Why Does This Keep Happening? The Answer.

“I do not understand. Why are things still just the way they have been? Why do we have to do this over and over?”

I know I have asked myself these same two questions an infinate amount of times. Even with the answers before me, I will likely ask them again.

I have to believe that I am not the only one that fights these same said battles over and over. Things you’ve dealt with, prayed over, laid at the feet of Jesus, forgiven, and even prayed over again that just keep. coming. back. up.

Psalm chapter 12:

“save, oh lord, for the godly one is gone, for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man. Everyone utters lies to his neighbor, with flattering lips, and a double heart they speak……. because the poor are plundered, because the needy cry, I will now arise, says the Lord.  I will place him in the safety for which he longs.  The words of the lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. You, O lord will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever.  On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the children of man.

If I were to ask you who is the single most ruler of this world you would say?

Growing up in the bible belt, most all of us would presume the answer is Jesus, but that is not so.

The Godly one is gone; Jesus has left this Earth, and the faithful have vanished from the children of man. Man is Adam and Adam equates sin to which we are all born unto. Satan is the ruler of Earth. He even tempts Jesus in Matthew 4- Jesus come on over here, you see all of this on top of this mountain. I will give all of this to you if only you will bow and worship me.

David goes on to describe this people, those that only say what people want to hear. Even in the church, or maybe especially, there are those who always have just the right answer for any occasion but speak with no truth or transparency of heart- a double heart at that. Two hearts; one for Sundays and another for all the other days of the week.

And so what’s wrong with these people? These recurring things in our lives that show up time after time after time?

2 Corinthians 4:4 says it perfectly. “In their case the god of this world (satan) has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God.

The scripture in this psalm lays it out, but maybe you just need some help dissecting it to fully understand its principality.

“On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted amongst the children of man.”

On every side– completely surrounding not only every circumstance but also every corner.

vileness– nasty, offensive, awful, and unsavory

exalted-  placed at a high or powerful level.

Yall, even as Godly people, we must never forget we live in an evil world. A world that exalts or gives power to all of these awful, potentially destructive, things. We, even believers, make the mistake of subconsciously giving such things POWER over our lives.

We have, maybe not as Christians but as a people, have a created a world that seeks pleasure in sinful entertainment that we find so enticing… until it directly affects our own personal lives.

sex. gossip. addiction. infidelity. betrayal. fatality. tragedy.

These are all topics that we enjoy sharing with our friends or find even sanctifying to be the first one to “get the news” and why Y’all? for what? I don’t know when we saw fit to enjoy in the failure of someone else, to make of a catastrophe some type of commodity in the midst of some of the most vulnerable and unavoidably transparent aspects of peoples lives.

but we have.

it is absolutely imperative that we realized that even though our spirits are safe in heaven, our very alive bodies are here. in this place. that has made these things acceptable.

wicked reigns, guys. Here evil, reigns.

All of these little tests. The walls that you run into over and over, that’s not God y’all. That’s Satan. God desires nothing but the best for His people.

Colossians 1 verse 13 says that God has rescued us from the darkness of this world and has assigned us a seat in heaven.

Praise Jesus, We have saved seats, but y’all not until we get there.

It says that His word is pure- refined, grounded. that means that it has been tested, studied, criticized. it is without impurity or flaw even after it has been sifted through and it remains standing.

yet we give evil the authority over our lives?

sounds crazy doesnt it?

Even to choose exalt Christ in our lives, does not mean the elimination of evil.

Even with a word precious and pure, people will still prefer those same things that will bury them.

but God says that because, indicating when, those are plundered, when the needy cry Then I will rise.

plundered. laid flat and bare. needy. crying. and I’m coming.

It wasn’t until I suffered without Christ, that I realized just how much joy there was to suffering with Him.

The next time you want to question the reappearing wall in front of you, ask yourself which god would set it before you- the one of this world, or The One.

You see, Satan may in fact rule this world, as the scripture says, but Jesus… He won it.

God, as much as I would like my actions to matter, on the days that I am full of doubt, I’m so glad they don’t. Thank you for an unfailing victory over all evil, even my own. Thank you, God, for you.

Amen.

Satan Knows

I let my kids stay home from school today.

We’re still in our pajamas. 

We ate honey buns for breakfast.

Call it irresponsible, maybe it is.

There’s a million other things I need to be doing today as we prepare to move into our new home, but instead I gave horsey rides. I colored “in our bibles” (Gracie doesn’t understand the concept of a coloring book, it’s all bibles since that what her mom colors in). I gave “hairplane” rides and ate gummies instead of fruit. 

Today I filled my cup because the last several weeks I’ve let Satan steal at my soul.

Y’all the mind is the devils biggest play ground. 

One tiny seed of doubt placed by Satan on the right day, at the exact right- already vulnerable time and then devil has won- in our marriages, in our homes, in our workplace, in ourselves. 

