Blog

Calling all adventure-seekers! 

Hello there!

Has your spring sprung yet? It is springing in Washington. Lilies are popping up everywhere and buds are filling in the bare branches. I enjoy this season so much here in Washington, after a full three months of winter. I was born and raised in California where I never experienced long winters, so the contrast is nice. 

I am writing to you to let you know about an adventure I am about to begin, and to ask if you'd like to come along? if you like to read adventure stories, then you might enjoy this.

My kids inspire me all the time. I enjoy making up bedtime stories and leaving them with cliff hangers. Okay, well, I used to enjoy that. They are getting too old for bedtime stories by mom nowadays. Now they prefer reading books to themselves and they only want me to make up stories when we are sitting around a campfire. Ahhh, well!

I have two boys and two girls. The oldest of my two daughters was eleven when I decided to write a book that would be for kids her age. The book is almost finished.  It just needs to be tested out!  This is where you could come in....would you like to be one of my beta readers?  

Beta Readers will need to:

1. Read the book in its entirety before making notes. (It is not long, 17 chapters written for a younger audience, an easy read).

2. Let me know the characters you relate with most, if any, and why and if there are any characters that bug you, I want to hear about it. Tell me why.

3. Let me know if I can make something clearer at any point & point out any inconsistencies you find.  

5.  If you have a 10-14 year old who enjoys reading in your household, please consider letting them read it and ask them for their input, and share it with me. Keep in mind as you are reading this, 10 - 14 year olds are my intended audience.  

6. If you catch an editing issue, feel free to make a note of it to me, but the book will be edited by a professional editor.  

7. Keep in mind this is intended to be a chapter book, not a graphic novel or comic book (yet).

8. Please send me your email where I should send the PDF of the full book no later than April 10.

Here are chapters 1-6 for you to check out:  https://app.box.com/s/j3uz3ozay9v34li1v27l2j8z0qmnkcls

This is the first book in a series. The characters are based on people I know and love. In fact, some of you might find yourself in the book.  ;-) My daughter is 13 now, and she is working on the artwork for the chapters and cover of the book. I hope you'll consider joining us on this next adventure!

All beta readers of Book 1 who participate according to the rules above will receive a note of thanks inside the book, a signed copy of the book, and a character in Book 2 of the series. Contact me no later than  April 10 to participate.

Yours,

Kim

PS  I have included 6 chapters of the book for you in the box link.  If you decide you wish to participate as a beta reader, please write me back and let me know. I will email you the rest of the book in a PDF format. Serious beta readers only, please, who are willing to read the book in its entirety and give honest input. PARTICIPATING BETA READERS DEADLINE to read and send me notes is April 30th. You can send me your email in a PM on Facebook, or tweet a message privately on Twitter, or through my website contact page: www.kimkrenik.com

 

 

Crashing into Churches  

Welcome to beautiful Washington. Welcome to the land where it actually snows! This is beauty that takes my breath away.  I absolutely love it here.

However, beauty has a dangerous side to it.  Two days ago, I was reminded of that.

Rob has been working as a substitute teacher, and two days ago he was happy to be called into the same school as our kids. The school is at 1000 feet elevation, and we live down the hill, about a 15 minutes drive from the school. Our youngest had the flu, and stayed home with me.  The other two were thrilled to ride in with their Dad. They decided to take the 1996 Jeep Cherokee, because it is a 4-wheel drive. The kids named the Jeep, Old Rusty, because to them it is an ancient relic. Rob bought that Jeep the year we got married.  To us, it feels like yesterday when it had the smell of brand new and it was all decked out - the most Rob had ever paid for a car. Nowadays, the automatic windows don't even roll down.  Last year, the front door fell and hung off a bit on the driver's side, but Rob got that fixed.  Still, he loved his Jeep like a fifth child. 

