Mid-February 2019

It’s Valentine’s Day. I know I’ve gotten a little introspective in past years

Wait, who am I kidding? I’m introspective all the time!

It really can get kind of dark in my mind sometimes. Over-thinking, introspective, introvert, and not sure how to express feelings. But at the same time, if you give me your ear and I want to build a friendship with you, I’m an open book. Er, mostly open, sorta.

I really haven’t been as open here as I used to be. Maybe I’m feeling more guarded? Maybe too many people close to me read this? It no longer has the feeling on autonomy? A person I know and talk to and see could actually read something here, see me and actually ask about what I wrote. Then it gets real. I’m not just venting thoughts, I have to deal with them.

Not that it’s a bad thing, just makes me feel more vulnerable.

Maybe it’s the new church and all the new potential friends. People who haven’t shared life events with me yet. We haven’t gone through anything yet. I haven’t seen them fall. They haven’t seen me fall. Just hear the stories of how I got back up and haven’t seen all the pain and tears.

There’s actually something comforting being with people who have gone through it with you. You don’t have to explain why you do things or feel things. Or what lead to this decision or that. They already know. and if they are true friends, know your heart and love you regardless of what’s happened.

There’s a lot of grace in this new place, please don’t get me wrong. We’re human and we know it. We all fall and make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we’re any less worthy of love.

Maybe I’m having a hard time with trust.

Not sure where that thought came from, but there it is.

Trust people? To a point, but we all disappoint each other at some point. Trust myself? Ugh. Not so much, honestly. I know my thoughts and I know my temptations. I know how easily I can be one decision from utter failure or making a huge mistake.

Trust God? Usually. But there are areas that I am disappointed in, frankly. I know the Scriptures, He’s for me, has a great plan, etc., etc. Just because I can quote them, doesn’t mean I’m feeling them. Areas that I know He’s working out and in the light of eternity won’t really matter. But, the sting in my heart is still there. The wondering of why? Am I doing something wrong? What’s wrong with me?

Shhh, child. You are deeply and wonderfully loved and accepted. Worthy of My love because of what I did for you. Trust me. You are cherished more than you could possibly know or comprehend. I long to hold you in My arms on the other side of this veil. In due time, but you have things to do here first. Accept My love, soak it in, relish in it. Then give it to others. Show them that you are loved and cherished. Show them how much I love you. Be an example of that love. Not just by giving that love to others but accepting it for yourself. If you want others to know I love them, you have to know it for yourself first. You are cleansed in the blood of the Lamb. Nothing can change that. I am your groom for eternity. Let me love you. I’m not out to get you, I’m not waiting for you to mess up something so I can shun you. Remain in Me, don’t forget your first love: Me. Let Me love you. It’s not just for others, but it’s for you. Now. Here. Forever. I moved Heaven and Earth to spend eternity with you, that’s how much I want you to be with Me. If you need to change something, I’m completely capable of letting you know and helping you change. No punishment. I have things in mind for you that you cannot possibly begin to imagine. They are good plans. stop worrying.

OK, wow! That literally just came to me. I was just writing what I was hearing Him say to my heart. Just now. In the real (is that a phrase? If not, it should be) I could just cry with joy and from the warmth. But, I actually need to get back to work.

On that note, thanks for listening. Will talk again soon.  

Advertisements

End of January 2019

Well, I admittedly didn’t do so well on the 2018 year-end review, huh? Instead, I decided to wait until today to do a year-end review of my 39th year. Yep, you read that correctly, I turned 40 years old today!

