How I got here | Talking Sex, Love and Relationships

I always felt comfortable on  stage- most like myself, actually- alive and free; whether I was dancing, presenting, competing or public speaking.

I thought I was destined for New York.

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While I grew up Roman Catholic- going to church and private school – I was twenty one before I came to Jesus; largely through hours of driving, listening to Praise 106.5.

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I accepted Jesus in Seattle, in-front of thousands, in a public arena. Somewhere in that time, I stumbled upon this video. It was a complete accident– a divine happenstance. But as I watched it, I began to sob.

In my heart I heard these words, as clear as day: 

This is what you’ll do…

The video was of a fiery Latina, who preaches Jesus to students. She was hilarious and real and honest in a way I hadn’t yet experienced. I was very new to Evangelical Christianity- still ribbed by the staunchness of the Catholic Church.

I laughed. Cried more. Then rewatched the video a dozen times.

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It didn’t make logical sense…. how could this possibly be my calling?!

I was a rebellious, religious screw up, currently living with my boyfriend and sleeping out of wedlock. My sin card was overflowing. I’d barely tasted Jesus and I didn’t know my bible. Plus, my sights were set on buying a wedding business. 

And yet, deep within my heart, I knew it was true.

It was an other-worldly knowing and I’ve carried it’s assurance ever since.

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Years later- perhaps five– I was wrestling with my purpose. I was knee-deep in building my (wedding) business, I was successful and yet, I struggled.

One afternoon, I stumbled upon that video again and just like the first time, my heart responded. 

Then over the course of twelve months,  three different people referred me to an organization- the same organization. I dismissed each one of them.

I saw no connection to myself, my gifts and this non-profit. In fact, I wasn’t sure I even believed what they did!

Then a friend- who I later understood has prophetic gifting- took matters into her own hands. She submitted my name and credentials to them…. and then they called.

So, I relented and went in for an interview

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…. I didn’t even know what for and neither did they! There were no formal openings or jobs posted, but they we’re always looking for volunteers.  For whatever reason, they knew I was meant to be there- I was, “supposed to be part of the organization…” as they put it.

They invited me to a leaders conference with three of their board members. I hadn’t even been hired yet and this was uncommon practice for volunteers.

While there, I became triggered and broke down in the women’s bathroom. One of the board members came in and held me in her arms. I ended up sharing my personal story.

She said she knew why I was there: God wanted me to be a part of Healthy Relationships- a team of presenters that goes into high schools and talks to youth about sex, love and relationships. It was honest, raw and vulnerable work, that took brave people willing to get messy and share their story.

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I had barely begun to process this part of my story- the years of pain and heartbreak in my relationships-  but again, my heart knew.

I was terrified.

I had no idea what this would entail, but I said yes and so I began. 

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I volunteered for two years, when the directors role for the program became available. My boss (and his boss) asked me if I’d consider taking the position. I said no. Three times. After all, I had a successful wedding business to run and that was my plan.

Six months went by.

No one applied for the job.

Then, someone didn’t work out.

Still, the position sat open.

Then one morning, a women sat-in on my talk.  I asked her why she was there and if she was considering volunteering for the team. She said no… She was interviewing for the directors role.

Suddenly, I was nerved. Then I became furious. The whole way home, I yelled at God… about nothing. What was this really about? Then, he showed me:

The position was always mine.

I just had to take it.

And accept His Call.

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When I told both bosses what happened, they laughed. They’d known along along…

I felt like the punch line of a bad joke! Like I’d been kept from some grand scheme!

They told me they’d been praying and patiently waiting…. for my stubborn streak to clear!

We completed formalities and the position was mine. I was now the Director of Healthy Relationships Community Education. 

Shortly thereafter, God told me to close my (wedding) business, but it was six months before I obliged.

I knew then, that God was asking me to lay down my life- the hopes and dreams I had and the vision I’d held of my future….

The choice was mine.  I could choose my will or God’s.

I could settle for a life I could build on my own, or I could choose the adventure and trust Him- even though, I couldn’t see what was ahead.

