Home is Where the Heart is ?!?

If home is where the heart is, than I’m in trouble. My heart is in pieces all over the country. With every goodbye at FLI, I left pieces of my heart behind with the students and staff. As I drove home across the country I talked with or saw a lot of old friends and family on the way through. They too held some of my heart.

The closer I came to home, the more familiar the surroundings became, but the stranger I felt. I recognized them, but did they recognize me? Do I recognize myself? I’m more sure of myself than I have ever been, I learned a lot about who I was in the Lord, so why am I so unsure in the midst of the old familiar? The only consistency I found was change it’s self.

I spent a lot of time at FLN (Where I’ve been working - before FLI) and then even some time in my old apartment. I sat on my old comfy couch and enjoyed the comfort it gave, but it was like simply visiting a friends. It didn’t seem like my apartment any more. I realized that I have been out of that apt as long as I had lived in it before. It’s also been close to 4 years since I moved out of my parent’s house – that will always be ‘home’, but at the same time it isn’t.

Where was my home? Is my home? Who I am doesn’t or shouldn’t change in the light of my surroundings. Is my home spread out all over the country with my heart? There is beauty in that thought, but a lot of pain too.

As I contemplated this, the Lord began whispering to my heart. “Home; IS where your heart is, because I hold your heart; pieces and all.” Peace flooded through me as I chewed on this. Surroundings, states, buildings, apts, the familiar, they are nothing. I gave my heart to the Lord- for Him to hold. He hasn’t let go and won’t as I ride out these emotions.

“even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”
(Psalm 139:10)

Anyone else here too? In the light of Christmas, if you are not near the ones you love, or not all of them, take heart. He is holding your heart, and your home and resting place is and can be found in Him.

I Learned How to Fly!

How in the world do I put this past semester into words? They escape me. How to explain the deep workings of the Lord within my heart, the refreshing, healing, and the freedom I found? Or the community and friendships developed that will transcend time into eternity?

How about the deeper worldview foundation, and leadership skills that were built; allowing me to challenge and engage the culture around me winsomely with truth? Is it possible to capture and embody what it looks like to learn and live out your identity in Christ? I hope so.

For the past 4 months, I have been drinking from a fire hydrant of information. It will probably take me a lifetime to live out and unpack what I have learned at Focus Leadership Institute, and from working in Focus on the Family’s, Family Ministries Division.

The semester closed with each student giving a 10-minute symposium/speech of the highlights/lessons learned from the semester. Impossible to put 4 months into 10 minutes, but in one word, I found freedom. Freedom through learning what my identity in Christ is and how to use the strengths God gave me, and who He created me to be as a woman. The freedom in balance and boundaries and freedom found discovering that my deepest hurts and brokenness, are really the wellsprings of transformation and passion to live out the Lord’s call in my life.

My prayer going to FLI was that it would be a time of refreshing, challenging, clarity (interpreting my previous experiences), vision and transformation. The Lord answered those prayers in deep ways, though not always in the way I was expecting.
I learned how to let go and have fun again, and yet at the same time I feel as if I grew up in many ways. Balance and intentionality took on new meanings.

I was asked to complete the sentence ‘I am…’ at the beginning of the semester. I wrote – I am waiting for the dawn. In so many ways I had sensed the Lord moving in my life this past year, but couldn’t grasp or define it. It was a cold place of frustration. At the end of the semester, I would still write that ‘I am waiting for the dawn’. But it is a different place of waiting. This is a dawn of hope and bright promise. My slate was wiped clean during my time at FLI. I can’t wait to see what the Lord is going to write on it, in the light of the coming days.

Before a butterfly can fly, they go through metamorphosis (transformation). They break free from their cocoons. At FLI I learned how to fly.

For Today - Called to be Single

I’ve always been very hesitant to write blogs on singleness. But I'm going to be brave and might even write a series of them! Writing on singleness is a taboo thing to do. And if I do write about it, will I be lumped with in with all the desperate needy singles? If you’re not needy, but still have the desire to be married, not talking about it is the easiest thing to do. Why talk about something we want but can’t have, when it only serves as a reminder of it?

The problem is, it IS healthy to talk about it. We don’t need to dwell on it, but talking helps keep perspective and lends encouragement. If you’re single I hope this encourages you, if you’re not, maybe you gain perspective to encourage your single friends. Peek with me through this window?

You can desire to be married and not be ashamed of it, or come across as needy and desperate. For the longest time I didn’t realize this. The Lord has brought me through various seasons of singleness from being completely content to really wanting a partner in ministry, companionship and a family.

What do we do with those desires though? Most singles handle them one of two ways, they either bury those feelings and turn try to turn them off (I’ve been guilty of this) or they become so consumed by these desires that it controls and rules their life. They start to become the desperate single.

There has to be a middle ground somewhere! How do we live a healthy fulfilling life, while still having the desire to be married? We’re not supposed to stuff the feelings – God’s design is for family, but we’re not supposed to dwell on them either. Do they sorta just sit in our minds like a nagging itch? That doesn’t sound very exciting either!

I recently heard the phrase that has become an answer to those questions for me. It is: ‘ For today, I’m called to be single’. That blew my mind. Here is the balance. We don’t need to stuff the feelings or dwell on them, but we can learn to live with them. One day at a time. Some day, hopefully we will get married, but in the mean time, we are called to be single. But for now, He has a purpose, plan and timing just like He does for every other season. If your in the single season than you are called to it for now, for today. So get excited! He has called and wants to use me/ us NOW.

So the next time someone asks me “you seem like a nice person, why are you still single?” I’ll simply say, “For today, I’m called to be single.” Instead of what usually runs through my head along the sarcastic lines of - “because I eat small children! Why do you think I'm still single?"

