It’s not what you think

khrichardsonAbout this time each year I attempt to inspire you to make goals for the New Year. Written goals are 10 times more likely to be accomplished than goals that are not written. Typically, I encourage goals for spiritual growth, financial soundness, and physical betterment. I still believe each of these areas is important, but this year, I’m re-thinking my goal-setting and accomplishing strategy.

What if I keep my three main categories, but only have one maybe two goals in each. Quality not quantity of goals. Each day, week, month, live intentionally to end up with a higher accomplishment rate. I’m not going to lose 15 pounds the first week of the year. But I can over a few months. It’s going to take being intentional each day to lower my sugar intake. It’s going to take being intentional each week to make time to exercise.

In December, I gave up talk radio in order to clear the clutter from my brain and allow my heart to experience the Christmas season. It worked. Not in the way I expected it to, but I found my spirit calm and my heart excited to celebrate the birth of Christ. The other thing I gained from this was control. Instead of absentmindedly turning the channel to talk radio or news, I chose to listen to uplifting and inspirational music. I controlled the messaging going into my brain. It’s important to keep up with news and the affairs of the world, but do it on YOUR terms.

Our days can get busy and life can get messy, take control where you can, be intentional in your living and focus each day on what is most important.

Take Care,
KK

P.S. — Want to help me with one of my goals? Share one of my posts that you most enjoy on your social media sites. Invite your friends and colleagues to follow.

 

 

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Happy New Year!

party hats and hornsI love that the first day of a new year is a holiday. Many wake up ready to throw away the old bad habits and jump into healthier living and better financial decisions. Gung ho! Not me. Yes, there are things I’d like to do and change in 2016, but today is a day of relaxing and family. It’s our last day or two of this holiday season. New Year’s day and (because of how it falls this year) the weekend that follows is a great way to ease into a new year. Take these few days to wrap up your holiday mindset. Make decisions about goals for 2016 and steps you will take to accomplish them. Look at your calendar and plan time to work on your goals. Is it exercise? Is it eating right? How will your meals change this first week/month of the year? Are you going to take a class? When will you be in class and when will you do homework?

Here’s to a well-paced goal-accomplishing 2016.

KK

 

Six Days or Six Thousand, Who Cares?

There are dozens of theories about howhand of god the earth was created, evolved or banged together. I believe in creation through the power and spirit of one God. But even those who agree with me have thoughts about whether it was six literal 24-hour days or it took thousands of years. To this simple-minded, non-scientific girl, I say, who cares? The story of creation gives us more to discuss than how long it took.

First of all, God created the world and everything in it in a specific order. An order that provided for growth and sustainment. Think about it, the light and darkness came before the land and the water being separated. The land provided for the animals and plants, the water provided for the water creatures and the water that land dwellers would need.

Then came vegetation. All plants and trees needed to produce fruit and food was water, light and darkness.

Then came the sun and the moon. So what was the light and the darkness before we had planets to attribute? Who knows? Perhaps the light and darkness came from the control God had over his own power. Knowing our limited ability to comprehend Him, perhaps God is the pilot light of the sun, set it in space and let it be our reminder of the giver of life. Nonetheless, he gave us the sun and the moon as physical reminders of when we should wake and when we should rest.

He then gave life to the creatures of the sea, air and land. These creatures that would later sustain his favorite part of creation, man.

And 26 verses from nothing, God created his most sophisticated creature, man. Man was created in their image. God put him in charge of all he created. Man, imperfect, but God’s most trusted creation. And to create balance and order, he gave man a woman by which to partner and procreate. It was VERY good. Then he rested.

It is good from us to search the scriptures and have healthy debate. But in six days or 6,000, God gave more than our physical world.

  1. He taught us order. Do things in the right order for greater sustainment. There is peace and harmony in order.
  2. He taught us that nature was important enough to create first. Take notice and respect it.
  3. He gave us structure by which we schedule our life; day and night – seven days. Be productive and create for six days and then remember Him on the seventh. Rest in knowing that God is in charge of the big stuff like the universe AND the little stuff like caring enough to know the number of hairs on your head.

Your thoughts please,

KK

Give It Up For Advent

Every year folks talk about how busy the Christmas season is. They declare that THIS will be the year they slow down and enjoy the true meaning of the season. Good intentions. I’m guilty of it too. Every year I begin December longing to truly feel that silent night, holy night. And while there will be moments late at night, or in church on Christmas Eve, I don’t feel like I experience what I long to have during the holiday. I’m not looking for movie-like Christmas miracles, just a little deeper peace; an expectancy throughout the season seeking the coming King.

Part of the problem is the noise and clutter in everyday life. What if we made intentional decisions every day to remove the noise we can control? What if each day until December 25th we live expectantly? starUnlike the shepherds and wise men, we have a date on the calendar. We know that we are going to celebrate the birth of Jesus. For believers, it is the birth of our King. The man who changed the course of history.

I don’t sacrifice for Lent. But this year, I’ve decided to sacrifice for Advent. I’m clearing some clutter and making way for the birth of the Savior. I’m giving up talk radio for Advent. No Dave Ramsey or Sean Hannity or NPR. My time with the radio on will be with music declaring the coming King.

