My name is Bonnie Culp King and if you say it quickly enough it makes you think of the old song “Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care.” Well, at least it sounds that way to me.
I am a wife and a mom who wants my children to see that faith is neither tidy nor easy. I want my three kids to have these pages of posts to refer to as they go through their own lives and I’m not naive anymore thinking I will be around forever to tell them all I want them to know. There is much loss in life; I may only have today to share with them and I’m determined to make it count.
I was born in Oklahoma, grew up in Fort Smith, Arkansas and discovered the wild adventure of living daily for God while in college at the University of Arkansas. I’ve taught kindergarten and college students. I love them both, but college students can tie their shoes and it made my job easier. I found my passions collide teaching those students about life and literacy.
As life took turns I did not expect, miscarriage, being widowed while pregnant, single parenting two young children, remarriage, and a new baby, my blog transformed from a place to document the first steps of my children into a place for me to take steps to process and heal, which has been a surprise gift from God.
My husband, Tyler, and I are currently figuring out life as a family of five which brings so much joy to us and challenges that seem to change daily. Tyler was another surprise gift that I never saw coming. I love him more every single day and we refuse to take each other for granted, although we are a bit sleep deprived from our precious baby, Ethan. Ethan is a miracle from God. He is a constant reminder of God’s love for His children and that we can NEVER think we’ve got life “figured out.”
I’ve taken a break from formal teaching, but I devote my time to learning how to best serve God with my time which mostly involves modeling the love, grace and mercy of Jesus to my kids. I am a part of a group of ladies that has met together around 8 years studying the bible, reading books about faith and doing “life” together. It is from these studies and these ladies that this new blog was born.
As I shared my life on the blog, “Sweet Caroline Baby” (Dec 2006-Oct 2014), I found my story brought hope and encouragement to others as God brought beauty from my ashes. As 2014 progressed and author Jennie Allen’s IF vision struck a chord within me, (IF God is real then what does that mean for me?) I knew it was time to stretch myself in new ways. Focusing outward and upward helps keep my perspective in check which also keeps me from crumbling under worry and fear.
This blog “Finishing the Race” was birthed from a desire placed in my heart by God in the fall of 2014. I have always loved the way Paul described the end of his life in 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
God’s sense of humor has also been put on display as I argued with Him about the title of the blog and how people may think it’s an actual “running” blog. He gently showed me how much endurance it takes to live a faithful life and then out of the blue He got me really running…like pounding the pavement running…this is completely out of my comfort zone, but I’m now registered for a half marathon. He’s loving showing me how with Him ALL things are possible and He takes joy in making things NEW. So the joke’s on me as He is making this a “running” blog in every sense of the word.
As new challenges arose in 2014, I reflected on how I had made it through to this point in life and how in the world I would be able to continue to “fight the good fight” as Paul says in 2 Timothy. It became clear quickly. Our group of ladies came to the end of Beth Moore’s Children of the Day study (1 & 2 Thessalonians) and the message of pursuing God as time is quickly counted towards Jesus’ glorious return made us want to fight even harder. Fighting against satan’s schemes and fighting for our families, for our faith. This became a strong undercurrent in my soul. I looked around the room at the ladies surrounding me and the grief of it all was too much…
Grief from death had struck us: husbands, parents, and children have gone on to heaven without us. Grief from life as well: cancer, autoimmune diseases, many of our children facing ongoing health issues, infertility, infidelity, divorce, and loneliness. Oh, but the joys were also there: remarriage, adoption, advanced degrees, families reconciled, new friends, personal growth and the list goes on. However, I don’t think our struggles are unique. This list is fought by every person you see throughout your day. However, what is unique is the way God brought this specific group of us together.
It just so happens many of the ladies God has brought into my life share my love of writing and the belief that our stories are to be used for a greater purpose. We hope to use this new blog as a resource for the greater community of Northwest Arkansas. I have not met a person in our area of the world in which after a few seconds of talking we did not discover we shared a mutual friend. We believe this “small world” occurrence is by God’s design and it is through this connectedness that we can spread how we have been saved through Jesus and find joy amidst our grief.
Our hope lies beyond what we see around us. We are encouraging each other to find the blessings each day placed by God for us, it takes endurance though. We (you, the reader, and anyone else alive at this point in our generation) are to help carry the faith. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other, as we are Finishing the Race together.
Thank you for reading and running your race! Praying you are encouraged today!