April 2, 2016
So, on Good Friday I got hit on… I think. You see I’m not sure because the way it happened is all backwards and messed up. I think the guy needs a memo on how it’s supposed to be and here it is.
I call you “dude” because “gentleman” is too much for you. I appreciated your saying “hello” to me while I was getting coffee before I returned to work from my lunch break. That was nice. I didn’t appreciate the way you looked me up and down with lust in your eyes though. I am not much for small talk, so I appreciated the way you jumped to the point after you followed me to my office and asked to speak with me. But did you even have a clue as to why I acted strange to the point that you asked me at least twice if I was okay? Let me spell it out for you, dude.
I was uncomfortable because you were the one checking me out, you were the one who followed me to my office unsolicited, and you were the one who asked me if I was seeing anyone. That, dude, is why I had the weirdest look on my face when you insisted on giving me your phone number so I could call you. Did I give you any indication at all that I was interested? It’s polite to say hi back. That’s all. Did you pick up on the way I just stared back at you when you tried to give me your number? Did you notice the way I didn’t reach for my phone or grab something to write with? Did you hear me when I said out loud to you that this is not how it’s supposed to happen? What was even more incredulous is how you reached for your phone, asked me for my number so you could text me so I’d have yours. Did you text? I hope the poor soul who ended up getting your text is okay.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not going to call you. Not only am I not interested, but your assumption that I wanted your number completely turned me off. Was I supposed to be flattered or something? I wasn’t. But it’s not just you. I’m not going to call any guy first. Call me old fashioned, but that’s just not how I operate. You like me, you ask for my number. That’s the way it is. I’m looking for a gentleman. A man, yes, a man who will ask me out on a proper date, pay, and call the next day. I’m not interested in hanging out, Netflix and chill crap, or texting and trying to decipher your emojis. I want intentionality. I want to be pursued, not the other way around.
Men take risks. Grow up and grow a pair. Until then, my answer is no.
January 1, 2016
Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move mountains.
He was speaking of China, calling her a sleeping giant. I love this quote and it pretty much sums up my 2015. It was a year of high mountain tops and even more dark valleys.
My one word for 2015 was “rest.” I knew I needed to rest, but I fought that word at first. I wanted my word to be “go” or “run.” I wanted to travel the world and launch that project I’ve been putting on hold for many years, but I needed to retreat. Now that I’m at the end of the year, I can see now why I needed to rest versus doing anything else. The previous season of my life left me burnt out, exhausted, and emotionally spent.
2015 was not an easy year though.
• Hardly a day went by without a headache. My quest for relief led me to the eye doctor, the dentist, and the chiropractor.
• My 51-year old aunt Angie passed away unexpectedly in July–just two weeks before I had planned to visit her in August. I had to change my flight at the last minute, and instead of vacationing, I spent the week preparing for a funeral. It was ironic. The cause of death is not fully known. We don’t understand.
• While I mostly enjoy my job, work became quite stressful for a few months during Summer and Fall when my associates and I had to deal with an all out PR crisis.
• My body finally caught up with the unending, chronic stress from the previous season of my life. I had to contend with a few new health issues and even made a trip to the ER via ambulance in November.
• My closest friend in the world, Theodore, my cat, passed away on December 11. I had him since I was 12 years old. The pain and grief over losing my fur baby was and remains unreal.
• I gave up my heart’s greatest desire of getting married this year. I turned 30 with no viable candidates. I felt forgotten, desolate and forsaken. I think the people around me gave up, too. The little old ladies at church quit asking if I was dating anyone. The answer was always no. My sister quit encouraging me to join a dating website. That is so not for me. No good looking, single men attended my church and the good looking men at work all seemed to be married. (Oh, he’s cute and funny! Darn… He’s wearing a wedding band.) So I gave up and quit hoping that it would ever happen for me.
Bill Johnson says hope is the joyful anticipation of something good and any area of your life that you do not experience hope is under the influence of a lie. I gave in to believing a lie. It’s hard to hold onto hope when you’ve prayed and hoped for something for almost a decade to be let down even harder with every passing potential childbearing year.
[Comments are always welcome, but NOT regarding this particular bullet point. Trust me, I’ve heard it all, so I ask that would-be commenters kindly refrain from saying anything and instead pray. I swear one of these days I’m going to write an educational blog on what not to say to a single girl.]
So 2015 wasn’t my year. It wasn’t all bad though.
• While I have not yet paid off all of my student loans as I hoped I would this year, I did manage to pay off 25% of the total owed. That’s a large chunk of change right there!
• I didn’t have to worry about money like I used to. I did the math recently and I now make 27% annually more money than I did just over a year ago!