Be careful too of comparing yourself to others. I fall into that trap at times. I’ve had quite a few very close friends get married, or engaged in the last two months. More of my close friends have someone than not. It’s so easy to start complaining and feeling lonely and left out. The Lord really convicted me of this; “But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” 2 Cor 10:12 Wow. How often do I compare myself with my friends and wish for what they have? The Lord has me and (maybe you) on a different path. For today I am called to singleness and need to focus on that and be thankful for the opportunities He has given me.

I can deal with singleness if there is a purpose to it. God isn’t finished with you or me yet in this season if we are still single. He hasn’t given us this season to waste. How can we live intentionally to make the most of our single years? Yes, we will still get lonely at times but we will in marriage too. Marriage isn't an end all either, but simply another season the Lord will have us walk through. There will be challenges there too. :)

Rick Warren says it best: "Longing for the ideal while criticizing the real is evidence of immaturity. On the other hand, settling for the real without striving for the ideal is complacency. Maturity is living with the Tension” – How are you living with the tension?

Oil & Water Do NOT Mix

It all started with mozzarella cheese balls. Than again, maybe it didn’t. I think it all started with God’s grace and mercy. I could / should have full body burns but I do not…. His protection was over arching.

So I was super excited about trying to make authentic Greek deep fried cheese balls for our class dinner. (I’m still ticked all my spices and breading burned up! Grrrr, I really worked on those!) I’m still not sure why the oil caught on fire but it did. As soon as I noticed the oil was on fire I tried to put the flames out by putting the cover back on the pot. The flames were too intense and the cover was propelled back off, so I reached behind the pot, shut the burner off and moved it away from the heat. The microwave is above our stovetop and was beginning to blacken so I tried to move the pot to the sink in order to better contain the flames. (Don’t worry; I wasn’t going to try to put it out with water!)

During all of this, the fire alarm is going off, and my shocked roommates are running over and trying to find out what’s going on. Does any one know where the fire extinguisher is?!?

While moving the flaming pot to the sink, I didn’t see that the faucet was dripping. One drop truly does cause an explosion. When I realized my left-hand was on fire, I threw the flaming pot with my right-hand back onto the stove. This caused the oil to splatter all over the floor/stove/microwave and toaster. WHOOOSH is what happened next as the oil and oxygen met and burned in a flash flame. I slipped on the oil, fell to the floor and tried to crawl out of the kitchen. I was wearing an ankle length dress (which I rarely do around the apt) and it caught most of the oil- protecting my legs and bare feet. I have a few very minor burns on my feet, but it could have been so much worse! I also had just removed my metal rings (one of which was worn on the finger that was burned the most severely.)

At this point, several things happened at once (1) My roommate, Lindsey came out of the laundry room (behind the kitchen) and slipped on the oil too. I’m so glad she did though as dropping to the floor took her out of harms way and the flames on the stove that she could have walked through.

And (2) through this I heard the sweetest sound of the night - the smashing of glass as my other roommate Kensi found the fire extinguisher outside our apt. and broke the glass to get it. She is a hero!

Again the Lord stepped in, because neither of us remembered how to work a fire extinguisher. I took it from her and my hands just acted on their own as the Lord and adrenalin took over. I sprayed several times before I was able to get the flames out.

It wasn’t until we stumbled coughing outside, that I really noticed my hand and fingers. It didn’t take long to decide to go to the ER – as I watched my hand swell and change color.

It was my first (and hopefully only) trip to the ER as a patient. I have 2nd and 3rd degree burns on three of my fingers. The biggest concern and prayer right now is my knuckles in regard to scarring. If it doesn’t heal right, it will prohibit mobility in my fingers later on. I went to a hand specialist today and got a splint to help reduce the swelling. I meet with him again next week once the swelling goes down. He’ll hopefully be able to help me start working on bending my knuckles again. (This is a pic of my melted/fried fingers in the ER before the Dr cut the skin away.)

He may be a specialist, but I also know that the greatest Surgeon of all times has been hearing your prayers! I should be in so much more pain than I am right now. Thanks you so much for your continued prayers for healing!

The Lord has surrounded me with wonderful friends who are driving me places, changing my bandages, washing my hair and giving us places to sleep and feeding us. I am blessed. My prayer is that He will get the glory through this!

(And this is the picture of my fingers today at the hand specialist.)

My Mountain of Woo

Yesterday in church we sang the very popular worship song, “Mighty to Save”. I have sang it at least a hundred times or more, but this time one of the lyrics jumped out at me in a very different way; “Savior, He can move the mountains, my God is mighty to save”. The Lord has definitely moved a lot of mountains out of my life! But this is what hit me: If He moves mountains, does He move mountains INTO my life? Not just OUT of my life?

I tend to put the Lord in a box and only want Him to move the mountains out of my life - It’s much more convenient and neatly packaged that way! What in the world do I do when He moves mountains into my life? Builds them there? How fair is that? – I came to realize it’s not. It’s about Him getting the glory, whatever direction He chooses to move the mountain. The practical application of Him getting the glory is where it gets tough for me.

Last week we had a class on leadership and how to know and lead in the strength’s God has given each of us. I admit to having a very childish hissy fit when I found out that one of my strengths or gifting was “woo”. My first response was, what the heck is “woo”? Isn’t that some old romantic term? Tom Rath defines the strength of ‘woo’ this way: “People who are especially talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.” Another definition is that people generally like people who have ‘woo’ and they don’t even know why. They evidence a charisma of sorts.

At first glance doesn’t sound like too bad of a strength to have, right? This is where the whole “your greatest strengths can also be your greatest weaknesses” comes in. The dark side of ‘woo’ is manipulation. You know people, and how to work them. In extreme, Hitler had woo.

