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today is our anniversary! it’s been 7 years since i told this man in front of all our friends and family that he had my heart forever.  can you believe it, sweetheart?! we’ve had so many adventures in those 7 years. this year has been particularly adventure-full so here are a few of my favorite adventures from this past year. :)

biked to the beach one morning

riding the tandom bike on Martha’s Vineyard = a blast!

on the front veranda

exploring Edgartown with family = loved it!

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cooking and creating together = date nights done well!

 

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road trips together =always my fav.

at the pool

dressing up for dinner

MEXICO!  = SO fun!

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new friends in Gloucester = such a blessing

in front of castle disneyland!  = such a sweet little getaway!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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snowboarding for my birthday = you know me so well!

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moving to a new place with new adventures= awesome! {i know, technically i’m not in this with one, but i’m right there in his excitement!} excited baby reveal sm

 

and now a new adventure = SO excited to see him become a Daddy to our little girl!

Happy Anniversary, Husbuddy. xoxo

 

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“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, where as wordly grief produces death.”

2 Cor. 7:10

for some reason, yesterday, this verse really stuck out to me. i couldn’t put a finger on why though. so i thought about it a while. and i read the little footnotes at the bottom of the page. the footnotes say(roughly):

godly grief = remorse caused by having lost God’s approval … and the consequence is a resolve to reverse conduct & LIVE FOR GOD.

wordly grief = remorse brought about by losing the world’s approval… leads to a resolve to regain that approval & this produces death (or divine judgement).

(emphasis mine.)

i thought about that and wrote that down in my journal. it is lingering and i can’t stop thinking about it.

whom do i serve? Jesus says i can’t serve 2 masters! i wrote this down in all caps in my journal too. God is trying to show me something…

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i’m convicted because at the end of many days, i am filled with worldly grief. i worry about my job. i obsess over it. i let it consume me with bitterness. i worry about friends and whether they like me or not. (totally dumb, i know, but you’ve all been there, am i right?) i worry about whether what i do fulfills me. i feel empty when i’ve tried to do things with my own strength. like anything i could do could fill my heart. my soul.

i’m totally convicted that my frustrations and the bitterness that i am so often filled with is worldly grief. i regret things i’ve done or haven’t done in my day because it may look bad to others. i worry about what people think about me.

and it hits me: worldly grief is when i’m focused ON ME.

i long to live each day open to godly grief. because godly grief means i’d be focused on Christ. my heart would be in the right place and i’d repent of my selfish nature daily, with no regret.

oh Lord, help me to have my focus right. to serve YOU, my One True Master. when i get caught up in the troubles of this world, may my grief be godly, seeking only your salvation, repenting(turning away) from my selfish nature.

And i remember that my word of the year is JOY. i realize that the first step to true joy is not trying to find it in this world- but to repent of my selfishness – to have godly grief.

***

i am so thankful when the Lord reveals something to me… even if it’s hard like this and convicts me the core. i’m thankful because it means that He wants me to draw ever closer to Him.

and i realize that i want to draw closer to Him too.

(can i get an amen?)

thanks for listening to my heart, friends. has God been teaching you anything lately? calling you to Himself in new ways? i’d love to hear about it!

xo-kimberly renee

{ps- i promise to get back to japan photos soon!}

hey ya’ll. can anyone believe how many valentine’s things are already up? ha. well, i’m about to join the crowd::

who’s trying to come up with something clever to get a loved one for V-day? Well, there’s always one of these Red Letters Canvases:

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if you’re a DIY-er, i have a tutorial on how to make one on your own canvas here: Red Letters Canvas Tutorial
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but if it would be easier, i’d be happy to make one for you! just click HERE to go to my Etsy shop and order one. it would be a perfect gift for valentines day! my only suggestion is to get your order in before too late so i have time to finish it and mail it to you! :)

4-29 love2love you guys. :)

xo-kimberly renee

 

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blessings and peace to you this Christmas, my friends!

xoxo-

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i have a little list of birthday prayers today for my love. today Husbuddy is turning 28! this post is just a public celebration of my prayers for him. thanks for praying for him with me. :)

my sweet love, these things i pray for you.

