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...
This week marks the two-year anniversary of the day that my home flooded. It was a typical Thursday in November. I was at work when I received a call from my HOA that the river behind my building was rising… rapidly. An hour later, I received the news that the water had surpassed the two feet mark in my first floor condo unit. The damage was irreversible and set in motion a 21-month-long process of repair and renovation— in both my condo and my heart.
While feeling stuck in this extended season of the unknown, God was gracious enough to remind me that He is El Olam, the God of Eternity.
If you find yourself in a season of:
Then I believe that this particular name and character trait of The Lord will speak directly to your heart and your situation...
You've heard “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” and it's true. A woman is a very dangerous creature. She is a supporter, encourager, nurturer, caretaker with a loyalty to where her investment lies. When something hurts her loyalty, emotions plus a longing for justice ignite the wick in her heart to launch a fireball aimed at the offender.
Do you remember your first break up? I do... The guy cheated on me and I was so angry all I could think about was payback (not recommended). Then there was the gossip. Girls not only beat me up with their words but they would do it to my friends too. There was a part of me that just wanted to scream back at them and I remember daily walking around high school with a burning feeling in my chest. In college, I had to defend my faith. It was one thing for someone to offend me but entirely another when my professor offended my God. I think that was the first time I felt rage. I didn’t quite know what to do with it and I still don’t. The most angry I've ever been though is when my husband and I were very hurt by a church we served on staff with. It has taken years of counseling to unravel what I believe at times was righteous anger (injustices that also hurt the heart of God).
I'm sure you can recall times where you've been angry, furious even. So, what do we do with our "fury" when we've been "scorned," wounded, and provoked by friends, family, our bosses, or maybe even our church?
We're packing up and headed out...
Our family loves to go camping. Does yours?
As our last "hurrah" of the summer, our family is ditching the heat for some cool mountain air and all of our devices for adventure. I'm so ready.
Packing for this camping trip reminded me of a writing I did from a time Gage and I did a cross-country adventure. I wanted to share it with you today because...
There are some simple things we can do to prevent or even reverse those chapters of our lives where we burn the candle at both ends for so long that we have become simply ashes. Check out this note I jotted down from our campsite in Monterey Bay, CA to find out three three questions that will take you from burnt out to back on fire.
When we got married, my husband and I decided to pour sand into a jar instead of lighting a unity candle. We took turns laying layer upon layer of tiny pebbles on top of each other to declare that our lives were so intertwined they'd be as impossible to separate as those tiny sand grains.
Through moving, decor rearranging, and just general time passing, the layers inside that jar are no longer straight and pretty. They've shifted into each other. They’re wavy and out of place. They're imperfect.
Did you know that...
Spring means it’s time to plant things. Fix up the yard. Finally put something in that empty pot in the front yard.
I'm an amateur gardener at this point in my life. I have a small space in the yard with a few veggies sprouting up. There's an arch entryway with morning star jasmine trailing up the side. While I still plant things that don't survive and put things in the wrong place in my yard, for the most part I'm finally successful at keeping more things alive than not. But, I had to start somewhere.
Years ago, when I planted my first real plant, my grandmother was the first one I called for advice. She's a green thumb if there ever was one and an expert when it comes to spring gardening.
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.