Are you who you are looking for…is looking for

My hubby was unlike any other guy I had ever dated.  Before we were really like “an item” only friends. We were working together on a project at church and had to run to the grocery store.   We were standing together at the check out line and he grabbed a cosmopolitan magazine (which, as usual paraded a beautiful nearly nude woman with every other article featuring something about  sex).

You can imagine I am a little nervous at first as he grabs the magazine, but he did something strange…something I had never seen done before….as quickly as he grabbed it, he turned the magazine backwards and then set it back on the stand. Then looked back at me as if it was a totally normal thing and proceeded to continue our conversation.

Dumfounded and confused I said, “why did you do that….that thing with the magazine?”
Casually with a shrug he replied, “Oh to protect my eyes.  I just don’t want fake images in my mind to compare my wife to one day”

SWOON

swoon

He had me at “protect my eyes”

As I found out more about this  totally weird…in a really good way… guy I also realized he had protective programs on his computer from unwanted internet distastefulness.  He even asked himself questions like, “would I be comfortable bringing everything I watched, listened to or read to church with me on Sunday?”

Who was this guy and where had he been all my life?

Eager to tell my friends about this new guy. I specifically remember having the conversation with one of my dear friends “Amanda” (we’ll call her).  She was beautiful.  Likely one of my most beautiful friends.  She was popular smart and had no problem getting boyfriends.  But, like most of my sorority friends, she liked to party, hook up with guys, and place Jesus in a convenient little box, careful not to let Him get in the way of her having fun.

She seemed spellbound but also totally in love with the idea that there were guys out there like this.  She decided she is worthy of a guy who would protect his eyes for her.   With determination she told me, “I’m gonna marry a guy like that.”

I don’t know why I was so surprised to hear her say that, in-fact most my friends who heard about this guy “protecting his eyes for his future spouse” all had their hearts flutter like a teenage girl at a One Direction concert at the very idea that this type of guy existed.

I didn’t know what to say to Amanda in that moment of her genuine desire to have all these things in her Mr. Right yet hope to find him while not spending any time BECOMING Mrs. Right.

No matter how beautiful or talented she is, guys that are pursuing Jesus are looking for a lady that is traveling in the same direction.  The type of guy that is protecting his eyes and his body and whole heartedly pursuing Christ, is not looking for the girls at the bar with tons of sexual experiences under her belt.

It’s like Amanda was headed east and herChristianristian man was headed west and she somehow thought they would meet up in the same place and live happily every after with sunshine and rainbows.

I don’t know why I didn’t see it earlier. I was the EXACT same way just a few months before we had this very conversation.  I had recently become a Christian and Jesus had just pulled a total 180 on my life.  I too dreamed of marrying a kind man who would love me just as as Christ loved the church.  I dreamed of him protecting me and him being the spiritual leader of our family…. one day.

 

I realize now how hypocritical I was in wanting my dream guy to protect his body, protect his mind, pursue christ, and not having any debt and being devilishly handsome would be a nice bonus.  All the while I assumed I could do as I pleased and expect dream-Jesus-loving-guy to pursue me?

How did this ever make sense to me? And how does this still make sense in the mind of singles everyday?

In Andy Stanley’s love sex and dating series ,and book, he poses a simple yet profound question he asks singles to ask themselves before perusing any relationship:

Are you the person you are looking for, is looking for?
link to his video sermon on this question (psssss..it’s awesome)

The pursuit of a romance to make all your dreams come true is not only impossible but totally unfair to put that burden on another sinful human being.  Jesus is the only one that can truly fulfill you.

Now before you tell me there are no more Christian “fish” left in the sea and nobody else does this.  I think what you really mean is no one  you KNOW does this.

Cars that pass each other going opposite directions on the highway rarely make eye contact.  If you are headed east on the highway you don’t truly know what’s happening on the route in the opposite direction.  But if you decide to be brave and commit to not just believing in Jesus but FOLLOWING him you will find a whole new undiscovered path of people also chasing the Lord.

In essence, you should chase as hard as you can after Christ, then look to the left and the right and see who is running on the path with you.

