Friday, December 28, 2012


Satan wants you to straddle the fence.

Sitting there...perched on the in-between...indecisive...incapable of fully committing.

Because he knows that if he keeps you in the middle - your life will journey toward nothing - and your life will count for nothing, as well.

It's safer for him and his agenda - if you simply sit on the hedge.

Many of us live stationary lives. Not because we are called to it, but because we are caught in it. Whispers from the enemy make us waver between this and that, here and there. This teeter-totter continues and we end up spending all our days smack in the middle - withholding from total engagement.

And this renders us useless.

Satan knows it. And Satan likes it.

If he can just keep us from full devotion - he can keep us from all fruitfulness.

Want an example?

Take motherhood. I unexpectedly entered into this arena 6 years ago. And while I love my children and I love what I do - I've wavered.

And I've found myself thinking these thoughts:

"What if I'm really suppose to be out in the workforce? What if all this is a mistake? What if I should actually be a working woman?"

But in the depths of me...I know.

It's been spoken over me and clearly seen - that yes - this is what He has called me to. Yet - these questions rise to the surface. And they are just loud enough for me to take a pause. They are just enough to make me hesitate. They make me question what I know.

And they cause fence-sitting.

I've discovered that these wanderings keep me from going all out as a mother. They keep me from going all in as a house-wife.

And the result? Half-hearted efforts and piecemeal offerings.

And this kind of floating - takes place not only in motherhood, but in ministry (Did I hear him right about this service opportunity?"), in marriage ("Did God really want me to marry this person?"), in moving (Did God really say to go?"), in relationships ( Did He really want me to befriend this individual?").

If all this sounds should. It's a tactic the enemy has used from the beginning:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" (Genesis 3:1)

And the fallen angel knows that all this questioning makes us discontent.

It makes us 'kinda sorta' people.

It makes us......lukewarm. Not hot. Not cold. But gross in-between.

All's been heavy on me these last few weeks of the year. So this weekend - I'd love for you to join me in wholeheartedly asking the Lord:

"Where am I caught.....coasting in the middle?"

"Where do You want me to fully commit?"

"What lies am I believing about my life?"

Ask Him to pinpoint and highlight just a few areas. He'll show you.

And on Tuesday - we will reconvene. And I'll share what I feel like He's wanting me to focus on in this new year.

And together - we will dive in........COMPLETELY.

2013? I'll see ya then.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2013

Today. It should be a sacred celebration.

Hovering all around the Christmas tree and through the baked goods - Simmering around every hot stove and in each gift given - With every door swinging open to welcome kin - Shining in every lit bulb - And most certainly sitting in the beating hearts of all the people recognizing this day......

.....the Spirit of God should be thick present.

The way He hovered over the face of the waters at the very beginning - He should be settled over the faces of His people this day.

(And everyday we inhabit this earth.)

Yet, our hearts and therefore our faces - they can become so gnarly twisted around these days of observance....

Family spats, hurt feelings, loneliness, sickness, forgotteness, traveling frustrations, doubt, annoyances - all these things can turn a warm heart cold.

If this is you - pray fervently all this whole day.

I will be.

In the midst of the chaos or even the lack of it - ask for His Spirit to be ever present. Ask for healing. Ask for grace-filled words to sit on your tongue. Ask for calm and peace.

And ask for the ability to remember what all this hoopla is about, anyway:

Christ's sacrifice. Christ's gift. Our salvation.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Through and Through

Standing at the kitchen sink today - washing the inside of a bowl.....He lays it all out on the counter:

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
(Matthew 23:25-26)
And it's nothing new....Him speaking to me about the inside and the outside and how, really, they should match.
And how in all reality...they don't.
So I drop the dish rag in the suds and right there in the middle of rinsing down stuck-on cereal....
I repent.
Because when the heart doesn't match the mouth - when our exteriors are shiny clean while our hearts are filth-ridden....when our lips are speaking sweet flattery while our motives are for self-gain..... that's just false living. That is deceit. That is hypocrisy. And it's so unlike Christ.
David Guzik put it this way in his study guide for Matthew 23:
"Many are satisfied with a superficial cleansing, and the appearance of righteousness before others. God looks for a true cleansing, so we can be clean before God and man."
Doesn't that just change everything? To be clean before God and man?
It brings peace. Living this way - where the inside is as clean as the outside appears.....
.....there's no facade that goes along with that. There's no smokescreen. No cover-ups. No energy spent on mustering up a face that isn't actually felt.

What a way to live!

And God help me! Help us. We have gotten so good at fronting.

His way is so much better. When the outside of us is clean alone - that's our doing. But when the inside is clean - that's God's doing!

And when He wipes the inside - the outside naturally follows suit. When the crevasses of a woman's heart are filled with Light - it leaks out onto her person. There's no pressure on us to manufacture it. There's no shifting shadows. Do we have any idea how much more of impact this brings?...

....On the world? On our children? This is how our babes learn to be authentic. Kids get good at lying - kids are trained in trickery - kids are infinitely insincere when they live with people who are masters of these things.

Parents! Influencers! We must create an atmosphere of honest transparency in our homes - a place where our children actually see what's not good in us...but then they see it dealt with. They see it acknowledged and handed over. And they see us being okay with the world seeing it all, too.

Me and you being one-faced rather than two....this will change our children for eternity.

*When our children see us living on the inside of our home's walls - the same way we live on the outside of them.....

*When we can get to the place where the world witnesses what these pieces of dry-wall witness...

*When our children see us speak to our husbands the way we speak to our friends....

That is righteous consistency. And there is much power in that.

This is true with homes and children...this is true with's true with places of employment....and it's also true with blogs.

 Because what's being punched out on the screen needs to match what He's scribbling on the heart.

This steadfastness - it needs to run across the board.

And in doing so.... we will reap a harvest of righteousness in all our arenas.


As we prepare our homes for Christmas festivities - let's prepare our hearts for celebrating His sacrifice.
May you have a blessed Christmas.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012


"He's one-third of the way...."

"What do you of the way?"

"He's six years of his time under our total care is completed. Only two-thirds to go."

My husband casually dropped this bit of information into my heart Saturday evening - and it was like all the lights in the universe popped on.

My oldest....he's one-third of his way done being a kid.


What in the world have I been doing all these six years?

And this fact - coming on the heels of those little ones losing their lives - those little ones that were my son's very age. It's rattles me and awakens me and breaks me - completely.

That question - what have I been doing? Where have I been? How is that much of it already in the rear view mirror?

Satan knows that discontentment will drive a Mama to wish away her days and lament things that shouldn't be lamented..... and he knows it will cause a woman to never really live.

He knows a lack of contentment means a lack of being all in - all present.

And when a mother isn't totally immersed - the days fly without her even noticing.

And it can't go on this way.

So perhaps, this puny little blog post can be our permission?

Our permission for life to not be perfect. Our permission to totally immerse ourselves right where we are.

Now. Today.

Not when the curtains are hanging all lovely and every body's healthy and the carpets are clean. Not when the toy bin is organized and the beds are made and the backyard is mowed.

But now.

