Author Archives: kimbyann24

last actions > last words

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Where were you when???

That question is asked a lot. Whether it was when Kennedy was shot, the Challenger exploded. or 9/11, people always remember where they were when significant things happened.

I was getting ready for the 3rd grade Land Run when I found out about the OKC bombing. I was in 10th grade drama with the 2nd plane hit the towers. I was getting home from the most perfect first day of summer vacation when the phone rang about my dad.  

When I heard that Debbie Lipscomb had passed on, I was in the middle of our church foyer. I was registering campers for MAX camp, fielding questions, and serving alongside my husband, 3 week old, and friends.

 

My brain and my heart were sad, but my spirit was rejoicing. I was thankful for the life she lived, and that she was finally at home with Jesus and free from the cancer.

 

In the middle of the Children’s ministry summertime chaos I was in, I thought, “Would I even be doing this if it weren’t for Debbie?”

 

Bob and Deb Lipscomb are easily 2 of the 5 most influential people in my life. I started NSU as a selfish, immature baby Christian, and left a completely different person. I served with them on leadership teams, as an intern, I lived at the BCM for a while, and  after college I was their Intern Associate for two years. I gained so much from that time in my life and much of it I use EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

 

Deb always thought I connected with Bob more. Not having a great relationship with my father, he was a great role model and leader in my life. I did share a lot with him over my years, but it was through Deb I always learned the most.

 

I did learn a lot through her talks, whether it was to encourage, direct, lead, or correct, her advice was always Godly and her discernment wise. It was through her actions, service, and leadership, I learned more.

 

Deb was always behind the scenes, planning, organizing, and praying. Before her, I always thought leaders had to be loud. She was the first servant leader I saw, and I learned so much from that. I can’t ever leave an event now without making sure everything is done. Anytime I’m tired, I remember she always served, not just when she was well-rested or it was convenient. She truly lived her life as a sacrifice to others.

 

She loved the Nations! Through her influence, my love for the Nations was fostered. I was able to go on several mission trips with her, as well as learning how to plan and execute a trip for 50 college students. Those skills come in handy more than I could have imagined. I was encouraged to spend my summers travelling around telling people about Jesus. I was able to go overseas and learn how big God’s love for the world really is. I also learned missions is a lifestyle. My husband and I are both in secular jobs, but we know that wherever God has placed us is our Mission. I love going to my job teaching because I know it’s my mission field right now.

She loved her family. I saw a great example of marriage and family. When looking for a husband, I didn’t settle for a”nice Christian guy.” I watched her and Bob work as a team for years, and not a day went by where I didn’t see them act with love and respect towards one another. I knew Anthony was the one because he challenged me spiritually, showed love and respect in everything he did, and always worked as a team with me. Now that we have a daughter, we plan to take her alongside in all we do, teaching her to Love god and others above all else.

 

She taught me to pray. Pray was at the heart of all she did. I learned when to pray, how to pray,and to pray without ceasing. Every time we gathered, it was at the center of all we did. I was able to see her prayer porch last week, and was humbled to think of all the prayers sent up from that spot.


One of my dearest memories of Deb is was during my last year as an associate. We were sent to OKC without Bob, and went to a training. I was preparing for what came next after my time as an associate, and was considering taking a church job. She suggested we take a detour. We first went to Sonic happy hour and then drove to the church I was considering. We drove around and physically prayed.  Since that day, this has been a practice in my life, whether I journal the prayers, or physically go to a place and pray over it. I won’t ever forget that day.

 

Last week, Anthony, Elise and I gotta go say goodbye to Deb. She was frustrated because she couldn’t speak hardly at all. Once again, her actions spoke to me louder than words. I watched her eyes fill with pride and joy as she looked our baby over. I watched her look lovingly at Bob as he stood beside her. I watched as she listened intently as we told her about life. As she held my hands as we were praying over her, I felt her saying “Amen,”

Those actions I will remember forever, way longer than her words.

 

To Bob: I am so sorry for your loss. You and Deb have been the picture of unconditional love, teamwork and service to others. Watching your love and care for her in the last days of her life was a beautiful thing to witness. I love you and will be praying for you. Your love and legacy is inspiring,

 

To BJ, Micah, Casey, and the family: Your mother was SO important  so many. I pray that God is your comfort and strength. Thank you so much for sharing your mom and Nana with all of us, and loving all the BCM kids like your family. You are all in my prayers.