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It’s been two and a half years since then and my life has changed dramatically.

I am living that video, walking inside my calling.

It’s beautiful and scary; natural, yet hard. But, it’s all together wonderful! I am exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing the thing God made me for… in this season of my life, anyway.

God has used this position to heal and remake me, from the inside out. It was a lifeline in my darkest season. He’s refining my character through it and cultivating in me a humble, servants hearts. He’s teaching me compassion and perseverence in the face of suffering and I’ve become a prayer warrior because of it!

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It’s front lines battle work; spiritual warfare in enemy territory. It’s the lions den – every day- as we fight culture and the lies of darkness: the perversion and deception that has infiltrated our world’s view of love and sex.

But I have never in my life, seen God move like he does in this program.

It’s powerful, crazy, edifying work.

I have more God stories and seen miracles, than I can count!

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I know, every day, that I am part of something so much bigger and I’m making a difference.

I’m fighting for the one, where no one fought for me .

 

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Dear Jennifer Lawrence | Pornography isn’t “Normal”

Pornography makes me want to rage against the machine – The machine of culture that tells us Porn is normal and should be accepted.

 

…. That it isn’t the cause of heartache, pain or the warped identity of so many women.

…..That it doesn’t form addictive and destructive paths of desensitization in the brain 

…. That it’s irrelevant to rape culture, the abortion rate, sexual abuse, human trafficking or child molestation 

…. Or responsible for the lack of intimacy, bonding in marriage, not to mention the high divorce rate. 

Because it is in so many ways. 
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Porn threatens to ruin the divine purposes and integrity of the gift of sex and all God intended for it to be; because at it’s root, porn leads the individual to bond to the act of pleasure fulfilment over the individual.

It becomes an idol and the man (or woman) is subconsciously seeking fulfilment of a physical need or want, over a desire for their spouse or to be intimate; a wanting of sex more than the person. And it takes a miracle of healing by the Lord to rewire this way of thinking.

The rampant (and fairly unacknowledged) addiction of our society to pornography  is something that has affected me deeply, both in my teen years and in my adult life. It has brought me to the feet of Jesus over an over, for both healing and forgiveness.

It’s led me to a place of fighting for the sexual integrity of our youth, through volunteering with local organizations that go into high schools and talk to teens about sex, their worth and the state of our cultures dangerous addiction to sex.

Dear Jennifer Lawrence | Porn

Reading this article, I felt the familiar flame of holy justice rise inside me.

It’s closing statements deserve to be written on every heart, billboard, social media wall and shared in every home.

 

“Never accept porn as a normal part of any relationship. It is harmful material that addicts the brain, damages relationships, and pushes warped perceptions about sex and intimacy into society.

You should never be expected to do anything for fear of a partner turning to porn or think its normal for them to do so.

Real love is sexy. Anything else is a counterfeit.

 

I pray today that whatever your experience with pornography- whether single, dating or married- that God would reveal his heart to you on this topic and that you would have the courage to respond.

 

Let’s Fall in Love

 

My eyes well and my heart sings, as I re-live the giddy joy I felt on this day. I waited nearly five years to marry my best friend: the man who changed my life and my heart forever.

It was with great and abundant pride, that I gave myself to him, that day. God is SO good and I thank him each day,  for the blessings He has brought to my life. It is in Him and in my husband, that I count my blessings twice…and then twice again.

The love, peace and contentment I feel cannot be expressed in words, but I plan on spending the rest of my life trying, for him, for me and for others. May they too, experience such a joy; an overwhelming sense of purpose, belonging and completion. It puts “movie” love, to shame!

 

“Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours.” 

Ludwig van Beethoven: The Master

A Hawaiian Honeymoon

 

The original vision may have been Italy, but Hawaii is where life took us. And little did we realize, God had us right where he wanted us.

Our honeymoon was more than our hearts and minds could possibly have imagined: so full of love, joy and contentment, with circumstance and where it’s led us. We may not have it all together, but truly together, we have it all.

