hope sign

hope sign

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Memory Lane

Yesterday, I turned 43 years old.  I didn't get a chance to write because of a full schedule so I am going to do some remembering on today's blog.

Kimi's timeline (backwards):

July 29, 2014- Kimi turns 43, she has 3 grandsons and 1 more on the way.  She has been married for 25 years, has three grown children and two of them are married to wonderful people.  She has gone from Pastors daughter to Pastors wife in the church she grew up in.  

July 29, 2004- Kimi turns 33, she is on her way home from Germany with Bo and Jake. They were finishing up the Sound of Music tour of Germany, Austria and Switzerland with Jake's German class.  It was an amazing trip.  The next day, Bo and Kimi are going to settlement on their new home and moving in...the next couple of days are a blur.

July 29, 1994- Kimi turns 23, she has three little ones, Jake is four, Juliana is two and Kelcie is one.  This is their first summer in the house they purchased in Calvert.  Unfortunately, it doesn't have air conditioning, so I am guessing, Kimi is at her mothers with her three babies, cooling off.

July 29, 1989- (Yes, I am going back 5 years now instead of 10)-Kimi turns 18, she is a newly wed by only a couple of weeks...28 days to be exact.  After work, Kimi goes to her parents to sleep until Bo picks her up.  Only one car, they live in a tiny one bedroom apartment but Happy doesn't even describe how they feel.

July 29, 1984- Kimi turns 13, she is a teenager now.  Each year through her teens, Kimi spends her birthday at Mount Deliverance Youth Camp.  Great days.  Had a really bad perm!  Was getting ready to attend public school for the first time since 1st grade.  This was a transition year for Kimi, it was going to be a rough year.

July 29, 1979- Kimi turns 8.  Truthfully, the only thing I can remember about my life right then is that we lived in the apartment above the church.  I am sure playing with my brother and sisters.

July 29, 1971- Kimi was born to Ronald and Lorraine Estep.

While I was trying to go to sleep the night before my birthday, my life's timeline kept running through my mind.  Where was I ten years ago?  What was I doing 20 years ago?  So, I made a mental note to sit and write it down.  Good things are always happening around my birthday.

It's good to remember and feel the love and memories of your past.  It makes me wonder what good things are in store for me and my family.

Who knows where I will be July 29, 2024, when I turn 53.  So, today, I will celebrate this life that God has graciously given to me and my family.

Kimberly Hope Estep

Kimberly and Bo VanDyke

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Be A Sunshine Break

These boys bring sunshine into my life.

What can you say today, to brighten someones life?

Could it be, "I love you" or "I'm thinking about you"?

Maybe, a text sent to your spouse, telling him/her that your day would be better if you were together at that very moment.

Beautiful Havre de Grace, Maryland

Do you ever think that being an encourager is a ministry?  Lifting people up, acknowledging them and their gifts, being a cheerleader for others...a ministry. Building their faith, helping them reach their full potential, seeing beyond yourself...ministering to the needs of others. 

I actually know a couple of people who are exactly like what I just typed...encourager's.  Let me tell you, IT'S A CALLING STRAIGHT FROM GOD!! 
I honestly don't know where I'd be without my encouragement enhancers. Bringing light into this dark world.  Not a fake, sickie sweet lie.  True, from the heart, L*O*V*E!  

I want to be the sunshine in someones life.  Not just my family and close friends, but to someone who I just met.  Smile at a stranger.  Hold the door open for someone.  Be kind.

There is a song that us Estep kids learned when we were little...

Do unto others
as you would have them 
do unto you.
Be kind to others 
and you'll find 
that they'll be kind too.
Don't make a promise 
unless, it's one you can keep.
The Golden Rule is simple
It means what you sow
you will reap.

I read bad news all day long.  It's on every social media outlet, it's on TV, it's in the paper...it's everywhere.  It is so easy to see the world going bad.  But even the media knows to put something funny or nice in the mix of all the bad. That's what we should be for someone.  We can be their sunshine break in bleak and broken world.  

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Magic of Ordinary Days

I love the movie, "The Magic of Ordinary Days" by Hallmark.  So much can happen when you live day in and day out with someone.  You get to see their strengths and weaknesses.  You get to know their heart and expressions.  You start to recognize how they feel with just a look at the eyes.  It's in the "ordinary" that something Extraordinary happens...LIFE.

My husband always says, "there's always hope of renewal if you are still eating out of the same Cheerios box".  You never know when that glance across the table or a whiff of his cologne or her perfume, might ignite a memory or a desire.  The Magic of Ordinary Days.

I love ordinary days.  Just being a family, making dinner, cleaning it up, laughing, sharing, watching a movie together, going to get ice cream in Nottingham, playing a game, more laughing, talking, dreaming...LIFE.

