Archive | Blessings

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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her baptism

Sweet little girl was baptized a couple weeks ago. it was sweet and beautiful that her daddy was the one to do it!

i know there is so much confusion and disagreement about infant baptism, but i really liked what the pastor(ahem, my husband) said that morning. i just thought he explained what infant baptism signifies so well! i wanted to share it with you:

” …baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by

Jesus Christ Himself. By the act of baptism, a person becomes a part

of the visible church of God, for it is a sign and a seal of the covenant

of grace for believers and their children. As a sign it proclaims God’s

forgiveness and our redemption in Jesus Christ. And as a seal, God

marks us as adopted children of our heavenly Father. It indicates our

engrafting into Christ, our rebirth, the remission of sins, and our ability

by the power of the Spirit to walk in newness of life. (Book of

Worship 3-2)

For infants in the Old Covenant, circumcision was the outward sign

used to indicate that a child was part of the visible church. However,

in the New Covenant, under Christ, the sign of circumcision is

replaced with that of baptism. When an infant is baptized, it does not

save. It signifies instead that God’s pursuit and work in our lives

begins before we are ever aware of it. And it also seals the infant

within the covenant promises of God, being raised not as a stranger to

the Gospel, but being taught the good news of free and gracious

salvation in Jesus Christ, a privilege to those within the church.”

“It signifies… that God’s pursuit and work in our lives

begins before we are ever aware of it”

i mean, that, right there is where we praise the Lord for God’s pursuit of each one of us. we can not save ourselves. amen?! 

Cora isn’t being raised as a stranger to the gospel. we pray that every day the gospel is evident in our home and in our church. the gospel means that, daily,  we recognize that we are sinners and need Jesus’ saving work on the cross.

in our  home, in our relationships with each other, in our parenting… we are not perfect. we need Jesus. may it be so clear to our girls as they grow up.

  

thank you for letting me share that special day with you all!

xoxo-kimberly renee
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goodness from the other day

 the other day i was reading my bible during our “blanket time” and Sophia made me see something profound.

blanket time is glorious thing. we set the timer for 25-30 minutes and she has to sit on her blanket and “read” her books. i get that time to sit and have a little quiet time and just have quiet in my morning.

sophia isn’t perfect at it. but we’re practicing daily so she’s getting better!

anyway, the other day she walks over to me with a little book in her hand, she says, look mom! i have these! and she points to the other books in the series on the back of the book that she owns. she is pretty proud of the fact that they are hers. she is bragging to me about it.

i just laugh and say yes dear and direct her back to her blanket.

i laugh because of course she has them because we bought them for her. or because someone else did. she did nothing to actually acquire these things. and she seemed so silly bragging about it.

but then i realize. how often do i do that? how often do i say, “look at what i have! look at what i’ve done!”

when NOTHING is mine? when i did nothing to deserve or acquire or earn the gifts that i have?

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

James 1:17

EVERY single thing in my life is a gift. my family, my friends, my house, my mind and creativity, my very breath, my salvation. all of it, a gift.

 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

thank you Lord, for your good and perfect gifts. even little reminders of Your gifts through a little three year old.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Psalm 34:8

amen.

xoxo-kimberly renee

 

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a cold, refreshing glass of lemonade

{*updated* to fix the rotation of the photos issue}

“Trust in the Lord, and do good;
    dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
 Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him, and he will act.
 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
    and your justice as the noonday.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
    fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
    over the man who carries out evil devices!”

Psalm 37:3-7

life these days has been busy and exhausting and overwhelming. i’ve hit my third trimester and all of a sudden i’m tired again. i’ve kept busy but i still feel like i’m swimming in to-do lists. some days i feel like a horrible mother: this toddler raising business is NO.JOKE.  and can we talk about how freaking hot it’s been?! but we’ve had some beautiful times in the last couple of weeks.

little moments of fresh, cold, delicious lemonade made with the lemons we’ve been given.

like our anniversary date where we got ice cream at Penny’s truck downtown:

R_2016-08-19 18.45.49

like wearing boots in 80 degree weather because we think they are *awesome*

R_2016-08-23 17.jpeg

gah, i can’t get over how cute she is! stop growing child!

R_2016-08-23 17.35

life multiple days of those boots in a row… oh and watering our bikes seems like a good idea too: R_2016-08-24 17.03  like getting a hair cut! for me AND the little miss!

it was a little sad to say good bye to some of her beautiful baby hair…but there is SO-much-less-tangles and screaming! she was so brave and such a good girl sitting as still as she could. she had 3 inches cut off!

R_2016-08-25 10.08

and then we got hair cut donuts. because… it just made sense!”

R_2016-08-25 11.02 mom, stop taking pictures!”

lol

R_2016-08-25 11.02 (2)

like going peach picking.

(with visions of peach salsa dancing in our heads): R_2016-08-25 16.07   2016-08-25 16.13.35 she was very skilled at pointing out THE EXACT peach we should pick… lol 2016-08-25 16.13.41   we picked 21 pounds in like 15 minutes. (you guys, we made 24 cans of peach salsa out of about ten pounds of peaches… we still have 10 pounds to use up! ah! or figure out how to freeze!)

R_2016-08-25 16.14

like opening the psalms. sometimes a psalm is exactly like a glass of lemonade. psalm 37 has been on  repeat these days and weeks as well. i just keep going back to it and reading it over and over. do you know how the psalm starts?

it starts with “fret not yourself…” it actually says that a couple times.  then it goes on over and over with promises that if you trust in the Lord, delight in Him, be still, take refuge, wait for the Lord…

HE WILL ACT. He will do things. He will be steadfast. He will uphold our hands, He will provide… He is the salvation, the stronghold, the deliverer.

so many good promises. Such beautiful and refreshing lemonade. go ahead, you can go read the whole psalm for yourself a few times now. there’s nothing quite like a big glass of cold lemonade on a hot day, am i right?

maybe i should try peach lemonade…

xoxo-kimberly renee
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we are pretty excited around here!

prego announcement1  if you couldn’t tell from this photo in the post the other day about the level of our excitement maybe the outtakes will convince you!  prego announcement prego announcement2 she is stoked to be a big sister! she talks about baby all the time and pats my belly in public places and talks about  the “1” or “5” depending on the day babies that are in mama’s tummy. haha, to explain, we have certain friends who are due later this month with twins and when my friend told her there were “2!” babies in her tummy, Sophie was amazed. it apparently made quite the impression because she keeps talking about how “Graham’s mama, 2 babies!” and “me Mama, 1(or 5 depending on the day) babies.” it’s a topic of conversation, pretty much every day. haha.

and to prove to my sister that i’m already popping out as i keep telling her:

12 weeks: jelly bean week 12

13 weeks: jelly bean week 13

goodness gracious, i can’t believe it. apparently after this baby i need to REALLY work on my abs- not just sorta work on my abs. lol.

for those of you who asked, we are due early November. we are terrified of the craziness that our life will become with two, but we are thankful to be on this journey and adventure of parenthood!

xoxo-kimberly renee
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