Tag Archives | blessing

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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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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more photos for lent

“For I desire loyalty and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”
Hosea 6:6

“You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;
You are not pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.
God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart.”
Psalm 51:16-17

i’m pretty sure my posts for lent are going to be REALLY sporadic for when i post and then really random in content. HA. oh well. today i’ve been thinking more about fasting and sacrifice and worship.

God doesn’t desire our sacrifice, He desires our worship. He desires for us to notice Him, see Him working, and give Him ALL the glory.

and that’s more of what i desire to think about and do through these photos. Give HIM all the glory for the gifts of each day.

  day6 day7

day8

  • day 6- the silly little girl who “helps” me take the dog outside when it’s freezing cold in her socks. the handle is broken so it doesn’t have a latch- she can just push it open. i probably need to fix that…
  • day 7 – those pig tails! that was my aim when i took the photo but then she said “cheese” and gave me a million dollar smile. SWOON and all the HEART EYES! she is a delight and a gift.
  • day 8 -homemade granola. because God has provided everything– down to the granola that i make regularly so that my gf/df hubby can have a yummy cereal. i feel so homey and house-wifey when this is cooking and it smells like heaven when it comes out of the oven and sits on the counter to get all crunchy and yummy. i also read something the other day about how we should try to remember that it hasn’t always been the case that we get three square meals a day- it is only in this modern age and it is a blessing and gift from God alone! {from desiring God on Why we pray for our meals) praise the lord for each little bite.

 

outtakes: {because i couldn’t help but share some of these!}

helping with sammie2 she can barely reach the handle. {gah, adorbs} which makes it really hard to pull open the door. the tip toes!  girl and baby squeezing baby  she wanted a picture with her baby {of the moment-it changes every five minutes- she loves ALL the babies} and then she couldn’t help but give it a big ol’ squeeze. d’awwwwe


 

“I do not know You, God, because I am in the way.
Please help me to push myself aside.”
-Flannery O’Connor, A Prayer Journal  -From the SheReadsTruth.com lent devotional

so…anyone out there joining me for the photo a day challenge?! let me know!

xoxo-kimberly renee

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a random piece of my heart…”Only Hope I’ve Got”

 

RMNP path2  i’ve been listening to this song: “Only Hope I’ve Got” by Elle Holcomb on repeat the last few months. {ever since i went to her concert  for mother’s day} i just can’t get over this song!  go ahead, click on the link and listen to it. or you can read the lyrics at the end of the post.

anyway, the song has really resonated with me because it reminds me over and over, that ALL i have is a gift. Even my HOPE.  sometimes, i think {like most people maybe?}, i look at the things in my life; i look at my family, at my job, at my house and car  and things, and think they are mine.

like a little toddler, i claim them as my my own.

and yet, sometimes those things can be taken away. sometimes they are only ours for a short while. sometimes those things actually control us somehow. sometimes those things  aren’t really mine to begin with.

sometimes, it’s not about the THINGS anyway, is it?

RMNP creek

i really like the chorus, because i feel like it has to be my prayer every day.  it goes:  ” I don’t wanna to  tell some arrogant story, or let myself believe i’m you! I don’t wanna be a thief who’s stealing Your glory… will you help remind me of what is true? The ONLY hope I’ve got, it’s You…

and actually, i thought the first line was “i don’t wanna tell some American story…” until i looked it up just now. HA whoops. but anyway, american or arrogant, i’m not sure it’s that different. either way, i don’t want my story to be about me and what i can get out of life.  i want to be reminded that I am NOT God. when i thought of it as “american” i thought of the “american dream” and really, there’s not that much fulfilling in that lie(to have the perfect job, get the house with a picket fence in suburbs, and have lots of money) anyway. that’s not the point of life,  right?

and i think every day there is a fight going on in our souls. a fight for “who” gets the glory. who is Lord, who is in charge, who is number 1.

every, single, darn day we have to give up that fight. let go of control. i don’t want to be a thief stealing from God! because wowa! that image is scary! it HAS to be about God. He HAS to be the one getting ALL the glory.

RMNP leaves

and then, the last verse hits me and almost makes me cry, “well it’s only by Your grace…that I heard You whisper my name…” um, yea, i can’t even claim my faith! it’s only by His grace that i heard a whisper! have y’all ever even THOUGHT about that before?