Because out of the 365 days a year...maybe one or two of them will be near perfect. The others? Most of them will fall somewhere between the ideal and awful. That's what the pastor said on Sunday.

 Most of our days are somewhere in the middle. And it doesn't make sense to only really engage a few days a year...or on Friday's...or when the apple pie actually comes out of the oven looking like the picture. Those days are few - but the opportunity to be alive in all our days....those are many.

Ya day....the pitter-patter of little feet won't echo off these walls anymore. And mud-caked toddler boots won't sit at the doorstep. And brushing tangles out of blond hair will be something of the past. That day when my kids transition into adulthood... yes, that day will eventually come. And when it does - I DO NOT want to look back and have to ask myself where it went.

Like Mary....I want to store all these things up in my heart.

All these feet and boots and tangles....all these whines and fevers and back-scratching sessions. All these arms that wrap around legs, all these trains and airplanes and stuffed bears. All these little hands helping me stir dinner. All these loud van rides. All of it.

I've just been so moved the last few days.

And torn and slapped and stripped - from those words and those news reports.

I have today. Tuesday. So the where I'll nestle in and open up and fully engage.

This permission - to live fully in the's what I needed.

May it meet some need in you today, too :)

Love to you all.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mama to Mama

Motherhood. It's so invasive, isn't it?

It's a blessing, a gift, an honor, a miracle - but yes....down right invasive. It's that way from the start - from the two pink lines.

Starting there.... the concern and protectiveness - they invade something fierce.

And then it never stops.

After the invasion of having a person occupying your mid-section.....they come into the world and they invade your sleeping, your eating, your showering, your marriage, your schedule, your whole life - this new being just takes over all your territory.

And isn't it all just grand?

I can't help but smile as I type it all out here.

But..... there are moments when a Mama needs another Mama.

There are times when we need a female (other than our own parent) who has walked this road before - to come and pull us along a little.

And now that this home houses three of those little invaders (with one early wee one housed in Heaven) - I've become desperate for just that. Mentors. Warriors. Teachers in the things of the home - the things of a gracious wife - the things of a healthy marriage - the things of Christian motherhood.

So much so - that I've been on my knees over it. But if I'm being honest - I've also been feeling guilt over it, too. Because if I were just strong enough, if I just had it a little more together, if I just wasn't so weak - I wouldn't need anyone to come and show me the way of holy success in these things. That's been my thinking.

So the whole time I'm crying out to Him over this - I'm reeling inside because I feel like I shouldn't need the help. I feel guilty because it should just all come so naturally to me, right?

But our gracious God.

He swooped through right in the midst of all this - and He led me straight to Titus 2.

It's Paul's letter to his "true child in a common faith". (He calls Timothy something similar, by the way. Oh, what a wild and wonderful spiritual father Paul must have been to them!)

And in the second chapter of this somewhat controversial book - Paul instructs Titus to encourage the older women to 'teach what is good', and to 'train the young women to love their husbands and children....'

What did that say? Did Paul just tell Titus to tell the older women to teach the younger women how to live out motherhood and marriage?

He did.

So those women...they needed it too?

Uh huh.

And this is good for me to know.

And it might be good for you to know, too. Whether you've been a Mama for decades and still feel like you could use some help - or you're a woman who has seen the two pink lines only to see them fade in loss - or you're a women who longs to get that positive pt but hasn't .....don't feel guilty over needing some guidance and comradery through it all.

He knows. Ask like I am - and trust that in some form or fashion He will provide. Even if He simply gives us Himself - The Abba Father.....

...... He is enough.

But if He provides real, in the flesh women for you to sit under - oh glorify Him for it. Accept it, soak it in, and be grateful. Be vulnerable. Be humble enough to accept the instruction.

And then someday - when a little more of this is behind us - when the newness of motherhood turns into a seasoned'll be called on to turn back and pour in - to those young women that walk this road a few years behind you.

Know...that it's biblical.

And know that you aren't the only one needing a little support along the way.....

Because your friend here? She is too :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Louder isn't always better.

I wish I would have learned this 15 years ago. Instead I learned it about 15 minutes before sitting down to write this.

Understanding it earlier would have saved me from many obnoxious displays of high volume living.

I was under the notion that the louder your life is - the more successful you'll be - the more likely you'll be to stand out....get heard.

And that's mostly true.

So I lived loud when it came to just about everything. (Except giving answers in class. Being loud with the wrong answer would only make me a loud loser.)

I had loud hair. Sometimes it was maroon. Sometimes it was super blond. Sometimes it was striped maroon and super blond.

I had a loud mouth when it came to beliefs and opinions. And I would debate with no signs of mercy or grace over religion and politics.

I had loud clothes. I wore Christian t-shirts some days...only to turn around and wear too tight, too low, bust hugging v-necks other days. Anything different...anything attention-grabbing. Snake skin. Leopard velvet. Sequined shiny.

And as I look back on that teenager....I want so badly for her to know that all that loudness - it only leaves you lost.

Being loud - it's not always what He's wanting from us.

Because just today....I ran across some scriptures that spoke loud about being quiet.

The NLT puts 1 Peter 3:4 like this....

Don't be concerned by the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
I could just almost cry. I've read this before - but it hits me hard today.
As does 1 Timothy 2:2 - where Paul mentions 'living peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.'
And 1 Thessalonians 4:11 - Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands.....
Do you have any idea how this speaks to a woman who has always believed that the front-and-center, lights-camera-action, chosen-one mentality was what wins - even in Christ's arena?
As an adult I have practiced loud living for self-gain. It wasn't just a teen thing. I have even practiced loud living for Kingdom-gain.
And that last one - this is where it gets tricky. But it's also where it gets important.
How should we shout Him from the rooftops?
How should we display what Christ has done for us?
How do we stand up for what's right and just?
......without being so annoyingly loud that the world's ears close?
Maybe it includes these two things:
 1) Letting our worship, actions, works, and love be louder than our mouths, hair, signs, and outfits. Perhaps we should let our walk be louder than our talk....our bell-ringing more pronounced than our mouth-squawking.
 2) Being okay with finding ourselves nameless and faceless to the world - as long Jesus' name and face are out front and exalted.
But really - I'm still wading through it all. This is something I'm gonna have to keep in the fore-front for a while....
How to live a loud life for Him....quietly.
He's after me on this right now. God might be speaking to you about the opposite - about raising the volume a tad in certain areas. But for me - He's wanting some quietness and reservation.
And He's probably wanted it for almost two decades now. And here I am - just now getting it :)
His patience abounds.
Now before I sign off - if you're sitting there with striped hair and snake skin pants...don't think for a second that I'm totally against those things. I'm not. I just carried it out all wrong - for all the wrong reasons - in all the wrong ways. It's me that couldn't handle it well. You might do it beautifully. Love to you all :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I feel like I've just invited a party of people over to my house while it's still a mess.

Welcome, friends. If you've come over from my old blog - thank you so much for making the journey to this new spot with me. If you're dropping in all new and wondering what's going on....take a look at this, please?

Yes....a mess. I don't even have a profile scrawled out yet. I haven't even really figured out how to describe this whole crazy thing. So I apologize! And I ask for your kind patience as I shuffle my way around these new parts!

