Category Archives: Developing Wholeness

Unbreakable Christmas Presents

 

What is your favorite Christmas present?

Our Pastor asked us yesterday what was our favorite Christmas present of all time? I sat and thought on it as he told a wonderful story from his childhood. He wanted a special match box car in the ’70s complete with sound.

Growing up with three older brothers most of my “Favorite Gifts” did not last long.

I received a pink and blue musical carousel that I absolutely loved the Christmas I turned four. You turned the knob on top and the horses began swirling in circles to a tinkling tune. It was so precious and gave me great joy, until that following Spring.

I took it outside with me and one of my brothers (not mentioning any names), submerged it in a bucket filled with water. Needless to say the horses never moved in circles and the music never played again. I remember crying a long time over that one.

Very similar to what I had in 1967

A few years later, I asked for yet another wind up toy for Christmas.
A ‘Spudsie’ hot potato. You know the game where you wind him up and everyone throws him back and forth, (because he’s a HOT potato), until his alarm goes off and then that person is out of the game?

Ultra excited when I opened him on Christmas day. I couldn’t wait to wind him up and try him out. I coaxed my brothers to play ‘Spudsie’ with me but within five minutes one of them (again not mentioning any names), threw ‘Spudsie’ against the wall instead of to one of us. ‘Spudsie’ died quickly and lay in pieces on the floor. Hot tears streamed out of my eyes for my long awaited Hot Potato.

Both times there was no reprimand for the guilty brother or replacing of the broken toy by my parents. I learned the hard life lesson of loss and disappointment early.

But I survived and forgave my dear brother years ago. However, knowing of the story, my husband Dwight bought me a new “Spudsie” a few years ago. It made me laugh and cry and in a silly way provided some healing for the little Karan inside me.

“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasures of living with You forever.” Psalm 16:11 New living Translation

 

So now my greatest Christmas present that never breaks or disappoints is what I ask for all of my friends and family to have and experience every day of this next New Year and beyond. . . The gift of the PRESENCE of God through His Holy Spirit on a daily basis! HE really is our All in All. He’s so much better than any other gift or  even all the gifts of the world combined!

Praying for each of you to experience Him more and more!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 

“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5 New Living Translation

The Ultimate Gift

Shine On. . .
karan k

 

Loneliness and The Dating Game Part II: TipTop

The Dating Game Who’s Who: Lee Majors appeared on The Dating Game and was chosen for the date on October 7, 1967.

This series more than most is coming out of my Life Coaching experiences.  I pursued Life Coaching certification in 2011 because as a young adult I had no one to help me navigate the simple or the complex issues of life. I wanted to learn how to be that person others could turn to for help in achieving their highest potential and personal goals.

Loneliness is a problematic issue I truly wish no one had. I struggled with it for many years.  My hope is to share what helped me overcome it so you too can have a better FLURISHING life.

So what has God revealed to your heart the last few days about yourself? Any new revelations? Continue asking Him and keep a written log of what He tells you. In the meantime lets do a physical evaluation.

Dateable?

How Dateable Are You?

Starting at the top:
HAIR— If you have some, are you making the most of it? Your hair is part of everyone’s overall attractiveness, especially  women.

“Don’t you agree there is something naturally powerful in the symbolism—-a woman, her beautiful hair reminiscent of angels, praying in adoration; a man, his head bared in reverence, praying in submission?” I Corinthians 11:13-15 The Message Bible

Take care of your hair. Usually it’s the first thing a person sees about your face because it covers a larger area than eyes or lips. Duh. Keep it clean, keep it neat. Do you need a trip to the hair dresser? Perhaps a new or updated style? Maybe you need to try something completely different?

A note to guys: So what if you don’t have much hair? Shaving it off is only good if you have the right shape head and face for it. If you opt for facial hair keep it trimmed, few women like the out of control wiry hair that scratches our delicate skin.:) Like us girls you may also want to try some new looks?

To do this in an inexpensive and noncommittal way, try an app. There are countless apps out there, some free, some only 99 cents. You can use a photo of yourself to superimpose different styles, lengths and hair colors on your face. Men can even try on various facial hair styles. Possibilities are endless and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Pick out a few styles you like and check with a trusted friend or relative OR send them to me and I’ll give you my take on them. Hair can be very personal so do a thorough study of your likes and dislikes. After you choose one, make an appointment for positive change. Don’t be afraid of change, it can be adventurous and exciting.

