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Dear Beloved Girlfriend

Dear Beloved Girlfriend,

            You are ready for this next step in life, to become engaged. You are doing things right, please stop trying so hard to always do the right thing. God has got your life in His hands and He wants you to be happy. Let go of the past, you have suffered enough, stop bringing it into the light, the now. Trust in Him to guide A and you. You deserve a life of love and happiness. Even though it won’t always be like that some days, above it all A loves you and you love him and A will see to it that you are cared for, loved and safe. Trust in the Lord always, pray together, spend quality time together, and talk. A loves you, really really loves you. I know deep down in your very heart soul, you know that he is the one God has for you. Stop doubting! Stop doubting that you could ever be loved, that you can’t contribute much, or are a bad girlfriend due to your moodiness. I think A has gone through enough “episodes” and has passed beyond flying colors. You need to let go and trust in God and trust in yourself and in A that this is right. That it is ok to love A, its ok to want A. I know you know it is. Break down the walls you keep putting up and breathe. Remember “you are loved with reckless abandon by the King of Glory. You are accepted and adored by your Maker. You are chosen and redeemed by your heavenly Father. (ACH, p.111)  God gives good gifts to His children, He is giving you A. Keep trusting and praying, together and apart.

You are going to be a fabulous wife and even more fabulous mother some day. A will be just what God intended for a husband and father. You need to trust in that. Be brave, sister! I know growing up is scary, I know you have been in the darkest pit for a very long time, but you are out now, you are in the light and it is time to shine. Enjoy the warmth and glow of the light.

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 Love,

 Kp 

Photo credit: Irene and Kenth Kunioo

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#movingforward

I love how open we are this week; I think it’s a start of God showing us we are not alone. My story is one of addiction/family abuse/trying to be perfect. I tried to be perfect my whole life. I am an only child, with two hard working parents. I always wanted the kind of life where my mom would be waiting for me at the end of a school day, with a snack on the counter, asking me how my day was. It was never like that. I had to go with my Gram, who took me to my Aunt’s house. It was a horrible place. Filled with drugs, alcohol, abuse, and lots of dog hair. I had to spend almost every afternoon and summers there. It was awful. I didn’t find out til later that my mom never knew that’s where we went, my Gram would tell her we went to the playground… witnessing the pain my cousin had to endure at 4 years old, I tried to rescue her. I begged my mom to adopt her, to have clean sheets on her bed, her own bedroom, things I had. The good thing that came out of this was that it made me feel grateful, it made me have a heart for others, and thankful for the life I had.

In high school I worked hard to be the best, I loved my teachers and I wanted them to love me. They were my ‘sisters and mothers’, people who believed in me. I didn’t work hard for myself I worked hard for them. Most of my teachers were young and I wanted to show them they were good even great teachers. I knew that teachers got their own daily abuse by mean students, so I tried extra hard to show/prove that not all of us were like that.

       God had been with me my whole life. I had been going to Catholic Sunday school, had my first communion and a few Masses, but my parents didn’t go much. I loved it because it was like school having kids my own age to hang with. I tried hard to be good and follow God. When I was 12 my Gram, the same one who brought me to my cousin’s brought me to her church along with my cousin who was now 8. I loved that little congregational church. We were small but we were mighty and they became my family. I still went to Catholic CCD (Sunday school that was on Wednesday) and the congregational church on Sundays. I did both until I was 14 and decided I wanted to be confirmed in the congregational church. It was a tough decision for a young teen, but my family was fine with it and I was happy. Around this time I struggled with weight and body image, I started playing around with anorexia, but my schedule was so busy and filled with love, I hardly took it to a point of extreme until my sophomore year of high school. A boy in my math class was being disruptive so I told him to shut up and then he called me fat. I was so upset, my teacher held me that’s how upset and shaking I was. The boy got in trouble, but I recently found out, he was struggling with his parent’s horrible divorce. I hope at our high school reunion I can tell him how sorry I am and that I forgive him. It taught me that we are all hurting. I began fasting a lot for the rest of high school, being a dancer it only made it worse. It never got to the point of hospitalization but my parents were starting to worry.

