Sunday, April 27, 2008

Christmas Stocking

Don't ask why I was thinking about this today, but I was.

When my mom was pregnant with me she started making a Christmas stocking for me. I don't know if her goal was for me to use it my first Christmas or what, but she was making this stocking. She worked on it in the hospital after I was born, she worked on it in the hospital after my sisters were both born. (I'm beginning to think she only worked on it while she was in the hospital and thankfully that hasn't been very often). Anyway, I am now a legal adult and this stocking has yet to be completed. It has been a work in progress for at least nineteen years now, and I wonder if it'll ever be completed.

I've been a work in progress for at least nineteen years now, and I won't be completed until the day I die. Like my mom works on that stocking little by little (we'll pretend she works on it more than she really does), God works on our lives to draw us closer to and to be more like Him.

<>< Katie

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart." Jeremiah 1:5 a, b

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tonight I Dance Alone

So I promised myself I wouldn't talk about boys, think about boys, dream about boys, etc. I'm not in college to get my MRS. Although... My parents met in college. So many of my friends that are upperclassmen are getting married. As hard as I try, I am still a girl and I will probably dream about boys until the day I say, "I do" and after that I won't dream about "boys" I'll dream about my boy. :-D

I've come to terms the fact that I'm in college and have never been kissed. Never had a boyfriend. Never even been on a date. (OK, prom, but that's a date for a dance not like a date, date... yes, there's a difference, yes, it's hard to explain.)

But it's formal time and it's the first time since Homecoming of my senior year that I'm going alone. It's the first time since long before Homecoming that I'm in a group without any guys. It's weird. I'm not going to lie and say I was overzealous with the fact that I had a date, but now not having one I realize how fun it was to have one. Maybe it's just that I spent a few hours getting my hair done, doing my makeup, getting all pretty and there's no one that it's for. Maybe it's that I feel all that time was wasted because I am self-confident in my appearance without a gallon of hairspray and oodles of make-up. Maybe it's that I saw women all across campus heading out with their boyfriends for this special night. I don't know what it is. I can't say I'm lonely because I had a fun night making dinner with the girls. I think more incomplete.

However, I am willing to deal with my incompleteness until the Lord is ready. There are still some things He and I need to straighten out before I can add a man into the picture. I'm not ready, but, boy, do I want to be ready. :-) Someday my prince will come! Someday my prince and I will dance as one (and we won't grind!). Until then, I will feels like a princeless princess and be ok with it.

<>< Katie

"Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him." Psalm 37:7

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Burnt Bagels and Broken Fingers

So many birthdays lead to so many updates!

Yesterday was Natalie's birthday. I couldn't decide what Natalie story to tell and to still "be censored" (to quote Laura one small group). For some reason Natalie's stories always end of in one of three places: sports, science, or the bathroom. Did you know God can speak through the chemistry Principle of Microscopic Reverse? How about getting your eyebrows waxed? Using the same bathroom stall repeatedly? He's God and He can do anything but that doesn't mean He needs to speak through spell check. In hearing from Natalie how God speaks through bathrobes and lip stick, I've come to hear God speaking a lot more clearly through the strangest things.

My friend Natalie is an amazing woman, but sometimes the things she does makes me laugh at her. Natalie dislikes the way a toaster toasts a bagel, so whenever she wants a toasted bagel she has cook it in the oven. One afternoon she decided she wanted a bagel. Well, she put it in the oven and got distracted. She remembered the bagel a little while later and it was literally flaming in her oven. After getting the flames to stop, she realized the scorched bagel was not going to giver her body nutrition; she threw it away and made a second bagel. As luck would have it, poor Natalie did the exact same thing! On the third try she finally was able to have a snack.

A few weeks later, Natalie was playing flag football with a group of people when she once again made the same mistake twice. During a play she was reaching for one of her opponents’ flags when the flag slipped out of her hand and she got her finger caught. A wise choice perhaps would have been to stop playing for the day, but Natalie is way too competitive to bench herself. Instead a few plays later, using the exact same move with her other hand. She succeeded in fracturing two fingers on two different hands during two plays so exact to the point where the x-rays were identical.

Natalie needed to break two fingers in order to stop playing football and burn two bagels in order to pay attention to what she was doing. Sometimes we're incredibly stubborn to the point where we have to make the same mistakes twice before God is able to get our attention.

What does God have to do to get your attention?

<>< Katie

"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received." Ephesians 4:1

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

God's perfect timing!

Approximately 11 days ago I began reading through the Gospel of Matthew one chapter at a time. I've been reading one chapter every night before I went to bed. In less than 11 days Satan has been getting at me, "You don't need to read this, you need to go to bed. This is a long chapter and you've heard it before, after all, just read it tomorrow. You have a lot of work to get done, just go to bed, deal with it later..." So halfway through the chapter my brain starts to wander and I think about all the work I have to do... the eight page paper on Isaiah 6, the fifteen page paper on slavery in North Carolina, the alcohol paper, etc... It just continues and continues and I'm really stressed because of it!

Well, the chapter I was reading yesterday was Matthew 11. In the middle of all my stress, I stumble across this verse, "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn fro me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

I'm burdened. I'm weary. I'm coming.

<>< Katie

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Monday, April 21, 2008

"Look what I found!"

Tomorrow is Brianne's birthday. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day. Instead, I'll update today. :-)

Ok, so what story to share about Brianne? There are so many! The tears, the laughter, the just plain stupid... They day I drove home at like 10pm to be the only one home except for the car waiting outside my driveway who blinded me with their headlights... The time she "cleaned my room" (and by "cleaned" we mean took everything out of the drawers then said she had to go home)... Then there are so many camp stories like the time we got peanut buttered... the endless conversations at 3 am (accompanied by phone calls from her roommate...)... The late-night on the moon bounce at my graduation party...

