Category Archives: Uncategorized

o come emmanuel

o come Emmanuel

I’ve had a lot of conversations over the last couple of weeks about Christmas. Shocker, right?! I’ve shared many words with friends (not the game) about not missing Jesus in the midst of this season.

Which kinda makes me want to barf just saying that. Cause I despise clichés. And hanging a banner of “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” makes the blood run cold in my body.

I have some things to work through.

But. My point remains.

It is so easy to speed through the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, hitting up all the parties, wrapping all the gifts, making all the cookies. It is so easy to miss Emmanuel – God with us – during this time of year.

I very vividly remember the first time I didn’t have a “major” gift on my Christmas list. When I say “major,” I basically mean that I grew out of wanting the kewlest toy of the year. I had books and movies on my wish list and some people didn’t think that was enough. They thought they had to spend so much money and make sure I had the exact same number of gifts as my sister so we would know they loved us equally.

It breaks my heart to think that we can’t be content with celebrating the coming of the Messiah – the long-awaited One descending to His people. And to know that I am not always content with the greatest gift of all – King Jesus.
That in this time of advent – of longing for the One who will come and set all things right – we spend much of our longing on ripping paper off of a box to find a gift that we will probably forget about in 4 months.

What my friend and I have been talking about is this: how do we not miss Jesus? How do we express gratitude and faithfulness to the God who came to be with His people?

My sweet friend Emily recently shared the song O Come O Come Emmanuel on Facebook, which also happens to be my all time favorite Christmas song (that I wish we sang all year long). It truly makes me weepy:

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

O come, Thou Day-Spring
Come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

I think this is how we don’t miss Him.

We sing songs with one another that remind us of the great anticipation that comes with Christmas morning – Jesus has come and death’s dark shadows have been put to flight.
We put priority on relationships over materials.
We have dinners and go to parties and make cookies with real live humans and thank God for the gifts He has given in friendship.

We remember that God has been faithful to send His Son Jesus to His people.
We worship the One who has come to thee.
We rejoice in the confident hope that Emmanuel shall come once again – just as He said He would – to set all things right and ransom His people back unto Himself once and for all.

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living my truth

truth.png

So, I gotta be honest. This phrase drives me bonkers.

Like, legitimately might be my biggest pet peeve with people these days.

“Living my truth” seems to be the kool kid phrase of our culture right now. When celebrities/public figures/people with influence are asked questions in interviews about an.y.thing. that could have a moral standard attached to it, they typically respond with something along the lines of, “Well, I just think it’s really important for us to find our truth and live that out. Ya know, just, living in your own truth can bring you so much happiness and freedom.”

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Yes, Anna. Stop that. Stop that right now.

Although, she’s probably said it too…sigh…

ANYWAYS. Back to my rant.

My issue with this whole “find your truth and live it thing” is that we can’t ALL decide what truth is. I don’t get to decide the 100% actuality of a thing.

And I think my biggest hangup with the whole dang thang is that we pick and choose what we want to be true in order to serve our own selfish desires and fleeting pleasures.

If I decide that the truest truth is that Mexican food is the truest form of good food and that you are a demon-spawn if you don’t like it, and you disagree with me, who is right? Does your inability to realize truth in its highest form (my truth, that is) remove your rights/value/dignity as a human?

(I mean, in this case probably because Mexican food is delicious)

NO. Absolutely not.

Because guess what…that isn’t truth. It isn’t an indisputable fact.

Chinese food is good.
Pizza is good.
Queso is…wait….queso is Mexican. Never mind.

My point is, I cannot be the final decision maker when it comes to truth. Nor do I WANT to be the final decision maker. I feel like we are all so inadequate at deciding ANYTHING, especially what truth is. Mainly because we are all so fickle and selfish and just…well…ill equipped.

We were made by the only arbiter of truth, and that is God Himself.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things (including truth) were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing (including truth) made that was made.

John 1:1-3

If we submit to God as the Creator of all that we see and know, we have to submit to Him as the Creator of truth as well.

We don’t get to only submit to parts of God’s commands and character. His Word was not given as a mere suggestion on how to live your best life now.

No. His Word was/is given as the truest form of truth we can know. Jesus was given as the complete embodiment of Truth – so that we might have a Savior from our sinful ways and an Example of how to submit to the One whose truth gives life and freedom.

