Today, Kayla speaks to us about the sacred ritual of bedtime, making costumes, and The Hang NYC.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: It was basically the picture perfect upbringing. My dad was a pastor of a church that loved on my whole family so well. My mom was a stay at home mom and I had two older siblings. I grew in Florida, about 15 minutes from the beach, but I think I can count on one hand the number of times I went to the beach in 10 years. I was always more of a city girl at heart.
My parents were both artistic. Mom was a professional dancer before having kids and my dad was a vocalist, so music and art was always a part of our lives. It was great.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: I love how “at the moment” is in here… the Bible is constantly influential in whatever God is doing in my life. Right now, I’m working through Ecclesiastes. So much in there.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I was talking with my husband yesterday about this. I think right now, my focus has to be on maintaining personal relationship.
As a leader who is charged with encouraging other people in their faith, the idea of spiritual growth can start to feel like a business. Maintaining a personal relationship has to be an active pursuit for a leader.
“Maintaining a personal relationship has to be an active pursuit for a leader.”
Profession: There is not a big enough business card to put what my profession is.
Wife/mommy/actress/artist/singer/leader/teacher/worship leader/writer…. just all the things. I have a degree in musical theater performance and have been a ministry leader/worship leader with my husband for 10 years.
You are the co-founder of The Hang NYC. Tell us a little about what it is and your vision for this space/community? THE HANG is a ministry that aims to support and encourage artists in NYC socially, professionally and spiritually. We desire to help people gain access to a group of friends that will not only make them happy but help encourage them toward holiness while pursuing their craft as artists. Of course, the thing we care the most about is helping people grow in their faith. We want to see people on fire for the Lord entering the entertainment industry as missionaries in the faith!
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? Ha, probably something like: Wait! You Want Me To Do What??
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I was lucky enough to always have been laid at the feet of Jesus by my parents. I feel like I was always exposed to His love, but I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 6 years old. I lived a life of discipleship throughout my young years and continued to grow. Some of the most challenging times I had where I questioned my own faith and went through a period of sanctification was in high school. I think this was the period of strongest discipleship I had for sure.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? My husband. This guy…I’m telling you … is amazing. He is so supportive, humble, dedicated, convicting and loving. He constantly points me back to Jesus.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I love a book called HOLINESS by Nancy Leigh Demoss. We taught it at THE HANG last semester, and I love it. I’m also working through the Revelation Study from SHE READS TRUTH.
Top three essentials: Jordan, Jozlyn and Kendall.
Otherwise- my Bible, my leather jacket, and my hard drive!
How did God speak to you recently? This is a strange answer- He hasn’t. I mean, the Lord speaks to me daily through His word, and that is how I hear Him best. Otherwise, I tend to question if the voice is me or not. But God has used His truths delivered by His people, recently. I was at brunch with my team to plan the fall and I was torn because I was second guessing myself as a leader. “Maybe we should do this or that” or whatever. And someone on my team said, “Kayla- you have to remember that God gave this to you. All you have is all He wants you to offer Him.”
My mentor said something similar years ago… “Kayla- if you haven’t heard from the Lord something new…He probably wants you to do whatever He told you last.” With those two truths, I am excited to charge ahead with what I know the Lord has for us coming up.
Hobby: I’m a singer. I love to sing and while I’m out of the city for the summer, I very often will just get in the car and go sing for a couple of hours. I also love to craft and do interior design… or sew! I like being crafty.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Read the Word every day; at the same time, every day. Get in a small group and don’t do all the talking.
Don’t “yoke” yourself to someone who is not going the same direction as you. If you have a spouse or potential spouse- that person will FOREVER be either your anchor who makes you better or who you will have to drag along— you can make that choice before you say I DO.
Favorite person in scripture? Ooh this is good! James the brother of Jesus. I’m so fascinated by him. What changed him?
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? What I would love people to know about God from looking at me is that His grace is sufficient. I want my life to be one that mirrors His love married to the way He spoke truth… I think the Lord has to do a lot of work in my heart before I will reflect that, but there’s still time!!
How do you leave your mark on your community? I hope that if THE HANG were to disappear that people would miss it… not for THE HANG but for the community it offered them that spurred them onto Christlikeness. I hope that people in the entertainment industry think of us as a group of people that shows them love, so when we are given the opportunity to tell them why we love them, Christ is made known.
“I hope that if THE HANG were to disappear that people would miss it… not for THE HANG but for the community it offered them that spurred them onto Christlikeness.”
Favorite holiday? CHRISTMAS!!
A goal you have? Get healthy…. working on it!
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Bedtime is pretty special to us. Our kids are little and the city is kind of crazy, so bedtime is sweet time to pray, read and sing together that has become one of my favorite things to do together.
A silly one is that whenever we’ve taken the girls to Broadway, I have made them a copycat version of a costume from the show. I’ve loved that…. here are a couple examples from Anastasia and WICKED.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I’m headed straight for Eve!!!! But I feel like there will be a line of women there, so then I’m going to James to ask about Jesus as a kid.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Jesus….that’s it.
What does your morning routine consist of? We are super late night people. Most of our people’s events are cabarets or shows at night, and then we have to wake up and get kids to school, so my morning routine is… wake up, do the bare minimum to get kids to school, come back and get dressed for the day, head to the office and read the word and schedule out the day… I love a good to do list!
What is on your nightstand? Bible, revelation study.
Define Christianity in a sentence: A faith comprised of imperfect people striving after a perfect God through the study of His perfect Word, who have been saved by the perfect Savior.
For more Kayla:
Facebook page: the hang
Website (coming in September): www.thehangnyc.com
Until next time, keep witnessing!
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