In each other, we’ve found our bliss and our better half; and regardless of the storms that may weather, we have a solid rock in our commitment to marriage and in our faith. God has equipped us with a love so great, we are continually humbled by His grace. From life’s simple pleasures, to it’s most surreal experiences, we are complete in Him and in each other.

We pray that we’ll remember the stillness we experienced while away and relish in the love we have been blessed with.

 

An ever {lovely} dream


I sit, getting prepped to meet my hubby at the other end of the aisle.

Music Blaring. Voices hollering. Chaos all around. For a moment my anxiety rises… Will everything be perfect?! The control freak in me wants to stop this pampering process and run outside to ensure all is right in my wedding world.

But as I close my eyes and pray, an overwhelming calm comes over me. None of it matters.

I’m living my dream. Soon it will be just him and me, beautifully married.

And in that, all is perfect and right.

Showers of Happiness

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I was pleasantly surprised, to arrive to what I thought was a boating day with my parents, but rather a bridal celebration, with my family and bridesmaids.

My mother’s river-front backyard had been beautifully transformed into an elegant, modern day tea party with vintage flair. Crisp whites, bright pops of pink and stationary accent to spare {my favorite.} Peonies adorned each place setting, and hand packaged jars of my daddy’s strawberry jam and my mothers white chocolate scones, served as sweet take home favors. {Both childhood favorites of mine}

The food was a scrumptious assortment of family signature recipes and desserts, artfully presenting on a tuscan long table, hanging chandelier in place.

With a theme of “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” the gifts were touching and extremely special; things I will look at fondly, each time, recounting the years of wondrous use, they have seen.  Family heirlooms, like antique china sets and  jewelry, “secret” recipes to build my collection and a new vintage inspired tableware set, were among the gracious selection. My mother’s bridal headpiece, served as the sophisticated and classy gift opening hat. {Oh, How Audrey!}

Each guest was asked to recount their favourite memory me; their stories stirred my memory and filled my heart. What a beautiful reminder of your journey and all those involved in “raising” you!

The day was topped off wonderfully, with a mini ladies photo shoot, in daddy’s antique wooden rowboat, with champagne and rose petals.

The day was simply sublime but best of all, were the lovely faces of those I care for dearly. All present to share in my joy, my excitement and my anticipation. 

Thank you, seems so small, compared to the love they shared with me that day.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God.” 1 Johns:7

Blessed and Loved

Yesterday, my girlfriend and I went for coffee. It felt like weeks, since we’d spent real quality time together; just us, no distractions.

For nearly five hours we sat together, sharing our souls, laughing and {possibly} shed a few happy tears. In these moments, I am complete. My heart sings, and every inhibitions, worry and fear, ceases. I simply, just am. Being. Living. In the Moment. I need nothing more than my girls and a fancy coffee.

Finally reaching a place, where I am at ease with my wedding, has brought great relief {for all of us} and together, we made giddy plans for the big day; as if all were perfect, in my wedding world. Then she handed me an envelope.

Delicately wrapped in the most luscious of papers. Tied ever, so pretty, in a bow and embossed, daintily, with my name.

“You give so much, in making others feel beautiful and special. Now it’s our turn to show you how much we love you.” I choked. Words escaped and my mind went blank. All that could be seen was a stupid smile and eyes wide open.

It was my bridal shower invite.

I carefully unwrapped the package, to reveal the prettiest of invites I’ve ever received. The detail was undeniable and the home-grown card, was impeccable in style.

“You made this?! and for me?” 

Every little thing, perfectly me.  Color. Text. Image. Weight. Style. Accents. The whole thing screamed Kailey!

I was and still am touched, by such a thoughtful and time-consuming gesture. Love as the motive. A pure, honest, can’t imagine life without you, girlfriend kind of love. This is what I have and I for that, I am truly blessed. 

But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother~ Proverbs 18:24

 

Now, scroll back up and take another peak at this incredible invite: Oh, my lovely!