Never Take it for Granted

The other day I was filling my car up with gas on my way to a committee meeting. Both my kiddos were in the car since there was to be babysitting available, and they always like playing with other kids. The car in front of me had a mother who was obviously there for the same reason I was, and her kid was loudly protesting being strapped in while parked. I grinned a bit at her harried face and continued pumping. A few seconds  later, I hear a childish voice piping along at a conversation speed with his mommy out the window of her car. I couldn’t help staring. He was probably two, and he was asking all those lovely why questions a little boy  is supposed to ask at that age. Just going along at top speed while his mommy patiently answered.  I just couldn’t help the small twinge of sadness that invaded my heart. It was only for a micro-second, but it stung just the same. Because I never had that when my kids were that age. The jealousy only lasted long enough for my kids to peek through the window and laugh and play with me. One autistic, and the other with deep sensory needs with possible ADHD. Both beautiful, loving, perceptive babies of mine. And the blessing outweighed the jealousy once again.

My mind then turned to pity this young mother. “Pity??” You may ask incredulously. Yes. Pity. True, She may not have had the tear jerking nights were one lies in their bed wondering if they will EVER have a conversation with their child, nor beg and plead for their sensory sensitive kid to eat just one bite of rice. Nor may she ever sit steaming in a parent- teacher conference because their teacher refuses to Just accommodate their child’s needs. She won’t have the heartache of well meaning friends telling her what she should have done her prevent her child’s disabilities, my personal “favorite”. She may even post some of those things herself. Yet, I pity her. 

I pity her, because she may just take it for granted. She may have to constantly tell her child to hush, because their child is interrupting, or yelling, or trying to talk when they need to be quiet. She may have to apologize for her child talking out of turn in class. And she takes it all as normal. She doesn’t revel in the wonder of her child’s creative play, because it just isn’t supposed to happen. She will never celebrate her child sitting still in class and not having a meltdown because the room is too loud or quiet. She won’t celebrate the retention of knowledge. She won’t get giddy over her child making a lasting friendship that just takes her child at face value. She may never call her best friend in tears, because  her child just read a book out loud on her own. And it is because she doesn’t have to.

I pity this Mommy of a beautiful, normally developing boy. I want to shake her and tell her to NEVER take it for granted. i want to tell her to celebrate each miracle of development. I want to tell her to celebrate life and all of its wonders and to teach her kid to do the same. I pity this stranger.  As I pity all mommies who don’t have a special needs child. They won’t know the joy that comes out of the struggle for just one sentence, just one word. I wouldn’t wish the hardships my husband and I faced, nor the tears we both have shed on ANYONE. Please don’t misunderstand me. I just don’t want you to ever take it for granted. Ever, ever, ever. 

I don’t go with the phrase, “God must have thought you were so special for giving you such a special child.” Sorry, I just don’t. But I am glad that it makes me totally rely on Him. It makes me stronger, because I have to be. It makes me completely fight with all I have for my kids. I have kids who have special gifts of empathy,  compassion, and are filled with a rich imagination. I have been given the gift to be able to CELEBRATE remarkable things like eating rice, talking back and forth, and my kids listening and responding the FIRST time.

So, young mommy at the gas station, I am sorry that you may never know the depth of joy I do. Your joys will be different and may be just as hard won. I just am so so sorry you may take them for granted. 

 

I  am in the middle of revamping my blog. God has helped me to treatise I have a lot more to offer than just what is happening on my spiritual journey, including what has been posted here. Expect to see my struggles and joys in raising special needs children, my passion for all things baked, my fun and creative side with various crafty projects I try, guest posts from woman who have something I just think you would love to hear from, and other wonderful miscellaneous things happening that God wants shared with you. Be blessed my friends! And see you when the blog is flipped!