Why ringing bells, you ask?

They call, they signal, they remind, they beckon, they invite, they warn.

And as Christ's own.....aren't we called to ring in all these things? Service, love, compassion, study, generosity, joy, purpose, prayer, worship, wisdom?

That's what this is...a call to really live for Him. And a call to invite others to do the same.

It will be simple. I'm hoping for no frill, fluff, or distraction.

I actually purchased a domain of my own - and then sold it back. Why pay for a whole website when you can scratch things out for free on a blog service? That money is now being sent to charity and it feels good to have it going there, rather than here. (More of my life should work that way.)

So in this place - instead of a ringing of the hands.....let's have a bending of the knees.

Let's turn worry and weariness in to worship and wisdom. Let's learn and encourage and grow and mature and witness, shall we?

For now - this homeschooling Mama to three....plans on writing at least two times a week. Probably Tuesdays and Fridays. In between posts - I'll be living life just like you will - so when we meet together here on posting days.... we can hash out reality and look to Him for help through it all.

May His Words ring loud here! Yes, Lord!

Glad to have you along!

Blessings and Joy,
Kate :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

How to Really Inspire

Mama's shouldn't just sit on the shore lines.

I sat there in a cheap lawn chair - watching my oldest two tinker with gulf water.

My shoes on and laced tight - they weren't coming off. I made a proclamation years ago - that I would never let the souls of my feet step on ground I couldn't at the beach. Because you never know when you will step on a jellyfish or a crab or a broken piece of glass or something.

Better safe than sorry.

But slothing there on the warm shore - watching my kids really live -  my husband walks up all barefoot and sandy and says, "Come on, babe. Take your shoes off."

And right about that time - I look up and see my oldest inching closer and closer to bigger waters - and farther and farther away from me. One of us is about to have a thrill - and it's probably not gonna be the one all safe in her cheap lawn chair...

So before I even knew what I was doing - I unraveled the laces and slipped off the socks. I rolled up my jeans mid-shin and I left the chair and headed toward the water - where my children had been playing silly and laughing happy all afternoon.

And this is huge. Normal and expected for most beach-goers, but new and brave for me.

After daring to step on unseen ground - and splashing in washed up water (and loving it!)....and basking in fresh sun...the Spirit spoke clear. (Because He tends to do so when we choose to step out into the uncharted. He tends to speak loud when we step in places we can't see - simply because we hear Him calling. God's presence seems to be thickest when we push past what's known, what's calculated, what's safe.)

Abandoned chairs and left-behind-sand-buckets and and swept-out-to-sea-sand-shovels are a good, beautiful thing. It means their owners decided to dive in - no longer content to just see the waves - but needing to feel them. It's all in the experience.

And do we have any idea what kind of an impact this has on our offspring? Do we have any idea the damage done and the limits drawn when we don't cannon-ball right in?

Our kids will go so much farther in life - when we are out there with them. Making a splash in the world does much more for our kids than clapping does. When you're sitting on the sidelines just yelling for them to go out and make big waves....there's really not much power in that. Children need to see their elders contributing, risking - to know how to do it themselves.

Mama's (and grandmama's and aunts and cousins and friends) should not just follow the babes around - making them the center of the universe. Mama's (and grandmama's and aunts and cousins and friends) should get out there and really live this wild journey. Because when kids see us serving and loving and focusing and disciplining and sacrificing and doing - they see a life lived out well....and they'll want to join you. And they'll want to surpass you. And this is good. It's what we should want.

All too often our children beg us to get up and join them - instead of us getting up, rising up, showing up - encouraging them to join us. And this is a travesty.

So let's start today.

There are great big seas to see. And great big waves to ride. And lots of children to inspire - three of them live right here under my wing. But am I flying them anywhere?

I must remember - while it might not be 100% safe - while it might make me weary tired at times....while it might mean that little bits of the beach will end up in every corner of my mini man - while it might mean that my clothes are gonna get least my soul won't run dry.

And neither will theirs.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I'm sitting here listening to the whir of a ceiling fan thinking back on Sunday, and wondering what tidbits would be good to share here.

I think I'll start with cinnamon toast....

With the one hour time difference added to the time change - my children now think they should spring from their beds well before the sun breaks we got up pre-dawn, put some tea on, and made breakfast.

While I'm not usually a big fan of fatty cooking - I bent the rules a bit and made real cinnamon toast. I did, however, use less butter than the recipe calls for - just to make myself (and my arteries) feel better. It was devoured in a matter of minutes. Anytime you combine things like cinnamon and nutmeg and butter and vanilla and then smear it across a loaf of something only to bake and broil it in an's probably going to taste good. And it did.

So, with full bellies we ventured off to church.

And church was nice...just about as weird as I thought it would be...but we made it. There were no meltdowns. (There almost on.) The kids had super nice teachers. The sermon pierced me and I'm still reeling over it. (Sermons should tear at us for a while, you know. They should hang around long enough to change us for good.) The people were kind and I only freaked over one thing:

When I looked up on stage and saw six large cups filled with juice - I reasoned that we were taking communion that day. Awesome. But then I also reasoned that there were only six cups....and I got this picture in my head of everyone in my section going up and drinking out of the same one. Oh mercy....this would cause me to have fits. (Hello, germs.) So I leaned over to my husband and said....."There are only big cups of can't mean that we are all..." and before I could even finish he said, "They are for dipping.....not drinking".


Whew! Meltdown and fit avoided.


Worshiping with a different body of believers was a smidge brought some made me want to be at my old church - but all in all we grew as a result. And we will do it over again next Sunday.

Because fellowship and learning and congregating and corporate worship - they are all designed to be a part of the Christian life.

In Ohio and here. Help me with the change, Lord. I need it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

This Sunday

I'm rummaging through boxes and suitcases tonight - looking for clothes that my kids can wear to church tomorrow.

And it feels weird.

Settling into our rent house - over a thousand miles away from the only church my little blondes have ever hits me hard....

I'll walk into a church building tomorrow and I won't know how to sign my kids up for class. I won't know what kid to drop off where. I won't hug hardly any necks and I won't be able to ask about anybody's Mama - because I won't know their Mama. I won't talk to anyone about last week's connect group, I won't speak to anyone about the next women's event, I won't leave my seat to intercede during prayer ministry time, and I won't wave at anyone on my way back out to the van.

And tonight....this makes me sad. A little excited to see what God has planned for us here.....but vulnerable and timid and nervous.....and sad.


(With Jesus there is always a 'however')

....when we bust out of what's known simply because we feel like God told us to.....He shows up in all kinds of crazy ways....

....peace, provision, calm, joy.

And this is what makes it all worth it. He's proven Himself so faithful to meet us out on the limb.

Nothing compares, really.

So tomorrow, I'll slip my Bible into my over-packed book bag, pray over services here and there, dress my kids in wrinkled clothes, drive down some highways with the help of a GPS, walk into a church building with that 'I'm new and completely lost' look, drop my children off with teachers I do not know, listen to a sermon with scriptures read from a different translation, inquire about all kinds of things from service opportunities to first and last names, and then I'll buckle all of my kids back into their seat belts - and we'll talk about what they learned that morning...and what they are going to do with it.

