall one. Oh how I love them and get frustrated by them. The children’s director spoke at church yesterday about time. How precious it is and how quickly it goes. “Invest, invest, invest.” And my heart’s cry is, “Yes, yes, yes.” But it is hard sometimes, isn’t it? These sweet little babes turn into tantrum two-year olds, whiney five-year olds, and sassy seven-year olds — I’m speaking hypothetically, sort of. And it is summer which translates to constantly together. Don’t get me wrong, I embrace summer. I long for it. Sometimes though, our days drag on. They aren’t always filled with flowers, sunshine and watermelon on a perfectly breezy day. No, there is screaming, arguing, and tears, lots of tears.

This morning I woke up early — something I haven’t done in a few weeks and I find that I’m paying the price. I need my quiet time. So here I am, currently reading Job and struck by this verse, “One should be kind to a fainting friend, but you have accused me without the slightest fear of God.” Job 6:14. Paraphrase, we shouldn’t assume things about our friends. In other words, don’t be a know it all as to what God is doing in the life of someone else. Sure, I get it. Or do I? This is probably the principle I apply least in parenting. I ALWAYS seem to know what my daughter or son was thinking. I am SURE they meant to. But did you catch the last part of this verse? …without the slightest fear of God. Uh-oh.  I am accusatory, parental, and quick to shell out discipline and while I claim God’s power, majesty and justice, my words/actions don’t always reflect it. I lack a fear of God. I forget that He could crush me like a grape in a split second {not that He would, but you get the idea}. These are His children, not mine. He loves them, has plans for them, and He invited me to be a part of His plans and purposes for them. How quickly I take Him out of the equation when tempers are flaring and it’s 5 o’clock and I don’t have dinner made or even planned, and the doorbell is ringing and I forgot to cancel our cable but their office isn’t open anymore and … and …

I am not kind to my fainting {translate :: hurting} child in a lot of moments and it simply boils down to the fact that I don’t believe God to be as great as I claim. For if I did, then my words and actions would reflect this more. How’s that for real? Pretty harsh, I know. Strangely, I’m not depressed. While sad that I caught a glimpse of my ugly humanity, I am encouraged, empowered and hopeful.

As I sit here in repentance His love washes over me and I find myself wanting nothing more than to know Him deeply. To understand Him more. To not only read His story, but also His promises; to digest them and live them out for my children, for my husband, for my friends, for me. That I might be the kind of mother that shows kindness to my hurting child. Kindness to my fainting friend. Kindness to a stranger.

Because I serve a great and powerful God.

No, my days will not all be easy, with rainbows. We will still have yelling matches and tears. But the more I invite Him into my day and my life, the more I will recognize His kindness and live it out. I will not be motivated by fear, but by His great love in that while I was a sinner, He sent his son to take my place. And I can walk in victory. Amen?!

Deuteronomy 7: 9 – I want you to know that the Eternal your God is the only true God. He’s the faithful God who keeps His covenants and shows loyal love for a thousand generations to those who in return love Him and keep His commands.

Happy Monday,

KC

Posted in faith, family, parenting | 5 Comments

I cry, and I digress.

Something you should know about me. I cry. Like a lot. My family knows this about me and so do my friends. Thankfully, I have a few friends that are fellow criers so I am not alone when the tears start to trickle, or pour. Only a few have seen the really ugly cry and for that I am thankful. My eyes glow a fluorescent green and something happens to my sinuses. They swell or something. My face gets puffy and I’m kind of a mess. I can cry over virtually anything. The McDonald’s commercials during the Olympics for example. Tear jerkers. Perhaps a really great movie. Okay, pretty much any chick flick gets me, every time. And then there are the moments when I am driving in the car only to glance back and see my kiddos happily singing along; instant tears.