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Wakefulness with God

Even when sleep evades me, I am smiling at God’s beautiful Irony. When lost in the wilderness, I am eating manna. When scared of the dark there is a fire lighting the way. Not just a fire, but a pillar of fire. When I wish that I had just gotten to the Promised Land, God prevented worse happening to me because I wasn’t prepared. “The Lord knows the way through the Wilderness. All I have to do is follow. Strength for today is mine all the way and all that I need for Tomorrow. The Lord knows the way through the Wilderness, all I have to do is follow.” Cannot even imagine what would have happened if I could see the big picture. God knows me better than I know myself. I am just thankful I was in the right place to hear this message tonight. If you feel like your wandering, remember, God carved the path out ahead of time. He knows where you are and where you are going. Trust him.

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“Beloved”

Yes, it has been a while since I have written. This past month has been hard and the hard times just don’t seem to be ending. I am trying to keep motivated with several goals of mine, and by the end of the day my flesh says why bother? It came to a head this weekend, I cannot yet share the details with you as we do not believe that God is through with the situation, and I even said, out loud, “That is IT!”.

Needless to say, I got over my snit. As I was working through it and not really wondering why I was seeing and hearing faith, faith, faith today, I was driving home feeling really accomplished about doing a duty I used to dread: Inspection for the car (have i mentioned i am a really shy extrovert?). I went to make a left turn on my way home, because I saw it was safe to do so, when apparently the driver sped up so that I could not safely make a turn. I am ashamed to say I spat out some flesh like comment on the person’s . . . Well, person. I immediately apologized to God and asked forgiveness. What happens next is a first time in a long time type of occasion.

I shook my head and said, “No wonder all this stuff is going on. I just wasn’t ready. I understand now. How could I ever do the one thing when I can’t even get everyday things conquered?” And as clear as if He was sitting in the passenger seat, I hear him reply, “Beloved”. That broke me right there. Beloved.

“You want to know how I see you? You want to know your potential? You have me. Am I not enough? You are BELOVED by me. That is enough. No matter how many times you believe you are failing or aren’t enough, I still see you as well loved and WORTH it.”

When I have these moments it is as if the wipers start spraying cleaner and furiously working at the grime mixed up in my faith. As usual in my music addled mind, I hear Phillips Craig and Deen’s song “When God ran” play in my mind while an upbeat Toby Mac song played.

God will always run back to me when I stray. I don’t need to meet him halfway. I don’t need to even move a step. God already knows, He wants me to only make the journey to the point where He can reach for me again. Sometimes it takes lots of steps, sometimes I don’t even have to move a muscle. God simply takes me to a point where I sincerely and deeply wish to seek him for whatever reason it is. No, I am not perfect. I have not finished my faith journey, I will never arrive until i see Him face to face. And, now, it is okay, because it does not matter what point of the journey I am on, when i stray and doubt Him, God will be right there waiting to say, you knucklehead. . . No. Never. He will be right there saying BELOVED. I just need to be willing and ready to hear all that love wrapped up in His voice.

The name for me keeps ringing in my head. Beloved. The rest is peace. God Bless you today, and may you understand how deeply you are loved by Him.

PS: The link below will take you into my music addled brain, hopefully. If not, please YouTube the song. It will remind you God wants to meet with you. God Bless.
When God Ran by PCD

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A Verse for Life

Micah 6:8
“He has shown thee, O man, what is good. And what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God?”

For a long time my life verse was an easy pick. It was Galatians 2:20. It really did define my new walk with Christ as an older teenager. It was how I wanted to remember to walk this new Christian walk. I wanted to remember that my life was no longer my own. It worked for a long time. Then I got caught up in the modern world, away from Bible Institutes and Snow Camps. I was disappointed that I didn’t have any guidance on how to be the missionary that I wanted to be. No one to point me in the right direction, and I lost my way. I started struggling with what God truly wanted and expected of me.

