Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Run, Taylor, Run!

     Taylor asked to join the running club at school.  Well, actually, the running club coordinator asked her to join.  Of course, the coordinator is a dear friend of ours and Taylor said, “Yes.”  We really tried to coax her out of it.  The club meets at 7:00 a.m. on Fridays.  Taylor HATES mornings.  They run about 2 miles.  Taylor HATES running.  In fact, she hates it so much she brags about getting out of running the mile at school each week when she has extra math to work on during P.E. class. Oh, and I had to be her partner the first two weeks.  I am NOT a runner! 
      So here we are.  The issue…there is the running club, and there are Taylor and me running in our own club right now.  The first week we only saw the club for the warm up and passing us on their way BACK to the school.  We have some crazy work to do. 
     The funny thing is, I am beginning to LOVE to work we have to do.  I get to run with Taylor at least once a week…we’re actually trying to get in 1-3 times a week so we can make it into the actual club some day.  We’re also giving ourselves a goal of entering a 5K before February.  We have an app that helps us keep a steady pace of run/walking.  I am loving the prayer time we get during our runs.  I am loving the singing time I get while on our runs.  (Taylor literally begs me to stop singing which makes me want to sing even more and louder!  But, since she is a preteen, I do stop.)   I am loving being outdoors and enjoying the fresh air.  What I am not loving is having to drag Taylor along while hearing, “I hate this.  I am going to die.  I can’t do it anymore.”  At times, she is literally, pulling me down on the shoulder or digging her heels in while I am trying to pull her along.  We have a time to beat for goodness’ sake!  Then we get home, and she’s loving it again, proud of what she’s accomplished.
     Of course, I think of Jesus in these moments.  I have to laugh when I look at myself and see Him dragging me along.  I feel we’ve been in a tough spot for a while now.  In fact, it feels like a squall.  I have finally given in.  I am tired of hanging on to the life preserver and have pictured Jesus literally holding me up instead of me hanging on.  I imagine as Taylor and I run together…I’m saying, “Come on, Taylor, we can do this.”  Jesus is saying, “Come on, Kim, I’ve got you. We can do this.”
      I say, “Taylor, just a few more steps and we can walk.”  Jesus saying, “Kim, just a little while longer, then you can walk.” 
     Taylor loves to let go of me for some freedom.  Then she starts swaying and running towards obstacles of all kinds.  I love to let go of God at times.  I start swaying and run toward obstacles of all kinds.  “Taylor,” I say, “hang on. We got this!”  Jesus says, “Hang on, Kim.  We got this!”

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."  1 Peter 5:7

     This is a verse that I think of often…because I struggle with worry and anxiety.  This past month I’ve run that verse through my head over and over picturing what it means to cast those anxieties on Jesus who truly cares for me.
     I picture myself throwing each anxious thought as far out into the ocean as possible since Jesus used many fishermen examples during His teaching time on earth.  Watching fishermen from time to time…and doing some fishing with my dad early on…makes me think of how far out we would try to sling that piece of bait.  We’d watch it go until we could see it no more and then picture it sinking close to the ocean’s floor.
     This is what God wants for me with my anxious thoughts…thoughts about Lauren starting high school (which she loves!!!), Taylor having to walk onto campus alone and find her way independently (It’ll come in time.), figuring out the pickups each afternoon (Mike’s got this covered.), and teaching 2nd grade this year for the first time ever. 
     It’s been a season of newness and some scary firsts, but the Lord has brought peace each step of the way.   I’ve gotten to see so many people offer their help without even asking.  For example, I ran into the teacher friend who is going to open her classroom up to Taylor in the mornings at high school registration for Lauren.  She said she’d be in her classroom early each day because her son is taking 0 period at the school every day.  Guess what…this same woman is Taylor’s English and Social Studies teacher this year! When she and I talked at registration and she offered her room in the mornings, I truly felt like she was an angel delivered to me at that perfect time…and I told her so!  
     I’ve spent some time in anxious worry, and this verse comes to mind squashing fears because I know God is going to take care of things.  I slip into fear and anxiety often, and I’ve had to trust His timing to deliver answers and remind myself of His care for me.  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Gideon Prayer

