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March 2015 - Kiki Reflects

Kiki Reflects

one woman's struggle to answer her calling

Archive for March, 2015

Family Memory – Dad Teaches Me About Faith

One of my main reasons for wanting to blog was so I could preserve precious family memories.  Here’s my favorite memory about my Dad.  He passed away in 2009 from cancer, so these moments hold extra special meaning for me.

I was around ten years old and annoyingly inquisitive.  I constantly asked questions of everything going on around me.

It was probably summertime, because my dad and I were up late watching a movie, while my mom and sister were upstairs asleep. We were the night owls of the family.  Dad used to love historical movies, as well as movies about biblical scenes. We were probably watching the latter.

Dad was sitting in his old easy chair with it all the way leaned back – one of his favorite spots in the house.  He told me it was time for bed. As going to sleep was one of my least favorite things to do, I begrudgingly walked over to give him a hug and kiss good night.

When I stood next to him, I asked him a question–quite possibly in a ploy to stall my going upstairs to bed. I said, “Dad… how do you know there is a God…you know, that he exists?” I shifted akwardly and looked down at my hands.  Dad looked at me earnestly for a moment.  For a split second, I thought he might be mad at me.  Then he said:

“You know how Moses led his people away from the Egyptians?”  I nodded yes.  He continued, “well, the Bible says he parted the Red Sea and that’s how he escaped.

“Now, some scientists and historians have studied the area and offered other explanations for Moses’ escape. Some of them believe the tide was low as Moses and his people crossed the Red Sea, and so when the Egyptians tried to cross, they didn’t make it because the tide came in and washed them away.

“Others believe that Moses and his people were traveling on foot, whereas the Egyptians chasing them were mostly on chariots – you know, they were traveling on wheels. Those people believe that Moses and his followers were able to walk or swim to the other side of the Red Sea, whereas the Egyptians’ wheels got stuck in the mud.”

My brow furrowed and I looked away for a second, trying to grasp what Dad was telling me.  This was not what I was expecting at all.  Normally Dad had some scientific explanation for why things were the way they were.  Usually, he would answer my questions and everything would make sense again.  But this didn’t make sense at all.  Why would he tell me of other ways to believe? How does this prove there is a God?  At my weekly Catholic school class, the instructors never gave other explanations or points of view for biblical events. Not only that, but both of Dad’s alternative explanations for Moses’ escape seemed perfectly reasonable to me. In my perplexity, I looked back at Dad and stammered, “Um… okay… so what… do you think happened…?”

Dad replied, “I believe the Bible. I choose to believe that Moses parted the Red Sea.  And believing in God is the same way.  I choose to believe in God.  I choose to believe that He exists.”

I didn’t realize it at the time, but Dad taught me a valuable lesson of faith.  I will always treasure this lesson.

I also value how he reasoned with me and didn’t talk down to me, even at my young age. And now, years later, I choose to believe that God exists, and Moses did indeed part the Red Sea.

57 Whole People Looked At My Blog!


 Photo taken from Free Images

Today, I checked Google Analytics for the first time.  I discovered that 57 whole people looked at my blog yesterday!  That’s up from 12 people the day before.  Wow.  And I thought NO ONE was looking.  Hopefully someone will actually leave a real comment!

I hope this serves as a reminder that we all have to start somewhere.  And start small.  Sometimes, when I’m jogging, I catch myself saying, “Man I’m slow… I bet some people could walk faster than this.”  But then, I say, “Well, I’m faster than the people not out here.”

At least I’m honoring the calling I received several years ago – to write.  I’m trying.  Here goes nothing.

Do you ever get that gnawing feeling?

…You know, the one where you want to accomplish something, but it just hasn’t happened yet?  Well, I’ve had that gnawing feeling for about five years now.  I thought maybe it would abate, but it hasn’t.  It’s still there, eating at me.

Ever since my dad passed away from cancer in 2009, I’ve wanted to write a book about him.  Yet, life always got in the way.