How do you sum up five years of memories in one blog? How do you pick your favorite? You rely on text messages from the source! I got a text message from her this weekend and it reminded me of a funny story I'm just going to have to share.

Brianne loves camp fires. Like REALLY loves camp fires. After sophomore year we were set to have one as a big group of people and Brianne came over early to help gather some wood from the woods behind my house. We'd collected several armloads of wood and had enough to keep the fire going for much longer than we would need. I'd left the woods and was working on something else in the backyard but made the mistake of allowing Brianne to gather on her own... She was behind the trees to where I couldn't see her, yet we were still talking.

"Perfect!" I heard her exclaim. A few minutes later she came out of the woods dragging a tree. Not just a lot of fire wood. Not just a really big branch. The whole stinkin' tree! There were still leaves on the top of it and everything! I asked her if she took and ax back there and chopped it down and she said no. I broke off a branch and sure enough, it wasn't green (I was glad otherwise I was going to make go put it back??). This tree took up half the back yard! We already had a plethora of sticks to burn and now we had a whole tree, too! I figured we'd chop the branches off said tree and burn the actual trunk later otherwise we'd be there all night. Brianne wasn't so keen on my idea but she enjoyed the idea of being there all night. She put the top of the tree in the fire pit and the other half stretched halfway to the swing set! (You think I'm kidding!) We lit the fire, made s'mores, and were enjoying good company. (I won't tell you that was the same bonfire we burned out chemistry notes, too...). Every now and again Brianne would stand up, grab the tree by the trunk and push it further and further into the pit. I was scared the tree was going to catch fire and her tree was going to burn all of our nice grass (Yes, I am a pyropohe). Brianne, on the other hand, had a blast! To this day, whenever she comes over for a bonfire I am forced to remind her what kind of sticks we like for fires and what kind of trees should be left alone... and she laughs remembering our first bonfire.

Love ya, girl! Happy Birthday!

<>< Katie

"David danced before the Lord with all his might." - 2 Samuel 6:14a

Monday, April 14, 2008

"If you fall, it's not my fault, but I'll catch you." - Rastor Puss

Since today's Rastor Puss' birthday and it's been awhile since I updated, I felt it was only appropriate to share a God-moment involving him.

Last summer, I took a field trip with my youth ministry to a rock climbing park in our area. It was quite the adventure! We had been having a blast watching each other climb the rocks. One girl made it all the way to the top for the first time! Another got further than she ever had! It was a blast! I really think Rastor Puss has one of the best jobs because that week he got to hang out with youth until well past 9pm on Sunday then go rock climbing on Monday, heck why does he have an office? (Something about preaching five sermons that weekend, oh yeah...) Anyway, Rastor Puss, the expert rock climber in our group, had been flying around like Spiderman (hence his new name) and we were all quite impressed. I wanted to try a harder climb than I had done that day and it was not set up with an auto belay like everything else I had worked with that day. Rastor Puss tied me into the harness and I was teasing him that if I came crashing to the ground and fell it was his fault because he had tied me in. His interpreted what I said to mean if I slipped on the rocks and began to fall.

"If you fall, it's not my fault, but I'll catch you," he responded.

I wasn't really scared but his words really encouraged me to keep climbing knowledgeable to the fact that even if I slipped, I would not be crashing to the ground.

How often do we fear falling and God has to remind us to trust Him? With Him on the other end of the belay, we won't come crashing to the ground. Ever. If we fall, it's not His fault, but He'll catch us.

<>< Katie

"Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord, the Lord is the Rock eternal."
Isaiah 26:4

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"Katie, I really need to find something else for you to do while I'm driving." - Rob

This weekend I went on a FOCUS trip with eight of my team members. We spent the entire weekend hanging out with middle and high school kids at a church about an hour from campus. We had a blast! (Well, except for that no sleep part... about that...)

On Saturday afternoon the youth all loaded their van and our team of eight piled into Rob's family's '91 Taurus. We were literally piled on top of each other... Three of us were shoved in the front seat where we each hardly had enough room to breathe. Liz was talking with her hands one time and almost hit Rob (our driver) in the head. If the car would have crashed, I would have taken a hockey stick to the appendix... As squished as we were, the people in the second seat had it much worse off. There were four of them squeezed to the point where they were sitting on top of each other. Gena's pet alligator, Pete, was poking Liz in the head, Tara's knees couldn't move, and Carrie had baby powder everywhere (Pete, the hockey stick, and the baby powder are another story for another time... don't ask... my FOCUS team is a bit... er... odd... er... AMAZING!).

We were told this would be a five minute drive, we didn't understand that by "five minutes" the youth leader meant "at least thirty minutes." I don't know how many of you have ridden with Rob behind the wheel and lived to tell the tale, but according to Natalie, "Rob driving is enough to get anyone praying!" We were all praying piled into this station wagon like sardines in a car... Rob had to floor the gas petal in order to get us to move a all. We were lucky not to rear-end anyone because they stopped too quickly... Honestly, I think if we'd have gone over a speed bump we would have lost some car parts because we were riding that low to the ground. The youth in the van were teasing us because we weren't keeping up with them, but really we were going as fast as we could! So, we're all terrified and piled in too close together; it's raining and we're not sure if we're going to make it out of the car alive... We realized in the trunk of the station wagon was our buddy Keith, who plays Jesus in every skit we do, was fast asleep. So there we were, terrified we were going to die and Jesus is in the back sleeping... Sound familiar?

It is safe to say we made it to our destination and back to the church without anyone dying, but there were some close calls!

<>< Katie

"A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion." Mark 4:37-38a