  • i pray for you to be more healthy this year than last.  it’s been a tough one and i hope in my heart that you will be healthy and happy…. to be able to run and frolic with the other kids. haha. no seriously. may you find real God-given-health.
  • i pray for the adventures we’re going to have in your 28th year! new beginnings! new places to explore together! i love exploring with you! we always have so  much fun together and there are so many new places to go this year!
  • i pray for your heart– that you would know true peace in Christ this year. that He may be growing you and molding you constantly more into who He’s created you to be. peace is something that can’t be bought. it can’t be manufactured. it is only given as a gift. may you find Christ’s true peace and may you live in it this year.
  • i pray that i will be able to show you better love this year. i so love being your wife! but sometimes i’m not very good at showing you that. i want to though. please know that i want to be better at loving and respecting you.
  • i pray that God continues to call you. to call you BY NAME. and to call you to His purpose. may you see more and more of God’s calling on your life every day. and may you be up to it-never shrinking from the responsibility and the challenge.

happy birthday my love, my best friend, my Husbuddy!

xoxo-kimberly renee

today marks the 6th year since our wedding day. i can’t believe it’s been 6 years! on one side it feels like it’s been way longer. we’ve had way too many adventures for 6 years. ;) on the other side it feels like we’re still barely newly weds, learning how to love each other on a daily basis.

i just heard this song on one of Husbuddy’s playlists the other day. i’ve been listening to it over and over.  i think it describes this thing called marriage perfectly. can i share it with you? it’s called  “dancing in minefields” {go ahead, click on the link and listen to the official video, it’s a beautiful song).

 

a couple lyrics that stick out and seem to be speaking about our marriage personally:

“…everyone said we were much too young, but we did it anyway…”

“…we went dancing in the mine fields, we went sailing in the storms and it was harder than we dreamed, but i believe that’s what the promise is for…”



“‘i do’ are the two most famous last words, the beginning of the end”

“but to loose your life for another i’ve heard is a good place to begin, because the only way to find a life is to lay your own life down and i believe it’s an easy price for the life we have found”

“this is harder than we dreamed, but that’s what the promise is for.”

” so when i loose my way, find me. when i loose loves’ chains, bind me… at the end of all my faith, to the end of all my days, when i forget my name, remind me…”

“we bear the light of the son of man, so there’s nothing left to fear”

“i’ll walk with you in the shadow lands until the shadows disappear, cause He promised not to leave us, and his promises are true”

“…so in the face of all this chaos, baby i can dance with you.”

“so lets go dancing in the mine fields, go sailing in the storms…”

“this is harder than we dreamed, but that’s what the promise is for.”

 

isn’t that a beautiful song?! i love that it talks about the reality that marriage is hard. this summer, we feel like it’s been especially hard. is it ok to be honest here? moving was hard on us and our marriage. being in a new place where we know no one after being surrounded by so many friends in jersey, has been hard. husbuddy being so sick this past year and still trying to figure the gf/df stuff all out, is hard. trusting that God knows what He is doing with our life as we start another year of schooling without much income… is hard.

but this song reminds me that we have to work at it every day. it’s like dancing in minefields. it’s hard and seems impossible. but, our marriage is so worth it and the promise that we made to each other is there.  the promise that Christ made to us, is there and true.

it’s a beautiful dance, and baby, i choose to dance it with you. to my sweetheart and husbuddy, Happy Anniversary!

with all my love, kimberly renee.

{all images copyright by Beth Bennett!}

the new painting is finally revealed. you’ve seen small images of it here and here and here. is it what you imagined it would look like?! ha. i’ve been working on this one for a while! it was made for our dear friends the Estes {you can go check out their blog here} who came and visited us this past weekend.

i wanted the painting to be cheerful and happy. to give the feeling of hope and joy.

i loved this verse for the painting because these three things have been a HUGE part of their lives for the past couple of years:

faith– that God knows what He is doing in their lives and in little Owen’s life. sometimes it’s hard to hold on tight to that faith but it’s still there.

hope– that God will provide for today as well as for a future for little Owen and their family- may it be better than anyone can imagine.

and love– that true love may transcend over every part of their lives- through friends and family and even strangers. Love is what has got them through so far and is going to get them through everything in this life. That is why it is the greatest.

this family is amazing. you meet them and you can’t help but love them to death. i love how Sharon can strike up a conversation with anyone-even a grumpy person at a new jersey cash register- who i can barely get to say hi to me– and she somehow gets them to laugh with her. her joy is radiant.  i love that Joel always thinks and speaks the best of people. he is a Godly man who is such a light of Christ to anyone he meets.  in the past few years when we’ve tried to be there for them it felt like they were giving more of themselves to us.  that’s just who they are. such lovely people.  we are so blessed by their friendship. we only hope that we can bless them as much.

may this gift bless them because it’s from my heart. may God bless them as they are growing more and more in faith, hope and LOVE.

xo-kimberly renee.

