Browsing "My Story"
Jul 30, 2015 - My Story    1 Comment

Time, Energy, and Money

You have a few resources always at your disposal. These items are frustratingly limited: time, energy, and money.

At most, you can have two of these resources at a time. Sometimes you have just one, but very rarely do all three show up concurrently!

When you are young and fresh you have scads of energy and oodles of time. But no money. You save up in your piggy bank and think life will be better when you have money.

And then a few years passes and you get a job. What an exciting day! You’re working and that’s a good thing and you get a paycheck which puts your allowance to shame. You have some money and still a good amount of energy, but no time. You’re in the throes of careers and parenthood and time is your most limited resource. This is how I feel currently. Bemoaning the busyness of my schedule!

And then a few more years pass, and you likely have some money saved up and you enter this magical time called retirement where you suddenly have free time again… but no energy. Years in the work force and raising kids, and the anxieties of life have stolen your pep. And you think back over these resources in your life and realize the true greenness of grass on each side of the fence!

 

green grass plant

As I think about this common predicament, I long to live a balanced life with at least some of each resource because in many cases they are related. If I work overtime, I have more money, but less free time. If I sign up for a race, I have more energy (after training!), but less money (races are expensive) and less free time (because it takes a long time to run 10 miles!) If I take a vacation, I have unspoken-for time and renewed energy, but less money.

I long to live a balanced life and have a bit of each resource at my disposal. I do not want to be skewed or owned by any of them, but to use my time, energy, and money to the best of my ability wherever the Lord leads me. But how to do this still evades me… any tips?

What is your most limited resource currently?

 

Jun 25, 2015 - Devotional, My Story    1 Comment

Juxtaposition

Juxtaposition is one of my favorite words. It ranks in my mind alongside onomatopoeia, hyperbole, and synecdoche both in multi-syllabic rhythm and definitional genius! Juxtaposition is the perfect term for certain situations. It is a noun meaning “an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.” 

Two things that shouldn’t exist alongside each other suddenly thrown together. It can have quite the effect. I experienced this in a fun way a few weeks ago while I was bowling in the library.

Yes, that’s not a typo.

I went bowling in the theological library. My roommate, who works there, set up a game night for the students and their families. It was hilarious to me to juxtapose the expectation of quietness and reserve of the library with the noise and activity of bowling. I had a grand time. And not just because the shelves acted like bumpers nearly guaranteeing a strike every time!

library bowling

library bowling

library bowling

It got me thinking about other contradictions which are pushed together in my own heart. I am a jumble of contradictory emotions and experiences. I both pride myself on being introspective and high on self-knowledge, but am also blindsided by things about myself that I’ve somehow missed for decades. I am a curious mixture of joy and sadness, hope and fear, knowledge and ignorance, anxiety and adventure. I do not understand how all of these feelings can coexist in one person. And that is the adventure of life. It is full of peculiar turns and extraordinary mash-ups, just as unexpected as bowling in a library.

What juxtapositions have you experienced lately?

Apr 26, 2015 - My Story    No Comments

Goodwill Hunting

I love treasure hunts!

Every Christmas Eve my family creates searches for each other so that we have to earn our first present of the season. On my 24th birthday several friends made a scavenger hunt for me and I still laugh about the crazy things I had to do and find. I like the search better than the present in many cases.

That’s why I go to Goodwill.

Goodwill Hunting (see what I did there?!?) is just a big scavenger hunt. I pride myself on being able to make costumes for under $5 with the help of felt, hot glue, and Goodwill. And this is the best fodder for white elephant gifts around! I knew the joy of these excursions long before Macklemore popularized the idea.

A cluster of Goodwill finds to recreate Mrs. Doubtfire!

A cluster of Goodwill finds to recreate Mrs. Doubtfire!

I was Goodwill Hunting recently and met a kindred spirit in this regard. She had a shopping cart full of items: linens, bedding, an odd piece of furniture. I commented on her finds and she said, “Yes, I love me some G-dubs. My friends comment on my style a lot and that’s what I tell them. Go to G-dubs.”

She was hilarious. She got the treasure hunt mentality. That day she had a cart full of booty and she was ready to celebrate.

Goodwill Hunting: what will you find?

Apr 22, 2015 - Devotional, My Story    No Comments

Valuing Your Future Self

I think about a special someone often. I care deeply about her. I want her to do well in life and be set up for success. She’s kind and funny and warm and (hopefully) more wise, stable, and adventurous than me!

I’m thinking about Future Kelly.

