Year of Big Birthdays for the Burtons

My family.  What a fun group of people.  

For over half of my life, I lived far enough away from my family that I didn’t see them all for birthdays.  Growing up, we always celebrated everyone’s birthday in our family.  It’s not to say that a huge party was thrown, or anything like that, but ensuring that everyone was celebrated at least once a year – that was a big deal.  We’d have the occasional birthday party (mine, of course, was my sweet sixteen), but for the most part we kept it low-key.

Adding people into our family, via my brothers getting married and nephews being born, added even more fun to the Burton birthdays. Until recently, I didn’t live by family for any of my one sister-in-law’s birthdays (Tiffany), nor my two youngest nephews’ birthdays (Ross and Ryder).  But I would attempt visits home to get everyone together to do a Burton Birthday Bash.  With the exception of Ross, whose birthday is in February, we have family celebrations from April through September, with most of them being in August and September.  Whenever we do a cake for a BBB, we’ll light the candles and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to…everyone.  We all throw in different names when it’s time to name the person, or we’ll just say everyone’s name really fast, or sometimes we just end up saying, ‘everyonnnnnnnnnne, Happy Biiiiirthdaaaaay to you…’

So we get to celebrate each other in big doses, and we truly enjoy doing it.  It’s the whole Christmas concept of – it’s even more fun to give than receive.  My family does that well.  No one really cares about what they’re going to get – at least not as much as we care about how much you’ll enjoy the gift we’re about to give you.

My family does that well.  No one really cares about what they’re going to get – at least not as much as we care about how much you’ll enjoy the gift we’re about to give you.

I love that.

This has been an extra fun year for birthdays.  All of my nephews hit those milestone birthdays.  Ross turned 16.  Ryder turned 10.  Robert turned 21.  I’m pretty sure that my brother and sister-in-law didn’t plan it that way, but it’s fun to realize.  To top it all off, my mama is going to be 70 on Sunday.  Man, Ilove her.  I’ve been nothing but blessed since I moved in to hang with my parents for a short season, back in June, while I transition back to live by my family.  She’s amazing.  (So’s my dad…but we’ll get to him later.)

A few weeks ago we did a Burton Birthday Brunch Bash – brother, David, got a waffle maker for Christmas last year and I don’t get enough use of it, so I requested a brunch bash.  We brunched, and swam, and laughed a lot.  Ryder brought the fun, and we do a mini version of that this Sunday to celebrate a few more birthdays.

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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 Friend Wheel

It’s a common joke amongst some of my friends here in Michigan that I can always find a connection between me and someone else you know.  Hey, wanna play a game of Six Degrees of Kim Burton?  Anyway, it really is just a joke…but if I meet you, I really will try to find someone that we both know separately…and I probably will eventually find someone;)

I just saw this application on Facebook, called Friend Wheel, and was fascinated by it…check out mine!

Friend wheel

One of the Coolest Seniors I know

My vacation149

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. 🙂

Remind Me Again?

So often I've heard this saying, that God cares more about my character than my comfort.  I say it myself, and in all reality, i actually believe it!  It's not that God doesn't ever want us to be comfortable, but He's simply more aware of the fact that the things that will shape our character happen to be the things that sharpen us…I can't imagine any tool that needs to be sharpened thoroughly enjoying that process-right? 

But honestly, in moments like the present I just kinda wish God didn't care so much.  Well, deep down I don't wish that, but on the surface I pretty much do.  There's about a million things that are uncomfortable right now…a couple relationships, my job (hopefully this will change?), some uncertainties, some tensions I don't feel like dealing with…they're all JUST HARD!  Plus, it's the end of the school year and there's a ton of stress that dwells in the last couple weeks of school.

So, I think I need someone to remind me again…why does God care more about my character than my comfort?  Oh, right…because He wants me to continue to grow.  Does it all have to come at one time though?  :-)  Seriously…Well, Father knows best.  I choose to trust Him. 

On a completely different note…Barak anyone?

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.