Today, Kaylie speaks to us about her neat traditions, how questioning can help us know God deeper, and how Hannah’s boldness inspires her.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up in a tiny town in the Texas Panhandle. Smack in the middle of the Bible belt in a little bitty Southern Baptist church. My aunt played the piano, my mom ran VBS, and my dad was a deacon. I was baptized when I was eight, right after summer revival, but even that doesn’t feel totally honest. I never for one moment remember not knowing Jesus loved me. That conviction wasn’t shaken until years later. I struggled through my parents’ divorce, a deep dive into personal sin, and a church broken (as we all are) and unwilling to repent. My childhood started with a full embrace of Jesus, and I entered adulthood lurching away from that faith. But God. He is always faithful and even through my doubts about this broken world and personal failures, He called to me over and over again. Reckless love indeed.
“Reckless love indeed.”
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: I’m reading through 1 Samuel, this summer, and I’m brought to my knees by both Hannah’s faithfulness and her boldness. In a culture that thought very little of women and even less of childless women she stood firm before God when her husband wasn’t sure it was worth it and her priest thought she might be crazy or drunk. How awesome to be so rooted in Christ that no intimidation could shake my foundation.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Faithfulness. I have enough passion fuel the flames, but my consistency is totally lacking. All my big feelings about God leave me lacking if I am not actually faithful to obey Him, so through the work of the Holy Spirit I’m learning to take my bread, daily.
Profession: I’m stay-at-home homeschool mom, as well as a Bible teacher through both writing and speaking.
How do you incorporate your connection with God into your daily, secular work? Honestly? I believe if you have the Spirit in you, nothing you put your hands to is secular. So when I create order in my home, bring beauty through my words, offer healing to any and everyone I meet I am doing the work we were commanded to do in the garden before we ever fell. But that’s the loft answer, the down to earth answer is that I say I’m sorry a lot because I lose my patience, a lot. I rejoice out loud, and I make it a point to pay attention to the ways God is working. I don’t believe the gospel is just for “that day”, but it’s for this one too.
“I say I’m sorry a lot because I lose my patience, a lot.”
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? It’s All Holy Ground (But if it was primarily about my experience with motherhood it might be called Managing Expectations! Haha!)
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I was going to church before I was born, I never didn’t know I was loved by Jesus, but when I fell away I had a slow walk back. I was so tired of trying to keep up after college. My life felt like a wasteland, was this all there was? Go to work every day in a cubicle? God met me there and showed me my life was in His service to make the world a brighter place with the light of Jesus. I actually started weeping in a pew, in a church service at a church I didn’t go to and [where I] didn’t know anyone. I think that was a gift, instead of being comforted by humans, I was totally alone and got to be comforted by the Lord.
“I think that was a gift, instead of being comforted by humans, I was totally alone and got to be comforted by the Lord.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Asking hard questions. I used to believe my propensity to doubt was a downfall, and then I realized God isn’t afraid of my questions, in fact, He wants me to ask hard things to understand Him deeper. So, I don’t shy away now from all the taboo subjects and fears. I go head first into prayer and scripture.
“I used to believe my propensity to doubt was a downfall, and then I realized God isn’t afraid of my questions, in fact, He wants me to ask hard things to understand Him deeper.”
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I read a lot of books, at the same time. Currently, I’m reading Confessions by St. Augustine, Half the Church by Carolyn Custis James, and re-reading The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis. Mostly, I’m remembering this: we all have a place and a purpose, and we need to remember what it is and how to live fully in to it.
“We all have a place and a purpose, and we need to remember what it is and how to live fully in to it.”
Top three essentials: Papermate Flair Pens, Tons of paper, Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm.
How did God speak to you recently? I’ve had my four nieces and nephews here this week as well as my own five kids. God just keeps reminding me that even though I want discipleship to look like Bibles open, deep conversations about theology, and designer coffee; in real life it looks like this. Kitchen dance parties and listening to endless idle chatter while they try to figure out the world. It looks like keeping my patience and showing the people in my care how God can redeem broken moments and make them beautiful.
Hobby: Sewing, reading, hiking.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Stay in your scriptures, find your church (a body not a building), wonder at everything, and about everything.
Favorite person in scripture? Moses… or maybe Joshua…or maybe John the Baptist. (I think the right answer is Jesus!)
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? He truly can do amazing things through broken people.
“He truly can do amazing things through broken people.”
How do you leave your mark on your community? I engage as deeply as I can in relationships. I’m not a big event person, so I find that often the best work I can do means making sure I spend time knowing and loving people. Usually that energy is focused on the high school girls in my small group, and the older people that we serve through Meals-On-Wheels.
Favorite holiday? I love Independence Day, mostly because the pressure is off. It’s so much easier to celebrate anything when no one has crushing expectations.
A goal you have? I’d like to write a book.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: So many, I love tiny traditions. We do Friday Sabbath dinner, Saturday Special breakfast weekly. During birthday breakfast, we do breakfast toast and everyone has to toast the birthday person. At Christmas, we eat candle light dinner every night of Advent and add a candle each day.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I’m a bit of a history nerd, so right now I think I’ll have lots of questions about events that happened in history, but really, let’s be honest, I freeze up when people ask me questions at dinner parties. I’m sure I won’t be able to get a word out before the manifest God of Heaven.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: I want more women to go beyond just Christian Living and understand theology. I also care a lot about social justice, racial equality, and orphan care, since I’m raising transracially adopted sons.
“I also care a lot about social justice, racial equality, and orphan care, since I’m raising transracially adopted sons.”
What does your morning routine consist of? I’m a super morning person. So I wake up well before the sun rises, drink a cup of water and pour a half a cup of coffee. Then, I pray, journal, and read Scripture. After that, I do a short work out, pour the other half of my coffee and go sit outside, quiet, for as long as I can bear or my children will let me. Then, it’s off to the races!
What is on your nightstand? Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (I’m about to start it), Mentholatum, and a lamp.
Define Christianity in a sentence: To follow and imitate Jesus with all our heart, soul, and strength.
For more Kaylie:
Until next time, keep witnessing!