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!
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,
He and I sit alone together, staring out at the expanse of the ocean. Spinning cosmos and sprinkles of stars dance in the far distance. Eager waves toss and crash into the rocky crags beyond. It’s a beautiful sight but the mood in our meeting is different this time. Solemn. Sad. He looks at me, his eyes wrought with grief.
“Katie, they will one day know who True Love is.” I nod solemnly and look out to dolphins jumping. Their synchronized dance pulls at my heart. It’s all so perfect and yet people did not see my Father’s creative hand in it. Anger started to stir in my gut.
“Father, You made everything so perfect, yet they don’t see it. They say You are hateful and unjust. A giant bigot with overbearing rules.” A picture of Jesus, beaten, dripping with blood and struggling for breath flashes through my mind. We both stop. Breathe. The anger dissolves as He tenderly takes my hand. I remember sin and death and impending doom were beaten the day the Son of God was killed for mankind.
He smiles. “It is finished.”
Yes, the evil one’s plans were abolished on the day the Son of God was killed for mankind but still…
“Father, how can You still love people who mock You and spit in Your face? You’re so perfect and Holy and they don’t see it. You only want the best for them and yet they abhor You. It’s not right! It hurts me so much.”
He pulls me close, into the warmth of his shoulder. “That is the definition of true love Katie. It is unconditional. It doesn’t change based on what they do and don’t do. I will always love them.”
I stare out at the ocean and snuggle deeper in His embrace. I want to understand True Love and feel it. I want to be that kind of love for people, just like my Best Comfort and Provider is for me. I want to be an image of my Father.
God, would You please help me love those who mock You and berate Your name. Father, would You show them Your unconditional love for them and pull them close to You, just like You do for me.
I love You because You loved me first <3
Sometimes I hesitate to talk to God. Usually, it’s because my perfectionist tendencies get the better of me. They say: you haven’t woven together an elaborate prayer to bring to Him. He doesn’t want to hear you. You’re not good enough, not intentional enough. You haven’t carved out enough time to make the conversation worth His time.
Then, when I actually work up the nerve to talk to Him I always receive a response that is as warm as a ray of golden sun, “come to me. Just as you are Katie.” His grand smile stretches to the expanse of the heavens as He helps me up on His lap. I watch in awe as Dad moves the stars with a gentle command. All of the elements are in His control. His warmth envelopes me. I can feel the overwhelming heat of the smile in His eyes.
He loves me.
Daddy. Father. Abba. Creator of Heaven and of Earth. Eternal. Mine. And we are His.
Amidst or imperfections and in the busyness of life, we can sometimes forget who God is. Take time to spend time with Him. Get to know Him better. Understand that He is in command of Your day and the calm in your darkest of storms.
Know that He sees you, loves your despite all your faults, is on your side and marvels at the greatness He has placed in you.
He is your Father and He loves you.
A tremble shook the stones beneath me and the cavern’s walls on all sides of me. Large chunks of rock disconnected from the ceiling and came crashing to the floor. The fall echoed through the cavern and blacked out most of the light my main mode of exit. One more complication in a slew of abounding difficulties. My horse had taken off as soon as I had arrived at the caves, unlike me, she wasn’t a fool and could sense something wrong. Now I was alone, trapped, hunted and slowly losing hope for life. Had I not made enemies none of this would be a problem. Unfortunately, as royalty bound to a warring country, there was no escaping the fact that people would abhor me, hunt me and kill me for their own desires.
Many years ago, before I gained adulthood and a mind of my own, my mother would tell me,
“Cassia, you are meant for more. The war will end. You will be free.” She was so wrong. My mother is dead. Our country is not free. I am as angry, frustrated and bitter as ever. And now, I am being pursued by the people who are threatening to overturn the nation of Yisrael. They have killed my mother, two brothers and sister. Now they are coming for me.
When they invaded the courtyard of the palace three hours ago, I was in the gardens with my father, heard the screams and saw my sisters’ throat being sliced in two. Father and his men gave me no choice but to escape on horseback while they went back to fight. Although Abba is a warrior, well-versed in the art of attack, he probably isn’t alive anymore. I have been thinking about that fact for what seems like an eternity.
What disturbs me most is that I think all these things with little emotion. I am numb, lost and exhausted. I am all the things a princess of the king should never be. But I am no hero, I am no savior. If anything, I need a savior. I need something to trust in.
I believe in Elohim, the Lord of my people. I think there is someone out there so much bigger than me. But I doubt the care and love all the religious leaders have tried to drill into my head. I’m not supposed to say that; my mother would never hear it. But I really do have questions. How could Elohim, the Creator of goodness and light, subject His people to such darkness as murder, pain and war?
I doubt Him.
