One Year into the Next - 2015 into 2016

New Year's Eve over the past few years hasn't really looked like the typical night... Mr. Kuda travels often during this week, which has led to home-cooked meals from neighbors, surprise visits from friends, and always falling asleep far before the ball drops in Times Square.

This year would be different... He sits just feet from me as I type, but this year is anything but typical. And as I scrolled my FB feed between folding loads of laundry, this little ditty came up and it just made me smile. And reflect. And only start to grasp the enormity of this past year. The year of 2015.

I've prayed more than I ever have. I've poured tears over my journal seeking my own purpose, asking God for a blinking neon sign to what I'm supposed to be doing with this little life. I've prayed for my husband, for my children, for my friends, for my family. I've prayed for strangers and acquaintances. For this world that seems just so far from God's glory.

I've potty-trained my second child. And as Mr. Kuda and I did the victory dance of no more children in diapers, God laughed and blessed us with the surprise of our lives: a third kiddo on the way.

We celebrate the second year in our brand new forever home. The walls and the floors are becoming second nature to us. We've celebrated two Christmases, two Easters, two kiddos' birthdays twice.

I've read the Bible in a year. The whole kit and caboodle.

I've been prayed over by the hands and hearts of strangers more than once. I've felt healing in ways I didn't know I needed. I've found my purpose, as well as my calling this year. And discovered they weren't the same thing.

So tonight? We painted Miss E's new bedroom closet. We've gotta make room for the new little Kuda, and this is the first step. We ate pizza and I drank a glass of egg nog and some sort of cranberry-lime-fizzy concoction (not necessarily in that order. Or consecutively). My sausage toes were propped up by 8 pm, and Mr. Kuda and I snuggled in for the remainder of the night. If you had told me 365 days ago that this is where we'd be, I'd laugh at you. But isn't that the point? To make grand goals, set up expectations, and watch it all unfold as each year progresses? Two-thousand fourteen was such a year of transition, while this was a year of settling in, deepening our roots, and digging in for the long haul.

So 2016, we're coming at you. A little wiser, and a lot more blessed than we were last year. We welcome you with open arms, and can't wait to see what you have in store.

xoxo, k.


I Talk Too Much.

Remember my chains.

I spent a few minutes in Colossians this morning. In brief, Paul is in prison, and he is writing with joy to a people who had encountered heretical teachings encouraging them to stay the straight path with fervor.

Y'all. He is in prison. With joy. AGAIN.

His last words to the Colossians are, "Remember my chains." In other words, "Y'all better not forget about me here! I know it's bad, but I'm in prison and still spreading the Gospel with JOY. Keep it going, people!"

I'm not quite sure that's exactly how he meant it, but in my head, that's how it goes down.

What in the world does this have to do with me talking too much? And more importantly, where do you come in? Let me take you back a few (five, to be exact) months...


May 2015: The last time I wrote (within this medium). You've noticed the radio silence, yes? Looking back at a few of my last posts, I can't help but notice: I talk too darned much.

Yes, I know that's kind of the point as a writer. I'm supposed to engage you, the reader, and enlighten you in new ways and introduce familiar concepts with a fresh eye. I'm supposed to inspire you to find new perspective or maybe even enrage you so you feel stronger than you ever have before.

But I talked and talked until my face turned blue about following your calling, obeying God's will for your life, and rid yourself of the unsettling feeling of not living up to your potential. But while I feel I provided you with sound advice, I stopped short of my promise. I didn't follow through, nor did I follow my own path.

Our dear friend Paul, in his sweet letter to the Colossians, also says this:
Work willingly at whatever you do as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. (3:23-24 NLT)
I guess this is an apology of sorts. For Talking the Talk, but not Walking the Walk. For painting a picture of what obedience looks like, but not living it myself. And I have no excuse but for the chains that bind me: fear.

The thing about fear is that it's a slow, yet sudden take-over. The swirl of smoke is almost pleasant until you realize it's blazing out of control and has consumed all that surrounds it. So while I continued receive confirmation that The Incredible K be a platform of encouragement, faith, and a little home-y goodness (add in a splash of my cute kiddos), the more I felt as if my words would have no impact. Worse, the more those around me urged me to continue, the more I felt I wasn't equipped to share God's plan for me. For you.

And guess what?

I'm not.

