My Word for 2019 

Happy New Year, Friends!

I'm excited for the possibilities that exist at the beginning of a new year, and if I'm being totally honest, I'm happy to see 2018 in the rearview mirror.  

Back in 2017, I started getting into the whole "choose a word to frame your year" idea.  In 2017, I chose the word "Harvest".  That year, we moved to KY to be closer to my family.  I also unexpectedly landed a great teaching job that I really enjoy.  And I gave birth to my daughter toward the close of the year.  Last year's word was "Rooted".  Since I still felt new to my location, I sought to establish connections and community here.  I got involved in my church by volunteering on the worship team.  I started to get to know my coworkers better.  I took on a handful of new students for music lessons.  I got rooted in the Word by choosing an online plan and reading through the entire Bible in a year.

Looking back on these two years, it seems like choosing a word at the start of the year did actually help frame the events to come.  Pretty cool how that worked.

For 2019, I landed upon the word: Steadfast

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." - 1 Corinthians 15:58

I chose this word originally because it reminds me of the word "consistent", but sounds a lot nicer to say.  Then when I began researching Scripture, I stumbled upon the verse above and knew "steadfast" was the right choice.

Here is how I hope this word will frame my year:

  • I am focusing on prayer this year by using a weekly guided prayer journal to help.  I hope to grow more consistent in my prayer life as I work through the journal and pour out my heart to God.
  • I am aching to get back to writing new music, but I feel a pull toward worship music.  I will need to dedicate myself to the craft as I don't always feel inspired to put pen to paper and write.
  • ​​​​​​​I have started a new blog for moms (creativemommyhood.com in case you're wondering) and plan to consistently post to that website and grow my audience so I can help moms stay creative on their parenting journey
  • My family means so much to me and I want to show them how much I care by spending quality time with my husband and kids

​​​​​​​I can't wait to see how the Lord works in 2019!  There are exciting plans for Kristin King Music in the works as well.  

Did you choose a word for this year?  If so, will you share it in the comments below?  

Blessings!

Kristin

Talking Out of Both Sides 

Talking Out of Both Sides

The official week of gratitude is upon us.  And I just have one question: How is it Thanksgiving already?  Wow, 2018 is on its way out in a hurry.

Being that it's Turkey Week, I'll keep my post brief.  I was driving to my day job today and began reflecting on all gratitude challenges going on during the month of November.  You know the ones...you have to say or write down something you're grateful for each day.  I'm all for these types of challenges, so much so that I'm even doing one myself.  I'm writing down one thing I'm grateful for each day of November in my planner.  It's wonderful to realize how very many blessings I have in my life at any given moment.  That's all due to an amazing Father who has blessed me far beyond anything I deserve.

And yet...as I was driving and thinking about gratitude today, suddenly a Scripture came to mind that I just read in my devotional study early this morning:

 "But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 

Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be." -James 3:8-10

It was the last verse that stood out to me today: Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. Ouch. You see, I have to confess that this has definitely been true of my mouth within the past 5 days.

Around 3am Thursday morning, our electricity unexpectedly went out during an ice storm.  When it happened I thought, no biggie, simply because in the past when our electricity has gone out, it tends to come back on in a matter of minutes.  This time, it was 3 whole days.  

Once we finally moved back in from our 3 day mini "vacation" (my parents were gracious enough to house 4 humans and our dog), I thought the trouble was over.  Wrong.  Yesterday, we discovered that a rodent decided our vacant/ powerless house during the days we were gone would make a nice home for him/ her and has taken up residency in our pantry, feasting on our bread, tortillas, and leaving his/ her "presents" all over the place. 

Here I am in the middle of a Gratitude Challenge, and yet, I can assure you, blessings have not been the only things spilling from my lips these past few days.  I am so guilty of James 3:10. One minute, I'm praising God for a reliable vehicle with new tires just in time for winter.  The next minute, I'm lamenting all of the ruined freezer food we lost in the power outage.  One mouth->two sides->blessings and curses.

Today's reminder of James 3:8-10 was just what I needed to be convicted of my double-sided words.  Isn't that just like the Lord to so gently convict with His timeless wisdom by impressing it upon my heart at the right time?

This year at my Thanksgiving table, I pray that the Lord will give me wisdom to speak only blessings and hold back the curses.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Kristin

When is the Right Time? 

