"A friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart."
– Kathleen Grove

Surprised by a Second Chance at Love

POSTED: August 21st, 2009 BY: Kimberly

I am constantly amazed at the surprises God plants on our journey. Some surprises we welcome with open arms and some we would like for Him to take back. “Sure, I’ll take the job promotion, but I’ll pass on the sickness,” we say. Still, He asks us to trust Him with these surprises and gently offers us the peace that goes beyond our understanding with the not-so-great surprises.

As partners and friends, you have upheld our family with prayer as we have walked through the valley of unwanted surprises and loss. True to His word, God has remained faithful, constant, and our source of peace.

In the spring of this year, God sent us another surprise, and this one we welcomed. This surprise came in the form of a man of God, a pastor who had also endured great loss of his beloved companion. In His mercy, God has truly sent my mom a shepherd to escort her to the high places after walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

On August 11, my mother and Reverend James Wolfe of Tampa, Florida, were married and officially began a new chapter in their lives of ministry. We are thankful God has given them a second chance at love and an earth partner to share in their sunset years.

The sun does shine again. God can breathe new life when it seems that all is lost.

I’m not sure what surprises you’ve been given lately. Just remember that the valleys are what carry us to the next mountaintop.

So people keep asking me, “What happens next for you?” I guess that is going to be a surprise too, but I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be good.

A Place to Escape the Heat

POSTED: June 29th, 2009 BY: Kimberly

It’s high noon in June. I’m sitting on the front porch swing at my friend’s Tennessee farmhouse. In front of me are rolling acres of those famous Tennessee hills. To my right is a large pond and pastures for the horses. Behind me, past the flower gardens, are more acres of trees, coves and farmland.

More startling than the healing scenery is the revelation coming to me as I rock. Seven feet in front of me the sun blazes down on the grass. There, the heat is scorching.

Up here, elevated on the porch, and under the shadow of the ceiling I feel no heat, only the breeze. It is a refreshing reprieve. I’m aware of the heat out there, but it is not touching me.

I hear Him speak, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

I open my Bible and begin reading one of my favorite passages: Psalms 91 in the Amplified version. Wow! God is offering me a place to escape the heat that beats down on me everyday in this life. As I read, I literally began to feel transformed about my circumstances.

Listen in.

v.1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty (Whose power no foe can withstand).

My circumstances are unstable. He is not. While other things shake around me, He says I can remain stable and fixed. I am fixed in Him, not in my surroundings. I don’t need everything to be perfect in my life to be stable. He makes me stable.

v.2 I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I (confidently) trust.

I cannot lean on Him and my old habits, old ways, and old mindsets at the same time. I have a choice to make. He is not my Fortress unless I give Him that place in my life.

Jesus, here are the controls.

v.5  You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day.

v.7 A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you.

AND, the one that JUMPED out at me…

v.8 Only a spectator shall you be (yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High) as you witness the reward of the wicked.

When I abide under His shadow, I am NOT even accessible to the plans of the enemy. This is one of those rare times, I’d just rather be a spectator.

v.9 Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place,

v.10 There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.

v.11 For He will give His angels (especial) charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways (of obedience and service).

He promises angelic covering that will literally be with me, defend me and keep me in all of my ways related to my obedience and my service. Let’s break it down. He does not promise to keep me in all of Kimberly’ ways, but in the ways of my life that align with His will and the work He has given me to do.

I must ask myself, What’s the last word God gave me to obey? Have I obeyed? Am I really investing the best of me in His service?

So, what’s the heat like in your life? What are you running from? Is it false accusations, marriage problems, financial pressure, or a feeling of complacency? Are you needing to escape depression, disease, anxiety or bitterness?

Perhaps you’re feeling the heat because you’ve come out from under the Shadow.

He is offering you a position of abiding in His shadow, a place to escape the heat, once and for all.

P.S. – These promises attached to abiding, propel me to my next area of study… What does it really mean to abide under His shadow? That is most certain where I want to live.

Would You Move to First-Class, Please?

POSTED: May 27th, 2009 BY: Kimberly

It’s 10:00 am and I’m running through Chicago O’ Hare airport in hopes of catching my flight for Montreal.  My first flight was delayed and now I’m pushing it to make my connection.  I’m supposed to speak at a Ladies Conference tonight and tomorrow and I would really like to get there.

I make it.  I rush to the gate and of course, wait to board.  Hmmm 18D—not too bad of a seat, should be in the middle of the plane.  Not so, I soon discover.  Despite the fact that we’re flying overseas, this is a teeny tiny plane and 18D is the last row of the plane.  You know, the row that is the bumpiest and right next to the smelly water closet—the row where everyone hovers over you the entire flight waiting to use the bathroom. Ugh!

