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.

Kim-With-God-All-Things-Are-Possible

Jan 2011-May 2011 130
Some stats from www.mapmyrun.com that are a bit exciting to me (Presidents Day to Today)…

Total Miles= 62.31

Total Hours= 19.82

Workouts= 37

Total Calories= 11,132

I am so pumped to be a Buddy Runner in the Girls on the Run 5k on Sunday morning!  I get to run with a girl from my class who struggles to make it through the run…but I get to cheer her on and encourage her the whole time!  Feel free to pray for me:-)  The race starts @ 8am.  Also feel free to sponsor me as I run! http://www.active.com/donate/SoleMates2011/kimpossible

It's funny because I look at pictures of me from this past weekend and compare them to how I looked a couple of months ago, and let's be honest…I don't really look all that different, but how I feel inside is night and day different from 2 1/2 months ago when I started to become consistent with the Couch to 5K program.  Seriously, do you know what it feels like to go from heaving after 60 seconds of jogging to running a mile at ease and being able to push through over 2 miles (even if I am slightly purple at the end of that one:-)?  It's more than I've accomplished before with this type of endeavor, and of course God always does more than I can ever ask or imagine of Him to do. 

Feeling awesome inside.

Signing Out,
Kim-With-God-All-Things-Are-Possible

Happy :-)

What do you call the out-of-shape, asthmatic girl with back problems, who hasn't even attempted to run in well over a year, or hardly even worked out in about six months, but who signed up for a 5K on May 15th to run with girls from her school, so she had to start training soon so she began the couch to 5k running program outside on a wet, chilly Presidents' Day?

162605

HAPPY!

Read about my new running endeavors here and I'd be honored if you would even consider supporting me!

There are three things I really want to do in life.  Love God, love others and run.

Not Just About Pig Puppets

"Ha!  I remember when you used to r100_0618ead to us from The Azusa Street Papers in LifeCore!"-Amber

"I did that?"-Me

"Yea.  You loved the stories!"-Amber

This past Friday I got to spend some time with a really good friend of mine from college, Amber.  She came into DC for some work and contacted me.  We hadn't seen each other in almost seven years, since her graduation from North Central.

Amber and I met in the fall of 1999, when she moved onto my floor as a college freshman.  I was a leader on my floor and she was one of the girls in my LifeCore group.  We hung out on Tuesday nights from 9-10pm (or if you know me…some stayed until about 12:)  She's from Pennsylvania, so we'd bonded over that immediately, and she just became one of my girls very quickly. The next year I had the opportunity to be Amber's RA (Resident Advisor) for the second half of the year and she was a leader on my floor.  

We were reminiscing with several stories from college the other night, including that one Saturday morning, the second week of school when I physically threatened a guy from our Brother Floor (Yea 4 East-Carlson!) for making her uncomfortable.  As a 20-year-old girl, much shorter than 18-year-old him, I looked up with fire in my eyes and firmly said, "You need help, dude.  And I will hurt you if youWil the pig ever do anything like that to her ever again!"  He didn't.  Amber confirmed it the other night.  He never made her uncomfortable again.  Ha!  I guess having two older brothers to practice fighting with helped, huh?

Amber and I also remembered awesome floor gatherings-like the floor meetings that I'd have where my  leaders and I would wear certain articles of clothing over other articles of clothing, and I'd break out my microphone and we'd do karoake…along with choreographed dances.  And some of you thought that you knew me.  Ha!  If you've never seen me in pig pajamas, wearing pig slippers, pigtails in my hair with pig scrunchies, dancing around with a pig puppet, well…you don't really know me all that well, do you?  I have no desire to go back in time and be in college again, but I will always remember those dance parties my college days fondly.

The thinking pig Don't get me wrong though.  Bible college isn't just all about dancing around with your underwear on your head, rewriting popular songs to sing to your brother floor (like going from "I Wanna Grow Old with You" to "I Wanna be a Sister to You"), dedicating songs to your brother floor on Delilah, playing with pig puppets, playing Four on a Couch and singing your heart out with your curling iron.  (Boy, this list could GO ON!  And wouldn't you love some pictures to go with it?  Dang film cameras!  Will have to scan some pictures in someday.)