Don’t stay stuck in a hair rut just because it’s easy. Trust me, I understand wanting an easy-care style but if it doesn’t frame your face well it’s not doing you any favors. Plus a tired style can make you look dated and in some cases a lot older than you actually are. Yikes! Who wants to look older? No one over the age of 25.

A new style my take more effort but seeking a relationship also requires effort so think of yourself as “in training” for your future. You have to decide if easy is more important than improving your appearance to attract some positive attention.

Also, consider your skin tone when choosing hair color. I know some women over 50 who look fabulous in their natural silvery gray or white hair. What a huge money saving blessing. Unfortunately I am not one of them. My skin is so fair that gray or white hair makes me look pale to the point of appearing ill. So my hair dresser dyes my hair as close to my natural color as possible which right now looks best on me.

Maybe you have a great current hair cut but the hair itself is drab? Perhaps a new styling product is all that’s needed? Something to tame frizzies or bring back shine and sheen. Ask your stylist for recommendations for your specific hair type and style.

Whatever changes you decide to try, make the most of what you’ve got on the top. Do not underestimate the power of your hair!

Jennifer Aniston is one of my favorite older beauties but even she needs makeup

Moving on from the crown of our heads to our faces: What is your best feature? Your eyes? Your skin? Your lips? Use make up to enhance your best features. If you’re like me and not good with make up, try a free makeover at a Clinique or Sephora counter at the mall or somewhere similar to get tips. And the golden rule of make up is always LESS IS MORE. Go for a natural look as much as possible.

More can totally be Gore!

So Stay tuned as we continue the journey to FLURISH in the dating Game.

Shine on. . .
karan k

Loneliness and The Dating Game

 

If you you are a Baby Boomer you probably remember the original Dating Game show with host Jim Lange which ran from 1965-1973. Younger folks may be familiar as well since it ran as reruns in syndication into the year 2000.

I loved this show as a kid and watched it everyday during the summer when school was out. I learned a lot from the show about things I was too young to understand and perhaps should not have been exposed to, if you get my drift. Such shows intrigued me.

Host Jim Lange on left

 

I had an intense desire to know how to get a guy to love me for a lifetime. So I also watched the Newlywed game. This show ran from 1966 to 1974 originally and then several times thereafter. Bob Eubanks hosted for the majority of the runs.
I enjoyed these shows but also watched to glean as much information as possible. I’d note which things worked and which did not.

UNITED STATES – AUGUST 13: THE NEWLYWED GAME – 1970 – Bob Eubanks, host (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

Perhaps you find yourself in the “Dating Game” of life? How’s it going? Are you finding good results or spinning your wheels in the same old rut?

As a teenager I focussed on outward appearance. My own and whoever I happened to be interested in at the time. Ah youth and its follies. Of course I learned I needed to become a well-rounded person on the inside as well as the outside. That can take a lifetime for some of us. So what to do in the meantime?

 

Let’s explore this in the next few posts and see where it takes us. Join me if you need to find a date, a mate or are just curious.

Loneliness is no joke. It’s one of the biggest problems facing people today. If you are lonely, ironically you are not alone. BUT don’t accept loneliness as your lot in life. We were created for relationship. (See Genesis 2:18)

To begin, ask God to help you see yourself as He does, lovingly but realistically. Pray for that everyday until we meet back here next time.

“Love should always make us tell the truth. Then we will grow in every way and be more like Christ, the head.” Ephesians 4:15 Contemporary English Version

Shine on. . .
karan k

A Tough List

“I am on the verge of collapse, facing constant pain. But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done.” Psalm 38:17 & 18 New Living Translation

The word ‘Repentant’ defined by the dictionary is “Expressing or feeling sincere regret and remorse.”

“The sacrifice You desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” Psalm 51:17 New Living Translation

 

We usually think of broken things as no longer useful. In the above verse, being broken is exactly what God desires. When we are truly broken then we are able to repent and HE can use us the most.

Next to this verse in my Bible, I have these notes written;
No excuses
No grudges
No entitlements
No gloating
No sulking

That’s A Tough List.

Truly broken and repentant means making no excuses for sin.

How often do we do excuse away our sin? “It wasn’t really that bad.” By whose standards?

Or “God understands.” True, God does understand. He knows the consequences of each one of our sins and how much they damage us. That’s why HE hates sin.

