Sunday, September 18, 2016

When God makes your burden heavier...

Generally speaking, I'm a pretty calm individual. I try my best not to get stressed or worried, because often times there is nothing I can do to solve those worrisome issues. I have, over the past year, developed on major area of concern... And it is the very adult concern of finances. 

You see, I'm not trying to buy a new car or going on an amazing vacation (though of course those things would be nice). I'm just trying to pay my credit card bills and get out of debt. Honestly, I have barely made it month to month since adding a mortgage to my monthly expenses without using my credit card, hence the credit card bills. So, when recently that burden was compounded by losing my job due to budget cuts in the state, well... That increased that burden by -$15.25 per hour. 

(Now let me please add, I'm thankful for the job I have been given in order to keep my insurance... And if the pay was comparable to my previous job, the burden would not be so heavy.)

When I finally broke down and had a good cry about this tonight, after a month, I realize that I know the answer... God is using this situation to MAKE me rely on Him. And even though I know, I KNOW that He has got a plan for me... I still whine and cry and don't understand... I mean really y'all, sometimes I wish I could just throw human nature out the window.... Or flip that switch to where I'm only spiritually minded for that time being! Gosh wouldn't that save me some tears and  truthfully a few bad words. 

So I know what I should be doing, and how I should be prayerfully focused, but then I start creeping back to those dark times a few years ago... post Daddy's death and pre- moving back home. Those were times when I felt rather unsatisfied in life, though I was completely being Blessed by God in many ways and too ignorant to see it. 

I can't be the only one that has been there... It's like a pity party that you only invite God too and then He is like... Hey... Shut up... I've got you! 

Well, fast forward a few years and I was back there tonight. Not a proud moment, lots of Why Mes and some tears. And then... As always, there is this little voice in my head reminding me of why I felt this way or that way before, and what I learned from it. Then there is the biblical lesson from the "Why Mes" of the bible... God uses our bad days, our struggles, our leprosy (shout out to you Simon the Leper from last week's bible study)... FOR HIS GLORY. He will heal us, pick us up, guide us... In His time. 

Oh goodness Kace... (Yes this is me talking to myself) don't you remember that He brought you through all those valleys before?! He will do it again, and again, and again... If you trust in Him more than yourself. 

Oh ye of little faith... That's so me sometime. God has you... Just try and be patient. Be thankful for the lessons along the way... Appreciate the people you meet and the paths you cross. 

Wait. Pray. Seek. 


Sunday, June 19, 2016

A letter to my daddy...

I've been really quiet today, alone at home most of the day avoiding the subject of the day. I just have not had the words today, honestly don't know if I want to find them. Finding them and processing them makes it real... Again. Another Father's Day means another year without him. How can 7 years have passed without him?? I don't know the answer to that. Sometimes it seems like forever, other days it seems like yesterday. 

As I sat and thought today, I thought about how his presence in my life has changed. How my emotions of changed... How I've changed. 

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Dear Daddy, 

I don't cry as much as I used to... I'm crying now, but it is no longer a daily occurrence as it used to be. 

Instead of missing you all day, I miss you in small moments, when things remind me of you, or something you said, or something you did. Sometimes I get a whiff of dirt and grass, or oil, and those smells remind me of you after a hard day's work. 

I hear your voice in my head and it no longer surprises me... It's comforting. There are times when I call out to you and ask for your advice and hear nothing... But other times when I don't know I need to hear from you, but I do.

There are times when I don't know what to do about something or HOW to do something, and though I might consult the "destructions" as you called them (instructions), I always think about how or what you would do. Sometimes that results in a completed project, other times I might have some parts left over... 

There are times when the morning of June 20 comes to mind and I try to push the thoughts as far away as possible. I don't like to relive those last moments, though I'm sure there is a reason God brings them to my mind. Mom and I talked about it the other day, evidently I screamed, I remember that Shane fell to his knees as mom honored your wishes... and most of the rest is a blur. I do remember the words I whispered to you, and I know you must have heard them. 

I hate this day. For us it was the beginning of life without you... For you it was the beginning of Eternity with Him. I know that is what you would want me to focus on, and I try to... But I miss you daddy, I miss you all the time. 

I will go days without thinking about you... Well, not without thinking about you, but without thinking of you as gone.  Maybe that's a blessing... You're always here... your voice, your words, your personality, your attitude... It permeates me. 

I have SO much of you in me. The most wonderful compliment I've ever received is that I remind someone of you. Oh! If only I could be as good as you, as wise as you, as caring and kind as you! You are my example of how to love and treat others. Though we live in a crazy world with a lot of hate and confusion, I know without question that your example would be to love and share God's love with everyone you meet. 

Oh how I wish everyone could have known you!! I even wish you knew Rhett. You might not like that he is asleep on the couch right now, but you would love him... I know it. One day I'll hopefully meet a man like you... what an answer to prayer that would be. If I could find a husband who was just a little like you, it would be a wonderful thing... I only hope that I will be able to compel to him what an amazing person you were, you will always be to me. 

