“But Who Will Marry ME?”-Sweet Friend Gabby

Scrabble

(Check out this sign on Etsy here)


I love to keep up with messages by my amazingly anointed and gifted friend (and former pastor), Brad.  He is the pastor of a thriving church in my hometown, Philly.  God is blowing my mind @ City Life Church, in the ways that He is moving, and I'm so proud of my friends and their team for pursuing the City of Love with the ultimate Love of Christ.  

Every now and then I have a Brad Leach marathon and listen to several messages from the past couple months, and today is such a day.  Due to Singles Awareness Month around here, 😉 I have been avoiding listening to his relationship messages from last month, feeling great in that area and not needing one more right now.  But after posting yesterday', about my sweet moment with Jesus and the stallion that He has prepared for me, I decided it would be okay to hear Brad's thoughts about this.

He tells this precious story about his little girl, Gabby, at the beginning of this message, and if you've got it in you to hear one more message about relationships any time soon, this is another great talk on the topic for all my phenomenal friends out there in a season of wondering, "But who will marry ME?"  Check it out here. (2/24/13)  He even gives a great reason to join the Operations Team @ DC Metro Church…suggesting that you can enter Connection Cards from Sunday and scope out the new single people @ the church.  Just sayin'. 😉

I "don't need to budge from God's plan for my life."  So glad that I get to thrive in my singleness.

 

My Accent, Part Dos

Five and half years ago I posted about my accent, revealing that I no longer had one.  From PHILly, but lived in MinneSOHta and MichigAN for 12 years wrecked my accent quite a bit.  Nonetheless, I was still holding it down with the Philadelphian in me a little bit according to that test.

Just did the same exact test this afternoon to find that I still don't have much of a distinct accent, but…

Accent shot

…THE SOUTH HAS OVERTAKEN ME!  And all my Lousiana, Jacksonville, Georgia, Tennesee, Texas friends said…Amen.  This is what moving to Virginia has done to, for, to me.  I just go around picking up little pieces of other people's accents all the time…Hot mess.

She-Rah, Sighing and a Stallion

Recently I had the privilege of praying with some of my beautiful prayer warrior friends.  One of them, I even call She-Rah:  Prayer Warrior Princess.  We are a part of a team at our church that gets to do personal prayer ministry with individuals.  One and a half to two hours, just for one person.  A long time ago God began using people to teach me about "the one".  Jesus cares about everyONE.  He wants us to invest in the ONE.  I love this ministry because I get to focus on just one person at a time-to honor and care for in prayer.  There are few places I'd rather be on those nights.

Sometimes our team gets together to do some training and practice.  The other night these warrior princesses in my life ministered to me for a brief time during our practice.  One person was leading that part and the rest of us were to ask a question:  "Jesus, what lie am I believing about you?"  I wasn't feeling well that night, so I had already decided that I wasn't really going to participate.  (I live in a land called "Of Course", where God does things that I wouldn't have necessarily seen happening, but Daddy knows best and just goes for it.  Because I choose to submit to Him-many times ;-)- He brings me along for a ride anyway!)  So…of course I was the first person to get an answer, and that meant that I was the one that was supposed to receive ministry in that session.  (sigh)

Literally, I sighed.  

Loud.  

I didn't feel like participating.  I just wanted to look in from the outside and coach them through it.  

But, no.  Jesus wanted to dispell a lie.

In my open-book transparency, I often still censor what I'm sharing with the world for good reason. Everyone just doesn't need to know everything, and there are plenty of women in my life with whom I share life with.  For some reason though, this month has been highlighted to me as "Singles Awareness Month" @ my church (not really, but it just feels like it is) and I thought I'd share some thoughts for the sake of amazing women in my life.

The lie.  "You think that I'm always going to be just your friend, but that I'm never going to be your groom."

Boom.

