The Thrill Of Hope

It is beautiful to hope through impossible odds. Life is full of daunting circumstances and things often are out of our control. We can either settle with the grey and dismal normal or we can choose hope.

One of my strategies in life has been to choose hope everyday. Making this choice has been better than any anti-depressant. Hope confronts impossibilities and helps add oxygen into deflated lungs pressed heavy by trials. Hope is thrilling!

Hope helps us look through a different lens. Praise is readily on the tip of our tongues. Some may call us crazy and then look at us in awe as the impossible actually takes place!

Choose a different path. Turn off media outlets, set down your phone and go make memories with your loved ones. Pray big, bold prayers that ask God for the impossible and greatest things to take place. He will help walk you through anything you may face.

Hope big today and be swept up in, “the thrill of hope”!

Especially The Impossible

As a child I remember believing in impossibly big things. Adults, friends even family would all make sure to tell me the reality of life. Simply put, some things would never happen. But when you are born a dreamer, it is a part of you that never dies. It is big faith.

No matter what has happened in my life I have always come back to the impossible. The impossible is a challenge. What looks like a mountain could be moved or if you’re Mary Poppins, you could simply fly over it.

I have lived through many soul crushing things. I may have suffered times of doubt or felt extreme defeat but I was not defeated. The beautiful thing about God is that circumstances can change in an instant. Feelings come and go but God does not. God remains good. God remains the same. God is faithful.

Because of God hope rises as the sun awakes in the early morning. Dreams can and often do become reality. The impossible becomes possible.

Yes, Mary Poppins, anything is possible. But I would say, especially the impossible.

Building An Ark

Adventures are full of perilous battles, and travels. Memories are made to last a lifetime during such times.

Waiting for an end of one journey and the beginning of another is an adventure all on its own. Depending on ones perspective during the intense seasons, one can often either give up or keep believing that the long days and opposition is worth what is waiting at the end, even if there seems to be no end in sight.

The past year has been intense. There have been so many moments where I have told myself, “Kara, you can do this. You are strong. Stay focused. Breathe in and then exhale.”

Several weeks ago someone shared with me that I’m living my life like Noah building the ark. I am stewarding Gods promises. I am preparing for the improbable. I know what God has spoken to me. I know what He has in store for my family. Many may look at me and wonder why I am doing the things that I am simply because it has not rained yet. But I know the rain is coming and I will be ready for when it does.

After this conversation I decided to refresh myself on the details about Noah. By the time he had all of his sons he was 500. Somewhere in between that time and the rain God gave him instructions to build the arc. Each year the sky was dry. Noah met opposition and was preparing for something that others could not fathom. Noah was faithful. Finally at 600 years of age the heavens opened and it began to rain. One hundred years seems like such a long stretch of time to build, and steward what God had given him to do!

One hundred years long was worth it. What Noah did seemed crazy to so many people until it began to rain.

People who look through the lens of doubt and cynicism will never be the ones to do impossible tasks nor will they be the ones to enjoy the gifts along the journey of one epic adventure after another.

Faith requires deaf ears to ridicule and lies. Faith requires radiant eyes to focus on the rainbow that has yet to be seen in the skies. The more time is spent with Him, listening to His voice, the more faith grows.

God is good. He is willing.

Are you willing to let go of everything you know? Are you ready for the rain?

Look to the heavens. He is willing and ready to bring the rain and paint the rainbow for you.

Slaying Giants

We are facing giants.

Everywhere we look one stands. It is our responsibility for us to take the land. We must be like Caleb who knew that it would be fine to move forward.

We know God has given us the promised land. It flows with milk, honey and blessings beyond what we could imagine.

The question is, “how do we move forward? How do we slay giants?”

We are so close. We are almost close enough to grasp it.

These giants may be loud, obnoxious and cocky but they don’t know what is coming. Let them shout. Let them laugh in our faces as we come to take what is ours.

We were meant to walk this path to show others that with God the impossible happens.

Celebrate Michael

Let me introduce you to someone so precious. He was a miracle. He was a gift.

The first part of November I was having strange symptoms. At first I thought my body was responding to an amazing but extremely busy season of ministry & was protesting. I had also been battling colds for a month & a half. There was a strange fatigue that had settled in my body. So time went on & I remember feeling “pregnant”. I cast it aside as wishful thinking.

It had been impossible for me to conceive. I had already had a previous miscarriage that did not last past the first month early on in our marriage in 2011. I had already grieved through not being able to give birth to one of my own flesh. Hope was on the horizon to foster or adopt and continue loving my daughter (SD). I was content. 