I still laugh at you. I don't even remember what it was but I was laughing about something you said/did the other day with mom... And those moments, those memories are salve for our broken hearts daddy... I need those moments... I know mom and Shane do too. 

We miss you so much, in our own ways, but we do. I hope you would be proud of us... Today when I was cleaning the barn I thought about you, and how I hope you would be proud of how mom has kept up the place and I've tried to help since I've been home. I know we haven't always made the best decisions, but we have done our best... 

My words fail me now, which was something you never had a problem with... Just another thing I'm thankful that you left behind. Thank you for being the best daddy... I love you always, I miss you till I see you again... Happy Father's Day. 

Love you, 
Kace 


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Reality/Spirituality Check

Easter is in 4 days... And while Christians understand the symbolism and sanctity of this day has nothing to do with eggs and bunnies, I found a reality check for us in my Bible reading last night. 

So many times in thinking of Easter, more importantly thinking of Good Friday, we focus more on the empty tomb than the occupied Cross. But the tomb doesn't matter without the Cross... Borrowed or brand new, without the death of Jesus there is no need for the tomb. Here's the truth in my opinion... From my perspective anyway: we don't focus on the Cross or Good Friday because that's the gory, sad, depressing part of the story. And the most depressing part... 

... Because it's my fault He had to die. 

... It's your fault He had to die. 

... We caused His death.

Now as we all know... He knew the deal, He knew the way the story would end, He knew the cup wouldn't pass from Him, He knew Judas would betray him from the moment they met, He knew all of that... 

... And He still went thru with it. 

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Sometimes there just aren't words to describe His willingness not to sacrifice for me, but TO BE the sacrifice for me. In my 32 years I have sometime had a hard time grappling with the significance of that on my individual life... But a verse I read last night gave me the reality check I needed: 

In chapter 16 of Deuteronomy God is continuing to give instructions for Festivals, Passovers, etc... In my One Year bible reading plan I've been reading a lot of the less exciting books of the bible... Yes I said it... The books that include lineage and laws... and lots of them. The Old Testament is a lot of things, but legalistic is definitely one of the words I would use to describe it. God was EXTREMELY particular in his instruction to the Israelites regarding buildings, paths, tents, feasts, and particularly sacrifices. And this verse 17 is no different... But here is the reality check. 

How is it possible?? 

How is it possible to bring a gift to The Lord that is "in proportion to the way The Lord your God has blessed you."

I'm no theologian, but here is my answer... It's not possible. 

And this is one if the many reasons why the Cross matters so much... There is nothing I could make, purchase, grow or raise that would be REMOTELY proportionate to what God has blessed me with as He requested. 

Jesus became the New Testament physical sacrifice which removed us (you, me, and the modern world), from the requirements of the Old Testament physical sacrifice. 

Think about it... 

What could you possibly bring to God that would cover even some of your blessings??  I've been blessed immeasurably in this life... Even thru the valleys, God blessed me. Even when I yelled at Him and didn't go to church because I was mad because He took my daddy... He still blessed me. It's just. Not. Possible. 

... It's also not required... Not anymore.

Not after the Jesus... and certainly not after Cross. 

... And I sure am thankful for that (oh look, there is another blessing!)!! 

Love y'all, 
Kacey 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I cried today...

There is a picture of Daddy and Pawpaw Cole on my desk at work. Sometimes people who come in ask who they are, and most times it's a conversation which occurs without tears. But today... Today was different. Not because of who asked or because today is some significant day, but because the person who asked is in a sad situation. His wife is sick with pancreatic cancer among other things. 

Ultimately that picture opened the door for me to talk to Mr. Irving about God, about sorrow and dealing with death (the good, bad, and ugly of it)... I told him about how swiftly the leukemia and pneumonia changed our lives ... How I didn't go to church for months because I was mad at God. But the part that made me cry were daddy's own words. It's a story I've told a hundred times, but today, knowing that Mr. Irving a walking through this Valley with his wife and family, it brought me to tears. 

After my friend Rose died in June of 2005, daddy told me that "God is a jealous God, and when He is done with you on earth and wants you back, He's going to take you." That one statement, which was annoying to me at the time because I was sad and upset, came back to me tenfold after he died. The realization that we don't belong to each other, our parents/ kids/ spouse/ family or friends... That we belong to God... Therefore He is just collecting his own. 

Sorrow is such and individual thing... And we all deal differently, but some times, God allows those shared conversations to happen so understandings can be found amongst people.

Tonight at Blast we began the story of Jonah. And our memory verse is quite appropriate to my interaction with Mr. Irving. The lesson was about Refuge...

Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good,a stronghold in a day of distress;He cares for those who take refuge in Him. 

So please friends pray for sweet Mr. Irving's wife... For him... For their family and the doctors that treat her. Pray that they continue to take Refuge in The Lord. 