 

To the NSU BCM, FBC-Tahlequah:  and all of the rest influenced by Deb: I pray that you remember what you learned from Deb, live by the example Jesus set in her, and live in a way that is honoring to Christ and her legacy through Him. May you serve and love with more abandon. May you live each day to the fullest, working for the Lord. May you let your light shine bright and continue to reach the ends of the Earth to make the name of Jesus known.

 

We have all had a great loss,but we are left with a great example, and a charge to Love God, love others, and serve them both, until our last breath.

While my heart is sad, it is also filled with Joy, as I know Deb is safely in the arms of Jesus, hearing, “Well done, my faithful servant.

 

 

 

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5 things I learned in Elise Joy’s 1st 5 days

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I am sitting here in my living room.

Six days ago I prayed and prayed that I would get to be right here in this place soon, instead of a labor and delivery room.

I have my cute dog to the left, my handsome already a contender for dad of the year to my right catching up on his reading list. Oh, and sweet baby Elise is finally here. In her light box, starting another round of tanning sessions to cure her jaundice.

One week ago, I was sitting on this couch, knowing we had one more day of just us. The next day would be spent as an adventure, then I would go to the hospital for my induction that , and hopefully have my sweet baby in my arms by the next afternoon.

What came in the next 36 hours, was a whole lot of unexpected. Upon checking into the hospital on June 5th at 9PM,  my induction process started. I tried to sleep through the contractions, iv’s, nurse checks, and the almost obscene amount of monitors hooked up to me. The first induction method they tried was supposed to stay in place until 9 AM, and then my progress would be checked. I counted down the hours with anticipation as I woke up at 6 AM in the hospital. I planned what we were going to eat for dinner, because I would be delivered for sure and could finally eat! Ice chips and popsicles get real old!

Then the nurse said, “You’ve made it to two centimeters,”

“TWO?” Okay, 8 more to go. I thought to myself, I can do this. I was started on an epidural, pictocin, and my water was broken. Hour after hour showed no change. I got up to 6 centimeters by 6 PM and stayed that way until about Midnight. Yes, 27 hours later for those counting.  I was given more things to help me sleep and gain energy. At 2 AM I became a 7. That’s where it all kind of stopped. We tried everything to progress the labor, and nothing would change.

Around 5:30 on Thursday, June 7th, it was decided I would have a C-section by my doctor.  By 6:30 I was in the OR, my husband was scrubbed up and we were ready to go. 6:44 AM, they started my C-section, and by 6:50 AM, I heard the first cry and it was all worth it. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t enjoy the labor, but I enjoyed this new little girl in our lives.

She was placed on me in recovery and we started to bond. I was wheeled into my recovery room. I finally got to eat! When you are in labor for a day and half and can only watch TV, you see so much food that you just want to eat. I ate graham crackers, applesauce, and my husband and mother-in-law went and got Braum’s for me, complete with a Dreamsicle shake.

We got to eat our hospital celebratory dinner of steak, and my mom and Anthony continued to take turns sitting with me and helping with Elise.

At 7 PM I got all my tubes out! Praise Jesus! I was able to finally walk around, after literally 40 hours in a hospital bed. I am too much of a busybody for that nonsense. I could walk, slowly but surely.

The next day, we found out two things. First thing, my iron levels had gotten critically low. Second thing, Elise would need phototherapy under the lights. For the next 22 hours, we worked on me eating and resting, and Elise getting her light therapy and food. We prayed and prayed that Saturday would be our last day and that we would be able to go home.

Saturday afternoon, we were released, and able to enjoy our time at home with our dog that I missed TERRIBLY while in the hospital.

I know, you are like that was a birth recap. Well the 5 things are coming.

Thing 1: I need my village. Around 5:15 AM on Thursday, I cried out to God. My mom was asleep on the couch and Anthony was at home resting and checking on Annie. I got to the point, where I knew only Jesus was going to get me through the pain and frustration. I then sent my closest friends and prayer warriors a message asking for prayer and encouragement. Literally 5 minutes later, I found out the C-section was coming.

As we got home Saturday, Elise started struggling with feeding and it continued on into Sunday. Call us crazy, but Anthony and I loaded up Elise and went up the road to our small group, because we needed our people.

Today, we received news that I am not going to be able to nurse and that Elise is going back into light therapy until we take her back to the doctor Wednesday. I needed my people again.

I am so appreciative of the calls, texts, prayers, meals, Sonic drinks, and visits! Keep them coming! My husband and I are both extroverted and enjoy our “people.”