We can't exactly complain that we have a Polar Vortex here.  in fact, my kids were starting to doubt it really snows here. Alas, that is when the weather pattern changed, and the big freeze set in.  Sure enough, we got some snow! Along with the snow, we got an unfriendly amount of black ice. Well, Rob was one of the unfortunate souls who hit it on his way to the kids' school that morning. Our 13 year old, Keira was in the front seat, and our 11 year old, Lucas, was in the back seat. Bethany's flu turned out to be blessing in disguise for her little 8-year old body.

Now, Old Rusty has driven over fallen tree trunks, taken us on many logging road adventures, and recently towed a trailer carrying trenches and tractors. But the black ice was too much for our favorite Jeep Cherokee, with the Sons of Thunder sticker.  Rob and my kids went off the road over a 15 foot drop-off, rolled, bounced, and totaled the old Jeep. The back end of it was smashed, and by the look of it Lucas was lucky he didn't get his head smashed in. They managed to come out of it alive, with only a few bumps, cuts, and bruises. THANK GOD!!!!

They landed in the yard of a local Lutheran church.  Turned out the pastor of the church knew Pastor Kal of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Tracy, CA, and credited Pastor Kal as the reason he got into ministry. Tracy is our old stomping grounds, where Rob planted a Calvary Chapel, and Rob knew Pastor Kal from prayer meetings and local events. It's a small world.

Life is truly a roller coaster ride adventure, isn't it? These moments make us all the more thankful for the loved ones in our lives. I always cherish the moments I have with my family, but my heart feels a bit squeezed as I think of the close call we had.

Old Rusty's remains are sitting on our property, covered up and TBD what shall become of them. As for crashing into churches, Rob apologized to the pastor. We are all so very grateful Old Rusty landed outside in their empty field, rather than inside their church building.

FREE to fall  

Hey friends!

Happy Fourth of July to all my fellow US citizens! If you aren't from USA, that's okay.... have a party anyway!

We celebrate FREEDOM this month and I'm posting a FREE song for you!

I wrote this song at the same time that I was writing a devotional book,  "Fire Lilies - Out of the Ashes" The song applies so perfectly to my current situation, and I hope it brings you peace, too.

I recently heard someone give a definition of faith that resonated with me, "Leaning all your weight against someone else, trusting that they will break your fall and carry your weight."  What a cool way to describe that intangible, yet powerful word we often sing songs about.

Today, I don't know where my family is going to live next month.  At this moment I wait to hear from our realtor, to find out whether or not a potential buyer for our home has accepted our counter offer.  If the offer is accepted, we have this month to find a place to rent in Washington state, which we will live in while our home is being built. We also wait to hear from our well driller, who we hope will begin drilling any day now! The clock is ticking, and we are feeling the pressure build as deadlines are coming at us fast! 

There are a whole lot of scary unknowns. It is exciting, and yes, terrifying! all at once. But I do believe that this is the right step of faith our family is supposed to take.  We know plenty of friends and family members who believe we are crazy.  Uprooting a family is not something you do every day. Many people don't know that this huge decision to buy land and move to Washington, and pass on the baton of leadership at our church here in California, actually formulated in us several years ago. Only those who know us extremely well, are aware of the years of prayer and waiting we have endured before embarking on this adventure.

As doubters question our sanity, I can only explain that I believe that the One who we put our faith in will take care of us. He has never let us down before, and He is a good Father.  Today, in the midst of all the chaos and noise, I sense a peace that is difficult to describe, unless you have known it. 

Today I am remembering that my Heavenly Father's timing is perfect. His love covers ALL. His arms are humungous and they can definitely carry my family, as well as every loved one who we will leave behind here. In fact, if He is leading us somewhere else, then surely every single soul who is impacted by this move will benefit from it. 

Blogs are so great, because they serve as a reminder to me.. No doubt my teensy brain is soon going to forget what I am writing today. I hope this little reminder that I write for myself serves as an encouragement to you today.  

As you celebrate freedom tomorrow, remember you are free because of our amazing Creator and all he has done for you. You are free to fall into His arms, and trust He is strong enough to carry your weight.  

xoxo

Kim Krenik

TERRIFIED TO TRY 

Do you ever feel terrified to try?