It can be hard to admit sin. I mean as Christians we know the verse that tells us we are all sinners; “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Romans 3:23 New Living Translation

But in day to day life how often do we admit to ourselves that we have sinned? Until we admit our sin without excuses, are we really broken? Truly repentant?

Truly broken and and repentant means holding no grudges. We can’t hold blame in our hearts toward someone and expect any good to come from it. God will not bless bitterness. To be truly broken and repentant means any revealed resentments are brought straight to the Cross and left there.

Truly broken and repentant people do not have entitlement issues. They prefer gratitude for what they already have rather than expecting to receive more than others.

Truly broken and repentant people do not gloat. No parading of success to make others look or feel less. (We might consider our motivations before we share things on social media)

Truly broken and repentant people do not sulk and complain about their situation.

Looking over this Tough List every now and then is a good reminder to show us again how much we need our Savior, His grace and His mercy! Thank You, Jesus!

“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him (Jesus), He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts.” I John 1:8-10 New Living Translation

May brokenness and repentance be an ongoing state for each of us to FLURISH!

Shine on. . .

karan k

 

Common Cents In Plain Sight

Teeny Tale  from the Booth

“Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.” Psalm 4:4 + 5 English Standard Version

My cuddliest pet peeve on my job as a toll collector is when a customer pulls up and hands me their ticket and money together with hidden change on the bottom. It’s almost always a change chasing moment, with coins rolling under the car or down the lane. Since speed and efficiency are important to waiting customers, chasing dropped change is an unwelcome interruption to traffic flow. And sometimes the change dropping customers seem the most irritated by the delay.

Have you ever dropped change during a transaction at a toll booth or in a grocery store line? What are your thoughts and experiences? Did you become frustrated?

In these instances I have to breathe a prayer asking for extra grace.

Otherwise I get so frustrated wondering how they expect the collector to know what they are being handed. Common sense dictates placing the change in PLAIN SIGHT on top of the bills when handing it to someone if you want to avoid  chasing change. Right?

Proper way to hand change

 

But how often do we expect people to know things about us that just like the coins are also hidden? We think because we know something or feel something that everyone else does or should as well. We think it should be obvious to others like it is to us. And when we don’t get the reaction we expect, frustration can easily occur. At times we feel insulted thinking, if they really cared they would KNOW this or that. Ever experience that?

It can be especially painful when dealing with someone close to you. A family member, a close friend or especially a spouse. We MUST remember NO ONE can read our minds except GOD. Period! You must fight the urge to feel offended. Or the urge to entertain condescending thoughts (possibly accompanied by the dreaded eye roll—-I am so guilty of this).

Are you are tired of being disappointed? Tired of being frustrated? Then join me to bust up this hidden block to the FLURISHING life. Carefully consider the expectations you place on those who share a close relationship with you and during daily interactions with strangers.

Endeavor to put things in PLAIN SIGHT by;

  1. Consciously questioning the fairness of your expectations.
  2.  Considering others may have a totally different view from your own.
  3. Choosing to communicate clearly and thoroughly.
  4. Covering others offenses real or imaginary in love.

These practices if done consistently can help you FLURISH and avoid frustration.

Hand out love wherever you call home!

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8 New International Version
Shine on. . .
karan k

Good Wife/Bad Wife? Part III

 

“The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God. Give her everything she deserves! Festoon her life with praises!” Proverbs 31:30 & 31 The Message Bible

What an interesting word to describe how an admirable woman of God is to be praised. “Festoon” means to adorn with ribbons, garlands and other decorations. Which basically gives the idea of hanging out her praises in public for all to see. What a wonderful word picture.

Have you ever been “festooned in praises” by someone you love?

 

Let’s wrap up this series with some last thoughts to help us garner more festooning from our husbands if no one else.

“A worthy wife is a crown for her husband, but a disgraceful woman is like a cancer in his bones.” Proverbs 12:4 New Living translation

Draped in beautiful character

The word “worthy” here implies strength of character. The traditional seven virtues of wonder forming strength of character are as follows:

Prudence- the quality of being wise and cautious in practical affairs.
Are we gaining wisdom by spending time in God’s Word?
Are we cautious and frugal with spending money for the household?
Justice- the quality of being fair and reasonable.
Do we prayerfully consider all angles of a situation before making judgements? Do we aim to do what’s RIGHT (righteous) in every circumstance.
Temperance- quality of moderation or self-restraint.
Do we deny ourselves pleasures for the sake of the family and being an example of healthy balance? Do we have our temper tamed?
Courage- the ability to do something that frightens one.
Are we trusting God to help us overcome our insecurities? Are we moving forward inspite of fears?
Faith- complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
Are we holding back any parts of ourselves from the living God?
Are we depending on Him moment by moment to walk this life with us in the power of the Holy Spirirt?
Hope- a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
Are we positive in our words, thoughts and outlook, expecting His good in our lives?
Love- an intense feeling of deep affection.
Are we pouring out our love on God by doing what He says and worshipping Him?
Are we pouring out our love and affection on our husband emotionally (in ways he understands) as well as physically?