Thing 2: I know understand how fiercely loved I am by my parents. It’s crazy. They tell you all the time that until you are a parent yourself, you won’t understand how much your own parents love you. Both of my parents have always made me feel loved, in their own ways. Bringing Elise into the world has made me see my own mother in an even more different way. She has always gone above and beyond to take care of my brother and I, and this past week has been no different. She was at the hospital on and off for 4 days, giving Anthony breaks, bringing food, sleeping with Annie so she wouldn’t be lonely. She waited for the Motherhood store to open on Friday to make sure I had the post c-section band I would need to help with recovery. She rocked Elise’s crib forever to calm her down in the light box. She changed diapers and made sure that we were okay. Our dryer broke the day before I went into labor. She ordered a new one for us and had the old hauled away as one less thing for us to worry about. I always knew she does these things for love, but until I had Elise, I didn’t understand.

Watching Elise in the light box, I knew I would do whatever it took to get her healthy. I stayed up with her to comfort her. I ate every hour to try to produce milk. I chugged water like nobody’s business, and I prayed for her every minute. Last night, as we suffered through her not eating and fussing, I prayed again. I decided that her eating was more important than me being supermom, and broke open the formula to feed her. I would do anything for her, and I want her to be as fiercely loved as I am by my mom.

Thing 3: Mother’s intuition is real.  As I stated before, Elise had problems eating once we got home from the hospital. She fussed every hour, but wouldn’t eat. By Sunday night, I was full of frustration and anxiety. The thought of trying to feed her again, made me upset. 9PM, 10PM, 11PM, we tried and tried and nothing worked. Knowing we would be at the doctor in the AM, I decided I would just seek her advice. Then, I prayed. I knew I had to feed her, regardless of what it was. I went into the kitchen and got the formula we’d been given as samples down. I mixed the bottle and used the warmer. I took it to her and she ate. Then, she slept peacefully until I fed her again. There is a lot of stigma about formula feeding, and I have to tell you, I was scared to try it. Once I did, all the anxiety, frustration, and dread went away. I felt at peace knowing I did what my baby needed. At our appointment this morning, it was confirmed. As a result of my anemia worsening in the hospital, my milk wasn’t coming in. My baby’s jaundice was worse, and she would need formula to make it better. I did the right thing..

Thing 4: My husband is a rock star. I always knew I married the best guy in the world. I Jack Pearson has nothing  on him. I knew he’d be a good dad. From minute one,  he was. He can burp, swaddle, change a diaper, rock a baby, and make sure I am feeling loved too. He can pray us through everything, bring me back to reality when I need it, and support me when I need it the most. He makes sure our baby has all that she needs. He makes sure she is safe, protected and loved. I fell in love with him all over again watching him with our baby. I could say a million more things. I love and appreciate him so much. There aren’t enough words in the world.

 

Thing 5: Only Jesus.  As I was praying early that Thursday, waiting to see what would happen, I would read verses about God being our strength and refuge. I said them over and over in my head. Several times in the days leading to Elise’s birth and those after, Jesus was the only thing that could get me through. Every new season and challenge, God reveals more to me about Himself, and I am thankful. It’s only by Jesus I am saved. Only by Jesus I have a life that is abundant. Only through Jesus I met my husband. Only by Jesus that I have my blessing of a daughter. Every day I am learning to trust and depend more on Jesus, and I know it’s only through Him any of this is possible.

 

Well, if you made it through all this, congrats! I process by writing, and wanted to process this past week of my life and bringing our beautiful baby into the world. My hope and prayer is that others will be encouraged and that my life will point others to Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping things private in public.

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No baby yet?

I feel like that has become the new hello for me in the past 3 weeks. Sometimes the sassy, large, seemingly stubborn baby makes me want to answer in a sarcastic way,

However, I just choose the general,  “Not yet,” or “She is just taking her time.”

This is just one of the many things people tell you to expect when you are expecting.

There will be lots of questions, comments, and advice, even when you didn’t ask for it.

Aside from bloating, cravings, pains, nausea, I think dealing with all of the words of other people is a pregnancy side effect that has probably been in play since the beginning.

The main difference between the pregnant ladies of the past and the ladies of today is social media.

I have always been an pretty extroverted person. I have a public job where my pregnancy has been on display. My husband has a public job. He is literally the first person you meet with at Wal-mart Home Office.  We both volunteer at church. My husband is a student ministry leader.

We are used to leading a very public life. There are several times people come up to me and talk because they know my husband or I led their kid in Children’s worship.  Honestly, sometimes I don’t even know who they are. Most of the time, the people loving and extroverted side of me doesn’t care. I even embrace it.