       Senior year came and I was accepted to my top college, which was one close to home and Christian. I didn’t think how challenging it would be. I didn’t have the SAT scores or grades to get in, but I did. God wanted me to. The first two years were amazing and awesome! I was in my element, for once I was popular and had a strong fellowship of older girls who taught me what Christ’s love and grace was. I accepted Christ at midnight on 11/11/07. A day I’ll never forget. After two years though, I was burnt out. I was tying to become an elementary school teacher and I was already teaching in the classroom, waking early to go to school, on the swim team and trying to balance a workload that was the max you had to take to get all your courses in to graduate within four years. I crashed hard, I found weed as an escape from depression, feeling worthless, and anxious all the time. Soon, weed was changed to the synthetic kind that I could buy at a smoke shop. I was addicted by then. I had to quit swimming and I barely graduated. I changed my major and graduated with no job in sight. My addiction grew worse. I lost a job I enjoyed, crashed two cars, overdrew my account, stole from my parents, work, coworkers, I got arrested because I was driving while high on the fake weed also called spice. How did I go from a little girl who loved everyone and God, to a burnt out druggie who just didn’t care anymore. Where was God in this? There were moments of clarity where I begged God to take this darkness away, to help me get better, to be the girl I once was. He didn’t, I was angry and I would slip right back where I was. My parents were disappointed, my church didn’t know what to do with me, and I just wanted to die. I went to rehab for a week and it was believe it or not, great! It was almost the same feeling of being loved by teachers again. I was happy, I was in a space where I couldn’t use, I couldn’t go to the store and buy it, I was happy in the safe little place that felt like college in a strange way. We went to classes; I met people young and old who struggled with similar things. I met this older lady, who looked like my Grammy, so I took a liking to her. She was so awesome, but soon she got sick really sick and I couldn’t even say goodbye when she had to go home to the hospital. She came out all right, but some of the things I saw there scared me straight. It was easy for me to be successful because I wanted to please my nurses and the staff. My favorite nurse was Mama Jane. She was just young and had twins. I took a liking to her. When I would panic at night about having to go home, scared how easy it was for me just to go buy the stuff, she would listen even when there were many others who needed her too. She took time with me. I wanted to make her proud. The friends I made there were hurting, but I like to think my little kid jokes, skips down the hall, and just being a light, helped them that week. God wanted me there, to be with the hurting, to learn from others, to learn that the darkness could get darker without Him. I came back and was clean for a while until I picked up again. It wasn’t until recently about a month ago, during the “When Women Say Yes to God” online study when I realized, “What am I doing? Why am I wasting my time with this?” I had worked my butt off this summer to earn full time at my job, which I love and my God gave it to me. I treasure it, I still work hard even though I have tough days, and I know that this job is a gift, a part in saving me. Ataan, my lovie, is another gift that was given to me by my precious God. He is a remarkable man who is seeking after God and loves me all of me even when I get moody. We found a church we love and began a study there. I also recently joined the bell choir for the advent season. God is good. He is bringing the light back into my life. I have tough days, sometimes I still want to smoke, but it reminds me that I need to add more quiet time, journaling, and prayer. Talking with God, reading His Word, and sticking through it even when I don’t feel like it or don’t think I feel God, helps.

I pray that my story will help others and I am getting ready for God to send me into the field to harvest, but for today, I’m filling up my cup.

Love to my P31 OBS ladies, having your support and sharing your stories helps me too.

May we be and bring the lights to those stuck in the darkness.

Kp

Been There, Done That, Loved It!

I’m about to begin another Proverbs31 Online Bible Study and to get us in the mode, they encouraged us to write a blog post about either a previous study and a couple other options, I chose the previous study one because i was so motivated and just loved it so much! 

Question: Have you participated in one of our previous studies? If yes, which one? What did you learn or what was your favorite moment?

 I have participated in the “What Happens When Woman Say YES! To God” It was amazing! I needed a study as my church was in summer mode and takes a break from formal studies. It came at the perfect time because I was coming out of a dark season in my life and I needed new encouragement and regain some of the yes! attitude I had lost during that season. I learned a lot about how that having daily time with God to just listen to Him has benefited my life enormously! It has helped me deal with stress, emotions, and helped me work being with my students and coworkers.

            In the study we talked about a fresh vision. Taking pause in daily life to really focus on where we are going and making sure God is in it. I took this seriously and noticed that my prayer life was lacking. The way I like to pray is by writing in a journal and I realized I haven’t done that in over a year, so I got creative and made my own journal. I committed to writing in it weekly. It really has helped and looking back at the prayers I’ve prayed and seeing the outcome, it is super encouraging and keeping in communion with God strengthens our relationship and my life. Speaking of prayer and quiet time, we learned to find white space in our homes or wherever to escape from the world to really talk and be with God. My white space is my bike, riding to and from work. I am more intentional with my time on the rides, speaking to God, listening to Christian music, or just being quiet, listening. It was a good place for me to be intentional rather than my room or bed, when distractions are too easily distracting me.