• I have good insurance. Until this year, I spent 3 years without insurance because I just couldn’t afford it and my job did not offer it. I’m so grateful to have such a great healthcare insurance package. The Lord knew I would need it!
• I’ve been able to spend time with my parents, visit my grandparents who are both in a nursing home, and reconnect with old friends who may as well be family.
• I learned how to set healthy boundaries with people. I’m not afraid to say ‘no’ or speak up for myself. No longer do I allow anyone to treat me poorly.
• I help out at church every Wednesday night with the teens, my favorite age group. I also spoke a few times and was given the platform to share from my heart things the Lord has taught me. I love that. My life has not always been fair or fun, but I grew so much from every hurtful and painful experience. It’s never been in vain.
“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.”
Psalm 126:5 NIV http://bible.com/111/psa.126.5.niv
• I had time to think, breathe, and yes–rest. Oftentimes when we think we’re retreating, it’s actually that we’re being pulled back like a bow and arrow so we can be sprung even further than before.
2015 was a year of rest for me. My one word for 2016? I don’t know yet. What I do know is 2016 will be different. I’m even experiencing this strange, faint feeling I haven’t felt in a while. Friends, I think I may have a little tiny bit of hope again.
As I always say right before boarding a roller coaster at Busch Gardens, “Let’s do this!”
December 12, 2015
My heart shattered today. The love of my life, my best friend, my closest relative, my confidant, my companion, my child, my honey butt, my babyboo… my world came to an end today.
18 years ago, I was 12 years old. Theodore joined my family the day after Thanksgiving. He was only a few months old. Until then I begged my mom and dad and prayed for years for a kitty to call my own. I love cats. When we brought him home from the pet store, he meowed the entire car ride home as he sat in mom’s lap in a cardboard carrier. We spent the afternoon trying out names. Dudley was a top pick. We had a close friend who was British who had a fat orange tabby named Sebastian. Ours was a beautiful gray tabby and we wanted him to have a proper English name. Theodore was it.
That first night he hid under mom and dad’s bed as I laid on the floor next to him trying to coax him out. Eventually he came out. By then I was laying on the couch in the living room taking up the entire length of the couch. He walked over to me and jumped up and laid on my stomach. I was in love. He chose me. He only stayed a moment and then he sat with my mom for a minute before running for cover again.
Theo has been by my side ever since. He slept with me every night except until recently when he would wander the house at night and couldn’t lay still. I have a hard time sleeping if he’s not with me. When I went off to college and when I moved to Orlando, he moved with me. When I came home to visit my parents on the weekends, he’d come too. He was a well-traveled little kitty.
He saw me through my teenage angst and was my sanity as I struggled through the loneliness of my 20s. He brought me comfort as I cried so many times into his fur. He absorbed my stress. He was my therapy. I talked to him as if I would talk to anyone else. He was a good listener and only rarely did he talk back.
He was a character. He often had a bad attitude and I would just say, “Theodore is not a very nice person.”
My sister, Jess, would reply with, “Kim, he’s not a person.”
“Exactly,” I said.
He was every bit a person to me. He was so much more than a cat. A few years ago, I did studies to find out what names mean. The meaning of names hold so much prophetic significance. Theodore means “gift of God.” How fitting. I fully believe he was a gift from God just for me. Theo was the desire of my heart and he became the answer to so many of my prayers.
Saying goodbye to him was so hard. He was between 18.5 and 19 years old. I prayed he would win a Guinness World Record for being the oldest cat in the world, not that I cared about setting any records. He had an insatiable hunger, yet he was skin and bones. He staggered when he walked and seemed to have forgotten how to use a litter box. His voice was gone. His meows were mere movement of his mouth with no sound. His eyes were glazed over, yet he had the renewed curiosity of a kitten. The vet thought he had Alzheimer’s and there was no cure.
I fought for him until the bitter end. This past week, I spent as much time with him as possible. In fact, last night I even annoyed him with how much I was hugging and kissing him that he hissed at me. I scooped his litter box and cleaned up after him as usual. This morning I fed him one last meal. We were out of wet food, so I cooked him 2 eggs. He ate it all and loved it. I watched him as he ate. In between getting dressed for work, I went looking for him to see him one more time. I couldn’t bear the thought of that moment being the last time I’d ever see him again.
Today was so hard. I ugly cried uncontrollably. All day.
As I often say, happiness is being covered in cat fur. I dread the day I no longer find any of his fur all over my clothes, bed and everything else.
We had a strong bond. It’s not rare to bond strongly with an animal, but he was my baby. I don’t think I could have loved him more if he had come from my womb. And my story matters. He mattered. He was such a blessing. He was my gift and now I’m… So many emotions.
