It’s really nice when things aren’t perfect.
When life isn’t exactly what you want it to be it makes you stronger, makes you wish for something more, makes you work harder.
That’s kind of why I like snow.
Snow reminds me that I don’t have it all together, even when I think I do. I may want to drive 100 km an hour on the road but I can’t. I will slip and slide. I will spin out, no matter how good a driver I think I am.
The icy touch of winter’s finger reminds me of my incorrigible impatience as I bustle to get indoors. I ask myself, “how often do I sit in my discomfort and allow things to simmer?” Seriously, how long is this going to take?!
Once I am outdoors for a while, freezing my pinkies off, I start to remember the pain other people go through as they trudge through the snow, with no home in sight.
Snow reminds me of my responsibility to have empathy and give to the downtrodden. They are beautiful souls, sometimes wrapped in rough packaging, but deep down they are just the same as me, in need of mercy, grace and unconditional love. In need of food, empathy and a place to lay their heads.
Snow reminds me of the slew of impure ways of thinking that used to toxify my mind and how they don’t anymore. The crisp white reminds me of the fact that I am clean, I am free, I am redeemed from all those the sins that once bogged me down.
As I stick out my tongue and feel the snowflakes melt I am reminded that when others gave their lives to Christ, their sin died to Him. Even though we all make mistakes, we don’t see those people as mistakes. We see them as glorious, dignified royalty, beloved by God and favored by all. We see them as sons and daughters of the Most High God.
I am reminded of my identity as a Princess and Beloved. When I look at the snowflake and see its design I know that God puts all things together so perfectly. The One who fabricated the perfect, little snowflake began something good in me and will see it through to the end.
When you look at the snow what do you see?
I remember sitting on the hospital bed, staring at my twiggy legs, wondering if God was playing a trick on me. Did He care enough to fix my broken mind?
While the answer is a resounding “yes”, there have been moments in my Christian walk where I have wondered about the goodness of God.
Recently, for example:
This past month, I have been experiencing a lot of pain in my neck and back. It drains me of my energy, zaps my ability to work on projects and makes me downright irritable to those I love most. As a result, I have walked in guilt, thus making me more horrible to be around.
With no relief in sight, I have wondered about God’s care for me.
Questions like: “If God is so good, why hasn’t He taken away the pain” and “why are my struggles still here?” inundated me with uncertainty. Maybe Jesus had those same questions when He hung on the cross, bloodied and fractured.
When spending time with Jesus yesterday, something was made very clear:
He is making purpose of the pain. Through it, He is calling me deeper into His embrace.
When I am knocked out on my bed, trying to breathe I call to my Jesus. I have no one but Him. He ALWAYS meets me, fills me with peace and wraps me in a giant hug. Because of His presence, I am starting to deeply, intimately understand and care about the grievances of those who live with pain chronically.
Through the Savior’s embrace, I find great compassion and am compelled to help those who suffer.
Case and point:
Jesus cares about your hardships. Despise the pain you may be feeling, He is SOOO good. He is going to turn that pain into a beautiful story of redemption for others. They are going to see His goodness through His healing power in Your life.
If you’re suffering from pain, emotionally or physically, and you haven’t been healed be persistent. Believe for God’s healing, wait on Him, ask for His perspective about what’s happening.
Praise Him for the things He has done in your life. Ask for new things and trust He is listening!
Rest in knowing you can give your requests to God. He is just and faithful to answer you. Even if you don’t receive healing right away, accept that He is doing something good.
His way is going to be way better than anything you could have ever imagined, even if the pain remains for a season. Embrace the Healer, lean deeply into His strong arms and release the pain you’ve been holding.
He is more than happy to shoulder it for you, His Beloved Child.
I don’t like games.
I should rephrase this to be a little more accurate.
The real trouble is this: I really, really, REALLY hate losing.
When I was a little girl, I would experience tonnes of inner turmoil and trepidation if I didn’t do something right, if I didn’t come out on top, if I wasn’t the best at something.
I think this “perfectionistic complex” really flared up when, as a pre-teen, I moved in with my grandparents. As I was uprooted from my parents, many well-meaning adults told me how fortunate I was to be taken in by other members of the family and that I should be grateful. In the meantime, my tender heart was pierced and bleeding, throbbing and wishing for nothing more than to grieve the loss of both my parents.
…you should be grateful…
Amidst the confusion that came along with a family splintered into dozens of unreachable pieces, my heart was never given the chance to grieve. I felt like there wasn’t time for me, instead, I had to shoulder the pain and move on for the sake of others. In other words, I had to act like I had it together so others wouldn’t be burdened by me.
As a disclaimer, I don’t say all of this for the sake of a pity party, I say if for a point that will be helpful to you. So please, stick with me.
In all honesty, I never felt like a part of my family. Instead, I always felt like a separate entity. In desperation, my heart told me: if you do something to tick them off, you’re out. Remember that and you’ll be just fine.
…if you do something to tick them off, you’re out…
As time when on, the anxiety worsened and crept up in sports, music and dance. I dropped many activities because I was terrified to fail and let others down. Fear crippled me. I wound up in the hospital, while I was in the downward spiralling, addictive process of trying to “perfect” my body.
As the years have rolled on, that fear never really went away. If anything, it worsened and manifested in different ways. My feelings about my outward appearance, the way I conducted myself with others and the occupation I was working towards became quick and easy targets.
This desire to get everything perfect in relationships, career and school drove me away from any kind of risk, even calculated ones.
Just yesterday, I was listening to a message by Kris Vallotton. Kris was talking about an interaction he had with a follower of his, we’ll call him John. The young man was immersed in sexual sin and having a tough time accepting God’s love because of these struggles.
The whole situation resonated well with me.
See, that fear, although it has lessened in the past couple years, still permeates little pieces of my story. There are days when I don’t feel like approaching God because I don’t feel like I’m going to get my words perfect. There are some days when I don’t feel worthy to come to God because I don’t have it together. In short, I understand the young man’s struggle.
There are some days when I don’t feel worthy…
Ultimately, Kris’s response to the young man was really what hit home. Kris did not start writing a checklist of all the things his follower should do. Instead, he moved as the Holy Spirit led and took John in his arms. They sat like that, Kris, like a good father, with his arms draped over his “son”. At the end of fifteen minutes, the young man dropped to the ground and started bawling. He told Kris he had never experienced love like that, the love of a father.
As time went on, that love was what helped heal John’s heart completely. Once he realized how loved he was by Father God, the things he did that didn’t honour God melted away, like dross exposed to purifying flame.
Perfect love casts out all fear!
Through a lot of trial and error, I have come to find that the only remedy for the perfectionistic tendencies is love, perfect love, unconditional love straight from my Heavenly Father’s heart. When I am not feeling good enough or when I am afraid to try something new because I might fail, I stop, wait and listen to the sound of my Father’s words: “there is nothing that will separate you from me. You are perfect, loved forever. I died for you. I live for you. Katie, you’re perfect and so pleasing to me. You are perfect. You are perfect. You are perfect.”
…the only remedy for perfectionistic tendencies is love, perfect love, unconditional love…
When the words aren’t enough, sometimes I will ask Him to show me how much He loves me. Yesterday, in my exhaustion, He sent a father figure to tell me how proud He is of me. He also sent my favourite little red and black insect, a ladybug to land on my writing notebook. Yeah, I was crying a lot yesterday.
