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Growing Wings

Growing Wings offers a creative and gentle experience of a child’s journey through loss and gain in life. Losing a pet, family member, or friend is a traumatic experience for anyone and especially for a child. There are no perfect words to describe the feelings attached to loss and certainly no concrete rules of how to help a child cope with losing someone or something they love.   As a Hospital Chaplain, Kim Crawford witnessed many situations in a level one trauma hospital, where adults told children how to feel in difficult circumstances. Sometimes children were told not to cry, not to express, and to sit still and be quiet. She encourages adults to invite children to talk about how they feel, share their memories of the loved one, and normalize the child’s emotions.

Kim Crawford’s, Growing Wings, beautifully, yet simply, expresses through words and illustrations the excitement a child feels when making a new friend, and the pain and disappointment when this loved one leaves for any reason.

Available on Amazon, or from the author: Kim Crawford: psalm40.123@gmail.com.

https://www.amazon.com/Growing-Wings-Kim-Crawford/dp/1974087220/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1502829138&sr=8-2&keywords=growing+wings

See page from Growing Wings below…

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Quiet Waters of Sisterhood

Cindy Dixon Ms. Senior Alabama, 2020.I have been writing devotionals to send to the contestant and board members each week for the past month or so. Our theme was Quiet Waters based on Psalm 23, where our Shepherd leads us to quiet waters. 

I was going through the senses each week in seeking quiet waters. We covered sight, hearing, touch, and still had smell and taste remaining.

There was something greater to savor though in the last week, therefore I switched gears.

At the workshop a few weeks ago, as everyone finally had a face with a name, a beautiful thing happened.

The immediate bond we experienced was seen and felt. The employees of the church

saw it, heard it, felt it, smelled it, and tasted the sweetness of spirit within each of us.

They commented on the delight they felt as they watched women helping one another, laughing together,and encouraging one another. It was as if we were sorority sisters coming together after many years, yet most of us had never met in person. Ms. Senior Alabama, Cindy Dixon 2020, has talked about being Sister Queens many times in her reign. She was very touched by so many and has made lifelong friends in this sisterhood.

May I introduce my own soul sister: Dr. Penny Njoroge, 2020 1st Runner Up to 

Penny: I was born in Africa and grew up with one challenge and the next. Eventually, after overcoming many obstacles, I came to Alabama. I furthered my education and became a chaplain. I had no idea at the time the sisters I would gain throughout my physical and spiritual journey. One morning I was going through pre-surgery at the hospital and stepped into a bay, and asked a mother if she wanted prayer before her young daughter went to surgery.

Kim: The mother was me. My daughter had been ran over by a motorcycle and had to have several surgeries to put her all back together. The moment I met Chaplain Penny I knew she was my sister. She invited me to her home later and I explained I didn’t know what I was going to do with my Bible degree and asked about Chaplaincy. She said if I could it, you can, and with the support and encouragement of my sister Penny, I did. 

Penny: We would have never guessed when looking up at the stars from Africa to Alabama, we would one day be sister’s standing in the same light. Experiencing the sweetness of the Holy Spirit weaving threads of life and hope through each of us to form an unbreakable 

strand of strength.

Kim: So, let’s go together to quiet waters through the 23rd Psalm to open in prayer today:

(Kim states a verse in English, and Penny repeats in her native language and continue…)

The LORD is my dshepherd; I shall not ewant.

2  He makes me lie down in green fpastures.

He leads me beside still waters.1

3  He grestores my soul.

He hleads me in ipaths of righteousness2

for his jname’s sake.

4  Even though I kwalk through the valley of lthe shadow of death,3

I will mfear no evil,

for nyou are with me;

your orod and your staff,

they comfort me.

5  You pprepare a table before me

in qthe presence of my enemies;

you ranoint my head with oil;

my scup overflows.

6  Surely4 goodness and mercy5 shall follow me

all the days of my life,

and I shall tdwell6 in the house of the LORD

forever.7c

*Invocation for Ms. Senior Alabama 2021.

Kim Crawford-Meeks

08/28/2021

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Quiet Waters – Touch

Quiet Waters – Touch


Many of the babies in our family liked holding the satin end of a blanket, Granny’s scarf, or something nice and silky. My daughter wanted to hold my hair or her own and twirl it. (This resulted in her having half her hair cut off by her father, due to a knot, therefore she had to have a side ponytail for a year, but that is a story for another day.) The point is that we all have something we touch that brings us comfort. We also have things we don’t like to touch. My friend has a terrible aversion to velvet and can’t be near it. My brother always said he had a “feel” in his sock. My daughter said her flannel sheets made her feet too soft (not sure what that means.)