Look over the list and see where you are strong and where you are weak. I need help and grace in several areas. Life is brimming with seasons of change but we need to strive for constancy in our marriages for them to FLURISH!

Now this is some impressive festooning! The Taj Mahal is public praise in enormity. One of the seven wonders of our modern world was built  between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife— too bad she was no longer alive to enjoy it. May we receive praise while breath remains in our lungs! Start increasing your “worthiness” today!

Keep an eye out for a possible companion series on husbands written by my own husband.

Shine on. . .
karan k

Got Mask?

 

Masquerade party 2017
Everyday wear 2017

How many of you like masquerade parties or attending events requiring a costume? I love to dress in costume and pretend to be someone else for a day. It can be a fun challenge and definitely entertaining. What I don’t enjoy is wearing a mask. I find them confining, hot, stuffy and can cause dizziness. I’m sure some masks are better than others but I am steering clear of them.

Of course there are times when masks are absolutely necessary and not an option. Protection is a main purpose of masks in todays world. They’re an important part of certain outfits. Masks are regularly used in certain sports for protection such as hockey, baseball and skiing. Football requires helmets with face guards. Motorcyclists sometimes wear shielded helmets for protection and masks for warmth. Face masks protect us from germs. Oxygen masks can keep us alive.

But masks are usually not meant to be worn daily, are they? And yet if we look close we see masked people all around us everyday. People hiding true feelings or character, countless numbers afraid to reveal their true selves. Are you one of them?

If yes, can you identify what you’re hiding? Is it Insecurity, inadequacy, shame, regret or something else? Don’t ignore this if you suspect you are wearing a mask. Ask God to reveal the truth to you.

 

I once heard of a woman working in an office setting who frequently mentioned to her coworkers that she had a very strong work ethic. Turns out this was only a mask she wore to hide the truth: She often came in late to work, made many personal calls and surfed the internet on company time. She wanted to hide her laziness. But she was caught in a mask. Her co-workers were not fooled.

worst mask of all

Or the familiar story of a more insidious mask. A smiling facade that leads you to believe he or she is your friend. You begin to trust them and their smiling face. But the reality of backstabbing and exploitation leave you with painful scars and you are tempted to pick up your own mask to protect yourself from being hurt again.

But masks are fake. There is no real protection for the wearer. They only provide a false sense of security which will eventually backfire into deeper pain.

This is the cycle of entrapment that masks our genuine selves. God alone knows who we really are and HE created us to be completely free in our own identity. Masks bind us not free us.

“Wearing a mask wears you out. Faking it is fatiguing. The most exhausting activity is pretending to be what you know you’re not.” Rick Warren

 

Got mask? Jesus invites us to rip it off, cover ourselves in His righteousness, and depend on His Holy Spirit within us. HE will guide and protect us daily as we allow our real selves to emerge and ultimately FLURISH!

Free at last

“For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3:26 English Standard Version

Shine on. . .
karan k

Dysfunction Junction

Any body remember Schoolhouse Rock? The animated series teaching grammar was fun, melodic and ran from 1973 to 2009. One of my favorite episodes was “Conjunction Junction What’s Your Function”. Conjunctions are used to connect things.  ‘And’, ‘But’ and ‘Or’ are stars of the show.

In 1981 I had an unusual opportunity to connect/join a healthy situation. A close friend who lived in my town and attended the same church became acquainted with my home life. He described what he saw to his parents over a period of six months. They found the situation appalling and decided to do something.

In June after graduation my friend and his parents paid a visit to my home. The two sets of parents sat at the kitchen table discussing things for nearly an hour. I heard my friends parents state they wanted to take me with them on their upcoming move to Louisiana. There was no rebuttal from my parents. Somehow that saddened me even though I hated being in that home.

I resolved to move away with them for a  fresh start to an unknown place until my friend’s mother made this statement that probably was not meant for my ears. She said, “Karan has too many hang ups.”

