Lifestyle

A YEAR OF OCTOBERS

So, yesterday I was driving along, minding my business when all of a sudden I realized that it was October 1. Now, I know that fall officially began a couple of weeks ago but for some reason, in my mind, it's really not fall until I see change in the seasons. The trees begin to fade into beautiful hues of red and golden browns and yellows and the temps truly begin. Around here, that's usually right around October. 

As I thought about all the things that come along with the adventures of fall, I thought to myself, "Wait, why is October called 'October'?" Knowing that 'oct' means eight, I was baffled by the thought of the tenth month of the year having the name of the eighth. After parking, I  decided to do a little online research. 

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Turns out that years ago (like a bazillion years ago) the Julian calendar actually held October as the 8th month but when we switched over to the Gregorian calendar (the one we all use today), the month kept it's original name but changed its place. In the back of my brain amidst the cobwebs I'm sure I learned this somewhere but it was a fun refresher for the nerd in me. 

It became more and more apparent to me that this whole thought process was more the leading of the Holy Spirit and less me. 

As I continued 'thinking' I remembered that in relation to the biblical representation of numbers, 8 holds a pretty significant meaning. It's the number that represents resurrection, regeneration, a commencement and new beginning. 

 

SIDENOTE: 

Sliding in here to say please don't get freaked out. I am no numerologist and don't believe that numbers hold any strange power. I do, however, believe that God created them and over and over again in scripture we can find God's use of them to show and put on display how infinitely powerful and awesome He is. Just  the thought of it all makes my heart sing.

 

So, new beginnings...that was it! That's what He wanted me to think about and, of course, just be in awe of just how awesome He is to us and how good He is but we can talk about the details of that in another post. 

I was reminded in that moment that God is not just in our moments or certain seasons of life but that He is in it all. He IS the beginning and seeing as how yesterday was October 1, well it was essentially the beginning of the beginning. You know, with October being the eighth month and eight representing the beginning and it being the first day of the month of beginnings. Confused yet? It's okay. I will clear things up in just a bit. 

Simply put, we look at seasons with our human eyes and can appreciate them all for what each of them bring visually a lot of the time. With each season we have hope, we lose things, life becomes more full, we see the beauty in things we never really saw before, etc. But God, He is in them all. He is in every season-the beginning and end of them all. Literally and figuratively. Naturally and supernaturally.

John 1:1 says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. 

He hasn't just been here or with us since the beginning it is WHO HE IS.  He is the God of NEW BEGINNINGS. The God of Octobers. The beginning of the beginning. He is in the details of it all and he really cares about it all. Every single moment, minute and second of our Octobers and pretty much our entire lives.

Months have gone by and I've struggled, ya'll. A lot. Mostly in my mind with feeling defeated, displaced and sometimes as hard as it is to admit-worthless. The days of summer seemed to pass by with little hope of catching my breath or finding purpose and meaning in many of the days. 

But, He is faithful. 

In this season of fall that we, with our human eyes many times, see as a season of dormancy and death, He is alive. He is doing a new thing. He is still breathing life into dreams and bringing visions, heart cries and passions to life in me and in you. 

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So, my question to you is this: Where are you? I mean, emotionally speaking. Where have you been? Have you been in a place that needs some life breathed into it? Have you been angry about some things that haven't come to pass or some prayers you prayed that you haven't seen answered? Or, are you on the other side? Are things going amazingly well for you and you couldn't possibly imagine them getting better? Either way, He will do more. 

 

 Isaiah 43:18-19 Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Not it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." 

Truth is no matter what your season may look like whether you're in fall or winter or spring, He's at the beginning, middle and end of them all and He promises to make a way even when there seems to be none. Let's,together, look forward to a year full of Octobers.  A year of the end of some harder seasons and the beginning of others that will amaze us with His love for us and His infinite power, grace, mercy in our lives. 

XO,

Kennesha

 

 

 

SHE LAUGHS | THE IMPERFECTIONS

 photography |  tiarra sorte

photography | tiarra sorte

The thing is, I don't always. 

You know, laugh without fear of the future as the title suggests.

 

I worry. 

I doubt. 

I second guess. 

I compare my gifts, my talents, my desires. 

 

I wonder if I am good enough. 

Smart enough. 

If people like me enough. 

If they really genuinely care or love me enough to see my heart when I am not saying or doing what I should or what they expect from me...

I'd love to say that I am completely free of my human-ness. I am not. 

As a matter of fact if there was any power that I possess it's the power of being SUPER HUMAN. 

I am flawed. Imperfect. Needy, even. 

I am frequently late. 

I yell at my kids from time to time. 

I am impatient and sometimes not so kind. 

I promise I am going somewhere with all of this. Stick with me. 

 

2 Corinthians 12:9-11

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

All that stuff that I just listed above really doesn't matter much in comparison to the amazing power that comes in acknowledging God in it all. In the light of His glory, His grace, His infinite power and wisdom He takes all of my worries, my weaknesses and dims the light on them to magnify all of the wonderful gifts He has placed in me {and you}. And in that, there is power. 

Honestly, this summer has flown by for me. Most of the things I thought I would accomplish still lie waiting to be completed and let's not even talk about the schedule with my kids. Nope, we won't talk about that. Today. 

While most of my plans have fallen to the wayside, His plans have prevailed in my life and particularly in the area of His calling for me and the direction of RHB. 

This coming fall will hold many new ventures that I am so excited to share with you over the next few months. In these  new ventures we will delve into what true freedom looks like in a series that I've mentioned to you a few times here on the blog-SHE LAUGHS.  

Are you like me from time to time? 

Worried? Challenged? Fearful? 

Unsure of the future and what it holds or not so confident in your gifts? 

