Let’s start over!

Life update: I am blogging. Yes. Okay, doing one thing right! Anyone else get the feeling that adulthood is absolutely NOT something that is possible to “master”… like… ever?! What does “successful” even MEAN? As a kid you imagine yourself a successful adult looking a very specific way. Well, I’m here now! What’s the deal?

Let’s be clear. I love my life, love my husband, and I consider myself very blessed. I’m also sick, overwhelmed, and sometimes in some ways I feel as though I have less direction than I ever did. Very contrasting! There’s so much about my life that I enjoy. A moment where my husband and I lock eyes and communicate through a smile. A moment when I sit down in a comfy chair at a coffee shop with a good friend and sip a delicious latte over conversation. A moment when one of my students makes a good and Godly decision for their life. A moment when I hear the perfect harmony to a beautiful song. There is so much to love, appreciate, and look forward to.

There’s also so much that I could not have imagined. I never thought I’d live my entire adulthood with a life altering illness. I never thought I’d be a bi-vocational minister. I always assumed I’d just do ministry forever and solely, it’s that simple. Come to find out, it’s definitely NOT that simple. Very few things are simple now. In retrospect high school and certainly college were simpler times. I think in college my main thoughts might have revolved around going to the beach, sleeping, and hanging out with my boyfriend. Now, there’s real like, life altering decisions to be made! When should we have a kid? When should buy a house? Can my body actually handle the stresses of having two jobs? Should I finally listen to my doctor and slow down?

I know I’ve only been an official adult for 8 years, but wow. This is it huh? Those of you who are further along and have already had your biological kids are probably laughing. Ha. Yeah, I know. I’m ridiculous. I’ve always thought that because of my profession, my adolescence, and my training [or something?!] that I was warped forward into a rather “mature” [for my age] adulthood and that’s why I’m able to function as such. Now I’m feeling a bit juvenile. My husband recently brought this to my attention in a very loving and concerned fashion. He is my biggest fan and is always looking out for me. So yesterday he took me to Panera and said “will you let me tell you something as your spiritual leader?”… and that’s very exciting when my husband talks like that. Any other Christian women out there feelin me? That’s hot. Anyways… he let me know that it’s time to focus! It’s time to realign our goals. It’s time to stop talking about how overwhelmed I am. It’s time to trust in the Lord. It’s time to listen to Him. I am excited for this new chapter of NOT self-reliance, but of God reliance! My favorite book in the entire world is “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. Absolutely life changing. It just so happens [and this happens often] that yesterday’s devo was SPOT on what we were talking about. I highly recommend this book/devo… whoever is reading this blog post you MUST buy this!

After talking to Clark and reading my devo, spending some quality time with the Lord… I’m realizing more and more how my life is not what I thought. I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am SO GLAD my life is NOT what I imagined! It’s farrrrrrrrr greater! My husband is…. WOW…. hott!… out of the this world amazing. We do something truly amazing with our lives. We are youth pastors. It’s a call I never imagined I would answer and serve alongside my husband. I have kids! Lots of them. They are SO annoying most of the time. Haha! But they are also so special. I love them beyond words can say. I think sometimes I might need them more than they need me. Maybe you other youth pastors or youth pastors wives can relate? When people ask me “Do you have kids?” I always respond without hesitation, “yes! I have about 200 of them”. They are my joy. Our ministry and our calling is my joy. I’m ready to focus on the Giver of Joy. The Creator of Life. The Father of Light. The One to whom I owe my life and more. What’s more, I can trust Him. When I trust Him, everything falls together in line. Life is hard and unexpected, but that is part of the beauty. Just wait for it. Trust Him and He will guide you and show you. I promise. I’m waiting too.

 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 

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THE TV ATE MY BLOG POST

Anybody else foolishly think to yourself “Oh, I’ll turn on the tv or watch Netflix while I write this blog post”… and then 30 minutes later you’re trying to remember what the heck your awesome blog post idea was?! Terrible. Since my husband and I got Netflix we’ve gone through different series together, and recently I decided to start Gossip Girl for my own entertainment. Bah. Bye-bye eloquently clever blog post filled with my signature wit, charm, and… BAHAHA – okay so my blog post wouldn’t have been THAT good! It’s still frustrating though…

So, in efforts to fight off my inclination to now post about shopping or my love for The Cheesecake Factory… I’m going to post about things that inspire me to post! Maybe in reading this you’ll remember all the things – or better yet, PEOPLE – who inspire you! Each week over the month of January I’ll post a inspiration post, first up is this week’s!

