A Little Happy Just Because

Hey sweet friends!

Over the holiday I have been reflecting on all the things, wait for it, I’m thankful for. Around this time last year, I was in the deepest pit of, arguably, my life. I needed something more even though I had everything I had ever asked for. We had just moved into our beautiful home; I have a husband that adores me, that loves me even more for my very worst pieces, FIVE very beautiful, healthy babies that could not have blended easier to have been a mixed together family, and even a new puppy. All I was missing was a swing…

and something bigger.

I had always know of Jesus but it wasn’t until this dark season that He introduced himself in a way that was just undeniable.  This time last year on black Friday, I bought my oldest step-daughter and I a journaling bible. I enjoyed one-on-one time with this almost unrealistically sweet baby girl so much; I thought spending time coloring in our bibles together may one day do us both some good.

I colored four pages, and Jesus colored me.

I had not known Jesus at all, but suddenly I wanted to. More than anything did I want to know more.

As I sit here with literal tears and think about how that 20 dollar purchase changed my life I cant help but be overwhelmingly thankful. The absolute worst year of my life was preparing to kick off the best one because of four small pages.

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I have turned through every page this year, and cried over most of them.

I am so grateful for the constant encouragement and support of those that follow this little baby bite of Jesus. I want to share the love.

Here is a little download for y’all. It is all of my tips, tricks, and resources I’ve found over the last year and I hope that these adjustments in your quiet time with Jesus will bless your life as it has mine!

Digging Deeper

I love you all so big much!

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” Proverbs27:17

Happy Holidays,

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For the people who don’t deserve it

How many of you have that “ugh, just whatever” kind of person in your life? The overly-likeable, all-put together, fictitiously decorated with perfected smiles and great character- kind of person.

Yeah me, too.

Having one of my heart to hearts with a friend of  mine and I had to make a confession. I’m the literally the most un-judgemental, probably been there before, it’s fine, let’s fix this kind of person.. like ever… until I cross the path of someone that isn’t as good as they let on.. then I, admittingly, am judgemental to a fault.

How in God’s name does she have that many people fooled? 

How in the world is she one of the chosen ones in church on Sunday, and talking like that when the sun sets the same afternoon. 

You said who was going on a mission trip? Spits coffee, for what?

Whatever, sure they are. I’ve seen who she really is…

Y’all I’m so serious, I’ve done that. Don’t ask, yes, I’m embarrassed.

I’ve just finished reading the book of Jonah and Jesus was as on-time with this Old Testament prophecy in my life as that fish was in Jonah’s.

God taught Jonah a lesson about obeying Him and Jonah learned it, was passionate about it, couldn’t wait to share it with the people.

Me too.

Jonah sets out to do what God asked the first time, and He is successful. The people heard and understood; they came to God, was sorry, wanted to turn their lives around… and God said “great, okay. I changed my mind, I won’t destroy you after all.”

Jonah says wait? WHAT?

He’s mad at God. How can you do that. They don’t deserve those blessings. They don’t deserve Your mercy. What did they get ate by? Nothing. Forgive them, but for heavens sake make them sorry, make them earn it.

And here I am sitting “amen, Jonah preach. Lessons learned are lessons lived. That’s what Mama say.”
 

And so Jonah had another lesson to learn in chapter four. 

So did I.

God told Jonah that he had put time into these people, invested in these people, loved these people and He was entitled to do whatever He pleases with them… but Jonah had done nothing and earned nothing and what he had, it was given to Him by the same grace it was given to the others he was so upset over.

As people we like to belong, we want to fit.. but we also like to decide who doesn’t fit. She deserves grace, but she doesn’t. She deserves forgiveness but not that girl. 

Right then, I recognized that very same anger in myself- on a personal level, in an intimate way. When I look at my “ugh whatever” people and I see the Lord giving them favor and Blessings, I’m like Jonah.. wait, what?

You’re wasting that on someone that doesn’t deserve God, someone that doesn’t even care…

And then I remembered all the times I didn’t deserve it.. all the times I won’t.. 

Jonah 4:2 says I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, changing your mind on disaster.