I'm at this place again. Old, familiar thoughts invade my head. These are thoughts I once believed, but I pushed past them, telling them they are meaningless. Suddenly, like an army of locusts, they are swarming around me, their loud buzzing is enough to make me want to climb into my bed and hide under the covers.

Where does fear begin?  I teach voice lessons, and often, my students tell me of the voices in their past who told them to stop singing. I admire them as they push past those voices and tell their old ghosts where they can go. The student becomes the teacher.

I had a dream once, that I was in a building about as tall as an indoor stadium. I was up on the very highest floor, looking down at the bottom floor which appeared to be hundreds of feet below me.  I knew I needed to find a way down, but there were no stairs, no elevators. Suddenly, my son walked off the edge, and I was terrified that he was going to die. But instead of falling, I was amazed as he simply stepped onto the ground. That's when I realized that I had been deceived by an optical illusion. The floor was painted in such a way that it made it look far below me. I wasn't really high off the bottom floor at all. I was just one step up. 

Fear is like that optical illusion in my dream. It can be very convincing. In my dream, I was convinced that I was stuck up on the top floor, with no way down. I was convinced that if I took a step off the edge I would die. I was convinced for a split second, that my son would die. 

I have a few mantras I love when faced with fear. Three favorites: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" Our Maker is the only one worthy of our fear. But nothing and nobody else has the right to cause me to be afraid. "Do not be afraid, do not be terrified. The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." If He is with me, who can be against me? "Perfect love casts out fear" Our Maker loves us with a love so powerful and so light that fear and darkness cannot stand in HIs presence. 

What about you? Are you ever afraid to try? What are your powerful ways to push past the monsters who try to scare you? 

My dear friends, let's keep believing, keep the faith! Keep jumping! Keep taking the next step! Keep TRYING!

xoxo Kim K.

 

 

 

Writing and Behaving Thyself  

 "Fire Lilies ~ Out of the Ashes" .   

I went through a difficult season for about seven years, where I decided to journal in excess. It kept me out of trouble.  At some point along the way, I realized some of what I was writing would benefit others to read.  

The first people who came to mind were my children, when they are older.   

The next people who came to mind were wives of ministry leaders and pastors, who I know feel very alone in this world a great deal of the time. I even toyed with the idea of calling the book, "The Pastor's Wive's Chronicles." 

Then a couple of my close and dear friends (neither were pastor's wives nor in ministry) were the first I shared with, and they encouraged me to finish the writing and put it in book form. They wanted it. So, I decided to write it for a broader audience.  

One of these friends I shared with early on was Allison Simpson. I am so thankful for her incredible encouragement. Her words propelled me into action so many times when I wanted to give up. Especially when I faced a wall of frustration due to trying to figure out formatting the book! Some people use their words for empowering and building up others, some tear down. My friend Ali is a beautiful soul who uses her words to breathe life into others.  

I hope and pray this book will be a blessing to the women (and men) who discover it.  I imagine this devotional will benefit mostly women, but I wrote it in a way that I hope will not exclude men.  

I share my stories, some of my struggles, and offer encouragement and life coaching.  I also challenge those who want to use this book to make changes in their life.  I hope it will be a great tool for women's bible study groups.  This can be used as a 10 week study, and it can easily be stretched over 12 weeks. 

I encourage you, if you are going through a struggle and not sure how to cope: try journaling. Or do something creative, whether painting, knitting, whatever. Find something to do that keeps you out of trouble. It has saved my neck a million times. 

