four months feels like a lifetime.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The past four months have felt so fast and yet so slow at the same time.  About 2 months ago, I wrote a letter to my dad. I obviously know that he won't ever hear or read it but it felt so nice to be able to say the things I wanted to. Ben really encouraged me to write the letter because I wanted to talk to my dad so badly. I read it again yesterday and just cried and cried in Ben's arms.

I told Ben it just hurts so much because I want to talk about it. I told him a story about how my friend at work, Jennifer, talks to me about my dad whenever I mention it. It is so completely refreshing to have someone who stays with you and talks with you instead of running away from the topic or simply avoiding the hardness. Ben is so good about this too. He is so completely content with staying with me in the sad place. He offers encouragement and he listens. He doesn't avoid. I avoid it enough! Ben told me that he knows that when I do talk about it, that it means I really want/need to talk about it. It's true. Usually if I bring something up, it's because I want to talk about the good memories I have. I am really thankful for the friend I've found in Jennifer. Jesus has brought me this friend. Even though she hasn't walked through much of life with me, she is ready to be there.

I've found that people are so ready to be there through instagram or facebook or twitter but when it comes to real life and real issues and messy things, they don't want it. They want the highlight real. They want the good stuff. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE THE GOOD STUFF!!! But I have just really thought about this lately. I think about how I am like this too sometimes. How silly and selfish it is. I want to be there for people. I want to be IN their life so I experience the joy or sadness. I want to be the type of friend Jesus was.

Speaking of Jesus, I was reading Luke 7 this morning. It talks about this woman and how she just wept, kissed and anointed His feet with perfume. I started crying with the image in my mind. Of Jesus' sweet face looking down on her. The forgiveness and love in His eyes and heart for her. I mean can you imagine how that woman felt? Ah! At church yesterday, everyone put a red dot on their phone to symbolize how Jesus says, "You belong." The same Jesus that looked upon that woman crying at Jesus' feet, is with me every moment of the day. He looks at me the same way as that woman. The look that tells me I am worthy of His love and acceptance. You are worthy too. You belong in His family just like me.

All this to say, I have felt hurt lately because I've kept so much of my grief inside. Despite the fact that I've not gotten to talk about the grief much, He's seen my grief and He heard my cries yesterday and today. I cry to Him and He understands. I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful that He is never afraid to deal with the mess. He wants me whole :)

"Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. 
If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 
We love each other because he loved us first."
1 John 4:18-19

all that is within me.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lately I've had so many thoughts. I realize this implies I don't typically think but it's like my mind has been on overload.

So many enlightening things. The past few months I've felt plagued with anxiety. I believe that this feeling is definitely a choice to give into. All that is within me has been straining and reaching. Grasping for something. Aching to cling onto something, anything that will sustain me. This has looked like a great deal of crying and reading scripture and screaming worship music. My times with Jesus have felt a sense of somberness. It's not necessarily sadness, more of a deep realization of my ache and need.

I've needed encouragement and I've needed comfort. I've ached for worthiness and a justification of grief or my feelings. I've compared my grief with others. I've compared my life with others. It stole my deep-seated joy. My joy became fleeting in a sense. Depending on moment to moment. The moments would pass and I would feel empty, not like myself. I know who I am. I know Kambly is a woman with contagious joy. I've felt it's been taken from time to time.

I believe the biggest culprit of my joy being stolen is comparison. Comparison STEALS my joy in a heartbeat.

Ben and I have talked about this COUNTLESS times since being married. Marriage has the beautiful ability of really bringing things to light sometimes. Can't hide joy being stolen. Can't hide horrible feelings of self-worth from your life partner. Love it.

It is completely ridiculous how I can be completely content with our life and then start down an instagram trail where I start thinking crazy loathful thoughts. I start to hate that I'm a teacher in a low income area. I start to hate that Ben is in school. I start to hate our small apartment. THAT IS NOT WHO I AM. It is not my identity. I love my job. I love that Ben is learning and making cool things happen in Waco/Baylor. I LOVE our comfy cozy apartment. And I like all the quirky decorations we have!

