My Favorite Day!

I have a message for all my friends!

All my friends who are struggling right now…

To my friends who don’t know how they are going to pay rent in a couple of days,

To my friends who have a loved one in the hospital,

To my friends who have lost a child,

To my friends who have lost their freedom,

To my friends who are stuck in an abusive relationship,

To my friends who struggle with their mental or physical health,

To my friends who can’t find a job,

To my friends who are moving from sofa to sofa,

To my friends who live in fear of the unknown…

TODAY IS GOOD FRIDAY!

It is my most favorite day!!

Today, the most important man who ever lived, died over 2000 years ago for me (and for you)!

No one else has ever done this for me. No one has ever sacrificed their life for me. No one has ever loved me THIS much. Even before I knew I was a sinner. Even before I knew I needed a savior…

I lived without hope. I found myself in a life I never expected or wanted. Not only did I feel trapped, I felt undeserving of anything else. I felt dirty. I felt the weight of the world. I felt responsible for every wrong doing. I had no worth. I was lost.

And before I even felt all this…a man took this all from me! He saved me! He gave me hope!

He LOVED me!!!

He loves you too, and I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet!

HE’S COMING BACK! I swear to you, I know this to be true.

And because he comes back, everything he said was true. He is the son of God (Matthew 3:17). He is the way, the truth, and the light. No one can come to the Father except through him (John 14:6).

So, although I don’t know how any of you are going to get through the day, I do know that you are loved (John 3:16). And that God sees you (Proverbs 15:3). He made you for his glory (Isaiah 43:7). He cherishes you (Psalm 139:13-16). He has a plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11). He will never leave or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He is for you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

You will get through this! And not only will you survive this, you will become better, wiser and stronger. You are becoming your best you!

Today, Jesus died, and in three days he will be back. If he’s not, then call me crazy. But if he does, then fall to your knees and praise him. (I think I stole that from someone. Whoever it is, he’s much smarter than me. You should listen, cause he’s not wrong.)

God is good.

All the time.

I love you.

Better yet, JESUS LOVES YOU!

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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.

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!”

 

 

Who I Am, is Much Bigger Than Me

Someone recently asked me, how I did it? How can I be so involved? How can I have a job and a family and still do more?

Well…

I was once told serving Christ; being a Christian was a full time job. Well, it’s actually more than that.

I have a full time job. I’m an interpreter, and it’s the best job ever!

I meet new and familiar people, everyday.

I get the honor of being apart of someone’s health care team.

For most of what I interpret for, it’s to share information that will improve the quality of someone’s life.

THAT’S PRETTY AWESOME!

But it’s only a small part, a very small part, of who I am.

I’m a wife and mom.

This is a bit bigger than a full time job.

Even sometimes when I’m doing my full time job, I am called away to be a wife or mom.

I’m always on duty. During the day, and in the middle of the night.

And it’s great!

I get to serve my husband so he doesn’t have to worry if his house is in order, or if his children are safe.

And I get to raise my children in a way that they may one day become the men and woman that God intends for them to be, to do the things he intends them to do.

SUCH HONORS!

Being a wife and a mom is much bigger than my full time job, but it’s still just a part.

Being a Christian; being a follower of Christ, THAT’S SO MUCH MORE!

Take my full time job away.
Take my husband.
Take my children….and what am I?

I’m still a Christian.

I’m still a follower of Christ.

Would the remainder of my life still look like it?

My identity is in Christ.
Not in being an interpreter.
Not in being a wife.
Not in being a mom.

Being a Christian is EVEN BIGGER than my much bigger than full time job, of being a wife and a mom.

It’s who I am. All of me. First and foremost!

So does my life reflect that?

I hope so.

To Change the World

I want to change the world.

For me, my world is not the people on the streets, or the children living in poverty on another continent, oceans away from me.

That world is much too big for little o’ me.

No, my world starts with those people who are the closest to me.

My family, my friends, my coworkers, my former schoolmates, my neighbors, my acquaintances…

People I interact with and do life with everyday.

I want to be surrounded by so much love; by so many people who live life for others.

I want my children to be brought up in a community that is for each other, and not against.

