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Karen Guess: Why I Do Kaleid

Dear Friends, It’s Thanksgiving and I know you are all out there living the dream - some outsized mix of busy, distracted, excited, relaxed, stressed, messy, beautiful, grouchy, and grateful is happening in your home today.  (Well, let me speak for myself and just admit that list represents my own current utopian-dystopian reality, anyhow…bless you, and please call me to tell me your secret if your reality has fewer extreme adjectives today.)


So today it feels a little incongruous to pontificate on questions like, “Why do I do Kaleid?”.


After all, we are all doing so many other things today and (in all seriousness) what does it even mean to “do Kaleid?”


No worries. I’m with you, and hopefully my brief thoughts on this question will encourage you in your Thanksgiving Eve preparations…whatever they entail.


Do you remember the first time that you connected the holiday of Thanksgiving with the actual posture of gratitude? I think I was a teenager when the reality that family is precious, meals can be sacred, and days together are worthy of savoring came home to roost in my soul. It was the difference between knowing Thanksgiving was about “being thankful” and actually experiencing pervasive gratitude deep inside. 


Same holiday, new perspective. Same meal, new depth. Same people, new grace. Same laughter, new wonder.


The reason I do Kaleid is because I want to experience this same shift, this same gut-level, wholehearted wonder at the life-altering meaning of the gospel.


As a girl who grew up sprinkled, churched, saved, catechized, baptized, re-dedicated, and memorized, the gospel has been part of my life longer than I’ve had cognitive function. And I’m grateful. But, I find that in my following of Jesus—in my desire to deeply “love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and to love my neighbor as I love myself”—I need God’s good news to come home to roost in my soul in new ways at every life transition.


Whenever life conspires and draws me closer to God, myself, my neighbor, or my world, and whenever I stumble upon the painful “how” of love because I’m up against a new relational challenge in one of these spaces, I re-discover my deep need for the perspective of the Holy Spirit and the presence of other women with whom I can process. I find anew my need for a deeper journey that embodies the gospel—the good news of the Kingdom of God, here and now.


Kaleid is important to me because it is an avenue by which I process proximity to pain (mine, my neighbor’s, my world’s, even God’s) in light of the good news of the Kingdom of God so that the message of redemptive grace can break into days like today, Thanksgiving Eve, and remind me of the wide ground of holy love on which my feet stand and from which I can love myself, my neighbor, my world, and my God.


Blessings, ladies, and Happy Thanksgiving!


Karen Guess 


(Karen generally generates more ideas than the rest of the Kaleid team can reasonably handle, so they let her write the emails for Kaleid to keep her busy while they work.)

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