Friday, January 29, 2010

Not the Getting, but the Giving

WOW!!! Where to begin....

My last post - I was so excited to find that some of my favorite bloggers were hosting some really cool give-aways!! I love give-aways!! Who doesn't? Right?

I am taking the long road of a short story - so hang with me...

I have been reading "Same Kind of Different As Me" by Ron Hall & Denver Moore, which is about GIVING selflessly & being obedient of God's calling to help those in need. I have been extremely moved by this book and feel blessed to have come across the Bloom Book Club Blog who suggested this book. On Wednesday, I finally found the time to catch up with the book club blog and listen to the hostesses, Jessica & Angie's discussion of the first 100 pages of the book.

Stay with me...

On Thursday, as I skimmed through all the blogs I follow relentlessly...I came across one blogger's post about her calling to give in the form of charity. She felt unsure of what she was supposed to give or to who. But, she was waiting patiently for God's direction. I found this interesting and...well...lingering...not sure why...but lingering...

This is going somewhere I promise.

As I moved on...I found a blogger, Jess Mac, hosting a raffle for a very sick baby girl named Calla, born at just 26 weeks, tiny & weak, growing stronger everyday in NICU.

Now Jess is truly a prayerful, faithful follower & obedient child of God. Over the past month, she has no knowledge of the fact that I have gotten to know her strength, beliefs, joys, pain & suffering, and now her son named little Levi & the blessing he is to her. She has no idea of the ways she has touched my heart & brought me closer to my Maker by her testimonial words she posts on her blog.

As I read Jess' blog closely about sweet tiny Calla & the raffle she was hosting to raise money for Calla's parents, I remembered clearly & specifically words from Jessica & Angie (The Bloom Book Club Blog)...back to the topic of GIVING & being obedient to God's calling. They brought up the fact that it is very easy to watch the news about the tragedy in Haiti & see so many people in need - but think "what can I do - my $5 won't make a difference", assuming that others are doing enough...celebs, large charities & organizations, etc. Angie says it's the "bi-standard effect" - thinking someone else will help. I am very guilty of this. I think "I can't give thousands of dollars & I am sure lots of other (rich) people are giving". Also, this tragedy has been talked about so much that we become numb to it.

As I was reading the blog about Calla & actually hurting for the struggles this family is going through and prayerful for the strength they need to endure this...for many months to come. I was thinking "I am sure lots of people are giving $ for this raffle and I bet they are raising lots of money". I struggled for a moment.

to give. me?

or not to give. why not me?

I was tempted to just click on to the next blog - but I stopped.

I prayed for this weak little baby girl & her family. For healing, strength & peace.

and then...(lightbulb moment), otherwise known as "Hello Kim, this is me, God."

I said outloud, "Ok, God, I got it."

I headed over to PayPal and donated some $ to the "Cora's for Calla" raffle. I fought my belief that I CAN'T make a difference. I didn't want to be numb to the pain of this family without helping, even if it was just a little.

Wow, it feels wonderful to makes my heart happy, my soul filled with His love & grace.



giving. selflessly. being obedient.

Honestly...I am amazed at what I am getting from my little bit of giving. Really? I am going to get something from what I gave? Yep. I am filled with joy!

I am so thankful for The Bloom Book Club, Ron Hall, Denver Moore, Jess Mac & sweet sweet little Calla - for playing a part in my spiritual journey, for being messenger's of God's love and His need for us to be giving of ourselves, for teaching me to be a better & more meaningful giver, and most of all...for being such a blessing to me. Thank you my dear friends (even though we've never met). I will continue to pray for visible ways that I can give.

Where was this story going?

Oh yeah...

...end of my story...I WON the first raffle of "Cora's for Calla" and I CAN NOT wait to GIVE these raffle winnings (adorable children's clothing) to my sweet friends & their babies!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I love give-aways!

