Embracing the Moment

I am currently sitting in my quiet home office listening to the rain/snow hit my window. It’s very still in my home, very peaceful.  But there is an atmosphere of change occurring because of the threat of this COVID 19 virus. So many emotions enter where I feel a bit frozen in my fingertips to write, yet I don’t want to lose capturing this moment.   We received word last night that our children will be home for the next two weeks or so, to help stop the spread of the virus. This includes sports activities, as well. As much as it is disappointing, I can’t help but feel a soft anticipation for the enveloping peace which will hover over our family.  It is a gift to slow down, be present, and be grateful for what we have. This is an amazing opportunity to show love for our neighbors, to stand in what we believe offering hope and joy. There is beauty even in disruption. We have a God who is not shocked, nor thrown off His rocker by this. He is ever so kind. He works everything out for the good of those who love Him.  I choose to embrace this moment to love well and intentionally. I pray for the ones who stand on the front lines- nurses, doctors, EMTs, firefighters, etc. a special protection over their bodies. I believe we will see a rise in the hearts of people around us. Communities will join forces. We will collectively see hope as we lay down our agendas. Sure, our home will be chaotic at times and loud and wrestling matches will burst out in the middle of the kitchen floor, but we will choose to see this as a time of coming together.  I cannot wait to see how Goodness will chase us down. 

Let my heart be tipped upward and not tempted by fear. Let my mind be renewed by hope and wisdom and understanding. Let my hands carry healing. Let my arms open wider to embrace my children, my husband and those around us.  Let my words be Life and not bring death. Let my mouth utter gratitude and joy. Let my house be that of peace and a refuge. Let us be ever mindful of the needs of others.  

Parenting Mirrors aka Children

I have a child who has his own story to one day share.  It is not mine to share, nor do we know the scope of his story yet.  But I do have my own story to share- as a mom. I had four children in four years before the age of 30. There were health issues for the twins for the first couple years, a toddler who refused to sleep, my own mystery autoimmune health issues cropping up, and financial stress.  To say I was overwhelmed was an understatement. I look back on those young mama years with such compassion. I was so very exhausted and had this sweet child who decided it was time to sharpen my own soul’s wounds. Every temper tantrum felt like a direct assault on my very own capabilities.  I had read most EVERY known parenting book out there. I should know how to handle all my children. Every sleepless night brought more and more emotions out of control to the surface. I felt like I could explode in anxiety at a moment's notice. It wasn’t this one little human who brought the anxiety on, but it was deep wounds within my own heart which began to surface.  

As Karen Doyle Buckwalter shared our REBEL Parenting show, “If you don’t work on your issues, your kids will work them for you.” There are many times as a parent where I have left the highly heated situation and fell to the floor crying in desperation- when all along, it is there where Jesus comes and just groans with us and the Holy Spirit moves within us offering healing balm on our own pain.  Parenting my four munchkins has brought me to my knees thousands of times and has allowed for me to grow in the ways which were no longer serving me. I began to seek counseling because I knew my anxiety and fear and anger were my own triggers in my history. I also began intense functional transformational coaching with a lovely woman who walked through my day to day to bring awareness to “old patterns.”  We continue to do counseling to help us to understand how to validate the feelings of our children, ourselves, and others around us- because this is where the real wholehearted change happens. Parenting life still unfolds each day and teaches me hard things but I know there is progress. I am more self aware when I need a break to breathe and when I need to provide space for my kids to express their feelings and not pick them up as my own.  As my mentor says, “Children are just a mirror reminding us of our story.” I know this is so true firsthand.  

When you are triggered by your child’s behavior, I would ask what is the underlying trigger within you? What’s your own story you are telling yourself?   It’s so much more than the behavior of the child. Invite the Holy Spirit to illuminate the places in your heart where you need your own healing and find a coach/counselor who can help navigate and work through what is needed.  Again, the lovely Karen Doyle Buckwalter, explains beautifully on the show, “You can’t cut off the dandelion tops and not expect them to grow back.”  

For more information, check out Raising the Challenging Child by Karen Doyle Buckwalter, Debbie Reed, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine.  

