Lago de Atitlan // Remembering the Beauty

 

It is rather incredible for me to think back and know that I used to live here, in this exotic and breath-taking beauty. The various shades of blue of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. I laughed here, kayaked here, awoke to this view for what seems now to be not enough amount of time. But it was, oh it was. Some people will never venture to look upon what some world travelers and explorers call the most beautiful lake in the world.

Guatemala was a special place for me; It was a place to reflect, to discover myself. What I found was my deep love for people, all people and the richness of culture and the diversity of life. It is here that I truly started to live.

 

 

Volcano at Lake AtitlanLago de AtitlanSan Pedro de Atitlan

How To Change Your Life In A Split Second

Albania

Brady and I have been on a long spiritual and physical journey this past year: from selling everything we owned and venturing onto The World Race, to then following the direction to move to Guatemala for 6 months, to then starting over broke and brand new in our homeland of America.

It is difficult to trust when you do not know what lies ahead, but with every ‘go’, we heard whispered, or maybe even screamed at some points when we were clueless, we went ahead and trusted that God knew what was best for our lives and our marriage.

Before we left, We were living in a luxury apartment with steady jobs, cars we loved, and enough money to feel comfortable and self-sufficient. We didn’t need anyone’s help; in fact, Brady and I really didn’t even need each other’s help. We worked opposite schedules and hardly even saw each other, which eventually started taking a wear on our marriage.

After a year or so of living that way, we began to feel a slight sense that maybe there was more for us than this normal and mundane way of life.We knew we needed a change, but felt so stuck in our routine that not just anything would work. And then, one day after church (which we hardly went to at that point), I had this random thought about something I had heard of once, and I ran straight to Google that Sunday afternoon while my husband was in the bathroom. And surely enough, when he came out, I said, “Hey babe, look what I signed us up for.” And he came over and peeked at our MacBook with a surprised face and read, “The World Race, an 11- Month Missions Trip to 11 Countries… Okay, Cool.” And that was that.

All in a wild, split second decision, our lives changed.

We had absolutely no idea what the next year would hold for us: how we would come back not even resembling the people we were when we left, or how our relationship would be tested and tried, but come out stronger than most marriages might ever be, the things we would learn, the people we would meet, and how we could never go back to the way things were, simply comfortable and self-sufficient.

Guatemala Team

When you say “yes” to God’s calling and His direction, you say yes to way more than you could ever bargain for.

But, in order to move forward, to really soar, you have to let go of the comforts you’ve been clinging onto for so long. You have to stop leaning on self- reliance, and trust that God’s ways are higher than your ways.

Albania Castle

What dreams have you allowed to just remain dreams in your heart?

What has the Lord called you to, yet you still haven’t responded with an all-out ‘yes’?

Be brave and trust (have confident expectation and hope) that God will come though and lead you into your purpose and destiny, even if that means leaving the safety of the shore and pushing through the waves .

waves

 

“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. “

– Proverbs 3:5-6 (AMP)

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

– Isaiah 55:8-9 (NASB)

“You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves”

– Bethel Music (You make me brave)

Confessions of a First-Time Momma

IMG_9587

Today marks the calendar of being 9 weeks pregnant.

You would think I would be a baby whiz and know all that there is to know about pregnancy and motherhood, but the simple truth is that I do not. Nor will I ever pretend to.

What is hardest to me is that all over the media, and in every day life you see women who at first glance, resemble wonder woman. I mean, they knew every detail about every week and trimester of pregnancy before they even turned 10. Okay, maybe not, but it seems like they have it all together, and there must obviously be something wrong with me, I think to myself.

I have wanted a baby since the day I was married, (I know, I know) but I finally became pregnant 2 and a half years later. In all of that time of dreaming of little baby Liette, I completely forgot to do any research.

Thus, here I am being surprised every day about what it means to be a mom and grow a little miracle inside of me.

 And let me tell you, there are many things to learn and plenty of decisions to be made. I am currently researching all things about natural birth, though I do know that I can’t quite get myself to deliver at home. At least not with this baby.

 I suppose the point of all of this is, three months into the most exciting season of my life, I still feel pretty clueless on all things pregnancy and motherhood.

  Even though I haven’t met them yet, I know I love this baby way more than I ever would have dreamed. And I have this sneaking suspicion that there are other first-time moms out there who are thrilled about this natural process of life, but also feel that they don’t know as much as they ‘should’.

But what we really need to know is that it’s okay and it doesn’t make us any less of a mom than we should be.

Every woman had to start somewhere, and at some time.

So, let’s do this together. Let’s research, learn, discuss, and be real about what it feels like to develop into mommyhood as our babies are developing body parts.

It’s okay to not have all the answers, as long as we are trying.

New Product Sneak Peek

Handmade KimmayAnn Bag

Handmade Leather Satchel

Handmade Baby Booties

Handmade HalfMoon Kimmayann Bag

Brady and I just got back from our trip to Guatemala on Monday with a bunch of new beauties for you!

I’m still finishing up the shop website, but I couldn’t wait to show you at least a few of the goodies we brought back.

If you like these, which I can’t imagine anyone wouldn’t, then you are in for a treat!

I promise the shop will be opening very soon because I’m eager to show off our new line of products.

