Friday, July 26, 2013

The Day I Met Kirk Cameron

I had a sweet lady from church share a story with me today that had reminded her of a story I told at our first women's breakfast at church.  I think I might have shared this story on a previous blog while talking about Ivy's adoption story but I thought I would sit down and write it again.  I have always wanted Kirk to hear this story and who knows.....

This story goes back almost 9 years ago while still living in California.  Wow!  I can't believe it!  I am getting old.  haha  Anyways,  Matt and I had been trying to have a baby for a while and had turned to infertility treatments to try and help us.  It was a hard, scary, lonely, depressing trial that the Lord had us in.  Things had not been working in our favor.  My doctor was in Thousand Oaks and I would have to drive from Santa Clarita (about 45 minutes on a good day) every other day.  I would go by myself because Matt could not take that much time off work.  My work was generous with my time but it would still stress me out.

This was a particularly hard day because I was feeling really emotional.  I had tried to be strong for so long and I was at the end of my rope.  I tried to hurry through the appointment because I was getting ready to cry and I didn't want to do it in front of the doctor.  I got in the car and just sat there.  I couldn't even pull away.  I started to pray.  One of those prayers when you have nothing left.  You are so broken and weak and you NEED Christ to take the reigns. (Or wheel...thank you Carrie Underwood)  I told the Lord that I was so down and I had been discouraged without good news for so long that I needed something from Him.  I wasn't asking Him to make me pregnant or to hurry us out of the trial but I needed something from Him to show me that He was there.  That He saw me.  That He was going to lift me up.  I remember that I reaffirmed to Him that I would try hard to press on and be a testimony for Him.

(Insert background:  Jr high and high school.  I was one of those girls that LOVED Kirk Cameron.  I would pray for his salvation because we couldn't be married if he wasn't saved.  HAHA  Oh young girls!  As an adult when people would play the game of what celebrity they would want to meet and people would say, Brad and Angelina or Tom Cruise, I would always say Kirk Cameron.  WHAT?  I would get a good laugh.  It got really embarrassing when some of my friends actually became friends with the Cameron family and they always said..."I have this friend Kelli."  UGH!  I would have never said anything if I knew that! haha)

Back to my story.....

I got in my car and drove to a gas station and I saw a guy that had a 80's look about him.  It was not Kirk Cameron but it made me think of him and I literally said, " Now Lord.  That would make my day!"  Like.  Yes Lord.  That would for sure cheer me up (meeting Kirk Cameron).  I kind of chuckled on the inside.  On my way out of town I stopped at Jamba Juice to get a drink on my way back for work and who was there, reading his bible outside of Jamba Juice?  KIRK CAMERON!!!!

I. ABOUT. DIED.   I wanted to call Matt.  (You know.  My husband.  The one I love and actually DID marry.)  Matt had always told me that if I ever saw him I had to say hello because he never wanted to hear me talk for the rest of my life of what our conversation could have been.

So in obedience to my husband, I walked up to him. (with no plan mind you) and I started talking.  100 miles a minute.  Really fast.  I think I talked about John MacArthur.  Kirk's Christian testimony.  I don't know.  I just know I talked.  He listened.  I think he was fascinated with my speed in conversation.  There may have been a point where I felt the need to stop and leave.   I remember ending with "Keep up the good work."  And he said, "You too " and gave me a thumbs up.  HAHAHA  I can't stop laughing as I type this because of what he must have thought.

I got in the car and called Matt at work....SCREAMING.... then my parents, friends, bible study leader.  When I got to school it was my topic of the day.  I even shared it with a couple of my music classes.  They had no idea who I was talking about being in  Kindergarten through Sixth grade.

As I laid in bed that night.  I let out a happy sigh and started to think about my whole day and the Lord brought to mind my prayer in the car.  My discouraged, sad, pleading prayer to my Lord to lift me up because I couldn't anymore.  To give me a break in the sadness and despair.  To let me know that He was listening.  I started to cry.  Hard.  So thankful.

I know that my earthly happiness was never going to depend on if I ever met Kirk Cameron.  It wasn't that important.  People laugh and don't believe me but when I think about my meeting Kirk it really isn't about Kirk.   It was about the love that the Lord has for me.  When I hurt.  He cares.  When I'm in despair.  He hears.

I sang at a church the night his mom spoke at the same event.  I tried to share this story with her but as I got going I felt silly.  I hate it that I was "one of those girls."   I am thankful for their family and it is amazing to see how the Lord has used them all and brought their whole family to Himself.