However, upon learning last October that I was pregnant, this introverted, desire to be private switch turned on in my heart.

I’m pretty sure it all started right when I saw the pregnancy test. My husband and I talked it over and decided to tell one friend/prayer partner to be an extra support in those first couple weeks before you go to the doctor. It was kind of nice to have something for a few weeks that pretty much just between us.

Slowly, we involved more family and friends, and let more people into our story. We did announce publicly at 14 weeks, which is a lifetime to some. At 16 weeks, we did a gender scan, and planned to surprise our families on Christmas. We then told our friends, small group, and co-workers. I think we had been sitting on the info for almost 4 weeks when we finally made a public announcement.

From there, we had registries to plan, nursery colors to decide on, equipment to pick out, and showers to go to. We were very blessed by so many people. We are very grateful for all the love and kindness. Still, all of these things made our little baby bubble become a LOT larger.

Week by week, I didn’t do belly pictures. Not because I wasn’t proud, but because I didn’t feel the need to. I had ultrasounds every month, but never felt like sharing. I was sick from 15 weeks until about 30 weeks, but I mostly just asked close friends for prayers.  I unfollowed everyone on Facebook to make my time spend on social media more intentional and not just a mindless things. I updated privacy settings across all the mediums I use, and mostly just posted pictures of my cute dog.

Now, I am in NO way saying that people who like to share all of the details about their pregnancy on social media are wrong. More power to all of you! I enjoy seeing your posts.

I am writing my thoughts and plans on the subject, because I feel there may be other moms and dads to be that feel this way too and need inspiration.

My husband and I have read articles and blogs trying to find a plan for our child and privacy that we felt comfortable with. I have decided to share to let people know our plans and give others searching for how to keep their family life private some inspiration, for lack of a better word.

As far as the labor process and our new baby, these are the guidelines we feel comfortable with. We understand they may be inconvenient and not what you would personally do, and that’s okay. Again, we aren’t trying to judge or say our way is the right way, just what we have prayerfully considered and decided is best for us.

The McCarty social media baby plan:

  • When we leave for the hospital, our communication with people will be either through text or calls. We have a few people picked out to help us communicate progress and prayer requests. Mostly the people we involve at this point are either people I picked to help me out, help out with Annie, or our prayer partner. We aren’t taking pictures during the labor process.

 

  • After delivery, we plan to update family, friends, and people that we want to update. If we send you a picture and birth details, please don’t post it. We have waited 9 months to present our child to the world, and we want to do it in our own way. Plus, I have a list of people to contact that we want to tell personally. Social media is not that personal to us.
  • Please don’t congratulate us through social media until we have posted ourselves.  It kind of gives the secret away.
  • As you come to visit, we ask that you not check into the hospital, our house, Bentonville, on social media. Again, it gives the secret away.
  • Our plan is to make a public announcement through social media, church updates, etc. once our baby is home. We may include a picture, and if we do, again we ask that it not be shared publicly. Anthony and I have worked on our privacy settings and we trust who can see our picture.
  • We welcome visitors into our home to meet our baby. Please just let us know when you are coming. We will probably even take pictures so our baby will know all the people that care about her.
  • We are limited our baby’s presence on social media. We are happy to let you see her or send pictures, but we don’t feel it’s fair to document every minute of her life before she even knows what’s going on.
  • When I say limiting, I don’t really know what that will include yet, but we will figure it out and as her parents that is our choice.
  • You are welcome to take pictures when you come to visit, but please don’t share on social media or make our baby your profile picture. I know I would be weirded out if I was somebody’s profile picture, so I would not like to do that do our baby.

 

Whoa, I feel like I just went all teacher on everyone. I know some people will have opinions about our view. They may say we are too protective or shouldn’t care so much. I almost didn’t want to share our decisions publicly, but I know others may benefit.

We are excited to bring our child into the world. A big struggle with living in a social media age is feeling guilty or “like it didn’t really happen” if it’s not shared. We are going to be proud parents, regardless of how much is shared or how many “likes” we get.

As a teacher, I see the effects of a generation ruled with parents who have shared every detail of their child’s life. I see kids who have had devices in their hands since before they could talk. We want our child to grow up in a way where she knows she is part of a community, and something bigger than herself,  but where she is not the center of the universe who needs every moment documented.

Our baby will soon make her way into the world.  We are excited for that and appreciate all the people that already care and love her. We promise that aside from God, we love her more, and want to what we feel is best.

