Sunday, December 29, 2013


     "The Year of Loaves and Fish" is what we're calling it.  It's the year that just didn't turn out quite as we had planned, but man oh man, has the Lord provided for us!  It's been the toughest year financially Mike and I have ever encountered, but we've also had some of the most amazing memories ever this year.  This year has been a year of pruning, pruning, pruning.  AND in the pruning comes pain.  And in the pruning comes clarity.  And in the pruning comes sprouts of goodness.  Sprouts you would never see when things are so bountiful that you can't see down to the root and watch those first buds come. 
     We have also seen God's goodness through others' in ways we've never expected.  Talk about blown away on Christmas morning.  Both sets of grandparents showered the girls with everything they needed and more!  New clothes, pajamas, passes to Knott's Berry Farm!  We are reminded of what is truly important as little things around our house seem to be falling apart, we recognize the strength in its foundation.  We recognize the only way we are going to stand is to stand firm upon our God and His providing, His plan, His wisdom.  One of our favorite things to do on Christmas morning is to have everyone over for pancake breakfast.  It's an Open House type of thing, and we LOVE hosting this event.  
     One of the most amazing moments of the season came after our daughter Lauren got her tonsils out a couple of weeks ago.  I sat with her for a much longer recovery period than originally expected.  I got to read her prayer journal.  I got to see and hear her heart when I could hardly hear her voice.  In reading her journal, I got a glimpse into what her relationship with her Lord is.  It was so beautiful to see that she gets it.  She gets that God is her ultimate healer, her ultimate provider and caretaker, her ultimate comfort when this world lets her down, when life lets her down, and when we let her down. 
     I think of how many times I must settle down to hear God's voice.  I have to prune away all the unnecessary stuff to get to the root of what He's telling me. I have to stop, even write down what He's teaching me. 
   Today I was writing things I was thankful for.  I wrote down my joy in Him and understanding patience better.  I quickly thought, "There's a verse that says those things in it somewhere."  I found it and also read the next verse. 

Romans 12:12-13  "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality."

Lauren finally felt better on Christmas morning.  Talk about a gift!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Following Your Dreams

     Sometimes I feel like I just don't get it!  You know when you seem to be having to learn the same lessons over and over again?  Maybe it's just me. I hope not...
     Well, this time it came in the form of Taylor's PTA Reflections composition.  Each year she writes a song, with or without lyrics and enters into a competition.  She's always done a great job and has gone to the next levels several times.  Over the years, I've learned to take video of Taylor as she sits down to play and just composes naturally.  She loves to just play and tinker around on the piano, and it is mostly just beautiful stuff that flows from her fingers and heart. 
     This year was no different.  She had several pieces just waiting on my phone to be refined and "published."  Well, that was NOT going to happen!  She wanted to do a totally different piece, start from scratch, write the lyrics, and "sound a little like Lecrae," a Christian rap artist. Not MY idea of what would be amazing.  Taylor persisted, much to Lauren and my dismay.  I mean she already had these amazing classical pieces nearly done, and time was NOT on our side here people.  Plus, this classical stuff was really beautiful!
     I talked with a friend who has a homemade recording studio and asked if Taylor could record her finished piece (or pieces as I was hoping she would submit her favorite AND mine!)  This wise friend said a few words to me, "Well, Kim, it is supposed to be her reflections piece, isn't it?"  OUCH!  The sting of truth. 
     Often times, I think I know what's best, but I have to let these girls spread their wings and fly.  I see God doing the same with His children.  We think we know what's best, but He does know what is the VERY best for us, and yet He lets us choose.  It's in the choosing that we learn.  I have to learn to do the same thing with my girls, within reason of course.  Let them make their choices and soar!
     I have to laugh at myself when I hear this song of Taylor's.  I have had so much fun listening and catch myself singing, "Whoa, whoa whoa, following your dreams," all the time.  What a silly mom I can be!  Hopefully I will finally learn this time that MY way isn't always best.
(Beth is Taylor's remarkable piano teacher.)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Finding the Son

     This summer was simply the BEST!  The greatest highlight was going to Canada for 2 full weeks.  There was no internet for us, no cell phone reception (unless we paid over $1.50 per minute...we didn't even take the phones for fear temptation would take over!)...Unplugged for 2 weeks!
     One of my favorite parts of each morning was my daily walk alone along the gravel path.  I didn't realize until later there were bears spotted along the same path I had walked.  There were also mosquitoes that buzzed quite loudly or even worse the ones that bit me in places I didn't even realize would draw blood until it was too late. (Imagine mosquito bites behind your ears, along your hairline, yuck!  I'm itching just thinking about those bites.)
     There were so many beautiful things about these morning walks that I will treasure.  I loved the birds chirping, the rustling of the trees in the gentle breeze, the smell of the fresh rain in the bush, the flowers.  Oh those flowers!  One morning in particular, I noticed the wildflowers reaching through the thick bush trying to get to the sunlight.  It was almost as if they were straining their stems to get into the sun's warmth. 
     My life feels often times like I am straining to get into the SON's warmth.  I so desperately need Jesus every day!  I need Him in His Word where I can claim His promises for me, His child.  I need Him in His peace for my life.  I need Him in the love He shows for me every day no matter how many times I blow it.  I need Him for hope when circumstances feel hopeless.  I need Him for joy when I feel so down.  I need that warmth to remind me He's there when life feels cold and empty.
     The other thing that I loved seeing was how tremendously full those blooms were.  The flowers reached out to the sun and bloomed so full and bright.  Guess what...I can bloom full and bright when I too reach out for the Son.