So, some time has passed since my last entry. I think about making them a lot, but never actually sit down to do it. Do you do that with something in your life? Have every intention of doing something, but life just gets in the way? Whether "life" is a family emergency, social media, a TV show that catches your attention, etc? Yeah, me too.
It's been a busy summer! I had an amazing time at my company's convention in Denver in July, Spent a ton of time at Safeco Field with the love of my life, and we just got back from spending a week in the wilderness at Kalaloch Beach with our extended family. We also celebrated 6 years of being married on Sunday. It's a pretty fantastic time for me right now.
That's not to say that I haven't had my own trials recently. We've been battling with our insurance company and a specialist's office for a procedure related to our fertility struggles. We have spent a LOT of time crying out to God for answers, patience and peace, knowing He will come through for us, just not knowing how or when. I also have been struggling to find the motivation or inspiration to overcome the negative voices in my head about the completely attainable goal I have of earning the Spa Destination Trip to the Dominican Republic with my Lemongrass Spa Products business. If I am not over-achieving, my human/perfectionist brain tells me I might as well give up. *insert the clip of the record screeching to a halt here*
Wait... WHAT?! Why am I thinking like this?? Because I'm not placing my faith in God, I'm placing it in me. That's an issue. Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who is my strength." Note that it doesn't say I can do all things because I'm awesome. It's through Christ because HE is my strength. Yes, I'm a "strong" woman. I am a business owner, I'm a survivor - but I'm only those things because of Him. He gave me life, He gives my my dreams, He directs my path. When I put my eyes on Him, when I ask Him for my direction, to show my what my next step is, things may not get easier, but they do get more clear and I can see my path more clearly - maybe even a light at the end of the tunnel.
I got a new tattoo yesterday. It is the word "Brave" with an arrow. Lots of people are making the correlation with the Disney Princess with which I share a hair color, spunk and the first few letters of our names. While that's a big fat bonus, my love of that little spitfire isn't what inspired my new ink. It's a reminder that He makes me a Warrior. I Am Fruitful posted an instagram story this morning reading from Zechariah 10:3b-5. We were created to be warriors, and He is with us, fighting, holding us up, leading us through.
One of my very favorite worship songs is "You Make Me Brave" by Bethel Music. We weren't made to stay on the shore, friends. He is making a way for us to get out of our comfort zones and accomplish things we never thought we could! "No fear can hinder now the promises you've made" - How powerful is that lyric? Lord knows I need to be reminded of that daily, if not hourly! Another song I'm absolutely in love with (along with the artist) is "Brave" by Sara Bareilles. Whenever I need a little pick-me-up or a kick in the butt to get going, this song is one of my go-tos. If you need some encouragement, speak up! If you've got encouragement to share, speak up! I want to see everyone I know and love be brave in their own way.
I think I was probably 30 before I realized that music speaks to me in a much different way than it does to other people. My whole life, I would take it VERY personally when someone would dislike or mock a song that was dear to my heart. I would also get annoyed and upset if my boyfriend (or later, husband) was singing a song that talked about cheating or something that I just didn't find very flattering or becoming of them, me or our relationship. Stop judging me, I know now that reacting like that isn't normal.
I come from strong music-loving stock. My maternal grandparents and my mom both loved going dancing and loved good music, hymns, variety and entertainment. My paternal grandmother was in the church choir, my grandfather was a drummer and a whistler and my father was an excellent singer guitar player. I grew up with music all around me. By the age of 6 I was in in the Junior Choir at our church and I remember days on end in my youth where I would sing everything - yes, everything.
Music has also brought me some of my very best friendships. From church, High School and College Choirs, theme park and musical theatre cast members, to local bands and worship teams, and an enormous amount of some of my most favorite people in the world were brought into my life by a mutual love and admiration of *NSYNC and my ability to write HTML code (yes, seriously - I'm also wrapped in my *NSYNC throw while writing this). Music has also given me a way to commune with my God that fills my soul in a way that I never knew was possible.
I was 17 years old the first time I set foot in Columbia Foursquare Church in Richland, Washington. There was a youth revival explosion going on there, and a few of my friends from choir had joined their youth group and invited me. Growing up Lutheran, I had never heard clapping in church (check that, my grandma's "rockin" southern baptist church clapped... it was anything but rockin, in reality, but they did clap) let alone a band that had drums and electric guitars. People were lifting their hands and dancing. I was enthralled, and once I felt my human apprehensions leave me, I was all in.
You see, music is worship for me. It's time for me to use the incredible gift that He has given me - I hope that doesn't sound as boastful as it looks.. I'll have to write some time about how long it took me to accept that the gift I have is above average on the talent scale. King David wrote and sang songs to the Lord (see: the majority of Psalms), Miriam led the Israelite women with tambourines and dancing as she sang (Exodus 15), Jesus and the Disciples sang a hymn at the end of the Last Supper(Matthew 26:30; Mark 24:26). The page from the book of my life tonight was sitting in the bathtub with my favorite playlist of worship, praise and hymns on, just singing and spending time with my creator.
