Sunday, September 8, 2013
The truth is I don't care about your outward beauty very much. I don't care that you have gained ten pounds or that you are wearing gym clothes. I don't care that your hair is frizzy and your skin is broken out. I don't care that you don't keep up with fashion trends and your clothes are mismatched. I don't care that you wear Old Navy rather than Banana Republic. I don't care that you are pear shaped rather than stick straight. I don't care that your hair is naturally dirty blonde rather than hombre. And I really don't care if your toe nails are painted and your tan lines are flawless.
I am looking for a friend with inward beauty. I want a girlfriend of character who listens, cares, and has a kind spirit. Who isn't in competition with me, but wants to hear what is really going on in my life. I want a friend who cheers me on and is happy for the blessings in my life. Who cares when I am having a hard day and is willing to lend a hand when I need it. A girlfriend who remembers the things I tell her and has insight and encouragement for me. I want a friend who supports my marriage and helps me be a more loving wife. Someone who cares about my children and gives me advice on how to best care for them. I want a loyal friend who stands the test of time and distance.
So when getting ready in the morning or after looking at yourself in the mirror at night, remember that friends want inner beauty in each other. We are the ones who want outward beauty for ourselves. We are so concerned with it, but our friends or potential friends could care less how we look and really want to connect on a deeper level than appearances. If your friendships are based on outward appearances than try to make a change in yourself and talk less about surface things and more about your heart. Ask your friends insightful, genuine questions and you may just get an authentic response. And if that doesn't work, make new friends who place more value on character and inward beauty. I have been blessed to have many friends who are beautiful on the inside as well as outside and I hope that for you too.
Posted by Kara Whalley at 3:42 PM
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Laguna Beach, CA. 1934
Fast forward to today and I am coming around to Orange County. I am starting to see its beauty, diversity, and the opportunities here. Not to mention a target as well! I don't feel quite as nauseous and emotional when checking out a new city, so that's progress. David and I still don't know the exact city we want to be in, but we are definitely getting closer through talking to people who live down here. One of my friends and her husband even spent an entire day driving us around and touring condos. Through this experience I am realizing what a blessing it is to have people willing to help us on our journey whether its moving boxes, giving us a tip on an area to live, or calling at just the right time.
Posted by Kara Whalley at 8:48 PM
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
The last few days have been filled with unloading boxes, putting away clothes, setting up Jack's makeshift nursery, and spending time with family. It has been a whirlwind that will eventually die down and the reality of moving will soon set in. As I drove away from Santa Barbara saturday morning it felt very surreal. Three weeks before pulling out of our home we received word that David did indeed get the position he had wanted. It was incredibly exciting to know that this company saw something special in David, but in that instant what we had only talked about now became real.
We left our life behind in hopes that we can make a new one. We left our friends behind in hopes that we will keep in touch and make an effort to remain in their lives. We left our family behind, vowing that we will drive to see them as much as possible, but also knowing that the cousins wont be in Sunday school together or kindergarden or have spontaneous play dates. The deep emotions of moving is hard to balance with the hope and excitement of living in a new town, making new friends, and cultivating a life for ourselves. I think this is one of the reasons moving is so hard. It would be easier to not have to deal with the sadness of leaving a loved place, but at the same time there will be many blessings in store that we don't want to miss.
Posted by Kara Whalley at 3:41 PM
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Jack helping us pack.
This summer of uncertainty is challenging me to let go of control over my life. I don't think anyone would say that I am a control freak and people usually describe me as carefree. And it is true that I try not to be controlling of others, but I usually struggle with control in my own thoughts. I spend nights laying in bed trying to figure out my future- if this happens then this will happen and I don't want that to happen so I better do this instead and so on and so forth. My mind can be so tired by the end of the day because I think through every possibility of what could happen. I am actually a very introspective person and it can get mentally exhausting.
In a few days we are moving to Long Beach to stay at my in-laws while we look for a place to live in Orange County. We have no clue which city we want to live in, what church we will attend, who our friends will be, or what my husbands new work schedule will look like. I often strive to keep everything under my control, but God is challenging me and growing me in this area. God knows what awaits us in this new season of life and I refuse to let the fear of the unknown rob my joy of this adventure. I am trying to let go of planning the future and instead taking things day by day. I don't want to miss what God has for me by trying to anticipate His plans and make them go the way I want. Planning is essential to life and necessary, but we have to hold it loosely or we miss God's hand guiding us each day.
Posted by Kara Whalley at 3:45 PM
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Right now I am having a mommy morning. One of those mornings when being a mom isn't the bliss we dream about, but rather incredibly frustrating. So rough that you want to go in the bathroom and close the door and scream for five minutes straight. As I sit here and write, I am watching my son on our video monitor standing in his crib, hanging on to the edge, screaming for me to come in. It is ten forty five and he should have been snoozing by nine for his morning nap.
And thats where I am now. Trying to put him down again. Listening to his piercing cry. Pause...Ok so I just went and held Jack for his nap. It was kinda sweet too. I am feeling better now after snuggling his sweet limp body and smelling his milk breath. There's nothing better than his peaceful face and rosy cheeks. This is just a typical mommy day, the wonderful and frustrating all wrapped up into one.
Posted by Kara Whalley at 11:40 AM
Thursday, June 13, 2013
How sweet are wonderful friendships! I have a friend coming by this morning to go for a brisk walk and I can hardly wait to chat and catch up on life. There are few friends in life that you can share everything with. Friends that when you get together you don't hold back anything. You share your dreams, joys, trials, sorrows, annoyances and really anything you are thinking and feeling. I realize how unique it is to find a friend like this. I have many wonderful friends that are a blessing, but I pick and choose what I want to share with them. In no way does it diminish the relationship, but God places a few friends in our lives where we have freedom to share our hearts and know that we will be heard and understood.
Those friendships are worth fighting for whether you have busy seasons in life where you can't connect as much, or you move away, or you are in different place in life. Keep those relationships around because we all need them and life wouldn't be the same without them. Relationships like these take time to cultivate and it is worth the work because in the end you reap years of joy, shared laughs, long talks, and support in your time of need.
Posted by Kara Whalley at 3:52 PM
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
"I felt encouraged because the gracious hand of the Lord my God was on me." Ezra 7:28b
This verse sums up how I have been feeling lately, encouraged. God's gracious hand on our family has been so evident and at the same time, we are so undeserving of any of it. After six years of being in vocational ministry, my husband, David, and I are leaving our church to start a new chapter in our lives. We are moving to Orange County and David will be working in the business world, suit and tie and the whole bit. We have had it really good in Santa Barbara for the past six years, living close to family and being surrounded by a tight-knit community of friends. So naturally, I felt like nothing could be better than this and I prepared myself, as much as I could, for the possibility of rough road ahead as we ventured out.
But, God's gracious hand has been upon us and David quickly got a new job that seems almost too good to be true. I feel incredibly lucky too to be moving within thirty minutes of one set of grandparents and an hour and a half from the other. We even have some friends in Orange County that we can get reconnected with and we get to pick a new church in an area that has a plethora of amazing churches. I know there will be hard days as I move to a new city with a busy one-year old and my husband may have long hours on a new job, but I don't want to forget how gracious God has been toward us and daily feel encouraged by what He has done for us.
How has God been gracious to you lately?
Posted by Kara Whalley at 10:42 AM