I love all my blogger friends & I certainly love fun give-aways. So, today's post includes, both! Head on over to to check it out.
Natalie is redecorating in yellow/grey & is giving away "stuff".

First, an adorable piece of art from Karen Faulkner over at Etsy. Of course, I entered the give-away contest and chose the Chocolaqua Watercolor Flower and really hope I win. It will look great in me bedroom of blue & brown!

This is a photo of the watercolor piece by Karen Faulkner that Natalie purchased and hung in her bedroom.

She is also giving away an adorable candle from Zuz Designs ( You can check that out on Natalie's Blog as well. Yes, she showed this photo of yellow/grey, but I registered to win a lovely candle in blue/brown!

This is a glimpse of wishful thinking by Natalie...a beautiful room of yellow & grey. Ok, it really is beautiful...who would've thunk it?
No, no, no, I will not, no, no!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Not Me! Monday

This is a fun idea from one of my favorite bloggers ( I will love the opportunity to be brutally honest. But ONLY on Mondays. Just know that on the other days of the week I plan on going back to my usual "Super Mom" self who has it all totally together, clean and organized (Ha, yeah, right!!)

I am NOT washing a load of clothes AGAIN today that sat in the washing machine wet ALL weekend.

I did NOT let me boys go to bed last night without brushing their teeth simply because I was tired and wanted to go to bed. I did NOT only read 1 book to them at bed time because I was longing for bedtime too.

I did NOT get slightly nauseous last week when my 6 yr. old said he was getting older and didn’t need to sleep “with big yellow blankie” anymore.

I am NOT allowing my kids to watch too much TV this morning so I can catch up on my favorite blogs.

I am NOT starting ANOTHER diet for the 3rd time this year already. I am NOT dreading lunch since I know it is going to be diet food. I am NOT trying to talk myself out of throwing in the towel AGAIN today & starting this diet again tomorrow. I do NOT want to jump in my car right now and head to Chic-Fi-La for lunch and a forbidden Dr. Pepper. I am NOT starving. And, of course I do NOT have a head ache from lack of caffeine Ughhhhhh!!!!

I am NOT still in my pj's and it's almost noon. My kids are still in pj's too.

James just said "I want to go pee pee in the grass" & I did NOT just say "Ok, go out on the back porch."

I lastly, I have NOT and would NOT ever procrastinate a long list of things that really NEED to be done today. I am NEVER un-motivated, NOT EVER!

My Very First Finished Project

Check this very first finished knitting project - a scarf. I was so excited to finish it & it only took me about 2 weeks. Yay me!!!!

The purpose of this new hobby was to calm me & help me find some peace in sitting still...& it works. I sit and knit about an hour in bed before I fall asleep at night (while listening to some brainless TV shows in the background). It helps me settle down & unwind after a crazy day. Yes, all of my days are crazy. Fun, but crazy none the less.

I have already started making a little baby blanket to use in some newborn photos sessions, as well as a pair of pink camo socks! Yes, I am attempting to knit socks! Can't wait to show pix!

PS - This is the "real" me in the pix - no make-up & a baseball hat to hide my not-fixed hair-do (or don't, I should say). It's a typical look for a Saturday with the family. My husbands says he loves the "natural" look. I find it somewhat harder to like the older I get. I feel the need for under-eye concealer and mascara more and more. But, oh well, now you've seen the "real" me.

Music on Mondays

This cracks me up - makes me grab my kids and dance around the kitchen!

Today is the day...

