Saturday, July 1, 2017

If only.

    Anyone who follows me on Facebook know that I am often vague in my posts.  That is intentional.  Even among my "friends," I fear of what others might think if I really open the door to what my world looks like.  Too many times I have been burned, and the scars still ache sometimes.  Sure, I could clean out my list and only have on there people who would never do that, but then we are all guilty of it sometimes. So what then??

  This morning, I made my usual check on what is happening in the world.  Friends retiring, camping, birthdays, vacations, dates, etc....

  Something stuck out though.  

  "What's on your mind, Kim??"  That is the question you are asked in the status box before you type.

  It gave me pause.  If only.

  If only I could tell you what is on my mind.  What is on my heart.  

  If only I could tell you the grief I feel this morning of once being part of something, and now only watching from the outside.  People who used to be "my people," now go on through life as if I don't exist.  Weddings I am not invited to.  Retirements I won't get to celebrate.  Vacations I won't get to hear about.  Babies I won't get to hold.  Lives I don't get to be a part of anymore.  It makes me sad.  I don't begrudge those of their joy, but I miss them.  I miss being part.  

  I can't go back to the unhealthy situation that we left, but I never thought it would cost me a great deal more.  The enemy wants me to believe that I am shameful, not worth anything, and while I am grieving still over the loss, I won't believe that lie.  It does make me think about the relationships we commit to.  When we tell someone that we love them, do we intend it to be conditional?  Do we even realize it?

If only.  

   If only I could tell you my burdens.  The ones external.  The ones that make me worry in the night.  Where will we go? What will we do?  How will we pay for that?  The sea of uncertainty about our future is scary.  I try to be brave.  To be strong.  Courageous.  But, inside...I am a mess.  I am terrified of the possibilities, of the change that will be required, of hoping for something that may just let us down.

  We don't have a pool of family and friends to draw strength from as we once did.  We do have good friends.  They would be there in a pinch, for certain.  But how fair is it to always draw from the same well?  How long until that well drys up?  How long before those friends go the way of the others and we become just observers of their life? No longer invited to participate.  It is easy to say, "I wouldn't do that to you," but how many times have we all said something like that, only to fail in following through?  I never want it to happen...

If only.

If only I could tell you my fear, the internal battles.  To be brave, raw, open, without hiding away hoping you won't see my struggles.  Fear of being alone. Forgotten.  Fear of being shut out, useless. "God is bigger than this, He is always faithful." "God will provide, He is always working." "God already has the plan, He will show you the way..."

All good things to say, ALL true. Yet, I still fear sometimes that God has forgotten where I am.   I fear that He doesn't hear my prayer, but will run to the prayers of others instead. I fear God may have run out of patience with me.  Disinterested is dealing the same issues I can't seem to get past.  Anxiety is real.  I know the the enemy wants me to struggle like this, to question God's goodness and fear God's wrath.  When you are waiting for some sign that God is present, known, loving, faithful...It is easy to think that God may have forgotten you.  

If only.

 If only I could share with you anything at all. Like the things that make me laugh, or the things that make me angry, or sad, happy and even to cry (both good and bad).  How freeing it would be if I was able to share my daily status without judgments.  To tell you about the highs and lows.  No need for suggesting medications, or counseling, complaints, or competition, just simply laugh and cry with me.  Like we should.  Like I would do for you.  

 Wouldn't it be great to share what you are thinking?  Even if someone disagreed with your thoughts, they would either not comment or be respectful?  "I can see where you might think that," "I can understand where you are coming from," Thank you for being brave enough to tell us your story..." Something that shows we can still love each other, even if we can't relate, agree, or think they are crazy! To truly carry each other.  Not because we are equally equipped to handle whatever the burden (good and the bad) might be, but that we have strong enough backs to bear the weight.  To love someone through their own crazy, accepting them entirely without judgment.

"What's on your mind, Kim???"  Lots.  Things I can write about here, but never share on Facebook.  

Friday, March 31, 2017

I See You

How many times do you trudge along in your day wondering if God is present?

I do.

Then something happens to bring tangible evidence of His presence.  A fingerprint of His faithfulness and care.

My son was home on spring break from college and we asked if he would take his sister to a party.  He had to pick her up at another function first.  As most of us locals know, it has been raining for MONTHS!!!  The roads can be scary with the flooding.