What yoga has taught me about life

When I started attending Yoga classes I was simply interested in a way to get stronger and more flexible. What I wasn’t expecting was a whole new way of looking at… well everything.

Even as a kid I was a mile away from touching my toes in gym class.  I never made the cheerleading team because I could never dream of doing a backbend.  So when I first came to a yoga class I thought the teacher should be charged with attempted murder.  It was so hard, and I hurt for days afterwards.  Muscles I didn’t know I had hurt.  My husband said I whined so much he thought he was raising 3 little girls.

After I could get out of bed without my muscles screaming I looked at the gym calendar and decided to give the class another try.  The class was still insanely hard and I was convinced some of the poses she suggested were only possible for circus employees.

BUT I JUST KEPT TRYING

I was not naturally good at any of it.  None of it came easy.  It hurt and I fell the first 100 times I tried every pose.

BUT I JUST KEPT TRYING

After a few months, I could go to classes more often.  I started to be able to balance better, my muscles started to show that they existed and I know miracles can happen because eventually, I could touch my toes without bending my knees.

Fast forward a few years and now I teach classes.  I know right!!?? When the offer first came up I thought, “But I can’t even…well I used to not be able to….wow I guess I can do everything the teachers can do”  I never, ever, thought I would be able to one day teach, but again…

I JUST KEPT TRYING

Do you see a theme here?

One step at a time, one class at a time and one day at a time, this is how we conquer anything hard.

Most recently I started an adventure of writing a book.  I have no idea what I’m doing.  I am learning a lot of things the hard way but I am persistent and I will just keep showing up to a date with my keyboard praying God will be made strong in my weakness.

In Yoga they say  “when you want to come out of the pose that is when the pose begins”
Translation:  When you are tired want to give up that is when the magic happens.

No one just gradually falls into “better” it takes WORK. 

If you are feeling a million miles from where you want to be,  a simple lesson I learned on my yoga mat is JUST KEEP TRYING.  You never know how close you are to the good stuff.

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Jesus breaking down walls on Greek row

“The place God calls you to is the place where your passions and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Frederick Buechner

I find myself totally where I’m supposed to be right now (finally) in college ministry.  Greek life to be exact. Crazy, magnificent and unexplainable things are happening over there.  People keep telling me I need to write this down…so here it goes…

Minding my own business, I was reading “walls fall down for victory” a bible plan from the you version bible ap. When I came across this verse:

Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
‭‭Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭6:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The words stood off my iphone left me bewildered, confused, and a little excited.  First of all, what the in the ever loving world does this even mean?
No one is coming in, no one is coming out.  The walls are securely barred and God says (I imagine totally nonchalantly with and a little bit of  “I mean DUH” to his voice)…(God’s sarcastic with me….he get’s me).  “I have delivered them”

I knew there was something big there but I didn’t know what.    I was looking at the commentary and everything.  Unable to find any reasonable explanation for this verse I resolved to “I will figure it out later” then went on with my day.
Later that SAME DAY while listening to the audible version of  The circle maker  by Mark Batterson (book I owe to rocking my prayer life through the roof) Batterson mentioned praying over a property for their church that seemed impossible, insurmountable, and just pretty much just absurd to even ask for.
While walking prayer circles around the block, Batterson came to the EXACT SAME VERSE.
The walls were securely barred , No one went out and no one came in.
‭Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered them into your hands”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭6:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬ (Katie paraphrase)
 “See, I have already given it to you” God says.  “Yes, it looks impossible but you are looking through your eyes, not mine.”
Batterson makes the point that what seems impossible to us, is just an invitation for us to Pray.  And not just a wish in the well type of prayer either, but aligning our prayers with the will of God and celebrating what he has already promised!
 breaking down walls on greek row
I almost laughed at the parallels how on Greek row where the walls seem so high.  The search for significance on sex drug and rock and roll are encouraged in the name of YOLO.  Yet giving away of our bodies in casual relationships, the hang overs, and the endless search for significance leaves nothing but emptiness…and God says  “see I have delivered them.”

I decided to start praying a circle around greek row.  As in, getting out of my car and being the random “grown up” walking by all the beautiful mansions in prayer.  I started praying boldly, in the powerful and matchless name of Jesus that his precious sons and daughters would be taken back into his arms.  Rebuking the devil and claiming those big beautiful homes to become houses of worship (all quietly lest i get arrested for people thinking I was drunk).