Grace– a favor that is free and so good that it can not be earned

Mercy- a god that does not give us what we deserve

Slow to anger– a god that is patient with us as we stumble around who we want to be into who we are

Steadfast love- because it takes a love that constantly pours over us who consistently fall short

Changing his mind from disaster- bc he beat wreckage for us. Paid it in full, because our lives will forever be, even unknowingly, littered with sin and He loves us enough to clean up our messes, to clean up our hearts.

Jesus says Love for everybody, not just you. While this gift is only accepted by few, it was meant for many.


Hugs,

Am I Saved? Is this enough?

When I feed all of my babies, it’s like an assembly line.

A friend of mine laughed at me once at her son’s birthday party because I laid out five plates to travel down the snack line.

A stack a little of this, some of that, maybe more of that for that someone and less for another- depending on who they are.

I know what should be enough for them to be satisfied and so I give just that. The amount i think is right- just enough.

I’ve had many conversations with people over the last year about my faith. One friend in particular asked me, “… but I mean, what’s enough? I say my prayers and I believe in Jesus. I do, but your like Christian-Christian. I couldn’t do what you do.”

And y’all my heart broke.

She didn’t know my life before Jesus, she only new me today. I has so much to share.

I remember asking myself if I was doing enough for the Lord. I thought I was, but it’s not until I knew what I know now that I actually had no idea.

If you’re wondering if you’re really saved you’re in the red zone. Did you make a decision to follow Christ based off of a powerful experience that one time? Or did that one time decision show your life power.

Salvation isn’t showmanship. And there’s no such thing as the really christian Christian. You are.. you pretend to be.. or your not but unfortunately, only two of those matter.

It comes down to saved or not saved.

I wish I had known when I didn’t. The feeling of salvation just cannot be explained. What it’s like to have a real relationship, not just religion, with Jesus can not be explained.

I do know, however what the Lord has laid on my heart over the last few weeks, and that I can explain.

Test these things in your life.

Not every one that says bedtime prayers every day is saved.

“Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but ONLY the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” Matthew 7:21

This passage goes on to say that when judgement day comes these people will cry out Lord, Lord… “and then I declare to them away, I never knew you.” Matthew 7:23

Not everyone that is in church every time the doors open is saved.

“He said to them, “the scriptures declare, my temple will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers” Matthew 21:13

“They claim to know God but their actions deny him. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for good things” Titus 10:26

“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of truth, no sacrifice for sin is left” Hebrews 10:26

There is a statistic that says 80% of the church is lost. 80%. This is only a few of many examples.

And the most scary one, because it was such a reality in my life, and I’m sure many others is this: Not everyone that stands before the church after having said “the prayer” (y’all know which one) is saved.

“The Lord says, “these people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught” Isaiah 29:13

Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ through true deep eternal repentance. Literally aching over your sin and shortcomings and so very badly wanting, NEEDING, to do better to please the Lord and demonstrate your love for Him in your life.

“Yet now I am happy, not because you are sorry, but because your sorrow led to you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in anyway” 2 Corinthians 7:9

Y’all, the kind of sorry you have to be..hurts. It is the best, worst hurt you will ever experience and that is the easiest way I can tell you. It is painful and liberating all in one sweep.

And you will never ask “I wonder if this is enough again.” You will know.

There are three things you will come to know: Jesus is not a spare tire, Jesus is more than what Blessings He can give, and Jesus is not convenience, He’s covenant.

You have to see Jesus, savor Him, and share Him and you will be so compelled to do all the above.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 8:39-39

see that.

“You and your promises are trustworthy and you have promised good things to your servants” 2 Samuel 7:28

Savor that.

“Faith by itself, if it’s not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:17

Share it. Share Him at every opportunity. Make opportunity.

Jesus said whosoever may believe in me must deny himself daily, pick up his cross, and follow me.

If you’re only preparing a plate to satisfy what you think is enough, only providing certain doses of certain things on only a few plates in not enough places, it’s not enough.

He gave you just the right amount of blood you needed to cover every last wrong you’ve done, all the wrong you will do. Love Him enough to portion the plate properly so that others may begin to serve that plate too.

I love you all so very very much,

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 

Because my judgement felt justified

“I never want to be the girl that makes the other girl feel bad. Gosh, I am so glad I don’t act like that to people.”

I let that thought roll through my head while participating in a conversation that probably was not going to reciprocate anything positive for that day.

“My thoughts were justified. That was bad behavior. They should be ashamed, but I know they’re not.” 