Submission to God and His actual truth does not lay heavy bondage on my life.
Living in a world (even if it’s my own world in my head) where I get to choose truth and it changes all of the time — that is what causes bondage, and anxiety, and heartbreak, and disillusionment, and, well, a lost and weary soul.

Submission to God, instead, frees us up to rest in knowing His truth will lead to life everlasting, it never changes, and that it is for my good and His glory. Living in God’s truth frees me from living a lie of working my way into His grace.

I’d rather live in the truth of the Creator who has been faithful throughout history than try to figure out my own truth every morning.

Man. What a friggin burden to bear. I’ll let Someone else tell me what truth is.

It just seems easier — more life-giving — that way.

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jealous in the best of ways

jealous blog

This summer my church is going through a series on the attributes of God. And a fun thing we’re doing along with this attributes series is sharing videos of members’ experiences with who God is to them, specific to the attribute being covered that week.

So, Tiffany talks about God as Father.
Rich talks about God’s glory.
Emily talks about God’s goodness.
Sally talks about God’s faithfulness.

And Kayla…well…Kayla talks about God’s jealousy.

When I first learned we were going to go through this series, my little heart grew 3 sizes too big.

I love love love learning and talking about the character and attributes of God.
I love discussing with my friends what God is like, who He is to them, how His character is reflected in us and how we reflect Him to the world around us. It’s one of my favorite pastimes to sit across a table or porch or living room from someone near to my heart and talk about our Creator.

But when I was asked to talk about God’s jealousy…well…my heart went back to normal person sized.

The term “jealous” doesn’t carry a very godly feeling with most of us.
I tend to think of my high school boyfriend that got upset when I wanted to spend Friday night with my gal pals.
I think of my college friend that got mad at me because I chose something else over time with her.
I think of myself when I get upset because yet another person has gotten engaged while I’m over here eating leftover shrimp fajitas for the next 1.7 weeks because I don’t know how to cook for 1.

So, as I started to look in to God’s jealousy – thinking I was going to blow the whole gig – I realized that it fits just about as perfectly into my story as Michael Jackson’s hand fit into that white glove.

You see, when we hear jealous, the emotion we mere mortals typically attach to it is actually envy. Envy, according to Webster, is: the feeling of wanting to have what someone else has; painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage.

Jealousy is different.
Jealousy is: intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness.

So, by definition, if you are jealous of me, you are not willing to accept or allow my unfaithfulness.

So, when God is jealous, He is really jealous for me. He will not tolerate my worship of other gods. He will not tolerate anything that rivals Him in my heart. He will not accept my chasing after other gods that never have and never will satisfy.

After really thinking on that, I started to get all weepy.

So, wait a second…you’re telling me that GOD loves me SO MUCH that He is unwilling to let my heart and my affections turn toward something other than Him?
So, you’re saying that, much like Gomer in the book of Hosea, He loves me in such a way that He is going to take me out into the wilderness where it’s just Him and me, and we’re gonna figure this crap out for as long as it takes because my very soul is worth it?
You’re saying that, because He loves me and is jealous for me, He’s not going to let me die by whoring my heart out to things that cannot save or redeem me?

YES?

YES!

Flipping YES.

Can you imagine?! What kind of God is this?! This God that sticks with His people!? This God that, instead of throwing us off to the side, He steps in and sets our hearts right again!?

You see, God isn’t envious of that which His creation has.
He is jealous for our very souls.
He is unwilling to let us die without stepping in, drawing us close, cleansing us of all unrighteousness, bearing the penalty of our sin, dying in our place, and rising again on the third day – defeating sin and satan and the grave once and for all.

His jealousy is beyond my comprehension. But man, oh man, am I’m so thankful for it.

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a date which will live in infamy

bruce_harbor

Where my history nerds at?

This title only works for today.

But the post is applicable all days. I think.

Today, December 7th, is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. A date in which we Americans recall the attack on Pearl Harbor during WWII. It was a dark day in our history. If you’ve ever seen the movie Pearl Harbor with Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett, think about the darkness in (parts) of that movie, and then don’t. Because that movie is so inaccurate, and it’s just a love story, and history smishtory.

I digress.

But.

As I was thinking about today – about remembering the darkness in our country’s past – I started thinking about days in my life that may live in infamy. I had specific seasons and time periods and events that came to my mind that I remember as dark, marked days that had a profound impact on my life and who I am today.

