Thursday, July 31, 2008

So many memories, so many miles

Four blogs in three days. I must be sick. Actually, I am. :-)

My best friend Mary came over last night. I got home from work and had a splitting headache (remember, the sick part?) and wasn't thrilled about having to play hostess. I kind of vegged around the house and did nothing until about 8:30pm when my phone rang. Without looking at it or talking to her all day, I knew it was Mary, and I knew it was because of the construction. I answered the phone,
"The bridge is out. Sorry, I forgot to tell you."

When she got here, my headache kind of disappeared, and we played games all night long. Cribbage, Life, Scattergories, Stratego, Rack-O, etc. All classic Mary and Katie games. Surprisingly, this time we actually played by the rules and didn't make up our own rules. We've played Cribbage where if you don't want to throw into the crib you don't have to. If you don't like the letter rolled in Scattergories, you can roll again (ok, we did do that a few times, but, come on, how many pizza toppings, diseases, and Biblical women start with "K"?) Although, we still did some of our quirky traditions like naming our kids in Life as they came along...

I've known Mary since I was two. It's fun to hang out with someone like that who knows you soooooo well. We've teased that we aren't allowed to speak at each others' weddings because too many embarrassing stories will come out. Like the flair on facebook says, "We'd better stay friends forever because if we become enemies, we'll have too much blackmail." Even though Mary and I no longer have any common friends, experiences, or hobbies, we can still hold a multi-hour conversation. It's not one-sided. It's not "Oh, you weren't there for that." It's not "Do you know this person?". It's not awkward when the conversation finishes. A few minutes of silence is fine before the next conversation starts itself.

That's how things should be with Jesus. He shouldn't be awkward to talk to. He's always been there. He knows all of the same people. It should be an easy conversation. When the conversation ends, the silence of just being together should be nice before the next conversation begins.

When Mary got hungry while she was here, she didn't ask if I had any food. She'd help herself to the pantry and find food I didn't even know we had. If she wanted something to drink, she found a glass and filled it with ice. Let Jesus raid your pantry. Allow Him to fill your cup! "Have a Mary heart in a Martha world". Sorry, that was bad. See Luke 10. (Did that link really work? That'd make me uber happy if it did!)

After spending twenty-four hours with Mary, I would have expected myself to be sleep deprived. Shocking we were in bed, lights out, talking put on hold by 1 am. It's appalling because we normally try to stay up all night! Even though I got enough sleep, I have no voice. Too much talking (again, remember the sick part?). People here need to learn ASL because I hate not being able to communicate effectively. :-)

<>< Katie

"[Martha] had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. " Luke 10:39


When I renewed my driver's license the other day, it now does not expire until 2016. That's eight years from now! I realized I may not have to renew my license again until I'm living in a different state! My mom commented that none of my family may be living here by 2016. What by 2016 I'm living in a different state and have a different name? Now that's creepy! BUT sometimes change can be good (ok, Lutherans, one, two, three GROAN!)...

My family and I were having a conversation the other day and it was quite humorous. My sister and I realized that I'm going to have little girl kids and she's going to have little boy kids. Why? Because she loves to run around like a crazed maniac and wrestle, etc. While I love to sit and cuddle and have tea parties, etc. After dinner the other day, Christina looked at me and said,
"Katie, if you have little girls, they can have my American Girl doll clothes." I thanked her and reminded her the clothes were mostly mine to begin with. ;-)
Laura then added with a laugh, "Katie, if you have little boys and I have little girls, you can have my little girls and I'll have your little boys."
"And Grandma will take them all to the zoo, right?" I added.
It was around this point that my dad returned from outer spaced and wondered what the heck we were talking about and quickly commented he wanted no more kids.
Last night between our two games of Life, I had no boy kids but three girl kids. Foreshadowing???

Sorry, no deep Biblical connection today. Tomorrow perhaps.

In Christ,
<>< Katie

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I think we're gonna die!