I dream of a day, where we all move as one body, doing the works of Jesus. Bringing heaven to earth, to reach out to the people on the street, and the children living in poverty on another continent, oceans away from me.

I don’t care what church they go to. Or don’t go to.

I don’t care, what city, state or country they live in.

I don’t care who they voted for. Or if they did.

I want to see my community move, not because the church tells them, but because Jesus moves them.

I want to see a community where the Spirit dwells within them, richly.

I want to change the world by encouraging, supporting and showing.

It’s so simple, but it’s not so easy.

Many people are full of good intentions or excuses, but good intentions and excuses do not fulfill transformation!

The Spirit of the Lord is not silent, still, or too busy.

I dream of a day where my community not only reaches up, but also reaches out. A community that not only listens, but obeys. A community that stops acting like sheep and starts shepherding.

Every. Day. All day.

Serving the Lord is a full time job. It requires overtime. Sacrifice. It’s sometimes grueling, but most the time rewarding.

It’s a lifestyle.

It’s a lifetime.

And one day the opportunity will be gone.

Make this day, and everyday, count. They are numbered and are running out.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. – John 10:10

Is the thief stealing, killing and destroying your time? Or are you living your life to the fullest? Are you living out all the opportunities Jesus has made for you?

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. – James 2:17

My life is not my own. I was not put here for my own gratification. I am not here to see how successful I can become, how many riches I can aquire, or how much freedom I can possess.

May the Lord use me as he sees fit. May he take all that I have for his glory. May I be emptied so that He may fill me. May there be less of me and more of him.

I live only so that one day I may hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

So are you with me? Can you help me?

If someone reaches out to you, will you pick up the phone? Will you help them move? Or watch their kids? Will you ask those who are hurting, how you can help? Will you LOOK for who has a need, and fill it? Will you welcome those who are pushed aside, or shunned from society? Will you give second chances and offer forgiveness? Will you cry with your neighbor? Will you do more than just pray for them?

Will you stop being offended and serve them instead? Will you stop sitting in a pew and start representing our King? Will you stop saying, I’m too busy?

Because, we can all can ask, and we can all listen, and this IS following Jesus.

We are on assignment!

Will you be the church with me Every. Day. All. Day?

I want to change the world. And my world starts with you!

The Drunk, the Crack Head, the Lazy Fat Girl, and the Fabulous and Over the Top Drag Queen with the Beautiful Dress and the Gorgeous Hair

This is the post I may lose friends over. However, no one really reads my blog, so whatever.

Yesterday, I was listening to a conversation between two of my friends. One of which is a lesbian, and hearing her beliefs about life and death, God and sin.

My heart broke.

I wanted to share my beliefs too, but I knew it wasn’t the time.

I could hear she had already been verbally beaten up by other Christians by her use of, “hate the sin but love the sinner.”

She added, “But I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong. I am not sinning.”

Now she knows what a Jesus freak I am. But it’s not because I’ve ever shoved him down her throat.

When asked, I have shared. During this conversation, I was not.

But if I could have said something, it would have been this.

I don’t believe our bodies that we have today, function the way God had originally designed them. There are diseases, disorders, anomalies, deformities and so many other mutations, people everywhere are living with.

It may be caused by pollutants, genetics, or accidents. But sin is everywhere.

Sin is the absence of God.

We live in a fallen world.

We have ever since the garden.

Sin is everywhere around us and even inside of us.

There is no escaping it and things have definitely changed because of it.

That’s why God sent his son; to save us from it.

I am fat. I can diet, I can exercise, and I will lose weight. Yet ultimately, I always go back to being fat.

Trust me when I say I don’t choose to be. I don’t want to be. But as much as I want to be thin, my body just doesn’t want to be.

It is a battle I fight everyday.

I don’t believe I was designed to be overweight. But where other people don’t give much thought about their weight, I obsess about it, all the time. Even when my weight is down it is something I still always have on my mind.

Gluttony and being lazy is a sin, and day in and day out I fight against it. My weight is an everyday struggle.

I don’t believe being homosexual was apart of the human design but for the same reasons that I’m fat, some people are gay. I don’t believe they choose to be. I don’t believe they want to be. But ultimately, they are.

