Saturday, March 28, 2015
And it comes, the breaking. And I let it. Because the girl who is usually the glue can't manage to hold all these pieces together anymore. And so I just let it go. Let it break. Let the pieces fall. And somehow I am not destroyed. Not like I feared. The breaking just lays it all open. And it can't be contained and I wondered why the silence and I know. When I break wide open it can't be contained. And I need the air, the outside. Because inside I can't even begin to bare. And if I can be honest with myself, then I can be honest with another. And that breaking spills out and over and washes up on to everything it touches. And I am learning to be still. Because that's where the healing comes from. In quiet and trust are your strength.... Yes. In repentance and rest is your salvation. And those words spill all over me. And I see His hand. I hear His promise. No fear, not even for a moment, just no. Thankful.
Monday, March 23, 2015
I wasn't exactly sure how to approach this book at first. Because I'm exhausted with one more person telling one more way to "get it right". And this wasn't that. One chapter at a time, the links between what we think and what we say and how we are created all fell into place. And it wasn't necessarily brand new information. It was just information put together in a way that clicked for me. And the more I read, the more God really opened my heart. Some of the resources she mentions I had actually read years ago and that quiet tucked away remembering cam back to light in a new way. Reading as I did a chapter at a time as to not rush through, but take it all in, most of my reading came during my quiet time. One such morning my girl shuffled in barely awake and crawled in bed next to me. She peaked at the cover through one eye. "Hmmmm" she said. "I may need to read that one mom". I am grateful for the chance to share my faith, share my struggles and share amazing resources with my children. This book is surely one of them. Pat gives genuine, heartfelt and more importantly, biblical advice on our personalities, temperaments and how to use them all to be the girls He created us to be. Thankful.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
It's the end of another week. One I was facing with apprehension. One I was sad and glad to see go. One filled with pain and the not so great. But one that ended with walking through another door. New doors are scary. I don't have one single answer. Not one. I just hear Him say this is the way...and the facade of control goes out the window. And the panic rises in me like I can't express. Yard work and heavy appliance scrubbing commence. Until I'm exhausted. Until the fear shuts me down. Because sometimes you have to let it run a course. And wake up the next day and keep going. Because you did, after all, wake up. Which means you have a purpose and He has a plan. "God can do anything you know, far greater than we ever hope or imagine......" Love the Message version of Ephesians 3:20. I keep saying it over and over. He can. Thankful.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
It's the day. Like a decade. I never dreamed 10 years ago that this would be my world. My truth. Yet it is so. And I'm sitting here on the rusty stairs. Ones that have been in my life for the better part of my life. Where my people are. These steps have seen my best days, my worst fears, snot-filled sobs and long days of waiting all strung out in rows..... Yeah.
Yesterday was one of those days you just want to get through....and then get in bed and let's be done with this. As my afternoon went on, more hard I wasn't expecting and then conversations with my girl. So much swirling in my head. I wanted quiet. I crawled into bed numb from everything. I just wanted to sleep.
There is no feeling like being called in the middle of the night by your child. I think I hung up on her the first time dreaming it was my alarm. A tick she said. It bit me and the head is stuck in my leg....oh for the love....what does that mean?? Are you bleeding profusely? What does it look like? And my motherly advice to slap a bandaid on it and come home from school right away in the morning fell on less than happy ears. And so I tossed and turned with mommy guilt. Sigh.
This morning found me too consumed with other things to think deeply about today. What it means. Where it all leads.....the promises I made and tried to keep. The things I have tried to hold together without success. And open hands seem to be the answer. I can't hold it all. I can't do this.
I dropped off the vehicle for service and waited on my girl and her injury to arrive here, where the rusty stairs are. Where foundation is. She came in, I gasped in horror and we headed out the door. 45 minutes, a shot and one less tick head in the world....and as she laid there bracing for all this I was consumed by going to her, covering her. Knowing that she needed the work being done, but wanting her to know I wouldn't let anything past that happen. No pain that wasn't beneficial. And the picture of it stuck me as she lay still and let the doctor make her well. Not fun. Not planned. Necessary. And perhaps that's what these days are, all strung in a row. The fear that has made me sick to my stomach because I cannot do this one more day, hold this one more second. No slapping a band aid on it. So I'm laying still and letting this be what it is. I'm covered. Not one second, one more thing than necessary, He is watchful. Thankful.