On December 8, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered one of the most famous speeches in our modern history. The ending, the call to action, is so desperately hopeful:

“Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.”

In my personal infamous days, I believe FDR’s words ring even truer. The enemy exists. There is no blinking at the fact that darkness is real and we are in grave danger. But with confidence in our risen Savior, with the unbounding grace and mercy of our Father, we have gained the inevitable triumph – in Jesus.

Praise God – He enters in and redeems. The victory is already ours.

Infamy doesn’t equal defeat.
Our dark days may have quite a blow on our souls.
But Jesus wins in the end. And I can press on, clinging to that truth.

 

(also, you’re welcome for the picture of Jennifer Garner in Pearl Harbor because she’s the only good thing about that movie and I bet you didn’t even know she was in it…)

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when it feels like no one shows up

when-it-feels-like

I wrote the following a couple weeks ago when I felt really naked and exposed and too full of shame and guilt to speak these words to anyone, so writing them just felt like the natural thing to do. Then I shoved them away. But they came back again in a couple different conversations, so, I have to share them now.

I still feel pretty naked and exposed at times, but God is teaching me that my shame is not something I can let the enemy have. I need to give Him my shame, and my guilt, and my exposure, and my nakedness. And in that, I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that He will receive all of it and all of me, and will sit with me in the fiery furnace.

It’s pretty short, but it’s pretty raw. And it was all I could bear at the time.

Read on:

Sometimes I get sad.
Sometimes I think I’m alone and unlovable and that no one really wants to be my friend.

That I’ve been found out. The real Kayla has finally stood up and she’s repulsive.

I’m feeling a little bit like that lately.
I’ve let my guard down and the enemy has snuck in through the back door. I kinda think he’s like a little mosquito that gets in right before the door shuts and you don’t even know he’s in the house until he’s bitten you 7 times and you start to itch a day later.

That’s how I feel right now.

I feel isolated. Unloved. Alone. Unworthy. And itchy.

I know these feelings are not feelings God delights in my feeling.
I know that God is good and that I am loved and worthy.

But I also feel like God is just kinda letting me lay my head on His holy shoulder and is weeping with me. He’s feeling these things just as I am.
I don’t think He’s telling me to just figure it out and get along with my life.

No.
He’s in the mire.
He’s holding me close, throbbing in pain right alongside me.

When it feels like no one else is showing up, the enemy is probably on the move.
When it feels like no one else is showing up, God is.
When it feels like no one else is showing up, it doesn’t matter – the King of Creation and Lover of my soul never leaves or forsakes me. He has already shown up and will not leave.

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psalm 14

psalm 14.png

I guess the best way to start doing something again is to just start doing it.

So.

Here we are.

Psalm 14.

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.
They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord?
There they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous.
You would same the plans of the poor, but the Lord is his refuge.
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.

I typed this psalm out then went and ate some goldfish, because I just really had to make sure what I’m about to say is what I’m supposed to say.

From my view of the world and the things happening around me/on social media, a lot of us like to take a passage like this and say, “HA! YES! See you FOOL!”

We like to point our fingers at those that are corrupt, doing abominable deeds.

But I can’t read through this whole dang thang and shake my finger at someone else. Because here it tells me that God looks down from heaven and all have turned aside.

We all say in our hearts, “there is no God.” We all say with our actions, “there is no God.” We all say with the way we bow our heads in despair over an election, “there is no God.”

We are all included in this. None of us do good.

So, as you go throughout the rest of this week, keep that in mind.

You and I are sinners in need of a great savior. And that savior has not and will never be the president of the United States. That savior has not and will never be the United States herself. [side note: why is a country always referred to in the feminine? If you have answers, please share.]

The only one great enough to save all of us is Jesus.

“Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!”

He did.
Let’s trust, with the deepest part of who we are, that His work is finished.

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one white girl’s thoughts on the last 48 hours

Make dreams come true

I drove past a police car yesterday morning on my way to work and started weeping. I started weeping as the faces of my black friends sped through my mind and the thought of them being pulled over by a police officer, wondering what would go through their minds.

If, when they get pulled over, their hearts start racing, hands start shaking, thoughts begin consuming them with wonderment of whether or not this will be the time it’s them.

The two times I’ve been pulled over, my biggest concern was if I would get a ticket or be able to talk my way out of one – not if I would lose my life or be assaulted by an officer performing a routine duty.