     "Gideon said to God, 'If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised—  look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.
      Then Gideon said to God, 'Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.'   That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.   Judges 6:36-40

     This year with Lauren's softball has been an insane learning curve for our whole family.  Travel sports are no joke!  They take up so much time and effort on the athletes' parts, and it is a family deal as well.  Our Lauren has seen many ups and downs in the travel ball world.  We've committed her efforts to prayer and have definitely "heard" the Lord "speak" to us, meaning some pretty clear thoughts have come to mind that we know are not of our own thinking.  
     For example, during one tournament when Lauren was really struggling, I felt like four sentences came to my mind so clearly...1)  She is my daughter first.  2)  I see everything she is going through.  3)  Keep encouraging her.  4)  I have plans for her.  These thoughts came in so quickly, so clearly, so timely that I knew it had to be the Lord speaking to me of Lauren.
     The last month has been spent in specific prayer for Lauren's future decision and direction for softball.  I joked with close friends and family I was praying a "Gideon Prayer" because I wanted it to be so crystal clear what direction she should go.  Now, I trust the Lord and know things are not always this clear cut, but for me (not even to Lauren) I felt like He was pretty clear.  
     Lauren had to write a letter to colleges inviting them to a tournament to watch her play as "homework" for her team.  Her letter was so personal, so real, so honest, so Lauren Cox.  She received 2 personal responses immediately from 2 local Christian Universities.  Both invited her to their softball camps in the fall.  (As far as we know, no one else had received such personal feedback if any!  Most teammates heard nothing or got a "form" response in reply.)  This was my "dew on the fleece" moment.
     Then one of those coaches actually come to her game to watch her.  She even stayed and chatted with our family for about 40 minutes of the game!  This was my "dry fleece/dew on the ground" moment.  I have to say those were MY moments.  It took Lauren more time in prayer, as well as our family dedicated in prayer for Lauren to come to her own decision. I kept praying I would respect HER decision whatever it may be.  She's playing next year, and we're all excited. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


     Yesterday I got to drop off Taylor and her best friend, Hanna, at Camp Bloomfield in Malibu.  It's a camp for the blind that's been around for ages.  They get to spend a week together hiking, biking, swimming, horse-back riding, rock climbing, and I even hear they're bringing in snow for a Christmas in July tomorrow night.  What's so cool about this camp is that each blind camper is able to bring a sighted buddy if they so choose.
    Taylor begged us to ask Hanna.  (No begging necessary I must say.  We adore Hanna!!!)  Taylor and Hanna have known each other since they were 2 1/2 years old at Blind Children's Learning Center where Hanna's mom, Teri, was their teacher.  They have had a special bond since then.  During the following 2 years when the girls went to separate preschools, we'd run into Hanna and her family from time to time. kindergarten round-up, we found out the family would be transferring to our same elementary school. Then...the girls ended up in the same Kindergarten class!
     Hanna has been by Taylor's side through so many ups and downs.  She has been a constant in Taylor's life.  She has been a model of friendship many adults do not get the privilege of knowing.  She has been Taylor's aide when one was not available at school.  She has been by Taylor's side through some bullying episodes and has been bullied herself because of sticking up for Taylor and other "special" kiddos.
     Recently, Hanna had to get a shot to go to this camp.  That is Hanna's greatest fear...shots.  She broke down for a long time, actually a day according to her parents and finally said, "Am I going to let one shot hold me back from a whole week of camp?"   Taylor was finally able to help Hanna through this trial as Hanna has helped her through countless setbacks.  Taylor felt privileged to be the one to provide help since Hanna seems to always be the one cheering her on and encouraging her to push past fears.
     It was so special to watch the girls get to camp, super nervous at first...together...pushing through their nerves to help one another.  They met their camp counselors who gave me nothing but peace!  Before Lauren and I left and said a prayer together, Hanna told me she wanted to go again next year.  I'm hoping she feels the same when we pick her up Friday!  These girls are such a beautiful model of God's precious gift of friendship to each of us.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Help Needed

