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.

Craving Community

In my decision to move here months ago, I knew that I would want to quickly find a church that I could call home.  Three days after I found such a church, I ended up having my hurt-back-syndrome and have been out of commission for last 5 weeks.  This left me in such a strange place-a place that I'd never been in before…a very frustrating place.  

You see, I am fully aware that we are created for relationships.  We are created for community.  But here I've been, not able to physically handle going to church, or most places (like work), to meet people!  I haven't been able to go a stranger's house to join their small group, or anything like that.  I've had great roommates to talk with every now and then, and wonderful far-away-friends who I've been able to chat with online, or talk with on the phone.  But, get this…I haven't "had coffee" with anyone in a REALLY LONG TIME.  I know, I know…this is crazy.  I haven't had dinner or lunch with anyone in my home (outside of my roommates), anyone else's home, or a restaurant.  I haven't been to a movie, or gone shopping, or gone for a walk, or…anything with anyone else in a REALLY LONG TIME.  

If you know me, you're sitting there thinking, "wow, that's so not Kim!".  I mean, even if I've been in busy seasons (like fall usually is) I've been able to do a walk, or coffee, or something with a couple of people.  So this has been my life!  And I've been, more than ever before in my entire life, CRAVING COMMUNITY.  I miss praying with friends, and having dinner with my neighbors (miss you Gocke's and Myers:), and small group every Thursday, and worship practice on Sunday morning, and meeting with the leadership team once a month, and watching shows with Jen/making brownies with Jen/napping on Sunday afternoons on the living room couch with a friend on the other couch…I miss all of these things and more.  And while the people that I have valued can never, ever be replaced, I have been dying for that type of community once again!

So, yes, this has been quite a strange transition for me, because if I were hurting and still in Michigan, all of those things would still be in my life.  But for some reason, and I think God's always in favor of helping us to develop other perspectives to have empathy for others, I am here to experience all of this.  

Let in my next post, allow me to share today's experience with you…it just deserves its own post:)

My Young Friends

Recently, I've developed some fun friendships with a group of people that are quite a bit younger than me.  For the most part, I don't really notice it…until conversations occur, in which they're making statements like, "Well, I'll definitely want to be married by the time I'm 26!"  Yea, I suddenly have to use the restroom at moments like that.  lol  But, really, more than anything, they bring back happy moments of being in college, which has been worth the few awkward conversations that I've dealt with. 🙂

Last week we all "did work" at a coffee shop!  I actually had school work to do, and one person is in college and had work to do.  Others had things to read up on, or fundraising to manage…one watched Grey's Anatomy on her laptop.  We really did work, although I was deeply reminded of the conversations I would have in college where it would go something like this…

Kim-"Hey, wanna go do some homework at Caribou?"
Good Friend-"Yeah, that'd be awesome!…Wait, Kim, I actually have to get this done tonight though…we can't talk the whole time…"
Kim-"Oh, yeah, me too!  I'll be good, I promise…"
GF-"Promise?  I really have to finish TONIGHT!"
Kim-"What are you trying to say, Good Friend?  Are you accusing me of talking too much?  Of enjoying conversation with good friends too much?  Huh?  HUh?"

(well, the last part wasn't accurate, but the rest of it could've been a broken record all throughout college…)

Being a young twenty verses an almost thirty is quite different when it comes to stages in life…unless you're all single…then apparently it's not too much different if it's the right people (so I've learned).  It's nice -they keep me and my gray hairs young:)  (I even WENT OUT at 9:30 last night, and stayed out until 12:30, just to hang at IHOP…which has become out of character for me lol) I love what they bring to my life at this time.  Hopefully I have a little bit of single-twenties-life-wisdom to share with them in return.  lol  I try…


Here’s to my super cool friends, some of which are new friends of mine…who wore capes while waiting in line to get into The Dark Knight this afternoon at the Imax.  I do have very cool friends;)
In the front we have Batman Hannah, Leah Samantha, Emily, Sarah, Jen (back around) me, Phil, Jackson, Jonathan. 

One of the Coolest Seniors I know

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This is Rachel.  She was in the 5th grade classroom that I student taught in, in Minneapolis.  And now she’ll be graduating from high school next year.  She’s absolutely one of the coolest teenagers that I know.  That isn’t an exaggeration of the truth and although most of the world will never know her, the world is SO MUCH BETTER because she lives in it.  Rachel’s a living, breathing example of maturing young woman who knows Jesus, loves people, and lives in real community with her neighborhood.  I’ve seriously never met anyone like her!  It was an awesome privilege it was to hang out with her one day when I was there, and I could probably write several posts about her. 