I know, two blogs in one day WHAT? Well, you see, today is a very monumental day in our house, and I was not aware of it until five minutes ago.

In early July, my mom started a new diet that involves controlling what she's eating, how much she's eating, and when she's eating it. It's caused some major changes in our house. For example, it's 7:30pm, and we haven't eaten dinner yet because she can't eat for another 30 minutes. We're also had some pretty interesting food around here lately. The muffins aren't too bad once you get over the burnt-brown coloring, the crunchiness from carrot chunks, and fresh pineapple mush in them. We affectionately call her bread "Wood Chip Bread" because it seriously looks like mulch. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited to return to my college-diet of daily pizza.

My dad is taking another stand and attempting to save the environment. That's not to say he won't blow four cans of Raid in five minutes. Rather he's avoiding watering the grass and turning on the air conditioning. As a result, it's almost August and we haven't turned our air conditioner on all summer. It's ok because all of us (except Dad... how ironic is that?) like the breeze from having the windows open. I leave for school in two weeks and today, for the first day all summer, we turned on our sprinklers.

Mom's going organic.
Dad's going green.
We're going to die!

In Christ,

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1

Department of Motor Vehicles

Anonymous Melissa made a comment about being able to find a spiritual connection to everything. I'm pretty sure that's not true, but I'll figured it wouldn't hurt to try. I asked God if He could show me a spirital connection to a trip to the DMV. Sure enough, He did.

I had to go to the DMV today to renew my driver's license, and I wasn't really excited about it. In fact, I was pretty much dreading it. So, there I went first thing this morning, and perched myself in a chair where I figured I would sit for the next four hours. I tried studying for my final, I played Yatzee, and I people-watched. I saw some pretty fun folk.

A woman in scrubs with a young deaf girl probably four-ish.

A girl not much older than I am with two young boys. I'm pretty sure she's the nanny but it was still interesting.

A woman with an ity bity baby sleeping on her lap. Her older daughter was taking a road test.

A sixteen year old who failed his roadtest.

It was pretty fun to watch the people, but all of the sudden I looked up and my number is on the screen. It's been so intent on watching the people that I missed my number being called. Luckily I made it up to the lady before missing my opportunity completely, but I was embarressed.

Sometimes are we so busy watching other people that we miss God calling our names? That's bad. Sometimes we're killing time doing nothing, He's calling us, and we're ignoring Him. That's bad.

"No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our sins." Isaiah 64:7

Monday, July 28, 2008

God Speaking

Comments make my day. :-) I'm glad you like the song references. I'm sure there are more to come.

I wrote a blog during work today but wasn't pleased with it, so I saved it and decided to finish it later. It was talking about how all morning on Sunday I had different songs from Casting Crowns' Altar and the Door CD rotating through my head. I finally got them to go away and they sang "Everyman" in church. Annoying? Yes.

I then came home today and learned one of our family friends is in the hospital with a life threatening illness. She's younger than my youngest sister, and she's been really sick for several months. They finally have a diagnosis, but treatment will require multiple months stay in an out-of-state hospital. Prayers are much appreciated! I was texting my friend (her older sister) not really listening to my iPod as it played on shuffle in the background. Our conversation ended and I realized the song that was playing is on that I consider "her song." Of the 2,869 songs on my iPod, playing today was one of the two songs she gave me when they moved away. Perfectly planned? Of course.

I got an email update about her sister a few hours later in which she shared this story that went right along with this theme. She was driving yesterday with Casting Crowns Lifesong CD playing. She said it was a bright and sunny day when "Praise You In This Storm" came on. By the time the song hit to the chorus, rain drops were falling. When the song finished, so did the rain. Coincidence? Not with God.

In the words of Mandisa, "Who knows how He'll get a hold you. Get our attention to prove He is enough. He'll do and He'll use whatever He wants to, to tell us: 'I love you.'"

In Christ,

"Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His Holy Name...Who forgives all your sings and heals all your diseases." Psalm 103:1,3

Are you kidding me?