Boom. Snap. Lightening, thunder. The ground and walls shake again, this time with more power. Another chunk falls from the ceiling and almost lands on my leg. I drop and roll, the rock clips the right side of my thigh, leaving a gash. I want to scream but can’t. If I am going to survive I will have to stay quiet. I will also have to move out of the caves. Unfortunately, relocating will most likely place me directly into the enemy’s line of sight. The sea was right below the cliffs. If I could make it there and run the perimeter into Galilee I would have more shelter. But could I make it?
Boom. Crack. Rumble. Dust, splinters and pieces of debris flew in all directions as a massive rock came crashing from the ten-foot ceiling and onto the stone floor. I needed to move. I edged my way to the opening where the first rock had crashed and peered out. A flock of soldiers stood at the perimeter of the water, scanning the cliffs for any sign of life. I quickly retreat back into the cave. If I walk into their line of sight I would be committing suicide. Unless… I swallowed hard and peered out again. No archers. Good. Well, better. My heart jumped as one of the enemy soldiers screamed at the top of his lungs in Greek. “Exerchomai! Come out!” My heart started to pound. I started sweating. They knew I was here. How did they know? Did they know which entrance I was in? If they wanted to, they would search until they harvested results. This army took no prisoners, ever.
Crack! Boom! Another rock clattered down from the ceiling. It wouldn’t be long before the entire structure was brought to nothing. I had seen it happen before, when my brother and I were exploring these caves. I picked up my robe, held my head high and stepped into the light. If I was going to die, at least I would die of my own volition. I would not be hunted down like an animal and killed for sport.
One of the men stabbed his finger in my direction. “There she is!” I stood frozen. I couldn’t run. There was no point in fighting. It was over. I was dead. Two of the men ran in my direction, grabbed my arms and yanked them behind my back. Their cord cut into my flesh as they zipped it tight.
“Where are you taking me?” The soldier cocked an eyebrow and looked me up and down but didn’t answer me.
“I demand to know where you are taking me!” His ringed finger slapped my face, slicing a cut into my cheek. I grit my teeth.
“I don’t care what you demand. No one does anymore. Let’s just say, it’s going to be a little surprise.” I clenched my jaw and stumbled along as they led me from my hiding place.
Boom. Crash. A peal of thunder boomed and flash of lightning ripped across the dusky sky. With a loud crash, the cave, my last piece of security, collapsed into pieces. An apt, timely metaphor of my life. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Everything that had once held me together had crumbled into jagged, cracked pieces.
All I can do is catch tiny glimpses while being dragged away. I glanced at the strong arm of one of my captures. What were they going to do to me? Without a doubt, it would be worse this way than if they had killed me. And there was no way I was going to free myself. Given the lack of control I now held, was it possible that all the pieces be fused together again?
I couldn’t help but doubt it.
Fragrant, white flowers cascade over a casket of deep oak. Thousands of black-clad onlookers gaze pensively at the holy man. He talks about your memories of your life and the purpose of theirs. The mood is somber and makes for reflection. Just as the funeral crowd didn’t, we don’t think about death often but one day we will all be there, in that casket with no life left in our lungs.
Depressing much? And on a Monday? Katie, what the heck is wrong with you?
What if I told you that death was a good thing, an exceptional thing? The only way to truly living?
Let’s look at it this way, in a cat fight, sometimes it’s tough to be the “better woman.” If you know what I mean? Someone insults you, lies about you behind your back, says hurtful things to your face and you’re left standing there with shreds of skin hanging from your limbs and blood pooling at your feet.
Maybe that’s a little melodramatic… but maybe it isn’t.
I don’t know about you but whenever that kind of thing happens to me it feels like massive, fleshy chunks of pride are being extracted. I think most of us would agree that that is what happens after someone attacks someone who is alive. Ligaments tear, bones break, skin separates and bleeds. Pain, pain, pain.
What would happen if the person who was attacked wasn’t alive? Do the dead feel pain and bleed? Do the deceased horde knives and stab themselves with them whenever mention of the incident raises its ugly head? Nope. Because they are dead. No duh, hey?
I was thinking through some hurts I have experienced and was reminded of Romans 6:11, “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” We need to allow ourselves to be dead to self-provision, dead to what the world says of us, dead to the opinions of others that validate our worth.
When we’re dead and someone attacks us we won’t cry out, we won’t bleed. We are already safe in the arms of Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith, the One who gave His life so we can all live.
If I may, I would like to offer some practical advice: if someone offends you, don’t react. Don’t speak negatively about them. Don’t think about all the things you could do to get back at them.
Remember, when you died to yourself you were made alive in Christ.
All that to say you aren’t physically dead, no matter how great what I just said was. You still feel things. It’s important to acknowledge emotion but not stay fixed on it. After someone has taken a grenade to your heart take some time alone to process.