I was weeping thinking about seeing a news story with my friend’s name as the headline along with, “Another Black Man fatally shot by Police.”

For those of you that want to say, “Oh come on Kayla, don’t make this a race thing!”…well…it IS a race thing. In the past 48 hours, two black men have been shot to death by police officers that are not black.

And before your mind goes to, “We should know all of the facts before we start talking about this…”

No.

I won’t settle for that anymore. The only fact I need to know right now in order to weep the way I did yesterday morning is that 2 more human beings were killed by a bullet fired from the gun of a government official.

Close your eyes for a minute and picture yourself on your couch.
Your phone rings.
“Ma’am/Sir, we regret to inform you that your son/husband/friend/brother has been killed in an altercation with law enforcement…”

What’s your reaction?

Do you say to yourself, “Well, the officer must have felt threatened for his/her life, or they wouldn’t have done that,” or, “My loved one must have resisted arrest to the point of physical violence, or this would have never happened.”

Absolutely. Not.

You would have cried.
You would have wept so bitterly that your body shook and you went into a state of shock.
You would rush into mourning in ways you never have before.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I had the right to speak on this subject – to try to put myself in the shoes of another that I will never, and can never, fully empathize with. To enter into a story I will never fully understand.

But over the past 2 days – 2 years, really – I’ve ultimately decided that I cannot not speak about it.

To be silent, to me, is to pretend this kind of harm doesn’t exist. To be silent is to, in my mind, perpetuate the injustice that is so apparent in our society.

Now, please hear me – I AM NOT saying that all police are racists, have no compassion, and are not interested in serving their community in ways that put them at risk every single day. I AM NOT saying the officers who lost their lives in Dallas isn’t a heavy thing to bear today, and that we shouldn’t talk about it.

I AM NOT saying that all black people who get pulled over are 100% innocent in every instance throughout all time.

Officers losing their lives protecting a peaceful, black protest. Black men losing their lives by police brutality. This isn’t a day to pick sides. This is a day to mourn over sin and brokenness in our world, over lives lost because all we know to do is incite violence on one another. I am heart b.r.o.k.e.n. over each instance.

What I AM saying is that my heart is heavy for the black community.
My heart is heavy for fellow humans – humans that, because of the imago Dei, are inherently given value, worth, and dignity. Just because they are alive. Humans that should be cared for and fought for regardless of their skin color.
What I AM saying is that I can no longer pretend that this isn’t my problem. I have to feel something. I have to speak something. I have to enter in where it is uncomfortable.

And if you aren’t okay with that, feel free to unfollow/unfriend/delete me from your phone book. OR, better yet, let’s grab some food, coffee, or something and have a conversation about why these things are hard and why emotions are all over the spectrum when it comes to race relations in our country.

We are all hurting. On all sides.

And instead of throwing statistical rocks at one another, we need to have civilized conversations – recognizing that, unless we are walking in the skin or the uniform, we’ll never fully understand how deep the wounds run.

If you’re black, please take me with you. Take me into your life and your community. Help me to see your hurt. Help me to know your culture. Help me to understand what I don’t currently understand.

And if you’re a person in uniform, or closely tied to one, take me with you as well! I want to hear and know the stories behind the names. I want to understand why you wear the uniform you wear, and what in your life impacted you in such a way to put your life at risk every day.

And if you are going to comment or throw around #AllLivesMatter, I hope you’re the first one to step in when violence is being enacted on our black brothers and sisters. Because you’re right, all lives do matter, because all mankind is made in the image of God. But all lives can’t matter to you if black lives don’t matter to you.

And before you write me off thinking that liberal media has brainwashed me, know that they haven’t – but the Gospel of Jesus Christ HAS, and will continue to, change my heart. And if that heart change means that He is moving me to speak for those that won’t be listened to, then that’s what I’m going to do.

All that I’m asking you to do with this is think.
Think about what you would do if you received that phone call.
Put yourself in the passenger seat while your loved one is bleeding out next to you and your 4-year-old daughter is in the back of the car.

I’m sure over the next days, weeks, months that new information will surface, facts and evidence will be revealed, but for now, can we please put our fists down and just grieve? Can we mourn with those who are mourning? Can we agree that the loss of life is a hard thing to bear?

And can we figure out a way to talk with one another as if we’re all in this life thing together?

