Free Indeed

15 Aug

A couple of weeks ago Matthew and I got into a pretty big argument.  One of those arguments that ends without getting resolved and leaves you wondering whether or not you’re going to make it.  We were both giving our honest opinions and frustrations – very angrily, I might add.  It was awful, ugly.  However, after a couple of days on a sort of break, we were able to really work things through and be really transparent with one another.  We reached a whole new level of intimacy (in the non-physical aspect, of course) as a result.  We were honest about our feelings and were understanding of each other.  It was worth the ugly mess, as much as we both hated it.  (And now we love each other more than ever.)

Ever since then I’ve had this new sense of respect for myself, this need to not let other people walk all over me.  I think that our argument sort of set me free from the idea that I need to hold back any negative feelings or frustrations from others.  As cliche as this sounds, I feel like our argument really changed me as a person (and in a good way).

I think as Christians, we sometimes have this false idea that we have to always be the underdog because we’re supposed to put others before ourselves.  And I know, for me personally, I just don’t like confrontation and will do what I can to avoid it.  For the most part, I’d rather let things go than bother putting up with a fight.

But I’m so done with that now.  I believe we can still put others before ourselves without being trampled on.  I think it’s about standing up for what’s right, whether it’s about ethics in the workplace or being honest with someone about your feelings (or both).

Now I think the hard part is doing all of this with tact.  Being honest without being rude.  But I think I’m getting the hang of it.  And I’d be lying if I said I’m not enjoying it.  There’s freedom in truth – it’s biblical.

John 8:32, 36 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.”

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Joseph, the Husband of Mary

8 Aug

I was reading Matthew 1 – 2 last night, with which I’m relatively familiar.  When I read parts of the Bible that I’m pretty familiar with, I tend to skim it unintentionally because I know it so well.  So as I was reading, I was trying to make a big effort to read with intention and praying that God would show me something new or remind me of something old.

Boy, did he.

As I was reading, the one thing (or should I say person) that kept sticking out to me was Joseph, the husband of Mary.  I don’t think we ever pay too much attention to Joseph because we’re so focused on the birth of Jesus by the virgin Mary.  But, oh my goodness, is Joseph ever important!  I never really noticed this before though.

My first thought was that he must have been pretty in tune with God to know that the dreams he got were from God.  And, second, he was so obedient!  I feel like those 2 chapters were repeating this idea: Joseph has dream, Joseph obeys.  Joseph has dream, Joseph obeys.  And to think: if Joseph hadn’t been so obedient, some of those ancient prophecies may not have been fulfilled.  What a big role!

Then the next thing I couldn’t get over was what an amazing man he was.  He was betrothed to Mary, legally bound to her.  And she winds up pregnant.  It never ceases to amaze me how much compassion he has by not leaving her in the dust right then and there.  My translation (English Standard Version) says that Joseph “resolved to divorce [Mary] quietly” (Matt. 1:19).  When I see the word “resolved,” it makes me think that Joseph weighed the options and picked the one that worked out the best for everyone involved.  I might be wrong about that, but something tells me I’m not.

And Joseph is such a great family man.  He did what was best for his wife, his son, his family no matter the cost.  Even though he faced public humiliation, he married Mary.  Even though he faced inevitable persecution, he fathered Jesus.  Even though he was human, he trusted the Lord’s will for his life.

I want to have an attitude like Joseph’s.  I want to be so close to my God that I obey without question and know without a doubt when God is speaking to me.  I want to put others before me and to show compassion.  I want to be an important part of kingdom work.

Abba Father, use my life to glorify you.  Give me discernment to know your will, and make your will mine. Show me how to put others before myself.  Draw near to me as I seek your face – I want to know you.

Summer Lovin’

6 Jul

I thought I’d give you a sort of update on the goings-on in my life at the moment.  I feel like I never get the chance anymore to just tell you what’s happening.

Our summer schedule at work (Boys & Girls Club) started 2 weeks ago.  It’s a hectic, hectic schedule – I work full-time hours every week, to which I’m definitely not accustomed.  It makes me grateful that God didn’t give me a full-time job right away because I’m not sure I would have adjusted very easily from lots of free time to lots of work time.  (Funny how God always knows what’s right – *wink wink*.)  To be honest, work has been slightly stressful for various reasons, but God is sustaining me somehow.