     "For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."
Romans 12 :4-5

     It's Lauren's birthday today, and we are so thankful for our multi-talented young lady!  She has so many gifts and talents and often misses out on social events to pursue them.  We love her dedication, her perseverance in the midst of frustrating obstacles. 
     Mike and I recently had a conversation about something I had been thinking about for a while.  The girls have...and have had... so many, and I do mean so so many helpers in their lives.  From Lauren's batting coach, Amanda, and her various great softball and soccer coaches and her writing mentor teachers who have seen something in her and brought it to the next level.  She has had teachers pour into her natural gift for working with children, entrusting her to do sometimes more than what they'd ask the parent volunteers to do.  And, of course, her amazing art coach, Grandpop.  He saw a talent in her sketches and ran with it, teaching her how to be a watercolor artist and technician.
     Taylor has had amazing Braille teachers, her cane teacher, therapists through the ages, her jiu jitsu coach, her classroom teachers, her piano teacher.  I am constantly blown away by the extraordinary people who have invested in our girls.  I am constantly in awe of how much each of these people have gotten out of our girls.
      I realize there is absolutely no way we can BEST ourselves if we stay put and try to do it on our own.  It takes mentors and helpers, people who use their gifts and talents to help others reach their potential.  It takes us looking for and reaching out to others who know better and see more in us than we see in ourselves.  It means we have to do that for others.  I think is what Paul was talking about he talked about the Body of Christ.  When we all work together with our specific gifts and talents, we become a great team.  We get to encourage and build one another up.  We get to help each other reach potentials.  We get to become more united rather than divided realizing our need for and dependence upon each other, starting with Christ the Cornerstone.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Little Light Goes a LONG Way!

     We had the greatest opportunity a couple weeks ago to participate in the Junior Blind Olympics.  Taylor competed in 11 events.  It was an incredible experience, one in which I was more than overcome a few times by emotion and had to excuse myself for a minute to "collect myself."  I was so grateful to be wearing sunglasses!  I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of volunteers.  There were easily far more volunteers than participants which is always quite moving to me.
     Each event at the Olympics was adapted in any way possible to make the blind competitors experience it for themselves.  For example, there was a box for the athlete to stand in to line themselves up to the target for archery.  There was a rope on which was a PVC pipe so the competitor could run in a straight line.  There were verbal cues given all over the place for rock climbing, kayaking, and the inflatable obstacle course.  They learned how to play Goalball, a national blind sport similar to soccer.  It is super cool too!
     One of the most impacting events to watch for me was the long jump.  Competitors were divided based on total blindness or some vision.  That made it more fair.  I never quite realized the advantage of having "just a little light" until watching the difference between the "Visually Impaired" and "Totally Blind" groups in Long Jump.  The adaptations were similar for long jump and sprints.  There was a rope with a PVC pipe over it so the competitor could run as fast as possible and jump far as soon as they reached the end.  Those with some vision ran and jumped without hesitation.  The totally blind group all did almost the exact same thing.  They ran as fast as they trusted themselves, stopped completely, and jumped almost straight up rather than far out.  I was amazed as each athlete did almost the exact same thing.  I also cried happy tears watching them feel like they were soaring!
   I learned something huge that day:  A little light goes a LONG way!  We can have just a little bit of God's Light shining on us, and we can go much farther and faster than without Him.  God wants us to get more and more of Him, and we get lots of help and support along the way. More Light carries us farther faster!
Reaching the top of the rock climb

 100-yard dash
Learning how to defend for Goal Ball

Long Jumping


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Happy 12th Birthday, Taylor!

Taylor's 12th birthday was one incredible day.  The last 12 years have been a gift.  The last 12 years with Taylor have taught me more than I could ever imagine- more love, more empathy, more trust, more joy, more pain, more victory, more defeat, more determination, more passion and compassion, more hope, more of who Jesus is and how He shows up when I need Him most...more more more.