Comments make my day. :-) Since everyone likes the songs, I won't feel so bad about always including a song. I like songs.

Yesterday I drove the car my sister typically drives. (No, it's not her car). There were huge key scratches running from the driver's window to the keyhole. The car's a mess inside and out (two weeks ago I spent an hour plus cleaning this car... what the crap?). I get to the point where I actually turn the car on and the gas needle barely moves. Less than 1/4 of a tank of gas. What? That car shouldn't have less than 3/4 of a tank of gas! THEN Stellar Kart comes BLASTING through stereo. That 1999 stereo can't stand Stellar Kart! Ok, enough of my rant.

I pop out the CD and threw in The Altar and the Door by Casting Crowns. Good CD, but by the time I got to church I'd heard the whole CD. For the next three hours the songs rotated through my head. I finally stopped singing them and what song is part of the sermon? "Everyman" by Casting Crowns. Thanks, buddy!

Back to work!

In Christ,
<>< Katie

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Happy birthday!

My grandpa turned 75 today! We were talking about "The Birthday Boy" doing something and he snickered. We changed it to Birthday Man. He still laughed and renamed himself, "The Birthday Geezer!"

One of my grandpa's favorite things to do has always been to jump up on a tree stump or any ledge, put his hands above his head, and say "For my next dive!" and pretend to dive into the water.

You know what it's like, to stand on the edge of a pool and contemplate jumping in or not. Standing there, raising your arms, ready to jump, everyone cheering you on... yet, you hesitate. Why? It's not like the water's going to disappear and you're going to crash into the bottom. It can't be that cold if your friends are already in.

God asks us to jump into His Plan. We're standing up there all ready to go, yet we hesitate. Can we trust Him? Does He know what He's doing? What if it's wrong? Trust Him! After all, He knows best! In the words of Steven Curtis Chapman, "I'm divin' in; I'm goin' deep. In over my head I want to be. Caught in the rush, lost in the flow, in over my head I want to go. The river's deep; the river's wide; the river's water is alive. So sink or swim I'm divin' in!"

Why just settle with diving in? Margarita with a Twist in! A family tradition, is the flip into the pool, popularly known as a Margarita with a Twist. Both of my grandparents, in their 70s, will still flip into the pool. Next weekend, went the whole family is over, we shall all flip into the pool together and it will be grand. :-)


"Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of His name; make His praise glorious! ... Come and see what God has done, how awesome His works in man's behalf! He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot—come, let us rejoice in Him." Psalm 66:1-2,5-6

"No misspellings found."
Why does that always make my day?

Happy birthday--late--Melissa! You will get a blog at some point, I promise!

Happy birthday!

My grandpa turned 75 today! We were talking about "The Birthday Boy" doing something and he snickered. We changed it to Birthday Man. He still laughed.

"The birthday geezer, maybe!"

A few years ago, I was at my grandparents' house for the week. That year their tomato plants had pretty much taken over their yard. You had to wrestle the tomatoes to get off the deck. It was actually really funny. They also had a gopher problem that year. A gopher made his home in the rain drain right outside their bedroom window and would be loud and obnoxious at night. To solve the gopher problem, all my grandpa had to do was drop a golf ball down the rain gutter. There was even a little hole he called "The Gopher Hole".

This particular day, we got the golf ball to get out the gopher, but Grandpa didn't have any shoes on. He precariously climbed though the bushes to get to the Gopher Hole and balanced himself on a chunk of cement and a few larger rocks. He dropped the golf ball expecting the gopher to come out the other end. Well, instead the golf rollyed out and

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Beautiful Scars

I just started playing with the color feature, can you tell? Every thing's purple and I don't know how to change it back... haha

I love summer. It's warm, wonderful, and without school! There are also days when I'm not a fan of summer. You see, having a tan makes my scars visible. Maybe only to me, but they make me self conscious, and I hate looking in the mirror in the summer.