We all have our likes and dislikes.
It is very important to know what we like and what comforts us, so that we can put that in our Toolbox for Coping. Take your “Quiet Waters” moment this week to think about what you touch or hold that comforts you. Quietly sit and breathe deeply as you imagine whatever it is. It may be something you don’t have access to any longer, but you can feel it and be comforted through your memories. Or perhaps it is something you have neglected and can start doing again. Maybe it is holding a smooth stone to remind you of your strength. Or maybe it is the silky feel of a rose petal as you remember that we all have opportunities to bloom again each day.

In Mark 3:29, we read a diseased woman said, “If I can just touch the hem of his garment, I will be healed.”

Perhaps, imagining reaching out and touching the hem of the garment of Jesus. Whatever it is that you can touch, or imagine touching that brings you hope and comfort, take the time to stop beside your quiet waters and enjoy it.


Blessings, Kim

Kim Crawford-Meeks

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Quiet Waters – Sound

Often in life we find ourselves in circumstances we are not able to change. It could be a financial situation, relationship, legal issue, ailment, or a number of other things. We may not have the ability to change these circumstances or even how we feel about them. What we can do is change how we process these circumstances and feelings. Last week we talked about vision, therefore this week let’s talk about our sounds. Even if changing what we hear is only for a brief few moments, it does often help us escape. Sometimes that may mean stepping outside to listen to the birds, or going to another room where a tv is not on, or perhaps turning on music that lulls us to another time, place, or to sleep. Sometimes the greatest sound you can hear is your own breath. Being quiet, being still, and consciously breathing slowly and deeply. Listening to your breath and being thankful for your ability to take the next breath that comes. It even helps to place your hands over your ears so that you close out the noises of the world to listen to the sounds of your own soul, heart, and mind. You are allowed a break from it all. We all need those breaks. Vacations are very expensive, and yet we have the ability within ourselves to escape from it all right where we are.

Sounds

Sometimes you need to change your sounds,

Those same noises that are always around.

Those sounds that cause chaos, confusion, worry, or fear,

Make one forget all they hold dear.

Sometimes you need to hear something different from the norm,

These differing sounds will create new hopes, and new thoughts may form.

Maybe the ocean as it wanes and it waves,

Perhaps a new song from a day far away.

The sound of the wind is even different at times,

It provides sweet retreat as it lulls and it guides.

The sound of stillness – of quiet – of nothing at all,

The sound of your own soul as it gets up when you fall.

The sound of your own voice saying, “I will and I can.”

The sound from the heart that says, “You are strong, therefore stand.”

Quiet Waters. within. Listen. Breathe. Stand.

Kim Crawford-Meeks

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Quiet Waters – Vision

“And the Lord answered me: ‘Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.’” Habakkuk 2:2-3

My friend said I should have such faith I could write my prayers in stone. I wrote over 50 prayers in a journal. Months later I read through the journal and realized all of my prayers were answered in some way. God’s presence and action was obvious in my life. Prayers are not always answered in the way we think they should be, but rather (in my Christian belief system) with God’s wisdom and timing.

I was an office manager for an Orthodontic office. Our attitudes became rather persnickety. I remembered what my friend said about demonstrating our faith by writing our prayers in stone. I climbed a hill in my heels and grabbed this big rock.

I plopped it down in that clean Ortho practice, and said, “Ok, we are better than our attitudes have been lately. We claim to have hope, yet we aren’t demonstrating it. Write what you believe in stone.” They all looked at me like I was crazy, but throughout the day their prayers of faith appeared on the rock. Of course, the rock has no power…it is a rock. This was our demonstration of faith. We loved sharing our prayers in this way and did this for many years. 

The Ms. Senior Alabama, Inc. organization encourages women that it is never too late. It is never too late to believe in yourself and to have hope. Regardless of what your belief system may be, have something you can believe in to the point of writing it in stone, and never stop believing in yourself.

A woman from Alabama who understood vision and hope like no other said, “The only thing worse than being blind, is having no vision.” ~Helen Keller

Please take time beside your “quiet waters” to see hope in yourself for today and tomorrow.