Story of my freakin' life.  How often do I say it?  "I'm always the friend, but never the bride."  "He thinks I'm such an incredible woman…sucks I'm not attractive enough."  "I'll have great guy friends until the day I die…but am I ever going to have a husband?"

There I said it.  

But does that really mean that because I've thought those things that I really don't think that Jesus is going to be my groom?  The Bible tells us that Jesus is coming back someday, and that he is coming back for his bride.  I believe that.  I believe that Jesus is the ultimate Groom and that someday I will be with him in Heaven.  I also believe that He's my friend; I've a friend in Jesus. (Click for a belly laugh).  

What Jesus was telling me was that deep down I am actually relating my expectation of Him to my wonderings about whether I'll ever go from "awesome, incredible, amazing, sister in Christ" to bride.  I just didn't think I was doing that…until I asked. Dang those questions!  

So in this prayer session with my friends, I asked Jesus if there was anyone I needed to forgive for this lie being in my life.  Together we walked through a couple of items there and then I gave that unforgiveness and frustration to Him.  I asked Him what he would give me in exchange for that junk and do you know what he gave me?  

Bay-Azteca-Stallion (Original image)

Yes, He did.  He gave me a stallion.

So I can wonder all I want to, whether I will ever make the transition from "amazing friend" to a bride someday, but I don't really have to.  All that does is feed a lie that I already got rid of.  I have to admit, it's still hard to believe.  Really.  But I choose to believe that my stallion is out there-or right around the corner; I have no clue.  

In the meanwhile, I will continue to be aware of my singlesness because I can't seem to get away from it…at all.  Might as well enjoy a great message on either marriage or singleness here. (March 3, 10, 17) 😉

 

 

Hopeful New Year

About an hour ago I did wish some folks a Happy New Year.

The more I consider it though, who am I to tell people to have a happy new year?

This past year has brought quite a bit of suffering and grief to people I really love, like, barely know and many I'll never meet…why should they be required to have a Happy New Year in 2013?

This year I've…

watched some close friends tragically lose their dads

watched one of my best friends lose really important older women in her life (her MawMaw and great aunt who helped raise her)

watched a friend still not be able to get back with her separated husband

watched a good friend still not have resolution with an untruthful accusation with his job at work

watched several close women in my life miscarry…more than once

watched my sister-in-law say goodbye to one of her good friends who went into hospice the other day and pass away this morning

watched a friend go home to be with her dad as he entered hospice care

learned that the son of my sister-in-law's childhood best friend (who died 5 years ago) shot himself the other day with his best friends there

heard of tragedy after tragedy happen-just in this country-with folks losing their friends and loved ones to horrific events, due to brokenness (the government can't make broken people unbroken…never will be able to…)

learned of sick adoption issues across the world that are truly harming children

learned of more than one mom of small kids lose her husband out of nowhere

learned that just yesterday my friend's dad went to the hospital with pneumonia

watched two of my best friends say goodbye to their 2 1/2 year old little girl after a 2 1/2 year battle with sickness

and the other day I watched (from a distance) a family that I hold dear get into a horrific accident, throwing one of my favorite little freckle-faced, Irish teenagers from the car, taking away his Senior year and first year of college-here in 2013…

…seen so much pain…

I think…who am I to wish these people a Happy New Year?

Instead, I think this year I will move forward with wishing my friends and family a Hopeful New Year.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15.13

How can all of these people move forward in such great pain? It just doesn't seem to be humanly possible, but by the grace of God.  I was reflecting yesterday on how great God was this past year-in SO many ways, and also on the reality of the sorrow that SO many of my friends and family have felt.  I literally felt it yesterday-quite a heaviness.  These things are not sorrowful moments felt once and then gone.  These are moments that are felt on a daily basis.

So I will continue to pray for said-friends in my life, and those that I do not know, asking that God would make the reality of His hope apparent in their lives.  That it would push them forward 365 more times in 2013-even on the really hard days, when numbness sets in and the walls of grief are closing in on them.  I'm praying that Father God would help them put together the pieces that don't make sense and that He will bring a new level of wholeness to their lives.

