Tuesday, January 29, 2013

when the good becomes the bad and the ugly

I have this trait that anybody who knows me is very familiar with:
I don't like to fail.

For the most part, this trait has served me well. It has kept me
pushing forward
striving for something better
working hard
accomplishing things I never thought possible

Lately, though, it seems this trait has developed a dark side...an evil twin, if you will.

See, I look at all the things that are unfinished right now:
~laundry
~dishes
~thread crochet I've been working on for my mom for somewhere around...3 years now
~multiple scarves
~a wedding present
~a story
~query letters
~oh yeah--homework...
(I took some pictures to put here, but for some reason blogger won't let me upload them...gonna have to try and update this when that will work...)

I see all those things and that evil twin starts saying, "Look at all the ways you're failing right now...there's not even one thing you're getting finished! You're in way over your head." That's usually followed by an evil villain laugh...hey, I may not feel like a writer most of the time, but those voices still float around in my head to remind me that they want me to write down their stories :0)

Here is where you would usually expect to find some words of wisdom explaining how I know that's not true, that things are "in progress" way longer that they are "finished."

The thing is, though, right now that evil twin is the one I'm hearing the loudest...
 

Monday, January 28, 2013

sometimes, we just don't get to know!

I came across a verse the other day.
...funny how that happens when I take the time to pull out my Bible and get quiet for a minute, even if that "quite" is while the kids are right beside me watching a cartoon...

It's a verse I've read many times, one I've heard preached all my life, one that's quoted any time people talk about the day Christ will return to call us to eternity:

"[Jesus] said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:7 & 8)

So like I said, I've read those verses a hundred times. This time, though, one part struck me a little differently:

"It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority."
Huh.
Obviously that pertains to the second coming, but it made me think of something else when I read it.

See, I have this deep-set need to have things all planned out. It's something I've struggled with for a long time (and probably something about me that other people have had to struggle through before I even realized what was going on, to be honest) and will most likely struggle with for quite a while longer.

Not only do I want to know what's ahead, it would be so much nicer if I had a timeline--you know, a 10-year plan (hey, I would be content with even a 5-year!) that would spell everything out for me, let me in on the secret.

Apparently, though, that's not really how God works.
Instead we are told to trust Him, to have faith in His plan, 
to follow.

Like a little kid, though, I want to know why...
..why can't You just give me a little peak?
...why shouldn't I get a glimpse of the schedule?
...why do I have to wait?
...why can't You just tell me what to expect...and when to expect it?
...why does Your timing seem so crazy? 

I don't think God has a problem with my questions.
Sometimes, though, we get the answer Jesus gave His disciples here when they started asking questions, as the Message puts it:
"You don't get to know the time. Timing is the Father's business."     

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

follow...but who (or what) do I follow?

I had every intention of getting back into the swing of things here on the blog in 2013 after letting it drift almost into oblivion towards the end of 2012...

Best laid plans of mice and men, i suppose...

Well, that aside, I've done some thinking about my word, follow.

It seems rules/plans/goals fit nicely into groups of 3 for some reason, so I've come up with the 3 ways I need to focus on following this year.

1) Follow my Savior
"When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" (John 8:12)

~We are told many times to follow Christ. That needs to be my number one focus this year, because even though I know to the very core of my being that that should be my first priority and that everything else will fall into place so much easier if I put that goal first
             so many times it falls by the wayside
       as my attention drifts
and I lose sight of the One who is most important.

2) Follow my husband
"Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord." (Colossians 3:18)

~I know this.

Really I do.

But, see, I have this problem with always wanting to be right (I know I'm not...not always, anyway. Everybody has an off day every few years...), and nobody experiences that side of me more than Nathan.
I'm stubborn and hard-headed, and sometimes even when I know deep down that--gasp!--Nathan's right and I'm wrong
                   I'll still argue my point.
Yeah. Not such a great way of submitting, huh?

3) Follow my dreams
"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37: 4)

~I fully believe that God gives us dreams because He wants us to see them fulfilled. Does that mean that I think everything I think I want is actually a God-sized dream?
Of course not.
I do believe, though, that my desire to write is from Him. In what form, I don't know, but I'm hoping to find that out.

You know how above I said that I always want to be right and always want to be in control?

Oh, I left out the control part, huh? 
Well, that's kind of a biggie, too, and this is one of those places where it really comes into play.
See, I keep planning out just what exactly needs to happen with my writing. I even go so far as to try and make a timeline every once in a while.

I've stopped chasing the dream--
following my heart
--and I've been trying to push it forward.

Have you ever watched smoke curl up from a fire?
You can follow the smoke as it winds around, but the minute you start trying to push it, the smoke dissipates.
I think that might be the same with dreams. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

follow

**First, congratulations to (drumroll, please)...
Sabrina! Thanks to random.org, your comment was selected as the winner :0)

Shoot me an email at ajkilbourn(at)hotmail(dot)com...you know all the usual tricks here to keep the bots from spamming me nonstop! We'll connect and figure out just how I can make your word "intentional" into something you can look at as a reminder this year.**



And now, the rest of the story...

