About Me

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I was raised in Niceville, Florida. I met my husband who is also active duty military in 1997. We married and had our first son in 1998. . When I was pregnant with my first son, I gave my life to Jesus. I was not very committed to Him but I accepted Him as my savior. We moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2001. In 2006 we bought a home in North Las Vegas and one of my neighbors was a pastor for a church plant. My son and I began to attend fellowship dinners at their home and then we began to attend church with them. In 2010, my friend's son drowned at a party that we were at, he was 7 years old. He had an immeasurable love for God in him. We had known him since he was 3 years old. That very night I decided that his life and death would not be in vain and I finally really committed my life to the Lord. Since then, I have learned and been blessed with the opportunity to grow spiritually closer to God. I am planning on pursuing my nursing degree here in Arizona and I am looking forward to serving God as He sees fit.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

"If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all" Isaiah 7:9


    The idea that the strength of our convictions is not a new one to me, it is one that I have thought about before. Years ago, I took a philosophy course that required I start the semester with a world view and end the semester with a world view. I have always been interested in the different religions of the world so I was taking this class not to fulfill a credit requirement but for fun. I had already completed the typical philosophy 101 course where I learned the difference between fallacies and how to determine which kind of argument was which. 
    This was the learn about different kinds of belief systems philosophy. My professor was a firm believer of eastern mysticism, therefore most of the class focused on that particular area. We went covered Christianity in a very obligatory fashion, it went by so fast. I did learn that at the time I was a Christian Existentialist. I was the only Christian who spoke out regularly in class.
     It was a small class made up of quite a range of students. I was an "nontraditional" student; I had kids and had been married for a while. I remember writing my world view as honestly as I could. I proclaimed my love of God, my belief in Jesus Christ as my savior. I explained quickly my background and how I came to believe.
     I wrote that I had been raised Catholic but never confirmed, how I doubted at a young age, how I rejected Jesus as a teenager. (I grew up in the bible belt and I can remember answering a lot of questions about that!) I never rejected God but I doubted Jesus was who He said He was. I was always open to debate on the subject. I explained how I came back to Jesus. How I could not believe that this is all there is, how the miracle of life couldn't be a fluke, how I couldn't bear the thought of nothingness after death.
    I enjoyed learning about other cultures and their beliefs. I enjoyed  debating theology (with the limited knowledge that Catechism classes had left me) with my instructor and classmates. I knew enough to get by and was articulate enough to sound like I knew what I was talking about. 
    At the end of the course after we had written our final world view and on the last day of class, we were handed back our papers. As he went around passing them out my professor would say something small to each person as they took their paper. When he finally got to me he stopped, looked me dead in the eye and said to me, "Normally, when a student's world view does not change, I fail them. But I can tell you have worked hard to get where you are and I am impressed."
    Friends, my final world view that I submitted went a little something like this:
"I am a Christian. I believe that God created the world, that Jesus died for my sins. I have learned in this course that I am a Christian Existentialist."
    Even as a what we call a "baby" Christian I stood firm in my faith. Since the day when I was pregnant with my first son and I realized that there is more to this crazy thing we call life, I have stood firm. As the years have passed and I have grown in my faith and understanding, I still stand firm on the foundation of the knowledge that God created the world and Jesus died for my sins. I wonder what I would have to offer the others in that class today. My faith has grown exponentially and I admit I have been sidetracked and I have committed my life to Him over and over again but I always know that God is faithful to me, that He gave His one and only son for me, that He has chosen me and called me by name! What an amazing and loving God I have! 