Monday, March 16, 2015
I just keep thinking if I can make it through this week. I know I can. Nothing is the same. I was listening to Sundays sermon from Elevation Church. "The butterfly can't go back to the way it was before. It can't be a caterpillar ever again." "Sometimes we forget who we are until we are in trouble." Seems I did. Seems I can't go back. Both settled hard on my shoulders. I'm feeling a little like I did standing many feet above that water, jumping was the only way. And I'm feeling a bit numb. I have the head knowledge. I know what te answer is. I just have to trust myself...and mostly God....that I can do this. It's pretty much the only way. And that makes me question. It makes me doubt. Myself. Him. What He called me to in all of this. But in my heart I know. He's the only way. Fear, yeah, right in my ear. But maybe I'll loose it on the way down. Thankful.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
I have repeated it over and over all week....this is not a competition. When it comes at me from 7 different ways, that has been my shield. It's sinking in, what He was trying to tell me, to show me, during my long trek through the mud and the woods 8 days ago. What I thought it was, it wasn't. What I thought I was getting into, no idea of the real truth. Would I have chosen it on my own? No way. But it's what was needed to change me, change my perspective. Would I have chosen these last three years as the means to find my way back to the girl He made me to be? No. A million times no. Yet I am very aware that He will do whatever it takes to get His children where they need to be. And I am ever so aware that I am a child of great promise....but I have also been a child of great challenge.
When the reality of last weekend settled deep into me....this is not a competition....it freed me. I could do exactly what I was meant to do. And the journey became something different. And so as I am facing my real life version of the tough mudder, those words....this is not a competition.....clicked. I'm not competing with anyone else. And that has to be my own choice. Because what I am here to do is use my own strengths to help those around me. And let others circle around and help me in my weakness. Because it all matters.
I am becoming very aware of who I am. That's frightening and exciting. And I have an enemy who would like nothing more than to knock me down before I can ever get started. Comparison, fear, insecurities, worry, gossip.....all his weapons to keep me stuck in the starting gate. I had to climb a wall to get to the beginning. To hear the words that would send me on my way. It's not a competition. The goal is for everyone to finish. And if there is an emergency, if someone is hurt, stop. Place your hand high over your head in an x and wait. Then go. Maybe fast, maybe slow. Maybe at a stand still. But if you are cheering, encouraging, hand holding, waiting for help, offering help, recieving help....where in all that does comparison fit in? It does not. And it doesn't fit in this journey of mine either. So today I'm looking that fear right back in the face again.... This is not a competition. Thankful.
Saturday, March 14, 2015
I was super anxious...shocker, I know. But seems like everything is just being shaken up and revisited these days. She wanted to do it, my girl. This run. This run that started it all. 5 years ago, when just 6 months earlier God sent me in a direction. That would find me right here today. Right here. I had no idea.
I needed to challenge myself. My sister in law was doing it. So I thought maybe it might be a good way for me to encourage myself to keep moving forward. I wanted to run, to be a runner. It just felt like an impossible dream. So I signed up. Who's doing it with you? Just me I told him. No way he said. We will do it together. So we did. And it was our thing.
In 2012, this run fell just weeks after my world had crumbled. And I did it mostly to prove to myself I could stand up. I could make it through this...all of this I was facing. And I did it. And I haven't been back since. Until today.
And I was hesitant. There are a decade worth of memories filling those streets, that place, that air. But I was surrounded by a cloud of witness. All of them. My people. I wasn't alone. I am not the same. And it's time to begin again.
This was my girls second race. My boys first. And the thing that began in me has spread. And I see them growing in ability and confidence. And it makes my heart happy. Happy. It's just never about you, what He starts. He wants to use it to touch others, to start a fire, to change lives. And I feared, I did. But it left when the music startes and I did what I do. Just move. Keep going forward. You will get there. And remeber to take as many people with you as you can. Thankful.