Not seconds after that I got a thump from the good Lord. *autocorrect had changed good from hood which may be more appropriate considering it was a hard thump and surely my gentle Jesus wouldn’t do such* BUT this voice, it said.. “and who are you exactly?”

Oh. Wait. 

Let’s be honest, for every two girls we envy there’s at least one we’re glad we aren’t, yes or no?

Don’t answer, I don’t want you to be thumped also.

This scripture came to mind immediately: 

“I say to every one of you: do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement in accordance to the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Romans 12:3

My thoughts in that situation, as well as many other thoughts I’ve had, we’re in complete opposition of the very truths I share with all of you.

Now my grandmother always said “if you think it you may as well say it,” but I can’t be completely certain that her philosophy is completely biblically sound… but I do know that scripture says it doesn’t matter how clean your shirt is if the heart that holds it in place is dirty. 

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart” 1 Samuel 16:7

That made my heart sorry, not for those girls this time, but for myself. 

Y’all, I am not perfect. We aren’t. When did it become okay to wrap our concerns around the imperfections in the lives of others so tightly that our own sin seeps through judgement’s seams? 

I am so quick to judge. SO QUICK and though I may go against what my Gracie said and keep them to myself, does that matter? Aren’t your floors still dirty even if the dust is confined to only under the rug? 

As people, we’ve placed all these sins in different categories: bad sin, mediocre sin, and acceptable sin. While biblical theology does leave it’s students to believe that some sin is greater than others, the Bible itself brings a bigger message: that we are a broken people incapable of fixing ourselves, that the one and the only perfect person died to bleed over the things you cannot fix for yourself, and that it takes the same amount of blood to heal us all- not too little, not too much, but just enough. 

We do not set the standard, y’all, but somehow the standard has set us. Society has set us to believe that sex before marriage isn’t as bad as pregnancy out of wed lock. Society has set us to believe that things like addiction, infidelity, dishonesty, and family disunion are all result from heinous dysfunction, but the people that pick apart the lives of those already picked over with gossip or critism aren’t. Society has lead us to believe a lot, y’all. But we don’t set the standard. We will, however, be judged by it. We can’t obey so long as it suites our lifestyle. Partial obedience is complete disobedience.

and so my heart was sorry. 

Jeremiah 24 says I will watch over them for their good and I will bring them back. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them, but John 15 says Jesus is the ultimate Gardener. He will cut off every branch that does not bear fruit and even the branches that have fruit he will prune back so they will be more fruitful. 

We are purposefully planted by the kingdom, but even in Christ our branches get sideways. It’s not news to me that Jesus wants to cut back the rotten pieces of me that bring no good, but here He says even your good stuff I have to cut on. His provision has to be greater so we can be stronger, grow straighter, be more.

What began as conversation and criticism for me, ended with branch cutting conviction. Jesus reminded me “and who are you?”

And I’m certainly no judge. None of us are. Not for the people we like and not for the people we don’t.

“And now dear Lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I asked that we love one another. And this is Love: that we walk in obedience to his command. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love” 2 John 1:5-6

We are obligated to love- a jesus love.

Commanded.

Demanded.

Unjudgemental.

Undeserved.

Merciful Love.

This is Jesus and Jesus in you; not optional but necessary.

He demands love for everyone, not just the ones that get it all right because that then means love for no one- not even myself.

Hugs,

Katie 

When you feel too busy for your faith 

I lost my necklace, I couldn’t retrace my steps because I didn’t know how long it had been missing. Because I never took it off, I didn’t have to actively put it on. The gold statement piece had become just a piece and less a statement.

Some two weeks later, I find it gracefully curled up on the marble of my bathroom floor; I guess it had been sitting there the whole time.. just waiting for me to pick it back up, like I left it there on purpose. 

I guess I kind of did, though, in a not really kind-of way. 

When I’ve had a bad day, I run to the bathtub. I try to pull everything from that day off as quick as I can, ready to wash away a day of messes. I must have accidentally thrown the necklace off too, all piled up with my clothes and my sub-par attitude. I didn’t even know it was missing until I really needed it again.

There have been times in my walk with the Lord that have been just that. Somewhere along the way I sat Him down on accident only to find myself without His presence when I needed it.

Wait. When did that even happen, Katie? Don’t you hate when someone asks you “Well where’d you lose it at? Where did you sit it down?”

