Archive | Blessings

Got your Goat {funding a missionary with Scripture Calendars}

There are pictures of goats hanging up around church these days.

It makes Cora FREAK OUT. She loves goats at the moment. Why? I have no idea really.  Whenever you have your phone or iPad out she thinks that you’re going to show her videos of baby goats! Or she hassles you with her adorable, “goat? goat? goat? awwww baby!” until you do.

So back to the goats hanging up around church. It is a fundraiser our church is doing to raise funds for a missionary in Syria. The idea is that we as a church will be able to help fund a goat farm for a group of missionaries there who will help build the community through the work and care of the goats. So, our church gave $10 to whoever wanted to try to use that money to make money out of it for the cause.

During all the crazy of the last couple of weeks(you know, buying and selling a house, packing, going to a conference, chasing two crazy littles, being pregnant(and huge as people like to remind me)) I came up with a plan. I had to think of something that I still had the supplies unpacked for, and that I could make multiples of (instead of doing anything custom which seems to be my normal…) I decided to make a scripture calendar.

Usually in August, as everyone is gearing back to go back to school there are all sorts of calendars and goals going on for the new school year.

So the idea of this is that there is a scripture a month to help you memorize a verse each month!

They are 5×7 size printed on card stock.

There are twelve verses for August 2018-July 2019 My hope  is that these verses will encourage you daily whether you hang this on your fridge or put it next to your computer while you work. You will have the opportunity to read those verses daily and hopefully bury them deep in your heart.   So, who wants to help a missionary purchase some goats while getting a pretty little calendar with a purpose? 😉

They are $20 each(plus shipping if you don’t live near me). Email me or contact me if you’re interested!    

My prayer is that they would encourage you and point you constantly to the Lord. We all could use that, right? Amen. 🙂

xoxo-Kimberly Renee
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Spiritual stinginess and Jonah {a blessing for today}

I never thought of myself as opinionated enough or a strong enough personality to have “enemies” before. I would think, sure, we don’t really get along, or we are just in different circles, or maybe my sister was an “enemy” for a day because we fought over something. But man, when you start putting your heart out there, serving and loving people and trying to do the right thing, it’s actually not too hard to make enemies.

Ha. I mean, as  a pastor’s wife, I’m getting to witness first hand how people are going to be looking out for number one, not always going to agree, not always going to support or even care for you.  Any kind of management position or area of life where you work with people really- people are going to be disappointed, hurt, lash out, disagree and fight. It’s just human. Well, part of being human is learning how to deal with those people.

We can ignore. Run away. Hide it. Push. Pull them, Gossip, make sure everyone else knows how horrible they are. Or even tell them how wrong they are…

or we can love.

Everyone knows the story of Jonah, don’t they? The story of where Jonah hears from God that he needs to head to Ninevah to tell them to repent and that God is going to rain down justice. But instead he heads the other direction. Runs away from God, gets thrown into the ocean, eaten by a fish and then spit out three days later. Jonah decides, hey I better listen to God and go do what He wants me to do.

We all know that story, even if we don’t ever read the bible, right?

Well, what about the 4th chapter of the book? Do we all know that part? It’s not usually part of the Sunday school curriculum.  It explains how at the end of Chapter 3 the entire city starts to repent, even the king and so God relents from doing disaster. The people of Ninevah are horrible people, basically Jonah’s (a good jew) enemies. And yet, God doesn’t destroy them because they have had a change of heart. Well, Jonah gets super mad about it and pouts. So mad that he says he might as well die. He then decides to sit outside the city and wait and watch for the coming disaster upon the city. Surely God won’t really forgive them.

He says, “I knew you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and relenting from disaster.”(Jonah 4:2) BUT… basically, how can you forgive them? It would be better for me to just die.

This chapter shows the depth of the human heart. It shows that God knows our human heart and whether it is a whole city or a single heart, He is in the business of mercy and grace and purifying ugly hearts. You know, a heart where we can say one thing and desire another…How Jonah was so mad about his enemies getting off free. How he sat and just waited for God to do something to them. Then God, knowing his heart, wanted to teach that heart a little of his mercy. He had a tree or a vine grow up over night to give him shade. The next night he had a worm destroy the tree so that it withered and died. Jonah is so mad about that that he says he might as well die, again!

Can we say, Drama king?  Jonah has more feelings and compassion for the plant then he does for all the people in the whole city of Ninevah. Goes to shows where his heart is, and how God is trying to teach him.