Before I’m really ready to start writing a blog post I need a delicious late night snack. Things to know about Kim… I eat cheese, like, every day. All cheeses pretty much. And I like it.

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Alright… back to business. Today I made a wallpaper for my desktop and it’s a great first piece to what inspires me!

kims comp wallpaper

The people I love inspire me!

My new wallpaper is complete with family, friends, and friends who are family. I couldn’t possibly leave out my babies, our youth group kids and staff. Then of course my favorite human in the world, Clark Clervois, the most incredible husband-man! I spent the majority of the day today with my brother and his wife, they are absolutely wonderful. You can see Fabricio in the upper left hand corner pic front and center in navy sweatshirt and again in the bottom left hand corner pic with olive green shirt & glasses to the left of me and his wife Kemberli right behind him! Fab became family to me and my immediate family when he and his brother started coming to our church and stole our hearts. My sister and I grew up with no real brother’s and Fab and Felipe grew up without any real sisters, so we adopted each other. Today Fab and Kem and I spent the vast majority of our time together looking at old photo’s and video’s remembering our brother and my friend and laughing at how ridiculous we used to look. On Christmas Fab texted me and my husband asking if we could FaceTime… my sister had a sixth sense that Kem is pregnant! She was RIGHT! The thought of my future niece or nephew has not left my mind since I first heard. AHHH! I’m beyond excited, ELATED! This baby already means the world to me. And so, I find inspiration in the love of a family that I’m bonded together with not because we share genetics but because we chose each other. We’ve gone through so much together. Watching those video’s today reminded me of how much we really and truly love each other.  I am so grateful for them, thank you Lord for giving me these amazing humans to share life with. Hopefully in 2014, a little MORE life adding more chapters to our story. I am very much looking forward to the baby Paes chapter! 

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So, until next week’s inspiration post I’ll leave you with this verse.

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” 1 Corinthians 13:7-8

While My Husband Sleeps… Thoughts for Today

Good evening, friends. These are my last thoughts before bed today. Apparently, they are interesting enough to share. 🙂 So. Ever wonder what you’re love language is with God? Today my intern Ana and I were doing some research (it’s Love Month at youth group) and we ended up creating a skit for our students to preform. The skit so happens to base five characters off each love language as described in Gary Chapman’s book. Yes, that really is what I did at work today. Subsequently, my husband asked me tonight “do you ever find yourself giving advice that you should really be taking yourself?”… and immediately I answered “I’m convinced that is how God speaks us sometimes, because otherwise we might not listen”. Now, am I really suggesting that God uses reverse psychology on us? Haha, I don’t know. I really have very little answers. Maybe you have found yourself in the position of regular “advice giver” like myself and my husband. For us it’s occupational hazard, maybe for you it’s simply that you are the least stupid friend someone has. Either way, have you ever asked yourself this question… “am I really living out the advice I just gave to [insert person’s name here]?”

Back to the love language thing. God and I have had a pretty serious relationship going on twenty years now. Sometimes I’m reminded that He really knows me… kinda freakish really! It’s startling how well God cares for me when I let him. God knows my personality (duh, He created me this way) and knows the way I need to be reminded when I should be doing better in my walk. When I’m giving someone else advice the pressure is off me, right? Uh, wrong. Somehow God ends up sneaking in something for me anyways. It’s a real subtle way of smacking me in the face for a much needed wake up call! Is that an oxymoronic statement? Subtle face smack? It’s some type of moron I’m sure. I’m thinking – aren’t I here to help some other person with the consequences of THEIR stupid decision?? When I need challenging God often finds an unconventional and unexpected way to let me know. I love when God speaks to me in ways He knows I’ll really take to heart. I don’t even realize until the moment is long past. It’s His way of loving me. He knows what I need to hear and in what fashion. This is something I like about our relationship! I also like that He knows my value and expects me to live up to it.

Thank you God for always taking care of me in every way possible. Even when I’m not giving You my all, I find a reminder that You’re there and want more of me. I want to serve You more because of it! Thank you Lord for making me better.

“No, the Lord is all I need.

    He takes care of me.
My share in life has been pleasant;
my part has been beautiful.

