Monday, November 29, 2010

Story Time

One of the main reasons to tell your story is to make it easier for someone else to tell theirs. I like that sentence and I believe it is true. That doesn't make it easy to tell my story, but I am my sister's keeper and so I think of her...whoever "her" may be. I am thinking of her as I begin my road of words...traveling down them...sometimes skipping merrily, spreading laughter among the mayhem and sometimes jumping in ditches to survive the blasts from the land mines I set for myself.  I have wanted to do this for awhile...this spilling of guts that may help me understand the girl I was and the woman I became...and in turn perhaps shed light on "her" story. I would tell her not to be ashamed of what she has done....for she should see what I have done...and yet I have found grace and forgiveness and the  peace that is found in the shadow of the Cross.

The two things that most shaped me...for better and for worse...were being raised in the Southern Baptist Church and spending a lot of my youth in the microcosm of society known as the trailer park. These are descriptors...when attached to your not get you nominated for homecoming queen. But honestly, I was well into high school before I had an understanding of this stigma and how it could impact my life. My folks took good care of us and I always thought the trailers we lived in were oh-so cozy in the long Wisconsin winters...and with the exception of tornado season...I always felt safe. Mom, Dad, two sisters snuggled up on the couch watching westerns.  I kinda liked the idea that the trailer park was just John Wayne putting the wagons in a circle. 'Cept that we put it in a circle and then put cinderblocks under them and stayed put for a few years.  We were hard-working, honorable people just like the pioneers who headed west in their covered wagons. Our wagons had tin roofs and we only got as far as the west-side of town...but still.

The Church was a little more subtle in its sabotaging of my life. Here, in a place I thought was safe and different, ultimately came the confirmation that I was an outsider...not quite good enough...and that God himself was not pleased with my kind. Why else did he give tornadoes a hunger for trailer parks? It felt like when God cleaned house he liked to use His Heavenly Hoover on the likes of us....which totally confirmed the little messages I received along the road to maturity. I was powerless. I would never be anything special. It would be many years before I understood that it wasn't God who damaged me, but people. Flawed human beings who just happened to quote scripture and smile while not choosing me for their team.

Sometimes I am envious of people who didn't grow up with the words Revival and Evangelist in their vocabulary...who didn't have two uncles as Baptist Ministers and parents who were Sunday School teachers. Then I would have found Jesus later in life and what a revelation that would be! His Saving Grace would be new and fresh and I would have stood on the street corner proclaiming his Glory....which I suppose is not too late to do. But when you grow up with Him from the age of zero you kinda take him for granted. It was hard to grasp that He was the Savior of the World....honestly he sorta felt like a special, much loved uncle. Yes...that who he was...Uncle Jesus. It would take me over forty years to call him Abba....Father.

My earliest memory is of walking across a stretch of desert outside of Palmdale, California with my daddy holding my hand. I was two and half years old. We had moved to southern California for one winter, while my Dad completed a temporary construction job digging ditches. My sister, Julie, was born while we there.  If I close my eyes I can feel the hot desert wind whipping against me and I can see the vastness of the sandy spectacle. In the Bible when God has something special in mind for a particular person....a call to greatness that He needs to prepare them for...he sends them to the desert.  He sent me to one when I was two and sometimes I feel like he forgot to give me the Google map to get out. But that was a special day....I was in the desert with my Daddy...and today I am in the desert with my Father...the wind is beating the heck out of me....but it has not blown me away. I spend my days in preparation...growing in the grit that comes from being spiritually sandblasted and on the look-out....always on the watch for what He would have me to do. I sure as heck don't want the desert lessons to be lost on me.

So I invite you to take a trip with me. In this blog I will tell you my story. In this story I will hand you my heart. My sisters and I often tease each other and say..."Love yer guts!"  Which is in essence saying I love every single thing that is inside of you...even if it is yucky and slimy and I wouldn't want to hold it in my hand. And that's how my Lord God loves me. He loves my guts. And He's the one giving me the guts to begin Story Time.

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  1. Wow! Kc, we have led such parallel lives! My parents moved us from the city- Denver- to a small mining town in the mountains. We moved from a 4 bedroom house to an 8 x 45 trailer on the outskirts of town. We only got one tv station in black & white, if you held one arm out the window and held your tounge just right.
    The church (Baptist) was our community & extended family.
    What you said about watching the westerns and circling the wagons was so familiar, I felt right at home!
    Thanks for sharing your story, I hope to hear more!
    And to think, you're just up the road from me now!
    Thanks, Kathy

  2. Thanks for welcoming me to your journey. I am right there with you!


  3. ~I will be following you in your Story Time & maybe I will tell mine.~It was filled with love,7 children in a 3 bedroom ranch home.~I'm 2nd. oldest.~:)
    Thank you for starting Story Time~ :)

  4. I am definitely looking forward to reading more!

  5. From someone who is also in the desert with her heavenly Father, I'll be following this blog closely.

  6. KC,
    Very thoughtful, honest & moving. I love the idea of being 'real'. We all have things that shaped us into the people we are today. It either shapes you, or breaks you. Lisa

  7. Oh to know more about our beloved KC...wonderful. Thank you for giving us glimpses into your past, your life...your heart.

  8. KC,

    Brave soul that you are I have no doubt that we will both be blessed by the telling and listening to this story. Praying God's best blessings on your steps of faith in this new journey, thanks for the invite to travel alongside you.

  9. Amen to the 'growing up in the church family' and all that goes with it. I also found my Abba Father about the same time you did. Took fed up with legalistic doctrine and a searching to see the scriptures work in my life instead of making me feel guilty. Thanks to Chuck Swindoll and his lessons on Galatians. Now I know what it means to live by Grace and be Free. Thank you, Jesus.