Equipped, that is. But neither are you. Most grand gestures have the greatest impact when they're a step out in faith; a belief in the unknown, but just knowing it's right. The thing is, God has given us each unique gifts to fulfill His glory-filled plan. And when our plans align with His will, we need not be "prepared" in the classical sense, but to openly follow what we know He has called us to do. As Paul says, we are to work willingly at whatever we do as though we were working for the Lord Himself (paraphrased). We're not to work in His glory as a means to an earthly ends, nor are we to work to please the people around us. Serve them? Yes. Please them? No.

Do you feel the needling in the back of your mind? The one that says, "YES! That's it! That's where you're supposed to be!" Is it confirmed often, but you haven't yet taken the steps? THAT is what I'm talking about. When ten different people ask me why I haven't written in a while, then three different friends forward me an email about an upcoming writer's conference, and then I participate in a workshop to determine my God-breathed gifts in my life and WRITING comes up number one? That's it. That's where I'm supposed to be. My lack of follow through despite God-given directives has directly resulted in the uneasy, restless feeling I've had this year, my year of CONNECT. Because I just simply haven't.

What it is for you? What keeps you up at night and gets your heart racing? Come with me. Come as I unabashedly write from the heart, reach out to others, and fulfill the call in my life at this moment in time with joy. And you do the same. Follow that small voice. The Holy Spirit is strong, and He confirms your gifts. Come with me.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 
Ephesians 2:10

xoxo, K.


When Actions and Passions Meet

Every week, a whole heap of fabulous women get together and bravely write for Five Minute Friday: five minutes of writing without thinking, without planning. Just the sweet written word through the clicks of the keys, or the pen on the page. Today's prompt is... Meet


You've been there (Oh, please tell me you've been there!), when you've been moving through the motions, but your actions and heart songs don't meet anywhere on the same playing field. And when this happens, when your life looks nothing like the passions resounding deep inside your soul, you wake up one day to find yourself floundering among the masses, unsure of how you got there and questioning how to return.

Returning to the basics almost makes you cry, because the "what I want to be when I grow up..." is such a distant and blurry memory, you hardly recognize the one you were so long ago.

But what if I told you this: that if you give yourself the chance to truly dig deep, to truly look around you, and to give yourself the chance, you could have those things. The things that make your heart pitta-pat and the things that make you move and sway, so your life begins to take shape in a way where actions meet your passions.

What if I told you it was directly related to obedience to your calling, and that the longer you ignore it, the more restless you feel: dangling on the edge of something mediocre, wondering when your life will mesh with your dreams?


May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you,
Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

Oh, #FMF how you tease! So thankful for this community of beautiful writers, following their pen each week, even when the words are slow to come. Hope you have a great weekend!

xoxo, k.


Locked Places (Five Minute Friday: Door)

Every week, a whole heap of fabulous women get together and bravely write for Five Minute Friday: five minutes of writing without thinking, without planning. Just the sweet written word through the clicks of the keys, or the pen on the page. Today's prompt is... Door


Initially the blackness of the room engulfed her, but as her eyes adjusted, the scene before her took shape: A room of many doors, of all different sizes and designs. And though she couldn't see beyond them, she knew if she stayed inside she'd be hidden there for eternity. Decidedly, she reached for the knob closest to her, but she knew as soon as she touched it: locked. Again and again, as she attempted each door in the circular room, panic rose to her throat.

I'm trapped. The breath of words barely passed through her lips. All the doors are locked.

Fear took over her heart, her mind.

But in her deepest despair, when the room was at its blackest, a breath of voice washed over her soul, while a white light began to pierce the darkened room.

Peace to you!

The voice ushered in, resounding through the curved walls, taking its stake among the doors. And it was at that moment the voice covered her with peace and perfect joy. Fear replaced by this Spirit, in which she received wholly and without question.
It's so easy to hide, in the locked places of our souls: contemplating our past hurts, our unknown identities... where it's quiet, and no one bothers us. But there is freedom in breaking away from these locked places, the places where we think no one could understand. Where no one could relate, or forgive, or assist.

The Enemy wants this: for us to be alone on our journey, to not seek out those around us. He wants us hidden behind these closed doors, covered in the darkness of solitude.

But God desires something different for our hearts. He desires for us a community of others in our lives, each person holding a key to each door of our hearts. He wants to wash us with His Holy Spirit, so we may rejoice amidst the suffering of this life. Hiding alone in the darkness does nothing but keep this gift out of arms reach.