As you go about your day, I pray those same truths over you. Know that you are loved despite your many imperfections and beyond your wildest dreams. Know that you can call on the Father at any time and He will show you His passion for you, trust me <3
“Cast all your cares on the Lord, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
With much love,
My friends and I haven’t experienced the light of day in one hundred hours, thirty minutes, fifteen seconds. I stand outside the old church we have taken refuge in, glance at my watch then back out at the ruins. Chunks of broken pavement enshrouded in night lay before me. Only four, flickering light posts, spread quite far from one another, dimly brighten sections of that pavement. Just as the sun has abandoned us, the moon is not out either.
I glance ahead. Small, hairy figures move into a lightened section then sink back into the shadows slowly. A dank smell, wet and moldy with a tinge of flesh follows them. They are hyenas. I know that much. Are they hungry even after feasting on the dead lying in the streets? Perhaps. But I need to get across the lot to get some nourishment of my own, water. The beasts don’t seem to be aware of my presence. I am willing to take the risk.
I take a step off the grass and onto the broken tarmac. A hyena standing in flickering light turns to me stares then lets out a loud, low, ominous warble. A grow sounds to my right then my left. Jolts of fear smash through my spine as I turn to run inside the church. The smell gets worse. Much worse. I reach for the door and slam it behind me. Turn the lock on the knob.
It won’t lock. Why won’t it lock? With high pitched, unearthly noises, the hyenas smash themselves against the wood, howling and pawing to get in. One sticks his paw through an open slot between frame and door. I scream and pull the door closer to me, slamming its foot inside. Blood stains the frame. The beast yelps in pain and hobbles away. Hopefully, my two friends sleeping upstairs will hear everything and lock themselves away safely, just like I encouraged them to do earlier. The onslaught of snarling faces, pounding and howling continues then gradually fades into the gentle sound of my crying. Finally, they had given up.
I slide down the door, my hand firmly grasping its handle. Sobs rack my body. I need to pull it together. How stupid of me to go out there! But we need water. It’s been almost three days without. I stay there, holding my arms tightly on the knob. I need to move upstairs, to be in a safe space but I can’t move my legs. I am exhausted.
A large shadow slinking across the yard catches my eye. I push myself to my feet and stare out the bulletproof window on the white door. I hold in a scream as a large face appears. Its green eyes study me. Black and orange stripes etch its face. I tighten my grip on the handle. It growls, then roars. Teeth bared. A tiger.
It turns and swings itself at the door with its body. Crack. The animal broke the wood with its sheer weight. There was no way I could hold it back. I release the handle, push myself up and run towards the dark hallway on my right. It bellows and takes off after me.
My foot snags. I fall and claw myself to standing.
“God! Help me!” The tiger’s eyes flash. An explosion of light. A loud, horrific moan. The tiger lays on the floor a hundred feet in front of me. Its arms and legs splayed; its eyes frozen in perpetual horror. I grip the wall and watch as a giant creature walks over the body of the tiger. A lion. My body stiffens. He stares at me for a moment with honey coloured eyes. His profound thought leaked through his golden eyes.
“My Child, ask, and you will receive.”
As we hold each other’s gaze, sunlight inches across my pale skin. A burst of light explodes through the back wall. A surge of power blasts through the right then the left. The building was imploding and I was in the middle of it. I throw my hands over my head and scream. The lion starts to roar. Deep, loud, terrifying. Glass shatters. Stone rumbles around me. The building crumbles. I wait until the sounds have died and look up shakily. I am not hurt. There is no lion. Only sun and warmth. I see my friends waving to me in the distance. I feel peace. Only peace. Something I hadn’t felt in a very long time.
Fear. It smashes into us in waves. It comes to us in myriads of ways. My fear manifested in the dream I just shared with you. I woke up in a sweat and begged God for peace so I could calm down and fall asleep again. As I lay there in the darkness, waiting, He reminded me of three verses I thought I knew well:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
“Cast your cares upon the Lord for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
For those of you who experience fear. Any fear at all… fear about what people think of you, fear for your job security, fear that you won’t make it into University or pass your classes, I ask you to discipline yourself to remember that God is a prayer away. Although our requests may not seem to be answered as immediately as they are in the dream I shared, He always answers. ALWAYS. In the right timing, the best timing that is condusive to our growth towards the Father.
He wants us to flourish and prosper! His heart is for us!
While you wait on Him, continually choose to soak in His word and truths. They are truth, they are light, they are going to let you live life to the fullest.
Above all, remember: He is for you. He has fought and continues to fight for you, even when you aren’t aware of it.
With much love,
Picture this: you’re at a party, sitting on an oversized cushion with some friends. The music is on point; the conversation between your bros flows like water. All is well. You lift your cup to your mouth and look out over the sea of people BOOM. There she is, golden hair glistening in the overhead strobes. That smile of hers brighter than any sun you’ve ever seen. She’s gorgeous. All the guys are looking at her and she’s looking at… you (cue Rihanna and Mr. Calvin Harris). Instant connection. She walks over with her friend and starts a conversation. You can tell you’re not the only one intent, fixated on her every word. She smells like a bed of roses and is the epitome of beauty itself. The two of you look deep into each other’s eyes. Fireworks start exploding in the background.
Magical, right? Corny? Perhaps. I mean, where they heck did the fireworks come from? You’re probably in some dude’s basement…
Please humor me and picture this: the next day you’re staring at the blonde beauty’s number in your phone. Should you call her? She’s beautiful, smart and hilarious. You’ve known her for a couple years before the party but this is the first time she’s noticed you. You’re super attracted to her but should you do something about it? Should you ask her out?
My friends, the situation can be daunting, no matter which side of the gender coin you’re on. I’ve been asked questions about how to start a relationship and would love to share some of my biggest fears when I dove into dating. Although I’m almost 100% certain your situation will be different than the one I have described bear with me. I think this advice is beneficial for anyone, no matter what your situation might be.
- What if they aren’t the one? I don’t believe there is one person for you! I’m not advocating for expedient divorce in the future but I am saying: don’t worry (Matthew 6:8) about missing out on the experience of a lifetime with that one person. I believe there were other men I could have married and things would have still been beautiful. The main point: don’t freak out because you think you’ll miss the chance of a lifetime if you don’t date someone. God works things for the good of those who love Him. He’s in the business of doing that. I promise.
- What if I waste years dating someone I’m not going to marry? Everything boils down to this: your relationship with God is where everything else flows. Intimacy with the Creator is friendship. He will direct you and let you know where you are to go when you are spending time with Him, seeking to know Him and listening to what He already says to you via His word. If you don’t have this intimate relationship with Christ first, PLEASE pursue Him before pursuing a relationship with someone else. When you do, He will lead you in a way that is most beneficial to you and your growth.
- What if I’m not ready for dating? Subconsciously we all know what is good for us and what isn’t. If you do not think you should be dating someone because you struggle with addictions or are having some deep emotional shifts or in a season of your life where you find personal growth exponentially more pertinent than communal growth, then don’t feel bad when you say no. That person will understand. Even if they don’t, they will move on. It’s also important to keep in mind that we over spiritualize things at times. When you start dating someone it’s for marriage, yes but that doesn’t mean you MUST marry the person. Please hear me out: You are getting to know them. It’s not a zillion year long commitment that you’re signing up for. When you say yes to the fancy dinner date you aren’t selling your soul to the devil… totally different processes ;P I wouldn’t know.