I realized while I was listening to Be Still by Bethel that my mind sometimes won't STOP (**ah the blessings of being a girl**). I start to look for areas and outlets to occupy my mind. I start to look for pretty pictures or things that create discontentment in my heart. Ben and I have been practicing over the last year of taking these obstacles away for periods of time (because I can't just go cold turkey forever, I like being in the know!! :) ). Sometimes we go on social media fasts. Lately we've started this new thing that I LOVE...Phone Free Fridays. The rules are simple: only using phone for direct contact with individuals. Example: "Hey, y'all want to go bowling?" No other things on the phone allowed! IT'S AWESOME. And it makes you realize how much you pick up your phone to do mindless things. Grrrrrrr. 

Long story short, I am in the practice of being still. 

And I like this quote:
"God won't try to speak over the noise in our lives. Rest is holy. We won't hear what we don't pause to listen for."--Love Does

Being still for me looks like this lately: choosing not to be anxious. getting up really early to relish in stillness. choosing to find joy in my job. having intentional connection time with my husband. not meeting up with a ton of people. listening to lots of music. crying about dad. laying in bed a few extra minutes to recognize the comfyness. lots of crying. lots of chai. cuddling with my stuffed bunny. letting Him win my heart. repeating Truth over and over. pampering. staring off into space. lavender vanilla fabric softener. candles. grieving.

be still my heart and know You are God alone. stop thinking so much. and just let go. be still my soul and rest. humbly I confess. in my weakness, Your strength is perfect. for You alone are God. there will be no other. and You have won my heart. more than any other. 

good to me.

Monday, August 26, 2013

I've been thinking about processing. Being an external processor, I feel like it's been very odd lately to do a lot of internal processing. I know that seasons of life are always changing and that sometimes you process differently in different seasons. Processing internally has made me feel more and more introverted. It's also helped me understand my husband better!

I have been thinking about the last 3.5 years and how my life has changed so many times. It makes me crave "normalcy." With Dad getting worse gradually, things were very painful. For so long, I couldn't talk about or dwell on the things so painful because it was too hard to be able to move forward. I don't think people realized all the things that Dad couldn't do towards the end. Every weekend I would come home was SO HARD for me physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I literally felt so drained every time. Lately I've been feeling guilty about that.

But I know that Jesus is the only reason I even got through that season.

Every weekend I would come home to help Dad. I would feed him baby food and milkshakes. Whenever he would eat, I would have to hold his head and his food because he couldn't hold his neck up. Most of the food, he couldn't swallow fully because his tongue didn't work right. A lot of the food would end up on the towel laid across his shirt. I can't express how painful this was for me. To be feeding my Dad and cleaning up his spit. I still felt like his child and this was my DAD slowly deteriorating. Dad would cry when he first started to lose abilities. He felt sad and embarrassed that we had to help him. Towards the end, he didn't feel like that much anymore.

The point of me talking about this is because it is completely strange coming home now and NOT doing this. Last year after rough weeks at school, coming home was so tiring for me. I sometimes feel so guilty because of the way I felt then. I wanted to help and be there and love my family, I just felt so scared and worn down sometimes. Now when I come home, I can just lay on the couch like "normal" people. It is so weird.

Dad was just the most humble man. I just keep thinking about how much pain he was in. How he never complained.

I know he is completely free of pain now. I know he is so happy!!! That gives me joy. I think of him in a place I can't even fathom and it brings me peace. I think about the last week we spent together. He was in a Hospice center so that his breathing and pain could stabilize. I read him the book God of the Impossible: The Healing of Anna Joy. I challenge you to read this if you are journeying through sickness or needing breakthrough in physical healing. This book is incredible. It speaks truth and has a list of verses to claim over yourself. SO ENCOURAGING.

I believe God is the same God of biblical times. He hasn't changed.