And guess what…..at the end of the row there was a tarp WALL put up surrounding the perimeter of one of the fraternity houses for the week.  It is all a “joke” to hide the shenanigans that take place during their philanthropy party week.

A wall surrounding the city….and God says, “I have delivered them”

But wait, there is more.  As if I don’t already feel the earth shake below my feet.  My friend, who was in ADPI the same time I was, now a missionary in Peru, sends me this facebook message:

Big prayers, are resulting in BIG WALLS falling down on greek row. God is in the midst of taking his sons and daughters back to himself.  As I said before  greek row is full of trendsetters. And I see these trendsetters starting MOVEMENTS THAT MATTER. Movements that change lives.

They are realizing  the search for significance is something SO MUCH MORE abundant than what generations before them have tried to find. Leaders are rising up and falling relentlessly in love with their captivating Savior.

I see a generation rising up to take their place with selfless faith.  -Hillsong

Press on warrior prince and princesses! You can change the world!

Why you DON’T deserve it

There are three words in the English language that I’m beginning to loathe. Those words are “You Deserve It!” How many times have you heard those words. “Buy yourself a new outfit. You deserve it!” “Take a vacation. You deserve it!” Even the old McDonald’s commercials used it, remember? “You deserve a break today….at McDonald’s!” and L’oreal’s tagline is “I’m worth it”

It makes us feel good right?  We work hard (some harder than others) we tell ourselves we deserve a break so we get a kit kat.  We deserve a vacation so we go into debt.  The list goes on and on.

Something I just can’t seem to get over is this….

The king of the world.  The King of all kings.  The maker of heaven, earth, stars, creation, all the palaces and all the riches in the world….Yes this guy.  This same guy who’s majesty deserves the highest kingdom on the highest throne WILLINGLY left his throne in heaven and put on imperfect and flawed skin and bone to be born IN A STINKY MANGER BESIDE COWS AND DONKEYS.

Can we just take a moment and think about that!!

If nothing else in the gospel story rocks your world this has to.

There was no room for the king of the universe to even stay at an inn the night he was born.  I’m sure Mary was thinking, God you told me I was going to have your child and I can’t even get a hotel room on the night of his birth?
baby-jesus-in-manger

I think there was a reason the most DESERVING person of a palace was born in a stinky manger.  To teach us to think of ourselves a little less.

Humility.  It’s a tough word to grasp in a world where everyone is fighting to be the best.  But this simple picture of the lord of lords in a manger is a reminder to me every time I feel “under appreciated”

I don’t get noticed the time I worked really hard on a project
The king of the world was born in a stinky manger

I don’t get bonus I hoped for
The king of the world was born in a stinky manger

People don’t remember my name
The king of the world was born in a stinky manger

You see my point.  Honestly I really don’t “deserve” anything except hell.  Yet my Lord came down from heaven to take that punishment for me…even though I didn’t deserve it.

he>i

Do you find yourself in the “I deserve it” thinking trap?

The nameless characters in the story of Jesus Birth

In the story of Jesus’ birth.  We talk about the wise men, the shepherds, the manger and angels but there within the story lies a hard but somehow comforting truth that nobody talks about.

It’s not glamours, it’s not feel good, and it’s honestly kinda gross.  Here’s the scoop from Matthew 2:

After the birth of Jesus, some magi  visited Herod to inquire the whereabouts of “the one having been born king of the Jews.” Herod, as King of the Jews, was alarmed at the prospect of a usurper. Herod assembled the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the “Anointed One” was to be born. They answered, in Bethlehem.

Herod therefore sent the magi to Bethlehem, instructing them to search for the child and, after they had found him, to “report to me, so that I too may go and worship him”(liar liar pants on fire).

However, after they had found Jesus, they were warned in a dream not to report back to Herod. Similarly, Joseph was warned in a dream that Herod intended to kill Jesus, so he and his family fled to Egypt.

When Herod realized he had been outwitted, he gave orders to kill all boys of the age of two and under in Bethlehem and its vicinity. Joseph and his family stayed in Egypt until Herod’s death, then moved to Nazareth in Galilee.

