There’s More To It

It’s okay if you don’t read this.

I didn’t even know I was writing this out loud until my fingers started typing.

If you’re going to read it, read all of it and don’t just decide you know what I’m saying by skimming or stopping.


I never cared about Alaska until God did this thing in me. When anyone would ask me where I wanted to go if I could go anywhere in the world, I never had an answer.

Now, my heart has been transplanted into Alaska for the past 7 years already.

This is not actually a blog post about divorce but I’m going to say a minute about it so hang on.

If you came here to argue, Beautiful You, there’s just no room for that today. Maybe we can talk about that another time. I’m glad you’re passionate. What you think is important to me but I’m not here to debate. Lord knows, that’s what my marriage was; a debate.

And I’m quite tired of that, to be honest. God surely has bigger things for you to do with your life than to spend it in debate. I believe this with all my heart.


When I was a little girl and people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I said “a wife and mommy.” I’ve been a wife, twice. And I’m wondering if perhaps single is more of a blessing than I could have ever understood before. I believe people who have been divorced can speak on divorce, just as people who have been through other things can better speak on what experiences they have known. While God says He hates divorce, God does NOT hate divorced people, and when people go through stuff, whatever it is, you WILL find who cares for you and who actually does not. There’s blessing in that.

Anyway, when I answered the grown ups, they always, without fail, would tilt their heads, look at me and say, “NO. What do you want to BE?”

As if…. being a mom is not enough?… I didn’t understand it. Being a mom IS a calling and being a mom IS enough.

After many years I realized they were asking what paying job I wanted.

But even beyond being a mom to my 2 strong, warrior girls, I feel God is going to give me a place where I’m a mom figure to many who need one in this Alaska homeless place He’s had my heart already living at for the past 7 years.

When kids tell us what they want to be when they grow up maybe, just maybe, they actually KNOW more than the grown ups around them are able to hear.

I can’t help but wonder if we listened better to them, and prayed more constantly over them as they grow, and if we focus on their God-given talents and strengths (instead of hiding the talents and focusing on weaknesses by trying to keep a grade point average of above a C, which is for another blog post another day. Don’t get lost being mad at me for saying so because there’s so much more to talk about and discover.) …HOW INCREDIBLE this place would look if people all lived out their calling and not what others said they “should” be doing?

(Hiding talents. I’ve read about that somewhere.)

This is what I’m saying.

Some people who have read this blog a while and who have been praying for my family and ministry don’t know my current situation. Some know a little.

I’m not hiding. In fact, I know He is using it all. For sure God keeps helping me find more healthy boundaries. I believe Him when He says He uses ALL things for good for those who are called according to His purpose.

My favorite Verse growing up was Romans 8:28 And we know that God works ALL THINGS together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. (emphasis, mine.)

 

When I started writing today this is where I was.

 

I feel like I have received a Master’s Degree in deciphering messages. I know that may sound silly – but it’s not. When you go through stuff you learn; not just in a school classroom setting.

And sometimes what looks like a fail isn’t a fail at all. In the world view, lots of things LOOK like a fail but in the view of Eternity you maybe learned exactly what you needed to learn to fulfill what you were created for.

Just for a second think about this.

Sometimes a job, even if you were there for about a minute or for 20 years, teaches you how to deal with co-workers or supervisors in a better way.

But if the job ends, people tell you “too bad that didn’t work out.”

Who said so?

Maybe it worked out very well and just how it needed to and you learned just exactly what you were supposed to learn.

People get mad when “the band breaks up.” But what if the band was for a season? What if the band wasn’t even supposed to be together in the first place? What if God actually hadn’t brought them together? Or what if the band WAS supposed to be together and then it was truly time to do the next thing? (I’m literally talking about bands here and not marriage so do not crucify for what you THINK I may be saying. I have lots more to say about divorce and remarriage but that will be another day.)

People are constantly – and loudly – upset about things that other people do that don’t even really affect their lives anyway.

Stop persecuting people for trying to figure out this thing called life.

If only God would use messed up people in messy situations…. oh wait, He does.

It’s time to shut out all the noise and stay in prayer. God’s got this and He has a reason in every lesson.