One of my amazing pastor friends taught me this after I was experiencing a round of grief: sit in a quiet space where no one can interrupt you (or preferably even hear you). Tell God how frustrated you are with the situation, pound things out, scream, punch a pillow, throw stuff. After the dust has settled, allow Christ to comfort you. Ask Him to help you love this seemingly despicable person. Ask Him to give you a new heart and new mind. Ask Him to help you see them the way He sees them.
Ask Him to help you plan your funeral.
He will come through. He most certainly did for me and the outcome was so much better than I could have imagined, I gained freedom from the thoughts of others and true life!
Also, for all you A types out there… don’t expect yourself to do everything perfectly, remember to rest in the Perfect One. The One who cares for you so desperately “cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).”
With much love and adoration,
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,
Lately, God has been teaching me the art of rest. In light of this I have decided to take a bit of weight off my shoulders and only write my blogs on Monday; however, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a little exception. I think this particular exception is due especially because what I have to say is something SO MANY of us deal with on a regular basis. That is, the slimy yet gripping tentacles known as self-hatred.
For the past several years, the nasty, sniveling turd called self-hatred was my constant demon. The thoughts of self-loathing attached themselves to my ear and whispered filthy lies about my body, mind and spirit.
I tried self-help groups, cute-inspirational sayings, books, boys and friends to unlatch the sharp talons but none of them worked. Some of the people around me told me I was gorgeous yet it didn’t satisfy my need for something greater.
Can I tell you the SUPER simple belief I had to see before I stopped hating myself?
I believed my value came from what other people thought about me.
That’s it. It’s SO SIMPLE but this subtle thought process was what almost ended my life. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say it’s a way of thinking that kills so many of us on a daily basis but we don’t stand up to fight it!
Only recently have I started to discover complete victory and freedom in the area of self-hatred. Because God has revealed simple, yet extremely effective, things to me about the topic I would like to share one of those most powerful ways with you today.
The following is a letter paraphrased from multiple verses. It was originally written by Regina Franklin from her book, Who Calls Me Beautiful and expanded on by yours truly. As you read it please allow each line to sink into your heart. Meditate on what is being said. Linger on the words you are reading and ask Christ to help you believe as you hear the truth of your Father…
Before the beginning of time, I knew you. I knew what colour your eyes would be, and I could hear the sound of your laughter. Like a proud father who carries a picture of his daughter, I carried the image of you in My eyes, for you were created in My image. Before the beginning of time, I chose you. I spoke your name into the heavens and I smiled as its melody resounded off the walls of My heart.
You are Mine. My love for you extends farther than the stars in the sky and deeper than any ocean. You are My pearl of great price, the one whom I gave everything for. I cradled you in the palm of My hand. I love you even in the face of your failure. Nothing you say or do can cause Me to stop loving you. I am relentless in My pursuit of you. Run for Me – I will love you, Spurn Me – I will love you. Reject yourself – I will love you. You see, My love for you was slain before the foundations of the world and I have never regretted the sacrifice I made for you at Calvary.
When I see every part of who you are, I marvel at the work of MY hands, for I whispered words of longing and desire and you came into existence. You are beautiful and I take pleasure in you – heart, mind and body. You are My desire. When you turn your head in shame and despite what I have made, still I reach for you with gentle passion. You are My Beloved and I am yours. (Authors adaption from 1 John 3:2; Isaiah 43:1, Matthew 13:46; Ephesians 1:4; Revelation 13:8; Psalm 194:4; Song of Solomon 7:10; 6:3).
That’s the simple, straightforward truth.
“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong…” 1 Corinthians 1:27
In light of what you just read, I dare you to stop telling yourself you need to look like you just stepped out of a Victoria Secret ad, fashion mag or a fashion mogul’s closet. I dare you to start shutting down the lie that you have to please everyone around you in order to obtain worth.
I dare you to start living confident and free in the realization that God sees you. He knows you and you are all He could ever want you to be.
Enamored and Shamelessly Dancing in His great Freedom and Joy,
A friend of mine recently said something that shocked and angered me.
We were discussing child abuse and the effects abuse has on children long after they are grown. He went on to tell me that the abuse happening was not the child’s fault; however, that child, once they were at an adult, resumed responsibility for their pain. They were left with the choice to deal with the after effects of that abuse. They were in-charge of choosing to take the necessary steps towards healing.
What he said didn’t line up with my personal philosophy-of-fairness, at all… but that’s usually, isn’t it? We think we know what is best and choose what we see as the best options given our feelings. I tell you from personal experience, following our ever-changing feelings is like boarding a rickity ship into an onslaught watery disaster… I digress…
The way I saw it, those adults deserved to be beaten, drawn, quartered and slapped with a bill to pay for that child’s healing. Yet, what my friend was saying that the innocent, vulnerable child had to pay for the price of the adult’s sin?
