When we feel vindicated in our actions and lost in our prayers

God never fails to provide me an opportunity to learn, even in the mundane.

Today, like any other day, my kids and I got home and the first thing they want is something to drink immediately followed by snack. My youngest will ask for a brownie every single time (literally every time, y’all), and every time I tell her the same thing.

“Not a brownie until after supper, Gracie; what else do you want?”

She knows  that brownie is waiting for her behind those big sliding barn doors in our kitchen; she also knows she is not getting it right then, but she has to try it anyway.

Do you every find yourself repetitively  asking God for the same things over and over? Mayyybbee not the same things, but You know, the ‘something’s gotta give’ type things, the ‘aren’t you God, don’t you know I need this’ kind of things.

I’ve given Jesus a lot of tears, y’all. Tears shed for much the same purpose or principle.

over. and. over.

You see, I know God. I know that He is true to His promises; and I know that His promises are reserved for those who earnestly seek Him.

This means I know that my brownie is back there somewhere. Somewhere, behind this door or that one, awaits my deliverance, my promise from God as one of His children and even though I know I will not have it until it is the right time, until God is ready to give it to me, I’m going to ask anyway. Like that little blonde beauty seeking what appeals her senses, I too, am seeking what I believe will fill my soul.

and here I am rolling my eyes at my daughter; It’s  like an ‘I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I’ type things. I just had to smile to myself today when she said “but mamaaaaa, when” because God whispered me a spiritual nah-nah-na-boo-boo in my ear.

Let me pause to tell you this spiritual stirring occurred Tuesday of this week… I knew then that there was more so I jotted what’s above down and I’ve been just waiting for the rest.

Not exactly where I thought He was taking it but nonetheless here it is:

what I believe will fill me.

Raise your hand if you already know what’s wrong! (Eye roll here)

This morning my husband and I were laying in bed discussing (him listening to me discuss with me) an ongoing situation that has been just building building building problem- you know- those things that won’t go away. He smiles and tells me it’s going to be okay, and I leave the house thinking HA! Dang right it is. Because we’re gonna… And Facebook tells me I’ve got some memories today.

Oooohhh do I.

March 1st of last year, Jesus was revealing to me that I didn’t have to be anybody but His. The rest didn’t matter. The past didn’t matter. What people thought didn’t matter. He had a promise for me and it is good. Just follow me.

In this passage, God has changed Jacobs name from he grabs his heel to Israel, and honorable name and man of God.

Jesus had changed my name too.

Fast forward to March this year, a year later, and He has shown me something entirely different on these very same pages. Look up to the top left corner to the text that is half cut out.

“The safest place is God’s will”

In the story of Rachel and Leah, when Rachel finally got what she had been asking for, she found nothing but sorrow.

She and her sister Leah were in a constant competition- so much that Rachel named her last son Ben-On meaning son of trouble.

Do you ever feel like you are in a constant battle with something? With someone?

Do you pray over and over for something particular and just silence?

You are fighting… against God and with Satan.

No matter the circumstance, the safest place to be is still in the center of Gods will. If it’s not His character, it’s also not His plan.

In this story, these sisters were offering their servants to Jacob in a contest to who could have the most babies. They were trying to beat God to the blessings and Jacob, well he just did what he was told.

Poor Jacob, even though that was a custom for that time does not make it right. Even if some things are socially acceptable in our time… doesn’t mean it’s right.

Then those girls. They just couldn’t wait. Trusting God when nothing seems to be happening is so hard isn’t it? Not as difficult as some of the consequences we create for ourselves trying to rush it all.

God has a plan. And God is God. Our disobedience will never derail His plan for our lives, but it can greatly affect how we end up experiencing it.

When you just feel like you need something right now, you can’t wait- that’s Satan. Would God rush it?

When you know you can tell that person just how you feel because they sure didn’t mind telling you- that’s Satan. Would Jesus be ugly?

When someone else has made you feel less than, made you feel hurt, made you feel well just flat out mad- and you just need to tell them how wrong they are.. you know, pick up and throw some stones of your own- that’s Satan. Would Jesus bring up all of our wrongs to hurt our feelings?

When you feel.

What I felt.

Y’all, your feelings will never give you full and accurate information. There’s always more to the story than how it made you feel.

It’s Satan. Anything not of the character of God is a characteristic of Satan. period.

And anything you feel outside of what scripture says is acceptable.. that’s Satan too.

I’ll say it again- anything that is outside of Gods character is also outside his plan…

What’s that mean? For me it meant girl just Hush and wait.

Patience is the hardest to have when you need it the most.

Always, always resist the temptation to think that God has forgotten about you.

“The lord is on my side; I will not fear for what can man do to me?” Psalm 118:6

“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that by test you may discern what is the will of God: what is true, honorable, and right” Romans 12:2

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you” Exodus 14:13

“You are my portion, Lord; I have promised to obey your words.” Psalms 119:57

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” Hebrews 10:23

We are not here to point fingers, we are not here to point fingers back. We weren’t placed here to be wonderful wives or bad ones; good mothers or bad ones, to be successful or not, to have nice homes or not, or perfect jobs or not.

We were created for two things- to ask God for forgiveness and spend the rest of our lives listening to Him.

It’s the little things- the things we think we can do on our own strength- that get us down- not the big things we know only God can do.

He’s in control of the brownie y’all- not us.

Be still in your feelings, be confident in your prayers. Despair will cast you down, keeping you from standing. Fear will tell you to retreat, and impatience will tell you to do something now.

We don’t have to be anything but His, and He grows the rest. In his time you are the good wife. In his time you are the good mother. In his time you have the perfect job. In His time you have your cozy home. I know this because God makes no mistake and if we wait for His time and His plan it’s the absolute perfect plan because he’s given us the perfect Son delivering to us a flawless promise.

