Peace is There. Don’t Give up.

Today, I went for a walk with my friend. I went to Trader Joe’s (I can’t eat food without Cowboy Caviar), Kohl’s,  a gas station and a donut shop (happy Doughnut Day). I made sure my daughter did her schoolwork and I took her to rehearsal. I did some work and started dinner. These are all everyday things, but something was different today.

I told my husband something felt different. I told him I didn’t know what it was, but it felt nice. I then realized the humming was gone. All my life there has been this buzzing or humming in my body. I have a hard time sitting still. I always need to do something. Even the thought of sitting quietly and meditating can drive me crazy. Today the hum is gone and I realize what I am feeling is peace. Peace and Quiet.

I’ve been struggling with this whole eating addiction/escapism for the last month or so. I feel like I have gone backwards, but at the same time, when I lift my head from whatever escape route I am taking (Yahoo news, Facebook, reading anything at all), the Presence is there – in a big way. The Presence is the Holy Spirit.

It is like he is contending for me. He’s willing to compete with all the distractions. He is pursuing me. The Creator of the Universe is pursuing, me! I don’t even know how to take that. Right now, I’m just sitting here, writing my blog and there is peace and the Presence.

A couple months ago as I was drifting to sleep, God showed me a secret place where I can meet with him in my mind. It is a room full of drapery the color of the green ocean. I can walk through it and talk to God there. It feels like God is walking in the garden in the cool of the day to come visit me. It’s like the DC Talk Song Mind’s Eye. It is amazing.

I was in a coffee house the other day with three other women. We were catching up. I started hearing the condemning voice in my mind from my childhood. All of a sudden, in my mind, I was transported to what I think was the throne room of God. I couldn’t see anything around me really, but this emerald lake or river. I could walk on top of it. It splashed a little as I walked. I was wearing a robe or dress with long sleeves like royalty. Every step I took was powerful and full of authority. I believe I was seeing myself as God sees me. I have added this as another place to visit with God.

All this to say, it may seem like we are not moving at all in our walk with God or we are moving at a very slow pace. But each small step, each reaching out even the tiniest bit to God, can have such amazing results.

Don’t give up. You have grown more than you know and God is right there reaching his hand out to pull you even further towards Him and his glory.


We Were Made for Love

I was taught loving myself was bad. You can love others and you have to love God, but never yourself. When I was ten, I moved in with my mother. I was then basically an only child. A few years later, my mother was divorced and it was just her and I. There began to be a role reversal. I was the one who house hunted when we needed to move. At twelve, I would call the landlord, get all the info and then when it sounded good, have them talk to my mother. I began to feel the thing called entitlement that we bemoan of the younger generation. I thought about this. Those my age are constantly speaking of this next generation as entitled. I use to think this meant they loved themselves too much, but that’s not the case.

I began to think about it. This is a generalization, but this generation and even my generation to some degree have been:

Spoiled but rejected

Privileged but unloved

Sexy but filled with self-hate

Loving ones self is not about having the latest brands or being selfish. It is looking in the mirror and seeing yourself a little lower than the angels. (Ps. 8:5, NIVHeb. 2:7). It is realizing the Creator, God, died for you. It is behaving in the knowledge, you are royalty.

I began to think about how I could show love for myself. I came up with a very short list, but I think it says a lot.

1. Taking time for myself. I’m worth loving. (Jesus thought so.)

2. Loving my body. Asking myself before making a choice, “Is this loving my body? Is this letting myself live instead of burying in escapism through food and mind numbing activities?”

3. Is this activity reflecting the breath of God in me? (Gen. 2:7)  Am I truly living?

We were made for Love.

Love this song. I’m a Lover of Your Presence song by Kim Walker.

The View is Breathtaking

I’ve been struggling. Why did I think this would be easy?

I had a dream I cut loose a monster. I then spent the rest of my dream trying to leave to get away from the monster. There was a man running around trying to get me the best, most nutritious food possible before I ran away.

The monster is my feelings. I started this journey of living and feeling, but it frightens me. I  run back to my escapism ways. God coaxes me out of hiding with fresh revelation. He continues to poor his grace and mercy on me by giving me hunger for more freedom. He gives me hunger to live instead of sitting around waiting to die.