Because yes, He has us here to experience.... and He will accomplish those things even if I am feeling a tad out of it.

Especially if I'm feeling a tad out of it.

Because getting outside of ourselves is where He really wants us.

And He is giddy about revealing Himself to us there.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thoughts on James

I got up early and sat down in the corner chair. Dawn was breaking, and proof of it had already started to leak through the hotel curtains.

I sat there - with my ESV draped across my lap - knowing I needed some divine direction that day.

He must have known it too. Because when I landed on James 3 and my eyes scanned verses 13-18 - it was as if the text was in bold italics with a 'Dear Kate' prefacing the passage...

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

I couldn't get past the first verse.

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the     
                                                               meekness of wisdom.....

My husband tossed around in the bed and rolled over to face me...... and as I caught a glimpse of his open eyes, I read it aloud.... and even from a sleepy stupor, it hit him bold, too.

Because of our fresh situation - we had ready ears...and needy hearts. It was as if we had never visited that passage before....and our hearts received it with a nod of agreement and a complete understanding of it's pertinence.....

There we were - in a new city - scouting out our life, really....a rent house, a faith family, doctors, banks. The day before, we had visited a church and the people there welcomed us warm. They hugged our necks and gave us pointers and introduced us to others and invited us into their homes for dinner. These people - they lived these verses....they lived the 'by his good conduct let him show his works in the  meekness of wisdom' thing. Seeing scripture walked out - it teaches and convinces and loves like nothing else. We've got to get this.

And the rest of that passage - all the mentions of jealousy and selfish ambition...does that strike anyone else? It slaps me right across the face and back again.

The passage then goes so far as to say that the fruit of an envious, self-seeking heart.... is disorder and every vile practice. And it also goes on to say that these things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.

That's pretty blatant language, friends. There's no beating around the bush here.

This scripture cuts right through. What's more - is that I felt the Spirit directing these words right at me. This does more than step on my brings me right straight to my knees.

And it should. I confess it. I've harbored a selfishly ambitious heart - even in ministry. I've exhibited such petty jealousy - even amongst friends. It's there. And if He is addressing it - I better, too.

Purity, peace, gentleness, an openness to reason, mercy, good fruits, impartiality, sincerity and peace will break forth if I do.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A New Journey

I'll miss the Ohio evenings the most.

All cool and still and clear - most evenings here bring in a wave of peace at the end of each day.

There's nothing like it, really - especially where I'm going.....

The blondes and their Daddy and I - we are heading south. A job transfer offer, the Spirit moving, confirmations -  they all put us on course for the Lone Star State.

And this rings in mixed emotions for me....

While born a Texan - Ohio has been a home...a haven of sorts. And it has provided blessing after God-given blessing - my marriage, my three babies, forever frienships, a college degree, a precious body of believers, lots and lots of growth, ministry opportuities, and way too much OSU football memorabilia to count.

And when I think of it all - when I look back on the past decade...I'm down right overwhelmed with gratefulness. It's been good.

But alas, it's time to go.

The 'good-byes' won't be easy. The sweet evenings won't roll in around 7pm anymore. Snow won't need to be brushed from our doorstep this winter. No more familiar necks to hug on Sundays. Many coffee date friendships will have to rely on social networking. No more hills to admire or Ohio Centennial barns to see. And no more Michigan jokes.

But hopefully the 'hellos' and 'nice-to-meet-yous' will be warm and meaningful. Hopefully, the humidity won't totally curlify my thick hair. Snow may not fall - but hurricanes might...making the day of my weather-loving six year old. A new faith family will make it's way into our hearts, and I hope to serve with them in love and Jesus-like compassion. While I converse with Ohio friends via Facebook - I trust that real face-to-face friendships will rise up, in time. With no hills to dodge - the flat Texas plains sure do make for a great big sky to consider. And instead of jokes about 'the team up north' - ridiculous Aggie jokes are sure to ensue.

Yes, the goodbyes may be heart wrenching. But may the hellos be heart healing.

Farewell, Ohio. Nice to see you again, Texas.

Let the crazy journey begin.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

An Overdue Update

A quiet little hollow.

That's what this space has been for the last few weeks.

It wasn't intentional. No blog-fasting or anything - life has simply been in full swing.

I've written many-a-blog-post in my head over the last month.... it's just that none of them made it down to my fingertips and onto the internet.

Much has happened since I last punched anything out here. A bit of what's been going on:

* Homeschooling is on a roll, friends. And all of us are surviving. And most of us are thriving. We have studied butterflies in depth. We have filled our nature corner with things like cicada exoskeletons, pretty leaves, a dried up chrysalis, roses, sticks, and insects. We have learned about weather. We are whizzing through math and enjoying phonics. We have read countless books. And the Mama is pleased....tired and a little inadequate feeling....but pleased. We have hiccups every now and then. And meltdowns occur (usually by the Mama) - but we are hanging in. And it's good.

* There is a 'For Sale' sign in our yard. Therefore, all of the cobwebs are cleared from the corners of the house. My porch is swept. New candles litter every table and desk. Closets are clean. Fingerprints have been wiped from windows. A massive yard sale has been accomplished. I sweep every five minutes. And I throw a toddler-style tantrum every time some child (or some husband) leaves something out of place. Things that usually sit on counter tops are now stuffed into odd places as not to be seen by potential home buyers. And I try to keep the house looking like people don't actually live here. Yes, we are moving. Across the country. About 1200 miles away, actually. (More on this to come.)

* I'm thinking that a new blog is on the horizon. I like my little generic blog spot. But I'm thinking He might be urging me to push past the comfortable and safe.  I'm praying about this one. I like simple - so even if I move blog addresses and I actually purchase a template or something - it will remain frill-less. Spirit-inspired words are enough - and that is what I hope to have there.

* I'm parked in Matthew 11. Jesus won't let me leave it. And this is good. I think that sometimes we get all wrapped up in the amount of scripture we cram down our throats - when really, we should be focusing on smaller portions that we can actually digest. We have to chew on things a while sometimes - take small bites and let it really break down so we can taste it. Matthew 11 is my bite for this week. Join me there? All of it - but certainly verses 25-30 are resonating.

With that - I better get back to schooling. We have some math to do, friends. Thanks for sticking with me through the blog drought. Hopefully the dryness is over. I've missed spilling it all out here. 

Back soon. And I mean it.

Blessings to you all.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Before I went to bed Sunday night, I hung a collared blue shirt and jean shorts on the knob of his closet. And I went to bed struck by the fact that I would wake up with a kindergartener under my roof.

As my oldest got up Monday morning - I reminded him of his chores, reminded him of the schedule we would pursue each school morning. These first few days - none of it has been a bother. Time shall tell if this attitude will remain as school days add up on the calendar.

We'll see if my attitude stays the same as well - because I'm not just the Mama with a kindergartener. I'm also Mama.....the Teacher. Or, 'Teacha' as my 3 year old calls me these days.

