Saturday, October 23, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Wow! Did God lay the smack down on me this weekend! Totally. Rocked. My. World. I wrote all about it over at Strings Attached...why don't you come check out what's going on over there?
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I just realized I haven't taken a deep, cleansing, full chest breath in weeks. Quick gasps. That's it. That's all.
My hip hurts. A pain deep in the joint. A pain I can't pinpoint or relate to specific injury. A pain that prevents me from taking a step, from moving forward. A physical pain- but maybe related to unfinished emotional business?
This last week has been full of gifts. Some beautiful and easy, others not quickly or simply received. Some so exciting that I rip the paper off and break the ribbon. Others I slowly open with trepidation about what's inside. But gifts all....to receive and learn from and to incorporate into my life.
What a fantastic journey I've been on that I can frame these lessons in a way that makes it easy to accept the beauty in them. Especially in the hard ones. But it hasn't been a particularly short journey and the ache in my body reminds me that I am not quite finished yet.
"What's going on?" So many of you have asked....thank you for caring, and praying and loving and supporting even though I haven't shared details with you. And I still can't, not yet...God isn't through with it all yet.
But the essence of it is this: this week I waved a flag of surrender....this is not something I do easily. I have been working so hard to maintain a tight-ship semblance of sanity within our schedule, and God kept bringing me back to the path he set before me and the realization that I was clearly not walking it. He kept bringing up the truth that doing godly work and working for God were two different things, and teaching me the lesson that I am sure the Old Testament prophets learned the hard way too. Sometimes the people you are sent to help are not ready to hear God's message. It is not my job to make sure they receive the gift, only that it is delivered.
These are just some of the gifts I received this week....and I am still learning. I am learning that God will take my pain away, both physically and emotionally, but I have to be willing to let it go. I'm learning that he holds me up and holds me tight even when I choose to wander around in the desert. I'm learning that I am strong enough with Him to forge a path on my own, without someone else to copy.
And if all that wasn't enough, I learned a little about brokenness and healing, too.
I guess you could say it was a big week!
I'm still processing, still learning, and still trying to live what I've learned this far. God is still handing me presents, and I am still opening them. Perhaps soon, I will show you where I've been and what I've learned, but for now know this- every one of your prayers was felt and every one of your virtual hugs was needed and embraced. Keep praying me through this journey, as I am praying for you. Love to you all!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Anyway, come on over and check out one of these serious Wednesday posts....and check out Jon's site, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Let me just say that the month of May has been INSANE....INSANE good...but crazy nonetheless....
So I wanted to catch you up, first of all, at little admin....
Let me first tell you that the mission of Signs of Life was to be an encouragement and a place for me to post short stories that would eventually lead to the publishing of the devotional, Signs of Life: Adventures of an Everyday Soul. And it's been a great run of that....then I made friends and now Signs of Life is more of a true journal....and I like it that way....so I am transitioning this site to be more of a "What's up in my/our life" place. That being said, I will be posting my stories on www.carikaufman.com and/or www.stringsattachedministries.com.
I just posted about God's eternal love and forgiveness over on www.carikaufman.com- check it out!
Ok, now that all that is out of the way...what have I been doing?
Well...the short answer is speaking to women's groups....it's been such an awesome month of meeting new friends and sharing God's message for women and their friendships, and Strings Attached is really starting to gain momentum. Pray for discernment and guidance for me as I navigate the waters of women's ministry...they are sometimes murky.
I spoke to my home church on May 15 and just returned from a trip to Burlington, KS to speak to a budding support group there...Both great experiences in very different ways!
Let's see what else...Xander started baseball and is doing really well! We are enjoying watching his games!
My sister graduated from college and we spent some wonderful time with family celebrating that awesome accomplishment.
The kids are out for the summer and I am so looking forward to the next few weeks! We are headed to Maryland for a few days to attend Charlie's brother's wedding and then on to the Outerbanks for a week at the beach! YAY! I am so excited! As an aside, I am looking for a place to speak while I am in town, so if you are east coast NC or western MD and have a group for me to speak or would like to host a book signing June 9-19, message me!
Other than that not much going on! So nice to catching up! What are you guys up to?
Friday, May 7, 2010
Oh, Girls, where do I begin? I'm not sure...let's go back a couple of weeks to April 22-25...I had the awesome opportunity to join 406 other women at "Captivating" in Fraser, Colorado. Captivating is based on John and Stasi Eldredge's book, Captivating: Unveiling the Mysteries of a Woman's Soul. If you have not read it, Girls, don't read another book until you have read this one! I am serious....do it now!
