Transpiring Praise


His presence is heavy like dense summer air

Can be cut by a knife,

But melts flesh like butter,

Soft and pliable to His touch,

Changing and transforming,

Shape shifting into the Image.

I’m not the same.

His presence accumulates like moisture into clouds

And rains down on thirsty ground

Dry and next to dead,

Parched and desperate

Cloudburst ready, downpour welcome.

Hard heart softens.

I am ready for plowing.

The washing of the water of His Word

Cleanses seeds long ago sown

Nourishing roots to the tip

Building strength to endure

Harsh realities of sunshine and heat

Leaving reservoir to sip for everyday enjoyment.

I grow up full and overflowing.

Overflowing with thanks like a cup under faucet

Brimming with More Than Enough

That is Him. Till I spill over

On others and water that transpires into vapors

Of praise rising up into Heaven

With once parched lips singing

Praise to the only One Who satisfies.

I will never have enough.

Unexpected Epiphany

I sat in an auditorium chair; nervous but expectant. This was the first writer’s conference that afforded me appointments with publishers, agents and published authors. Fifteen minutes. How could I possibly communicate my ideas in a mere fifteen minutes? I sat in a chair next to Suzie Eller. This was different than the other meetings, because we belonged to the same community. The blogging community.

So I told her my dilemma. How I’ve been blogging, and writing a novel and now God throws in this twist…Executive Director of a non-profit organization…me? How does a retired home school mama find herself here? And what if I have to quit blogging? What if I never finish the book I’ve spent three years on?

She smiled, and calmly asked in her charming southern drawl, “What is your blog about, Kimberly?”

“I don’t really know, I guess it’s about finding out more about me and how I can influence my world for Him.”

“Do you realize that you’ve used the word ‘influence’ three times in this conversation?” She paused for effect. “What if I told you that it may not be important whether you ever get a book published or not? Whether you continue blogging or not? Clearly the thing that motivates you is to influence the world around you for Christ. However the Lord has you doing that is His business, wouldn’t you agree?”

I felt dizzy. How did this sweet lady figure me out better than I had figured myself out in less than ten minutes? I was struck dumb.

It’s amazing how epiphany bolts through like a bullet train, changing perspective and destiny. I can’t say that there has ever been a conversation that I can look back to that has caused such instant clarity before or since. And after meditating on Suzie’s wise words I realize that there was also wisdom in what I said that this place was all about…”finding out more about me and how I can influence my world for Him.” I guess I just didn’t expect what I found out about myself, or the way that the Lord would have me to influence others.

Epiphany changes the filter on the camera lens you are peering through. Even though the objects haven’t changed, the light in which you view them alters everything. I am called to influence, but how I influence may not be the same filter I saw myself using…and I am learning to leave all preconceptions at the door, because they are rarely what He has planned. What He has planned is usually much bigger.


Four Guidelines to Choosing A Mentor


We were never meant to walk through life alone, and mentors can help us through our struggles. God is always with us, and he wants us to be involved in each other’s lives, being encouragers of one another. As Proverbs 1:5 instructs, “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.”

I was going through a very ugly divorce, something I never expected to do. I felt alone, worthless, and vulnerable.

My usually neat home and car were so disorganized and messy that a friend thought my place had been ransacked and the police pulled me over because they thought I was living in my car. Everything was out of sorts. I had a great many friends who let me cry on their shoulder and who would defend me to the end. But it took the words of a mentor to pull myself out of this mess.

“Kim,” she said, “Someone came to me about the way you are keeping house. I know that your environment at home is only reflecting how you feel on the inside, but you must sort through your feelings and your home. After all, you have your son to think about. Would you like me to get some girls together to help you?”

I wanted to run and hide. I was naked and ashamed.

Friend, will you join me for the rest of the story?

When My Flesh Explodes

photo by Patrick Hoesly

Everything is changing
and no one wants to talk about it.
This makes my anger flare with my nose.

I’m angry because I am the therMOMeter in the house
and it’s up to me to make it all work
and do it all with a good attitude
but I can’t when we don’t talk
and I feel furious and confused and out of control
and I’m not loving it.

The temperature is getting hot
like the lava livid lake of fire
in my gut that wants to spill out on everyone and everything
until they all retreat to their respective rooms
afraid of the smoking volcano that is me.

It doesn’t matter what was said or done,
my RESPONSibility is to RESPOND
the way that He wants and to be very honest that makes me mad too.

Everyone else can explode,
and I am to forgive and forget
but when I finally spill over then I’m the one with the problem-
a sorry excuse for a human being.

Why do I always have to be the grown up?
I want to stomp and pout like a toddler
thrashing on floor until I’m too tired to continue.

Half-way apologies bring the whole thing to a crescendo
and now my behavior is worse than anyone’s
and so any point I might have had is now moot.

It’s too late to act right the first time,
and I’m still feeling a little too stubborn to make it right
yet I feel His breeze in my soul cooling the fires of hell with a calm sea.