It is his CHARACTER to heal. Not once did Jesus refuse healing to a person who asked in the Bible. I'll have to expand on this later. I just love Jesus. He is so consistent. I know he wanted my Daddy well. I know it. You may think differently, but Jesus told me so. I fully believe that when I go to be with Him, I will see how my prayers/faith kept my Dad alive longer. I know I won't fully ever fully understand why my Dad passed away. But I sure as heck know it wasn't because "it was his time" or "Jesus needed him more than me." It is God's character to want children to have Fathers. Nevertheless, He is the Father to the fatherless. He is only good. He is good to me.

This song has brought me comfort the past days. I love how visible my seasons are sometimes. I have changed my playlist that I used to listen to before my Dad died. Most of the songs now on my playlist are about His love, goodness and grace. He comforts me in sorrowful times.

the foxes in the vineyard WILL NOT STEAL my joy. because You are good to me, good to me. 

faster life.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Life has looked a lot differently lately. I have less time to spend in my thoughts during my day and process things. I started school with my kids on Tuesday and I love them already!!!

On the first day of school I shared with them about how my Dad had died this summer. I cherished their faces. Those faces that have seen just as much/more grief than me. I told them that if Mrs. Belz every looked sad it was because she was missing her Dad and she will be okay in a little bit! One of the reasons I love my job so much is because I have SO many different roles as a teacher. I felt like a counselor in that moment. Those people who are teachers get the many roles we play :)

It felt good to talk about my Dad to my sweet littles. I haven't had much of a chance lately to talk about my Dad. Life has gotten faster. People don't ask much anymore. What this does is make me feel like people have forgotten. I was thinking about this the other day because I told a friend I felt like people had forgotten about my Dad. What I really meant was that I feel like people have forgotten the pain I feel about Dad. That it still hasn't gone away. That I am still going through this and need people now more than ever. That's the thing with life, things move on. I suppose that sounds selfish.

As I feel people moving on, I am drawn back to remember that the only person who really understands and cares about how I feel 24/7 is Jesus. I'll be honest, sometimes I get so angry! I feel angry sometimes because I want to be heard. I want to talk about things. I want to cry and let it out! I have been talking about my Dad so much lately to Ben. Ben recently started a to play in a men's soccer league in Waco and it reminds me so much of when I was younger and my Dad used to play in a Softball league. I remember him being so active and FUN! Ben reminds me so much of my Dad in so many ways. I've also been remembering my Dad's scent before he got sick. If you know me, you know I love smells! My Dad used to smell of leather, mint and his cologne :) Every day after work he would feel so cold because his car's AC would be on FULL blast. I would hug his still-crisp work shirt and he would always smell the same :)

I miss that. I really miss him. I have a picture of my Dad and me on my door in the classroom. I LOVE that my students ask me about him. They think I am so ridiculous because I haven't put a picture in the locket he gave me. They are so cute and LITTLE!! I suppose I am just really appreciative of my kids this week. They have been able to minister to my heart in a unique way. Jesus really is faithful. He knows I was feeling lonely in that way. I just really miss my Daddy. I really do.

Me and Daddy in 2009 at a Baylor baseball game. 


Sunday, July 28, 2013

It's been a whole month since my Daddy went to Jesus. Oh how I miss him so. I miss his hands a lot of the time. I'm not sure why. I guess because a big portion of my childhood was spent coming back to holding his hand.

I think about how I'm an adult now. How I have a real job and have real responsibilities. I think about how Dad and Mom helped to prepare me to be a wife. I question lately if I'm ready to be an adult. Having him gone makes me anxious sometimes because I can't ask him any advice or questions anymore. I don't remember questioning this before I got married. I have been thinking about this point a lot. What if my car breaks down? Who will I ask? What about investments? What about when Ben and I want to buy a house someday? What about when we name our first child? Are Ben and I doing a good job and being wise? These questions are ones I wish I had the ability to ask my Dad.