 

chronicles of an expectant mother: episode 1

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I’m going to get better at this pregnancy thing.

Throughout my years of social media exposure, I have seen several things expectant moms do to chronicle the life of their unborn child. They do belly pictures( not really me), sonogram photos (I am okay with that in small groups. haha), and making the chart that explains everything that is happening to your body (I totally look up everything).

I am happy for moms that choose to share these things, but in all honesty, that’s just not me.

I did want my unborn child to have some things they could look back on one day, because I DO love doing that. Context is one of my strengths and history is one of my favorite things. I am currently obsessed with The CROWN, but anyway.

I am a writer. It’s one of my passions, so in the 5( WHAT! 5) months I have left before our child comes into the world, I wanted to be better at journaling/blogging my experiences.

Let’s start with the Gender Reveal experience. Whoa! Big one, right? I  want people to keep reading.

About a month ago, I went into the doctor for my weekly checkup. Sidebar, I LOVE my doctor. She gets me.  Anyway, I was 14 1/2 weeks along then, and I just knew she was going to tell me the next time I came we would do the great, awesome, anatomy reveal!

She said I would probably have to wait until I was 21-22 weeks because I was born with a small heart defect and they wanted to get a really good look at the baby’s heart to help see if there was anything to prepare for.

She then told me that if I wanted to do a gender scan, I could come to the office or go to an ultrasound imaging place her sonogram lady owns.

I talked it over with Anthony, and we decided it would be great to surprise our families on Christmas!

I had originally wanted to do a big party and find out then, but a) I am too tired for that, and b) I was growing more impatient by the day.)

We got an appointment for December 20th. We went in and they started looking and we got to see our baby in 2D, 3D, and all kinds of positions. We were there about 30 minutes and within 15 she was 100 percent sure.

We already knew what she was going to tell us. I had known it was a boy since the day I knew there was a baby. My symptoms lined up with boy. People told us it would be a boy. We debated boy names long after we had a girl name picked out.

Well, we took our CD, DVD, heartbeat keepsake, and roll of pics, and headed out to celebrate.  It was a great experience.

I made the gender reveal presents and wrapped them and almost drove myself crazy with anticipation. I don’t keep secrets from my mom very well, so 5 days was rough.

Christmas morning came, and Anthony, my  brother, Mom, and Mike opened all our presents from one another. We pulled out the surprise boxes when everyone was done. They unwrapped it and it looked like this.

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Then, they opened the box and it had the name and gender of our baby on an ornament, which I will show at the end!

We went on to surprise Anthony’s family, my aunt and uncles, and everyone else that came over that day.

Later on that week, we told small group members, friends, my co-workers, and then when we came back to school, my class voted.

Here are their results.  It says 12 for boy and 15 for girl. I only had 13 kids out of 16 there that day, so the neighbor class voted too. They made little charts and gave name suggestions. It was cute. Then, I told them.

 

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15-12 girl. 

 

Now, I guess it’s finally time to tell the world.  We were completely shocked when we found out, so I’ll understand if it takes you a minute or two to regain composure. We are having a……………………………GIRL.

Yes! A girl. Even though everyone told us it was a boy, it was in fact, a girl. The lady even triple checked us. It’s official!   20171222_143803.jpg20171222_143825.jpg

I realize this post is going to be long, but I wanted to explain some things that are hard to do with picture captions. You know, since it is a girl, she will probably want to read all this stuff about her one day!

The Name: We picked Elise Joy. I have always loved the name Elise. I am not even sure why. my paternal grandma went by Betty and my mom’s name is Lisa. Elise means the name thing as both of their names- consecrated to God. Which is a huge hope that we have for her. We wanted her to love God, love people and serve both well. Her middle name is Joy because it’s my favorite word. I want her to lead and live a joy filled life and bring joy wherever she goes.  As I said, I KNEW this would be our girl name. The boy we had  a struggle with, but no need to worry now. I also always loved the name Annie because several of my favorite characters are named Annie, but since we were only ever having sons, (LOL) I gave it to our sweet puppy!

The first things we bought when we knew:  The sign because we wanted the Coral and Mint colors in her room and I love those three words for her.  The globe because we both love the world and adventure and want her too as well. The book. I LOVE this book. It is such a girl power book. We want her to be strong, a leader, and someone who goes after their goals. You are talking to two first born parents with a first born child. When I was a kid I wanted to be Elizabeth Blackwell, Princess Diana, and the first woman president. Our girl is going places! The hat is my dad’s that his construction crew had made when I was born, so it’s a sweet keepsake. The baby my Poppy and Mildred bought for me when I was born and it always stayed at their house. My Poppy is gone, but I teared up when she gave it to me after 30 years!  We also got some shoes, and her first outfit! She will for sure be fashionable.