When I was about 15 years old I started to realize I had this side to my personality, but had no idea what it was called or what I should do with it. I quickly realized the power behind ‘woo’ (especially when it came to my interactions with guys) and it scared me so badly, I promised the Lord I would never use it to manipulate men. I tried to squelch and bury this strength.

God had other plans and this week I have realized how big a mountain of ‘woo’ I have in my life! Ignoring it did not make the mountain shrink! Rather than using it wrongly, I tried to pretend it wasn’t there, but in doing so I did abuse it. God doesn’t get any glory from us trying to hide our talents, strengths or mountains!
I still look at ‘woo’ as a mountain in my life because I don’t know how to use it yet. Some mountains block the Son, other mountains illustrate the glory of the Son. I want to use ‘woo’ to draw people to the Lord, not to Katie. This is something I’m still struggling with working through.

Femininity with ‘woo’ is still dangerous, it lends to unintentionally giving (guys especially) the wrong impressions. One of the things I have been re-examining out here in Colorado is how to have godly, peer friendships with guys.

I was asked out at gun point on Saturday. “Held up” by a guy on a sidewalk with a toy gun and laser pointer. Who then proceeded to ask if he could take me out to dinner to make up for the hold-up. You laugh but this happens to me all the time! Why is this? I have re examined everything from the way I walk and talk to how I dress, and I have found that doing that, only leads to a crazy circle of questions. Several wise and godly friends have reminded me that it’s not about what others think I should or shouldn’t do, or even what I think about it that matters. In the end it’s what the Lord thinks. He gave me ‘woo’ in the first place!

So I’m back to the central question in my life: “Lord what do YOU want? How should I act here?” And now a new question –“How do I use the mountain of ‘woo’, to woo people to Yourself? In sharing this with a friend and mentor, she reminded me of this scripture:

“But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”[a] But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”
1 Cor. 2:9-10. We often quote the first verse, but forget where and how, the things God has prepared for us, will be are revealed – through the Holy Spirit! I can’t begin to comprehend how the Lord will use my ‘woo’, if I surrender it to Him. I so often I fall into the pit of trying to figure it out on my own.

One last thought. I loved watching the sunrises or sunsets back home in New York state. But I don’t know if anything compares to the beauty of those same sunrises/sets in Colorado. Why? Because the mountains here give a depth and framework that accentuate and compound the beauty of those sunrises/sets that the flat lands never could!(most pictures don't even begin to capture it.) I’m praying it’s the same thing with my mountain of ‘woo’. I would have chosen the flat lands, to let people see the Lord in me. Yet He knows better and moved that mountain into my life, so that somehow, His glory can be reflected more! Anyone else have these mountains?

Why I Believe, What I Believe

This is an essay I had to write for my worldview class, answering the questions, "What do you fundamentally believe to be true? Why do you believe it to be true? and How did you come to believe that?"

My Worldview: What I see as essential to Life

In order to answer the question ‘what do I fundamentally believe to be true?’, we must start at the beginning and first ask what is truth? I believe that the very essence and meaning of truth is found in the character and being of God (“God” being embodied by the Trinity; the Father, Son [Jesus Christ] and Holy Spirit). Jesus says in the Bible that the very reason He came (becoming both fully human, and God - through the Son, Jesus Christ) was to testify to the truth. “… In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” (John 18: 37 NIV Trans.) Truth is, what is. It can be defined as reality.

The next question to ask is, well, what is reality? It is what is really, real; what actually happened. A lot of people have a different definition of what reality looks like to them, and truth could then be seen as relative. Truth cannot be relative it must be absolute. Relative truth is someone’s perception of the truth. It doesn’t change that fact that truth is truth. It’s absolute, because if everything were relative, we would have no starting point, no definition to explain why evil exists, or why good does. If truth were relative and we all had our own reality, there would be no purpose or meaning to life and chaos would reign supreme. (The chaos we see now, is the result from evil being present in this world and corrupting what was made originally good).

All around us, I see order everywhere in the design of things, from the way the seasons change and in every aspect of nature, to the basic instincts that every human possesses. Something or someone must have designed this. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1 NIV Trans.) Random, mindless, relative, invention does not produce order. That is why I believe there is a God. And through God, I find truth, and through truth; reality. If I want a correct worldview, or a correct reality, I must find it in the character of God.
To find truth in God’s character, I must come to know Him. I understand that we can find it by the studying of His word; the Bible, and through His Holy Spirit, which dwells in the believer.

That is why I base the fundamental truths in my life off of the Bible. It is the authority in my life, which directs how I should live and what I should believe.
If I could sum up everything I believe in one statement, it would be that – Jesus is life. Period. He is the very reason I can get up in the morning and have purpose. It is because of who He is, what He represents, and how He has shown Himself in my life that my life has any meaning at all. Anything outside of Jesus is simply details. Small details that can be traced back to Him.

The Lord sought me out, and found me. This is why I believe that all of my life should be centered around and in Him.

“God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'”
(Acts 17:27-28 NIV Trans.)

He also not only gave me life, but life abundantly and to the full.

My life verse is: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV Trans.) He came bringing me full life – not a life where I need to operate in survival mode, but a life that is rich, full, abundant and complete in Him. I want to spend the rest of my life learning what it means to have life abundantly in Him. What more could I ask for?

Because I fundamentally believe that Jesus is and should be the essence of life its self, my worldview reflects that. Any opinions, beliefs, ideals and actions that I take, I try to run through the filter of what it means to have Jesus as the center of life. Do I always succeed in imitating the Lord, and making correct decisions based off of what I believe? No. But this is what I strive for – to be like Christ and let Him have permission to effect, control, invade, change and then empower every area of my life, till my desires and will meet His. How I look at the world is directly effected by this belief.