Some people have fun scars. My friend Brianne takes pride in telling me how she got every scar, bruise, and scratch up and down her legs. My scars aren't so fun. When I was little (like six) somehow I took a nose dive on pavement. I don't remember the incident, but I remember the nice scab is left between my two eyebrows. Eventually it went away, but it left this brown mark there for years afterwards. I used to tell everyone it was a birthmark. Sometimes my mom'd correct me and tell me it was a scar from the scratch I had for months. Sometimes she'd just let me think it was a birthmark. Well, eventually the "birthmark" went away, so I guess she must have been right.

The scars I'm more self-conscious about line my underarms as souvenirs from a Girl Scouts camping trip. I was trying to put the fire out, leaned over too far, and fell into smoldering coals. This resulted in the only ER trip of my life (besides when I was born... another story for another time... that one's actually funny) and second and third degree burns up and down both of my arms. (Oh, and a nice bruise on my leg). I had a miserable summer that year because I couldn't go swimming, I had to go to the doctor every few weeks, and it was almost impossible to wash my hands (Have you ever tried to wash and dry one hand?). Now, everyday when I put my hair up in a ponytail, I see the scars where my skin is messed up. Apparently, burning your arms kills the cells that tell your skin to stop growing (or something like that... My parents told me that recently when we were talking about it...). It also leaves fun designs on tanned skin... It's anything but beautiful.

You know Whose scars are beautiful? Jesus'. Physically the scars in His hands, feet, and side aren't necessarily beautiful but what they symbolize definitely is! Thanks to Jesus' scars, we're forgiven. Jesus' scars are the perfect example of God's mercy and grace. Mercy--God not giving us something we deserve--saved us from having those scars ourselves. Grace--God giving us something we don't deserve--sent Jesus to the cross so we didn't have to paid the price for our sin. The Sinless died for the sinful. You can't tell me that's not beautiful.

Lately, most blogs have included the lyrics to a song. Here's today's:

"Beautiful Scars" by Steven Curtis Chapman

Sit here with me
And tell me your story
Even if it breaks my heart
Let me see Your scars

Shame will whisper
Oh but we can't listen
'Cause these are the stories that make us who we are
And I love who You are,
and Your Beautiful scars,
Your beautiful scars
Reminders of the wounded love that has carried us this far

Beautiful scars,
turning the marks
Of our pain into beautiful scars

For us, bruised and broken
For us, He was forsaken
Our wounded Healer suffered to set us free
We see in His hands and His feet
Beautiful scars, beautiful scars
Reminders of the wounded love that has carried us this far
Beautiful scars,
turning the marks
Of our pain into beautiful scars

See in His hands and His feet
Beautiful scars, beautiful scars
Reminders of the Savior's love that has carried us this far
Beautiful scars,
turning the marks
Of our pain into beautiful scars
Oh how I love Your beautiful scars
So beautiful, so beautiful
Beautiful scars

In Christ,
<>< Katie

Monday, July 21, 2008

Love Like a Child

So my audience is JPR and Melissa... grrrreat... I'm going to do a writing no-no and not cater to my audience. I'm going to pretend you two are just among the plethora of people reading this (ok, wishful thinking much?). Otherwise all I'd write about were monkeys and zoos in Africa about which I have minimal experience. :-)

I was playing with some kids today. A few five year olds, a six year old, a seven year old, and an eight year old. We started out playing "kickball" (where you kick the soccer ball to each other... not real kickball) and our group changed every few minutes. Eventually we were left with two five year olds and the eight year old. They'd grown bored with "kickball" and had moved on to "Let's make the teacher into a jungle gym." (The word "migraine" means nothing to a five year old...) The two five year olds ran back and forth between the eight year old and I (both sitting in the grass) leaping into our arms with the goal of knocking us over. Ultimately, I was lying flat on my back with both of them on my lap giggling hysterically.

"I love you, Miss Katie," One of them said to me.
"I love you more!" the other countered.
"I love you both the most!" I responded.

