Discovering the beauty in waiting

I believe waiting is so much more than simply the discipline of waiting. So often ‘waiting’ is looked at as a bad thing. We ask our kids to wait for their food as we make it. Sometimes it’s not ready yet, sometimes its too hot for them to eat.

It does not make us a bad parent for asking them to wait. Its simply apart of the process of receiving things.

Christmas is coming up. Apart of the process of christmas is the WAITING. The anticipation of what is to come, of what is under that christmas tree. Its the belief that what I asked for is under there.  So why is it when God asks us to wait that so often our assumption is lack? That He doesn’t actually want us to have good things. Lack is nowhere to be found in Gods description or in heaven. Might I remind us all that GOODNESS and mercy follow all who seek him.

 If you’re seeking a kingdom on earth lifestyle chances are God will ask you to wait. Possibly longer than others seeking the same things as you. 

Him asking you to wait is another way of Him saying let me make this this thing I have for you PERFECT.

Let me perfect EVERYTHING. From you dreaming/hoping for it, receiving it, and cherishing it. Because when you receive this thing. The story doesn’t end. You will be asked to wait again, and again, and again for more things/dreams in your life. Each time you wait, each time you surrender to His timing you will discover just how GOOD He really is. He wants His best for us every single time. This is why He asks us to wait. He is perfecting everything about its delivery. All too often though we try and jump in grabbing something before its ready. Which can lead to confusion, pain, or an annoyingly burned mouth 😉

*insert picture of me waiting for my coffee to cool. Too corny? Oh well, here it is*

Whatever it is you are waiting for I encourage you to lean not on your understanding. Knowing there truly is a reason for the season. Cheesy; I know, but guys its so true. I cannot emphasize it enough. I have seen this over and over in my own life. His timing is seriously a hundred million times better than mine. He is SO FAITHFUL to carry out every promise to completion in a way that will help us come fully alive and that will glorify His son. So when that time comes for that thing/dream to be presented to you, you’ll look back and see realize couldn’t have dreamt it to be any better even if you had tried. And I’m guessing you’ve tried a few times 😉 Or maybe thats just how my brain works. haha. 

Believing with you today that God has His BEST in store for you.

 

Take a moment a listen to this song from Hillsong called Seasons:

I can see the promise
I can see the future
You’re the God of seasons
I’m just in the winter
If all I know of harvest
Is that it’s worth my patience
Then if You’re not done working
God I’m not done waiting
You can see my promise
Even in the winter
Cause You’re the God of greatness.

I believe that my season will come.”

 

 

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Planning for 2018

Preparing for 2018 has become such a JOY. While I am believing for some BIG victories in my life I am choosing to just REST in His abilities. With that though comes the need to be   diligent in the daily tasks that need to occur to make life happen. Juggling a photography business, oil business, being a blogger, and a mama doesn’t just happen by itself. Although theres a whole lot of grace on it!

 

Enter J.Lynn Designery 2018 Refresh Weekly Planner. I have to admit I have always boughten your standard target planner. Spent $10 and called it good. Thing is, I never used it the entire year, and there was never enough room to write it it.

J.Lynn Designery has THREE options for her 2018 planners. I personally have the 2018 Refresh Weekly Planner Geo Print. She has a place for every week to write down goals for that week, and what you’re grateful for that week. I cannot wait to look back over every week at the end of the year and see what the highlight was for that week. This planner goes above and beyond just being a calendar.

 

 

 

 

 

One of the big things on my heart for 2018 is AUTHENTICITY.

So when we decided to snap some pictures of the planner in a coffeeshop I knew I wanted it to be as real as life is. This is my life you guys. Sometimes I allowing him to explore coffeeshops and restaurants. Other times he is right next to me wanting to be apart of whatever it is I am doing and its all beautiful. The process is slowly becoming my favorite. This is single mama life and I am thankful for everything I am learning in this season of life. I know it won’t last forever so I am soaking up every moment of just him and I.


 

 

We shot inside the beautiful Monarch Coffee. If you’re looking for a *usually* kid free coffee shop head on over. Thanks to all the customers who didn’t mind my little man coming up and saying hi to them.