A friend randomly posts this scripture
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
and I can not deny that His voice is speaking
but will I listen?

I don’t even know how to do good
and so I’m asking You to show me and to
help me not to give up anything but myself.

I look around me and the grenade that
I’ve ignited has left wounded everywhere
and I wonder where the medics are and if they can do anything.

His voice whispers in my ear
that He’s given me the balm of Gilead
but I must bow my knee in humility and apply it to those who have been hurt by my words.

There are bits of flesh everywhere
and I realize that most of it comes from me
for I’ve swallowed the explosive and hurt myself more than anyone.

I open a gift from a real live author
and read, “God, heal the parts of me that don’t want to be healed.”
So I breathe in a God-breath and beg to be cleansed.

Because when wounds are not cleaned
they become infected and infested
but the water of His Word stings as it heals my wounds of self-affliction.

I am healed, but left with scars
and I hope that they serve to remind me
of the ugliness of my past so that I can cultivate the inner beauty of kindness.

Create in me a clean heart, o Lord.
And renew a right spirit in me.
Cast me not away from your presence, o Lord
Return unto me the joy of your salvation.

Linking arms with Emily:

Joining D’Verse Poets

Eulogy to the Death of A Role Part Deux

Almost a year ago, I wrote about the death of the role of mother. Of course I will always be a mother to my three children, but not in the same, every day, home school, stay-at-home mom way that I’ve been for the past nineteen years. You see, I’m enrolling my youngest into college…and in the flurry of excitement, visiting schools, filling out FASFA’s, scholarship applications and auditions, I hardly have time to feel anything…at least until the house is empty and all I can hear is the dog snoring and the refrigerator running. Because now, I am alone with my thoughts, much like the day I realized that I was the mother of an eighteen year old, I grieve. But this is far worse, all that there is left to who I was before motherhood and home schooling is a shadow.

I have heard mothers scoff at the place I find myself in. I have heard them criticize ladies before me who have wrestled with this identity crisis. They have whispered behind the back of this pained one, “That’s why I don’t believe in home education. If her focus was more on her husband, she wouldn’t be so lost right now. Home schooling is far too child centered, and not nearly enough helpmate centered.” I hope that our choice to educate our children and everything else that we have done was Christ centered and not people centered at all.

My husband recently lost his job; a job that he loved dearly. He anguished over it, and grieved over the fact that he was no longer associated with this company that he so loved and admired…and he only worked there for 2 years! I have been on this journey for almost ten times longer than he has, and yet no one blames him or thinks that he’s silly for feeling disappointed, and maybe even a little depressed. After much thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s normal to be saddened at the end of a journey. It’s kind of like the let down you feel when you come home from vacation, or after all of the Christmas presents have been opened; the “what now?” feeling.

I suddenly have all of this time on my hands, and I don’t want to fill it with just anything. I don’t want to give over my future to the first thing that comes along. So I guess in addition to grief, I feel a little anxiety, like a girl just out of high school who is deciding whether to get married or go to college. I mean this is the rest of my life, I must choose wisely! And though the feeling may be similar to the high schooler, I don’t have as much time to fix it if I make a mistake.

In the midst of all of this confusion, I do feel a glimmer of hope and excitement. I know that when I acknowledge Him…He will direct my paths. And His paths always drip with abundance. My prayer is that I don’t bend under the pressure of uncertainty, but rather that I bow humbly offering my life to His Majesty knowing that He has plans for me, and that they are good. So now I’ll encourage myself like David did. Stay still, and know that He is God. Don’t bend, but bow, these must be the words I choose to live by. For I am out of control, and let me tell you I’m not loving it. However, deep inside my heart I know that this is the only place to be; the place where his hand turns my heart like a compass to new lands and adventures planned out, just for me.

Grace That Runs Deep

Grace is a simply complex concept.
Some spend it indulgently on things they desire
…but that the Father does not.
And grace runs deep,
even when we are shallow.
There are others, depending on grace,
leaning on grace,
living on the manna of “what is it?”,
daring to because even our goodness is failure,
and that grace runs deeper still.

Deep in our veins
Deep in our vitals
Deep in our hearts,
and dear God I hope
more and more often
Deep in our mouths.

Grace wasn’t cheap for Him.
It cost Him everything.
Yet there are those who cheapen it,
spending it on willful, on-purpose, sin.
They say, “I am free to do this, God’s grace has covered it.”
And it has.
But that grace is cheapened,
the way a pure virgin gives what is once-in-a-lifetime precious
in a cheap hotel
on prom night.
The time and condition seems “right”,
but emptiness follows.
For the life of one who cheapens grace refuses to be changed by it.
And this was never God’s intention.
The changing agent,
this pearl of great price,
was expected to be worn by His Bride
like a ring of promise
remembering that
we are His.  we belong together.
And love like that drives us to please.
To Please our kind lover.