Here it is.

For the past 18 years… or rather, for the past lot longer than that actually, I’m learning to listen better with ears to hear. (I may be slower than some but am finding I’m finally learning to listen better to what is actually being said; for example, if someone says “I love you” with words but “Get away from me” with actions. I do not feel like I’ve missed out on anything but I get that this also sounds silly because it was 18 years of Groundhog Day and 50 First Dates of nonsense, truly.) I was an easy target.

In a few weeks, I will be divorced. Again.

(Guys, by the time someone is divorcing, you can stop yelling at them telling them they’re “doing it all wrong!” A wife is to submit to her husband and to God but the husband’s moods should not BE her God. AND the husband is to submit to God and also cherish and love his wife AS Christ loves the church. People often, way way – way – too often, hold the wife accountable and the husband – not so much. Another day I’ll be glad to listen to you talk about this if you get stuck here. But not today.)

I feel like if anything, God is making it clear that I’M NOT the one doing the work He’s put on my heart and that by the time He brings me there, that place where visions catch up to real time, it will be clear to anyone watching my life that I’ve been discredited more than enough and yet all of it will be for God’s glory, and not happening by my appearances and CERTAINLY NOT by my ability.

When I’m weak, He is strong.

I read that somewhere.

I’ve been married for 7 years, a single mom for a year. Now married for over 18 years and a single mom again for the past year (as we’ve been separated by my request and need for healthy space.)

The first divorce there was loneliness and sorrow like I can’t explain.

But this (marriage and) divorce has been loneliness, fear, and hopelessness and begging God to find mercy on me.

And He surely has.

I haven’t ever told anyone yet but now at this time I am.

In FOUR of the recurring dreams and visions (I can think of right now) my almost former husband was not in any of them. I didn’t think much of this a few years ago but now it makes more sense to me. I’m not saying God caused or didn’t cause things to happen or not happen but that He is MORE than able to give us insight any time He chooses to.

The more isolated and lonely you feel the more alone time you can have with Him. There’s SUCH blessing in that.

There was the one recurring dream with the many, many white doors, which is where the girls and I stayed for a few days in August 2017 when we took some space away for 3 weeks (then we were back for 6 months; it did not get better but worse and we fasted and prayed to get out. God still is our Deliverer.) I walked through that place almost throwing up because the confirmation was so loud.

Then there was a recurring dream with a specific thing about the windows… which is where we are now. And when I was awake I knew it wasn’t Alaska yet but I just knew it felt good to be there. I kept calling this one “the feel good place.” I kind of brushed it off because I knew it wasn’t Alaska yet. But here we are waiting.

Then there was the dream about the white posts and a yellow tent which I am wondering if it’s the ferry but haven’t seen that one yet in awake life. I’ll get back to you on this when it happens if you care to hear.

And then there is the one where I’m standing in the campsite of the Alaska homeless place God’s put on my heart and I believe where He’s leading us in the future.

I didn’t think anything about my almost former husband not being in any of those dreams and visions until last year.

And though I’ve grieved a thousand tears a thousand times over it’s not because I felt loved and lost a love. It’s because I (my kids along with me) was stuck in a bad place (putting it gently) and was trying to make it work the best I ever could because some day I will have to stand alone and face my God with my choices; all of them, and I can, knowing I truly feel I gave all I had to this marriage except my last breath.

A relationship should not be a battlefield but mine was; all the way back to the beginning… we’ve had too many fights and some should have been a wake up call to me but I knew many people would turn their backs on me if I divorced. Until I could bear the weight of all the judgment and it was lighter than the weight of the daily atmosphere of hostility, I couldn’t go. But it was either my body is going to shut off permanently or I must get out.

But over the years I just kept thinking “well it’s marriage so it’s supposed to work.”

But sometimes… it just doesn’t.

And you know what? God STILL shows up. He STILL uses things that appear to be broken.

But maybe it’s not so broken after all. He is THE Author of time. And He still restores what’s been stolen. My kids and I have seen Him show up day after day after day in such amazing ways since we no longer put a person’s moods first and we are not fighting a daily constant fight in our own home living out our faith about Alaska.