Oh and...I love you Matt.  You are the only one for me!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Checkin' In

Hey Y'all!  Long time no chat!  I can't believe that I haven't posted since March!  In one sense, I have been enjoying my summer with Ivy being home.  We haven't had a huge schedule and I have loved that (maybe not as much as Ivy.  I can't say the word "school" in front of her!).  I have missed blogging.  I think some people (more private people) wonder why I put half the pictures I do up or say half of the things I say.  ha ha   I look at my blog as my personal scrapbook.  I love sharing adventures, pictures, struggles, answered prayers.  I love to look back and see where the Lord has brought Matt and I. etc.  Some people don't get that and that's OK.  I mostly do it for me and I actually like to share some imperfect stuff sometimes because I don't want you to think I am all "perfect instagrammy".(Although we have done some fun stuff this summer that I will try and blog about.)

Two things.  First of all, my church had a breakfast last week where someone shared their testimony and we all had breakfast together.  I loved it!  I love hearing broken people who share the same struggles as we all do and they share how much they need Jesus and how much His love has been enough.  They cling to it the same as you and me.

The second thing is that this week I celebrated 16 beautiful, hard, tear-filled, wonderful, stressed, amazing, stretching years married to Matt Elliott. We spent a couple of days going over the last 16 years (18 together), the last year, us as a couple and as individuals.  If you are friends with me on Facebook and even on this blog you know how I have LOVED this last year in Tennessee.  (Yesterday was our one year Tennessee anniversary.  Holla!)  There are so many things that I love about living here which I'm sure I have shared before.  Don't even get me started because I won't stop.  Someone  wrote me just this week inquiring about Tennessee  and possibly moving here, asking me what I like and I started laughing.  I told Matt that they were asking the wrong person because I'm very bias.  ha ha

Matt and I talked about how much we love living here and we would do everything again in a heartbeat!  Same job, same apartment, same area, same church .  But in other ways we(I) have been very unhappy.  There are areas of my life ( a lot of areas) where my decisions have gotten me into a rut, unhealthy lifestyle.  I feel unfulfilled, not content, unhappy....because of choices I have made.

  For starters I (continued) to gain A LOT of weight this year.  It started with the trials of moving from California and then those habits continued into boredom, my new love for Southern cuisine, snacks with Lucy..... you name it.  I love food.  I love to cook it, eat it, think about it, read cookbooks.... and while all those things are not sinful, food is definitely an idol in my life.  Period.

This summer has been hard to really get into God's word.  I know we all have seasons like this but it has left me starved, unhappy, my thought life is wacky.  I am not spending good, quality time with my best friend.  The other night I was really struggling with thoughts about someone.  I kept praying about it, I went to sleep and I felt yucky and couldn't sleep well.  I felt my yucky heart.  It was affecting my mind, body and soul literally.  The next morning over coffee I sat down to take time in my bible and he brought me to Galatians 6.  I am not an advocator of opening the bible and landing on a verse from the Lord but that chapter fed my soul.

I sat down this morning and really thought about what is making me unhappy.  How I wanted to live.  While none of these "Things" these "to do's" make me look better in God's eyes, save me from my sins,etc.  I believe 'living your best life" is living in obedience to God.  I feel better being close to Him.  Living as He intended.  It's peaceful.  My outlook is way different.  I know there are other people that could use better words than I can.  Say it more spiritual.

What were some things on my list?  Some deep topics and some light.  I felt like I was making a huge new year's resolution.  I'm not going to put that kind of pressure on myself but I would like to look at this list and go all Nike on myself.  Meaning as I look at my list and think I want to be like that then "Just Do It."

Some things on my list: Certain people that I need to pray for consistently. Be more intentional with Ivy.  Memorize certain scripture.  (My first round is only 6 verses long but it's one I need in my heart). Make healthier meals that my family enjoys.  Lose 80 pounds. (Insert wide eyed emoji) P.S. I have done it twice before. Understand and live the gospel better.  And more......

Listen,  I realize we who are Christians go through ups and downs. I'm not trying to be really hard on myself.   I just took a look and noticed that while this year the Lord has given my family so much blessing there are things to change and they are things that I can do something about.  It really comes down to discipline.  I'm thankful that the Lord doesn't let me be content when I am not being my best.  I will never be perfect (that is not the point of this little post)  I'm not trying to be.  God says in the bible that I never will be and that is why He sent Jesus.  I'm thankful for that.

Imperfect, flawed, grateful Kelli signing off for now......