What My 3.5-hr Haircut Taught Me

I had already had to cancel my dinner plans and my semi-damp hair was only half cut. An hour had come and gone. The only thing that was complete was a magnificent hair wash and the back of my hair trimmed. If my layers and bangs were to be next I figured I would be in that seat for at least another hour. That hour turned into more than two.

As I sat in the chair and my student stylist meticulously cut every strand, I accepted that this was a much needed time to slow down. I chose to take deep breaths and let it be. There was something so freeing to just sit and let someone else tend to my hair (it had been since December 2017).

By the time I was done, my hair was frizzy and all I could think about was what I would eat for dinner. Who am I kidding? I think about the next time I’m going to eat all day. You wouldn’t know it if you looked at me but I love food. Food was all I was worried about so I had not understood what the 3.5 hour cut was symbolic of in that moment.

The next day I was having coffee with Jesus. He reminded me about my 3.5 hour hair cut. Just like my student stylist was meticulous to get every angle and cut right so was God with every detail of my life. The dreams planted in my heart at birth take a lot of time. Thankfully God places everything and everyone at the perfect moment.

He is meticulous.

There are moments in life when things take too long and we sit back with tense backs and irritation. This must not be! God wants us to sit back, take a deep breath and let him take care of us no matter the circumstances. He wants us to enjoy those moments. He wants us to trust him.

If I can trust a student stylists first time cutting hair, I certainly can trust God with my dreams.

I plan on going back to that beauty school. I do not plan on making a fuss about my first visit. It was worth every penny I spent on a 3.5 haircut because of what it taught me.

Dreams take time.

God is meticulous.

He is getting every angle done right.

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Good Intentions

Crushing. Pressing.

It is in these moments where heaven is close even if it may feel like hell.

It is too easy to focus on what is not, too easy to focus on the negative.

It is time to pick yourself up and celebrate what is, before it has come. Victory is yours. Do you not see the reason for the battle? Your enemy wants you to give up. He knows that the only way he can win is if you let him.

Suit up.

Believe that the intentions and plans from God are always good. Trust Him. He wants the best for you. He is always there. He never fails.

It is this truth that helps us get up and get on our knees to do holy battle. It is this truth that helps us when we may be surrounded. It is this truth that leads us through the valley of the shadow of death. It is why joy bubbles from deep within us. It is the reason we press on.

He is good. He is sovereign. He is love.

You are on His mind. Your kids are on His mind. Every thought that may be going through your head He already knows. He has already been tending to your cares.

Trust Him, you will not be overtaken.

Mother’s Day…

Sigh.

This day is full of many emotions.

When we were children we never knew what our Mommas were feeling or going through. But the truth is that they often were grieving or struggling in some way. Sure, many years were great when this day came but so many brave souls overcame a day feeling less than, forgotten or were without someone they loved.

For those who have lost their Mom and/or sweet children of your own, rest in the fact that God loves them even to this day, more than you. I say this phrase as a blessing to you.

Today after church I was able to take a deep breathe in the car ride home. As I allowed myself to soak in all the love, hugs, and notes I had received, I saw an image of my Mom holding my son in her arms in heaven. How perfect they looked!

I realized in that moment how well taken care of both of them are. I know this but to “see” it and to see my Mom loving and holding my boy so close was exactly what my Momma heart needed. This would have (should have) been my first Mother’s day with a baby in my arms.

Despite the hint of sadness from loss, my heart is so full. I am one blessed woman. I am loved. I am lacking nothing because all of God’s promises are yes and amen.

The same goes for you. You are blessed. You are loved. You lack nothing because all of God’s promises are yes and amen.

Honorable, virtuous, strong woman, shed a tear if you need but arise and lift up your head for you are victorious!

Just Be

One of the things that I’ve realized more fully is the busy state of Americans. Anytime that I go overseas I struggle greatly upon returning because our culture is not my preference. Busyness, programs, sports, cellphones, money and a lot more all dictate our time. I promised myself that I would not succumb to it again.

But here I am strategically trying to figure out how to change.

What I do in and of itself is not bad but longterm it definitely takes a toll. I long for the days of solitude where I sent letters in the mail and I knew my neighbors well. A phone would be for emergencies or to catch up with a friend. As much as I would love cellphones not to consume people’s lives, here I am writing my blog on one (there is a balance to everything I suppose). Busy has become a badge of honor and I am over here ripping it off yet failing to overcome it.

