Thursday, January 26, 2012

The HEART of the matter

Remember those good ole' days on the school playground? Everything was going great, you had friends, you laughed together, slid down the slide, swung on the swings, played tag, boy, life was grand! Then, you are hit with a rock or someone inadvertently "shoves" you. What?? Thought we were having fun? Thought everyone liked each other? It was then you had the realization that not everyone was going to be your friend. Very sad moment, indeed! No matter what you did, that person didn't like you. Often it was jealousy, or they were just plain mean and didn't care for anyone. But it hurt. At home, you would cry to your mom, wondering what it was you did wrong. Always searching for some way to redeem the friendship. The bruises on the outside came no where hurting as much as the ones on the inside.

Unfortunately, these relationships were not only on the school playground when you were eight years old. It continued to happen as you got older, someone here and someone there, would set their heart and mind against you. As you became an adult, you learned to mask the feelings with laughter or joking. But the pain remained, the turmoil in your heart did not subside. 

I understand. I am that little girl on the playground. The one who tried to be everyone's friend. I never understood when someone didn't like me. I would go to great lengths to get them to like me. It was very taxing. And many times, it still didn't matter, they just didn't like me.

I wish I could tell you that as an adult I overcame those issues and have not had any feelings of rejection or confusion when it comes to friendships. That would be a lie. It still hurts when people dislike me. It hurts to be talked about (that's called gossip, if you didn't know). It hurts to be teased. It hurts when people are jealous of me for no apparent reason. They treat me with disdain and disrespect. Has anyone ever dealt with this? I am certain I am not alone. I could stop right here and go into the "whys" for their ill treatment. It would be a lengthy discussion. But the core reason, is their heart. They have heart issues they have yet to overcome. And in turn they take it out on me. Why, you ask? They see something in me they wish they could have too. They may not realize it but that is what is happening.

And guess what, they can have what I have. The answer is simple. It is Jesus Christ! A true relationship with Him will erase all those heart issues they have carried with them for so long. They will see you and I in a totally different light. Gone will be the feelings of jealousy or hate. Those feelings will be replaced by love, true agape love.

I want to be transparent enough that others can see Jesus in me. I pray they can look beyond my imperfections and know that I am only human. I am His servant. We are ALL His children. I pray they can work through their heart issues, and come to know Him. He is the peace that passes all understanding.

"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:7

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Character

There are a few meanings behind the word CHARACTER. The dictionary defines character in this way: 

Noun:
  1. the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
  2. one such feature or trait; characteristic.
  3. moral or ethical quality: a man of fine, honorable character.
  4. qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity: It takes character to face up to a bully.
  5. reputation: a stain on one's character. 
 Adjective: 
  1. (of a part or role) representing a personality type, especially by emphasizing distinctive traits, as language, mannerisms, physical makeup, etc
  2. (of an actor or actress) acting or specializing in such roles.
      
    We often refer to someone with integrity, as a person of character. You can hear people say, "They are of great character!" This is referring to "qualities of honesty, courage or the like; integrity." A person is often judged according to their character; whether they are trustworthy, of high moral behavior, and regarded with respect. One of my favorite quotes is "Character is what you are in the dark" ~Dwight L. Moody. Your character speaks even when no one is watching, when no one can see you. 

    Another description of character lies in your nature. The traits and features passed to you from your parents, grandparents, etc. These are characteristics you cannot avoid. You were born with them. Perhaps you were born with blue eyes and freckles, likely one of your parents have the same characteristics. 

    Character can also be described theatrically. As in "He played that character well" or "Wow, she really got into character in that part!" Some even say, when referring to someone funny or silly, as "He is such a character!" For example: this is how we often describe Myles: 
    Case in point? 

      In Matthew chapter 5, we can read what is referred to as the "beatitudes". Here Jesus eloquently describes character building skills that are of eternal value. When we apply these "beatitudes" to our lives, we receive promises. Here are verses 3 to 12:
     3Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
     4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
     5Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
     6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
     7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
     8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
     9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
     10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
     11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
     12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

    What promises! These are the characters I want to portray in my life. 
      
 



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Back tracking...

Last weekend, the kids and I took a little day trip to The Dalles (Oregon). Besides the awful rain and wind on our return trip, we had a great time. We went to see my niece and nephew, Faith and Caleb Tillmannshofer, bible quiz. It was awesome to see them. This was the first quiz of the season. Really, I was there to see my friends, Shhh..don't tell anyone.

