Two Steps Back

A lot has happened since the last time I made a blog post. Honestly, the only reason I am even on WordPress is because I want to shut this thing down. My husband is the one who said I should do this whole blogging thing… but I don’t see myself as a mommy blogger. Anyway, I couldn’t figure out how to delete this thing so I’m just going to make another post.

Over the summer, we moved from Virginia to sunny South Florida. It’s not as glamorous as it sounds. You see, I was suffering from PPD. That’s postpartum depression in case you didn’t know. My depression and anxiety was consuming my life. I became an emotional eater, and even worse—an emotional spender. I somehow managed to spend thousands of dollar on credit cards, and before I knew it, I was drowning in debt. This, of course, added to my anxiety and I knew something had to change.

Thankfully, my parents offered us to come live with them for a year. At first, I thought it was a nice gesture, but put off to the side. I needed real options, you know? So I worked more, trying to earn enough to get by. It just wasn’t working. I couldn’t get a handle on my kids, my finances, or my marriage. I felt like everything was falling apart, and suddenly, moving to Florida didn’t sound like an unrealistic option. I was able to convince my husband to make the move, and he hesitantly agreed. I moved down with the kids in August, he joined us in September, and our house sold in November. During our time here, we have committed to Dave Ramsey’s total money makeover. We have completed Baby Step 1, and we are currently tackling our $81k debt monster.

Sometimes, I feel like we took two steps back. I mean, I’m 27 and my husband is 31… and we are living with my parents in a 3/2 house. But, we are finally getting a handle on our lives. My husband is currently working from home, and I just quit my part time job. We are doing okay at the moment, and it’s nice to finally go two months straight without our bank account hitting the negatives. But I’m missing work… and I would really like to make an extra $300-500/month to put towards a home down payment. Technically, all extra money should go toward debt. However, we need a place to live next year (we can’t afford to rent), and we need to have a down payment in order to purchase a house. With that being said, I’m going to get off this post and open up my browser to continue applying for jobs.

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I can’t!

A friend of mine blessed me with a free massage today! I mean, how could I say No to that? Anyway, I was on my way to the location when I started to think about everything. Can anyone relate? It’s like all of my ideas come to me when I’m driving or taking a shower! So I’m hoping I can remember what was going through my mind earlier today.

I am on this journey of trying to find out how I can see what God has put in front of me. And I had my usual complaint: But God, I can do anything if I really want to! And then He reminded me of this verse: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Let me rephrase it the way I saw it in my head: I can do all things through CHRIST who STRENGTHENS me. Most of the time, we hear the verse like this: I CAN DO ALL THINGS through Christ… yada yada yada. I even have a shirt that says, in bold print: I can DO ALL THINGS. The second part of the verse seems to be more minute. But today, God reminded that this journey is not about WHAT I can do. It’s about WHO I do it THROUGH.

And honestly, if I can do all things because I’m just awesome like that, then why would I need God? This is where I need my brain to shift. And I am so thankful that God was able to reveal that to me today! I CAN’T do all things, and quite frankly, I don’t want to! I’m exhausted! I just want to do all the things that Christ has empowered me to do in order to glorify the Father and grow the Kingdom.

I am also reminded of 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

In this next step of my journey, I’m digging up all of the achievements to undercover my weakness. This is where I am confident that God will show me that HE can do ALL things.

Gifted, Part 1

Did you know that you are gifted?

Seriously. You are! Recently, I heard parents use that word with resentment. These parents understand Gifted as the label used to identify kids with high academic achievements. Upon googling the definition of “Gifted,” I found this description: “having exceptional talent or natural ability.” And there you have it, friend! YOU. ARE. GIFTED. You cannot possibly convince me that you have no natural ability.

My favorite Bible verse comes from Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God has prepared in advance for us to do.”

While I have been immensely blessed to have so many abilities, I know now that one of the reasons why I have so much anxiety is because I find myself in a mound of achievements that distract me from my purpose. Ok, moms, let’s get real. Do you have a never ending pile of laundry? If you don’t, I’m sorry to tell you that we can’t be friends! Anyway, I feel like I’m sitting on top of this pile of all the things I can do, but don’t know what I am designed to do. Can you use a butter knife to open the door? To put furniture together? Maybe. I’m not going to lie, I totally used a butter knife to hammer some tiny nails into a bookshelf I was putting together. It required a lot of extra, unnecessary work!

I have been praying a lot lately, asking God for wisdom and to help me see what He has already placed in front of me. Or beneath me. God has designed each of us with a very specific purpose. Maybe that word intimidates you so let me rephrase: You have a job. You were created to do something only you can do! Now that I’m digging through my layers, I realize that my purpose is tied to my identity, and my identity belongs to the one who designed me.

So, Designer, what did You create me to do? How do I inspire others and shine a light that glorifies you?

Gifted (Intro)

I grew up a Kiper. That may not mean anything to you, so let me explain. My father is Rick Kiper, and he is an extremely intelligent and talented man. He excels at literally ev.er.y.thing. My dad was convinced that each of his four kids could be good at everything too. And so he trained us. He taught us how to play sports, how to write, how to sing, how to play instruments, how to change a tire, how to build things, how to draw, how to mop floors, how to make the perfect chocolate chip pancake, how to serve, how to excel in school, and, most importantly, how to love God. So whenever someone would see one of us kids do something spectacular, we would often receive the comment, “Of course. You’re a Kiper!”

Dad set the bar high for us, because he wanted the very best for us. He wanted us to be ready to do anything we wanted to do with our lives. And I will forever appreciate the investment he made in each of his children. He believed in us before we believed in ourselves. He pushed us when we felt like giving up, and he cheered us on as we made strides toward our dreams. Now that I’m a parent, I understand why he did everything that he did for us. I have five, very unique and gifted children and I want the very best for them. These next few posts will follow my journey through motherhood and how I can help my children grow in their gifts to glorify God.