I would swear that Jesus tells my husband days before, “Hey man, could you put this little bug in Katie’s ear for me today? I’m going to talk to her about it, but you know how she can be sometimes.” I can see my husband as he nods in approval knowing exactly ‘how she can be’ and then acts in obedience. 

I’ve been busy with work, Tired and worn down emotionally and physically- as mom, as wife, and just so inadequate with my faith over the last (I’m ashamed to say) month. You know? All those things you are too because are there really enough hours in the day?

I remember when it turned for me now, looking back but it wasn’t until a very serious sit down with my husband and two days later with Jesus that I fully understood why.

The conversation went like this. “Do you not see the pattern, baby? You feel down on yourself over weight, you feel negatively about work, you feel like you’ve failed at your task as a wife, you feel like you fall short some days as a mother.” 

These are all things I feel in relation to the things I compare myself to. 

These are the things that the world tells me I am less than.

These are the things I have let emotionally wear me down, making less time to be present in my calling. Making less time to be present with Jesus, even present with you.

Satan knows.

Satan knows your desire to have the family like hers. 

Satan knows that you want your house tucked away ever so neatly for company.

Satan knows that your coffee has been minimal and so are your nerves.

And so he waits. And waits. Until the time is perfectly imperfect and he plants a seed. 

If you are not very careful in your thinking, even while firm in your faith, that seed will grow too.

What has life taught you about weeds in a flower bed? If you don’t pick them out, they will devour what it good, what is purposeful.

And y’all it’s with tears in my eyes that I tell you that is a real thing. Satan rules the world, but Jesus chooses you- even when we lose sight of Him, live in opposition of Him, let darkness crowd Him out, He never loses claim to us. We are His. 

I’ve told you the bug from my husband; here’s the word from God.

“Gather the elders and all of the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord YOUR God, and cry out to the Lord.” Joel 1:14

“The seed shrivels under the clods, the store houses are desolate; the granaries are torn down because the grain has dried up” Joel 1:17

To you that may look like some of that thoust and shan’t Old Testament scripture, but it was conviction for my heart.

Satan planted a seed in me of inadequacy. It’s one of his favorites so it’s safe to assume that you too have let this grow in your life. Feelings of less than, the poison of comparison.

What is torn down is because of what has been dried up.

This is why it is absolutely necessary that we, every single day without fail and with fortitude, seek the kingdom. SPEND TIME WITH JESUS because you can be sure Satan is spending time with you and ladies you are MORE.

When your faith is dry the destination is defeat. You will be torn down because Satan knows all of the right ways to tear you apart and Jesus cannot fight for those He does not know. 

KNOW Jesus, y’all. Don’t just read about Him or hear about Him or send prayers to Him. KNOW HIM.

Come to me. Today, yesterday, tomorrow I am YOUR God. And her God and her God. I am personal to you, to her, to everyone who calls my name I am precisely anything and everything You need individually. Cry out to me.

Cry. Leave the rehearsed and fancy words for a term paper, y’all. Jesus don’t care about your vocabulary; He cares about your heart. 

Give Him your emotions. Give Him your feelings. He wants rawness, He wants real. 

In the Old Testament times people tore their clothes as a sign of mourning.

“Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the Lord your God. For he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and he relents from sending disaster” Joel 2:13

Here he said keep your clothes on girl, tear your heart up instead. I don’t want your clothes, I want YOU. Hearts bleed, baby. Let it pour, that’s it’s purpose. Spill it all at my feet, come back.  

Over and over and over, run back to me. I forgive you, I care for you, I’m not mad at you, I’m never out of love for you, and I only want what’s best for you- that will always be me.

Today, I chose to not compare myself to any other mom. Today I chose to give Satan no seat. Jesus has the whole couch, I even gave Him a blanket in hopes that he would stay, but when he doesn’t? When I feel torn down again?

I’ll know it’s a direct result of which seed in my garden I let dry up. It will be my fault, and so I’ll run back, not to all of the things I wish I were, but to the One that tells me I don’t have to be. 

Hugs and Blessings

Jesus is Just

“But God, that doesn’t feel fair.”

I’ve said a thousand times, even when I’ve known better. 

“This is not you, God. This doesn’t align with you. Aren’t your promises bigger than heartbreak? Show me You, Lord.”

And of course He did… but not how I anticipated.

Jesus is justified. 

He does not do wrong. He does not know wrong. He does not choose wrong. 

He is just. His plan is just. His timing is just.

I think sometimes I get so caught up in life that I forget all of this stuff we do everyday: the cleaning, the running, the endless loads of laundry, the job, the bills- there’s purpose there. 

Everyday. There’s purpose.

And I find myself being ungrateful sometimes even more than I say thank you.