I know that all my decisions affect my future self and I take that seriously. I want Future Kelly to be set up for success. I want my hard work and efforts to pay off. I think about my future self when I contribute to my 401K. And when I say no to a second serving of dessert. And when I push myself during a work out. And when I invest in relationships that matter. And especially when I think eternally.

 

Future Kelly benefits from me eating vegetables, having a healthy cardiovascular system, and a growing nest egg, but what she really needs is an eternal perspective. More than healthy eating and wise investments on this side of Heaven, she will benefit from eating the bread of life and investing in eternal matters. I care about Future Kelly and I want to focus on the things that will be important to her.

images-1

 

Matthew 6: 19-20

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[e] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

How are you valuing your future self?

Apr 13, 2015 - Devotional, My Story    No Comments

Seeking Aquila

I have little experience with personal ads.

I don’t troll the newspaper or the internet for a date. I tend to go about my life and work and ministry and just expect someone to suddenly show up.

But maybe that’s wrong. Maybe I need to make my wishes for a mate known more widely. I was listening to the sermon at church yesterday and heard of the fame of Priscilla and Aquila, a couple who labored tirelessly in the early church. Aquila was a tent maker and worked alongside Paul the Apostle. They hosted a church in their house in the fledgling phase of the church. They were thanked repeatedly at the end of epistles. They even sought out an evangelist, Apollos, to correct him and give him a fuller understanding of the Gospel.

They worked hard. They were a team. In short, they rocked. 

After studying more about this dynamic duo, I’ve been rethinking the personal ad idea. So here goes:

One single female, we’ll call her Priscilla, who enjoys at caregiving, teaching, study, writing, laughter, and the obligatory long walks on the beach, seeks male for the following line of work:

I want a partner in mission and ministry. I want someone to keep me focused on what is truly important. I want someone who works hard as a tentmaker and a disciple-maker. I want someone who can exhort and correct me in love and show me the bigger Gospel that I sometimes miss. I want someone who is hospitable and will host others joyfully sharing his home and his life with them. I want someone who will recognize and encourage my gifts as well. I want someone who is adventurous for the right cause.

I want a vision caster.

I want a servant leader.

I want a team.

I am Priscilla. I’m seeking Aquila.

(applicants welcome).

Space Available

References of Priscilla and Aquila: Acts 18:1-3, Acts 18:18, Acts 18:26, Romans 16:3-4, I Corinthians 16:19, II Timothy 4:19.

Mar 15, 2015 - My Story, Running    No Comments

One More Finish Line

My roommates are rad.

As I hobbled in the front door after running 20 miles at the Glass Slipper Challenge focusing on the soreness in my thighs and the toenails I will likely lose, I heard someone shout, “Wait, don’t look! We have something for you.”

(When I was allowed to look,) I saw that our house had been transformed into a running course and a finish line. Crepe paper stretched toward the back door blocking off the “running course” from the “cheering zone.” One roommate cheered and held a sign. One passed me a glass of water as I hobbled past. And one crowned me with a homemade medal as I crossed through the crepe paper finish line.

It was perfect. 

It was the celebration that my heart loved! They thought about me. They knew these races made me nervous and that it was a big weekend for me. They wanted to show me that they cared. That’s what I love in a good friendship. People who know what is important to you and want to be involved. I proudly wore my handmade “Rad Roommate” medal the rest of the night and it currently hangs on my display rack.  I think it’s the most important one. It represents community, togetherness, celebration, and years of relationship with my house friends. Running has taught me a lot about pacing, endurance, grit, and mental determination. Living with others has taught me about community, togetherness, celebration, compromise, and encouragement. Life is full of lessons. I’m lucky enough to have roommates who help me remember this one — complete with hardware!

medals rad roommate

What lessons have you learned through sharing your life with others? 

 

Feb 16, 2015 - My Story, speaking, Writing    1 Comment

Seeking Rest for my Soul

I hear voices.

Well, one in particular. It whispers to me that it is unsatisfied with my work, my efforts, my productivity, and my choices. It tells me lies. It tells me that I have to do more and be more. That I have to earn rest and that work is always more important than rest.

Do you hear a similar voice inside your head that tells you to do more and to be more?

I shared my voice with these ladies last weekend at the Hays Hills Baptist Church Women’s Retreat and they understood. They didn’t scoff at my voice. They were acquainted with this voice and its lying words too well already. We don’t know how to rest well, or be still as a society. We might have periods of inactivity, but our minds, hearts, and souls continue to churn.

hays hills womens retreat

 

We fought for rest together. We fought for truth together. We fought for Sabbath together.