The night of Taylor's birthday we sang a song in church called, "I will Look Up."  The words had so much meaning to me.  I have seen Jesus work in our lives through the ups and downs with the girls, particularly the challenges we've faced with Taylor and the breakthroughs.  I have had some anxieties about what is coming up for Taylor as she's getting older.  I am excited and scared at the same time.  I heard these words and was so comforted knowing I can look back and see all that God has done.  I KNOW He is faithful and will be the One to carry us through the upcoming milestones as well.

I will look up for there is none above you
I will bow down to tell you that I need you
Jesus, Lord of all
Jesus, Lord of all
I will look back and see that you are faithful
I look ahead believing you are able
Jesus, Lord of all
Jesus, Lord of All

 Taylor got her iPhone.  She wrote us a long, persuasive letter and read it to us the night leading up to her birthday.  She was convincing, and her line about "letting our little baby spread her wings and fly" had to be one of the best.  So here we go....spread your wings and fly (just not too far, Tay!)

Sunday, March 1, 2015


     This is a topic I think about a lot, and it's come up again this week for me.  I love that God takes ordinary people all the time in the Bible...ordinary but willing people...and does extraordinary things through them.  It shows that it is God at work, and that He longs and loves to use His creations to do remarkable things.  Many of those people were afraid to be the one God sent to do incredible things, but in the end they were willing.  Man oh man, do I want to be willing to do what God wants to do through me.
      I was reminded so much of this when I got an email from one of Taylor's support people.  She is what we call a "Case Manager," meaning she administrates all the details of Taylor's schedule and ensures Taylor has every tool she needs to succeed in the mainstream world.
     Miss Malia nominated Taylor for a leadership conference this summer.  (Taylor was even nominated for another one by her English teacher earlier in the year.)  I am overwhelmed when I think of these honors.What I realize is that some people see beyond Taylor's limitations to her endless possibilities.  That is exactly how I believe God sees us.  He knows we have limitations, but He sees so clearly the endless possibilities when we let Him take charge. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Home Sweet Home

     I can say how excited I am to have Taylor home, but I don't know if she's excited to be home!  I picked her up last Saturday, hardly recognizing her since her hair was a "hot mess," the exact words from her adult supervisor.  Her hair was everywhere, her eyes were nasty with crud, and her pillow was gifted to Big Bear, and her smile...HUGE!!!  She had an amazing time as you can see from the email below she sent to the family.  I am so happy to have my girl back!

Dear Family and friends,
As most of you know, I went skiing on wednesday through saturday.  I am so excited I went!
For all who didn't get this, I will be sending this to my mother and she will forward this to you.


We got to Junior blind, and I was so excited.  It was amazing because I met a new friend named Sarahi (pronounced like sed-i-E.) Also, I met a boy named Aaron, another girl named Sierra but we called her C.  C., and another girl named Layla (another girl named Alexandra, too!) We played piano for a little bit, then we went to my cabin and hung out.  Then we went to sleep.
 The next day, I had to pack.  Things kept on falling out of my backpack, so they sent someone to help me.  I had a breakfast of cheerios, and then we were off to the slopes!
 When we got there, a guy named Benson took over and took me on the slopes.  We practiced on the easy run, and he started off with the poles.  Then, he let go.  I was skiing and I was going down a hill, and I totally forgot how to slow down.  I was going too fast, so Benson had to slow me down.  Another guy came and walked past me shouting,
    "Speedster!" and it made me laugh.  After a lunch of samwiches and strawberries, we went back.  We went on another route called "Easy Street" and there was this re'y flat part that was painful because we had to shuffle our skis.  It was like mashed potatoes.  In the end, I never fell.
 Later, we had spaghetti (If you liked the sauce, you would have gone crazy for the stuff) served with garlic bread which was re'y good, and oranges, and to finish, a cupcake or a twinky.  Then we watched a movie and played cards, and then we went to sleep.