That’s all for now, my friends! If there’s anything you would like me to write on please let me know. I am super open to suggestions and would love to take a shot at answering questions that are relevant to those I love and care for.
Cheerio for now!
So, we want to talk about the beloved intricacies of a whirlwind also known as dating? Ooooo. Friend, can I be starch-as corn-honest and super real with you? Staying pure of thought and action is not easy when the other sex is involved. I get it, men’s forearms are great! Ahem. Yeah, it can be a tough sport even when you’re married.
Because I love you all and find much joy in sharing the journey, I’ve written some advice for you to think about when you’re dating someone or considering dating in the future. These tips come from my own experience, heartache and grandiose mistakes. The really great thing is that God has made all those terrible choices melt into a giant ocean of grace. Even if you flub during your journey, He will grant the exact same grace to you. If you don’t remember anything from this little chat, pllllease remember this: you are precious beyond measure and loved beyond possible comparison. Nothing you do will separate you from Christ’s love for you. That being said, let’s learn how to make choices that will make God’s heart happy and lead you into a life of great joy and fulfillment.
My Advice (earned through buckets of tears, incessant screaming at innocent trees and wild fantasies of slashing the tires of the “Cheater”).
Numero Uno: Relationship with Christ is KEY. Perhaps you’ve heard this 5 million times. Yeah, there’s a reason for that. I can’t stress this piece of advice STRONGLY enough so please, hear me out. When you cultivate a strong relationship with the Lord you learn more about who you are. When you know who you are, a cherished son or daughter of the Most High God, you will grow to love who you are. When you can love you, you’re capable of loving others in the way He has called us to love others. Seriously, from the health of your friendship with the Creator, all others flow. Very good things come when you respect yourself and others. Also, He’s a great One to bounce ideas off of. I.E: should I date this person, should I skip? Trust me. I trusted Him and He brought me the best man I could have ever asked for <3 Legit, he’s just as weird as me, if not weirder, and that if you know me, even just a smidge, you’ll know that’s a tough find.
Obedience over passion. First of all, don’t tempt yourself. If sitting downstairs watching Netflix under a comfy blanket with your bae (do people use that word anymore?) is going to get you started down a path of uh-oh, then don’t do it! It breaks God’s heart when we do stuff like that. Not because He’s an angry old man who hates joy. Au contraire. He wants us to enjoy life to the fullest, the way He designed it. See, He knows that the pleasure of the moment is never worth the bond you form with that other person. If you do decide to break things off it’s going to be SO much harder than had you kept obedience at the forefront. Even if you stay with that person, it takes some time to unlearn physical touch as the pinnacle of the relationship. If you want a path filled with joy and freedom to the fullest, learn what He says about purity and follow it. I wish I had done that right off the bat! It would have saved myself many miles of heartache.
Set mutually accepted boundaries. All actions start with thought. If you both agree that a boundary is not okay to cross, you agree to not cross it. When tempted, remember who this person is. They are a son or a daughter of the Most High God. Out of love, their Father is watching and waiting to see if you will treat that person with the kind of respect they deserve.
Allow others into your life who are willing to keep you accountable. When you have a boundary set, let others know about it. Not every Tom, Jim and Lacy have to be aware of the lines you’ve drawn in the sand but be intentional. Pick people you can trust to hold you to the high standards you are worthy of. Back in the day, a friend of mine told me he would owe his sibling $100 if he made a move on my other friend, the girl he was dating. Every time he made a move that crossed the boundary line he and my other friend had set he would owe $100 more than what he previously paid. The plan was genius. Let’s just say, they didn’t spend a swack load of nights together intertwined in front of the TV.
Listen to those who love you. If the people you love and trust are telling you your new boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t the best choice for you, listen to them. Hear them out. Please don’t get defensive. I would always put my guard up whenever my mother would try to tell me something about my new, fancy love interest. I never listened and paid for my choice. Thankfully my mother has always been gracious enough to never say, “told ya so.”
Well friendos, that’s it for now. If you think of any blog posts you would like me to write on, I would be honoured! Feel free to shoot me a message on Facebook or send me an email at email@example.com
Double chins and love from the masters of weird.
I stare up at the gray clouds with a realization daunting as a sea storm, I am about to be humiliated and die brutally in front of thousands of people. The pungent smell of blood rises from the sand beneath my feet, it soaks into my sandals. The roar of the massive crowd echoes across the arena, drowning the snarls of the caged lions to my right. Two gatekeepers stand near the barrier keeping the giant cats from entering the arena.
A scruffy legionary unsheathes a dagger and tilts it down, at my neck.
“This way. Move.” As I step closer to the Emperor’s stand I glance up at the crowds. Their mouths twist grotesquely, a thirst for death evident in their eyes. Their thunderous cries are repetitious, cruel and terrifying as they chant, “kill her, kill her.” The dark clouds move closer, the smell of a storm hangs in the air.
The soldier grabs my long braid and pulls me to the ground. Pain shoots up my knees, tears and sand sting my eyes. I glance up to see the Emperor, draped in purple and gold. His rings glint as he waves to the crowd. He stares down at me as he sinks into his seat. The man’s strong body, sharp jaw and deep eyes are famous for their ability to grab the hearts of the Romans, even a few Jewish women fell beneath his spell. I now see why. The Emperor, only a few years older than me, truly is beautiful.
The soldier slaps the back of my head, making me bite my tongue. “Don’t look at him until he asks you to.” Sand cakes my lips and mixes with the blood in my mouth. I look down at the dirt, humiliated, knowing my life is at the mercy of the Emperor.
The Emperor’s loud voice booms across the sands and into the stands. “Girl, you claim to follow the Way? This is your crime?”
I look up to match his gaze. “Yes.” Boos and hisses erupt from the crowd. A piece of rotten fruit is tossed at my head. It meets its target. The juice stings my eyes. I squeeze them shut. The soldier slaps my head again and tilts my chin up.
“Pay respect to your Emperor.” I force my eyes open.
The Emperor’s dark eyes casually study my tomato stained face, shredded tunic and bruised limbs. “Brutus, if you dare touch her once more I’ll feed you to the ravenous hippos.”
The legionary backed away from me. “Yes, my Lord.”
The Emperor’s eyes meet mine. “Beautiful girl, I have a proposition to make of you.” The sounds of the people grow quiet. I’ve never been in an arena such as this one but from the reaction of the crowd, I assume this doesn’t happen often.
I steady my rapidly increasing breaths. “Deny your faith and you will be granted the riches of my house, the pleasures of living with the Emperor of Rome. Who could deny such a generous proposition?” He makes a sweeping motion with his arm and the crowd roars to life.
His white teeth flash as he studies the crowd, still addressing me. “Just deny your ridiculous faith and it’s all yours.”
“Ketura! Ketura!” I search for the strained voice calling my name and see my older sister in the stands just below the Emperor. She leans over the seat in front of her, a terrified grimace plastered onto her chalked face. Another girl, dressed in Roman garb stands next to her, smirking.
“Choose him! Choose him! Don’t lose your life, gain it back!” I stare at my sister, her long hair twisted into a Roman knot, decorated so beautifully by the slaves of her powerful friend. She had been drawn away from the Way long ago when I first started taking interest in the legacy of the man-God named Yeshua.
