My Sole Purpose

My son came to me, recently. “Hey Mom, remember when…?”

He proceeded to tell me story after story of the things he has done and I had no knowledge of. Some scared me. Some scared the hell out of me. My son is 15.

He’s not old enough to have a secret life.

My heart broke. The life I thought we had all lived, was still living, was a lie.

It has been almost two years now of being properly treated for the Pyrrole Disorder.

I don’t know if he was feeling guilty. I don’t know why he felt this was the time to reveal to me a hidden life I knew nothing about.

Maybe he wanted to share with me who he really is, or maybe who he really was. Maybe he finally felt free from his disorder that held him captive. Maybe he was shedding his skin to be transformed into the man he was designed to be. Maybe…I just don’t know.

Whatever his reason, I hope it served him well.

But I’ll tell you what his revelation did for me.

At one time, I was a single mom of four children, who never planned on having any children.

When his older brother was born, I had only practiced changing diapers on a friend’s child. I did not know how to care for a baby. I didn’t know their needs or wants. But I did the best I could.

Everyday, I did the best I could.

And I prayed.

God help me with this baby.

By the time I was pregnant with my third, I was doing this motherhood thing on my own. Thinking I had a clue about babies, but now I was doing it all on my own, and they’re getting older. I don’t know anything about raising kids. 

I was the oldest of two. I tried to keep my nose clean. My parents never had to spank me. A look would pierce my heart. Having to face any authority made me cry. I felt guilty for everything and often said sorry for things I didn’t do.

Never had I ever felt confident with kids, but by the time my fourth child came, and again I was alone, I knew I could do it. That I would be fine.

If I took my kids to church, I taught them right from wrong, if I tried to play defense to the bad influences out in the world… and I prayed; then I would be blessed with good kids. I would raise these kids how God has led me to raise these kids, and they will become the men and woman, he intends them to be. He will equip me. He will qualify me. He will lead me.

And as I sat and listened to story after story of what my son was telling, of the life I never knew of, of the boy I thought I knew, but even before the age of 15, was wearing a mask to hide who he really was, I felt smaller and smaller.

Hear me on this, everything I previously thought was true.

If I took my kids to church, I taught them right from wrong, if I tried to play defense to the bad influences out in the world… and I prayed; then I would be blessed with good kids. I would raise these kids how God has led me to raise these kids, and they will become the men and woman, he intends them to be. He will equip me. He will qualify me. He will lead me. But it’s not because of me, but because of HIM.

My heart cried out to Jesus, “Thank you, Jesus, for protecting my son.” At that moment a new reality hit me and my soul hit the floor.

All the books I had read about parenting, all the friends I sought advice from, all the workshops I had attended…they had all given me this false belief that I was in some sort of control. That, in the end, who my children eventually turn out to be, had in part, had something to do with my influence on them.

But let me be clear. My son should or could be dead or at the very least, impaired. But he’s not, and it’s not because of me.

In that moment of revelation, I learned the single, most effective and beneficial thing I had ever done for him, or any of my children, was that I prayed.

Dear Heavenly Father, protect my kids. Watch over my kids. Guide my kids. Help my kids. And various other requests I had made for my kids.

It was in that moment I realized I have absolutely no control of the world or the people in it. Including the children I have poured so much into.

That at the end of the day, when everything is said and done, regardless of what I have taught him, shown him, modeled to him; when my child is faced with a life altering, life threatening event, it is Jesus who has his back. It is Jesus who has his eye on him.

It is Jesus who knows him.

My heart breaks at learning I didn’t know my son. But it heals again, when I realize that the one who is everywhere and knows everything, answers my prayers; even when I don’t know it, and even when I don’t understand what I’m praying for.

I don’t know anymore if my sole purpose to raise these kids in a way, so that they will become the men and woman, God intends them to be.

I think now, my sole purpose was and is, just to pray for them.

God, you know the evil of this world. You know a darker side than I do. How silly of me to think I, someone who never has smoked pot, did any drugs, never cheated on a test, nor snuck out of my home, didn’t lift something from a store, or ever received an F in a class, could possibly understand or know how to raise one child, much less six of them in this place you never intended us to live in.

Lord, even though I am just now coming to understand the magnitude of your authority, I thank you for never changing, always being there; even if I don’t know it, understand it, or believe it.

