New Home!

February 19, 2014

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The KLRC Morning Show Blog has a brand new home and we think it’s pretty cool!

We’d love for you to come on over and check it out. While you’re there you can subscribe to the blog and get updates delivered right to you.

We’d also love to have you check out the all new KLRC.com and let us know what you think!

See you there….

Keri

Jesus is Better

February 11, 2014

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I’m learning that it’s a lot easier to believe something with your mind than with your heart.

For example, if you’re a single woman on Valentine’s week it’s really hard to make your heart believe that Jesus is better than any earthly man you could ever meet or fall in love with. At least that’s what my friend, Ramona, and I concluded this past Saturday night over a very long dinner.

Don’t worry, we’re fully convinced that Jesus is actually better… in our minds. We know logically that no one could ever come close to loving us, providing for us, or protecting us like He does. We say (and mean it) that if God never sends a man our way that we’re still blessed beyond belief and so incredibly happy with this life we have. And yet… we lay awake some nights thinking it sure would be nice to have someone to hold me. 

And there is the struggle… To figure out how to make the heart believe what the mind knows beyond doubt.

We wrestled with it for almost 2 hours at dinner then made our way to church. We had joked about going to go look for guys, but neither of us felt up for it; and we both knew our hearts could probably use a good dose of worship in His presence more than they could use a hunting expedition at Cabela’s or Best Buy (that is where single men hang out on Saturday nights right?)

We were a few minutes late to service so we quietly slipped in the back; and as we did the congregation started singing:

In all my sorrows, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
In all my victories, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
Than any comfort, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
More than all riches, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
Our souls declaring, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
Our song eternal, Jesus is better – make my heart believe

And there it was; the wrestle.

Over and over again we sang it… First a declaration: Jesus is better. Followed by a cry for help: make my heart believe.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”   Psalm 73:26

Do I know Jesus is better? Sure. Do I wrestle with this knowledge? You better believe it. My flesh is weak. My heart fails. But God is the one who strengthens my heart. He is the only one who has the power to transform my head knowledge to heart knowledge.

Maybe you don’t know the wrestle of singleness. Maybe your wrestle is health, or job loss, or family dysfunction, or infertility, or the death of someone you love. Whatever the wrestle, whatever the longing, Jesus is better.

Lord, make our hearts believe!

~Keri

The Beautiful Struggle

January 21, 2014

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We walked through the dark valley together, Jesus and I. It was the hardest two years of my life, the two years after my husband decided he didn’t want to be married anymore. The two years when nothing was stable except the Rock of Christ Jesus.

Through the darkness, through the depression, through the questioning and the confusion there was Christ, always Christ, always near; tangible.

My life tends to be an open book, one of the consequences of working in radio. I can only share what I know, and for most of my life that hasn’t been a problem. As I’ve grown and matured I’ve better learned how and when I should share. I’ve learned that not every detail has to be shared in order for a story to be effective (although I still love details and often have to reel myself back in). When I was a young girl of 15 and very new in my walk with Christ I asked Him to use my pain. I honestly didn’t know at the time what I was praying, but I knew it was a life defining prayer, “God, whatever I have to walk through, please just use it to help others.”

That prayer has chased me in the decades since it left my mouth. There’s been times I’ve whispered, “I know I said whatever, but maybe not this?” And always there was a reckoning between Jesus and I and a decision made to share even “this” (and there have been many “this”es in the last couple of decades).

I even tried to be as transparent as I could in the season of my divorce, while still honoring other people who were tangled up in my story and giving myself much needed room to protect my heart and keep sacred things secret. I honestly never thought I’d be able to bring myself to utter the word “divorced” much less write or talk about it. Yet, here I am.

After coming to a decision to let God use the divorce “this”, I thought I had reached a new milestone. Surely nothing else that could ever come into my life would be as hard to go public with than the death of my marriage.

I was wrong.

It’s been over a month since I last posted a blog update. And before that post another long gap of time passed between posts. Why? Because I don’t want to write about where I am in life right now. I don’t want you to know. Why? Mostly because I haven’t figured it out yet. I tend to try to wait until I’m on the limping-but-victorious side of the wrestle before laying myself bare. Today I’m still in the wrestle. Today I’m still struggling. Today I’m still asking hard questions. And it’s hard to admit our struggles when we’re stuck in the middle of them.

I’m tempted to remain quiet here in this frustrating place. But I can’t. Why? Because of my brave friend Amber’s words, “I have tended toward self-preservation and hiding, and I have felt that I have had little to offer.”