Well, you and I can be like that, can’t we? We can praise God that He is ALL THE THINGS in verse 2 of chapter 4… gracious, merciful, slow to anger, abounding in love…TO ME…

but then we can be “spiritually stingy” when it comes to showing those things to others.

The Ninevites were Jonah’s enemies- hard horrible and cruel people who spiritually didn’t know their “right hand from their left”(v.11) Like Jonah, we’ve been hurt or seen horrible things done by “enemies” of our own. Maybe it’s a murderer or adulterer you see on tv that you know deserves justice. Maybe it’s a family member who is abusive, verbally or emotionally. Maybe it’s a friend who has just been hurtful in how they’ve acted or spoken.  “Enemies” who are horrible, cruel, self-righteous, proud, hurtful in their own ways.

It is hard at times to see them the way God saw the Ninevites…it’s easier and more human to act like Jonah, waiting and watching to see how God will bring justice on them for what they have done.

BUT GOD.

But God. God was merciful on those Ninevites and He is merciful on our enemies too. That is why Jesus calls us to  love our enemies and even to pray for them!(Matthew 5:44). God was trying to teach Jonah the same thing that Jesus preached in the Sermon on the Mount. Crazy how He is still trying to teach you and me that today.

“Friends, the real scope of the width of God’s mercy is found in the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross. That’s the length and depth and breadth to which the love of God will go. So how can we, who know the grace and mercy of Christ in our lives, be less than gracious and merciful to others?” -Krista Williams, First5.org

Amen and amen.

{A lot of the ideas for today’s post came from a quick quiet time with First5.org this morning. If you’re looking for a daily devotional to be guided daily in time learning the Word, I highly recommend this devotional! You can get the app and it will automatically be sent to your phone daily.}

And finally, I’m just dwelling in this quote from CS Lewis:

“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and of course as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”

Friends, may we be humble people, loving others, even our enemies, and looking up to what God is doing in our lives.

xoxo-kimberly renee

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a word for the year… in February.

Oh HIiiiii blog…. it’s been a month since I was last here… or more.

Ha. Well, let’s just say January is always rough on me. I had a hard time getting my act together to write anything. I have had this post in my mind since, oh, January 4th or 5th? Anyway, I just wanted to share, more for personal accountability then anything else, my word for the year. I’ve posted about this a few times in the past… like here, and here.

Last year my word was HOPE. Mainly because I dealt with a lot of panic and post partum at the beginning of the year last year. But it was the perfect word to carry me through another hard year.

This year, it seems cliche to say, my word is GRACE.

There was a point in the last year, I’m not exactly sure when, sometime in the fall when I remember crying before bed and talking to Husbuddy about all the things that were stressing me out. And I remember him saying to me, it has stuck with me clear as day, “Kim, it’s like you think that no one else has to be perfect, that they are all covered in the grace of Christ, but YOU expect yourself to be perfect. You put such impossible expectations on yourself and you hold yourself to such a high standard that there is no way you can meet that! You need Jesus’s Grace to meet you in all of this!”

wisdom right there, am I right?

So, the word :: Grace.

I need the grace of Jesus to permeate EVERY.SINGLE.INCH of my heart, my soul, my brain.

like I said, cliche. But I can’t get over it because this verse keeps popping in my head:

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” John 1:16

I mean, wow. Grace UPON Grace.

Like a cup overflowing with grace. That is what I’m picturing in my head. It’s hard to imagine when I’m such a cup half empty kind of person sometimes!

Grace for TODAY.

Grace for my heart.

I was hoping to make a pretty picture like I have before to hang and remind myself of my word… but hey. That didn’t happen the entire month so I’m just going for this blog post. I mean, that’s kinda my word right?

Grace for myself when I can’t get everything done.

Grace TO myself. Speak grace TO myself! Not condemnation!

Grace for those around me when they don’t fulfill my expectations…

Grace for my husband, for my girls.

Grace for my parenting. I’m not perfect, how can I be? I’m still new to this and I’m learning!

Grace to be a more Grace-FULL person.

Grace to be able to serve others better.

Grace to fail. -this one feels huge to me. Sometimes I’m so scared of failing I don’t start. Or I fail and I beat myself up so hard.

I know all about Grace in my head. Or so sometimes I tell myself I think I do. But this year I want to focus on grace so it penetrates into my heart.

