My name is Kacie.  I have been attending FCC for six years with my husband Steve and sons Jonah, Nicolas, and Riley.  I am also the Executive Director at Harbor House Ministries which supports immigrant and refugee families in Oakland.   I came to know Jesus in the second grade thanks to an amazing teacher who taught me what it meant to have Jesus in my heart.

How do I follow Jesus in my everyday life?

Following Jesus in my everyday life can be a challenge.  As much as I desire to be aware of His presence all-day, everyday, it is so easy for me to get distracted by the demands of work, home life, and all of the other things on my to-do list.  When I’m rushing through tasks, Jesus can easily get pushed to the side rather than keeping Him front and center as my guide throughout the day.

This year, I’m part of a cohort of 36 pastors and nonprofit Executive Directors called SoulCARE.  We meet together monthly in Menlo Park for half-day retreats where we receive teaching, spend time alone in prayer, meet in small groups to talk about what God is revealing to us, and are pampered by delicious meals.  In between our monthly gatherings, we meet individually with a spiritual director and are given daily prayer exercises and Scripture to read at home.  It has been so wonderful for me to steal away and have this dedicated time to spend with the Lord.  Throughout this process, I’m being reminded of the importance of serving out of a place of fullness rather than emptiness.  My ministry to others - whether it’s to the children and parents at Harbor House, or even my own family - must be done from the overflow of the work that God is doing in me.  I can’t pour anything out of an empty vessel.  When I am filled with God’s love and grace and have a greater awareness of His presence in my life, I can give away the overflow.  “If you are wise therefore you will show yourself a reservoir and not a canal.  For a canal pours out as fast as it takes in; but a reservoir waits till it is full before it overflows, and so communicates its surplus.”  (Bernard of Clairvaux)    

One spiritual practice that I already had in place prior to Soul CARE was starting each day at Harbor House with my office door closed.  I try to take the first 15 minutes of my day to be still and pray for my day and the concerns on my heart.  This practice has been immensely helpful for me in setting the tone for my day and remembering that God is in control, not me.  My mornings can often be very hectic - getting three boys up, fed, and out the door, dropping them at school and then sitting in traffic on the 580 as I inch my way to Harbor House.  But taking that time in my office with the door closed helps me to lay aside the anxieties that creep in during the morning and choose to enter my work day with a calm heart that is surrendered to God.  (Granted, I’m not always successful in doing this!)

Through SoulCARE, I am realizing that I need even more of this “quiet time” in my day.  I am now considering other times in my day that I can intentionally “steal away” with Jesus - perhaps on my drive home or just before going to sleep.  I’m hoping to experiment with different rhythms and spiritual practices this year so that I can find one or two that work for me and continue them even after this cohort ends.  

So, how am I trying to follow Jesus in my everyday life?  By trying to remember His presence - each day and even throughout the day.  By asking for the grace to receive His love again and again.  And then by serving and loving the poor and marginalized, hopefully out of the overflow of what He’s given me.