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Blessings,

Chaplain Kim Crawford Meeks

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Quiet Waters

Breathe
We start this world with a breath. I personally didn’t breathe for 11 minutes when I was born. My mother thought I was dead, and the doctor told her I had severe brain damage. Well, my brother always told me I did, but here I am and God saved my brain in thatmiraculous way he does things. My mother’s Ob/Gyn stuck a tube down my throat and breathed for me and would not stopwhen they told him to. He didn’t give up on me. He later died in a plane crash. He did amazing things in medicine for Birmingham, ALand for a tiny little baby from Bradford, AL. He gave me the ability to think, feel, work, love…he gave me breath. God gave him thewisdom and heart to do this. So let’s begin our journey to quiet waters together with a breath.
A thought and breathing exercises for you to try:

Breathe Grace

Scientists at University of Virginia and Harvard conducted a research on stillness, meditation, and prayer perceived by many as doing nothing, a waste of time. They asked their students to sit alone in a room for 15 minutes. No phone, no gadgets, no tv, no books, no companion. They were shown a button that, if pressed, would deliver a static shock to their ankle. When left alone with nothing else to do, 67 % of men chose to shock themselves, and 25 % of the women did the same…. One person pressed the button 190 times! The author summarized their findings, “Most people seem to prefer to be doing something rather than nothing, even if that something is negative.” (July 2014 Issue of Science)

Take time to be.
Be aware of love.
Be aware of self.
Be aware of breath.
To breathe.
Breathe grace.
We feel yesterday but can’t change it.
We dream of tomorrow but can’t touch it yet.
We are right here. Right now.
There are 86,400 seconds in a day.
86,400 opportunities to receive grace.
86,400 opportunities to give grace.
Inhale grace. Exhale grace.
Breathe grace.
Be.

Kim Crawford Meeks 04/21/2020; 06/2021

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Sounds

Reposting for a friend who loved this idea of changing our sounds.
May you find new sounds daily!

Unveiled & Untangled

Sounds

Sometimes you need to change your sounds,

Those same noises that are always around.

Those sounds that cause chaos, confusion, worry, or fear,

Make one forget all they hold dear.

Sometimes you need to hear something different from the norm,

These differing sounds will create new hopes and new thoughts may form.

Maybe the ocean as it wanes and it waves,

Perhaps a new song from a day far away.

The sound of the wind is even different at times,

It provides sweet retreat as it lulls and it guides.

The sound of stillness – of quiet – of nothing at all,

The sound of your own soul as it continues to get up when it falls.

The sound of your own voice saying you will and you can,

The sound of God saying, I’m here, so you stand.

Listen.

Kim Crawford

Often in life we find ourselves in…

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Laughter Yoga for Stress Reduction & Relaxation

  1.Deep Breathing

– Inhale deeply through the nose and exhale out of the mouth. 3 x

– Inhale deeply through the nose for a count of 4, hold for 7 seconds (if comfortable), exhale for 8 seconds (if comfortable). 3 x

– Inhale deeply and raise one arm, lower the arm and exhale. Repeat with the opposite arm.

– Inhale deeply and raise both arms, stretch to both sides, exhale.

– Inhale deeply and raise both arms, and lean forward as you exhale and stretch the legs and lower back. Let all of your stress fall out of your fingertips and head onto the floor, and let someone else sweep it up! Slowly come up…this can make you dizzy.(You can do this from standing position or from a chair.)

-Pretend you are holding a balloon in front of your stomach. As you breathe in blessings, allow your hands to form a larger balloon, as you exhale, allow your hands to go back toward one another as the pretend balloon deflates. Also as you exhale, blow out stress and tension. Make an audible noise “whoosh” as you exhale. Repeat 3 x and each time allow more blessings in the balloon and for the balloon to become larger and whoosh to become louder.

– Pretend your index finger is a dandelion. Inhale and as you exhale blow all of the seeds off of the dandelion. 3x

– Pretend your index finger is a birthday candle. Inhale and as you exhale blow out the flame on the candle. 3x

– Breathe slowly and naturally as you roll your shoulders around to the back. Repeat at least 5x. Reverse.