Thursday, January 2, 2014

Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most

 





  Earlier this week, I did a preliminary review of Brooke McGlothlin's newest book, Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most. At the time I had not finished the book but I was excited to read it and now that I have finished it I am excited to put what I have learned into practice!
    As I told you, this book is full "AHA!" moments and common sense. The author even gives you scriptures to pray over your son! I don't know how easier it can get. Before she goes into detail about the topics in which we should pray for, she reminds us that prayer is not something that has to be formal, as a matter of fact prayer should be personal. We should be speaking to God like he is sitting right next to us. He is our Father, He cares for us, He listens to us, He knows us intimately, He knows the desires of our hearts. This is something I struggle with, I have a habit of saying the same prayer over and over again, and I know it annoys me when someone repeats themselves to me! This is the first change I will make in my prayer life.
    The next change I will make, is I will begin to pray scripture. I know most of the time I do not have the words to adequately convey what I want to say to God, how many times should I say to Him, "see the desires of my heart"? (Come to think of it I must be pretty boring to listen too!) In God's love letter to me, He has beautifully said everything that I can not. At any point in my life someone in the Bible has gone through it! I am not alone! I know that Google is about to become my best friend. This is not to say I will only pray scripture, I will pray from my heart as well.
    There have been very few times that I have actually been on my knees praying. This has been only in times of great sadness or extreme distress. I was brought up Catholic so how I fell out of this habit, I do not know but I feel like I am ready to put this aspect of my old prayer life back into action. To me it symbolizes serious devotion. I will be assuming this position once a day, thereby I will be making a set time to spend with God first thing in the morning. I currently pray when the Spirit moves me and I have tried to set a schedule for myself so I am hoping that this will help me stick to it. Again, Ms. McGlothlin's references to wearing out the carpet has inspired this change.
    This book has really changed the way I look at my sons and their salvation and purpose in life. It reminds me that we are not alone raising these precious miracles. God has a vested interest in them as well. It gives me hope that I can do the most loving thing for them, to pray for them at any age. I have clear cut instructions on how to do this. She also reminds me that I can not accept Jesus into their hearts for them, God is the only one who can move them to do so, but I can pray on their behalf that he calls them. It reminds me that I have a great duty to fulfill. I must raise my sons to be men of substance, men of integrity, men of action. They must take the roles that they have been made for seriously and I know that I am blessed that they have a role model like their father. I hope and pray that they are also role models for their future children.
   That being said, later this week I will be giving away a copy of the book! You can pre-order it on Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/Praying-Boys-Asking-Things-They-ebook/dp/B00DWA69AK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388728353&sr=1-1&keywords=praying+for+boys

   

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Prayer Journal for 2014

    I have been racking my mind for a prayer journal. I already carry a planner on me but it is too small to make lists for me to pray upon. I have tried making my own printable pages, they turned out beautifully but they were too big and iI would lose them as soon as I layed them down. I feel like the Goldilocks of prayer journals!
    This morning as I was contemplating my conundrum, it came to me! I could make my own! I have countless spiral bound notebooks laying around my home. I also have loads of paper crafting supplies, so I decided to make my own. Let me share with you how easy it was.
     I took a 99 cent top spiral bound steno notebook as my base:
Since I am not into binding my own notebooks I have to just work around the spirals, so I chose green paper with little crosses on it:
Before I attached it to the front of the notebook I used extra heavy duty glue strips and card stock to strengthen it:

I attached the paper to the card stock and then I glued the card stock to the front of the notebook. I had a little bit left over and I used my paper trimmer to cut off the excess. Then I stamped a quote from the Reverend Billy Graham to a small piece of left over card stock. The quote is, "God has given us two hands-one to receive with and the other to give with." This stamp is part of a set sold by Stampin' Up!


Here is my finished product! The paper is paper I found in a stack at Michael's. The card stock and the stamp are both from Stampin' Up! and the super strong double sided tape is from Hobbie Lobbie. I know that this journal will be the perfect size for me to carry with me and I will get a lot of use from it. I am excited to make more!
May you have a safe and blessed New Year's Eve!