Only. God.

Feel free to let me know how I can be praying with you this year.

Love,

Kim

 

You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in your word.

 

Psalm 119.114

 

"And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?  My hope is in you.

 

Psalm 39.7

I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.

Psalm 119.147

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope…

Psalm 130.5

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God…

Psalm 146.5

For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Romans 8.24-25

Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

Proverbs 23.18

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 12.12

 

Rubes

Today we take a few moments

to CELEBRATE

the life of a courageous little girl

whose brief touch on this earth has impacted more people

than a 2 1/2 year old typically has the chance to

We CELEBRATE

the faith that it launched in people

the depth that it dug in people

the inner healing that will continue to abound in people

We CELEBRATE

the GOODNESS of God

…because even in the midst of the pain that is felt…

He

is

still

good

We GRIEVE

for our LOSS

Yet

will continue to CELEBRATE

her GAIN 

Luse family-044

Ruby Joy (Rubes)

you were a delight to know

you were a champion

you gave me reasons to never give up hope

…to never lose heart

Through your life

mine was revived

Thank you for being a part of my life

It was a JOY to know you here

Can't wait to run with you someday

and laugh

and giggle

and dance

…let's dance together

Your legacy extends farther than any of us can see

and will last for eternity

You are a hero to me, Rubes

Love you.

 

In memory of Ruby Joy Luse

July 10, 2009-March 14, 2012

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isaiah 35.10

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye.

So-long-farewell-copyFor the past 2 weeks I decided to go lite on my sugar fast, which I've been on since the end of July.  I felt peace about it.  I felt like God was saying, "Kim, it's your fast.  I'm not the legalistic one here."  So, almost daily I've had some things with sugar in them, including:  specialized coffee drinks, a few cookies, some pie, and some candy.  Full disclosure…a muffin too.

Now I am sure that God said those things to me.  Why?  Because He knew that I needed a couple of weeks to see that I'm not ready to go off of my fast yet. :-)  I feel terrible….pretty sick.  Not good.  Get the picture? 

In Reading class we are learning about inferencing.  You take what the author is saying, add to it your background knowledge, and you create an inference!  Or you take what you see in a picture, add to it your background knowledge, or what you sense, and you create an inference!  So I am taking this nauseous feeling and the jittery heart beat that I keep feeling, add to it that those are awful feelings, and I create the inference that sugar really does suck for my body. 

My body is not a fan of the stuff-and it decided to show me that with the nausea, the rapid heart beat and the gaining of 6 pounds (ouch!).  2 weeks…6 pounds.  That's what adding sugar back in has done.  The funny thing is that part of that has come from the legarthy that has ensued, putting me to sit so much from being so dang tired.  Seriously.  What a domino effect.

So I'm done.  I can't do this anymore.  Sugar, you are gone again…for a very long time.  I really don't like you enough for all this.  Not. Worth. It. 

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye.

Dinner and…not-a-movie

Dinner and…not-a-movie.
Patriotic sethPhoto(3)
Tonight I had the extreme pleasure of spending time with three of my favorite people, who all happen to be Calvaresi's. We dined well and then spent the rest of the evening studying for an Honors Geometry test. Although I am happy to say that I won't be taking it, I am definitely prepared. 😉 I do not miss Geometry and have much empathy for high school students at this moment.  It's a tough life they live.  ;-)  They pay me to say things like that as a youth leader.

Oh…Chase just informed me we're only halfway done with the study guide. Gotta get back to work!

Love. Them.

The Night Before School Starts

So many thoughts run through my head on a day like today.  It's Labor Day, the last day of the summer without kids.  The day before I am, again, responsible for making sure that 50 4th graders are literate citizens…so that the prison system can be just a little bit smaller 10 years from now.

