Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I've been lingering at the table a bit longer lately.

And this is a victory for me.

Because my natural way?....

On any given night - as the pots on the stove begin to boil and the timer on the oven goes off....I don't think about how good the food is going to taste or how thankful I am that I get to dine with my kin and indulge...


As soon as dinner is ready for the plate - I am thinking about cleaning the plate.

I am thinking about scrubbing sauce off of dinnerware, soaking pots in degreaser, putting away condiments, and sweeping up all manner of crumbs from the floor.

So I rush through eating....and run to the kitchen. I just want to get it done. I want it to be over. I want the kitchen to smell of Method Pink Grapefruit All-Purpose Cleaner. I want the dish washer running. I want the candle lit - the one that smells like mocha. I want the kitchen to look like no one ever cooks in it...and I want the table to look like no one ever sits there - as soon as humanly possible.

Sadly...this isn't limited to the kitchen after dinner.

This frantic hurry - this is my bent....in homeschooling, grocery shopping, present buying, exercising, reading, writing, phone calls, praying, serving, child rearing, even sleep....

The problem?

I have a hurried (albeit idealistic) spirit.

And it's been there since at least the 4th grade.

Mrs. Williams had a schedule set for our morning assignments - I knew the routine. It was the same every week. So I would hurry over to my book cubby, grab my handwriting text - and have at it. I wanted to be the first done. I wanted it to be behind me. And I vividly remember a long-time classmate saying this after watching me scribble through my work each week:

"When we were younger....I loved your handwriting. It was pretty and I wanted to write like you. But now that you rush through it -  I don't think that anymore."


But it didn't make a difference. I raced through the rest of fourth grade - and I've been racing at top speed ever since.

The result?

Work that is poor in quality. A neck full of knots. Wasted moments. Indigestion. A blurred life.

Oh Lord - help me to hear this...

Linger, Kate.


Don't hasten life away.

"Life is not an emergency." That's what Ann says.

 Pause. Engage. Sit. Simmer.

All with eyes wide open and ears agape.

Life's not something I have to check off of my to do list. It doesn't belong there. Life - is to be lived, not listed. Life is to be soaked in, not checked off.

When my kids are grown and my hair is all grey - will I be praised for how quickly I got the kitchen clean after the pot roast? Will I be recognized for how many school lessons I could cram into an hour? Will I be known for how quickly I sped through Kroger? Or how fast I wrote a post?

You know the answer.

But make no mistake.... if things don't decelerate - I might be remembered....

Yeah, I might be remembered for making short little toddler legs keep pace with Mommy's frantic stride. I might be remembered for skipping out on conversations and preventing pleasant memories - all so that I could get dishes done and counter-tops cleaned. Things not changing could result in me having high blood pressure, ulcers, and joylessness. If I'm not careful - I might be known for making my children look back on a smeared, fast-paced, fogged childhood.

I get to choose.

Hence - me lingering at the table.

**There is no glad rush in rushing. There is nothing about a hurried life that will send us soaring happy.**

So as dirty plates pile up around the sink - and crumbs crunch under feet....have a sit. Look into the faces that dropped the crumbs. Really see them. Really listen as you linger.

You'll get to the plates. They will wait on you. There's no reward for a sparkling kitchen as soon as the baby takes his last bite.

We will carry out our work, yes.

But let's do a little digesting first, shall we?

Friday, January 25, 2013

All I Have to Offer

When the world seems awry and the stench of sin wafts heavy...

when the chaos runs rampant and the clouds cover all light

and brokenness is the theme...

when there are more thorns than there are roses and more woes than wins...

and when faith seems to wane and little particles of hope barely gleam through -

it's at those times that really...the only thing we can muster up, or offer out?...

Is a prayer.

Early this morning - before the sun peeped - I sat at our desk and pondered words to post. And my husband walked past with his briefcase fastened over his shoulder - coming in to kiss his bride goodbye for the day.

And even there - before dawn broke...my lousy default attitude had settled in thick.

So before he headed into the rat race - I asked him to pray over this weak woman.

(And oh...he has seen my every weakness.)

So he pushed his bag around to his back and bent down and lowered himself - getting down on his wife's level...

and he petitioned on my behalf.

What did he ask for?

God sensors.

He asked that we might be able to sense how God is present - when God is moving - what God is saying - what God is leading us to do at any given moment.

He asked that we might be able to pick up on the Spirit - and transmit Him.