 

“Let him do anything but act. No amount of piety in his imagination and affections will harm us if we can keep it out of his will. As one of the humans has said, active habits are strengthened by repetition but passive ones are weaked. The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able to ever act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.”

C.S. Lewis The Screwtape Letters {pg.67}

 i can’t stop thinking about this chapter in Screwtape.

to me, this chapter is talking about how God gives us pleasure purely to draw us back to HIM. pleasures are gifts that bring us closer to God. but there is a difference to think about going back to God by taking pleasures in the gifts, and actually doing it.

sometimes godly pleasure can be something as simple as taking a walk in the woods and realizing how beautiful it is. it makes you say a little prayer of thanks. it opens your heart to God.

or it could be something as simple as drinking your morning tea on the porch, with sunlight on your face. you sigh and realize how beautiful life is. maybe it’s even while you open your bible.

simple pleasure is like that. remember, i just talked about it here. simple pleasures are gifts that open our hearts up to seeing with wonder, with new eyes, the things that are around us that are directly from HIM.

one of my “simple pleasures”  that usually draws me closer to God is painting, drawing, or any form of art. :) it’s may sound silly, but that little act of creating something opens up my heart and my eyes. it brings peace to my soul, kind of like writing in a journal, it pours out my heart.

but there is another part of this chapter in C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape – the elder devil is teaching the novice devil that if they can make their “patient” (the person they are trying to tempt) abandon the simple pleasures that draw him towards God for the things that he “should” like or for the things that are culturally correct; then the little devil can draw their patient slowly further away from God. if he can make his patient think the pleasure is “unimportant”, “uncool”or “not good enough” then those thoughts can distract him from a true gift from God!

yikes! this made me realize that sometimes i think my art is “unimportant” so i put it off. or i get embarrassed that my art isn’t very refined. it’s not really that good. so i just keep putting it off… i’ll get to it another day.

but then i just get more disappointed in myself. i get dry. my soul gets dry, like when i haven’t had a quiet time in a while. like when i haven’t been out in nature in a while. my heart goes dry when i avoid these things!

these simple pleasures, that i can count on my fingers, bring me closer to God. YET- somehow, i find ways to put it off, to avoid it, to be embarrassed by it, to think it’s not important… when really… that’s the opposite of what i should do.

those simple pleasures ARE GIFTS FROM GOD.  and it makes me sad that i’m putting it off. or thinking art as unimportant. or thinking that i should really do something productive instead of going for a walk. or thinking that i really don’t have time for meeting with a friend.

but…GOD gave me a passion for art! for nature. for mountains. for people. for growing closer to HIM.

for example, usually {when i’m not focused on myself} art brings me closer to God because of the passion He gave me for it. So why should i be ashamed that my art  isn’t good enough when HE gave me that passion?

Why should I think that taking a walk in a forest isn’t the.most.important.thing. i could today if it could bring me closer to God through the prayer i would surely utter because of the awe that opens up in my heart?

and i can sit here and think about it all day. talk about it and even preach to you all about it.

but it means nothing if i don’t act on it.

that older, “wiser” devil says to the younger, “Let him do anything but act…

we, humans, are funny like that. we can talk the talk… but how often do we actually get our butt off the couch and do it??

but why does that wiser tempter say that? because he knows us… he knows that when humans become apathetic and un-passionate, we miss out on seeing God. we get lost in our own thoughts and our eyes close to the wonder of HIM working around us. if we stop soaking up simple pleasures, seeing God in the creativity of the wilderness or in the peace of a quiet moment painting or in the grandeur of a hike in the mountains or in the sound of the ocean crashing… then our hearts become hard.

and then the rest of that sentence “…the less he will be able to feel.”

that just cuts to the core of it, right? when we become apathetic or lazy in seeking out the pleasures and gifts from God we then loose our passion. our feeling. our very heart and soul.