I just MISS him. It's an aching feeling, not always painful, just an ache. Really hard to describe. The best way to describe it is like an ocean. With waves coming in I feel overwhelmed with sadness or missing or anger. Mainly sadness. It hits me like the tide. I don't expect it sometimes. I watched the memorial slideshow for the first time on Friday. I thought to myself, "Kambly, you've already seen it, you won't cry at all!" Oops. Fail. Of course I sobbed. Combo of the pics and the songs. The tide crashed into my soul and squeezed out all my emotions. You just feel dry after these things. Kinda like sand I suppose. I feel raw and drained after I weep. It's healing almost.

Like every situation that is sad, there is also GOOD. Jesus is so incredibly faithful. When the tide draws back, I continue to feel restored. Songs and scripture have really ministered to me lately. I LOVE MUSIC. I love to sing, I don't care if I sing well. I just love it. Every time the waves go back into the ocean, I feel Jesus build me up again. I feel stronger than I did before. The current is strong. I can see myself being shaped in the sand. I can feel it. I am a Woman of Faith. I never thought this before...I do now. I am a woman of strong emotion. Jesus loves me for this. He loves the way I feel and express it. He's told me so many times that it is OKAY to look differently when I grieve. I am a beautiful painting. With strong and vivid colors. My life is plastered upon the canvas. You can see the mountains Jesus and I have climbed. You can see the pits I've dwelled before. He was there too. I see the painting alive with color, so vibrant. Jesus calls to me with colors and music. He shows me that I am a work of art. I am worth spending time on. I am worth knowing.

My Dad used to always tell me towards the end of his life that I was "awesome." It became his word to say. I cried as I watched this video from a few months ago. Dad couldn't speak for a while, but he always mouthed what he wanted to communicate. In this video he says, "I love you Kambly. You're awesome."

He always loved so well. I miss him telling me that. Also- I have found so much comfort in this song lately. Listen. 

Psalms 42:7-8 (NLT)
"I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweep over me. But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life."

Psalm 93:3-4 (MSG)
"Sea storms are up, God,
Sea storms wild and roaring,
Sea storms with thunderous breakers.

Stronger than wild sea storms,
Mightier than sea-storm breakers,
Mighty God rules from High Heaven."

as of late.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Going through something hard is such an interesting thing. Most people don't know what to do or say to people who have lost someone or are going through something. I have found, the BEST thing for you to do for someone you love that is struggling is to ask them, "How can I be there for you right now?" It pretty much works in every circumstance!

Oh my goodness. If people who love me asked me that whenever they thought about me or my Dad, it would be such a blessing!! I completely understand that people don't know what to say sometimes. I have been there! And I don't think I handled things in the best way. I thought that those people wouldn't want to talk about it so I shouldn't ask. Wrong! One thing I have learned though, is that asking the best approach, in my opinion. Sometimes I don't want to talk about how I'm doing. Sometimes I want to cry. Sometimes I just need hugs. Sometimes I need quality time. Sometimes I want to be distracted. Sometimes I want to go somewhere. With this situation, I feel like it's different most of the time. Every day could be different! If I don't want to talk about it, I will say it! I cannot tell you how much it means to me when people who really care about me, ask me what they can do for me right now. I realize that not everyone knew my Dad and feels the acute loss that I feel. But I know they care about me and how I'm doing. I'm not really okay, to be honest. It's really hard when random people ask me how I'm doing and I feel like I have to pretend I'm okay and not cry, when that's all I want to do. I know I don't have to be okay. But I still feel like people expect me to be. It's hard to explain! With that being said, I am SO thankful that this isn't consuming me. It really isn't, thanks to Jesus. He is so faithful to be with me during the joyful times as well as the times of hurt.

A hard part of losing my Dad is watching people's lives move on from it. I know it sounds selfish, but it's so painful to watch other people sometimes when you feel the LOSS of someone you love so much. I do feel the loss. I miss my Dad's emails. I miss his smile and his face so much. I miss his hands. I miss feeding him and hugging him. I miss his voice. Sometimes it really hits me, especially at big events. Other times I don't think about it. I can push it out of my mind. When I am alone, or with Ben, I feel like I can actually be sad with the tears spilling over instead of being contained. That's when I let the sadness in and don't try to push it away. No, I am not always sad with Ben haha, we always have fun together. I just mean I am so comfortable being myself around him. I'm so thankful for grace.