As the leader of our home uttered these words...I whispered a yes.

God sensors. Brilliant.

So on this day - when words for others seem few....I offer up words for Him, instead.

Kick some toys or papers or crumbs to the side today. Make just enough room to plant your knees on the ground. And join me down here in the trenches....


Let your presence be known to us. Help us to see You everywhere - in the normal, mundane, everyday. Speak to us. Let us feel your nearness. Let us be people that are sensitive to your callings. And help us to heed your words - to go and do - to live out what your pressing in. Be so ever present with every soul that passes by this way today. Let them draw close and catch a glimpse of just how much you love them. We thank you for today. We thank you for the work. The children. The laundry. The dust. The dirt. Speak to us as we tend these things over the weekend - like never before. Meet us in these places. Meet us in your Word. And help us to sense You - and be changed. In Jesus'....

Now go.

And know that your conversation with Him doesn't have to end there....

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Part 2

When Jesus gets inside a dreamer - the dreamer's dreams take off.

And it's a beautiful flight to witness.

To have a husband eager to do the Lord's work - that is a gift. The imagination, the optimism - all from Him. No doubt.

But there came a time - at some point last year...when all the focus became future focus. No area of the mind or heart or dreams centered around the current.

My husband would be the first to tell you that he was enthralled with what we would be doing....someday.

Rather than being present in what was playing out in our lives....that day.

We were discussing this one evening - when a quick vision darted in and interrupted it all. And it changed everything....

....Our family of five is running through the desert - in a single file line. My husband was the one out front barreling full steam, good-intentioned, to some unknown destination. I was running behind him in attempts to stay in stride. And then.... there were the children - flailing behind us, short little legs doing their best to keep up with their parents. Our blonds - were red faced and struggling to breathe - as they tried with all their tiny might to not get lost on this sprint to who knows where.

It undid us.

As I relayed this vision to him..... we wept. We got it.

In one quick vision of sorts - we saw what was happening and where the miss was...

Obsessive focus on the territory we want to inhabit someday (however good and noble that may be) - steals the life right out of the territory you are currently living on.

Tend to today's children...the ones living under your roof. Disciple them. Tend to today's home. Tend to today's budget. Tend to the hearts of friends, lost loved ones, the broken.... living right around you...right now.

Be faithful with what you are currently entrusted with.

Exhibit obedience here.

What God has for us down the road may not look like the keen picture in our heads...it might be that, plus some....or it might be starkly different. Either way- He will take care of tomorrow's territories.

Tend today's.

A few weeks ago....the marriage class teacher at church said: When you get in your cars after work and point your vehicle toward home...you're headed straight towards your most important work...your most important ministry. Be on your A-game. Be ready for it. Be on. Don't go in and give your family what you have left. Give them your best.

And it kinda slapped all of us right in our faces.

For us to be totally present in the now - it's what our families need.

And all those dreams and all those visions and all those goals - keep them alive! Lift them up to Him. Ask the God of the ages to abolish the ones that aren't from Him - and flourish the ones that are! Ask Him to remove the dreams that come from selfish ambition - and ask Him to deeply plant the ones born of compassion and love and the gospel.

No - don't stop envisioning good, good deeds done in His name and for His purposes..... but make sure you tend the crop that is growing on your ground right now, as well.

Because those tender shoots that are just now pushing through your dirt? (Those kids of yours? That family you love? Your current ministry assignment?) If watered and tended well - they could go on to be mighty conquerors for The Kingdom someday.

That's a dream worth dreaming.

Don't think for a second that I'm saying you will forever find yourself on the same plot you are on today. I'm simply saying - since you are there this moment - cultivate it well.

Pour in to the present. Live out your quiet faithfulness here.

And who knows how He will bless the territories of tomorrow.

Friday, January 18, 2013


It was sunny today friends.

And my laundry was overflowing.

And tomato sauce spilled all down the back of my frig.


Instead of sitting down and hashing out the promised blog post - I got outside, washed-dried-folded-and hung up mounds of clothes, and scrubbed the back of my icebox.

And really - I don't like to throw half-baked, careless words up on this thing - so I'm not gonna attempt to post anything of real substance now :)

If I'm not back before then - I'll be posting again on Tuesday....to discover a bit more about this whole 'territory' thing.

(I don't think any of you were biting your nails in anticipation for today's discussion anyway.... but I like to keep my word, you know?)

