Tag Archives | faith

walking through the fog

i like to go hiking. i miss it though because we don’t go nearly enough. anyway, i was thinking, sometimes when you hike, you have a nice sun-shiny day. it’s beautiful and perfect.

RMNP path

sometimes when you hike, especially in the mountains, especially in the northwest, sometimes you hike through fog. it’s kind of fun when you’re in it, for a little while, as long as it’s not too cold. but then the fog gets old. you want to see what’s in front of you a little further then a few feet. you get tired of the wet, damp air, you want to see the views…that’s half the reason you go for hikes, right? (ok, side note, the east coast/Pennsylvania hikes rarely have views…what’s up with that? oh yea, there are too many trees and you never get above tree line…)  anyway, back to my thoughts.

i was thinking that sometimes life is like hiking through fog. you don’t really know what’s up ahead. you may have a map, but if it’s truly foggy you aren’t exactly sure where you are. in life, you may have goals, or destinations, or a “purpose” that you’re headed toward, or you may not. you may just be walking along enjoying the view until suddenly a fog rolls in.

driving over pass

personally, i get frustrated with the fog. i wish it would just go away so i could know where i am going, ALL the time. i hate being uncertain with where to go next, or what to do around the bend. i so WANT clarity and everything explained and seen. in reality, i can only see a few steps in front of me. or maybe just the next step. sometimes all we have is the next step…

sometimes you’re not even sure the ground will meet your foot on the next step…

but, wait.

isn’t that faith? isn’t it faith to trust that the ground will catch your next step when you can’t see it?

faith is to just keep walking. to keep going the direction, following the path, doing the next thing, taking that next step, EVEN WHEN we aren’t sure where it’s going to lead. EVEN WHEN we’re not sure how it’s all going to work out.

i’m reading Emily P. Freeman’s new book Simply Tuesday {it’s breath taking y’all. i can’t put it down! i’m sure i’ll talk about it some more…} and a line from it has been living with me the past few days:

“if i always had clarity, why would i need faith?”

stop right there and think about that a second. then go on:

… in John 14:5-6 Thomas asks Jesus, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”…and she says, the most logical(to us) response of Jesus would have been, “I’ll show you the way…” but instead, Jesus simply says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” {my paraphrase from pg 175}

you guys. it’s like a lightbulb went off. FAITH is the only way! Faith in the ONE who IS the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus didn’t give us a map -per se. Jesus said something completly different. He said- I AM the way.

we will have moments in our lives when we are walking through the fog. where we don’t understand how we got there or where to go from there. but clarity in life is NOT the point. Faith IS.

on that same page she says,

“I forget to receive the gift of grace, to remember how Jesus is with me and has made my heart his home. I forget I can trust him with my life and trust myself to choose well regardless of how unclear things may seem{because He is in me!}. I forget my true home is an invisible kingdom I can’t find on a map.”{my paraphrase}

that was underlined and circled! ha. isn’t in awesome when something just hits you over the head and you can’t stop thinking about it? that’s how this was for me. and that’s why i wanted to share it with you.

RMNP emerald lake

what do you think? i’d love to hear. are you walking through fog right now?? or is life crystal clear skies? please share!

if you want to read more of her genius, seriously, check out her book! {and let me know if you do so i can talk with you about it! tee hee}

xoxo-kimberly renee.
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when it’s as dry as a desert

driving over pass2

sometimes faith feels dry. sometimes it feels empty. sometimes it’s just going through the motions. those times are hard but they are also NORMAL.

it is normal to not always be up on the mountain top. it’s normal to have to hike up a REALLY steep slope to get to the place with the views. my little sister and dad went hiking last weekend in the mountains of Colorado. i was jealous and wished i could be with them… to see the views. but then they talked about how sore they were. it’s hard work to get to the top of the mountain! it takes perseverance and faith that your body won’t fail you!

same with faith. those dry-faith times though, those times are when we need to press into the Lord more. we need to persevere and we need to trust that God will not fail us. we need to seek others who are walking the journey with us. we need to cry out to God with the hope and knowledge that He is listening, He is providing, He is guiding us to the mountain of His Glory. it may seem like an endless road of mundane. sometimes it may be impossible to even find time to open the bible! but still, as believers, it is our job to be faithful in pursuing the Lord, just as He pursues  us.

driving over pass

 

Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
His going out is sure as the dawn;
He will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.
Hosea 6:3

i am in a desert time right now. it feels dry, mundane, like i’m just sitting here just going through the motions. i KNOW God is working and providing, and i see it every day, but my heart feels callous to it.

