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I Do for Valentine’s Day & Forever

I Do for Valentine’s Day & Forever

Click on the link above for info on a wedding or vow renewal this Valentine’s Day season! Women love security and commitment…I promise you won’t go wrong with this gift! Schedule your “I’m a Prince Charming and my Princess Knows It” grand gesture!

Agape Weddings – Ordained Wedding Officiants on Facebook!

Love the love!

Chaplain Kim

 

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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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Where Butterflies Have Been Again

Where Butterflies Have Been

Where butterflies have been a whisper is spoken ever so softly,

Fluttering delicately, I hear the gentle wings pounding my name.

Sympathetically hugging my heart in my soul,

Leading me boldly like a moth to the flame.

Ever so strongly, guiding and smiling, crying and floating,

Quite overwhelming, it’s confusing but amusing in life’s game.

Throbbing intensely and feeling such emotion as overwhelming as waves in the ocean,

Such love and compassion, grace everlasting, and I have no more blame.

In the cocoon I’m struggling and screaming, yet rescued and resting,

Where butterflies have been new life begins, and the mirror tells me to stay the same.

Kim Crawford-Meeks

Copyright Kim Crawford June 3, 2009; revised April 14, 2014; October 22, 2018

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Three Wise Men

Once upon a time there were three little…. hmmm, nope.
We have all heard of the restaurant Five Guys, well recently I met Three Guys…nah.
Life is like a three-legged race…what does that mean? Nope.
How many famous trios can you name? Go…
Huey, Dewey and Louie, Charlie’s Angels, Three Stooges (Ugh), The Three Musketeers, Snap-Crackle-Pop, The Three Bears, The Bee Gees, ZZ Top, The Andrew Sisters, Peter-Paul-Mary, Hanson (Mmm bop, ba duba dop ba du bop, ba duba dop, ba du dop, ba duba dop ba du…) ok now that’s stuck in my head.
Three Wise Men! Bingo (So now you know the stream of consciousness of a writer’s mind, shall we begin our story?)
I recently met three wise men.
I lead laughter yoga in various places and with all ages. Of all the groups in which I am blessed to lead, there is one participant who stands out. Since this gentleman is a beacon of light, we shall call him Ray (ray of light). Ray is in a wheelchair and has had a stroke, therefore he only has use of one arm and leg. In laughter yoga, we practice breathing exercises, stress reduction, and relaxation techniques, which include: clapping, arm movements of many variations, and foot stomping. Laughter yoga certainly gets us out of our comfort zones, is silly feeling at times, and there is not much to compare to it, but is truly so much fun. Most people love it if they try it, but some only half try. Some scoff and don’t try at all. Ray always tries. Even if the exercise requires using 2 hands – he uses his one functional hand. Even if that means clapping the air – Ray claps one hand in the air. He smiles, he laughs, he encourages others, he welcomes newcomers to the group, and he helps me. He raised a family, was dedicated in his profession before retirement, and has countless accomplishments. All of that is great, but what makes Ray such a wise man, is that he is still serving the common purpose that I think we all share…wherever we are in the stages of life to continue to care for one another.
The second wise man I met recently is a man in his 30s. We shall call him Josiah, because it means Yahweh supports. This man was at a place where he didn’t have much of a support system remaining. The question proposed to all of us was, “What gives you strength to keep going? What higher power, Bible verse, quote, pet, aspect of nature, etc. helps you keep going?” Josiah knows darkness, tragedy, and loss, yet he said “What helps me keep going is that God is a There God. No matter where I am, or what is going on, God is there.” Josiah could have kept this to himself, but he chose to share his faith. Josiah is a very wise man because he is doing what our faith as Christians is supposed to be all about…he is allowing God to continually care for him, holds on to the hope of our Savior, and shares that hope with others.
The third wise man we shall call James (because that is his name, his parents gave permission, and his story reminds me of James 3:17). Yes, I had to ask his parents’ permission because James is about 4.5 years old, and yes, he is a wise man. I wish I could insert a video of him here, because he could tell his story so much better than me. One Sunday morning, our pastor called James up to the front of the church. James had this marvelous idea to have a lemonade stand with “real lemonade” in order to raise money for *Backpack Buddies. Simply that he went up without his parents brought joy to all of us…it’s not easy to stand up in front of a crowd. James did though and was quite the well dressed and polished gentleman I may add. The pastor reminded us of James’ lemonade stand and asked him to tell us how much he raised. James didn’t whisper it in the pastor’s ear, nor did he look down at the floor. Just as he should have, James, in confidence and celebration, announced that he raised, “$507!” I asked his mom to find out from James why he wanted to give to Backpack Buddies in particular, and he said, “To help other children (thought about it a minute and adamantly added with pointed finger) AND to be good to God.” James is a young man, but oh, so very wise…he already realizes life is about what we can do for someone else, and he is a man demonstrating what it really means to “be good to God.”
Three Wise Men once heard about the Messiah being born and were so excited that they followed a star to be in his presence. Three Wise Men today still excited about the Savior and living it. These men prove that physical challenge, status, emotions, nor age prevent us from living in the wisdom of God. We may not all be able to give or even raise money for others, but we can remember that God is there, giving wisdom, showing us how to love, and offers opportunities daily to give in some way.
“But the wisdom that comes from Heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
James 3:17
Mmm bop, ba duba dop ba du bop…oh boy, still there.
*Backpack Buddies is a non-profit dedicated to fighting childhood hunger. Many children are food insecure, meaning they don’t know where their next meal will come from. For many, their school lunch is the only meal they consistently receive. The organization works with school counselors to provide food to these children that is easy to prepare and nutritious. For more information go to http://www.brookwood.org/backpack-buddies/.

