Winter Fan, Winter Foe

I don’t like winter.  I used to like it when I was a kid.  I loved putting on my boots and big poofy winter coat and trudging through the shin-deep blanket of snow.  I have good memories of attempting to make snowmen with my siblings.  Or I’d pick a pristine, untouched patch of snow and attempt to walk through the snow in a precise pattern so as to spell out my name or favorite word.  Yes, I was one of those nerdy kids who had favorite words.  Sometimes I’d take a fallen twig and try to write something in the snow in my best cursive.  Ahh, the innocence of childhood where the smallest things were a delight.

Fast forward to adulthood, having raised my own children and having lived through multiple snowy winters.  I don’t like winter anymore.  Truth be told, I’d rather be on a tropical island or in a warm location where snow is not the norm.  I’m okay if I don’t see snow firsthand for many years.  Yes, it’s beautiful.  It really is.  I especially like how the blanket of white fluff seems to insulate the noisy outdoors.  And it’s pretty when the snow covers the intricate tree branches.

But, I don’t need to live in it anymore.   I’m good.  Done.  My body hates being cold.  I no longer enjoy bundling up.  The gray skies of winter give me the blues.  And all I seem to want to do during the snowy winters is sleep and stay inside.  This is not the way to live (for me).  I want to wake up to sunshine and blue skies.  I want to wear shorts in December, January and February and not be cold.  I want summer weather all year long.  That’s the dream.

Blessings!

~ Kay Dee

©2020 I Am KayDee, “Winter Fan, Winter Foe”

Faith, Growth, Trust…help!

I haven’t been blogging regularly because I’ve been busy with everything else.  I’m trying to get some ideas off of the ground and establish some things so that they can grow. It’s hard work.  But, in the process, I’ve neglected my writing.

I’ve also been somewhat inwardly hesitant to share my faith, although I press forward and make myself do it anyway.  This society, for all of its shouts of “intolerance!” seems to be intolerant of Christianity. But, I get it.  Christianity has not had many stellar moments over the last several years.  Church organizations are run by people.  People are flawed.  And Christianity in the Western world has a past that is not anything to brag about.  It’s been used for manipulative purposes.  It’s been used to control.   It’s been used to oppress.  It’s been used to condemn.  None of these were the original intent.  We “the collective church” have not been good at leading with love.  But, I think there is hope.  There is a remnant, a faction if you will of believers who are rejecting all of the pomp and circumstance, the lack of authenticity and the pious arrogance of what the church has come to be known for and is instead seeking to take off the mask, get real, and get messy in seeking truth and in loving people, all people.

With that being said, I’ll be sharing more about my faith, knowing some will not want to hear about it.  But, to not share it would be to reject an essential part of who I am.  This is part of my truth and I seek to be authentically me.   I hope that some will relate to it, even if they don’t ascribe to the faith part of it.

God is calling me to a new level of trust.  This is a big deal for me because trusting God was a really difficult road for me.  As a child, I trusted God with the innocence of a child.  As I grew, I experienced a major betrayal of trust in my teens and it scarred me.  Trusting God was not something I was able to do for awhile because I was angry and bitter.  Thankfully, my love for God and my faith in God, though at times weak and small, never died.  God can work with ‘just a little’.  Over the years, I’ve worked hard at trusting God and the hard work has paid off.  Now, He’s calling me higher and it’s not all rainbows and puppies, let me tell you.  This new level of trust is also hard work.  It’s exposing all of my ‘yuck’ in the process.  Sometimes we get to a place where we think we’ve got a pretty good grasp on things.  We feel good about the level of maturity we’ve reached and how far we’ve come.  But, then God calls us to a new level of growth.  The growth process is not comfortable.  It’s work, it’s ‘sweat’, it’s humility and acknowledging we still have a ways to go, and it’s admitting you’re not as ‘together’ as you thought you were.  But, the rewards of growth in God’s hands are immeasurable.  I’m looking forward to seeing all of the new things God will do!

For any of you who are like me, and God is calling you to new / higher levels, keep trusting Him.  Keep allowing God to work on you:  to work some things out of you, as well as work some things into you.  He will help you!  And remember to have awesome brothers and sisters in the faith to link arms with you, so that you can keep one another lifted up along the way.

Much love, much peace.

~ Kay Dee

©2020 I AM KAYDEE, “Faith, Growth, Trust…help!”

