Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Brief Update/Announcement

Don't get your hopes up, I'm not finished with THE MONTH OF CRAZY that happens as a full time employee of residence life at a university, and therefore not "back" yet. So no meal plans, recipes, pictures, nail polish posts, or fashion updates. 

Well... let me chase a rabbit here to give you one fashion update. I bought in to this "no poo" natural DIY beauty routine thing. I'm totally sold! Go buy these four things (or steal them from your cabinet) and when I get back from THE MONTH OF CRAZY I'll tell you what to do with them, OR just Google it. 

1. baking soda
2. apple cider vinegar
3. cornstarch
4. virgin coconut oil 

I've been washing my face with baking soda, spot treating blemishes with apple cider vinegar (which disappear the next day), washing my hair with a baking soda wash, spot treating my scalp psoriasis with coconut oil, moisturizing and coconut oil, conditioning my hair with a apple cider vinegar rinse, and using my DIY dry shampoo for dark hair made of cornstarch and cocoa powder. SOLD! I've "washed" my hair twice in two weeks and it looks fabulous. Like I said, more after THE MONTH OF CRAZY (yes, yes I am going to type that in all caps like I'm yelling it or saying it in a booming, deep, Morgan Freeman-like voice every time, because I am). 

End rabbit chase. 

The reason I am popping in to give you an update is because I have a need to tell you a vitally important update about my life. 

I found "the one" tonight. 

Okay, I didn't find my future husband, just wanted to get your attention by being dramatic (especially after chasing that rabbit). I did however experience something that I have to believe feels something like the feeling people say they have when they "just know" they found "the one." Not when middle school (or college freshman) girls say they found "the one," but when loving married couples reflect back on the moment they "knew" and were right. 

I mentioned before (see Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding post), that I was living life with a new church. We've been taking turns telling our life stories. Tonight was my turn. I won't share my whole story here (though I am praying about what that could possibly look like and mean), but I will share my "opener" to help explain the moment I had tonight. 

"If I were going to sum myself up in a few sentences, what I’d want you to know about me is that I’m passionate about cooking, baking, writing, women’s ministry, being connected to a church that believes in being a family, and living the Christian life out with others with transparency and vulnerability. Since this is a unique season and community where we’re trying to know each other in depth so that we can be a family, I’ll tell you a lot more, and by a lot, I do mean A LOT, but I believe my story as a whole, as traumatic and long as it is, gives explanation to these things I’m passionate about and vividly portrays the gospel message throughout. Because I’m passionate about writing, it’s my favorite way to communicate, so naturally I wrote my story out in story form and would like to read it to you.

"Every story whispers His name," is the tagline of The Jesus Storybook Bible. It tells the stories of the Bible, New and Old Testament, in a storybook form for children of all ages and points every story back to Jesus and how it connects to the redeeming salvation story. Every story in Scripture does in fact whisper His name, and some stories scream His name. Our stories, stories of redemption and salvation, do the same. Allow me to tell you my story, one that whispers, echoes and screams His name through every detail."

And so I read my story for approximately 25 minutes to this new church family. It was terrifying to be so vulnerable, but in the two short months we've been meeting together, I found myself able to trust them. It was one of the most incredible experiences. I was immensely encouraged and humbled. I've never felt such freedom from the trap of shame that often comes when I think about my story or free from the bonds of sin. I've also never felt so loved and accepted by such a large group of people. One of my best friends who had been praying for me asked me how it was after. My first response, as I sobbed happy tears all the way home and at least an hour after we met, was "indescribable." As I continued to reflect more on how I felt, I sent her the following message.

"You know how people say when you meet "the one" you "know?" I feel like this feeling has to be similar to that. I feel like I just had a moment where I "knew" these people are going to love me forever."

Her response was, "That's so sweet. You should tell them."

Since the way I communicate best is via writing, I immediately opened my computer and clicked "new post" and began to write about this moment. I can say with confidence that tonight will be a moment I remember for the rest of my life and that will forever now be added to my story. I literally sobbed, overcome with joy, that God would allow me to be part of such a moment.

Arise Church FAMILY, because we really are family, I love you. I'm beyond excited for this journey. Thanks for affirming me, thanks for accepting me, thanks for encouraging me, thanks for supporting me, and most of all, thanks for CHOOSING to love me (and each other). Because like I said tonight, if there is one thing I've learned from my being healed from my past journey, it's that the choice to love someone is often more meaningful than loving someone because you are "supposed" to.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Getting to Know You - Mississippi Style!