Last week the kids at church went to kids camp.  And with the kids went Matthew and his dad – they do the photography, videography, and worship for the week.  I missed Matthew like crazy while he was gone (just another reason why I could never be a military wife), but I was so glad that he got the opportunity to go again this year.  He absolutely loves it.  🙂  While he was gone, our 2-year anniversary came and went.  Ordinarily, I would probably throw a bit of a fit because he missed it, but he got away with it because he was at kids camp (one of the only acceptable excuses).  I can’t believe we’ve been together for 2 years now (and haven’t killed each other yet).  😉

I finished the last book of the Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn, last week.  Overall, I really enjoyed the series.  Shout out to Matthew’s mom, Ellen, for introducing me to the books.  Ellen and I went to see Eclipse on the 4th of July, and it was not disappointing at all.  Thoroughly enjoyed it – thanks, Ellen!

And one of the most important things to tell you is that I got to shoot off sparklers on the 4th of July!  Haha.  I know, I know – I’m an 8-yr-old in a 23-yr-old’s body.  But it was a blast.  Matthew bought a fair amount of what he calls “boom boom sticks,” and we lit up the sky.  The day was very pleasant, aside from the weather.  I don’t think summer is ever going to hit here!

Anyway, that’s what’s going down in my neck of the Pacific Northwest.  Just waiting for the sun to linger for a bit and hopefully get a tan!  Until next time…

Summer Servers

26 Jun

So at my church a couple of weeks ago, we had a missionary couple (who serves in China) speak during the Sunday morning service.  It was an incredibly cool opportunity to hear what they had to say about their ministry and how we can be involved.

And then this morning as I was lying in bed (before I actually decided to get out of it), I kept thinking about all the people I know who are serving the Lord this summer all over the world.  I know lots of students who are going on trips with YMI, for one.  My cousin, Rebekah, is flying home today from a mission trip to China, and I know several people from college who are going on trips this summer as well.

But I think one of the coolest things for me is to hear about teenagers I’ve worked with in the past as a youth intern who are spending their summers doing missions overseas.  I feel so blessed to have been able to minister to them while they were younger as they now minister to others.

Many times in ministry, we don’t get to see the fruits of what the Lord has us doing.  (And sometimes that can be discouraging or frustrating.)  But other times the Lord says (to me anyways), “Kendall, just wait.  You’ll see…”  And then, somewhere down the road, I get this glimpse of the bigger picture.  It’s only a small glimpse, but it seems so gargantuan in my little world when I get to see what God has used little me to do for the Kingdom.

My heart is so overwhelmed with emotions I can’t even begin to explain.  I want to rejoice from the east to the west about how beautiful my God is.

My prayers go out to each and every one of you who are serving the Lord this summer around the world (including the states).  May God touch the hearts of every nation through your work!

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!

Romans 10:14-15

(Insert Clever Title Here)

2 Jun

It’s been forever since I posted – I know.  Don’t be too upset with me, please.  You wouldn’t believe how crazy things are as I get closer to summer.  Sheesh.

Anyway, I’m doing pretty fantastic – I must admit.  Work is great.  Church is great.  Matthew and I are great.  I’m unbelievably joyful right now.  The Lord has been so good.  I try to remind myself periodically of what the Lord has brought me through this last year so that I stay continually thankful for what he’s given me.  It’s incredibly humbling, to be honest.  I feel so undeserving of his blessings, but he pours them out anyway.  What a good God I serve.

One of those blessings is financial.  I’m not saying I’m rich or anything, but God is keeping my head above water, and it’s a wonderful feeling.  After doing some number-crunching and budgeting, I determined that I should be able to be 100% out of debt by January 2011!  I can’t tell you what a joy it is and how excited I am to know such a terrific freedom as being out of debt!  And what a perfect way to start out the new year!

I’m also continually blessed by the Young Women’s Small Group that I lead at church.  My heart smiles when I see their familiar faces every Monday night.  We just started going through the book “Lies Women Believe” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and I’m so excited about it!  I think it’s going to be one of those books that finds a way to relate to each of us in one way or another.  Please pray that God will keep our hearts open to the Truth as we forge ahead through this book.

Pretty soon I’ll be taking on a new role at church that is somewhat unfamiliar territory for me, but I’m uber stoked about it.  I wish I could say more, but it’ll have to wait for another time. BUT, you can be in prayer for that, if you don’t mind.

And I have one last thing to mention before I go.  My friend, Jessica, has 2 adorable kiddos, Mattie and Calton – I believe I mentioned them in a previous post.  Anyhow, they’re obsessed with the movie Cars. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it about a million times since I moved in with them.  Earlier tonight, it was really quiet in the house and I was watching it with Calton (who was on my lap) during the section where Mater and Lightning McQueen are “tractor tipping.”  Lightning revved his engine to scare the tractor – and Calton nearly jumped out of my lap!  He was so startled, and I couldn’t stop laughing.  It was one of those moments that I just had to share!

One Year = 11 Facts

8 May

It’s been a year.  Yup, a year.  Since what?  Several things.

