New blog site...
Check me out at memoirsofaredhead.com
-Redheads have more fun
New blog site...
Check me out at memoirsofaredhead.com
-Redheads have more fun
I ran 5K this morning:)
I will be a little late to work because it went slowly and I got up a little later than desired...but I RAN 5K this morning!!
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:
No joke. That's an actual picture I took during the cool-down.
Then I tried to force the flash and got this:
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.
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.
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. ;-)
Creeping into the wee hours of the morning here, I am reminiscent of this very day in August four years ago. On August 23, 2009, I took a step into my destiny, and truly had no idea how important that step would become on this journey of mine. After walking into DC Metro Church that Sunday morning I felt like I was at home. They were meeting in a movie theater and although I’d never done church in a movie theater before it was strangely familiar to me.
The funny pastor on stage was very different from the (other funny) man I was used to shepherding me…and to be honest, I was used to worshiping with the lights on full-blast. And the mauve chairs…where were the mauve chairs? I definitely wasn’t used to all the stairs in the theater, and worrying about whether I would trip on them during the worship service. Ah…so many things I would have to get used to! Even with all those silly changes, I very strangely felt at home.
They say that home is where the heart is.
I always want my heart to be where Jesus is.
Jesus was at DC Metro Church that day.
I guess that’s why I felt so at home there so quickly.
Fast forward to 2013.
At four services (plus two online) at our Alexandria home base, and no longer in a movie theater, we launched our Fairfax location in a different theater several months ago, and it has gone well! Then 3500 S. Pickett Street opened up in Fairfax and God said, “Move there.” So we did! Since this isn’t the year 2065, and we haven’t quite perfected the whole “one person being in two places at one time thing” we have this incredible way to do church in two locations at once and it includes a pastor preaching at one location and simulcasting it live to another. We get a life-sized Pastor David in two places at once (Come on, somebody! How great is that? His BEARD can be in two places at once!)
Recalling a time several years ago when I thought that a video feed of a sermon was the most pompous idea for a pastor to even suggest, I am now overwhelmed at what a God-idea it truly is. I was that person that thought, “What, you don’t think anyone else can preach in your place at another location?” One thing I’ve learned is that it has nothing to do with the pastor’s thoughts of himself, but it has to do with unity. I think it would be very difficult for us to have the model of unity that we feel God has called us to if we had different pastors preaching at different locations. Disclaimer: It’s just not what DC Metro Church is called to, although I’ll readily agree that God calls churches to look different in different places and I am positive that there are people doing the opposite and finding success. It bears no merit to compare the two models.
This past Sunday we had a soft launch in our new facility. We do have a very similar set-up in both locations and I chuckled as I sat in a very similar spot on the front row at Fairfax as I typically do at Alexandria. To the right I saw some friends; to the left I saw some friends; behind me I met some new folks. Pastor David (beard included) was life-sized on the stage, and I found myself “amen-ing” and “woo-hooing” as I always do when he’s ten feet in front of me. Others did the same. I opened my eyes at one point during worship and smiled thinking, “I feel very strangely at home right now.”
They say that home is where the heart is.
My heart is where Jesus is.
Jesus was not only @ 1100 N. Fayette Street in Alexandria; Jesus was also at 3500 S. Pickett Street in Fairfax.
I guess that’s why I felt so at home there so quickly.
During the service there was a flood of emotion and memories running through my head over what was happening. The place was packed with old and future friends. I sat and remembered that first time I had heard of pastors broadcasting themselves across town to another location and thanked God for prepping me with the idea years ago, and for proving me wrong.
Hundreds of seats just opened up at 1100 N. Fayette Street on Sundays in Alexandria because of that brilliance, so if you’re looking for a place to call home…get there! If you’re still considering whether you could make the jump to Fairfax, check it out and see if it feels like home to you! You never know what God will say until you at least ask Him.
As for me, I am still called to Alexandria, and I don’t feel guilty about that one bit. However, in the same way that I go up to visit my family in Philly and say that I’m going “home”, in some ways Fairfax will also be my home.