And take a listen to our interview with Buckwalter on REBEL Parenting- Moms on the Mic. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/rebel-parenting-with-ryan-laura-dobson/id1108237544?i=1000466712653

Saltine Crackers

Photo by Ben Libby on Pexels.com

I sat in angst over the big decisions I needed to make. I felt like it was all I knew. I was so tired of sitting in the indecisive place. I sat down with my hot tea and my good friend who has already walked this season of life in a neighborhood coffee shop. I ranted for a good twenty minutes over not knowing what my next step was. I explained how scared I was to not know for certain what was going to happen. In front of my friend was her own soup and a plastic wrapped bag of saltine crackers. This woman is the kind of woman that when she speaks it is like poetry. I know each thing she says is weighted and strategically placed. I ask for her wisdom, and she picks up the saltine crackers and slides it over to me. The sound of the crinkle of the plastic in her fingers reminds me of the familiar. She looks up at me and says, “You know, I love saltine crackers. And if that was all I knew I could have to eat, I’d be so thankful. But sometimes God asks us to let go of the saltine crackers and turn around and see the gigantic feast He has instead for us.” My brain exploded.

This simple illustration has rocked my world the last seven weeks since we sat down and had this heart to heart. Everyday I feel there is something that I cling to that is no longer serving me or I am no longer serving it. What is your “saltine cracker?” It could be small things like your morning coffee with a fantastic sugary creamer in exchange for more energy and livelihood. Or it could be as big as a deeply spiritual letting go of the false self in exchange for a more authentic True Self.

My eyes have been open to this spiritual concept of letting go and surrendering over and over. Another friend of mine has shown me the power of exchange before Jesus. When we meet, she prays and offers to let go of something at the foot of the cross and EVERY TIME Jesus will exchange for something more. Again last night, another dear friend described how she sweetly prays for each of her children and lays down her worry and asks God for what He has for each of them so she can hold that treasure instead.

What is your saltine cracker? What are you needing to surrender? What is in the tight grip of your hands that God is asking you to release? Our hands can not hold something new if we cling to the old. I pray today you have just a smidgen of time: in the carpool lane, washing dishes, a driveway pause. And ask the Father, what do I need to surrender? And what is the exchange? I’d love to hear from you, my friend.

Prayer- Borrowing Words

I am fascinated by prayer, spiritual direction, meditation…all the faith building things. However, there are times when I honestly don’t know what to pray. My heart is heavy or maybe even numb. And I may even tell myself- well, God already knows anyway…but sometimes I just need help. So I borrow. I love prayers that are timeless. I love prayers written by mystics, or I even love diving into my Grammy’s old “Common Book of Prayer” from time to time. The last few days I have felt…quiet. And so I picked up a prayer I wrote based off of Graham Cooke’s teaching. PS…He is lovely and displays the love of the Father so beautifully. (And his accent is a bonus!) I wrote out this prayer about a month ago and have been reading it out loud when I can’t seem to find the right words lately. I thought I would share with you.

What are your go to prayers when you want direction? Leave a comment below.

Your Voice Matters

Well, then my brothers, whenever you meet let EVERYONE be ready to contribute a psalm, a piece of teaching, a spiritual truth, or a “tongue” with an interpreter. Everything should be done to make your church strong in the faith. – 1 Cor 14:26

I have had a long history of the infamous “Quiet Time.” (I don’t say that to be cocky.) I became a Believer in Jesus when I was in 7th grade at a Billy Graham Crucade. After receiving my pamphlet on how to have quiet times, I was all in. For many years, I loved journaling what I found and tried to apply it to my own story. Can you relate? Maybe you have only been bible reading for a year or maybe you have put it down because it is so hard to find the right space and time. Or maybe you are one tired Mama who can’t seem to get a thought fully developed before a little one needs you. I see you.

This line in a letter to Corinthians may have slapped me in my 38 year old face when I heard my dear friend/pastor read it on Sunday. He was challenging us in our Sunday morning Presbyterian meet up to really ask if we do what this verse encourages us to do. Do we read and pray and ask Jesus throughout the week what He wants to share with the church body? I sat there stunned. Even in the moment of this Sunday school class, a young man asked, “But is this really possible today?”

Is it possible to have a church meeting where everyone brings what the Spirit has laid on their heart for the week? What a different perspective than what our church culture has set up.

BUT EVEN More than the church set up conversations… my own thoughts were challenged. I did not even realize I was under a religious impression- I believed, maybe unconsciously, that my time with Jesus was just for me. And the pastor is the One who shares on Sunday. Yes, in turn, I could pour out to others in some capacity. But this was a new revelation…

What if we encountered Jesus each morning to in turn, be the light in the world? For me, I have heard most of my life that our time with Jesus should be for us. But what if that was only partially true? What if the whole point was to share and giveaway? I picture the multiplying of bread. Yes, we get to eat our portion but our soul purpose is to turn around and “make your church strong in the faith.” Anyone else see this slight difference? If by the end of our time with Him, we have not experienced Him or heard His heart for others as well, are we doing the body of Christ a disservice? The body of Christ is big and diverse and everyone brings something to the table- the pastor, the teacher, the business man/woman, the mom, the teenager, the children. All bringing something.