the thing is, i don’t want to feel callous. i want to feel the joy deep down of His providence and be able to rest in Him every moment! this verse from Hosea speaks to me in this time. LET US PRESS ON to know the Lord. it is our duty to keep on keeping on, you know? to press on, PRESS IN to the Lord. bring all of our worries and anxieties to Him, lay them at His feet, and like this verse promises, HE WILL COME. He will come as surely as the spring rains water the earth.

as i wait in the desert, i trust that His spring rains will come to refresh me. it is as sure as the dawn.

can i get an amen?

xoxo-kimberly renee

{ps. one of the things that i decided to do to help myself in this desert time is to find a study that is simple and easy that i can focus on. i found She Reads Truth. it’s a free devotional website that provides daily biblestudies that are quick and simple and guess what, “theres an app for that” too! i just wanted to share it with you! i decided to get it on my phone, so if the only time i find to read truth is while i’m nursing my baby, i can.  if you’re looking for something like that, you should check it out! blessings friends! }

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a baptism

cake

on Mother’s Day yesterday we had the privilege of baptizing Sophia!

before baptism

the day started a little frantic. it is hard getting to church on time {by myself since Husbuddy is already there} with a little 4 month old who decides to take an awesome nap and/or need a diaper change last minute! ha. but we made it and it was a beautiful service.

baptism2 baptism

i feel like i have to explain why we got her baptized. we have  friends who would question why we are baptizing our child before she has the opportunity to choose Jesus for herself. are we just doing it out of tradition? are we just doing it because we ourselves were infant baptized? we struggled with this during seminary and i wish that we had a definitive one sentence explanation but its a little more complicated than that.i’m afraid i’ll fail miserable to explain it but i’ll try to be brief.

showing off after

what infant baptism means to us:

  • first, it is NOT a means of salvation. we know that baptism is a sign and seal of God’s redeeming work in a person’s life. it is not a substitute for personal faith.
  • it is a sacrament that displays the covenant of Grace– i know, those are big words used by Husbuddy to explain that we are proclaiming God’s grace and work in her life. we, as finite, sinful human beings, do not choose God. in our sinfulness we won’t ever choose God on our own! it is only by the irresistible grace of God calling us by name that we accept Jesus. God chooses us! and calls us to Himself.
  • it is more than a dedication. it is the NT counterpart of the OT circumcision. God required all of His people to get circumcised to become part of His family in the Old Testament. now that we have the promise of Christ we can all become part of His family. baptism is the covenant sign of being accepted into His family and infant baptism is just that, the acceptance of a believers’ baby into His kingdom.
  • we are following in the footsteps of the families in Acts {16:15, 16:31, 18:8} who when the heads of the households became believers the whole family was baptized into the covenant grace of God. it is a decision that we made as a couple, that  “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
  • it is a high call, to us as parents, as well as to all the believers in the congregation to be held responsible for the upbringing of Sophia. we are all promising to raise her in grace and love and truth. it is a promise we are making TO GOD to be an example of grace, forgiveness, and love to her. to teach her about Jesus and what it means to follow Him. it is a high call and big responsibility! our prayer is that the God of all creation call Sophia Grace by name as His own and that she would recognize the call and believe in Jesus’ work  on the cross as her Lord and Savior.

family2

 “Jesus said, let the little children come to me,  and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God

Luke 18:16 

family photo

 

it was a beautiful day and Sophia is such a beautiful little gift! we are so thankful for her. thank you for celebrating her baptism with us!

 xoxo-kimberly renee

ps- for those of you interested, here is a good article about baptism that was written by David Feddes. it is not connected to our denomination but i just thought he explained it really well and more in depth. for other questions about baptism…i’ll be forwarding them to Husbuddy because let’s be honest… he had to help me understand all of that… ha.

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thoughts on faith

“we can not base our faith on what He appears to be doing or how dramatically He answers our prayers- because faith founded on God’s apparent actions is not faith at all. Attempting to exercise our faith according to what we can see cancels out that very faith…Moses built his faith on WHO God is, not what God had done.” -Beth Moore {Whispers of Hope Pg. 112}

snow fall

i’ve been thinking a lot about faith lately. for some reason, i’ve felt encouraged to examine my faith at the end of another year. this post over on desiring God talks a little bit about what i’ve been going through{and says it way more beautifully than i ever could!}  at the end of another year, do you feel like you’ve grown spiritually? like you’ve grown closer to Jesus? we as Christians should be taking steps forward in our faith every day right? 365 days is a lot of steps forward…

but sometimes it feels like i’ve taken that many steps backwards. you know what i mean? sometimes i get frustrated because i read verses like this:

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him…” Hebrews 11:6

lamp post

but then, i’m reminded that faith is a gift. a gift!  it’s like joy, which was my word for 2013. which is a gift given. not something we can grasp on our own. it is not something that we can grow on our own. it is based on WHO GOD IS. not what He has/hasn’t done and not on who we are. in fact, as we are being made more and more into the daughter or son of God that HE created us to be, our faith is being made more and more into what God desires!