I decided that she’s one of my young heroes.  I want to be like her when I grow up. 🙂

I-94 Continued

Sadly, it’s been a month since I went on my trip to visit some great friends in Minnesota…here are a few highlights. 🙂
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This is Toby Evans.  (Doesn’t he sound like a country singer?)  He belongs to one of my best friends, Jessica, that I met in college.  Jessica and I lived on the same floor my 3rd year at North Central and we connected a few months into the year…and we’ve been great friends ever since.

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 This is Ben and Jen.  Jen is with child, and we’ve been friends since we were 7.  You can read more about her here.

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Here we have Ginger and Callie.  Ginger lived on my floor my freshman year of college, she’ s the one

that first called me Kimmy so much that it stuck ALL THE WAY through college…and then some:)  She’s also the one that brought me out of my shell during my college years.

These are some shots of one of my favorite spots in the whole world…the campus where I spent five wonderful years of my life.
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This is the hall where I lived for 3 1/2 years.

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This was my window my freshman year. 🙂  okay…so I went a little crazy reminiscing…but, I could’ve gone to every place I lived there and taken pictures of my windows…I did control myself a little.

My vacation128 A cross street that I’ll never forget…Elliot Ave was my address.

On my way back from Minnesota, I stopped to see an old friend and his family as well.  John and I met in 9th grade, went to the same high school, went to the same church, and then to the same college.  This is him and his wife, Liana, and their two kids, Mikaeyla and Isaac.  It was so great to see them!

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My trip was fantastic, and as I said, reminiscent.  I honestly felt like I could stay for another month…or five years…lol…but I truly am grateful to be back home where I’m supposed to be.

Missing People

There are a ton of people that I've known in my 28 years of life, but
there are only certain people that I actually miss when they're not
there.  Some people are in your life for a season and some are in your life for a long time…and others forever!

In a few weeks, I'll be traveling to Minneapolis to see a couple of my BFF's.  One is pregnant and another just had a baby.  How fun! 

My family is obviously on that list of people that I miss often.

Some friends from home (especially those that I actually stay in contact with…and who read my blog-love you Claude!:)

A few former students…

Some friends from college (I thought I'd never be able to get over missing so many people from this particular stage in life…but somehow life actually does move on!)

There's friends in my everyday life that I'm used to seeing or talking to regularly each day, or each week (like my Lifegroup friends), and when those connections don't happen…I miss them! 

There are times when I'm not spending so much time with Jesus and I miss Him too. 

Missing people can be tough. 


Okay, now I know that I’m getting older, because a good friend of mine just turned 40!  One of my best friends at Hanley, who is kinda like a big brother to me, just turned 40 on Wednesday.  To celebrate his birthday, his girlfriend, April threw him a surprise birthday party tonight.  It was an honor to be one of few invited. 

Once Tony arrived, he walked back out ’cause he was bawling-so surprised and so honored!  It was really, really precious.  April had everyone there (about 15 of us) get up and say something to Tony.  That was great to be apart of…and again, more tears:)  A few people were mentioning different things like, "Oh, I can’t wait until Tony and April make their relationship ‘more official’ and make me some nieces and nephews," and "All I want is for my baby boy to get married…"  I was beginning to think that they were making things awfully uncomfortable for the both of them, since they aren’t weren’t engaged!  Well, after we were all done speaking love and friendship over Tony, he got up…
April_2008_081…and said some very nice things to April.  Then he said, "Mom, I’m going to make your wish come true…"  At that point he reached inside his jacket (a few of us gently screamed in that moment:) and he pulled out a white box. …and then he got down on his knee.  Oh my word…I had never before witnessed a marriage proposal…it was SO BEAUTIFUL!!!  I’m completely beside myself, and so giddy!

Anyone that knows me well, knows that I love LOVE.  Blessed by Jesus, it’s so fantastic!  In God’s timing I’ll have the opportunity to experience that…perfect timing, of course.  In the meanwhile, this seemingly long while, I will enjoy the joy of others whenever I get the chance to!

So, yay!  Tony and April, I am so, so excited for you!!!!

(click on the picture to the right to zoom in on that rock:)

My BFF:)

These past few weeks I’ve been quite reminiscent about a few people…bear with me as I briefly travel through time:)
This is my best friend, Jennifer (Spules), and me at a Harvest Party (aka-the church party we went to a few days before we went trick or treating:).  I was a bum (why?) and she was a baby…btw, she wore those pj’s for years!