The process of how I came to believe that all of this is true, would take a book to share, not an essay limited to three pages. In summary, I would say there are three main reasons why I believe that Jesus is life. It started with the way I was raised, and then grew to be my beliefs, through logic, (it just made sense) and through the wooing of the Holy Spirit. You can believe something and “know” it intellectually, but at some point a divine leap (through the Holy Spirit) must occur, between faith and logic.

One such instance of this happened this summer. I read in scripture what it means to be baptized by the Holy Spirit, to be filled with Him, in such a way that it over flows into your life, through the gifts of the Spirit listed in Corinthians. I believed it to be true because I believe the word of God to be true and had witnessed it in the lives of others. To my logical brain, the gifts of the Spirit made no sense, speaking in tongues? Prophesy? I was a big skeptic.

For months I questioned, thought and prayed about what it would mean to have an impartation of the Holy Spirit (apart from the initial impartation we get a salvation). It finally came down to faith. Did I really believe what the Bible said? I chose to believe what the Word said, and prayed that the Lord would give me more of Himself – and the power to live a more abundant life in Him.

He came, and being baptized in and learning to walk in, the Holy Spirit has been one of the sweetness times of my life. This was the leap between logic and faith (belief), for me. (2 Cor. 3:16 NIV Trans.) says it well “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.” It wasn’t until I chose to believe, that I finally understood. After I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, I understood it.

I know it to be true because, scripture tells us to “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”(Psalm 38:4 NIV Trans.) Many, many times I have tested and seen that the Lord is good. He is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do!

I realize, I hold this to be true a lot from personal experience, but the experience was based off of true reality. (There isn’t time to even begin to attempt to prove why I believe the Bible is true, that would be another paper entirely!) But if the Bible is true, because it is the word of God, and His character is true, than I can and do believe what the Bible says is truth, and try to live by it. Jesus is life and He came to give us that life abundantly.

If you have never sat down and asked yourself what your world view is, I would highly recommend it! The world and yourself need to know why you believe what you believe, because it will and does effect how you see and live life!

In the Year that King Uzziah died...

I’m still in the first week at FLI (Focus Leadership Institute), and I’m beginning to see just a glimpse of how much I will be challenge in the next 4 months. But instead of feeling overwhelmed like I expected, I am unbelievably excited!

Sure, the syllabus is intense from the academic standpoint, but I can’t wait! A lot of the things I have already begun to study on my own or have been curious about.

The best part is that they are not just focusing on education, but transformation. They have warned all of us, it’s not going to be easy, but so worth it. FLI’s goal is to give us the tools to be better leaders, but also bring us to the place were we could gaze upon the face of God. For that is where transformation occurs.

Isaiah’s commission in Isaiah 6 is sort of their theme scripture for FLI, as well as their commission to us:

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on the throne, high and exulted, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphs, each with six wings .... And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.”

At the sound of their voices the door posts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

“Woe is me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the alter. With it he touched my mouth and said “ See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin is atoned for.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here I am, send me!”

When you gaze upon the face of the Lord (spend time in His presence) You can’t help but be changed. You see yourself clearly, a sinner and a man totally unworthy to be in or near His holiness. Yet like Isaiah, He cleanses us. He not only atones for our sin, but takes our guilt away as well! So we can be free to serve Him, when we here the call. The only way to hear the Lord’s call though, is to be in His presence, attuned to and listening for Him.

I want to hear the call again, and say with everything I am “Here I am Lord, Send me!” I have no idea what type of transformation the next 4 months will hold for me, but I pray I am a willing vessel to His refining fire (or flaming coal!).

I’ve loved this passage for a while from a different point, because of a commentary that Oswald Chambers did on it. It’s just as challenging and Oswald looks at it this way:

“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord…”

Our soul’s personal history with God is often an account of the death of our heroes. Over and over again God has to remove our friends [or ppl we are attached to], to put Himself in their place, and that is when we falter, fail, and become discouraged. …When the person died [left] who represented for me all that God was, did I give up on everything in life? Did I become ill or disheartened? Or did I do as Isaiah did and see the Lord?

He goes on to talk about how our vision of God is dependent on our character, and that determines whether or not truth can be revealed to us. Before we can say “I saw the Lord…” There must be a transformation in us to rid us of our personal biases so we can truly see the Lord. God has a way of taking those people/circumstances/distractions out of our life until we only see Him. It has happened to me on many different levels in the last year, and I want to see the Lord!

I am waiting for my Isaiah moment!

The Journey Begins!

We are off! WHOOOO WHOOO. Good Bye, NY - Hello West! Hoping to make it as far as Springfield Il, today to stay the night with my uncle. It’s by far the longest day of our trip.
I started the first leg of my journey west to CO last night by leaving my parents place in upstate NY to travel across western NY about 4.5 hours to pick up my girl friend Christine who is driving out the rest of the way with me. :) As I drove away I was overwhelmed by excitement. I think it’s finally hitting me that I’m going!

The waiting is over! I’ve prayed and wrestled so long for this – that God would give me a His dreams for me, replacing my shattered ones with something beautiful – He promised me He would, and He is SO faithful – beyond what I can even begin to imagine! I drove through a rainstorm and crested a hill to see the most beautiful sunset. It was surreal moment, way better than the movies - as I drove off into the sunset! It was definitely a mountain top experience as I looked back on the valleys of this past year and the steep climb to the top – the painful so longs and goodbyes, the long nights of questioning God, the intense wrestling of my soul and will into His – worth EVERY bit! I know there will be rough times ahead as well – that is life, but I feel like a bird set free – my heart sings, YES this is it! This is what you have been waiting for, made for! For the sheer joy of it, I rolled down my window and let out the biggest WHOOP, I could muster! The guy in the truck next to me gave me a funny look, but oh well, maybe he needed something to laugh at right then!