I can't take it any longer. I am officially uncomfortable in my own skin. After the holidays, New Year's, my birthday (which lasted over a week & 4 restaurants) it is finally time to take back control of my body. My motivation...
This hot little bikini (purchased from Target - on sale might I add & picked out by my hubby) is hanging on my closet door. Now after giving birth to 3 kids...I may not ever actually wear this little thing, but at least I will have to look at it everyday (over & over again) in recognition of the fast approaching season of little clothing, otherwise known as summer. My boys & I spend our summer at the pool - in swimsuits! Ughhhhhhhhhh!
Dieting (okay - I know - I am supposed to say "I am not dieting, but changing my habits") is very difficult for me for many reasons: lack of discipline, laziness, I like cheese, carbs and meat, I don't like fruit or veggies, and most of all, I prefer food prepared by someone else, in someone else's kitchen, with someone bringing it to my table and cleaning up after we leave (at a restaurant, of course). Oh, wait, that's the laziness, right?

I also think eating right goes hand in hand with exercise. I find it VERY difficult to make time for exercise. I have 2 little ones at home with me 98% of the time. They DO get dropped-off at Papa's house on Tues./Thur. afternoons so I can volunteer at Sam's school. By the end of my my week - I have used up all my babysitting time for that. I DO have a membership to a local gym and feel horribly guilty if I leave my little guys in the nursery there. Max would be fine, but James would NOT. Dropping him off in an unfamiliar place does not fit with his unique and emotional personality. I have struggled with this for years - finding time for me!

So after listing all the reasons I think I can't...

Today is the day. I can put this off no longer...I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!!

PS - I will be giving up soft drinks as well. This is going to be tough!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I love books - I hate to read

As a former elementary school teacher of 9 yrs. (my pre-kid life), these words are hard for me to actually say...I love books, but I hate to read. I rarely find the time to get out a book and actually read/comprehend the words on the pages. My life doesn't seem to work that way for me. It's not that I can't find the time to do it - I have even tried before to read a little each night before bed. I would read a page or 2 and then fall asleep. At that rate, I would NEVER finish a book. Mostly, I just find it diffucult to just sit still and read without mutli-tasking. I think I should be reading AND doing laundry, while helping Sam with homework, changing poopy diapers, balancing the checkbook, handing out snacks, etc. I guess I don't allow myself to just sit and read. Yes, the sitting still part continues to be hard for me...Ughhhhhh!

When I taught 4th grade , I loved reading children's chapter books and following along with what the kids were reading. Now, I feel so gypped when I hear other mothers talking about the books they've read. Like I am NOT in the "I can still read books" club.
So, I decided to follow a different path to the same point - actually finishing a book. I have been listening to books on my ipod. I can sit and listen to the book and knit ALL while sitting in the carpool line at my sons elementary school. That give me 20 minutes a day of reading (or non-reading).

The first book I began was The Shack, by William Young. This is the book everyone at my church has already read and I was sad that I couldn't join in on their discussions of what they thought was a wonderful read.
I absolutely loved it!!! Surprising since is was slightly slow and sad for me in the beginning. Honestly, I wanted to give up on it. But I trudged along and it turned out to be amazing. I don't really have anything profound to say about the book (although I was extremely moved by it). I found some strange explanation of my own relationship with the Holy Trinity written in this book. There was such great depth to the meaning of faith as told in the story, yet such a simplicity that I found very comforting. I have recently purchased the "real" book for my husband and he is reading it too! Loved it!

The next book I have started is Same Kind of Different As Me, by Ron Hall & Denver Moore.

I got the idea for this book from one of my fellow bloggers: The Bloom Book Club.

Below is a video description of the book.

I am actually more than halfway through the book and am loving it as well. I am really looking forward to the new experience of following a "book club" blog. I am not sure how it works but can't wait for the follow-up blog to the first 100 pages of the book tomorrow.

BTW, when I decide to make the switch from spiritually uplifting and "be a better person" kind of books to the trashy romance novels...I probably won't share those on my blog! Until should definitely read these 2 books! And if you already have...I would love to hear about it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I got no words for this pix (ironically since the blog post title is "Wordless Wednesday") - just a giggle. It cracks me boys!

Wordless Wednesday

This is my sweet sweet Sam.

He just turned 6 in December...and then in January he lost his very first tooth.

I love this little boy so!