Single Woman Seeks Serious Relationship

In a world that chooses to either vomit all details of their lives on social media or provide the “perfect image” so that the world can envy, I hope to be one of the less-loud, less-perfect and more vulnerable voices.  I feel the world in general is consumed with public persona (yes I battle with it, too) versus sharing authentically.

In general, we present a face that we are comfortable with others seeing.  And while it’s true that everyone doesn’t need to know everything about our lives, thoughts and feelings,  there are times when sharing vulnerably and authentically can do greater good than keeping it to ourselves.  That’s why I’m sharing my journey.   I know that people who know me (or think they know me) will likely comment, telling me what I “need to do” or “the right way” to look at this, and it will come from a well intentioned place, but, I am not seeking advice.  I’m seeking to share by being open about this topic.

I am tired of being single.

There, I said it.  Now, don’t get all overly righteous or judgy on me.  And don’t assume that I’ve hated my singleness.  On the contrary, singleness is actually very freeing.  I have no person to answer to for anything.  No one to consider when I make plans.  I just get up and go!  I can hang out with whomever I want, whenever I want with no worries of checking in.  Bonus: I don’t have to shave my legs if I don’t want to, doggone it!  There’s no one touching them -but me- anyhow. If and when I decide to shave them is my business. 

I can keep my house and my bedroom as neat or as messy as I want to without having to think about anyone else’s preferences.  I can buy food and cook for ONE.  It’s freaking amazing!  There’s no conflict to navigate or work through, because it’s only me.  I do have offspring but they don’t count in this conversation (as I’m speaking on romantic relationships vs. singleness).  I digress. I also have the freedom to try new ideas and reach for new goals without having to run them by a significant other nor be concerned with impacting said significant other.

So, if singleness is so amazing, why do I want to be in a relationship?  Well, it gets lonely.  Before you get started, yes, I know there are various options to remedy that loneliness, but, none of them interest me at this point.  I’m not interested in hooking up.  That’s not how I roll.  To be frank, that’s never how I’ve operated.  However, if that works for you, no judgments here.  I’m just of the personality type that wants relationship.  A committed, monogamous, healthy relationship with a godly man, to be exact.  And that’s hard to find.

Games are so tired.  Playboys of any age are so tired.  But, the culture in which we currently live is one that caters to “having it your way” and “if you don’t like it, get another one”.   There are plenty of people on the dating scene who want nothing more than a temporary fix.  That’s what thrills them.  However, finding someone who wants a serious relationship is a rarity.

The other problem is compatibility.  You can get a group of people in a room who all want a “serious relationship” but that doesn’t mean that they will be compatible or even attracted to each other.  Compatibility is the “X factor”.

I have lovely friends who will try to match-make.  They ask me about someone we mutually know, telling me they seem “really nice” and they “like” me.  My friends have good intentions, but, I am usually in no way attracted to nor interested in their suggested suitors on a romantic level. If I were interested, believe me, I would have made a move by now to test the waters.  Attraction and compatibility cannot be predicted or reasoned or formulated (in my opinion).

This takes me to dating apps [insert eye roll here].  They largely suck.  A small percentage of people have been fortunate enough to find their match using apps.  I am not one of them.  And I am not in the minority. Algorithms can only be so accurate, and we’re finding out some algorithms tend to reinforce existing bias.  Not a good thing.

The only dates I’ve been on in recent years have been due to randomly meeting someone IN PERSON, not from an app.  And these still were mostly one-off’s, lacking chemistry and/or compatibility once the conversation ensued.  Or, they’d result in dating for a few weeks or months only to discover the Pandora’s Box of issues that were way beyond the “red flag” stage… they were more like the “run for your life” stage. Or, dudes who are flaky as hell.  They don’t know what they want.  They don’t know who they are.  They give mixed signals galore and reveal themselves to be severely immature. Or, there are the ones who are really nice but just not a good fit.

[Side note:  I’d like to formally complain about the lack of conversational skills in this day and age.  “Hey wyd” is not a good opener.  I am immediately turned off by your lack of vocabulary and lack of trying for a better conversation starter than that!  Have something engaging, funny or intelligent to say.  You don’t have to be a brainiac, but at least be interesting!  And friendly!   And does nobody CALL anyone anymore?  Everything is text, text, text.  I like to text as much as the next person, but, can you take the initiative to call somebody and have a real conversation?  Or when I call you, don’t be weirded out!

Also, I think there should be a course taught on what to do if you face rejection.  Because when compatibility is lacking, and one of the two people is not feeling the same connection, rejection inevitably occurs.  And it hurts.  But, many times there are people who get angry or defensive or unstable when the attraction is not mutual.  I feel like there should be widespread teaching on healthy ways to deal with rejection, because it happens.  It sucks, but, it’s part of life.]