This morning I woke up to a little girl hungry for Cheetos at 6AM and instead of being so very grateful that this little body with ten fingers and ten toes full of life stood in front of me healthly, though demanding, I chose to ask God for a better day than yesterday. 

“No baby, not chips for breakfast. God please let this day go smoother.” All in the same breath.

She cried. I thought I might too.

I keep finding myself in all of these tears. These almost irrational tears that just well up out of nowhere. You’re tired, you’re stressed, you’re worn down, maybe you’re hungry? Yes, I’ve literally cried for being hungry before- a 100hr work week will wear on you- but I find myself just sitting there in tears crying about this or that saying “this is not fair.”

I’ll allow myself ten minutes and then I piece it back together.

It’s fine. I’m fine.

I have to work. Im mom. Im wife. I don’t have time for this.

But Mama, you have to make time to break. Stopping piecing it together, moving forward in shambles, just making it with wreckage to your next mess and just fall.

“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a self indulgent mind to do what ought not be done” Romans 1:28

God gave them up means God hands it over. 

We ask God for all of these things.

 I need this to be easier, God. I need this to feel better, Lord. God, please- I need… 

and these feelings of insufficiency, of need, crowd us out. We let our feelings, rather than God’s design and command, be an overriding guide for our behavior. Self-indulgent feelings open a gateway for sin and result is always pain. It’s  inevitable suffering and bottomless trauma because we could not wait, our feelings couldn’t be patient, on the things that God had planned. 

Instead, WE try and piece ourselves together, WE try to hold things up, WE try to pick our feet up, one in front of the other. 

We keep asking and asking and praying and praying lord I want, Lord I need.. and so He hands us over. 

The things you want most in this life will smother you if you let them. 

Even Jesus had to say God not my will, but yours. God if there could be any other way to save the world, let it be that instead. But there wasn’t. There was no other way. The cross was it. Jesus was it. 

Jesus is still it.

Stop trying to make a way. Stop making these plans. Stop bringing prayer before you bring praise. 

Anytime we feel like God has set us aside, we have to know that it is most always because some action of our own has asked for us to be sat there- and so He did.

I feel so ashamed sometimes, when I get outside the well kept borders of my faith. 

God lets me fall, but God also reaches for me. 

“You are called to belong to Jesus” Romans 1:6

That’s it. That’s all you HAVE to be.

Take some of the pressure off yourself, girls. You don’t have to be the perfect wife, the home-room mom, the size 4. Just be His.

See laundry for seven and don’t ask God for a way through it all- thank Him for the laughs those dirty clothes had that day.

See a load of dishes and don’t huff because it doesn’t end- thank God your jobs are enough to feed your family without fail. You’re not hungry.

When your baby girl asks for Cheetos, give in. Let her eat them and watch her face light up and thank God that she is here and alive and well because there was a time that losing her was a scary reality for you. 

And when it all gets to be too much,  because it will sometimes, don’t you dare pull it together. 

Break. Fall.

Let God reach for you. Let him put it back together: the wife, the mom, the full-time job, the home. Not in your own self-indulged way, but His way.

It may not always feel fair, but it will always be right. 

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

Thank you, God, for my life, for its entirety, all of it- for its purpose. I don’t know what it is, I don’t know where it is going, but I know where it started and that’s enough. You’re enough. I give you everything, all of it, trusting you will make of it, of me, something beautiful. Reign over me Jesus. Take all of me and leave only You. Thank you God for everything, thank you, God, for you.

Amen

Katie 

No. My kids don’t come first 

When God speaks to you, it’s almost funny how things work out. Over the last several days I’ve had to remind myself, well my mouth really, where my priorities are. I’ve heard Gods voice, felt His little nudges.. y’all know the ones I’m talking about, right? So priorities- I have a little something to share….

I’ve been reading off and on in Luke… in chapter 9 God tells some men “follow me” and He says okay, God- yeah but first let me bury my father.. God asks another guy and he says sure God but first.. let me go say bye to my family….. 

and this is what Jesus says.  

“No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God”

Y’all, priorities. 

Reading again in Luke several chapters over.. A man invited all these people to eat dinner with Jesus.. one had bought something he had to attend to and couldn’t come. Another had some other stuff to try, too busy, and couldn’t come. Another somebody had just gotten married and couldn’t come. 

Y’all nothing, NOTHING, should be placed before Jesus and fellowship with Him. Nothing.  Not your children. Not your husband. Not yourself. This does not mean map your day out and pencil in five minutes of quiet time with Jesus at the top. He is constant counsel over our day. You want to start your day out with a quick devotional- that is great- no better way to start the day, but don’t let that be the only time you pursue Him. Instead of a listed complied with Jesus, errands, kids, husband let it be Jesus and Me, Jesus and Errands, Jesus and kids (isn’t this where we need him most?), Jesus and husband. 

