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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Total dependence in God!

I am an extremist! 

I am not saying it is right or wrong,  I am just stating the facts!

Now, where it comes to play in my life at this moment is in my relationship with my kiddos.  I have been having a hard time with my 7 year old.  He seems very unmoved by our disciplining.  He continues to live his life thinking that the world revolves around him. 

So, one day we were at jazzercise.  The class had just ended and I had gone to retrieve my kiddos at the childcare room.  We walked back into the Gym so they could get a sucker.  I happened to catch out of the corner of my eye my 7 year old knocking a girl flat on her bottom.  I walked up to him and asked what was going on and he said, "but she was pulling my shirt."  Now, I know that boys will be boys and 7 year olds will be 7 year olds...BUT the attitude!!  Oh my...I was livid!  Everything I said or did was just making it worse.  I told him to apologize and he looked at her with disgust and said, "No, I don't want to."  After demanding that he change his attitude, squeezing his arm, and pulling him closer to her, he finally gave in.  BUT it was a mean hearted, "I'm sorry." 

Enter Extremist!

As I was driving home that day I immediately thought to myself, "You are not spending enough time with Parker.  If you would just _____________ (fill in the blank) then he wouldn't be this way."  So the filling in the blank began...
1.  read more to him
2.  volunteer more at his school
3.  spend more time together as a family
4.  Stop jazzercising
5.  Stop discipling girls on campus
6.  Stop working part-time
7.  make him eat his vegetables (I know this is way extreme)

Then, all of a sudden I sensed the Lord.  And what the Lord revealed to me was so amazing that I started to tear up.  I felt the Lord putting his hand on my shoulder and saying, "Kerry, this too is my doing.  I am teaching you total dependence on Me." 

You see my tendency all my life was...if things weren't working out the way I thought they should be working out then I would work harder at whatever it was that wasn't working.  I would do whatever I could to bring it under my control. 

Did you get that?  "Under my control." 

God is teaching me that I can not control the outcome!  All I can do is "be" not "do."  I am to be in Christ, to be in His Word, to be walking out the Gospel in my life!  This is the best thing for my kiddos!

I am not going to lie.  It is hard! 

In Matthew 7: 14 we see that the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life and a few find it. 
In John 14:6 we see that Jesus is the way the truth and the life.

Total dependence in God is the way to life!


Monday, January 10, 2011

A Look Back Over the Years!

Lately I have been thinking back how I got to this place in my life.

 I have gone all the way back to being born in Lubbock, TX and growing up in a VERY modest 3 bedroom 1 bath home with 3 siblings.  I wouldn't say that my up bringing was the best, but it was all that I knew so it was okay with me.  I do remember going to other friends houses and thinking, "Wow, their family seems to have it all together.  I mean, they actually all eat dinner together."  I was also very impressed with the fact that their houses were big enough for each child to have their own bedroom (and some had their own bathroom).  I grew up always having to share a room.  There was one point where me, my sister and my brother all shared a room.  My oldest sister who is 10 older got her own room.  I still don't understand that to this day...but it was what it was.

I grew up in the same house up to the day I got married.   I mean, I moved out here and there in college and what not but "home" was always the home I grew up in.  Now I am sure that when my parents first bought the house it was probably a decent neighborhood but by the time I reached Elementary School the neighborhood was starting to get pretty rough.  And then by the time I was in High School....well...let's just say, there was a couple of drug dealers that moved in and out of the neighborhood. 

So....this began the journey of embarrassment for me.  If I ever had a date I would have them pick me up at a friends house.  If anyone asked me where I lived I would simply say 52nd street.  You see the streets in Lubbock either went north/south or east/west and they went the whole distance of the city.  Only I knew I really meant east 52nd.  My life was very similar to the movie Pretty in Pink only I didn't have a friend named Duckie...his name was Jason :)

In High School I also met a wonderful couple named Tommy and Maxine at my church.  I called them my adoptive parents.  Through them and a few others investing in my life, I began to see myself in a different light.  Even though my life (materially) was way different than theirs, I realized that they too were human.  And not only that...they had something that I longed for...PEACE. 

To make this long draw out story short...
-I became a Christian in High School
-I went to Texas Tech University
-In February of 1996 my dad passed away
-5 months later I went on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ in 1996 where I met my wonderful husband, Paul.
-In 1997 we went to Chattanooga to join the staff at UTC.
-In 2000 we joined the staff here in Knoxville at UT
-In 2001 we left staff with Crusade and pursued other job opportunities

(In between here is 6 years of having kiddos and trying to figure out our identities)

-In 2007 we bought a new house and moved my mom in with us
-In 2008 she passed away
-In 2009-2010---sweet journey with the Lord of trying to figure out exactly what it is He has called us to.  Both Paul and I were sensing God drawing us back to Him and pursuing things that are eternal and investing in the lives of college students.

Today---I am pursuing my passion of discipleship and evangelism with college girls on the campus at UT.  God had blessed me with 6 sweet girls who all have a heart for the Lord and have been longing for someone to come in their life to walk alongside them.  I count it a blessing to be chosen to be that person. 

So as I sit here today and look back on my life, I can honestly say and believe that we have a sovereign God who is omnipresent, omniscient and all-knowing.  He is in control and I am excited to see what he has in store for Paul and I in 2011 as we reach out to students at UT. 

Did I think that I would be in this place 25 years ago?  Absolutely not! 

Am I thrilled?  You bet! 

Is the journey hard?  You bet!  But it is worth it to be in the will of our Father!

"Look among the nations!  Observe!
Be astonished! Wonder!
Because I am doing something in your days--You would not believe if you were told."  ~Habakkuk 1:5

The journey is hard and the road seems long at times, but He is FAITHFUL!