Thank you for shopping high quality & handmade  🙂

XOXO-

Kimmayann

Positive Influence

I’ve been thinking this morning about community and how important it is to surround ourselves with positively influencing people.

I pulled out these encouraging hand-written notes from all of my friends (who are more like family) in Guatemala.

notess

These are the people who we lived with day-in and day-out for the past six months.

We shared a roof, meals, our workloads, our struggles, our victories, and so many memories together.

We encouraged one another every day.

We spoke truth into each other lives.

We saw each other through eyes of grace.

Because we all know,  the real ‘us’ comes out when we spend every day with people for stretched amounts of time. There ain’t no hiding it.

I’m so thankful for for these friends.

hike

Thankful for their love and for their desire to see me grow.

It’s beautiful to have relationships where you are investing into each others lives.

Are you surrounding yourself with people of positive influence?

What Happened in Guatemala, Doesn’t Stay in Guatemala

 

veronica

The past six months that I lived in Guatemala felt like a lifetime.

(In a good way)

I’ve been blessed to have met women like Veronica.

She has a beautiful heart and a radiant smile that always left me laughing.

She began as my Spanish teacher and quickly became a dear friend.

Since being back in the States,

(I’d like to say back home, but I’m still confused where home truly is)

I’ve come to the awakening of the gaping hole in my chest.

It’s difficult to leave your heart in another country with people who became apart of your story.

When your lives collide and you realize that you are more alike than you could’ve ever imagined.

That despite cultural differences, and sometimes (a lot of times) language barriers, we are human.

We all possess the deep longing to be seen and to be loved.

I came back to Florida and knew that the wild world outside had changed me.

My eyes couldn’t see things the same, though at times, they tried.

I longed for the warm embrace of a beautiful Mayan friend that I’ve met on the street.

The woman named Thomasa that I’ve adopted as my abuelita (little grandma).

She sells mangoes, papaya, and watermelon every day at the age of eighty-seven.

thomasa

It’s these kinds of people who leave a lasting impact on the heart.

The ones who are content with the little they have, and encourage you to share in their joy.

They are the ones who changed my eyes, and I’ll forever be grateful to them.

Insights From My Diary

December 31, 2013

Location: In the sky

Once again, Brady and I are flying.

It seems that we spend more time on planes than on ground, but that’s not necessarily true.

It was a good run- the past month; Being able to surprise our families and come home for Christmas. Two-weeks in Ohio and two-weeks in Florida. We are now on our way back to Guatemala, where we have lived for the past three months. It’s pretty unusual, our life, but it’s great.

With teary eyes and a heavy heart, we said ‘see-you-later’ to my parents and little sister at the Tampa airport just a little while ago. It’s hard because we never know when the next time is that we will be back; it’s always just hoping that it sooner rather than later. And here we are, on New Years Eve, turning a page and starting a new chapter: back to Guatemala, but beginning a new season.

It’s very hard to say good-bye to our families, but we have to do what God asks us to do and we have to trust Him, no matter what.

To the ends of the earth, I will follow. Through every hardship and every storm, I will trust you, Lord. You are my strength; you are my source of joy.

Let my life not be ordinary, but lead me into your will, and guide me all the way through.

I am yours and you are mine. I love you.

Hola From An Indigenous Mayan Village

Happy Day, Friend!

Brady and I are sitting in a little cafe here in San Juan, Guatemala. We have been staying out in the middle of nowhere for almost a month at an old retreat center type place.

We are fortunate enough to be around one of the most beautiful lakes in the world: Lago De Atitlan.

IMG_2229

There are three volcanoes located around the lake, creating an even more breathtaking view at any time of the day. It’s an hour boat ride to the other side, and all travel from village to village requires way of boat. It is here in these villages that the people dress in traditional Mayan attire and speak the ancient indigenous Mayan language, Tz’utujil. 

What a beautiful life they get to live.

Identity

I’ve been thinking about identity lately.

Particularly examining what I’m putting my identity in.

Is it the clothes I wear? The accomplishments I’ve made? The people I know or how many people know me?

Let’s get real: sometimes we get so wrapped up in how many ‘likes’ we get or how many followers we have.

 It’s completely ridiculous.

I even find myself struggling with what people think about my age, or the fact that I haven’t finished college yet.

Basically, my whole identity is defined by what other people think-

 or what I believe they think.

This led me deeper into thought about my who I am.

The first thing that came to my mind is obviously my name.

Kimberly Ann. That’s who I am, right?

But what does that mean?

Something I read once, that I truly believe is that:

“names can be prophetic declarations that define a persons’ identity.“

So, our names can certainly influence the essence of who we are.

I looked my name up and I found multiple versions of what it meant, but I took hold of the most recent one I found.

Kimberly : She has great strength

Ann: Full of grace

KimberlyAnn

Have you ever taken the time to find out what your name means?

You might be surprised to see how closely it resembles your personality.

Another thing to think about is that our identity really shouldn’t be who we are, but who He is in us.

I challenge you to make a list of the things you put your identity in and be open.

I was kind of embarrassed by the things I came up with, but it was true and now that I know, I can be careful to not let those things define me.

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xoxo,

Kimmay Ann

 

 

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