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

Posted in faith, family, light-hearted | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

More Than Enough

Here it is, the morning of January 15th. I sip my coffee, feet on the coffee table, listening to the crackle of the fire. All is quiet. Well, except the sound machine I hear off in the distance in an effort to keep my two year old asleep until at least 645. Solitude. Peace. Jesus. This is not a New Year’s resolution. I’ve tried to exercise this habit for a few years now. I don’t always do it well, but when I do actually get out of bed to embrace the silence, I find I love it here.

I didn’t really make any resolutions this year. Jokingly I told someone that I didn’t make any so that I could not fail. I mean come on, who likes to fail? But, the truth is that I wasn’t actually that in tune with my fears it was more about how quickly this holiday season came and went. I never really took a moment to reflect and then jot down some of my thoughts. I have thoughts. Lots of them. Dreams. Hopes. Desires. Aspirations.

Things like :: that my kids would know Jesus in a more real way, that I would keep up on laundry, that I’d have better time management, that my husband would have less of a load because I am not just an adequate partner but an excellent one, that I would do one DIY project a month, that I wouldn’t yell so much at my kids, that I’d finish the burlap runner I started for my dining room table, that I’d keep plants alive in my house, less fighting between the kids, train for an olympic-distance triathalon, play more games with the kids, eat well, make the most of the our YMCA membership, volunteer in the classroom, make more time for Jesus to be present in our lives, live simply, color more with my kids, read books {besides the books I read to the kids} …

Should I keep going?

No matter what, I’d fail this year. That is guaranteed. Just reading this list makes my palms sweat and I get clammy all over. Maybe if I were super woman…but alas, I am not. I am merely a human trying to swim and keep my head above water. Desperately trying to keep the green monster from convincing me that I need more. I love Pinterest but sheesh, I can walk away feeling pretty discontent with my life after a few minutes of innocent browsing. Can I get an amen?

In God’s incredible faithfulness and perfect timing {Sunday morning when I didn’t expect it}, he reminded me that He is more than enough for me. No matter what effort KC gives in this life there will be some degree of failure, probably in abundance. He needs to be enough for me. I’m not sure I am always okay with that. Yes, I just said that. Sometimes I am not content in Christ. It is humbling, embarrassing. My eyes deceive me and my heart follows suit. I am easily swayed into thinking that “things” will make me a better me. Clothes. Books. Money. We know from God’s Truth that those things will return to dust.  Jesus is more than enough for me in this moment, today, this year and until I see him face to face.  

More Than Enough

{Lincoln Brewster}

I am sure I don’t need to explain that I will still tackle my lists and stay active in life. But I want to live like and believe that He is more than enough for me. My identity and my worth are found in Him alone.

Enough said? {wink}

Embracing 2013,

KC

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For We Need A Little Christmas

Hubby took the kids and my plan was to get the house decorated. And then clean up the apparent Christmas bomb that always seems to blow the weekend after Thanksgiving. I turned up the Christmas music and got to work.  I LOVE Christmas. The lights. The meaning. The music. For those that don’t know me personally, it is all I can do to keep Christmas music at bay until September. I’ve been known to play a jingle or two in July just to get a “fix.” There is something magical about the holiday season. The anticipation of decorating, celebration of Christ’s birth, family and let’s be honest, the presents are pretty great, too. It is almost unbearable for kids and adults alike.

Because I had the house to myself, I seemed to hear the music more; the meaning and mission behind it.

Then this happened….

Haul out the holly; put up the tree before my spirit falls again. Fill up the stocking, I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now. For we need a little Christmas right this very minute, Candles in the window, carols at the spinet. Yes, we need a little Christmas right this very minute. It hasn’t snowed a single flurry, but Santa, dear, we’re in a hurry; So climb down the chimney; put up the brightest string of lights I’ve ever seen. Slice up the fruitcake; it’s time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough. For I’ve grown a little leaner, grown a little colder, grown a little sadder, grown a little older, And I need a little angel sitting on my shoulder, Need a little Christmas now.

Something began to burn inside of me as I sang these words, “For we need a little Christmas right this very minute.” What does that mean? Well for me in meant a halt on my decorating and a search for the lyrics of this famous Christmas song.

I believe the writer of this song was on to something. Granted, the mention of Santa sends out the commercial message that is so familiar this time of year. But the rest of the song quietly echoes what this season is truly about. Follow me…

Haul out the holly; put up the tree before my spirit falls again.