            M favorite moment was when I recommitted my life to Christ and laid everything down at His feet. Being encouraged throughout the study to try hard to keep in communication with Him, to stay strong and not give into temptations and to be obedient where and when He asks me to. My life is just better when I am one with God, its not all flowers and rainbows but the attacks and my reaction to those are through the eyes of Christ and all He has done for me. He has brought me through many dark times esp. during my deep darkest pits of addiction. I am so thankful for the leaders and all who make online studies possible. It’s a great community and lots of love!

If you’re thinking about signing up, do it! You won’t regret it! Starts Oct. 13!

 http://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/new-to-online-bible-study/.

A21/P31 – 31 Days of Prayer

According to the A21 website, “There are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history, with an estimated 27 million in bondage across the globe. Men, women, and children are being exploited for manual and sexual labor against their will.”

 Wait a minute, let me read that again, 

There are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history, with an estimated 27 million in bondage across the globe. Men, women, and children are being exploited for manual and sexual labor against their will.”

WHAT?! How could this be happening! But it is, it is happening and it happening in our country, cities, neighborhoods! When I first heard of the A21 campaign at Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, GA. Christine Cain spoke of the many injustices not only around the world but right here at home too. I was shocked. I was pissed. I was motivated to do something. We can all do a little something to help stop this huge injustice: volunteer, donate money, but most importantly we can pray. We can come clean with God about our own sins, then humbly ask Him to intervene and kick slavery’s butt once and for all. 

Please come along side me and my fellow ladies at proverbs31 ministries and pray for God to come through and end this injustice. Let’s pray friends, really pray.

Lord God, please be with those who are trapped in slavery right now. Please protect them and please put people who have the power to stop this in the pathway to put slavery in the ground forever. Please be with the victims, let them know you are there and that you care, Lord. Please help them heal. I ask Lord, that you put leaders in government that will end this grave injustice and bring peace and hope to all victims and families. In Jesus, Amen. 

For more facts about human trafficking- http://www.thea21campaign.org/content/the-facts/gjekag
 

Saying Yes to God

#Isaidyes

I know I have spoken of this topic before but this is really on my heart once again. I am an addict of smoking fake pot. I know it’s like, what is that?  Google it and you will find more info. It will scare you, esp. if you have youth in your life. But that’s not  the whole focus on what I’m writing about today. I’m writing about what I said yes to. I’ve been involved in this amazing bible study through Proverbs 31 ministries online. It has been an amazing, yet struggling, but still awesome time! At first I thought it might not fit well with me because how can I really connect through a screen? But God changed me and worked many tough things with me through this. I encourage anyone to sign up for the next study on Oct. 13. Check out the site here:

 

 http://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/new-to-online-bible-study/.

 

So, what exactly have I said yes to during this study? I have been writing and journaling more and more, which has helped me stay connected to God and helps me figure out my moods. I have a mood disorder that gets out of whack esp. during that time of the month, so by journaling about what’s going on, how I am feeling, what God is doing, helps me to share with my doctor to track the areas that flare up my moods. It is so helpful because we can see where I tend to lash out or want to smoke. It helps with balancing my medication. I said yes to daily journaling.

       I have also decided to recommit my life to Christ and try hard to keep in communication with Him, to stay strong and not give into temptations and to be obedient where and when He asks me to. My life is just better when I am one with God, its not all flowers and rainbows but the attacks and my reaction to those are through the eyes of Christ and all He has done for me. He has brought me through many dark times esp. during my deep darkest pits of addiction. I recently spoke as a guest preacher at my church and gave a powerful testimony as well as what I learned from this study. Here is an excerpt from it and I used resources from What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, Ch. 6 If It Were Easy, It Wouldn’t Be Worth Doing:

 My toughest times were when I was struggling with depression, anxiety and addiction, during my last couple years at Gordon and post-graduation. I continued to pray to God to ask for His help and guidance to get me through this dark time. I felt like there was no light inside me to shine out any more. I was a failure and loser, a person unworthy. These were lies of course, lies that the world fills into our heads when things are not going according to plan. I continued to struggle through those dark times for 2.5 years. “I was tempted to get pulled into the world’s lies that God has not answered my prayer, that He wasn’t trustworthy. However, the truth is that God is faithful and true, and His Word promises us, “He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but listened to his cry for help” (Psalm 22:24) What do you do when you feel as though God isn’t hearing your cries for help? Or that he is saying no?” (Ch. 6, pg. 95-96).  I remember sitting on the floor of my dorm room, begging God to free me from all this darkness. I was spent, tired of watching all my friends succeed and do marvelous things for the Lord, while I could barely get myself up for class. I was disappointed and confused. I prayed that if God would let this darkness leave that I would do anything, anything! But I still continued to struggle, to go through the mud, to watch while others celebrated, while I was still in the shadows. Flash forward another year and this time I’m in my room at home. I had to leave a job I enjoyed, crashed my car, and was in the pits of my addiction. I asked God the very same thing as before: “God let me be of this, let me move on with my life, please!” This time I heard an answer, “Stay strong, I have wonderful plans to use you in this, keep going, don’t lose hope.” It hasn’t been easy, but I am finally coming into the light, but I still have days where the shadows like to lurk and God has had to remind me several times that “He has it and is going to use me in this” (ch. 6 pg. 94-95).

