60 Things

In honor of both my dad, who just turned 60 yesterday, and my mom, who turned 60 last September, here are the top 60 things I love about my parents…

60.  together they had the best daughter ever:)
59.  they gave me two awesome big brothers
58.  they love me like crazy
57.  they’re very hard workers and taught me to be a hard worker
56.  my dad worked at a publishing company when i was little and bought me books home from work all the time
55.  my mom is the best cook
54.  take a look at me…i am my mother’s daughter, for sure
53.  see my passion…i’m also my father’s daughter, for sure
52.  they’ve been married since 1969 (it’ll be 37 years in June)
51.  they always made sure i went to church
50.  my mom was my Missionettes leader
49.  my dad was a Sunday School teacher
48.  my mom prayed with me before school
47.  at one time they allowed me to take a train to Pittsburgh all by myself (i was 14!)
46.  my dad gets teary-eyed every time I leave
45.  i have to take a deep breathe before i hug my dad because he doesn’t want to let go
44.  they trusted me in high school
43.  they’ve forgiven me for every time i was dishonest to them as a child
42.  they’ve forgiven me for the times that i hurt them
41.  they sometimes pay for me to come visit them
40.  my dad calls to sing the Eagles fight song on my voicemail
39.  my mom gets hilarious when we play games with our whole family (she laughs so hard, it’s hard to contain yourself just watching her)
38.  "Momisms" like how she says…"duffle bag" as "duffie bag" or "balsamic vinegar" as "baslamic vinegar"…one of my all-time favorites-"Chuck E Cheese" is "Chunky Cheese" to my mom:)
37.  "Hot-hands Burton"-my mom can touch any hot dish, right out of the oven without burning herself!  it’s really amazing
36.  my dad’s love for his cat, Robbie
35.  my dad’s patriotism
34.  the way my dad draws a Robbie, the cat, "stamp" on every family birthday/holiday card sent out or given…you really have to see it to appreciate it
33.  the way my dad labels every picture/character on all my birthday cards
32.  my mom always gets me a manicure and/or pedicure for Christmas
31.  when one of my best friends made a video all about me "the kim video", my parents watched it several times and then made other people watch it…
30.  my mom has gotten so many awards at Cardone Industries, where she works (I pretty sure she might take over the company someday)
29.  how much my dad loves to see my pictures-I got his eye for pictures, you know
28.  i love it that when they visited me a year ago, they connected with one of my favorite teens, Casey (my mom was trying to kill him in Uno:)
27.  i love it that my dad comments on my blog
26.  and that my mom actually reads it now!
25.  i love it that i get to share my birthday with my mom
24.  my dad is a huge Philadelphia team fan and tries to keep me in the loop of what’s going on
23.  dad usually knows Detroit weather before I do because he checks it almost everyday
22.  they encourage me
21.  they are so proud of me and that makes me smile
20.  they ache to see my nephews play ball (they really love their grandkids and want to be with them!)
19.  they’re going to move to the midwest someday soon (oh, wait, that’s what i’m hoping for:)
18.  they send me a gift on Valentine’s Day:)-hopefully someday someone else will take care of that
17.  my parents hate the game, Cranium, but will play it with us because us kids love it
16. i love it that my mom actually figured out how to forward a message on her cell phone!  this is very big

15.  my mom knows that I typically need a Philly cheesesteak asap when I go home to visit

14.  my dad passed along his sweettoothe to me

13.  when I would fight with my brothers when I was little, I was always right:)

12.  they let me go far away to college-and didn’t make any bones about it

11.  they’ve allowed God to change them (aren’t we all glad that God does that in our lives?)

10.  they haven’t just gotten older, they’ve grown

9.    they support me in everything that I do!

8.    they make me miss them….

7.    they’ve listened to my stories (my many, many stories)

6.    they always made sure that I met my responsibilities to my church ministries growing up

5.  they took me to church the night I asked Jesus into my heart (and made sure that I told my pastor about it afterward)

4.  they allowed friends to be important in my life

3.  they disciplined me

2.  they put the Word into my hands as a child

1.  God gave them to me!

I truly love my parents, for even more reasons than these.  God loves us so much that He puts in the best places in which we’ll grow to become more like Him.  I’m thankful for my parents, who love me more than I can probably imagine.  And I hope that they have stepped into their 61st year of life with the best yet to come. 