I don't really know the purpose of this post but to express my feelings as of late. And to say thank you to those people who ask what I need from them right now. If you do ask me, I'll try to tell you as best I can. Sometimes, it's just a chai hehe :)

one week.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

It's been a week since my Dad went to go see Jesus. It's been a crazy week. A painful week.

I want to write about how amazing my Dad is. I think I will do snippets gradually. One of the hardest things about my Dad being gone is having to talk in the past tense. I HATE IT SO MUCH. So I'm not going to right now.

Wednesday was the Memorial Service for my Dad and it was SO AMAZING. Don't get me wrong, it was extremely painful and sad....but it was so joyful as well. My family and I wanted it to be a celebration of Dad's life. Of the incredible encouragement he has always and will always be to everyone. Bobby (the one who married Ben and I) was the one who spoke at Dad's graveside and memorial. My goodness Jesus answered my prayers specifically with the words Bobby spoke. Some things I don't think I even prayed for, but Jesus knew what I wanted and needed.

I wish I could fully express the way my heart felt those hours on July 3rd. Jesus is so sweet to know exactly what each of my family members needed to hear. I am so grateful that I have a life with Jesus. I can't imagine how people feel when their Dad dies and they have no Hope.

My Jesus knows my sensitive and tender heart. He has held me so close the past few weeks. It makes me cry to thing how comforting He has been. He gave me the best friends in the world. It is incredible how much a community can affect your life. Those people know who they are. They dropped everything to make sure I was okay, to do anything to give comfort, to show tangibly how they love me. It's so hard to explain the way my soul felt this past week. I mean, THANK YOU JESUS. He is so gracious and SO loving. As I write, I just cry because He is so good.

I'm not an expert on the grieving process. I do know that there has been a sense of grief the past 3.5 years my Dad has been sick but it doesn't compare to this. It's been messy and raw. I go through waves almost. Happiness, sadness, joy, heart-breaking pain, longing, and contentment. I know it's necessary. It helps to write now. I haven't had much alone time, or rest-time. This helps.

I don't know what this blog will look like in the coming months. I am just bursting at the seems right now to tell everyone that HE IS FAITHFUL. He keeps showing me that, so sweetly. I trust Him. I really do. I feel so close to my family. We have a bond that can't be broken! And I am so thankful for my husband, I love him so much.

If Dad was here right now, I know he'd tell me: "You're awesome. You're beautiful. I love you."

I miss him so much. I know he's just sitting at Jesus' feet right now praising Him. What a crazy picture!

married one year.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy 1 Year Anniversary to my Ben.

I can't believe a whole year has gone by. I always talk to people about how marriage is the BEST. I really do believe that!!!

This year has been the best year of my life. I can't imagine what life would be like if Jesus didn't give me Ben. I look back to when I first met Ben and didn't realize that God had a hand in it then, but I so do now. 

first night we met.
3 years ago I met a joyful, fun, and crazy dancer named Ben Belz. I remember the first time I saw him I thought, "Well he's kinda cute." I thought he was cute in a mysterious yet teddy-bear like way. I met him in April of my Sophomore year. I had just gone through a break up and WAS NOT looking for anyone to like. We went to an animated movie and then a dance party (so indicative of our life together now). I remember thinking that he was so peaceful and yet so happy at the same time. I remember wanting to be around him. He had a confidence about him that I lacked so greatly. Being around Ben was like being closer to Jesus, my Spirit felt so lifted. During this time, I was wrecked emotionally. Not many people knew how broken my heart was. I was so worried because my Dad was starting to slur his speech, we knew something was wrong, but not what. I felt insecure. I felt alone. I was clinging onto Jesus with every ounce that was within me because I felt so desperate. Over the next few months, Ben and I would talk occasionally or hang out with a group of people. During this time, we gradually learned a little more about what was happening with my Dad. 

