Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Two Moms, Their Daughters, & One Purple Bike

Mom’s bike sat there in the garage, virtually untouched. Every time we’d visit, I glared at it. It taunted me, a reminder of difficult days.
Love is a battlefield.
~Pat Benatar
The barn at the Winsome Retreat.
KIM: Mom and Dad’s marriage had known those battlefields. They fought hard and were victorious in the end. Their love won.
But that bike. It was like a scar. Mom had bought it while she and Dad were separated. It was hard for me to accept the image of her bike riding down the beach boardwalk while all our hearts had sat at home, broken.
They reunited long ago, and God did a ton of healing. But scars have a way of making old wounds ache.
After mom passed away last fall, I didn’t know what to think about the bike. 
Join me at Deidra's place for the rest of this wonderful story!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Five Reasons Why You Need a Retreat

So I'll just begin by saying . . yes, I host a retreat. And yes, I would love for you to attend. But honestly, that's not really what this post is about.

No, this is about you and why you need a retreat.

For the sake of clarity, let me define what I mean by a retreat. This definition will do . . . "a quiet and secluded place in which one can rest and relax."

Your soul needs this place. And probably more than once a year. If you haven't taken this kind of focused time for yourself (or if it's been more than a year since you did), let me give you five reasons why you should.

1. A retreat recalibrates your soul. The busyness and harshness of life have a way of knocking our souls off kilter and robbing our everyday of meaning and purpose. A retreat can bring us back on course.

2. A retreat reminds those you love that you are a woman worth caring for. It's easy to be taken for granted as a woman. Not because your loved ones are spoiled and selfish, but because you are so generous. You give and give, and those around you can easily forget (or never even know) you have needs too. It's good for them to see you take time to care for yourself!

3. A retreat lets you feel. It can be scary. But whether the deep "feels" of your soul are positive, negative, or more likely a messy mix of both, you need time to sit and sort and feel.

4. A retreat reconnects you to the best of you. If you're gracious with yourself on your time of retreat, you have the wonderful potential to get to know parts of you that you may have forgotten or have just never taken the time to know. 

For a while there was a push to call retreats “advances.” No, thank you. Every day and every one will invite me to advance, push harder and faster, and excel. A retreat is a unique invitation to step away and even back a few steps to a quiet and secluded place in which one can rest and relax.

Whether it's a day, a weekend, or week. Whether you go a quiet place all alone, with a few friends, or a large group of likeminded women. Whether you take just a Bible, journal, and pen or sit and listen to stories and lessons from women like you . . . I hope you'll consider taking a retreat in the near future. 

In case you aren't convinced yet, here's one more reason (#5 and the best reason) for you to take a retreat . . your Father wants to spend time with you. He wants to go with you to a still place and remind you that He loves you like crazy. And if there's no other reason at all, that's why you need a retreat.

Winsome is coming up April 8-10, and I'd love for you to join us! If you'd like to find out more, check out our website.

Also, you can save money by registering with a friend and taking advantage of our Early Bird prices good through February 14!

Friday, October 30, 2015


I think one of the most wonderful truths about God is that His mercy never ends. It's also one of the hardest for me to believe. 

I've never known anyone to love like that. A perfect God always patiently enduring and responding to both my unintentional guffaws and my totally intentional slights with mercyI have to tell my heart over and over that it's true. 

In my inner court, I arrive guilty too many times to receive mercy yet again. Surely, this time He will say something to the effect of "I've told you a thousand times, and here you are again. This time you'll just have to sit here awhile in the mess you've made."

It's only just isn't it? I mean we have to pay the piper, suffer the consequences.

We are conditioned to understand the law. It's easy. But mercy takes some wrapping our head and heart around.

Still not quite convinced? I understand. It sounds just a little too good to be true.

Take a look at Psalm 136:1 . . . 

endures forever.

The Hebrew word chesed is translated here as lovingkindess. A word that encompasses not only God's unending mercy but His grace and compassion too. 

And just to make sure we get it, the Psalmist repeats the wonderful truth, for His lovingkindness endures forever, twenty-six times, once for every verse in the chapter.

Believe it, friend! Our good Father and His infinite mercy are beyond our understanding. Maybe that's why He renews them daily.

As we receive His grace, mercy and compassion our hearts will grow in confidence and trust. And at the end of our difficult days, we will rest in the hope that His mercies will rise with the sun.

This has been on my morning playlist all week. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Letter From My Eighty Year Old Self

Credit: Marjan Lazarevski/Used with permission.

Dear Forty-Six Year Old Kim,

I was reminiscing today about our beautiful life and thought I’d share some thoughts with you. Lessons if you will. Don’t mind the tone. I’m not shaking my finger, I’m offering you some perspective. And we both know how much we value perspective. 

I’m thirty-four years ahead of you, pretty invested in us, and I know how you think, so listen closely.

Every morning, I want you to wake up, look in the mirror, and tell yourself you’re lovely. Redefine beauty to fit the woman in your reflection. Culture has lied and attempted to steal from you since before you were a teenager. Enough. It will never change its tune, and even if you could conform to its ideal, the ideal will change next season. You aren’t meant to conform to some concrete abstract of beauty. Beauty is not static. Your unique beauty conforms to you. It changes with every grey hair, wrinkle, and age spot. And it’s always revealed in your eyes when you smile. 

Join me at The Consilium for the rest of my "eighty year old self's" letter!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Weathering the Seasons

The end of a season can feel like a fail.
Driving up the mountain, my daughter-in-love Hilary and I notice the dry summer leaves along the roadway. Despite ninety degree days, the longer, cooling nights testified to the imminence of fall.
“I always feel like I have to hurry up at the end of a season. Like the things I was supposed to do in the summer haven’t happened yet,” Hilary remarked. “I do love fall though.”
I understand. As I come to the end of a season of fifteen years of homeschooling, I’ve felt similar emotions. I’m not done. There are things I never got to, both academic and personal. There are regrets. But there’s also excitement for the new season in front of me.
Like the changing weather between physical seasons, transitions between one season of life to the next can be confusing and disorienting. One day you get caught without a sweater and are given a reality check by the cold, and the next you’re peeling off layers. With all the unpredictable change, it can be hard to know how to weather the seasons. 
Join me at God-Sized Dreams for the rest of this post!
Photo credit: Hilary Hyland

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Stay True to YOUR Course

It has been about five years since I set sail on an intentional pursuit of the dreams God placed in my heart. And just like any other sailor, I have seen all kinds of weather! Amidst some seasons of beautiful, blue-sky days and almost effortless smooth sailing, I have seen squalls, storms, doldrums, and even a leaky boat.
I’m still a novice, but I’m starting to get my sea legs. So let me share with you some ideas that have helped this sailor stay the course.
Please join me over at God-Sized Dreams for the rest of this post!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Take a Stand On Your Knees

By now, you’ve heard the statistics, the horror stories, the reality. Human sex trafficking is epidemic in our world. It happens in third world countries and in our own backyard. It’s mind numbingly evil. Overwhelming. Shocking. Practically paralyzing.

The compulsion to close our computers, put down the newspaper, turn off the TV, and resume our relatively safe, comfortable lives is strong. We want to put our fingers in our ears, five-year-old style, and cry, “Nah, nah, nah, nah. I can’t hearrrrrr you!”

“I don’t want to hear you…you scare me.”

Please join me over at at Circles of Faith to read the rest of this post and learn more about Five-Fifteen and how you can fight human sex trafficking.