In addition, my brother, Jeremy, stopped by The Dalles on his way home with his three little munchkins. It was definitely exciting but not enough time. I love those little ones and miss them dearly. They are like little rays of sunshine! It is always a delight to hear them say, "Aunt Kim" and give me a big hug. Jacob, who is almost 8, has the most infectious laugh ever! There are times I can just think about his little giggle and I begin to laugh. Then there's Judah, who is 4. This little guy is hilarious! He reminds me so much of my brother when my brother was young. When they came into the restaurant (Taco Bell, hardly a restaurant), we all noticed that he had this brownish red stain all over his clothes. Yep, he had had a bloody nose. Gross, I know, but unfortunately this problem runs in our family. Jeremy cleaned him as well as he could but it was obvious what happened. So Myles, who doesn't always notice the obvious, asked him what happened. His reply, "My got a bloody nose!" Myles: "Oh, how did that happen?" Judah: "My picked my nose!" LOL...at least he's truthful! That brings us to Kaleigh, or Lou Lou as we affectionately call her. Lou is 2 and every bit of a girl that you can imagine. She comes prancing in with her little purse, a coach no less! She is just adorable! I took a few pictures (with Myles' help), they weren't the best but here they are:

 I so wish I had pictures of Faith and Caleb too...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Learning to let go...

Yeah, you read it right! I am learning to let go. Let go of household chores, making dinner, kitchen cleanup, etc...and letting my kids pick up slack. This has been a HUGE step for me to take. But yet, I've noticed it has been WONDERFUL for my kids.

So let me back up and explain. In 2008, I decided to go back to school. Taking it one class at a time, I was determined to complete the requirements for my degree. Until this quarter, most of my classes have been online except two physical ed. classes. This quarter, however, I have an algebra and a biology class that I had to take on campus. Major shift in the dynamics of my household! Seeing that the end is near (I will graduate in spring), I felt this transition would be okay for my kids. Fortunately, my husband works from home for the most part. We can do this for a few months, I know we can!

As the week began, I planned meals for each night I would be gone. The first night I made it easy for them and did a roast in the crock pot. Wednesday night, well, that was a different story. They wanted homemade pizza. I set everything out and explained the process to Levi.** Myles was MIA until Levi said it was time to eat**. Elle and Ashley participated in the preparation and clean-up process. They did everything except some dishes in the sink. I am still finding flour here and there, like on my fridge:

Nice, huh?

But you know what? They are so proud of themselves! They proved they could be responsible and that boosted their confidence. Now they want to cook more. Also, they realized the time involved in cooking which resulted in a new found appreciation of me!


Here is a picture Levi sent to me of their pizza:


A little lopsided, but I did taste it and it was good. Levi said they used a little too much flour, you think?

I love the independence I see. I love the confidence. We have a few more skills to work on but I think we are on the right road. So thankful for my kiddos!

**Yes, I know, I've gotta work on Myles, he says he just wants to be a kid when he grows up, *sigh*...that's another post for another day!**

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Negativity


Negativity, is not always a bad thing. Negativity, can be good. It is all in the way you handle it. Here are a couple "Kim rules" for handling a negative comment, attitude or person in general:
  1. For every negative person in your life, there are a least three to four positive people; cherish them.
  2. If someone makes a negative comment you know is not true, disregard it. It is called a lie and we don't believe lies. 
  3. Peacefully remove yourself from a situation where negativity abounds. 
  4. When negative thoughts creep in (words that were spoken come back to haunt you), pour over God's word.
  5. Then repeat as many times as you like: "God loves me" 
  6. Remind yourself that Christ died for you while you were still a sinner (well, we weren't even born yet), but He loved you enough to die for you. 
  7. Use the negativity to produce a positive outcome. Prove to that person you are strong through Christ. Show them by example that they too, can have strength to overcome!
Often, when someone decides to impose their negativity on me, it actually pushes me farther in the right direction. If someone implies that I cannot do something or because I have failed, I'll continue to fail, I will set out to see that it does not become reality. "...If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:31)

Ever heard the saying, "A set back is really a set up in disguise"? What we perceive as negative can really be something positive God will use to do great things! Be encouraged in the Lord today!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Some People Dream...

Sometimes nothing comes to mind when I need to blog. Other times, I bubble over with ideas. As much as I wanted to save this post for another day, it will not let me! It is nagging me, pushing me and consuming me!

For the past few days, a song has been playing in my mind. Because I am lyrically challenged, I text my sweet, beautiful and extremely talented pastor's daughter, Megan to see if she had the words. Of course she did! She knew them off the top of her head as she sang this song in church a couple months ago. The song, "Some People Dream" by Jonathan Moore, is a song that makes you think. Dreaming is a good thing. We all have dreams. We need to dream. But how many of us are making those dreams a reality? This is not a "what you are doing wrong" kind of post. I am simply challenging you to think about your dreams and what you are doing to make them happen.