Love you, Mom and Dad!  -Kimberly

Only Because I’m His Mim:)

When I arrived at my brother’s house last week I heard all about Robert’s hair…yikes!  My nephew refused to get it cut.  For weeks his mom and dad had been telling him that he desperately needed to get it cut!  But nope!  That is, until his Mim came into town.  I told Stephanie (my sister-in-law) that I’d get him to cut it, and guess what…and it’s only because I’m his Mim!  (A few years ago his 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Porter, told me she was so glad to finally meet me.  She said that all the time he talked about "his Mim…his Mim, his Mim, his Mim…all the time!"  That, I will never forget.Img_6246

The reason he wouldn’t smile in this picture is because I was kickin’ his butt at Settlers of Catan:)

And just because I’m a proud aunt…this is Robert and me when I arrived home from my first year of college…my how he’s grown up (my baby:).Misc_001

Sent to Detroit

I love to tell the story of how I came to be where I am now.  Walking through a chain of events thatDetroit_1
God gracefully orchestrated has been a fantastic experience.

People will ask me where I’m from.  My response is usually something like this:  "Well, I’m from Philadelphia, but I went to college in Minneapolis, and now I live here!"  Others usually respond with a raised eyebrow and, "What brought you here?"  At this point I love to share the simple story of how God sent me here.  Until recently I didn’t fully get the concept of that, but now I feel like I have a better understanding of God’s plan.

***Allow me to interject the short story…I moved here to live with a friend, who was doing an internship, after graduation from NCU, but I was only going to stay for the summer.  My plans were to move back to Minneapolis in August but God directed my heart to stay.  It felt kind of crazy.  I didn’t have a job or a permanent place to live…what on earth was I going to do in Michigan?  I knew a few people and I had a great church, but what were they really going to do for me?  I still wasn’t going to be close to my family or any of my best friends…they all stayed in Minneapolis, where I was going to be.  God took me out of the comfort zone of the city I’d come to love, the college-life I’d become so distinctly apart of, and my large circle of close friends to be…in Detroit***

We’ve been talking about Jonah at Church of the King these past few weeks.  We’ve been looking at how Jonah was sent by God to a sin-filled place called Ninevah (yeah, yeah, yeah, a big whale…heard that story in Sunday School when I was 5).  But the perspective that Jonah was a missionary who lacked compassion for a city that needed God’s grace, just as much as he did, is not one I had the comprehension for as a five-year-old.  God sent Jonah (and he eventually went).  God sent Jesus.  God has sent me…to Detroit.

We’ve been talking about how God is sending us from our homes into our neighborhoods, our families, our jobs, our supermarkets, our malls-everywhere in our city-to be disciples in the most Jesus-like fashion we can.  I guess the funny thing is that I began to realize, a few weeks ago as I was telling my story once again, that God sent me from Philly, via Minneapolis, to Detroit. 

It almost seems silly that I didn’t get it before, after having told that story a hundred times, but it has finally hit me.  I am a missionary who left my family to go to an unfamiliar place, by myself, to see a city transformed in the name of Jesus. 

You know, I asked Jesus to be the Leader of my life when I was 7, during a missions convention at my church.  There were missionaries from Tunisia, whose son was dressed as a camel :), who prayed with me that night.  Until my recent years, when I thought of missionaries I thought of people like them.  Missionaries, to me, were people that travelled to other countries, ate scary food, learned to speak another language and dressed up in camel costumes!  Fortunately, God has expanded my thoughts of missionaries to look like people with red hair and freckles, who live in Southfield, Michigan and work in Hamtramck.

Perspective is a good thing.  I’m glad that Jesus is sharing more and more of His perspective with me about my life and my purpose these days.  I’m called to Metro-Detroit and unless He says, "Move," I’m here to stay.  I’m called to my church and I want to see it grow and mature.  I’m called to be a part of church planting here, however God chooses to use me in that.  I’m called to teach and I desire to see transformation happen through my students as they grow up to be future leaders in our city (that’s what I pray for them!).  I’m called to live in Southfield-I know that because I look different than everyone that lives around me and I love that:)

Temptation to leave comes , but I just won’t listen, because I know that I’m called here…voices tell me about things like better paying jobs, "nicer" city, better schools, lower taxes, bigger churches…but they simply don’t compare to being exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to do. 🙂  It’s truly amazing!

Oh, Nothing.

Sometimes I feel that my blog is like a Seinfeld blog…a blog about nothing.

Do you ever feel like you want to blog about everything and then blog about nothing?  I guess that sounds funny coming from me, since I’ll easily go a week without do so, but I’ve said, "I’ve gotta blog about that," at least once a day since I started blogging.  I just don’t always get around to it. 