I look at the top of my hands then study my palms. They have been crafted, not by rulers and their incentives but by a God who laid the patterns of the stars. The same God who gave His life for me. The same God who required the same from me.
The Emperor’s deep voice commands my attention, this time with less volume. “Look at me.”
“Your God asks too much of you. Come, be with me. I will ask much less and give so much more. My only objective is your delight.” I ignore my sister’s excited screams and study the elaborate, gold embroidery on his tunic, his strong arms and the golden crown nestled in his dark hair. He is a picture of health and beauty, a quintessential symbol of the all-powerful Rome. The arena is silent. Women and men alike lean over the sides of the railings, waiting for my answer.
“I… I can’t.”
His eyes darken. “You think you can deny god what is already his?”
I swallow the blood and dust in my mouth. “I serve only one God and you are not him.” The Emperor looks at me with those deep eyes, shaking his head. He rises to address the crowd.
“What should be done to her?”
The stunned silence quickly morphs into hissing, booing and spitting. More throw rotten fruit and vegetables are thrown from the stands. The same death sentence once screamed over me returns with great fervor, “kill her, kill her, kill her!”
The Emperor feigns pity. “Well, my beauty. What a waste. The people have spoken. Guards, release the beasts.”
“You’re as stupid as they come.” The soldier standing beside me snarls before jogging to an exit nearby. The gatekeepers unlatch the iron bars keeping the animals at bay. The cats scramble onto the sand, one lioness’s eyes scan the arena then lock on me. Screams of approval erupt from the crowd. My knees lock, drops of rain splatter onto my exposed shoulders. I stand slowly and lift my arms into the air. The cat approaches me, licking its lips. I look at the Emperor, on his face is a sardonic grin.
My sister’s excited screams have turned into wailing. “Ketura! No!” I turn to face her, taking one last look.
“Sister, choose life! Remember what Abba used to teach us. You have to die so you can live.” A piercing pain overtakes my shoulder. I scream as the beast pulls me onto my back. Hot, wet breath hovers over me, the smell of hell itself.
As I scream to the heavens, water fills my nose and mouth. “Elohim! Your will be done.”
Another stab of pain takes over my leg, then the other leg, then my neck. I fade from the darkness, the pain and mud into the most brilliant of lights. Bright, shining beams of light that reverberate through my skin and into the air around me. All is still. Singing. Melodious and joyful sounds surround me. Warmth spreads through my stomach and into my heart. There is no more pain, no more suffering. I laugh. I start to sing. The warmth deepens and spreads through my entire body. I feel someone approaching my right and turn.
A figure, dressed in white robes emerges from the light. In his hand is a crown, bright and brilliant. It is more beautiful than anything worn by the prestigious of Rome. The tall man places it on my head and holds my face with strong hands. His eyes hold galaxies. I collapse in his embrace and weep as he holds me.
“Well done my girl, well done. Your life has just begun.”
Recently, I sat at my window staring out at the birds. It didn’t take long before the neighbours idiot dogs started yapping. I slowly sipped on my poo coloured, chocolate flavoured smoothie, anticipating the glorious quiet my recently purchased dog silencer would bring to the neighbourhood.
After taking in a couple deep breaths I cracked opened Alex’s bible. It had been a while since I read it paperback form and even longer since I had used my own (moving blues).
“God what do you want to talk about today.”
Fear. Katie, today we need to talk about fear.
I was a little surprised at His response, thinking we would be working on something more along the lines of patience…perhaps that one is for tomorrow…
Following His prompt, I picked up my pen and wrote, what do I fear, Father? There was a brief pause followed by a slew of situations where I have felt fear, most of them I have experienced since my teen years. One out of the large list hit me the hardest.
Fear of rejection.
Lord, how the heck do I get rid of this? I flipped to the index on the back of the Bible… fears. The verses that stood out most to me formed a beautiful pattern that I have put into, what I call, “freedom steps”. These “freedom steps” helped me move away from holding on to fear and anxiety. They propelled me towards freedom in Christ.
This is what they look like:
Step 1: hear and believe who God is.
Isaiah 35:4 says – “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come. He will come with vengeance; with divine retribution. He will come to save you.”
God is VERY interested in coming to save you at a time that is most conducive to your well-being and the glorification of His name. In the meantime, He tells us to not fear, no matter how dire the circumstance might look. Trust that He cares and will come for you. Do not fear when people reject you, the Lord will come and bring His perfect justice into the situation. He is a Father who loves and protects. He will avenge you.
In the meantime, He tells us to not fear, no matter how dire the circumstance might look. Trust that He cares and will come for you. Do not fear when people reject you, the Lord will come and bring His perfect justice into the situation. He is a Father who loves and protects. He will avenge you. He will bring people who love you and respect you, you only need to ask Him for this and wait on Him.
Step 2: run to Jesus when life is falling apart.
John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world gives (that is fleeting and momentary). Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Jesus left us with His incredible peace. Seek Him and the peace He gives freely, not the fleeting pleasures the world has to offer. The happiness and peace that money, fame, relationships and status give are momentary and will come crashing to the ground. Those things may tempt you into thinking they will give you peace but they can’t. They are not enough to fill the God sized holes in our hearts. Relationship and friendships won’t fix our fear of rejection but Jesus will. Run to Him and His truth before anything else as He is the only One who will truly satisfy.
Step 3: have faith, believe He cares about you and act on it!
1 Peter 5:7 – “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Giving our worry to the Lord is a constant act of faith. We can choose to hold on to our concerns and allow them to manifest in anxiety and other disabling ailments or we can be bold, take a leap of faith and give them to a God who cares for us.
So, to answer the underlying original question: is it possible to be free from fear of rejection?
With God, anything is possible. So, yes. Definitely. It’s up to us whether or not we choose to pursue the One who brings ultimate freedom.
Have you ever rolled out of bed in the morning, sprung up, studied your bleary-eyed reflection in the mirror and said to yourself, “you know what? I don’t feel human today; I must not be human.” You’re probably giving me an eye roll and baulking, “yeah! All the time Katie.” Yeah, said no one ever.
Okay, I’m not going to make light of the situation at hand but it’s important to realize what we are agreeing to when we abide solely in our emotions and feelings about something.
We agree to super untrue things all the time. How often do we look in the mirror and think, “holy… I am an ugly piece of work”? Or on the other end of the spectrum, “wow, look at these curves; better make sure I maintain them, otherwise people won’t like me as much as they do now.”
Those are both untruths; albeit on opposite ends. Regardless of which side you digress towards, if what you are saying does not agree with what God says about you and your situation, you are repeating Satan’s lies over yourself. There’s no in between. There’s no middle ground. We are in a war and the king of lies wants to tear you apart, it’s a battle strategy and it works, if we let it.
Use God’s Word as it is, a weapon of destruction, a sword of truth. Choose to stand firm in what it says. Listen to what He says about you, not what the world wants you to believe about your identity.
The verse I meditate on regularly has brought me more freedom than I ever thought possible and I am honoured to share it with you, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14
Repeat it, ask God for help to believe it, soak in it, be changed by it then use it to bring hope to a dying world. This is basic stuff but it’s foundational to a life of peace, joy and power; all the things I desperately wish for you to experience, the things that will help you live life like you never thought possible.
With much love,
It was tough rolling out of bed this morning. My skull throbbed as though someone had whacked my face with a baseball bat. My stomach spun and flailed, tossed like Poseidon’s ocean, assailed by ravenous wind gusts and splashing mists of sickening nausea.