During that summer, Ben and I talked ALL the time. We would text and skype. I remember thinking to myself, "Why do I feel so drawn to him? Why do I feel like I should share about the situation with my Dad? Why do I feel like I'm supposed to talk to him more and more?" I remember sharing the situation with Ben about Dad and how scared I was to find out what was going on. I knew he would pray for me. Not in a flippant way, but truly pray in earnest. Later I found out that Ben was so moved by me sharing everything and so moved by my family's situation that he cried with his friends about it. He is such a compassionate man. 

The next few months after we found out my Dad had Lou Gehrig's disease, Ben pursued me relentlessly. I refused so many times even though I had this feeling in my Spirit that I was supposed to be with him. It is so hard to explain even to this day. I did not want to date Ben. But I knew I was supposed to? Ben was so faithful. Waiting patiently for my heart to figure things out. Waiting patiently for me to say "yes" to God. Waiting while I struggled and was angry about my Dad's diagnosis. Ben was ALWAYS there. When we did start officially dating, it finally felt so right. Immediately we became so close. Most couples take longer to progress to emotional levels like we did in just a few short months. I think it had to do with what was happening outside our relationship! I remember I knew that I loved him when he met my family and my Dad for the first time (I've always wanted a husband like my Dad). I remember the way he interacted with my family. So patient and loving. So caring and tender. 

Over the past 3 years that I've known Ben Belz, I've become more convinced how like Jesus he is. I've never been more convinced as I am now that Ben was the one man meant for me. Jesus knew what I needed. He placed Ben in my life in one of the most difficult seasons and has brought us through together. It is so sweet to know that Ben has seen it all. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I mean what other 24 year old would be willing to shower his Father-in-Law, or hug his Mother-in-Law when she cries. Benjamin Belz has the most loving heart I know. I have never felt so completely loved and cherished by anyone besides the Lord. He consistently communicates Truth. 

I don't know what I would do without the love of my life. Being in love with someone like Ben has caused me to grow so much. I see Jesus differently when I'm with Ben. I watch someone serve and lead SO selflessly. The way Ben loves others teaches me so much. How faithful and loyal he is. How honest and respectful he is. He loves like Jesus....relentlessly and unabashedly. 

Ben, you are the love of my life. I am so much more in love with you today, than a year ago. You are my greatest friend and ally. You encourage me. You love me. You support and lead me so well. The vows I wrote one year ago, I pledge to you again :)

My Beloved,
one year ago.

Today in front of our Jesus, family and friends,

I promise to love you in every season of our lives,

I choose to walk this path together forever,

Just like Ruth in the Bible I say: Where you go, I’ll go. Where you stay, I’ll stay.

I will continually commit to honor, respect, and cherish you,

I promise to always make sure you take care of your diabetes, and I will care for you as I care for my own body.

After praying and waiting for the One God had for me, I have worn this purity ring for 10 years and today I symbolically give it to you, I give you myself fully. I will keep myself only for you as long as we live.

I promise to remain faithful to you my Ben. I commit to seek Jesus while loving you. I choose to throw off all other entanglements and run hard after Jesus beside you. I set my goal in life to please both God and you in all things.

I promise to tenderly serve you, support, and stand by you all our days.

It is my joy to embrace this wonderful life with you my best friend.

Obviously the purity ring part is invalid now. Been there done that haha! I love you so much, my wonderful husband. You are my best friend. 

Your wife,

thankful list.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sometimes when I feel the tendency to be ungrateful is far outweighing my tendency to appreciate, I try to make a thankful list. I struggle with comparing myself to others. It's something I've become very aware about myself lately. I don't know why I do it. I compare my looks, my friendships, my marriage and my things. It just KILLS me. Once I start, it is almost as if I can't stop. I dig myself deeper and deeper until it feels as if I am at the bottom of a huge well. There the rope is too short for me to reach and pull myself out. Sometimes, if I am not too self-absorbed, I look around at the bottom and I see that Jesus is standing there with me. I ask Him for help and He invites me to stand on His shoulders so I can reach the rope. He helps me CHOOSE to get out of the well. Even though I know He's there with me, it's so hard for me to choose to get out of the darkness sometimes! In an effort to truly relish in thankfulness, I am going to list some things I'm thankful for :)

I'm thankful for...