**Meet my pig puppet, Wil.  This is him as "The Thinking Pig".  I bought him on my first trip out to NCU, my senior year of high school.  Yes, I still have him.  My grandchildren will giggle at that face someday.  Before you lose all respect for me, know that this little piggie has gone to town and brought many smiles to many faces…including anyone that realized that it made it into our Neshaminy High School's, Year of '97 Senior Class picture.  (Thank you, John Terrence!)

A thoughtful moment from my evening with Amber has been stuck on my opening conversation.  The Azusa Street Papers is an odd-sized book that we had to get for a class at North Central.  It's a collection of 13 issues of a paper that documented testimonies of what God was doing in a revival that happened in the early 1900's.  This paper was printed and passed all around the country to spread the word that God, indeed, did still move in miraculous ways!  People 0032_azusa_street-paperswould flock to be a part of this revival that was happening in this small part of Los Angeles (yes, LA!), and then go home with joy and hope that God can do the same things through their lives!  The stories that some think are so crazy and unbelievable about the Bible….many of the same things were happening among the people in this move of God!  I was so captivated by reading testimony after testimony of healings that took place, and my heart was so moved by the stories of what God had done in the lives of thousands of people.  I loved that odd-sized book…and I guess I would just sit and read the stories to people, including my LifeCore girls.  Ha!  I don't remember it, but it makes sense.  I really  did love that book.

Here I am, about eleven years later, and I am still captivated by how God moves…except a lot more in "real time".  I can't even begin to describe what He is doing in my heart right now, simply on this blog.  Over New Years I got to join 5 of my good friends in going to Kansas City for I-HOP's OneThing conference.  (I-HOP the House of Prayer, not of Pancakes:)  I-HOP is leading one of many prayer movements throughout the world.  It's pretty awesome.  They have a 24/7 prayer room, that is currently streamed online for free through their site.  My life has been blessed and my heart has been stirred.  And guess what…people have been healed and filled with joy, and they're taking joy and hope back to their homes, and around the world!  Ironically, that same year that I became captivated by what had happened through the Azusa Street Revival…that's the same year that I-HOP was founded.

These are merely two moves of God…He moves in miraculous ways all the time, in big and small ways…but these are two that have impacted my life. 

I guess I just found it humorous that so much has been happening in my heart, to the overflow of joy and hope, and that it's been quite an awakening in my spirit…and then that Amber reminded me of this crazy obsession that I had with something similar back in college.  I don't think the obsession ever went away, but I do think it has been dormant for some time, peeking up but not truly coming to the surface until now.

One of my prayers for today…Acts 2.42-47

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common.45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Enlisted

"I may never march in the infantry, ride in the cavalry, shoot the artillary, Ist2_11885634-wounded-soldier-holding-bible

I may never fly o'er the enemies, but I'm in the Lord's army!  Yes Sir!"

I had no clue what I was singing about as a child.  NO CLUE.

The past week has been a battle.  Lots of victory and insight…but boy have I felt beat up.  This weekend has been unreal.  Lies.  Tears.  Thoughts.  Frustration.  Selfishness.  I know that every battle worth fighting will end with things that God is preparing me for.  Tonight my head hurts, as the battle continues.

 There's this old Twila Paris song, from the late 80's, that I think of in moments like these.

 "The Warrior is a Child"

Lately I've been winning battles left and right

But even winners can get wounded in the fight

People say that I'm amazing (well, that's debatable lol)

Strong beyond my years

But they don't see inside of me

I'm hiding all the tears (also debatable;)

 They don't know that I go running home when I fall down

They don't know who picks me up when no one is around

I drop my sword and cry for just awhile

'Cause deep inside this armor

The warrior is a child

 …and the song goes on…

 And some words from Paul (Ephesians 6.10-18)

 10-12And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

  13-18Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

The Bruised Reed

Came across this title in a funny way today.  A guy that I was matched up with on EHarmony wrote that this was the last book that he'd read, and he noted that it was written by a Puritan author (Richard Sibbes).  Intrigued mostly by the Puritan thing, I Googled it and landed on this website

I'm not sure if the contents of the web page is the entire contents of the book, as if I'd bought it, but nonetheless it was a powerful read.  I only read pieces of it, and although it's filled with run-on sentences (what is with the run-on sentences?), I am able to see some truths that have captured my thoughts today.  Certainly, I haven't taken the time to truly sift through all that was written, to see what thoughts I do or do not agree with…but here are some points to ponder.

