Kara’s Collection: Known, Truly Known

from an article originally posted October 31, 2014…

I was kept awake last night from the pain that radiates in my bones. I have the proper pills to help me in my pain, but I simply tire of them. I woke this morning tired and grouchy. I have not left my bed. My oldest has entered the bed beside me, my guy is doing work in the chair next to the bed, and I have been slowly reading through Galatians this morning. It has done my heart great good. It has refreshed me. I love the direct and shaking words of Paul. They have shaken me from my selfish and self-focused thinking. They have lifted my face this morning. Let me share the verse that is loving my heart this morning.

But now you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slave you want to be once more?
— Galatians 4:9

Paul goes on to beg them not to forget Jesus, His abounding love, His sacrifice. He begs them not to return to their former living. But what I love in this verse is where Paul says, rather to be known by God. To be known is to be met specifically. And in the words of Galatians, I hear the sweet admonition of the Spirit that begs me to remember truth, to stop looking to myself, but to look at Jesus. Oh, there are days I need shaking. Days I need the gentle words of Scripture, and days I need the in-your-face, remember-truth words of Scripture.

Next week is another scary snort (PET scan), next week is another treatment, next week there is grace. I believe it is already there. Next week the report will be read if this battle is being won, if this aggressive treatment is working, or if we need to change our game plan. But next week, I am also called to remember truth, to receive the story that is given, and to trust, to trust, to trust Jesus with my moments. I fight to open my hands. I struggle to receive the hard, but I am known. I am intimately known. And in that knownness I find great peace. God is not overwhelmed when I pour, and pour, and pour out my weary to him.

Today marks the end of October. We will move our fire pit to our front yard. We will meet new neighbors, we will enjoy the delights of our community tonight. We will place seats around our fire and hope to capture some of the lives of those in our community and neighborhood. Tonight also ends the first month of my book being published. What a wild and amazing ride it has been. You all have shared my story, looked for grace, loved and encouraged my heart as you have read our story. You have met your loves in looking for grace and living in kindness. You have given my book to friends, shared it with the brokenhearted in your life, and loved me with your amazing feedback. I am thankful. I am humbled. I am awed at the ways Jesus is using the sharing of my heart to open doors into your hearts. Thank you for buying The Hardest Peace. Thank you for writing such gracious and beautiful reviews of the book. Thank you for sharing my journey with those in your life. It has been such a privilege to hear and meet so many of you. Thank you. October has been a beautiful and amazing whirlwind.

I pray tonight you have the opportunity to love and meet your neighborhood. I pray you get to smile in the young faces that come to your door and radiate the beauty you know in Jesus. I pray as you meet your neighbors and love them with your brand of beautiful Big LOVE. I hope to meet and warm a few new faces by my fire tonight. Some of you darken your doors on this day. The freedom we are given in Jesus is to do that or to open wide our doors and meet the faces that come tromping to our door. There is liberty for us all—I do not wish to start a debate on this issue. Simply tell you that tonight, the fire pit is moving from the back yard to the front yard, and the Holy Spirit in my soul will be meeting the faces that enter the warmth of my fire with the known grace I enjoy today... Even when today is hard. I am known, and I hope to share that knowing, loving, pursing Jesus with another today. Jason is on daddy duty walking the neighborhood, then he will join me by the fire in sharing the real warmth we know in Jesus and kindness simply by being a good neighbor.

Kara’s Collection: The Joy of Cooking

Kara’s Collection: The Joy of Cooking

from an article originally posted September 2, 2014…  

We have run away to capture beauty, to sleep, to recover from our hard, and to sit beside one another. We are a family that functions only upon the use of an antenna. So we have a few fancy channels, but not really. PBS and another network is about all we have. We are happy that way. But on vacation, on blessed vacation, the offerings grow as do the number of televisions. Currently our abode has four, yes four, televisions. Holy cow.

Kara’s Collection: Saying Yes

Kara’s Collection: Saying Yes

from an article originally posted July 3, 2014...

I’m limping along trying to figure out the right time to take my new chemo and the right combination of drugs to help the pain of my cancer that is pressing in on nerves in my back and on my hip, as well as managing the side effects of my chemo. It’s a dance, a freaking ugly dance. One day I have the steps right, the next day I’m dancing with a puke bucket in my purse—lovely. This week has been uniquely tough because I have realized this is my dance forever. Well, until this drug stops working and another harder drug will replace this one.

Kara’s Collection: Abundant Living

Kara’s Collection: Abundant Living

from an article originally posted May 30, 2014...

Oh my soul, life has been lived at such a lovely fast pace since school has been out. We have played, run away to the mountains, enjoyed the company of mamas and friends, and had the pleasure of having our favorite Nanny Mickey with us for a week. I was reintroduced to my favorite concert venue. Oh my soul, I would watch ANYTHING at Red Rocks Amphitheater. It’s just a stunning display of the best our state has to offer.

I want to spend it all this summer, every single ounce of energy and love I’m given. I want to fall into bed happily exhausted from the day of play and living near to Jesus and living from the overflow of that love onto the lives of those around me.

Kara’s Collection: Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

Kara’s Collection: Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

From an article originally posted March 31, 2014…

"The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It’s about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment."
― Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table, with Recipes

Alright, I’m a new fan. I’m only a few chapters in, and I’m ready to sing from the mountain tops that I love this woman. This book is at the very heart of how I want to live, try to live, and hope for my well days to be lived.