The other decision I’ve made is to not get caught in the hurriedness. We will make choices about the most important activities and be in the moment; not worrying about rushing to the next thing.

How will you make this season special? Will you join me in living expectantly each day, choosing to prepare your heart and mind for the birth of the King?

Merry Christmas,

KK

 

Is everything important on the list?

Fair_volleyball_wingsSunday evening it occurred to me that we would be going straight from Thanksgiving into Christmas. Like within a week. The first weekend in December my father and his wife are coming for their Christmas visit. Given that they will be staying with us and we will be hosting the entire family for a Christmas celebration I needed to make a list.

Actually, there are three lists. Groceries for Thanksgiving week, groceries for the week of their visit and the other “to dos” I want to make happen for it to be a wonderful time. By December 3rd my house will be completely decorated for the holiday and there will be cookies baked. That’s the goal that getting all the things on my list marked off will accomplish. Reviewing my plan and lists something was missing. Something was nagging at me that I needed to do. What was it?

The AHA moment hit when I laid my notebook and pencil down. As I let go of my plan, I realized I needed to be sure I took time to be grateful and enjoy the planning AND the doing. No matter how many things get marked off the list, my dad won’t care and my family won’t notice. It will be preparing my heart for the holiday and the time together that will be the most important thing to do.

Blessings,

KK

 

It Just ‘Aint Fittin’

Yesterday was November 6th. I was in the car alone driving. Having full control of my radio button-pushing habit, I cruised to 106.9. Let me set the scene. It’s Friday, cloudy and balmy, and about 70 degrees. The sun was fighting to come out. And what to my listening ears should sound? Christmas music, of course.

I’m from Kentucky. Here it’s just as likely to be warm or mild as it could be snowing at Christmas. But I was raised on Irving colaBerlin and George Baily. At least get me past Thanksgiving and into a hint of cooler weather before you blast me with songs about kissing Santa Clause and jingle bells rockin’.

The whole thing was like when Coke attempted to whoo us with clear Coke. It just ain’t fittin’.

Happy Thanksgiving,

KK

 

What’s the worst that can happen?

The tall strong father felt his little girl’s grip squeeze just a little tighter. Their steps were shortening the distance. After eight weeks of swimming lessons the determined reward was to get to go off the diving board by herself.

“You ok? Still want to do this?” The father spoke gently.

“Yea daddy.”

“Then why are you squeezing my hand?”

“Well, uh, I may be a little scared.”

The father nodded and kept walking. Arriving a few feet from the end of the line. The father knelt down and pulled the pony-tailed girl’s towel from around her shoulders. “You’re going to do great. It’s just like we talked about and practiced. You hold your breath, jump, big splash, then come up swimming toward the ladder.”

The little girl laughed at the big splash part. Her father’s reassuring words were as warm as the summer sunshine, melting her anxiousness. But the butterflies still bounced around her stomach.

“I, I, I, think I’m afraid, daddy.”

Knowing this was all his daughter had talked about during her swimming lessons. Having watched her watch the big kids every week at the pool; she at the shallow end and them laughing and doing all kinds of funny jumps, the father knew his daughter would enjoy.

“Remember the question I always ask you when you are feeling afraid.”16089391-Little-girl-standing-on-the-end-of-a-diving-board-Stock-Photo-swimming-pool-children

In her small voice the girl said with rote memory, “Yes, what’s the worst thing that could happen?”

“That’s right. And we’ve talked about how to jump safely. You just got your completion certificate for all your lessons. AND” the father stressed, “You just swam three times the distance you will after jumping. I know you will do fine and if you get in pickle, I’m right here and will jump in. Look up in the chair, it’s Ms. Sara. She will be watching too.”

Ms. Sara waived. The little girl smiled real big and waved back. The site of one of her teachers as the life guard and her father’s reassurance was the last dose of encouragement she needed.

The little girl walked up to the line. Took the two steps up the low dive. Her toes wiggled at the first feel of the rough board. Walking to the edge, with a smile and a wave to her father, she puffed air into her cheeks and jumped. The splash washed over the diving area and in the rings of success the little girl popped to the surface and into a free style stroke. Climbing out of the pool her success dripped off of her and splashed in her words, “I did it! Did you see me daddy? Can I go again?”

With a congratulatory squeeze the father chimed, “Of course you can.”

*** 

This scene demonstrates the many times in our children’s lives when we as parents need to remind them of what they know to be true and encourage them to take the next step. Anxiousness is a good emotion when it gives pause to ensure we are going in the right direction. A direction for which we have prepared. A direction that fits with our values, beliefs, and talents. There have been many times that I’ve asked that same question, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Short of death or dismemberment, the worst thing that can happen is a mistake that, no doubt, I will learn more from than allowing anxiety to paralyze my life. As our children grow we continue to be ready to jump in the pool to catch them. I’m wondering, is it sometimes better, knowing they are ready for the next step, for us to stay on the sidelines and cheer them on?

 Your thoughts,

KK

“Dive” — Steven Curtis Chapman