The song: In September, we went to a Zac Brown Band concert. I was pregnant, but didn’t know it. I heard this song, “I’ll be Your Man,” and I teared up( should have been a clue.) I thought that if we ever had a girl, this would be she and Anthony’s song. It reminded me of all the men in my life and how great of a dad the person I married will be. He’s already the BEST. I know she’ll love him too. I’ll Be Your Man- Zac Brown Band.

Just loop it while you read this, you will be CRYING! lol.

Our prayers for Elise:  We pray she grows up to be strong, independent, smart girl. We pray she always knows we love her, but that God loves her even more and has a plan and purpose for her.  We pray she grows up in a world where she can be valued, respected, and unique. We pray that she will set the world on fire and change it for the better. We pray that she will know her worth is not in the world, but in Christ alone.

 

With Joy,

Miss Kim

little rooms

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It’s Christmas time! A time that I have always loved as a kid, and continue to enjoy to this day. Being an elementary school teacher only adds to that. I love the wonder. the excitement, and the joy the season brings.

As I was listening to “Joy to the World,” last week in church service, I was struck by the line, “Let every heart prepare Him room.”

I have heard this my whole life, I know it is the welcoming of Jesus into your heart during this time of Advent.

This time when I heard it, I thought to myself, “Man I have been in a lot of little rooms this year.”

I know, weird connection, but stay with me.

It started last May.

We had been in the house search for quite a while, and were in the waiting period before we closed on our house we now own. My heart was beating out of my chest as we met and drove to the office to finally close on our house. We sat in a little room. Expectant. Getting more nervous as we waited to sign the papers. All of the sudden, the paperwork was done, we owned a house, and a whole new responsibility came.

Three weeks later, I was sitting in our office, going through all of my dad’s memories and keepsakes as I tried to process his death. This was followed by another small room where we made arrangements. Those rooms still have a profound impact when I think of them.

From those little rooms, we left and went to a waiting room to check on Anthony’s brother that was in the hospital. We left that room in search for hope or at least a distraction.

We thought zoo, but instead drove straight home to Arkansas to an animal shelter. We walked along rows of little rooms and saw our Annie for the first time. We were instant best friends, and we happily processed her adoption in another tiny room. 24 hours later, we were new pet parents waiting for the vet with our new scared puppy. We had no clue what we were doing. Those rooms showed us that the best things in life can be so scary and exciting at the same time.

A few days later,  we were another small but comfortable room where my family was waiting to stay goodbye to my dad. Surrounded by our friends and family my husband preached to us and honored my dad greatly. Finally,  a last small room where we designed a headstone.  Those little rooms taught me there was beauty in the ending of life, although painful.

As we left the service that day, we received another call to go and see Anthony’s brother that had been sick in the hospital. We were up there most of the night between a waiting room, and the smallest room where I supported my husband as he tried to make end of life decision for his 27 year old brother. Something that I still can’t believe we got through, and I am thankful I have never experienced with my own brother. A week later, we were saying goodbye again. That set of rooms taught me how strong my husband, and the strength of our marriage.

While we were in the hospital, I had this urge to leave the waiting room and find the nursery. I know it’s a overused dramatic TV show thing. They always go look at the nursery in the hospital while someone is on a deathbed. It really helps though. You see that life is a beautiful miracle that has to have a beginning, as well as an end.

In my head, I thought, “Maybe it’s time we bring a baby into this family.” I quickly dismissed this idea because honestly, we JUST bought a house, my dad and brother-in-law JUST passed away, we JUST got a puppy, and I JUST started grad school. We talked a little and decided it was probably best for one of us to finish grad school first.

A few months on quiet went on after that . We settled in our house. We settled into our life as pet parents. I got used to grad school again. We went on vacation. We got back to us. Friends got married. Showers and parties were most of our weekend plans We got in the back to school groove. We thought maybe no more life changes in 2017.

Well, you know they say you make plans and God laughs.

Two months ago, I was not feeling the greatest, and could honestly not tell if I had pregnancy symptoms or was just really tired. It took me a week to get up the nerve to buy a test. I took that test, and it was in fact positive, plain as day.

Now in the movies, this is normally where people jump up and down and cry and scream, but honestly I didn’t know how to process it. I really couldn’t believe it!

