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!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dear Me: A Letter FROM My Eighty Year Old Self

Credit: Marjan Lazarevski/Used with permission.

Please scroll to the bottom and press pause if you'd prefer not to listen to my "eighty year old self."

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. 

Take care of yourself. You’re experiencing a little bit of the reality of age. You’re tired. Don’t try to push through it. You are and always have been limited. Learn to find contentment within the reality of your limits. And within those limits . . . sleep because you're sleepy. Exercise because you love to feel your muscles flex and your limbs stretch. Work hard because you can. Play and laugh and lounge with abandon and NO guilt. Pay attention to your desires. They're arrows back to your soul and your deepest life.

You are worth more today than you were yesterday. Contrary to a culture that diminishes your worth as you age, your true contribution is increasing daily. Wisdom and experience can’t be bought. Age avails them both. So be a good student.

Embrace the change. I know it makes your head spin. I hate to tell you, but it’s your new normal. Remember how when Josh, your first babe was born and you kept waiting for life to “get back” to normal? You finally realized that this was the new normal, and you had to learn to grow into it. Well, it’s the same lesson. Your family is increasing exponentially now. Settle in, buckle up, and throw your hands up on the downhills.

That guy you’ve shared life with these last 28 years . . he’s your best investment. You already know, your kids will leave and take some of your heart when they do. The heartache is part of the loving. But Jeff will stay. God willing, you’ll end like you began. Make it a good ending. Look into his eyes. Love well through the struggles. Stay pretty for him. Stay interested in him. Make time for adventuring with him. Do like you heard the preacher say in that wedding a couple weeks ago. “Always treat each other with the highest respect.” It’s a million little things that build and sustain a firm foundation of love. Don’t neglect your foundation.

Quit trying to be enough for every person, every day, every situation. You’re not enough for all that! You never were. You’re just realizing it, and that's one of the most valuable lessons of your crazy, unmanageable life. But know this, you're more than enough for right now. 

Live in the reality of God’s grace and love for you everyday. Work hard to become more like a child. Trust.

You're beginning to know what I know even better. There’s an end to this journey. Don’t let that scare you. The alternative would be terrifying. Just like in all the other crises you’ve faced, when the end of those dearest to you comes, God will be there with the strength you need to face it. And when your end comes and your loved ones mourn (I know you fear their pain even more than yours), He will give the ones you love the strength they need too. 

Until then, dare to live into the vastness of your life.

It’s so big. Too big! It can’t be managed, controlled, ordered . . . before it is fully lived.

It’s wild. 

It’s a gift.

It’s meant to be received. Moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day, season by season, year by year.

Stop trying to tame the wild out of life. It won’t be caged, leashed, or wrangled. Life wasn’t ever meant for you to tame.

It’s meant to be enjoyed.  To ride like a wave at the shore. Surrender to its inescapable, glorious unpredictability.

Cry. Laugh. Get angry. Forgive. Breathe deep. Kiss and hug. Encourage. Smile.

Life will only be lived. Live well. 

Your Eighty Year Old Self

P.S. You're doing fine.

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.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Good Company

And so it begins! As God-sized dreamers, we can identify with the story of Joseph. With trembling knees, we’ve bravely stepped into our dreams, believing they’re truly from God. We’re sticking out our necks, taking risks and, like Joseph, probably even receiving some ridicule. God gave Joseph literal dreams, and Joseph dared to believe them!
God’s dreams for Joseph weren’t just for him, just like our dreams aren’t only for us. Through Joseph, God would save His people and establish the line of His son Jesus. They were BIG God-sized dreams, and Joseph was excited. So excited, he talked about his dreams . . . a lot.
I imagine the path God chose to get Joseph to his dreams wasn’t anything like Joseph dreamed it would be. 
Join me at God-sized Dreams for the rest of this post!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Love Won

Would you believe me if I said I believe homosexuality is a sin AND I love and care about all people, including those who identify as homosexual?

In the wake of the supreme court's decision last week, it would seem that the only way #lovewins is if I endorse both homosexuality and the right of homosexuals to marry.

But I don't, and I can't. 

As a follower of Jesus, I'm bound to both grace and truth. I realize the Christian church has had a hard time keeping a firm grasp on both of these, but the one is lost without the other.

Truth without grace ignores Jesus' sacrifice and our inability to save ourselves. It makes little of love, because love is what gave birth to grace.

Grace without truth is a lie. It denies our guilt before a righteous God and makes Jesus' sacrifice useless. He becomes nothing more than a good man who showed us how to love our neighbor and died for . . . . . what?

Much has been said lately about keeping silent in the face of sin and injustice. People's passion for the oppressed has caused them to overcome fear of ridicule and even hate. It is this spirit in which I'm writing. I realize my stance lends itself toward being labeled as hatred, and that's scary. But I won't allow fear to silence me. 

I'm writing because of love. The love of God shown to me through Jesus, and the love I have for Him, for His word, for truth, and for the costly grace He secured for me and all who would repent of their sins and call on His name. 

Yes, love won on Friday . . . Friday a couple thousand years ago on a hill in Jerusalem.

Because love won on the cross and will win in our world, I will love. 

(I commend to you the entire chapter as an accurate & beautiful description 
of Christian love . . . "the kind of love the Father has given to us")


Friday, June 19, 2015

Morning Walk

You embody action and purpose in beauty

It's been said the process is the purpose
But oh, how I lust after accomplishment

But You
You are I am

There is no artificial divide
Creator. Create. Creation.

Joy woven throughout

Would You sanctify my mimicry?



The holy

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Weathering the Storms

Credit: cjohnson7/Used with permission.

My husband Jeff is an air traffic controller at an enroute center. What that means is he works in a big dark room with a couple hundred radar scopes with green blips representing airplanes. The air traffic between airports is managed by the controllers sitting in front of those scopes.

The months of May through August are the hardest months to be an air traffic controller at an enroute center, because that’s when the most storms occur. It’s known as SWAP season. SWAP stands for Severe Weather Avoidance Plan.

The controllers do their best to guide planes around the severe weather. Remember that the next time your plane's takeoff is delayed . . . you’re probably happier sitting in a cramped airplane on the ground than one in the middle of a thunder storm in the air! 

But sometimes the storm is unavoidable, and the plane must fly through it.

Storms are a rich and often used analogy for the Christian life. In the Bible, there are numerous stories of storms. I appreciate that, because the longer I live the more it seems storms are the rule than the exception.

This morning I was reading about the biggest storm of all . . . the flood in Genesis. It’s a familiar story, but what struck me was that Noah was 600 years old when the flood came! 

Though rain had never fallen, I can’t help but wonder how many “storms” Noah had already encountered in his lonnnnng life! 

I want to live long. I used to tell my kids that I planned to live till 105. But after my mom’s death, I decided I’d leave the length in God’s hands (since it is anyway) and make my goal to live all the days I’m given well.

But 600 years?! I don’t think my soul could weather a life’s portion of that many storms.

I’m not even halfway to 100, and my body feels like it’s giving out on me many days. My soul gets weary and wonders how to face another twenty-four. Some days (and long nights) the storms feel like they’re going to take me right under.

And then I remember . . . “The wind and waves still know your name.”

Our Father made the storms. 

His Son silenced them. 

And as His children, we weather the storms of life best when our eyes are fixed on Him.

Today, your storm may be threatening clouds on the horizon, thunder and lightning in your present circumstances, or a raging flood in your soul. In the face of life's storms, there's another "cloud" we need to remember.

Because whether His plan is to take you around or straight through, He is the best one to navigate your storms.