Hi! I’m Kim.
I’m a not-quite-so young-anymore Quaker girl. The ‘rebound guy’ I dated in college turned out to be the funniest and most amazing friend I could ever hope for, and we just celebrated our 12th year of marriage. We’ve had a pretty incredible journey together, having been through enough challenges and sorrow to recognize and appreciate the deep joy we’ve been given. Many of those moments of great joy and sorrow are wrapped up in our three littles who were born in rapid fire succession (three kids in under three years, in fact) and our 19 year old ‘big kid’ who joined the crew this year through adoption after being with our family for 3 years.
In addition to my work as a mama, I am a Middle School teacher in a public school. In addition to academic content we cover in class, I teach my classes as I do my own little ones at home–to learn, listen, love well, and change the world, if all goes as hoped. As a teacher, I served dual roles as both a facilitator of knowledge and an advocate for those unable speak for themselves. The role of advocate hits much closer to home now than I ever could have imagined from my former view in the classroom, as my heart and soul are completely invested in advocating for kiddos who experience disabilities, the foster care system, and adoption as an older child. My experiences parenting have changed my life, my hopes, my community, and my faith completely. I know firsthand the sense of desperation that walks hand-in-hand with the realization that sometimes (or all of the time, if I’m painfully honest) life is completely, totally, and terrifyingly outside of my control.
These are the moments when I am beyond thankful for the constant and abiding presence of God in my life, and for goodness that is beyond my understanding. My experience of God, and my understanding of the irresponsible and far-reaching grace of Jesus, has been shaped largely by the Quaker faith community of which I’ve been a part since 5th grade. Being raised as a Friend has had far-reaching impact on my faith journey- namely, the belief that God is present among us, actively convicting and teaching us today. I believe that there is that of God in everyone (including those who may not profess to know God), and that we are called to work out our faith together, in community, even with (especially with?) those who think, believe, look, and act differently than us.
My life is messy, chaotic, and full of joy! It looks different than what I imagined it would look like or be years ago, but the movement and presence of God is so evident throughout the entire story. My faith journey is the same—ways that I was sure God would (or would not, as the case would be) lead turned out very differently in the end. These experiences have shown me that God has been clearly present throughout my life, often in ways that were completely unexpected. I am deeply thankful for these surprises, as the results are better than anything I could have imagined or orchestrated on my own.
I deeply believe that God surprises us in amazing ways, if we are willing to listen and have the courage to respond. Let’s join in the messy, rewarding work of community: working to discern the leading and direction of God, and to surrender the vision, understanding and preferences that are all about about us and not about Jesus. I wonder in risking vulnerability if we’ll find deeper understanding, and in the process of doing so we’ll become the light we were designed to be all along, together.