A Post With So Much Going On, It Needs It’s Own Subtitles….

Oh my word, the hodge podge of ramblings you are about to endure on this windy, snowy, bitter cold Saturday morning. I hope you’re ready!

Sufficient Grace Ministries Upcoming Events

February 20, 2010: 8:00am-11:00am the Helping Hands ladies will be working on Comfort Bears for Sufficient Grace Ministries. Even if you cannot sew (like me!), but would like to help stuff bears and put together baskets, please join us. I will be there with some other work to do that does not involve sewing. Also, I am considering having a meeting afterward for those who are able to stay. We will have a time of prayer, discuss our vision for the ministry, and make any decisions that need to be made. Come for as little or as much time as you are able! Email me if you have any questions.

February 25, 2010: We will be starting the Walking With you ~ Threads of Hope series. Click here to read more, and to enter to win a copy of the book.

March is open…for now!

In April, I will possibly be speaking at a Scrapbooking Conference in Fremont. More details to come. (Please keep this in prayer.)

April, 30-May 1, 2010: Women of Faith and a little Sufficient Grace Gathering! Click here to enter to win a free ticket to the Columbus Conference! It’s not too late to enter…deadline is Monday! Even if you can’t attend the conference, but would like to meet Becki and I for dinner (Holly and a couple other friends are coming too!), we would love to see you there!

As I write about these coming events, it seems summer will be upon us before we know it! There are a lot of things on my heart this summer for Sufficient Grace. I’d love to do some travelling, speak and share with some hospitals and women’s groups, and really get our Dreams of You resources out there to help more families. If you have any ideas how you can help us do that, let us know. Or if you have an event that needs a speaker and/or singer, let us know. I am so excited to see where the Lord takes us!

Another thing heavy on my heart is to finish the book I started a couple years ago. I am praying for direction and time to focus on this. I would like to tell our story, but would also like to offer support and hope. I may combine some of my Walking With You posts as I tell the story…not sure. I’d also like to write a book answering practical questions and just guiding families through the shock and grief…a resource to be used at hospitals. Maybe something for parents, and a separate guide for caregivers. Lots of ideas spiraling around in my head. We’ll see what the Lord does. Please pray for our work on this book and for One Way as we spend time working on music.

Closed Doors

The previous ramblings are a great lead-in to subtitle number two of this mammoth post. I shared here about the possibility of me returning to college. My in-real-life friends are used to me bringing this up about every six months. So, they are probably not getting too excited anymore. I can’t say for sure what will happen. But, I was very close to enrolling in a great distance education program. In fact, I called the enrollment department at the highly accredited university that I thought would work best for me, as I’m still working full time. I found out that the program I was interested in would give me a dual-licensure in both Special Ed. and Elementary Ed. which would be accepted in the state of Ohio, so I wouldn’t have to choose! But, then came the bad news. There was an issue with student teaching in Ohio, and it would only be allowed at a private school if I attended this out-of-state university. Since I was hoping to continue working at my current position in a public school while student teaching, this wouldn’t work for us. There was also a credit transfer issue. I hung up the phone thinking that for now, God had closed this door…again.

What usually happens after this door (which has been closed many times!) closes is that I come to my senses and realize that I have no time to devote to the consuming demands of college. I feel a renewed sense of devotion to the purposes that God has already called me to…my family and our ministry. I’m not sure why I always think I can do one more thing. But, it is a deception. The reality is that I could not juggle my family, ministry, church commitments, full time job, and college. Something would be compromised or forsaken all together. And there are some things on that list that cannot be compromised. I mean…you read the list of the things on my heart to do already…all the directions my mind is pulled in. What was I thinking?

It seems this closed door really opens doors for me to pursue the passions of my heart that God has already planted…the work He has begun. Now, I can focus on what He has for us…well at least as well as I ever can. =)

Which leads us to subtitle number three…

Where We Live

Our home should be our haven. Ours has been severely neglected by the keeper of the home. That would be me. I need to focus on making where we live…our home…a place of peace and order instead of messy chaos. We are busy, but there needs to be some balance, and I really need to make the “keeping of our home” more of a priority. Not just in the physical sense (although that is a big part of it), but in a spiritual sense as well. I need to be focused on this family and keeping our home, and careful that other demands for my time don’t take their place on my priority list. Please pray for me, girls, as I tackle the task of organizing our basement for starters…let me tell you, it is a TASK! And, please pray for me as a wife and mama…keeping a home means more than just cleaning house physically! We need an over-all “house cleaning”!

Layers Update

If you’re wondering how Operation Peeling Back the Layers (Because I like to give all my goals a title with the word “operation”…sounds more official!) is going, here’s a short little update. (Even I’m getting sick of this post!) The process is still going. I made it through the agony of week three. Week four wasn’t so bad. It seemed like some of my layers were falling off, along with a couple more pounds. I was feeling a little freedom and experiencing some victory, when I took a couple steps back. We had some illness issues last week/weekend. I was home with James, not working, out of my schedule. Some other emotional demands with the ministry and some friends experiencing difficult things, and before I noticed, I’d pulled some of my stinky onion layers back over me, tears on my face and Doritos in my hands. I’m not staying there, though. I will keep on keeping on. And the Lord will deliver and comfort me. His comfort lasts and the aroma in his embrace is much sweeter than in the middle of my onion.