Forgive me for the delay!

See you by Tuesday :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I hope this doesn't come off crass.

I never want to have a harsh hand here.

But there is something the Lord has placed on my heart for this week - that really requires me to just shoot straight.

And I feel like I'm supposed to direct this arrow - at the husbands and fathers.

I'm wincing a bit.

"Lord, guys? I don't speak their man language. And on top of that - this word fits women, as well. Especially this woman."

So I almost nixed the post. But the pressing continued. And the feeling crept on - that while this message hits all of us....He crafted this particular word for the men with rings on their left hands and children in their laps....

You know the prayer of Jabez?

The one found in 1 Chronicles 4:10?

"Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!"

Yes. That one.

Back in the 90's - this prayer blew up. Someone wrote a book on it - guaranteeing prosperity after praying it. It was written on tokens and bookmarks and scribbled on note cards and plastered to bathroom mirrors. But I fear we have taken this one prayer - from a man whose name derives from pain (read verse 9) and we have twisted it - and torn it to pieces.

Especially that 'expand my territory' part.

Men....I come to you with a humble offering today...

Are you asking the Lord to broaden your borders? Increase your ministry opportunities? Up your influence?

If so...

I lift up this bowed low word:

Look around you. Get up and walk the soil that the Lord has provided for you this day. Take a look at the ones He has placed in your care during this season.

Are you tending them well?

Are you leading, cultivating, nourishing the ground He has you plopped on right this moment?

Or, are you too busy dreaming up what other land you could be cultivating tomorrow?

That ground you are currently inhabiting - it's holy.

You might even want to take your shoes off.

Stay a while. Let some of your dreams find a home - within the borders of your current situation.

Accept the woman, the loud children, the small plot of land - that He has given you. Let your ministry and your leadership and your influence - be at their best with the ones that live on the same tiny plot of dirt as you.

We need you here.

The word of God is clear.

We live under your strong wing, sir.

We women and our children...we need you to tend our hearts well. Nourishing the ones that have been entrusted to you - will reap the largest harvest. It's the most regal work you'll ever do. Be present in it!

Dreaming is good. Believing that God can use you to do big things - what warrior thinking!

But train yourselves, prove yourselves, show yourselves faithful - as you quietly minister to the ones that live within your very own walls.....where only a few see your steady obedience - no applause attached.

Oh men, fathers - I say this in a hushed but loud whisper....don't ask for your territory to be enlarged when you aren't tending the territory you currently live on.


I think this might be something we need to sit on this week. Maybe discuss again?

On Friday - we will go a little deeper into it all.  I'll share a vision we received that changed everything. We'll look at a bit more scripture.I'll share some points we have learned in a class we're taking at church. And perhaps some input will be shared from the one I wed?

Until then - pray. Ask the Lord to search your heart and show you where you might be looking beyond your borders when you need to mend the ground you have.

We are doing it with you.

See you Friday.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Communion had become a ritual of sorts.

'Take the bread.... Take the wine...This is my body broken for you...'

It had become something I just did....not something I truly embraced or fully understood.

Communion....The Lord's Supper....The Eucharist....was no longer considered a privilege - it had simply become something I participated in with my church every now and then.

Until......one Sunday this past summer.....

My husband and I served the bread and the juice and then we took our seats. I held the cup and I held the wafer and I was numb - as usual. No feeling. No recognition. Little faith. Mind wondering.....

...when all of a sudden....

He spoke.

He spoke a firm, penetrable, yet graciously gentle word to my crass heart:

"You are invited to the table, Kate. You need to get the significance of that."

Tears welled.

How long had I been treating this invitation to know Christ as something I deserved? How long had I been treating this act of remembrance as just some pithy once-a-month tradition? When did I grow calloused to what this act represents?

I get to come to the table.

I get to.

And if you have accepted Christ - then you get to, too.

What a prideful, ignorant, forgetful people we can so easily become.

Far removed (we think) from who we were before we knew Him....we lose all the significance, don't we? We lose the significance of being allowed to come and participate and share and take part.

Shouldn't we relate a bit more with Ruth?

Ruth....a widowed foreigner among God's chosen people - she gleaned among the ears of grain in Boaz's field....picking up the remnant - picking up what was left behind by the reapers.

She was an outsider and she knew it.

She was in need, desperate, hungry, lowly...and she knew it.

Boaz - the owner of the field she was gleaning from? - he knew it too.