So, back to the topic…  I (and many of my friends) are left wading through the wasteland of options, waiting for something that looks remotely compatible, and intermittently trying dating only to be disappointed by the aforementioned examples and issues.  What is the answer?  No clue.  No clue at all.  But, I’d still like to find someone.  I’m not the type to give up even though currently the pickings are super slim.

I’ll keep you posted… 🙂

Kay Dee

©2019 I AM KAYDEE “Single Woman Seeks Serious Relationship”

photo:  meme / author unknown

Invisible Writer

I notice that since I haven’t blogged regularly or consistently in quite some time, my readership has gone down to zero (or maybe one friend who reads just because they’re my friend). This business of being a deep thinker, feeler, writer, sharer of ideas seems to be a pretty thankless one, unless of course, you’re wildly famous. Who knows, maybe I will be one day. 🙂

I must be getting old (haha) because while I see the relevance of social media, I also see the potential poison of it. You have to use it carefully, lest you’re swept up into checking it multiple times each HOUR just to see if someone posted something new. It is addicting. Not good. Also, there is so much moronic content on social media…I can’t take it sometimes. There is also a lot of good, but, you have to really hone in on it.

Social media caters to short attention spans (maybe even exacerbates them if already present). So, the more thoughtful content (larger pieces of writing that you actually have to READ) can get passed by. Maybe I need to pick more engaging content to write about?? But, I feel like the human condition is plenty relatable and seems like it should be more apt to garner more interest than it does.

I find myself a bit cynical and bitter that my writings are only read if I post about salsa dancing (my other blog). While I adore dancing, I tire of writing about it. I’d much rather write about the day to day struggles we all face and hopefully encourage someone along the way. So, for now, I am a bit invisible. Hopefully the more I write, the more folks I’ll connect with who have similar interests and focus.

©2019 I AM KAYDEE “Invisible Writer”

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

God’s Painful Grace

There was a time when I believed God’s grace to be something that was always comforting, always miraculous, always a blissfully joyful thing to experience. And it IS all of those things, but not always. Yes, God’s grace has brought me to thankful tears. God’s grace has brought relief and happiness to my heart. God’s grace has overwhelmed me as a loving force that cannot quite be put into words, where I’ve simply felt waves of love washing over me.

But, recently, as I have reflected on some very pivotal moments in my life, I’ve come to also notice a pattern of what I’ll call “painful grace”. This often comes in the form of shattered dreams, a broken heart, a lost job and the like. And it’s not until you’ve come completely out of the situation and (significant) time has passed, and the heart is open for lessons to be gleaned from the experience, that you realize that it was God’s grace at work in those difficult moments also.

At the time, we can rarely see it as grace, because we’re in the throes of pain and disappointment. We’re grieving, lamenting, mourning. It’s difficult to see clearly when we’re in the middle of grappling with the “why” and “how” of our agonizing experiences. But, in hindsight, we can see God’s hand of grace in those very situations.

Later, after the fact, we see that God’s grace in our losing that job was that He was moving us out of our comfort zone, or perhaps removing us from a place with no growth opportunity, or maybe removing us from a toxic work environment so that we could move onto the next opportunity that He had for us. If we’d not have been ‘moved’ from that position, we might have remained in a place of stagnancy and/or missed out on the next chapter God had for us for career growth and change.

After the fact, we see that God’s grace in that failed relationship was Him moving us out of an unhealthy situation, or saving us from a lifetime commitment with a toxic person, or saving us from a situation were we’d have been ill-matched or not truly valued.  However, by His grace, He ‘moved’ us out of that situation so that we could be free to move into a place of self-growth and healing, and/or into a place of preparation for a better future relationship.

After the fact, we can see that God’s grace in that failed business or shattered dream was Him repositioning us. He was re-routing us to an even greater purpose and more fulfilling dream. That ‘failure’ caused us to rethink life, upgrade our perspective, and brainstorm a new, more innovative plan or idea than we would’ve thought of if we’d have not experienced that failure. I once heard Bishop TD Jakes saying something to the effect of – ‘what if our failures are really our gateways to the next phase of our purpose?!’ [paraphrased]

Ohhh, God’s painful grace! We do not readily embrace it. We fight it. We even hate it, because at the time it does not seem like grace… It only feels like pain. But, if our hand is in God’s hand, shouldn’t we trust Him to lead us through this process? To refine us? To grow us? Even if at times His grace is painful?