I hoping to take a picture that adequately represents each state as I go through it:
Here is my one for NY. I grew up trying to avoid these cows and had a good laugh when I drove around the corner and saw Eaton’s cows crossing the road again. Perfect way to capture the farm country I grew up in!

As many of you know my Betta fish is making the trip with me. Meet Abraham.
Abraham had to come with me for 2 reasons. (1) Because a year ago (this week actually,) the Lord asked me if I believed He was big enough to work in my life, when my dreams/plans for me derailed. The scripture “Abraham believed God and it was accredited to him for righteousness” became my theme. The past year as been learning to live out that belief. Abraham the Betta, got his name from that lesson,- which the Lord is continuing to teach me! He is my reminder to believe. (2) Abraham (in the Bible) also left his family, friends and comfort zone to follow the Lord’s leading.

My fish Abraham is not at all impressed that he gets to see the world from a mason-canning jar secured in a basket, but I think he’ll get over it in time! :D

The Lord is blessing the trip thus far – through big and little things, like sending help from friends exactly when it was needed, to everything fitting in my car!!!He is good to me and I DO believe that He is who He says He is and will continue to do what He says He will do!

From Family Life to Focus on the Family - The Back Story

Two weeks from today, I take a leave of absence from Family Life, just a few short weeks from entering my 4th year serving with them! Wow how times flies! I’m heading for Colorado and a new season in life. I’m trilled, I’m scared, I’m following His lead and I have peace!

Many of you have asked for the back-story on how I’m going from Family Life to Focus on the Family, so here it is (as condensed as possible!). For the past 6 months, the Lord has been stirring in my heart – creating a holy restlessness that I could not shake. Every time I would bring this ‘stirring or restlessness’ before the Lord, He would tell me to just seek Him and to begin getting ready for the next thing He had for me – though I had absolutely no idea what it was. Several close friends and mentors spoke into my life and they all said the same thing. The scary part was that those words of wisdom lined up directly with the passages of scripture that I would often open up to in my Bible. Passages such as this one, talking about the Lord’s calling and how He was going to declare something new:

"I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you." Isaiah 42:6-9

Everywhere I turned this spring the Lord was pricking my heart. To my intense frustration I could see the Lord moving in my life but could not discern what He was doing. For example, in March, while signing up for fall classes, I felt the Lord saying ‘Don’t. You’re just wasting your time, you wont be here for classes this fall.’ Well I shook my head, cleaned my ears out, and signed up for fall classes. Oh me of little faith! I had a good laugh at myself last week when I called and canceled classes at the community college!

After countless God nudges, and beseeching Him for wisdom and understanding,(when the only answers I would get were – continue to seek ME). I finally just said ok! I don’t get this, but I’ll file all these things away Lord and some day look back and say – Ah ha! Well today I look back and can say Ah ha! I now see where He was lining everything up!

During vacation out west in May, I spent a lot of time, arguing/praying/wrestling with the Lord. I was sharing my frustrations in regard to the ‘restlessness’ with my friend Christine the following conversation took place :

Christine: “what is it you want to do with your life? What are your dreams?

(looking a little aghast): “well continue in full time ministry! But I’m already in full time ministry!”

Christine (this was the question that changed everything): “if Family Life wasn’t in your life what would you do?”

Me (Without blinking an eye): “I would go to Focus on the Family!”

“well why don’t you?”

Me: “Cause they would never take me! – I love my job here.”
(I had never spoken the dream aloud of going to Focus on the Family – not even sure where that answers came from!)

For the next two months the “what about Focus” thought was always niggling at the back of my brain. It took me that long to get up the courage to even go ask them for more information. When I finally emailed them and asked for information on the Focus Leadership Institute, it was more for my peace of mind than anything else. I told myself – I’m just knocking on this door, it’s not like I’m walking through it!

I soon found out that I did not meet their requirements. I was relieved in a way, but also really and strangely disappointed! I was told to apply anyway and who knows? So I applied, and told the Lord, that by human standards, it was impossible in everyway for me to go, but if He wanted me to go, I would know it, based on the fact if I got accepted or not.

They only accept juniors and seniors in college, with over 45 credits and high GPA’s. I only have 13 credits (with a 4.0 GPA) and am technically still a freshman in college. By God’s grace, Focus’s admission board voted unanimously to make an exception an exception for me so that I could attend this fall’s semester!

I’m reminded that it is ALL Him!
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Cor 4:7

I found out I was accepted 5 weeks before the semester started and a few days before our busiest few weeks of the year at Family Life. To say life got interesting is an understatement!

I was tremendously excited but also wrestled with the Lord a lot too! Regarding my new apartment and finances. If I went to Focus on the Family, it would be an unpaid internship with them, meaning I would step out and live on 100% support until after Christmas. The Lord’s response? – “Do you trust me? Or just say you do?” Mark Batterson says that real faith is stepping out so far that if God doesn’t come through, you are in big trouble. I’m stepping out far! Here I come Lord!

A dear friend once told me if it was God’s will, it was God’s bill. He has proved that to me every step of the way. He only wants my obedience and unconditional surrender. I have watched God provide for me like never before in crazy ways and perfect timing through His people. Whether it’s a check in my mailbox or providing someone to sublet me apartment, my jaw hurts from hanging open, as I watch Him make everything fall into place. In His perfect timing not mine!

A week after I had faxed in all my paper work in, I got an email from Focus saying they are missing a letter from me regarding my financial assistance application. I panicked because I was on the road for the next 4 days with work, I wrote the letter in the car and got it to them as soon as I could. A few days later I was awarded with a half scholarship!!! But the amazing part was the timing, - funds had just become available to them, two days earlier. If my letter had gone in when it was supposed too, they wouldn’t have been able to give me a scholarship. Once again, God proves it’s all His doing and not mine!

