There are more days I wake up already feeling behind the ball than on top of it. It’s as if, no matter how fast I move, time won’t slow down enough to allow me to catch up to it.
You get it. We’re busy women! We have families and kids and jobs and homes and to-do’s and chores and food and then…. we toss in Christmas.
A season of light, laughter, families and memories that we’ll so easily rush through if….
This is not the sharing of my two birth stories but rather, a sharing of God’s redeeming grace in and over all things nonetheless. A sharing of hope, of how the Lord brings beauty from ashes and makes all things new in accordance with His perfect plan.
Before divulging too much more, a disclaimer: There will be some details discussed from my two c-sections that could give rise to heavy emotions, thoughts, and feelings if you are in a delicate place processing your own birth, pregnancy, or postpartum experiences. My heart is for yours! God knows every emotion you are encountering. Nothing surprises Him or catches Him off guard.
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16
As we come to understand with greater clarity what it looks like to hold grief and joy simultaneously, to live in the “already, but not yet”, we can affirm how that reality permeates different arenas of our every day lives. Our birth stories do not define us. But that doesn’t mean the very means in which the Lord chooses to use in refining us do not matter.
Not might. Not maybe. Jesus promised us that we WILL have suffering.
This isn't a popular conversation topic because we want to believe that being a Christian will mean our life is easy. God is on our side so everything will be perfect now. Our prayers are heard so, poof! Amazing things are going to happen for us.
Here’s the truth because I think you can handle it...
Here’s the thought I keep having…
What if we're doing what God has made us to do in this season?
BUT, what if we're not doing it exactly the way He would want us to do it?
I think it's possible that we could be running in just the right lane for us and embracing the place God has us in, all the while not honoring the rest our body, mind and soul need. We're doing the right thing in the wrong way. Instead of overflowing, we're pouring out of an empty cup.
So, how do we recover rest? How do we "Sabbath" while we're running full force toward our calling into a busy season?
“No way, Mom. I found a shark's tooth!” My six year old’s sun kissed face was beaming as she held up to me with both palms her tiny treasure.
The day before, a kind couple had passed our family on our way off the beach. They were older and looked at our young girls (and us as parents with our arms overflowing with beach necessities) with a “we remember when” gaze. They knelt down and asked our kids if they’d like a shark's tooth to take home. They had found so many today. “Yea!” Our girls squealed, accepting in awe the small, inky blank, pointy objects. The couple then showed our girls what to look for at the water's edge to find more.
I had gone to this same beach for over 30 years and never, not even once, in all my seashell hunting had I found a shark's tooth. Here’s what Iearned from the sweet couple and my own kids. The shark’s teeth have always been there. I just hadn’t discovered any because I hadn't been looking for them.
What we seek we find. That’s exactly what looking for shark’s teeth and our view of the nearness of God have in common.
Can I give it to you point blank?
You cannot win your battle in someone else’s armor.
Have you heard the story of David and Goliath? David is a scrawny teenager who decides to slay a giant in a war he wasn’t old enough to fight in. The King at the time, Saul, tries to protect David by at least giving him some armor to wear.
About two years ago God did something crazy with our family.
My husband and I decided to step out of working in full time ministry and move into our RV. We were walking by faith and living completely open-handed before God.
It was a WILD season where we thought we were moving and upending our entire life for God to only lead us right back to the community we were already serving. Into our open hands fell a non-profit called Twelve. It's a mentor-based organization that partners with local schools and coaches in Fort Mill to help student athletes understand the message that "who you are > what you do." It's incredible.
Weekly, I get to watch my husband rally mentors and pour into students. My kids retrieve balls at baseball and cheer on the Fort Mill Yellowjackets during football season. I get to sit behind the scenes to run social media and write all the things. Our whole family is involved in this project of investing into students lives and we get to watch them grow into incredible young adults.
So, today I want to pull back the curtain on that side of my work life as a nonprofit owner and share with you a writing I just did for Twelve, geared toward our #SpringSwingforXII campaign.
You ready to here "Why We Should Swing for Hope Over Hype"? Let's go...
I am going to be honest. The beginning of 2023 has been hard for me. I decided to
leave my full-time job at the end of 2022. For many different reasons, it was time for
me to step away from that role. One of those reasons is that I have decided to pursue
music in a fuller capacity. Honestly, it is scary but I feel like it has been something God
is prompting me to do. If you ask me what that looks like, I will give you the same
answer I have been telling everyone who asks…I don’t know yet.
I have some ideas and hopes for what it could look like. The main goal is to glorify God
with whatever I create and hope that whoever listens is reminded of who God is and
who they are in Him, but I have no concrete plans yet. I am still figuring it out…waiting,
planning, and dreaming.
It is very difficult for me to write and share this. Here's why...
Truth Moment: sisterhood can be messy! I had a little sister for 40 years. And boy, could we
fight. Like knock-down-drag-out, stop touching my stuff, no you can’t go with me to the mall -
FIGHT! But no one could wedge a fight between us. We were sisters! She was also the person that knew me better than a lot of other people. She knew my hopes and my dreams. She knew when I was hurting and when I was winning. She knew I was having twins before I did. And was there to support me when life got heavy. She was my sister.
My sister passed on December 23, 2022, and even though we lived across the country from each other, her departure has given a different weight to the term sisterhood.
So, what does sisterhood really mean...?
I recently was part of a relationship night where people submitted questions for me and
one of my friends to answer.
We got this question that I ended up thinking about a lot. When I first read it, it seemed
like the answer was obvious, but the more I thought about it and how I was going to
answer, the deeper the answer seemed to become.
This was the question….
Kaley Rivera Thompson is an author, copywriter, Bible teacher, speaker, and worship leader. When she's not championing other women, cheering on the rising generation, writing or playing her guitar, Kaley loves to sip strong coffee, go on hikes, or take a day trip to the mountains with her family. She takes the most pride in being a mom to three little girls, Lina, Lili and Ceci. You can follow her on instagram at @kriverathompson or find out more on her website at kriverathompson.com.