Interested in Stampin' Up products? Check out my website :
http://www.stampinup.net/esuite/home/kimgustin/

How I Became Me Part One

    Today has not been a great day. I had an important deadline that I barely met, people waiting on me and needing me, and a great deal of pain. It was just one of those days for me!
     Since 2005, I have suffered from lower back pain. Even though I was only 27 or 28 I developed severe pain down my legs and in my lumbar region. After arguing with my doctors for a few months, I finally had an MRI done. Surprisingly (to the doctor), I had a herniated disk. At the time, I had a kindergartner and a toddler. My husband's job required him to be away most of the week, so I was on my own with two boys.
    With pain medication and physical therapy, I was able to manage my symptoms. In October of 2005, my mom was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. I flew from Las Vegas  to my hometown, Niceville, Florida and fell into a deep, deep depression. Here was what I had been dreading for years! It was a nightmare. For my birthday that year, my mom told me she knew this was going to kill her.
    I finally pulled myself together and came back home. I came back with terrible anxiety. I was constantly worried that I would get THE CALL. For 18 months my mother endured pain and suffering that I can't even wrap my head around.  I was also dealing with increasing pain and anxiety. I would go to my physical therapy sessions and I would have to leave half way through because of anxiety attacks. 
    Finally, at the end of May 2006 my neurosurgeon told me that I needed to go to the emergency room so I could be admitted for surgery. Because I had previously worked for my surgeon, he agreed to give me a weekend to get ready and prepare for the surgery. I can remember calling my mom, who was on hospice care, and telling her about my upcoming surgery and I will never forget how she wanted to come out and help me while I was recovering. I knew at that time that the tumors had developed in her brain.
    I had my surgery on June 1st, 2006. I had an anterior-posterior spinal fusion at the age of 29. I immediately felt better! My experience was amazing, my surgeon made sure that I was well taken care of and I was healing beautifully. On June 15th, I had tried to call my mom who was living with my grandparents. She never called me back but when I finally get a call from my grandparents, it was my grandpa. He was calling to tell me it was time for me to come home. It wouldn't be much longer. 
    My sister and I argue (jokingly) about what day my mom went home to Jesus. It was 10 something when I got the call that she had passed away peacefully in her sleep. With the different time zones, we have different dates. I remember being so very angry at God. Why my mom? Why so little time with her? I felt robbed. I spent the next few years being very bitter.
    I knew then that the time between my surgery and my mother's death was not a coincidence. I know that my mom held on for as long as she could to make sure that I was going to be okay. We spoke almost everyday after my surgery and she was lucid when we talked about how I was healing. My mom had her own back surgery when she was around 36. She knew what I was going through. 
    I now look upon the years I had with my mother as a blessing. I was blessed to have a mother who loved me. A mother who cared for me so much that she put her intense suffering aside to help me as much as she could from 2000 miles away. 
    It is easy to get caught up in the "woe is me" and "nothing goes right".  Don't get me wrong, I went there and there are days that I still fall down but I just try to remember that God is bringing through this trial and there is a purpose for it. As the daughter of the one true King, I know his promises to me. I know that God is faithful to me and He does all things for His glory! I am told, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
   
   

Monday, December 30, 2013

Praying for Boys:Asking God for the Things They Need Most

 Praying for Boys:Asking God for the Things They Need Most by Brooke McGlothlin
    The foreword to this book belies what is inside of the chapters that have been carefully crafted for us to enjoy. As I read, I find myself laughing quietly to myself and shaking my head in agreement. I think that my family thinks I have just stepped over the edge!
   What can we do to ensure that we are raising up Godly men? We can pray! We can ask that God gives us the tools that we need to faithfully raise up men of honor.
    As I am reading this and the author is writing about finding time for God, my youngest son who is not so young, is demanding my attention. This book is relevant for boys of any age. My sons are 15 and a half and 12, I know it is not too late to begin praying for them. Whether your sons are yet to be born or 21, it is never too late to pray for them! As I write this my youngest son has brought me some of his homemade hash browns, he has a servant's heart. He delights is helping other and doing things for others. I know how easily that spirit can be crushed in our world today.
    My eldest son is your average teenager, he loves sports and hanging around with his friends. Life has taught him to never stop saying I love you and that you are never too old for hugs. I am blessed this way. But I look at him and I wonder if I have equipped him fully for the world. I know it's not too late for him I still have a couple of years left to shape him and teach him to walk righteously. This book has come in the nick of time!
    I am almost a quarter of the way done and I am excited to continue my journey into the book. I will be reporting back with more posts and I will be hosting a give away for a copy as well! Keep checking back with me!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Hebrews 3:1 "Therefore, holy brothers. who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus"