People may think what they want to but our faith is as strong as ever and God is with us. This, we know. And, OH, my kids! My kids have learned SO much about relationships and what healthy things to look for. If I’d known what they know at 16 and 21, WOW! (But I maybe would be writing a very different article. Only God knows that.)

Anyway, just saying there’s blessing in what looks like a mess.

When I first started telling people about Alaska (November 2013) and this vision God revealed to me, people came out of – everywhere – for over a week (maybe longer) saying the same thing:

“It’s not going to happen like you think it will.”

I’ve never heard that so much before (or after) in my whole life.

People I didn’t even talk with before would just walk up to me and within a minute said those words.

I was like, “What in the world?!” “I don’t even have an idea of how this homeless place will look, Lord, so why are all these people bringing this to me? Even so, I’m listening.”

And NOW I can’t count the number of people I’ve met and I have the phone numbers of police, domestic violence counselors, mediators, attorneys, house inspectors, architects, mental health counselors, teachers, construction guys, financial girls, and the list goes on.

When people asked me demanding an answer, “You …and what army? You and what army are going to do this work in Alaska?!”

All I know is that we see God providing all we need to do this work.

And though I may not have known He was doing this before 7 years ago, I believe it’s actually purpose He wrote into me when He knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

My answer is simple. Me and His army, I guess. He’s got my attention and I have to follow Him.

I counted the cost and the cost was high.

If I was leaning on my own understanding I could buy a ticket and go straight to Alaska this week, but I feel that we’re still supposed to wait on Him in the Bellingham area for now (like I felt we were supposed to wait in Texas a while after we had packed the boxes.)

So, we will wait.

.Lookin’ like a fool like the date He put on my heart, April 1st.

And when He says go – 

we will go.

 

And I say all this because I can’t help but wonder this one more thing…

What did He knit into you?

I pray you share about all the trials and all the things that people think were bumps in the road but that were actually moments God was bringing you closer to the purpose He created you for.

And don’t worry if some will judge you. Give yourself permission to let that go now. Because there will ALWAYS be some who waste their precious time doing that. But, Beautiful You, you have (SO much) more important things to do than to get distracted about that.

He will test you.

He will stretch you.

Make no mistake, He already believes in you. I believe with you, and you can believe in what He’s calling you to. (THAT already is a cord of three!)

EVERY DAY

ALL THE TIME

He wants you to know where you put your hope; in a place, person, business, school, health, church, money, hoping others will finally notice what you’re capable of?

Or is your hope in HIM?

Stayin’ Alive

I’m stuck.  I mean I’m not really stuck.  We’re just waiting on God.  Actively waiting on Him – but we’re waiting on His timing all the same.

We know waiting goes against life in 2015;  GET it NOW.  DO it NOW.  BE it NOW.  We COULD try to MAKE it happen but we’ve lived and walked with Jesus long enough to know that when we try to make something happen on our own, especially something like this, things just don’t go well.  And we could fail.  That’s okay.  We’re not afraid of failing.  If we fail, then at least we tried to do what we feel led to do to help kids.  (What is worse?  Failing?  Or not trying at all?)  Our goal is to help homeless teens by giving them a safe place to live for a while, teaching job and life skills, and leading them to have closer relationships with Jesus.  If we are trying to do God’s Will, He will go before us and make a way when we can’t see a way.

Some people are laughing at our faith. (That’s okay.  If people laughing at us was gonna stop us, we’d have had to stop as soon as we started telling people about all this that God’s put on our hearts.)

Some know this is for real and are praying with us. (Thank you!  This means SO much to us. Thank you!)

Some HOPE all this is real. (Guess people will have to watch and see what God’s doing. Fly or fall, we’re in this and there’s no going back.  God opens doors no man can shut and He shuts doors that no man can open.  We’ll keep walking in faith toward this homeless teen shelter work He’s been leading us to unless He shuts the doors and steers us another direction.)

We know it’s real.

I keep thinking about people wandering in the desert for 40 years and can’t help but think, “Isn’t that what so many of us do all our lives? We wander.”

I mean, sure we make plans and do stuff. We go to school and to work. We’re part of a church. We have a family – or not. Some stay single. Some get married (some, a few times.)