(Image from Bible.com)

 

This popped up as the daily verse in You Version today and it got me thinking, “When is the right time?” 

Today’s post will probably highlight a less than flattering side of me, but I felt compelled to share my thoughts in hopes that they help someone else who struggles like me. 

You see, sometimes (ok, most of the time) when I get on social media, I get a little discouraged watching other people living my dream.  Ugh, that looks so ugly written out, but it’s the truth. 

For example, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve “watched” announce excitedly that all the doors have opened up for them to move to Nashville.  Every time I see that announcement, it feels like my heart is being pinched just a little.  Nashville was my dream for so long.  Both my husband and I did everything in our power to make it happen, and I got really close to landing a great job there, but in the end, it just didn’t work out. And even though I am very happy in KY and only three hours away from my beloved Music City, sometimes I still get sad that it never happened for me. 

Can you relate?  Do you ever look at someone else’s life and think, “They’ve got what I want”?  They have the baby you’ve longed for, the successful business, the new house, etc. 

I could write a whole other post on not falling into the comparison trap, but that’s not the point of today’s post.  Because let’s face it, sometimes it stings to watch others accomplish what you’ve been striving and struggling  to accomplish yourself. 

To return to the theme verse today, I think it offers some hope for those of us who struggle with this.  “Humble yourselves,” it says.  What does that mean?  Does it mean just shrinking down and tossing your dreams aside because they aren’t happening on your timetable?  I don’t think so.  I think it means to continue working on your dreams that more than likely God placed in you from the beginning, but surrendering the timetable to Him.  The timing is not in your hands. 

When is the right time?  When God says it is.  And when He exalts you, as this verse promises, there is nothing on earth, above or below, that can stop you!  That’s the very best part.  Your only job is to keeping working at it and stay humble.  Your time is coming, friend. 

Blessings, 
Kristin 


Ps. A few years ago, I wrote a song that speaks to this very subject.  Listen to it here, and may it encourage you that God has not forgotten you!

It's Always Plan B 

"It's Always Plan B".  

If you were to pull back the curtain and take a peek into my household, you'd probably hear this saying on a daily basis.  I'm pretty sure it comes out of my mouth at least once a day.  

Lately, I'd actually started to get pretty frustrated about life always being different from my plan.  And I have no qualms about letting you know that I am a planner.  In fact, I own and use three different paper planners currently.  One is on summer vacation since I use it for my teaching job only.  I also have a Happy Planner in which I write everything and my beloved Lilly Pulitzer planner which lives in my music room.  Ya'll, I am never without a plan.

And yet, most days my plans don't actually become my reality.  Inevitably, a kiddo interrupts the tackling of my to-do list or the dog needs to go outside, or I happen to glance at the clock and realize I'd better get my tail to bed before my 8-month old sporadic sleeper decides to wake up in the middle of the night...multiple times.  Usually by the end of the night, I take a look at my "best laid" plans and feel disappointed that I haven't accomplished what I'd hoped.  Or wish I could just get more done in a twenty-four hour period.  

The other day, as I spent the first part of my morning in the Word (it's really the only thing that keeps me sane by setting the tone of the rest of my crazy day to come), I stumbled across a verse in Proverbs I've probably read many times, but this time it stuck with me:

"We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps."- Proverbs 16:9

And then there's this one, which really made me think:

"We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall." -Proverbs 16:33

These two verses are both saying the same thing.  We can make our plans.  In fact, notice that these verses are not telling us to NOT make plans.  But the ultimate outcome, or whether or not those plans succeed is not up to us.  The outcome is up to God.

After reading and meditating on these verses, it occurs to me that maybe my Plan B was the Lord's original plan after all.  When my kid interrupts my chores for the hundredth time; that's my Plan B, but maybe God's plan to spend an extra moment loving on my boy who won't be a kid forever.  When a stranger starts up a conversation, making me late to a much-needed coffee date with a friend; that's my Plan B, but maybe God's plan for me to provide some encouragement during a difficult time. 

My life is no longer my own anyway.  When I surrendered to Christ, I turned over the reigns to Him.  Even though I'm going to continue to plan my days and make my cute little to-do lists, from now on, I'm going to leave extra space for God's plan.  It's way better than anything I could come up with.  

Let the dice fall where they may.  God's got me and that's what counts.  

Blessings, 

Kristin

Musings from a Broken Heart 

Oh, month of April, where have you gone?