Yes, I have curriculum books littered throughout my house, and two school desks sitting downstairs. There is a world map, a handwriting chart, and a 'Keep Calm and Carry On' sign tacked to our basement wall. (That last one is for the Mama.) The Well-Trained Mind is sitting on my dresser in the bedroom, and prayers for patience are continually leaving my lips.

I'm homeschooling.  Help me Lord Jesus.

Never did I ever think that I would do this. Not ever ever ever.

I'm not an academic. I'm not naturally nurturing or patient. I'm not creative or crafty. And I'm super selfish. Not good things to own when you're thinking about homeschooling. I've never felt so inadequate.

But over many months, through many individuals, and through many encounters - God relentlessly prompted me to pursue home education. Right now, anyway.

And here I am - three days in....and I'm shocked over what's already transpired.....

It seems as if feeling inadequate is the way He wants us sometimes.....most times. It seems as if that is when He shows up and powers right through.

Because the last two days - things have changed. The peace that God is pouring out all over me as I teach - it can't be scratched out into spiffy little sentences. And there has been a shift of sorts. Not in the kids - but in their Mama. There's this crazy calm in the very depths of me that can only be given by the One who can peak into those hidden places. Is I think so!

There's blessing in obedience, friends. It's not always monetary. It's not always something you can touch with your fingers. It's a feeling, a knowing - that your smack in the middle of His will. And right there....right there in the center of His hand - that is where joy is found.

When we step out on a limb to do the things the Spirit calls us to - when we forge ahead with what He has for us....even in the wake of opposition and ridicule and question - He'll show up as soon as you take your first step.

It's incredible and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

You wouldn't either.

Is He calling you to do something that would require you to go outside of yourself? Take the first step.....

He'll meet you there. And joy will abound.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


"What have You put on my heart to do, God?"

That's what Kelly Minter keeps urging us to ask - in her study on Nehemiah. And really, that one question - it can change everything.

Because when a person loosens the grip, relaxes the knuckles, and opens up to ask Him what it is He wants them to do, where it is He wants to take them, who He has for them to serve....He'll show you - and life will never be the same.

And that's a good thing.

In my last post, I said we would look at 'the how'. How the Lord can use us - when we focus our hearts and minds outward.

While it looks so different for everyone - there are some constants.....

*Like, prayer. We all must take this position. Get to know Him there. Spill it all out there. Ask there. Listen there.

*And worship. Raising hands and hearts to God - helps us to get over ourselves. Because worship puts it all into perspective. It exalts Him and humbles us. A state of's a grand place to be. I believe we change and heal and hear - in worship. It's the result of not putting praise on people - and instead - pouring out praise on Him.

*And the Word. To know it. To have it etched on our hearts and always ready in our minds and always sitting on our tongues.

So yes...while there are some aspects of this that run clear across the board - living the Christian life out.....pouring out love with our very's so diverse. And to know what He has for you, who He has for you to serve...... we must know Him. And these things....prayer, worship, the Word - are essential to our journey in this.

He has a ministry for you. Oh yes He does. Come with me in prayer over it:

"Jesus! Break my heart for what you have for me. Give me a supernatural compassion for the things and people you have for us to serve - near and far! Show me....send confirmations. And give me the strength and courage and patience and faith to carry it all out.....all over the house, the neighborhood, the church, the country, the world."

I'm certain that as I pray this prayer - that what He is speaking and doing and showing....will find itself all spilled out in posts. I do love sharing here!

Oh friend, may we not be able to keep ourselves from doing what He is calling us to do!

Take a look at a ministry that resonates so deeply with what He has put on my heart....


Blessings to you all.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Friends, please forgive me for the extended delay between posts! We are having some technical issues on our end! Forgive me please!?! New post coming as soon as can be!

Love and blessings and hugs and joy to you all! - Kate :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Sometimes, I find it near impossible to weave together words that will adequatly express what God is doing.

Today is one of them.

But I will try. Because if I can at all pen out what He's etching on my heart - if I can even barely get across what He's been gently rubbing into the very fibers of my broken being - some shifts may occur. And God-induced shifts are what we are after.

So excuse my feeble attempts - and know that I've prayed that this posting (and yes, all of them) will somehow shimmy us, move us, into a place of fresh revelation. Revelation that spurs change and action and difference.....


Friends, I'm just so consumed with me.

Like, engrossed.

With my health, my home, my heart. With my family, my food, my faith. With my growth, my future, my blog, my ministry, my kids, my convenience, my life.

I am my own idol.

It's been this way forever. And all these 29 years.....I've looked around me as if my issues and strongholds and problems are always the fault of some external source. Sometimes, they are. But how ridiculous...that while I'm so self-focused....I can be so others-blaming. How crazy that the only time I look outside of myself is when I'm searching for an excuse. Sometimes, we are the way we are...because we are so focused on 'the me'. we know the toll we have taken on our very own selves? All this self-centeredness - it wears us all the way through. All this inward focus - it sucks the life, the love, the purpose, the ability to thrive...right out of us.

And we wither.

 And we get anxious. And we think idealistically. And we compare ourselves. And our bodies wear and age at a raging rate. And we spew anger. And we live our days in discontentment.

Because our minds and our focus are void of the Source....void of any kind of sacrifice. And we serve a God who recognizes sacrifice....that honors sacrifice. We serve a God that blesses those who offer up, not those who focus in.

I have got to figure out a way to get myself...over myself.

It is true that that is the only way I will ever do anything, go anywhere, be anyone - for this Jesus I say I serve.

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. - Matthew 10:39

A me-focused life - has turned me into a calloused and stationary woman. It's become apparent this week. In all aspects of my life - I can see the atrophy that a self-centered life brings....

...physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually.

Without Him in every pore and every facet of my existence.....I begin to rot. And if I don't stop the progression....I'll be rendered useless.

But oh - it doesn't have to be this way. We can hand it over.

Because a woman who is aware of the needs in this world - a woman who has resolved to live with the eyes if her heart focused on all the others - she wins.

And a woman who worships....I mean truly worships....and completely puts focus on Jesus - she can turn the world upside down.

A mind occupied on the right things, rather than a mind occupied with past and self - He can use that.


Next post? Maybe we can talk about how.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What Children Need

Movies...they don't move me much.

Ever odd once in a while, however - I'll hear a line in a screenplay..... that speaks to something inside. It's rare - but it happens.

Take The Sound of Music. With my little ones perched on couches, and the library DVD dancing on the television screen - the Lord highlighted, megaphoned, a short exchange between the Captain and Maria:

Captain von Trapp: "I don't know my children."

 Fraulein Maria: "There's still time, Captain! They want so much to be close to you."

Does this strike anyone else? Peirce anyone else?

Children....they want to be known. They want someone to know what their favorite color is, and how they like their eggs, and what all their scars are from. They want someone to set rules and mark boundaries because it means they are treasured, loved. They want someone to remember what kind of baby they were, their first word, their first friend. Children need to be really known, really studied.

Children...of all ages - they want to be unearthed. They want someone to care enough - to dig deep and wipe away the dirt - and discover the treasure they are. Children want to feel of worth. Worth loving, worth remembering, worth time poured in.

Am I providing this, as a parent? Are you?