In short, I felt like crap.
After peeling myself off my floor, I slowly made my way into the kitchen, gingerly forced fruit down my throat, popped a pill and shuffled back into bed, deflated, defeated and feeling much older than my twenty-five years. I don’t know about you, but being sick for a long period sucks. Fear that the pain will never leave is more agonizing than the symptoms.
In many cases, my weakness has come as a full-blown blessing. In my times of greatest pain, fear and loneliness, I have come to know God’s character in greater depths. This is because I have had to cry out to Him like never before. I have had to lean my full trust on Him because there is nothing the doctors can do. There is nothing I can do except, snuggle into Him and weep.
It’s a level of intimacy I don’t experience with Him unless I am weak and needy. It’s kind of funny, and quite horrible, that I have to be struck down by sickness before I take a moment to spend serious one- on-one time with my Father, the most faithful, kind, gentle Being in the cosmos. Ya’know, the Creator of the Universe. I can’t help but laugh at myself sometimes.
If you are in chronic pain I want you to know that hope is not lost. God has not forgotten you. When you feel weak, take time to lay in His strong arms. Ask Him to cover you with His peace. Ask Him to show you deep truths about Himself. Ask Him to heal you in the way only He can. He will do it, in His timing. Remember, He has plans to “prosper” you; He wants to give you a “hope and a future” because He loves you more than you could ever imagine (Jeremiah 29:11). Although it may not feel like this is the case, don’t let your feelings dictate reality.
Do you read me? God loves you and wants the best for you, even when it doesn’t feel like it!
For now, embrace the peace of Christ in the chaos. Amid the pain, allow yourself to sink deeper into the blue. He is waiting there to take hold of you and bring you a life of deeper purpose and meaning.
He had been dead for three days. His grave was just as any resting place for the dead should be. It was stone-cold, echoing of nothing and yielding only silence. Dark, grey, black. No shadows. No light. A body lay on a large stone, cut from the cave. Lumps of herbs protruded from beneath the white linens that delicately hugged the body. The ripe scent of frankincense and tears left by weeping women lingered gently. A faint whiff of cauterized blood lay close to the sheets. Hope had been lost when he cried from the cross then exhaled his last whiff of life. As the air left his lungs the world he had come to save was lost. At least hell though it was so. But hell knew nothing of the supernatural power that would silence pain and death forever. If it had, no scoffing would have been made at his sacrifice, the sacrifice that tore down hell’s fiery gates and tossed them to the wayside like a pile of inflamed garbage.
The man had gone below the earth to claim what was his. He had overtaken death and snatched the keys from the horned overlords. He stared demons confidently in the eyes as theirs, glazed with evil, glared back into his. Glare they might but there was no confidence beyond the posture. The power had been taken from them. The moment this dead man tossed the gates aside like they weighed nothing, they had known it. Many howled in anguish as Yeshua rose, leading hundreds upon hundreds of people in tow. Many continued to jeer and mock, just as the soldiers beneath his cross had. Their end would not be pleasant and it was coming soon, so soon.
A slight tremor rippled across the stone followed by the subtle rise and fall of the dead man’s breath. A slight twitch of a thumb. Black. All lay still once more. Another ripple, the hand moved. Another and the dead man’s torso lifted. The blood on the linen bandages receded. Dark red, light red, faded red, white, pure white. Another tremor, a rumble sounded and faint cries could be heard just beyond the stone cage. In a matter of minutes, rays of light shot through the stone walls, piercing the minerals and forming galaxies of glitter against the dark rock. White bandages shone. The man stood, blood no longer covered his body. Flesh no longer hung from his bones. The stone guarding the grave had not been rolled away, exposing the walls to sunlight yet everything was awash with a fresh glow. He was the light.
Yeshua lifted his brown eyes to the edge of the grave and began to walk. The holes where nails had pierced through flesh, tendons and ligaments remained. They would speak and pour healing out on all nations.
A deep, gushing warmth filled his belly. He bent his head back and thrust his fist in victory. They had done it. They had won. With a resounding crack, the door split. With a dull roar, it twisted away from him and into the flowered garden beyond. Elohim, the Perfect King, would, once again, have His treasure, His prize, His people. They would know love and life like they never had before.
Yeshua grinned brightly as sunlight filtered in, exposing the way he had come to save, the truth of his unconditional love and the life he had given them. All nations and people would know unthinkable passion, love and truth in a way they never had. He was the hope to all who were lost, broken and in need. He was the only Way to the Father and to life at its fullest. He was the author and finisher of all lives and destinies. A giant smile pulled at the corners of his lips. The people Elohim had made would soon know life to its fullest. The people of the earth would have a personal relationship with the Creator of all. Yeshua took a deep breath of the fragrant air and exhaled slowly. He tilted his head towards the sun, his dark face warmed by the rays of the great star.
And to think, each of their stories was just beginning.
Pastor Ryan Matchett gave a compelling message last Sunday. He brought an issue to life, one that most of us are not familiar with, no matter how long we have been attending church or vigorously working to complete our Biblical Studies degree. It was a message that delicately and humorously unveiled the messy reality of what humanity is comprised of. That is desperate people clinging to worldly things for their worth and value.
Ryan didn’t call us desperate and lacking in a pejorative, rude way. If he hadn’t called it out it would have been a lapse into his own desire to be liked, something he strongly fought against to be an example for us.
Despite the difficulty of what he was saying to us, his message came across loud and clear. When we believe that life is all about us and that our success will complete us we are tricking ourselves into the greatest failure possible: reliance on self and on the things the world calls valuable, “fame”, “money”, “recognition”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these things are inherently bad, just that in order to live a life of peace and a life that is pleasing to God our priorities need to be in order.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these things are inherently bad. What I am saying is that if we’re interested in living a life of peace our priorities need to be in order.
Really, in order to live a life that is pleasing to God our value CAN’T come from what we do.
To be living a life that is worthy of God and beneficial to ourselves we must embrace the fact that deep down inside we are people who lose and as a result, we are losers. Please don’t take this the wrong way…when I say losers, I mean we sometimes try to overcome what our innate self of morality tells us is wrong… selfishness,
Please don’t take this the wrong way…when I say losers, I mean we sometimes try to overcome what our innate sense of morality tells us is wrong… selfishness, bitterness and greed (the list really is endless) but we fail. Instead of overcoming these things, we hate people, lie, stab at them behind their backs and use their influence for our own selfish gains. Oddly enough, we will stab someone else in the back and suck up to another person. We rip certain people apart then try to make ourselves great in the eyes of other people because we think our value is in the opinions of people. That’s just the beginning of what we will do to be noticed, recognized, celebrated and to fit in. Nasty.
Yeah, and…the dirty, nasty truth of the matter is: we, people incapable of living up to our own expectations, are perfectly incapable of making any significant change to peoples’ hearts and lives if we do not humble ourselves and lay down expectations for ourselves.
As difficult as this may be to hear, it is true. He is the One who made people and loves them desperately. This is true for all of us, no matter what Biblical degree you have achieved. He alone understands what we need in the unique way we need it. When we die to self He is able to use us as His messengers but we must constantly be asking Him for grace to do so!