I’ve been busy. 

Busy chasing my toddlers. Busy doing laundry for seven. Busy working two jobs with crazy hours. Busy trying to diet. Busy trying to be my half of the partnership in my marriage. Busy trying to plan things and people I have no control over. Busy planning a plan for when those things don’t go according to plan. 

And so I’ve been reading my bible, saying all my prayers, and doing all of this stuff and the stuff crowded out my spirits, THE spirit. 

Does anyone else do that?? Just let life run all over you? The enemy feels like he has really big feet sometimes, don’t he? 

But things aren’t how they feel. It’s always what they are.

You may feel 50lbs heavier today because of your big lunch, but you’re not. You may feel like the kids ate your soul today- they didn’t. You may feel like her life is so much more perfect than yours- it’s not. Today may have felt like it was the end of the world, but it wasn’t. 

This is why Satan feeds off feelings. Let me distract her a little more today than yesterday. Let break her down a little more, kick her a little harder so she is so distracted by what she feels over who she is.

Satan works off feelings, God builds on truth. 

God says I chose you. (John 15:16)

God says you are more precious than jewels. (Proverbs 3:15

God says he is close to you (Jeremiah 23:23)

God says he’s even closer when we draw close (James 4:8) 

And God says I’m ahead of you, making a way for you. (Colossians 1:17)

He picked you, perfected you, stands beside you, draws even closer to you, and he’s even cleared the way.

He’s made a way to the coffee pot through the laundry, he’s made the way through the work day and the sick babies with snotty noses. He’s made a way through your feelings of inadequacy and brokenness. He’s made a way for your marriage. He’s made a way for you- to him- with him in the kingdom. 

Don’t let your feelings stand in the way of Jesus. Don’t make Him just a piece. When we approach Jesus unintentionally He has great potential to become unnoticed. 

I didn’t know my necklace was missing until I reached up to grab it and it wasn’t there. It didn’t require a conscious effort everyday to put it on. But Jesus does. 

If not, He will be no different than the necklace. 

In a world that attacks our weaknesses in what sometimes feels like an unending supply, we must also deliberately and intentionally prepare retaliation against feelings that aren’t, for truths that are. 

Jesus is always the statement, Satan is just a piece to run interference, and you are in control of both by what you choose to be attentive to. 

Life is busy and so are you, but it’s never too busy. Make a point to make purposeful time. 

Hugs

Katie

The only thing that stays the same is change; the only thing that keeps us well is perspective. Phil. 2:12-16

As I sit in my living room floor, watching the weather from my bay doors, sick babies in arms, I’ve watched this transition over the last hour. Dark to light, misted showers to empty clouds, leaves that were so intact and sure of their places that, with just a small gust of wind, fall in spirals to the ground.

I’m now several weeks behind speaking with you ladies because my heart has been much like the weather. I’ve had bright days that have felt fine, and dark ones that have felt hopeless. I’ve experienced fullness, but more than that just the driest cup, and to be so sure of the things I stand for, the One really, I have let this world blow me all over the place, taking pieces of me and loads of my emotions with it. 


Our scripture is starting in verse 12-16. Today is about Paul’s church. It’s about Jesus.

My most loved people, rest in obedience to the one who takes care of you. Do not become sidetracked. If it’s me that you look for, it is always me that you will find. I’m working with you, in you, for, always, what is best for you. It will be good because I am good. Trust me. Do not take for granted my plan; please do not protest and criticize what I am doing. There is no safer place to be than in my will. You are not safe with yourself, but instead cling to what is good. Remember when nothing else is, I am- hold onto my word and be a light, the kind that is always brightest in the dark.

Let me tell you a story.

There was this man. The one you read about in the books. He was charming, faithful, loving.. a provider- loved his wife so much. Told her everyday how important she was, what she meant to him, how he loved her, but the woman was broken. She wasn’t faithful to her husband. She couldn’t believe the things he said, she didn’t trust his love. Instead of accepting this unheard of, unfathomable love, she slept around with this man and that one, leaving one bed for another and her husband just devastated. 

