I’m In Awe

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I’m so in awe.
Why?
Well, I’ll tell you.
I know everyone who reads this doesn’t necessarily have the same outlook or beliefs and that’s okay.
But, here’s my story…

I’m continually in awe of God. It never fails in my life that God does something awesome at the exact time that I need it.
A long while ago, I spoke of a cleaning person who works at my place of employment. I should say – a cleaning person cleverly disguised as an encourager. What she had to say to me today, I needed to hear. You see, I’ve been having some tough personal times. (i.e. Single mom raising teens. ‘Nuff said.) My personal faith is Christian. I don’t try to force it on anyone. But, I like to tell my life experiences in hopes that I can help or encourage someone else.

Anywho, as any parent, I want the best for my kids. Funny thing is…when you’re a kid, you think you know it all. Do you remember thinking that you were invincible? Yep, that was me. Do you remember thinking that your parents didn’t know squat? Yep, me. Do you remember being a “jive turkey” (as my grandpa used to say) when you were so full of yourself and needed taking down a peg or two? Yep, I remember. Then at some point in your late teens, early 20’s your brain returns to you and you realize you were being a jerk most of the time without even realizing it. You just thought you were “normal”.  You then begin to appreciate and respect your parents. THEN one day in the future….(insert scary music)…you become a parent yourself and when talking to your kids, you’re like “OMG I sound like my mother/father/grandma (whomever raised you)”. You have this epiphany when you realize via your own kids’ behavior, how you must’ve treated your own parents. Yuuup…since becoming a parent I’ve called my mom and apologized a few times. She laughed this laugh as if to say, “Now you understand.” Indeed. Now I understand. And the teen years… are their own animal. Period.

During the teen years your kids are trying to figure out who they are, assert independence and break from the mold, all the while with hormones making their moods change constantly. The mood swings are … yowzers! At this phase, as a parent, you often feel as though you’re trying to navigate a mine field with a blindfold on. You want your kids to grow up to become good citizens, responsible adults and all around good people who make good choices. The reality, I’m finding is that, unless you have the uncommonly “golden” child, you WILL go through some twists and turns as you’re trying to help your child make it through the unstable land of teen-ville to the hopefully more steady land of young adult-ville.

Mistakes will be made on both sides. It’s inevitable. And I’m learning that as your children make mistakes, you need to learn to let them take responsibility for the consequences. I’m also learning that as a parent, you can teach your children all of the “right” things to do, but, that doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily do them. And it’s not necessarily a reflection on you as a parent.

Good times, right?

Well, how does the cleaning person fit into this story? Glad you asked. As I sat at my desk while on a break at work, reading a parenting book, I was thinking about how to help one of my children with a particular issue. I then decided I needed a break from my desk and proceeded to the break room. Who was in there? The sweet lady who happens to clean our building. I asked how she was doing and she said she was doing fine. Her facial expression seemed to differ from her verbal answer. So, I asked again. She said to me, “I’m fine” with a little smile. And she proceeded to tell me that she was learning to live a focused life for God and release the things that she couldn’t control. There were some trying times she’d had to go through, but, with God’s help she made it through the various hurdles. As a result, she was learning to NOT allow people’s actions or speech to dictate her outlook or mood, nor to get her all flustered and distracted. She told me “you cannot control other people’s actions, decisions or behaviors.” It’s out of your hands. But you can control your own. And she was/is choosing to remain focused on what she believes is her life’s mission, to minister life & encouragement to other people for God.

How does this relate to me? Well, as I’ve been parenting my teenage children, I’ve gone through a gamut of emotions and situations. I’ve wanted, to a large degree, to control the outcome of my kids’ growth and “make” them into model citizens and good people, to protect them from mistakes and help them make the right decisions MOST of the time. But…that’s not how real life works. In real life, you go through hard times. You go through challenging situations. You watch your kids do stupid things. You also watch them make good choices sometimes. But, life is unpredictable. People are unpredictable. And no matter how much you love and guide and direct your children, you cannot control the outcome of their lives, nor the choices they make. Speaking with the cleaning person at my job, helped me to remember that God is in control. I don’t have to worry about every trouble or disappointment where my kids are concerned. I will parent them to the best of my ability and as far as the rest, I will attempt to “remain focused” on the fact that I’m doing the best I know to do and being the best parent I know how to be. I will try not take it personally when my children do something that’s not-the-best. I cannot control these individual human beings. I can only guide them and instruct them…and of course, love them. For the rest, I leave in God’s hands and rest in the peace He gives. He is watching over them.