2.Clapping

– Hands together in front and clap and say “ho, ho, ha, ha, ha” on each clap. 3x

– Repeat “ho, ho, ha, ha, ha” clapping, but this time say it very loudly, and stomp your feet. 3x

– Repeat and clap your hands over your head. 3x

– Repeat and clap very slowly and softly and say “ho, ho, ha, ha, ha” in a hushed voice and breathe out the haaaaa. 3x

– Hold hands together in front of body as if praying. Clap now from thumb to pinky and pinky to thumb, one finger at a time. Say “ho, ho, ha, ha, ha” on each finger clap. Repeat thumb to pinky, pinky to thumb, 3x.

3.Other Fun

– Drop your head forward, roll shoulders forward, bend knees slightly and say “Clark Kent” then stand tall with head up and arms pointed straight above head toward the sky and say “Super Man.” 3x

– Place hands on ears, leave teeth apart, lips together, inhale and hum for as long as you can. You will sound like a bumble bee. This is to tune out the world. Try it again with eyes closed. 3x

*Only do what is comfortable for you. If anything causes pain or is not comfortable please stop and do not try it again. None of these simple exercises should cause pain or even strain. The goal is to relax, reduce stress, and hopefully you will laugh, or at least smile!

I have over 5000 of these exercises. I can adapt for any age, stage, or ability. This is great fun for ice breakers or relaxation techniques for organizations, parties, or individuals.

Laughter is good medicine!

Chaplain Kim Crawford Meeks

06/29/2021

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Love Challenge Day 14 – Love Somebody

Today Valentine’s Day. God is love.  You are loved today and always. Be loving to others.

A prayer:

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A tear needs a question

-Not a tissue to dry it

A broken heart needs a listening ear

-Not a lashing tongue

A person with scars needs friendship in the present

-Not told of failures in the past

A moment of fear needs a hand in the dark

-Not a switch for the light

A person in agony needs compassion and validation

-Not an answer

A soul needs to connect

-Not wander in the fog

An insecure mind needs to know

-Not question or wonder

A living being needs continual love

-Not halfway, some of the time, or when it feels good

Love somebody

-With all you hear, all you say, all you remember, all you forget, all you touch, all you feel, all of your heart, all the way, with always a yes, and never a no.

1 Peter4:8-11 “Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

Even if we have very little of material items to give someone, we can give the greatest gift of all, which is love. Love has to show up. Love is certainly just being with someone. It is also giving to, doing for, speaking up, and reaching out. Just showing up is sometimes exactly what someone needs, but who you are and what you do when you show up also matters. Love is a choice. Love is a verb. Love has to love daily and deeply. It isn’t a hobby, a habit, or only there for when you need it. Love is a ministry. When you take someone’s heart in your hands, you are accepting the greatest responsibility on this planet. Love looks at another as a gift. A treasure. Figure out how to care for this treasure you have been given. Do you find out how to take care of the things on earth you treasure? If someone gave you a football, signed by your favorite team, during a championship game, would you play with it out in the mud and leave it outside to ruin? If someone gave you a diamond ring that belonged to a queen, would you leave it by the sink, just to fall down the drain? No. You choose to take care of things you value as rare and precious treasures. The heart of this person that you hold in your hand is a greater treasure than all earthly things.

kim crawford

12.19.13; 2.13.18

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Love Challenge Day 13 – Love like Jesus

Simply, what can you do to speak love to your loved one today?

Words of Affirmation? Say I love you. Tell them why you love them. With as many forms of communication as we have today, this one is easy.

Acts of Service? Run an errand, help relieve some kind of responsibility from their plate. Make sure they know you are willing and seek to do things for them. That you care about giving to them through lifting a little of their load.

Quality Time? Focus on them. Quiet time with them. Fun things you both like or maybe asking what they like.

Physical Touch? Leave with affection, greet with affection, offer affection just because. Babies can die without physical touch and bonding. It is a true need God gives. Think about how it would be to feel you will be alone forever without anyone to hug you, hold you, kiss you…so if you have people in your life that you love appreciate it and offer this nurturing act of love.

Receiving Gifts? It is not about the price tag, or the brand, it is about what the fabric is made of. A little gift says “I was thinking about you” “I knew you would love this” “I want you to have things I have given you among your sentimental treasures of life” Can be a flower, a pack of mints, a card, a $5 gift card for a treat…possibilities are endless.

To me, all of these should be present in a healthy relationship. Some are certainly more needed and important than others. All of these speak love and are needed to allow a person to perceive that you love them. All of these should bring you pleasure if you are giving them to someone you love…if not then I have to say hmmm? What’s going on with that? We should stop and examine our relationships to see if all of these are present. Am I doing these things?