Just this weekend our family took a trip to the coast. We had planned on staying in a hotel but when we arrived we were told that our room had water damage and we would be upgraded to a 4-bedroom house off site. Hotel vs. House. Um, yes please! My husband parked the car and went to check out our accommodations while I unbuckled the kids and collected the trash from our 3 hour road trip. I’m not lying when I say it looked like we’d been living out of our car for a week. So. Much. Trash. As the kids and I made our way up the walkway I heard my husband say to the kids, “I think your mother might cry.” And I did. I reached the top and I cried. And I lost my breath. And I was so thankful.

walk copy cannonbeach

It was a great family get away. I digress.

I cry when I’m mad. I cry when I hurt for others. I cry when I laugh really hard. But each tear means something. I believe. It is a way of communicating.  Some use words, I use tears. Not really, but kind of. My kids have learned this language in their very few short years. They know the difference between my tears of joy and my tears of sadness. They know my angry tears. They even know my God-tears which are cried in joy and sadness and sometimes both of those, together.  Last week I was reading about Joseph. With all he endured, he was able to confidently look at his brothers and say, “But don’t be upset, and dont’ be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives…so it was God who sent me here, not you!”  Gen 45:5-8. Tears of a desired faith. Tears of hope. Tears to press on.

My tears. Not shed in vain, but arguably shed too much. This is me.

KC

 

Posted in family, light-hearted | 6 Comments

The Squeaky Door

So I have this squeaky pantry door. Every time I open the door I think, “I really should put some oil on this door.” Then I grab whatever I need from the pantry, close the squeaky door and move on, forgetting all about the quick and easy solution to my problem. In some ways it is nice to have a squeaky door so I know when my two year old is entering food paradise to get himself a snack. Or when my five year old thinks it would be a great time for a piece of candy. From the other room I say, “It isn’t time for a treat.” Or, “Candy is not a breakfast food!” How mom? How in the world did you know I was in the pantry, you weren’t even here?!  Thank you squeaky door.

I do need to fix it or have hubby fix it. It is so small when you consider the size of a single family home. And yet every time I hear it squeak I get more and more annoyed by it. It nags. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t hear the squeak {376 times, but who is counting} and cringe. Forgetful? Yes. Lazy? Maybe. Apathetic? Probably.

How many squeaky doors do you have in your own life? And why do they always seem to start with NEXT TIME ….

I’ll respond differently … squeak

I”ll listen better … squeak

I’ll stop getting so mad so quickly … squeak

I’m gonna be super patient … squeak

I”m totally gonna show love first … squeak


{source}

The squeaks we live with day in and day out. They aren’t like murder or adultery or substance abuse. They don’t seem THAT big. Or AS bad. But let’s be honest, am I really that much better? If I don’t make a conscious choice to target these offenses, they become annoyances that nag and eventually destroy. Revealing the inadequacy that can be found in all of us. For example, my children and our problem with interrupting. I can hardly finish a sentence without one or two of my children interrupting me. I get so frustrated and sometimes yell. Well, more often than not I yell about it because I feel like they should get it, they should know it isn’t okay. And then, God opens my oh-so-judgmental eyes and I realize I don’t let my husband finish a sentence. I interrupt him constantly. This isn’t a new thing for me; it is something I have dealt with all of my life.  It is one of my many squeaky doors. This small act of interrupting can eventually make my husband say, “Never mind.” It can make my children say, “Why won’t you listen to me?” It can leave me in a puddle on the kitchen floor because I care too much about my opinion or my thoughts than I do about really listening.

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19

How about my squeaky door of impatience? While driving I tend to get a little verbal. I don’t swear, mainly because I have my kids in the car. In my heart there are all sorts of crazy things going on. I do however let out a, “That crazy guy” or “Seriously dude, what are you thinking?” And my kids, in a concerned voice ask if everything is okay. I reply yes, and explain that mommy has things to do and places to go, but that person wasn’t paying attention. Later I hear my kids playing and one responds to other with, “Seriously? what were you thinking?” That sounds so mean. I tell my children to apologize and start treating each other with respect. And then, God opens my oh-so-judemental eyes and I realize I too don’t treat people with respect. I have things to do and places to go and don’t you dare stand in my way. Impatience, ugh.

