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Where’s your sign

So Gideon said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me.” ~ Judges 6:17

We are trying to sell our house. It’s not impossible- but the conditions are such, that timing needs to be perfect. As time pas passed pieces have fallen into place, and I keep wanting to think that this is a sign!

God wants us to move into the large brick house that I love! But realistically, it doesn’t necessarily mean that! I do believe that God has a plan, and if it is meant to be, then it is meant to be. But, God didn’t say, stand around waiting for a sign. God said to live a prepared sign.

So as much as I would like to wait around gushing over this small event falling into place, I need to live my life, and let it go, and let God!

God Bless,
Kim

Level Up

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
~ Luke 17:5

I often overhear teens (and adults) talking about how they have reached the next level of a game, of binge-watching Netflix, and texting, or any number of activities that require time and effort. My question is, how are “leveling up” you faith?

Lent offers us the perfect chance to get things together in our faith life. Good old Catholic guilt gets our butts to mass more, a few Lenten “extras”, and even *GASP* confession! All of those are wonderful, and no matter your reason for getting through the door- you are adding some “faith experience points” and you never know what achievements from God you might unlock!

God Bless & and May your Level Ups be EPIC!
~Kim

Achievement-unlocked

Just moving some mountains

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
~Matthew 17:20

Size matters- we hear that all the time in advertising. Bigger is better! Supersize it! But when it comes to faith, many people don’t feel like their faith is big enough…

But we’ve been told that we don’t need to have our faith supersized! We need only have faith as small as a mustard seed to move mountains. Great news for all those times that we feel less than holy, or those days when everything is going so wrong, that we figure God must be on a coffee break.

I don’t know what the divine break schedule looks like, but I do know that as long as our faith is this big:

 We’ve got this covered!

Blessings!
~Kim

Can anybody turn on the light?

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”
~Matthew 5:14

We have all heard the gospel about the Pharisees who made a big deal out of their faith- putting on a big show and “suffering”. So, it could be easy to make the mistake of thinking that your faith is something that shouldn’t be “seen” outside of church. However, there is a big difference between making a show of your faith, and a being a light for your faith.

Don’t make your faith a performance, make it normal! Faith is not the “sparkly” noticeable actions of giving up something and making a big deal about it- yes, give something up if that is helping you feel closer to God. But complaining about that action of prayer is not helping you get closer to God!

God is not Hollywood, full of empty promises of glitz, glamor, and perfection. God is waiting for you to come home, and turn on the light for everyone to see.

God bless,
Kim

Keep Christmas

“…and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.” ~ Stave 5, A Christmas Carol~ Charles Dickens

For they will scarcely brood over the days of their lives, because God keeps them occupied with the joy of their hearts. ~ Ecclesiastes 5:20

We are now a week out of the joyous Christmas season- Jesus has been born, baptized, and presented in the temple. This past weekend he began his earthly ministry with the miracle at the Wedding at Cana. So, it can be easy to fall into a rut, and just kind of slide through Ordinary Time, just waiting for Lent to show up and make us sacrifice chocolate(or soda, candy or *GASP* Netflix- now there’s a sacrifice). But how are you keeping the joy of Christmas alive? Christmas may be over, but the joy shouldn’t just disappear with the last of the Christmas cookies!

How can we take all that joy that practically explodes out of Christmas- the company, gifts, music, food, excitement, and enthusiasm and insert that into our “Ordinary Times” lives? No one is going to just hand you joy. A lot of people have this idea, that joy and happiness are just going to be given to us, but Jesus tells us that the path of happiness requires some effort on our part! So, if you hear me humming “Angels we Have Heard on High” or “I Saw Three Ships”, don’t worry- it’s just the Christmas joy I’m trying to hang to for just a little bit longer!

God Bless,
Kim

Lessons from a Toddler- Wandering Wisemen

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”
~ Matthew 2:1-2 

There are no elves on my shelves. There are many reasons for that, but mostly it boils down to the fact that good behavior is a year-round endeavor in our house and it feels like adding an elf for a month once a year would complicate that idea.  It may seem silly, but I don’t want my children to behave well because “Santa is watching” through the little elves. I am absolutely not passing judgment on anyone who does Elf on the Shelf, it is a very cute and creative idea. My daughter has even asked if we will be getting an elf that moves all around this year. The answer, despite her asking, is still no.

I don’t remember there being an emphasis on Santa “watching us” when I was growing up. We definitely knew Santa was coming, and that if we were rotten little monsters there might not be any presents, but it was more of a peripheral awareness. We sang all the songs about Santa watching, and keeping his list, but the idea of actually being on the naughty list never occurred to me- my daughter is actually afraid of it. I have much clearer memories of designing my Christmas dress with my mother- and that is what I want for my kids. I want them searching for something else at Christmas, which is why three strange little men visit our house in December.