The words struck my heart like a swift rusty javelin. My mind swelled with infectious questioning.

Hang-ups? What hang-ups? Were they obvious to everyone but me? I always suspected there was something wrong but hearing it out in the open seemed cruel.

My wet dab of self worth evaporated on the kitchen floor as the guests walked across it preparing to leave. I announced my decision not to go with them to Louisiana. Before they scrutinized my words or my reddening face I retreated to my bedroom and shut the door. Oh how I wished I could lock that door and hide. I could not face the truth that may be lurking in the words recurring in my mind; “Karan has too many hang ups”.

 

This episode of my life was a Dysfunction Junction. Years of toxicity connected me to a caring family who saw the reality of my situation and chose to reach out to me. The function was to help me heal and move forward. But I chose to remain steeped in my own unhealthy issues. I let fear prevent me from escaping my own pit. The pit I hated.

How many of you have done the same thing? You embrace fear because it’s familiar. Familiar because we have lived with it far too long. Fear creeps into our lives in many ways. When safety cannot be found whether emotional, mental or physical. When needs go unmet and unnoticed. Abuses in our family of origin are usually hidden from public view and so it can go on for years. No rescue in sight. When we are faced with the truth of what we’ve been through it can be terrifying.

 

Such enslaving fears cause compounded dysfunction in our lives. We need divine strength to move beyond these devastating pains and toward whatever junction God is providing to begin the healing process. The first step is recognition. Do you see any Dysfunction Junctions in your life? Don’t allow fear to keep you from looking into your own heart and life for abuses. If you don’t face it you will be forever enslaved by it.

Trust your heavenly Father who loves you. Our great God is ready and wanting to help us on the journey toward healing. Will you step out in faith, take His hand and let Him help you overcome your fears?

To join us to healing freedom!

 

“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children.” Romans 8:15 New Living Translation

Shine on. . .
karan k

 

Bland or Spicy?

 

 

tiny pepper plant

“Black and white is salt and pepper of colors, for life tastes bland without them.” Vikrmn

 

“Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:38 New Living Translation

Recently I wrote about the detriments of the routine in a post entitled “Spicy Life”.
The reason I wrote that post was because I know what it’s like to have a “Bland Life” as well as a “Spicy Life”. I wouldn’t wish blandness on anyone, but spiciness on everyone.

Many moons ago during my bland years life was routine and needless to say, boring. I slept in ’til 10am most days after getting to bed at 2am after my shift as a proofreader. Let me tell you that proofreading medical and scientific journals for eight hours a night has got to be one of the most tedious jobs known to man! Unless of course you’re a doctor or scientist and you can actually decipher the 12 syllable words and strange symbols into some sort of meaning.

Not an interesting place to be

Seven years I did this job every evening M-F. During the daylight hours I watched a lot of cable TV which was a new luxury for me. But the enchantment of catching up with shows I’d never seen before didn’t last long. I thought there had to be something more to existing on planet earth than proofreading and TV. My life tasted bland but it took me awhile to notice. Once I perceived my own dissatisfaction, I began making small changes with God’s help.

I decided I would enjoy getting more mail. So I began writing letters to friends who had moved away expressing my desire to keep in touch. I also began making my own homemade greeting cards for friends and family. Sending letters and cards to the sick and infirm also became a mission. The letters and cards were received well and in time I received personal mail regularly. My mailbox became a source of joy both going out and coming in.

 

Because I knew the pain of loneliness, I decided I didn’t want others to feel that pain if there was something I could do to alleviate it. Thus began adventures in visiting. I started regular visits with shut-ins who were stuck in stuffy nursing homes. Later I began to include hospital visits and then  planned get togethers with family and friends.

Suddenly one day I realized my life had gone from bland to spicy because I gave what I had and God blessed it. You see, the more I gave of myself the more came back to me. It’s a Biblical principle  you can count on to hold true. (See opening verse Luke 6:38)

We all have something to offer God to touch others. Time, money, skills, talents etc. It may be cooking, cleaning, singing, art. God uses anything because He’s ingenious and gave these gifts to you in the first place.

What has God given you? If you’re not sure, ask Him. Keep your heart and mind open for the answer and then take off with God on spicy adventures of your own. Leave the bland life behind. Choose to FLURISH in spice!

“To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks the LORD has planted for His own glory.” Isaiah 61:3 New Living Translation

Shine on. . .
karan k