Well, that may have taken me 8 minutes. Or ten. But who's counting really? ;) Hope y'all have a blessed weekend!

xoxo, k.


My Wrestling Place

I recently took a bit of a respite trip to a magical place where peace is woven in and out of the fibers of the walls. Where God resides in the hearts of all who enter, and where I rediscovered my life-giving gifts from our Father Almighty. Thank you for letting me reflect on those days in this space.

I'm not where I thought I would be.

Mother? Yes.

Wife? Yes.

Friend? Daughter? Neighbor? Yes. All of those things.

What I didn't expect was this floundering of my soul; this anticipation of being great, or accomplishing something amazing, and then waking up every morning to find that the earth hasn't shattered because of the accomplishments in my life. I didn't change the world today. Nobody noticed my completed tasks. Each morning the sun comes up, and I find myself on repeat. Nothing changed. Same routine.

And that's the problem: my childhood perceptions of what my life should be are so far from where I have ended up. It's not necessarily that I had some grand vision of what it would look like, but rather, what it would feel like.

Kristin Kuda. Mid-life crisis at the age of 34.

It comes down to feeling so small and insignificant in this world -- a world filled with evil and pain and heartache -- that I have such a hard time recognizing my worth. The enormity of these things take over, and those roles as mother, wife, friend, daughter? Well, they just don't seem as big...

Because the hillside I'm overlooking is grand, and the thunder of pouring rain consumes my every thought.  Our Holy Father is revealed in every living and breathing thing around me, and my enemy sneaks into the ripples of water coursing down the roof as he whispers, "You'll never be as significant as these things."

I believe him, because the monotony of my life feels like nothing close to the glorious sound of rain and birds and earth surrounding me. And right before I am wholly consumed by it all -- the nothingness and monotony and the insignificance -- a breeze blows from the West and I hear His call:

Peace be with you.
Peace be with you.

He says it twice because I didn't believe it the first time. He says it twice because I am but flesh and bone and broken and sinful. I believed the enemy when he told me I didn't matter, and I believed the enemy when he said my purpose wasn't God-breathed. And I believed him when he told me my soul was impure and would never truly be forgiven.

But, God.

But God is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrong doing. (1 John 1:8-9)

But, God.

But God has made a covenant with us and has put His laws in our hearts, and has written them in our minds. (Heb 10:15-16)

But, God.

But God has given me a Spirit not of timidity, but of power, and of love, and of self-discipline. (2 Tim 1:7)

So, instead of feeling small, and unworthy and insignificant in this large, all consuming world, I will cling to the prayer Paul blessed upon us:

...that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes to you through Jesus Christ, for the glory and praise of God. (Phil 1:9-11)

Faith is a confidence in God that persists, even when the questions remain unanswered.

Faith trusts God even when circumstances seem to contradict His promises.

Faith rests firmly on the knowledge that God is faithful and His promises are True. God asks only for our obedience and faithfulness to assure our usefulness in our own period of history. In this, He gives us freedom to act on our life-giving gifts, freedom to see the beauty in the mundane, freedom to live our lives fully, regardless of our preconceived notions and idyllic plans.

I see now: the beauty of it all, the power of normal, and the beauty in routine.

xoxo, K.

Sharing with all the ladies on this Monday! Check out some beautiful writing here.


Week 4: God Does Not Resent You

God Does Not Resent You

The first time I read those words, they hit me over the head like a ton of bricks. And even though it was two weeks ago, they continue to resonate like a sounding gong over and over and over again.

God Does Not Resent You

The people pleaser that I am, I don't like making a stink about things, or really being much of a bother to anyone. Apparently this translates to all things divine as well. I'm a self-righteous God-pleaser, and I'd hate to bother Him for anything, really, so sometimes I just keep my brain quiet, as to not disturb Him in all of His business.

There was a time in my life that I don't like to think about. So many great things happened during that time, but one part of me kept my heart in a state of unrest: my ignoring the gentle tugs of the Lord's call. He would whisper, Come to me and I will give you peace, and I responded with the equivalent of sticking my fingers in my ears and singing, "LA LA LA LA" as loud as I could. I didn't want to hear about His mercy. His peace. His forgiveness. His redemption.

Why? It wasn't as if I didn't believe He was there. I am fortunate enough to have known about God's presence for most of my life. But the thoughts in my head sang the tune of, I'm just not that important. I don't want to be a bother. My troubles aren't big enough. Just little 'ol me. Nothing to see here.