Be humble and gentle in every way. Be patient with each other and lovingly accept each other. Ephesians 4:2

Squeaky doors.  Sins.

If left unattended to, they can destroy. The squeaky door won’t fix itself. It needs something greater than itself.

I, too, will not fix myself. I need something greater. And thankfully, Jesus has made this possible. We have sinned and fallen short. I can relate to this. Like um, every . single . day. But that is not the end of the verse. We are not left there. It says that because of Christ’s payment for our sin we have a stamp of approval. How amazing is that?! As we embrace this gospel truth we embrace our Savior. We get to know him more and our hearts soften towards him. He is the oil on our squeaky doors. He covers us and makes us functional. In fact, he allows our stories to be used for His glory.

You see, all have sinned, and all their futile attempts to reach God in His glory fail. Yet they are now saved and set right by His free gift of grace through the redemption available only in Jesus the Anointed. When God set Him up to be the sacrifice—the seat of mercy where sins are atoned through faith—His blood became the demonstration of God’s own restorative justice. All of this confirms His faithfulness to the promise, for over the course of human history God patiently held back as He dealt with the sins being committed.  This expression of God’s restorative justice displays in the present that He is just and righteous and that He makes right those who trust and commit themselves to Jesus. Romans 3:23-26

A.MAZ.ING

· KC·

 

 

 

 

Posted in faith, inspiration | 4 Comments

Believe

Hello again! Welcome to spring….I think it was still officially winter the last time I posted. I’m not the best blogger, sorry. As I write this I am taking full advantage of this sunny day in the pacific northwest as I sit outside a coffee shop studying. I’ve been purposefully carving out some time these last few weeks because I am hosting and co-leading my first-ever women’s retreat. I am thrilled. I have the opportunity to get away for a weekend with a great group of gals to rest, be refreshed and hopefully at the end, walk away changed for the better. My amazing mom will be co-leading with me and I am grateful for this opportunity. We have always thought being in ministry together would be amazing, but my ARMY life and the thousands of miles that separate us make that a real challenge. But not this time! She’ll be heading up to hang out with us and grace us with her wisdom, spunk and passion for Jesus.

The theme for our retreat is BELIEVE based on 1 Peter 1:8-9 – “Although you haven’t seen Jesus, you still love Him. Although you don’t yet see Him, you do believe in Him and celebrate with a joy that is glorious and beyond words. You are receiving the salvation of your souls as the result of your faith.” You can read some of how it came to be here. As we plan and prepare, I go through different emotions. I am excited as I think of what God can and will teach us. And then, I’m scared as I remember that I am “leading”….oh man, what words am I supposed to say. What words am I not supposed to say? I am oh-so-human and I really don’t want to get in the way. But God in His grace reminds me that it isn’t about me, it is about Him. My fear subsides and I’m once again giddy as I daydream about much needed girl time – both silly and deep.

 Here is one story of God’s grace in reminding me that He knows all and sees all. A few weeks ago hubby gave me a beautiful bracelet for our 11th anniversary. I noticed that in the box was a little charm that was at the bottom of the box. It said, “believe.” I asked hubby what it was for and he said it came in the box as an added gift. How sweet. It never crossed my mind that it was the theme for our retreat. I blame that on my mommy brain – I am s.l.o.w. these days. Anyway, last week I was standing in my kitchen looking at the beautiful bracelet and the charm, wishing there was a way to give each gal at the retreat a gift that said believe. I would have loved to give them a bracelet or a simple necklace, but at this rate there wasn’t enough time to order them and I wasn’t entirely sure it was necessary. A bit bummed out, I let the idea go. Jump ahead 12 hours…I am getting ready for bed when hubby tosses a package on the bed, “These are for you.” Oh, okay, what is it? As I opened the envelope and the little plastic bag, my heart leapt. Had he heard me? Did I say it out loud? He couldn’t have known. But God did. He heard me. Que tears …. inside that little bag were charms. And each one said, “believe”. Hubby ordered them a week prior because he thought there might be something I could do for the ladies with these little charms. How amazing is that?! What a gift from the Lord via my husband. Feeling the love I tell ya.