Now they could fight it. They could hide it. They could marry, have children and try to disguise it, but the struggle would still be there. The sin is still there even if they don’t act on it.

Even when I hit my goal weight, I am still worshiping food.

But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. – Matthew 5:28

A sin, only needs to be a thought.

An obsession one thinks about everyday.

There’s no escaping it.

Sin is everywhere.

Sin consumes all of us.

But that’s why God sent his son.
He knew this would happen. He knew sin would keep us from him, so he sent his son to take it from us.

The most perfect sacrifice gave his life to bare our sins. All had been forgiven. So no longer will me being overweight keep me from him. And no longer will people who are gay be secluded from him.

Ours sins have been paid for!
All of them!
Everyone’s!

So although sin is still all around us and in us, we do not suffer the eternal consequences of them.

He loves us. All of us.

Now I don’t know how he will judge my friend because I do not know if she had accepted Jesus as her Lord or not. I don’t even know if she has been given accurate information about him to be able to make that kind of decision, but I do know her being gay is not going to determine her fate.

He loves her. He wants to spend eternity with her. And I would be more afraid for those who try to lead her astray by saying she is not welcomed into the throne room of God.

But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea. – Matthew 18:6

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. – James 3:1-2

There is an entire community of people who have false ideas about who God is, and who they are as his children; and it’s the Christians fault.

The community has been told God doesn’t accept them. God doesn’t approve of them. God doesn’t love them and they are all going to hell.

Well, I wouldn’t want to believe or trust in a God like that either. Why would I make him my Lord and Savior if he died for everyone but me?

It’s almost as if they’re not allowed to believe in Christ.

Oh, I would be very worried if any word came from my mouth that would push someone farther away from God, rather than closer. I would be very very afraid.

Jesus loved sinners. He hung out with them; like all the time. They were his favorite people. He hung out with the people, who people despised the most.

Tax collectors were hated by the Jews because they were Jews who not only worked for the government that oppressed them, also but stole money from them as well.

Samaritans were half-breeds. They were not from a pure bloodline of Jewish descent. In the Old Testament they were repeatedly commanded not to intermarry between other nations.

You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, – Deuteronomy 7:3

With their flocks and herds they shall go to seek the Lord, but they will not find him; he has withdrawn from them. They have dealt faithlessly with the Lord; for they have borne alien children. Now the new moon shall devour them with their fields. – Hosea 5:6-7

Yes, today Jesus would be kickin’ it with the falling down drunk, the crack head, the lazy fat girl, and the fabulous and over the top drag queen with the beautiful dress and the gorgeous hair. You know why?

Cuz they’re fun!

Well that’s not why, but they are.

Because he loves them.

Flaws, sins and all. They are his children too.

He’d hang out with them just like he hung out with the tax collectors, prostitutes, adulterers, and Samaritans.

So I think, we as Christians have a lot of work to do. We have a whole community of people who don’t know the gospel. Who don’t know the good news!

Jesus loves you! Jesus died for you! He accepts you and all your brokenness life in this fallen world has given you. There is room for you in his house.

And we need to get busy.

I’m tired of having to apologize for Christians everywhere who should know there stuff, and yet, preach hate.

Jesus gave us TWO commandments. Love God and others, and to go out and make disciples. That is it.

Why are we making this much more complicated than it really is?

The Mom I Needed to Be

Years ago, I had asked my boys’ dad if I could have three of his old shirts he doesn’t wear anymore.

I wanted to turn them into pillows, so the boys would have a part of their dad when they were with me.

I had a friend of mine, who knows what she’s doing, come over to help me. Remember, I’m not a crafty homemaker by nature. And it didn’t help I had a sewing machine that belonged to my mother, and in my lifetime I know had never been cleaned.

What should have taken a couple of hours, if I remember correctly, took the entire day and then having my friend take them home to finish them on her machine.

The important thing was they got done.

But here I am, years later, and one of my sons asks if I could re-fluff his.

Seriously? You still have it? It’s not destroyed? But you destroy everything? Why didn’t you destroy this?