I’m a sad to say ‘so long’ to all of my dear friends and teens here, but am very excited to see why the Lord is so bent on sending me west!
He is truly who He says He is and will do what He says He will do!

So my friends, with heart that is full of dreams and a little bit of crazy - it is time for me to say good bye and follow love! The love of my Lord!

The old FFH song 'Follow Love'
I'm gonna miss the simple town full of memories
I'm gonna miss just hanging out with all my friends
The rainy days and summer nights
Skipping stones by the river side
But i know.. its time to go

So heres goodbye heres so long
I must go and follow love
I feel my heart moving on
I must go and follow love
Carry on while I'm gone
This is what i've been dreaming of
I miss you so
But i must go, go and follow love

I've got a heart thats full of dreams
and a little bit of crazy
I can feel it pulling me to somewhere i have never been
I'm packing up and leaving home
To travel into the great unknown
Its time, i have to go

Hot Air Balloons

Yesterday, while running the Kid’s Carnival at Spedie Fest, I escaped for a few minutes to grab a bite to eat and try to find some sanity. It happened to be during the time they were getting ready to launch all of the hot air balloons. I sat in awe as lighthouses and ladybugs were blown up a mere 50 feet from where I was sitting. As I sat there the Lord started to show me that we are a lot like those hot air balloons. I love how He gives me illustrations when He’s trying to drive a point home!

Like the balloons we are created with all the potential we will ever have in the Lord. Everything we need to serve Him. We are born with it. “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Eph. 2:10 But it’s up to us how much we will allow the Lord to fill us with His presence. The Ladybug balloon in particular, was having a bit of trouble getting off the ground because she wasn’t filled with enough helium.

How often am I like that? Filled with just enough of the Lord to skim the treetops, but not enough to really soar? It’s good at the tree line, but there can be a lot of snags and the view from the clouds is so much better! So why do we not soar?

We don’t soar cause it’s painful to get there! The Lord has to cleanse the “me” out us first! (or at least the me out of me!) In order for a balloon to lift off the ground an intense fire in the bottom of the balloon heats up the helium. Without enough heat and air it won’t get very far off the ground.

How much is that like the refining fire of the Lord in our lives? He takes out and burns up the junk (and even the good) in life to make room for the best.

How high are we willing to soar? Are we barely getting of the ground or still in our boxes? Although I can complain and whine in that refining fire, I do want to see the view from the clouds and be used and filled to the potential God created me to be!

May we all “… be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Eph 4:19 And soar in whatever weird shape He created us!

Itchy Scars

Burning, nagging, random itch, where do you come from? Anyone who has broken a bone or had a deep wound knows that randomly the scars itch. Sometimes the area is over worked, other times it's the weather, or maybe nothing at all - but years later, long after the wound is completely healed, it still itches. So it is with emotional scars. Today, a heart scar which the Lord healed, itched. I was ticked! What was this? Why? The Lord brought peace and healing to this area of my life, where did this come from & why was this bothering me? I was SO over this! He had healed that wound.

The refrain from a Point of Grace song started running through my head -

"Heal the wound but leave the scar, a reminder of how merciful You are..."

It's funny how He heals, yet leaves the scar! I realized, when I look at my itchy scars - I'm tempted to remember the pain, and dwell there- not remember His mercy and healing! The scars are supposed to be our memorial stones of His goodness- what He brought us through and taught us! They are part of His "working all things together for good".

The "itch" also keeps us real, and keeps us seeking His face!

Thank you Lord for the mercy in my scars.

Half a Glass of God

Why is it that we only want a just a half a glass of God? Or maybe only $3 worth? We only want enough of God to save us, and enough to make us comfortable. Not enough of Him to make our cup run over. Just enough of God, so we can control Him. Perhaps just enough to get into Heaven 'by the skin of our teeth'? Wilbur Reese depics it well:

"I'd like to buy $3 worth of God please.
Not enough to explode my soul or distrub my sleep.
But just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine
I don't want enough of Him to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant.
I want ecstasy not transformation.
I want the warmth of a womb not a new birth.
I want a pound of eternal in a paper bag please.
I'd like to buy $3 worth of God, please!"

Why is this? We only let Him into parts of our lives, but not all? Why do we all want to settle for the least bit of God we can? At least I know I do. Or I did. I did until I started praying stupid prayers. They were stupid prayers (from a selfish perspective) because they moved me out of my comfort zone and changed my life! For me they sounded like "God make me hungry for You", "Please give me the will to want to serve and follow You not just the,' Lord help me do' ", "Please let me see this person or situation through Your eyes, and love them with your unconditional love...", "Use me" ... These most certaintly brought a lot of DIScomfort to my life and they will to yours too! But they were SO worth it! It may be uncortable but you feel ALIVE and you get to see God move! He becomes real. $3 of God is not enough to satisfy anymore. Aren't we supposed to hunger and thirst after righteousness?

I don't know about you, but when I'm comfortable in what I know of God, I stop seeking Him and I get sleepy! Sleepy and content people are exactly where the devil wants us. The Lord calls us to an abundant life. If His words are life shouldn't we be seeking them/Him with every bit of energy we have?

There is also another kind of stupid prayers, we say and sing them all the time in church. "Lord please let Your glory rain down..." What do you think would happen if God's glory rained down on a typical sunday morning service? Do we mean these words or grasp what the impication of them would be in our lives?

I've been praying a lot of stupid prayers lately. Sometimes I feel the Lord doing so much in my heart; my brain can't keep up and it's only making me want more of Him. It's like having spiritual growing pains. Well any miserly loves company; so I dare you to come on this journey with me! If you're brave, pray a stupid prayer and mean it! Watch God move and work in your life like never before.

