Kavanna House


claiming me


While listening to someone recently, I was distracted by a smidge of resentment flickering in the shadows of my soul. Later, as I examined my reaction with trusted friends, I wondered what the Holy Spirit might uncover. I had my doubts that it would be anything other than my own selfishness and lack of grace.


My reactions were unlovely to recount. It is humbling to confess dark thoughts and feelings, but God used my friends to expose an unhealthy belief under which I operate. Sometime in my growing, I had accepted responsibility for other person’s agendas for me. As I let this simmer in my soul, an inner knowing expanded with life: I am not responsible for another person’s agenda for me!


I am not responsible to carry out culture’s agenda for me as a woman, a consumer, or a citizen. I am not responsible for the church’s agenda for me. I am not responsible for my family’s agenda for me. I am not responsible for the agenda of my ego. The only agenda to be attentive to is God’s agenda for me!


I’ve tried to carry other folks’ agendas for me most of my life and they are demanding. Under their burden, I am not enough. I have to work harder and harder. Meeting those agendas is just out of reach, always a day, a month, or a year away. The rules for success keep changing. It tires me to keep up with the myriad of expectations. At times, I feel I’ve lost touch with me.


I’ve adapted, blended in, submitted, and charmed. I’ve dieted, exercised, colored, shopped and decorated. I’ve created goals, made lists and planned my hours. I’ve joined up, attended and led groups. I’ve managed, occasionally, to get on board with a current trend only to find it changing a few months later.


Fueling my responsibility for another’s plans for me is my attachment to approval, control, and success. As I release my grip on these ego soothers, I can claim me, who I am and God’s purpose for me. In that grace-filled expanse of awareness, the whispers of God’s invitations are more clearly discerned.


When my heart is open to God’s work in my life, I don’t need to protect, defend or explain me. When God’s approval and love are enough, I am enough. I can trust wisdom for my “Yes” and “No” which produces freedom to listen to, love and serve the precious people God places in my life.


Photo Credit: Deb Turnow

Melanie Horning is a brand-new Grammy looking at life with fresh lenses through a baby’s eyes. She enjoys books, a good laugh, running with her husband and soft-serve ice cream. God is redeeming her perfectionism and control issues. She counts it a privilege to be a companion to people through spiritual direction and friendship.


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born blind

Jesus, You stopped and noticed me in my condition.

Circumstances beyond my control, not of my choosing,

had left me bewildered and bereft, sightless.

I was a beggar longing for the revelation that

others seem to have and take for granted.


Mixing the water from Your own mouth with clay,

You anointed this clay, and touched these eyes which

could not see Your glory. How many years went

by in darkness - where my hope shriveled like a flower

without the sun?


“Go and wash,” You said, “in the waters that go

softly by the King’s garden.” I moved in obedience

to Your word. At times I stumbled, at times I fell,

but I came back seeing.


Thank you, Jesus, that You have not left me as

You found me, for I was born blind.

Thank you, that at Your touch, my vision is restored.


Photo credit: Deb Turnow

Kim Yinger is a wife, mother of two grown artist daughters, and an HR manager at a law firm. She is a contemplative who also loves nature and writing Haikus. Baking for family and friends is another of her passions, as well as serving as an AWANA leader and Sunday school teacher. Kim enjoys movies from the 1930’s and 40’s, and reading historical fiction.

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I long to untether the insecurities

that continuously entangle,

holding me back

from life,

from love,

from God.


I long to eternally silence

the voice that questions

my enoughness.


I long to set free

my sense of control,

my desire to please,

my fear, my anger, my shame,

and nakedly trust

what God has for me this day

when the wrapping

is unexpected.


I long to experience God’s love

so completely

it reaches to the place inside

where I began.


 Nicole Mills is an oncology nurse, cancer survivor, nerd, and contemplative. She has a secret desire to be a nun or double-dutch jump rope champion. Not being Catholic or able to jump two ropes poses significant hurdles, but she remains hopeful. Visit Nicole at www.noticeandwonder.com to learn more about her beautifully messy journey and her whimsically quirky spirit.

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