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why we all love Fixer Upper

Fixer Upper

You guys, I am in love. At least, I think that’s what this feeling is. I am head over heels about HGTV’s hit Fixer Upper. And I am even MORE over the moon about Chip & Joanna Gaines. Joanna wrote a blog recently about Chip’s breakfast and I almost started packing to go move in with them. That’s an acceptable thing to do with those you love, right?

I know I’m late to the game on the Chip & JoJo bandwagon, but I wanted to take a moment to list why I think we are all so in love with this couple in Waco, TX.

1 – They are adorable.

Seriously. Chip is just a dude’s dude and Joanna is so precious. They are a cute couple. From demo day to reveal, they are just cute. I want to watch them just to see how adorable they are going to be on the t.v. screen. AND THEIR KIDS!!! I mean, come on. No one should be allowed to produce offspring like they have. They are just too cute.

2 – They love each other.

Along with being adorable, Chip and Joanna love each other and it is evident throughout their lives. Sure, they say, “I love you!” but I’m never skeptical of it. I never think for a second that those words are simply spoken to keep appearances up. Chip supports his wife. Joanna adores her husband. They are playful and kind to one another. They encourage each other to do their best and are one another’s biggest cheerleaders. This is one of my favorite things about them. They don’t cut one another down or roll their eyes in disgust.

Now, I know they are on a television show and that reality t.v. is not reality, however, if a production company had any type of drama they could hype up, I think they would. And they don’t with Fixer Upper. There’s no need, because these two love each other. And that is good enough for us to keep watching! Because we want that! People love love, y’all!

3 – They love their kids.

Yes, they work hard. Yes, their kids have babysitters. But they are there for their kids. They cheer their kids on. They encourage the boys to be sweet to their sisters. They bring them in on their work and let them be apart of the cool things Mom and Dad are doing. Their kids aren’t some afterthought that are brought onto the screen so America can stand in awe at their perfect skin tone and adorable smiles.

4 – They redeem.

This is maybe my favorite reason why we all love Fixer Upper. If you’ve creeped long enough like I have, you know that Chip and Joanna love Jesus. You probably don’t know this just from the show, because they never come straight out and say, “Hey you guys, guess what, we love Jesus…” BUT they are doing something right under your nose, showing you they love Jesus.

They are active agents of redemption in this world.

I had a professor in college that spoke adamantly about how, as Christians, we shouldn’t work to create some random sub-par subculture. We should enter into the culture around us and redeem it. We should be agents of redemption in our respective worlds. And that’s what Chip and Jo are doing. They are redeeming.

They even say it at the beginning of their show! They take the worst house in the best neighborhood and make it their client’s dream home.

They take what is broken down and unlovely and make it beautiful to the point of tears for most of their clients.

They see beyond the surface into something that is valuable and deserving of love and turn it in to a masterpiece.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that every time I see a reveal, I think of this passage:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:12-21)

Chip & Joanna Gaines are living ambassadors of Christ, carrying out that which has been entrusted to them – the message of reconciliation and redemption.

I just really love this show and this family. Along with the rest of America.

Now, pardon me while I go search for some shiplap to build a table with.

 

*Image from hgtv.com

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how going to the gym & church are basically the same thing*

how going to the gym & church are basically the same thing*

*disclaimer: they are not the same thing exactly. Stick with me here. Don’t think I’m a heretic or idol worshipper just yet.

So, my friends and I were at the gym tonight and it hit me: going to church and going to the gym are basically the same thing. There are so many parallels between the 2 that I think I’m going to start wearing my workout clothes to church! (Don’t tell my Grandma…)

Hear me out:

→It’s hard to go by yourself.
Going to the gym is so much easier when you have people with you, not only to hold you accountable but to be your cheerleader, to push you when you want to stop, to help you along in the process.
Going to church is so much easier when you have people with you, not only to hold you accountable, but to be your cheerleader, to push you when you want to stop, to help you along in the process.

See what I did there?

THEY’RE THE SAME THING.

But seriously. 8 months ago I would’ve told you I never wanted to work out with someone. In fact, I did tell someone that. One of my best friends – someone who knows me well. Someone I shouldn’t be ashamed of working out with. But I was. Mainly because I didn’t want to be held accountable. I didn’t want someone to be responsible with in order to grow in my physical health. I wanted to muster up enough strength on my own to change.
The same went for my church life. When I began to take my relationship with Christ seriously, I wanted to go at it alone. I wanted to have control over the whole thing. I didn’t want someone else stepping in to speak into the process.
I didn’t think, in either scenario, another person would be encouraging. I just knew they would heap judgement upon me.