“i don’t have the power to save- to change a heart, Could you come and change my heart.”  i can’t change my own heart. HOW humbling is that? because really, if i try to change my own heart, i’m trying to save myself. and nope, that doesn’t work. everything i have, my ONLY HOPE, is the Lord.

everything GOOD is His alone.

i am nothing. He is EVERYTHING.

can i get an amen out there?


RMNP leaves2 RMNP magic path    RMNP path

Only Hope I’ve Got Elle Holcomb

I take all the gifts that You have given and I stake my claim like they’re my own,
Will You help me when I forget to remember, the good I’ve got is yours alone.

Chorus:
Oh ’cause I don’t wanna tell some arrogant story
Or let myself believe I’m you!
I don’t wanna be a thief who’s stealing Your glory…
Will You help remind me of what is true? The ONLY hope I’ve got, it’s You,You.
It’s You,You.

Or do I think I have anything to offer, when You have overcome the world?
Couldn’t take Your place, ’cause You’re the Author of the greatest love this world has known.

Chorus

Well it’s only by Your grace…
That I heard You whisper my name,
I don’t have the power to save – to change a heart,
Could You come and change my heart.

Chorus

xoxo-kimberly renee

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a quote for today {A.W. Tozer}

it’s been a while since i’ve shared a quote. i heard this one this week and had to look it up right away. it’s GOOD stuff. take a moment and really let is soak in:

The Sharp Blade of the Plow  by. A.W. Tozer

Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you. (Hosea 10:12)

The fallow field is smug, contented, protected from the shock of the plow and the agitation of the harrow…But it is paying a terrible price for its tranquility: Never does it see the miracle of growth; never does it feel the motions of mounting life nor see the wonders of bursting seed nor the beauty of ripening grain.

Fruit it can never know because it is afraid of the plow and the harrow.

In direct opposite to this, the cultivated field has yielded itself to the adventure of living. The protecting fence has opened to admit the plow, and the plow has come as plows always come, practical, cruel, business-like and in a hurry. Peace has been shattered by the shouting farmer and the rattle of machinery.

The field has felt the travail of change; it has been upset, turned over, bruised and broken, but its rewards come hard upon its labors. The seed shoots up into the daylight its miracle of life, curious, exploring the new world above it.

All over the field the hand of God is at work in the age-old and ever renewed service of creation. New things are born, to grow, mature, and consummate the grand prophecy latent in the seed when it entered the ground.

Nature’s wonders follow the plow.

(Paths To Power, 31-32)

field of wildflowers3

sooo good right? i first heard this quote in this sermon on James 1 by Matt Chandler on trials and pain. if you haven’t listened to it, you should! {husbuddy may force me to listen to way too many sermons when we’re driving in the car together, but sometimes it’s totally worth it. hee hee.}

 i don’t want to be a “fallow field” with a tranquil/easy life if it comes at the cost of not bearing fruit. i want to allow God to cultivate fruit in and through me even if it means i must face the trials and pain of a plow. i so desire to be used by God and for His fruit to flourish in my life. what about you?

xoxo-kimberly renee
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isaiah 53 and lent

does it ever blow your mind that the prophets of the old testament talked about Jesus before Jesus was born, before He did anything, before He died for us?  that those prophets prophesied exactly WHAT Jesus would do? that this was His plan all along? sometimes i am just in awe of the glory of God. this past week we’ve been reading a lot of Isaiah 53 in the She Reads Truth study and i am just struck at how it speaks exactly to Jesus, God’s servant and son.

Isaiah 53:4-12

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
 And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors.

what do you all think of that?!

***

with lent being almost done, i’m almost done with taking a thankful picture a day. in some ways this is sad, and i want to try to keep up the practice. in other ways i’m relieved that the pressure is off. hee hee.

  • day 35-i was SO blessed to get to go the Night to Breathe conference with Sarah Mae. it was so inspiring and i still feel like i am trying to process what i learned. i tried to just soak it all in! {two pics yes, because 1 was a stalker photo of Sarah Mae and the other was of the beautiful table decorations}
  • day 36- OH.MY.GOODNESS. little miss sweet pea was hard to handle on this day. she was as busy as ever and as loud as ever and i just wanted a couple moments of peace and quiet. i think when Husbuddy got home that night i handed her over and went and laid down for a ten minutes. i’m telling you, you can tell she’s a little rascal sitting in the pantry with one sock on and one off and the look she’s giving me… oi! i was tempted to shut the door and finish my baking in peace. hee hee. but i’m THANKFUL for these moments… i think.
  • day 37- little miss independent. she has such a fun, adventurous spirit and i am so thankful for that. she is also SUCH a daredevil. i barely would make it to the bottom of the slide to catch her most time. she wanted to go headfirst most of the time too. HA.
  • day 38- sometimes i catch my breath in amazement that i live here in Amish country! seeing 6 horses pull -whatever this is- multiple times on my way to church still surprises me and makes me smile. it was such a beautiful spring day today!