I graduated from ETBU a year ago on May 2nd.  I can’t believe that a year has already passed by since I finished college.  What a weird feeling.  So much has happened in the last year, and, yet, it feels like I just graduated yesterday.  In the last couple of weeks, it’s been so odd to see my ETBU Facebook friends counting down the last days until their graduation from ETBU.  I remember doing the same thing myself.  That feeling of eliminating one more day and getting that much closer to the end is exhilarating.  I’m so excited for those who graduated from ETBU last weekend, and I pray for this new excursion in their lives.

Another one year anniversary: moving to WA!  That’s right, folks.  I officially moved to WA a year ago today, and I can hardly believe it.  I feel like I’ve made a big achievement: surviving for a year.  Haha.  Looking back, one year of living in the Northwest felt so far away, and now I’m moving on to year number two.  Geez.

So what have I learned in the past year since graduation and living far away from home?  Here are a couple of things:

  1. Life is hard.  Ha.
  2. But the Lord is good and faithful.
  3. Having a loving, supportive church family is an amazing blessing.
  4. The older you get, the more you realize how little you actually know.  Can I get a witness?
  5. Relationships – all of them – are tough…but so worth it.
  6. Having a college degree doesn’t get you direct access to a job – unfortunately.
  7. Finally getting a great job makes the four years of college feel worth it.
  8. Loving people is humbling.
  9. Being loved back is even more humbling.
  10. Seeing your family only twice in one year makes you more homesick than you will ever know.
  11. Throughout everything – good and bad (especially the bad) – God is worthy of my worship and praise.

There are about a million other things I’ve learned (and probably about a million more yet to be learned), but I’m sure you’d prefer to read a blog and not a book.

Special shout out to my mom – I love you so much and appreciate all you’ve done and sacrificed for me (and the other 3 kiddos) throughout the last 23+ years.  I want to be you when I grow up.  Happy Mother’s Day!

My Beautiful Mother & Me

And another special shout out to Jessica Huckaby and her adorable kiddos, Mattie and Calton – “I’ve spanked people just to spank ’em.  You best be afraid.”

And happy mother’s day to all the other fabulous mothers out there!

This is how I roll

23 Apr

I know what you’re thinking, “Kendall!  It’s been forever since you posted a new blog!  I was beginning to wonder if you’re still alive!!!”  Ok.  So maybe you weren’t thinking that exact thing…but something close to it.

I know it’s been forever, and I apologize for that.  My world has been insane over the past 2-3 weeks.  But I can’t complain.  Life is so grand right now.  The Lord has been blessing me in so many ways, and I feel so unworthy.  But that’s what makes his love perfect – he gives it even though we are so undeserving.  🙂

So you wanna know more about my new job?  Ok!  Well, I started 3 weeks ago at the North Mason Teen Center (a branch of the Boys & Girls Club of South Puget Sound in Belfair, WA), and my official title is the Site Coordinator.  My job is actually a lot of fun.

I get to the teen center around 12 pm every day (which is a-mazing, if you ask me) and do a number of different tasks before the kids get there around 2:30 (every day except for Monday when they get there at 1:05) and before I leave around 6 pm.  I would say my biggest duty is to hang out with the kids and make sure they don’t kill each other – which sometimes also proves to be the most challenging.  Haha.

But I do a lot more behind-the-scenes stuff too.  I organize and plan different programs for the teens.  Some of these programs are just for girls/guys where we talk about different issues.  One of the programs is all about preparing teens for their careers, which includes goal-setting and making “time-lines” for their futures.  We’re also thinking about starting a garden at the teen center with our teens as part of our Healthy Habits program that involves making healthy choices related to physical health.  And we also have leadership clubs – one for middle school and one for high school – as a part of the teen center that allows our teens to learn/use leadership skills.

The whole thing is actually pretty exciting.  Not only do the teens get to chill with their friends after school, but they also get opportunities to excel that they might not get otherwise.  And, although this job isn’t technically “ministry,” what a ministry it is!  I am blessed to have the opportunity to impact the lives of young people every day, and it’s truly exciting.  And to top it all off, I work with some really awesome people.  We are constantly joking around and making our work environment much more fun (at least that’s what I think).

So yeah.  That’s pretty much how I roll these days.  My work with YMI has been limited since I started this new job, but I’m praying the Lord will give me opportunities to be involved as much as I can and to learn how to strike a balance between the two jobs.  Needless to say, there is certainly never a dull moment!

Peace, love, and applesauce!  <<< (don’t ask – I don’t even know)

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P.S.  Here’s some picture love from the Tulip Festival that I mentioned in the last post.  I took these with my Nikon Coolpix camera.  They turned out pretty good, I think.  Click on the thumbnails for a better view.  🙂