Tuesday, May 29, 2012

She always knew what to say---

     I had every intention of writing more on this blog with the start of the new year, but as usual life just creeps up on you.  I've been carrying around many thoughts and many times have said to myself "I should blog about this", but time passes and the feelings change.
     And boy have times changed these past 5 months.
     On March 04, 2012, at 8:05 p.m. I lost one of the most precious and important people in my life.  My grandmother, Juva Jean Baker passed away after a struggle with pneumonia and congestive heart failure.  I've struggled every single day since then.    
My life has been turned completely upside down and everything that I thought I had control over has been stripped from my grasp.  I keep waiting for my life to go back to normal, for life to be like it was when grandma was here.  But I am quickly reminded that my life will never be like it was and this is my new normal.  And quite honestly I really dislike this new normal.

     I try to visit with my grandpa at least once a week, if not more.  I can't even imagine the things that he feels when he's home alone in the evenings.  My grandparents had just celebrated 65 years in the fall.  I mean 65 YEARS!  That's unheard of these days and such an accomplishment.  I know why this was able to happen for them and it's because they put Jesus first in their lives.  Once you have that firmly placed at the front of your marriage, you will still have your troubles and trials, but it seems the other things in life will fall into place.
     It's not so much that I don't like being in their house, because I do.  I actually love my grandparents house and every time I am there, I feel her presence.  But the hard part is I keep waiting to see her come into the room.  I keep waiting to go into the living room and find her sitting in her chair with blankets piled up on her lap.  I keep waiting to see the basketball game, or baseball game on tv.  I find myself almost checking out books at the library to bring to her.  When I'm reading a recipe myself and I come across something I don't understand I find myself searching for the phone to call her to ask for help.  When I get in an argument with my dad, I want to call her up to talk.  When the dogs do something funny I find myself thinking "I need to tell grandma".  I miss going to Chinese with her and grandpa.  I miss EVERYTHING about her....and it seems that my life will never be the same again.  And quite frankly I don't want a new normal.  I liked just how it was.
My grandmother always knew what to say to encourage me.  Even if I didn't tell her I was having a hard time inside, she was the one that would pick up on it without me saying a word.  She was so compassionate and kind.  She also always knew how to encourage others with just what they needed to hear.  When I felt that no one understood me, she did.  I could talk my issues out with her and she always knew just what to say to my struggles.
     So I feel like with this new struggle in my life I feel quite lost.  I've lost the person I always went to.
     I've been thinking these last couple of months about Matt and I's life these last 6 1/2 years.  The first couple years of our lives together I feel that we had the kind of faith or belief (whatever you want to call it) to believe that certain things were going to happen for us.  We were dead set on the fact that God was going to do this.  We had all the confidence in the world.  But then they didn't happen for us.  God had different plans for us and our lives were flipped upside down, rolled around and many times we felt that we had been dragged through the mud and stepped on.  Many things that we wanted to happen and were confident that they were going to happen didn't.  Did that just jade us, or did we just get smart and not expect things?
     I feel that I hear so many young couples, and couples that have been married within the 5-8 year mark say "When this happens", and "when this happens" for us.  I struggle with this phrasing.  I guess I just don't fully understand but it makes me want to say "what makes you SO sure it's going to happen?"
     After things not happening our first couple years of marriage, it's made me wonder if I just don't have enough faith that they will happen, or I'm just not that confident?  I don't know if we've become "Debby Downers" and don't look on the positive side of things, or if we just don't place our hope in things anymore?!
     I feel like in our lives after that rough patch, we have never approached things as if we know that they are going to happen.  I remember going into buying our house as "IF we are able to buy a house" instead of "when".  And "IF we can replace our car" instead of "when".  And "IF we can have a baby" instead of "when".  I've haven't looked at things like a guarantee.  So is that a lack of faith, or is everyone else just a little too confident?  Have others not had things happen as frustrating as the things that have happened with us, and that's why they are so confident?  Or do they just not get strung up on those things that didn't happen?
     So am I jaded?  Do I not have enough faith?  Or did my pain from those disappointments just cut a little TOO deep?
     I wish I had my grandmother here to talk things over with.  She was the best grandmother anyone could have every asked for.  She knew exactly what to say....Holy Spirit--please show us the way.....