I’d love for you to share what He has put on your heart this week…post a comment below! Bless others by the wisdom, the love, the perspective you have received this week. And Mama With the Little Babes, you have something to bring. Each of us has a voice. You are seen and you have value in the kingdom. Maybe it’s a worship song you cherish! Bring it on! I will post my go-to worship song I cannot help but picture a Gentle Father reaching for my hand.

Grief

A heaviness filled this air yesterday as we turned on the Pro Football game. The news of Kobe Bryant and daughter’s death being told over and over again. My 38 year old body feeling the slam of the news. I look to my husband who looked up to this man, and he is somber. We both murmur over the thought of losing a father and your 13 year old. I do not have words, but I feel a glimpse of the utter sadness. My boys watch and talk about it as they come in and out of playing outside. Sawyer, my youngest, soaks it in. I think his sensitive nine year old mind and heart don’t know how to even conceive what has happened but it does. He doesn’t sleep well. Most of the night he lies with me in my bed. And then this morning he drags his feet to leave for school. It was now time to leave for school with his brothers and he starts to cry. Tears flowing down his sweet face and clinging to me as I hold and carry him to the car. My old way of parenting would have said, “Buddy- it’s just a case of the Monday’s. You have to go now.” Instead, Holy Spirit prompts me to give him an option to come back inside and just take a deep breath and go to school in 15 minutes. He shakes his head yes and walks with me inside to the couch and we sit. He cries. I hold him. After ten minutes, he takes a deep breath and says he is ready now.

If only I were to take my queue from my nine year old…it’s okay to feel the despair. The pain. It’s so hard to process. Even if we didn’t know them or any of the families on the helicopter, it is still so very sad. I will honor my nine year old today and sit in the emotion of grief today. It hurts when we lose someone we know or are close to. It is painful. I grieve for the losses of many today. I am so sorry. I pray for tears and for living into grief well for those close to the families who have lost more than imaginable.

Losing the Guardrails

I’m walking along the road which has been “my road” for quite some time, and I notice the guardrails are no longer there.

The path narrows to just a crease in the ground. It no longer looks like what I had imagined. It went from a well paved road to a dried up river bed of a path.  

I’m shakey and calculated. 

I don’t know whether to shut my eyes and pretend I am somewhere else or to open them wider to see the bigger landscape. 

I feel unsafe. But it’s where you want me. It’s where you have me take flight.

The ground beneath feels unsteady. I don’t know where to take another step.  

My body tenses up in fear. But it is here where I will breathe into my lungs whispering, I am safe.  

As I let go of measured steps, I find a new way. 

I begin to lift above. No longer seeing the road I was on.  

I’m in the air soaring above my whole former country.  I let go of the fear and bravely extend my hands to feel the air move around my body. I haven’t let go like this in a long while. Such freedom.  But like a familiar chain, I remember and I suddenly start falling and falling. I long for what I have known. I don’t want to let go. I want the already established road. In the moment, You remind me, this is the better higher way.  My body rises with the idea of adventure.  

This is me.

Hi friends. I wanted to introduce myself since you found your way over to my blog. My name is Kristin Chadwick and you will find I live in the most gorgeous place- in the Colorado Rockies. I am a Holy Spirit instigator, Jesus lover, Papa God’s daughter, seeker of wisdom, a hopeful candidate to be a mystic one day, a wife to my man for almost fourteen years. I’ll preface the blog to say we’ve lived some life already at the ripe age of 38. We have four children whom are our hearts’ delight- 13 year old daughter, 11 year old son, and twin boys, who are 9.  

I am a lover of many things as you will see in this blog.  One of my loves is being a podcast producer…which came to fruition through my dear friends who saw a gift in me which I did not yet see in myself- the ingrained ability to find authors, guests, music, and whatever else that brings truth and freedom to the table.  I get to write outlines for shows and even cohost on some of them! You can check it out @rebelparenting on FB/IG/ and any other podcast app.

Another big passion of mine is writing. I started a blog back in the day- 2008, when I only had one sweet baby girl. As I started having more children, I quit writing online- despite my husband encouraging me to keep going.  After about six months of writing intentionally in my own personal journals, I decided it was time to create a blog to share with you.

One thing you should know, I am always on the hunt to step into more of who Jesus is, who God is, and who the Holy Spirit is. So I will ferociously go after this topic and I hope to bring you with me as I discover and invite you into the questions and *magical moments.