Having not driven for some time and the conditions of the road, my son was cautious as he drove on the highway to get his sister to her party.

In a split second a car hydroplaned and made a sharp turn directly in front of my son crashing both cars.  The water on the roads caused the cars to spin out of control, stopping to face oncoming traffic.
This highway is always very very busy.  It wasn't this day. That never happens.

God was present.  His hand caused a nurse who was driving behind my son to stop and check on my kids.  His Hand caused the Search and Rescue Team right behind them to stop and direct traffic while the damaged cars were moved to the side.

The cars were totaled, but God protected my kids, the other driver and passenger to walk away with very little but a scratch and adrenaline.

That night, hubby and I attended a concert by Bryan Duncan.  This song he shared with us, made me thankful for God's hand in the accident, and the reminder that even if I don't feel Him near, God sees me.  When I look for Him, I will see him too, in ways that I don't expect to find Him.

I see you watching over me every day another way That I can see your love I see you lookin out for me all I wanna do is
Thank you thank you Under a bridge or up on a mountain See you in everything like stars I'm countin On streets of gold, on just mud and gravel You're always with me on this road I travel The straight and narrow goes up and down Don't leave a place for me to turn around in But I can make it cause you're waving me through I see the signs that I do, and I do I find you I see you watching over me every day another way That I can see your love I see you lookin out for me all I wanna do is Thank you thank you Thank you thank you That's right Help I can use or none to speak of No way I'm gonna lose, I trust in your love Whatever comes I'd rather face it all together I see a clue know it's yo, and I remember I see you watching over me every day another way That I can see your love I see you lookin out for me all I wanna do is Thank you thank you Thank you thank you And that's right Bridge (In ways no one can see) Ways no one can see (To show no one but me) Show no one but me (Remind me that you're here) Remind me Lord When all things are possible but not so easy I see you watching over me every day another way That I can see your love I see you lookin out for me all I wanna do is Thank you thank you

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Are You Cold?

There is a sign I pass every day.  It is for a mental health clinic.  On this sign is often a saying.  This particular time, the phrase on the sign stated:

"Many are cold, but few are really frozen."

It got me thinking.  The world we live in right now seems to be more volatile and self focused than ever before,  It feels cold.  Frozen.  Unfeeling and unfriendly.  

Our society as a whole is becoming more and more violent from fear, anger, bitterness and greed.  We see more horror stories of hatred than embracing stories of love and hope.  The walls of pride get higher and higher as we seek to protect ourselves from giving and receiving from anyone. We have shut each other out, freezing our hearts from caring.

As I walk this season in my life, I find myself going through this cycle.  It hurts to admit it, but I do.  When your heart is broken by abuse of others, especially ones that we should be able to trust, the filter in which I see everyone else is cracked.  I bet that if we were really honest with each other, you probably have that struggle too.

We are all determined to always be the best, to be right, superior in our thoughts and actions.  We stop seeing others in the light of their best.  They become less than us.  We decide that the weakness of another determines their value to us.  Or we take it personal that they are stronger than we are in places where we might be weak. We won't see them for their strengths, appreciating the blessing they bring to our life, but a burden.  We stop taking advice and building each other up.  We become cold to them. Shut off.  

I believe this is especially true among believers.  I am sure I have said it before, but I see more abuse of each other among church families, defending that it is all in the name of truth.  It often seems like a competition of higher spirituality.  Who knows more truth, who is wiser, who is more holy.  We beat others down who can't measure up to our standard of faith, or who disagree with us in the approach.

How much it must grieve our Creator.  His children should be set apart from the world.  His children should be carrying each other in all manners, KNOWING that we are all going to finish the race together!  There is no need for competition. 

This world is going to struggle. Sin will become greater as we get closer to the return of Christ.  It is for a purpose.  A greater purpose!  We need to busy bringing Light (which creates warmth) to our cold world.  

Matthew 24:4-14 says: 
 Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.[b] 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations[c] will hear it; and then the end will come.
  When something is cold or frozen, there is no light. Light brings warmth.  I don't want to be guilty of shutting others out, even though I know I have been.  I don't want to be shut off from those who could be the very thing I need in my life to stretch me and teach me.  We all need to keep warm by staying close to the Light, and sharing that warmth with others. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be one that grows or even stays cold.  I want to be one of the ones that endures.