I’ve been thinking about Sabbath and rest for years and I was thrilled to share my research and thoughts with an audience. It was a huge boost to my confidence. I wrote these words with my friend and editor, Abby, and we were finally able to share them. Our gifts of writing and communication were recognized and encouraged. It was amazing to me that people were taking notes on my words. That they were asking me questions as if I was the expert. I giggled in glee that someone chose my words to write on her mug!

mug worry future

I would like to extend a huge thank you to Hays Hills Baptist Church for being so welcoming of me and for encouraging me through your questions and thoughts throughout the weekend. Thank you also to Aaron and Lindsay Kahler who were instrumental in getting me invited to speak in the first place. To the retreat planning committee who took care of every detail so that I just had to show up and talk! To Abby who has weekly picked apart this text with me word by word to make it the best it could possibly be! And a huge thank you to everyone who knew I was speaking and was praying for me back home. I felt incredibly encouraged and blessed this past weekend. Thank you for being a part of this adventure.

come to me and i will give you rest

Feb 11, 2015 - My Story, Running    3 Comments

Run Your Buns Off! And Write Your Thumbs Off?

That title will make sense — I promise!

star wars half

I ran the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon last month and had a delightful time. I set a personal record and cheered my good friend through the finish line.

AND as if that wasn’t enough– I got published! I submitted my article to a website called RunningAtDisney.com and was accepted. Running At Disney is a wonderful website (and not just because of the RAD acronym it creates.) It’s a place where normal people, not just Olympic runners can share their experiences and cheer one another on through each magical mile. It is a place where

I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my experience on multiple platforms. Click HERE to read more!

Or copy and paste this URL: http://runningatdisney.com/2015/02/11/run-your-buns-off-at-the-star-wars-half-marathon/

california adventure disney

Jan 24, 2015 - Devotional, My Story    1 Comment

My Empty Shelf

I have one empty space in my room.

Just one.

empty shelf symbol borders boundaries

I am a natural Tetris player and I swear I can fit more in any given space than the average human. So, needless to say, I have a ton of stuff. It’s all neatly put away, tightly packed, and sometimes vacuum sealed! After cleaning up and putting away the Christmas explosion of decorations, I left one shelf unadorned. It is not because I didn’t have anything that could go there. No, this decision was purposeful. I wanted a daily reminder that my life needs borders and boundaries. I’ve discussed this in a previous post. I learned from Leviticus that margins in gleaning and in life are incredibly important. I have the tendency to fill my time and space to capacity. Truly, I fill it past capacity! If I have something cancel on a Saturday evening, I often have two alternatives which can easily slide into the newly opened space.

My life is full  of both good things and responsibilities. It can seem as though it is filled to capacity with no room for change or chance or imperfection.

I’m giving myself one empty shelf as a symbol.

I long for margins in the midst of expectations and for breathing room to be able to enjoy where I am. My empty shelf will help with that. I won’t fill my life, time, and schedule to capacity. I will leave space for the unexpected and delightful.

What about you? How can your space help define your life?

Jan 10, 2015 - Humor, My Story    No Comments

The Ultimate Challenge

2014 was the year of the Disney Selfie.

I have a photo album of over 700 photos of my face awkwardly riding attractions, and greeting characters, and seeing fireworks, and seeing all things Disney! Even Cheeky got into the spirit…

Cheeky Disney Hat

I was challenged by some friends to ride every attraction, see every show, meet every character, and basically hit every high point at all four Walt Disney World parks in 2014. To prove my efforts I had to take selfies for confirmation, get autographs, and log my work on extensive spreadsheets.

disney spread sheets ultimate challenge

I learned a few things competing in this Disney Ultimate Challenge. Firstly, I learned that I had to care a little less what others thought of me. Cast members would laugh or roll their eyes at me as I pulled out multiple stapled packets of paper to log my accomplishments. I got some strange looks as I waited in line to meet Duffy the Bear with a gaggle of four year olds. I did portions of this competition solo and got some plaintive looks as I was asked, “How many in your party.” “Just one!” I’d reply cheerfully as I whipped out my spreadsheets!

I also learned that competitions are fun, but so it going without a plan. And there were a few specific trips to Disney which were solely to get points and not to have fun! Many friends who accompanied me on these trips and were great sports to stand and watch me dance in the “Frontierland Hoedown” instead of leaving me to ride Splash Mountain! Planning an spontaneity are both good. Having a balance is important.

At the end of the year, I have 176 points, (solidly in second place!) and a collection of the most ridiculous pictures ever. Here are a few of my absolute favorites.

disney osbourne lights

disney character incredibles frozone

 

 

Gaston biceps

Kyle splash mountain

When  have you competed in something fun? What did YOU learn?

 

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