That’s exactly where I am right now. Self-preservation and hiding with little to offer. But isn’t that exactly where God usually shows up to perform a miracle? And, seriously, I could use a miracle about now.

Because, you see, I’ve lost Jesus.

I know, I know, I haven’t really lost Him. How can the omnipresent one who came to dwell, Emmanuel, be lost? He is here, in the midst of this wrestling place. Only I can’t see Him. Can’t feel Him or hear His voice either. The only thing I can find is the space He once filled, the void of His absence.

I’ve been tempted to fake it a lot lately. To act like things are “just fine thank you”. But I’m having a hard time mustering up the strength to do the whole good-Christian-girl thing, where nothing is ever a struggle. The truth is; it’s all a struggle right now. Prayer. Bible. Worship. It’s a struggle.

The funny thing is, I don’t at all feel hopeless or desperate. I’m strangely accepting of this questioning place. Not content, mind you, but accepting. I can’t help but think that God is growing my roots deep in this wrestling place. Normally, when I feel distant from God I have an overwhelming urge to figure out what’s wrong and fix it immediately. I don’t feel that this time. I feel a resting, a waiting, and an assurance that Jesus and I are okay, even if we don’t feel particularly tight at the moment.

I know what it is to be carried by Jesus. I know what it feels like to have Him bend low and gently bind up my broken-heart wounds. I struggle with knowing how to walk with Jesus in the common everyday mundane of life. I can feel Him when the days are dark and hard, I can’t seem to find Him when the days are sunny and calm. And that is what my heart longs for. Not only to be carried through crisis by Christ, but to also learn to walk beside Him. To be led by Him through dark valleys and green pastures. To walk with Him through raging seas and still waters. To be so aware of His presence in every moment that He can’t ever be lost.

That’s the struggle. Seeking Jesus here. Seeking something genuine and real and sustaining. So, the wrestle continues. I’m not letting go. Not giving up. I’m hanging on and waiting.

~Keri

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Reflection

December 29, 2013

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It’s hard to believe that 2013 is drawing to a close. Before moving on to a new year I enjoy taking an a few hours to reflect on the last year and prayerful look forward to what’s next. Here’s a list of the questions I use for reflection. Enjoy! ~Keri

 

A Year in Review

  1. What was the best thing that happened in the last year?
  2. What is the most challenging thing that happened?
  3. What was an unexpected joy?
  4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
  5. Pick 3 words to describe the last year.
  6. What were the best books you read?
  7. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
  8. What was your biggest personal challenge?
  9. In what ways did you grow emotionally?
  10. In what ways did you grow spiritually?
  11. In what ways did you grow physically?
  12. In what way did you grow in your relationships with others?
  13. What was the most enjoyable part of your work professionally?
  14. What was the most enjoyable part of your work at home?
  15. What was the most challenging part of your work professionally?
  16. What was the most challenging part of your work at home?
  17. What was your single biggest time waster this past year?
  18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
  19. What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?
  20. Create a phrase or statement that describes this past year.

Looking Forward

  1. What healthy character traits would you like to see developed in your life this year?
  2. What is your plan for maintaining accountability for progressing in personal growth?
  3. What are some of your learning goals this year?
  4. What books would you like to read this year?
  5. What is one area of growth at your job that you would like to develop this year?
  6. What is one area of progress you’d like to see this year for improving your physical health?
  7. What are some tangible daily choices you can add to your life that will improve your health?
  8. What are some goals you have to strengthen your marriage?
  9. In what ways can you grow in intimacy with your spouse this year?
  10. What will deliberate, regular family time look like this year?
  11. Do you have specific planned vacation time in mind for this year?
  12. What are some ways you’d like to see each of your children grow this year physically, emotionally, spiritually, and educationally?
  13. What is one specific area of progress you’d like to see this year in your financial health?
  14. How much debt do you have? In what ways can you eliminate a sizeable portion of it this year?
  15. How is your savings? In what ways can you save more money this year?
  16. Are you giving regularly? In what ways can you give this year?
  17. In what specific ways would you like to grow in relating to your friends this year?
  18. What are some ways you can be of service to your community?
  19. Who are some specific people in your life that can use some encouragement? What will you do to encourage them this year?
  20. Who are some people in your life that you admire? How can you positively use their influence in your life?
  21. Are there any damaging relationships in your life? What will you do this year to make it better?
  22. In what ways can you develop your prayer life this year?
  23. How do you feel about your consistency in reading the Bible? What steps will you take to see this area grow?
  24. What area of weakness do you feel like God wants to strengthen this year?
  25. What will be your spiritual theme for this year?