I praise the Lord because he advises me.
    Even at night, I feel his leading.
I keep the Lord before me always.
    Because he is close by my side,
    I will not be hurt.
So I rejoice and am glad.
    Even my body has hope,
10 because you will not leave me in the grave.
    You will not let your holy one rot.
11 You will teach me how to live a holy life.
    Being with you will fill me with joy;
    at your right hand I will find pleasure forever.”

Psalm 16: 5 – 11

Check out my Guest Post on “Question Your Doubts”!

Hello friends! Hope you’re doing well this Christmas season – it’s really here! I have a few posts in the works for Learning to Breathe… but in the mean time please check out my guest blog post on www.questionyourdoubts.com! I was so honored that Dr. Christina Powell of QYD asked me to be a guest contributor.

Dr Powell is a brilliant scientist, writer, minister, and well known teacher. If you haven’t checked out her blog before I’m glad you’ll get the opportunity to do so now (you might even see some familiar faces in her site photos). Dr Powell, her husband, and two adorable girls have been a part of our church for many years. Her and her husband were – believe it or not! – my Sunday School teachers when I was probably 10 or 11 years old! I absolutely adored her class as a kid because it was so fun and educational at the same time! Out of all the Sunday School classes I was in through my childhood it was hers that I retained the most knowledge about the Bible to this day!

I honestly felt a little unworthy considering the company I hold with the other contributors to QYD. I am so thankful to Dr Powell for thinking of me and very grateful for this opportunity!

Tell me what you think of my post entitled “Fork in the Road” on Question Your Doubts.

A Time Away

Maine is wonderful place! I was blessed to spend Thanksgiving week there. My mother was actually born in Maine and continued to live in Northern New England until she was a teenager and moved to Massachusetts. Like myself, she’s a true New Englander. Maine holds a lot of special memories for me of visiting my maternal grandparents in Hope (right outside of Camden) and other trips and retreats with my friends and my youth group when I was a teenager.

My mom sitting next to the Lake she grew up going to with her family every summer. This was a NNED AG campground on Long Lake in Maine. A full circle experience coming back with her own children I’m sure!

A gorgeous Maine night sky!

Me and my sister Kendra enjoying scenic Long Lake, ie- Moose Pond in Bridgton!

My sister Kendra and her soon-to-be husband Sterling enjoying God’s beautiful creation of nature! What else is Maine better for?

Clark and I with my parents on Long Lake! Goofy smiles! I love the vacation version of us! Haha 😉

This time around my family and I were able to stay in the lake house of a very gracious friend. There aren’t words to express how blessed we were to stay in this beautiful lake house. We are so grateful for this friend and all the wonderful people that God has put in our lives to take care of us. We were in Bridgton (near Naples) and enjoyed the lake, the town, and of course the house 😉 Especially that fireplace!

Clark and I enjoying that warm fire and enjoying each other!

Kendra and Sterling acting their usual – “a fool”! Drinking eggnog from shot glasses to see if they liked it! No alcohol necessary for these two to keep things interesting.

Mom making herself at home in the kitchen… are you sensing the theme of this lake house?

Dad enjoying the awaited local Book Store stop! “Bridgton Books” located on the main road downtown.

Coming from an overly busy ministry family we were very grateful to get away for almost an entire week to truly ‘retreat’. There was not even internet at the house we were staying at! At first I was looking forward to an internet free vacation… then day four hit and my inner Pinteresting monster roared it’s beastly head! I did end up wishing there was internet for fun purposes… like blogging! I know if my family had internet it wouldn’t be so much of a vacation though. When I said I come from an “overly busy” ministry family… that was code for “workaholics”. I was glad to spend a lot of time just relaxing around the house, coloring with my sister, watching the guys read by the fire, and enjoying my mom’s cooking. I am extremely thankful for the family God has given me [annoying as they can be at times], it’s always a poignant reminder that I am among few attached to a great family who all still love each other [and the Lord].

Us girls! The two dearest women in my life with whom I’m very close and very grateful for.

My parents over 30 years strong and still in love! And from whom I inherited the “tall” gene. Thanks guys!