 

My navy ribbed off the shoulder sweater is from Pink Blush. (I am swearing a small but it definitely fits two sizes larger)

Isaacs raglan shirt is from Kansas City Clothing Co. (Isaac is wearing 2T. )

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Apartment Tour | Favorite Kansas City Art Print

** I am currently OFF social media from Dec 3-24. Everything posted via Instagram + FB have been scheduled posts. If you are needing to get ahold of me please email me: kymberlyjanelle@gmail.com **

I decided to start a mini series to share my new apartment space. To start the series off I am sharing my current favorite Kansas City Art Print. We all know I am sucker for a Kansas City companies so when I moved downtown last month I knew I wanted some kind of Kansas City art for my space. I found this Kansas City Auto Sign from Bozz Prints and knew it was going to be perfect. Its the only thing hanging in my main living area.

I added the christmas pillow for some christmas cheer. Its the only christmas red in the entire apartment. haha. #neutralforlife over here.


Can we take a minute though and all agree little man just looks so ridiculously handsome in his KC shirt?

 

Rug: Overstock.com

Chair: Amazon

Picture Frame IKEA

Auto Sign Kansas City Picture: Bozz Prints (16×24)

Metal Basket: Marshalls

Blanket in Metal Basket: Amazon

 

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Fall favorite sweatshirt | Tucker + Scout

I am a sucker for local KC brands and at the top of my list is always a good sweatshirt. Tucker + Scout delivered with this sweatshirt. So comfy and lightweight enough to layer under or over. This sweatshirt is one of my go-tos. 

I get compliments on this wind talker sweatshirt EVERY TIME I wear it. No joke. Wore it to church today, no shame and cannot tell you how many people commented on it. You need it! Best part? Its unisex. So guys, you can definitely rock this as well. Im wearing a small. Definitely a must have for this winter. Especially with it only being $40!! Click HERE to go buy yours! 

Or you can check out their booth here in Kansas City if you’re a local at Union Station on December 10th from 10am-6pm for the Holiday Strawberry Swing

If you stop by their booth make sure and let them know I sent ya!

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Seeds of shame

I’ve been thinking a lot as of late about the seeds that are planted in our hearts and minds. There are good and bad seeds. The enemy will continually try and plant little seeds in our lives. Those seeds will either get washed away with the word of God or they will quickly turn into a weed within our hearts.

The enemy doesn’t come in with fiery torches threatening to burn your house down. He instead gives you the match and invites you to come into agreement with lies to light it up yourself.

The enemy takes our shortcomings and convinces us that we need to hide our less than perfect behaviors. As we begin hiding them they’ve now become secrets. When he can do that he’s able to turn the secrets into shame. When we feel shame we begin disqualifying ourselves from Gods love and everyone elses, including our own.

It is there in that place of feeling dirty, shameful, and far from God that so many give up and give into sin. The beautiful thing is God can still, and in fact loves to reach down and blow on the embers of our heart to remind us of His love for us. It wasn’t God that drew back. It was our belief system that changed the way we think.

A little seed can quickly grow into something great or a tangled web that begins to choke out anything thats life giving so that it can live. Today I want to encourage you to not ‘water’ any seeds of doubt, insecurity, fear, shame. Instead choose to dig out those seeds and allow God to speak His truth over you. You are not those lies. You are blameless in His sight. Not because of anything you have done, but because of what He sacrificed to redeem and restore you to a place of wholeness.

Where to go in Colorado | My favorite things in colorado

This road trip was a long time coming. As a single mama taking a break from being needed is the best vacation you can get. I haven’t ever been to colorado since being an adult and since its only a 9 hour drive (7.5hr if I’m driving 😉 I thought why not try and throw in a quick trip before the end of the year. This trip was EVERYTHING my soul needed.

We hit up so many amazing places during our four day trip that I wanted to share some of my favorites. When we got into denver we arrived around lunch time and were starving. We had heard about the Denver Central Market. Driving through I knew I was in my element. Think modern/contemporary art district. This area of town has been completely revitalized according to locals. Five plus years ago it was a place of crime. Now, its streets full of amazing graffiti and amazing eats.