In Herod’s paranoid, self absorbed, narcissistic way he ordered the MURDER of any baby in Jerusalem under the age of 2. Wikipedia explains Herod as someone, “prepared to commit any crime im order to gratify his unbounded ambition”

dont-go-back-crazy-herod

“he (Herod) sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under.” Matthew 2:16

I don’t know if the families in Bethlehem had time to prepare, how much time passed between King Herod’s order and the massacre but I can imagine the scene:  A Roman solider in his full armor banging on the door frames until they shattered as much as the terrified family on the inside of the home.  The soldiers would barge their way in whether the door was opened for them or not.

Turning over the beds, ripping apart their belongings searching for babies.   If they found a baby boy under the age of two they would grab the child, the family would scream, the solider would lift their sword, and….I just can’t type it.

You know what happened

herod

The mother would scream and run to protect her baby but it was too late.  The solider would storm out on to the next home before the door could even shut behind him.

The mother would hold her baby covered in blood weeping and crying asking why!! This makes no sense!  What did this baby do?  WHYYYYY!!!

“Rachel (mother of the nation of Jerusalem) weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.” Matthew 2:18

The amount of babies murdered is not known for certain, but we know for sure it was ALL of the baby boys of the town of Bethlehem.  Could you imagine every mother and father in your city weeping over the loss of her baby?!

My heart hurts for these families.  For the mothers who had to bury their babies.  This is tragic and heart breaking.

As I think more about these families, who were just like you and me,  I realize today, no one knows their  name.  No one knows the story of these sweet babies who were killed so young. There was no memorial, no avenging of their death, and no one changed their profile picture in to the Bethlehem flag to pay respects. (kidding….but seriously)

The kicker lies in the hard truth that is not really warm and fuzzy, not really the speech you hear at funerals, but oddly comforting.

The truth is…the story was never about those babies.  The story was and will always ONLY be about ONE baby.

No I don’t know the names of these babies or families but the only reason I even know their story is because it was associated with Jesus.

King Herod tried with all his might to make his name great.  He called himself “Herod the Great” killed ANYONE (including three of his own sons) if they made any threat to take his throne.  He spent every human effort to make himself immortal. Yet to all his efforts his name was preserved for only a short time for his “kingdom.”

Two thousand years later the only reason people know his name (outside of a few history buffs) is because of his part in the story of Jesus.

The king of the world was never Herod, not even Leonardo DiCaprio at the bow of the titanic.  (tell me you got that)

The king of the world was and will always be Jesus.

In fact who can you name anyone who made an impact on our world from 2,000 years ago or more?  There are a few names I learned in history class that made remarkable discoveries but no one has been or ever will be the savior of the world who came down from heaven to live among us, be killed by us, and rose again.

That makes his fame last way longer than any other king, hero, or inventor I know of.

The queen of my world was never me, although I have tried to make it that way at times.  My best efforts at becoming rich, popular, smart, or well known are all laughable really.

If I give it my all and pour every resource I have into making something great, people may remember me for a few years…maybe, if I’m lucky. My best efforts at “my kingdom” are gone with me.

But if I can contribute to Jesus’s story.  If I can stop working about the oh so temporary trappings of this world.  If I can let go of that to be a supporting character to the ONLY leading role this world will ever know….that is truly the only way I will every make a lasting impact on this world.

“whoever loses their life for me will find it” Matthew 16:25

The “slaughter of the innocence” as many refer to this event in history is heartbreaking no doubt, but simply because their loss was associated with Jesus’ birth, their story can be remembered.

What can i do today to stop trying to be the “leading role” in my life but a supporting character to the only leading role this world will ever know.

Dancing to help kids in foster care

Our homes contain more televisions than people. We spend more on shoes, jewelry, and watches ($100 billion) than on higher education. And the average American woman owns 30 outfits, one for every day of the month—in 1930, that figure was nine.

What is crazy,  over the course of the entire holiday season, we will spend $600 billion adding more and more things to our already crowded homes .

BUT….What if you asked your loved ones do donate to something that mattered this year instead of getting you a dust collector?