You see? Constant.

My kids are not more important than my husband and my husband is not more important than My Jesus. Whatchu say, Mama? Your kids don’t come first? No. My children are #3 because God SAYS they are number #3. The last time I chose to do what was best for my kids instead of what was best for my husband I got a divorce. I put a relationship with my husband over my relationship with God and guess what- I got a divorce. There’s a reason they biblically fall in the order they do. 

I see so many people, have talked to so many people, am watching so many people fall into the same traps I fell into in their marriages, in their homes, in their lives and I cannot CANNOT tell you how important it is to reorganize your life. Map a circle of your responsibilities and put God in the center. It cannot be in “list” format. You can’t move systematically down the line making checks. That’s not how God wants things. Do something, move back to the center, do something else, move back to the center that way everything on your not-list starts with Christ’s guidance. It’s when you forget to start there that gets you off balance.

But first let me do this. Actually, I can’t- I have to do that. Oh just wait, I will but first… 

Its a shame we spend so much time barreling for success, building our own lives that we miss so much of what God already had planned. Instead we’re plowing our way down a more painful path, hitting every hole to get where we’re supposed to be instead of just looking straight. Instead of just looking to God. If the farmer tries plowing a field lookin in a million directions none of his crops are straight and his field looks a hot mess… and we wonder sometimes how our lives look like they do? How did we even get here. More importantly, how do we get out? 

Priorities.

You don’t have to get things in order to put him first. You don’t have to live a perfect life to put him first. 

“I have come not to call the righteous but the unrighteous” Luke 5:32

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but the sinners” mark 2:17

Jesus calls us right where we are. He meets us in life right where we are. And y’all He wants to use us RIGHT WHERE WE ARE. He just wants to be with us. Literally all he wants is to save us from ourselves, to save us from the punishment we deserve, but if we keep saying just wait a minute or I’ve got something else to do He can’t help us!!

I’ve been on both sides, ladies. Jesus has done so much for me. That is why I do this- why I read and read and write and write and answer all of these messages and try so hard to point all of you back to scripture because I want to help. I want people to know what total surrender feels like. I did not have much to give God when I turned my life over because I have spent so much of it on myself there just wasn’t much left but y’all that investment, that surrender was the best one I’ve ever made for everybody. The best prioritizing I’ve ever done for my #3 and my #2 is make Jesus my #1.

Surrender. Prioritize. 

I’m always here if you need some encouragement , some help, a push.

Love y’all so very much,

Katie 

The Bad Mama

So this morning, me and the kids were getting ready and my curling iron was on. I told Haisten “don’t touch that baby, that will hurt you”. “Hurt me, Mama?” Like he didn’t quite understand. You could tell he so really bad wanted to touch it just to see for himself. Maybe he didn’t believe me? I don’t know, but I do know this: sometimes we make choices that hurt us. Sometimes we’ve been warned and sometimes not so much, but the hurt is still the same. I remember my Gracie telling me after my first pretty big mistake as an almost adult, “lessons learned are lessons lived.” I’ve carried that with me through all of my messes. Some hurts you just can’t ever comprehend until you’ve done it yourself. I don’t suggest it, but sure touch it anyway. Ouch, right? 

So the point… sometimes hurt is just unavoidable.. but what about that hurt that isn’t? What about that deliberate, intentional hurt? Earlier in the week… someone called me a bad mother. And amongst nine million other things I have going on, I chose to hold on to that piece of negativity all week. You want some truth? I’m not a bad mom, but I probably don’t belong in the Harvard league of moms either. Yesterday I got up without brushing my hair, put a hat on, and took my baby to school- sweet Gracie stayed home with me. While her brother was at school, I didn’t sit at a table and practice shapes or colors with my two year old, we ate left overs for lunch and fast food for dinner and I was off all day. I didn’t do laundry yesterday either so I’m probably a bad wife, too. But I did tell my babies I love them over and over; I did chase them all over the house with monster hands, over and over. I pushed them in the swings; I tickled their noses with mine. I made sure they had baths and their teeth were brushed  even though I can’t promise you I brushed my own- gross, right? My hair never got brushed either, hat all day. Unashamed, about the hair at least. Mamas, it happens. I’m not a bad Mama, I just may do it different than you somedays.

Unnecessary hurt. Intentional hurt. Be kind people. Choose good. Do good. If you want good days… you have to BE good days. My heart hurts for anyone that finds satisfaction in evils of the tongue; it truly is the most powerful muscle. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can crush a spirit. 

If your hurting today, even if you did it to yourself, I pray that peace pursues you… and if your happy and unhurt, I pray you can share that happy with something nice for others as you finish up your week. 

And shout out to my mamas, may your hair and teeth be brushed and your kids in bed on time- because THAT is a good day 💪🏼

PS-were having pizza for supper

Love y’all,

Katie