And a river runs through it,
runs through a life changed by grace.
Cutting through rocks and valleys,
creating canyons and fertile crescents.
A place of beauty, changed by the power
of rushing waters.
The rushing waters called grace.

Linking with beautiful Emily at:

And Ann at:

And Lovely Laura at:

And Beautiful Shanda:

The Blueprint of Your Life.

The lights are dim in the room. Dark walls accentuate the bright lights in the small chapel provided for the Saturday evening Contemporary Service. Leaders assemble an hour before starting time to be encouraged about their role in this dark world, and the young man speaks. He speaks to them about the name of this leadership meeting, Blueprint. He shares with them the process of making a blueprint, and their perspective changes. My “old heart” changes, because of these young ones.

He tell us that it all starts with a master planner. This architect or draftsman draws the plans he has for his project onto tracing paper. The final product is only a dream at that point, but he plans nonetheless, knowing that an action with no plan often causes more problems than no action at all.

He then takes a special white paper that has been treated with an inorganic chemical and places the tracing paper over the tainted paper.

Next, he shines a light onto the the tracing paper. Although a chemical process happens, it is invisible to the human eye until he chemically treats the paper a second time. This causes the light exposed areas to turn blue, while his plans remain white.

Isn’t this how it is in our lives dear friend? Our Master Planner has made a blueprint for our lives. He’s promised us each a plan of our own. (Jeremiah 29:11) He has drawn it out before we were born. But sin entered our lives, just like the inorganic or unnatural chemical on the “blank” paper. When we allow the plan of God (the tracing paper) to cover our sin, and His Word (the light), to penetrate our lives, it leaves a mark. Even if you can’t see it at first, it makes an lasting imprint. Eventually, after we’ve been continually washed in his Word, the light exposes our sin, but it exposes His plans for us as well.

So I have one question for you…Will you allow His plan to cover the sin drenched paper of your life? Will you allow him to make a beautiful sanctuary out of your life? Will you expose yourself to the light of His Word, even if it may be painful?

What kind of building results from an unplanned plan? Is it built on sand? A wise man counts the cost before he begins to build. God your Father and Master Planner has counted the cost for your life. He’s made a plan. The plan He made for you cost Him everything, so that you could become His beautiful treasure here on earth, His masterpiece, His work of art.

For more information on the process of a blueprint, click here.

Giving thanks with Ann today:

#41 – I am thankful for the most beautiful autumn I’ve ever experienced. It demands my attention.

#42 – So grateful for shorter days suggesting more rest and cozy nights of reading at home.

#43 – My husband, who always finds a silver lining

#44 – For my new doctor who encouraged me with, “You must live each day as a gift.” Wow!

#45 – That I get to be a servant to my sweet family.

#46 – For Dr. Renner sharing so freely with our congregation

#47 – For the 21 pieces of missing luggage being found for our Haiti missions team.

Linking with dear Michelle and Jen and Laura and Shanda:

Books That Have Shaped My Life – The Series

The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.  ~James Bryce

My mother and I have a saying.  When someone seems to have an odd viewpoint, or they seem to be shallow in some way, we excuse their lack of depth by saying, “They haven’t read the same books we have.”  I’m sure many people could say the same thing about us in several areas.

The wonderful thing about books is that you have the whole of a person inside of them.  They contain another person’s thoughts, feelings, wisdom, faults, frustrations, fears and everything else that makes a person uniquely them.

Each Monday, I am going to write about a book that has designed the tapestry of my life.  I thought I’d start with the first book I remember reading:  The Giving Tree.  My parents, being the Christian hippies that they were, helped with a Christian night club on Friday and Saturday nights.  It was called Night Light.  Night Light had concerts regularly, but the most common form of entertainment was a group of talented Saturday Night Live style performers.  Before I even read the book The Giving Tree, I saw these talented actors perform it.

One of the things I like most about this book, and others like it, is that the story, written by Shel Silverstein, goes beyond any age group.  I love it when a children’s picture book, becomes a universal picture book.  Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and You Are Special by Max Lucado are two other books that supersede any age group.

I remember my first response to this story was to feel sorry for the tree, and to hate the boy for taking advantage of the tree. As I grew older, I admired the tree.  I wanted to be able to selflessly give like the tree.  Now that I am older still, I think the question of motive comes into play.  The motive of the tree seems to be to genuinely want to help others be better.  After all, my first intention to be a selfless giver was really for myself…so that I could be perceived a martyr, or a very nice person.  This book helped me to see that it is truly better to give than to receive, and to recognize the value of a life poured out and emptied in order to make the dream of another come true.  Another value that I’ve found in this book, is how empty it is to live for the purpose of accumulating things.  The boy does this, and is never fulfilled.  The tree gives her all, and she is happy.

Even though it was written in 1964, this book continues to change hearts and lives to this day.  It is truly a classic.