On no particular occasion, the husband knew where his wife was.. away from him of course, but he was still worried for what he cared for- so he makes her dinner. He searches for his wife, knocks on the door of some man- whichever one of the week- and says I know she’s in there, here is dinner for y’all. I brought her more clothes and here is some cash for y’all for her to help her make it through the week. I know you have her, but I’ll never stop caring for her because she is mine. Use what I have given you and take care of her.

Really think about that; I hope you feel it as I have. The husband is Jesus, the wife is you. It’s me. Scroll back up. Read back through it.

“She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished her with silver and gold, that she turned and gave to idols” Hosea 2:8

I am provided for. I am loved. I am never alone…

And I am as full as I allow myself to be.

Last night I sat on the bar in my kitchen and I cried the ugliest tears while I made dinner for my beautiful family. My husband interceded, as he always does, and said “Katie, baby, people are going to be people (assuming he knew what was wrong), you just have to keep being you.”

And for the first time in wasnt people I was disappointed in. It was myself. I know what the world is; I’ve made peace with that- I also thought I knew who I was and somehow I let the world take it from me. 

I have trusted fear over faith, my own provision over Gods, and it has lead me to sleep with the enemy instead of resting my head at home.

Daniel 2 says he changes times and seasons, gets rid of something’s and builds others up- he reveals deep and hidden things and he knows what lies in the dark, but he also knows the light lives within him.

God created this world for light and dark, for foggy rain and for periods of clarity. We were meant to be full some days and poured out others- but we were not meant to be thrown around by the wind, by the world. God created the leaves to fall, not you babe.

You- he builds up. You- he protects. You- he loves. You- he provides for.

He said I know what’s in the dark, but you know me.

I dont know what your darkness is, or what has your cup drained this week but I know what God has revealed to me through Hosea, through Daniel, and through Paul in Philippians. 

Things are changing, but I am in control of that change. You will try and fix things yourself, deal with them yourself, manipulate them yourself- you will find yourself away from me in these seasons, but I will provide you with the food and warmth you need while you are away- even though you are unfaithful to me, I will never stop doing good for you. I will fight for you in you- it is for good. 

Faith is strong enough to conquer the world most days, but today faith feels like placing an empty cup under a faucet of truths and praying with confidence that He will fill me back up.

Be good, do good in the shadows and in the sun and be grateful in both. 

The only thing that stays the same is change; the only thing that keeps us well is perspective. 

“Katie, you’re only human, baby. You’re not perfect, I’m sorry” he told me last night wiping my masacara stained cheeks.

And I’m not, neither are you- but the second best thing I’ve ever learned is Jesus uses the broken that you are, what you have left to give… to create in you a heart like him… 

the first?

even when you’re not perfect, He saves you as blameless.

Better late than never

Xoxo

Katie 

Philippians 2:5-11- I am no better than you are- not a color, not a size

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father” Philippians 2:5-11

In our relationships and in our lives, learn to serve as we have been served.  

Even as the one greater than all, Jesus did not let His position affect His behavior. He made himself nothing. I am no more than you are; I am no better. I am here in obedience to serve and save; I have come to give and die. 

And for his obedience God gave Him the best name.

Y’all… 

I look around in all the little circles in my life and am broken over people. Truth is the greater the circle, though, the bigger the problems.

 We are in a world where it matters what your last name is. It counts what color you are. It makes a difference where you came from. It’s of significance if you have money. 

I wish I could say I don’t remember when it happened, but, honestly, I’ve known it no other way. 

Why?

Serve as we have been served. 

Jesus, in His humanness, was KING and He came so humbly that He saw himself no better than you or I. What happened? How did we go from a crown of thorns to just crowns? 

How is one race better than the other? Or his name better than hers?

I cannot imagine how it hurts Jesus to see His people like this. Created for love, we have turned this world into nothing but division.. of color, or success, or status. As people we’re caught up in who WE are, what WE have, or how WE can be better.. and there’s so much me that there’s never an us.

We have a heart that longs to prosper, but we always choose ourselves. Selfishness is not our success- it’s our sentence.

“Because of the evil they have done.. they aroused my anger…. again and again I sent my servants who said do not do these detestable things that I hate. But they did not listen or pay attention; they didn’t turn from wickedness or stop… my fierce anger was poured out; it raged against the people and made them the desolate ruins they are today” Jeremiah 44:3-6

Over and over the Bible tells us to love one another, be servants to eachother, help your neighbor, give, forgive, and be humble. 