Wow, 4 decades! That seems crazy. I’ve wrestled with this for a little while. I was ‘worried’ about what things I haven’t done yet, like get married and have a family. But I was totally missing all the amazing things I have done in 40 short years! There’s still a stigma in some cultures/societies that marriage and family is the ultimate goal and that if you’re still single at my age, there must be something wrong with you. Simple truth? There’s nothing wrong with being single! I know that, I preach that here and anywhere. I was just letting outside voices wear me down. I’m over that now, no worries. As my trainer said, what’s the difference between Monday and Wednesday? Except for being in a protected age class in the workforce? Nothing. (sorry, a little HR humor)

So, 39, what a year! Graduated with my undergrad, attended the ceremony in Virginia and vacationed there, and went to Costa Rica. Started my graduate studies, traveled some other places. Changed churches. Learned a lot about myself through therapy. Got deeper in debt 😦 Lost weight, gained strength. 

Plans for this year? They seem to keep changing. I don’t really have too many things planned. I mean, besides Dallas in July for school, continuing my education, looking at options to control and decrease debt, do well at work, develop as a leader at my new church, possibly a mission trip… yeah, all the normal stuff!

Personally defining values and subsequent necessary boundaries. Learning to say no to things, even if they seem good. Striving for the best, God’s greater things. Discipline in studying the Bible and praying. Discipline with eating, exercise, self-care, rest, and play.

Start needing reading glasses, have to face at least one medical exam that all women my age have to experience. Ugh.

All that while trying to decrease my stress level. Emphasis on the learning to say no!

Well, here’s to an amazing 40th year on Earth! I’m sure God has things in mind that will blow mine!!

Mid-December 2018

HELLO!

Greetings to the land of the living! Ha! Being in a Master’s degree program can suck the life right out of ya! Oh my! I’ve had tunnel vision on my class recently. I really struggled with this class, not from content but just overwhelmed with everything else going on. OK, all that doesn’t make sense. How can I have tunnel vision on a class but struggle with it because of everything else going on?? Basically it means that if I wasn’t doing homework, I was at least thinking about doing homework. And if I wasn’t doing homework I felt guilty and didn’t do much of anything else because I should have been doing homework. Yeah, I know, confusing to me too. I have a tendency to shut down when I get really overwhelmed. I get to the point where I go through the motions in things that have to be done and everything else doesn’t matter.

I just know that I now have 3 weeks off and really hope to use this time to take a breath before diving back in. Also need to catch up on chores. I haven’t vacuumed in… well… I don’t remember. At least month, if not 2!! Not good when you have 2 shedding kitties running around! Laundry is done enough to keep me decent in public! Ha! Dishes, well, they’re not too far behind, but I’ve been eating out a lot or eating convenience foods. That reminds me I need to cook up some meals and get them in the freezer too. Hm, my time off is seemingly getting busier!!

I have no idea what I’m going to do with myself after I graduate in 2020! All that free time! Who am I kidding, I’ll find plenty of something(s) to do! Even if it means another degree???? I know, crazy, right!?!?

Well, I have every intention of writing a 2018 recap by the end of the month, or early next month. It’s been a crazy year for sure! So keep an eye out for that post real soon!

End of October 2018

It’s been a long time since I’ve written, my apologies. I have been going through a lot and haven’t time or energy to write. I have been dealing with sciatica pain for almost two and half months. It has been getting better, but being in constant pain just drains you. Focusing on work and school has been my priorities.

School’s going OK. Sitting for a long time in one position is difficult so working on papers has been hard. However, I have earned an A and an A- in the first 2 classes, resulting in a 3.85 GPA. Pretty excited about that considering the circumstances.

Work is fine. No real news to report there.

I just got back from a mission trip to Costa Rica. It went really well. There was a team of 7, 4 from Missouri and 3 from Colorado, that met up with a family that deployed there earlier this year. They are actually the family I went to Costa Rica with in 2012. It was amazing to see where God has brought them and what He has done in their lives since we were together last. Everything we had set out to do was accomplished. God did amazing things including holding off some rain and healing people. Many little ones prayed with us to receive Jesus as their Good Shepherd (the theme of our children’s program/VBS). I am hoping to go back soon!