We also watched the HBO mini-series John Adams…. soooooo incredibly phenomenal! I highly recommend this mini-series to all adults (and teenagers when watched on Clear Play) even if you don’t necessarily love history.  My sister had never seen it before and loved it. We all especially appreciate the relationship between John and Abigail Adams… a marriage built on the foundation of faith in God and country. Can you tell our family enjoys a little American History?! Especially my dad. He’s a true Presidential history buff and has literally every President memorized. We also got to go to the movies as a family and watched the new fillm “Lincoln“. What an incredible film and critics agree! Although, in my humble opinion, for this film you definitely have to have some understanding or love for history to enjoy. Author and historian John Hallwas said “for anyone with the slightest interest in American history, or mature enough to sense human complexity, Lincoln is a riveting movie, filled with superb performances and firmly focused on the socio-political struggle that accompanied our terrible Civil War. It’s well worth driving out of town to see. Indeed, all Americans need to see it”. The movie served to remind me of how lucky I am to be able to have the right and choice to marry a black man. A black man who has all the same rights as a white man in America. I’m not naive to overlook the issues still surrounding the races. Not to say racism and racial prejudices and profiling doesn’t exist still… but I was at least glad for a reminder that humanity is sometimes good and fights for what’s right! Men and women fought for the Emancipation and risked their very lives to make sure it happened in America.

I realize now that part of my love for History comes from my dad. As a kid whenever we went on road trips my dad would talk about history and pull out Presidential flashcards! At one point I had the first dozen or so Presidents & First Ladies memorized. I’ve probably visited more Presidential landmarks and homesteads than most. On our honeymoon, Clark and I even went to the “second” White House in the Florida Keys that was used as the second home of President Truman during his Presidency. How interesting! Now almost no one (especially our newer couple of generations) respects the rich history our country has or the brilliant men and women that sacrificed everything just so we can now experience ‘life as we know it’ in America 2012! John Adams [our second President] said “I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography […] commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture…”

I could get on my soap box about this issue four hours (or pages in this case), but I’ll try to spare you readers! It’s just hard for me to understand why eligible American people choose not to vote. People today don’t even consider how many selfless souls were courageously sacrificed so that in 2012 you can simply walk up to your local voting center and check off a name on a ballet. How can you feel right about yourself when even today soliders [that I know, love, and miss dearly] are off in foreign lands fighting and protecting our shores night and day for YOUR life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. These soliders are sacrificing their lives and neglecting their own families so you can take care of yours without worry. Soliders are getting killed while you are taking advantage of your freedom as you sit on your high horse choosing not to vote. Ahem… I did say I WASN’T going to get on a soap though… so I digress [or I’ll try]…

All in all our much needed vacation was restful and proved to provide quality family time. It was great to have all of us in one time zone – let alone the dinner table together! The Booths were even able to join uf for Thanksgiving day… they are like blood to us! I was overall very thankful on my Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving from The Clervois’! Even though our vacation was the whole family, just the two of us really enjoyed each other and loved spending extra time together in such a relaxing setting!

A look around our family’s Thanksgiving table! Isn’t Clark’s smile just infectious? What a handsome man… I’m lucky!

Spy time with my nephew! Isn’t he just adorable?

My Dad decides to wrestle both of the boys… using his feet! Gross!

A fan favorite! My mom’s famous stuffed mushrooms… always a crowd pleaser! I can’t even describe their delicious-ness!

Working hard but enjoying the cooking and baking together! So thankful my Auntie Jan got me a kitchenaid when I got married! Kendra made this extraordinary Sweet Potato Soufflé! So good!

Becky joins us for some more secretive spy missions on the back porch while we wait for turkey! Salute!

The great outdoors! Appreciate!

I’m also VERY thankful to be back home in our apartment blogging while watching Friends as my husband fall asleep next to me! Home was calling me back! I missed my own bed and our normal nighttime routine. Plus, I left with a terrible head cold so it’s nice to be back in my own element to recover. Praying for a quick turn around!

Coming up for Learning To Breathe: The next couple blog posts I promise to cover how our Fall Retreat went! I also have some other practical blogs in the making on topics such as “Ten Products I Couldn’t Live Without”, home maker wife stuff sharing “Three Great Buys”, how we live our “Low Carb Lifestyle”, and maybe a few fashion blogs! Can’t wait to publish all the drafts I have! I’m also going to be guest blogging on a friend’s blog in early December, so I’ll post about that asap too!

Thanks for reading and I hope you’re enjoying!

Currently listening to:

Listen to this song while reading my blog post:

How incredible meaningful and inspiring is this song? I am loving it. You may already know how I feel about B’s vocal talent… she’s out of this world! Many just see her as a Destiny’s Child or another famous face. Not so. Just listen to her pure unadulterated live performance in Wynn Las Vegas for the 2011 “I Am Yours… An Intimate Performance”  and you’ll be done for! Lots of reasons why I love Queen B but one is because she just sings the kind of music she wants too! Her latest album entitled “4” is exactly that and she’s brilliant. It’s not a bunch of amped up radio hits – it’s talent and music! I appreciate the place she’s in right now! And… watch all of her performances while she’s pregnant… like… Go lady B!