Saturday, December 31, 2011

At The Close of Another Year

What a crazy past 6 months we have had...after a mighty leap of faith, I have found myself living such a life where I can truely say that I am full of not just happiness, but PURE joy.

So much has happened....after much prayer and consideration, I put in my resignation at Ginghamsburg Student Ministry, the place that I spent most of my waking hours at for 3 years in September. It was such a hard decision, but the reason it was so hard was I was living into all of my fears. I let those fears cloud my judgement and get in the way of the powerful, compassionate God that Matt and I try to serve to the best of our ability. I absolutely love my church, but there were some things that I didn't love, and still don't love to this day when I think back on it. It came to a point where those things got too big, and took over the way that I felt about myself and ultimately how I felt that God felt about me, which is a sign that things need to change.

The month of October was spent celebrating our two birthdays, having my first independent craft/art show, celebrating family birthdays and focusing on continuing to work at the library. I felt a big rush of relief as I thought about the possibilities for this new life. Many times I was discouraged, just wondering what would be next, but then I snapped back into reality with the thoughts that "anything" could happen. What a unique and blessed place to be.

With the start of November, there were some rumblings at the library of a position becoming open with the "moving on" of another staff member. On Nov. 18 I was offered a permanent position at the library. I was offered full time, and almost jumped at the chance, but I realized quickly that this was once again an opportunity from the Lord. Matt and I decided that since the time we got married, I worked so much. Usually working between 40-55 hours a week, every week--this was the time to make the decision that I wanted to make, and I knew that God laid before me. I accepted working 25 hours a week with the option to add more hours on a sub basis.

December was full of much anticipation and excitement. This Christmas we were going to do things a little differently. We didn't want to fall into the trappings of spending too much money, having a much too high credit card bill due in January and eventually making Christmas all about US, instead of Jesus. We set a limit--try to find items that conveyed thought, many things handmade from others. And creating things by my own hand. This Christmas we were able to give to others much more what was desperately needed, while also spending less. This Christmas was the first Christmas where we felt that it was truely about HIM. And our memories are much different....in a GOOD way.

So today, December 31st, I look back on 2011. What started out as a year that felt like it was going to be miserable, in a job I honestly hated, less confident in myself than what I ended with in 2010-------- turned into a year that was simply...magical.

As this year comes to a close, I'm very grateful for what GOD has done. He's changed my family, my home, my husband, and..... me. I have so much to be grateful for and my heart overflows.....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

managers vs. leaders

Matthew started his first week of classes last week. He is going for his Masters in Educational Leadership down at the University of Dayton campus. With one week completed out of 6, he has already been learning quite a bit of information that I know will carry over into knowledge. I'm already so proud of him for how he has handled his class load, and how persistent he is with his readings. I'm not sure if I would be focused and undeterred as he is. Just yesterday at Kroger's he pointed out how easily distracted I am. It seems our conversation lasted over 10 minutes because I kept looking at things instead of focusing on what we were saying. I give him a lot of credit for how hard he is working for our family, while also holding a part time job this summer.

One of his classed he has to read a book c
alled "Management of Organizational Behavior". The first night that he sat down to read, I was also reading my novel on the couch. I had my pillows placed perfectly, my pj's on, the little lamp on the stand lit and my fleece blanket over top of me. My little pup was in the crook of my knee sleeping soundly. It was PERFECT. Matthew was at the table with the bright overhead light on reading away. He looked up at me and said:

"Hey check this out---let me read this to

Once finished he said---sound familiar? I've been thinking about my own life in general and the people that I have surrounding me. I definitely do not believe that I'm struggling...as how the bible states. But I am wrestling over some ideas and thoughts that just can't escape my mind. One of the things I'm beginning to realize at this point in my life is that I have a lot of "managers" influencing my life instead of "leaders".