It's funny, looking back on those few years of my life, and I'm able to see His hand in all of it. Without my asking, He placed me in the safety of His arms, saving me from myself and my self-destructive behavior. He knew how the story would twist and turn, with my eyes slowly changing direction and refocusing on His grace and forgiveness. Even though I blatantly and purposefully ignored Him while claiming just not wanting to be a bother, He actively pursued me and my heart. He slowly showed me what true acceptance of His love meant.

The thing about God? He doesn't care where you live, or what you've done. He actively seeks each of us as individuals. Despite war and famine and poverty, and all of the things that seem significantly more than little old you, He still cares. And He'll still pursue your heart. Because He wants you to pursue His. God shows us this perfect way to live, because he wants us to live in Him fully so we can show love and kindness to others despite their place in life.

Those years ago I think, despite my child-like response to His call, deep down I knew the Truth. I knew there was spiritual warfare taking place for my soul specifically. And He went (and goes) up to bat for me every. single. time. He let me fail, and learn, and grow. But He never left.

Because Christ always wins.

No matter your past. No matter your present. No matter your wrongs. No matter your actions. He does not resent you asking for help. He does not resent you for seeking His guidance. He does not resent you for constantly pleading for His hand in your life.

God wants you. All of you.

xoxo, k.

Today's post was inspired by the completion of my small group's study of Beth Moore's Children of the Day. Go read it. Right now. No compensations here, just spreading some good 'ole love.

Need some more inspiration this Monday? Head on over here to enjoy some other courageous writers!


One Year Bible Week 1: A Personal Pity Party

Wow! One week of 2015 has gone by. As far as my one word for the year, connect, staying to my "Technology Hours" has been the most trying by far. It's amazing how often I find myself reaching for my phone or computer out of habit. While challenging, I am positive that I'm on the right track! I'll keep you posted.

In my one word connect I've also been challenged by one of my people to read the Bible in a year. To keep myself a bit more accountable, I'll try my best to pick a verse from the prior weeks' readings and reflect here, as well. Maybe I'll even turn it into a link-up at some point!

The Bible that was gifted to me is the New Living Translation, and is laid out with an excerpt from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. A little something for everyone :) I love that it's laid out from day to day: no flipping around or checklists or keeping track of what I've done or what I need to do. Translation: no excuses for this momma! I hope in sharing my readings each week, I'm not only keeping myself accountable, but also show you that it can be done!

Week 1
Don't sin by letting anger control you.
Think about it overnight and remain silent.
Offer sacrifices in the right spirit,
and trust the Lord.
Psalm 4:4-5

When I was a little girl, I remember hearing the Old Testament stories about blood sacrifices and fasting. It all sounded so intense: blood and gore and starving themselves for days. Intimidating, really, to a young girl afraid of her own shadow. But as I grew, I understood that the blood sacrifices  were replaced by the one true sacrifice of Jesus' death on the cross. What I didn't get, and really didn't start to understand until recently, is the lesson in the need for daily sacrifices in our everyday lives.

Have you ever been asked to do something you didn't want to do? Recently, some things fell into my lap that I didn't feel were really my responsibility. I grumbled and groaned to myself about how it wasn't fair, and how it wasn't my job, and how I didn't want to have anything to do with the situation. I kept silent because I knew it was my own heart in the wrong, but I couldn't get past that deep dark feeling of a personal pity party.

Offer sacrifices in the right spirit. 

But what if? What if swallowing our pride and being the blessing to others is the point? What if the fasting and sacrifices are simply starving ourselves of pride and entitlement, and instead we adorn ourselves with humility and a giving spirit? These daily sacrifices we're called to do: they're simple on paper, but in reality, it can feel like death to put the needs of others in front of our own. But that's why it's a sacrifice: the sinful nature of us mere humans is to look to ourselves first, when in fact, God calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Did I want to complete those tasks asked of me? No. But the more I meditated on these verses, the more I was able to see the blessing in my ability to complete them. I saw the burden lifted from a friend who was knee deep in responsibilities, fear, and inability to complete them herself. When our sacrifices come from the right places, blessings abound.


Hope you all have a great week! I don't know about y'all, but we're getting back into routine after two weeks of doing absolutely nothing. It's been grand, but I. Am. READY.