Sometimes I forget how far he has brought me. I started going back over my old post, even as far back as January of 2014. I have to say, there some good food for thought back there.

I’m so glad I wrote down a lot of what I’m learning. It was so helpful today, to go back and read it – to revisit my journey. It hasn’t been easy. I shouldn’t have thought it would be. That’s okay. There are many a journey, physically and spiritually, I would never had started if I’d know how long and arduous it would be. However, the end result is always worth it.

The view is breathtaking.

This brings me back to: You Make Me Brave

God is a Tree Hugger.

God is a tree hugger.

I am a deep, strong Oak

When the tornado comes

and I’m on the ground

My roots are taller than any man.

it may seem over

as i lay there


The Gardener comes

In the cool of the day.

He picks me up

Plants me

Puts a hedge of protection

around me.

My roots grow again

stronger, deeper, thirstier.

The wind whispers through my leaves.

It says:

You are mine,

You are loved,

You are magnificent,

You are powerful,

You are strong,

You are the center of My universe,

You are the only thing I see,

You are my creation,

God is a tree hugger.

Luke 15 NIV

A Specter Called Shame.

Shame is the sensation a person receives when they do something wrong, like the morning after they’ve drank too much and realize they made a fool of themselves. As long as they recognize the shame, learn from it and use it to spur them into a better direction, such as not drinking too much, it can be a useful tool.

Shame is defined as:

“a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.”

If shame, as a tool, could stay in its rightful place on the shelf until needed, it would be okay. But shame rarely stays in its proper place. It’s not shame’s fault. We as people take the tool down and misuse it.

I have done this frequently with my past mistakes. Every time a memory comes up where I acted foolishly or made a wrong choice, I feel the sting of shame creep up on my face. I push the memories back down and say it is covered by Jesus’ death on the cross. That is true, but because I push the memory away due to shame, I never learn what God wants me to learn from those memories. They can not be fully redeemed.

There is one shameful memory that keeps coming back to me over and over again. It is something I have never told anyone ever, not even my husband. This one memory has haunted me and fills me with shame every time it pops up.

The last few months I have been on this journey of not hiding from my feelings. I am on this journey of allowing my feelings to rise to the surface, exam them and then let them vaporize and blow away instead of stuffing them back down.(1) I was walking along the seawall one morning and this memory came to my mind once again. The familiar shame crept like a shade to the surface. I pushed it down as usual stating,

“I’ve been forgiven for this. I don’t have to think about it anymore.”

That is true, but it wasn’t allowing me to learn what I needed to learn from that mistake. It wasn’t allowing me to feel the feeling and let it go. I took the memory and asked God what he wanted me to see when I remembered it. What did he want me to feel? How did he feel when it happened and how does he feel now about it?

I put the memory in a glass box and examined it from all sides. I felt the shame still there, but not as strong. I began to look at the girl who made the poor choice. She was so young and desperate. She had all this hurt, which had not been dealt with. She was so strong for even functioning. Yes the girl, me, did make a mistake and it was my fault, but there were so many other circumstances surrounding that choice. I thought about if it were someone else’s life? What if I was reading a book, from birth until this poor choice. I would actually expect this choice of that person. It would not have come as a surprise and I would have wanted to hold that person, comfort them and tell them they were just looking for answers in the wrong place. Looking for something that only God can supply.

In doing this examination, I felt such sympathy for the young girl. I felt sympathy for me. The shame disappeared. Love filled the hole that shame left. I learned many more things from the examination. I’m no longer afraid of the memory.

It is no longer a specter lurking in the shadows.

I couldn’t think of a good song from this topic, but I like this song: Come Away From Jesus Culture


Am I Bipolar?

Am I bipolar?

I seriously asked myself this question. It is in my family. It would not be unheard of. The reason for this question is my stop and go motion in my walk with God and towards emotional and spiritual maturity. I get a revelation and I go forth with a burst of speed. Then things tend to wind down and I fall back into some old ways.

