It’s Not Just a Game…

If you haven’t noticed, I love football. For those that haven’t heard why yet, (and even for those that have) I’m sure I come across as an absolute nut job akin to Robert De Niro’s Silver Linings Playbook character. I always loved it as a kid, but didn’t have any true connections to a team after my first move to Korea. As an adult after the inception of the Baltimore Ravens, football was like a friend to me when I felt alone and homesick after moving back to Korea again. The #ravensflock fandom energy carried across an ocean and made me feel just a bit closer to home. Flacco’s Jersey was the very first NFL Jersey I purchased…and sadly my last because we deemed I brought bad luck when I wore it on game day. I was proudly “wacko for Flacco” as they like to say, but I had no problem expressing disappointment as well. He always remained a class act. He doesn’t have enough personality they say…no, he’s just truly a humble human being. If you ever questioned this, it’s even more apparent now in his handling of what will clearly ultimately be his departure. I’ll never forget the Mile High Miracle. I’ll never forget ALL of those many playoff games I got to see my team have a shot at. I’ll always remember your ability to quietly, but explosively send the ball all the way. I’ll try to get over how this departure came about and I hope you just go off with your next team! Football isn’t just a game. It’s about the people. It’s like reading a book. All of the emotions mass amounts of people get to feel from reading the book ultimately connect you by the emotion and experience you all now share. You’re rooting for the good guy to save the day. You’re rooting for love. You’re rooting for…your team…together. It’s not just a game❤️

We’re all still children really…

One by one, I placed things in a garbage bag and other things on the floor. With no little eyes on me at the moment, I pretended that it was a dramatic swirl that would get their attention when the wreckage would appear before them. Surely this will send a message! Only, I’m a bit of a control freak and don’t want to come across as a complete lunatic. The creation of the scene was much less dramatic looking than the final result. *I like to think that I can’t be AS crazy as I felt, Jesus Himself flipped tables at the temples sending things all over the place after all…you know, the Son of God who could do no wrong?  

Moments later, I left. I left them with a messier version of their mess. After days and a final warning to organize a trainwreck, they would be placed in a situation that would force them to clean the mess. In the moments to follow- there were texts and voicemails of why did you do that, and do you realize you wrinkled my paper? I did not answer. Then came the I’m sorry, I’ll listen, and I will do things as I should.

Much like how our guidance as parents turn into warnings, and ultimately storms that leave a bit of a mess…we experience the same thing from God.

We commence each day with the same exact guidelines from God. Ones that we’ve been taught over and over. Nothing is new. Nothing is a surprise. With each second, when lacking discipline…we slip away from the path. Much like some guidance our children have: be kind, be respectful, brush your teeth, make your bed, hang your coat up, put your shoes away, etc…the expectations are the same each and every day.

We force open closed doors by breaking them down. We turn on all of the lights instead of conserving, and drain ourselves by chasing things and people. We turn to everything in the world instead of turning to God. We pretend we know what’s best for us despite the warning signs. *Don’t play, you KNEW hanging out with kids that skipped school were going to bring you trouble, or that guy/girl was going to obliterate your heart! You saw the billboard warning signs, and thought you could rewrite the ending. While I believe it is all already written and God knew every single choice that we would make, we have to be accountable for our decisions. Which are usually preceded by a why God…how could You do this to me? Everything is done out of love, just as when we act as parents to get our children’s attention. Nothing is done out of cruelty. *My daughter who will lose all of her snap streaks this week may argue otherwise though! I imagine this may be a scarring moment in her life…one that I happily will take the hit for if it helps her remain on the right path. SLAPS “worst mom ever” post-it on forehead and wears it proudly. 

We set rules as parents. What comes next varies, but I imagine we have some similarities. We remind. We sometimes ask. Then asking turns into demands. (Then attitudes fly, and the house implodes?) Then we discipline. Then we clean up together after the storm, always ending with love.

That IS our relationship with Father. I’d absolutely be lying if I said this was not my DAILY relationship with God. I read something in a book the other day that made me think of my own father. In the book, a woman’s father apologized to her because he thought he failed her in the way he raised her. OUCH! Despite my daily failings, my dad tells me so often how incredible he thinks I am. *He’s clearly choosing to look beyond my mess with some beer goggles, only he doesn’t drink…so I’m not sure how he sees what he sees? Now imagine God’s love! He loves us more infinitely MORE than we could ever imagine. Sure, He disciplines us after we try to avoid doing our chores or sneak a cookie when we were told not to have one…but it’s all out of love. He knows and wants what’s best for us. We just need to listen. God can’t fail us. God will wreck us before we wreck ourselves beyond repair. When we get to a point in our lives when we ask why me- it’s a good time to take a look around and see how far off God’s path we are and to make sure  we run back to make our beds and hang our coats up.