Why do we doubt. I mean, why do I doubt? God spurred my heart on in planning this retreat. He is not going to leave me hanging. I am His and I am willing. That is what He asks of me. I do believe the theme for our retreat is what it is supposed to be. I BELIEVE God will show up. I BELIEVE we will find rest. I BELIEVE we will be refreshed. I BELIEVE we will walk away changed, different for the better. And, I BELIEVE our bracelets will be a perfect reminder of God’s amazing love for us through his son Jesus.

believe

Happy Friday,

KC

Posted in faith, inspiration | 2 Comments

My style …

What is your style?

This a question that has come up recently and I wasn’t sure I could answer it. Do you mean how would I decorate my house? Dress myself? Dress my kids? Or is it the music I let in to my ears? The food I put into my body? The answer could take me a few minutes or a gazillion minutes {that is more than a million}.

I have narrowed down some of my faves and find that I tend to stick closely to those things. I will, every once in a while, venture out into something new, but there is always a pull to come back to what I think best suits me.

… A snapshot of my style …

House Decor :: Garden Cottage with an ocean view and beach access {…dreaming}

Closet ::

light & airy

Kids Wear :: My girl and two boys

 

Drink of choice :: Americano with heavy cream

My favorite colors ::

   

Music :: Big Band and Swing {you think I’m kidding. I’m not}

Deliciousness :: Real, whole, and healthy food

Favorite vacation spot :: Hanalei, Kauai

Oh my that was fun.

I don’t live by the beach nor do I live in a beach cottage. I live in a development, in suburbia, in a neighborhood we love minus the motorcross fanatics that ride their bikes in the forest behind our house right during nap time. I don’t always love it then. There are kids running and scootering around everywhere. My kids usually have some sort of grass stain or food stain on their clothes. Or a hole in their brand new pair of jeans that I bought them last week. But their smiles make up for it, unless I paid a lot of money for their jeans. Just kidding. A little bit. I am typically in workout clothes – the kind with dried sweat on them because I never had time to shower and change. Or because I really didn’t want to. I have projects galore that never seem to come to fruition. Those paint colors will someday make their way to their designated spot – either wall or furniture, unless of course we move before then. I do drink an Americano every morning. It is more a matter of life or death for all those around me.  And alas, Kauai. Sigh. That is just my happy place. The place I visit in my head when things are getting crazy around here. Like dinner time. Side note :: When I was delivering #3, I was told to find something to focus on. This was it. This picture. I’d breath in and out, in and out. Trying to imagine myself laying peacefully on this beach, not pushing out an ENORMOUS baby.

At the beginning of this post I mentioned that I often go back to the things that best “suit” me. And after all that daydreaming, this is what suits me best. And I come back to it, often.

I could spend a lot of time daydreaming about clean cut, well behaved children, a closet with endless possibilities, home decor projects that are tackled and accomplished seamlessly, and of course a garden cottage on the beach in Kauai. But I’d be foolish not to mention the one thing that really brings me life.  The cross. It is here I am reminded of my need for a Savior. It is here I fall down on my face and weep that I have a God that loves me THAT much. Those other things fade into the background as I learn and grow more in my understanding of Jesus and his plans for my life. Keeping the cross at the forefront is challenging, don’t get me wrong. Sure, I want a cute house. I want to vacation. I want to wear something other than what is currently in my closet. But at the end of the day, THIS is what I want you to know about me. Jesus – mind, body and soul. And what He wants for my life is what fits me best.

Happy Wednesday,

KC

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