The Denver Central Market was amazing. So excited for Kansas City to be getting their own version of this soon! Think open market, with a bar. What more needs to be said? You walk into the closed market where there are just under a dozen eateries. Everything from a coffee shop to chocolatier. My friend I was traveling with is a vegetarian and they had a cafe that she could eat from and it was delicious. I will mention the only thing I had that I didn’t love was my latte.. It was pure milk and no coffee. I was desperately needing coffee in that moment not an inch of froth. Was pretty cool though, the barista had a Second Best Coffee t-shirt on which is a go to coffee shop in Kansas City. This market though is a must. Everyone comes here. Businessmen getting a drink after work, girlfriends catching up on a lunch break…We actually got lunch and dinner here the first day because it was so easy. We set up shop at the bar with our laptops and books and enjoyed food and a drink and it was everything this mama needed. The drinks were amazing, and baristas were easy going. 

 

 

 

 

 

In between lunch and dinner we hit up the Denver Museum of Art and Science. It under $15 and worth every penny. I will say I cannot imagine doing the entire museum with my 1.5 year old. Yes, it would tire him out but its HUGE. The main thing that stuck out to me was how BIG the displays were. We were SHOCKED. It was seriously incredible though. Seeing everything from birds that were bigger than me to 10 carat diamonds. They had a dinosaur exhibit that was amazing that I know my little guy would have loved. Heck, I loved it!

 

 

 

After dinner we met up with Shannons friends where we would be staying the next couple nights and crashed. Next morning we went to a local creperie called Crepes n crepes.

My favorite part? When you walk in theres a guy standing there at the bar making crepes. Wish I had taken a picture. You’ll just have to go yourself.  Fun little thing they do for coffee lovers. I asked if they had an americano because I didn’t see it on their coffee menu and she said thats how they did their coffee. Ie if you order ‘coffee’ you’re getting an americano. Done and done.

My crepe was chorizo, potatoes, eggs, tomatoes. It was super hearty. They had dessert crepes, hearty crepes, pretty much everything you could want in a crepe.

Garden of the Gods was the MUST for me. I had seen pictures and videos and KNEW if there was one thing we had to go see that was it. I cannot explain how amazing it was. You get there and park and walk around and time seems to stand still. All you can think about is how beautiful everything is. It was exactly what I needed. To turn off my brain and just focus on whats in front of me.

 

They have a visitor center that you can stop at before going into the park in case you need to go the bathroom, shop for all that tourist stuff, and get a map. I choose to just take pictures. When you start driving into the park make sure your phone or camera is out. Its beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kansas City Sweatshirt: KC Clothing Co (wearing a small)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After all the walking we hit up City o City in Denver. A vegetarian restaurant which was delish.
Can you tell I was hungry? Tacos and mac n’ cheese *no judgements allowed* 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of best little hidden gems is by far Denvers Union Station. While Kansas City Union station boasts a fun model train museum for kids Denvers Union Station blew Kansas City out of the water with completely revitalizing it to be a place to go for a night to stay (the upper levels are now a hotel) and the lower level is still in use as a train station but they have done a remarkable job at restoring and breathing life into what once was. The bar was STUNNING. Its what my neutral subway tile dreams are made of. Every little shop in the building was straight out of a magazine. 



 

 

Afterwards we walked around downtown despite it being freezing cold out. Was still fun to get a glimpse of the city.

  We hit up Red Rocks which is now on my bucket list of places to go for a concert.  It was so It was so cold out that we parked, got out looked quick, took a few pictures and then jumped back in the car. haha. So glad that we did drive out to see it. Its definitely something you need to experience. People were down there running (way to be)

On our final day in colorado I hit up Boulder. I NEED to go back and spend a whole day hiking there. It was breath taking. Highly suggest grabbing coffee on pearl street. ( We went to Oxo coffee) and then going to Flatiron Rocks. As a photographer this place is a gem. You don’t have to hike anywhere to get STUNNING photos. I parked, walked out 500 ft or so and was able to do a family session for my hairstylist who is originally from Boulder and just happened to be vacationing the same time *talk about the stars aligning*


If you haven’t been to colorado and its a road trip away, get in your car and go! Seriously. They have something for EVERYONE. I think that was the biggest thing that I enjoyed. If you want city life they have that, if you want downtown scene they have it, if you want to be in the mountains and climb and hike all day you can do that everyday for the rest of your life if your heart wants. The diversity in whats available to visitors and locals is one of a kind. Colorado you are definitely a gem. I WILL be back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘I knew you’d say yes’ | Choosing to love without asking for love in return

I wrote this two months ago (to the day) and am finally sharing it. (I currently have 27 drafts that need to be published. Lord help me). Hmmm, its the 27th. You think there something to the number 27 today? Oh boy the number freak in me is geeking out right now you guys. 27 means unconditional love. You’ll see as you read through this just how on point that is.