Despite the anger rising like a serious volcano of heartburn I listened carefully and analyzed my thoughts on the subject. Difficult as it was, what he was saying was truth. Although it punctured holes in my millennial mindset it sprung wings of grace and gently resonated with my Spirit.
Ultimately our difficult yet fruitful conversation reminded me of the greatest sacrifice of all. Even though we have all sinned…
…if you think you’re a good person who has not sinned and is not in need of God, please do not be fooled by yourself. Stop and ask yourself: have I lied, cheated, gossiped or thought lustful thoughts about someone else? It’s no surprise to God that you have, that’s why He offered Himself, to make us pure in His sight…
He saw and paid for your imperfection before you even knew of its existence.
Now that’s epic.
Even though we have all screwed up and allowed sin into God’s perfect Word He still came to earth and gave His life for us. It wasn’t His fault that we chose the wrong road but He took responsibility for our actions and died the most excruciating death for our freedom. The thief, Satan, wants to steal, kill and destroy your joy. He wants to dangle tempting ways of escape that often manafest themselves as blame… oh, I’m just an impatient person. My heart was wounded, that’s why I am always angry. I am always scared because my parents abandoned me as a child.
Although I do acknowledge that each of these problems require healing I also acknowledge that they can trap us if we constantly ruminate on them and do not make a move to kill them. We ruminate on the unfairness of our situation day in and day out only to find out that we wasted our lives constantly blaming others and situations. Does that sound like a fulfilling, fruitful life to you?
Do you really believe God when He tells you that you are free? Do you feel oppressed by pain that has haunted you for years? Do you struggle with blaming others for the things you do on a regular basis?
I challenge you to step up to the throne of God, find a quiet space and confess your faults to Jesus. This isn’t easy and is something I find myself doing quite often. As challenging as it can be to admit our problems, it brings so much joy and freedom to our lives.
After you have told the Lord you are sorry for holding on to blame and anger ask Him to fill you with His incredible peace. As Him to hold you and heal you. He will bring SO MUCH freedom to places you doubted would ever feel full.
Come out of hiding, it’s safe where He is. He is the most safe, trustworthy and powerful Being you will ever encounter <3 He is so much bigger than any problems we could ever face and He wants to face them for us… now, that’s Love.
With His Love,
One of the things I admire most about women is our natural ability to nurture. When a friend is in need, we’re there to help. When someone is struggling we have an innate ability to encourage and build them up with our God-given intuition; Women are graceful, beautiful, loving creatures.
God lovingly created Eve to be Adam’s perfect helper. God presented Eve to Adam like a gift and in every way, she complimented his strengths and weaknesses. He was proud of what He had made for His son.
“ And the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man He made (fashioned, formed) into a woman, and He brought her and presented her to the man.”
-Genesis 2:22 (AMP)
If you read the entire passage carefully you’ll notice God didn’t create Eve so she could help Adam tend to the garden. God was looking for a companion. A friend. A partner.
Given our nature, what happens when our “Adam” abandons us or treats us badly? What happens to our gentle, empathetic nature?
Abandonment and mistreatment can come in plenty of ways but some of the ones that come to mind are: being emotionally unavailable, prioritizing work, pornography addiction, infidelity, always putting others needs before yours, controlling or manipulative behavior, drug or alcohol addiction, bullying… the list goes on.
No longer protected, in our vulnerability, we turn into protectors. Our desire to be confident for our “Adam” turns into a ferocity unlike no other.
They say we have the mind of Christ, I believe God gets fierce about His women not being protected. Just like our earthly Fathers, God wants to protect us. He gave us this inner warrior spirit, which is stronger than a man’s by the way (seriously, watch a woman in divorce court as she fights for her children) because it protects us.
I speak from experience because I know how it feels to be abandoned and mistreated; I’m married to an addict. Through my experience with my husband, my inner fighter came out. It’s not the first time I’ve seen her but she’s much stronger than she was the last time she came out swinging her protective fists of fury!
Being married to an addict has been more difficult than I can properly put into words but because of it, I’ve learned how to be both gentle and strong at the same time. This is the true character of God and how He created His daughters to be. He is both merciful and just. Patient but firm. Loving and powerful. And you, sister, have that inside of you too.
We’re taught to believe we were only created to be companions. To perfectly to compliment our husbands (or future husbands) weaknesses. While this is partially true, it’s only a piece of our nature. We were also created in the image of God for another purpose entirely. When we’re abandoned by our, “Adam” we learn that God is the one we were really created for.
God first. Adam second.
“Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.”
-Psalm 146:3 (KJV)
No one will ever love us like God will. He’s the true love of our life. When we love God and make Him the center of our purpose He will give us the “Adam” we need.