I think much healing comes through offering a combination of these love actions.

I think trust is built.

I think bonds are strengthened.

I think Jesus loves us in all these ways and we are suppose to imitate Him.

Challenge:

Examine yourself to make sure you are doing all of the above and if not, do them.

kim crawford

 

 

 

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Love Challenge Day 12 – How to Prevent Pain and Have Healthy Communication

I have been studying a lot about conflict resolution/relationships. My supervisor and his wife had 2 sessions with us on feedback loops to deal with conflict/communication in marriage.
Their method is that you sit knee to knee.
One person who has the issue uses only I statements about how they feel. No you statements are allowed.
I feel___________when you __________or when you said _____________.
The listener responds with:
I hear you saying that you feel ________________when I ______________________.
The speaker gets to clarify further if needed and adds positive comments of understanding.
Yes, I feel ____________when_______________. I realize you don’t need___________or are working hard so you are tired (or some kind of understanding of why it is happening).
The listener repeats again and then asks is there anything else you need to tell me about this?
Speaker responds.
Then the speaker tells the listener what they need from listener (to listen only, to do some specific thing in the future, to apologize…)
You stay on one subject, no one feels attacked, and you reach resolution.  It was awesome when they demonstrated it. The author of the Mars Venus books suggests doing a feeling letter and response letter. Another method of a similar thing but in writing instead of verbally. They have many topics on relationships on their website also. Check out the links.
If we all learn this feedback loop process, we can model it for future generations so that they will grow up knowing how to deal with conflict and not get messed up with what my supervisor calls A&I people a..hole and idiots who are blamers (it’s your fault you feel that way) placaters (pleasers) or distractor (someone who always finds an excuse for the people you are upset with rather than validating your feelings) computer (someone who deals with emotions with data rather than emotion). What we want is to become levelers.
Also, it is important to know men think with one side of their brain at a time and women with the whole brain. I’ve been told a hormone released in the womb causes this separation of male thinking. Women don’t have that hormone released in the womb. Men look at one piece of pie at a time. Women look at the whole pie. In other words, men think in present tense. Women think in past, present and future all at once. That’s how God made us. It is designed that way so that women will nurture children and men can go to war to protect. God is warrior and nurturer. Men and women each have part of the attributes of God and together in unity become one having both sides of God in the relationship.
Our differences can cause conflict or mesh together. It takes work to learn how to allow them to mesh. We work on education, jobs, our cars, our yards…we have to work on our relationships. What car will keep going without work? Flat tire due to a nail? You would get the nail out and patch the tire. Tire flattens again? You would replace the tire. You certainly wouldn’t leave the nail in and continue to drive. You couldn’t, because eventually the car would not go any more. It would sit still somewhere on the journey. Stuck and damaged. If you want to continue on the journey, then you would fix the flat. You would patch, replace, oh yes, you would do whatever it takes to continue and make it ride smoothly so that all passengers are comfortable.
Oh, also, women have 8 times the blood flow to the emotional part of the brain as men. That is why we are more outwardly emotional.
Women like to talk about the relationship with their partner when they feel it is a good relationship and worth working on. Men hear this as complaint and go into fight or flight. They either retreat into a cave or say really harsh and mean things to women. Women yell. When we understand that there are going to be feelings of confusion, anger, sadness, and needs in a relationship then we have accomplished step one. The next task is to find a way to communicate about these negative issues without damaging the relationship or one person’s ability to be loved by the other.
Know your partner’s love language (what speaks love to them? quality time? words of affirmation? physical touch? acts of service? gifts? – I think some are more important to some people than others, but honestly all should be present in healthy relationships.)
Try the verbal feedback loop to discuss feelings and hopefully to avoid hurtful conflict.
We get into relationships because we can’t imagine life without this person who makes us feel so good. Let’s continue to make one another feel good as the relationship continues.  Healthy relationships are possible if both people are levelers. Be a leveler. Find a leveler.  We can teach younger generations how to communicate in a healthy manner and hopefully have better relationships and fewer break ups.
And if you need to form new habits to show love…Love Dare. Simple yet incredible tool that should be in all relationship toolboxes.
Get out the tools and fix the flat. Replace the flat. Continue the journey with all passengers comfortable along the way.
Blessings on your relationships! If one person learns this in the smallest way, I feel I have done something that matters.
Kim Crawford