Chaplain Kim Crawford-Meeks
8.15.19
unveiledanduntangled.com

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I think we have one purpose and one main desire that we all share.

Each and every one of us wants someone who will love and care about us.

Babies don’t thrive without human touch and intimacy.

Children feel less afraid if they know someone is nearby.

Even if the someone is actually a stuffed bear or bunny, having that someone to hold, makes them feel more secure.

I am not alone.

Our lives being with family, and we quickly add friends, neighbors, schoolmates, coworkers, and others.

Some days the person that makes you feel the best, is the stranger at the store that let you go ahead of them in line, or someone on an elevator validated your own feelings that it has been a long week.

Just someone who shows you some kindness, makes you feel seen, helps you feel heard, makes you feel valued, can change your day.

We try to figure out who is best for us to date or marry. What personality would fit ours the most?

There are dating sites that claim to figure out your perfect match.

Yet, two people are always going to be two different people. No two people are the same.

No two people are ever going to be perfect for one another.

So, how can we be in a relationship with someone and remain fulfilled with them if we have all these differences?

What is it people want from one another?

How can we work beside the same person day in and day out?

How can we have a lifelong friendship with someone or a marriage until death do us part?

I think there is one thing to understand.

One thing that we all want.

One thing we can do that summarizes every book about relationships that has ever been written.

We can give one another rest.

We are seeking rest from one another.

We want to be around someone who makes us feel loved, heard, validated, seen, and is fun, compassionate, funny, caring, responsible…someone safe.

We want someone who is our safe place to land.

Someone who gives our busy brains, weary bodies, and strained souls rest.

Jesus said it.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Whatever someone brings to us:

Sadness, gladness, anger, or fear…our response should be, “Come, I will give you rest.”

If we approach every conversation with the goal, “I will give the person(s) in front of me rest” how can we go wrong? This does not mean we have to cower to others, or agree with something we don’t feel is right. It means, we offer a safe place for this person to express and share how they feel. We should let them know I’m listening, I’m here, I care…I give you rest. We can seek mutual understanding, consider options, brainstorm, explain, and ask questions…all while giving rest to another.

We do not, and will not be exactly like another person, thankfully! How boring that would be. But, we can have a growing, thriving, and beautiful relationship, if we only have the same goal together to give one another rest.

Come, to me. I will give you rest.

Here is my heart. Rest is all it wants from you.

Kim Crawford-Meeks

06.14.19

 

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Breathe Grace

Each day has new mercies. We feel yesterday but we can’t change it. We dream of tomorrow but we can’t touch it yet. We are right here. Right now. There are 86,400 seconds in a day so 86,400 opportunities each day to receive grace and give grace. Breathe grace.