© 2014 KD Corner / KD – “I’m In Awe”

photo credit – blogs.webtrends.com

Come See A Man

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“Come see a man who told me everything I ever did….” – John 4:29a

Even in the midst of our mess, God talks to us.  We are not forgotten.
The story from which I took this quote, is a story where Christ asks a woman for water to drink – a woman who he wasn’t supposed to talk to, according to Jewish customs – and proceeds to reveal to her in a loving way, the mess in her life. Not to make her feel bad. But so He could help her change it for the better. Oh, there are so many points I could bring out with this passage. But, I’d like to concentrate on this…

God knows where we are.
He loves us anyway.
He comes to help us.

He knows our struggles, failures, ‘white lies’, big fat lies, compromises, lack of faith, when we turn away from him, etc.
But, if we come to God, he doesn’t leave us hanging. The answer may not be instantaneous, but it comes.
And it often comes at a time when we’re most likely to pay attention.

This has happened for me today.
I’ve been in a prolonged season/period of testing, trials, etc.
I’ve gone through the gamut of emotions, bargaining, reasoning, getting angry, rebelling, denial, etc.
Most recently, as I continued to go to church (at least once a week), and read my bible (though not every day), and pray (alllllll of the time…although I’m pretty sure that a lot of it was just complaining), God has really been kind to speak to me.

Last week I heard a message about the life of King David. The point was brought out that though the beginning of David’s pathway to kingship may have seemed obscure, pointless, and like a long winding road….God had a purpose for each place in his journey toward becoming King. It was THEN, God opened my understanding to realize that all I have been through and all that I’m enduring now has a purpose….an ultimate end…a reason bigger than myself.

I have finally begun to come to a place of “contentment”. The bible says “be content in whatever state you’re in” (Phil. 4:11). I was fighting this lesson tooth and nail. I’d already done the ‘contentment thing’. It was time for a change! Time for blessing! I had BIG DREAMS that needed to come true IMMEDIATELY! I had God-given dreams!  Enough is enough (I reasoned)! I was trying and praying and clawing and grasping and determined to MAKE the dreams happen. But, I was blocked every time. God would encourage me TO dream, but, I had my OWN agenda and way that I thought things should be going…especially at this point in life.
But then, He began to speak to me about contentment. FINALLY I’m beginning to receive it.

Then TODAY, I heard the ending of a radio program that addressed this very thing. Ohhhhh, how I needed it. This spoke DIRECTLY to me. God used this woman on the radio program and told me ‘everything I ever did’. In essence, He reached me right where I was (am).  It was perfect timing to really strengthen and undergird what God has recently been revealing to me and re-teaching me about life, timing, trials, contentment. I really needed to hear this because recently I’d begun to become disillusioned as I thought my life should be “better” by now.  My sins of impatience and forging ahead with my OWN plan (instead of flowing with God’s plan) were exposed.   And through this radio program, I gladly received the healing balm of the words being spoken. The message of love not only convicted me, but comforted me (to know I was not alone), and strengthened me (to know I’m on the right track, learning to be content and trust God in the midst of difficult situations, trust His ways & timing). God says His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9).  “In this world, you WILL have trouble. But TAKE HEART (that is, be encouraged!), I (Christ) have OVERCOME THE WORLD!” And if we trust in Him, we too, with Him, have also overcome. Remember this whole thing has a bigger purpose than you can imagine. ♥

Here is the link to the radio program I heard. PLEASE LISTEN AND BE BLESSED.
If you want to skip all of the beginning talk, to get to the ‘meat’ of the program, it starts at 6:25.
>> Interview with Dr. Lina Abujamra <<
The speaker / author is Dr. Lina Abujamra.
Her book is “Stripped: When God’s Call Turns from ‘YES’ to ‘Why Me?'”. Title…so apropos.

Be blessed and refreshed as with a drink of cool water in a parched and weary land! Love to all!

© 2013 “Come See A Man” by KD Corner / K.D.

Build On It!

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What are you already doing? Build on it!

So many times we become discouraged in the work we’re doing. Perhaps it hasn’t yielded the ‘crop’ or the ‘dream’ that we envisioned or expected, but, does that mean it’s not growing? No! Now, the exception would be if you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that something is dead/not growing/not producing. That’s different. BUT, If you know it’s not dead, then, KEEP YOUR DREAM ALIVE! I submit to you that: SLOW growth doesn’t mean NO Growth, so keep going!!!

Sometimes it takes a time of rest and some new perspective to fully see the impact that you’re having on this world. For instance, I have this blog and a few blogs on Facebook, and I try to post inspirational messages & helpful information. I have a fledgling business and also am in the process of writing a couple of books. I began to become somewhat discouraged because I didn’t feel like I was seeing the fruits of my labor. Were people being positively impacted? The responses have been sparse, but there. Will my books make a difference? Will my business take off? Etc.