Anyway, after years of trying to get to one of these conferences: it finally happened! My friend and I traveled by plane to Denver, and then by shuttle bus the two hours to Fraser. I volunteered to be one of the four shuttle commanders- which entailed a little more than I had imagined. I was thinking more shuttle van than shuttle charter bus...200 women, 4 buses, 4 very different shuttle bus commander personalities- it's a good thing I'm a teambuilding coach...just sayin...
Fortunately all that military leadership training didn't fail me:
Friday, April 16, 2010
Did you hear the guy?! He said BLIZZARD! We’re in
But what actually came out of my mouth was, “Hehehe..” (I would continue this nervous Woody/Minnie giggle for the next hour at least) “I’m not very comfortable with this.”
Friday, April 9, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
1) Let all the ugliness stay
2) Prune both away.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Most of you know that my family has some pretty interesting food challenges, so I am not going into big detail with that here, but I just wanted to share and uber-awesome recipe that we had tonight.
In the quest to find food that tastes good and is not some sort of derivative of chicken and rice, I recently signed up for a menu-mailer from Heart of Cooking- www.heartofcooking.com and I have to say I have been super pleased. If you have a special diet, or simply want to improve yours, check Sarah's site out. Deliciousness...
So tonight's menu called for Macaroni and Cheese....hmmmm...I have to say in the two years of being allergen free the search for a mac and cheese substitute has been somewhat like the search for the Holy Grail...near impossible and totally exhausting. Sarah has done it though....oh, man....she really has cooked up some yumminess...
So here is the recipe:
Friday, March 26, 2010
Olá!! Meninas da Companhia! (Portugese for Hello! Company Girls! Can I just say that whoever told me Portugese was just like Spanish was SORELY mistaken! Well, come on in...I am actually NOT running out the door this morning, so perhaps you can stay for some tea and...wait for it....Triple Chocolate Fat Pants Cake....got your "fat pants" on? You'll need them AND and adrenaline injection to drag you out of the sugar coma that follows.
Oh, man is this gluten free, vegan, and processed sugar free (don't get me wrong...there is a LOT of evaporated cane juice up in that mama), but Erin McKenna really out did herself with this one! This recipe is featured in her book, BabyCakes....and oh, wow...yummmmmm....Anyway, I would love to share a bit with you!
Let's see, why don't I catch you up on all the craziness?
Last week was my sister's wedding. We were so excited because the week leading up to her big day, weather was stunning! We are talking sunshine and 70 degrees! I actually wore flip flops and capri pants on FRIDAY! On Saturday, IT SNOWED! Welcome to Arkansas my friends, this is how it is! It didn't just snow a little bit....it snowed 12 inches! Insanity! They say rain on your wedding day is good luck...what about snow? Thankfully, we had talked her out of an outdoor wedding and the ceremony itself was unaffected...and absolutely beautiful. There were so many wonderful moments and my baby sis looked so beautiful....I was so happy to be a part of that special day. Hopefully, soon, I will share some photos with you!
ANYWAY, so I'm not sure if it was a combo of the three inch heels, the massive stress I put on myself the week before, or holding her EXTREMELY heavy dress up as my mom steamed the tulle, but I threw my back out! Seriously? Wow, laid up by high heels...not good. So I was on my back Sunday and Monday and am just today recovering full range of motion....thank goodness for my chiropractor who restored any motion at all on Monday...Needless to say, this week of spring break has not at all been what I expected.
Sunday is my big book launch party and I am super excited about it! Which reminds me...if you would like a book...all you gotta do is click on the button over there in the sidebar...be sure to fill out who you would like me to sign it to.
I am in full on fundraising mode for Inspired Girls Life and Leadership Camp and looking forward to the blessings that trip will bring to me and the girls. I can't wait. I am blown away by the outpouring of my friends and family. As a family of teachers, education is such an important part of our lives, to think that there are girls whose only obstacle is a $20 set of uniforms. We can be the difference for them...we can change their lives! You can too! Just click the Donate button in the sidebar. I am about half way to my goal of $3500... Every little bit helps!
My Girls, I covet your prayers...I am seriously struggling with a speech I am writing for an event next week. Please pray that God gives me the words...and helps me supernaturally prepare for this event.