Why do they love me? Five minutes ago they had to ask my name. They love me because I stick up for them (ten year olds tend to wreak havoc on five year olds' games of "kickball"...), I get the ball when it rolls in the street (stupid playground construction), and I let them climb all over me (when will the new playground be done again?). God does a whole lot more for us than that, yet we still hesitate to tell Him we love Him. I might step out in front of a car to protect them, but I probably wouldn't willingly died a painful death for them.

Tell Someone you love Him. Tell Him thanks.

Then spread the love tell someone else you love them. (And don't let it be me). Then tell them He loves them. (I already know that, so you still can't tell me).

My mom's been out of town for four days, and she came home crabby. She yelled at me for like ten different things (of most of which I had no prior knowledge) and said nothing about anything to my sister. Ok, who has the headache? Who worked for eight hours today? Who sat around and did nothing all day? Yeah, that's right. I got up at the crack of dawn and my sister slept in like a couch potato. Anyway. Mom's behavior wasn't helping my headache. She left for another four days. Even though I wasn't happy with her, on her way out the door I quoted our friend, "You're crabby today. Why are you crabby? You're crabby today. Just go away; you're crabby today" but added my own, "I love you. Bai."

In Christ,
<>< Katie
"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'" Matthew 19:14

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

I spent about twenty-four hours with my friend Laura and her family. I had a lot of fun and I thought I'd share some thoughts with you all (although, I'm not really sure who "you all" are... LURKERS: IDENTIFY THINESELVES!)

A museum is nothing more than a zoo with dead animals. Ok, I did learn some fun stuff, and we took some fun photos. But really: think about it. Did you know giraffes have the longest intestines of any animal? Did you know kruos is the Greek word for "icy cold"? (Don't lie to me, even Natalie didn't know that!) I also learned about some lions that terrorized workers attempting to build a railroad in Africa in the 1800s.

A pregnant woman came up to us today asking for money. She said she was trying to get to a domestic violence shelter but was four dollars short. I always hate it when people come up asking for money because it's so hard to tell if they're telling the truth or if they just want to buy some crack... Even though her speech sounded rehearsed, this woman spoke quietly and did seem scared. We gave her five dollars, and she asked God to bless us. Laura's mom reminded us that $5 isn't the end of the world for us but $5 could mean the world to her. How she uses the money isn't up to us, but we can pray she was indeed seeking help.

Train and Trolley life is not for my family. Other than the germs, I didn't mind it too much. My dad, on the other hand, would have been going nuts today, and it made me laugh. It was fun to watch people run and mosey through the train station. It was kind of like an airport. Given my choice, however, I prefer airplanes to trains.

Little kids are adorable! Ok, I knew that, but still. I saw some kids today refuse an Oreo cookie from their aunt! I wanted eat their cookies for them! Some little American kid was using like the German word for "mischief" but I forgot it already, sorry!

If you're ever bored or want to see some interesting folk: ride the trolley around a big city for an hour and you will see a mass of people! There are people going every which way (and sometimes even loose). All with different things on their minds, different deadlines to meet, and different destinations. Yet their paths cross momentarily on the sidewalk and it's really fun to watch. In the words of Kutless, "I see the city lights all around me. Everyone's obscure. Ten million people each with their problems. Whys should anyone? and in Your eyes I can see I'm not just a man that is lost in this world. Lost in a sea of faces." Yup. That just about sums it up.

I overheard some guy telling someone else on the phone that he'd have to keep an ID on him at all times just in case he violated his parole. The man sitting near me remembered this (after hearing it from the judge? from experiencing it himself? strange), and he would take the man on the other end of the phone to get a wallet. Interesting conversation to overhear...

Happy travels!

<>< Katie

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Abba, I Belong to You

In Aramaic, the word Abba is an intimate word that means Papa or Daddy. When I saw Peder Eide in concert last summer, I heard his song "Abba, I Belong to You" for the first time. He made the energetic audience sit down and take a pause while we sang to our Daddy.