There is a song that Kim Walker Smith sings called, “Just Be”. It has become a soothing way to start my day for the past week and a half. All I want is Jesus. Everything is right, good and safe with him. In his presence everything either makes sense or there is a reassurance that someday I will understand.

No matter what load I carry, Jesus is all I need. He is all I want. When the load is heavy and I feel like it will overtake me (I see a flat version of me under the boulder even though I know that image is not a true one) I take a moment to let Jesus come and fill me again with his vision and hope.

Click the link below to listen to the song:

“Everything else can wait

I’ve come to seek Your face

So everything else can wait

I’m here for You

I want to

Just be, here at Your feet

Just be, here on my knees

Here in Your presence I am complete

Jesus, you’re all that I need.”

He is more than enough. When we do not understand what is going on or when we cannot see in front of us, He is all that we need.

Take time to slow down.

Put your phone down. Embrace the one’s you love more than the time spent with your phone in your hands or your eyes looking at a screen.

Write a letter and send it in the mail. Bake a meal as a family rather than getting fast food. At your meal sit down and talk about your day. Keep phones, TV’s, and devices turned off in order for connection to occur and love to grow. Look your children and spouse in the eyes as you talk and laugh. Make family your first priority.

Busy is not a badge of honor but loving Jesus and loving others well, is.

Slow down long enough to be filled with new breathe.

Lord, help us.

“Everything else can wait”

Baking and Dandelions

The aroma of homemade banana bread fills my home. It brings back memories of my Mom. I sing and dance in my kitchen as I whip up my own recipe. My eyes get misty as I remember her. As much as my Mom taught me how to follow recipes we never really stuck to it much.

I remember how we would get distracted talking or letting someone in our home in the middle of baking. When this happened it usually resulted with us forgetting an ingredient. I still laugh about the time we forgot to put sugar into our pumpkin pie. I tried pouring sugar over every bite but it still tasted awful.

I can laugh at these memories. I look back fondly on those moments where I know my Mom poured all of her love into me. It has caused me to reflect and ponder the legacy I am leaving behind. Will people remember my love?

As Easter approaches I miss her. When I see dandelions in full bloom I pick them and place them in a small vase because as a child I knew my Mom would put them on display. My Mom was able to recognize my gift of “weeds” as a treasure.

If my Mom loved me like this then how much greater does Jesus? I am in awe of this truth. He sees my weeds and makes it beautiful. He turns my mourning into joy. He waters a beautiful garden with every tear. He is faithful.

As I bake in my kitchen in my beautiful home, a tear may fall but a tender smile remains knowing the gift my Mom was. Not all Mom’s are able to show a small portion of Gods heart towards their children. I realize this precious gift that was given to me was intended for me to also give away.

I hope to leave a legacy of love.

Leaning In

Will you lean in?

Every Sunday my favorite thing to do is pray with kids. During prayer I place my hand on their heads. If a child is new I will always ask permission first before doing this.

On one particular Sunday morning as I laid my hand on one child’s head they relaxed and leaned in. I went around the classroom and one child after the other leaned in. The response of leaning in is not a new response but having as many children do so like they did, was.

This action of leaning in conveys trust. In the context of the heart it often can signify surrender and the action to receive. For others they simply hunger for more of God.

As I witnessed these children do this it dawned on me how important it is for us to lean in. When we lean in we are expecting more. We can expect more because we know that God wants to give more.

How many times have we ignored God? How many times have we rushed prayer or decided that enough time was spent with him?

Greater treasure awaits us in the quiet moments of waiting, listening and leaning in.

God is a good God. He always wants to give us more. He loves to give good gifts.

I have to wonder what have we missed out on for being too busy or rushing our time?

What is even more extraordinary to me with children is they know and will lean in no matter what is going on. They will lean in when they are happy. They will lean in when they are sad or hurt.

How often do we stop leaning in when things are good and we don’t feel the need for God? Or maybe it is the opposite and instead of leaning in when things get difficult, we blame Him instead?

Whatever season we are in we become the inconsistent ones. God remains faithful. He is always ready to help and to bless us if we are willing to receive from Him in those still and quiet moments.

Lean in.

Focus On What Is

What are you waiting for?

I am right here.

While you complain about your life I am right here.

I am blessing your family because I love your family. I am blessing your body because I love you. I am blessing your job because I want you to succeed. Yes, I am even blessing what is to come because your future matters to me too.