lent day 35 lent day 35a lent day 36 day 37 lent day 37a

lent day 38

xoxo-kimberly renee

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on grace

ok. so… my goal was to write this blog post by the end of january. i’m cutting it a little close.  i keep wanting to write one about my “word of the year.” last year my word was peace. the year before that, joy. {click on the links to see the original posts}

this year, my word is going to be grace.

i’ve thought about it all month and i can’t seem to drop it and come up with an easier word. i keep praying about it and putting it off. really, grace? do i really need to focus on that for a whole year? i keep coming back to it, so i feel like God has something to show me. already, in the last few weeks it’s popped up in a million little ways.

like that one time i couldn’t do something the way i wanted to. i messed it up so bad. i was really getting down on myself for how i was stupid and clumsy and just not good enough. and someone said it, “give yourself grace, Kim.

or that one time a friend let me down. i was quick to say, “no worries, it’s alright” but in my heart, i was super hurt, did i really give grace? or the family member who just isn’t getting how much he may be hurting the rest of us by his actions, do i give grace or do i give judgement?

or that quote i read the other day,

You say grace before meals. all right. but i say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before i open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before i dip the pen in the ink.” -GK Chesterton A Grace, collected poetry

um, wow, i was hit by it. do i really focus on grace in all that i do? should i?

or the one email i got from someone. i got it and then i cried. no i bawled like a baby. because i was SO disappointed. someone had said she was going to be able to do something for me. she had committed to it. i was BEYOND excited about it. but then she wrote to say that on second thought she couldn’t do it… the first time i read the email- i felt about the size of a penny. so small… all i could think was, why would she says yes and then no? what is wrong with me? would Jesus turn down my request? because i wasn’t good enough? because what i had asked for was beneath her in some way?  was my question, REALLY such a burden on this woman?  i was so hurt.and i am embarrassed to say, i cried for like half an hour and husbuddy even had to tell me i was being ridiculous.  then after i had a nap i reread it a couple times. at the end she said, “thank you for your grace and understanding.” wow, i wasn’t very gracious was i?

apparently i need to remember WHO  is gracious to me.

every. single. day.

  • i need to focus this year on what grace really means.
  • i need to have it reinforced in my brain what God’s grace is to me.
  • what grace i can give to other people in all circumstances.
  • what grace i can give to myself. my family. my friends. strangers.
  • i want to be a gracious woman. i’ve always thought that, but what does that mean?

so, here is a definition of grace.

grace:

  1. unmerited divine favor/assistance given humans for their sanctification.
    • God makes available His favor on behalf of sinners, who do not deserve it. it is a free gift. {read that? it’s a given, free gift!}
  2.  simple elegance or refinement of movement
    • {i think it’s funny that my etsy shop is named “miss grace designs” because my mother always called me “miss grace” because i’m such a klutz. so i’m not sure if this is really some other part of thinking through my word of the year…i don’t know, maybe my klutziness should be remembered daily too and i should seek to be more “refined in movement” and ask God for grace about that… i’m just putting that out there. hee hee.} 

of course, Grace is all over the bible. so i’ll be doing a little more research about that. but for today, this verse stuck out to me. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (ESV)

” Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,  comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”

and some inspiration from good ol’ John Piper:

“Grace is the pleasure of God to magnify worth of God by giving sinners the right and power to delight in God without obscuring the glory of God.”

um wow, right? i mean, it’s going to take a month at least just to process that one. and another:

“why are you downcast o my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God. For He is a God of matchless grace. He sanctifies by grace. He sustains faith by grace. And he will glorify you by grace. You cannot earn it or deserve it or merit it. It is free. Believe it. Rest in it. delight in it. And it is yours.” –Why hope? Grace! April 13, 1989

narnia lamp

so friends, i picked my word. have you picked yours? don’t worry. you still have time. a whole 11 months in fact. i mean, look at me. my “new years day post” turned into the 28th day of the new year post… hee hee.

xoxo-kimberly renee

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