For me, I’m still hoping he’ll give me my husband back. The handsome man I fell in love with was my perfect companion and I was his perfect helper. God told me to stand by my husband through a hard season in his life. Whatever happens next, my identity is not found in the success or failures of my husband, it’s found in who God made me to be.
While my husband is still lost, I am found.
I’m thankful God gave me a gentle, nurturing nature. It’s helped me to support my “Adam” in ways I wouldn’t of otherwise. I’m also glad he gave me this spirit of fierceness because that fighting spirit has protected me from significant harm. Our natural tendency to nurture can work hand in hand with our strength.
If you’re a woman, going through anything tough, I encourage you to remember your strength is gentle but by no means is it weak. Many may have been made physically strong but your inner spirit is a powerful force to be reckoned with. You have the Spirit of God inside of you, you’re His daughter. Do you see how incredible you are? What wonderful, amazing gifts He’s given you? You were created in His likeness. He was proud of you when He made you.
So proud, he presented you as a gift.
Leah Grey moved to New York City full of hopeful aspirations until her husband went into long-term treatment for addiction. Unable to afford to stay, she picked up her childhood dreams and moved back to her rural, Canadian beach town with her two young children. From rooftop city skyline views to her parent’s basement, in the darkest time of her life, she created Grey Ministries to support, encourage and empower women with loved ones who struggle with addiction. With a practical faith-based approach she challenges popular beliefs about addiction while teaching women in crisis how to find God’s peace within the storms of life. In March 2016, she launched her website, leahgrey.com and popular peer support community, “Live, Love, Hope” http://facebook.com/groups/livelovehope.
You may have seen the title and asked yourself, “whhhhat?” Whose flimsy smile is breaking this up, how is a smile doing that and who is this person?
I better warn you before you step into what I have prepared for you in this post. It’s a love letter addressed to my best friend.
Before you roll your eyes and exit out please let me explain.
I get it. A love letter to God may sound like a super duper cliché. As I was writing it I kept thinking, this is just for Jesus’s eyes but the more I wrote the more I realized the importance of these words for everyone. Sometimes we forget who the Lord is. We forget how powerful, loving and personable our God is. I want to use this intimate poem between me and Jesus to break any false views that you may have about God being a dictator, in small and large ways.
May this free verse serve as a reminder of the freedom He has purchased for you.
God sees, God hears… He cares about you. His Beloved. His Daughter. His Son.
Whenever I speak, You incline Your ear
That gentle smile etches across flesh
It breaks my religion
You, the King of the entire Universe, incline Your ear towards the dust, the grime, the dirt of the earth
You listen to every word and consider it
You are an excellent conversationalist
You will answer with exactly what needs to be said
You will respond in due time
You speak the truth in love, even when I don’t want to hear it
You are a Father who cares about my personal growth
You allow me to endure tough times in order to become much stronger
Because of You I am not like loose branches blowing heedlessly in the wind
Because of You I have a reason to live
I know that I am wanted and adored
I am never alone, no matter who abandons me
Even though it is tough to remember at times
I am secure in my body
I am secure with the purposes You have laid out for me
Thanks to You I never have to try to accomplish anything in my own strength
You make things happen that I never could have expected
You are a miracle maker
When you walked this earth You laid hands on the broken and healed them
You bandage my wounds and give me a shoulder to lean
When I am hurting
You will heal me completely… either in this life or the next
You are who I can put my trust in
You have never let me down before
I love You, so much
When I talk to You I am so stoked, like an excitable girl falling in love for the first time
I am falling in love with Love
I am falling in love with True Love, the love that holds me and comforts me when no one else will
Yes, Your smile destroys my religion
You are the reason I am standing
My God, my best friend, my Father, my Savior…
I love You and thank you for everything You have planned and waiting
Thank you that You have already seen everything that will happen
Thank you that I can rest in Your arms
I can put my hope in
Thank you that any insecurity can and will be placed in Your strong, capable hands
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Your grace is rendering me speechless.
Forever, forever, forever Yours,
Listen to this song and allow its truth to wash over you <3 He wants to give you Himself. He wants you to know who He is and how great His love is for you…let your guard down and allow His grace to flow over Your pains and insecurity. Let Him take your burdens.
“Come to me, all who are weary, and I will give you rest.” Jesus
Looking back at the situation, I remember it well. The basement was dark, ominous and penetrated by nothing more than a slight sliver of fading light. My bare back lay flat against the cold concrete wall. A tear slipped down my reddening cheeks. I hastily brushed it away and listened to the sound of bickering coming from upstairs. I was in trouble, again. It had been the wrong time and the wrong place for me to be. My guardian, a kind man on most occasions, had the temper of an infuriated bull. He and my other guardian clashed ideas about issues regarding me on many occasions, hence the heightened tones that slithered down into my space and sent chills down my arms.
Yes, my space. My cold, dark, isolating space. The place I now called home.