Are we entering into dialog with our children? Dialog that surpasses chit chat and surface interaction? Are we stopping..... and just studying? And just taking note of how they have changed, who they have become, who they are becoming?

Do the young ones still in our homes - see the sides of our faces staring at computer screens or smart phones more often than they see the whites of our smiles? We must face our children. We must bless them not only with our presence, but with our attention. Are we squaring our shoulders up with theirs....looking straight at them, hearing their hearts?

This convicts me.

Right now - the youngest is sitting in the middle of a play saucer....grasping for rattles and noisemakers and shoving them into his mouth. The middle one - she is 'helping' him do this. And the oldest - has just filled the tub with see if his Lego boats will float. And their Mama needs to just hit the 'publish' button, so that she can join them.

As we go about our day, our week - let's remember what the Father does, shall we? He turns towards us, faces us, sees us, hears us, and blesses us with Himself. Yes Lord, help us to do the same!

Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance. - Psalm 90:8

Monday, June 11, 2012

When We Worship in His Presence

Wanting Him more than anything - fills you 'til you're full.

It isn't a person or a place or a position - it's a posture. It's a humble posture before Him - that leaves us quenched and overflowing.

When will I ever learn this for good? How many times will it take for me to realize that nothing will satisfy...nothing will undo the Lord will?

How long will it take for me to be a true woman who worships? Who worships out of total awe?

Why aren't we all walking around with dropped jaws - awe struck? He's that big.

Perhaps - it is because we are the focus. He isn't. Perhaps it is because we too often approach Him simply asking for what's ours - instead of relishing in who He is.

Focus on Him brings life. Focus on us brings strife. It's just the truth. There is enough space in this great big world - for each of us to stretch our arms out wide and just receive Him.

Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually. - 1 Chronicles 16:11
Worship heals wounds. Worship - time of adoration in His's a deep well. Lower bucket after bucket and drink it all in. You'll be changed. There is something about taking the focus, the attention, off of us and putting it on the Lord - that ushers in healing, and guidance, and peace.

Just the other day, I heard about a woman who wore a timer on her belt for a couple of weeks. The timer would vibrate every 10 minutes. When the vibrating alarm would go off - she would stop what she was doing and worship for a moment. Nothing extravagant. No praise bands in tow. No frill. She just took a moment - every 10 pause and praise Him....

....She got out of herself. She got out of her mind, her emotions, her ability, her agenda - and she put it all on the One.

Because outside of ourselves is really where we should always be operating. We should always be living in a way that requires God to come through. We should be living out a faith that insists on God's presence. If we are living a life that we can carry out on our own - we aren't living and we aren't carrying much.

What would happen if we Christ-followers.....lived worship-full lives? What would happen if we came to the table hungry everyday? With mouths wide open - singing out praise as He fills us to the rim and over it?

I think there would be a revolution. A revival. And certainly, revelation.

I'm gonna try it and find out. I've been dizzy with questions this week. But instead of simply asking Him for answers - I'm simply asking Him.... for Him. There is a lot to be found, and discovered, and gained from simply sitting in His presence.

Join me. There's room.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Neighbor's News

As I'm sitting here..... upset over laugh lines and crows feet and baby weight - she's sitting next door with fresh, devastating news. As I sit here and fume over the water my kids splashed into our house I sit here and fret over laundry piling up and toys scattered about - she's sitting over there facing the facts.

I go out to check our garden....and she sees me and she calls my name. I run over and I notice somethings off. With chit chat out of the way - and with tear filled eyes - she looks at the ground and she lets it all spill out right there between driveways...

"I found out I have breast cancer."

My neighbor - she stands her night gown and glasses and slippers just before sunset - and she tells me when her doctor's appointments are and what the specialist say they are going to do.... and I'm just stunned...just devastated.

And then she changes it all around and she says..."So, I've been going to the church across the street."

And she smiles. And lights up a little.


This woman - who has just been given nauseating news? This woman - who has hard days ahead? This woman - who is still shocked? She finds out she has cancer and she heads to the cross? For the first time, perhaps?

I don't know what to make of all this...of this news....of her seeking Him.

I stammer out something unpoetic and ridiculous and I tell her I love her and I run into our house and blurt it all out to my husband.

And my kids, they listen in. And our minds - they all start reeling...thinking of ways to bless her.

A few weeks later, she rings our doorbell and she shuffles into our entryway to update us on her prognosis. Right there - my husband and I lay hands on her. She grabs hold of our wrists and she bows her head low and we pour out a prayer. Tears leak from her and she hugs me tight.

And it all stays with me. (Hurts and breaking hearts and the sufferings of others - they should stay fresh within us. Shouldn't our hearts daily break with theirs? Doesn't this result in continual, earnest, ongoing pleadings to the Lord? Doesn't this spur us to action?)

Some will certainly say that humans run to the ease the pain of life - to hope in something greater - to pacify our need for a better ending - to make life a bit easier. (I was one of them, remember.)

But as I read the scriptures and I get to know Christ - and I get to know people who trust in Him in the midst and in the aftermath of trauma..... I see how the Spirit beckons them. I see how it isn't their need for an imaginary god - I see how it is their brave response to an existing Lord's calling.

And while I wrestle with the presence of the pain in this world (right next door...and right across the waters) and as I detest the fact that hurt runs rampant on this planet - I do still hope. And I do still believe. (Only because of Him, however. My natural way.... is one of doubt in the midst of sorrow.)

May He shatter our hearts for the hurting - and may He show us what to do about it. And may He reveal to us that He is real and present in it all.

Praying for every precious person that drops by here today - and the pain that may be hanging around your heart this week. May hope and healing be yours, friend.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. - Romans 5:5

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mouth-movers are heart-breakers.

And gossip sessions are mind-wasters.

And both suck the life out of everybody.

Words, stories, lies, even truths - when we get a hold of these things....we feel the need to share them.

But oh, this's really a spewing. A spewing of poison - and it spares no one. It doesn't spare the spewer. It doesn't spare the listener. And it certainly doesn't spare the one who the spewing is about.

The tongue can be trouble, can't it?

Yes. The tongue can turn a woman, a situation, a heart, a life - into a heap of rubble.

This oldest blond asked me to read some pages from a library book on tornadoes. We read about the destructive power of these  they can leave a nasty and gnarly mess wherever they long after they have spiraled on the earth - the victims are made to pick up the pieces for months, for these twisters take lives, even.

And our tongues....they do the same.

Words about another spoken out of anger, out of revenge, out of habit, out of fun - they ruin.

We must remember this. We must remember that these words of ours that spin right out of our mouths - they hold power, and they run deep, and they can whip right around to injure us all.

A quick whisper in the ear - echos. A whirlwind of words - wounds.

And while it tears at me to type this even....while it takes Grace alone to punch these words out:  Even if the information you're daring to spread is true....even if the parties involved deserve it...even if they have done some spewing on you - oh, wise....and remain hushed.

There is blessing in it.

Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. - Psalm 34:13-14
Even if you are like me - and you are capable of making war with your words - even if you are like me and you house a potentially tornadic tongue......join me in believing that we don't have to open wide and fill ears with filth (or vise versa)....that we don't have to follow the ways of the world and dish on rotten rumors that make their way through the grapevine.

