35 by 35

I woke up this morning and realized it was the 11th. Every time I realize it’s the 11th of any month I automatically calculate how many months until my birthday, which is on the 11th of the greatest month ever.

3 months.

I will turn 35 in 3 months.

Excitement that my birthday was only a quarter away, joined with the utter disgust for how enormous I look, and the sheer terror that my actual age will be close to 40 all drew me to one conclusion.

I need to lose 35 pounds by the time I turn 35. Really-that’s all I came to.

Again…3 months.

I can do this.

Perhaps I should add onto that:

  • read 35 books of the Bible
  • go to bed on-time 35 times
  • NOT have Starbucks 35 times
  • run 35 times (which would help with the original goal)
  • write 35 thank you notes
  • take 35 midday walks during work
  • oooooo….write 35 blog posts

Aaaaaaand GO!

On Time is On Time

Knowing me is to that I like to be on-time.  That isn’t to say that I am ontime all the time, but I do actually aim to be, as often as I can get myself to be.

There’s a saying that I learned at my first teaching job.

Early is on time, and on time is late.

That’s baloney.  If you want me to be somewhere at 10:55, then don’t tell me to be there at 11; tell me to be there at 10:55.  If a meeting is starting at 5:00, don’t expect me to be there at 4:45 unless I, personally, want to be there early enough to get a certain seat, or chat with someone.

Keep your word and be honest with me on when you want me somewhere, and I will keep my word on being in place when you ask me to be.

I digress.

Early often are not words typically used to describe me.  I don’t know anyone that would say that about me…except the folks at my new job.  I live about thirty minutes away, and for every minute after 7am that I leave, my commute gets a little bit longer.  If I were to leave at 7:20am, I’m pretty sure that I would be an hour late.  That’s how bad DC traffic can become on a weekday morning (and occasionally on a weekend).

So, what do I do?

I leave by 7am.

Also, to be clear, morning person are also not words that anyone would use to describe me.  I’m not even good at faking that.  I’m actually not good at faking anything, but I’m really not good at faking being a morning person.

Leaving at 7am gets me to work by 7:30…7:35 if I stop for a soy mocha with whip.  Since work doesn’t start until 8am, I am (drum roll please) always here early!

Other than my first couple of years teaching, when I was completely overwhelmed and didn’t know which end was up, I have never consistently been this early to work.  I’m starting week five, and I’m on Day 20 of arriving at work early.

So today I decided to blog (whoa!).  This could even be a record for earliest blog post ever written on Memoirs.

Eek!  It’s 8:07.  Maybe tomorrow I should leave at 6:45 to get myself here early enough to finish before 8:00.

Or…maybe not.  Forgive me while I run to check my email…


There’s such a …

There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.
― Anne of Green Gables


Am I talking too much?

Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive–it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?But am I talking too much? People are always telling me I do. Would you rather I didn’t talk? If you say so I’ll stop. I can STOP when I make up my mind to it, although it’s difficult.
― Anne of Green Gables

Memoirs has Moved!

It’s possible that I will take the needed initiative to blog more often, now that I’ve made some changes.  Possible.

Welcome to Memoirs’ new home.  We have officially moved from Typepad to WordPress, which will be a fun, new change in scenery.  My blog’s original home was Xanga.  Right?  Remember that?

For years it has been called Memoirs of a Redhead, so you can now find me at memoirsofaredhead.com.  I’m kind of excited about that little change.

Not to mention, my fun, new picture. 😉

Doesn’t take much to make me smile…

It’s the little things.