Stop focusing on what is not. Focus on what is. I am I am. Nothing is hidden from me. Your enemies are haughty and arrogant. Do not worry about them for I have prepared a great feast of victory for you. They will see your feast and wonder at the great joy you have.

But you must focus on what is, not on what is not. Get out of the griping habit. Get out of the rut of the enemy. Bitterness grabs hold of your feet there and will not let you go until you choose repentance, forgiveness and joy. What I desire for you is so much greater than you can imagine.

My heart is drawn to you. I only want your good. I want to see you succeed. I am your biggest fan. My voice is the loudest cheering you on. I am for you.

What are you waiting for?

I am right here.

– Jesus

Go Time

It is “Go time!”

The phrase is on a new coffee cup that a dear friend gave to me. It represents dreams coming to pass, to be expectant of them occurring. I am ready.

It is “Go time!” for many of you too. There is a stirring happening in many of your hearts to move forward with those dreams of yours. Are you waiting for permission from man? If you are you may be waiting for many more years to come. This life is to be lived for God not for man.

Go for it!

Are you waiting for the right timing? I understand that there is often a process to things and timing plays a big factor but for many of you the timing is now. It has been for far too long in some instances. Break free from fear.

It is “Go time!”

Building An Ark

Adventures are full of perilous battles, and travels. Memories are made to last a lifetime during such times.

Waiting for an end of one journey and the beginning of another is an adventure all on its own. Depending on ones perspective during the intense seasons, one can often either give up or keep believing that the long days and opposition is worth what is waiting at the end, even if there seems to be no end in sight.

The past year has been intense. There have been so many moments where I have told myself, “Kara, you can do this. You are strong. Stay focused. Breathe in and then exhale.”

Several weeks ago someone shared with me that I’m living my life like Noah building the ark. I am stewarding Gods promises. I am preparing for the improbable. I know what God has spoken to me. I know what He has in store for my family. Many may look at me and wonder why I am doing the things that I am simply because it has not rained yet. But I know the rain is coming and I will be ready for when it does.

After this conversation I decided to refresh myself on the details about Noah. By the time he had all of his sons he was 500. Somewhere in between that time and the rain God gave him instructions to build the arc. Each year the sky was dry. Noah met opposition and was preparing for something that others could not fathom. Noah was faithful. Finally at 600 years of age the heavens opened and it began to rain. One hundred years seems like such a long stretch of time to build, and steward what God had given him to do!

One hundred years long was worth it. What Noah did seemed crazy to so many people until it began to rain.

People who look through the lens of doubt and cynicism will never be the ones to do impossible tasks nor will they be the ones to enjoy the gifts along the journey of one epic adventure after another.

Faith requires deaf ears to ridicule and lies. Faith requires radiant eyes to focus on the rainbow that has yet to be seen in the skies. The more time is spent with Him, listening to His voice, the more faith grows.

God is good. He is willing.

Are you willing to let go of everything you know? Are you ready for the rain?

Look to the heavens. He is willing and ready to bring the rain and paint the rainbow for you.

Do Not Fear The Night

The dark, it has a sinister presence.

Have you ever noticed how much your perspective changes in the dark? That chair looks to be an ominous crouching figure. The chair leg stepped in front of you and stubbed that toe of yours. Pain, it is unbearable in that moment.

Putting laughter aside, when we face a season filled with darkness on either side, our perspectives can often get skewed. Some of us begin to doubt the truth we believed in the light. We must get to a place of calm security even when circumstance change and the light seems to dim.

God, mighty God, is never consumed by the darkness but instead He defeats it. He is so strategic that there is no foe that can come close to overtaking Him. What God says happens. He simply has to speak it and it is.

Friend, what darkness are you facing? Are you speaking truth? Perhaps you are yelling it and are slumped over in exhaustion. Why are you striving so hard to win a battle that has already been won?

Your victory is won by God almighty. Yes, you play a role but any hint that the victory is yours to claim for your glory is making yourself an idol. You are not greater than God. By letting go of control and following Gods path of life and light, therein lies your victory. He has it planned out just for you. As you let go more stability will come. No one compares to Him.

Let your enemies laugh thinking they have won. Let them speak lies thinking it does something (it does not). God reigns. He is good. He prepares a full banquet table amidst your enemies. You will not be overcome.

The morning is coming. Look up. Do you not yet see the hints of the sun rise? Wait. Breathe.

Victory is upon the horizon.