The 3 Wise Men search our house each December for the Baby Jesus, and isn’t that what we all should be doing- searching for Jesus? So the quest in my house is about finding Jesus, where are those silly wise men now, and the naughty list fades into the background. We love watching the Grinch, and decorating Gingerbread cookies, but what I love even more is knowing that the first thing my kids do every morning in December is search for the Wise Men searching for Jesus.

God Bless,
Kimwandering wisemen

She said YES

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. ~Luke 1:38

Can you imagine probably being 16-18, and being told that you were going to give birth to the Son of God?

Seriously???

I have difficulty saying yes to help out with another event on a weekend, and Mary said “Sure”, to spending the rest of her life raising the Son of God- because all parents know that it is a lifetime commitment, no matter how old the child gets! Even worse this is the actual flesh and blood of the divine. Failure is not an option.

However, this teenage girl, faced with ridicule, abandonment, and even death calmly and serenely accepted one of the most difficult tasks undertaken by a human. She did this all with just one word… Yes, and the entire world has never been the same.

One word can change the world, so the next time someone asks you to help, support, or just show up, you never know what the result of your “Yes” can be.

God Bless,
Kim

Christmas Presence

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. ~Genesis 3:8

Hundreds of thousands of generations between Adam and Eve and us, and we still have the tendency to hide when the Lord might be nearby. I find that I feel that the holiday season has become a giant contest to see who can celebrate the birth of Christ, without actually inviting him to the party.

Don’t get me wrong- I love Christmas! I put my tree up the day after Thanksgiving, and it doesn’t come down until Epiphany (Easy to do when it is a giant fake tree!). We play Christmas music, have a room decorated with nothing but nativities, and get all pretty-ed up to attend our Christmas Eve mass. However, I have found that Christ is not present in the frenzied tree decorating, the constant scolding of the kids “DON’T TOUCH”, and the chaos of finding the correct tights, and the shoes that fit before heading to church.

I decided this year to focus on the Christmas presence, instead of Christmas presents. We are cutting back on gifts to each other, and trying for more meaningful gifts to other members of our family. We are searching for the Wandering Wisemen (Check back for more about that adventure!), and concentrating on preparing our hearts for His presence, rather than the house for some presents.

What about you? Do you feel the Christmas presence in your preparations? How do you find the holiness in this (too often hectic) season of preparation?

God Bless,
Kim

No Giant Fish

 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, “Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.”  But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. ~ Jonah 1:1-3

This may come as a shock to some, so prepare yourself… Are you ready?
There are days I don’t want to talk to people.

(Insert shocked emoticon here)

*Play ominous music- Dun, Dun, DUH!*

I get that I am outgoing, but I have to tell you that there are days that I am so tired that it seems like too much effort to smile, let alone talk to people. And now you want me to be nice to them too? Give me a break… I don’t want to be the Youth Minister today!

Many jobs have weekends. No one really bother’s each other on Saturday and Sunday- they are kind of off limits- good! Everyone gets a break! However, for those of us called to serve the church community there isn’t a traditional weekend. Our pastor is amazing, and he insists people take their weekends on other days if not Saturday & Sunday- but since the majority of people are not “off” the idea that I might not be available on Thursday is a foreign concept.

I try to be accepting of that with good cheer, but there are days when I feel like I need to run off to Tarshish with Jonah just so my phone will stop ringing! Everyone needs a break, some people just have an easier time of it. I suppose, despite the many frantic phone messages and e-mails (Because even after 8 years of NEVER being available on Thursday everyone still forgets it 🙂 ), I should be grateful…

Even if I don’t show up to work one day, I am probably not going to get swallowed by a giant fish!

God Bless,
Kim

PS- Take a day off and do something fun! Chances are your vacation days don’t roll over anyway!

Summer Rest

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;  he restores my soul. ~Psalm 23:1-3

As much as my schedule is very much linked to a school year, I still find summer to be the busiest time for me. There are registrations to be sent out, taken in, and sorted into classes. Teachers to encourage to accept the call to minister in one of the most terrifying ministry jobs- teaching the faith! The Herculean (although much less messy and ultimately more fun) task of planning, writing, and executing the Summer Bible Land Adventures program. The list could continue, but this is supposed to be about relaxing! And so, with all of those tasks hanging over my head it would be easy to lose sight of the fun that also comes with summer.

My children are completely my own again- no dance, school, or FF classes. I may still be working, but these are also the days when my schedule is the most flexible. So, I try to have little outtings with the kids- zoo, berry picking, shopping, and movies. But even with these little adventures it can be easy to slip into a nonstop work mode until the Lord practically shoves me out the door- get outside and play!

Isn’t that exactly what our earthly parents would do when we were kids? If we became too absorbed inside (at least in my house) we were unceremoniously kicked out of the house- without whatever book you were reading, and told to GO PLAY!

We don’t all have our parents around to remind us, and the good Lord is much more subtle. So the next time your wifi isn’t connecting, or Pinterest is loading too slowly… take the hint!

GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY!

After all, the Lord just wants us to chill out by calm waters, and eat lots of good food… Sounds like a pretty good summer to me!

God Bless,
Kim