I lay my children at your feet and ask that you watch over them. And if my only job here on earth is to pray for them without ceasing, then Lord, please continue to give me the strength to keep raising them up to you, not for you.

My prayer is no longer a hope that you will find favor in them, but the knowledge of truth that you already do.

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I Love You, Too

My husband does construction for a living. Yesterday he was in an accident that knocked his truck out of commission. It’s ok though. He’s fine and we have an SUV we’ve been saving for the boys, once they get their license.

It’s not his favorite vehicle to drive, but it will get him to and from his work until we know if his truck can be fixed.

This morning, as I was waiting for my life group to start, I was talking to two friends who asked how Mike was doing.

I explained he was sore, but otherwise doing fine. He was upset with himself for what had happened, but he understands accidents happen, so he wasn’t beating himself up over it. “It’s just a truck”, he says. It will get fixed.

As I was filling them in on what had happened, they both shared how their heart ached for him when they had learned what had happened.

Mike doesn’t ask for much. All he’s wanted was a truck and nine months ago, he got one. And it’s not one of those brand new, great big fancy dancy, 4x4s. No, but it was nice and it was his.

They offered to let him borrow one of their trucks until his was fixed, but I explained that we had the SUV for him. Although, we were concerned about the tires. We knew they needed to be replaced before any of our kids drove it, but since no one seemed very anxious to start driving anytime soon, we just hadn’t gotten around to it.

I left knowing we had a back up.

After my life group, I came home to tell my husband about the offer, as I waited until noon to pick up some chairs from a friend.

This last Fourth of July, we had a great big celebration at our house that included 90 of our closest friends. This friend had offered to let us borrow some of her chairs for the event.

Earlier this week I had learned that her family was moving to take advantage of a great opportunity that was offered to them. They were selling everything. I gave her a call and asked if by chance she was selling those chairs. She was.

Before leaving to get the them, I asked my poor sore husband if he would like to ride along with me. Not really feeling up to it, but knowing how much I enjoy his company, he agreed.

We jumped into the SUV.

Now my friend doesn’t live far, but it was farther than what he was expecting. I had forgotten he didn’t know she and her family had just moved a few months ago.

As we pull up to her driveway I suddenly remembered when I picked the chairs up the first time, I was in my four-door sedan. We didn’t need to drive the SUV. But Mike quickly reminded me, if we took the car, we would have had to empty the trunk.

Oh, that’s right.

I jumped out, got caught up briefly with my friend and her husband, then grabbed the chairs from the side of her house where I had dropped them off a month ago.

I joked with her that it would have been more convenient if I was one of those friends that held on to things they borrow for months so then I could have just dropped off the money since the chairs would still be at my house.

After loading up, my husband and I were back on our way home with me filling him in on the amazing adventure my friends were about to begin.

Then there was a POP!

You guessed it. A flat tire.

I quickly pulled into the first driveway. And my husband went to town on changing the tire.

Quick little side note…

Praise God for kids who don’t bring their beach towels into the house after swimming trips from Grandma’s. And Homeless Packs that have umbrellas in them.

Mid day blowout in the Arizona sun, they were a lifesaver, although my husband still looked like he might die.

As I watch my amazing husband fast at work I couldn’t help but thank God.

Thank you God for keeping my husband safe in his accident.

Thank you for blessing us with an extra vehicle to get him around.

Thank you for awesome friends who offer us their vehicle.

Thank you for letting me forget I didn’t need to bring the SUV.

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to drive the SUV a short distance from our house.

Thank you for not letting my husband drive the SUV to work on this tire.

Thank you for letting my husband ride with me.

And most importantly, thank you so much for allowing my husband to pick me. I think he’s awesome. I think he’s amazing. I think he’s humble. I think he’s strong. I think he’s brave. I think he’s caring. I think he’s the best man for me!

Lord, thank you. I see what you’ve done here. Thank you.

I love you, too.

Overwhelming Grace

Sometimes the grace of God overwhelms me.

I was almost done with my first job of the day. I reached in my purse to pull out my work phone.

The verification form that documents where I was and what I was doing needed to be signed.

However, before I opened it. I noticed my husband had tried to call me. That’s weird, since he only calls my personal phone.