2019’s mission is still looking like Austria, Lord willing. I might go back to CR for a vacation for my birthday, not sure yet (big 4-0 this year!). Also have trips planned to Nashville and Dallas. Then in 2020 I’m hoping for Los Angeles 2 times and Denver 2 times, then another trip TBD.

Oh my! So, if anyone is wondering what to get me for Christmas or my birthday, I take any size in Southwest Airlines gift cards! 😉 lol

All of that while being in school and working! Oh, and the other big change coming…

I’m transferring churches. There’s another church in the same denomination as my current one that’s a lot younger. The pastors have been in ministry for a long time, but their new leadership team is fairly young in the faith. So, I after a lot of prayer I’m going to transfer there and help out. Not sure about an ‘official’ role yet, we’re gonna see where the Lord leads. It’s bittersweet. I’ve been at the 1st church for over 10 years, and with some of the people for 15 or so years. One couple I have never not been in church with for 19 years. There are teens that I have watched grow up. But, I’m also excited to see what God has in store at the new place. New relationships and opportunities to grow and serve. Oh, and bonus, this is only 4 minutes from my home, compared to 30. Bonus – not a reason!

That’s enough excitement for now, right? I hope to get to my pics from the trip in the next day or two and will post some here. Talk to you soon!

 

Beginning Aug 2018

So my last entry was a bit of a rant. And I’ve been made aware that it could be taken out of context from a couple of fronts. My apologies, I haven’t rant-blogged in a while, and maybe shouldn’t have. I’m sure the lady who wrote the article I was referencing is a great person, loved by God. I wish her the best. Also, I wasn’t complaining about being single. I totally believe I’m where God wants me. I am happy, content, and satisfied with my ‘status’.

Anyway, started the Master’s program last week. Spent a week in the Denver area meeting my cohort and professors and some staff from the college. It was great. A bit overwhelming because we sat in lectures from 8am – 5pm for Mon – Thurs and 8am – 1pm on Fri. And each one of the lectures could have been a full class on its own. Didn’t take as good of notes as I wish I had. Oh well. My classmates are awesome, as are the professors. Everyone is so supportive and caring. I look forward to learning more about and from all of them.

One of my biggest takeaways from that week, and even before that actually, is that I have to start saying ‘no’ more often. I asked my therapist to check in with me when I see her, to ask what have I said no to recently. I don’t want to abandon my friends or anything, I just won’t be able to take on new assignments and occasionally will have to decline social events. School is important to me and I’m make a lot of sacrifices to further my education. To what end? I’m not entirely certain of that yet, but I’m excited for God to reveal that to me.

I can say missions is part of the plan though. I want to encourage missionaries on the field, from here and by visiting them. My challenge is to do it in a relevant way and not be a burden on them. That’s one idea I have for my capstone project, research on that subject.

Speaking of missions, the tickets for Costa Rica are purchased!! I’m over half-way to my fundraising goal too 🙂 We have a fairly small group going, but I’m excited to see what God will do with us!

I hope and pray you all have a great August! Hope to write again soon!

Mid-July 2018

So I just read an article that explains why I’m single. Apparently men prefer women who are virgins, have no debt, and have no tattoos. The WOMAN who wrote this was quoting other people who were saying why us older, ‘experienced’, college-graduates won’t get to marry well. And talked about, basically, our purpose is to have babies and cook and learn at the feet of our fathers and husbands. If we spend the time in college and getting married later, we will have wasted time not having as many babies as we could have.

OK, maybe it wasn’t quite that harsh… but that’s how I took it and my anger is still the same.

Ugh, she might as well have thrown the whole overweight issue in the mix.

I might be a feminist, who’s also a Christian. Maybe I scare guys away? That I’m honestly OK with, because if being who I am scares someone away, they weren’t strong enough themselves anyway.

Was that harsh?