Long story short I found my way back to go to a bible college where I studied to be a teacher. I still struggled to figure out God’s will for my life. Through this intense struggle, I faltered, I fell in love with the wrong guy, found the right guy and married him. Still struggled with God’s will. Crying out from the heart, I wanted to know what exactly did God expect me to do? Really what does God expect from me, a miserable, depressed, mixed up, and undisciplined me? How am I supposed to react to things that are blatantly wrong? What about all the others who are so judgemental they are driving away people who can really do a great thing for God and His Kingdom? I get really angry and frustrated, if you couldn’t already tell.

One day, it just hit me. And like most things it was like a hammer on hot steel to an anvil. Yes, that hurt. Micah 6:8 was sung to me, thus it stuck, a long time ago. I memorize things with songs if you can’t already guess from my last post. God has shown me already what is good, and acceptable and perfect (Philippians 4:8). What has virtue, praise, and that is what I should think on. What, or rather, Who is good? God. Who is praise worthy? God. Who is perfect? God. I have already been shown the good. It’s up to me to share the good.

God is good, people. He can’t be anything other than good. Man is evil. He is finite. He, or she in some if not most cases, can be most selfish and will always fail you at one point or another. Man without God is not good. He can crush your spirit, he can pour ice water on your dreams and WORSE STILL he can drive you away from your loving Creator by his actions and hate mongering ego centric religion. God is good. God wants to show you that, and there are others out there that want you to know that no matter who you are, what you do, and where you are going in this world presently, God wants you. One person gave me a quote I will always remember, “Look to others and be disappointed, Look to self and be discouraged, but look to Christ and be satisfied.” Only God can be good all the time. Trust Him. (And try to trust me, I speak from experience in this).

The next parts of this verse shouted to me, “Kim, you want to know what I expect? You want to understand what My will is? All I want for you to do is to emulate what I do.” God is just. No life is not fair, but God is just. He deals with us each of us as we need it. God wants me to make sound judgements according to His word. He wants me to not sugar coat the truth, but to speak it lovingly. Deal with people the way I would want them to deal with me. I must admit, I am no where near where I need to be with this. I try. But I fail. Like I said before, human beings will fail. They are not perfect, thus neither am I. But as God deals justly with me, I also hope to deal justly with others. He expects me to be fair, loving, but truthful at all times. Yes, we are to judge, weigh and measure truth, but we are to do it as God does. Fairly. Justly.

Love mercy: Love. . . mercy. Some versions of the bible will say love tenderly. But I kind of like my old fashioned KJV. Be loving, be merciful. Where would I be without mercy? Where would I be if He didn’t deal lovingly with me? I can tell you exactly where. I’d be dead. Yes, there is a time for fire and brimstone, but it is not when you are trying to win your gay neighbor, the frightened teenager seeking an abortion, or the aloof gothic young adult that comes into your church searching for something (ehem. . . yeah). You may be the only Christ people see. Do you want to be responsible for them thinking that God isn’t loving and merciful and wants them just as they are right now? Choose loving mercy. SO glad that those who led me to Christ chose that route.

Walk humbly: As we remember from my last blogged entry, I have struggled with this. I have wanted the lime-light. I have sought it. Since I have gone into detail before, let’s just simply say, It isn’t all about you. Remember your place. It’s bowed before the throne of grace. (Oy that rhymed, but I won’t take it back). You are not more important than the person sitting next to you in the pew, and you definitely are not bigger than what God will do.
It is such a simple verse, Micah 6:8. But really a relief when you think about it. Be fair. Love others with kindness and compassion, and don’t be a jerk or get a big head about it. Seriously, time to praise and lift up God, people. That’s is what a Christian’s life should be about. Keep it simple and stop trying to complicate it with legalism and people centric religion. And please remember, even if others aren’t showing it to you, God is GOOD.