Not too concerned, I got the signatures I needed then proceeded to the nearest bathroom.

Once there I pulled out my personal phone that was completely blown up with alerts. I had notifications from social media, email, private message, and two missed calls.

I looked at the missed calls first. Both were from my husband, but he didn’t leave a message. I’m thinking maybe something happened with one of our kids and was checking to see if I was available to pick him up.

Earlier this morning, as I was filling up the dogs’ bowls, one of our kiddos informed me he had taken two of the little pink pills for his allergies.

“Good luck dude. Those are Benadryl. They’re going to knock you on your butt.”

I was sure the school had called my husband asking if someone could pick him up to sleep it off.

After responding to each notification their icons, one by one, disappeared.

But wait a minute. There’s a text message I hadn’t seen. It was from my husband. Oh, he did leave a message. But it wasn’t to ask if I could pick up a kid.

No, he had been in an accident. He was ok, but wanted me to know.

I immediately left the office to call him.

No answer. No answer. No answer.

What is going on?

I call my scheduler at work. No answer. No answer.

I call my supervisor. No answer.

Oh my gosh! Some people need to answer their phones!

I finally get ahold of someone. She clears my day, so I can attend to my husband, who finally has called me back.

He’s ok. His big beautiful truck is not. The other driver lost her car too, but was otherwise fine, aside from being shook up and a wrist burn from her airbag deployment.

Everythings ok, all things considering.

We have insurance. We have Gap. It’s Friday, and he’s off tomorrow.

“Are you ok?” he asks me.

I am. I am. But I’m not.

Fear has crept in.

What’s going to happen? What does all this mean? What do we need to do?

All these thoughts fill my head as I try to calmly, but urgently drive to my husband.

The traffic thickens. Slows. Eventually comes to a stop. And now I sit on the freeway.

Great.

Inch by inch. Foot by foot. Then slowly but surely we all start to move again.

What was that?

I glanced over across the median, at the traffic going to opposite direction.

Cars are facing backwards, sideways and metal everywhere.

Suddenly this HUGE wave of love rushes over me.

Why, God? Why do you love me so much? Why is it, every “disaster” I face, I feel your protection?

My eyes swell up with tears.

It’s his grace.

His undeserving grace.

I joke that I’m his favorite. I JOKE. I know he has no favorites. But seriously? I’m not this lucky.

I am overwhelmed by love.

My Healthy Living Bullet Journal

I’ve started a Bullet Journal to help me start my Healthy Living journey.

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True, it does take some time, but I LOVE how I get to create logs that apply to what I want and need. Once upon a time, I used to be very creative! My brain just works that way.

Besides, it’s going to take time and preparation, no matter what I do. One thing I used to do that I hated so much and was SOOOO time consuming was logging all my food, and logging all the food that was in my food.

So I’m going to have to commit time to living healthy anyway, it’s got to be fun, or I won’t do it.

Sitting down to construct my journal was so liberating.

Watching what I eat and how I exercise is just part of my journey.

I want more than just counting calories and counting steps. I want all of me to be healthy. And that means making a lot of good habits to become the healthy person I want to be.

It’s holistic. It’s all of me. Body, mind and spirit.

So I sat down to make my goals.

I want to EAT BETTER.

Move MORE.

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But I also want to DRINK FIVE BOTTLES OF WATER a day. It’s good for my organs. I live in a desert, so it’s good for my skin.

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I want to READ MY BIBLE, EVERY. DAY. It’s equally important for me to be spiritually in shape, too, you know? I want to spend quality time in the presence of God. I’m going to need his strength. I’m going to need his wisdom. I’m going to need his love.

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I want to SPEAK LIFE. I want to practice every day, and remind myself that words are power. I want to build people and ideas up, not tear them down.

And No Complaining. I live in a first world country where I can do almost anything I want, and I have opportunities that most of world doesn’t have access to. What the heck do I have to complain about? I need to keep perspective. I want to be grateful.

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So here it is. Here’s where I’m starting.

I’m so excited!

My Doll

I made this doll and I just love her! I was attracted to her because she’s not shaped like all the dolls we think as pretty. She has big hips and a big tummy and big thighs. Her top half is less than perky and her skin is not white and creamy; void of any blemishes or stretch marks.

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She looks real. She looks like me.