Give me a reason to find

Luke 2:10 – But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

Fill up the stocking, I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now. For we need a little Christmas right this very minute, candles in the window, carols at the spinet. Yes, we need a little Christmas right this very minute.

We want to RUSH into the “feeling” of Christmas because it is a season of

Luke 2:15 – 16 – When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

It hasn’t snowed a single flurry, but Santa, dear, we’re in a hurry; so climb down the chimney; put up the brightest string of lights I’ve ever seen.

We want it all … a Counselor, a Mighty Warrior, a caring Father. Not Santa. What we want is

Isaiah 9:2-6 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Slice up the fruitcake; it’s time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough.

Fruitcake is gross and I’m not crazy about the tinsel that weaves its way into the carpet and seems to last all year through. I think I could do without both, in my opinion.

For I’ve grown a little leaner, grown a little colder, grown a little sadder, grown a little older, and I need a little angel sitting on my shoulder, need a little Christmas now.

All year we’ve been working hard, enduring life’s challenges, fighting for justice, hoping for breakthrough or even just a break, failing and thriving.  And where has it left us? Leaner. Colder. Sadder. Older. Oh, how we need something to lift our spirits; something to cause us to go on another year. And God, in his infinite wisdom answered our deepest need.

A baby entered the world in a most humble state and with him came the

JOY, HOPE, PEACE, and

Luke 2:8-14 – That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.  Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.  The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!  And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

I pray that you, this Christmas season, find Jesus to be the best gift of all. And as you approach the end of this beloved year may you find that Jesus will be your reason to go on another year.

Merry Christmas,

KC

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Naked in the Front Yard ….

Yes, I am sure that title catches your eye, huh?! The other day I was reading The Jesus Storybook Bible to my kids. Reading how Jesus did not turn children away, but welcomed them. That Jesus, always setting a good example to me and thus convicting me. I should never be too busy for my children. Or my children’s friends. But that isn’t the point of this post, that was just a freebie {wink}. As we continued on, Jesus spoke of coming as you are, like little children; that we spend too much time “getting ready” to go before Jesus. Instead we should just approach him as we are. The point being :: we don’t need to have it all together or be perfect to be in his presence.

To bring this point home even more, I shared a little analogy with the kids …

OK kids lets pretend we were out playing in the mud. Super, duper messy, sticky mud. The kind that you have to take 3 showers to get it all off {oooh’s, ahhhh’s and giggles}. Playing hard, getting messy and dirty, when all of the sudden Mommy gets a phone call. “What? The King of Whichamahcallit wants to have dinner with us? Tonight? You’ll be here in 15 minutes to pick us up? Oh and yes, I get it…he doesn’t want us to get ready, he asks that we come as we are.”

“Kids, GET OUT OF THE MUD! WE HAVE TO TAKE A SHOWER. GET DRESSED! COMB OUR HAIR. WE HAVE TO BE PRESENTABLE.”

“But Mommy, they said we need to come just like this. He told us to!” Mommy agrees that they can keep playing and go as they are {they are kids, aren’t they always messy?}, but Mommy charges upstairs in a flutter because after all, Mommy just couldn’t be seen like well, a mud ball. As Mommy is showering, the King shows up and whisks the kids off to a beautiful dinner with deliciousness beyond their comprehension. And Mommy? She is still in the shower scrubbing.

I asked the kids who missed out. Of course the response was, “Mommy!” Yes! They got it. Just as I was about to give myself a little pat on the back my daughter asks if she can tell me a little story. Something to know about my beautiful, imaginative, creative 7 year old is that she LOVES telling stories and has one for pretty much every situation. I wonder where she gets that from? And so she begins…

M and I were super messy from playing in the mud. We HAD {for dramatic effect} to take a shower. We were so dirty. As M was in the bath and I was in the shower, Jesus said, “Come now. Come quick. I am in the front yard.” And so, we had to go, just like that. We ran out the door and we were naked in the front yard.

Laughter erupts. What is it about nakedness and potty talk? My kids become unglued with silliness.

Um, no. Jesus would not ask you to run naked in the front yard.

If I were feeling rather deep as I write this, I am sure there is a lot of truth in that statement, little one. I’ll ponder that one a bit.

But for now, there will be no nakedness in the frontyard, or the backyard for that matter.