**Contact me if you are a group of 5 or more. I will give you a discount code.  The more books you need, the greater percentage discount you can get. I also offer free songs you can give away as gifts for retreats and events. 

www.kimkrenikbooks.com

xo, 

Kim 

FROM THERE TO WHERE YOU WANT TO BE 

GETTING FROM THERE TO WHERE WE WANT TO BE  

I am an indie artist/mom/pastor's wife/worship leader/vocal coach.  Ya, that's a few hats.  I appreciate variety. I don't need to tell you how confusing and draining it all can be. But as I look back at where I was about two years ago and recognize where I am right now, I would say that right now I am more focused than I have ever been. Ya, I have had a few health bumps, but overall there is a sustaining energy that motivates me to stay on target every day.

It wasn't always like this.  I've spent years spinning my wheels, doing what I believed I should be doing.  But the day came when I saw that all my efforts were leading me to nowhere.  That is when I knew I needed to change something if I wanted to see change happen. 

I know I am not the only person on the planet who has been in that place.  It is a really hard place to be.  But there is a way out of it.  You may not take the exact same steps as me, but I want to share my steps to help you think about your own course you are on and how you might make some changes to redirect your own path. 

Here were the steps I took: 

Step 1.  
Cut out some things in my life that were draining me of my time and energy.  I could be spending that time working on what I really want to work on, songwriting.  Songwriting with the purpose of making a living off of the songs.   I have four kids to put through college!

Step 2.  
I hired a songwriting mentor.  That was a fantastic investment.  I learned to recognize my own weaknesses and strengths as a writer, and I discovered some new tools for my tool kit as a songwriter. My mentor was Stephen Duncan from Next Level Songs in Nashville.  He was amazing, and the best advice I received from him: "Narrow your aim and you'll start hitting the target."  That simple phrase was a life changer. It could apply to any area of focus.  For me, I wanted to write songs. Now, as a discipline, I write 1-2 songs every day.  Then they sit and gather dust, until I eventually delete them into oblivion.  But what I really wanted was to write songs for a living, to see some leaves growing off the tree, if you know what I mean. I knew I needed to change something I was doing or else I was going to have to live with a barren tree. Not pretty. 

Step 3.
A bigger step.  I started working with Bree Noble. 11 years ago, I met Bree Noble , an indie artist who came to my church to share her music and story with our ladies. Fast forward 10 years. Bree has an award winning podcast on iTunes, called Women of Substance Radio.  One year ago, she launched an Academy for Female Musicians.  

THAT WAS THE GAME CHANGER... 

While working with Bree, things started moving at warp speed.  Bree introduced me to Michelle Lockey and I joined her  "Writing for Film and TV" course.   
Michelle's course introduced me to April Kelly. I topple out of my chair when I hear her sing.  Michelle's class also introduced me to Cathy Heller of Catch the Moon Music.   
April introduced me to Jon Ciorciari (aka Jonny Rod) who is an amazing talent in every capacity and a fantastic producer. 

Step 4.  
I get in on another class. Cathy Heller offers a "Six Figure Songwriting Class"  This class offered me the opportunity to collaborate with Michelle, April and Jon. I'm still in this class, it is a one year program,  but in the first two months I am already seeing that it works!   

THE CONSEQUENCE OF TAKING ACTION: 

My first song collaboration with April and Jon just got a publishing deal with "Catch The Moon".    "Invincible"  will be pitched to ads and film/tv by their top notch people.  

I am also seeing the results from taking Michelle Lockey's class.  I am in a duo with Jackson Jackson called Last August, and a boutique publisher that is very selective and gets high end placements in film and tv just accepted our song "King of Deception" as well as signed my rendition of "O Come All Ye Faithful".   

Now I find myself collaborating with top notch people around the world, who are like-minded in our work ethics and are just fantastic people to meet and work with  We are all being taught by the same teacher, Cathy.  Cathy has launched a class with a community of amazing people and I feel so very blessed to get to work with many of them. 

I wanted to share this to encourage you.  You might be stuck in a career path or a life choice and you wish you could find a way out.  There is always a way out.  But it will mean you need to sacrifice something you have been doing.  It will mean you need to let go of things in order to have open hands so you can receive the new things coming your way. 

Wishing you and yours the very best!  Many blessings, 

xoxoxo 
Kim Marie