And I think of God who created me and I share in his joy of a creation.

Good job God! She looks great!
And when I try to feel how God feels about his creation of me, like how I feel about my creation of this doll… Something changes.

I don’t think he’s lying. I think he’s sincere when he tells me I’m perfect and he loves me, because I think my doll is perfect and she makes me smile Everytime I look at her.

I made that! Isn’t she pretty? Isn’t she wonderful? Isn’t she unique? I just love her!

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Learning to Listen to Who I Am

For the greater part of 46 years, I’ve not listened to what my body was trying to tell me.

Actually, who am I trying to kid. What I did was more than neglect, it was abuse.

Not only did I ignore my body, I told it what I wanted it to do and how. I reminded it constantly how disappointed I was with it. And I pushed it beyond what it could possibly do.

I had my first of four babies, when I was 27.

From the moment of conception, my body has never been the same. The first signs of pregnancy to me, were tender breast tissue. Oh my gosh, I was the last of my girlfriend’s to have babies, and NO ONE told me about this!

Before I became pregnant I never used to sweat. Since then, I have not stopped.

Some things never went back to how it was before I became pregnant. Even when I tried my hardest to make it so, it never did.

It couldn’t. Not only was I not that person anymore; that wasn’t my body anymore.

It doesn’t have to be a tragedy. I love being a mom. I would never trade me in for the person I was before if it meant giving up my children.

But instead of constantly grieving for that body. I need to start accepting and enjoying the one I have now, more.

This is my new reality and I need to start living that way…

until it changes again.

The Little Girl Inside

For years I ignored the spirit of the little girl who was sexually abused as a child. She lives inside of me.

I gave her no voice.

I didn’t know how to give her a voice. I didn’t even know there was a little girl there who needed a voice.

And as I grew and became a woman, that little girl who had something to say, but was forced to stay quiet, stayed within me.

She was not able to grow as the rest of me had. I finished school. I got a job. I had a family. I secured a career. I could act like an adult.

But there would be moments that I would freeze in fear. I wouldn’t take risks.

I became five when I was dealing with my five year old son who was acting like a five year old.

I would have my own tantrums. I would cross my arms and stomp my foot, “It isn’t fair!”

She held me back.

In most cases I could handle my business. I got to work on time. I did my job. I disciplined my children and taught them right from wrong, and kept them safe. I paid my bills. I could keep on top of the kids school work. I was a completely capable adult.

But she was always there. She would always show up at the least opportune time. I’d find myself crying, or yelling, or both.

At the time, I didn’t even understand that she was there. I ignored her, always.

But she was always there to remind me of what had happened.

As hard as I tried to forget her, she would never leave.

“I don’t need you! Go away!”

But she never would. She taunted me. Made me feel dirty. Made me feel stupid. Made me feel foolish. Made me feel hopeless, helpless and worthless.

Why? Why wouldn’t she leave?

But a day finally came.

It was a day when I sat down with that little girl to see what was her problem?

It was the first time I listened.

Do you know what she said?

“I’m hurting.”

I sat with her, and we cried as she reminded me again, everything that had happened, but in her words now. In her little girl’s word.

“Why did this happen?”

I don’t know. I was little too.
But I’m not anymore. I promise you I will protect you. I will give you a voice.

I won’t let anything like that happen again. I will speak up.

And I will listen to you when you are scared.

And I will comfort you when you cry. And I will hold you until you want down.

Then I placed her in the hands of Jesus.

It was Jesus who showed her she was never alone. And somehow, that made everything alright. She felt restored. She felt safe.

Today, that little girl is still there.

But now she hosts parties, chases down homeless and plays with my daughter.

She looks for those who are hurting. She comforts them and whispers, “Me too.”

She offers them hope. She lends them an ear. She tells them a story of how Jesus is the salve for her hurting parts.

She’s not afraid anymore. She’s confident. She’s fun!

I’ve grown to be quite fond of her. After all, she’s a riot.

She’s what causes me to fall going upstairs. She’s the one who hides my glasses on top of my head. She laughs with me when neither of us gets a joke. She’s a horrible cook, but she tries really hard. She’s passionate and she’s fun.

Where she once held me back, she now pushes me forward. I finally understand why she was always there.

“Come on Kim! Let’s go! Let’s do! Let’s love!”