Do You Not See It?

“For I am about to do something new.

See, I have already begun!  Do you not see it?”

Isaiah 43:19

I am about to enter a new season of ministry leadership at my church.  As I do so, I believe in God’s sovereignty, timing and call on my life.  He has orchestrated all of the details that have led up to this time and I walk in confidence that He goes before me.

One day, as the realities of this new season began to sink in, my mind was flooded with thoughts about the word “new“.  So, in true blogger fashion, I took to my computer and jotted down my thoughts.  Here’s what I wrote:

New is exciting.  New is refreshing.

New is unlimited possibilities.  New is full of promise.

New is scary.  New is uncertain.

New is exhausting.  New is learning all over again.

God is sovereign.  God is faithful.

God is loving.  God is awesome.

God is a provider.  God is my Father.

New is needed.  God is good.

Earlier this week, I read a timely word in my Jesus Calling devotional that stopped me in my tracks.  Here’s a photo of what I read (note my highlighted and underlined portions):

Jesus Calling June 4

As I walk through the days ahead, I choose to walk through demanding days by gripping the hand of my Savior and walking in confidence that He who called me is faithful (1 Thessalonians 5:24).  Amen!

My Thoughts on Milestones as a Mom and KidMin Leader

When I became a mom 17 years ago, older women would say, “Cherish every moment.  They grow up very quickly.”  As a mom of young children, I honestly couldn’t fathom them growing up quickly.  I was trying to survive each day!  It felt like they’d be little forever and that I’d always be changing diapers, getting up during the night, picking up toys countless time a day, vacuuming up Cheerios, potty training and chasing after children who liked to run and explore everything!  These days, I find myself giving that same timeless and true advice to moms of young children, with the preface, “You might not believe this right now, but…”

This year has been a huge year of milestones for my children, who are now ages 17 and almost 14.  Milestones are nothing new; my children have hit many over the course of their young lives.  It’s only when there are a TON of milestones in one year that it’s get to be a bit overwhelming.  A few major milestones marked this year include:  learner’s permit, class ring/ring banquet, Prom, becoming a high school senior (my son) and yesterday, my daughter graduating from the 8th Grade.  I have had a wide range of emotions, that’s for sure!

I’ve viewed the events of this year through two lenses: my Mom lens and my KidMin leader lens.

As a Mom, I wonder, Have we, as their parents, done enough?  What could we have done differently?  Have we given them the tools to make their own decisions and live on their own?  The time really has gone by fast.  My mom has told me (and countless other women) about seasons of motherhood.  I would describe this season of motherhood as the preparing to launch season.  This particular season has found me being way more intentional in helping them to pray more purposefully, resolve relational conflict in healthy ways, be sure about what they believe and why, live out their faith courageously, manage their time, take care of their things and manage their money better.

As a KidMin leader, I wonder, How do we as leaders help parents navigate the many seasons of parenthood?  Do we mark and celebrate spiritual and life milestones with them?  Are we intentional as children transition from one area of ministry to another?  These questions have kept my KidMin leader working overtime lately and will become part of my focus for the upcoming ministry year.  It is important that my team and I recognize that parents (1) like to celebrate milestones in their children’s lives and (2) they need guidance on what to expect, support from their church and support from other parents going through a similar season and those who’ve already lived through those seasons.

I will be dusting off a few of my resources to give our team a good foundation to brainstorm from.  Some of the resources I’m turning to are:

The Legacy Path:  Discover Intentional Spiritual Parenting by Brian Haynes

*He also had a website, which you can check out here.

Take It Home:  Inspiration and Events to Help Parents Spiritually Transform Their Children by Mark Holmen

Parents, how are you marking milestones in your child’s life?

KidMin leaders, how is your ministry helping parents celebrate and navigate milestones and transitions?  What resources do you use?  I am looking for ideas to please share away!

My Life as a Blogger: One Year Later

For the past year, I have walked down a familiar, yet unfamiliar path.  You see, the path is both familiar and unfamiliar because while I have trusted God in unchartered territory before, this has been a different type of faith journey.  This type of journey would be done so in a very public format.

If you’ve followed me for some time, you know that my entrance into the blogosphere was filled with fear, trembling and trepidation.  (You can read all about that here.)  No one wants to fail but failing in such a public way is even more frightful.

My greatest desire in writing here is to share my Children’s Ministry experiences with others.  This blog has evolved over the course of the year and that has been so exciting to watch.  It has been fun to be creative on my own terms and to learn how to find my own voice in this platform that God has given me.  There are some great blogs out there, but I need to be myself and speak like myself.