I think if any of us are honest with ourselves for just a minute we'll realize there is so much more than the life we are living. Or at least in some area's of our lives. If you are living the abundant life, than you know everytime God shows you something, you realize there is so much more to learn. This trully becomes the adventure of a life time!

So I dare you - pray a stupid prayer with me today!

Falling in love with - JESUS ?!??

Crazy idea, right? At least I thought so! This blog is for my girls specifically, but I’d love to get guys feed back as well! A few weeks ago I gave a talk on modesty and purity to a group of wonderful teen and pre teen girls. During the talk I briefly mentioned something about how before they found husbands and boyfriends, my prayer for them was to fall in love with Jesus first. Well what does falling in love with Jesus entail exactly?

I think I was around 15 when I first heard of the concept of falling in love with Jesus. I was very skeptical at first. Jesus was God, not some guy for you have a crush on. But it sounded good to want to love Jesus first before I truly loved a guy so I started praying that it would happen for me.

Ok, well what does that look like? I knew you could have a deep Philo (brotherly love) for the Lord, but an Eros (romantic) love? Nah! I didn’t really like emotional stuff and much preferred knowing the Lord on an intellectual level. I wasn’t at all convinced until it happened to me! I knew there were scriptures about the Lord being my husband, and that was cool and all, but um, I sorta wanted a man with skin on. You know?

It’s possible for even skeptics to fall in love! For each of you, it’s going to look different. We don’t all fall for the same type of guys; neither will you fall for the same things about the Lord. I like dark, clean-cut guys with a sense of humor; my friend goes for the skateboarding, or slightly disheveled, artsy types. So it’s like with the Lord (well I have no idea if he’s clean cut or artsy) but you know what I mean! I think I first started falling in Love with the Lord, when I realized what a unique sense of humor He had (aside from the fact that He created me). His faithfulness to me also draws me to Him. What is it for you? What character trait do you love about the Lord?

So where does the Eros (romantic) love come in? It comes in when I see the most beautiful waterfall and my heart skips a beat, as I thank Him for it. Or when I’m praying and telling the Lord, I just need a re assurance of His love and I drive around the corner and there is the biggest sand dune I have ever seen and the words from Psalms pop into my head – ‘How great are Your thoughts to me oh God, how great is the sum of them, if I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand…” It’s all about the personal relationship with Him. If you let the Lord, He will literally woo (romance) you to Himself.

Love is the feeling, which bubbles up in your heart as you worship, or the restless, unease you feel when you haven’t spent time with Him. It’s the need to carve out time for “Date nights with Jesus” in my schedule.

Girls, I didn’t understand what love meant in human romantic relationships until the Lord, showed me what it meant by falling in love with Him first! It’s a lot easier to recognize “true love” when you’ve been taught how to love by the Creator of true love! Do I still want a man with skin on? Absolutely! But now that I know what love means, I’m a whole lot more ‘picky’ and the waiting is so much easier.

Don’t hold out for a perfect man. They don’t exist; they are just as much of sinners as we are! But hold out for a man that loves Jesus more than you do and will try his best to love you the same way the Lord loves you!

God created men and woman to complement each other, not complete each other. Our culture has that mixed up! Asking a guy to complete you and fill that need in your life to be unquestionably, accepted and loved, is a lot of pressure for guys! & Very unfair of us to ask them to fill an area of our heart that only the Lord can!

If you’re already in a relationship, you know relationships take work. Well so does a relationship with the Lord. It must be cultivated. He will woo you, but you in turn must respond and spend the time getting to know Him. The awesome part about falling in love with Jesus is, there is always another side or depth of Him to experience and know. You’ll never be bored! Once you experience His love, you can then love other people completely in return!

May you know what it feels like to fall in love with Jesus, before you fall in love with a man!

'Da Funk'

Ever have just “one of those days”? I call them the 'da funk' days. You wake up and sometimes for no reason you’re in a bad funk. Just feelin off. Well today is one of those days for me. I woke up in a funk! Not just a little funk but a big ole FUNK. I woke up questioning/complaining/arguing with the Lord about a certain area of my life. Not a great way to start the day FYI! And I’m not supposed have funk days! Especially not funk days when I’m apart of the ministry team at Creation Fest. Knowing that this especially was not the time to have ‘da funk’, only made ‘da funk’ worse!

I'm so glad that our God is still Lord of ‘da funk’ days too! I’m writing this blog sitting on a hillside watching several thousand people worship below me. Kinda hard to have a pity party with that happening. I claimed a spot of grass and the Lord and I began talking. Well it’s more like I’ve been repenting and listening! I’m at a point in my life where I have way more questions than I do answers. I want to know the why behind everything not just the what. I see God moving in my life and I want to know why He’s doing it or not doing it. The last few weeks the Lord’s been asking me to just seek Him. Not seek the answers. All my prayers have been- Lord, please give me wisdom and discernment here! But rather than the answers He’s asked me ‘ Katie, am I not wisdom? Am I not discernment? Seek Me’. But Lord, I want PRACTICAL answers! I want things I can physically DO! Tangible things, not just seeking You!

Wow, I’ve realized that somewhere inside of me there is still an argumentative, spoiled 2 year old! The Lord wants me to seek His face and leave the why’s and what’s to Him; and my response is complaining and getting into a funk over it? - insert dirty rotten sinner here –

The Lord’s patience with me astounds me! The goodness of the Lord, truly does lead men to repentance. This is the scripture I opened up to this morning:

Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him….” Psalm 37:2-7

The bolded words leapt off the page at me, as the Lord once again reminded me to seek Him first. I wanted something tangible to do... waiting on the Lord is definitely an action!