Anthony and I were cautiously optimistic  as we waited for our first doctor’s appointment which was about 3 weeks after the test. We were happy to have a child, but at the same time, we have had so many friends go through struggles that we knew there was a possibility it may not happen.

I was even more anxious as I left work after a morning of parent teacher conferences. That afternoon, we found ourselves in a another little room giving blood, getting checked out, and getting the run down on prenatal care with our nurse. They made an ultrasound appointment for us, and we were on our way. I may have been lightheaded from the amount of blood they took, but I asked Anthony if they ever actually said if there was a baby.

Fast forward 2 weeks later, the nurse did my vitals and we were waiting on the doctor. It was about 10 minutes, but it felt like FOOOOOREVEEEEER.( Sandlot emphasis implied.) I was certain something was wrong and that the doctor couldn’t figure out what to say. Well, she came in and 10 minutes later our ultrasound was underway. All of the sudden we both heard a heartbeat that wasn’t ours and we saw this little thing just swimming along. There was a very strong heartbeat and the baby even waved ( well, as much as little nubs can wave.)

All of the sudden, this idea of a baby we had since we took the test a month prior was a real thing. It hit us. In that little room, we found out we were having our own child in the first week of June. In that little room, we saw that in the past 6 months God had been orchestrating and preparing our hearts for what was to come.

Whoa! Wait a minute God. You mean to tell us that our child will be born the week that both of our fathers died(Anthony’s dad died 5 years prior to mine a day apart)?Born in the same month we adopted Annie? The same month my brother-in-law died?

2017 has been a year of little rooms for us. Now we are 14 weeks along and starting to wrap our heads around being parents. We are both pretty clueless. I spend most of my time with 9 year olds, but a baby? I am not sure how everything works. We are mostly excited, and a little scared, like I usually am with most things. We get caught up in details, plans, and all the responsibility.

When the weight of that gets to be too much, I do a few things. I try to remember just how far God has already carried us. He has proved Himself faithful in our lives time and time again. I also go look in what is now our office, and imagine what this little room will look like this time next year.

Those thoughts make that little room full of peace, thankfulness, and JOY.

With Joy,

Mrs. Kim

For His Glory

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“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
    Let your glory be over all the earth!” Psalm 108:5

For His Glory.

I have been a VBS volunteer since the summer after I first accepted Jesus at the age of  17. Long before I had aspirations of being a full time educator. I have often called it “my 2nd Christmas week.” Some of my earliest church memories are of eating grape sno cones and reciting my books of the Bible in the parking lot of Eastern Heights Baptist Church.

I believe in the power of VBS and the influence it can have on our children in the church. I know the solid foundations of Truth that they will be presented, and how those simple Truths of Jesus can carry on way into their adult life. I will always rearrange my schedule or have our vacations purposefully scheduled on non VBS weeks so that I can be a part of such a significant week.

Each VBS I have been a part of has a theme, usually provided by Lifeway. In additon to these themes about beaches, sports, travels, amusement parks, submarines, or galaxies, I have also had a theme that runs through my heart during the week. Each year a different truth revived in my own heart and relationship with Jesus.

I have served in many different capacities over the years. Missions teacher, Bible study teacher, rotational leader, teen helper, decision counselor, assistant director, and elementary director.

This  year the Truth my heart keeps going back to is “For His Glory.”

Can I be really honest with you?

Sometimes doing things only “For His Glory,” can be draining. There were days in this summer journey to get to VBS that were straight up hard. There were things said in and out of love that hurt. There were many nights of long work, and days of tasks. There were even times in my own human sinful nature I thought, “Why bother?” As in any role where you are serving others, there are moments that are thankless. There are things you and your AMAZING friends do, that others will probably never notice. There are times where people only seem to notice what you do wrong, and are quick to give credit to someone else, for what you did right.

That is when I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOO thankful for God’s grace and His gentle reminding of these Truths in my life.

  • “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
  • “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain” Phil. 2:14-16
  • “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant[a] of Christ.” Gal. 1:10
  • “The Lord is my strength and my shield;in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;

    my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”- Psalm 28:7

    Only by His grace, mercy, and strength in my life, am I able to to this for His glory.

    You see, all of those minor things, words, and situations I mentioned above, the only reason these things even start to bother me, is because I am focused on my own glory. Just like Peter, when my eyes aren’t on Jesus, I can start to sink.

    I am so thankful that I serve a God who cares enough to redirect my focus on Him, when I start to sink in the weight of doing things in my own strength, or for my own glory.