Oh, great–there’s a baby next to me (payback for the 99 flights Julianna was on before she turned one)!  Oh well, at least I’ve got my earplugs and I can sleep.  Then I realize the seats don’t even decline on this back row.  This is going from bad to worse.  I sigh and decide to just make the best of it.

Just then the flight attendant comes to our row and says to me,  “Would you mind to move to first-class, we need it for weight distribution? There’s only one passenger up there now.”  She winks and says, “We always start from the last row.”

I think to myself, God is throwing His weight around.

I smile inside and bounce up to first class, thinking I didn’t know my weight made such a difference.

I’m reminded again that when I do God’s business, He takes care of my business and the perks.

So what perks does He have in store for you today?   Take time to notice the little things that God does for you to remind you that He knows just how to take care of you and when.   I hope before the days over, you can sing with me, It’s my time for God’s favor, my time to be blessed.

Goodbye and Hello

POSTED: May 17th, 2009 BY: Kimberly

One year ago today, at 3:46 in the afternoon my dad said goodbye to this world and said hello to heaven.  Of all the gigantic smiles my dad wore throughout his life, I’m sure none compared to the one he wore that day he said,  “Hello heaven.”

It has been said that You never know God is all you need until He is all you have.   Never have I understood the depth of that saying until walking through the valley of the shadow of death this past year.  Truly, God is enough.

What has this year taught me?

It has taught me how to say goodbye: goodbye to regret, goodbye to bitterness, goodbye to unforgiveness, goodbye to materialism, goodbye to petty pursuits and goodbye to control.

I feel the cold hands of winter losing its grasp on me.  Spring is pulling.  Hello to hope.  Hello to peace.  Hello to purpose.  Hello to life.

As I spoke at a ladies conference this morning, I could feel my father’s spirit around me.  It was though he was saying, “Kimberly, the ‘Hello Heaven’ is worth all of the goodbyes.  Carry on.”

dad_kimberly

Sit Still!

POSTED: April 7th, 2009 BY: Kimberly

I was anxious and wanting answers, as usual. My wish list, worry list, and faith confessions were all lined up but not in the correct order. I came to my prayer closet, which this week was the recently refreshed back patio.

I settled into the glider for a time of prayer. After a season of worship and thanksgiving, I started in on my wish and worry lists. It was then that I’m pretty sure I heard Him sigh.

“Kimberly, Kimberly, I already know your worries and wishes. Why don’t you just sit still? Sit still and listen to Me. Sit still and take in the beauty of My world. Sit still and receive My peace. Sit still and let Me refresh your tired spirit. Sit still and focus your direction. Sit still and let Me tell you my heart.” And I did.

If you sit still today, what will He tell you?

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

Warmth of the Heart

POSTED: February 15th, 2009 BY: Kimberly

Here’s a warm welcome to my first blog. I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but here in the frozen Midwest it’s that time of the year when people run to the warmth. Whether it’s from the house to the car, the car to the school, or the car to the store, they scurry out and back in to escape the cold.

The last few weeks my family has enjoyed many nights with a crackling fire to give us added warmth and that woodsy aroma I love so much. We find ways to do our evening work, chores, study, even prayer by the fire.
There is simply no substitute for warmth.

Over the past few days, I’ve sensed God using this season of cold to speak to me. Cold is not just a degree of the weather but more often a degree of the heart. A cold heart is harder to bear than a bitter blizzard.

No one wants a cold heart, but sometimes life brings chilling circumstances that can leave us cold and numb. Tragedy, loss, rejection, sickness, financial pressure or betrayals are a few of the icy storms that can change the climate of our heart in a matter of moments.

Other winds such as unanswered prayers, lack of direction, even busyness, can leave our heart cold and indifferent. The good news is that we can choose the degree of our heart, despite the circumstances around us.

We can’t control the weather, but we can control the temperature of our heart. Here are a few ways I’m learning to kick out the cold emotions and to turn up the degrees in my heart.

  • Surrender to God all the circumstances I cannot change.
  • Daily ask Him to show me what changes I can make. Make them.
  • Forgive others. Forgive myself. Then I do it again and release the hurt.
  • Build space in my life for a rekindling fire in all my relationships.
  • Create warmth by cherishing each moment with my friends and family.
  • Keep a thankful heart by speaking my blessings, not my problems.
  • Find someone stuck in the “cold” and share my warmth with them.

During this season of contrasts, I hope you and I discover some secrets to staying warm, both inside and out. Now, how about that fire?

A Few Photos From a Busy Life…

POSTED: February 15th, 2009 BY: Kimberly

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