But it breaks my heart that there are still people out there who don’t see women as equals to men. My Bible says He made them in His image, male and female (Genesis). My Bible says that there is no male or female in Christ (Galatians). But I guess I’m taking those out of context. Not to mention the Judge, Debra. She was only put in place because no man would step up. Or the home church leaders who Paul addresses in his letters who were women… bad translation of names??

OK, I’m being sarcastic.

I’ve heard the arguments on both sides. People are passionate on both sides, and I’m sure you probably have an opinion yourself.

I am a minister, my senior pastor is a woman, I’ve had professors who are women. I know many women in other leadership positions. Guess what? They all are following where God is leading them! The Holy Spirit hasn’t convicted them for their leadership, where do we get off condemning them???

Oh, and tattoos? That scripture people throw out there from Lamentations is out of context! God didn’t want the Israelites to follow the customs of the Egyptians, who marked their bodies in honor of the dead, expecting things from them. I have a tattoo that a departed friend drew and one of my last cat’s paw print. It would be a problem if I expected to be blessed by my friend or cat for doing that, but I’m not. They’re just in memory of them, nothing else.

Now, I do wish I didn’t have debt, but I have plans in the works to pay those down.

The other thing about virginity… I’m going to leave that one alone for now. I will say things happen that we’re not proud of, but we are new creations in Christ. Forgiven of sins we’ve confessed to Him and repented of.

OK, I now I’ve probably just stirred the pot and hit some buttons. I haven’t said all I want, but enough for now!

PS – I start the Master’s program Monday! Ah!

Late June 2018

Ever been in a place where you feel like there has to be something more to life? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not discounting my faith or doubting my call from God. But sometimes just going through the motions of everyday life gets, well, boring. I have plenty of things to keep me busy, no worries there, I’m just thinking there has to be more that means something. Eternally fulfilling in the day-to-day.

As I write this I can feel the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart. He wants me to listen to Him and talk to Him more. To climb up in the Father’s lap and listen to His heart. Oh that I would slow down and stop busy-ing myself to spend time with Him! Reading His word to learn His heartbeat and see the eternal in everyday things.

I keep having dreams in which I become very bold and evangelistic for Christ. For those who know me personally, you’d probably be surprised to see that come from me. I’m not very verbal with strangers about my faith. I think it’s time for that to change. Just the other day I saw a woman across the restaurant with a hurt leg. Why didn’t I go over and offer to pray for her? I certainly thought about it, but chickened out. What if I had done it? What’s the worst that could happen? She could of rejected me, but she wouldn’t have really been rejecting me but God. She could of welcomed me and gotten saved. What if I missed God on this one by not offering to pray for her? What will I do next time?

One of the reasons the world rejects Christianity is because of Christians. We don’t live what we believe. Yes, we all sin (even though Jesus gave us victory over that and gives us the ability to say no, but that’s another conversation), but I don’t think it’s our sin that makes the world doubt. I think that if we as believers in Christ, really believed He was the only way to Heaven and without Him people go to Hell, why are we not out there trying to tell people with urgency? We have the answer and the way out of the burning building, yet we sit on the curb, watching the flames and people perishing. They see us being casual about it and don’t acknowledge the flames are even there!

But there’s that delicate balance of being evangelistic and being, well, off-putting. We have to know the Lord’s voice and be willing to speak when He says ‘speak’ and go when He says ‘go’. And stop worrying about what people might think of us and worry about where they’re going to spend eternity.

Yet, is it really that easy? Hm. Maybe it should be?

On another note… speaking of going… I’m headed back to Costa Rica in October!! Same people I was with last time, so that’s exciting! If you’re interested in supporting me and my team, each person has to raise $1,500. I have a PayPal account and my email is tammyk777@yahoo.com. Any help will be deeply appreciated! If you’re unable to give at this time and want to be on our prayer team, just email me and let me know!

One final thought… if you’ve read this and don’t know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please, please, seriously consider Him. I would love to chat with you, my email is in the previous paragraph.

Blessings!!