I've started to believe that I need to surround myself with more leaders if I want to change some things in my life. I feel like sometimes you need more managers surrounding you at certain times in life and in others more leaders....this is just the stage that I'm in.

God has also been revealing to my heart that I am very much so a manager person. I don't think outside of the box too often, unless it concerns art
. For the most part I am: a control freak, manages things, have a short range view, and very often I surrender to the surroundings.

I think I need to step up my game just a bit....

"Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed." Hebrews 12:13

Saturday, May 21, 2011

So these past two months have been pretty tough.
(---I feel like I say this every post! Maybe it's because there will always be trials, but the important thing is how you deal with them). For the past 6 years, the majority of my let downs or dissappointments have been through Matthew. And when I say that I mean, I always felt the pain of his dissapointments as he was trecking the path of employement with Ohio Schools. The pain that he would feel with rejection, I identified with so much because we are not separate but one. I took on his pain as my own.

But this is the first time in the past three years where this pain has been my own. Sure I've had my ups and downs and little dissappointments along the way, but this dissappointment was huge in my life and in many ways has sent me in a downward spiral with my thoughts.

I had applied for an internal position through my employement. I thought for sure that I would have the right qualifications, the right thing that they would need especially with my work experience. But apparently I didn't. They chose someone else.

I've been going through this time of rejection pretty hard. The thoughts of, the people in my life, the people that can really make a difference....are always choosing someone else. How do you deal with that kind of rejection when you struggle with feeling like you're not good enough just the way you are?

So this has spiraled my thoughts out of control. Not only did I think that I wasn't good enough deep down, but my current employer didn't think I was good enough either. How are you supposed to handle that?

So God and I...yeah, we've been going up and down with this for the last 6 weeks. Thinking sometimes just isn't good--because most of my thoughts just run away from me and go to places that I never intented for them to go. And before I know it the whole day has passed, sometimes even a week has passed and I'm in a completely different place that I never intented for myself to arrive at.

Two Saturdays ago, I was working at the library on my normal day off. It was a rather slow day, so I decided to go shelve the children's picture books. The longer I was shelving the more I realized how messy the books looked. I decided that I would spend the majority of the afternoon, as long as we weren't busy, straightening the picture books. The longer that I was there, the more I started to think. My mind was in a gradual decline as I was thinking about work and all the complications and frustrations of the past week. I found myself repeating in my head...."I just wish I was something to somebody." repeated it a few more times, until suddenly I felt that I heard God say (not audible, with angels and harps playing, but the gentle whisper in my heart) saying " Kim, you ARE somebody already. You are to Matthew, you are to Moey (his life saver), and most importantly you are to ME." It felt like I just had a bolt of lightening stike me on the head. "I am somebody."

Which then led me to the question...."Why did I define if I'm somebody or not just by my current job title?" (which I know the answer to this question...sometimes people treat admin like they are useless...that's why) A job title is just a couple of words strung together. It doesn't mean that once you get that title that you're suddenly more important than others. You prove your worth by the respect that you get from others---which that respect has to be EARNED.

Yesterday, as I was sunning myself in the lawn chair in the backyard, I was also spending my time with Jesus. The birds were chirping, slight breeze in the air, and my big diet coke with bubbles and ice sitting next to me. It was what I picture heaven to be like. I was coversing with God in my head a bit and I felt like he was speaking again (in my heart not with robes of white coming from the heavens) This is my interpretation:

"Kim, I know that this has hurt you deeply. And I don't like to see my children hurting, but rest assured that I'm going to use this hurt for you good. I didn't want this to happen, this was not apart of the plan that I had for you, but I am going to use it. I knew that it was going to happen, but I didn't cause for it to happen the way that it did. Trust me with all the feelings that you're feeling. I know them all and I know where all of them are stemming from. Just trust me that I'm using your joys, your frustrations, your tears and your hurts for your good. They are not being wasted."

