Giveaways

New Year, New Website, New Offerings

Welcome to the new year and a new space here on the internet! I’ve crafted this new website to better reflect my heart, which is to serve your soul’s needs as you serve in Jesus’ name all around the world. As you can see, I’ve changed the name of my site to www.kimberleymulder.com (which was always the address) and encapsulated my intent in the tagline “Sustaining your soul as you serve.”

Everything I do here is a companioning with God and you so that you are more deeply rooted in Jesus. The deeper and better connected we are with the creator, lover, and sustainer of our lives, the more steady, effective, and broad is our reach as we live authentic, missional lives. Jesus says in John 10:10 that “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” Too many followers of Christ suffer a full (busy) life that is poor in peace, hope, and joy. But Jesus truly desires us to live abundant, satisfying lives with him. Join me as we make space together to unwrap the gift of our abundant lives and learn how to live them as he leads.

You will see that I have three main sections: Sip, Steep, and Strengthen. “Sip” is where I write mini-reflections, share insights and other soul-sustaining thoughts. These are posted almost daily on Instagram and Facebook. Follow me there to take your daily sips.

Then in “Steep” I am continuing my blog posts because the overwhelming response I got from the survey earlier this month (thank you so much for doing that!) was that you want them. This is where I offer longer forays into inspirations, meditations, and ideas. I will often teach or give examples and guidance on practices that will help your spirit grow. A few things converged for me in discerning how many posts to offer a month. The first is that the Lord has been impressing on me to collaborate with others. The second is that you, my readers, are evenly split between wanting weekly and monthly posts. And lastly, I’m still in seminary, and need time to delve into the next part of what I will be offering all of you (more on that in a moment). So, the second Saturday of each month I will be posting my own posts, and the fourth Saturday of each month I will have a guest blogger for you! These are people who have written books, have ministries, and are also passionate about keeping you, the body of Christ, healthy and connected with the head, Jesus. Next week, coinciding with the giveaway I’m doing as I unveil this new space, we have Michelle DeRusha who just released, on January 1, her book True You: Letting Your False Self Go to Uncover the Person God Created

That brings me to the giveaway! I will be opening it on Thursday, January 24 and will draw the winner on Thursday, January 31. To enter, follow me on Instagram or Facebook and watch for the posts that week. The directions will be there. It has an “Oregon” theme because I go to Portland Seminary, Michelle was inspired for the metaphor that structures her book by the Japanese maple tree at the Portland Japanese Garden, and I contribute to www.anchoredvoices.com which is mostly made up of contributors from Oregon. The giveaway includes a copy of Michelle’s book, True You, a blue leather-bound journal, and a bar of “Crater Lake” handmade natural soap with essential oils from www.elementtoiletryco.com which is my fellow blogger’s company.

Back to my new website offerings: I’ve added a Resource page on which I share devotionals, books, podcasts, and other helpful material for your spiritual formation. I will add more as I continue to learn more so check back every so often for your next step on this journey with Jesus!

Lastly, my section called “Strengthen” is not up and running yet. You all were clear on the next thing you’d like to receive from me, and that’s guided meditations. As I’ve prayed and considered how best to do this, it seems that a podcast is the best way, so I’ve been diving deep into how to do that and what shape that will take. I would love to have that up by the end of February, although I suspect that might be a tad bit ambitious! I will keep you all in the loop on the progress, so keep on the lookout for it. I am excited to do this!

For the next seven months I will focus all of the posts and podcasts (when I get them up and running) on the following themes:

February — Beloved

March — Making Space for God

April — Savor

May — Linger

June through July — Series on Hearing God

I pray that you will find these changes helpful to root and strengthen your relationship with Jesus, and that you will find your service and ministry is focused and effective. As always, I love to hear from you, how God is touching you and those you serve, and for any ways I could help sustain your soul—just email me at kimberley@kimberleymulder.com. Grace and peace to you all in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Kimberley

Posted by k2mulder in Giveaways, New Website, 0 comments

Michelle DeRusha on Letting Go

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Today we have the honor of a guest post from author Michelle DeRusha who just released her newest book,
True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created on January 1, 2019. I’ve read a few books about uncovering your true self with God, and this one really encompasses the journey well. The metaphor of fukinaoshi (Japanese pruning to an open center) is so perfect for structuring the book and the topic. She weaves her personal story, Biblical story, historical story, science, and gardening into such a beautiful exposition of this essential journey. She leads you into some difficult to grasp concepts and the challenging place of facing things in ourselves we’d rather not see, with wisdom, encouragement, and clear ideas. Each chapter ends with a “Going Deeper” section so you can spend some time with God reflecting and implementing practices to help you let go of your false self. And I loved that she finished the book with an exploration and example of how important it is to uncover your true self within the context of community, even though it’s an intensely personal journey. Enjoy her post, and don’t forget to enter my giveaway (which closes on Tuesday, January 29 at midnight) by sharing this post or another from my blog on Facebook or Instagram and entering your email here, “True You Giveaway!”