Until next time,

KC

Posted in family, light-hearted | 4 Comments

Let’s Get Praisy…

Today I am linking up with my friend Jami at From The Natos. She is crazy funny. Crazy creative. A crazy good cookie maker. Crazy about her family. And crazy for Jesus.  I like her. If you haven’t checked out her blog, I encourage you to stop by and visit.

She recently encouraged her readers to find Jesus in our pop culture world. You can read about it here. I couldn’t help but participate in #letsgetpraisy. And yes, since the 80’s happen to be my one of my favorite music eras, I had no choice but to choose a gem from that time. Can you name the song?

I chose David because he happens to be one of my favorite characters in the Bible. I guess it is because he screwed up so many times and yet, he was called, “a man after God’s own heart.” He made a mess of his life, many times, but God still reached for him. Drew him in. And Psalm 18:19 tells us that God delighted in him. Word.

Happy “Praisy” Monday!

KC

 

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My Status Update

Facebook. Yesterday, I posted this, “I’m taking a sabbatical. See you in 2013, maybe.” It has taken me about two months to get up the nerve to actually write those nine words in my status update. I have had a close relationship with FB for several years. It keeps me connected to my loved ones far away. It allows me to catch up on school pictures of children I adore. It even gives me snippets of weddings, baby showers, ceremonies I am unable to attend. I. love. it. It was a stroke of genius and for this military wife, it has kept me “connected.”

That is just it. Connected. Or should I say addicted. I know that is a strong word, but it seems I wouldn’t go ten minutes without checking my account. I wasn’t looking for a note or posting about me necessarily, I was just catching up on the activities of the day. I thought it was funny that my friend got locked out of her house because her 2 year old closed the door {it ended well, don’t worry}. I enjoyed reading that my good friends will move in to their house in one month. And the babies, oh the babies! I can’t get enough of those posts or the pictures. Innocent enough. Or at least that is what I’d tell myself. Until I began to notice something drastic in my life. It went something like this,

Child :: Mommy, can you help me get some tape?

Mom:: In a minute honey, Mommy is working on something. {continue reading FB}

Child {5 mins later} :: Mommmmmmmy! Can you please help me!

Mom :: UGHH! YES! I will get you your tape! Can’t you see mommy is busy! {puts down phone or closes computer in frustration}

This was a common day occurrence here at my house. I am not proud of it. In fact, I am ashamed of it. I so often put FB as a priority over my children. Yes, I have emails I have to respond to and phone calls I have to make. I DO have things I need to get done during the day. But I am personally convicted by the energy and attention I have given FB.

What is reveals to me is that I am not living in the moment. I am consumed by the happenings of everyone else’s life and forgetting that I have a life to live right in front of me. I have children to pour into, a husband to serve, friendships to nurture, a home to maintain and a purpose to fulfill. I in no way think FB is evil or should not be a part of someone’s life. In fact, I am going to miss it. A lot. I am, however, coming to grips with the reality that I am not mature enough to know when enough is enough. I get too wrapped up. Too consumed. Too connected.

I want to live in the moment. Be available. Listen. Be attentive.

Have a beautiful, and attentive, Wednesday!

KC

Posted in family, parenting | 3 Comments

Look Up

In July I decided I wanted to read the Bible in a year. Of course I am already behind, but I will continue to go forward and yes, it will probably take me three years. If you haven’t ever read the Bible chronologically {instead of just book by book}, I encourage you to try it. I personally like being able to understand things on a timeline a bit better. You can check it out, here.

Anyway, this morning while I was reading about Jacob and Esau {I told you I was behind. No judging.} and found myself yet again humbled by the truth of God’s word. I know it shouldn’t surprise me as it is living and breathing, but it does. Every time. Here is Jacob, the younger brother making stew when his older brother Esau comes in famished. The Living Translation, “I am starved”. And Jacob tells Esau he can enjoy the stew if he gives up his birthright. Let me take a moment and define birthright.

1. privileges or possessions that a person has or is believed to be entitled to as soon as he is born
2. the privileges or possessions of a first-born son
3. inheritance; the estate inherited from one’s father or ancestors.

This is no minor thing folks. He inherits land, animals, a home and any family wealth all because he was born first! All of us seconds, thirds and fourths can understand the desire Jacob had to steal it. It was a position. A blessing. A most valuable gift.

