Turning…


Wow!  It’s been a LONG time since I have written anything.  I don’t even know where to start.  This is going to be long.  I am warning you in advance….but there is so much I need to talk about; so much I need to get off of my chest.  So, if you get bored, I understand.

So…I graduated college.  I received my Bachelor’s in Human Services.  During my internship, I served at the Children’s Advocacy Center and ended up falling in love with child welfare.  Very odd because I really always thought I would be a counselor (that’s what I started school to do).  He had a different plan.  So, from there I got hired at One Hope United.  This was two years ago on May 1.  My life has been forever changed.  For two years I have barely had time to breathe….I guess this is part of the reason I have not posted any blogs.  I have worked anywhere from 40-70 hours per week.  Oh yeah, I have also started graduate school and will be getting my Masters Degree in Criminal Justice.  So anyway….for two years I have worked with abused and neglected children and their families.  I have moved children from home to home.  I have held a four yr. old as she sobs for her mother.  I have seen a case of child abuse so severe that a movie could be made from it. I have literally ripped children from their parent’s arms with them screaming because the parents cannot put their drugs down and walk away.  No, not even for their children.  I have witnessed pregnant women use meth.  I have seen druggie babies.  I have worked until midnight getting children settled into a foster home and promising that I would be back the next day so they can see a familiar face.  I have had a child tell me he was locked in the closet and had to use the bathroom in an old coffee can and that he went days without food.  I have had a girl tell me her grandfather raped her.  I have went to the hospital and taken a newborn from her mother. 

But, I have also gotten children their forever families through adoption.  I have had their faces light up and yell “Mrs. Kim!” as they run toward me.  I have seen the resilience that the human soul can muster up under the worst circumstances.  I have had a parent text me after she got her children back and tell me “without you…there’s no way I could have done this”.  I have been invited to adoptions and witnessed parents who can’t have children biologically get the children they so badly desire. I have had a teenager get “that look” and I know that something I said clicked.  I have had one look at me and say “Mrs. Kim, please adopt me”.  I have worked with so many people over this two years.  So many memories.  So many laughs. And yes, more than enough tears.  There were nights I came home and stood in my shower crying and just attempting to let the water wash away the memories of the day; it didn’t work. 

But as this part of my career comes to a close I remember a story that I heard.  It speaks of a group of nuns that went on a cross country trip.  Each stop, the old nun named Mary would run off of the bus and find the biggest stone she could find.  She would try and try with all her might and she would flip that stone from one side to the other.  That’s it.  Just flipped a stone.  In each state she did this.  Stop after stop after stop.  Finally, her friends asked her “Mary, why…why do you, at each stop, turn a stupid stone over”?  Mary looked at them and simply stated “Though I have not done much, because I turned that stone over, this place was left differently than when I arrived”. 

I was blown away by this story. The simplicity of it.  The truth of it. 

And so, at the end of this two years I pray that’s what has happened because of me.  I pray that the families I came in contact with, the children I have held, the parents I have assisted, the co-workers that I work with; I pray they have been changed in some way.  I pray that though in the big scheme of things I didn’t do much, One Hope United will never be the same because Kim Ridgeway was there.

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Alarm System Needed?


Iwascreated2worship's Blog

On my daughters 15th birthday she was awoke by the doorbell ringing.  It was summer break so her and my son were home alone, I was a few miles up the road at work.  She looked our her window, didn’t know the guy, so she didn’t answer the door (smart girl).  A few minutes later she got up and walked into our kitchen….right into the guy who had rang the doorbell! He had come in through our back door and was in my house…with my 2 children! She stayed calm, asked him what he was doing and demanded he leave.  He did.  We know who it did it, but he was never formally charged.  He made away with my son’s PSP game which was sitting on our kitchen counter…but that was easily replaced.

I often had people ask me what I would say to him if I had the chance. …

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Will You Tear Off a Roof For Me????

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A Religious Hand


Iwascreated2worship's Blog

I have been reading a wonderful devotional book for one of my classes.  Each day there is a scripture reference and then the author follows it with a 1 to 2 page meditation.  I got to one the other night that made me gasp and then….cry.  The scripture reference is John 18:12-14, 19-23.  It goes like this:

12 So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up. 13 First they took him to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest at that time.[a]14 Caiaphas was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders, “It’s better that one man should die for the people.”

19 Inside, the high priest began asking Jesus about his followers and what he had been teaching them. 20 Jesus replied, “Everyone knows what I teach. I have preached regularly in the synagogues…

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My Most Recent Heartbreak


Iwascreated2worship's Blog

Yet again, I  have to apologize to you because this blog is just another of my random thoughts.  You see, this blog is my catharsis; it is what helps me cope with everyday life and sometimes I just have to “blurt out” what is in my head or I will never be able to sleep!