Let me tell you, I had all of these grandiose plans for this past month.  I've been very diligent about mapping out my months and goals for each of them this year. My best month of actually reaching many of those goals was in March.  So I assumed that April would go much the same and I plotted out some great goals, including posting on this site three times.  

And then, Life happened.  

My father-in-law was admitted to the hospital in early March for extreme pancreatitis.  And as the days turned into weeks, the doctors could not figure out why he wasn't improving.  All they could say was it was the worst case of pancreatitis they'd seen.  Then on Friday, April 13th, my husband and I received the devastating phone call that it was not actually pancreatitis, but late stage cancer and a prognosis of days to weeks to live.  

We went to bed in shock that night, but nothing could have knocked me over more than the phone call from my mother-in-law at 2:20am that Saturday morning.

"He's gone."

Grief literally bent me over with the weight of those words.  My father-in-law was breathing one minute and gone the next.  He died peacefully in his sleep with his wife right next to him.  He never even knew he had cancer.  All he knew was that he was getting to "go home" the next morning.  

He did get to go Home.  

Our family has been driven to its knees with this loss of our patriarch.  This man was so full of life, so rich in love for his family.  And he loved my children fiercely.

The kids and I got to Florida last week to join my husband who had previously flown down upon the news of his dad's death.  Somehow, we made it through the funeral (celebration service is a much better term), and I'm still trying to figure out how I was able to sing "I Can Only Imagine" that day.  It was only in God's strength- that's all I can come up with.

Now we are back home and trying to figure out our "new normal".  And still grieving as we've never grieved before.  But God impressed a Scripture on my heart that has become the bedrock of my faith right now.  I speak it and cling to it multiple times a day.  It is Psalm 34:18:

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

I can't think of a better way to describe this family right now than brokenhearted and crushed.  I think any family who experiences the loss of a loved one can attest to this as well.  

And yet, the first part of this Scripture is so true.  The Lord has been close.  I can feel Him.  I don't know how else to describe it other than I know that I know His Presence is near.  

He knows I'm angry and sad.  

He knows I'm fragile.  

And He's bigger than all of my unanswered questions.

As a result of this death, my mind and heart have been turned toward Heaven like never before.  I have an insatiable appetite to know what my future home will be like.  After all, it's starting to get filled with people I love dearly.  

If you are facing a loss today or just going through a difficult season in general, I hope this post will encourage you.  I challenge you to cry out to the Lord and entrust him with the pieces of your broken heart.  Allow His Presence to soothe you as no one and nothing on this earth can do.  Cry, grieve, fall to your knees, and allow God to hold you through it all.  He is near, friend.

(Always in our Hearts!  Rest in Heaven)

 

When Creativity is Lacking 

Hi All!

Can you believe we're already knee-deep into the third month of the year?  I'm sure having trouble believing it.  This month of March seems to be in a hurry.  I think part of the issue is that I am in a hurry- a hurry to get to spring here in beautiful KY where we've experienced quite a bit of winter in the past few months.  The snow is beautiful, but I am ALWAYS COLD.

Anyway, I digress.  Today, I wanted to write a short post on three things to do when you feel less than creative.  

You see, to be honest, this is the exact head space I'm finding myself in these days.  In case you didn't know, I have an infant girl.  I could list a bunch of other things going on in my life as well, but those of you who have ever raised a newborn don't need me to go on because you get how stinking busy a new baby can keep a parent.  (Case in point: I'm currently banging these keys as fast as my fingers will fly while my C-girl naps.  Sometimes her naps are hours; sometimes they're minutes.  I'm typing like today's nap will end any time.)

All of that to say, my creativity seems to be far, far away these days.  I'd love to tell you I've been working on new music, but I can't seem to get past one stubborn Chorus of a song that doesn't seem to want to develop beyond that.  I should have three new songs under my belt by this point in the year, and yet I can't finish the first one.  Sigh.  

For much of this year, I've been having a meltdown that my creative side is not in its finest form.  But, one day recently, I decided to slow down the not-so-nice thoughts in my head and think rationally about my apparent lack of creativity.  And I came up with 3 things to do when creativity is lacking.  