So here the brothers are talking in the kitchen or around the fire which is more likely, when Jacob proposes this idea of giving up his birthright. The outrageously hungry Esau responds with a yes to his request and they shake hands on it. Then comes verse 34. The verse that brought me to my knees.

{MSG} Jacob gave him bread and the stew of lentils. He ate and drank, got up and left. That’s how Esau shrugged off his rights as the firstborn.

{CEB} Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew. He ate, drank, got up, and left, showing just how little he thought of his birthright.

{KJV} Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

{TLB} Then Jacob gave Esau break, peas, and stew; so he ate and drank and went on about his business, indifferent to the loss of the rights he had thrown away.

Shrugged. Indifferent. Despised. How little he thought of his birthright. What? I read it a few times over. I am reading this through the eyes of someone living in the current economic crisis and so I was more than shocked to see a man throw away his inheritance; his security for his future. And to care so little about it as if it meant nothing at all. But, as almost always happens, I was reminded of my ability to judge so quickly. How often do I shrug off the valuables that God has given me? By this I mean the relationships, the sweet and quiet moments with Him, the pantry full of food, the ability to buy my children school clothes, cars that work, a warm house, a healthy body. MY KIDS. MY HUSBAND. Have I, at times in my life been so focused on a prize or goal that I was willing to stop at nothing to achieve it? Is my desire for the NOW so great that I am willing to give up something valuable? Let’s suppose I was willing to give this “thing of value” away, do I notice what I’ve lost or do I walk away indifferent and shrug it off as if my life has not changed all that much.

I think about some of the relationships in my life that I’ve let go of because I wanted to pursue something else; something more fitting for my lifestyle. Perhaps it was my shopping spree that month that made things really tight for us, but at the time I didn’t even begin to weigh the consequences. It was likely the many choices I have made throughout my life when the emphasis was on pleasing me, making me feel good, giving me significance; filling my belly, mind, soul with things that were far less valuable than my birthright. All of it brought me to my knees.

I am not the firstborn in my earthly family but in God’s family I have a birthright. Because of God’s Son, the one and only Son, died so that we could be called sons and daughters and receive the inheritance God has for us. Hebrews 9:15 says, “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” {NIV}. Jesus’ sacrifice made it possible for me to inherit the greater things. The things that this world cannot offer. I am not sure I live that way. I guess you could say I forget who I am at times or better yet, I forget what family I belong to and the birthright I have been given. Oh how I need help with my eyes, my ears and my heart in this broken world. I am reminded of that children’s song, Oh Be Careful Little Eyes What You See. The many verses that follow are about all the other parts of our bodies that can be so easily swayed. We are human. We lose focus. We make bad choices. But those that believe in the sacrifice of Christ have been marked. We have been given an inheritance and our view, our focus, should always be on our Heavenly Father. This is where we find our true purpose; our reason for living and our ability to say “no” when it comes to losing something of value.

And how do we do it? Thankfully, God knows our humanness so he tells us! Colossians 3:1-4. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” LOOK UP. LOOK UP. LOOK UP. Keep your eyes focused on God. When we look down, we see the depravity of our world and begin trying to fix it, fill it, make it better.

Simply. Look up.

KC

Posted in faith, inspiration | 2 Comments

Does one whistle in Whistler?

My family just returned from a week long trip to Whistler. In one word, AMAZING. Before we left, asked the kids if they thought the people in Whistler actually whistled. Giggling they said, “No”, but I think there was a part of them that wondered. The anticipation was great; all of us could feel the excitement. I wasn’t sure what activities we’d pursue since it is known for being an extraordinary winter get-away and we happened to be going the hottest week of the summer. Nonetheless, we arrived at about three o’clock in the afternoon on a Sunday and the place was buzzing with activity. People on bikes and people on skateboards, runners, hikers, sight-seers, and swimmers; some young and some old but almost all of them were moving in one activity or another. It peeked an interest in me. Where are they going? What are they seeing? I didn’t want to miss out. We quickly picked up a pamphlet of “Must – Do’s” and combed it over and over again with our eyes. The plan was set.

Lake swimming and tre-trekking, alpine-sledding and trampoline jumping, running and swimming in the pool were just a few of the activities we enjoyed. We went to bed early every night and woke up refreshed and ready for our next adventure. It was surprisingly relaxing in spite of our constant activity. In the downtime we played card games or caught up on Olympic events we had missed. Our cell phones didn’t work so we weren’t able to check emails or facebook updates and that was okay with us. We loved “being and doing” as a family.