Yep, he still has it. But to save face I have to tell you, it’s never been washed in all the years he’s had it. Gross.

So this morning, before work, I find myself looking around the house for my seam ripper.

As I sit down at the kitchen table with his deflated pillow and my ripper, we banter back and forth about how much work this is going to take me and that he should not make me do this, and how I’m a mom and it’s my job to do this for him, because I love him.

In walks one of his brothers, and guess what? Now I have to fix TWO of them!

Why can’t you be like your other brother? His is probably in one of the garbage bags of crap that he left behind, and is in the garage somewhere. He doesn’t care anymore. Why do you?

But if course, I don’t mean it. I don’t mean any of it. True I’m not looking forward to talking on this project, but only because it makes me feel incompetent. What would take other moms an hour to do, it will take me four.

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But it grows me as a mom. It’s challenging, and difficult, and I don’t particularly enjoy any of it.

But I love my boys.

Anyone who has a child becomes a mom. Qualifications are pretty low. But the opportunities are limitless. You get to be the mom you want to be.

God knows this.

He knew I would struggle as a mom. He knew I wouldn’t particularly love every minute. He even knew I would have a hard time enjoying a lot of it.

But he knew I would step up and do it. Even if I didn’t want to.

In high school, classes would debate abortion. They probably still do. What I remember back then was I didn’t feel I really should have a say in what another woman did with her body.

I didn’t particularly like the idea of abortion, but I could think of reasons why others might have them. Rape, incest, mother’s safety, I’m sure there were others.

But as an adult, once I got older, once I found myself not living in the garden anymore, I found myself not in one, but two not ideal pregnancies.

For most of my friends, I could probably say, there was no decision to make, but really…how many of them were in my shoes?

When I found out I was pregnant with the first one, I had already had a five and one year old, and I had just left my husband, a week earlier.

We were getting a divorce and I was living back with my dad and his wife, in their three bedroom little house.

My income was around $24,000 a year.

My one year old was already showing signs of some kind of a disorder, but I had no idea what.

And remember, I wasn’t suppose to be a mom in the first place. I had no desire, growing up to be one.

(And before you say it, I was on birth control with two of my kids. The only one that was planned was the middle one…the one who has stretched me most as a mom.)

Now I’m going to be doing it alone.

Second time, I had three rambunctious boys. Oldest one was eight, youngest one was two, and my middle one was four; still not talking, destroying everything during frequent meltdowns and beating his older brother in rage and constantly fearing he would hurt his younger one.

I am unwed, and in an emotionally, verbally and quickly escalating into a physically abusive relationship.

I needed out.

So twice I asked myself, what the hell are you going to do?

I can’t say it was a hard decision to make. Of course, ultimately you all know, I kept the two babies. But it was still a decision I had to make. Or, I should say, it was a choice I felt I had.

However, although I didn’t feel very close to him at the time, I still knew God. I knew deep in my heart, he still had a plan for me, and he had a plan for these babies too.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

Oh my gosh, it took years, YEARS, for me to stop feeling like I was being punished.

God doesn’t punish.

But I finally came to the realization, that out of all the women, in all the world, that I was the only mom who could raise these kids the way God wanted them to be raised, so that they could grow up to be the men and woman, he intended for them to be.

And they didn’t need a mom who loved to bake cookies, or could sew all their clothes. Heck they didn’t even need a mom who could or would cook half way decent food.

They just needed a mom who would try.

So here I am, sitting at my kitchen table, cursing up a storm in my head but teasing my son about having to re-fluff a pillow, when it hits me…

I needed them, as much as they needed me!

Never, ever would I have felt the need to learn to cook, if I didn’t have to cook for them.

I wouldn’t have realized I needed to start standing up for myself and not let people take advantage of me, if I didn’t have to teach them the same thing.

I wouldn’t have learned I had a voice, if I hadn’t have had to shown them they have one too.

And I wouldn’t have learned to love, if I didn’t have someone, or someones to love.

So, I need to get back to ripping two pillows apart, so I can continue learning how to love my sons.

And I can give them a hard time about it later. Cuz that’s the kind of mom they need. And that’s the kind of mom God has made me to be.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6