Just in case you might be dealing with a similar dip in creativity, I'll share them with you:

1. Give myself permission to just be. Breathe and realize this is a season!  Seasons change all the time.  I've gone through seasons like this before when I thought I would never have another creative idea or write another song.  And then one day, out of the blue, an idea came knocking and suddenly I was back in the game. But for now, it's ok NOT to create and just give myself extra space to inhale...and exhale.  

2. Consume (and enjoy) other people's creativity. So I may not be producing anything myself, but I can intentionally choose this time to consume other's creative projects. Currently, I'm enjoying reading Elizabeth Gilbert's book Big Magic, which I can practically feel stoking the fires of my imagination.  I'm also listening to podcasts I find interesting and listening to new music and learning some new to me classical pieces on piano.  

3. Consult with the Ultimate Creator.  I often forget that God has set the standard for creativity, being that He created the heavens and the earth and all.  If I think He doesn't care about my creativity, I'm wrong.  Of course He wants me to be creative!  Perhaps He's just waiting on me to spend some time basking in His Presence and asking for His inspiration to seep into my heart.  I've never asked God for help and He refused. And often His answers are creative in their own form.  What a wonderful God we serve who cares about all of our problems, big and small!  

Hopefully you'll catch me back on the creative bandwagon again soon, but in the meantime, I'll be doing one of these three things above, all the while relishing this precious and fleeting time with my baby girl while she's still so little. 

What do you do when you're feeling a lack of creativity?  I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Kristin

Goals and Promises 

This is a challenging post for me to write-- in a  good way. It is the first time I can think of where I’m sharing my business goals publicly for all the world to see. It reminds me of that common dream of being on a stage and realizing you’re naked in front of the audience. Come on, I know you’ve had that dream too! Don’t even deny it.  

After looking back over 2017 and realizing how much I’d missed the mark on some of my goals, I decided 2018 has to be different. My life and family need these goals to work. And that means I need extra accountability to ensure I don’t give up halfway through.  

So, here are my 2018 goals for Kristin King Music and my other creative outlets: 

  1. I will write 12 new songs this year- one song per month, with the ultimate goal of some of these songs making it on a new music project.  
  2. I will write and release two new books in 2018- one fiction and one nonfiction. One of my long term goals has been to release a new book every year of my 30’s. I missed that goal in 2017, so I’m planning to make up for it this year. And yes, this is a realistic goal for me because I always end up getting into a great workflow once I get started on a new writing project and have no problem working on it 5+ days per week. 
  3. I will release my new vocal warmups project as a digital product and market it to local churches and schools. This project is currently a huge focus for me during the month of January!  
  4. I will earn an average of $xxxx per month to show that my business is profitable. While I'm not sharing the specific number, just know that the amount I’ve chosen is realistic for my business to make and will help me run my business, manage expenses, and provide for my family as well.  

Now that I’ve shared these goals with you, the next level in staying accountable is to give you updates from time to time on how each goal is coming along. 

I recently listened to a podcast where a man talked about goal setting in a way I hadn’t thought of before. He said that instead of “setting goals”, he makes promises to himself. That caught my attention because it sounds a lot more intense than just a plain ‘ole goal.  

So, I am making a promise to myself that I will focus on these few projects over the course of this year and allow God to do with them what He desires. After all, it’s all for His glory anyway!  

Have any goals you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!


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My Word for 2018 

A couple of years ago, I started getting into the whole “set a word for the year” thing. I had read about other people describing their upcoming year in a word and I thought it sounded like something I should try.  

In 2017, I declared my word of the year to be “Harvest”. There were many things I was believing the Lord to bring to pass. In reflection, it did turn out to be a year of "harvest", although it was different from what I'd originally envisioned.

As I took some time to reflect on the past year and plan for the upcoming one, my new word came to me pretty quickly. 

 

For 2018, my word of the year is “Rooted”. 

Here is what this word means to me and how it will shape my year: 

  1. Rooted in my local community. We’ve only lived in our new city and state for about 6 months. To be honest, I still feel displaced at times and homesick for the familiar creature comforts of Florida. ButI believe that if I start laying down some “roots” here, getting involved in my local community and church, making some new friends, I’ll start to feel more at home in my new home. 
  2. Rooted in my business.  For Kristin King Music, I plan to do fewer things but to do them well. I want to “go deep” with the projects I’m working on. Better to have fewer projects completed that I’ve done really well than a boatload of half-finished ideas. This is how I will grow roots in my business. Everything I do will be centered around my “why”.  
  3. Rooted in my relationships. I want to go deeper in my relationships. I want to truly listen to the people in my life, starting with my husband and children. As the famous habit says, I will “seek first to understand before being understood”. I want to develop more than just surface relationships with my friends and colleagues. I want to be the first one to reach out to those who are important to me, instead of waiting for them to reach out to me. 