So here I sit tonight, and I know I’ve had things to blog about today, but they’re just not clicking today.  So I blog about nothing to blog about.  This is somehow amazing to me.  (Easy to please:)

he roz

This is my nephew, Ross.  Last night at "Underground Kidz", at church, they talked about Jesus’ resurrectionand made crosses.  So apparently when he was supposed to be getting ready for bed, and Stephanie (his mom) and I were talking, he got out a marker and decided to celebrate Easter in his own way.  Notice his six-pack, one of the things that he loves from this post.

I Don’t Think So:)

Within the past year and a half I’ve learned of so many new ways to connect with people (mostly old friends) online!  There’s debate about each venue, but I’m pretty comfortable with them for now.

I’m on Facebook, but I don’t really get into it too much, to be honest with you.  The other day I got a message from a guy that I’ve never met before (what’s new?:) who invited me to join his new Facebook group, "I have graduated from NCU, and what do you know?  I’m not married."  Am I going to join?  Ah, yeah, thanks for the invite, Justin, but I don’t think so.  Hah!

Freedom to Fail

I read an e-votional this morning with this story and thought I’d share it. 

A young man of
thirty-two was appointed President of a large, well-established bank.
He’d never dreamed he would be president, much less at such a young
age. Therefore, he approached the Chairman of the Board, a man known
for his wisdom, and asked, "You know, I’ve just been appointed
President. I was wondering if you could give me some advice." The old
man came back with just two words, "Right decisions!" The young man had
hoped for a bit more than this, so he said, "That’s really helpful, and
I appreciate it, but can you be more specific? How do I make right
decisions?" The wise old man simply responded,
"Experience." The young man said, "Well, that’s why I am here. I don’t
have the kind of experience I need. How do I get it?" The final and
somewhat terse reply came, "Wrong decisions!"

Ever since I was in
junior high I’ve always loved to be in charge of something.  Some might
think that means I like to be bossy, others might say "in control" and
others might recognize that as leadership.  I suppose each one could
certainly be true in its own way, but I’d like to think that over time
people (usually pastors) in my life were developing me to be a leader,
and not to be bossy or in control.  (Perhaps they saw something in
me:)  I’m grateful for all the learning environments I’ve been blessed
with these past fourteen years. 

One of the greatest things about these environments has been the freedom to fail…to learn through making wrong decisions.  Nobody wants to make wrong decisions, but unfortunately, for me at least, I make my fair share of them.  Just yesterday someone asked me, point blank, how my prayer life for my ministry was going.  I had to be honest and say that it hasn’t been what it should’ve been…wrong decision.  Oh, it wasn’t a wrong decision that I shared it, but it was a wrong decision to let my prayers shrink in my life (and for something I’m so passionate about!).  He could’ve told me what an awful leader I’d been because of that and that he needed to find someone better to lead that ministry, but I’m grateful to know that I’ve been given the freedom to fail…I definitely need to come back strong though. 

It’s good for me to have people in my life who allow room for this type of freedom.  I think it’s often hard to allow ourselves to have this.  Even if we’re not perfectionists (which I’m not), we don’t want to fail.  We don’t want to fall down.  We want to do it right the first time around and not have to go back to the starting line.  The fact of the matter is that if we never allow ourselves the freedom to fail we will go through life dragging ourselves around with a "woe is me, I’m a failure…nobody should want to be around a failure such as I" attitude…and we’ll never take God-ordained risks.

In conclusion (this is how my students would start a closing paragraph;), try not to fail, but liberate yourself from the fear of wrong decisions.  Even as I read that last sentence, it’s much easier said than done, but aren’t you glad that God can be the source our "trying not to fail"?  🙂 

Have an awesomely, freeing day.

Fear of Complacency

That’s pretty cool, but it scares me that I could become complacent,
because I certainly can’t afford to lose all that I’ve struggled
through over complacency.

I just wrote that in an email to someone about something I’m going through.  For a snowy, Sunday afternoon in April, I feel as if that’s the most profound thing I’ll say today.  I’ve had a really hard time coming up with meaningful things to write about these past couple of weeks.  Nothing has flowed well at all.  Confusion, doubt, disorientation…they’re the things that have kept me from sharing, but I think it’s these things that keep me from becoming complacent at the same time.  Wrestling through them keeps me going back to the cross and the "reckless love of God", as Brad preached about this morning.  What else is there to turn to?  He is so consistent.  He helps me to turn from that complacency and continue to develop consistency.  God does not cause confusion, doubt or disorientation, but He knows how to use them effectively…and I think He also utilizes a healthy fear of complacency too.