We met in 3rd grade at our church’s Missionettes group and immediately connected.  Jen and I were apart of a group of girls that called each other BFF’s…we had bracelets and everything! 🙂 Just about every Sunday after church we were either over at my house, Jen’s house, or our friend Eileen’s house.  Of all the girls that I used to spend hours doing my hair and putting my makeup on with, Jen’s the only one that stuck with the Forever part of BFF.  I could write for pages about this friend of mine, and although at the age of 28 I have a plethora of God’s gracious gifts of friendships, Jen will always be the friend that’s known me the longest, and the one that’s seen me through the most…sounds selfish, doesn’t it?  She’s been God’s gift of friendship to me for 20 years.

We were in 7th grade and we went to Poquessing Middle School together.  We continued onto Neshaminy High School together, where we were proud of the fact that we enjoyed wearing sweats and our hair pulled back in pony tails most days.  I remember our senior year we had this one place where our paths to our first classes crossed and we would say, "Hey, you look cute today!"…knowing full well that we looked like, well, you know.  I remember taking computer classes with her, and us always (always) getting done early and being able to talk.  Study Hall with Mr. Hoy where we’d get gently scolded for talking, but he liked us so, not scolded too much.  "This too shall pass" was what she Kimeileenjen
used to always say to me whenever I was frustrated.  We would pass notes in Geometry like there was no tomorrow.  What a confidant!  We would pray together all the time and even if we didn’t understand what was going on in each other’s lives…we would still somehow understand.  Jen and I went to the same church, too, in high school(a different one than we did at first).  We were apart of PRIZM youth ministries together and we got to do ministry together.  What a sweet time in life with my friend…even in tough moments. 🙂

We went away to college together-not meaning to go together-with a group of our friends.  What group of friends goes to school 24 hours away?  ECF (East Coast Fellowship) is what we called ourselves, and we always tried to spend our birthdays together.  JenKimeileenjen
and I intentionally didn’t live together when we first went away to NCU.  We said it was because we wanted to be sure to meet more people…secretly I think Jen just knew I was a little bit messier than her and didn’t wanna chance it:)  Hah!  Her first roommate was kinda messy too…but after some agreements, we ended up having our first apartment together our 5th and last year of college.   We were the last ones to make it into an apartment that year and ended up in a tiny, tiny studio apartment that wouldn’t hold beds if we wanted it to.  We bought Coleman sleeping cots on clearance at Target and slept on those:)  You had to go through our closet to get to the bathroom.  Oh, what an interesting apartment that was.  Chris Woelfle, the apartment guy at the time, vowed to never rent that apartment to more than one person ever again and had us move for the 2nd semester to a more normal place.  And so we graduated together for the second time.

That summer, my best friend married her new best friend:)  I received the privilege of being a Maid of Honor in her wedding, which meant the world to me.  Currently I carry around, in my purse, a little white Bible that I carried down the aisle that day…I get to think of Jen all the time…that little Bible means so much to me! 

So much of our relationship cannot possibly be recorded in even a series of blog posts, but I am reminiscent for one main reason…Jennifer called me a couple weeks ago to tell me that she’s having a baby!  She said that I get to be an Aunt Mim again!  Yay!  I’m still bubbling over with excitement over this announcement and I am amazed at how gracious God is to intentionally place people in our lives…sometimes for a season…and sometimes forever.


Here are the Gowell’s and me, from the last time I saw them last June….we’ve aged fairly well, right? 😉

My New Pastor’s Wife

So this is my pastor’s wife and me!  Yay!  I can actually say, "my pastor’s wife!"  How much fun is that?

Leah Leach was absolutely beautiful as she walked down the aisle, completely glowing on Saturday afternoon.  And Brad was teary eyed as he watched her come down. 

Here are a few pictures from the day…


This is Allison, intercessor for my future husband:)


Bradley as he watched his bride.
(Jonathon kind of looks like a giant:)


Leah and her dad…she was that giddy the entire time…very peaceful and joyful.



It was right about this time that Leah "promised to dream big dreams with Brad…even it meant dreaming that this would be the year for the Lions."

The Kiss:)


The pronouncement!
(seriously, Leah had look on her face the whole day…so happy:)


The wonderful couple (Leah in her "white witch" muff and robe).

Brad is a dear friend and an awesome pastor to me.  Leah has become a wonderful friend and I’m looking forward to serving her as my pastor’s wife.  Her heart is enormous; she loves Jesus and loves people (that sounds familiar🙂  I love them both!  They are such a great example to me of seeking Jesus first and allowing the Holy Spirit to move and guide.  I was ecstatic all last week and it was such a pleasure to see them on such a beautiful day (no matter how cold it was outside:)  God’s presence was evident during the entire event and I can’t wait to see what He will do through them as one.  He is truly amazing.

**My friend, MaryBeth, posted about this as well, and she’s got links to the whole story (which is pretty stinkin’ cool if you haven’t read about it yet.