We woke up and had breakfast.  I had oatmeal biscuit kind of things.  They were pretty good.  Then we went out again.  I had two instructors this time named Hope and Matt.  They took me on "easy Street" again, and this time it was better.  Still, I held my former gloory of not falling.  The first time I went on the chairlift, one of my poles got stuck.  It was funny!
 After a good lunch of hot dogs, great watermellon, and awesome cantalope, we went back out on the most challenging runs that they let kids go on.  It was called "the Learning Curve" and it was re'y steep.
 I still never fell.  It was awesome, I never fell during the whole entire trip.  After watching another movie with audio discription, we played a game of "getto-oono" which meant that we made up rules as we went.  Then we went to sleep.

After packing, we played cards in the car, slept for a little bit, and then came home.  It was a wonderful %trip.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Spreading Her Wings

     "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

     Last night was a tough night for me.  My mom and I dropped Taylor off at Junior Blind of America, an amazing organization that's been around for decades serving the blind.  We have been planning this 3-day ski trip for a couple of months, with Taylor's braille teacher encouraging us to let her try the trip out.  "It'll be great for her independence, Kim."  Since that's been our goal for the last few months, and since Taylor LOVES skiing, we agreed...reluctantly all along.  In fact, I confessed to Mike this morning that I'd signed her up hoping it would fill up before they got to Taylor's name on the list.  Not so...she was in. 
     We've had to put on the "happy, encouraging, dedicated parents, independence builders" faces so Taylor would not know our insecurities, our anxieties, our reservations, literally our fears because that's what they are.  They are OUR fears for our little girl.  It is so stinking scary to let your blind kid experience the world.  No matter what we say, no matter what others say, it's flat-out scary at times.  The key is not letting those fears inhibit your kid from experiencing life and life ABUNDANTLY!!!
     I really got to thinking about how God sees us, His Children.  He wants us to spread our wings and fly too.  He wants us to acknowledge our fears and give them over to Him.  He wants to see us soar.  He wants us to trust and believe everything He says is true which is SOOOO much easier said than done.  I want to trust and believe everything He says is true because in my head I know it is.  I just need my heart to follow and experience that peace that surpasses all understanding. 

"If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself."  2 Timothy 2:13
     Today in my women's Bible study, we sang a familiar song with these lyrics:

I have a maker
He formed my heart,
before even time began
My life was in his hands

He knows my name
He knows my every thought,
He sees each tear that falls
and hears me when I call

I have a father,
he calls me his own
He'll never leave me,
no matter where I go

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and hears me when I call

     I nearly wept thinking through each word of this song.  He is hearing me when I am calling out to Him.  He hears Taylor's every call this week.  He is never leaving me, and He is never leaving Taylor.  He is seeing those tears of fear...and tears of pride.  I am so proud of this girl.  I am so proud of both our girls.  It is a blessing to see them grow and face fears head-on.  I am so thankful for the promises in these lyrics for the promises in my faithful God.  (And for 2:00 on Saturday, our pick-up time!!!)

 Sahari, Alex, Taylor, and Leila
Mom, Taylor, and Grandma (Oh so calm...not!)

Thursday, February 12, 2015


     "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."  Romans 12:12
     These last couple of months have given us lots of "Growth Opportunities."  We've seen a lot of family and friends going through so many gigantic hurdles.  Marriages crumbling, relational challenges, health challenges, cancer diagnoses and metastasizing cancer diagnoses,  jobs on the line for no apparent reason, crazy accidents.  Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with what others are going through, I feel like I can't keep it up.  Then I have to stop and realize I CAN'T keep it up. I can't understand why some people are in the middle of what they are going through.  I can't understand it.  I can't figure it out, and I can't fix it.
      When Mike and I say we are praying for you, we ARE PRAYING FOR YOU!!!  We are praying daily for you.  We are crying for you.  We are crying out to God for you.  We are hurting for you.  We are longing for strength, courage, encouragement, truth, peace for you and your family.  We are hoping for you, and in doing so reminding ourselves of the hope we have. A hope that promises all will be righted one day.  It's a hope that helps when nothing make sense.
      It's so hard to watch and feel helpless, but we aren't hopeless!