Saturday, March 26, 2016

Last Day - Surrender, Contentment, Gratitude.

Imagine yourself on a wild border or standing on a threshold, knowing that you cannot fully embrace what is on the other side until you have let this place shape and form your heart. When you notice your attention drifting or your mind starting to analyze, return to your breath and the present moment. Allow yourself to feel whatever arises in this space. Honor the mystery - Christine Paintner

This is it. Our last day. This fast has taught me SO very much. Here's a short list.

  1. Taking away all game apps, social media (except advertising my Holy Yoga Classes and YL), and the not watching the Today Show showed me how much I waste time everyday. I had to reprogram my morning and try to reprogram how I unwind. 
  2. Ann Voskamp's Book - 1,000 Gifts was difficult for me to read. It took me the entire fast to finish it. I read the last chapter yesterday. However, I'm glad that I did not speed through it. Learning to be content and grateful in all things? I for one needed that to work in and through my heart and mind. If you can learn to be grateful and content? You are less likely to be angry or critical. Good stuff.
  3. Before this fast, I considered myself pretty surrendered to Christ, but I prayed that God would show me areas that needed surrender. Boy oh boy did he ever show me. Emotionally painful and heavy things happened during this fast. So painful in fact that I questioned everything-my intentions, my abilities, whether I should continue as a Young Life leader, my capabilities as a loving wife, mother, and friend? It all came to a head. I cried. I prayed. I cried some more. I prayed so much in the last month and a half than I have in a very, very long time. I surrendered my reputation and the need/want to be liked by everyone. I discovered that my own efforts cannot fix the things that happened, but God can and I will depend on him.
Fasting is a good and NEEDED thing in my life. I dread it every year, but in the end? It is probably one of the best things I can do. I do it not so God will do something for me, but because I desperately need to know Him more. We serve a God that wants relationship with us. I need this fast to get all of the stuff in my life out of the way so that I can focus, realign, and become FULLY dependent on God again. He is my source of all life. He is my all in all. 

As I go back to eggs, cheese, Instagram, the Today Show and more, I pray that I will continue to be fully dependent on him and nothing else. Happy Easter everyone!! 


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Kelly's First day of March

I am back in the land of the living.
Admittedly, I wanted to die last weekend.
Strep is a ferocious beast.
To give you an example of my weekend, Saturday, I:
1~Watched four movies.
2~Took a two hour nap.
3~Ate four cans of soup.

It was the first nice weekend we've had since November, but whatev. And, by "whatev," I mean "WHY?! WHY?! WHY ME?!"
My ugly is showing.

So, I had some time to think over the weekend in between all my chick flicks and naps and soups. I even think I dreamt up a pretty darn good book idea. So, in my spare time, I think I've decided to write. Look for my book at bookstands everywhere in the springtime of 2030 (Will they even have book stands then?)! I digress (what's new).

So, I was thinking...

Do I know enough people that are NOT like me?
Do I know enough people who do NOT believe what I believe?
Who do not THINK like I think?
Who do not have the same political views I have?
Do I know enough poor people? Rich people? Young people? Old people? Asians? African-Americans? Mexican-Americans? Gay people? Homeless (gulp)? Immigrants? Germans? Okay, so I've got the Germans covered (and, if you start one more of your little "let's annoy Kelly by posting random German junk on her FB page"'s over. You just remember, people, I bought GIRL SCOUT COOKIES FROM YOU, AND I CAN'T EVEN EAT THEM!).

If we're friends only with people like ourselves, we will become narrow minded and religiously (is that a word) apathetic. Is THAT what I am? Is THAT what I've become? Instead of having intellectual conversations regarding differences and learning what it is that makes people tick, what their passions and convictions are, am I lazily having surface level conversations with them and avoiding any topic of conversation that might be considered controversial? I mean, don't get me wrong. I don't like "cleaning up" after some angry conversation with someone that went awry. That's never fun, but can't we respectfully carry on a conversation  regarding differing beliefs in the spirit of trying to KNOW someone on a more personal level without World War III breaking out?