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Faces In the Waiting Room

The waiting room is a difficult place of being. I recently waited 23 hours in a waiting room while my husband, David, was in a surgery that was suppose to last 10-12 hours. I was patient the first 12 hours I think, and the faces of strangers became familiar as I knew they could relate to what I was feeling. I didn’t know them, yet still their faces seemed like those of a reunion I was in. A reunion of those waiting on a loved one. A reunion of people whose faces were personally numb from fear. Every 2.5-3 hours they would call with an update that was the same, “We are still working on the tumor and can’t give an idea of an end time yet.” After 14 hours of hearing this, as everyone else who was waiting left, and as it became the next day, my patience wore thin. In the early hours of the morning I started to cry out to God begging him to please help with whatever was happening. I then started saying out loud, “David come back to me please!” When have I felt like I was being put in time out like this before? It felt like being told to sit and suffer quietly. I began to feel guilty that I wanted so badly just to stretch my legs out for a few minutes. Everything in my body started hurting on the outside while this empty pain started eating me alive from the inside out. The fear of losing him and thought of never seeing his face on Earth again was unbearable. The faces of my new friends left me one by one until their were none. When have I felt this way before?

When I got the call that my daughter had been ran over I felt it then. I didn’t know by what and assumed an 18 wheeler. It was a motorcycle. The relief I felt when I saw her smiling face even though her ear hung off her head and her collar bone stood straight up.

When my grandmother fell down the stairs was another time. I held her in the Emergency Room while blood poured down her body and they stapled her head back together. Her face calm as it had been every day of my life.

Many years ago, I remember feeling time stood still when my daughter told me my son was hanging from the swing set and I looked outside to see him dangling from it and lifeless. It seemed I was on a time warp as I ran to him and lifted him up and see that he was hanging from his pants that got caught on the swing. His face of giggles was music to my soul because I thought it would be lifeless.

The other waiting room that comes to mind was when we were in the basement and felt the tornadic circular winds surround us and start to encircle us and destroy our home. When outside that early morning, my daughter called my mom and said “Nana, we’ve been hit by a tornado, we’ve lost everything” and I said “We can do this (sweeping my hand toward the rubble that was our home). We’ve got each other and we’ve got Jesus.” I am told I then raised my arms and sang a praise song to God. I don’t remember. I know I pictured the sweet face of my Savior.

When I saw my husbands face after those 23 hours of waiting, everything about me calmed and sweet relief came once more. When my face touched his again I felt life pour back into my body. I will never forget how precious his face looked.

What I’ve learned from this is that there will be times in life when I can’t even feel my own face and I’m in a waiting room that feels like being suspended into the unknown and floating aimlessly, there is a face that I seek. A face of complete peace. The face of Jesus.

Kim Crawford Meeks

5.1.19, one month after

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What If? An Interview with Chaplain David Peacock

For the month of April, I have the privilege of sharing the heart of a fellow chaplain and friend. Chaplain David Peacock is our Cardiac Care Chaplain in the hospital where I serve and is Pastor of Hickory Hills Church in Alabaster, AL. Since Chaplain Peacock supports those having issues with their hearts, I asked him to share with us how he cares for the hearts of patients beyond the physical. If you know him, then you know a minister who loves to see people experience reconciliation with one another, themselves, and with God. Beyond relationships, he talks about the importance of reconciling the head and the heart when one is faced with a factual situation that the heart just does not want to accept. He recommends during these confusing situations to ask questions in order to reconstruct a new future. He poses the following questions for us to consider regarding the importance of those conversations with others, self, and God:
What If?
What if a conflict could bring us closer to one another?
What if a disagreement reveals what we deeply care about?
What if we attempt to understand up close versus throwing stones from afar?
What if we really listen for once?
What if those who yell the loudest are actually those who are most afraid?
What if an enemy could become an allay?
What if our conversations could inspire other conversations?
What if?
My chat with Chaplain David Peacock regarding the heart, reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite books/movies The Secret Life of Bees:
Lily Owens: If your favorite color is blue, why did you paint the house pink?

August Boatwright: That was May’s doing. When we went to the paint shop, she latched on to a color called, “Caribbean Pink.” She said it made her feel like dancing a Spanish Flamenco. I personally thought it was the tackiest color I had ever seen, but I figured if it could lift May’s heart, it was good enough to live in.

Lily Owens: That was awfully nice of you.

August Boatwright: Well, I don’t know. Some things in life, like the color of a house, don’t really matter. But lifting someone’s heart? Now, that matters.

To my friend, David, and to August Boatwright, I say, Amen. What if we realize lifting someone’s heart is truly our shared purpose in this life. Now that is what truly matters. May we all lift the heart of another this month.
From my heart to yours,

Chaplain Kim Crawford-Meeks
03/26/2019

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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