It is only by God's grace that we can achieve this.  And we may always struggle with it, but if our eyes are looking forward, and we are pressing closer to the Light for warmth, He will not fail to shine in us.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Word of Encouragement


I wanted to take a few minutes to encourage us.  There is so much that has transpired over the last several months.

We knew that evil was active in this temporal world. I don't about you, but the speed at which evil acts are committed seems accelerated.

Take comfort, this WILL pass.  These times are to be expected.  I am in NO WAY predicting the end is near, or that Christ's return is imminent. What I am saying is that we should not be surprised by the alarming events in our communities, nation, world.  

Let's look at Timothy...

Paul writes to him, as I do to you, words of encouragement.

2 Timothy 3New Living Translation (NLT)

The Dangers of the Last Days
Paul’s Charge to Timothy
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of[a] vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. (Such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.) These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith. But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as with Jannes and Jambres.
10 But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. 11 You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it. 12 Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.
14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you.15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

It is so easy for us to hide away and be afraid.  I know, because this is often my refuge.  YET, we need to find our refuge in the ONE who has promised to shelter us within His wings.  (Psalms 91:4)

This world will continue to grow weary.  It won't stop from increasing in evil.  The enemy is counting his empty successes, but remember the end of the story?!?!?!

WE WIN!!! God will reign in VICTORY! He will beat down for the last time all that sins against Him!

So I encourage you with this...

Romans 12:9-10; 12
Don't just pretend to love others.  Really love them. HATE what is wrong, but CLING TO WHAT IS GOOD!!! (emphasis mine); Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble and KEEP praying.

Loving you.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A favorite of mine.

I don't normally promote anything, but one of my favoritemail authors has a new book out and I wanted to share with you!

Head over to Tamera Alexander's website to check it out.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My Take on Today...

I woke up in a very different world this morning.  To say I am relieved would be an understatement.  Of all that will be said today, ultimately the results are exactly as God intended.  

For the last 2 years we have watched a nation come undone by dirty politics and devious natures.  We have witnessed human pit again human in what often felt like a fight to the death.

We have hurled toward election day with alarming pacing.  Each candidate one upped each other over who had the dirtiest scandal in their past.  I believe history speaks volumes on who what the dirtiest.  

I went to bed last night pleading with God that he calm the anxiety, fear and worry I felt over the results and what those would mean.  My husband was convinced that we were in for a battle.  I was counting on people being exhausted from politics and head a different direction.  I don't know that the direction is the right one, but it certainly would be an improvement over the chaos we would have to live with otherwise.  

This morning, I was surprised that I was right, but that I was at peace about it.  While I understand how angry people are that their candidate was not elected, I am grateful.  

I am not saying that I think the candidate who won was the best for the job, but it does help that he, indeed, is NOT a politician.  Maybe now we can begin to bring back order and standards to our nation.  I believe this person ran because he was just as angry as I am, as it seems a majority of the nation too, with results our nation produce when politicians get in the way.  Their greed, pride and hunger for control keep them from doing their job.  One that was intended to be a SERVICE not a career.

I don't know anything about what the future might be like.  I do know that today, I can be at peace.  

I have peace, not because of my faith in a person, but because of my faith in a loving Father.  This may be a time God has given for us to grown stronger and more resilient to the enemy.  

Many can argue that peace should be a state of existence for us as believers.  But, if God is who He says He is, then He knows we don't dwell in peace all the time.  He expects that we will be scared, worried, upset, ashamed or angry.  We are created BY Him to live and reflect His image.  But we are also flawed by a broken world directly affected by sin.  It is like looking into a cracked mirror.  Your image is there, just not a perfect copy.  

The beauty of God's grace is that He knows the image doesn't look like it should, yet, sees it as complete because of the work His Son's blood has done in us.  He understands that we are sheep and don't understand everything, so it is natural for us to be emotional.  We can go to Him with those emotions, and as a Good Shepherd, he cares for us and our needs.  

God is completely sovereign and if the results had been different, it would have been because he ordained it that way.  I should have peace no matter what.  I can trust His plan as good and right for us. 