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Learning to Leave a true legacy

I recently joked that you know it has been too long since you have blogged when you no longer remember your user name and password. Yep, that happened to me. . . tonight. God gives you a great post, you go to write it, and your password is nowhere in your memory: Neither your physical memory, nor your computer’s memory. I know I’m pushing 40, but good grief! That aside, much has happened since I last wrote. My husband graduated from his Chaplaincy School, my father died, my house got broken into, and I basically fell into a pit from which I did not think I could get out. Good enough of an excuse to put off writing? Maybe. But when God places an urgency on your heart, I have learned to obey it, or suffer the muck at the bottom of another pit.

I am who I am. I never appologize for it. I live my life. I love my family. I have a snarky sense of humor, I listen to music that other people of my denomination may shudder to hear. I fully submit and obey my husband. I am a tigress when it comes to standing up for my child who can’t do it herself, and pushing said child and her sibling to their fullest potential. I am a mother, I am a wife, I am a friend, I am a Christian. I play with my friends, I dance and embarass my children, I sing, I write, I create. I am passionately loyal to those whom I love. I don’t do things by half measure, I am passionate and fully Sanguine most of the time except when my alter ego, Melody the Moody Meloncholy, comes out to play, which is too often if you ask me. I have to bite my tongue alot (I’m actually surprised I still have one with all the biting that goes on). I am way more critical of myself than others are. However, I have a confession. It’s not a pretty thing, but God brought it to my attention and I need to say it out loud: I like attention. I like to be cared for, I like to make people laugh, I like to hear praise. It disturbed me the other day when I realized it. I felt ignored, unneeded (if that’s a word), and unnessesary. I didn’t like those feelings, but then I didn’t like the realization that came afterwards: I think I am more important that I really am. Ouch! Thanks, God.

However, think about it. How many of us do things for God because we like the praise and attention from our fellow man because of it? Romans 12:3a says, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think;” Am I really so important that I need to draw attention to myself? Do I need to shout, “Hey! Look at me here in the choir singing the high notes that make anyone else’s voice break!” Or “Hey, yeah, that’s me watching the littlest ones while you enjoy Sunday School. You’re welcome.” Yeah, I laugh now, too. How conceited can one be? Meanwhile there are givers in our church, there are people greeting strangers I am too shy to walk up to and greet myself. (Shy extrovert? Yes, it can happen) There are people singing harmony in the choir, which, let’s face it, is harder than to keep than that melody I am singing. There is a blessed lady doing bulletin boards that make me want to hire her to do mine when I am a teacher. We are all part of a body. I, as say the hands, not more important than the head, legs or arms. Come on now! There is not one child of God more important than the other any more than my oldest child is more important than my youngest. God loves us equally and uses us differently. That’s the beauty of the Body.

Now there was a song that popped into my head this evening, “Legacy” by Nicole Nordeman. One line in particular stood out:
“I won’t lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an ‘Atta boy’ or ‘Atta girl’
But in the end I’d like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world”

That is all that my efforts and other people’s praises are; temporary trappings. Fancy decorations in a life that needs to have a deeper meaning and a deeper impact. The only way that I will leave a legacy of faith and trust isn’t by demanding the world pay attention to me, but by drawing attention to the one who makes my talents and gifts possible. God needs to come first and get the glory. The impact that I make is small in comparison to the one that God will make in the long run. Do I want them to remember me? Or do I want them to remember how God moved in their life. I want a crown, not a trophy. I want an offering of grace and mercy. Not a picture on a temporary wall on a temporary building. God help me remember to praise you, and ignore myself.
“How will they remember me?
Did I chose to love?
Did I point to you enough to leave a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering.
Child of mercy and grace who blessed Your name unappologetically.
I wanna leave a legacy.”
(Nicole Nordeman)

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She opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness

“With fronds like these who needs anemones?”

Pardon the Nemo reference, I couldn’t resist. I just started reading through the bible in a year with a particular software program. God knew I needed a laugh this morning, so he started me out in Job. Now you would think that would be a depressing start, but I started in chapter nine. And read though eleven. In that time, his encouraging peers called Job an ass, and that he obviously was doing something wrong and if he just thought about it he would understand why he was given such afflictions. I love the sarcasm Job uses to his so called friends, “No doubt you are the people and wisdom will die with you.” I laughed out loud as Job preceded to remind them that they aren’t telling him something that he hadn’t already done or thought about. The whole passage that I read was about who can understand God’s ways when we are not God? God alone has a reason for what He has done, and we are to follow along and just keep quiet and obey. If good comes, then great! If bad comes, then learn from it, but don’t always expect an answer.