And in Chapter 2 verse 14 in this fascinating book....it says that Boaz told Ruth, "Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine. So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed to her roasted grain.


Are we catching this? Are we catching the parallel?

We can't let this fly by us today.

Ruth - a woman shunned by others - accepted by Boaz....given the outright privilege of sitting at the table and ingesting bread and wine with his reapers....

It's outrageous!


We are Ruth.

We are outsiders being invited in. We don't deserve communion with Christ. We don't deserve to dine with Him. We don't deserve to even really enter into a relationship with Him.

It's something we get to do, remember.

It's a gift of grace.

Grace: Undeserved and unexpected kindness, goodwill, favor, blessing....

from superior to inferior....from Boaz to Ruth....from Christ to us.

Because of His gracious sacrifice....we sit at the table and food is passed our way.

The least we can do - is be all present and all in and fully awake, fully digesting - when we break the bread and take the cup with our faith family.

Go to the book of Ruth. It's short - it won't make too much of a dent in your day. But it will have a huge impact on your heart. As you read it - find them all....find all the parallels between Boaz and Christ, Ruth and us. There are many. You will see the Savior as you study it.

Just this morning - I sat and read these verses and it all came together for me. No commentary. Just Holy Spirit.

Go! And find all the ways Ruth's story with Boaz illustrates our story with Jesus.

You'll be blown away.

I'd love to discuss them all here - I'm itching to. But there's something about discovering Christ in scripture ourselves.

And I don't want you to miss the thrill.

So after you read Ruth.... and after you journal down Jesus in it all and thank Him for the grace....

The next time your church carries out Communion - really remember. Remember how we are like Ruth - and yet - He invites us to sit with Him anyhow.

It's a realization that will leave us feeling full. We will leave the table satisfied.

Full of Him - rather than full of ourselves....it's the only kind of filling that lasts....


Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Sitting there....on the tail fringes of the flu....I found myself begging for a break in the clouds.

They've been dense thick with rain, lately.

"Lord, please. Make the clouds thin out just enough for the sun to come barrelling through."

I pray it out loud as my kids watch me roll up my sleeves and sweatpants - them following in like fashion.

I need some sunshine.

Never mind that it's too cool for bare skin - my body needs to make some Vitamin D.

I need sun to saturate skin. Yes. I need this process to happen - the fatigue has been fierce.

And watching those clouds thin...and beam down light onto my flesh....

.....I ask for a break in the clouds of my heart, too.

Because the light of faith has been a bit dim lately.....

All the things happening in our world...all the things being inflicted as I tap these keys, even - we're clueless to so much of the pain happening - happening on our watch. Down the road...across the ocean - there's so much rankness.

Sometimes - thoughts of it wear me thin. And while it's rare nowadays - it can cause a bit of a famine in my faith.

So sitting their in my son's rocking chair - all my white skin showing....I ask for a glimpse of Him.

I need Jesus to come and saturate soul.

I need Him to come and fill, so that I can feel - without my faith having to waver.

"Just an opening, Lord. Slip right through."

And like the Vitamin D...the building of faith can be a process, can't it?

Sometimes - we have big miracle moments when He plops right in. But other times, it's a gradual provision..... a slow, silent procedure He does - when He sheds the light of faith right through our dark walls.

And so I sit there - in the sun....asking for the Son.

And if my history with Him repeats itself - He will fan my faith.

Because it all comes from Him, doesn't it?

Even faith in Him - comes from Him.


Show us Your glory Lord.

And help us to recognize it as such. Help us to see you being present - even in the quiet, small moments. Help us to seek....and find.

And Lord - please do fend off the fatigue. With all my pasty flesh begging for sun outside - all these crammed in neighbors here will thank You :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Desperate Giveaway Post

Kind Friends!

Yes, I know. It isn't Tuesday or Friday - but I need to let you in on a fine giveaway going on this week....

Remember my post a few weeks ago? About Titus 2? About Mama's and mentors?

Right after I posted that - a friend (hello, sweet Kelli Jo) suggested I check out Sally Clarkson, Sarah Mae - and their websites. That very same week - other random sources led me to them, too.


I've only been following their blogs for a bit - but I've been so blessed by them already. These ladies have written a book together entitled Desperate - and this is their launch week.

They are giving away some cool things over the next few days. Head here and here to check it all out.