My word last year was faithful, and if you look back at my introduction to that word a year ago you'll see that one of the first stories that popped into my head was Peter stepping out of the boat in faith, amidst the crashing waves. It seemed Peter kept popping up after that, too...I guess maybe I'm drawn to those hard-headed, passionate, stubborn guys...but I digress.


This year I struggled to find a word for 2013. I read other "One Word" posts, hoping maybe somebody else's word would jump out at me. When that didn't work, and December was over, I started thinking that maybe I wasn't going to have a word this year.


Then I "stumbled on" a post by a man I greatly respect from our church in Russellville, Dr. Morris Inch. The writing was full of little nuggets, kind of his reflection back over 2012, but towards the end one thought jumped out at me: Jesus is the Way.

Hmm.



Thinking back right now, I couldn't tell you exactly what Dr. Inch said (though I highly recommend you hop over and read his words!). As is often the case for me my mind took off on a tangent path, the original thought forgotten.


This time, the first thing that came to mind was "Followers of the Way." Paul tells us that that is what the early believers were called. I did a quick internet search and first came across a couple of strange cult pages...

so I did what I should have done first and opened my Bible for a quick search through the index, looking at the word follow.

I"ll give you a guess as to whose name came up...

yup.
Here comes Peter again!

The first and last words that Jesus spoke to Peter (at least of those recorded for us in the Bible)?
"Come, follow Me." (Mark 1:17)

"Follow Me!: (John 21:17-19)

Huh. That's interesting...

Peter, this stubborn guy who jumps out of boats and who denies even knowing this "Jesus" guy when things get hard.

Knowing everything about Peter, knowing how hard-headed and passionate and stubborn and explosive he can be, Jesus simply says, "follow."


I said earlier that I seem to be drawn to guys like Peter. Well, maybe that's because I'm kind of a female version of him (Petra, maybe?).

So, knowing what I'm going to face in 2013,

and knowing every 
stubborn
     hard-headed
             explosive
                 passionate
aspect of my personality, this year Jesus simply says to me, "Follow."

This should be interesting...

Friday, January 4, 2013

one word for 2013

How many times growing up were you told to be a leader?

Our society seems focused on being the leader, the one out in front all the time. We are taught to develop our leadership skills
we pick team captains from childhood
we strive for promotions
we work hard to be at the front of the pack.

I'm definitely no exception--I worked hard to become captain of my cheer squad from middle school on through my senior year, I studied to be at the head of my class and then get into the Honors Program at Tech when I started college (the first time around, anyways!), I developed the skills that would get me into grad school. I was taught to lead instead of just going along with the crowd.

What if there's something else being asked of me, though?

Hang with me here--if you're like me, this concept is a bit of a hard pill to swallow.

What if, instead of being pushed to become a leader, I'm being asked to simply...

Follow. That is my word for 2013. It found me unexpectedly, but the word found me nonetheless (maybe it would be more fitting to say the Word found me?). I'll go into it a bit more next time, but for now I have something new to try...

Have you come up with a word for 2013? 
I'm going to really jump into the blogging world right off the bat this year and do my first ever giveaway with this post. So here's the deal:

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what your one word is for 2013. I'll pick one person to then receive a handmade print of their word like the one above. If you win, all you have to do is shoot me an email giving me a few details about why you chose your word and letting me know your mailing address. I'll probably ask you a few more things like color choices, style, size, etc., but that's it.

That's it--nothing to review, nothing major to do.

So, what's your one word for 2013? Leave a comment then check back next week to see if you won!

***Thanks to everyone who entered! Entries are now closed--the winner will be announced on Thursday (picked with a random number generator because I'm a physics nerd), so check back then and we'll start working out the details!***

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Welcome, 2013

2012 was a year of big changes for our little family.

Come to think of it, so was 2011...and 2010...and 2009...yeah, pretty much every year since Nathan and I got married in 2004 has been a year of big changes for us.

That said, I imagine 2013 will be as well!

And you know what?
I wouldn't know what to do if it wasn't, and I wouldn't have it any other way :0) 

Last year about this time, this blog got started as a result of something that has become pretty popular: one word.

The idea is pretty simple. Instead of coming up with a list of resolutions for the new year, you pick out one word that is going to shape your year. Last year my word was faithful, and i can tell you now that looking back it definitely paints a pretty good picture of 2012. I'm planning on doing the same thing this year and I had this big plan of making my first post of the new year on January 1 with a big reveal of my word for 2013.

The thing is, now it's January 2 and I still don't have my word.
Not even a clue.
So, my first post of the year is this instead:
If you've made resolutions, great for you and best of luck sticking to them this year. If you haven't, though (or even if you have), I challenge you to take part in this one word thing.

Your word can be anything--don't worry about what anybody else will think or if they'll "get it" or if yours is the same as somebody else's (<--apparently that isn't a word...I'm sticking with it anyway!).

By the end of this first week of January, search your heart, pray about it, scan your favorite book, flip through the dictionary...look through some words and figure out what one word needs to be your theme for 2013. I'll do the same, and we'll meet back here this weekend and share what we've come up with!