Have you ever been criticized by well meaning peers? We are not talking your friends who may not live a similar lifestyle than you, but people who are brothers and sisters in the faith? They are well meaning in their exhortation but because your trials are not theirs they cannot possibly understand. I have a friend like that. Don’t get me wrong: we are true soul sisters. We have so much in common, as do our husbands, that it was as if God had grown a pea pod with the two of us in it. However, her trails and mine are not similar. She is full of exhortation and wisdom, but when a particular trial came my way and an exhortation was given, I really wanted to pull the Job line.

When we are hurt we have two ways to react. We can spew our hurt back and watch as a good friendship lies in ruins around us. We can hold onto that hurt and withhold forgiveness from those who own up to words not thought out fully and rant to anyone who will listen. Or we can stop. We can shut up our lips, breathe and withhold your temper because in hindsight, no one can read your mind and intentions, so why fly off when you can ground yourself, pray for wisdom, and offer your side or forgiveness when asked and keep that testimony intact. I have trials that aren’t hers, just as she has trials that aren’t mine. While I can offer advice and know and understand where she comes from, why do I quickly take offense when she exhorts me in a direction, while obviously right, just wasn’t right for my situation. I took a step back, too a deep breathe and told God i was thankful for a friend who calls it like they see it. i forgave before i was asked, because that is what God requires, and letting it go helped our friendship, but it also helped me as I take the path Wisdom asks of me. I believe I have really grown when I can have a friendship that can be spiritually healthy this way.

You may be wondering how this compares to Job. Wasn’t Job about personal trials? Think about it: why would God send trials to a man who NEVER did anything wrong? Why would God allow Satan to attack? God trusted in Job’s righteousness. He trusted that Job would turn it around and use the opportunity to praise Him. We all know how that turned out, but the lesson is there for us to learn. When a major trial comes, are you going to turn around and wail and say it isn’t fair, which I have done before, or are you going to stand say, God, I know you understand, and I am thankful that you trust me to ask for your help to get me through this. I know it is better said then done, but when all is said and done will you keep your testimony? Or will you lose it in a moment of self righteous anger? Wisdom dictates we ok rep the law of kindness on our tongue and remember, God puts people in your life for lessons he wants you to learn. It is our responsibility to always, as Christians to take the higher road and learn those lessons from the Ultimate Source of Wisdom. 

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Welcome to my life!

Welcome to my first blog post ever. I am very excited to begin the journey of blogging and I am taking you along for the ride. The reason I started this blog is because I wanted to share my many journeys with the world. Mostly my friends who will probably be the only ones to read this, but also anyone out in the internet world who will benefit from the lessons that God has taught me. This is a learning process for me, so be patient, be kind (as I will attempt to be) and follow me as I journey through this life follow the Master’s Plan for me.

Why is it called Being a Proverbs 31 woman? It isn’t about being the model wife and mother, but it is about my journey of faith, wifehood and motherhood. A proverbs woman is one who lets the Lord work through her and in her for His greater glory. It’s not about an immaculate house (Praise the Lord) or having perfect children (Oh, Amen) but it is about how you handle what is thrown at you and use it to further His kingdom.

I am not perfect. Far from it. I have however come a long way and I look forward to sharing my life with you. For the next few days I will be slowly introducing you to my life in general. My struggles as a parent of a child with special needs. My anticipation in being a Chaplain’s wife, and tidbits that I glean from the Bread of Life. I hope I can inspire you to live YOUR life. To be whom God intended you to be, a woman (or a man) after His own heart. Blessings!

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