The moment I said that one thing wrong and he started yelling I knew from past experience that it was in my best interest to hide, to protect myself in this “home” of mine. With as much haste as I could muster I had skirted away from his wrath and moved into the space I knew so well, that awful basement. He never came down there, only for the occasional beer from the mini fridge. I tucked my head into my knees for a moment then stared up at the washing machine. It whirled away as though nothing had happened. The sound was comforting in many ways. If I couldn’t hear the shouts completely did that mean that everything was back the way it was supposed to be again?
I missed my mother so much; I wanted her to come back from the hospital. I wanted to know that she would live. I wanted to be held by my father, wherever he was. Did he even love me anymore? So much was wrong with the picture and I knew it.
Looking back now I realize that everyone knew it they just couldn’t fix it.
I watched as my little chest heaved with deep sobs. I turned my gaze away from the broken, little girl and asked, “Jesus, where were you when I was hurting like this? Lord, didn’t you care? At all?”
Soon as the question had been asked the light in the room widened. The source was not from the small door at the top of the stairs but seemed to swallow the black in the darkest corner of the basement. I watched that light grow. The little girl’s sobbing quieted to a whimper. My hope increased as did my ability to see Him.
His voice flowed with warmth greater than the heat of the sun. The way he said my name set my heart aflame. “Katie…Katie… oh, my sweet Katie.” He took a step towards younger Katie then knelt down beside her. He held a small bottle in his hand and pressed it lightly against my cheek.
“I keep a record of every one of these.”
I, grown up Katie, almost shouted at Him. How could He act so nonchalantly towards me this hurting little one? “Why are you doing that? Save her. Heal her mother! Good god. What kind of God are you?” He turned and looked into my eyes. I should have felt guilty for speaking out of turn but no. Instead, I felt complete peace. His kind eyes melted the ice around my heart. He accepted me even when no one else did. He understood my sorrow. He loved me so deeply as He could feel my pain. I held my breath as I caught a quick glimpse of the deep, red scars on both His wrists
As He continued to stare into my eyes the pained expression began to subside as He smiled. His eyes grew lighter, brighter, even more overwhelming. I was tempted to look away as He answered me, His voice soft yet powerful at the same time.
“Katie, I do this because I want to give you twice as much joy as you have experienced pain. I do this so my measurement will be accurate.” My eyes started to burn as He turned away and focused His attention on the girl’s tiny body. He wrapped His strong arms around her shoulders, His white robe ran over her like a blanket of snow. As soon as she was enshrouded I heard His voice, rushing like the pounding of waves on surf. It commanded the attention of all darkness and sent any feeling of despair shrieking as it ran for an exit. It echoed through the caverns of my wondering, wandering heart, bringing to life my trust in the God of the Bible. His discourse aimed at the hopelessness and death surrounded us.
“She is mine and I will protect what is mine. She is safe in my arms. Darkness. You will not overcome because she is mine.” He turned back to me, His eyes blazing like fire.
“Katie, I was always there… in your darkest moments, I was there. I am still there. Horrible things happen because of free will and Satan’s reign on earth but my child… nothing can separate you from the love I have for you. Nothing.”
I looked up at Him, tears now running from my eyes. “I believe you, Lord. You were there in my darkest moments. You are here now.” He nodded then stood and walked towards me.
“Remember that I will never leave or forsake you, Katie. I am yours and you are Mine.” He paused to wipe His warm thumb across the streams running down my face.
I choked out a response. “I love you.”
His voice continued, as smooth as always. “I love you too Katie. I always have.” His eyes continue to shine more brilliantly than the light now filling the room. He brushed a curly piece of my hair from my face.
“Don’t allow yourself to doubt that I always will.”
I share this story in light of the fact that so many of doubt the goodness and love of God based on the garbage things that have happened in our lives. I encourage you to sit down with Jesus, Holy Spirit and the Father. Ask God to reveal the most painful moment in your life then ask Him where He was in the midst of it.
I guarantee He will answer you and show you that He cares about the elements of your life no one else seems to give a rip about. Feel free to listen to the song I have included below as you do so. Be prepared for Him to shine His glory on your circumstance <3 it delights Him to do so.
With much love,
Last night was terrifying… I hadn’t experienced a panic attack or anything remotely close to it until the clock struck two Oct 12, 2017. Disclaimer: if you think this sounds anything like Dickens then thank you, I’m honoured. I imagine your next question might be, “so when does the ghost of Dairy Milk past come out to haunt you?” Haha, funny. You’re funny. There was no chocolate ghost. Not this time. Not ever… I don’t think inanimate objects have ghosts actually…
But, in honour of being poetically fancy I will let you know that the ghost of my “should have dones” and “what ifs” hovered over my head like ghouls on speed. They would never rest. They couldn’t settle. They jumped in and out of my brain. They clouded my judgement with their waxen, white robes. They wouldn’t let me be.