The title of this blog is really my husband's response to my latest obsession...knitting. Ah, yes, yet another attempt to achieve solitude and peace in sitting still.

A group of women at my church started meeting on Sunday evenings to knit. My dear friend, Holly, is always knitting something...and she offered to share her knowledge of this "hip" little hobby with the rest of us. Why not, I thought? So, yes, I joined a knitting group! HeeHee!

Here is the beginning of my very first project...a soon to be scarf.
So yes, my hubby questioned me starting yet another hobby. Knitting? Really? Ahhhh, He knows me all to well. I tend to obsess over things. Now this new little trick is supposed to be something I can do while sitting still, being quiet and calm. However, true to my character...I found it to be, well, frustrating & stressful. I do not like learning something new and then NOT doing it well right off the bat (yes, I often put this type of ridiculous pressure on myself - often). So, after the first night of my class, I came home and knitted for hours until I could get it right. I was far from calm and certainly was not quiet about my frustration (just ask my hubby). He just sat and giggled at me. And of course (in his "I told you so" sort of tone) he added, "I thought this was supposed to be something calming and relaxing for you."

It will be, dang it...calming and relaxing, once I learn how to do it.

Until new obsession...knitting a scarf!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Music on Mondays

I am going to love sharing music on my blog on Mondays! I love music of all kinds and I use music for all kinds of therapy in my life. I am very excited to share some of my favorite songs.

Music makes me happier when I am happy...cry when I am sad (and sometimes you need to cry) makes me worship and praise when I need to be closer to makes me dance when I can't be still and just need to rock out...and music makes sing LOUDLY, no matter what.

This song, "A Little Longer" by Brian & Jenn Johnson, is one of my favorites (ok, I bet I say that every Monday). I try to listen to it everyday. It reminds me that what ever mood I am in...I need to be thankful. It is kind of a "this is the day the Lord has made lesson." Funny, I listen to it more when I am stressed and ill or grumply and frazzled. I have to remember to put things into kids are beautiful and healthy and the sun is shining or the rain is falling and in all thankful because HE IS GOOD and has blessed me beyond belief - even if I am ill, stressed, grumpy, or ALWAYS running late. I will never be able to thank Him enough for ALL he has given me. Everytime I listen to this song a rush of emotions just pours from heart.

Second lesson for me from this song...the following lyrics...always bring tears to my eyes and a smile to my face:

All of the words that I find and I can't thank you enough
No matter how I try and I can't thank you enough

Then hear You saying to me - Listen you, don't have to do a thing
Just simply be with me and let those things go
'Cause they can wait another minute
Wait, this moment is too sweet
Would you please stay here here with me
And love on me a little longer

Man 'o man...this hits home for me...even my stressful moments, moments of chaos in my home, moments when my kids are all screaming at me at one time - they are sweet, sweet gifts from God. I love (and need) to be reminded that each minute with my kids are special and truly a blessing - that some day I will miss this, when they are grown and out on their own.

One time in my car with my boys having one of those bad car rides - when none of the kids were happy and we were running late as usual...I listened to this song & got teary eyed & grinned in knowing that even this moment is sweet. I said my little prayer of thanks. Sam, my 5 yr. old said "Mommy, why are smiling? James & Max are crying. Does that make you happy? Oh, and Max just wiped his snot all over his face. Does that make you happy, too?" This made me chuckle. Yep, even those snotty times are special gifts from God (did I just say that?). Of course, I had to explain to Sam that I am NOT happy when my babies are sad. Then, I gave him the "this is the day the Lord has made" lesson. I used this opportunity to say a prayer with Sam. We thanked God for the rain (it was raining that day) & for his little brothers, even though they were not happy right now.

Third lesson from the lyrics above: He really wants to be with the good times & in the bad. He really wants to be with me? Really? Really! I love that. I am not sure why...I am far from perfect, I make mistakes and I constantly needing His help...I am so high maintenance. And he still wants to be with me. He really wants to be with me...A little longer...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

First of all, I will never be entirely wordless - even on Wednesdays. My goal will be: to be LESS wordy on Wednesdays.