I am also in the middle of creating my first book about encountering God through meditation and imagination in our everyday lives. I love sharing what God has shown me over the past decade in my search for “there has to be something more than this.”

I just began teaching my very own class series on “Identity in Jesus, Mission Statements, and Goals.”  This has been foundational as I have stepped deeper into intimacy with Jesus and with my family and my friends. I am looking forward to where the Lord takes this whole class! A friend of mine called me a spiritual coach the other day and I may just let that stick.

What will you find on this blog? I believe in being real and empowering others to live the fullest life they can. You will hear a lot about Jesus, Holy Spirit, and the Father. You will read a lot about what my kids teach me everyday. You will hear things about motherhood, marriage, life, friendships, boundaries, doing your own work, and lots more. If you know someone who would love to share in the love, please share! My hope is you find freedom in my words through the Spirit who connects each of us.

The Whole Vulnerable Cleanse

The past few days I have been prepping for a 10 Day Transformation that starts on Monday. It will include a cleanse and fasting and more importantly, some revelation of my relationship with God, relationship with myself, and my body and food.

This is big for me. Huge. Ginormous. I have started to uncover some unhealthy parts of my psyche that the Lord is so patiently nudging me to let go. He has whispered for a long time for me to submit my need for control over what I eat and put in my body. I never would have realized my subconscious need for control without some sweet friends and prayer uncovering so much deeply hidden things in my being. It is hard to admit that I have had an addiction to food and drinks.  I have revolved my day around food and coffee. The longing to just roll out of bed and make it to the coffee maker. The goal to make it to take the kids to school so that I can go have another coffee to make it through the morning. This is so hard for me to admit because it sounds so utterly stupid and silly. But it is real. I joke for my need of coffee. I joke for my need of “I can make it through the day if I just have…” But could this really be something that deep? Why would a warm cup of liquid become such a trigger?

There is so much psychology behind all this. I am becoming more and more aware of the psychology of eating in all this. (Check out this intriguing subject at http://www.psychologyofeating.com) It is purely fascinating. My dad recommended a book a few years back called “The Power of Habit.” It speaks of why we form habits. We talked about writing down what it was I was feeling during a certain habit that I had created. Well, I think with the coffee addiction it started with having the twins.  I was so deliriously tired and out of control. My health had taken a serious turn for the worse. Sleep was sparse. My children's health was a top priority with various issues. There was much going on in our life on top of just having twins with two older children. SOOOO a sweet precious moment of silence I would drive through the St. Arbuck's drive thru, and moments later a warm comfort in the palm of my hand and four children quiet in my car and for a moment in control of my environment. It was an innocent thing. It was a sweet help in a time of desperate measures. Well, fast forward four years and it is all I can do to say “no” to a coffee. Again, this is bigger than the coffee (coffee may be just fine for you) but this is the primary example in my life. It's about what is underneath.

For instance, as I was journaling and praying this morning…what if my body and all that it has been through in the last 4 years were a blessing to reveal something deeper…
-What if the fatigue I feel now is a sign that I TRULY need rest and this is the only way to MAKE my spirit-mind-body slow down?
-What is my brain fog is genuinely an outward symptom of an inward problem of pollution in my thoughts?
-What if all my autoimmune stuff was an outward cry to accept and love who I was created to be?

My friends, THIS is huge. It is time to dig real deep.

I know this will be a long journey, not just 10 days.  I know this will be tough. But I do see hope. I see hope for a breakthrough. I see hope for working through the hard, hidden beneath so much layers of protection. And this (journaling) is apart of the process.

(You can find out more at https://www.facebook.com/10daytransformationalcleanse)

Blooming

When you see your child blossom…be still my heart. 

This boy who has dealt with the deep dark and dense soil that surrounded him…this boy whose left and right was black and white on some days. Some days I wondered underneath the dirtiness, the filth, if there was a seed planted down underneath the top soil. Some days as a mother I loathed the tilling. Some days I sat and wept my tears of anguish and sadness over the seed that seemed too far gone to sprout. But lo, the waiting…the process of waiting. The process of sticking with it has come to surface. The prayers that rained down into the thick weedy ground penetrated. The step into the unknown proved to be the next right move. The seedling cracked open. He pushed his way up through the dirt and the Farmer encouraged him to look up and up out of the top soil he rose. Roots deep below I am sure. I am sure I won't know the depth of the roots till I get to heaven. But there in the sunlight my little Seedling has sprouted. He has bloomed and stretched out his shining arms that were in his DNA all along. He is beautiful. He is joy. It may storm out in the open, but the floods have passed with the resulting muck. I am so thankful that he can see hope. That I see Hope. 


(My first love note unprompted by Ryker)