It’s been several weeks since I’ve written a piece and I apologize for taking such a long hiatus. I’ve been dealing with personal issues close to my heart but I felt that it was important for me to check in. While I can’t share specifics due to privacy issues, it’s safe to say that it’s been a very challenging couple of months but one that is stretching my faith and personal growth. Through it all, I’m learning to focus on life’s goodness and my various other “projects”. Which, for me, hasn’t been as easy as it sounds.
I’m sure people will read this and think “that’s so obviously simple… so what!” The truth is, it’s not that simplistic because if it were, there would be more balance in our lives, less stress, and a measure of peace. Lately, I’ve felt so encapsulated by the barrage of life’s events that I sometimes forget to focus on the blessings. Why did that happen? Because it’s so much easier to focus on the fires you are putting out than those nuggets of peace, hope, and love. After all, they don’t require immediate attention as with the “burning buildings” in our lives, do they? Because of this I’ve decided make a more conscious choice to focus on those things that give me life.
Last week I picked vegetables in a friend’s garden. As I walked with them gathering fresh greens, tomatoes, mint,and herbs, I looked around the yard in awe. This, I told them, was a life-giving cycle of love. There was peace for me in that garden. The oscillating scent of mint, the deep green of the kale, and the varying colors of peppers and tomatoes reminded me how blessed I was and how thankful I am to know them. God shows up in the smallest ways and sometimes we forget to notice His love. Walking through this garden gathering nourishing food meant that I didn’t have to spend money, I was able to spend time with friends, and witness the provision of God as we enjoyed the harvest. These beautiful women invited me to come and experience this beauty- a source of food and spiritual comfort- and for that I’m extremely honored and grateful.
Yet again, I’m reminded to enjoy the moments that give me strength to deal with the fires that continue to rage around (and within) me. So in remembering those things that give me life:
- Family who love me through my best and my worst moments
- Friends who love me unconditionally
- The birth of my son
- The hug of my mother when I found out she had cancer
- The last hug from my oldest brother before he died
- Teaching myself to ride a bike as a child
- Riding a bike 500 miles to raise money for AIDS
- Earning my BS degree
- Teaching myself to sew
- Buying my first home without help
- Witnessing the birth of 3 nephews and a niece
- My love for Christ
- The opportunity to rediscover myself
As I write, I’m overwhelmed with the realization that this list could go on forever and in deeper and more profound ways. Yet, within this modest list, I find that I’ve accomplished and experienced so much through love, pain, and hope that I have found life and that is what will help me as I continue to fight those blazes.
Bolder Sisters, what gives you life?
Kim Woods earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems at DeVry University. She developed a love for writing poetry and short stories as a child. Kim is socially conscience and her desire to use her life experiences to help others is what drives her to seek opportunities to share her story. She decided to write freelance for the Bolder Sister because it is her desire that women evolve and thrive in their own authentic truth.
Kim resides in Chicago, Illinois and has one son, Donald. In addition to writing, she spends free time creating unique wall art, decorating, and teaching herself how to sculpture. She also has a blog Who Will Speak.