Not all our dreams turn to reality. Some dreams fizzle, others are smashed, yet some dreams sit there, in the back of our brains, trying to come forward to be released. On a side note here, if you have had a dream and this dream has fizzled or been smashed, that does not mean it is over. On the contrary, this dream may just need a new awakening, new hope or restoration. A dream cannot be fulfilled until there is action. So I ask again, what are you doing to make your dreams a reality? I have dreamed dreams, but I am not satisfied to continue only dreaming, I want to make them happen!

SOME PEOPLE DREAM
Some people dream, we make it happen
Knowing that rainbows are not all they seem
Eyes on the future, embracing each moment
And we'll make it happen when some people dream

Why wish on stars? Toss coins into fountains?
And live with regret over what could happen
The future is ours, we can move mountains
And we'll make it happen when some people...

... dream of flying,
Like eagles will take to the sky
Some people talk of flying, but we never ask why,
We just fly

Seizing the day, fearless, undaunted
Follow our hearts to places unseen
Do you realize all that we've wanted
And we'll make it happen when some people...

... dream of flying,
Like eagles will take to the sky
Some people talk of flying, naive inside
Well aren't we? never stop to ask why
We just fly ~ Jonathan Moore



Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living. ~ Anais Nin

If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams. ~ Les Brown

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

The Daily Grind

Okay, so not EVERY day goes as planned. Yesterday happened to be one of those days. The following is a run down:

6:00 am: Wake up, stumble to shower

6:20 am: Out of shower and feeling awake (sort of)

6:30 am: Wake up children (of course they are all so chipper)

6:35 am: Finally pry Ashley out of her bed and into the shower*

7:00 am: All have eaten and heading to brush teeth, comb hair, etc.

7:10 am: Read devotional (While Myles is falling asleep)

7:20 am: Try to start car, doesn't turn over, goes click, click, click

*Forgot to mention I was supposed to be at Levi's school at 7:30 to work in Student Store*

7:22 am: Call neighbor friend to see if she can take kids to school

7:25 am: Try car one more time, Levi notices the interior light was turned on. Thank you, Ronnie! 

7:40 am: Get kids into friend's car and off to school with Elle pouting**

7:45 am: Another neighbor gives my car a jump and it decides to work. Whew! 

8:00 am to 10:30 am: I am home doing random chores

10:40 am: Pick Ashley up from school, head to DMV

11:00 am: Waiting at DMV

11:30 am: Waiting at DMV....oh wow, they called my number!

11:35 am: DMV can't register my car until I have pink slip which is in transit from CA.

12:00 pm: Home and stayed there for the rest of the day!

* Some of you may wonder why Ashley has to shower in the morning. Well, natural curly hair, when slept on, ends up looking like dreadlocks.

** Elle was pouting because she didn't want anyone but me to take her to school. 

In all, I had an awesome day, really!






Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Red Letter Days

One of my very favorite things to do at the start of the year (or school year), is to fill in my calendar with all the significant dates. All the birthdays, anniversaries, special events, appointments, LAST DAY OF SCHOOL, lessons, etc. This often takes me a day or so because inevitably, I get interrupted a few, constantly. Then after I finally get it all filled in, I still end up filling in new things throughout the year. Or I ended up crossing things out. So by December, my calendar usually looks like a kindergartener's drawing board with lines, dots and scribbles going all directions. Oh but I love it, the planning, the anticipation and the daily grind of a schedule. Yes, it is all very motivating to me!

As I was writing in the calendar, I realized how many fun, exciting days are ahead. This made me think about what is referred to as Red-Letter Days. Red-letter days originated on the Medieval church calendars. They were written in red as a way to signify it was a day of importance, such as a holy day. Often times, festivities ensued as a way to celebrate such a day. Many of our calendars indicate holidays in red as well. 

Now you are probably wondering why I have said all this. Well, as a Christian, we should have many red-letter days. In fact, everyday should be significant and worth celebrating. So this year, and years to come, I want to make everyday a red-letter day. That doesn't mean I have to party every day or do something extraordinary but I will celebrate Christ and His Spirit living within. This makes each day a red-letter day! 

So, I ask, will you join me? What makes your day a red-letter day? For today, I am celebrating sunshine and no rain! Those of you who know anything about Portland, that's huge! We have some clouds but through those clouds I see blue skies and that makes me rejoice!

See the blue?

Taken this morning off my deck

Monday, January 2, 2012

Beginnings!

Ah, the second day of the New Year! So fresh, so clean, like the first set of footprints in fresh fallen snow 

yahoo pics



Like the first steps into the sand as the tide recedes

yahoo pics
 
Like the skin of a new born baby

Ashley's feet (6 years ago) :)  

Like a new life in Christ


So serene, so beautiful is this time of beginnings. Cherish it, embrace it and go forth a new person.