2018 has barely begun and already my word is shaping my year. I’m thinking about it as I go about my days and being intentional about seeking out ways to become “rooted”.  

Along with my word of the year, I have chosen this Scripture as my anchor:

"That person is like a tree planted [rooted!] by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither- whatever they do prospers."  Psalm 1:3

Do you have a word or phrase for this year? If so, drop it in the comments below! I love reading about others’ inspiration for the new year.


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A Not So Silent Night 

 

“Silent night, Holy night, 
All is calm, all is bright...” 

Wait a minute.   

Though I love this song and it happens to be one of my favorite Christmas carols, it totally does not describe my life right now.  Not since this precious girl came into the world... 

The Kings have officially gone from a family of 3 to a family of 4.  My sweet Cadence is a really good baby.  But, she’s still just that- a baby.  And babies are known for crying when they need something.  Fresh diaper, warm milk, or just a cuddle with Mamma.  She has definitely found her voice!  

So my husband and I are doing what any parents of a newborn do- adjusting to life as we now know it. The nights are long and my husband has to get up way too early.  That will be me in a couple of weeks when I return to my work as a high school choral director. 

Life is hard.  But boy, is it beautiful.  And I wouldn’t trade this noisy night for a silent night without my beautiful family! Family is what makes the holidays so special.  I hope you’ll go cuddle up with yours and love on them this season. 

Merry Christmas to you and yours!  

Kristin


Ps. 2018 is going to be a crazy-exciting year for Kristin King Music!  I have a special surprise I'm working on for all of my email subscribers.  Look for that in early 2018.  For now, sign up and get a FREE song download!  

While Waiting 

I am three weeks from my due date at this point!  Ya’ll- 3 WEEKS!  Let’s just sit back and ponder the magnitude of that for a moment.  In three weeks or less, the Kings will go from being a family of 3 to a family of 4.  This slightly blows my mind. 

On the other hand, I’m not doing well with the waiting process.  Yesterday, I had a doctors appointment, and besides my blood pressure climbing, my body is not yet doing much to prepare for labor.  I really thought with my second child, it would be a quicker and easier process at the end.  Not true.  

The truth is, I’m not sleeping well, I don’t breathe well, and even eating is not the most pleasurable activity because I will pay for it later on in the form of fire-like heartburn.  My four -year old son has demonstrated my “new walk” multiple times, and it definitely resembles that of a waddling duck.   

What is it about the waiting process that is so hard?  The good Lord knows that I’ve always struggled with patience.  Please tell me I’m not the only one!   

We know that Galatians says that patience is a “fruit of the Spirit”, so as a Christian believer, it is something that I need to continue to cultivate in my life.   

During this time of waiting, I am doing three things to help me cultivate my patience: 

1. I am asking God for His help and strength on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.  I believe that God is always ready to help when one of His children calls on Him.  He has never failed to provide me with the strength I need in the moment I most need it. 

2. I am savoring little moments with my son.  He knows he’s about to have a new sister, but I don’t think he realizes the magnitude of how his life is about to change.  I don’t think any of us really do.  For now, while baby Girl King is still growing in my belly, I’m enjoying the moments I have with just Landon and me.  He recently got a set of plastic pirate figures and we’ve been “playing pirates”on a daily basis.  I never knew boy stuff could be so fun! 

3.  I am preparing for the next season of life.  In just a couple of weeks, it will be here whether I’m ready or not.  Just as weather seasons change, life seasons change too.  My household has been in a season of getting used to our new life in KY.  Our next season will be getting used to our new life in KY and the new member of our family.   

What do you do in a season of waiting?  I’d love to hear from you and learn that I’m not the only one who struggles with being patient!   

In the meantime, you’ll find me waddling around slowly, preparing for the arrival of baby Girl King!  I’ll be sure to let you all know when she gets here!  

Blessings in the waiting! 

Kristin


Ps.  I am doing some revamping of Kristin King Music and would love to have you along for the journey!  Join the fun here with your email address!  It's easy, fast, and FREE, and I'll send you a free song download.