“There is a remnant, chosen by grace. but if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” Romans 11:6

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work” 2 Corinthians 9:8

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

These are just some of my thoughts today. Hopefully I will continue to grow and think about Grace this year. That is the goal anyway. Ha!

I guess my word kind of works for the fact that I didn’t get this post out until February, right?

at least I’ll keep telling myself that!

So, what about you? Do you have a word for the year? Anyone else just putting their thoughts together now that it is February? #tellmei’mnottheonlyone! #canwejuststartthenewyearinFeb?

xoxo-kimberly renee

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called[
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

God bless you this Christmas!

We are blessed by the love of our Father, in heaven, sending His Son for us! May you know that love!

Love, The Holdermans.

xoxo-kimberly renee
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sufficient {Gracelaced the book}

My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” 2 Corinthians 12:9

this verse has been on repeat in my brain since reading a chapter in my new book, Gracelaced.

sufficient.

His grace: sufficient.

it’s easy to think that verse applies to the big things. the huge issues in life. like a death of a loved one or a loss of home or a job… His grace is sufficient for those, yes…

BUT! in the verses just before this one, Paul is talking about a “thorn in his flesh”. when you think about thorns, how big are they really? not that big, right?

a few weeks ago Sophia was running around bare foot in the backyard. she was across the yard when she started screaming bloody murder. ON TOP OF HER LUNGS. i was sitting in the grass with Cora and since Cora puts everything in her mouth, i just motioned for Sophia to come to me. i tried to reason with her, just come here and tell me what’s wrong. from my point of view it couldn’t have been much and i really just needed her to stop screaming. she wobbled over, screaming the whole way, (i thought she was just being dramatic) and then shows me her foot. she had a thorn stuck in her heel. it was about 1/4″ long and she didn’t know NOT to step on that heel, or even to just pull it out. she walked all the way across the yard with it. (oops, mom fail moment-i made her come to ME instead of running to her… don’t judge.) i pulled it out and she was shocked how much better she felt instantly. and then she told daddy all about it when he got home.  but she was perfectly fine, no harm done. she did talk about it for days though, it made quite the impression.

thorns are on raspberry bushes and rose bushes…they are usually pretty small. but man, they pack a sting.  Paul says he asks the Lord three times for Him to take away the thorn but He didn’t.  He says that the Lord told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”

i guess i never thought about that thorn of Paul’s as being something “small”. but really, it’s the “small” things that really nag, really chip away at you, make you cry every time you put your foot down on it.

those things are like unresolved conflict with friends, that just feels painful every time you see them.

like the unrelenting financial strain- when we just can’t seem to get ahead.

like the fear and pain of being a pastors wife- who is going to say what to me next time i see them?

like the worry and frustration of parents not acting like Christians… or maybe even adults.

like children who will not obey, it feels like one step forward and two steps back…or babies who won’t sleep and just the daily dealing with this wearing you out.

… nope, none of those sound like my life or anything… ahem{some of these examples are mine, some from Ruth’s book}

but i LOVE how she put it:

“… we miss the lesson when we pick at the thorn…nurse it…bemoan it…curse it. The enemy would have us so blinded by the pain of the thorn that we can’t see the beauty of the rose garden…so consumed by the discomfort that won’t go away that I can’t experience what fragrance of grace lies just ahead…”

-Ruth Chou Simons Gracelaced

THAT. those three sentences right there describes my life completely the last year. i am distracted by the thorns, i’m focusing on them and bemoaning them.

And i was just stopped dead in my tracks as i read it. and i just felt God whisper into my heart, right then and there,

“MY Grace is SUFFICIENT.”

As i burst into tears,

Christ is enough.

THAT is why Paul rejoices in His thorn. He was given a gift of seeing that “His grace is sufficient for the thorn He chooses not to remove”(Ruth Chou Simons).

She goes on to just convict me even more. She says,

“Friend, would we praise Him for His sustaining strength in our lives if it where not for reaching the end of our own strength? Would we consider Him enough if we did not find ourselves lacking? Would we know humility if not for the discomfort of obstacles and the pain of intrusions?

…Don’t be surprised when our heavenly Father chooses to allow the wounding of our pride this day. He does so lovingly, sovereignly, and without mistake…that we might find in Christ’s sufficient grace- in our unremoved pain- the rose we long to behold, just beyond the thorn.”  

 

Can i get an amen?

***

(don’t mind me as i quote almost an entire devotional…oops. it’s just soooo good and such gold, you have to know how deep it goes into my heart!)