And because I like for things in these parts to be real and transparent - the reason I'm posting today about all this - is because 'posting on your blog about the giveaways' is one way to enter :)


I plan on being back tomorrow, loves....with my Tuesday post.

Hugs all around.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The View from Here

Fence and rooftop.

That's all I'd have seen if I would have opened the blinds in our room.

As I stand at the edge of our bed and fold laundry...I glance at the window and long for fresh light to pour in. But as I move forward to shift the blinds open.......that's when I remember.

I remember that I don't live in wide-open space anymore.

I don't have a field, a garden, and trees out back. I have a tall, faded, wood fence and....neighbors....everywhere.

I don't look out my window and see lots of green. I look out my window and see lots of granules and asphalt - the tops of other people's houses.

When we traded pine trees for palm trees - we also traded five acres for just about five inches.

I feel all claustrophobic.

And my kids. Oh, my land-loving kids.

The oldest refused to go outside for the first month. Because after moving in - he attempted to play kickball...only to have the ball almost go into someone else's yard every time he kicked it. He tried to play t-ball...but the same thing happened. And the distance between bases? Centimeters. He tried to fly a kite - only to get it stuck in the neighbor's fence. And then he tried to just run around - but the pots and dips, holes and fire ants in this rented, untended backyard - made it annoying and...dangerous.

The look on his face when the kite got stuck.....it made my mama heart just about implode.

He and I...and the others too - we long to fully, slowly, breath in open air. We long for the freedom to wonder.

Not much of that will be happening here, however.

This is a house farm. A home sits every few inches...row upon row.

I could try to muster up some sweet and spiritual analogies here. I could write about how I have so many people right at my doorstep - that I get the opportunity to witness to and serve, daily. I could hash out how this could be a little lesson in gratefulness. I could talk about some perks of living in the city. I could show you some lining in silver.

But I'm not there today. Me and my miss-matched socks sprawled across my bed - we just aren't feeling it this Friday.

I miss the dirt clad feet the most, I think. I actually miss scrubbing dirt from the sole of a little foot....

Because bare, dirty feet on country clean ground - make for happy, content little children.

I do not know why the Lord brought us all these miles away to live in this mess of concrete. I do hope (and trust, yes) that it will unfold and faith will waft out of it all - but as for now....

I'll open my back blinds and stare at fencing and shingles.

And I'll consider how we make a mistake when we think that what God calls us to is always ideal. It usually isn't.

And with a husband who would move us to Africa and live in a mud-hut tomorrow - and a God who calls us out of comfortable and into the harvest....

fences and shingled rooftops might be something I look back on...

and actually miss someday.

Kinda like those happy little dirt clad feet.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Ah...starting anew.

There's nothing so sweet.

While it may seem cliche to talk about fresh beginnings and recommitments and determined focus..... I think it best we do.

Because...the turn of the year - it can really ring in some good, good things - some healthy, needed change.

While there are....oh yes....many areas that could use some starting over in my life...I'm honing in on one this year - that needs some wild tweaking...


Talk about fence sitting. This is one of those areas I just couldn't fully embrace - confused on the role of the woman - confused by different voices saying all manner of different things....

And listen....if I'm being totally honest - I considered myself above all this homemaking stuff....for years. It was too quiet...too non-applauding...too little of an audience for this attention-wanting woman to seize.

But then God started speaking all manner of crazy things into my heart. Things about.....

being quiet
being clean - inside and out
really living all our days
the need and importance of mentors
the dangers of sitting on the fence

So tenderly, gently...the Lord has been speaking to me about this role - about the gigantic positive a healthy home is for a child.... about how this is my assignment in this season - about how these hearts that live right along side me? They are to be my focus...shepherding their hearts for Him.

I'll be sitting under many good teachers in this....but I'm mostly receiving my instruction in book form...

...meaning that fine quotes and helpful hints just might find their way on a post or two? :)

So, this next trip around the sun....

....it will include much study in the way of a woman in her home - the schooling, the tempo and flow, the nutrition, the organization, the expectations, the discipline, the relationships, the budget, the traditions, the celebrations...even the decor - the general atmosphere.

I won't be striving for some perfect ideal...but I will be striving to bless.

So while I'm learning how to really grow and serve and encourage the ones that have been entrusted to me....

what will you be focusing in on?

Let us all take courage in your bold quests!

May the Lord yield much fruit from your efforts this year, friends.

Happy, happy new year.