You might be wondering why I was in this mood of complete frenzy… well, my neck was killing me and I needed to wake up for cross fit in a couple hours.
More importantly, I didn’t do well on one of my University assignments and was told my highest mark would be a B + in that class. This wouldn’t be so awful if I wasn’t planning on applying for graduate work but indeed I am; when I am finished my Education and English degree this year I plan on applying to law school. As I’m sure you can imagine, the require a fairly high GPA (by fairly high I mean to the moon high… no… to VY Canis Majoris high… yep, that’s slightly more accurate).
On top of that many other passions, options and things to achieve decided to pillage on my mind.
As I lay there, my head and neck aching, I thought of familial issues and my role to play in them, my responsibility as a loving wife, my book and publishing paths, my relationship with God, my relationship with friends and obligations, my reputation and credibility in the work force. I began to think of assignments that I might tank and stupid things I might say during my upcoming presentations. I started to think about all the extra volunteer work that was required of me and if my health, as it stands, would allow it.
In short: there was a circus going on in my head and I couldn’t sleep above the din.
For a while I lay there, allowing the clowns, acrobats and tamed lions to run rampant through my mind. I allowed fear to swallow me whole. After many too many minutes of paralysis by way of fear I realized something very important.
It was something that would change how I would react to the situation.
I remembered that I am the daughter of a God who is so much bigger than the anxiety, the fear, the worry. I am the daughter of the King of Kings, the Lord of all Creation! Why would I let one grade bother me? If one grade too big for the King of the Universe to work with? I would give my fear and anxiety to Him. I would let Him take it then not allow myself to take it back on. Yes! It had worked before.
In light of this fresh information, I stilled myself in the darkness and started reciting Psalm 23. It goes a little something like this:
The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul (no one else can do this). Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for your rod and your staff they comfort me. You prepare a place for me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil (with joy). Surely Your goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
After repeating this a couple of times, much to my relief, the wildly beating heart within my chest started to sink beneath waters of placid peace. The storm in my mind calmed to a dull roar then stopped altogether. My worries faded away. The throbbing in my neck subsided bit by bit. My body relaxed and I was pulled into the arms of the Prince of Peace. He watched over me as I slept. I could feel it.
The next morning, my heart felt so dry and exhausted. I needed something anything. I needed more than the materialistic gains I had been running for to satisfy me.
I spent a good amount of time with Him rehashing what I had felt and how desperately I needed His presence and His guidance. I felt like a creek bed, dry and without sustenance or life. It didn’t take long for Him to answer each one of my cries with that sweet voice of His… that sweet, sweet voice.
He calmed my fears.
I write this for a couple different reasons but one of the most important is so that you know you are not alone. If you are struggling with fear, anxiety of anything of the like today please approach God and ask Him to still your frantic heart. He longs to hear your cries. He will not judge you for them. He welcomes you with open arms and a gentle heart.
He wants you to live life to the fullest and not to be bound by societies (and your own) expectations. Allow yourself to rest in His strong arms today. Let His peace flood you.
If you need prayers for anything do not hesitate to contact me.
This sound is incredible to listen to when you’re going through a tough time. It helps calm me when I’m having super tough time <3
Instagram is evil.
Okay, maybe that’s not the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Maybe it’s not Instagram that is demented. Maybe it’s my own heart that needs a little work… yep, that’s it.
My apologies for the misleading title ;P
It’s my heart that needs some surgery and, my lawdy, with every picture I flip through that heart, is aching something fierce.With each swipe and tap of my phone’s screen waves of searing disappointment pass through the soft tissues and puncture holes for grief to fill.
Swipe. Tap. Tap. Swipe. Tap. Tap. Look at all the likes she has. Wow, look at her hair. Oh my gosh, look at all the fans he has. Look at the fashion sense she has. Swipe. Tap. Tap. What is the point in me even trying? I’ll never be anything compared to these people. Swipe. Tap. Tap. I’m nothing compared to them. Nothing.
I wasted approximately five minutes flipping through the photos of people who appear to have it all together. With each swipe and tap my heart sunk a little lower.
Swipe. Tap. Tap. On top of feeling severely inadequate, I had also just wasted five minutes of my life… minutes I could have spent doing something much more productive. The homework was piling up. My book needed revamping. Really, what did all that stuff mean anyway? No one would care. I was a nobody.
Fail boat. Fail boat. Fail boat.
Another wave of excruciating pain coursed through my heart. Failure was chunky, thick layers of gritty salt on my pulsing wound. I had to take a breath. I had to stop and find relief. I had to take a moment to talk to the only one who would have answers for me.