 

Thank you Proverbs 31 ministries, the leaders, and all the ladies across the world that have come along side me on this journey. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please go to Proverbs31 there are amazing people and resources that are open to all.

Until next time!

 

Kp 

#freshvision

        We have been talking over at the online study at proverbs31 about how we sometimes need to take a pause in our walks of life to get a better vision and figure out where we are going and making sure God is with us and in it. This week was a little stressful and discouraging. My beloved Grammy had to get a pacemaker, which she came out well from the procedure, thank you God!  New full time hours at work, new students (and intense parents), and feeling low due to well, “women time”. I get really low, my anxiety and depression get blown up during that week every month and everyone else gets my wrath. I’ve been trying to work on it.

       Anyways, my fresh vision this week is to surrender to God all my worries, concerns, frustrations and praises. I tend to hold onto these things because I am ashamed that I don’t have it all together. No one really has it all together but I put up this veil that I do. I need to start really investing in my prayer life, so I decided to make a new journal and commit to start writing in it and writing my prayers in it as well. I like to pray that way. I think having a fresh new journal is like having a fresh start, a fresh vision. I pray that you use this fall season, as a kick off for a fresh start of living out the life God has for you.

 

“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 a HOPE and a future.” Jeremiah 29:1

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We were also encouraged to find white space. A place in your house or elsewhere, where we can be silent and listen to God, pray to Him and worship. I used to think this place was on my bed in my room, but I tend to fall asleep esp. this week as new hours and just general tiredness overcame me. I thought about all the places I could go, but none really stuck with me, then I realized that my bike is my place. I ride to work every day and night (yes its scary and I do have lights) But as I go to and from work, I talk to God, listen to Klove (a Christian radio station), or sometimes, esp. at night, I am just quiet. My bike is my white space place. I am going to be more intentional with my time and really use it as my God time. Plus it will help me calm my nerves as I get new students every day this week.            

ImageI encourage you to find that white space and spend some time with God today, He will help you find a fresh vision for your life!

 

Praying for you all.

Kp 

#stickingwithit

              Right now I am involved in an online bible study through Proverbs 31 ministries. I am really glad I found this because it’s the end of summer and not many churches including my own have studies going on right now. They usually start after Labor Day weekend. I wanted to do a study though and since I already had the book: “What Happens When Women Say Yes To God” By Lysa TerKeurst, I figured why not? It was weird not to have people to gather with in person, but there is this amazing online support where we all gather together like we would at someone house or church. I enjoy the leader’s little daily videos and updates and how they give us an informal daily task to help me stay track. 

             Lately, though I’ve been falling behind. I completely missed a chapter and looking back I wonder what exactly distracted me so much to miss a whole week? There were a few moments where I wanted to throw in the towel. I’m too busy with work, stressing out about whether or not I earned full time, attempting to prove myself with going the extra mile the last week before we shut down to clean, or just being lazy. That was probably it, I was being lazy. I was spending my “down time” on browsing the Internet, watching TV, or just sitting around.

             When I think about the weeks when I did the study to the best I could I realized that I heard God’s voice more throughout my day, that I tried harder to see God in my work day and beyond. I dealt with stressors better, being slow to react with an emotional outburst and being able to deal with it in a calm matter. I mean it wasn’t always the case but more times than not it was. I think carving out time for God in the morning and before bed really does make a difference in how I react to the worldly things. I think it keeps me focus on what’s important and how to react. How taking a quiet walk during my lunch break, praying for my coworkers, students and parents, lifting up any worries I had for the day, really did help me be a better instructor and person.

             I am glad that I didn’t just stop doing the study but continued it because I am really seeing how it has been benefitting my life and possibly others. I hope and pray that I remember this down the line if I ever feel like I can’t do this anymore esp. when I start full time on Tuesday!!!!!!!