In this journey of dying to self it is so important to remember that ultimately, the only one who matters is the God who has made each and every one of us. We will all wither and fade into the background but the Word of God will remain, powerful and life-changing, until the end of the age.
“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” – Isaiah 40:8
It can be tough laying down the ideals we have for ourselves and embracing the “loser” identity. That is the Spirit’s work. How often do we forget that Jesus, the Creator of the world and the Word incarnate, asked Father God for help to let go of His will to carry out the ultimate will of the Father?
“Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done” – Luke 22:42
He gets it. It’s tough beans. But because Jesus did it we can be confident to ask Him for the strength to do it too.
Please, take some time today to realize that you and I both make pretty big mistakes and are not the Saviors of the neighbors’ story, our dysfunctional family’s story or even our own. Allow yourself to relax in the fact that the God who made the Universe is humble. He holds out His hand and beckons you. Will you choose to step down from the pedestal and ask Him for grace to be the same?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29
Medium sized disclaimer: I don’t dance around things. I let to tell them straight, raw and real because that’s the human condition. We are all raw and real, even though we don’t always want to admit it. I argue that the fact you were attracted to the title of this post says something of your raw, human condition. That being said, please read the entire article before making judgments. I have received messages from people asking me very abrasive, assumptive inquiries. I did not answer the questions but instead, I asked them if they had read the entire article. In all instances except for one they had not. Anyways, enough of that. Learn and enjoy!
Yesterday evening, my husband and I were sitting at the dinner table eating our chocolate bar dinner when a scintillating topic came to mind. That tantalizing topic being one I have not addressed via blog. It’s the word with hot and heavy connotations: attraction.
Alex started raised an eyebrow and dug his fingers into our chocolate bar, “it’s a weird concept, isn’t it?”
“Being attracted to someone who isn’t your spouse?” I smirked and broke off a chunk. “Yeah, it’s a bit weird.” We both sat pensively for a moment before I broke the silence.
“How do people deal with that kind of thing?”
He popped another huge hunk of chocolate in his mouth and chewed through his answer, “I ask God to help me remember the person I’m married to. I ask Him to remind me of my covenant to you. Then I choose to stop thinking about it.”
I snatched the bar away, “cute…”
His adorable dimples deepened, “how do you deal with it?”
“Ummm… I honestly don’t know. Sometimes I let thoughts roll around in there and don’t get rid of them. It’s something I need to work on.”
Something to work on indeed.
So here I am, sitting at my computer with a glass of Kombucha in my lap and a somewhat enlightened topic on my mind. I have spent time with God sorting some feelings out. Thankfully I have been able to come to a conclusion on the topic. That conclusion is this: it’s all about choice.
God gave us choice when He let us occupy the garden, He gives us choice in marriages, how we handle finances, irritating people and myriads of other things. He lets us pick our spouses and allows our eyes to wander.
If you’re anything like me you will ask questions such as: why can’t things be easy and straightforward? Why does everything have to be SO difficult!?
If we didn’t have choices, we wouldn’t be able to choose and it wouldn’t be true love.
Something we get so wrong in our day and age is that love is nothing but a feeling. This is what the pop songs tell us all the time. When our feelings change, we can jump on the next wagon that sports an attractive fellow or lady.
When we made a covenant with that person we made it for life “till death do us part”.
Have you ever felt attraction to someone you are not in a relationship with? Perhaps you aren’t in a relationship but you feel guilty about entertaining thoughts. I urge you to sit down with God and make it right. He’s not there condemning you but He does want you to live a life that is filled with purpose and honour.
As God’s kids, we are called to higher standards. We are called to keep our eyes fixed on covenants we have made. We are called to choose to love even when we would rather not.
Because that’s just how we do things ;P
Can I tell you a secret?
Perhaps you have noticed that I have not been pumping out as many blogs as usual. Late last year I started to realize something that is embarrassing to admit.
Yep, my writing had become my identity. To say I was exhausted, confused and frustrated with the trajectory of my life was an understatement but I thought it would be lazy to stop. I was trying to make up for what I called, “lost time” and in doing so I worked myself to the bone.
It felt great to accomplish and receive compliments for it but ultimately all the work I was doing wasn’t fulfilling. If anything it made me realize that although I had won the war on anorexia I was starving.
All the goals and dreams I had for myself could not be sustained. It was all about me and my success. It was all about my 3.7 GPA, a beautiful modeling portfolio, acting gigs, tight time restraints and making a name for myself. Ultimately, I could not sustain myself or the lifestyle I had enslaved myself to.
Please don’t get me wrong. Almost every one of the blogs was inspired by my intimate relationship with God and my love for Him. But just because they were made from and for Him did not mean I should work myself to the bone to make certain my message out there.
Thus, my New Years Revelation, as I like to call it, is to not encourage myself to get it all together. It’s not even to see the great potential I have. My New Years Revelation has enticed me to stop focusing on my accomplishments and fix my eyes on what Jesus will do with this upcoming year. I will write tidbits of His love for others as He reveals them to me but I will not work myself so hard that I start to lose sight of my identity as a Daughter of the King.
As a Daughter of the King I am called to work and fulfill the purposes He has placed me here for but that work must be done out of rest. The rest I speak of is only found in the warmth and strength of His loving arms. When we continually spend time with Him and in His Word this rest becomes habitual. This habit will spread to all other areas of our lives. It will help keep us healthy, whole and joyful.
Dearest Reader, I know I’m not alone in this. I encourage you to take some time and think about it. How often do we think we are the Saviors of our own stories? Do you often work yourself to the point of exhaustion because you have something to prove? This is the mentality I am working towards breaking. I invite you to do the same. Please don’t take this as condemnation but rather a call to life and living it to the fullest. It can be very challenging to feel joy when we are consumed with everything we have must do in order to prove ourselves to each other, ourselves and God.
Whenever you sit down to do some good work stop yourself and check your intentions and listen to your body. Are you exhausted? Do you need a good nap?
No matter what the conclusion of that check might be, just and know that you are loved by a God who wants to see you live, not only in 2017, but the rest of your years to their fullest <3
All the best this year!
My Resting Playlist
Come to the Altar – Elevation Worship
Good Good Father – Chris Tomlin
Pieces – Amanda Cook
Out of Hiding – Amanda Cook
Abba – Jonathan and Melissa Helser
You’ll love this too –
I want to be honest with you…
When I look at Lauren Daigle, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson or people who are generally slaying school, relationships or life in general I compare myself to them. I catch myself wondering, “why in the world am I not a popular singer, actress or millionaire?”
I love acting, singing, people and being a complete goofball. What makes them better than me and yet, my life is nothing compared to these people’s lives. I am finishing an English and Education degree, have a semi-successful blog, am prepping for LSAT, am still working on my first novel and am leading a writer’s group.
Big whoop! The overachieving drill sergeant on my shoulder is screaming at me, “you call those accomplishments Katie!?”
What makes them better than me?
To make matters even worse with the drill sergeant, so many of these “successful” people are the same age as me or younger.
“You’re wasting your life, Katie.”
This afternoon I was a little consumed with these thoughts and decided to sit down with Father God. I asked Him how He saw me. As soon as He started talking I started breaking down. He was speaking powerful truths against the burdensome lies. Like sacks of grime, the lies I had been holding on to tumbled from my shoulders and smacked against the ground sending billows of dust flying into the air.
