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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Sharing with the New Year's Resolutions Link Up! Pop on over for some GREAT goals and resolutions for 2015!
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