Empty Chairs

December 17, 2013

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There’s a grief that can’t be spoken.

There’s a pain goes on and on.

Empty chairs at empty tables…

Les Miserable

 

For three Christmases now there has been an empty chair at my table. That chair sits empty the other 365 days a year, but at Christmas time it’s glaringly obvious that it’s vacant; that my family is incomplete.

The Christmas movies, and carols and commercials tell us how Christmas is supposed to look. Tables filled with food and family. Trees covered in tinsel and lights. Presents perfectly wrapped and ribboned. Not empty chairs, or unlit trees, or presentless Christmas mornings.

How do you celebrate when the husband leaves, or arms ache for a child they can’t hold, or the bank account sits empty? How do you sing Joy to the World when your world is filled with grief?

I keep searching for the comfort. The metaphor in the midst of the missing. The thing to fill the empty chair. I think I’m supposed to say that Jesus fills the empty chair, fills the empty places in our hearts. But, He doesn’t. If He did then my heart would be overflowing, and it isn’t… it’s aching. Aching for something I can’t have. And as much as I pray and as much as I seek Christ, the empty chair and the empty heart remain.

So does that mean Jesus isn’t enough? No. I don’t think it does. Jesus is enough. He is all we need. But that doesn’t mean He fills every empty place, not that He can’t, just that He doesn’t. Some seasons Jesus allows emptiness to fill our days.

That doesn’t mean He abandons us to our grief… no, He enters in. He enters into our messy, less than, imperfect, empty places and sits with us. Not in the empty chair, but beside us as we face the emptiness. He gives us strength to face the empty places. Strength to accept the reality of the brokenness. Strength to face the injustice of this world we live in. He gives us permission to grieve our loss. Permission to be angry at the unfairness of it all.  Permission to be weak and tired and needy. He doesn’t demand that we pull ourselves together, or put on a brave face, or pretend like everything is just fine when it isn’t.

He is the God who comforts us. Who draws near to our broken hearts. Who binds up our wounds. He’s not afraid of our empty places, even when we are.

The truth is; this Christmas may not be as full as we hoped it would be. This Christmas there might be empty chairs at the table serving as reminders of prayers unanswered. The truth is Christmas isn’t always merry and bright. But if it weren’t for the miracle of Christmas and the baby that came to dwell with us, our empty places would be unbearable. Christmas reminds us that the baby who came to bring peace in the midst of chaos will come again to bring us to dwell with Him where there will never again be places of lack and longing. Until that day, I pray that you (and I) will find Him close and comforting in the empty places of life.

Emmanuel, God with us, come.

Love~

Keri

The Brave Ones

November 12, 2013

Sometimes warriors wear high heels and tiaras and carry flowers.

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Last week my friend Jennifer and I had the honor of getting to help celebrate the accomplishments of some of our favorite young women at Saving Grace.

As we stood on that stage asked them to join us one by one as we read simple short paragraphs about their journey my eyes filled with tears over and over again. Girls who were abandoned, abused, neglected, homeless, in debt, pregnant, unloved, alone… one by one they got out of their seats and walked to the front of the room looking beautiful. Each one of them faced a crowd of people with their heads high and smiles on their faces. Why? Because the words that were used to define them no longer applied. They are no longer abandoned, unloved, or alone. No longer filled with anger, or shame, or fear. Love does that.

Love changes us. Slowly but surely, over time, love covers over the multitude of sins that have hardened our injured hearts.

It’s not easy being loved, being changed. It’s hard stuff. The stuff that causes tears and fits of anger and hurtful words to be hurled at the ones trying so hard just to love us. When love is a foreign concept it causes smart, beautiful young women to attack and withdraw. It takes a lot of patience to love a broken girl.

Sometimes finding healed is harder than continuing in the cycle of sin and neglect. Sometime it’s easier to stay behind the walls protecting our hearts where alone is better than abused. And while I don’t know everything about the journey these women have taken from brokenness to beautiful, I do know one thing for certain… their journey was long and hard and they faced many battles along the way.

