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Pogress in the making

BVI

I have got to say, I am excited about what is ahead.  I have been a busy little bee getting my website up and running.  Basically, I am switching over to a private web address.  I am doing this for many reasons and I am excited about it.

It has been a lot of work and a lot of fun as I research and get things set into place.  I hope to be launching it soon.  When I do, you will know!  I appreciate you being on life’s journeys with me.  I am looking forward to what’s ahead.

I do have to say, I will be adding some new things to my blog that I have yet to do here.  New topics, really. 🙂

You know what has kept me from moving full speed ahead in the past?  I know I have a lot to learn as a writer.  It is a little scary and intimidating to put myself out there for the world to see.  All the good & the bad.  I want to write in such a way that always points to Christ.  And that’s when it hit me.  I don’t have to be the best writer in the world… I just have to be willing to go where God is calling me.  Even if I am still unsure of what that means.  And along the way, I will learn and grow both as a writer and as me.

It is my hope, that through it all we can share life as we grow in the Lord.  That we can laugh together and cry together.  That we can be real.  That we can find hope, meaning, purpose and strength for our journey.

Thank you for joining me,

~Kristen

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Every Day is a Gift

Gift - Flikr

(Photo Credit: kasia on Flickr)

Once again, I was focusing on the funk that has seemed to settle in and make itself at home in my life.  Life is busy, life gest hard, what direction am I to go… these are a few of the things that have caused this so-called funk. And bear with me, funk was the word that came to mind…

Today I received a wakeup call.  Life is so short.  We are not promised tomorrow.  It is up to us to choose to live life to the fullest.

Sometimes someone loses their life without a moment’s notice, while others fight for theirs. My heart breaks for these people and for their families.  I don’t even have words to explain the stirring going on in my heart.

Today, I have been given the gift of life.  I woke up this morning and was able to kiss my amazing husband, hug my wonderful children.

Over the past few days, I have heard stories that break my heart.  They have awakened my soul to the vast gift each day is. Sure, I know each day is a gift, but I don’t live like it is… not lately.

It’s okay to be in a funk.  It’s okay to be in a reflective state of figuring out my next steps and have so many questions at heart.  It, however, is not okay to let that steal my joy or consume my thoughts.

It’s a blessing to feel the sun on my face, to embrace my family, to laugh, smile, run and play, and worship God.

I had a rough mommy day on Tuesday.  You know, the kind where I am impatient, they are not in good moods and we are just blah… well today I asked myself how I would feel had that been my last day.  I cannot even begin to explain what that very thought did to me.  It broke my heat.  This is not to say bad days can’t or won’t happen.   It is not to say I will handle every day gracefully.  And I certainly at no point will ever be perfect.  Or even close to it for that matter. But many of my rough mommy days could have either been avoided or volumes better than they were.  It is often times my perspective, my heart.  Where am I at with the Lord on these rough mommy days?  Am I feeling sorry for myself?  Am I being selfless?  Could it be that I just need to change our total focus that day? Could it be that I need to choose joy?… you know the kind the bible talks about. Where we are to be joyful in all circumstances. How much different would those days be?

I am so thankful for the reminders I am given… I am not promised tomorrow. How will I live today?

~Kristen

Still & Quiet before the Lord

Be still

I have had total writers block.  I write because I like to and because I feel God wants me to. And anytime God calls me to something I try to give it all I have got even if I don’t know the reason for the call. Lately, every time I sit down to write, I freeze up.  I can’t seem to find the words.

Today, it happened again.  And then I realized something.  This is no accident.  I have been praying that God would reveal what He wants me to write about.  And yet I sit here day after day staring at a blank page.

I believe it is because God is doing a work on my heart.  He is drawing me closer to Him.  He is making me over on the inside.  And for whatever reason, He wants me to stop thinking so much.  My best guess is that it’s because I think too much.   I mean honestly, I can’t turn my brain off.  And anytime that I sit down to “be still” before the Lord, I end up thinking of a million things.  Like how I need to be more patient, sleep more, what chores need to be done that day, and the list goes on.  But because I am not good at turning that off, I have not mastered the art of being still and listening to the Lord.  It is something that I have prayed for.  Something that I will have to work for.

Over the course of not writing I have been forced to be still every time I sit in attempt to write.  And God is showing me the joy and healing in being in His presence.  The peace that comes from silence.

I want to be closer to the Lord.  And I believe that this season of stretching me and teaching me the art of being still and quiet is part of what He will use to do just that.

~Kristen

New Year

So it’s a New Year.  Welcome 2015! I always get excited for a New Year as I look forward to all it has in store.

My last blog post was about New Years resolutions.  And the importance of making them.  I have a list.  A good one.

But there is only one thing on my list that is worth mentioning.  That is to walk with The Lord and draw near to Him.  If I focus on that, the rest will fall I to place.  My life will head in the direction that God has intended it to.  I will be more patient.  I will love others well.  I will be better with my time.  I will be a good mom, a good wife and a good friend. I will develop the fruit of the spirit: Galatians 5:22-23a “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”

As far as the goals that include eat healthier, continue to work out, learn to relax, etc. Those are good too.  But they are not going to be the focus of this New Year for me.

I think writing down all the little ones help to motivate me.  But if I focus too much on them, they take away from the one thing I really want in this life.

And if at the end of 2015, I look back and see that my faith has grown, that my walk with God is stronger, and that I am striving to be all that God has made me, I have had a successful year.

The rest of my goals are a bonus.  But I will not allow them to be distractions.  For they are not what define me nor are they what measure my success or who I am.  That all comes from The Lord.  And Him alone.

Happy New Year friends!