Family is family no matter where they are…and sometimes you just have family in multiple locations!
That is truly how we can be…
DC Metro Church: One church. Multiple Locations.
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.
I love to keep up with messages by my amazingly anointed and gifted friend (and former pastor), Brad. He is the pastor of a thriving church in my hometown, Philly. God is blowing my mind @ City Life Church, in the ways that He is moving, and I'm so proud of my friends and their team for pursuing the City of Love with the ultimate Love of Christ.
Every now and then I have a Brad Leach marathon and listen to several messages from the past couple months, and today is such a day. Due to Singles Awareness Month around here, ;-) I have been avoiding listening to his relationship messages from last month, feeling great in that area and not needing one more right now. But after posting yesterday', about my sweet moment with Jesus and the stallion that He has prepared for me, I decided it would be okay to hear Brad's thoughts about this.
He tells this precious story about his little girl, Gabby, at the beginning of this message, and if you've got it in you to hear one more message about relationships any time soon, this is another great talk on the topic for all my phenomenal friends out there in a season of wondering, "But who will marry ME?" Check it out here. (2/24/13) He even gives a great reason to join the Operations Team @ DC Metro Church...suggesting that you can enter Connection Cards from Sunday and scope out the new single people @ the church. Just sayin'. ;-)
I "don't need to budge from God's plan for my life." So glad that I get to thrive in my singleness.
Five and half years ago I posted about my accent, revealing that I no longer had one. From PHILly, but lived in MinneSOHta and MichigAN for 12 years wrecked my accent quite a bit. Nonetheless, I was still holding it down with the Philadelphian in me a little bit according to that test.
Just did the same exact test this afternoon to find that I still don't have much of a distinct accent, but...
...THE SOUTH HAS OVERTAKEN ME! And all my Lousiana, Jacksonville, Georgia, Tennesee, Texas friends said...Amen. This is what moving to Virginia has done to, for, to me. I just go around picking up little pieces of other people's accents all the time...Hot mess.
Recently I had the privilege of praying with some of my beautiful prayer warrior friends. One of them, I even call She-Rah: Prayer Warrior Princess. We are a part of a team at our church that gets to do personal prayer ministry with individuals. One and a half to two hours, just for one person. A long time ago God began using people to teach me about "the one". Jesus cares about everyONE. He wants us to invest in the ONE. I love this ministry because I get to focus on just one person at a time-to honor and care for in prayer. There are few places I'd rather be on those nights.
Sometimes our team gets together to do some training and practice. The other night these warrior princesses in my life ministered to me for a brief time during our practice. One person was leading that part and the rest of us were to ask a question: "Jesus, what lie am I believing about you?" I wasn't feeling well that night, so I had already decided that I wasn't really going to participate. (I live in a land called "Of Course", where God does things that I wouldn't have necessarily seen happening, but Daddy knows best and just goes for it. Because I choose to submit to Him-many times ;-)- He brings me along for a ride anyway!) So...of course I was the first person to get an answer, and that meant that I was the one that was supposed to receive ministry in that session. (sigh)
Literally, I sighed.
I didn't feel like participating. I just wanted to look in from the outside and coach them through it.
But, no. Jesus wanted to dispell a lie.
In my open-book transparency, I often still censor what I'm sharing with the world for good reason. Everyone just doesn't need to know everything, and there are plenty of women in my life with whom I share life with. For some reason though, this month has been highlighted to me as "Singles Awareness Month" @ my church (not really, but it just feels like it is) and I thought I'd share some thoughts for the sake of amazing women in my life.
The lie. "You think that I'm always going to be just your friend, but that I'm never going to be your groom."
Story of my freakin' life. How often do I say it? "I'm always the friend, but never the bride." "He thinks I'm such an incredible woman...sucks I'm not attractive enough." "I'll have great guy friends until the day I die...but am I ever going to have a husband?"
There I said it.