I’ve found in my own life, and in the lives of so many others, that God doesn’t let us heal in isolation. Mary DeMuth says “God uses good community to heal us from bad community.”  For someone who has been injured by those that should have been our protectors this truth can seem harsh. Why is opening up to someone else necessary for me to be healed? Honestly, while I’m sure there’s some scientific explanation, I sure don’t know what it is. I do know that God says in James 5:16 “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed.” God ties our healing to people.

Where community is involved there is also risk involved. Avoid community, avoid risk and you might avoid some hurt. But you will also avoid healing, and love, and friendship, and family.

“God sets the lonely in families.” Psalm 68:6

It’s what we all want, deep down. To be loved, to belong, to have a place and arms that are open to us. Wanting that and allowing ourselves to be healed enough to be a part of that are two different things.  Sometimes the bravest thing we can do is to allow ourselves to be loved. To quit running from love. To quit fighting against love. So simply receive.

Healing is hard. It takes courage, and perseverance, and vulnerability, and humility, and lots of time. But it’s worth the hard, worth the risk… all good things are.

The girls of Saving Grace taught me that.

Hope Deferred

October 8, 2013

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Waiting sucks. {I’m not quite sure I’m allowed to say “sucks” here but “waiting is hard” didn’t adequately describe how I’m feeling} I hate waiting, and I’m not really good at it. Patience is not my forte.

It seems as if everyone I know is in a holding pattern right now. Waiting on new. Waiting on change. Waiting on someone, something, somewhere. Waiting for doors to open, and others to close. Waiting on pain to end. Waiting on joy to come. Some have been waiting for years, faithfully serving, faithfully trusting, day after long day stacked one upon another until so much time has gone by that you begin to wonder what it is you’re even waiting for anymore. But the heart remembers. In the dark quiet of the night the longing persists. A prayer unanswered. A desire unmet. An ache unfulfilled. Hope deferred.

It’s even harder to wait when the desire is good, godly even. A child. A job. A friend. Pain to cease. Depression to lift. Prodigals to return. We pray and wait and wonder; why would God withhold good gifts from someone who loves Him?

In the last few weeks a verse in Galatians keeps popping up in my life. And let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. I know this is truth. I know I’m not supposed to throw in the towel. I know I’m supposed to continue doing good in my waiting seasons, however long they may be. But sometimes it’s just hard. Harder still when the people around you don’t seem to be waiting for much of anything. I know it’s a matter of perspective. That it’s not true that God’s coming through for everyone except me, but sometimes it feels that way. You too?

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Hope deferred makes the heart sick… Prov. 13:12

Hope deferred makes the heart sick. {can I get an amen?} Our human hearts cannot contain the pain of waiting past the point that we deem reasonable. The longer we wait the more our hearts grow weary. Before too long they succumb to despair and desperation. How do we hold on to hope when all of our strength is gone? When our trust has been stretched past the breaking point? When the womb is still empty and the promise seems dead and the God we pray to is strangely quiet?

When the waiting persists it is hope itself that I need to cling to. Hope… not in the thing I long for, but in the God who (for reasons irrational to me) continues to say to me “wait”.

And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You. Psalm 39:7

What am I waiting for? Good things? Yes. Godly things? I think so. But ultimately it is not what I wait for that will satisfy me. Even the most holy thing longed for (a child, or friend, or spouse, or job, or ______) will disappoint us eventually. But there is one thing that will not disappoint…

Hope does not disappoint,

because the love of God has been poured out within our

hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 5:5

 

I have been guilty of holding out hope for something less than God. I’ve been guilty of getting mad and cranky when I feel like God is withholding good things from me, when I’m growing weary in my well doing for Him. I’ve been guilty of succumbing to depression and despair when I transferred my hope from the Eternal King to earthly things. This human heart of mine simply can’t contain the pain of waiting and I often find myself in desperate need of rescue. Thankfully, the God I serve specializes in just that. He rescues us because He delights in us. Rescues us from deferred hope.

Hope does not disappoint; if our hope is in Him.

It’s hard to hold on to hope. But what if we weren’t made to hold on to it? What if hope was made to hold on to us? What if hope is the rope thrown to us when we feel like we’re drowning? The rope that we slip our arms through and tighten down around our chest… holding the rope in our hands while the rope holds us in its embrace.

Hope is an embrace. It wraps us up. Holds us tight. And we cling to it in the waiting.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,

but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

Prov. 13:12

Praying that our longing for Him outweighs all the other longings of our hearts. And that in the waiting we will find ourselves surrounded by hope.

~Keri