©2019 Life Together with Kay Dee, “God’s Painful Grace”

photo credit: morguefile.com

Life

Life is multifaceted.
We juggle wants and needs, responsibility and desires, practicality and extravagance,
and everything in between.
We give large parts of ourselves to different things at different times.
It’s easy to feel like life is a constant struggle for balance.
Many times we tend to feel as though we’re wasting our time with mundane responsibilities,
often feeling trapped by them.
But, BEAUTY is not only found in the things that spark joy and passion in us.
Beauty can also be found in the daily grind, in the fulfilling of our duties, in the handling of our responsibilities.
We show up. We work hard. We provide for families. We care for loved ones.
There is honor in that. And we must include it in the totality of who we are.
Our lives ebb and flow, twist and turn, are unbalanced and balanced again.
We have seasons where certain things take up more space in our lives than others.
Sometimes things we want to do or be are delayed due to these life circumstances.

But, that doesn’t mean that we can never have those things or dreams that spark joy in us?
We absolutely can! But we must be mindful of the full picture. The fruition of things is often seasonal and the timing is rarely in our control.

Life is not one thing OR another. It is the summation of all things together. So, when we look at life, we should not define it by just ONE thing, aspect or season only.

Maybe life is less about “settling for mediocrity” or resigning ourselves to our “lot in life”.
Likewise, maybe it’s less about being fulfilled only if we have everything we want.
Instead, maybe it’s more about embracing the WHOLE experience, in all its many facets.
Maybe it’s about redefining our expectations of what life “should be” and embracing ALL of what it is.
Maybe it’s about recognizing and respecting the season we’re in, and flowing WITH it, not against it.

@i.am.kaydee
©2019 Life Together with Kay Dee “Life” by Kay Dee

Ode To Parenting

Parenting by Kay Dee (@i.am.kaydee)

Parenting is never boring! It’s the adventure that keeps on giving (even sometimes when you wish it wouldn’t. Lol.)  And if we’re receptive (have open hearts) we can learn so much from the experience.

Children, no matter the age, have this uncanny way of causing us to face ourselves…a humbling experience I assure you. They also have the ability to draw out of us a love so deep and so strong that the intensity of that love often surprises us.

Although there are a multitude of resources available on the subject of parenting, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for being the perfect parent. You will make mistakes. It’s just a fact. But, you will also do many things right. You will learn many lessons as a parent, so, be open to the process.  In parenting, you will learn to rediscover through your child’s eyes the innocence, the awe and the wonder of this world. You’ll also find that there are often times you have to:  eat our own words, apologize, be firm (though you may want to do the opposite), let go (as they grow), be supportive (even when you don’t agree), and spend thankless hours cooking, cleaning, driving (chauffeuring), nursing sickness, consoling hurt feelings or broken hearts, and so much more.  You will at times be too hard on your kids, and at times too soft (enabling).  It takes a while to find a balance.  Don’t be too hard on yourself.  At times, you will be underappreciated and overly stressed. You’ll wonder how you will make it through certain situations, but, hang in there.  Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint.

In their teen years, you may wonder what ‘alien being’ snatched your little love muffin and replaced them with a ‘meany-pants’ that you may often want to run and tackle for being mouthy or attitudinal. In these years you will re-learn what it is to love them unconditionally.  They will need that love (even if they act like they don’t). I promise your love muffin will return…but it will take some time, so, hunker down and gather reinforcements (i.e. other parents who can relate, fun hobbies to reduce stress, counseling, etc.) as you weather the teen years.  If you are fortunate enough to have an uncommonly pleasant teen, count your blessings and know that is not the norm. Lol. Teen years are an onslaught of hormones they’re trying to figure out how to manage, plus they’re learning how to assert their independence.  This is the season when much negotiating will go on.  Stand firm on some things, be more lenient on others.  Pick your battles.  Slowly begin to allow them to be independent people to begin to prepare them for young adulthood.

Lastly, sometimes there will be hurt or offense or misunderstanding between you and your children during this parenting journey.  But, there will also be opportunities to mend fences, apologize, talk, heal.  Take those opportunities! Do not let them pass by.  Your children will need you differently at different phases of their lives, but, they still need you.  Here’s to parenthood.  Much love!

~ Kay Dee

copyright 2018, ‘Ode to Parenting’ by Kay Dee for Life Together with Kaydee / and @i.am.kaydee IG

images: pixabay