When I read Katie Davis’ words from her latest book Daring to Hope my heart leapt. This is exactly what He had called me too. Finally words to express it.

“Why would he allow us to love people so deeply? Could that be God’s answer to us as we walk the hard road? “I knew you would do it. I knew you would love them.” And suddenly the hard road becomes not a burden but a place of great honor, a place of partnership and intimacy with Him.”

Something clicked, something in me now understood why He had called me to love the way I’ve loved. See, I believe in a love that goes beyond what my physical circumstances would say is possible. This hope that I cling to pushes past doubt, fear, and pain.

In that though I find myself in situations where my head screams “NO!! Run, you’re going to get hurt” and my heart just sits there in peace knowing its possible. Knowing that love can pierce through every barrier, every sin, every doubt. See my heart believes in a love so grounded, so faithful, so freeing that I know nothing is impossible.

That kind of love will take you into some hardest, darkest places. Because thats where love is needed the most. 

You’re able go into those places because you know even though you may not get love in return you’ll be able to share it in a way that only heaven could orchestrate. For some its losing a child, its relationships,  its foster care, its a dying parent, there are so many situations where He calls us to love with everything in us for the sake of partnering with His heart. Whatever it is God has called you too I know beyond a shadow of a doubt He’s faithful in it all. He has enough love to fill you up, and whoever or whatever the situation. His love is able to cast out fear EVERY TIME .

I have the ability to invite God into that place to heal, restore, and love. When you’re called to love you don’t always get to stick around to see the ending. Or sometimes the ending is ‘cut short’ and you’re left with less than desirable situations. Thats when we can find ourself asking that Katie did, why would He call me to this if He knew it would end this way? Because He knew we would say yes. He knew we would give it our all, He knew we would fight till the end with everything in us just like He did for us.

Suddenly it gives every tear, every battle, every prayer purpose. 

Learning to love myself…a look back

Tonight I was scrolling through images of myself on Facebook from years ago. Looking back at myself I instantly saw the fear, the questions, and the doubt when I looked into my eyes. I remember doubting everyone when they complimented me. I didn’t actually think they meant what they said. Truth is I thought everyone was just giving me lip service. I thought people looked at me and pitied me. I thought their words towards me were that of judgements, and pity.

Truth is I saw through that lens because thats how I viewed myself. I judged myself for not being “strong enough”, not “having it all together”, for still hurting from previous breakups, for still working through issues that others had successfully worked through. I thought they pitied me when they looked at me and saw my shortcomings.

My twenties were nothing short of an identity crisis. Trying to build myself into something I thought those around me wanted and needed. Instead of sitting down and asking myself what do I want? I built something that was never intended to be built. I constructed a temple within me that worshipped the wrong things. Temporary things. I fell victim to believing the lies that I wasn’t good enough, that I wasn’t put together enough. As a result I built walls around me and within my heart keeping everyone at arms reach. Even those I claimed I loved with all my heart where never truly allowed in my heart no matter how gently or loving they came. The door was slammed in their face over and over again. When gently reminded that my heart was unable to receive let alone be a safe place for anothers heart I felt as though they were judging me.

My core fear is failure. To be reminded that I was not perfect was pretty much the dagger that I avoided at all costs. I wouldn’t let their words penetrate my heart even though I desperately needed to hear truth and be able to receive it.  I was never really able to accept peoples love or affection because I never thought I was enough. My heart went from being thrown at people, to becoming a cold dark dungeon that I didn’t even allow myself access into for fear of what could be in there.