Beat the Pain

Ten years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease. That year I started the new year off with herniated discs and sciatica that left me unable to walk for days. Generally healthy, my body started to fail me pretty early on after sustaining an injury from gymnastics as a teen. Shortly after that came what would be a lifetime of frequent migraines. Fibromyalgia was the most physically challenging beast. It’s worse than child birth, because you at least know that child birthing has an end. Doctors tried to drown me in everything from anti-depressants to morphine. I just wanted a resolution, not to be medicated. On a good day, my pain was a 12 on a 1-10 pain scale. Eventually I learned to stop crying from the pain, because that only made it worse. Then came the heartache of “you look fine” comments. You look fine, because you have no choice but to move along each day. Caring for three itty bitties and working full time left me with no logical medication options that would allow me to function properly so I made the decision to not take any medication at all. I was so tired of being tired and in pain. It was a source of darkness.

In 2013 through a tremendous bout of life altering events accompanied with not working that year- I worked out to distract myself and did the most is ever done on my life.

In 2017, though my posts and day to day interactions may have communicated one frame of mind for me…I was really drowning. From pain. From stress. (Something to always remember-not all who smile are always ok.) I gave the itty bitties and my career my all, but gave nothing to myself. Sometimes you try to stay so positive for others, and hope that it sinks into you. You run around telling everyone to look for the light hoping that it will remind you to do so as well. As a hard core follower of Jesus, it’s so hard to let anyone know you struggle because you’re afraid it will communicate that you really don’t trust God.

This year was a true year of transformation. Of heart, mind, body, and soul. I changed my diet and it transformed my pain levels and helped me in ways that no medication has ever done. I lost all of the weight and then-some that gained last year. I said yes every time God asked me to become more involved in the Ministry instead of saying I’m too busy. I started trusting God more and more with not just a tiny piece of my mind, but with every aspect of my life. I started working out because I liked it again. As a non-runner who swore she would die at the hands of Michael Myers if he ever came after her because nothing would get me to run…I started running. Though I can only run intervals, I pushed myself further and further each time and ran more than my entire life put together this year. About 33% of this year’s miles is from running. As a full time working mom of three living with chronic pain, I had the best physical year of my life. I’m not just surviving each day, I’m packing as much life as I can into each day. You never truly know what you can accomplish until you drop everything that holds you down and say I’ll try.

“Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.”

And I end this with our famous J6 mantra that got us through some rough days:

“Being defeated is only a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.” ❤️

Don’t Give God Your Leftovers

Just shy of three years of serving in the Children’s Church Ministry, I am about to embark on a tremendous experience. I have served officially in the past here and there. After finally finding one of my callings and being named the Children’s Church leader at Fort Campbell, I had to abruptly move my family. I don’t question God often, but I couldn’t understand why I had to leave when I had such big things I wanted to do to honor Him. My heart ached because I was ready to get out there and serve! How could God say no this? Nonetheless, I rolled with the punches.

One year after finding our new home church, which was really my old church that I grew up in…I was called to serve again. I had waited for the dust to settle a bit before giving of myself. Not because I didn’t have time, but because I wasn’t right with myself. The truth is, the dust never truly settled. It was an incessant storm. I may have been praising God in the good, the bad, and the pain, but part of me was living a life of someone that lost her mind. I became embarrassed. I wore a smile and encouraged as much as I possibly could to all around me, but I couldn’t see the light for quite some time. I was ashamed that though my mouth and mind were fixed on the Lord, my eyes just couldn’t see beyond the darkness. I sat uncomfortably in my woman’s group because I was trying so hard to keep a smile on my face and prove my faithfulness. I was ashamed by my storm and couldn’t let them know about it. I thought I was the only broken one in the group and I couldn’t let them see what my life looked like. Then one by one, I learned that we all had a that closet that we shove our messiness in. It was there one Wednesday evening that I learned that I had to completely break a part and truly let God put me back together because the band aids I had been using just weren’t working. I wanted to walk away from my small role in the ministry. How could I continue to say the words and teach when I couldn’t feel what I was saying for myself? I know what the truth is, but I just couldn’t feel it at that time. It took some time, and I did completely break into a million little pieces. Bit by bit, my role in the Church started to increase as much as I tried to shy away from serving more. I still wasn’t put back together and it didn’t make sense to me.

The truth is- we will ALWAYS be broken. We will always be in a storm. We will never be ready on our own terms. God knows when we are ready even if we don’t see it. God has always been a part of my life since I have a memory. I pray probably half the way. I can be sitting there typing away at work or singing Grace Got You and the top of my lungs, but those are all internal spiritual activities. God has placed me here to SERVE. To not just take and take, but to give as well. It started first with a can you help lead large group as well, and that slowly turned into the norm. Even during a Ravens game 😱 Admittedly, there were times where it felt like such a time constraint. Less time for me to run to the grocery store or get other things done. Then one day, I remember joyfully in my heart agreeing to serve more. Before I had a second of hesitation, I realized that God comes first. It sounds like a silly “well, duh” notion, but if you take a look at your day to day activities…you’ll see it doesn’t always play out that way. We often don’t want to go to Church because we just want to sleep in on Sunday because we work all week, then sports for the kids on Saturday etc… We tell ourselves it’s ok because we pray and read the Bible on our own. We say it’s ok because we’ve already given plenty. We don’t have time to serve because we want to go to service and don’t have time for two because we have things to do at home. Our loving God who gives all should not be an afterthought. We shouldn’t be “finding the time”, we should be MAKING THE TIME for Him. God shouldn’t get your leftovers. Just as we shouldn’t give our children what is only leftover of us after a long hard day at work and we are just exhausted to the bone, we shouldn’t give God what little we have left of us at the end of the week. (As I write this I’m ashamed and can’t help but think that my parents shouldn’t get my leftovers either.) The more you hand over to Him, the less in the world you are…and the more He can truly guide you. This is to not just to focus on the return on investment you think you’ll get because whether we do right or good things or not…we are all loved EQUALLY. There are no gold stars, even for this Type-A teacher’s pet. You can’t earn His favor. You can attain more peace though by simply truly living for Him.