But you know what happened when I finally let people in? When I finally decided to do both with someone? Change. Growth. Encouragement. Deeper fellowship.

And let’s be honest – it’s way easier to walk in to a gym or a church with a person you know. If for nothing else than to have a witness for a good story – trust me…some of my gym stories HAVE to have a witness or else you’d think I was a liar.

(and if you’re reading this and don’t have a solid church to go to, PLEASE ask me for some help in finding one. I’d love nothing better than to help get you plugged in somewhere!)

→It’s a process.
I’ve written in the past about being done with the quick fix and I’m here to say it again (but after you’re done with this, go read that post). Losing weight, changing eating habits, getting in to shape – it’s all a process. But too often we want to skip the hard work and move straight to the results. We want the reward without the willingness to sacrifice something for it.

“Well, I’d really love to lose 10 pounds, but I’mma go eat this whole pizza by myself real quick…”

Sanctification is like that too. We desire closeness to the Lord, but aren’t willing to let Him discipline us and lead us into holiness. We want all of the fluffy feel-goods immediately, not willing to repent and turn from our sin that separates us from our Creator.

There is so much freedom in submitting to the process – both in getting in shape & growing closer to the Lord. To know that I don’t have to have a summer bod by Friday (which, let’s be honest, is totally unrealistic because it’s 8pm on Wednesday night…) is so freeing! Summer doesn’t end until like September or something, so I’ve got some time!

To know that I have a lifetime to allow the Lord to remove sin, draw me close to Him, continually renew my heart, and grow me in holiness is, again, so freeing! Knowing that I don’t have to have all the things figured out tonight gives me sweet relief.

→Jumping around is hard.
This one was maybe my favorite to dissect while on the stationary bike tonight.

Earlier in our workout, my little buddy decided to up the weights by 15 pounds at a time. When she got to the top weight, desiring to “see progress! See it go up!”, she hobbled off the machine and said, “Umm, I don’t think I should have done that.”

My level-headed, super wise response was, “You know, sometimes you need to stay where you’re at and build your muscle up before you move the weights…”

How does this apply to church? Don’t hop around (“like a bunny…because it’s Easter…”-Whitney). There’s no such thing as a perfect church, so don’t give up on it quite yet. Stay put and allow God to work in you. Allow Him to build up your muscle where you’re at. Get in community and stay put to see what He does for a bit.

So, there you have it. Church & getting swole. Same thing. Kinda.

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one direction (now a new one)

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So, my dear friends, it’s been almost 2 years.

TWO. YEARS.

I don’t know that I’ve been committed to anything other than coffee, queso, and softball for longer than 2 years!

Okay, maybe my family and friends. And pie. I’m definitely committed to pie.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way.

I’ve stuck with this whole I’m-a-blogger thing for a long time. It started with realizing I had a voice – specifically a voice as a Christian female who also happens to be single. I realized that I had something to say about the way the Church interacted with “my kind.” (Using that phrase probably goes against everything I’ve said for the past 2 years…whatever…)

I was also struggling with that reality. That I was (am) single. That my life plan hadn’t quite played out the way I thought it would.

So I wrote about it. I wrote about my struggles and my triumphs. My interactions with others who try to navigate life differently than their family/friends/church crew expect them to.

And cool things started to happen. I started to see God show up in my life in ways that I didn’t expect. I began to see Him fill holes I forgot were there, because I was letting Him in.

I’ve been on this metaphorical journey for almost 2 years and I feel like it’s time to go on a new one.

I’ve become “Kayla, the Single Blogger” (I just gave myself that name, by the way…)

I don’t want to be known for singleness, I want to be known for Jesus.

So, here we are. Taking this thing in a new direction.

This doesn’t mean that I’ll never write about singleness again, because that is still part of my reality.

But instead I want to write about Jesus. I want to write about what He is doing in my life, in the lives of my family & friends, and how He is transforming hearts for His name’s sake.

I want to become Christ-like, not Kayla-like. I want Matthew 5:16 to be true of me:

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

I hope you’ll stick around, because I think really cool things are about to start happening again.

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