Friday, March 13, 2015
I've read in commentary by Matthew Henry, that when God repeats Himself, says something twice, it speaks to covenant. And so this morning when I woke and anxiety threatened at the onset of eyes opened, I grabbed my phone and shut them tight again at the bright light emitting from my phone...Romans 8:28 it read...I settled. Coffee followed and so did the next verse....Romans 8:28 yet again. Covenant...He whispered. And I cried. That verse is so significant to me. And it makes a great impact. So when I read the prompt..Plan....He pulled it all together. He knows what He's doing. He has a plan. The verse she sent in the card....from Canada.... It's after midnight and I couldn't sleep until I wrote this down for you... Jeremiah 29:11. Plans. He has them for me. And He's bringing all this together. I have to believe it's true. Even today when my heart feels otherwise. Even now when it all looks like a never ending road. There's a plan. And so I whisper to the fear....He's got this..... Thankful.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Oh restless one..... I smiled even though my eyes filled with tears. I never dreamed, never dreamed.... The heavy fog lately speaks to my state of being. I can't see anything at all. It's hard to tell light from dark, direction and what's ahead. It's oppressive. My heart is so very restless. Hard doesn't begins to describe it. But I remeber, I do. Just a few days ago what I was up against. And I was so elated at the achievement. 4 days later I found myself in a lot of pain. I couldn't ignore it anymore. It was all I could focus on. So a quick phone call to the doctor to speak with a nurse ended with the words...come right away. And I didn't care that my legs weren't shaved, I had on no makeup and my hair gave messy bun a whole new definition.... When healing was offered, I ran. And it wasn't in my plans and it took more time than I supposed. But I was thankful for the physican who could see me, hear me and treat me. I crawled in bed exhausted. I woke up finally feeling no pain. And I was so excited. Relief. I hold on way too long and push myself way too hard most times. I tend to forget He is the Author and Finisher of my faith (Heb 12:2). He began the work and He won't stop until it's complete. So where do all my attempts at do-it-yourself fit in? Truth is they don't. That is not my job. My job is to let Him have His way, through obedience to His word and seeking Him. He can handle the rest. Just like I could no more diagnose and treat myself. I sought help from the one who could heal me. I listened to His instructions and I followed them. Same holds true for my faith. And my job? Love. Thankful.
It's hard most days to truly let that truth sink in....He loves you, no matter what..... those are hard believed words for perfection and performance driven girls like me. When we take a look inside of who we are, who He is creating us to be, we can see His love and grace and mercy. And when we grasp that concept, then we are able to in turn live a life that looks to showing others His love. When we can let go of the fear that drives us and remember that there is nothing we can do to make Him love us anymore, then there is freedom. Holly's encouraging spirit and gentle words teach us how to navigate the path to really understanding what her title whispers to our hearts...*You're Love No Matter What.
* A copy of this book was graciously provided to me for my review
The title of the book made me curious... *It's Not Who You Know, It's Who You Are by Pat Williams Reading through the pages, I understood. Story after story with one thing in common: It's what's inside that births greatness. It's the grace and character and perserverance, each story giving a glimpse of those who have had great success, but were also willing to pay a great price. Achievement birthed from the humble and meek, the ones who dared to say, I'm not going to quit. The words that spoke the greatest to my heart was the story of the firsst President Bush. A member of his team had violated the law, used words that were not his own. And he was caught. And it was a big deal. As the President called him in to what he was sure would be his dismissal, he found instead grace. Beautiful humble grace that said in spite of your actions, you are of value. In spite of what has happened, you have owned it, now lets move forward. A beautiful testiment that who we are is not determined buy ourward things, but by what is inside of all of us.
*A copy of this book was garciously supplied to me for my honest review.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
I'm trying this week to keep things in perspective. To not miss the blessings right in front of my face, as I am reminded yet again, there was a time I prayed for right where I am, right now. I have been given such opportunity. And I am so grateful. But how often do I forget, become complacent, or worse..... I was given the most amazing opportunity this last weekend to see things from a new perspective. To do something a lot of people haven't done. I have everything I need. It's just the wants, the dreams that get in the way sometimes. He gave them to me. So I'll just have to trust. Fear keeps knocking at the door. Sometimes us hard to not answer. But He is faithful. Thankful.