But does that really mean that because I've thought those things that I really don't think that Jesus is going to be my groom? The Bible tells us that Jesus is coming back someday, and that he is coming back for his bride. I believe that. I believe that Jesus is the ultimate Groom and that someday I will be with him in Heaven. I also believe that He's my friend; I've a friend in Jesus. (Click for a belly laugh).
What Jesus was telling me was that deep down I am actually relating my expectation of Him to my wonderings about whether I'll ever go from "awesome, incredible, amazing, sister in Christ" to bride. I just didn't think I was doing that...until I asked. Dang those questions!
So in this prayer session with my friends, I asked Jesus if there was anyone I needed to forgive for this lie being in my life. Together we walked through a couple of items there and then I gave that unforgiveness and frustration to Him. I asked Him what he would give me in exchange for that junk and do you know what he gave me?
Yes, He did. He gave me a stallion.
So I can wonder all I want to, whether I will ever make the transition from "amazing friend" to a bride someday, but I don't really have to. All that does is feed a lie that I already got rid of. I have to admit, it's still hard to believe. Really. But I choose to believe that my stallion is out there-or right around the corner; I have no clue.
In the meanwhile, I will continue to be aware of my singlesness because I can't seem to get away from it...at all. Might as well enjoy a great message on either marriage or singleness here. (March 3, 10, 17) ;-)
I just read this blog post by Stephen Altrogge over at his blog The Blazing Center.
Looks like a great follow-up to my post yesterday!
About an hour ago I did wish some folks a Happy New Year.
The more I consider it though, who am I to tell people to have a happy new year?
This past year has brought quite a bit of suffering and grief to people I really love, like, barely know and many I'll never meet...why should they be required to have a Happy New Year in 2013?
This year I've...
watched some close friends tragically lose their dads
watched one of my best friends lose really important older women in her life (her MawMaw and great aunt who helped raise her)
watched a friend still not be able to get back with her separated husband
watched a good friend still not have resolution with an untruthful accusation with his job at work
watched several close women in my life miscarry...more than once
watched my sister-in-law say goodbye to one of her good friends who went into hospice the other day and pass away this morning
watched a friend go home to be with her dad as he entered hospice care
learned that the son of my sister-in-law's childhood best friend (who died 5 years ago) shot himself the other day with his best friends there
heard of tragedy after tragedy happen-just in this country-with folks losing their friends and loved ones to horrific events, due to brokenness (the government can't make broken people unbroken...never will be able to...)
learned of sick adoption issues across the world that are truly harming children
learned of more than one mom of small kids lose her husband out of nowhere
learned that just yesterday my friend's dad went to the hospital with pneumonia
watched two of my best friends say goodbye to their 2 1/2 year old little girl after a 2 1/2 year battle with sickness
and the other day I watched (from a distance) a family that I hold dear get into a horrific accident, throwing one of my favorite little freckle-faced, Irish teenagers from the car, taking away his Senior year and first year of college-here in 2013...
...seen so much pain...
I think...who am I to wish these people a Happy New Year?
Instead, I think this year I will move forward with wishing my friends and family a Hopeful New Year.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15.13
How can all of these people move forward in such great pain? It just doesn't seem to be humanly possible, but by the grace of God. I was reflecting yesterday on how great God was this past year-in SO many ways, and also on the reality of the sorrow that SO many of my friends and family have felt. I literally felt it yesterday-quite a heaviness. These things are not sorrowful moments felt once and then gone. These are moments that are felt on a daily basis.
So I will continue to pray for said-friends in my life, and those that I do not know, asking that God would make the reality of His hope apparent in their lives. That it would push them forward 365 more times in 2013-even on the really hard days, when numbness sets in and the walls of grief are closing in on them. I'm praying that Father God would help them put together the pieces that don't make sense and that He will bring a new level of wholeness to their lives.
Feel free to let me know how I can be praying with you this year.
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope...
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God...
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Write more this year. :-)
How about 3 days a week?
I thought about shooting for everyday...don't know if I'd be setting myself up for an epic fail on that one, since I "blogged" 5x in 2012. Epic. Fail.
It's September 6 and I only have 4 posts to show for 2012. Okay. Now 5.