About to Lunge…Don’t Mess with Single Women on Mother’s Day

It was during the final part of the message earlier today. The guy that was speaking was giving a very practical talk on accomplishing big things. He began sharing about a female friend of his who had made some declarations about the type of man she wanted to marry. She was set on marrying a wealthy guy who was debt-free, and mentioned a few other things. His response was that that guy she is wanting to marry is likely looking for some very similar characteristics for his future wife. With wide eyes she said, "Well then I need to work on myself, huh?"
They sat down together and came up with a seven-year plan for her to completely get out of debt, for starters. She was determined to break this down and move forward with this plan for her future.
I was tagging right along with this story and cheering her on, since this sounds a lot like my train of thought….until he said those words. The pastor uttered the words, "and guess what happened next." That was the moment that I wanted to lunge from my third row seat onto the stage. I wanted to tell him how unfair it was to put relationships into the simplicity box of, "just follow the steps and the right person will come along." I was pretty sure that he was going to say that within one year she had found her husband and he bought her this gorgeous house by the water and they lived happily ever after. It was honestly the most natural train of thought from where he was in the story.
Lucky for him, that is not how the story went so I stayed still at my seat. He proceeded to share how a family had asked her to come and live in their basement, rent-free. This , along with a lot of discipline and other changes, allowed her to pay off her debt in one and a half years instead of seven.
While this is not completely my story, there are certainly some similarities that caused me to tear up, recognizing that God continues to add large doses of favor to my life. I am not debt-free yet, but so much of it has been disappearing as God has taught me to be more and more faithful with my finances. And I am definitely in a much better place to meet that wealthy, debt-free guy since I know how to handle money well. ;-). Just sayin'.

I Can Do Hard Things

Run is such a strong word for what I do.

Nonetheless, I run.

I love the mental and physical sensation that comes from running.  I love the soreness that I acquire when I start running again…that is, when I go through a dry spell and jump back in again…because thankfully that soreness goes away once I'm in the zone.

A little over a month ago I was sitting around with some friends at a park in Old Town.  Late to the game, I jumped into the topic of "tell us about a dream that you have…"  

Immediately I thought of two things:

"I want to see people get set free…all the time…I just want to see people walk in freedom"

"I want to get married and have a family, of course!"  

Someone else said one of them, so I told them about another dream that I've had for many years, which is to run a marathon.  I also added that I wanted to go Hawaii, and someone suggested that I run a marathon in Hawaii.  I figure I could kill three birds with one stone by getting married, going to Hawaii for my honeymoon, and run a marathon while I'm there. 😉  I dream…I digress…

That afternoon I decided to sign up for a 5K.  Yea, I can't run a full 5K right now.  (ugh) BUT I am getting there, and more quickly than I used to!  (This is exciting)  I think my body is starting to kick into gear more quickly, and it's not considering running to be so foreign as it has in the past when I started again. Good thing.  I got off track for a few days so I skipped a few of my Couch25K training days and ran much longer than I was originally supposed to today.  I love when I actually do what I put my mind to.  It's the sort of day that I was super proud of myself.

One of my favorite things about running is all the ways God teaches me through it.  It never fails…there's ALWAYS a lesson to learn.  Plus, I am so that Chariots of Fire guy, Eric Liddell, when he says that he feels God's pleasure when he runs.  (Run is still such a strong word for what I do, so maybe I can just say that I feel God's pleasure when I jog.:)  I picture Jesus on the sidelines with a sweatband on his forehead and a shirt that says, "KimPossible iz my HomeGurl!"  He's not usually wearing a robe in those visions.

Today I decided to go out when it was late in the afternoon, and it snapped into darkness during the warmup!  The thing I love the most about the location of my living arrangement is that we have trails down GW Parkway.  Love me so trails, trees, nature…falling leaves now.  (sigh)  Except when it's dark.  I am the sort of person who could be voted most likely to twist my ankle doing nothing (not claiming it, just sayin'), so GW Parkway trails would not necessarily be my friend at night.  This evening I decided I wasn't going to care and that I'd just be extra careful.

This is what it looked like:

2013-11-11 17.50.51

No joke.  That's an actual picture I took during the cool-down.

Then I tried to force the flash and got this:

2013-11-11 17.51.16

It. Was. Dark.

This trail had some lovely little twists, turns and hills, but all I could get were glimpses of what was right in front of me, just a few steps ahead.  

Such is life, right?

There are times when God makes everything that's coming very clear.  Other times all I get is a few steps ahead of me.  That trust in Him has to be pretty real.  

"Seriously, God, are you sure this is the best road for me to be on?  I mean, can't we find a safer place to journey and learn a few lessons?  Perhaps one that would be less painful if (and when) I fall?"  

"Sure, but you'd be bored," is what I think I hear Him say to me often.  

There were times, tonight, that I would start jogging and wonder why it had just gotten harder, until I realized I'd just gone up a small hill without even seeing it.

There's a reason why Psalm 119:105 is a big deal.  

Your word is a lamp before my feet and a light for my journey.

Oh, the journey.

