Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Blog Site

Hi! Thanks for stopping by. My blog has moved!

Click this link for my new blog site:  Kimberly Rae's Blog

or go to www.kimberlyrae.com.

Thanks and have a blessed day!

Kimberly Rae
Know Your Worth, Change The World

The Framed Butterfly--Missing the Chance to Soar

  Have you ever seen a framed butterfly?  You can buy them in specialty stores.  They are beautiful.  Bright colors.  Fancy frames. 

Photos take from ebay, where these butterflies are actually for sale.
The butterfly in the frame looks safe.  Secure.  Protected forever from wind, from disease, from decay. 
But the butterfly is dead.  Her wings are forever pinned to a board.

Real Framed Museum Rare Autumn Hued Tiger Striped Butterfly 680
Once she flew free and beautiful and radiant.  In doing so, each day she risked damage, hurt, and abuse from the world all around her. 
But she lived.  She flew.  And sometimes she caught a gust of wind, and she soared.
I want to soar, but I find myself thinking backwards about what soaring means.  I tend to think it means being active, busy, involved in some great way that makes me feel significant.  Yet however much those things fill me with temporary good feelings, in the end I find them actually becoming things that hold me down, keep me from true soaring—the freedom and flight that is true peace.
Most of the time I cannot soar—cannot live truly at peace—because I am afraid.  I fear what others think of me.  I fear them looking at my life and assuming I am lazy because I am not involved in every possible activity at church, or I fear they will think I am incompetent if I say no to certain activities that might be expected of me.  Perversely, one of the reasons I do not fly is actually myself—my own expectations of what a good woman of God should be, should look like, should do.  I end up weighing myself down with anxiety and stress—things too heavy to carry into the clouds on my thin, weak wings.
I’m afraid to let go of the things that on the surface give me a sense of significance.  I’m afraid to give up my clinging hold to what feels stable and secure.  So I remain somewhere in between the butterfly that is free and the butterfly forever pinned down.  I am not free, but the things that keep me on the ground are pins of my own choosing.  Pins I myself placed to keep my wings from catching the unpredictable, uncertain winds of change and risk.
And yet, sometimes I look up and long for the wonder that could be mine if I would only take the chance.

I am not the only one.  I see women all around me who are afraid.  We see the fragility within our nurturing nature.  We see the wind in the harsh world around us and fear the vulnerability in our small, thin wings.  We want to protect ourselves.  So we hide inside our schedules.  We stay safe under a blanket of stress-producing expectations.
But to do so is to die to what God created us to be. 
God created us to be beautiful, radiant, at peace.  Not needing to prove anything.
Have you ever seen anything truly beautiful that did not fill your heart with rest?  The very nature of beauty is what sets our souls at peace. 
A gentle stream flowing over your bare feet.  A bouquet of flowers, just because.  The serenity on the face of a sleeping child.
Yes, you.   
God’s intention for you is beauty.  He created you as a woman.  He gave you the deep down desire to be feminine, to be beautiful, to put others’ souls at rest by your peace.
Femininity has become a bad word in our present culture.  It has become synonymous with weakness—with any woman who refuses to achieve her full potential and is therefore lesser than those who “do it all”.

"We are so cool because we look gorgeous while working our tails off."
I feel that.  I feel it every time I check “housewife” on one of those information sheets at the doctor’s office, imagining the reactions from all those who feel I am less of a person because I am “just” a wife and mother, and do not have a career added to that.  I feel it because I have chronic health problems, and have to say no sometimes to keep my family my first ministry.  I even feel it from the church sometimes, where it feels like even my spirituality is determined by how active I am—in ways that show, of course.
I propose the idea that it is not how busy we are that determines our closeness with our Savior.  Rather, it is whether or not we can rest in Him, not having to prove ourselves to feel worthy of His love.
Doing too much is just as wrong as doing too little.  I am learning, albeit slowly, that if I am not at peace, no matter how busy I am “for the Lord,” I am not right with Him.  Effort in and of itself is not soaring.  In fact, effort can be the very thing keeping us on the ground.