~Kristen

Realistic New Years Resolutions

The year is coming to a close. So what do I do? I reflect. First, I look back on the year and I thank God for all the ways in which He has blessed me. I count my blessings. I praise Him for all the things He has done in and through me. Secondly, I take some time to look at the things I would have liked to do differently. This is the part where it could be easy to get discouraged. This is the reason I think so many people just don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. People often say they never keep them anyways. One reason for that is that we often set the bar too high for ourselves. Setting goals that sound amazing but are really hard to obtain. We put so much pressure on ourselves to meet these goals or else we are deemed a failure. Incapable of reaching the goals we set.

new years

*This is a quote that I got from Facebook*

Wow, can I relate to that!  That sums it up so perfectly.

I have always made New Year’s Resolutions. I have done it all different ways. Sometimes leaving myself less then challenged while other times leaving myself feeling like I can’t do anything right.

I think that New Year’s Resolutions are important because they challenge me to be the best that I can be. Many times the same ones appear on my list year after year. But that does not mean I failed. Some things are lifelong goals. And year after year if we continue to strive for change, we are inching our way towards it. Most real life change, most change that is worth mentioning, takes time. It is not a makeover occurring from one day to the next. Most change occurs from taking steps every day, year after year.

Here are some examples of goals that you might find on my list of New Year’s Resolutions. Realistic Resolutions. You’ll notice they are not followed by the words “every day”.   Because that is not realistic. I am then setting myself up to fail.

1) Spend more time with the Lord

2) Workout and eat healthy

3) Work on being more patient

4) Learn to relax

5) Live life to the fullest

6) Choose Joy

7) Read more

You get the idea.

Some might ask why I waste my time making goals that just reoccur. Well, for me, it helps me to stay focused on things that are important. It challenges me to continue to seek change. To not become just okay with the way things are but to strive for more than okay. To want lifelong change. To want to better myself. Each year, there are things I look back on that I would like to change. But at the same time there are many things that I look back on and know I worked hard. That I tried. And if I allow it to, each triumph as well as each shortfall in my eyes will make me stronger. Because with each step I take and with each year that goes by, I am striving to be all that God has made me to be.

If I never took the time to set goals, I probably wouldn’t take the time to reflect. And for me, there is so much to be learned from both.

Happy New Year, friends! May this year be a year where we seek to become all we were made to be.

~Kristen

back in routine…today

I have been going, going, going.  I know that is very surprising to hear from me (insert sarcasm).  I kept telling myself that once we got into the swing of things with school it would slow down.  Nope, sure didn’t.  Okay, well then surely after October.  Maybe I just needed another month to catch up to the routine.  No, that didn’t happen either.  Now, I sit here ready to say after Christmas it will slow down.

But I am not going to let myself go there.  I am going to slow down now.  Because I want to enjoy this time of year.  I want to take it all in.  I want to hold on to the memories made this wonderful season.  I want to have time, without being frazzled, to hold my family close as we remember the birth of our Savior.

That sounds easy enough, right?  No, this time of year screams “go go go. Faster.”  Why do we do it all?  I have to learn how to slow down this time of year.  It has helped to say no to things.  It has helped to breath a little more deeply 🙂

This morning I got up early, exercised, read my bible and had some coffee before the kids were up.  That is my normal routine.  It is what starts my day off right.  I was determined that I wasn’t going to wait until after Christmas to start back to the routine that I so enjoy.  I just get tired and sleep in 🙂  Which, sometimes is okay to do.  But when I get up early, my day starts off in the right direction.  I have taken care of me… and as a mom that’s usually not first on the list…. and I have spent time with the Lord.  This sets the tone for the whole day.

So, this year, I am going to stick with my morning routine so that I can be refreshed and enjoy all that this beautiful season brings.  I am going to pray each morning that God will give me the energy and direction for each day.  That I am productive and that I let go of the little things that keep me busy but get me no where.

Each and every season of my life is busy.  I always have good reasons to keep going at record speed.  As if aiming for exhaustion is the goal.  But that is not how I want my life to look.  And so I start today.  Back in my routine that brings me peace and refreshes me.  It gives me strength for this journey of life.  Because if I don’t start today, I may be sitting here next month saying, “after this month it will slow down”.

What kind of things do you do this time of year that help you slow down, refresh and enjoy this Christmas season?

~Kristen

on a quest to find peace

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Peace.  That is a word I long to know in a deeper, more intimate way.  This world and the demands of life are at times, crazy.  It is fast paced, ever changing.  Always something new in our face.  Reminding us what we should be doing, what we are not doing well, and all the things that we just don’t have.

It is so easy to get caught up in that.  To make those things the focus of our lives.  But at the end of the day all that gets us is a discontent, anxious heart.  It robs us of peace.

Peace comes from the Lord.  It comes from spending time in His presence.  It comes from focusing on what really matters in this world.

Psalm 34:14 says, “Turn from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.”

When I first read that verse I thought I would just focus on the part where it specifically talks about peace.  But as I read it again I realized, if peace comes from the Lord, then having peace means walking with Him.  Which in turn means that we turn from evil.  When we choose to walk in sin it will take our focus off the Lord.  When we get caught up in the things of this world, we become consumed with things that do not really matter.

What does it mean to seek peace?  To pursue it?  I am not totally sure.  But I think a good place to start would be in pursing God with all my heart.  Letting go of the things that hold me down.

In John 14:27 Jesus says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

God wants to give us peace. He wants to pour that out in our lives. Will we receive it? Will we seek and pursue it?

There is so much in this world that stands to rob us of the peace that the Lord so freely gives. I don’t want to let that happen anymore. I want peace to consume me.

2 Thessalonians says, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”

It says at ALL TIMES and in EVERY WAY. I want that. I want to seek that. I want to accept that gift that God wants to give. I want to live a life of peace in this ever changing, often chaotic world. I want my life to reflect peace at all times and in every way.

~Kristen