I started breaking down
Do you remember bike rides with your Father Katie? Take a moment to reflect on the memory of his bright smile and his roaring laughter. He was always looking back at you to make sure you hadn’t fallen into the street or wiped out. Katie, that’s how close I am to you. There I am, riding in front of you with a huge smile on my face. There I am, in the middle of that lush, green field kicking the soccer ball around with you. There I am, buying you as many blue whales as you wanted. Do you remember the pool? I am there, buying you an apple instead of chocolate and cracking a joke to make your frown turn upside down. There I am with you, tucking the sheets over you, telling you the most ridiculous stories you have ever heard. You would always tell me so. Oh, Katie. There you are making me laugh and making me laugh with you. There I am a gob of polysporin in my hand and a band-aid in the other. There I am, providing for you. There I am building you the most beautiful playhouse you have ever seen. There I am, loving others around me and showing you how to love people who need my love. There I am, overcoming painful things that people are throwing at me. There I am, taking the accusations against you. There I am protecting you Katie bug.
I am there, buying you an apple instead of chocolate and cracking a joke to make your frown turn upside down. There I am with you, tucking the sheets over you, telling you the most ridiculous stories you have ever heard. You would always tell me so. Oh, Katie. There you are making me laugh and making me laugh with you. There I am a gob of polysporin in my hand and a band-aid in the other. There I am, providing for you. There I am building you the most beautiful playhouse you have ever seen. There I am, loving others around me and showing you how to love people who need my love. There I am, overcoming painful things that people are throwing at me. There I am, taking the accusations against you. There I am protecting you Katie bug.
Katie, Here I am, holding your confused, wounded heart and healing you more with each breath of mine. Here I am, until you reach your last breath and into eternity, there I will forever be.
Take some time to sit with Him and ask Him to remind you of who He is to you. You won’t regret this, trust me. And to think I almost didn’t do it today!
On that topic, I leave you with a reminder: God us made each of us because He delights in all of us for different reasons. None of us are the same. Just because people love us and or we have stacks of dolla bills does not mean we are killing it. As high school experiences and Mean Girls have taught us, popularity is fickle too.
Just because people love us and or we have stacks of dolla bills does not mean we are killing it.
People’s opinions of us change. If we are doing what we are doing to please people we will be disappointed. Funds will run out and not bring us fulfillment. On the flip side, our relationship with God will only go from glory to glory. His purpose for us will not come back empty. We will not feel empty and the need to constantly accomplish when we are living the life He has crafted for us.
We will not feel empty!
If you have ever felt inadequate please know you are not alone. But do not stay in that place. Know that God’s love for you is SO DEEP it’s SO WIDE and it’s SO ready to embrace you. Love is ready to show you have precious you are to Him.
You are perfect. You are LOVED!
With His eternal love and favour,
So, Alex and I have this super annoying neighbor who, I SWEAR, tries three new ways each day to make the loudest, scraping, pounding noises above us as he possibly can. Night or day rain or shine snow or bald he is upstairs bowling, setting off rockets, killing a mongoose, skinning hordes of flailing cats. God. Knows. what.
The other day I was trying to study and found myself raging at the loud-as-the-drums-of-hell cacophony of sounds crashing down at us from upstairs. I was at the point where I could throw my chair at the ceiling…
I almost did but realized it would probably fall back onto my head or make a hole larger than I could fix so instead, I settled for grinding my teeth together and shoving my gummy headphones in my ears.
The moral of the story is this: ask the landlord if you can interview your neighbor and check for steel toed boots before the lumberjack moves in.
The moral is, we don’t realize the power that we have.
I speak of the power we hold when it comes to our thoughts and subsequently, our emotions. It is guaranteed that there will be many moments in the day and throughout the week that don’t go as planned. Say, I didn’t land the interview I wanted or achieve the A+ I had been fighting for or silence the neighbor who is slaying a seizing moose above my head.
What do we do when these things happen? If you’re anything like me, you will start to grumble a little… well if only I hadn’t been so exhausted. If only my professor wasn’t such an egghead. If only I had taken the neighbors legs out when I had the chance. Grumble, grumble, grumble.
Where does that take me? Where does that take you?
Nowhere my friend.
Complaining about the circumstances does nothing but hurt us. Not only that, it’s gives Satan tools to torment us with. When I complain and focus only on what is wrong in my life the awful things become my jailers and my tormentors. I give them power by focusing my attention on them.
Even worse, I am not pleasing God with my attitude. We live in a society where an emphasis is placed on us and our emotions. But here’s a little heads up: just because we feel like moping and hosting a pity party doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for us to do and it certainly doesn’t mean that it’s bringing joy to God’s heart, or our own!
Do you want to overcome the overwhelming situations in your life? Do you want to be victorious over your emotions? Is your desire to please God and live the life you have been created for?
Yes, then praise Him! Sing songs of thanksgiving and when you fall hard say, “thank you for life.” Then continue marching onward. Don’t allow circumstances to dictate your quality of life or govern you. Always be joyful, pray continually and give thanks, no matter what the circumstance. Why? Because this is God’s will for you. If we are children of God we will follow the path He asks us to walk.
We will do this, not necessarily because we feel like it but because we have been called to it. When we do, we will experience joy like we’ve never known it before. When we follow God’s desires for us he will always fill us with joy. Abundant, beautiful, overwhelming joy!
Trust the Lord, remember to praise and thank Him in all things and walk in that perfect delight today my friends.
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
With much love,
Whenever I walk into your small room at Joseph’s Creek Care Village I am amazed by how decorative you manage to be, even though you can’t really move your arms. I find myself continually amazed by the blues, greens and perfect off-white tones you surround yourself with. Tasteful, Porcelain figurines of birds guard each corner of your well-lit living space. They light my smile whenever I sit down beside one of them to strike up a conversation with you.
We talk about life, my dreams and aspirations, my husband, our God, our powerful feelings versus the truth and of course… we talk about chocolate. You have always been such an amazing listener. It’s an understatement to say I feel perfectly at home whenever I am with you as you are such a beautiful reflection of God’s heart towards His daughter.
You have always been such an amazing listener.
You are your Heavenly Father’s Daughter. He has shaped and molded your heart where human attempt failed. He has lifted you, a rising Phoenix, from the ashes and given you a fiery heart for His name. You are a prayer warrior. The spinning planet we call home would look different if you were not seated firmly on it.
I mean every word.
Mom, you, the woman who have gone through so much pain, are the source of my most profound inspiration. You are one of the biggest reasons as to why I am the way I am. It is because of your love for me that I have the beginning of an understanding of the depth of God’s love for me. Even beyond that, you are the one who has taught me to be polite, loving, caring and generous to those around me.
You are one of the biggest reasons as to why I am the way I am.
I adore your witty sense of humor, your beautiful smile, and your infectious laughter. I love that you have fought things out long enough to stay with me. We have talked about this a couple times… I mean it when I say I didn’t think you would make it to my graduation, much less my wedding. I almost lost you a couple of times but you remain and here you will stay.
I pray this is the truth for many years to come because I am selfish. But really, I am not a small percentile; so many of us who know you are selfish. Good thing you’ve stayed or there may have been an unfortunate, but understandable, uprising.
Thank you for taking me on vacations and impromptu road trips even when I sure as heck didn’t deserve them and for introducing me to people who would support me. Thank you for never giving up on me and always praying over me. Thank you for always wanting the best for me, no matter how badly I messed up.