Although, this is just an excuse to post ridiculously adorable photos of my undeniably cute kids & family.

Today is Max's Wordless Wednesday...

Max enjoys putting on clothes which is funny for many reasons:
~His brother, James, likes taking off clothes and is usually naked. Max is usually picking up clothing that his brother has discarded.
~He does this even when he is already clothed, clothes on top of clothes! In the mornings, he wears James' pajamas over his own pajamas.

On this particular day...Max was obsessed with his brother's underwear (they were clean, BTW). He wore them over his PJ's for most of the day - backwards since he had done most of the "putting on" by himself.
Very proud of himself and his underwear!
When I got him dressed, he still wanted to wear the underwear. So, under his pants & over his diaper - he wore underwear.

When my husband got home from work & changed Max's diaper...daddy found an extra layer as a surprise. Yes, he gave me a strange look. My response...sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and today Max HAD to wear underwear!

This is sweet sweet Max trying very hard to put his hot dog in his sippy cup...which is known at our house as "gook" (his cup of milk).

It may not have worked, but he sure looked cute trying it!

An Email from God...

Yesterday was very long and discouraging for me. I was feeling very overwhelmed. This time, I was not overwhelmed with housework, unfinished projects, my long "to do" list, or my kids needing all my attention...but much bigger things. I was struggling with what to do with my non-mommy time.

what I want to do,
what I need to do,
what people are expecting me to do,
what God wants me to do
and most of ALL of this effects my family and children.
AND do I have the energy to do all of this?
I am supposed to be making my life simpler, right?

I have an overwhelming ache for NOT letting anyone down and certainly not my Maker. I always want to be the best mother, wife, church member, family member, friend, etc. I am confused with how to do all of this and still be the authentic "real" me...without being selfish.

So, as I have resolved to do (in order to train myself to be a more faithful follower of Jesus), I got out my devotion book and turned to His word for direction.

It went something like this:
"The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple." Psalm 119:130
As long as we are humans in human conditions, we'll have questions. You can count on that! A few of our questions will have easy answers. Others will be difficult, taking time to work out. Some will demand processing with counselors, friends and God before the answer will come. And some will never be solved this side of heaven. We are not meant to know what to do. We simply have to trust the one who is the keeper of our hearts.

Hmmm...okay, i am really trying. I have prayed, processed and all but begged God to show me the path He wants me to take. I am a worrier and over-thinker. I can't handle subtle hints....I need a HUGE BILLBOARD that says: "Kim, God wants you to..." Oh, or maybe an email from God. That would be nice and specific.

In previous situations...I have yet to get an email or see a billboard just for me. So, I continue to struggle with hearing God's voice vs. making up my own voice in my head, selfishly choosing what I want. I want to do the right thing and I certainly want to be the follower I He expects to be.

Yesterday, my facebook status was: "not sure what I am waiting for".

I know am waiting for answers to some really tough decisions, guidance and a correct path for my life, but in what form will I receive my answers? What should I be looking for?

So yesterday, I drug sluggishly around my house with extremely heavy shoulders and an achy heart (basically, I was just in a bad mood).

Today, I began with prayer. Praying specifically for 1) guidance in a relationship that is causing me pain, 2) direction for my new photography business, 3) direction for my giving of myself to my church, and 4) as always, that I continue to be a better mother and wife.

Today, when I venture out to get my boys' hair cuts...I am going to take time to notice God's wonders that I can SEE and nature and it's beauty (the sun is actually coming out and there is a little bit of snow still on the ground) AND my kids' sweet laugh (and probably not so sweet cry). I will TRY to focus on being thankful for all of my many blessings instead of focusing on the things I don't a billboard or email from God, a book filled with all of the answers to life's tough questions, a truck full of financial certainty, a recipe for having, being, doing it all perfectly.