A short side note… Any particular reason why you want to write? Are you a writer? Just something I’m wondering… needing writing advice but I really don’t want to talk about it because then I sound like one of the “trying to be creative” types who like go to coffee houses and read my slam poetry with [an actual newfound love for] my woven beanie and do the hipster thing. I have inspiration I’m just lacking direction at this point. That’s why a blog is nice! You can just write whatever you’re thinking or feeling that day.

Has anyone else looked back over their life and really tracked the “most meaningful” moments? Have you had any truly profound moments? I certainly hope so! It’s interesting to go back and see what people, things, or events had certain effects on me that were lasting. Do you remember the first song that gave you goosebumps? Do you remember the first time your heart hurt? Do you remember the first time you felt truly inspired enough to move?

Now… on the flipside. How have your lived your life in terms of “others”. Yes! Someone other than you. What have you done? Have you inspired anyone to do anything positive? Let’s not even talk about God (which we obviously should, I’m just saying…)… what have you been doing lately? Has it been all about you? What YOU want? Where YOU’RE going? What YOU look like? How people perceive YOU? If so, it’s time for an awakening to what truly lasts and matters. You may be overdue for a little reality check, you American. You don’t have to live in such a shallow hole… it’s actually really freeing out here! I promise. How about you spend some quality time with me in the ghetto working with children and teenagers. You may find you’re blessed beyond measure to live where you live. Did you forget that?  Or spend time with me in a third world country [like Nicaragua or Haiti] where they literally live on nothing and the average age of death is in your late 40’s or 50’s. You may find you’re life is really not difficult but you make it hard. How about you talk to someone who is 80 years old and find out that their life wasn’t that different from yours at one time. Every day average people that you ignore may have a crazy story. It’s not all about you! Don’t ignore! Open your eyes to an entire world!

A few scattered and meandering thoughts for you tonight.

And the world goes madly on…

Things I’m Thankful For: 

1. Cuddling with my husband. And the fact we’ve never had to do the “long distance relationship” thing. It’s unnatural. Props to the military wives and others who do it with grace and elegance. Unlike myself. Clark has been in California speaking at Biola Univerity since Tuesday… amazing opportunity for him, they flew him out! Amazingly alone feeling for me. Boo.

Doesn’t Clark look super sexy? Here he is speaking in front of thousands of students!

2. My Youth Staff & Band Kids. CI family. Don’t honestly know what I’d do without my staff tonight. This week was so tough for me (emtionally speaking) running The Counter Influence by myself, but my staff had everything covered and really had my back. I’m beyond blessed that they even pray for me regularly! Thank God for them. Then, my kids were so brave and really became the lead worshippers tonight! They did a brilliant job leading worship – such talent – and I’m so proud!

My babies =) the student led worship team!

3. My new found love for beanies. Truth. They keep my head super warm whilst looking incredible stylish. Plus, it’s definitely hat season! Wicked freezing this week in New England! I’m so glad I live here… but it’s cold as the icicles hanging from Jack’s post-sunk Titanic nose. I’m surprised my hair hasn’t yet morphed into the white witch’s freezing dreads out here. Thanks beanie!

Hmm nice, right?

4. My new leggings. They have saved me this week. Check them out here and here. I know I talked about my beanie keeping me warm, but these leggings are magical. So maybe this is a bit over kill. But really. Pretty much at all times, my legs feel like they’re as close to the fire as FDR in a pre-war chat.

You jelly? You should be!

5. Chicken Piccata. Specifically the chicken piccata from Cheesecake factory. My cousin Deanna and I went to dinner on Thursday night ((She’s definitely another person I’m very thankful for!!)) and was able to soak in that delishhhh angel hair pasta… chicken… sauce… mmm!! If you haven’t had this dish yet, you’ve truly not been living. I’m very serious. I don’t care if I sound like the fat kid from Charlie’s Chocolate Factory. That was one smart kid… I feel SUPAH good after I eat it! Go. Now. Eat it now.

To. Freaking. Die. For.

 

Well, this concludes this episode of what Kim’s thankful for. From serious to epic to stupid to meaningful. I’m truly thankful for all these things!