Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Banana Boat

There are many theories on what Heaven will be like. I personally subscribe to the New Earth theory, where things are similar but a thousand times better than Avatar. My job will be to write. And I'll spend my free time painting and dancing and singing (unless my new body isn't more graceful and ethereal, then I'll be a writing, fingerpainting, croaking spaz.)
But until then, the closest I've come to Heaven is the beach. I think when God was designing the intangible realms, a blob of magic fell onto the physical earth and became Amelia Island, Florida, where I lolled away the long weekend.
Mornings were spent in a screened porch facing a yard that resembled Disney's version of the jungle. Then we made our way to a sprawling white beach under the rising sun. Nothing beats the steady rhythm of the sea against the sand as a breeze buffets the heat from your skin. Give me a good book and an flip-over alarm every 30 minutes, and I'm set.
There is only one reminder that we are in fact in a fallen world. Sunburn.
But, as God would have it, there's a common grace for even that. Which is why I'm thankful for spf 30 sunblock. While I may not exactly be a golden goddess, I've avoided my typical impression of a stick of Big Red. Hallelujah!

Friday, May 27, 2011

What the....

Last night I went to the gym to pound out a mile and a half. There I was, wogging along--that's jogging at roughly the same pace as most people walk--watching The Deadliest Catch, and trying to drown out the complaints of my lazy bones with My Chemical Romance. Overall, it was going  rather well.
Someone in the front row did something downright evil. The air itself turned gray and curdled. Flies dropped dead mid-flight. Lights flickered and little tongues of flame spurted from outlets. Those of us in the second row thought seriously about diving headlong off moving treadmills in an effort to escape the noxious fumes. For real.
In that moment I was thankful for nothing. I regretted that I'd never drawn up a will. I mourned that I would not see my niece grow up. And I prayed for God to receive my spirit.
Then it faded.
I had wogged through the valley of the shadow of death and had the memories to prove it. But on this side of the event, I found myself praising God for two things.
First, the design of our olfactory receptors is such that each one sticks to a packet of odor molecules and is then bound for a while. This means that there is a limited quantity of scent we can experience at one time. It's how people live in towns with chicken processing plants. If I'd been forced to endure the folly of another for much longer, I would have tried to claw out my olfactory sensors just to escape. But God, genius that he is, saw how the sense of smell, which he designed for good, might be used for evil. I'm pretty sure gastric issues are a direct result of the fall. So he capped off it's ability by limiting the number of receptors in our noses.
Second, I'm grateful for God's forgiveness. I was thinking some pretty rank thoughts toward a certain gym member. It was a moment when I totally felt kinship with David as he called death and destruction upon his enemies. (If you think I'm being harsh, just remember...you weren't there. And I pray you never will be.) After the fact, I asked that God would forgive me. He did.
All in all, I'm grateful for the sense of smell. Gardenias, roasted red peppers, and cinnamon alone qualify as worthy experiences. And I'm thankful that some day, death, and deadly fumes, will be no more. Until then, I'm thankful for God's provision.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Do you ever get bonked over the head by a lesson you've learned? And relearned? And then learned again?
That happened to me this week.
It all started last weekend when a friend was sharing that he met his wife "when he wasn't even looking." I think that's precious. I love that God surprised him with such a fabulous blessing.
I didn't used to love hearing that because it's usually accompanied with that chin-tilted-raised-eyebrow expression that tells a single person, "If you would stop being desperate and just live each day then you, too, would be married like me." Sometimes the expression would be accompanied by the words themselves, though usually couched in a little more encouragement.
The reason it doesn't bother me anymore is that I've come to realize that that belief is simply not true. And I know it. So, if my married brethren and sistren think so, so be it. Often they think so because it was their experience. But it hasn't been mine, and the freeing thing is, I don't have to expect it.
Our God has not called us to a wide path. He's called us to a narrow one. This means its not a common trail. You're like, "duh, Kimberly." I know, but I had to relearn this in a unique way again. Recently. Not only is the trail not the typical world's path, but it's not anyone else's path. NO ONE ELSE'S. So if God's called me to a trail, I can't expect other people to walk that same path. It's mine. That is all he's told me. I know this and rest in it more often than not.
Or so I thought.
It so happens that I'm going to the beach this weekend. Woohoo!
And that means I have to don a bathing suit. Boohoo.
I have been fretting over this to a minor degree over the past few weeks. I love clothes. I love that the color and cut can impact the appearance of a body. I love jewelery and make up and their ability to say "Look up here! Ignore the imperfections!"
Sadly bathing suits say very little. Maybe, "eek." But that's not what I'm going for. Lately it's been saying, "no wonder you're alone."
So on a podcast this morning, I was reminded that I'm made as I am by a God who loves me. He doesn't expect me to be perfect and, furthermore, the people he puts in my life in relationship are not expecting that either. I am free to have flaws. The way he's structured me is specific to the narrow path on which he's called me and though it isn't necessarily the format I would have ordered if given a menu of options, it is by his will. That is freedom. He's bigger than me. The way I've been designed by an Almighty, loving God will not stand in the way of the plans that God has deigned for me.
See? It's a total "duh." But for me it was a breath of fresh truth.
Thank you, Jesus, for your fabulous timing, for your grace. Thank you for how you've made me...mostly...and for freedom.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Check out the stack on that one