Because are we really any better than they? Are we really any higher than the ones we gossip against? Does any healing occur because of the negative words we weave?


So let's clamp our lips tight and bow our knees low instead, friends. This way, there won't be any rubble or wounds to work through after the storm passes. For them...or us.

Oh Lord, remind me that there is shelter and safety in a shut mouth.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Perfect Mindset

I begged my Mama to wear the flowy dresses while she vacuumed.

Like Lucy. And Donna Reed. And Mrs. Cleaver.

And I wanted her to wear heels and an up-do while she served us dinner....while she served us dinner around a decorated table with fancy plates and cloth napkins and a boat of gravy that didn't come from a can.

Dreaming of the day I said 'I do' and thereafter - I expected bliss. I had planned on riding around with him in his truck - me perched in the middle - sandwiched between him and some hunting dog. I had grand plans of a honeymoon kind of life.

I scolded myself as a newlywed when the chicken and noodles didn't turn out like his Mama's. I threw away the batch of cookies that were just a smidge too brown around the edges. And when the pineapple upside down cake didn't emerge from the oven looking like the picture - I tossed it right-side up into the trashcan.

As a young woman, I hung pictures of perfect people in my pantry. It was a reminder - To look like them, I couldn't eat like that.

When I found out I was expecting new life - I dreamed of a sweetly decorated nursery - and smile-filled feeding times - and playgrounds and school pictures and brown bag lunches with notes tucked inside.

And just today - as I went to have a quiet time - I couldn't enter into the secret place with Him - because the toys were scattered all about and the crumbs were an inch deep and the laundry wasn't done. And the worst - I hadn't lit a candle. So the room didn't smell of vanilla.


It will make a naively optimistic girl - turn into a persistently pessimistic woman.

And the damage of this is deep.

I don't know how or why I became an idealist - a person who envisions the perfect...the unrealistic. But I do know..... this kind of thinking thwarts all joy.

When happy expectations meet this messy world - disappointment sinks in and makes our hearts turn stale and stagnant.

So what's a woman to do?

I'm unsure.

So I'm fighting against my flesh and doing this: I'm dropping to my knees right here in the midst of all the toys and crumbs and dirty clothing - I'm just plopping prayers right on top of them. And I pour my heart out there and I ask for Grace to come swiftly and I ask for Him to just let me feel joy in it all. And I ask that He begin to unravel this tight-wound woman and that I be okay with it.

Because perfectionism keeps us from people.

Perfectionism and idealism - they zap moments and they sap us of energy. And by the time we have our lives looking just so..... seasons have passed and we've missed it...we've missed them.....and Him.

Because it seems as if He meets us most right there in the mess.

So self - kick the toys aside...make just enough room on the ground for your knees to take a position of prayer. And when you stand up - you might have crumb covered shins - but you would have poured it all out to Him and you'll be lighter. Self - stop picking up the trains and baby dolls and sit yourself right down and play with them - for goodness sake. And let those babes bake with you in the kitchen. Who cares if it takes double the time - you'll be making double the memories.

Remember that belted dresses are uncomfortable, and high heels make you have varicose veins and if you have a hankerin' for good chicken and noodles - just go to your mother-in-laws house. Know - that if marriage were all a honeymoon - you'd never get to make-up. If the cookies come out a tad overdone - tell them they are the crunchy kind. And if the pineapple upside down cake is ugly - laugh - and eat it anyway. Remember that perfect people in fitness magazines drink gritty protein shakes for every meal and remember that a crying baby - simply means there is a baby. (Oh, the blessing!) Remember that a living room littered with Tonka trucks and tea cups - is a living room that's lived in. And remember - that He speaks in our moments with Him - whether a candle is lit - or not.

Self - set the idea of a life that looks like a magazine cover down. Set it right down and walk away. And instead enter into play - and yes, pray.....because much will be missed if you don't.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


He connects things I can't and He makes it all come full circle.

 I flounder all over the scriptures until He spoon feeds me a feast one bite at a time.

Prayers please? I'm preparing a talk for our next women's event... Transforming Glory... and oh, I just want Jesus to be all over this thing.

                                        Transforming Glory

As I dive head first into His Word - and as I munch on every morsel - I can't help but be encouraged and excited and just flat out in awe of Him.

I'm so grateful for your prayers and love. Blessings to you all :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Conditioning the 'Heart'

When you discipline the body - you discipline the soul.

There's something about this denying of the flesh - this pushing through when you feel like passing out.... that gives endurance beyond the physical.

Weight isn't the only thing that melts away when you exercise.

While many things are lost...(laziness and timidity and fear)...things are also gained. When we work out....we also work in.

This daily dedication...this day after day commitment - it conditions the heart down deep. The arteries and ventricles aren't the only things that benefit. The spirit does, too. And this gaining of endurance that surpasses the muscles - it has the most worth. (Know though, that He is the one working it all in through this avenue of exercise. We must know this - else we get distracted and haughty. We also must know this - so that we don't erect fitness an idol.)

It's crazy what's been happening around here. My husband and I - we are two weeks in. Two weeks into a workout program.... that is thinning out more than my thighs and building up more than my biceps.

To push through - to bust up boundaries - to challenge our very flesh nature - this produces all kinds of goodness. And it eats away at all kinds of ugliness that attaches itself to us.

To fully engage devote completely these last 14 days...oh it's made such a glorious difference. Rigorously (but safely) training the body uniquely tames the flesh in certain areas. Sometimes, He uses physical things to condition us in spiritual things. (For me, anyway.) Expecting more from myself in exercise - it ups the anty elsewhere.

All this conditioning - I feel like it's preparing me for something. I feel like it's throwing me right into submission. And isn't that a good place for a Christian to be? To find oneself in submission before being sent out to comission. It makes sense.

So in this daily challenge of the body - I find myself in the throws of growth. And this makes it worth it. (That - and the smaller dress size.)

So I encourage you, kind friend - to keep going.

Because lifting the bar and adding iron to it.... goes way farther than the bench press.


P.S. We must tread very carefully here friends, and take note - that just as Colossians 2 says, "we grow only as we get our nourishment and strength from God." (NLT) It's important to guard ourselves from thinking that our growth and gain in Christ comes simply from our own human efforts. Self-denial and severe self-discipline - "have no effect when it comes to conquering a person's evil thoughts and desires" (Col. 2:23) That - can only come from Him. So as we engage in exercise - let us be aware that:

1) He is the one that gave our bodies the ability to undergo strenuous work
2) He alone is the one that spurs us into growth as we strive to tame the flesh in any area

 As you push and pull to condition your body - pray that He does a good, transforming work in you through it...He is the only one who can.

Love and blessings to you all!

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's Blowing In


And there's cool goodness wafting all through this home.

Curtains billowing. Papers taking flight off kitchen counters. Dirty window sills with cob-webbed corners. A mama's hair blowing in all this wind as she stirs gravy....

It's glorious.

As I pull my hair back in a pony and wrestle with over-cooked green beans - I breath deep and remember the smell of sweet outside! And hope arises from all this freshness moving in.