Music has gotten me through some of the best and worst times of my life. Certain songs take me back to moments in my life instantaneously. Debbie Gibson's "Electric Youth" takes me immediately to my cousin's bedroom, where we would put on concerts. When I hear Chris de Burgh's "Lady in Red" I am 7 years old sitting in front of the TV dreaming of being on the Miss America Stage. Trisha Yearwood's "She's In Love With The Boy" or "Baby, Baby" by Amy Grant put me in the passenger seat of my dad's little yellow car on the way to Walla Walla. Sisqo's "The Thong Song" (not linking that one... wow...) makes me laugh incessantly thinking about Melanie singing on her way to work. Anything by "Vengaboys" makes me think of Tawny and Jessica and hockey games. Natalie Grant's "Held" reminds me of how God brought me through my rape and healed my body and heart. "Everything" by Michael Bublé puts me in the passenger seat of Corey's Subaru, him singing it to me as we would drive back and forth from Richland to Yakima, our relationship brand new. Casting Crowns' "Who am I" was the first song Corey and I ever harmonized together on one of our may Car-eoke sessions. "Fade Into Me" by David Cook returns me to my first few hours as Mrs. Corey Kingman, dancing at our reception. "Imagine/Sing the Wondrous Love Of Jesus" by Amy Grant places me firmly in the pew of that same Southern Baptist Church I mentioned above where we were celebrating that my father didn't have to imagine anymore. Bethel Music's "For The Cross" puts me on the stage at Yakima Foursquare Church, worshipping next to my dear friend, Kelsie. And every time I hear "We Declare" by Foursquare Worship, I'm taken back to the first time we worshipped with the team I am now a part of at the South Campus at the NWD Conference in 2015.
The song that sparked this post tonight was one I categorize in "Oldies but goodies", Steven Curtis Chapman's "Magnificent Obsession" - specifically from the re:creation album. It's a song I've heard and known for years, and it may not be anything like the current worship songs that are catching my ears/heart/soul from Bethel Music/Hillsong/Foursquare Worship, but it was the deepest cry of my heart tonight. "Capture my heart again/Take me to depths I've never been/Into the riches of Your grace and Your mercy/Return me to the cross/And let me be completely lost/In the wonder of the love/That You've shown me" Yup, that about sums it up.
The next song I knew I needed to hear and sing to Him was "I Just Want You" by Sara Bareilles. Ok, so that's not on my deep prayer playlist, but again, it's about what my heart cries when I sing it. My favorite lyric is, "Take it away from me if it's for the best/Somehow I've ended up the head of this/Freight train that isn't mine/You, I just want you" How often do I lay something at His feet and immediately pick it back up because I don't have the instant answer I'm used to because we can ask Siri/Google anything at any time? God isn't Siri - and Hallelujah for that, Siri's an idiot most of the time.
Both songs have a very similar message, that made me realize what I need to do to realize my "word" this year - TRUST. I just want my Jesus. I want His word in my heart, I want His love flowing out of everything I do and say, I want to serve Him, I want Him to be enough for me and for His praise to be on my lips. Everything else is bonus, He gives me more than enough and I am content with that. That's the goal, isn't it? Well, it is for me.
I'm a smart woman. I'm not afraid to say it, I'm not afraid to own it. I know quite a bit about a few different subjects and I'm well educated. I'm very fortunate in that. I live in a country where that is acceptable and encouraged. I'm not ashamed of it, and it's not a bad thing, but it bites me in the butt a lot.
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, there is a surrender that happens. We tell Him that He is our Lord, He is in control, and we know that His plans are the best for us. My father was an alcohol and drug counselor for a time and had sparkly stickers in his office that said, "Let Go and let God." For type-A, organized planners like me, that is much easier said than done. Of course, being a smart woman, and looking back at situations that have turned our well in my life, and can see that happened because I did exactly what those sparkly stickers said.
Case in point: When I was 26 I swore off men. I decided that since my "picker" was obviously malfunctioning that I was quitting. About couple weeks before I turned 27, the Holy Spirit spoke to me while I was complaining about the frequency of the match.com commercials being shown, telling me that my husband would be there. 3 weeks after that birthday, I got a message from Corey, and the rest, as they say (whoever they are), is history.
That's a pretty intense show of how trusting Him is the way to go, right? You'd think it would make trusting Him in other situations easy. Maybe for some people, but not me. I'm stubborn and my brain takes over. I forget about how God saved us from buying a house that would've tied us to Yakima when Corey got promoted and we felt His call to stay. I forget that He put our amazing friends here in Puyallup with a house that had extra room and gave them extra large hearts to take us in for months and months. I forget that He has brought both Corey and I through bouts of depression and PTSD in our lives. For as smart as I am, I sure do a lot of forgetting.
The verse that is often quoted about God's plans is Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." That's great! I mean, it's God's Word, so it's good. What strikes me in times when I'm questioning His plan and how His timeframe is not what I'd like it to be comes from the book of 2 Kings, from verse 5, "I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you." Maybe I like
This journey of infertility that we are on is hard, but so is the rest of life. I was telling Corey today as he reassured me that this is just a season we are going through, that I'm ready for a lighter season. We are waiting for a lot of things right now, listening for a lot of answers, looking for direction.
In light of all of that, here's my new prayer, "Heavenly Father, I'm impatient, but you know that. I lose hope, I don't trust You like I should. Help me to hold tight to your promises. Help us to find joy in this season, while we wait and listen. Help us to see You in everything we do. Thank you for the gift of our marriage, for our lives and for never giving up on us. Help us to see every blessing you give us for the miracle it is. In Jesus' name, Amen."
A 30-something living life in the PNW. Wife, Jesus-follower, Business Owner, Hockey Lover, Craft & Glitter Obsessed.