  1. Ben
  2. my family
  3. 11 months of marriage with my best friend
  4. 9 year old hands holding mine
  5. people calling me "Mrs. Belz"
  6. being debt-free
  7. my car, Suzi :)
  8. my necklace Dad gave me on my wedding day
  9. my Bible app
  10. our down comforter
  11. flowers in our home
  12. peanut butter cookies
  13. hugs that last long
  14. smiles that light the room
  15. my wedding ring
  16. chai
  17. Ben
  18. my BU tervis
  19. humidity making my hair curl
  20. shampoo that smells like heaven 
  21. talks with Mom
  22. our apartment looking over the river
  23. waco
  24. our church
  25. Truth
  26. no babies yet
  27. new married friends
  28. encouraging texts
  29. anniversary trip planning
  30. my job
  31. my phone
  32. snapchat hehe
  33. slurpees
  34. drives with Ben
  35. skies prettier than paint
  36. late nights with friends
  37. Ben
  38. working with Sarah
  39. jean shorts
  40. my computer
  41. having a sexy husband
  42. dance with Dad at our wedding
  43. SUMMER
  44. colors
  45. felt tipped pens
  46. washer and dryer
  47. grace
  48. nail polish
  49. emojis
  50. JESUS. thank you Lord.
It feels good to speak thankfulness over yourself. I am thankful.

big hearted littles.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My 3rd graders are so sweet. Sometimes it's really easy for me to forget that. I spend so much time with 8 and 9 year olds that they really start to look big to me. I view them as mature individuals who should be able to sit still for an hour at a time! Alas, this is impossible for most ;) 

But what I really want to talk about today is how sweet my babies are. One of my students in my class is from West and their house was destroyed in the accident. Since he was at school the next day, I knew he would want to talk about what happened. Praise the Lord he and his family were at their church and were protected from the roof collapsing on them! Friday morning, instead of starting Reading right away, I decided to call one of our Family Meetings. I told the kids what happened in West and that a lot of families were affected by this. They were all so attentive and quiet as they listened to the events that led up to the explosion. As I told them information, I could see in their eyes this precious thing. I could see them have compassion, sympathy, empathy, love and the desire to help. How could I tell this? I am pretty perceptive and I spend almost 8 hours a day with each of them ;) I asked my student from West if he would like to share his story and he stood up in front of his friends. He talked and teared up about his house and the possibility of losing his pets. 

I wish I had a picture of my little 3rd graders. They were SO patient and respectful and just SUPPORTIVE to their friend. They peppered him with so many questions: How did you survive? Are your pets ok? Do you have money? Do you have clothes? Can we bring you toys? Are your cars ok? And on and on and on. My favorite question though was this: "Why were you at church?" and his answer was, "To worship God." I was so proud!! What a man he will be. He is going to be a bold sharer of the gospel, I know it! 

Basically, we all decided that we wanted to come up with some money for a giftcard for his family. The days after the explosion were filled with SO MANY people giving to this family. I love community! I was so especially proud of my big hearted little students. 

I love my job. I love my students....even though today they made me want to pull my HAIR out! Today I wrote them all encouraging notes and so many of them wrote me the sweetest notes back. It always makes me feel better after a day I've felt like I've constantly had to be on them about stuff. I feel so mean and harsh on those days. When they say I'm "the nicest" teacher...I think they're wrong, but at least it makes my heart full :) 