It leads me straight to Him.

Remember all those waiting, wondering followers in that room? (Acts 2) A rushing, mighty Wind swept right in and seeped right through. Pentecost. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And those wondering followers began to do wondrous things in His name and by His power and through His promise.

This is for us too, you know.

And in this I rejoice.

Because Jesus said, "...when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth..." (John 16:13)

And does this gravy-stirring Mama ever need some truth!

So I'm gonna keep these windows wide and open. And I'm gonna keep my hair tie handy. Because when He blows on in - my hair tends to get a little messed up. And really, I should want it that way.

Because Him winging in truth and choice fruits (Galatians 5:22-23) is worth the wind-blown look, don't you think?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Snapshots of Kenya

Such beauty and yet such sorrow represented  in these shots from Africa. Gorgeous landscaping, white tents that act as homes, diseased truckers, shoesless feet, playfuy boys, true servants of Christ, beautiful little faces from the orphanage, and wild animals....

Father, you know the story behind each photo and each face. Bring redemption and joy and salvation and healing to them all. Keep their stories fresh in our minds and soft in our hearts. And speak to us in these places...about these faces....and what you would have us do in Your name....yes, in Your name.

Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.
- Isaiah 1:17

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Random Mission

Written Sunday....

He's somewhere over the Atlantic making his way back to me.

My husband - he's been in bits of his heart away. And this overseas came out of no where, really.

One minute on an ordinary Thursday night, he is helping me tidy up after dinner. The next he's pulling out a passport, pacing in prayer, and packing suitcases.

And all's just so God, of God.

Isn't it so like Him to surprise us right in the midst of humdrum? Isn't it so like Him to tap the shoulder of an ordinary man - who believes in a God who can do extraordinary things? Isn't it so like Him to know the bride of this tapped one so well - that He knew he had to spring this on her?...because if she had known her groom was going to be away for a week - leaving her with a trio of little ones, alone - she would have lost it? Yes, He knew. And this bride thanks Him for sparing her the anxious wait - and instead, just plopping it right in.

Less than 48 hours before jetting husband received the following text message:

"One of our guys backed out of going to Kenya. Do you want to go? We can make this happen. Pray about it for a few minutes.”

It made the hair on my arms stand straight up. And I knew....I knew this was from Him. And that only through Him could a trip across the globe pull together in only a few hours.

Two days later...he flew half-way around the world - and fell all-the-way-around in love.

He cupped faces, and dined with refugees, and brainstormed businesses, and he loved.

When he walks through our door today - and drops his bags and gets tackled by kids and pulls out pictures.... I'll understand that the week alone with my sick wee ones was worth it.

This Mama didn't have to fly to the other side of the planet to grow this time. No - He did lots of growing and pruning to this heart right here within these very walls this week.

And while I was growing groom was growing there. An ocean apart - but hearts growing up and up in the same direction.

Only Him.

Perhaps I'll post pictures of all this craziness? Yes, yes.
Until then - let your faith be encouraged - knowing that He calls people. He calls people to Africa. He calls people to wipe little noses (and bottoms!).

And only He can simultaneously accomplish much, with both.

Snapshots and commentary from my groom....coming soon :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Fruit

I look down and I find him staring right through.

It startles me. And it catches me off guard....

As he looks at his mother...what kind of fruit is he feasting on? What kind of fruit are they feasting on? Because all three of them...they munch on the fruit that falls from the tree of me.

As children look at their parents...they look through them. Fake expressions and surface responses seldom keep a child from seeing and sensing the true heart of the ones that raise them. (This is true of grown children, too - you know.) It can be frightening.

These children that litter our lives with laughter and wonder and awe (and noise!) they learn how to live under the limbs of you and me. And as they do - as they soak in and mimic and copy - they nourish themselves on the fruit we produce. Whether ripe or rotten...they ingest it all.

And this strikes me to my core. 

This simple stare from my second son - it shakes me awake......again.

And as I inventory my actions - I realize that, yes - left to my own devices this orchard is corrupt....but left in the care of the Pruner...ah, this orchard survives. And it not only survives, it thrives. And not only that - it's branches reach out wide and strong. And its leaves...they are a welcome shelter. And its fruit - gives life.

So as the Spirit blows a redeeming wind right through the branches of me - I know that only through Him is anyone ever ripe with love and joy and peace. And only because of a thorough pruning does one ever dangle down patience and kindness and goodness. And only through the Grower Himself is anyone ever rooted in faithfulness and gentleness and self-control.

Only through Him.

The church sign just on the other side of the field reads, "God makes all things new.....even you." How did they know that the Mama just across the way - needed those words this very day?

No matter what you've harvested in seasons past....yield to the winds of Him and you'll yield a bountiful crop.

And when you do - the ones perched underneath? .....they will too.

For every tree is known by its own fruit......
- Luke 6:44

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such their is no law.
- Galatians 5:22-23

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Feeling and Doing

Tending to him makes me want to tend to them all.

I felt it with the other two....but it wasn't so adamant feeling.

Watching his face scrunch and his eyebrows furrow and his fist clinch and his eyelids fall - it makes me think of the ones with no one watching. Hearing his cry makes me think of the ones with no one listening. The ones that whimper and writhe and wail - with no ears peeled to hear it. The one's neglected. The one's abandoned. The ones left for dead, even.

And it tears at me and brings tears and it causes me to look up - and I don't know whether I should raise a fist up to the sky in anger and bewilderment at what's allowed, or whether I should cry out from the depths of me and ask for it to cease and ask to be a part of the solution.

I'm thinking it's the latter. (But I do both.)

And I'm thinking He is the one that placed it there....the prompting...the sorrow...the desire for justice...yes...even the anger from it all. Because I'm learning that He does prompt us to live and work and act in a way that pours Him out all over. But we, still, choose to be tipped for the pouring or not.

And so what do I do with all this? What does a woman who doesn't consider herself a kid-person....what does a woman who has fears that stifle her... what does a woman with low academic prowess and limited potential...a history of doubt...and a score of failures do with all this prompting?

After raising her fist and after crying out sorrow - she realizes that she must not simply feel....she must do.

And to know what...she must pray. And she must surrender. And she must hush herself to listen. Because when we pray...when we surrender...when we are hushed - more promptings will come. And more and more - and as they do and as we rushes out. And minds are changed. And orphanages are constructed. And babies are saved. And infants are fed. And kids are rescued. And Mamas are equipped. And in carrying out all that love, Love is revealed and shared and mimicked. And in the midst of vast despair - a bit of beauty brights it's way right through.
Oh Lord.... I know what I feel - but what will you have me do? What will you have me do for the ones lost? For the littlest and least? Because I don't think I can bare this feeling - without diving into some doing.

Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.
- Isaiah 1:17

Learn. Seek. Rebuke. Defend. Plead.....Those aren't feelings, friends - they're actions.
Bypass my fears, Father and rid me of the lazy complacency and ignorance and selfishness- and get me geared up for whatever or whomever or whenever...You call. And in the meantime - as I tend to my trio - don't let the feeling wane. Because I know there is some doing to be done.

Lots of it, actually.

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