OH...and now for the Sockmonkey reference! I am so excited...my Improv group (we're a fledgling comedy group), Sockmonkey, is having it's first annual weekend intensive this weekend...We have an experienced player from The Roving Imp in Kansas City coming down to put us through our paces and get us ready for our big Comedy debut (May 1). I am so excited about it I can't hardly wait! If any of you is looking for an activity that pushes you as a person, forces you out of any semblance of comfort zone, and makes you laugh til your face hurts...you should give Improv a whirl! I love it!
What about you guys? What's up in your world?
Friday, March 19, 2010
This morning the Lord woke me early. Well, earlier than normal…I am ex-military and am often told that my early and the rest of the world’s early are two very different time frames. Normally, when this happens I am ashamed to say I grumble like my second grader for “a few more minutes,” snuggle tightly into my husband’s warmth and, well, tell God to bug off until my usual 0530 wake up.
I am happy to say that today I was obedient. When my eyes popped open at 0445, instead of grumbling and rolling over, I asked, “What do you have to tell me today, Lord?”
His answer? “Plenty.”
So I roll out of bed and bound down the stairs. I break out Charlie’s cozy blue Snuggie (these are awesome by the way) and curl up on the couch with my new Bible study (“Live Intimately: Lessons from the Upper Room”), my Bible, my pretty prayer journal that I got at our retreat in November, and an open heart and mind. And I dig in…I tear into the scripture, I madly jot answers and notes…really one of the best quiet times I have had in years. It was awesome!
Then, just as I am pondering an additional scripture reference….an uninvited guest joins my quiet time….and, well…it wasn’t so quiet anymore…
Across the pages of John 13:7-9 walks a ginormous, hugemongous spider….I ain’t gonna lie, ladies, I went full on girly-girl. I shrieked like a banshee and threw the Good Book as far off my lap as I could heft it, jumped up, grabbed a house shoe and proceeded to beat the tar out that spider.
Uh-Oh…metaphor for life alert.
How many times have I abandoned the shelter of the Word of God because the message was something I didn’t want to hear or see? Because in my feeble mind, I was too afraid, too immature, too….undisciplined. Oh, too many to count. Like the spider crawling across the Bible, I use fear as an excuse to run away, or worse…to squash the messenger.
I felt the sudden tug of a repentant heart. Repentance far beyond, “Lord, I am sorry I killed your spider…and threw your book on the ground,”
but more like-
“Oh, MY GOD, I am sorry that I run from your difficult messages. From my ugly places. From the light that you shine on my strongholds of sin. Please, forgive me for lack of discipline, my lack of strength, my lack of obedience. Fill me with Your light, Your strength, Your will. I’m scared to look…but I am ready. Show me.” What I beautiful time I had with the Lord…scary, but beautiful.
Ok…so wanna hear even more God-coolness? In my brand new, super pretty, extra girly prayer journal every even page has a scripture verse. I opened the journal to write this epiphany down. And I see:
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”- Psalm 51:10
Wow…I guess eight legged creatures are good for more than just killin’ mosquitoes afterall….
Has God showed you a life lesson through “metaphor” lately? I’d love to hear it!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
From my bible study this morning, I love this. (I am currently working through a Bible study called Live Intimately: Lessons from the Upper Room by Lenya Heitzig and Penny Rose. It has been a wonderful study so far, and God is showing me such love in His word and through this study. This morning, poem, from the chapter “Changing Expectations:”
Lord, I have to admit that washing feet was not what I had in mind when I became a Christian. It’s awe inspiring to see your humble example. Lord, I surrender my lofty plans. Let me do what you have done and serve others. Amen
I had walked life’s path with an easy tread,
Had followed where comfort and pleasure led;
And then by chance in a quiet place-
I met my Master face to face.
With station and rank and wealth for goal,
Much thought for body but none for soul,
I had entered to win this life’s mad race-
When I met my Master face to face.
I had built my castles, reared them high,
Till their towers had pierced the blue of the sky;
I had sworn to rule with an iron mace-
When I met my Master face to face.
I met Him and knew Him, and blushed to see
That His eyes full of sorrow were fixed on me;
And I faltered, and fell at His feet that day
While my castles vanished and melted away.
Melted and vanished; and in their place
I saw naught else but my Master’s face;
And I cried aloud: “Oh, make me meet
To follow the marks of Thy wounded feet.”
My thought is now for the souls of men.
I have lost my life to find it again
Ever since alone in that holy place
My Master and I stood face to face