I don't know what this new president will be like, and I certainly don't pretend that he is an answer to pray.  What I do pray is that God will be working in this man's life to bring our nation hope.  Our Good Shepherd knows what his sheep need.  

A sweet friend shared this poem with me.  It helped me remember that no matter the results, the circumstances I face, the emotions I can't speak, my Good Shepherd knows and is taking care of me.  Of us.

There’s a peace here in the green valley;

Along the edge of the brook I lay down.
You’ve led me here to rest my soul, so weary;
For a more tender and true Shepherd cannot be found.

Over mountains and along steep, rocky crags,
I hear Your voice, and love is the sound,
Saying, “Stay near, my child, I’ll lead the way”;
For a more tender and true Shepherd cannot be found.

Though clouds descend and I can’t see;
And valleys of deep darkness are all that surround;
It’s then that You lift and gently carry me;
For a more tender and true Shepherd cannot be found.

The radiant evening sky is dusted with stars;
Nighttime isn’t dark, with jewels all around.
Your love shines forth, comforting my anxious heart;
For a more tender and true Shepherd cannot be found.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Beyond Words...

The Word of God tells us that we are to "cast all our care on Him," "to be anxious for nothing." (1 Pt 5:7; Ph 4:6)

No matter how long I have been a Christian, I still struggle with this.  Tonight, I am restless with overwhelming anxiety.  

The recent events in our nation have brought me to a place of desperation, worry, anger and sadness.

I am sick of people only valuing their own life and not every life.  I don't care if you are black, red, white, green, yellow, blue or the Koolaid man, your life is just as precious as mine.  Our Creator doesn't see with the eyes we see.  He doesn't look on the outside, but at our hearts.  (1 Sam 16:7)

Forgive me for the gross analogy here, but if we had a line of hearts, as in the actual organ, you wouldn't be able tell who it belonged to.  

Our circumstances, environment, family genes, etc all help determine what our bodies look like.  Remove that outer shell and we are the same.  The differences are when we will choose to see each other according to the standard by which God does.  The heart affected by sin. 

Our sinfulness makes our hearts cold, dark, evil.  It is ONLY His cleansing blood that changes that.

Tonight, I battle.  I rage within my heart over the mixed emotions, sinful and not.  I am sick to death of the grip our enemy has on this world and the intensity of sin that grows worse daily.

I am angry at the loss of common sense, moral standard, conviction of right and wrong.  What happened to obeying?  Where did respect for authority go?

I realize that there is abuse of power, and that certainly should be addressed.  This abuse does NOT give anyone the right to bring about justice according to their own rational.  

Why is it needed to destroy lives and families for an agenda?  Is your "cause" really so unjust that it warrants unneeded deaths and tragedy?  STOP!  

It is extremely hard for me to have compassion.  I admit that.  Our sinfulness as a human race has veered so far from God's truth that we (as a whole) no longer know where the line is drawn! 

How grieved I am at the lack of freedom and safety my children will have as they grow.  A "Land of the Free" is slowly becoming a "Land of MY way or else!".  It isn't just our country. It is a worldwide epidemic  We are losing touch with reality and replacing it with a utopia that is impossible to achieve! You CANNOT have peace without boundaries, discipline, expectations.  There is NO such thing as something for everyone, that we get everything we want! It wasn't and still isn't God's design.  

We are not better than God, we can't even be compared, nor do we have better plans than He.  Our ways are NOT His! Our plans lead to destruction when we are determined to go our own way without God.  We are not guaranteed success if we ask Him to come along, but we are more apt to being open for His leading when we seek HIM FIRST!!!  (Is 55:8; Matt 6:33)

Dear God,

I have never hoped so hard for discipline in our world as I do now.  When will you intervene?  I know you see this! I know you are there! I am no-one to question your judgement, your power, your plan.  I know that we are right where you knew we would be, but it is so painful! It is so sad.  It is so relentless.

I know my wrestling is part of this process.  It is part of the pruning you are doing in my own life.  I don't like it.  I don't like watching your creation deteriorate. I know the end of the story, and this is necessary for Your VICTORY , but...

Tonight it is too much.  I am BEYOND WORDS to resolve the battle that is raging.  I hate what I see.  I am sorry that I am in this place.  I plead for your sufficient grace and mercy.