Someone once gave me a picture of how they saw my heart. What they felt like needed to happen in order for me to truly love myself and for me to allow someone space within my heart to love me. I remember thinking what? This is crazy! How could someone be that open and available for someone to just walk right in and make a home in my heart? Well almost 8 years later I am now seeing exactly what they were talking about. And let me tell you it has not been an easy journey but its been so worth it!!!!!

Choosing to be honest with yourself regarding the condition of your heart can be heartbreaking. Why? Because we all want love, however if we are unable to accept love we begin wondering if we will ever truly love or be loved. Over the past eight years I have found myself in some of the most heartbreaking experiences of my entire life. Too many loses for my sweet heart to contain till it got to a point when I realized I can’t do this anymore. I cannot protect my heart from pain. Because it will come, no matter how tall the walls are, no matter how many locks are on the doors of my heart. Pain will come, and it will hurt. There is no avoiding it.

So if there is no avoiding it, then how do I live a life that isn’t shaped by hurt?

Thus began the journey of saying YES. Saying yes to my heart. It started with me daring to say yes to allowing those around me to love me, to care for me, to speak into me. To admit that I NEEDED other people. This began around five years ago when my mom was diagnosed for the second time with stage 4 melanoma. I had lied to myself for years thinking I didn’t need people. Little did I know I would only be able to accomplish the healing in my heart because of the people coming around me and lifting me up when I had no energy to go on. I mean this literally and figuratively.

Choosing to say yes to go on the journey of self discovery with your heart is seriously one of the most incredible journeys you will ever go.

To be honest with you it hasn’t been as hard as I thought, but it hasn’t been easy. I think seeing the ‘results’ has outweighed the sting of letting stuff go of things that I held so close that were comfortable and familiar that I thought provided protection. Finally experiencing the freedom that comes with letting go and beginning to see what someone spoke over about the condition of my heart and where it would be when I was ready to love is SO encouraging.  But damn, I sure wish I hadn’t of taken 8+ years. (Now let me be clear, I’m not saying my heart is perfect. haha.) However seeing it come to a place where my heart is able to breathe is incredible. Its almost like coming to a clearing in the woods if you will after being stuck in a forest you thought you would never get out of.

To be in a place where I can finally be honest with myself about the condition of my heart is one of the most freeing things I have ever experienced. To be able to ask myself every day ‘how are you doing heart?’  is no longer someone I fear or worry about.  

It is a joy to get to know myself better, to learn how to love myself better.  Because I can only love those around me to the extent I love myself.

Before I would have never asked my heart how it felt because I was to busy telling it how to feel. “You’re okay”, “That didn’t actually hurt, He was just a jerk forget about him”, “You’re better than that just shake it off”. In theory those can be great statements. But if you’re saying that and not addressing any of the hurt or pain that was associated with those statements you’re going to find yourself very hollow and unaware of how you actually feel because you were so busy trying to convince yourself you were fine when really your heart is bleeding to death barely able to function.

The journey of the heart is a long one. One we will be working out until the day we die. However today and everyday forward we have the opportunity to invest in ourselves and our hearts. Sure going and getting a pedicure, or a drink is nice and good for ya but whats going to last is your heart. Allowing yourself to give love freely simply because you’re able to is INCREDIBLE. No longer fearing pain or hurt that may come is even more amazing.

I no longer fear hurt. I know its going to happen.

The question has never been will I get hurt. You absolutely will. The question is what are you going to do with that hurt?

Are you going to build a wall? A defense mechanism to attempt to keep out anyone and anything that could hurt you?

Or will you allow yourself and look at that person and say I know you’re hurting and thats why you’re projecting this on me I choose to not allow it to shape my identity and give it to the Lord. Will you allow yourself to say hey, you know that hurt me. I know thats not the truth about me and speak truth over yourself. Then you extend grace to the other person, and to your heart to deal with the hurt. Without rushing yourself to get over it, and allowing the healing process to take its course. Sometimes it takes a split second, sometimes it takes years.

The journey of the heart is precious and so, so worth it! Every tear, every laugh, every surrender, every yes, every no. They all add up into something really beautiful. Tonight I encourage you to sit down and ask your heart. How are you feeling tonight?

 

To be continued….. 

(going to be addressing how to practically how to ask your heart how you feel when you can barely feel)