Grateful that Jesus encourages me through all people. Especially the ones we never expect, like 8 and 9 year olds. I love their little eyes, crazy hair in the mornings, and smelly bodies after recess. I especially love their tears of empathy and hugs of love. They make me so happy. I wish everyone could spend a week in a classroom and see what goes on. Children are so powerful. I love their minds and hearts. I love LOVE being around them. 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ben and I went to Round Rock to help with my family this past Sunday (which we often do on the weekends) and it was a really hard day. Automatically when we decided to go, I was bombarded with feelings of guilt and uneasiness. Ben always says that he doesn't know why I feel guilty going to visit my family when it's the most un-selfish thing to do. I don't know, I just feel like I'm not BEING where I'm at. Or that I'm using too much gas etc etc. Ben is always the confirmer in situations like these. He ALWAYS says, "Kam. We're going. You want to see your family. I want to see your family. We want to help. There is no doubt that Jesus wants to bless them this way." I love Ben. Oh man I love him!!! Anyways, when we get there, it is SO hard. I feel so much doubt in Jesus' promise to heal. I feel so much discouragement and just extreme sadness.  When we left, I still felt this way: wishing I could help MORE, wishing I could take the pain and sadness away from me and my family. So many wishes.

We left Round Rock early enough to make it to church and we were trying to decide if we should indeed go since I was bawling in the car. We went. Praise sweet Jesus. I cannot EXPLAIN how perfect the entire service was. It was as if Jesus planned it out just for me. Songs about restoration, renewal, His love, letting go of burdens, new days, and more of His love. Oh man it washed over me like rain. Flooded with the Spirit and overwhelmed with His presence as I gave my family up to Him.

THEN the most amazing thing happened. This woman told one of the pastors she had a word for an individual in church tonight and for our congregation. Right then, I KNEW it was for me. I don't know how, I just knew. She got up and said that the Lord gave her a vision of a bag of groceries and in that bag were vegetables. All the vegetables had an expiration date on them, so that individual was throwing them away. BUT the Lord said those vegetables are MY PROMISES. There is NO EXPIRATION on them. You shouldn't give up because you have put an expiration date on them when there is none! My promises are GOOD and they NEVER run out OR expire!!!!!

BOOM. Hit Ben and I like a ton of bricks. We just start WEEPING in church. I can't explain the comfort I felt. Just of so many cries from my heart answered. It was like this verse:

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans."- Hebrews 8:26 MSG

What a good word. So needed!!!! Jesus seriously ROCKS. He is so tender, so rich with love. When fear or doubt creeps in, He is the hope for my soul.

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure."- Hebrews 6:19 NIV

Be encouraged. His promises have no expiration date.

hello january 4th.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Blogging is funny. I feel like I blog about the same things most of the time but I don't care. I like it.

I want to brag about my husband. Just because I love him so much. I always knew I would love being married but it has SO far exceeded my expectations.

ice-skating in Kansas
Ben is my BEST friend. He is every quality I want and need in a friend. (I can't believe that I almost didn't go on a first date with him!!!) I'm sure that most wives feel like this about their husband but you'd be wrong because BEN IS THE BEST. Just kidding. But really, he is. Ben is the man I prayed and waited for. Jesus is so sweet.

Being married to Ben Belz is the best experience I've ever had. Cheesy right? Don't care. Not only is he the HOTTEST sexiest man EVER, but he is a man of AMAZING character. I don't know many people who would so wholeheartedly love and help someone like Ben does. Every time we go home to my parent's house, Ben is one of the first people to jump up when my Dad needs something. Because Dad can't really talk anymore, communicating is very difficult. Typically conversations are a very long process and take so much patience from both my Dad and the person listening. Ben spent almost 2 hours getting my Dad's advice on car insurance because he knew it would mean a lot to him. Ben is such a man of patience and respect.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Ben is the most selfless person I have ever encountered. When I'm in a puddle of tears, he prays for me. When I feel sick or discouraged, he serves me better than I ever have been. He ALWAYS pursues me and it is a priority to him for me to feel loved. Over the break, I woke up many mornings and thought, "How in the world did I get so lucky?" Of course he responds, "I'm the lucky one." #whatever

Ben, you are the love of my life. Jesus chose the perfect partner and friend for me to spend life with. I love living life with you!!! I don't think I will ever lose the giddiness I feel when I see you. Whether it's from across our apartment, or down the hall at my school. I love being nerdy with you. And I love that my kids see how ridiculously awesome you are.....

"MR. BELZ ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!"

Why yes, little 3rd graders, he does. AND HE IS MINE.

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