I had the privilege of going this week to Dept. of Juvenile Justice in Arcadia to give my testimony.  There were some pretty rough girls in there I have to say.  It was so amazing.  These are truly young ones who have reached the end of their rope.  Most of them that I spoke with have never had a real family to support them; no one that they felt like truly loved them. I heard time and time again…”I was abused by men in my family” “my parents never really cared if I was around…

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More of the Michael Chronicles


Iwascreated2worship's Blog

Well, people loved hearing about the crazy boy who turned into my husband! I have had so many questions; legitimate ones.  “How did his family feel?” “How did they react to you?” “When did you tell Shelby?” So….I will continue the Michael and I story here in this blog.

Well, of course his family loved and still love him.  They were not too sure of me.  I can’t blame them at all.  Of course, at that time, I just didn’t understand why they didn’t know I loved him.  As a mom with a soon to be 17 yr old boy I can say that I would not be too sure about the situation if my son came home with a girl who was pregnant by someone else. Like any relationship it took time. They got to know me and my heart…they talked to me and heard my story.  They realized…

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Religious Nut?


Well, it has been a long time again since I have blogged.  Sorry….life happens.  However, I am on my soap box once again and really have to say this.  So…if you wish to, continue reading.  If you don’t, then don’t.  I will still feel better once I have written. Smile

I was talking to a girl a couple of weeks ago who is a non-believer. By that, I mean she has not accepted Jesus as her personal savior.  I don’t call them a “sinner” as I think that term is “churchy” and I hate churchy terms.  I also think it is condescending and judgmental.  First, we all are sinners…her no differently than me.  Second, while she doesn’t believe now, she may believe one day.  So, I just call them an non-believer because at this point in her life she doesn’t believe.  Anyway, that’s a whole other soap opera with me.  So…

I am talking with this girl and she begins sharing with me how she made a comment at an event and people began verbally “attacking” her.  And by people, I mean Christians. 

Warning!  I am stepping on to the soapbox NOW.  Here is your last chance to hit the exit button. 

Ok….you’re still here.  So, here we go.  If we are saved by the grace of God then who do we think we are attacking anyone?!?  Do you know that it is the religious nut who goes around telling everyone that doesn’t believe as he does that they are heading straight for hell…well, that is the person that is helping the church pews stay empty?!?  People do not need that.  They don’t need to be preached at by those of us who, by the way, are sinners as well.  No!  They need us to live the life in front of them  They need us to listen.  They need us to be there when they are ready to ask the questions about Jesus and they need us to patiently answer.  I have been reading many books during my theology classes at Southeastern University that deal with non-believers.  Did you know that most people when asked believe in Jesus Christ and think he was an awesome person but refuse to go to church because of us (Christians?)! WOW!!! How sad.  We are failing as a whole.  We are failing our fellow man, we are failing each other, and we are failing God.  We are walking around as Pharisees thinking that we have the religion that grants us the rights to judge others.  No, we have the religion that grants us the HONOR of LOVING others. 

I have people on FB all the time that I haven’t seen since high school that will privately message me and ask me questions about my beliefs, my faith, my marriage.  You know why?  Because I don’t judge people.  It’s not my place!  I answer them.  Sometimes, that’s the end of it.  More often than not, they continue to ask and I continue to answer. 

I am not claiming that I have this whole thing figured out, but I do know that just 11 short years ago I was a non-believer.  I do know that religious people made me sick with their haughty attitudes.  I do know that God placed a Christian couple in my path who were not religious but showed love instead and because of them, I accepted Christ.  I know what turned me off and I know that I strive to be NOTHING like that.  Am I perfect?  Heavens NO!  But, I try to remember what I felt like when people acted like I had the plague because I didn’t go to church.  By the way, I believed in God and Jesus, I just didn’t go to church nor did I surrender my life to him until 2001.

Ok…so I feel better now.  Sorry if I offended anyone.  No….really I’m not.  I think it’s time for us to be offended.  I think it’s time for us to remember that we are sinners too; we have just accepted Jesus with the faith that he will cleanse us from those sins.  I think it’s time for us to remember that being rude and judgmental to people is not going to get them into church.  It’s quite the opposite. 

In closing….go in LOVE.  Go in love to win people to Jesus.  Answer them when they ask questions…they will ask if you live the life.

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6 months?!?!!?


Wow! I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since I have blogged! Yes….6 months!!!! The last blogs I wrote were about a little boy named Bentley who was on his way to steal my heart away.  Well, he did and he just turned 6 months old. 

Where should I begin?  I want to catch everyone up! Not that my life is so interesting but still.