Total weight loss – 9 pounds
Still need to lose – 16 pounds

Steel Magnolias

O.K., I have no idea why I feel compelled to add the following to this already ridiculously long post that most people have probably stopped reading by now. I also don’t know why I subjected myself to watching Steel Magnolias last night, but I did. Every time I watch it, I cry buckets of tears and feel the longing in my heart so fierce in it’s intensity that I try to avoid feeling it if at all possible. Let’s just say that watching this movie is quite a test for the aforementioned Operation Peeling Back the Layers.

I love the gathering of women to laugh and cry and walk through life together. The generations of women facing the trials and joys of life. It is a thing of great beauty and value to me. I love the community they share. I remember as a little girl listening to the women gathering around the table and laughing together. It was many years ago, but I miss it…being with the generations of family, a place where you are known and loved for who you are. It is different when I gather with the women of my family, now. The mothers and daughters all have one another. But the generations of women around me are missing. My mother and my daughters live on in heaven, but I am living here…without them. My aunt and grandmother were sharing about a generation picture they took of all of their hands and feet, Grandma, my mother’s sister, her daughter, and her daughter’s daughter. Such a beautiful picture they described. And I’m glad for them that they have that. But, at the same time, my heart aches that I will not have that this side of heaven. My generations of women have been interrupted. And the longing I feel for them is beyond description.

In the movie, Steel Magnolias, Sally Fields and Julia Roberts embody the relationship I had with my own mother. Me always wanting my independence…mom making me crazy, but always being there when I really needed her. We even would have joked morbidly (and often did…as only family can) like the family in the movie as they played cards the night before the mom and daughter faced a surgery where the daughter would get her mother’s kidney. The only difference is that it was me left standing by her grave and not the other way around.

I also love when Sally Fields’ character shares how lucky she was to be there when “this precious soul came into the world and when she went out” (or something to that affect). Everything about that resonates with me, and it’s exactly how I felt the day I held my Thomas. Only I prefer to say that I was “blessed among women” for the gift of being the one to sing to my sweet baby as he left my arms to be placed in the arms of Jesus. Needless to say the movie seems to hit all the soft places in my heart. It’s just gut-wrenching, and I don’t know why I subject myself to it, but I do. A good cry is cleansing, anyway!

I know the One who carries me, and He is faithful to comfort me in all of my longings and meet all of my needs. But, this is my place to write and share. So, today, I just want to say that there’s no one on this earth who knew me and loved me the way she did. And, there is a loneliness left in her place. I miss the generations of women who should be surrounding me, gathering around the table laughing as those who know each other like only family can. I’m thankful for the women who do laugh and walk with me (including many of you).

But, I miss them. I just miss them.

Now, if you’ll excuse me…I have a home that needs some keeping…


  1. I miss the women in my life, too…

  2. Just Breathe says:

    You are so busy Kelly. I admire what you do. I know that you are an inspiration to so many. The Women of Faith conference should be a wonderful experience. I have always heard good things about them. Steel Magnolias has always been one of my favorite movies. When I saw that in the theatre years ago I can't remember any movie being more of an emotional roller coaster ride for me. Movies like that always give me hope that life does go on whether we want it to or not. Also, the strength of women who survive the storms in their lives. Sorry about the loss of your mother. I lost my mother when I was 31 and nine months later my husband left me. These are nothing compared to the loss of a child but they changed who I was. Actually the growth that I made after my husband left me was in a good direction. I grew a loving heart that is full of compassion for others. Okay, I will step down off the soapbox.
    Hope your having a wonderful weekend. Take care and God Bless.

  3. I'm sure it must be so, so hard not having your mom and daughters to celebrate those special moments as women, but I can't help but think how much of that you'll experience when your family of women are reunited in heaven. How beautiful it will be to spend all of eternity enjoying moments like that with our Saviour! Thanks for pouring your heart out. Congrats on the continued weight loss. I've been doing well with the exercise but frustrated with my eating and your post really encouraged me to keep on. Much Love, Sarah

  4. Oh, that touched my heart. I think I need to go call my mommy now. Thank you for showing your tender and beautiful heart.

  5. I am praying for you. I would LOVE to work with you (only if you WANT the help!) with your resource guides to hospitals and caregivers, since I am a bereaved Mom and L&D caregiver!

  6. Congrats on the weight loss! Your words are always such an encouragement to me. My home has been sorely neglected as well and I know deep down that I need to take care of it. I have sunk into the mentality of "if my husband doesn't say anything about it, it must not bother him." even though I know it is not true. I haven't ever told anyone else about this (and we don't have people over to our house) so I am hoping that putting this out there helps to keep me accountable.

    Thank you for having the courage to be real here. You are such an inspiration!

  7. I made it through the whole hodge podge! :)

    Can't wait for the Women of Faith conference! It'll be great! I am really hoping and praying that my cousin will draw something out of this. She needs the Lord's direction in her life.

    Gosh, I can't wait for the summer to be here and to have that warm weather! It's quite chilly, and blowy, and snowy here right now! The book you talk about would be a great idea. I think it would be great to write one. A resource book would be awesome for people and places like hospitals to have to help families.

    Sometimes it hurts to have the door closed but it's always closed for a reason and I believe that's b/c God has better things in store. We may not understand it at the time but surely God only wants to help us!

    I think you're doing great on your onion operation. You'll have setback days but you are still determined!

    You know, I have never seen Steel Magnolias! But I like the idea of women gathering and sharing, talking, laughing. That just seems right. :)

  8. I had to come back to finish your really long post that I started reading last week. Then I went over to read your peeling layers post and boy was I floored. Floored because just this week I was fussing at myself in the shower for being "tired of me". Me and my extra layers are thankful for your willingness to share such personal vulnerabilities. Congrats on your weight loss! and thanks for the encouragement!

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