I woke up this morning with some tasks to complete for the greatest youth ministry in the Metro DC area.  Check.

Got to soak for some time and listen to some teaching by Bill Johnson and be encouraged.  Check.

Then I moved onto some personal errands, including what was probably the largest charge I've ever had to pay at CVS Pharmacy (nothing major, just the vanity of my skin:).  Check.

Thought about doing some school work, but didn't get much farther than checking my email.  Check. Checkmark

Got inspired to plan to go see a band of a couple guys who teach at my school for my birthday.  If you're around on September 17 and would like to come, please let me know!  All friends are welcome.  You can find a sampling here:  The Running Record.  Planned my birthday event.  Check.

I LOOKED AT a workout video online, but for some reason didn't actually do it.  Thought about exercising.  Check.

Found some new friends on Twitter, and am looking forward to following them…they're quite amazing people, so I expect to be inspired often.  Acquired more reasons to sneak on Twitter during my lunch break.  Check.

Looked on Craigslist (again) for a home for my friends who are waiting so desperately on Jesus to see what their next step is.  Loved me some friends.  Check.

Thought about some random facts:

-In 6 days I will be the exact age my mother was when she gave birth to me.  (my mother was married, and had her 3rd child the day she turned 32)  Felt behind.  Check.

-My nephew is the same age that I was when he was born.  Felt old.  Check.

Listened to this song on repeat-My Romance, with Rick Pino.  Romanced by Jesus.  Check.

I am currently on Sweep Me Away, with Charlie Hall.  Being swept off my feet.  Check.

 

Please allow me to share my monologue that I am processing with Jesus right now ….

Jesus, YOU are the center of my life.  You are the engine that runs my day and the oil that keeps that engine healthy.  I choose to walk in your Spirit, and to embrace who YOU are to me.  More than that, even, I choose to see myself how you see me.  I choose to be the woman of God that you've created me to be.  Whether I am finding new friends on Twitter, picking up a prescription, or soaking in your powerful presence, I want to be actively aware of what you are doing and how you are moving.  I want my sense of you to overwhelm the senseless voice that whispers in my ear…the crap that reminds me just how unvaluable I am to others, and that places other people's opinions higher than your opinion of me.  I want to know my value, even on my most worthless of days.  I want to want to spend more time with you than I want to spend it with people…and then to actually do that.  I repent of my choices to allow other people to determine my worth, and I present my heart to you…broken and ready to be whole.  I was made for more than this.  I want the overflow of how much you love me to overwhelm the people that I encounter everyday.  Meet me where I am.  I need your grace.  I need your love to move through me.  The enemy is very nervous about the ways that you're going to change the students in my classroom this year.  He is try to shake me…unnerve me…annoy the crap out of me with other people.   In my moments of forgetting that my struggle is against him and not the people around me, he has had measly thoughts of victory.  He has been wrong.  In my weakness, Lord, you are made strong.  As my muscles get broken down when I put strain on them in weight training, and then built up again when I eat healthy doses of protein, so does my spiritual muscle when it is strained…and you feed my spirit with YOU and your words.

"You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience?  This detour doesn't come from the One who called you into the race in the first place.  And please don't toss this off as insignificant. It only takes a minute amount of yeast, you know, to permeate an entire loaf of bread.  Deep down, the Master has given me confidence that you will not defect. But the one who is upsetting you, whoever he is, will bear the divine judgment."  Galatians 5.7-10b (MSG)

My final thoughts before I hit the pillow for some more soaking time (I need to absorb Jesus' presence to the fullest extent before I hit that classroom tomorrow)…Jesus has more for my life than I can see in the natural realm of my sight.  God is bigger than what I can see or feel.  He knows every detail of every situation I could face and feel anxiety from.  He's know every insecurity that would tear me down when friends reject me.  He wants my heart, my devotion, my time, my thoughts…and He won't relent until He has every part of me.

Blessed beyond what I deserve.