Dad written in sand

Photo Credit

It finally dawned on me this year, that I would have to make it happen.  I made a New Year’s resolution to start writing my book by the end of March.  That means I don’t have much time!  I need to start this week!  My plan is to start writing this weekend.  By making my goal known, I’m hoping this will kickstart my writing.

What about you, dear reader?  Is there anything you’ve wanted to do for a while now, but have been procrastinating on?  If so, leave it in a comment below, along with when and how you plan to start on it.  By making it public, I’m hoping we can accomplish our goals this year.

5 Budget-friendly, Last-minute St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Ideas

I love celebrating St. Patrick’s day, but my husband and I are on a budget (we’re trying to pay off debt!)  So, I thought I would share are a few ideas to enjoy the day without breaking the bank.

1. Enjoy a free parade or free outdoor concert in your areaThese are not only free, but family-friendly ways to enjoy the day.

2. Go for a walk to look for clovers.  Maybe you can even find some of the lucky, four-leaf variety!  This may sound cheesy, but spending some time outdoors after a long winter can be especially soothing, peaceful, and romantic.  This is also good to do with little kids.

3. Watch Irish-themed movies or tv shows.  Snuggle up with your date and watch several Irish or St. Patrick’s Day themed shows.  You can also cook an Irish-themed dinner together, making this a romantic date.

4. Limit your drinking if you do go out.  If you go out with friends, limit how much you drink, so you don’t spend too much money. The more you drink, the more money you’ll spend – both on the drinks themselves, as well as on food.  Never drink and drive though – make arrangements for one person to be the designated driver before you start drinking!

5. Have a few friends over for a St. Patrick’s day themed dinner party.  Tell each friend to bring a dish to share so you don’t break the bank.

Have any more ideas?  If so, please leave them in a comment below!

Saying Goodbye to a Former Life


Photo Credit

Last week, I finished drafting my resignation letter from the US Navy.  Now, I’m merely waiting for my boss to come back from leave so I can submit it.  Once it is submitted, I will probably be out of the military in about 10 months.

I’m thrilled and overwhelmed at the thought of no longer being in the military.  For the first time in my life, someone else won’t be calling the shots.  I’ll have complete control over my time and my future.  It’s scary.

I have spent the past eleven years on active duty, and the four years before that in a college NROTC unit.  Back then, even though I wasn’t officially in the Navy yet, it still controlled many aspects of my life.  It gave me the structure of knowing that I didn’t have to look for a job after college graduation.  I didn’t need to; I was going into the Navy.

That means that the past 15 years of my life have been largely controlled by the military.  By default, the Navy dictated my appearance, job, home, and free time.  It even controlled how I presented myself.  I often chose not to share potentially unpopular views to fellow military members.  That meant that many I served with were kept at a distance, not able to see the real me.  Sometimes it was, well, lonely.

I got really good at making the best out of bad situations, which is a very useful skill to have.  However, I also stopped taking risks.  Going along, from duty station to duty station, was, for me, the “easy way out.”  I was just going with the current.

As I prepare to leave the military, I realize that now, I have to take responsibility for my life.  It is all my decision now, how I choose to live my life.  It’s daunting.  I feel like a salmon swimming upstream.  But I’m lucky.  I have the support of an incredible husband and partner; he is my soul mate and best friend.  We are navigating this journey together.  He has been a huge supporter of me becoming the person I set out in the world to be.

I am looking forward to discovering who I am (so to speak!) and dusting off my creative side which I have been hiding from the world for a long time.  Here’s to saying goodbye to a former life and to new beginnings!

Morning Glory

Photo Credit

Family – Wesley as Wesleyman

For me, family is very important.  Therefore, I created a small section of my blog with the sole purpose of sharing memories and stories of the people I love.

Who: My wonderful nephew, Wesley

Age: 4

Date: 15 Apr 2011

My nephew, Wesley, proclaims that he has superpowers.  So, his mom asks him if he’s batman or superman.  To which he replies, “No Mommy, I am Wesleyman!”

Hilarious!  I love that kid.