I wish I’d had the money years ago to take him to the vet. Maybe we could have caught it sooner. A few years ago, I could barely afford to take care of myself though. When I went times without eating much because I couldn’t afford groceries, I always told him, “Don’t you worry, baby. I will go hungry before you do. You will never go without food.”
I’m struggling to find the good in this. Im glad he’s no longer suffering, but now I am. He was the one who always comforted me. What do I do with this?
Babyboo, I am so sorry. I love you so much.
August 15, 2014
The chorus to Ricardo Sanchez’s song “Moving Forward” sings You make all things new and I will follow you forward. I’ve always enjoyed this song, but it took on a special meaning in March when I visited my home church. I was sitting on the front row and silently rehearsing the words I would say when I would be called to the stage to give a 9-minute speech about my upcoming missions trip.
After the worship set was over, the worship leader sat down next to me and whispered, “I felt you were supposed to come to the altar for that song [‘Moving Forward’]. I didn’t call you out so that’s why I said the altars are open, but I felt that was for you.” Her words I did not take lightly. Instead, I prayerfully pondered the song often as I played it over and over again.
Today marks the last of my employment at City Church and tomorrow friends and I gather to help me load my entire 1 bedroom/1 bathroom apartment into a Uhaul trailer.
While I would never have considered returning to North Port even a few months ago, I do not believe my return to be a step backward. In fact, I’m moving forward. I’m not the same person I was when I left three years ago this month. And I will not again become that person if I continue to follow Him forward.
My new journey begins on September 8 in the marketing department of a healthcare facility that sits right across the street from where I attended high school and will provide the means to pay down my student loans quickly. I have begun the missionary associate application, and have requested information on earning ministerial credentials. I have not time to waste for I must continue moving forward. I don’t know how long I’ll be home, but my time will be productive and I’ll cherish every moment spent with my family and friends who are more like family. I’ve missed them.
Those foreign lands they call to me… From whence they call I do not know, but surely it will be revealed in due time as I continue.
July 30, 2014
Written on Thursday, July 24, 2014:
I did something very difficult today. It was difficult for so many reasons, but I did not make this decision alone or without the counsel of many. I prayed for almost 7 months about this decision and sought the heart of God. I sought the counsel and wisdom of my godly parents and those whose footsteps I wish to follow. Today I resigned from my job.
Here’s how it all happened.
As the end of the lease on my apartment neared, my rent was raising to an amount I could not afford and the leasing company would not budge. After weeks of prayer, I decided not to renew. Coincidentally, the lease was due on July 14, the day we left for the Dominican Republic. Not wanting to add to the stress of preparing for a missions trip, I worked it out to stay 1 month longer at the market rate. Up to that point, all the Lord had clearly shown me was that He wanted me to go to the Dominican Republic on a missions trip July 14 – 21 so much so that He paid for it in full and then some. Not even a car accident the Wednesday before could stop me. The other party took full liability and the insurance company has been wonderful and a joy to work with.
Immediately after I signed up for the missions trip in March, three people who don’t know each other at all approached me with the same prophetic word. The Bible says to let every word be established by the witness of 2 or 3 people, but I had 4 witnesses. In addition to the 3 words from people, I had a dream in January during the Daniel Fast with the same message. God is good and I watched and prayed.
Leading up to the trip, I knocked on doors that remained shut while the door on my apartment was also coming to a close. I took every day step by step offering it to God. Then clarity came. At the end of each outreach in the DR, both national and U.S. teams formed a prayer tunnel to lay hands on every child and pray for them. I couldn’t keep from crying. Through the overwhelming support of others, God allowed me to come thousands of miles overseas to pray with each of these kids and speak life into their situation. It was in those times I spent ministering that I sensed my destiny. This was about something greater than me and my decisions paled in comparison to God’s overarching purpose.
As I rode in a bus with tasseled curtains to each destination, my eyes peered out the window. Regular gas was $221 pesos (roughly $5.13 U.S. dollars), people made eye contact and waved, beautiful trees with orange flowers lined the streets, and I prayed from a place of wonder. Why not? Let peace be my guide.
Resigning was not an easy thing to do as I handed over my letter and spoke through tears and nervousness. The way God moved me to this area was none short of a miracle all along the way. I grew during my time here. I learned how to budget, how to cook, how to live by myself, how to adjust in a city where I didn’t know a soul… All preparation for what is to come. The way I began working at the church was a miracle and a blessing, too. I learned so much from the staff and team. The people… Where do I start? In my 2 3/4 years of work, I made some friends whom I will cherish in my heart forever. I am grateful, but my heart is finally at rest and I have peace.
So what’s next, you ask? After my last day of employment on August 15, I am returning to my hometown to spend as much time with family as possible, work, and save, save, save that money! I am going into full-time missions and I must make preparations.