Here are a few things I’ve learned along this amazing journey:

  • God has really knock my socks off!  I have had some incredible opportunities and met even more incredible people as a result of this blog.  So much for thinking that no one would read my posts!  But really, it’s amazing how sharing what God places on my heart has blessed people in the ways it has.
  • I can’t be afraid to change things up a bit.  KidMinspiration started out as a blog primarily geared towards Children’s Ministry leaders.  It has grown to now include Children’s Ministry volunteers and parents.  Volunteers and parents are naturally a part of Children’s Ministry, so why not make it accessible to people invested in kidmin?  My writing also tended to include volunteers and parents, so it was a natural progression.
  • Personal stories make me feel more at ease.  One of the best ways for people to know me better is to include personal stories.  Who doesn’t love a story?  In addition to being a kidmin leader, I’m also a wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend so giving you a peek into my life was also a natural progression.
  • Blogging takes time.  Whew – I underestimated how much time it would take to take a blog post from beginning to end.  Answering questions like What will I write about?  When will I sit down to flesh that out?  What type of media should I include?  Have I used too many words?  Or not enough words?  Is it clear and compelling?  For someone who’s not a professional writer, these things can be a little daunting but it’s getting a little easier.
  • There’s a lot to learn about blogging and how to blog well.  There is a plethora of resources out there for bloggers.  I am so grateful to read ways to become a better blogger.  This girl needs all the help I can get!

Thank you so much for being part of my life for the past year.  I honestly didn’t think that I’d last 3 months but God is so good to me.  I am thankful for everyone who reads my words, shares my words and allows my words to impact their life and ministry.  You have blessed me beyond measure.

Here’s to (hopefully) another great year together!  Be blessed!

What has been your favorite KidMinspiration post?  Let me know by commenting below!

My Mom, My Greatest Teacher

Happy Mother’s Day!  As I have gotten older and become a mom myself, I have grown to appreciate my own mom more and more. What’s not to love about her?  She is deeply rooted in her faith, loved and respected by her family, loyal to her friends, dedicated in her volunteer service and ministry, just to name a few.  I am so honored to be her namesake (although she is Kathy with a “y” and not “ie” like me!)

I have had wonderful teachers over the years but I know that hands-down, she was the greatest teacher I’ve ever had.  She would disagree, but I think she missed her vocational calling!  She should’ve been a teacher.  But aren’t all moms teachers?  I think when we’re in the trenches, dealing with day-to-day survival, we moms can forget that we are teaching our children – teaching them how to walk with the Lord, how to resolve conflict, how to be in relationships with others, how to do laundry, how to get the best deal, how to enjoy life.

When I think back to the many lessons that my Mom taught me, here are a few that instantly come to mind:

  • Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate.  Growing up, we celebrated everything – good grades, awards, milestones, holidays, you name it.  To this day, my Mom still takes the time to celebrate the big and the small.  This is a tradition that my children have grown up with as well.  Get used to it, kiddos – we’re celebrating everything!
  • Make family a priority.  No one or no thing, absolutely no one and no thing, came before family.  Family is everything.  One area where this was particularly evident was in my sibling relationships.  Sibling fights were not allowed in our house.  Yes, we had disagreements, but at the end of the day, reconciling with one another was non-negotiable.  Which leads me to my next lesson learned…
  • Our home is a safe place.  The world is full of negativity and strife.  Put-downs, teasing and other hurtful actions were not allowed in our home.

As an adult, I’m still learning from my mom.

  • Take time for you.  Take time to pamper yourself with a trip to the salon or to get a manicure.  Buy a new shade of lipstick.  Treat yourself to that new blouse.  Don’t neglect yourself while you parent.
  • Nurture your marriage.  Date your husband.  Get away for a long weekend.  Show him respect and teach your children to do the same.
  • Pick your battles.  Save your energy for what really matters.

I asked my friends through social media the following question:  What’s the best advice your mother (or mother figure) has ever given you?  Here are some of their responses:

“Be stronger than you look.”

“Let go and let God.”

“Trust God, be faithful to my husband, be dedicated to my children and be committed to my family and friends.”

“Sometimes you win the battle but lose the war…and some battles are just not worth fighting (win or lose).”

“When I became a mom, I asked my mom what the driving force behind her mothering style was and she said, ‘I made up my mind to love my kids for who they were, not who I wanted them to be.'”

“Always be sure to thank your people (at the church I pastor).”

“It’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed!”

“It doesn’t hurt to say ‘Hello’ to someone.”

“Pursue your calling now.  What’s growing up got to do with anything?”

“Look people in the eye.”

“Always wear a little lipstick.”

“Give people grace; only God knows what’s going on in their hearts.”

“Don’t base your life on ‘what if?'”

“Remember who you are.  You are a child of the King.  You were bought with a price.  Because Jesus lives in you, then within you is hope, and peace, and all that is good.”

Now it’s your turn…What’s the best advice your mother (or mother figure) has ever given you?  Share her wisdom below!