Be two things- sorry and saved- then let God be God because well it’s right there.

“Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the divine nature having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” 2 Peter 1:4

He has given us a promise so that we can act right and escape this awful place causing us to feel awful things.

Father,

We know you have planned all things, the best possible things for us, God. Let us know that you are with us, even on the days that it feels like you’re not. We are not forgotten and we are heard. Give us the strength God to wait on your time in a way that represents your nature, Father, and the patience to fight our feelings and that need of a surface response to protect them and instead produce an internal sense of security from the promise you’ve given that says it’s already taken care of. Let us let you be You God.

Amen

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.

The valleys and asking God why

A year ago today, I was saved.

I have never been brave enough to tell the story of my salvation; I have just always stressed how life changing it was. Life saving, really.

Sometimes we find ourselves in these places in life where not so much makes sense. You can’t see how anything in front of you can be fixed and how nothing behind could ever bring good.

Why did God take my father?

Why did God not help my mom quit drinking?

Why did my house burn down?

Why did all of this happen so close together?

I asked this God guy a million questions growing up.

Faith is a funny thing for those that do not understand it. We live in a tangible world so naturally we only believe the things we see, the things we can touch, what is directly in front of us.

This very day a year ago, I sat in a valley of my life that could have very easily been detrimental to the lives of my husband, my children, and even my eternity. I sat there broken hearted because I only saw what sat in front of me that one particular day.

I didn’t understand why God had allowed all of these things to happen. The problem was, though, that I didn’t understand God.

Job chapter 37 says “listen to this, stop and consider God’s wonders.  Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightening flash? Do you know how the clouds hand poised, those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge?” v.14-16

The chapter goes on to say, “We cannot imagine the power of The Almighty; but even though he is just and righteous, He does not destroy us.  No wonder people everywhere fear Him. All who are wise show Him reverence.” v. 23-24

There are things that we do not know. There are things we aren’t supposed to and only one thing we are.

Salvation is free. It is the one decision we can make in our lives and know the ultimate outcome.

but what about all of our other choices?

What about our Time. Mistakes. Life. Those things aren’t ours to know.

Do you think the drunk driver would have drove knowing in 30 minutes he or she would have been pulled over and taken to jail for DUI?

What about the teen mom? Would she have had unprotected sex knowing it would result in a child sophomore year?

What if i has know that on my wedding day that the picture me and my ex-husband posed for would only hold sentiment to my children one day because that marriage would fail?

I mean what if?

We know drinking and driving is illegal. We know that premarital sex sometimes causes a premarital pregnancy, and that unfortunately some marriages end in divorce. That does not mean that we believe it will happen to us.

Valleys.

Often we do not understand them until were standing on the peak of it’s mountain, until we’ve finally made it back to the top. Oh THIS is why I had to go through that. I get it now.

Good things come from bad times. The drunk driver was arrested this time so the next time doesn’t end in a wreck killing all of those involved. The teen mom grows up faster- learns early how to be an adult that makes decisions based on consequence- learns how to put others before herself. It makes her a stronger person, an even stronger mother. And divorce? it usually teaches man and woman how to be better spouses in their next relationship, about compromise and service.

What the devil intended for evil, God intended for good Genesis 50:20 teaches us.

Ezekiel tells a story of a man being lead through water. First to water that was ankle-deep, then knee deep, then waist deep, and finally to a river that could not be crossed alone.

“Then He asked, “Son of man, do you see this? and then he led him back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me This water flows toward the eastern regions and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the dead sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. there will be large numbers of fish because this water flows there and makes the salty water fresh. so where the river flows everything will live. … fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. every month they will bear fruit because water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.” chapter 47

Like these waters, when Jesus melts us even in the most bitter and salty areas of our lives, we are made fresh. Sometimes it takes Him leading us into currents that we cannot conquer to trust in something greater than ourselves. It’s where the water is highest that love and comfort overflows. Every person that chooses to drown in the waters of sanctuary will live on the river of eternity.

If you every find yourself in a place like I did, just stop. Consider Gods wonders, the scripture says. Let the water rush over you, correct you, cleanse you, and know that no, you just don’t know and find rest in the fact that you don’t have to. Be thankful that even when you can’t see through the clouds there is a perfector, the Almighty, piecing together a promise, a rainbow, on the other side of your storm, on the top of your mountain.

Had I given up on my mountain, I would have missed out on the view at the top. Looking back over the last year, it has certainly been one of the hardest climbs of my life. It has also been one of the best. There has been nothing greater than the cleansing correction of my Father and the promise that came when I did not die with this world, but only died to myself.

My pastor said it best last night when he said in this life God doesn’t want our success, He only wants our surrender. Had my life gone just as I had planned, I may not have ever known a life on the other side. I would have lived in the sun and never known how free it felt to dance in the rain.

Let us all see that this world operates with remarkable order and wisdom. If He has planned the perfect path of every cloud, He has also prepared the perfect one for you. Just because we are not in the perfect place does not mean we are not in the middle of a perfect plan. Wade the waters and simply trust God, and when they get too deep, know that our God walks on water and He has the entire world in the palm of His hands. He does all these other things marvelously well and know that you, too- this, too, is already worked out ahead of time- all according to perfect time and order.

Father,

I do not always understand, and the things that I feel I do, I do not always like. Sometimes the water feels too deep and this life, too much, but i know that in this life my tears are counted and so are the hairs of my head. For every one detail I can see ahead of me, there are infinite reasons there that I cannot. I’ll never ask again that you take anything from me, instead please give me the faith to know it is good, strength to climb over it, and wisdom to learn the lessons on my way up. Thank you God for these opportunities. Thank you, God, for You. -Amen

Hugs sweet friends,

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