You have taught me that I am a Princess and have shown me how to walk in this gift. I am to be kind to others but also realize my identity as a Child of the King. I am still learning Mommy but your prayers are helping. You have taught me that beauty isn’t everything but people’s hearts are eternal. This has changed the way I live and interact with those around me for the better. Please pray that I am able to infuse this treasured identity and purpose into the precious women I interact with because they are so worth it.
You have taught me that beauty isn’t everything but people’s hearts are eternal.
You are a treasured gem and I am sorry that I have followed suit with some confused others and don’t always treat you that way. I don’t mean to make excuses but it can be difficult when I’m trying to navigate through this confusing world and its frustrating challenges.
You are a treasured gem…
Honestly Mom, I don’t know what I would do without you. I don’t know who I would be if you weren’t in my life the way you are. I do believe that in His amazing grace our Heavenly Father has allowed you to remain in my life.
Yes, sometimes we annoy the crap out of each other. We have differing options and strong wills. Through our less pleasant interactions, I am learning to let go of my side of things and let God. This is yet another of the invaluable lessons my relationship with you has led to.
Please know that even when we argue I will never stop loving you. I will never stop appreciating you. I will always be a reflection of the heart God has placed in you. He gave you the wisdom to raise me in this world and it’s made a world of difference to me. Thank you for listening to Him and following Him with all your heart.
I must confess, I feel tinges of His overwhelming love for you Mommy just like I feel the ones you have for me. It’s such a shame…I know these words could flow for much longer and please know in my mind they do. I will forever love you. Forever.
Forever Your Little Princess,
I pushed my crazily curled tresses back, glanced at Alex through the mirror and informed him. “Going to spend morning time with Jesus now!”
My husband grinned widely and took another swipe with his toothbrush. “Great! See you tomorrow.” I chuckled, closed the door to the office and sat down, my mind cluttered with all the things I was going to do that day. I had a manuscript to tinkle around with, a job to visit, an e-book to edit and an interview on a network that would be filmed today.
Great, see you tomorrow.
I stopped for a moment. If I was able to either spend time in God’s presence or accomplish all the things I had just mentioned which would I choose?
I tapped the power button on my computer and used the reboot time to think. Whirrrr…
I would be disappointed that I didn’t get to do all the things I had planned for the day. I would be upset, not because I didn’t get time with the Creator of the Universe but because I hadn’t accomplished fleeting achievements. This felt and feels wrong to me.
It may not seem like a big problem. Some might say: Kate, you’re thinking WAY too hard, as usual. Give it a break chick!
I say: no. It’s important that we discern the longings of our hearts. It’s VERY important.
Are we wanting extra time with Jesus or are we itching to get our fingers on our phones? Have we taken enough time away from the distractions of this world to spend time with the Lord and learn to crave Him above all else?
Are we wanting extra time with Jesus or are we itching to get our fingers on our phones?
What are we doing with our days, our lives, our time that will matter for eternity?
We, those who follow Christ, need to be desperate for the Lord! I am guilty of most certainly NOT always thinking this way and allowing it to be my reality but it’s time for a change.
When we give the Lord our everything He gives us everything we need. It’s that simple but not always that easy to stop running to the world when we feel empty.
On top of all that, we will never be filled to overflow into others if we find our value in accomplishments. We will be focused on ourselves and our achievements. Trust me, God isn’t too impressed with our hefty goals and resume. He isn’t impressed by a list of achievements. No, what He desires are our hearts.
…what He desires are our hearts.
If you aren’t convinced that this is a big deal, take a look at the first two commandments.
Here are those steps I mentioned in the headline:
#1: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.
#2: Love others as you love yourself
God tells us these things because He cares, very deeply, about the condition of our eternity. He does not want us running on empty, constantly grasping for approval from men (who will become dust…just like us!). Nor does He want us to not cheat ourselves out of an incredible life spent loving Him and living in His overwhelmingly, good and perfect presence. This is true of the lives we lead here on earth and in the next as well.
Today, I ask you to spend more time with God than you normally would. And no, I am not talking about the God you have made up in your mind. I am not talking about the made by man BP pasta God (at Boston Pizza you can order your own pasta exactly the way you want it…. what? I thought it was a good analogy…)
Read His Word, talk to people who follow Him. Seek God above all else because ultimately, He (Creator of everything) is the only One who matters.
God is not a Father who is lenient. Things are not always easy for those of us who want to live lives that matter. This is because He loves us enough to discipline us. He gives us rules and regulations to follow because He loves us. He wants to us to crave His presence and delight in spending our best moments with Him because when we do, nothing in this world can shake us!
We become world changers because, by His unmerited favour, the power that lives in Him comes alive in us.
We become world changers because, by His unmerited favour, the power that lives in Him comes alive in us.
Good morning Beautiful,
It’s a fresh, exciting new day that lies ahead of us; are you excited? I Am! Oh, I also want you to know that I am with you in it, every step, even when you don’t regard my presence. I am always with you. If you have accepted Me as yours will always love you, no matter what you do, wear or say (Romans 8:38-39).
With that being said, you may have felt slight hindrance in our relationship. You are wondering why you don’t feel close to me.
My love, I will never leave you alone but I will answer your question with another question, am I all you want?
My love, I will never leave you alone but I will answer your question with another question, am I all you want?
Have you pursued Me, above other pleasures, with your whole heart?
What I mean by that is this: have you dedicated time for me, even when you don’t feel like it? Have you unrelentingly read my Word and searched for context until you found My purpose in it? Have you asked Me and the wise around you questions and continued seeking for answers?
Are you familiar with the story of the persistent widow in Luke 18? Keep “pestering” me and do not give up. I commend that you are coming to me and not giving up in your pursuit. I will honor this, my child…
While we are on the topic of persistence occurrences, are you curious as to why some things in life are not as consistently wonderful as you might have expected them to be? Maybe you are in chronic pain or there are never-ending complications with family. Maybe you just want someone to notice you and tell you they love you, for once.
Please know that these desires are not evil. Contrary to what satan wants you to believe, the misfortunes you encounter are not an example of me punishing you for your sins. This world is broken and fallen. My child, these troubles are not from your hand; they are not from mine either.
I am not the unremitting, tenacious poison; I am the healing antidote.
I am not the unremitting, tenacious poison; I am the healing antidote.
I am your antidote… the perfect remedy for whatever ails you.
My child, I want you to know there are relief and rest deep inside the confines of my arms. I want to hold you tightly through the pain. Please trust me to capture your tears and make the fight worthwhile.
When you are leaning into me, all things will work together for your good and the advancement of my Kingdom (Romans 8:28). The struggle is not in vain if you will lean on me… I can and will make iridescent beauty from the seemingly worthless flecks of ashy past.
I can and will make iridescent beauty from the seemingly worthless flecks of ashy past.
You are worth it. You always have been and always will be, regardless of your position in life and or the things you look to in order to define you.
That being said, I am so pleased to see you wake and rise, my perfectly formed, fearfully made princess! I can’t wait to shower you with my presence. Come spend some time with me. I can’t wait for you to see all the incredible things I have in store for you today.
Oh, my daughter! You’re going to learn so much and grow! It excites me to no end!
Over all of these things, I am excited for you to spend the start of your day with me. Come experience my love for you; it will be the best thing you choose. It will change your life <3
With an unceasing, passionate love that will never dim,
Your Heavenly Father