oh simple pleasures are a gift, from OUR GOD, my friends! how many times do i have to say that? don’t be embarrassed by them. don’t avoid seeing God through them.

oh man. this afternoon, i think i’m going to go work on that painting and maybe later go for a walk on the beach with Husbuddy… and just soak up the gift that they are – instead of trying to rush through them to the next thing on my to do list.

what are simple pleasures in your life, right now? how do you take a moment to enjoy them as a gift?? i’d really love to hear from you!

xo-kimberly renee.

in a week my little sister and brother-in-law show up in Jersey to help us pack.

in a week and 1 day i will say goodbye at work and have a big party with friends when we pack the truck.

in a week and 2 days we will drive 6+ hours north to Gloucester.

we are leaving our life, friends, and job here, yes. it is sad, yes. but it’s for a purpose. there is a reason and a “together calling“. we don’t know for sure where this next step will eventually take us, but we know God has it under control.

we have felt a call to ministry from very early in our marriage, husbuddy has felt a call to preach and i have felt a call to be an encourager by his side and to love others. even when i first started dating him, way back then, i told him that the purpose of my life was to glorify God, and i would only date/marry him if we could glorify God better together, than we could as individuals.  {needless to say, he was a little shocked by my determination to avoid dating him at first ;) ha}

but that’s why i simply ADORE this post over at Grace Covers Me. go and check out what she means when she talks about a “together calling”– i think this post talks to everyone, even if you’re not in a “specific” ministry,  whether you are a pastor’s wife or not, this post is a good a reminder that you, specifically, are called to serve God. it may be side by side with your husband- but you are not serving your husband. this ministry/pastorate/life is not just his calling, with you following along doing your own thing.   God has called you, my friend, specifically to a purpose and to serve Him with your whole heart, regardless of what your significant other is up to. But as a married couple, He has a specific calling for both of you- together- to glorify Him.

i love how she says, “my calling isn’t fueled by my husband”. sometimes i get stuck in a rut where i look to my husbuddy more than i look to my faithful God. my focus moves from God to him. then he gets frustrated that he can’t fulfill me the way that i want and then he gets stuck in a rut trying to be the savior i’m looking to him to be. he just can’t be though. he’s only human. i am fueled by Christ ALONE. my calling is to follow where Christ leads and to lean into HIM instead of on my husbuddy.

God has called me to serve Him with my whole heart and in everything i do. and what i am doing right now is following a call to encourage and support husbuddy while he finishes schooling in his call to become a preaching pastor. that, at this moment, is our “together call”.

and that, is why we are moving next week.

a friend and i went to visit The Estes yesterday.

Owen is STILL at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. They have been there since the middle of February. Needless to say, they are frustrated and impatient to get home with a healthy little guy! It is a blessing to live so close to an awesome Children’s Hospital, and we are so thankful that there is such an amazing staff to care for him. But it’s hard for them and most likely lonely to be away from home for so long, so we went down for a visit.

You may think it’s some noble act to take time to go visit them, but really it was a very selfish visit on my part because I crave that time with my sweet friend! ;) I miss her!

Instead of sitting in the hospital, and to create some laughter, the three girls went for a camera walk.

you don’t know what a “camera walk” is? Well, let us show you.

we were on a sideways mission towards getting lunch… but stopped at all the sculptures to take pictures. they had to be silly pictures, mind you.

and we had to be on or in the artwork.

since there were three of us, most of the time we could only take a picture of  just two of us being silly. {note: the one above in the “button” was supposed to be our best ground-hog pose.}

if we could talk someone into helping us, we got one with all three of us.

j’adore this one of the three of us!  the girl who took the picture was totally annoyed with us for asking her, but seriously, she could have said no… ;) still, we appreciate the beautiful picture she took!!

we LOVEd this sculpture, if you couldn’t guess.

there were also couple of Ben Franklin’s sitting around.

We decided this Ben needed a couple girls in his lap:

this is getting embarrassing… {at this point, Joel had joined us… so we weren’t doing this for a stranger- i promise!}

Husbuddy was confused about what we were doing in the one above- apparently our “kissy” faces don’t really look like we think they do.

It was a fun, silly time  that hopefully provided our friends with a sweet little hour outside in the sunshine laughing.

we love you three!! get better sweet little Owen and come home soon!