Sometimes I feel like I can't do hard things.  I feel like I get blindsided by little hills that I climb that I don't feel prepared for, but God tells me that I can do hard things (see Philippians 3:14 for proof).  It's my mantra for life right now.  If you see me walk through something tough and I look like I'm going to meltdown, feel free to simply say, "Kim, what can you do?", to which I will crack a smile and reply, "I can do hard things."  It may even look like I'm rolling my eyes at you, but don't take it personally…I'm really rolling my eyes at me.


I can do hard things

Yes.  I have that as a screensaver on my phone.  A girl can never remind herself enough about WHO she is.  ;-)

While I was jogging through one of my last stints tonight, a non-running song came through on my phone, but this was a song I just don't turn off when it comes on, so I slowly jogged to a slow song. It's this Bebo Norman song that I have LOVED since college; it's the song I want to walk down the aisle to at some point in time when a man decides to be captivated by all this redheaded awesomeness.  God reminded me, once again, that even that part of my journey will have more answers someday, and even that dream will come true as well.  Even though it's hard to wait, I can do hard things.  

In two weeks I will have run myself a nice little 5K, and will begin training for a 10K…because I can do hard things.

Even if I have to run in the dark, I will do so with only a few steps ahead of me illuminated…because I can do hard things.

And I will become a runner…because I can do hard things.  

If anyone feels called to sponsor my trip to Hawaii, I will accept…because you are awesome.  (That didn't go with the poeticness of the last few lines, but figured it wouldn't hurt to throw it in just in case. 😉

What Makes My Scribbles AWEsome

Had a moment yesterday.

It was soaking in judgement, but I didn't realize it in the moment.

Was sharing something I wasn't sure about with a friend.  It took a few seconds and walking out of a door to hear Him.  "Kim, that was prideful.  You are not a judgemental person-don't take that on yourself to carry."

Later I went back to the person to whom I spoke aloud this something that I'd been thinking.  I told her that while I was glad that I said it aloud, I was only glad because it gave me an opportunity to hear the words come out of my mouth, instead of just my head.  I was glad that it gave Holy Spirit a better opportunity to help me take captive that thought and make it obedient to Christ.  I had confessed to another without even trying to, but I went back to confess that I had realized there was a judgemental spirit that was creeping in momentarily.  It was already gone though.  

My friend, in all of her wisdom reminded me that no matter how passionate I can be about ministry that may be entrusted into my care temporarily, at the end of the day (and perhaps at the beginning and in the middle too) Father God cares more about that ministry.  She said that in reality, God is Who creates the masterpieces that we often see in front of us (and often receive accolades for). 

Then she drew me a little picture.



This is what my ministry looks like to God.  He takes what little I have to offer and creates the awesomeness that people see and love to affirm me for.  

This was the most affirming conversation I'd had in a long time (and I've had some really sweet, humbling conversations these past few months).  So glad everything does not depend on me and my giftings.  Our Creator looks at my scribbles, pats my hand and says, "Oh, Kimmy…sweet Kimmy…I love it!"  Then He touches it and awes people with what He does with it.  It becomes AWEsome.  

I cannot imagine life without Jesus.  Not a fan of the pressure of feeling as if I have to create a masterpiece of success on my own all the time.  It's not necessary to carry that any longer.  

"God, this is your ministry.  What do you want to do with it?"

"God, this is your baby.  How am I supposed to handle this?"

"God, this is your debt.  You said that you paid it."

"God, this is your unemployment to carry.  You said that you would meet my needs."

I have always had a tendency to carry things that don't belong to me-to worry about things that aren't mine to worry about.  I'm so grateful that God is breaking me of that, little by little.  There's a fine line between taking responsibility for things you need to, and relinquishing all passions and control back to Jesus.  

Sometimes we're called to speak out in passion.  

Sometimes we're not.  

Sometimes we're called to jump in by faith.  

Sometimes we're called to wait.  

Sometimes we draw with God's hand guiding us.  And He'll just sit and gaze upon our beauty as we stick with Him and move with Him.  

All the time He is present, adoring us.

As a special throwback, here's one of my favorite songs from junior high.  I had the soundtrack and sang it at some point in church (although, let's be real….it's not a great song for my voice;-)  But I loved the words to this song and would rewind that tape and sing it over and over again, and just cry at that realization of where my strength and hope were sourced.