     These last few months of 2013 have been hard. I have been struggling this Christmas season, for some reason my heart has been heavy and it has been broken. We all have our struggles and drama and most of the time I am immune to what goes on around me I have recently been asked to recount the story of my life, this has left me feeling vulnerable and my emotions raw. I feel as if all the heartache I have endured has been newly afflicted on me. I know that God promises, "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."(Psalm 147:3) but for some reason I felt forgotten. 
   I have been walking around for the last 3 weeks with a heart that has been broken, bound up and rebroken. I have been wondering when will God heal me? When will this pain that I am reliving stop? Along the way, I have had my shattered heart stepped on and ground into even smaller pieces, pieces that are so minuscule they can''t ever be put back into place!
    As I was faking my way through my day yesterday, I received a call from my sister. My sister is an amazing woman. She is a godly woman. She is a great comforter for me, she is a rock in this turbulent world. Even though our conversation lasted all of three minutes, she left me feeling better and with this gem, "I live looking up instead of looking straight ahead."  A small yet powerful statement of where she puts her trust, her energy, her hope. 
   I pondered on it, I thought about it, I slept on it. This morning I got up and decided that I need a bit of comfort from God, so I opened my bible, I looked for the shortest book I haven't read in the New Testament and I read it. Feeling less than fulfilled I started on the next book, Hebrews. I have a favorite quote from Hebrews that I will share with you later, I tried to skip ahead but I knew I needed to read it from the beginning. And there it was, staring me in my face the same thing my sister shared with me yesterday!
    All at once, I knew I had been focusing too much on myself and not enough on Jesus. Had I even asked God to heal my heart? Had I taken anytime to read His word? Have I made time to contemplate His love for me? I have been so caught up the drama of life and the excitement of Christmas, that I have forgotten to spend time with the One who loves me the most. The One who has adopted me, forgiven me, died for me, created me. The Maker of all things, my heavenly Father, He who does all things for my good. 
    As I write this my heart is no longer heavy, it has been bound up, it has been made new, I know it can love again, the way it did before.  If you are hurting, if your heart has been broken into pieces so small you are convinced that it will never be healed, look to Jesus. He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Comfort. Allow Him to bind up your heart, to heal your wounds, to lead you to where He wants you to be. You will never go down the wrong path when you looking up instead of looking straight ahead!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Immanuel: God is with Us

Luke 2:11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah,the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Jesus Presented in the Temple

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”[b]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[c]
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

  
    Could you imagine? Already angels of the Lord have come to you to tell you that, although you have not sinned, you will be pregnant. Your fiance has wrestled with believing you when you say that you have not sinned although you are with child, you are sent away to a cousin's home only for them to reiterate to you that you are carrying the King of Kings. 

    Your fiance decides to support you and this child, and when it comes time for the child to be born into this world you are forced to labor and deliver this King of Kings in a lowly, filthy barn. Yet the angels of the Lord come to others and tell them that our salvation has come. Three strangers from very distant lands bring gifts of untold wealth to lay at your infant's feet. Angels sing praise to this tiny babe lying in the lowest of places. As instructed you name this child Jesus which is translated "God is salvation". 

    What a mighty order for a child! You take him to be presented to the Lord, only to have a man say to you, "Your child will cause people to be saved, the truth of ones heart will be laid bear by your child, and he will bring you great pain." What wonder and fear Joseph and Mary must have felt. I know I would do anything to ensure my children did not have to go through great pain but imagine knowing that there is nothing you can do and that is the fate that lays ahead. 

    Today we know this child by the name Immanuel, "God is with us". We all know the story of what happen to this child, whose birth we celebrate today. A few years ago, when I was starting my faith walk, it dawned on me the symbolism of our Christmas tradition. We give gifts to re-enact God's gift of salvation to us. In our religious lives we aim to be Christ-like, hence like God, one way we do this is by emulating this act of giving. I truly believe that many of us just follow the tradition with out much thought. I know I did. 

    Merry Christmas to you and your families. May your day be filled with the joy that Jesus secured for us all those years ago.