I never noticed that oak trees are the last to lose their leaves until I began a daily practice of sitting still.

It all began with a whim. One sunny November afternoon while I was walking my dog, I decided to stop and sit on a park bench. As I rested there for a few minutes with Josie sprawled at my feet, I decided I would make this bench-sitting part of my daily routine. I vowed I would stop at that same spot along our walking route every day, and I would sit for five minutes. I would sit in silence, I determined – without music or a podcast in my ears; without dialing my mother or texting my sister; without snapping photos with my camera phone or scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. I would simply sit in silence for five minutes. It would be good for me, I reasoned. Turns out, five minutes on a park bench seems short in principle, but is a surprisingly long time in reality.

The first afternoon I sat on the park bench, I looked at my watch after two minutes and then again after four. The next day I took a cue from Josie, who sat still, ears pricked, nose quivering. I looked at what she looked at; I sniffed, trying to smell what she smelled. When she twitched her ears, I turned my head too, trying to hear what she’d heard.

I noticed a little more of my surroundings that second day, like the fact that the leaves of the burr oak on the edge of the ravine still clung stubborn and tenacious to the branches. Unlike the maples, birches, elms, and ash trees, which had dropped their leaves like colorful confetti more than a month ago, the oaks were still fully dressed, their dry leaves scraping together in the wind like sandpaper.

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I wasn’t at all sure what I was doing there, just sitting. All I knew was that I felt compelled to do it, even though I didn’t particularly like it, and even though I knew, after only two days, that I would resist it in the coming weeks. At the same time, I knew this sitting in stillness was something I had to do. Somehow I knew that the stopping, — the interruption to my daily routine and my incessant push to get from Point A to Point B — was important, maybe even imperative.

Turns out, I learned over the weeks and months of sitting in quiet solitude that I am a lot like the oak tree that clings so fiercely to its leaves. In fact, I suspect a lot of us are. We, too, clutch our camouflage — the person we present to the world, to our own selves, and even to God.

We, too, are unwilling to shed our false selves, to let go, to live vulnerably and authentically. We are afraid of what might happen if we drop our protective cover, afraid of how we might be seen or perceived, or how we might see or perceive our own selves. We spend a great deal of our time and energy holding tight-fisted to our leaves, simply
because we are too afraid to let go, too afraid of what, or who, we will find underneath. The thing is, though, even the stubborn oaks have to let go of their leaves eventually. New growth can’t happen until the old, desiccated parts fall away. Spring only comes after winter. There is a rhythm here – relinquishing, stilling, rebirth.

The truth is, God does not wish for us to stand stubborn like the autumn oak tree, cloaked in a façade of protection, our truest, most authentic selves obscured beneath a tangled bramble of false security. Rather, he desires us to live open and free, our true essence revealed and flourishing, our true self front and center, secure and thriving. God yearns for us to live wholeheartedly and truthfully as the unique, beautiful, beloved individuals he created us to be. Most of all, God’s deepest desire is for us to know him, to root our whole selves in him like a tree rooted by a stream, and to know his deep, abiding love for us. God yearns for us to live in the spacious, light-filled freedom of Christ and to know ourselves in him, through him, and with him.

As we slowly begin to let go of our false selves, branch by branch, leaf by leaf, and layer by layer, as we finally begin to relinquish, open up, and allow God to prune us from the inside out, we will grow in ways we never imagined: in our relationships with loved ones; in connection with and love for our neighbors; in our vocation; in our heart, mind, and soul; and in intimacy with God himself.

Our true, essential self, the one beautifully and uniquely created by God, is there, deep inside, hidden beneath layer upon layer of leaves clinging fast. Within each of us is a spacious place, waiting to be revealed.

Letting go is the way in.


Michelle DeRusha for www.kimberleymulder.com

Michelle DeRusha, author of True You

BIO: A Massachusetts native, Michelle DeRusha moved to Nebraska in 2001, where she discovered the Great Plains, grasshoppers the size of chickens … and God. She’s the wife of an English professor who reads Moby Dick for fun and mom to two teenage boys and the laziest Corgi-beagle in the world. Michelle’s newest book, True You, released January 1, guides readers on a journey toward letting go in order to uncover their true God-created selves.

This post is adapted from True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created, by Michelle DeRusha, released January 1 from Baker Books.

Posted by k2mulder in Being Present, Giveaways, Guest Posts, 0 comments