Love y'all, 
Kacey 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Bedroom updates...

Most people who do renovations want a big Master bedroom with a walk in closet, or at least that's the impression I get from HGTV. I, however, chose the smallest room in the house for my bedroom. I only sleep in my bedroom, so it was a natural choice for me... To use the larger rooms for other things. 

I couldn't find any "before" pictures of the bedroom, but it was a purely cosmetic renovation. We removed the carpet and refinished the hardwood, and painted the walls, ceiling, and trim. I also added a new ceiling fan. 


This picture cut off the ceiling, but as I said... It's the smallest room! Like all the other rooms, the paint color is Allen+Roth "Shaken not Stirred" from Lowes. The dresser and bed have been in this house for as long as I can remember, they just moved rooms. The bed was Pap's (great grandfather) and was the bed I would always sleep in when I spent the night with my grandparents. 

The big challenge in this room was installing curtain rods. Y'all- I had to repent multiple times from the frustration I felt while trying to drill holes in wood that has been there for who knows how long!! Eventually I got the curtain rods 80% installed (some screws are a bit loose, and a few brackets were nailed in...) and put up blackout curtains (which really don't serve their purpose when Rbett sticks his head thru them at 7am every morning. 
I created some artwork with a quote from my Daddy, and notes from one of my Pastor's (Blake McCain) sermons that challenged me. 

There are two special photos in my bedroom, a picture of me and Daddy that I love, even though the wind had my hair looking rough! Te other photo is my grandmother Verna and her sister Ivloy. Thy are so young and happy in the photo, it just makes me smile when I see it!! 


So that's it for the bedroom! Say tuned for more updates!! 

Love y'all! 
Kacey 




Sunday, March 1, 2015

The best investment in the house...


This small little box with bright blue screen shows a big, and very expensive change in the house... 

It's Central heating and Air y'all! 

Prior to the renovation, 2 gas heaters, 2 window units, and a few ceiling fans controlled the temperature in the house. When it was cold it was cold, and during the summer... Well it could be miserable. Now... It's just one more thing that adds to the comfort of the house! 

Decor wise the hallway contains artwork I be purchased or photos I've taken on trips. There is art from Ukraine, Honduras, Mexico, and Guatemala, as well as photos I took in Washington DC. The hallway also received update crown molding and baseboards as well as new lighting. 


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A place for guests...

The guest room was a debate for me, which space to use... I had two rooms for options but decided kind of late in the game to make it the front bedroom off the living room. Convenient for guests but also has a lot of natural light. It's the room I slept in when I spent the night with my grandparents, which was usually once a week as a child!  

I couldn't find great "before" picture, but just imagine orange shag carpet, paneled walls, and really old old furniture. When the orange carpet was removed we found this flowered layer of rug/carpet that was a complete surprise!! I saved part of it and framed it so some of the original and surprising texture stays in the room. 

Also below the layer of carpet and flowered rug was beautiful wood floors!! Behind the wood paneling was beautiful wood walls! This picture shows the room after the walls were painted white and the floor was sanded. 
Those were the main changes in the room, which I've given a Mississippi theme! Here are some more after photos! 
One of my most prized possessions is in this room! In front of the bed there is a trunk which is covered in one of my grandmothers quilts. The trunk is my great grandfather, Charlie "Pap" Robertson's WW1 trunk!! It's full of so much military and family history that you can look through for hours! I'm so proud to be the keeper of these family treasures!

Rhett loves this room. Generally if I'm looking for him he can be found laying on the bed enjoying all the sunlight! 
There are a few repurposed and special items in this picture. The brown table was my great grandmother Ruth Robertson's and the brown chair was an old one daddy found and had recovered with an animal skin for a seat.  Above the table is a picture of Pawpaw Cole's navy class (not sure if that's the correct term)... It's the meanest looking picture of him I've ever seen... But it's a sweet memory! The hats are Pawpaws also. 

The blue shelf is a point of contention between my mom and I! It was an old white cabinet mawmaw and pawpaw Cole had in their house. It was rusted, and I found some cheap blue spray paint at Dirt Cheap. I love it and mom hates it... On the shelf are some pictures I bought in Oxford, some books on Mississippi, and a special gift from my best friends in college.
These side tables are special to me because they were a gift from my best friend Liz Alexander's family. They belonged to her grandfather Mr. Travis and I'm honored to have a piece of the Farish home in mine. The books on the table are by Mississippi authors Welty, Faulkner, and Morris and the clock was purchased from The Mustard Seed in Oxford which is my FAVORITE store! The table also includes a picture from the Rebels win at the Compass Bowl in Birmingham!  
This bedroom never had a door on it before, and I knew that would be necessary for the comfort of guests! I found this old wooden door in the barn and had the contractors hang it for me! My favorite part of the door is the glass doorknob (see below)! 

So... The guest room is ready for anyone who wants to visit!!