I prayed about it and asked God if I was bipolar. I listened to what He had to say. I knew he wouldn’t pull any punches with me as he never has in the past. I believe bipolar is a real  medical condition and not demonic or something a person just has to get over.

I felt like he told me I am not bipolar. What happens is I let my gut reaction take control. My gut reaction is abandonment. I feel I will be abandon by Him eventually because he will finally see me for who I am.  He will give up on me since I’m not changing fast enough. I give up hope.

Hope is necessary for just about anything. Why work on wholeness if there is no hope of it ever happening. I googled hope and two definitions came up. 1. a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. 2. (archaic) a feeling of trust.

If I don’t have the expectation that I can and will become whole, I won’t. I also saw that my lack of hope is a lack of trust. Hebrews 11 and 12 are such awesome chapters on hope and trust. Jesus said he would never leave me or forsake me. I have nothing to fear. But do I believe that? Do I believe he is good?

“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”(Mark 9:24)

This is an amazing song I like to listen to when I tire of my questions. When I just need to be still: We will not be Shaken by Bethel Music

I am the Fonz.

When I describe myself I say things like: introvert, quiet, hate meeting new people, feel intimidated with people who are prettier, richer, more educated than myself. I’m more comfortable with men than women. Women scare me. I use to say Women are more catty. Men are more honest and simple. All these things describe an insecure person. How did I become this insecure person?

When I was five, I thought I was the Fonz. I would run and then slide on my knees going Ayyyy with my thumbs up. I behaved just like the Fonz. I remember looking in the mirror one day and feeling great disappointment because I did not look like the Fonz. His persona is who I related to. I felt he was most like me. I thought about this for a while asking God, 1. Why did this memory come back to me and 2. How did I go from thinking I was the Fonz to who I am now.

I thought about what the Fonz persona is. He has a solution for every problem. He is tough, but can be vulnerable. He is confident in who he is most of the time. He is different than everyone else around him, but is very okay with that. He is charismatic. He loves good and hates evil. Mostly though he is very, very confident in himself. He is cool and in control.

How did I go from taking on this persona of cool and in control to mostly feeling out of control and insecure. It can’t be blamed on my mother leaving because that happened before the feeling of being the Fonz.

While thinking on this, I remember the VeggieTales show about some town with little creatures who carried backpacks. They drew pictures of how they saw each other and put them in the other person’s backpack. They were suppose to fly, but the negative pictures weighed them down. I saw my backpack full of negative pictures that people had drawn of me and I had taken on the lies as truth.

The most recent one was the word dishonorable. It was not true. The person said it without having all the information. They said it twice. You are dishonorable. Even now I feel the weight of it and the total injustice of it. Then I start to doubt and wonder if maybe I am dishonorable. This has been a heavy weight.

As a child, I did not feel welcomed in any house I lived in. I was the youngest in a house of strangers. If I displayed any vulnerability, it was seen as a sign of weakness and attacked. I felt like a burden for my mother when I left my father to go live with her. I was ten. My father even said he was glad I moved out of his house so he could leave his current situation without worrying what to do with me. I love my father and mother and anything I say is all in the past, but these things added to my outlook of myself.

I don’t really know who I am. I want to. I want to see myself as God sees me as God created me to be. I want to be quiet and confident. I want to be who I really am before it was squashed by people who also had their natural personas squashed when they were growing up. Squashed, stomped on people will squash, stomp on other people. As I say that, I think of those whom I have squashed. I hope they forgive me.

I forgive all those who have drawn negative pictures and stuck them in my backpack. As I forgive, I see the pictures fall to the ground and dissolve into nothing.

I am the Fonz.

If you want to watch Veggietales Snoodles(fast forward through the first show about twenty minutes in):

We are all the Same

I work for a church somewhat different from the churches I have been apart of in the past. I was told when I went to work there that I had to be careful because they knew the church I had come from. My manager did not go into to what I had to be careful about, but I gathered is was about the power gifts. So from that day forward, I always wondered what part of me I could show to my co-workers and what part I had to keep hidden. We felt like since I was working there, God was calling us to attend this church. My daughter loves the youth group. Worship is great, but a little too short. The pastor is always engaging and is a great speaker. I had questions like, can I pray for someone to be healed? Can I see a picture about someone and tell them when I think God might be saying to them?  What can I do and not do?