Sunday, March 8, 2015
I cried all the way to her house yesterday. I felt so unprepared. So unready to face the unknown. A half marathon in distance with obstacles....after the week I had, I was just not ready. Complete brokenness found me at every turn this week. Nothing left untouched, nothing. I was completely undone.
I had no answers and really no expectations yesterday morning other than I wondered how badly I would fail. Because this week had found me falling face first in pretty much every area of my life. This is when I tend to shut down. Pull away. Want to run. But then again, I have learned a little over the last three years of hard. Ride this out baby girl. He had a plan. He always does.
Standing in her kitchen Friday night I sobbed. I talked about my week. She listened as she made dinner. After I finished talking she said "He has something big coming for you, all this breaking. You have been here before"... Yes. My hand holder she has been. She has walked with me through it all. I can say anything. She loves me anyways. She held my hand through my very first race. And she has been with me through each one ever since. We are family. They took me in and loved me as their own.
In January she texted and simply said "I need you to do this with me." It wasn't even on my radar. I said no way, too hard too expensive, not interested.....she said "I have it covered. It's done." Yeah. So I agreed. And then I panicked. But I couldn't turn back. And I would have honestly, if another hadn't paid a price for me to go. And maybe God knew that too. Like He always knows what I need.
So I cried all the way to her house yesterday morning. All the way. I was sure I would let her down. Let myself down. And perhaps worse....I feared every fear I have ever feared at one point in that moment. Even death. I can be a little dramatic.....
I slept on the drive over. I was overwhelmed. And I was shaking from the cold as much as my fear of the unknown. How was I gonna run this race and do all I needed to do? We got up to the sign in and got our numbers, dropped our bags and then moved up to wait.....every 15 minutes another wave... 9:45 and it was our turn. We listened to the instructions. I wanted to throw up. Then we climbed a wall just to get to the start.... And then he spoke..... You don't see a time clock because that's not what this is about. You work together, help one another....and you never leave anyone behind....that stuck in me. How often in these last three years have I wanted to, even though I know what God has asked of me. Sometimes, it's not about you and what you can do. It's about helping another get to where they need to be.
And we started running. No music, trail path running. And it was hard. And I suck at it. And everything I know and I am used to....gone. Every way I know to get through a race doesn't apply here. It's not a race. It being in the moment. Using what you know to help others. And then letting them help you back.
We ran a bit. And then water. Knee deep. Then we run some more. I'm cold. And so I concentrate on the scenery. Beautiful woods, perfect day and people all around. All running their own their own way, but to the same place you are. All getting there the way they were made to. We laugh, we speak, we encourage. I am so out of my element in this. And then it comes. Face down in the mud. And the only way is through. Because barbed wire is over head. And I forgot a couple times. And I got stuck. And so I put my face down in it and I crawled. And how many times have I had to do that. Face down in a situation I did not want to be in. And there is only one way out. So you trust the ones yelling on the other side. And you move. More running and we had to climb a wall and go over water via monkey bars. I'm tiny and some things just aren't possible for me. But I tried. And ended up submerged in freezing water. And it shocked me. And the one in front of me said Move, just move. Eyes on me. Swim. And I did. And they pulled me out on the other side. And we encouraged the others coming along. And when our whole team crossed, we moved forward. No one left behind.
She was panicking about the ice water. She had been there before. I had not. And she trembled at the thought of it. But we got there, she and I. And we went down together. My encouragement went out the window as I slid completely under in a pool full of ice and water. And I screamed not nice things. But I had no filter at that point and I wanted out. And I made it on to the beam, out of the cold. But to make it out, I had to go back in. And I made it. My body numb from the cold. I've been there in before in this journey. No way to ever know the trauma that awaits. Until you completely submerged in it. And there is only one way out. Through it. I want out of this most days. And quickly. The pain of it can still take my breath. But I have learned not to stay in a moment. To move forward. The experience will serve as a lesson. But you can't say stuck in it. You can't. The longer you stay stuck, frozen, the more painful it is.