You know how when you find something so sweet or so awesome you have to share it? That is how i feel about this book. It’s like i can’t stop talking about it or sharing it with my friends! Really, it’s too good not to share. .

At the beginning of the summer, one of my favorite people to follow on instagram posted that she was looking for people to get advanced copy of her new book so that we could share it with our friends and on our social media. i filled out a survey and next thing i know, i was in! i was kinda shocked that i got picked. Maybe they took everyone who filled out the survey, i don’t know, but i was pretty excited and felt honored for this opportunity.

i’ve been known to highlight and cover a book in notes. and this book she has space for that! she encourages you to bring your pens and really soak into it. Dig deep. She also has verses for each devotional to look the topic up further study and thought. Each devotional really could be used as a daily moment to sit and breath in God’s goodness and grace.  i am pretty critical of devotionals because i hate it when they are too surface level or just make you  “feel good”. This is so filled to the brim with scripture that it is not surface level at all but because the living word of God is used throughout, it can speak to me over and over again.

Book Details:

{below is from Ruth’s website, but i wanted to share with you all the details of this beautiful book!}

GraceLaced is about more than pretty florals and fanciful brushwork—it’s about flourishing. With carefully crafted intention, this beautiful volume of 32 seasonal devotions from artist and author Ruth Chou Simons encourages readers in any circumstance to become deeply rooted in God’s faithful promises. GraceLaced extends a soul-stirring invitation to draw close to God while…

  • resting in who He is
  • rehearsing the truth He says about you
  • responding in faith to those truths
  • remembering His provision to sustain you, time and time again

More than 800 individual pieces of art came together in the crafting of this book, including dozens of new, hand-painted Scripture vignettes that Ruth is known for.

Who we are and who God is never changes, even though everything else rarely stays the same. Let this book point you to truth as you journey through the changing seasons of your heart.

If you want to see more about this book, check out the book trailer here: click here! 

About Ruth:

Ruth Chou Simons is an artist, writer, entrepreneur, and speaker. As creator of the popular GraceLaced online shoppe, blog and Instagram community, she shares scriptural truths daily through her hand painted artwork and words. Ruth and her husband, Troy, live in New Mexico and are grateful parents to six sons- their greatest adventure.

In Ruth Chou Simons’ book, GraceLaced, you will be pointed to God’s truths that remind you the Bible applies to where you are right now no matter what season you’re in! You can get your copy by going to gracelaced.com/gracelacedbook. (Or at wherever books are sold…ie Amazon, Barnes, Christian book, Target etc.)

This book is gold you guys. It’s going to be sitting by my bedside for a long time to just reread over and over.  This is definitly a promotional blog post about this book, but know that i only share because i love ya! Let me know if you get it so we can talk about it, mmmk?

xoxo-kimberly renee

 

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happy father’s day to Husbuddy

dear husbuddy,

i heard you say the other day that you aren’t as good of a dad as you’d always thought/wanted to be. and you wished you were better at it.

and that broke my heart. because i think you’re a lot better then you think you are.

i’m here to say, i’m your biggest cheerleader. i think you’re such an amazing daddy to our children. you work so hard to provide for them. you love their snuggles and sneezes and giggles and cuddles. you melt when they say daddy and they may have you wrapped around their fingers, but you still are firm as you learn how to discipline well.

darling, you love them so well.

and i think you are even better at this then you think, for the humility it took to say that you wished you could be better. i think that longing to be better is good, we should always strive to be better at this parenting thing, since we’re such newbies. lol. (i still remember driving out of the hospital parking lot, looking at you and being like, what? they are letting us leave? we don’t know what we are doing!)

but you know what makes you a great daddy? it’s that you long to show your girls the love of our heavenly Father.

you long to be an example for them of the love that our Father in Heaven has for us. THAT is proof you are a good father. because you are seeking the example of The Perfect Father.

so thank you.

thank you for loving our beautiful girls as best you can, with the example you have and for seeking the Father daily in your love for them.

“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

i’m so thankful to get to do this parenting gig by your side.