But, God really opened my eyes to see that YES the impact is THERE. You cannot always SEE the rewards of your labor right away. How does a plant grow from a seed? First you must plant the seed in the soil, water and care for it and WAIT. Then the seed sprouts and you must fertilize and water it, and make sure the plant receives sunlight. It grows. But you have to keep taking care of it. It doesn’t spring up into a massive, leafy, lush, gorgeous plant overnight! No. BUT with steady care and time it WILL if you don’t give up!  Remember, it may be a slow process, but you are STILL PROGRESSING. Baby steps are better than no steps at all. 🙂  Steady progress is progress.

So, my question to you is this?
What are you doing right now? What are you doing that perhaps you’ve let languish or perhaps the fizzle has gone out of due to discouragement? Let me tell you something…WHAT YOU’RE DOING MAKES A DIFFERENCE EVEN IF YOU CAN’T SEE IT YET.

BUILD on what you started. In due season, in due time, you will see the impact you’re doing/making.
And don’t despise the day of small beginnings. People are watching you. People are being impacted by your words and your love and your care and your giving of yourself. They may not always say it, but, trust me, they are feeling the positive effects of what you’re giving.
“Do not despise the day of small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin” (Zech. 4:10).
And when you DO get those 1 or 2 people who come to you and say “Hey, what you said really helped me” or “Thanks you brought a smile to my face”, then REJOICE! YOU ARE MAKING AN IMPACT. And impacts reverberate! Like a pebble dropped into a large body of water, impacts have a RIPPLE EFFECT! Yes!

Keep going!
Love to y’all!

© 2013 KD Corner “Build On It!”
Photo Credit: google / visualphotos.com

You Are NOT Forgotten

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I’ve been having a rough few days. What about you? Well, if you ‘feel me’ (understand / can relate), then this is for you. In the midst of my discouragement I really sensed as if God was impressing upon me the following:

-Don’t be discouraged
-Have faith!
-You are not forgotten

He brought back to mind a song by Israel Houghton:
I AM NOT FORGOTTEN
Picked me right up!
God is awesome like that.
He is a very present help in time of need.

So, with that being said, here is today’s poem. And at the end is the link for the song I mentioned.

You Are Not Forgotten- by K.D.

Bowed down
Crouched down
Burdened down
Looking down
Weighed down
By life’s trials and troubles and such
Feeling as if
Your body, you cannot straighten
Your burden, you can’t bear
Your weight, you cannot carry
Your gaze, you cannot lift
Crying out to God
For relief
Does he hear?
Does he care?
Deep within you know the answer
But it doesn’t relieve the pain of the moment
It doesn’t quell the cries radiating from your soul
And then
As if on cue
A ray of light
Shines on the ground
So that even in your hunched over state
You can see it
It reminds you that light does exist
And it dares lift your gaze to its source
You begin to look up toward the Light
It reminds you that
There is a sky
There are birds flying and chirping their melodies
There are trees waving in the breeze
There is life all around you
There are people around you
And You are not alone
What’s more
You are not forgotten
Even in your bent over condition
God met you there
He shone his light
In a place where you could see it
And reminded you
He is here
He has not forgotten you
Though your trials seem endless
They do have a resolution
Your labor is not in vain
Your faith is not in vain
Your hope has a purpose
Your dreams are not dead
Your prayers have not fallen on deaf ears
You are loved beyond measure
You are going to make it through this to the other side
And when you do
Remember to praise God
Remember to pay it forward
Your trials are not for you alone
They are for you to reach back your hand and
Help others forward
Amen

Video Link – I Am Not Forgotten – by Isreal & New Breed  It’s upbeat – so get ready to dance along 🙂

© 2013 KD Corner – “You Are Not Forgotten” Blog / Poem

photo credit: morguefile.com “mantasmagorical”

How Long…?

girl waiting

Waiting is not my strong suit.  As a matter of fact, I’m awful at it.  Yes, I’ve posted about ‘waiting’ before, but, I need to post again.  It helps me. 🙂

The most annoying thing about waiting is…well…waiting.  Here are some examples:

  • Waiting in line…why can’t they open another line?
  • Waiting to get around the person in front of you who is driving like a turtle…why do they always show up when I’m in a hurry?
  • Waiting for your kids to get out of the bathroom….what in the WORLD could they be doing in there for so long?
  • Waiting for someone you’re picking up…who never comes out of the house on time.
  • Waiting for your food to get done cooking…and even the microwave is too slow, so you take your food out with 3 seconds to spare.