“God, why don’t I have all that they have? Why don’t I have the fame? Recognition and attention? If only I had the money and if only I was considered one of the most beautiful people on earth. If only. Why don’t I have all that? Why?!”
“Katie, why are you believing lies when you know the truth?” I paused, struck by the knowledge that I had no answer for Him.
I sat in silence and waited for the gentle whisper of His voice. Finally, it came.
“Katie, it is you who matters. The way the world measures success is very faulty. Fame and money mean nothing to me in the end… but you Katie.” He paused to smile with those perfectly clear eyes.
“You are my Child and you mean the world to me.” I nodded then sat in silence, allowing His words to bring peace to my festering wounds. After thinking about the situation for a while I came to a conclusion:
God will do great things in me and through me and I am excited.
This is the truth of all of us. He has plans for us, regardless of how unworthy we may think we are. Really, when it boils down to it, He prefers working with the humble and not the proud and He has plans for us, regardless of how unworthy we may think we are.
Here’s another tidbit of truth for us: ultimately what matters is what He says about us in the end.
The King of the Universe is our Father. He has so much in store for us, even if the world doesn’t recognize us as top notch material or the most gorgeous human being on the planet. This doesn’t take away from how valuable we are to the King who made us perfectly.
I am not going to let the potential of earthly treasures take away my joy; I urge you to do the same.
Have an amazing weekend <3
As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed this morning…bad Katie! Naughty, naughty Katie! These things ought to wait until you have at least wiped the goop from your eyes and mumbled something slightly intelligible to your husband… anyway, that was not the case… so, I was scrolling through and found an heart-wrenching/tearjerker of a video clip.
In the clip, there was a little girl and her Father. The man stood behind her, looking into the same mirror as his daughter. He kept his eyes locked on hers as he told her, “you are beautiful…you are worth my time…you are valuable sweetheart.” After about thirty seconds of this, he went on to ask her the question: “baby, what are you?” I held my breath. What could she possibly believe of herself at such a young age? The little girl grinned a toothy smile and responded matter-of-factly.
“I am intelligent.”
“Yes. You are intelligent.”
“You are loved by God…”
Her smile widened and pulled at her little cheeks. “Yes.”
“Yes, you have been made by Him and are so precious to Him.”
She giggled in response. “Yes, Daddy.”
As I watched this precious encounter I laid my hand on my face and felt for the many blemishes and bumps littering my skin. I thought about my imploding closet and all the clothes I didn’t feel comfortable in. I started to think about the many lies that invaded my mind even as I lay there staring at my screen. Although it was a battle I had won many times there was a part of me that didn’t want to get up and look in the mirror. I didn’t want to face my fears, again.
Before doing anything else I needed to stop, spend time with God and believe what my Father said to me.
I would like to share some of the truths He spoke over me from my “mirror conversation” with Him earlier. As you are His child they are as true of you as they are of me. I suggest you repeat the bolded words as they are nothing but truth. They are truths that your Father is speaking over you today…
My precious, precious Daughter. You are perfect.
You are precious, a jewel. You are flawless, perfect.
So beautifully formed, woven together and crowned with the jewels of excellence. You, my dear, are my perfect work of art. No flaw can be found in you, my darling. When you make mistakes I see you, not them. Even though the world doesn’t see what I see doesn’t mean it is not there. Trust me, it’s there.
You are a perfect work of art. There are no flaws in you (not even those meteorite zits are considered flaws to God).
I sing and dance when I think of you. My heart is in a perpetual state of joy because of what I have created, you.
My heart is in a perpetual state of joy because of you.
My Daughter, you are the most complex tapestry to ever be created. My excellence and precision formed everything about you. I gaze upon you and am completely enthralled. My thoughts are encapsulated by your presence and by the personality I have given to you. I smile so brightly when you find humour and joy in this life. My heart ignites when you speak my name and seek my guidance.
Your heart, emotions and mind are made to be complex. This is not a mistake. I rejoice in your complexity.
I wait for you to come and speak to me. Oh, I wait. Patiently I wait. I want so badly for you to live a life that is full, rich and thriving beyond abundance. I am the Owner of all this world possesses. Come to me, ask and receive from me whenever you are in want. I never grow tired of your questions. I am never irritated or frustrated by your mistakes and short fallings.
Come to me and I will supply whatever you need. I am your Provider.
Please, have joy in knowing that I walk with you every day… I walk with you, regardless if you can feel me or not. I am not a figment of your imagination. I am real, I am alive and I am passionate. I am passionate to fight on behalf of my girl, my previous, my beloved.
I am passionate to fight on your behalf. Tell me how you have been treated wrongly. I care about you. So much.
My Daughter, you are seen. You are noticed. You are loved. You are flawless.
You are Mine.
With Eternal Love,
Unfortunately, I couldn’t pull up the original video on youtube. I think the substitution below is pretty darn good <3