Instead we criticize. We help when it helps us. We spend more time talking about our neighbors than serving them. We give when it can be returned. We forgive without forgetting, and humble is not even a thing. People are only what we can benefit from them. We don’t even see people as people. 

And so God is angry and it’s our fault. We are the reasons our circles look like they do.

Jesus came as king and walked as man. I am no better than you are. What makes us more if Jesus himself was less? 

Yes, We are all different. We’re all different colors and shapes and sizes; we have different amounts of money, different numbers of friends, different stuff… but y’all we’re all people and we’re all worth the same. 

And so God exalted Him and gave Him a name above names. 

The world tells us to be somebody you have to have some things; the one that rules says just the opposite. 

“So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last” Matthew 20:16

You can be a lot of things for a little while, or you can have it all forever but you’ve got to give now or you’ll be without later.

Serve one another as Christ served you. Make most everything about others and focus on making one thing about you.

“Therefore since we have these promises, dear friends, let’s purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” 2 Corinthians 7:1 

Purify ourselves. If we want to have stronger, healthier circles- there has to be a surplus of change. Start with you, cleaning from the inside out. 

We cannot live in even circles when we sit in divided groups. 

“All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish” Ezekiel 17:24 

Serve until you’re dry. I want to be empty.

Xoxo,

Katie 

Philippians 2:3-4: Selflessness

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” Philippians 2:3-4

Be selfless. Lower yourselves. Look out for others. That’s all. Simple, right?

I think humans are naturally geared towards self promotion. Always taking the next step to get a step higher, we often put ourselves before others. We also have a big tendency to think we’re better. 

What if I looked up to you, and you looked up to me? And she looked up to her and he to him? And so on? If everybody is looking up to somebody, no one is getting looked down on and that’s a beautiful thing. Lower yourselves so that no one is beneath you. 

Do not look at someone’s life and measure your worth by their accomplishments. We’re all set apart, remember? There is no better with Jesus, just different. Of course she is in a different place than you are. It’s physically impossible for four feet to stand in the exact same spot, but wouldn’t it be all together lovely if four hearts would? Community. 

If we could just admire someone for what they are, instead of adding up the things people are not,  less than becomes less threatened. 

Let’s not look at a person only for what they can offer you. Do not avoid someone when that something is nothing.

Be good, do good because of who you are, not what you think someone else is. Lower yourself to meet someone where they are, you do not know what drug them that far. 

I read a piece of scripture in Ezekiel this week. God was talking to Israel, but just conviction because it can as easily apply to us.

“I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations.” Ezekiel 36:22

Not because you deserve it, but because I have a name to uphold. I say I am and so I must be.

And don’t we all? As Christians we are the standard. We should never lose an opportunity to protect that. 

One of my favorite Old Testament stories is in Exodus. Moses is in the middle of a war, hands up to Jesus, and He is winning. As he begins to get tired, though, his hands start to fall and they start to lose. 

“When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up–one on one side, one on the other–so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” Exodus 17:12

Two friends saw him struggling and they came to help. Moses and his army won that battle because he had someone to be the support he couldn’t be.  They were there to help, not to conquer. 

Not for your interest but the interest of others. If you’re only serving someone for what you may receive, that’s not serving. That’s business. 

“Whoever is generous to the poor, lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed” Proverbs 19:17

I wish I had pretty words to tell you these things, but I don’t. Sometimes it just is what it is. No one is above anybody. We killed Jesus and with Him perfection died. No matter what anybody tells you, ugly hearts lead to empty lives. It doesn’t matter how you dress them up. 

God’s humor can change your circumstance faster than you can change your shoes so be so careful that the pair you pick for the day walks humbly. The warning is there: as easy as you can be walked with, you can be walked on. 

“Those who love only themselves and do not obey the truth, but do what is wrong, will be punished by God. His anger will be on them.” Romans 2:8

“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” James 3:16

“He who shuts his ears to the cry of the less fortunate will also cry himself and not be answered.” Proverbs 21:13

His anger will be on them. They will find nothing but disorder. They too will cry and I will not answer.

But all of those are fought with one:

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1st Peter 4:8 

All were called to do is love people at least as much as we love ourselves. This world of division is evidence of our failing, but it still doesn’t hurt to try. 

Love and Tuesdays,

Katie