  10. Hi KC
    Joining you on your journey!! Hugs!

  11. i was also raised in a trailer park in Knob Noster, Missouri. i always felt the name of that town is what started me on the road to uniqueness. thanks for sharing

  12. I'm right here to join your journey. I remember my church and how I felt judged by them. That wasn't the warm feeling a church should have. Needless to say, it didn't change my faith in Christ.

    I cannot wait to read more.

  13. Can not wait for more. Poor Southern Baptist girl here. Need I say more.

  14. KC! I love this blog!! You are a true wordsmith!!


  15. Count on me to join you in this trip!
    My family moved from a house to a trailer when I was in 5th grade. It was a step down, but a step up. Thanks for helping me see the analogy to the Christian life there!
    We were a family of six(!) and like you say, it felt cozy, not crowded.

    So glad I saw your new blog announcement so I can learn from your wonderful writing and inspired insights.
    Bless you!

  16. I'm a fellow trailer-parker, but had a Methodist minister grandfather -- not Baptist. We spent the school year in El Centro, California, 25 miles from the Mexican border where my mother taught kindergarten. Then every summer we'd move to San Diego so my single mom could go to summer school at San Diego State to get her degree to better support her 4 kids. What a life!

  17. Hi Sweet Girl
    I love are such an inspiration and I can see why the Lord has put His favor on you.
    The wilderness can be a lonely place until the Lord starts speaking to you. It takes endurance... abiding. I am the Vine ye are the branches if you abide in me... I have been just hanging on and abiding in that widerness but the memory of it is like a sweet fragrance that gives me peace. It is that place I found with the Father that I can crawl up under when life gets overwhelming... it is that intimacy that the Father is showing His children - it is what He is doing right now.
    Welcome my sister to the flow of the Holy Spirit,
    You are right where you are supposed to be...
    I love your guts

  18. Hey girlfriend!

    LOVE this!! Funny story, growing up on the bayous in a "shack" I had friends that lived in trailers and I always thought that was so cool! I told my Papa that it would be so neat to live in a home that had wheels! :)

    And I also grew up with a family in the church (Papa was a preacher and also the spritual head man of the tribe). Was a pretty hard life to have to follow as a kid! God was protrayed as a mean God and would strike you down for even "thinking" something the Elders told you not to. So, I can definitely identify with this!

    I look forward to reading more! Heck my whole life may play out in front of me again? LOL xo...deb

  19. I can already tell girl..
    'Love Your Guts'!
    Bring it on...I'm ready for all of it!!
    Hugs Friend,

  20. I am so happy you are blogging your story. I love reading every word. "Love Your Guts" Holly

  21. i am truly enjoying the new beginning of this blog
    sharing your story...
    i think we all had that same stroller
    brings back my own memories

    well done!

  22. Oh KC, what a wonderful story. I mean, I know it wasn't all good, BUT the good part is when you can look back and understand how it shaped you...So you can map out where to go next. Hugs

  23. LOVE IT
    Looking forward to more.

  24. Wow, great start to a story - I can't wait to hear the rest.

  25. Oh my oh my - we are twin sisters of different mothers in many respects of the heart, spirit - blessings darling KC, I thank Jesus he brought you into my life and am happy for all you touch.

    In Love ♥ Jennifer
    (PS - I don't use my google blog, I use this one: )

  26. I'm captivated. What a beautiful gift you have for bringing the world around you to light through words. I look forward to following your journey as I have always loved your art. To know art is to see your own reflections of memory and experience in the story that piece reveals; but to know the artist, opens a window into an experience otherwise impossible to play a part in. Thank you. : )

  27. You have so much love to share with us KC & it seems you never stop giving.... I know we only have known each other for a short time but I feel in my heart our connection is very powerful. I love what Rebecca wrote & can only learn from women like you both. They say 90% of all our health comes from our guts so I guess we know what we need to be filling them up with now! How uplifting & refreshing to have a place like this to visit..see yer in the trailer park! xooxo Laura

  28. I'm so glad God told you to do this because as I sat here reading this first entry I wondered to myself why in the world didn't I think to do it!
    Well, it's because God wanted YOU to do it and YOU LISTENED.
    Praise the Lord!
    I will happily follow this blog as you tell us more about Uncle Jesus and your life, Jan

  29. I stumbled across you today and have to say this post is exciting. Not raised Southern Baptist but Pentecostal, and those evangelist, I am so with you and Uncle Jesus. He has always been a part of my life, but I see Him much different than I did as a child and am happy to be on this journey. It has crossed my mind quite often of late, that I do not share the stories of my life and how they and God shaped me. God has carried me along this journey, but so much I do not share. Am looking forward to reading yours...


  30. Thank you so much my dear and wonderful friends. This blog has been up less than 48 hours and I am amazed by the response. I am excited about taking this trip with you. Love you.

  31. I don't know how I found your blog. Divine Intervention? I don't know. A few years back, I would have said definitely.
    I didn't become a Christian until age 33.
    Age 54 now.
    But in a few short years, experienced and understand, legalistic, evangelical, Pentecostal,
    Christianese. I'm not in the fold right now, I know Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and that I will never be snatched from his hand. At a point where I don't want to be part of the fold. Look forward to following you.

  32. This is good... very good. I was touched by every word you wrote. Thank you for doing this. It was like a sip of cool refreshing water for I am in the desert with you right now. And I've always had trouble with google maps, even if I had one. Love yer guts sister.

    ;~) Debi

  33. I am glad I stumbled upon your blog even though your story is very alien to me! I am a Brit so the 'stigma' of trailer parks is not fully understood. Nor the Southern Baptist bit - is that a 'wrong' thing to be? I dont know but I do know that you are 'real' and I look forward to story time.
    hugs from across the pond