Happy Father’s Day love.

xo-Kimberly Renee
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our poverty and the poor widow

i wrote this little devotional for a MOPS meeting the other week. then the mops meeting got canceled because of snow. then i felt like God kept working on my heart about it, making me dwell on it and think about it. and then i’ve felt the Lord’s leading to share it here, with you all. i hope you don’t mind all the mom references if you’re not mom, i still think it speaks with the same relevance. God has been teaching me a lot about what it means to be poor and needy…but not in a way you’d first think::


 Mark 12:41-44

“And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums.  And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.  For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

The poor widow gave out of her poverty. Yes, Jesus is talking about her finances, but I think this can also speak about other “resources”. Sometimes I think of only myself with regards to those other resources-emotional, time, energy etc… How often do I hoard my emotional resources and think I don’t have time to meet with someone or commit to something?

I hold on to my schedule like the Pharisees held onto their gold. Giving only the extra. Or my personal to do list, or my plans for the day. BUT out of her poverty, the widow gave.

I think a lot of us, as moms, or even just with how busy we all are in today’s world, consider ourselves “in poverty” with our time and energy. We perceive and feel  like we are so exhausted we only have a tiny bit to give, and we hoard for ourselves as much time as we can. We even hear beloved speakers talk about “taking care of yourself first!, take care of number one!” and, I think that’s important too, don’t get me wrong, but I just want us to be careful as we think about it…

The thing is:

  1. God works the most when we are at the end of ourselves- when we give out of our poverty. When we are living in His strength and not in our own. (“The Lord is my strength…” Psalm 28:7) That old idea that the Lord doesn’t give us more then we can handle is false- He gives us more then we can handle, He brings us to the end of ourselves, so that we lean more into HIM.
  2. God cares more about PEOPLE than about schedules or plans. When we give time(especially when it feels like we don’t have any) to PEOPLE- to our children, to our family, to friends, to other moms, to strangers- that is the most valuable thing! God sees that gift just like Jesus saw the widow’s gift.

AND, I’m not saying that you should say yes to every little thing that someone(especially strangers) asks of you. I’m just wanting to remind you that our time is a resource just like our money. We need to think about it rightly.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

We need to use our time wisely and also remember- it is not ours. God knows our days and He has given us PEOPLE to fill those days.

Little ones we need to pour out our time on like a burnt offering.

Our Big boys who so often get ignored because of our to-do lists, we need to serve them with our time and love.

Friends and strangers who demand our attention or who just want someone to listen to them, it is a burden sometimes to take the time to be with them and listen, but God’s love is for His people, and I am just reminded that people is where God asks us to spend our time, to pour out our time for.

God places people in our life to serve with time, with energy, with love.

In college I remember a friend and dear mentor who taught me this lesson. (shout out to Rachel! love you!) She said if she was ever interrupted from homework to be with someone or be in a meaningful conversation with PEOPLE, she would let go of her plans and schedule and trust that God has brought this person into this moment and it’s more important than homework. She would trust that God would provide for her to have time to finish her homework-He knew she needed to get done- even if she had no idea how. And guess what, He always did. She always got her homework done and somehow time would grow and allow for what she needed to accomplish. It was the people who were important and she knew that deeply. I held onto that in college and it proved true for me too. And now  I want to remember that daily, I want to remember it when a little one interrupts me, when a friend calls for a long conversation, when I’m just too tired to serve again.

God blesses us when we give our time to His people.

He sees our time and energy offering, even if we feel poor and needy.

Here’s the thing though, we can’t do this with our own resources or ability. 1 Cor 1:8-9 says “we are under great pressure far beyond our ability to endure…but this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead…He will deliver us.”

And Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest…You will find rest for your souls.”

If you feel stretched and exhausted and like you don’t know how you can pour yourself out anymore, Go to Jesus. He alone can be the one to fill us. Having a blank schedule and no little people pulling on us won’t fill us up- even though the world tells us it will.

Let me repeat that, having a blank schedule and no little people pulling on us, won’t fill us up. that will not restore us the way we want to be restored!

Only Jesus can. Only through time in His word and praying.  Like Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” {now, if only i could actually do that… because i don’t know about you but i’m not waking up 3 hours before my babies every morning…!} 

I am challenged, and I want to challenge and encourage you to think about your time and how do you use it as an offering to the Lord. Do you see it as a burnt offering? Do you see yourself as “poor and needy”?  May these verses encourage your heart:

 

“Incline your ear O Lord and answer me, for I am poor and needy” Psalm 86:1

“Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:3

“For you have been a stronghold for the poor, a stronghold for the needy person in his distress, a refuge from the rain, a shade from the heat.”  Isaiah 25:4a

thanks for listening friends.

xoxo-kimberly renee

 

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