Thursday, January 31, 2008

She Speaks Conference

Check out this contest at Proverbs 31 ministries, to win a scholarship to the annual She Speaks Conference. I hate to even admit that I have been wanting to go to this conference for the past two years. Oh well, I just need to trust in God's timing, maybe this will be the year!!!!
I have one of those "not so pretty" testimonies that I have spent many years trying to run away from or hide and cover up. Much of my life was spent living in fear of some sort and seeking to find a purpose in a world that has a lot of different "secrets" to the path of fulfillment. I am not saying being a wife and mom isn't fulfilling, I just couldn't keep having babies forever! And with no college education or work experience, what was I qualified to do?
Well, here is how God answered my prayers. First, He led my family and I to a bible believing church where we are all active members. Then He introduced me to a local inter-denominational bible study (CBS) where I grew even more in love with His word. The following year I was asked to be a small group discussion leader within CBS and also asked to lead a marriage study at my church. However, this year has by far been the most amazing. I had agreed to be our class prayer chairman at CBS but at the last moment the Associate Teaching Director had to step down and I got the call. My first reaction was to cry and say "no God, I am not ready for that." It would require being second in command of a class of 159 women and 88 children. On top of that I would have to give 4 to 6 lectures (sermons) throughout the year. Although my first reaction was that of Moses, "here am I, send someone else", I did spend the next several days praying and journaling about it. Eventually I accepted the role and I can't believe how much I have been blessed by it. I have given my first lecture and am due to give another one next week. I look at those lectures and know that they are truly God working through me, I could not have done them in my own strength.
So why do I want to attend the She Speaks Conference? Well, I feel like God has started a good work in me and I want to pursue it with excellence. I have been praying about this conference for two years now and I am leaving it up to God. If He wants me to go, He will show me the way. For some reason He wants to use me and my "not so pretty" testimony and I want to be faithful to Him. If I can't attend this year, I will trust it is just not the right timing. But if I can, I will buckle my seatbelt because I am sure it will be a wild ride!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Adventures at the Dentist

One of the biggest places I feel like I fail as a mom is in taking my kids to the dentist. No, I never went regularly as a kid and yes, I have had nightmare experiences in the dental chair myself. That is not to excuse my failure to be regular with dental appointments but between busy schedules and inept insurance it has just been easy to ignore going to the dentist. You know kids aren't required to have a dental exam to get into school or to play sports like they are a physical so unless a problem arose, I just put it out of my mind. I know, I probably deserve some kind of "mom demerits" for not being on top of my kids teeth. If it counts for anything, I do remind them several times a day to "brush your teeth!!"

Oh well, the damage is done and I am going to pay the price (literally). So far we are looking at three kids and thirteen cavities between them. That's right, thirteen. And we still have three kids and two adults to be checked! Plus I think the little ones were proud of it. They kept running out to tell me, "Four, C has four!" or "Q is up to three!" Bless their little hearts, it will probably be announced on the intercom at school tomorrow and from the pulpit on Sunday. "Please pray for the K. family and their dental inadequacies. Not to mention the bills that they will be paying on all year because their insurance doesn't include "restorative care." I figure the dentist called his wife as soon as we left and said, "get the travel agent on the line, I just hit a goldmine!"

Seriously, the people at this office were so helpful and nice I wanted to bring them home with me. As I struggled with the insurance company on the phone or as I told the Dr. the kids hadn't seen a dentist in two years they didn't judge me or pressure me, they were just kind and understanding! I could use that kind of encouragement and support on a regular basis!

So I am praying that we can get caught up with all of this dental drama and keep it under control! All three kids need to do a better job of brushing and flossing and I need to check out my dental insurance options. Meanwhile, I get to take two of them to see the orthodontist. Kaching, Kaching$$$$...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Life Lessons (from a sick woman!)

What I have learned from being sick for the past 7 days:

The world goes on without my presence!
To be grateful for little things (lip balm, tissue...)
I really can lose weight on an all-soup diet!
My kids will always be more concerned with their world than mine.
My husband's patience has a limit (about 3 days).
I really can write a lecture in a day!
Sleep is the best healer!

I am sure there are plenty of more lessons to be learned through this nasty bug after all God does promise that ALL things will work for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. I do know that it will feel sooo good to feel good again!

Until then~~~Kelley

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year's Inventory

Happy New Year (3 days late!)! Oh how I love the blank canvas of a New Year. It is like another chance to "get it right." The deadlines of the holidays are in the past and freedom is mine! Now I can finally organize, lose weight, update and clean my home, plan some remodeling projects and vacations, read the Bible through this year, get out of debt ........wait a minute, that doesn't sound like freedom, that sounds like another form of deadlines and pressures. And by the way, I think most of those plans were on my New Year's list last year, and the year before that........What is it about New Year's?

If you haven't noticed January is when the advertisers start pushing all kinds of weight-loss products, organizational tools, even the Bible In A Year. Christmas is long past (on sale at 75% off) and all the stores have the "hot" new spring decor on display. I admit, I fall for it hook, line and sinker! In fact, I fell for it last year, and the year before that, and the year before that...........

Unfortunately, I can't do any of those things by purchasing equipment or products. It requires an inner change, a change of mind and lifestyle. What good does it do to get organized in January if I am not following through in July? And there is not a weight loss product or program out there that will work if I am not consistent in diet and exercise (believe me I have tried!). As for the Bible in a year, I get frustrated if I miss a day or two and finally give up by about March. Decorating and remodeling takes time, planning, patience and commitment (none of which I am very good at).

So why try? If I am destined to fail why continue to set myself up with high hopes for a New Year? First of all, I need to think about why I want to change in the first place. After all, I am not obese, I have a beautiful home, a loyal & supportive husband, 7 healthy children, great friends, I drive a Jaguar for heaven's sake. I serve the Lord in a job that I love.....what in the world could I possibly want to change about my life? Here is the answer God has laid on my heart:

"Great gifts mean great responsibilities, greater gifts greater responsibilities." Luke 12:48 MSG

It isn't that I am seeking more, it is that I want to do better with what I have. God has given me so much and if I don't tend to it well, I become unhappy, dissatisfied and resentful instead of filled with the joy God has intended. Being organized, being healthy, reading the bible, caring for my home and family are some of the ways that I am a good steward to all that God has entrusted to me. God didn't give me gifts and responsibilities to weigh me down and rob me of freedom, He gave them to bring me pleasure and joy.

So, instead of thinking about New Year's resolutions I think I will take a New Year's inventory. What are my blessings and responsibilities and what is it God wants me to do with them? Pray before you Plan & don't buy the lie! Don't organize what you no longer need but get rid of it, strive to be healthy instead of worrying about what the scale says, keep the house and car clean don't rush to redo or buy new, spend quality time with the family don't wait for special occasions. None of these things will make God love me more, they just enable me to appreciate and enjoy the blessings He has so graciously placed in my life!