July 29, 2014
We left Bani today to head to the resort. As we drove off the sky opened and cried tears of sadness. We stopped in Santo Domingo to visit the national Assembly of God office, said goodbye to our new national friends (Alissa, Yanerys, and Dorka. Asael had left us the day before), and stopped at a pizzeria for lunch before heading to the resort.
Reality did not hit me that this was the end of our trip until after lunch when we said goodbye to Ronald when we dropped him off near his house on the way. At least we had Amanda, the missionary associate, and Laura, a national, with us a little longer.
I sat on the beach that evening and wrote the following:
As the sun sets over the mountainous terrain, I sit under a palm tree staring into the endless billows of waves. The Caribbean is stretched before me much like my destiny and all I see is el mar azul.
I’ll go. I’ll go anywhere. No mas esperando. Ahora es el momento. Whatever. Wherever. Whomever.
Está bien, porque Tú vas a venir conmigo.
It doesn’t end here. Read tomorrow’s blog to see what I did next.
July 28, 2014
I neglected to journal again over the rest of the week until the last day at the resort. The days ran together and I didn’t know what day it was most of the time. I liked that feeling. I was completely unplugged from social media, phone calls, texting, and TV for a week and I didn’t miss it. God stirred within my heart. In between outreaches I spent as much time as possible with the national team learning their ways and asking questions.
One morning (Thursday) during devotions Dorka, a 3rd-year Master’s Commission student, gave her testimony. At the beginning of her talk, she stated she believed God wanted someone to hear her story for a reason. It quickly became clear to me I was that person. Dorka’s story paralleled mine as if we lived in alternate universes.
Later that night I spoke to Dorka in private. As I revealed my heart and laid myself bare, tears came to her eyes and she agreed I had to do something and do it now.
It doesn’t end here, come back tomorrow for part seis.
July 27, 2014
After all of the days’ activities and dinner is over, I’m now in my hotel room (with my roommates Lanita, Carol, and Julie) spending time with God as best I can with my open Bible, journal, and playlist.
I read Isaiah 61. It spoke to me.
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
6 And you will be called priests of the Lord,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.
8 “For I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
and make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be known among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”
10 I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations.
It doesn’t end here. Come back tomorrow for photos and part cinco.
July 26, 2014
Day 2: (Tuesday)
We went to the church for prayer and devotions today before we began a day of training. The church is Pastor Natanael and Rebeca’s home. They have a covered outdoor living room big enough to fit lots of people. We sat on plastic lawn chairs. Some of the chairs had wiring on them holding them together. I admired how instead of throwing them in the trash they chose to repair them.
We learned choreographed songs and skits. It was a workout. I sweat buckets and drank even more water. I ate tuna fish and I didn’t die. I was determined to eat whatever they set in front of me no matter what it was. I don’t eat fish. Ever.
We pampered 30 women tonight at Women of Value, 4 of which accepted Jesus. Each woman went home with a door prize, a gift bag, and a big basket of food staples. The night was a success and the women really seemed appreciative of all we did for them and felt loved.
I also felt pretty in my favorite black maxi dress. After the rough day I had before I needed to feel pretty. I couldn’t believe how hot it was outside. I have no idea what temperatures were, but it was way hotter and humid than Florida. It’s a little shocking, but I refuse to complain about anything.
It doesn’t end here. Come back tomorrow for part cuatro.
July 25, 2014
Day 1: Traveling
As I sit in a corridor in the Fort Lauderdale airport, I listen to OneRepublic, sip on a café con leche and watch as people walk by. A man in business attire carries a pink and silver duffle bag. A girl runs in high heels. Another girl carries the biggest laptop I’ve ever seen.
Nathan is sprawled out next to me taking up a section of 3 chairs. His bare feet are close to me. The women from Seattle sit across from me each reading a book. Austin, Ashley, Caleb, and Bailey sit in one section talking. Others sleep and I sit here and write.
To see some of the most interesting fashions, all one needs to do is sit in an airport corridor and watch people.
We have arrived. I’m sitting in the hotel lobby allowing my roommates to get ready for bed in semi-privacy. The water cooler and all of the ministry bags are in my room because it’s the biggest. The bathrooms are small and we’re not allowed to flush the toilet paper down the toilet. I am being stretched already.
Tonight the Castillo del Rey director (Ronald pronounced ron-AHLD) went around the circle and asked what we were expecting this week. Trying to be careful of what I said, I gave an answer like, “I am trying to figure out why ever since I was a little girl I’d cry every time missionaries visited my church.” Inside my heart I was praying, What does the next chapter of my life look like? What do I do? How soon? God, I’ll go anywhere. What/where would you have me go?