Because of this, I had somehow gotten the idea that I could receive nothing from them. So when the annual Women’s Retreat came around, it never entered my radar to go. First of all, I’m an introvert and I know very few women in this large church. Secondly, I’m working two jobs, going to school, and homeschooling my daughter. I just didn’t have the time. Thirdly, it would interfere with one of the few times a month I get to flow in the Spirit and am free to share. But all of those were just an excuse, because in reality people intimidate me.

Then I clearly heard God tell me to go on this retreat. I thought, I can’t go, I have to be at the coffee shop with my friend. We facilitate spiritual encounters there every other Sunday. God still kept saying go. He was so emphatic about it, I told my friend I had to go on this retreat and I wouldn’t be able to be there.

I started thinking, why am I suppose to go on this retreat? Who needs me there and the prophetic gifting God has blessed me with? I was insecure. A lot of these women have way more money than me. They seemed a little more put together. What can I give them that they will receive? It never dawned on me that they had something to give me.

I knew this was going to be the kind of retreat that stretched me and built character. I was terrified to be among so many women I didn’t know. I at least found a ride with my co-workers and was able to help with checkin. This helped me have something to do before the retreat actually started. What I didn’t realize was, it helped others recognize me later in the retreat as they had seen me during checkin.

For the first few meals, I made sure I sat at a table where I didn’t know anyone. After that I decided to sit at an empty table and see what happened. What I found, was those new to CPC or new to the retreat, sought me out because I was a familiar face from checkin.

I was so bent on finding out why God sent me on this retreat that the first night I dreamt about it. I had a skateboard and a group of young men went by. The one said he needed to get to work. I knew I was suppose to give him my skateboard. In my dream I turned to my husband and said, “I have to give him this skateboard, that’s why I was suppose to go to the women’s retreat.”

So I actually did have a few words for a couple people. Thankfully both of them were used to this and gladly received them. I thought, okay, maybe that was it. I then went on a ropes course. It was a small one and not very high up, but it terrified me! I did it just to feel that high you get when you accomplish something that is so very scary. My two co-workers were my cheerleaders. They said I inspired them and maybe next year they would try it. I thought, okay, maybe this is another reason I’m here. I then had a great chat with one of the women sharing our room. I told her what God has been doing in my life. She said it was amazing and so inspired her. So I thought, okay, that could be another reason I’m here. And all those were great, but it was not the real reason I was there.

Saturday, God decided to start showing me why I was there. He started revealing all my judgmental thoughts towards people. I had preconceived notions of who people were before hearing their story. It was very humbling. I was sent there to receive what these great women had to offer me.

Saturday, during quiet time, I was exhausted because I hadn’t slept the night before. I lay on my bed and asked God what he wanted to say to me. I heard Ps. 49. I didn’t want to get up, but I did and got my Bible. (internet was not working on my phone) I read until verse seven. It said,

“No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them – the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough – so that they should live on forever and not see decay.”

I had never seen that verse. I was like whoa. Jesus you did that for me. You paid a cost that was too costly for any human to pay. You came down to us, lived with us and then died for us. I had this picture of all people. We are all the same. We all needed Jesus to die for us. No one is better than anyone else. We all have things to give away and we all need to receive some things. I just saw the sameness of the whole of humanity. Rich or poor, we are all the same.

That night, we had communion. I was sitting a row back from the front. There was one of four communion stations there. All these women came down and started getting in line to receive communion. One by one they filed past me and I would hear our speaker for the weekend say,

“Jesus’ body was broken for you.”

“Jesus’ blood was shed for you.”

Every time I heard her say that, it was as if a nail was being pounded into my hard heart. I was looking down at the time and all I could see were these different sizes, colors and shapes of feet walking past me.

Another pair of feet,

“Jesus’ body was broken for you.”

“Jesus’ blood was shed for you.”