These are every day waits.
How about deeper ones?

  • Waiting on your wayward child to come back home…
  • Waiting for your loved one to come back from Iraq (or other)…
  • Waiting for your divorce to be final after a long, exhausting, depleting journey…
  • Waiting for a girlfriend/boyfriend, wife/husband to come into your life…
  • Waiting for a new job opportunity to open up, since you’ve been searching and searching…
  • Waiting to for the pain to dissipate after the loss/ending of a relationship…

Waiting is hard.  And sometimes the only way to get through it is to GO THROUGH it.

It hurts, it’s annoying, it’s unpleasant and it seems to take FOREVER!!!  It takes you back to being a little kid in the back seat of the car during a long family road trip asking, “Are we THERE yet?” “Is it time yet?”

Maybe you’ve been praying for something and the answer God placed in your heart was not “yes” and not “no”, but instead, “Wait, my child.” Fabulous.  You’re okay with it at first.  You resolve within yourself to wait it out, knowing that in time, the fruition or completion of whatever you’re waiting for will come into being.  So, the days pass…and the weeks…and the months….that turn into years.  Now, you’re getting restless.  And prayers that started out like “God, I trust you. Whatever you want to do is fine with me.  You’re faithful” eventually turn into “Um…God…Are you there? Do you even hear me? Where are you, by the way?  Don’t you care? What’s taking you so long?” 

I know you’ve never prayed like that, but, I have.  All the while God is a loving heavenly father is saying, “patience”. 

Since I’ve been a parent for some years now, I always end up reflecting on this same example with my own children.  Maybe they ask for something special or want to go on a special trip, but, for whatever reason (financial, schedule conflicts, or for a lesson learned) they have to wait.  They don’t understand why waiting is necessary, but, you as the parent know that it is.  You watch them grapple with the idea of waiting and with the amount of time it takes before their request becomes reality.  As a parent, sometimes it’s hard to watch your child wait, but, you know that for whatever reason, it is best and/or necessary.  So it is with God, I believe. He sees and knows all.  He knows that some things, if received too soon, would end up disastrous.  So, we must wait.  At just the right time, it will happen however He sees fit.  Perhaps there are certain things that need to be put in place or removed or altered first.  Perhaps God is working on other people’s hearts … people who will have a direct connection to the fruition of your request.  God is working behind the scenes to put every detail in place.

If you’re waiting for an uncertain outcome, I think it is definitely difficult to trust that God knows what is best, especially if things do not end up turning out as we hope.  It’s a tough place to be.  I wish I could give you an easy solution, but, I cannot.  Trusting God in uncertain circumstances is challenging.  If things turn out favorably, it’s easy to praise God.  If they do not, it’s very hard to understand to trust God.  But, I do know that God cares about you and everything you’re going through.  Even in unfavorable circumstances, He never abandons you.  There are things we may not understand until we come into God’s presence when our lives here are complete. But, I encourage you to get around strong people in the faith to pray with you and help/advise you in this season.  Even seek out quality, professional counseling if needed. Our faith in God is tried in hard times, but, I pray that you come out on the other side of this stronger in your faith than you were before.  And please, allow yourself the space to grieve any painful outcome.  It’s okay to ask God “why?” And if you’re angry with God, he can handle your anger.  The one thing I know is that He will never leave you.  Not now. Not ever. 

If you are waiting for the results or completion or healing from something painful, we must trust that God sees us and knows what we feel.  He is close to the brokenhearted. [Psalm 34:18]  We must remind ourselves that God cares and is indeed near to us, even carrying us in the midst of our pain and will bring us to a place of healing and peace.  But, there tend to be ‘layers’ of healing that we must experience, and layers take time.  Throughout our healing journey, there are important lessons He teaches us.  I have found from my painful experiences that God has brought me closer to himself.  Because of what I experienced, it has allowed me to empathize with others who are going through similar situations, where I wouldn’t have been able to empathize before.  And so, God helps me to reach out and plant seeds of healing and love into others’ lives.  There’s a part in the Bible that says God “…comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” [2 Corinthians 1:4 MSG version].  

So, we must continue to wait and trust.  But always remember that you are never alone in your waiting or your trial.  There are always other people who are going through similar situations.  It helps if we link up with others to keep each other encouraged.  This outlet (WordPress) is one good way (among many) to connect with others and gain support.  There are other outlets such as social media (which can be used for good), support groups, church groups, etc.  So, please be encouraged.  Let the smile return to your face and let the hope return to your heart!  Whatever you’re waiting for will happen in God’s timing and in His way.  He is watching over you and will never abandon you.  He has good plans for you.  [Jeremiah 29:11]