There is hope. 

His name is Jesus. 

He comes alongside you to remind you of who you are. He reminds you of what He has placed inside you and gives you all power to accomplish every good work in His name, for His glory. 

As an added bonus, along with His power, you get an extra dose and helping of peace, joy, strength, courage just because it's who HE is. 

Honest truth...I have no idea how all of this is gonna turn out in the next few months, in detail, but what I do know is that He promises it will be good. Super good. Like, for real. 

And that promise, well, it's the same for you, friends.

 

Ready to dive right in with each of you,

Kennesha

 

 

 

 

WE ARE RICH | KEEPING A HEALTHY PERSPECTIVE

I'm not even sure how to start this one off.

 

So, I guess I will take it back to almost a year ago when I was spending some time with a friend. 

 styling | kennesha buycks  photography |  tiarra sorte

styling | kennesha buycks

photography | tiarra sorte

Our kids were in and out of the house, up and down the stairs, on and off the potty yet, for some reason that day, we didn't seem to mind at all.  Our conversation was full of good nuggets and lots of yummy coffee. Coffee is always a good thing to add to conversations around here. Just makes things better. 

Anyhow, just as we'd realized our precious time was coming to a close, I took a deep breath and said, "We are so rich.". 

I honestly don't know where it came from. Can I be completely candid with you? Until a few months back I would never have even thought to let something like this come out of my mouth. 

I mean, I've had moments here and there where I've been thankful for things but most of the time I lived my life so caught up in the little details that really didn't matter I couldn't ever really focus on the big picture. 

The kids need this. I serve all day. We're pulled in 50 different directions. I am so tired. I don't feel like doing that. Can I get a break? Can someone do something for me? 

Blah. Blah. Blah. 

We don't mean to do it but we all, at some point in our day to day lives, respond in this way.  

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While some of these thoughts may never make it to our mouths, we can sometimes rehearse them over and over again in our hearts. 

Luke 6:45

A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. 

Whoa. That's heavy. Right? 

Well, while the thought of knowing that the things we say can be directly related to the state of our hearts, it brings great delight to know that God is in the business of giving us new ones. 

I tend to believe that my thoughts often line up with my heart as well. 

 

When thinking of what we have and what we do not have it really is a matter of perspective, a change of heart and what we allow our minds to focus on that will lead us down an unhealthy path of discontentment or allow us to focus on the many amazing people and circumstances God has given to us or placed us in. 

I'm not saying it's the easiest thing in the world, especially when we've practiced the opposite for so long. However, just like any other muscle in our bodies the heart can be strengthened and become stronger when we put qualities like gratitude and thanksgiving to practice. 

 

SIDENOTE: 

Can I just say, BTW...I'm not just preaching this at you. I'm right here in the middle of this thing with you. We bombard ourselves with media and images and fill our minds and hearts with the desires of others' ultimately unknowingly becoming numb and rejecting the desires and plan of our Creator. This is just an opportunity for us to serve notice to oursSELVES that we are ready to live a more fulfilled life and use the gifts that God has given us to live in freedom and call purpose out in others. This heart check, if you will,  is just another step to living in THAT freedom. 

With that being said, here are a few ways I am learning to live in the moments and begin to foster an environment where, from the inside-out. 

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1. CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE. 

And I don't just mean the way you think about things.  I know it sounds pretty blunt and straight forward but it's true. How many times have you left the comfort of your home or neighborhood to volunteer with or give your time to those living in situations or have lifestyles culturally perceived as less fortunate to return to yours with a new lease on life? I get it, we all want to provide good things, safe homes and neighborhoods and an amazing life for our kids but what's any of that really mean if  we don't give them a worldview of just how amazing God is in not just our lives but others' and how He wants to us ALL of us to better one another? It's so much easier to focus on what you don't have when you stay in your own little bubble. 

 

2. THINK THANKFUL. WRITE THANKFUL. 

Just as the scripture says, what our hearts store, our mouths speak. Many times the heart and the head are one in the same. I want to practice, in my mind, being thankful. I want to rehearse the goodness of God in my life over and over again. I want my children to hear me saying how amazed I am at the goodness of God in our lives and not just hear me say it but feel me mean it. 

Psalm 27:13 I remain confident in this, I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 

It's a promise. His goodness surrounds us, we need only open our eyes, our minds, our hearts to seeing it around us. 

Take some time daily, weekly, whenever...but be purposeful about tuning your heart and mind to rehearsing gratitude in the margins of your bible or in a journal on your bedside. Keep it in your car when the moment hits you. The more we exercise the muscle of thankfulness, the more it becomes our knee-jerk reaction to situations and thoughts that come our way. 

 

3. OPEN UP YOUR LIFE. 

I guess number two and three kind of go hand in hand but how amazing is life when we open it up to those around us? I don't think I can really say it any better than Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 (MSG):


Dear, dear Corinthians, I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn't fence you in.  The smallness you feel comes from within you.  Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way.  I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!

This is honestly one of my most favorite scriptures. I don't know about you when you read it but I almost take it as a challenge. A "taste and see that the Lord is good" kind of challenge. 

We are not called to live the small lives that are many times a result of unhealthy thought patterns. These thought patterns develop many times as a result of negative thinking about who we are but where we are in our careers, families, relationships, etc. We fence ourselves in with every single negative thought that we allow to control us.

We are rich, indeed: 

Our lives are full of His goodness, His grace, His mercy.

Our hearts are full of His praise.

Our moments are filled with laughter and our time and thoughts filled not with the mundane but with the overwhelming sense of not just the richness of our lives but the fullness and richness that living a life in Him and with Him brings.

 

XO, 

Kennesha