I met Liz her freshman year of college. She was sporting overalls and swinging her keys on a lanyard. She said she wasn’t from anywhere, but she had Texas written all over her. Now, she’s all grown up and sharing her dry sense of humor with you all as she navigates hope, faith and honesty with her words. And y’all, this picture of her! If it doesn’t make you want to know her and love life as much as she does, I’m out of suggestions for you.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My dad was a career Air Force officer. That meant for most of my childhood we moved an average of every 2 years. I learned to live with constant change and became very adaptable. I have two older brothers, David and Paul, who are 4 and 8 years older than me respectively. My parents have been married for 38 years and are still going strong. My mom’s mom is almost 90, and my dad’s parents are 98 and 95 and just celebrated being married for 70 years. This shows me that they are incredibly faithful and stubborn, and that I am going to live forever!
I am 28 and single. I recently moved back to the town where I went to college to take a job at a church, and for the first time in my life I am living somewhere permanently. Which to me, means I am here ’til God makes it very clear that I am supposed to be somewhere else.
If you had asked me when I graduated college to describe where I would be in 5 years, I would not have been able to tell you a single thing that has actually happened. I do long to be married. Today I can say that I wouldn’t trade anything about the last 5 years for a husband. Tomorrow could be a day where I would cash it all in to be married. As I type this I’m shooting up a little prayer to the Lord reminding him that I’d be totally fine if he decided that this season of waiting was over just to make sure he doesn’t get confused by anything I’m writing!
Tell us about your work and why you love it!
I work at Grace Bible Church as the youth women’s coordinator. That fancy title just means I oversee the girl side of youth ministry at my church. I love so many things about my job. I get to meet with leaders and spend time teaching, pushing, counseling and encouraging. I get to study the word of God. I work on a team of crazy smart and talented people. Sometimes I think that it must really suck to work with people you don’t like. My co-workers are my best friends. People are hard, but it’s so worth it.
What are your hobbies and passions?
I think it’s fair to say I’m an all or nothing type person. So if it’s a hobby it’s probably a passion.
travel, crossfit, music, people, theater, my family, personality types, movies, laughing…
My friend Abby recently told me that my word is with. I never thought of myself as having a word or even wanting a word, but Abby is an incredible wordsmith, so I claim it. I am passionate about being “with” people. I want to know what makes them tick, how and why they think certain things, how the Lord has gifted them, and even the stuff they’re afraid to admit. I am a total nerd for personality types and love languages.
Music…listening, playing, singing, dancing…all of it! I particularly love live bluegrass music and Broadway musicals. I know it’s a weird combo, but I grew up on both. Those two genres dominate my Itunes. There are few things I love more than going to see a musical. When I was growing up my Mom really didn’t want my brothers and me to watch Saturday morning cartoons because of all the commercials. She was concerned we would want all the toys in the commercials. So instead, she would rent all the classic old musicals from the library and we would watch them and memorize all the songs. You name it I’ve probably seen it. I love straight plays too. (Shakespeare is my jam!)
I am also a pretty dedicated crossfitter and Crossfit trainer. I hesitate to even mention that because of everything that can be attached to that statement. I’ll say two things about Crossfit and then be done with it.
- I love the community. I see the same people almost everyday and we get to push one another towards a healthier lifestyle.
- Coaching is incredibly rewarding because I get to see people do things they never thought they could.
Tell us about your story of faith.
I grew up with parents who preached the Gospel to my brothers and me. I trusted Christ for my salvation as a young kid, in the backseat of our car, driving across the country.
I called up to my mom in the front seat and said, “Mommy, I want to accept Jesus into my heart.”
She said, “Paul (my oldest brother), help your sister pray.”
My response, “I don’t need help!”
I would not change a single piece of my story, but I am a classic over-churched kid. I always knew the “right” thing to do and the “right” answer. Looking back on my high school and college years, God was teaching me a lot about the dangers of self-reliance and the importance of community. I am constantly learning the power of grace and that faithfulness ≠ having it all together.
I am constantly learning the power of grace and that faithfulness ≠ having it all together.
Describe a typical Tuesday!
This is such a funny question, mainly because I don’t have a “typical” day…ever. That is one of the things I love most about my job. I will make an attempt to describe what could happen on any given Tuesday.
7-7:30ish I wake up and check my phone for any text I received after my 10pm bedtime. Average 2-5 from college leaders who think going to bed before midnight is early or my brother who works nights. Most of the time I ignore the fact that none of them are awake to read my text, and I respond (heehee).
First order of business is always coffee. My father is the most generous man that I know and has furnished me with an incredible espresso machine and milk frother. For a perfect cappuccino I need only tap the touch screen on the “spaceship.” After that I usually shuffle back to bed with my bible, journal, and my cup of coffee. Confession: sometimes, if I’m feeling super lazy, I actually carry 2 mugs of coffee up the stairs with me to avoid having my Jesus time interrupted (a cappuccino and an Americano for anyone who cares about that insignificant detail.) Bacon, eggs, clothes and makeup make it somewhere into my morning “routine.”