Did you know over 26 million children live without parents?  What if you had the potential to change the life of an a child living in foster care or as an orphan.

I have had the privilege to volunteer for an amazing organization in our town that does all the can to help orphans in our community.  And not just food and shelter, but their hearts as well.

Fostering Bulloch is working to secure land to build a TRAC camp that would be open to any child in foster care or a group home in the state!

If you have ever wanted to give to an organization that is helping to change the world I can assure you this is your chance and Fostering Bulloch is your organization.

Gifts are tax deductible and if everyone who saw this video gave even $1 we would meet our goal.

Our crazy video is up to 8,000 views and counting. Please watch below and help make this dream a reality!

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When you are not in control..on worry

It has been a crazy couple of months. I wrote about our terrifying adventure to the hospital with Hannah. In addition my husband had a skin cancer removed from his nose ,and I found I out I have a genetic condition that makes my body hold on to more iron than it should.
I kinda freaked out
I know Christians are supposed to no worry, we should rest easy knowing that God is in complete control. But my faith can be so weak.

I think I am driving everyone around me (especially my poor husband) absolutely crazy with my worry.
What if they didn’t get all of the skin cancer from Bryan’s nose? What if I eat too much red meat (loaded with iron)? And don’t even get me started with all the worry I have been doing over Hannah’s exposure to too many X-rays from her skull fracture.

During the middle of all this I have a dear friend who sent me this scripture:

A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping!
They roused him, saying, “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?”
Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?”
They were in absolute awe, staggered. “Who is this, anyway?” they asked. “Wind and sea at his beck and call!” Mark 4:35

“This is so amazing to me. There was a huge storm. The disciples all thought the worst, they were (like me) FREAKING. And what was Jesus doing?? SLEEPING.

While I am thinking, “JESUS!!! Wake up!!! What in the world is going on!!?? Do something!!”

He is saying, “BE STILL Don’t you have any faith? I am in COMPLETE control here. This event is no surprise to me. The storm will pass, you are in good hands”

The storms are not fun. But they are inevitable. They come and they go, some are strong and terrifying. 

Storms get in the way of “our plans” and are usually very unwelcome.

If you’re like me you try to “control” the storm. After Hannah’s fall I am still a little skittish. I have seriously considered constructing a giant hamster wheels for our kids to live in where they would be protected from life. I’m sure they would be socially adapted don’t you think?

As crazy as that would be, it is just as crazy to think I am in any type of control of the storms of life. I have two options:

1)Live in fear of every possible storm: Lay in bed at night playing out worse case scenario. (not that I have ever done this…just sayin.)

2)Let my fears BE STILL: Rest knowing that I am NOT in control. Take joy knowing I am promised an eternity with Christ no matter the length of my life. And enjoy the present.

Most days I am NOT in a storm but worry is stealing the joy of the present.
Jesus knows what he is talking about when he said,

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:34 (FYI this is one of the most searched verses in the bible…good to know I’m not the only one).

Jesus took on the pain of fear and worry(and anything else you struggle with) 2000 years ago. He painfully nailed them to a cross so we wouldn’t have to feel them anymore.

Thank you Jesus for such an amazing gift. And thank you for this present moment, where everything in life is just right. Let me enjoy this day, and let tomorrow worry about itself.

Love
Katie
myWPEdit Image

myWPEdit Image

300+ ways to be a blessing to others

If someone had to describe the way I treat my family and friends what would they say?  I want to live intentionally making every moment of this life count.  But it is certainly easy to get caught up in day to day and not make time to live intentionally.  

I want to be an encouragement to those around me, especially my family.  But where to start?

If you are like me, a little help is always nice.

Passionate Homemaking posted these 7 amazing links with enough ideas and encouragement to last years!

Ideas for your family, small group, kids, etc.

 

15 Little Ways to Bless Your Husband
12  Ways to Love Your Husband Without Saying A Word
Take the 30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
Reaching Out to the World from Your Doorstep
100 Ways to be Kind to Your Child
100 Ways to Have Fun with Your Kids
100 Ways for Your Family to Make a Difference

I “pinned” these for future reference.  Have fun living intentionally and being a blessing!  

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