    If God did not keep reminding me of this, it would have been really easy to focus on the negative things or those previously mentioned moments.

    Instead, when I resign myself to the idea that it is all “For His Glory,” my eyes are opened to so many blessings and moments God has allowed me to experience in the past couple weeks.

    I have been able to see our church come together and serve unselfishly. I have witnessed children hear the truths of Jesus for the first time. I have watched people get out of their comfort zone to use their talents for God.  I have been able to counsel two precious girls who accepted Jesus. I marveled at beautiful ballerinas and awesome percussionists. I have been blessed by so many wonderful elementary crew leaders who loved and served our kids well. I have watched new families walk into our church and get connected because of a friend and their boldness. I have watched ideas fail miserably, and other things be an amazing success.

    So whether it was organizing MAX camp information, working with actors who sometimes forgot their lines, helping crew leaders manage difficult children, scraping paint, taping decorations, putting the stage together, managing leaders, getting attendance, giving band-aids, giving hi fives, making leader treats, making connections, counseling others about their salvation, listening, or running about, I have decided to do it “For His Glory.”

    My goal in life is to Love God, Love others, and make Him known in a World that desperately needs Him.  Each season of life, each job, and each day, the way I do that may look differently.

    As I have mentioned on the blog, June was rough for our family.  As July was approaching with commitments of Day Camp, MAX Camp, and VBS, a friend that cares about me asked, ” Do you think you should still do all of these things?”

    I told her that I had made a commitment a while ago, and God knew where my heart would be during this time. I also said I wanted to be supportive of my friends that had asked me to help.

    “Would they do the same for you, if they were in your shoes?” she asked.  I told her that I really thought they would, because I am part of an awesome church family. I also thought later on that even if they wouldn’t, it doesn’t matter.

    A long time ago, when I decided to follow Jesus, that meant that I decided to trust Him with my life. He takes care of me, even when circumstances can complicate my life. I know that I can depend on His Strength, and He will lead me through whatever comes.

    My husband and I have tried to model our life and family in a way that brings Glory to God. Our desire is to serve God and make Him known to others. In the 15 short days we have had in July so far, He has provided countless opportunities for us to practice this.

    Don’t get me wrong, we are tired and very excited to go on vacation tomorrow, but we are thankful.

    I am so glad that I am allowed to live my life, “For his Glory,”

    “And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”-Isaiah 6:3
    With Joy,

    Mrs. Kim

July Bucket List

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Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” -Psalm 90:12

We have had a lot of life changes recently, and it has made me look at my own life and take stock. Am I living each day to the fullest? Am I worrying about things beyond my control? Am I making time for things that matter? Am I loving people as well as I could? Am I doing all I can for the kingdom of God? Am I resting the way I should? What kind of legacy will I leave one day?

If you are like me, you could wonder about these things all day. Where does that leave me? No further than I was before.  Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus say to worry and wonder.

He calls us to rest. – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

He calls us not to worry:Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7

He calls us to life live in the fullness of His glory: “May have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:18-19

These truths were great reminders to me in this current season of life. It also inspired me to bring back something I hadn’t done in a few years, the bucket list. I had a “maximizing your singleness bucket list.” This time, I am taking a few smaller chunks. I am starting a monthly bucket list.  My hope is to live each day more fully with these adventures, and share them.

July will be just as busy in the McCarty house. We have Day camp Mondays, MAX camp, VBS, and our family vacation.  This month’s list has a lot of self-care and things to help rest.

July Bucket list:

  1. Read at least 3 non school books
  2.  Hike at least 3 different places with Annie
  3. Attend Zumba and Pound class at least 1 time each
  4. Finish the Romans plan in She Reads Truth
  5. Organize the drawers and closets we haven’t finished
  6. Start our front yard landscaping
  7. Go to Ikea, 5 below, and the Magnolia market for house/school stuff.
  8. Have a pool day.
  9. Spend at least 2 hours a week for self-care( face masks, pedicures, reading, silence, whatever)
  10. Go to the drive in
  11. Watch a baseball game
  12.  Play disc golf at least once.
  13. Write at least once a week
  14. Try 2 new food places
  15.  Visit the Chihuly exhibit
  16.  Get sunrise pictures

Well, this list may not be as impressive as some earlier drafts, but I feel for this busy month it is a start.

What are some things you want  to accomplish in July? Any cool July thing I should add to the list?

Have a great July friends. Enjoy today and rest in the promises of God.

“You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” -Psalm 16:11

 

With Joy,

Miss Kim