Just wanted to share a few thoughts out there. I'll let you know if they develop into anything "noteworthy." :)

Happy Tuesday, Y'all!
It's a beautiful day in South Carolina, so I'm going to go enjoy the sunshine since I'm not on my death bed anymore!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Kelly~A House Divided

I have strep.
I ate chicken noodle soup---hold the chicken---today.
You know what you tell the doctor when you have five kids, and she tells you that you have strep?
"You need to make me well...ASAP. I don't have time for this."
To which she replies, "You need to rest."'s to doctors everywhere who have NO IDEA what it's like to have children, much less five children (She raises her hot herbal tea high).

One thing that seems to be a theme this "go 'round" of this fast is UNITY. You have to love election years. They have a knack for turning friends against each other, and kind people in to mean people. There is nothing quite like an election year to give people FULL GROUNDS to "speak their truth" "love." You know, the kind that is "out of concern for you" (as if you've lost your mind).

I don't understand this phenomenon. I mean, the Christian majority of this country of ours has gone all but completely silent, standing aside while issues that should grieve us to the core have gone largely unchecked. But, give Christians an election year, and we will lash out at every single candidate AND each other. Where is the fruit in that?

Satan uses divisiveness as a main tool to make way for his plans. I was looking over my Holy Yoga training notes from a couple years ago yesterday morning. I'll share a few points:

Satan is totally unoriginal.
He is up to the same 'ole schemes he's always been up to.
He is a one trick pony.

The thing that comes to mind, and that has been a theme as of late as originally brought up by my new friend, Ashley, is that the easiest win for Satan is when he can trick people into being divided. "Satan is a ONE TRICK PONY." If it has worked once for Satan, it's worked a thousand times. And, if it's worked a thousand times, it should work a thousand more for him. Can't we all CATCH ON?! We are LOSING against these schemes if we don't take a stand against them!

Divisiveness is a win-win for the losing team.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up...Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?...two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." ~Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 

We are meant to do life TOGETHER...UNIFIED in mission, not arguing and angrily trying to prove our point. It's detrimental to the Gospel message AND politics. We spend all our time trying NOT to judge, but bring in a Presidential candidate who claims to be Christian, and we will RAKE HIM ACROSS THE COALS judging whether or not he's ACTUALLY saved. Where's the fruit in that? Moreover, do we actually think that, in that moment, we are representing Jesus well? We are not. We are all hypocrites in that moment.

"So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: "How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. " ~Mark 3:23-25 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Kelly's Post: 3 things I am scared to pray.

I am scared to pray for three things (FEAR-So holy, right?):

1~Patience. When you pray for patience, you DON'T GET PATIENCE! You get things that will MAKE YOU PATIENT.

2~Faith. When you pray for faith, you DON'T GET FAITH! You get things that will develop your faith.

3~That God would search me. Let me explain...

Psalm 139: 23, 24 says,

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

See, If I ASK God to search my heart, I already know what He'll find. He'll find the "stuff" I HIDE. You know, that stuff you sweep under the bed or hide in the closet or the back corner of your soul where the dusty filth dwells? It's like the top shelf of your display cabinet. NO ONE SEES THAT SHELF! WHY DUST? It still LOOKS pretty! THAT stuff. 

If I ASK God to see if there is any offensive way in me, I ALREADY KNOW WHAT HE'LL FIND! 

He'll find:
Lack of Self Control.
Do I need to lay it ALL out right here? 

I wish I was bold enough to pray that, but I know what He'd find, and that He and I would have to do the work to clean all that junk, and I HATE DUSTING. Can I just hire a cleaning service? I don't necessarily like the whole "soul work" thing. UGH. The problem is that I KNOW He already sees all this stuff! I just don't want to INVITE Him to SEARCH IT OUT! 

I'm holy like that.
I'm even disgusted with MYSELF as I type that out.

Typing that out for all 12 of you to read is hard. I guess you can call this more of a confession. And, I'm NOT asking anyone to hold me accountable to "do the work" with God. I'm actually hoping that He is not reading this blog post.  As if.

Anyhow, that's what's been going on the last few days.