So…yes, Bentley is here.  He holds me around his little finger and is the absolute light of my life right now.  Check out some pics. below to see how stinkin’ cute he is!  BTW…..my husband a/k/a Grandpa is more wrapped than I am!

Our son Brandon will be graduating soon.  I will be so happy to get that kid out of school.  He plans on going to college but doesn’t quite know yet what he wants to be when he grows up.  He is working at Publix and doing well.

Our daughter Shelby, now known as “Bentley’s mommy” moved back home with Bentley on Christmas day.  We are happy they are here.  There are still some things she needs to work on—but hey—who doesn’t have some things we need to work on?  She recently got hired at Wells Fargo and loves it.  She still does Red Lobster too.  Yes, one thing I can say about my daughter is that she is a worker.

Michael and I just celebrated our 20th anniversary.  It is hard to believe that we have been together that long especially since we are only 38! God has been good to us.  He is my best friend and I love him more today than I did back then.  For our love story check out my previous blog “All Because 2 People Fell in Love”.  We have a really cool story if I do say so myself.100_0047100_0041

November was difficult.  For those of you who know me—you know one of the loves of my life was my Mamow (see previous blog “A Tribute to My Mamow”.  She passed away the night before Thanksgiving.  I thank God he gave me her.  There is nothing she would not have done for me and nothing I would not have done for her.  I actually sang “Amazing Grace” at her funeral and I do believe she would have been proud.  I told her good-bye over the phone because I knew I wouldn’t make it to Georgia before she passed.  She had not spoken or opened her eyes for days, but as I spoke to her she opened her eyes and began to moan and cry.  I told her “it’s ok Mamow; you can let go. I will be fine.  I just want you to know you are one of the few people who have loved me unconditionally and I am who I am because of you.”  She knew I loved her, I knew she loved me, and we shared a very, very special bond.  I know she spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with Jesus and that she wouldn’t come back for anything.102_0029

Other than that….life is the same.  Work, home, church, youth ministry, etc.  Oh yeah!!! I will be graduating with my Bachelor’s degree this December.  After that I will continue on the graduate school to become a mental health counselor.  I am excited to say the least.  For all of those who told me I wouldn’t do it when I became pregnant as a teenager:  I DID IT! And, I will continue until I reach my goal.  Working 40 hours per week, doing all we do in church, taking care of Bentley a lot of the time, and doing 5 classes has been trying.  Again, God is faithful and has granted me wisdom.  I also think there are days he has turned the clock back so I could get a paper done.

I hope all of you are doing well also.  I have missed you and hope you have missed me.  I promise….I am back and will be writing more.  Love to all!!!!

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I Was Wrong….I was Right.


I wrote a blog a few nights ago about how several lives (including mine) would change drastically in one week.  I was wrong…it changed last night.  Little Bentley had different plans.  He arrived last night weighing in a 6 pounds 9 ounces.  Perfect.

I was right…..he stole my heart….

 

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In One Week.


Over a year ago I wrote a blog entitled “Flying the Coop” (you can read it here:https://iwascreated2worship.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/flying-the-coop/)  It was about my daughter who decided it was time to move out of mom and dad’s house.  That was a very emotional blog for me to write.  I remember writing it and crying at the same time. Tonight, I am doing the same.

Well today I am sitting here with the house quiet (finally) pondering what will happen in 1 week.  What?  I’m glad you asked!  One week from today my daughter will become a mommy and I will become a Gigi.  One week from today her whole life will change and another life will begin.  One week from today a little one will enter a world of chaos, confusion, and very little morals.  One week from today a 7 pound little boy who will be named Bentley will steal my heart away.

This has been a long journey the past couple of years with my daughter.  I will not go into details, but it has not been easy.  We have raised her to be a respectable human with good morals.  I would love to say she has been perfect and never made mistakes.  That is not so.  She, like all of us, has made her share.  I just pray that she has learned from them.  I have had my heart broken watching her make those mistakes and wondered at times what I did wrong.  Above all of that though I know a God that does not make mistakes.  I know He has a plan for good in all things.  I know that no life is a mistake. Knowing in one week her world will be altered forever, I pray these things for her:

That she will learn that she has never felt love until she looks at her son.

That she will learn that she needs to cherish every moment with him because time goes way too fast.

That she will know she is beautiful and deserves nothing but the best from the man God made just for her.

That she will instill morals and hard work into her child.

That she will know she has a family who is always here for her.

That she will know after looking at her son how full my heart has been made by her and her brother being born.

That she will know she has a savior who offers forgiveness and mercy.

That she will instill into Bentley that same fact and raise him to be a Godly man.

That she will know, that no matter what….she will always be my little girl….and I will always be her mommy…

 

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