Over and over and over again, until I became so overwhelmed with the enormity of what Jesus did and his love for every single person in this world. I live in the SF Bay area. It is very culturally diverse. So it was like seeing the whole of all the nations coming to hear.

“Jesus’ body was broken for you.”

“Jesus’ blood was shed for you.”

I must have heard it at least 50 times and finally the line of women was gone and I got up to receive.

“Jesus’ body was broken for you, Kimberly.”

“Jesus’ blood was shed for you, Kimberly.”

I sat down and I could hardly keep it together. I was thinking, “are you going to undo me in front of all these women? I don’t know most of them and this is not the kind of church where people fall on the floor weeping. What will they think of me?” God said, “you can receive what I have for you or you can resist it out of pride.” I chose to receive and I just lost it. I didn’t make a huge scene, but I just started crying and then worship started and I had to get on my knees in the isle. I put my face towards the floor and just allowed Spirit to do the work he wanted to do. When I was done, the head knowledge of what Jesus did on the cross became heart knowledge. God broke through my hardened heart and helped me realize what Jesus did for us and how much he loves each and every one of us. We are not different, we are the same.

Love this song by Hillsong, Ocean.

Taking the Terrifying Plunge to Stop Dieting.

A few weeks ago, I decided I would no longer diet. I would no longer call any food off limits. I was terrified. I knew I was going to blow up like a whale. As you know, I’m reading an awesome Geneen Roth book and this was some of what she talked about.

So I decided to try it. I was going to give it two weeks, knowing I’d gain about 10 pounds during that time. I decided to trust my body and eat what I wanted even though I didn’t feel my body could be trusted. It’s called mindful eating and it was liberating. I am no longer on a Gluten Free diet. I’m not allergic to wheat, there was no need. I can have ice-cream whenever I want. I can have anything whenever I want.

Here’s the kicker. Once I took away the restrictions, once I realized nothing was off limits, I didn’t want those things very often. If I do want them, one or two bites is plenty. I seriously can’t imagine eating more than one Ritz Cracker. That is all I need to get the yummy tastiness of it.

I still have days when I crave mindless eating. But these are signs of something else going on with me. I stop, feel myself breath and try to get still to see what’s going on. I feel. I pray. I am still.

Here is what I found out when I really stopped to taste my food.

1. I have been eating some bland food. Yuck! 2. I like my food super hot as in temperature – it gives me warm fuzzies. 3. I like my food spicy. 4. I don’t need a lot of food to feel full.

This last one was a shocker. If you know me, you know I can pack the food away. I can out eat my 6″ 2′ giant of a husband any day. (I’m 4″ 10′) It was truly amazing to myself and my husband how small of an amount of food could make me feel full when I took the time to actually taste it.

This mindful eating has made me realize how much of the time I’ve just been shoveling it in. I’ve been trying to fill the empty places with food instead being still and filling it with being alive and filling it with the Spirit.

To top it all off, I’ve actually lost a couple pounds!

I heard this wonderful song while going for my walk: You Make Me Come Alive.

Feelings Continued…

My feelings scare me. I see my feelings as a giant octopus. I’m standing alone in my mind. A large tentacle of fear slaps me across the face and retreats into the darkness. Another tentacle of loneliness smacks me in my chest. Abandonment punches me in the gut. I cower from them and busy myself with other things to block them out.

Sometimes I determine to hunt them down and eradicate them. I throw open the curtains to my soul and open all the doors. I flood the room with light. Instead of freezing like terrified fainting goats and falling over, I see the door to a another room in my mind slam shut by those tentacles as my feelings flee to a darker area of my being.

Today, instead of reading, watching television or stuffing my face, I stood still in the darkness. I could hear my slithering feelings creep closer and closer threatening to overwhelm me. In my hands, I hold a flashlight. I slowly turn around and clicked on the small but steady stream of light. I catch one of my feelings in the beam.

Imagine my surprise when instead of a slimy, ugly creature, it is a cute little baby squid cowering in the corner just as scared as me. I gently pick it up and examine it. I then release it back to the ocean of my past where it belongs.

It is Well With My Soul Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music