We had more mud, more hurdles. Some things I could do. Some I tried and failed. But I tried. And I met amazing people all along the way. We were all warriors in our own battles. All had wounds. Some visible, some not so much. And when we started to look at the ones around us as wounded souls just like we are, our focus turned to helping everyone along side of us. Up and over and through. You take my hand and then push me over the next hurdle. We all wanted to quit at some point. We never knew what we would face next. But as I looked back and forward, we were all moving towards the finish. We encouraged the ones going into what we just came out of. And we looked ahead to see those who were where we would be next. How were they doing it? What did they look like after? What could we learn? What could we share?
Over 11 miles in and two obstacles left was my biggest fear. Jumping off a high place into water. It was just one last thing standing in between me and the end of this day. And I wanted to be done. I just said you have to Kimberly. Leave all that fear up here. You have to jump. No matter what happens next. It's the only way. Just jump. He said one...two...and I bailed. And I felt a sense of panic I can't express. And that water was hard and cold and nasty. And it went up my nose but I came to the top. And I couldn't breathe. But I kicked and flipped on my back and kept kicking. And I made it out. I just did what I feared most. I jumped. I made it to the other side.
We rounded the last few turns and there it was. The end. About 6 hours after we began, this journey was done. It took way longer than I dreamed. It was nothing like I dreamed. It was harder, but it was better than I could have imagined. I learned a lot about myself along the way. Who I am. What I believe. And what God has placed inside of me. I realized I was thankful for the ones with me, but hopeful for the ones who might share it with me in the future. And I learned that what He has told me since the beginning of this...almost 4 years ago is so true. So true...Love Never Fails.
So fear took a flying leap off a 15 ft platform. And I left it there, in the water. And the song I cried to all the way to her house hours before....yeah. He reminded me. There must be something in the water.....something that we need to experience in the jumping off and going in and under the dark, muddy waters that separate us from settling for a life of fear and smallness to living a life of freedom and overcoming. I came out of that a different girl. I learned a little more about who I am. Who I can be. Thankful.
We gathered together, all with one goal in mind. To finish. Every step apart of the journey. Each mile one more closer home, each obstacle a lesson. Some for ourselves and some to remind us that we are all in this together. We gathered for the challenge. We gathered to test the limits of who we are, so we can defy the limits of who we will become. We gathered to become weak before we would become strong. We gathered as many parts of a whole. We gather to find meaning, purpose and answers. And most of the time what we find is we are all just the same....all parts gathered for a different mission in a greater cause. Thankful.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
I feel like the girl who just wanted cake. Just cake. And instead I have gotten everything but. Good things, nourishing things, healthy things, filling things. But I am lamenting about the cake. I can't get my mind off the thing I feel was out of my reach. And why does everyone else get to have cake while I have to eat healthy? A very ungrateful, bratty me has surfaced lately. And I can't push it aside. I need to acknowledge it. To deal with it. To learn from it.
These were my words a few days ago. It came after a tough week. Harder than I have experienced in quite a while. A week that laid me flat, exposed every weakness and made me come face to face with pretty much every fear and every flaw....yeah. You have things come into your life that are life changing. Perspective changing. And sometimes God has to pull back and break down all the walls and pretenses to get you there. So you can see what He means for you to see. So it can change you. Again. Thankful.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
I have started quite a few blog posts over the past week. Yet my words seem to fail. I'm feeling quite pressed. But it's the pressing that releases what's inside of us, yes. And fear comes calling in the slightest of ways yet wraps around quietly before I realize. And then I'm bound. You see I'm quite the perfectionist. And as much as I have a heart knowledge of how much I am loved just as I am, the head part just doesn't get in line. And I'm fearing the wrong choice. Because I have to do it right. Because if I don't well then, won't God's plans just be ruined....and then won't I have to go back to square one...because do overs....my biggest fear. What I prayed for today is wisdom. And what He showed me is that do overs are different than back rounds. I've had a do over. And it taught me much. But it was the absolute hardest thing I have ever faced. And as I look back I realize I had absolutely no plan. None. I had no idea how this would go or what would happen to me. I just wanted to do it any other way than how I had been doing it. Anything that would change me. And it did. And day by day He walked me through. I'm back there now. Not in a do over but a back around. Facing things again, but I'm stronger. I'm different. And my response can be different each time I circle back. Until one day there will be no mountain here. And I'll go on. But it will be settled. And there will be peace. And I will be better for it. And there will be no fear. Thankful.