As we drove home we shared highlights of our trip and the kids pointed out that no, people in Whistler don’t actually whistle. I thought about that first day we pulled in and how I was instantly impacted by the beauty and buzz of the place. It was captivating. I was immediately influenced by the “doers” around me. I wanted to be in on the action. I wanted to see it all. I wanted to experience all that I could in the seven days we were there. I was surrounded by active people and I wanted to be active. I didn’t want to waste a second. I enjoy exercise very much and it was no surprise that in a beautiful place such as this I would want to be outside as much as possible. But there was more to it than that. Not only were active people all over the place, but they were active people that cared about their health. We tasted delicious whole foods and walked through the most amazing farmer’s market I have ever been to. It made me want to be healthy. I wanted to make healthy choices for myself and my family while I was there. I was influenced by what was around me.

Please don’t think I am idolizing this place called Whistler or the people there. I learned something; something I hope I never forget. I learned that I want to be a person of influence. Like that friend you have that loves Jesus more than herself or anything else? The one that when you walk away from being with her you want to be a better person? That is the kind of person/friend I want to be. Just as those active people in Whistler encouraged me physically, I want to be an active person that encourages people spiritually. When others come into my sphere, I want them to see it buzzing with activity not for myself, but for the King I serve. I want to have such a love for the beauty and wonder of His Kingdom that because of His influence on me, I influence others. Remembering that the active people also cared about what they put into their bodies is a crucial piece of the puzzle. Taxing your body physically is useless if you don’t feed it adequately. The same goes for a strong spiritual life. I need to care about what I put into my body. If I am not being fed Truth then I will tire, become weak and eventually give up. Truth is my fuel and Truth is what will keep me active and moving. It is the Truth that sets me free to really live.

My quiet times seem a bit different since I’ve returned from Whistler. As I spend time with the Lord, he shows me the “Must – Do’s” and the “Must – Sees” and I don’t want to miss out. My relationship with Him isn’t a chore or a guilt-laden list of “Have – To’s”. I want to BE where He is. I want to SEE where His is working and I want to DO what He has called me to do.  It is less about a box to check off the list and more about being active in the King’s plan. Exploring the wonder and awe that a life with Him truly provides. It is in that place that I believe influence begins. When I care more about taking in all of Him and care less about all of me.

As I sign off I wonder … perhaps if people in Whistler actually whistled I may have been influenced enough to join right in!

Happy Weekend,

KC

 

 

Posted in faith, family, inspiration | 1 Comment

A Special Thank You

Hi Blogland! I haven’t visited you in a while. I suppose you could say I have been enjoying summer to the fullest. Or maybe I was a little burned out. Or maybe a little of both. I really love blogging and though I was not actively writing, I was actively living and listening with intentions of sharing some of the weaves and turns I have experienced in the last month.

Today I want to write about commitment. What commitment looks like to me.

Are you ready for it?

Happy Anniversary

My parents are celebrating 37 years of marriage today. I feel like a slacker in that I did not buy them a gift. But, I am not sure what to get a couple that has everything they need. No, I am not saying that lightly. They DO have everything they need. For starters, they have Jesus. Both of them. And we all know that is what we all need. Second, they have each other. A partnership. A companion to do life with. There isn’t a gift or a possession that can measure up, in my opinion. There is a sentiment however. And I want to take this opportunity to honor them, sentimentally.

Dad and Mom,

Happy Anniversary, though I am not sure that is the proper greeting on the day you celebrate 37 years of marriage. I believe what I should be saying is, “Thank you.”  You have been on quite a journey. I am sure there were times you wanted to give up or walk away, but you remained. Your faithfulness speaks volumes in this world of broken promises.

So, on your anniversary I am giving you this, a glimpse into the way I view and have viewed your marriage. You may not have known I was watching, but I was. Your example was and is worth more than a thousand words.