 

But we wander.

 

I wonder if our wandering isn’t so far from the stories about people wandering in the Bible:

“Hey, believe God is doing this.”

“Nope.”

“Okay, then. Have a good life – or at least as good as YOU think YOU can make it as you wander around aimlessly.”

Then – after all the doubters are gone from this generation, God will do great works that you’ll always wish you’d have gotten to see.

Today I prayed something like, “God, I’m feeling afraid; a little discouraged and intimidated by this homeless teen center quest You’ve got us on. I mean, we can’t quit and don’t even want to because this is the most amazing work You’ve ever done with our lives, but at the same time, the magnitude of this work seems so far beyond us and our abilities – and it is, FOR SURE – and the heartaches we’ll hear about are already breaking our hearts. Would you please send some encouragement?”

I was walking through a thrift store looking for fleece shirts for my family while I prayed this when I hear a song I’ve never heard before in my life.

Not joking. The song sings, “Baby, you got what it takes.”

That made me smile.

Then I was on an aisle all by myself when a woman walked just 2 steps past me and we spoke a moment about finding the right sizes. I said something about colors I hoped to find. She said colors don’t really matter as much. I agreed and said I know warmth is what matters most and told her that we’re moving to Alaska. She told me she goes fishing there sometimes. I said we feel God’s moving us there to take care of homeless teens.

THEN she told me they’ve made friends with a family in Alaska who also felt called by God to do work there (and have been now for a couple years) and they have 2 sons who homeschool and she’d like me to call her to have another family to talk with.  ((Thinking out loud about grammar stuff… Yes, I end sentences with prepositions sometimes.  I don’t even mean to.  The important thing is that it won’t keep me out of Heaven.))

(Coincidence? I think not.)

Ummm… so this brought another smile.  And some much needed comfort to my heart.

A little while later I’m thinking of dangerous situations we may encounter with people and animals in Alaska.

Not even joking.  The song Stayin’ Alive played over the speakers.

This made me laugh!

God is good and He hears our prayers. (And the even cooler part is that He answers.)