Happy Monday! Need some more inspiration to get you started off on the right foot? Head on over to Inspire Me Monday!

xoxo, k.


Connecting in 2015

On the first Christmas after Mr. Kuda and I married in 2007, we received a package from his godmother: in it, some marriage books, a gorgeous wooden nativity scene, and one silver paper star: Humble was the word. And a reference to Scripture was written below. How apt, that word, humble; a word to focus on throughout our first full year of our marriage.

Don't think I didn't see the irony of our word that year. Brilliant, his godmother.

Each year we have received a randomly chosen word (or two) since then. Peace for the year our daughter was born. Self-control for last year, when we moved twice and had a big house we thought we had to fill. Funny, God and His timing, yes?

For 2015
This year, and the past three months in particular, has been BUSY. Like, can't keep my thoughts straight, fifteen things going on, BUSY. But who isn't? My excuses for not staying in touch and not keeping up with relationships have run out, and I've GOT to come up with a strategy to reign it all in.

Turns out, there are other people like me! When I found #oneword365, I about hit the floor, because, well, we've been doing this for seven years! Something about making it public, though, that must be a way to keep me accountable.

I'm not going to make sweeping declarations of resolutions for the year to come, but I have come up with some ways for me to connect more. Stop and listen more. Be intentional with my relationships more. This word connect has been swimming in my mind for weeks, and I think I'm on the right track. And, so I'm held accountable for my goals, I've come up with some measurable ways (I am a speech pathologist... Goals must be measurable!) to ensure I'm doing my best to connect on a personal level with those around me. Join me, as we...
How in the world are we going to do that? I'm so glad you asked!

Date Night
Married or not, we need to take deliberate time out and be with our people. Can I get an Amen? Whether it's weekly or monthly. Put it in the calendar now, and stick to it! For us? Monthly date night with Mr. Kuda. At least two family movie/game nights per month with the kids. No questions asked.

* To emails within 24 hours
* Comment on Social Media, not just "like" posts
* Share someone else's thoughts/blog posts/articles at least once per week

I don't know about you, but I so often think things in my head as I skim through my social media feeds, but just zoom past the post. Why not let others know what you're thinking? Especially if it's positive? This is about relationship, friends, and you only get to the good stuff if you're interacting! As much as we'd like to believe it, "liking" is not interacting!

Brain Dump
I've seen folks with check lists and the like, but this is my technical word: Brain Dump. Part of my problem with connecting this year is that I've been so pre-occupied with, well, everything, that I find myself multi-tasking in my brain while interacting with others. This is the opposite of connecting! In fact, it's quite detrimental to relationships. I've done a trial run this week, and I'll tell you what: It works! If something unrelated to my current task or conversation comes up in my mind, I just write it down and revisit it later. I have a sneaking suspicion this will change. my. life. And while we're talking about multi-tasking...

One Task At A Time
Last night I was talking to a friend on the phone, and it happened: I said "uh-huh," which was a completely inappropriate response because she had asked an open-ended question. Good thing she's one of my besties, because she lovingly called me out on it and wasn't at all offended.

Do one thing. One thing at a time. Interrupted? Stop what you're doing, and make eye contact (ear contact?). Period.

Keep Technology Hours
Writing a blog and running my own business require regular access to either my phone or computer. While I love both of these things, I need to be more specific and deliberate in my time spent online. I hereby declare "internet hours," which I will try my best to keep to:
Monday - Friday: 6:00-7:15, 1:00-3:00, 7:00-8:15, Brief Review at 10:00 pm
Saturday: As needed, no more than an hour.
Sunday: Limited. Check of email and Facebook briefly 1-2 times in the day.

Read the Bible in a Year
All right. Maybe this is a bit resolution-esque, but it's something I know I can do, and one of my people is doing it with me :D  Nothing like a little accountability to keep you going, right? And this: Nothing in this world, your spouse, your children, your career, is more important than your personal and daily relationship with Jesus. Aligning your thoughts with His allows His plans for you to intercede and infiltrate your life. Without daily Bible reading, it's next to impossible to gain this relationship!

I'll end with this...

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-13

It's not necessarily what God is going to do for us. It's about relationship: about us plainly and humbly going to Him. Seeking Him with all our hearts and, as a result, going forward in plans aligned with Him.

Happy 2015, friends! May this new year be full of change, excitement, and relationship! How will you connect in 2015??

xoxo, k.

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