Back rubs in the family room
(Julie sorry, you were pregnant with Luke here.)

Family Crab Feasts on the back deck

It's always time for bubbles

Sleepy time for Aunt Scov and Parker

Not sure, but I sure do like Jake's can do stance!!

Sleepy time for Pop and Luke (below)

FAMILY...The magic of ordinary days.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Devotionals...Yes or No?

Henry's play school program.
He decided he was itchy.
This kid cracks me up!

What is your mindset today?  

Is it, "I can't" or "I can"?

Is it, "He won't" or "He's Able"?

I love devotionals.  Some people think that using a devotional clouds the mind or it is a diversion from the Bible.  I think of it as a tool that helps me focus and directs my study for a time.  

I started a 31 day devotion on You Version, yesterday.  It is called, Keep Your Love On: Connection.  This morning I woke up with a "can't do" attitude.  My perspective on the day and happenings around me were a bit bleak.  Then I picked up my phone (devotional is on it) and I clicked the icon.  I read, "I can't. "I have to..." These are the hallmark of the powerless person. 


I am Kimberly VanDyke, I am not powerless.  I am a child of the King.  

As my grandmother would say, "Powerless, my foot!!!".  

The devotional took me to John 5:6-7
When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, "Would you like to get well?"  "I can't, sir," the sick man said, "for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up.  Someone else always gets there ahead of me."  

Isn't that just like us?  We have the healer standing right in front of us but we don't recognize Him.  We are too busy looking at the bleak circumstances in front of us, we don't see HIM.  Thank God we don't always have to see our miracle coming.  Jesus didn't wait on this man to make a declaration, He healed him.  Verse 8 says, Jesus told him, "Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!"

Amazing, the man was healed, instantly (v 9).  He did as Jesus said and he began walking.  

God has given us the authority in our own lives to bind, lose, pray. 
Matthew 18:19, 20 NLT
"I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.  For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them."  
Such a great promise.  Powerless, not at all.  

I know who I am.  This devotional opened my eyes this morning.  I went a little further than the devotional and that's why I use this tool.  God can use the words of people I have never met to lift me out of the "poor me" mentality.  

So instead of "I can't", it's "I can"!

My day is starting to look up.  

An imperfect heart in the pavement outside my house.
Love it when God sends me heart.

Monday, July 14, 2014


Poppie Jake and Luke Aaron 

Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words! 
I get words all day through;
First from him, now from you! 
Is that all you blighters can do? 
Don’t talk of stars burning above; 
If you’re in love, Show me! 
Tell me no dreams filled with desire.
If you’re on fire, Show me!
Here we are together in the middle of the night!
Don’t talk of spring! Just hold me tight! 
Anyone who’s ever been in love’ll tell you that 
This is no time for a chat!
Haven’t your lips longed for my touch? 
Don’t say how much, Show me! Show me!
Don’t talk of love lasting through time. 
Make me no undying vow. Show me now!

Sing me no song! Read me no rhyme! 
Don’t waste my time, Show me! 
Don’t talk of June, Don’t talk of fall! 
Don’t talk at all! Show me! 
Never do I ever want to hear another word.
There isn’t one I haven’t heard. 
Here we are together in what ought to be a dream; 
Say one more word and I’ll scream! 
Haven’t your arms hungered for mine? 
Please don’t “expl’ine,” Show me! Show me! 
Don’t wait until wrinkles and lines 
Pop out all over my brow,
Show me now!
-My Fair Lady

I can hear Eliza Doolittle singing this song in My Fair Lady.  In her frustration of being in love with a man who doesn't recognize it.  WORDS WORDS WORDS!!!  That is all he was, WORDS!  He used words instead of actions.  He used words instead of feelings.  He hid behind the word game and used his words to get his own way and even at times, he used his words as weapons to hurt others.  He got so tangled up in the words that he lost the heart of what was happening around him and to him.  

We can so easily be just like Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady.  

We speak, we instruct, we rebuke, we sing, we give speeches, we preach, we teach
                          ...but are we showing it?  

Are we reaching out?  

Are we teaching by our actions?  

Are we giving?  

Are we loving?  

Are we just WORDS WORDS WORDS????

John 13:35The Message (MSG)

34-35 “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

The scripture here is not telling us to talk about it.  It is telling us to do it...LOVE.  How we live this life of love, that is how others will know.  That is where you will get your identity as a follower/disciple of Christ.  

Quit lashing out on face book or twitter or whatever social media you use.  Kill hate/fear with love.  Don't become what you are trying to fight against or who you are lashing out at.  You want love, show love.  It takes more than words.  

Give more than you receive.

Love more than you are loved.

Laugh more than you cry.

Listen more than you talk.

Lift up more.

Build more.

Encourage more.

Others may not understand it but you will be a happier person and so will they.  

Have a blessed day.