 

~~~

We are asking for prayers for finances, houses, buildings, donations (including desks, beds, clothes, money, vehicles, food, books, and everything else I’m not thinking to mention,) volunteers, and for God to keep leading us as we keep walking through the doors He opens.

Thank you and may God bless you so big that you can’t help but see Him.

 

Sometimes I feel like…

Not every hand that reaches for you is there to help you up or cheer for your successes. Praise God for those who are there to help.

Some hands push you down and clap when you fall. Those who are glad when you are hurting are also hurting very much inside. They are the ones who may need more love and God says to pray for our enemies. (I’ve tried it. It’s good therapy.)

When someone is happy when you fail, it’s probably not about you at all. When you realize someone else’s brokenness is what makes them jealous of you, it’s easier to see that it’s not about you. I believe if people really knew you, they’d like you.

There is something beautiful about letting our masks fall off. Nobody’s perfect. And those who claim they are – are kidding themselves.

2015 may be a good time to get real (and this includes being real with yourself.)

God made you beautiful. Sometimes the beauty gets covered in ashes but the good news is God can take those ashes and He can make all things new.

The thing about those skeletons in our closets…

We can leave them there, stinking, rotting, weighing on our hearts, and eating up our stomachs (and at our relationships)

OR

We can give them to God and ask Him to help us. He can take those events (i.e. skeletons) and make something very beautiful out of them.

Many times these are the very things God uses to make a new ministry. He makes all things new. He will do a new thing in you.

Cast your burdens (those weights that we carry for years and years and years) on Jesus, because He cares for you.

Here’s a way to start, “God, Please take this. I’ve been carrying it a long time and sometimes I feel like…”

 

Hey teenagers and pre-teens, we are proud of you.

Teens, and pre-teens, since I know there are a few of you guys here online, I just wanted to tell you I am SO proud of how you stand up and share your faith!  This is a REALLY tough time to be a kid. I am proud of your modesty and how you stand up and speak out when friends are talking you into and making not great choices. It’s really tough. You have GREAT courage!! I just wanted to be a voice thanking you for standing out instead of trying to fit in. You guys are making a difference.

That being said, PLEASE Please talk to us (parents and grown ups) when you do mess up. We will love you through mistakes. Yes, we may be sad and a little disappointed just as you may be when we mess up as grown ups, but we ARE here for you and we DO get that life is really tough as a teenager in 2014. We do not expect you to be perfect and I apologize to anyone who feels like you are held to a “perfect” standard. We mess up as parents and we know you guys mess up as kids, too. I love you. And I just wanted to tell you that you DO have people to talk to when life gets you down.

This Little Light of Yours

This little light of mine.  I’m gonna let it shine.

Hide it under a bushell? NO. I’m gonna let it shine.

Wait. What’s a bushel? (I think it’s a basket.)

 

Okay – now –  let’s try this in more modern words.

This little light of mine.  I’m gonna let it shine.

Hide it at my kid’s ball game?

Hide it at the board meetings?

Hide it in P.T.A. meetings?

Hide it when I’m at the gym?

Hide it when that girl walks by?

Hide it when I disagree?

Hide it when they cut in line?

Hide it when my wife’s upset?

Hide it when my husband’s angry?

Hide it when no one’s watching me?

Hide it when my kids mess up?

Hide it when a wrong number calls?

Hide it when I go to school?

Hide it ’cause I just feel grouchy?

Hide it when the world’s on fire?

 

NO!!

 

–>This little light of yours. NOW is time to let it shine.<–

Let it shine ALL the time.   ALL THE TIME.

Dear child we haven’t met yet,

Dear child we haven’t met yet,

I am so sorry we weren’t there faster than this. We are packing. We are trusting. We are waiting on God. We are praying and He knows the time frame for when we will meet. He is moving mountains for us to get to you. We love you and we are here for you. Please don’t give up. You matter.

Love, Kerri, Chloe, and Chelsea Valor

Entertainment? (Celebrities and Fame)

When we celebrate when celebrities fail or fall, WE are part of the problem.  When we mock, tease, spread gossip, and laugh when celebrities mess up (or when anyone messes up, for that matter) we are hurting them; not helping them.

If we were 15 (or whatever age) and we had no privacy because of fame (which we may or may not have wanted) all our lives are on display; mistakes included.

Think about how a kid answers questions…

“Want your own show?”  “Sure!”

“Want a puppy?”  “Sure!”

I’m certain that most kids who get into show business do not understand the world they’re now part of and how damaging it can be.

And if we had Hollywood with its lack of any moral compass telling us that this really NOT good stuff IS “right” or “fun” or that we “should” or whatever… how would WE react?

This lifestyle these kids are in just breaks my heart. I cannot IMAGINE.

~~~>  And the adults who promote it and stuff… There aren’t enough words in any vocabulary to say how angry and sad that makes me. Oh, how the adults are going to be held accountable for leading kids away from Jesus!  <~~~

I’m just REALLY not sure anyone could say that these famous kids understand all they’re doing. (Probably no kids understand all the stuff they do.)

I’m NOT saying they’re not accountable. They ARE accountable.
We ALL are accountable for stuff we do and say. (Ours is mostly not in the public eye and THAT would make a huge difference.)

I AM saying that I remember in my 20s thinking that I knew some stuff when I was younger.
That’s funny.

Then I remember in my 30s thinking I knew some stuff in my 20s. That’s even funnier.

But now in my 40s I thought I knew stuff when I was in my 30s… Just wow!

–>  What I know is that God keeps teaching me.  <–  I have gray hair and I’m still learning all the time.

I’m praying for these young “stars” who are made to dance and act and say lines from someone’s script for “entertainment purposes” because I just REALLY don’t think they understand all of it.

If we were in the same situation, I’m not sure we would either.

(Grace and forgiveness. Yes. But we are accountable for all the moments of our lives. All that being said… I’m NOT okay AT ALL with what many young “stars” are doing. I am NOT excusing it.)

I AM praying over celebrities lives instead of spreading the rumors and pictures and I’m asking YOU to do the same.

Because if people stopped calling it “entertainment” and paying for it as “entertainment” maybe stuff would change.  Please be part of the solution.