1. Work hard.

2. Do not go to bed angry.

3. Go out of your way to do something nice for your spouse {dress up when you pick them up at the airport}.

4. Make birthdays special.

5. Together, co-teach a kids’ Sunday school class.

6. Eat outside sometimes, even if it means moving your entire dining room table to the front lawn.

7. Turn off the tv and talk.

8. Never shy away from surprising the one you love.

9. Take your spouse to visit his/her family.

10. Build a home where the family room is connected to the kitchen {if you build it, they will come}.

11. Be alert. Safeguard your marriage.

12. Love your children’s children.

13. Ask questions about the day.

14. Hug each other, a lot.

15. Go to church.

16. Surround yourself with like-minded couples and their families.

17. Laugh. And make your spouse laugh {dress up in pajamas and show up her workplace with donuts}.

18. Buy a Jacuzzi.

19. Take road trips {lots of time to talk}.

20. Encourage each other’s strengths and help in their weaknesses.

21. Volunteer. Preferably something that your kids are involved in.

22. PDA in a happily married couple is not a bad thing, even if your kids say, “Gross!”

23. Make your home available.

24. Advocate for a cause.

25. It is okay to spend money at times, especially when it aids in the making of memories {vacations}.

26. Take up an activity you both enjoy doing together.

27. Quitting isn’t an option, in sports or in marriage.

28. Pray together.

29. Hold hands.

30. Go camping.

31. Love Jesus.

32. Write notes. They serve as a great form of communication.

33. Fold clothes for each other and empty the dishwasher, just because.

34. Do not make big purchases without your spouse’s consent {i.e. a trampoline}

35. Have late night talks.

36. Go get ice cream.

37.  Be willing to be inconvenienced if it means seeing family {long drives, late nights, little sleep}.

Again Dad and Mom, thank you. Your 37 years of commitment have impacted my life is so many ways. It isn’t always perfect, but you never give up and that means more to me than you’ll ever know.

I love you both dearly,

KC

 

Posted in family, inspiration, parenting | 4 Comments

My Grey Sweater

This morning my son had his preschool program. Of course, it was a “bring a dessert to share” type of a deal. Yesterday I set out on an adventure to make cake pops. I don’t even really like cake pops, but I thought the idea sounded good and the kids and I would have a great time. I ran around all over the place to get all the necessary components. Last night we were well into step 3 when they flopped. Literally. I had cake balls falling in the melted chocolate, falling in the sprinkles, rolling off the counter and crumbling into messes on the floor.

. D I S A S T E R .

The laughter that ensued however was priceless.

This morning, I was in bed thinking about how much of a failure I was at baking with my kids. About 4 minutes into feeling sorry for myself I threw on some clothes {jeans and my grey sweater} and quickly headed to the store. Pretzels, Rolos and Pecans make an awesome makeshift “turtle delight” in a pinch. I was feeling better, until I saw her. Her. I am referring to a beautiful young gal walking with some friends. She had thick curly dark hair. And she was dressed in a pretty black dress. She walked with two young boys. Normally I would have just driven by without a care, but not this morning. I cared today. This little black dress she had on was a halter top and there was little material covering her. Oh and, it was 49 degrees and pouring rain. I kept driving and then I had that feeling, you know the one where God is telling you that he has something for you to do. It was there. I turned the car around and began driving in her direction. “Give her your sweater.” What? You have got to be kidding me? Really? Okay. As I pulled up I felt like a freak, I really did. I asked if I could speak with her. It went something like this, “Hi. I just wanted to tell you that I saw you walking and wondered if you are really cold. I have a daughter myself and my heart hurt to think that you might be in need. I would love to give you this sweater if you’ll take it.” With her beautiful blue eyes and her bright smile she said thank you, but no. She told me she had a jacket in her friend’s bag and that she was fine. I closed our little conversation with, “Okay sweetie, well I want you to know that you are a beautiful young lady and I cared enough to turn around and make sure you were okay.” Again she smiled and said thank you.

As I pulled away I began to cry. And then I wept. I cried not because she refused my sweater, but she refused her own. I cried because she so desperately wants to be beautiful {maybe to those boys} and was willing to walk in the rain with little clothing to protect her. Maybe she wanted to fit in and quite possibly her coat didn’t match so she chose to shiver instead. I don’t know her situation or her life at all. But I do know that we have a God that loves us. He adores us. And we need to be telling people that. The young women in our lives need to know how much they are cared for. How beautiful they are. And, that they are worth far more than precious stones.

As I hung up my grey sweater, I asked God if I did the right thing.

I regret not asking her name. I regret not telling her about Jesus. I regret not investing more.

Please God, use my feeble attempts and my stuttering words to bring glory to your name.

KC

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Posted in faith | 7 Comments