In November a pregnancy test confirmed what was once deemed impossible. Our world was turning upside down and landed a bit lopsided in the most precious and beautiful way. 

I told my husband that I was battling against fear and could only believe life. I felt like I had already lost too much to handle any alternative. Every day I placed my hands on my belly and declared life. I prayed for every organ, for every tissue formation, ten toes, ten fingers and that all would go smoothly. At night I wept with thankfulness because of this beautiful miracle. I fell asleep embracing my baby and told him how much he was loved. The journey felt like a dream.

We had talked in detail about how we wanted to tell the good news and when to do it. Even though I wanted to shout and celebrate his life right away we both agreed that telling family in person would be the best way. 

(Week 6 pregnancy picture)

Week 6 went by and I was so sick & tired. I was so happy because it was the only way that I knew that he was doing well. Week 7, and 8 slipped by without any issues. By week 9 I was able to get into the Dr. and all my test results came back without any signs of complications. He was really coming! He was really real! By this time my belly was starting to grow & I felt pregnant for real for the first time.

Week 10 was the week we were going to tell our daughter & begin the journey to family for Christmas. Our daughter was beyond excited. She was already making plans. She was the best big sister ever!

The next day she could hardly contain her excitement as we were going to tell my husbands parents. Tears, smiles, hugs and congratulations were in order after breaking the good news. But a couple hours later I started to have slight cramping and instead of getting better my heart & body went on a journey I never thought it could handle.

The details into that night are too much for me to write out. The ER visit was horrific. What I was going through was unstoppable medically speaking and those working there did not acknowledge my sons life. With that perspective I know why I was treated as if what I was going through was not a big deal. 

Instead of a proper burial my baby is swimming in sewage because he was flushed down the toilet in the ER. Losing life and not being able to control what your body is doing is horrifying. 

Because of our miracle I have this need for people to know our son. He was important. He was not a blob of cells. His heart beat like yours and like mine. God still did a miracle in my body to be able to conceive and carry for 10 weeks. Those weeks I will cherish for the rest of my life. Our son helped my faith to grow. Impossible is fading out of my life. God is good and He never changes. 

Please meet our son. 

(Drawing by artist Brynna Hosszu)

His name is Michael which means, “Who is like God?”. It is a name passed down in my husbands family. When I give birth to my rainbow baby, Michael will be their middle name just like his Daddy and in remembrance of his big brother who prepared the way.

Michael you were and continue to be loved. It was a fun adventure while we had you with us, tiny as you were! 

Here are some of my favorite memories with you:

(We didn’t even know that we were a family of 4 during these fun moments in October)

(My first big ministry event knowing you were growing in my belly. It was a miracle I didn’t faint on stage due to sickness & fatigue. I remember telling you, “Okay baby, time to go worship God together! Let’s slay the enemy!” Photo Cred: Austin Groskopf, @agroskopf33)

(Family Thanksgiving 2017 two weeks early)

(Together for Thanksgiving at Long Beach)

(Our last full day together at Heritage Kids Family Christmas)

(This was our announcement photo. I bought 4 large stockings expecting your first Christmas with us would have been in 2018)

Enjoy time with Jesus & with my Mom sweet child. 

We love you Michael! 

Speechless 

Is there a word that better describes grateful, thankful, or blessed? Joy? 

The past month has renewed hope within me for the impossible. I cannot describe it. I could not tell you when it happened. One day I woke up & all of a sudden what seemed impossible no longer looked or felt impossible. Childlike faith & joy was  restored. It was not like I lost it but the pain that God delivered me from has now enabled joy to invade every part that was ever damaged.

Words are not adequate. Giving my life will never convey how grateful I am for all that God has done for me and my family. 

Just this past week alone I have found myself wanting to shout praises to God! Simple things like being greeted from our cat at home have made me say “thank you”. Or the time she fell out of our window this past week & bounced off the side table onto the floor because she fell asleep there (she didn’t get hurt and I laughed a lot). 

What really gets me is when I see my daughter smile at me & tell me unsolicited, “I really love you Kara”. I love hugs from my husband & waking up knowing he is excited that I’m the first person he sees. 

I am grateful for voxers & phone calls with friends who have lasted the test of time & distance. I love that others have adopted me & love me without an expectation of what my response may be. Love has literally consumed my heart that it often feels as if it will burst.

Grateful? Thankful? Those words do not cut it. Those words merely express a tiny piece of what is in my soul. 

I am living in freedom! 

Joy is life.

Now I know what it means to laugh my way through trials. Do you want to know why?

Because my God is going to do the impossible! There is no way the enemy can win.