Wednesday, July 11, 2018

When Life Doesn't Turn Out Like You Expected

Last fall, I was asked to speak at my Alma mater in chapel and what God really laid on my heart to share was "When Life Doesn't Turn Out Like You Expected".  I thought about what I wish I could tell 19 year old Kelly.  

I was a type A, planner in college.  Well, I always have been - still am.  I like to have a full schedule of my day every day.  I like to know what's happening next week, next month and next year.  I was 18 with a full picture of what my life was going to look like.  

Oh how hilarious God must find me.  

I knew I would marry a guy I met at OBU.  We would get married after graduation, I would work a couple of years and then have babies by 27.  I also majored in business - finance to be exact.  I clep'd out of English because I only wanted to take math related courses.  


Clearly - none of that went as planned.  I didn't find my husband in college.  I met him on a blind date and got married at 30.  

I didn't have babies by 27.  I went through 3 years of infertility, several failed IUI's, and finally had a baby at 35.  And then had a surprise baby in my 40's.  

And I DID work in business for 15 years.  But I find myself now working in ministry and writing.  

Never did I see any of that coming.  And I couldn't be more thankful.  

Because only God could write that story. 

And it was on the paths that took me away from my "plans" that I drew close to God and knew Him the most.  It's where He showed me who He is and how He is really all that matters.  

In college, I felt a tug towards ministry.  But I didn't know exactly what it meant.  I didn't feel a pull towards church ministry or foreign missions.  I just knew God was calling me to something.  Little did I know - that it would be through something that didn't even exist at the time.  That I would one day share my faith on the internet that would lead to other ministry opportunities.  I could have never imagined the way He would use me.  But He knew.  

I just had to learn to trust Him.  

I share all this because my life isn't perfect.  I have struggles.  But I have seen one thread that has been weaved into every part of my life.  And that is God is in control and I'm not and trusting Him is the only way I can live.  And I pray that if there are those of you that life has not turned out like you expected and you haven't had a happy ending or things haven't been tied up with a perfect string - that you know that even in the lowest of places -  He is there.  

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
 They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Monday, July 09, 2018

A Smorgasbord of Stuff

We have been having the best summer.  And school starts 5 weeks from today.  It will be here WAY too soon.  Harper keeps asking me about school supplies and backpacks.  I'm not ready to do that.  She's excited to go back.  She also wants to wear a "light scarf" on the first day? I think she thinks she is very sophisticated now that she's a 4th grader. :-) 

I thought I would share just some little things we have been doing during our days. 

We took the kids to a movie a week or so ago.  We have a newish movie theatre downtown and it's really nice - has big comfy seats and recliners that you can reserve your seats when you get tickets and they also serve food.  Will Holden did pretty good.  He's getting there on being able to sit and watch a movie.  (Harper has reading glasses for school but she thinks they are fun to wear).  

Last Sunday I spoke to the college Sunday School class.  They asked me to share my testimony and story of "waiting" and kind of "when life turns out different than you are picturing when you are 20".  

One of the highlights of my summer is that my friend Amanda and her family came through town and we all met up for lunch after church on Sunday.  I started reading Amanda's blog "Baby Bangs" about 12 years ago and we became "internet friends" and then were able to meet in real life several times even spending a weekend together at a conference and 

we travelled to Ecuador together about 7 years ago with Compassion.  This is us in our matching bug repellant outfits.  We rode a boat on the Amazon river and stayed in this open air cabin on the Amazon.  It was a crazy experience but I'm glad I have that memory with her.  She is one of the kindest people I know - I just adore her.  I loved seeing her whole family.  

We also got to have lunch with our friend/principal one morning.  She had a friend in town who has read my blog for a long time and thought it would be fun for us to meet.  We had a great time visiting.  They had just been to NYC and I loved talking about that.  My girls were THRILLED to eat with their principal who they love.  

Will Holden was there but refused to get in the picture. ha! 

I took the kids to First Friday on the square and we walked around and did a few things.  

We thought about going to Silver Dollar City on Saturday but it's just so hot so we went to the Roaring River Water slide instead.  The Ormons met us there.  This is in Cassville, MO - it's about an hour from us.  It's this water slide carved into a big hill and it's been there 40 years.  

It is REALLY fun.  You pay by the hour.  I didn't do it the first hour - I just hung out with Laurie and watched and took pictures.  There was a HUGE group there but they cleared out after an hour and the Ormons had to leave too so I did the second hour with my family and it was SO much fun!!!!! My friend Jennifer Francis and her family showed up there too so that was fun to visit with them. 

Some friends and I took our kids last year for the first time but Hollis was scared and wouldn't do it.  This year she was all about it.  Will Holden didn't love it.  He doesn't like to get water in his eyes so he went a few times and then we traded off staying with him.  

When you REALLY love your sisters and will do anything they ask you to.  :- 0

Hollis can't wait for soccer to start back up.  We were hoping she would do a camp this summer but the timing didn't work.  But she is ready for the season to start.  She keeps putting on her gear to practice.  

Hollis got to spend time with her best friend yesterday.  They have both been gone or busy all summer so they have really missed each other.  It's been almost two months since they have been together.  I love their little friendship.  

We have a conference on the Enneagram THIS SUNDAY that I would love for you to join us at!! It's going to be so good.  Ian Cron, the author of "The Road Back to You" will be the speaker and Jenn Jett and Sam Hannon will also be speaking.  You can get tickets here: 

Friday, July 06, 2018

Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue

My FAVORITE holiday is 4th of July.  I just love everything about it.  I love summer.  I love being with friends and eating and shooting fireworks with sun kissed skin.  It's just a fun day! 

We always spend it with the Ormons.  We have so many years of cute red, white and blue and laughter.  I was thinking yesterday that we don't have many years left when all the kids will be with us and want to shoot fireworks and wear cute outfits.  

It was hot on the 4th so we headed to the pool for the afternoon.  

We stopped and bought some fireworks and headed to the Ormons for the night.  They made us a delicious dinner of hamburgers, corn on the cob, beans, and desserts.  

Me and my Dimple Mini

Little besties 

Big Besties 

We had a ton of fireworks that we shot off.  It was a lot of fun.  Big fireworks were going on all around us so we had a great show.  Better than fighting crowds for the city shows.  

The girls always love sparklers 

I loved spending the day with my family 

We didn't get home until late.  The only bad thing about the 4th is when it falls in the middle of the week.  I felt bad that Scott had to go to work this morning.  Of course, my eyes always pop open around 6 so I didn't sleep in either.  

It's amazing how much they can grow in two years.  Especially one little boy who likes pictures and the girls and fireworks way better now.  

Happy birthday America! You may have a lot of problems - but I still feel so fortunate to live here.