What if I get to the end of my life and face God, proud of the handful of achievements and activities I have brought from my life, only to hear Him say that what He wanted was for me to be content with the job, however small, He had asked of me and to show and share that contentment with others?  A butterfly so intently busy securing myself to the ground, I never fulfilled by purpose in showing others how to fly.
If you think about it, butterflies do not do much on the grand scale of life on earth.  They don’t help the ozone layer, or perpetuate the ecosystem in a big way.  They do their part, each of them, but they don’t strive to do any more than their part.  They are what God created them to be, and that is enough.
But a purpose for the butterfly that is often overlooked is beauty.  The butterfly is beautiful, something that brings joy to its Maker, and joy to any who see it.  If people stop and watch a butterfly, their hearts respond to its fragile beauty and its serenity.  

Like a butterfly, you have so much to offer the world—not in a multitude of impressive achievements, in just being you.  In soaring unafraid, which is a song of praise to your Maker.  In being beautiful, a gentle and quiet spirit that is so precious to God, and so peace-giving to others around you. 
Wouldn’t you want to be around someone like that?  A woman who wasn’t competing with her looks or her talent or her accomplishments? 
Wouldn’t you enjoy the soul-filling refreshment of being around a woman truly at peace?
God enjoys it too.  And He wants you to be that woman.
Stop hiding, dear butterfly.  Stop trying to be so strong.  In your quest for freedom you find yourself enchained.
Let go of everyone else’s expectations for you, and even your own expectations for yourself.  Find who God wants you to be.  Let that be your goal, alone, no matter the risk.
Then soar, butterfly.  Soar.

Trafficking and Teen Girls--Nancy Drew Isn't Real and the Bad Guys aren't that Stupid

Nancy Drew books were fun. She was always getting kidnapped or held hostage. The bad guys would say, "We're going to kill you," but then they'd go to the grocery store or somewhere else, giving her a couple of hours to come up with a creative way to escape.

 Product Details

Thanks in part to Nancy, I grew up thinking that to be captured was cool, that it would be exciting to get close to danger because there was always a way out, and I would be a heroine.

Then I grew up. I found out that Nancy Drew isn't real, and the bad guys aren't that stupid.

Sadly, there are girls who don't figure that out in time. I have a friend who works with prostitutes. Several of them said they got into prostitution after watching the movie Pretty Woman, about a prostitute who meets a nice, rich guy, they fall in love and live happily ever after. These girls thought that might happen to them.

But it doesn't.

Since my suspense/romance novels on human trafficking have come out (www.stolenwoman.org), I've had the opportunity to speak to lots of groups of women and girls. Teen girls are especially important to me, because in America, they are the ones at risk. In the US, the big target is runaways. Pimps are good at seeing what a girl is seeking and becoming that...for a time, until they are trapped.

I want to talk with teen girls because they can make a difference. Not just by getting involved in different activist groups. They can make a difference themselves, where they are. And you can, too. Here's how:

For parents:
1. Teach teen girls to find their worth in Jesus Christ, so they don't look for it in dangerous places.
2. Keep open communication with your teenager. Be the kind of person they can come to if they are struggling.
3. Be real with your teen about the dangers out there, especially on the internet. Predators can pose as young girls, or even be young girls working for traffickers. Know who your kids hang out with online.

For teen girls:
1. Know how much you are loved and valued by God. The One who made the universe says you are worth dying for. That's pretty amazing. (Psalm 139, Jeremiah 31:3, Zephaniah 3:17, John 3:16)
2. Don't look for your worth, or try to prove your worth, by your looks, your body, or the attention you can get from guys, especially the older, edgy kind. I know if feels powerful, but it is often a door to a place you don't want to go.
3. Never, ever go alone to meet someone you met over the internet. If someone online even suggests a meeting, tell your parents about it. I'm in my 30s and I've been propositioned online--it happens.
4. Befriend the girls on the fringe, the ones who--if they disappeared--people would assume they ran away. Those girls are targeted, so your friendship could actually save their lives.
5. If you know your worth in Jesus, share it with other girls, so they don't need to be looking for it in the wrong places either.

Nancy Drew stories aren't true, but that does not mean that happy endings are impossible. We can change the world, one person, one heart at a time.

Let's start with the hearts of the girls closest to us.