The bruised reed is a man that for the most part is in some misery, as those were that came to Christ for help, and by misery he is brought to see sin as the cause of it, for, whatever pretences sin makes, they come to an end when we are bruised and broken. He is sensible of sin and misery, even unto bruising; and, seeing no help in himself, is carried with restless desire to have supply from another, with some hope, which a little raises him out of himself to Christ, though he dare not claim any present interest of mercy.

After conversion we need bruising so that reeds may know themselves to be reeds, and not oaks. Even reeds need bruising, by reason of the remainder of pride in our nature, and to let us see that we live by mercy. Such bruising may help weaker Christians not to be too much discouraged, when they see stronger ones shaken and bruised. Thus Peter was bruised when he wept bitterly (Matt. 26:75). This reed, till he met with this bruise, had more wind in him than pith when he said, `Though all forsake thee, I will not' (Matt. 26:33). The people of God cannot be without these examples. The heroic deeds of those great worthies do not comfort the church so much as their falls and bruises do.

Are you bruised? Be of good comfort, he calls you. Conceal not your wounds, open all before him and take not Satan's counsel. Go to Christ, although trembling, as the poor woman who said, `If I may but touch his garment' (Matt. 9:21). We shall be healed and have a gracious answer.

We all live with wounds and bruises at different points in our lives.  What do we do with our wounds?  What's God's heart for these bruises? 


RE-renewed

Insecurity has been haunting me lately.  For the past couple of years I haven't been so awesome at blogging, but lately I think it has a lot to do with my insecurities.  It isn't because I've been too busy, that's for sure.  In some of my busiest moments I've often found time to blog about my thoughts and experiences…but not lately.

I keep thinking, "I'd like to blog about something…" but then don't feel like I have anything to say.  How can I not have anything to say?  If you know me, you know that I always have something to say, but for some reason I don't think that what has come to mind lately will have any worth to anyone else…like this post right now.  So what's the point? 

Eh.

Today I did something I didn't think I'd ever do again.  I joined Curves.  I waste money on things to get me healthy all too often.  It's sad.  Pitiful.  Yep, keep shaking your head…I am.  But today is a new day.  I've blogged about wanting to be healthy so often, that it's almost funny to talk about this as if it's some new journey I'm on.  It's not new.  It'll never be new…again.  But it is renewed.  This past year has been awful for me, health-wise.  Simply awful.  I take responsibility though.  And so today I renew…I am renewed. 

Curves isn't my favorite type of exercise…I like to run (jog, actually, but it's running to me;).  But I can't really do that right now.  Not on the pavement.  It's really bad for my back in its current state, and I'm pretty nervous about hurting my back again.  Definitely not interested in reliving last Fall. 
What I know that Curves does though, is that it gives me the structure I need right now.  I will not likely stick with Curves after my 1 year commitment, but I need it to get me over this mountain-sized hump right now.  

Believe it or not, I lost about 20 pounds in a couple of months without exercise…but then gained a few back…because I wasn't exercising.  Gotta tame the beast.  

I don't even think I've mentioned on this blog that I get to take part in leading an incredible group of leaders and students called Elevate.  It pretty much rocks. ;)  I love it.  We're in a foundational series called  MADE.  We are MADE…in His image…created to love our God…to be attentive to Him, and be changed by Him.  Got to speak in Elevate a few months ago, and the motto of the night was, "He made me.  He loves me."  Good stuff.

Love this Message paraphrase of Romans 12.1-2:

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday,
ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around
life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for
you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted
to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead,
fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out.
Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.
Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of
immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed
maturity in you.