Many women buy shoes when they need something new in their life. A new pair of peep-toes truly is a grand thing. The size is consistent even if you did have too much pizza the night before (sidenote: did you know you can order a pizza for delivery via the internet? I don't know if God takes credit for that modern marvel, but I'm grateful...today, anyway...) and heels can make you feel taller, prettier, and as if your very soul is better.
However, due to my limited budget and closet space, this particular habit doesn't fit my life well. I tried dying my hair a few times, but this is a high-maintenance hobby, and, it turns out, really expensive when you try to right your wrongs. No, my impulse-purchase of choice is usually books. They're cheap, don't go out of season, and have yet to develop roots.
Over the past few months my book-buying has outpaced my book-consuming. Which means my To-Read stack is getting, um, pudgy. Big-booked. Literarily well-endowed. It's got a nice stack.
So you can see why I'm so glad that books don't expire. Every time I see the pile grow a pit of anxiety forms in my stomach, but I rebuke it. Stacks of all sizes are beautiful. God loves this stack just as it is. And each book will get it's turn to be read and loved for what it contains. I mean, it's what is inside that counts.
So, while my habit of book-buying may not be ideal, grace covers it like a bookjacket. Thank you, God, for books, and that the rate of decay for natural fiber-based materials is so slow.
All my love.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Think dry thoughts

Today my job took me to the back woods of North Arkansas. I was riding shotgun with a very nice safety guy as we visited jobsites. And since the back woods are rather expansive, it took all day.

It was actually super fun. I got a coffee mug out of the deal, was offered a puppy, and, as one is apt to do in this particular setting, I heard some memorable things. The top three are as follows.

Number three: "Fritzy saw a black bear a bit ago."
And, I'm getting back in the car.

Number two: "Been busier'n a cat coverin' up poop."
My goal is to use this phrase before the week is over.

And the number one phrase (drumroll): "I got to walk out here and pee. I wish it was that easy for you."
As I assured the sincere gentleman that I was good for a while, I found myself profoundly and unexpectedly grateful for common sense. You see, I can put back a soda in under five minutes without trying. But, during lunch, that practical voice in the back of my head realized that ladies' rooms are rather uncommon in the back woods. You'd sooner find a black bear. And don't get me started on toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
Since I wanted to limit the number of things I have in common with cats, I paced my consumption and made it safely back to civilization before nature called.
Thank you, Jesus, for toilet paper, flushing toilets, no black bear sightings, and common sense. All my love.

Monday, May 9, 2011

So much to be thankful for, so little time.

So, I've been a bit lackadaisical lately about this post, and I'll tell you why. First, there's the qualm of whether to be deep, simple, or some whimsical combination thereof. Second, there's the challenge of picking a single topic, when there are any number of things that stir gratitude and joy. Thirdly, I've been really busy spending time with fantabulous people. So, in an effort to catch up to where I am now, I'll forgo any in depth explanation and just list some things that I'm grateful for right this minute as a sit on my brown couch in the air conditioning on a sunny afternoon:
~ my brown couch
~ the aforementioned fantabulous people
~ emotive music
~ mascara
~ Jesus!
~ leftovers - the gift that keeps on giving
~ tildes: the prettiest punctuation
~ digital cameras with instant review capabilities
~ air conditioning
~ nice people at gas stations
~ professional opportunities that come out of nowhere
~ travel...man, just the memories of Italy are like-a mouth-a full-of-a oregano! (that's supposed to read like an Italian accent...picture big hand gestures)
~ paper towels
~ hope and second chances....and third chances, et al
~ cell phones
~ mi familia (love ya!)
~ stories...sigh...all the pretty stories
~ chocolate
~ sunscreen
~ forgiveness
~ bug spray
~ unexpected compliments
~ did I mention chocolate?

Okay, thanks, Jesus for all this and so much more! Love you loads!

Monday, May 2, 2011


So, a little over a week ago, in an effort to shut a door quietly, I put my fingertips against the corner of a closing door.
The door made virtually no sound. I, however, did make some noise as the door was heavier than I realized and didn't stop closing until it compressed my fingertip against the doorframe. I now have an ugly bruisey thing under my fingernail.
Someone told me it was a blood blister and could be pierced. I tried for about two seconds and ended up face down on the carpet doing deep breaths and moaning. It's not a pain thing, it's a potential for pain thing. I just can't seem to get comfortable with the idea of shedding blood. Especially my own.
Which makes me grateful for nail polish. My ugly finger can be disguised as a pretty finger! And I don't have to stab any body parts. In a matter of months, I'll be back to normal.
So, thank you, Jesus for nail polish and the way our bodies heal themselves over time. That is seriously cool. Amen.