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Today I'm participating in a Link Up with Mississippi Women Bloggers! I'm so happy to be part of Mississippi Women Bloggers and to know there are so many wonderful women in my state blogging. Bloggers have a way of feeling connected to people. I'd venture to say most bloggers would have the connectedness strength pretty high on their list if they all took StrengthsFinder. I love the opportunity and chance to go deeper and get to know my fellow bloggers better, as well as letting my readers know me a little more. Tell me about you! Let's have coffee or chat sometime. I love getting to know people and their stories.

Mississippi Women Bloggers

  1. What part of Mississippi are you from? Childhood days from Monticello, Mississippi. I currently (and proudly) call Clinton, Mississippi home. 
  2. How long have you been blogging? In my college days, back in 2003-2006, I proudly participated in the Xanga craze. I started this blog in 2009. So technically I've been blogging since 2003, 13 years! But I've been blogging semi regularly since 2009 (4 year), and fairly seriously and regularly for 2 years. 
  3. Why did you start blogging? In college I started a Xanga because everyone was doing it! In 2009 I started blogging because I lived with a roommate that terrified me, had my first grown up job, and didn't have many friends. I wanted a way to feel connected. I kept blogging and started blogging more for a few reasons: A. I love writing! It's stress relief for me. B. I realized people actually wanted my recipes and meal plans. C. I realized I had a chance to be transparent and vulnerable about real things in my life that could help other people too (the weight loss struggle/journey and grief). 
  4. Tell us what we can expect when reading your blog. Well, if you haven't noticed yet, FOOD! Food, recipes, and meal planning are what the majority of my posts are about. I occasionally share my heart about the grief process, healing, and my journey to try and love Jesus more and learn to let him love me more. I also like nail polish, hair, fashion, and DIY project a whole lot and they often make an appearance in my posts. 
  5. What does your blog title means? My kitchen is where I live. It's where I cook, it's where I plan meals, it's where I do DIY projects, it's where I like to be with people! 
  6. What do you love about being part of Mississippi Women Bloggers? I mentioned it above, but connectedness! I love the idea of all the women in the under appreciated state of Mississippi who love to write (and are good at it, in the state where people think we can't read) being connected to each other. 
  7. Who inspires you to blog? Joy the Baker is my absolute favorite food blogger. When I discovered her blog, the way I blog about food was transformed. I learned how to take pictures better because of her. I learned how to incorporate stories with recipes because of her. Loving her blog also lead me to discovered SO many other great blogs out there. Loving blogs, blogging, and bloggers lead me to the Influence Network! And now, ever more than Joy the Baker, the Influence Network inspires me. The Influence Network inspires me because it reminds me the Jesus is my ultimate inspiration. 
  8. If you could pick a favorite blog post from this past year, what would it be? Hard one! I would have to pick the post I wrote about Celebrating Victories. "Let's celebrate victories guys! Every small victory that isn't small at all. Looking in the mirror and loving who you see before you, VICTORY! Not believing the lies that Satan (it's him, it's really him) tells you about yourself, VICTORY! Getting up early to spend time with Jesus when before you "never had enough time," VICTORY! Asking for forgiveness, forgiving yourself, accepting grace that none of us deserve but get instead of living in self-condemnation, VICTORY! Choosing to grieve losses in a healthy way instead of letting yourself get numb and avoidance, victory, big, huge, not small at all, victory."
  9. Do your real life friends know you blog?  How do they respond? They do! I post my posts on my personal Facebook and Twitter. My most faithful readers and supporters are my real life friends. Love them more than anything! 
  10. What is your blogging routine (if you have one)?  I wish my "routine" was more of a routine! The one consistent post I post every week is my weekly meal plan on Mondays. I'm mostly consistent with posting it. I'd like to post three times a week. On good weeks my routine involves prepping multiple weekly posts on the weekend to be scheduled to go out the next week. 
  11. We all love social media!  Are there any social media links you would like to share so we can follow you? Big social media fan! Twitter: kasialindsay / Facebook (Personal): Kasia.Crider / Facebook Page: kasiaskitchenblog / Pinterest: kasialindsay
  12. Name 3 bloggers who have not joined Mississippi Women Bloggers that you would like to see join us! Life on Lawson, The Manuel Family, and A Life Worth Something