Sorry, this does not mean the storms stop coming or slow down though.

Why all of this psychobabble? I joke that the Church is in a sad state if they believe that I am worthy enough, but I’m absolutely honored and humbled to be going to the Etch Family Ministry Conference on behalf of the Church with a small team of our amazing leaders and Lead Family Pastor. I don’t have the nerves to speak publicly and that’s why I always prefer to write my nonsense. If I had the guts I’d love to preach one day, and I’m amazed and am in awe at how naturally it all rolls out of my Pastors- Pastor Drew, Pastor John, Pastor Chris, and Pastor Steve. I’m a train wreck even when I’m leading in front of our precious little ones. The message is SO important. It’s the only thing that matters and I have a role in communicating it! My prayer and hope for this week is to learn more AND build my confidence to help reach more and more, who will then reach more and more. Thank you Pastor Steve and The Church at Severn Run for seeing something in me, though I still think you’re nuts.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 ❤️ Love well, Live Jesus, and Believe Big!

Instagram 15k Giveaway!

A tremendous thank you to all of my followers, new and old. What a journey it’s been. Not only do I appreciate the support of the general population, but a HUGE shout out to the other influencers in the community as well. If you haven’t noticed, the beauty community is so supportive of one another. When I first started my IG account, I never thought I’d become friends with or gain the support of my favorite influencers. You have heard the backstory of why I started my account, but I have always strived my best to improve the quality of my content that I attach to my messages of hope and positivity.

A huge shout out, but not limited to: @beatfacefridayyy , @mrslanglam@lapetitechicmommy@makeup.just.for.fun, and @missviggity . These were a few accounts I started to follow early on and paved the way for content inspiration for me. I’ve come to know so many insanely talented people, but these were the ones that lit the fire in my soul. I believe in doing whatever you do the best you can. While my platform’s purpose is to warm your heart, I believe that I should be serving you the best I can visually as well. These accounts have always been sources of laughter, positivity, and keep it real. I respected the clear amount of meticulous effort they put into their work, and it still consistently drives me. I’ll never forget the feeling of when each started following me (little ol’ me???). I don’t get starstruck that often, but I got to experience that when I started to build relationships with these amazing women. They are so kind and talented! I’m sure you’re already following them, and if not…you must do so now!

To my wonderful followers (this is starting to sound like an award acceptance speech, is it not haha?!), I’m so humbled by you. I have built so many relationships with you as well. I’m baffled by the fact that any of you would take time out of your day to send me such sweet messages. So many of you have been there for me since the beginning and I’m so thankful I haven’t scared you off yet! You, my community- are like a part of my own body now. I’m so grateful for all of the light YOU shine MY way!

Now, to the part you really want to hear about! My I never thought I’d make it this far, 15k Giveaway! One winner will receive the entire Wet n Wild Midnight Mermaid Collection and 1 Artis Brush Palm Brush (*Palm Brush is sponsored by Artis Brush*). Rules and Terms are stated in the Giveaway Generator. Open Internationally! Thank you, and good luck!

Kim

#bethelight

@bethelight81’s 15k Giveaway

IMG_2574

*Palm Brush has been sponsored by Artis Brush. No other sponsors are associated with this giveaway. Must be 18+ to enter or receive parental/guardian permission to communicate shipping information. Sender is not responsible for any negative reactions caused by prize nor any damages incurred during transit to winner.

Be the Light

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

IMG_9078

Hi! I’m Kim, aka bethelight81 on Instagram. I’m so very nervous, and yet so very excited to start this journey with you. Thanks to all of your constant support and encouragement, I decided to take my platform one step further!

I’ve shared this story with my audience a few times, but in case you are new I’ll share it again. I’ve always wanted to reach as many people as I could to let them know that they are loved and that there is a light in them. I decided to take my love of the beauty world and use it as a ruse to feed your brain with positive vibes. I’m awful, I know! We all like light and fluffy, and sometimes want an escape. Sometimes you can find encouragement and a glimpse of light in the most unexpected places- I want to be that for you, and encourage you to be that for others as well.

I’m a hands-in-the-air-during-worship, hardcore broken follower of Jesus. I believe that God loves EVERY single one of you. No exceptions. I’m not here to change anyone. I’m just here to love everyone.

I have commitment issues, and my recent IG poll is trending at my audience wanting to see a mix of posts. We shall try to run with that. (That was an awfully long and daunting story series wasn’t it?) Thank you for not unfollowing me after that!!

Come for the beauty, but please stay for the soul food!

#bethelight