I try to make it to the office by around 9. My goal is to get a few admin things done before our 10am staff meeting, but what happens about 75% of the time is that our Youth Pastor pops out of his office and says something like “you wanna see something funny” or “can we talk through some stuff.” The conversation about a funny video usual turns into something work related we needed to talk about anyway and before I know it, it’s 9:59 and we are both probably going to be a minute or two late to staff meeting. My favorite is actually when he wants to process his ideas for a sermon. He probably doesn’t even know this, but I really appreciate being a part of the sermon prep process in that way.
Staff meeting is typically about 1.5-2 hours. The lunch hour could be filled with one of many things. What I do during lunch usual dictates what happens after.
- Lunch as a staff for someone’s birthday filled with thought provoking questions asked of the birthday boy/girl.
- Lunch with a youth leader to talk about life and ministry.
- Meeting and lunch with the entire church staff (once a month)
- Lunch with someone else.
- Lunch as one of the local High Schools to connect with some of our students.
- If none of the above…I probably go to the gym to get in a workout.
This is like one of those pick your own adventure books. So lets say I came back to the church after lunch. I will most likely get pulled into another chat about something related to an upcoming event, a past event, or something going on with a kid. Actually that meeting could be about almost anything. At some point in the afternoon I will meet up with a leader or two to touch base. My goal is to make sure they are supported in the ministry, so the specifics of that time vary depending on the individual.
This version of my Tuesday had me not working out at lunch, so sometime in the late afternoon I’ll go to the gym. Yes I do Crossfit. No I don’t talk about it all the time. Yes I love it. No I’m not crazy (well, that one is up for debate).
Tuesday nights from 6-8 we train our youth leaders to teach the Bible study content for youth group. I am part of the team that trains our 9th and 10th grade leaders. Our content squad is pretty lit (sorry, I work with high school and junior high I have to use their lingo). I absolutely love getting to discuss scripture with that group. It is a highlight of my week.
Post-leader meeting presents another fork in the road for my Tuesday adventure. Typically though, I head home, eat dinner, and spend a little time with my roommates before I head to bed. When I was growing up my mom would always go to her room around 9pm. She always talked about needing to “wind down” before she could fall asleep. I never understood that ’til I grew into my extroverted self. I need about an hour away from people to turn my brain off. So sometimes I watch a show on my computer, read a book or listen to a podcast. Most of the time I fall asleep between 10-10:30. Usually I’ll wake up around midnight and have to turn off whatever I fell asleep listening to.
If you could have coffee with one of our readers, what wisdom would you want to share?
This might sound like I’m generalizing too much, but…some people are initiators and others are responders. Learn which one you tend towards in relationships and make a plan to grow in the other. Everyone wants the freedom to be a responder sometimes, and vice versa. The most perfect model we have of this is in Scripture – God runs hard after us and gives us the freedom to respond.
Some people are initiators and others are responders. Learn which one you tend towards in relationships and make a plan to grow in the other.
If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them how would you choose which ones to answer?
I actually do very little emailing. If I have 2000 unread emails it’s likely that 1700 are chain emails forwarded from my grandparents. Most likely it’s only about 5 emails that they’ve sent 340 times each. I love them but they sometimes forget stuff. I would read the 5 from them and respond. Now I can deal with the other 300.
What is your least favorite thing about humanity?
I’m a little ashamed to admit how critical of humanity I can be. That being said, it is hard for me to pick one thing, but I’ll try. My least favorite thing about humanity today is the popular phrase, “Don’t judge me.” On the surface it’s a call not to be judgmental. I can agree with that within reason, which is slightly ironic given my initial confession. However, what we are actually saying is to not hold us to any standard.
Even if I hold others to a standard of living, if you notice a contradiction in my life you cannot “judge me.” We have lost the ability to take correction for ANYTHING and we end up being walking contradictions, unable to spur each other on towards better living.
You’re a box of cereal – what are you and why?
Frosted mini wheats…fiber and sugar…what more do you need. Really, it’s just my favorite.
Finish this sentence with one word – “My life is marked by ________.”
My life is marked by moving. As a military kid we moved an average of every 2 years. I spent my first 5 birthdays in 5 different houses. I think my total number of moves has surpassed 20 and I’m only 28. The frequent change of location and friend groups taught me to keep people at arm’s length and trust very few. Always move away, never towards. I’m so grateful for the people in my life that modeled the opposite.
My greatest joy in life now is moving towards people.
1 Thessalonians 2:8 says, “Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.” Day by day I have to make the choice to push through the fear and move towards people to share the Gospel and my life.
LIZ.IS.AWESOME. I am so encouraged by her fervor for life and her passion for Christ. She is a forever friend of mine – someone I never want to let go of no matter what the geographical distance is between us. See her BIO below and connect with her.
Liz Kilpatrick works at Grace Bible Church as the Youth Women’s Coordinator. She spends her spare time crossfitting, watching musicals, singing the songs from musicals and spending quality time with her friends. She would probably spend her last dime to travel the world. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @lkilpatty.