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil. 1:6

HE began a good work in you and HE will bring it to completion. HE has given you faith and HE is working every day to make your faith stronger and as He makes you more into His image. it is His gift and He is working to make it perfect up until the day of Christ’s return.

and so i’m encouraged. at the end of another year, my faith, this gift, is being perfected by Him who gave it to me.

in His work, in Him alone, i rest my joy.

front porch snowfall

xoxo-kimberly holderman
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advent: believe {luke 2:27-32}

New York 079 copy

 

 

And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”

And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.

friends, let us walk these next few days with this faith. this faith that we have SEEN HIS salvation!

xoxo-kimberly renee

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sunday thoughts

“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, where as wordly grief produces death.”

2 Cor. 7:10

for some reason, yesterday, this verse really stuck out to me. i couldn’t put a finger on why though. so i thought about it a while. and i read the little footnotes at the bottom of the page. the footnotes say(roughly):

godly grief = remorse caused by having lost God’s approval … and the consequence is a resolve to reverse conduct & LIVE FOR GOD.

wordly grief = remorse brought about by losing the world’s approval… leads to a resolve to regain that approval & this produces death (or divine judgement).

(emphasis mine.)

i thought about that and wrote that down in my journal. it is lingering and i can’t stop thinking about it.

whom do i serve? Jesus says i can’t serve 2 masters! i wrote this down in all caps in my journal too. God is trying to show me something…

IMG_1451_Izushi cherry and lantern

i’m convicted because at the end of many days, i am filled with worldly grief. i worry about my job. i obsess over it. i let it consume me with bitterness. i worry about friends and whether they like me or not. (totally dumb, i know, but you’ve all been there, am i right?) i worry about whether what i do fulfills me. i feel empty when i’ve tried to do things with my own strength. like anything i could do could fill my heart. my soul.

i’m totally convicted that my frustrations and the bitterness that i am so often filled with is worldly grief. i regret things i’ve done or haven’t done in my day because it may look bad to others. i worry about what people think about me.

and it hits me: worldly grief is when i’m focused ON ME.

i long to live each day open to godly grief. because godly grief means i’d be focused on Christ. my heart would be in the right place and i’d repent of my selfish nature daily, with no regret.

oh Lord, help me to have my focus right. to serve YOU, my One True Master. when i get caught up in the troubles of this world, may my grief be godly, seeking only your salvation, repenting(turning away) from my selfish nature.

And i remember that my word of the year is JOY. i realize that the first step to true joy is not trying to find it in this world- but to repent of my selfishness – to have godly grief.

***

i am so thankful when the Lord reveals something to me… even if it’s hard like this and convicts me the core. i’m thankful because it means that He wants me to draw ever closer to Him.

and i realize that i want to draw closer to Him too.

(can i get an amen?)

thanks for listening to my heart, friends. has God been teaching you anything lately? calling you to Himself in new ways? i’d love to hear about it!

xo-kimberly renee

{ps- i promise to get back to japan photos soon!}

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remembering

sometimes it takes a little perspective to remember.

to remember God’s goodness.

to remember His promises.

to remember that you’re here for a reason. Photo Mar 02, 9 17 29 AM

this weekend, that perspective came from a short walk along the Atlantic ocean.  Photo Mar 02, 9 17 34 AM

winter can be dreary and dark. but going for a walk, getting fresh air, seeing the sun out, hearing the waves crash… all these things are good for the soul.  Photo Mar 02, 9 21 22 AM

to remember that life is good. that God is good. and that He is working. sometimes i just have to take a little walk to remember that.  Photo Mar 02, 9 21 25 AM oh  how easily i forget,

“… what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3:18-19 {emphasis mine}

 

remembering  how big, how long, how high and how deep God IS–  is so important. i have to remember that to be  FILLED with the FULLNESS of God.

sometimes all it takes is a walk to remember.

 

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