I think I can live with that.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Althought my Moey to the left is quite cute.....

The feelings and deterimination of Lent quite honestly are starting to wear thin. I've already failed on my promise to Jesus a couple of times, and quite frankly because of the guilt of faltering on my promises, I'm struggling to even have the desire to recommit. I need more discipline in my life that's for sure....

One of the things I did this weekend to try to be more determined to get my priorities back was get in the garden. Jesus has taught me so much toiling away in the soil. My soul has been yearning for that time. If only the weather would cooperate.

Saturday was supposed to be a promising day outdoors. The weather man said early Saturday morning that it was supposed to be warm....around the 60-65 degree mark. Rain would be coming in the evening. Boy was he WRONG! Right after putting a load of clothes out on the line at noon, the rain drops started to fall. So frustrating. I trudged back out in my purple rain slickers and quickly took the clothespins off the line. Headed back down stairs into the basement and hung them up since our life has been absent of a dryer for over 3 years. What could I do now??? I got out my library vegetable planting books and got my supplies together.

One of my goals this year for my garden is to grow my own vegetables....from SEED. I would love to be able to live fully off the land....and stop resorting to paying for over priced, processed foods. But we live on a quarter acre of land....I go only do so much with mother nature.

For the past year, to the disgustement of those that surround me, I have been keeping a fully stocked worm bin in the basement. It's secluded to a corner of the basement...no one would even know it was there if I wasn't so excited and proud of them. I've been feeding them newspaper scraps, old banana peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, rotten fridge food we didn't eat fast enough.....anything that worms would love to digest. And what do they produce?? Lovely casting...or in other terms...POOP. I water them every few days, they continue to eat and have worm babies, and then they poop, and poop, and well poop some more. This is the whole existence to their lives. They eat wasted food and....poop. But oh how that poop does wonders to my plants and veggies!!!! In the bottom of my compost worm bin there are tiny holes that allow the water to seep through. This water/poop is so rich is nutrients it is literally making my plants grow like weeds! LOVE IT! So many of my plants that were bordeline dead have vibrated back to life!

The beauty of nature sometimes astounds me! God knows his creation so well----the master creator who thinks of everything and doesn't forget a single thing.

So Saturday I headed to the basement through the thunderstorm. I kept my slickers on, got out the step ladder, placed it in front of the bin---sat down and started clawing through the poop with my bare hands. Back with nature.....I had to peel the top layer of compost back to get to the nutrient rich compost. I started picking up clumps and pulling them apart. Sometimes revealing 10-20 worms....sometimes nothing. I needed to separate the worms from the compost. Then I'd throw it in the bucket next to me. Once I had picked through enough compost, I mixed the compost with potting soil. I wanted my seedling to get the most energy possible! Once that was complete, I filled all my pots with this nutrient rich potion. Poking little holes in the top layer of soil, I started planting my seeds. Broccolli. Green peppers. Tomatos. I put little sticks inside of them with little flags with the letters B, P and T to hopefully distinguish which plants are which. I actually think I messed up a couple of the pots so we might have a surprise in a couple of weeks after they germinate!

I then walked up the basement steps with a tray full of pots. Walking around the corner I see Moey on the floor hanging his head in shame. Because of the thunder, and because he thought I left him he peed on the floor! In an instant I was so angry...but then compassion swelled over me. He was just scared, he thought I left him, and the booming was so loud. Althought I was in the basement, not too far from him, according to him I was too far away. Oh how many times I have felt this way about my Savior. Only to realize that Jesus has been there all along. I was just focusing on the storm....

In the spare bedroom upstairs (after cleaning up a puddle!) I placed the stools and tables next to the window. I placed the tray full of pots on the tables. And then watered them. I have so much hope for these seedlings. There is something powerful in digging your hands in the earth (and worm poop) and doing something useful with your hands. Hopefully my hard work (along with the worm's hard work of eating!) will be productive, and bring a little more discipline back into my life.

Only those who are willing to plant will see a harvest.....