Even in ‘da funk’ the Lord reminded me to once again to lay the questions down and seek His face, along with the gentle promises of granting the desires of my heart, as my desires morph into His. What a loving personal God we serve! Once I surrender, repent and seek His face ‘da funk’ is suddenly gone!

Calvary's Love

I was recently asked to write a short essay on my favorite quotation and how it had impacted my life.

"There is a lot of quotes that have challenged me over the years, but I think the one that has impacted me the most is from Amy Carmichael.

' “If the praise of other elates me, if the blame of others depresses me, if I love to be loved more than to give love, if love to be served more than to serve, If I can not rest when I am misunderstood without defending myself- than I no nothing of Calvary’s Love”'.

The last line is what grips me – ‘than I know nothing of Calvary’s Love’. I love people and in certain areas struggle with people pleasing. When I’m striving to gain approval from people, I’m striving to fill a need only the Lord can fill. I want to be so secure in the Lord’s love for me that I don’t need man’s approval in order to be validated. When I grasp different aspects of what Calvary’s Love means in my life, I weather life’s storms a lot better! I’ve realized I will never find a love that completes me in human relationship, be it platonic or romantic. The Lord’s love for me is the only one that meets the deep need I/we have to be loved.

Not desperately searching for relationships or things to fill that need, has freed up so much time and energy! I’ve tried to take the time and energy and use it to minister to people by showing them what Calvary’s Love means to me. To me Calvary’s Love is security, it’s peace, it’s forgiveness, it’s a challenge, it’s service, it’s way more than I can ever understand. Every time I get to a place where I think I know what it means, the Lord calls me deeper or shows me another side and meaning of that love. It’s exciting and all encompassing and I want more of it! In order for me to be an effective leader or witness for Christ, I must first grasp what His love means."

So how about you? What are your favorite quotes and how have they challenged you?


Perfection. Does it haunt you? Is it something you strive for but can never obtain? Is it the inner drive which propels you to be the best you can be and do the best you can do? Or does it rule you and stifle you because you can never measure up?

Does it push you to excellence?

Perfectionism can be your greatest strength or your greatness weakness. The more I learn about myself and observe other people the more I realize you need a balance in every character trait. Good things taken to the extreme can in the end be a detriment. (I'm not saying be complacent and luke warm - be passionate - but don't let the means over rule your end goal. In this case, the end goal is to be like Christ.) I don't know what to call this inner need or drive we have toward perfectionism. It seems some people have very little of it, while others are consumed by it.

Recently a friend shared he struggled so much with wanting to be able to do everything to perfection that in the end he does nothing at all because he can never measure up. I struggle with that too. I can't do it so why try? Why try? Because we can learn and by learning can give God the glory! When we fall flat on our faces - we no longer obstruct people's view of the Lord's glory! We are out of the way and where He can use us. He doesn't want our perfectionism - He wants our hearts.

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1. Cor 10:31
"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men" Col. 3:23
He wants us to do everything to our best- for His glory and to honor Him. But sometimes I think our standards are higher than His! He simply asks for our hearts and our all, not our perfection! While praying about this the Lord led me to this scripture and it really rocked my world for a few days :
"To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless." Psalm 119:96
He tells us our perfection has boundaries and hinders us in life! But His commands are boundless and they ARE life.
"It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy." Rom. 9:16 He also says;
"But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Matt. 9:13 Non of us can measure up. Ever. If we could we would negate the very reason and purpose for Christ coming!

Does perfectionism rule you or do you use those tendencies to push yourself to work heartily as unto the Lord? When used correctly perfectionism can be channeled to produce excellence in character and work that reflects the Lord glory.

Perfectionism- To rule you or to reflect Him? That is the question.


I wrote this blog with my teenage girls in mind. This is for you - all of my beautiful, blooming, girls - budding with life!

I have a fetish desire to touch and smell unfamiliar flowers! I was the child who always came in with a yellow tipped nose from flower pollen (and shhhh…. I still do!). I recently came back from a road trip where I was in 10 different states near the west coast. I saw, took pictures of (and stuck my nose in!) hundreds of different flowers in the desert and mountain plains. As I observed the unique flowers in the various climates, I noticed they had one thing in common – they all blossomed in the harshest of conditions. There were no sculpted, fertilized or raised flowerbeds out there. These flowers bloomed and grew from the parched, hard and cracked desert ground or from the fierce windblown mountainside cliffs.

As I observed this the Lord starting showing me that our lives are like these flowers. Regardless of what got us to the rough places we walk through in this life (be it personal or stupid choices, a calling, or something that happened to us beyond our control) we all go through the rough places.

What do you do in the rough place? Do you lie dormant hoping for the gentle rain to come along and change your circumstances of hard ground? Do you give up and give in to sin, bitterness, frustration, anger, pity, and perfectionism? And by doing so die in the cracked, unforgiving ground? Or do you blossom and bloom anyway? Despite the circumstance of your life do you allow the Lord to use those hard winds to prune you till your blooming with all the brilliance He designed and created you to? Maybe you’ve bloomed and tried to allow the Lord to mold and use you in these times but you’re getting dusty, the wind has tarnished and dulled your blossoms to a dull shadow of what you used to be. You blend in with the hard backdrop rather than brilliantly shining with your glorious hue of colors.

Where are you at today? Where do you need to be and what do you need to do to get there?

The Lord does not call into account our circumstances – He judges on how we react to them. Time is precious, we can’t waste it dying or being dormant, waiting for things to change. The Lord has only given us today to bloom for Him. Are you reflecting His glory in your life?

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About Me

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I'm a fun loving, people person, with a passion for ministry and the Lord. My greatest desire is to see people come to realize who they are in Christ and how that effects every area of their relationships and lives.I want to know Him more.