I don't ask for much, right?

Monday, January 11, 2010

You Just Have to Laugh...

Seriously, I am laughing right now...

Since writing the last post about being somewhere alone and quiet, my kids have gotten up from their naps (well Sam doesn't really nap and James never went to sleep - he kept coming downstair to go potty - yeah right!) Only Max slept peacefully, thank goodness.

Ahhhh the irony of complaining about silence...I am now in the midst of 2 kids playing Leapster video games with the volume on full blast. I asked them to turn them down and actually turned James down myself, which sent him into a SCREAMING fit. There is a Cars race track on the floor running with no one playing it. It's makes a constant zzzZZZZzzzZZZZzzzzZZZ noise. Max is playing with his new barnyard animals Vtech toy that, of course, makes obnoxious animal sounds. He screams "ma ma, ma ma" pointing for me to look at the lights on the toy. Oh wait, now 2 boys are arguing over the Leapster video games. And, as always, the TV is on!

What can I say... a mother's true bliss! NOISE!!!!!!

Sometimes, you just gotta laugh!

Road Trip

In an effort to be still...

I did something that I ordinarily wouldn't...I went on a road trip completely alone. Granted I was not actually "still" but I WAS in the quiet and silence quite a bit. You see, even before I had a chaotic life with LOUD sounds of boys running and screaming at each other and playing with LOUD toys that constantly make noise...I hat
ed the quiet. During my single days I lived alone and hated the silence even then...which led to my obsession with television (which is a whole other story). So however chaotic my life may was very easy to adapt to the noise!

As I got in my car and set my GPS to guide me on my way on a 4-hour journey to Tennessee, I realized the harsh truth...I was the only one in the car and I was going to be totally alone in the car for the next 4 hours! I had a small panic attack and began dialing on my cell phone everyone and anyone who would talk to me. That got me through the first hour. Now wha
t? Really, this was very difficult for me! Not peaceful and not calming at all - as it should be. So I cranked up my ipod with some Sugarland and then Taylor Swift and found myself dancing like crazy! Other travelers on the highway were grinning at me! I cracked myself up. But I actually began to enjoy being alone...did I really just say that? The last half hour of the trip I changed the music to Third Day, Big Daddy Weave, Casting Crowns & Jenn Johnson...praising God for what I was about to do...

Yet something else out of the ordinary for me...the reason for this road trip. I was attending a photographers conference ALL BY MYSELF. Funny, my friends kept encouraging me..."You are a big girl and you can do this." LOL, considering I will be 36 years old on Friday of this week! I stayed in a hotel room by myself. I went to classes by myself. I even made some new friends, all by myself.

Normally, I don't like big crowds and new adventures that lead me OUT of my comfort zone. However, after the BIG pep-talk I gave myself on the drive up...I embraced this new experience. I actually went out of my way to speak to people before they spoke to me. I didn't retreat or hide during open discussion segments of the classes. Once, I even raised my hand to answer a question and came to the front of the class to participate in a demonstration. Anyone who knows me....knows THIS IS NOT LIKE ME. None of this was easy for me. The crowds were BIG, the Convention Center was HUGE and it was filled with some amazing and intimidating photographers...BUT I DID IT! (can you tell I am proud of myself?)

The main reason for embracing the situation that I had walked into was simple...I was following my dream. I was following my passion for the love of photography even if it was OUT of my comfort zone. And I did it. It was an amazing experience and such a blessing to be a part of. I learned so much about myself and my new business (Kim Rahn Photography) and I can't wait to apply it to MANY parts of my life.

I continuously praised God for the trip and for allowing me to experience all of it. I know that God will continue to bless my talent and new business, the way He already has.

Guess what, maybe I am a grown-up and just maybe I am a "big girl". Okay, maybe just a work-in-progress!

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