Since I hear them on my iPod, on the radio, at church, and everywhere I go, worship songs so quickly become just another song. It's refreshing to know I'm singing to Jesus all of the time and cusses aren't slipping out if I'm not playing attention while I sing, but that's not enough. All too often I'm singing to God without paying any attention to the lyrics. I promised myself I'd not do that with "Abba, I Belong to You." Now, whenever I hear it, I stop what I'm doing and give those three minutes to God. If I'm driving, sometimes I even pull over. It's a pretty simple song but touching none the less. Read the lyrics.

"Abba, I Belong to You" by Peder Eide

Abba, I belong to You.
I belong to You,
Abba, Father.
Abba, I belong to You.
I belong to You.
Abba, Father, God.

I kneel now,
and feel how I felt You before.
This pausing is causing my heart to explore
Why when I'm weary so often you seem far away
Still I will say:

Abba, I belong to You.
I belong to You.
Abba, Father.
Abba, I belong to You,
I belong to You.
Abba, Father, God.

What I feel is less real than all that You say.
You told me, You'd hold me through all of my days.
So though my spirit is tossing and turning about
Still there's no doubt:

Abba, I belong to You
I belong to You.
Abba, Father.
Abba, I belong to You,
I belong to You.
Abba, Father, God.

Abba, I belong to You.
I belong to You.
Abba, Father.
Abba, I belong to You,
Yes, I belong to You.
My Abba, Father, God.

You're my Abba, Father, God."

Peder asked us to raise our hands to our Abba, Father. I'm not one to pull the "fork lift" or the "Statue of Liberty" very often, so outstretching my hands to the sky was a little out of my comfort zone, but I did it. I closed my eyes and half expected my Papa, Daddy to swoop down and scoop me up into His loving arms. I kind of felt like a four year old.

Last night, we sang it again. I put my arms up again, and I still felt like a four year old. Except this time, instead of closing my eyes, I looked up to the dusky sky. I looked at the pen mark on my left hand, like a four year old who is first learning to color with markers. I looked at the band aid on my right hand and thought of my trip to the First Aid tent, like the four year old who cries for the littlest scratch. (I scraped my hand on an old nail in a barn, ok, you would have gone to the First Aid tent, too). I looked up to the deep blue sky between my hands waiting for His smiling face to appear. Waiting to be held close and all of my tears wiped away.

Maybe I wasn't literally scooped up, but God was there. He was indeed holding me in His loving arms. I will forever be a four year old, and that's ok. God calls us to come like a child, and come like a child I shall!

Abba, I belong to You.
<>< Katie

"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'" Matthew 19:14

Lord, I'm Amazed by You

Picture this:
It's July, so I'm eating ice cream.
Yet I'm standing outside wearing long pants and a hoodie because it's not even 60 degree outside.

What's wrong with this picture?


I am at a bonfire with 50 of my closest friends. (No, I'm not close enough to actually feel the fire therefore I am physically shaking).
We're being led in hymns like
"How Great Thou Art"
"O Come All Ye Faithful" (no, I'm not kidding... it's not the first nor second Christmas song I've sung this weekend either, haha)
"Lord, I'm Amazed by You".

A great night of worship praising our Abba Father!

Good night everyone,
<>< Katie

Friday, July 11, 2008

You did WHAT?!

When we were little, our dad would take us one-on-one to a private country club for lunch as a special treat. When he took Laura, they danced in front of a plethora of people. Why? There was a dance floor and there was music playing, so Laura wanted to dance. When Dad said yes, they could dance, there was no one else in the room. After they ate and the dancing came to fruition, the room was full.

When he took Christina, she ordered French Toast. Um... French Toast wasn't on the menu. The waitress had to check with the chef and see if that was possible. The chef said he'd make them special just for Christy. Halfway through her meal, he came out and asked how the French Toast tasted. She said it was delicious and by the time the conversation was over, he'd invited her into the kitchen to see it.

She loves to talk (more than I do!) and will talk to anyone! Leave her alone for ten minutes and she'll have at least fifteen new friends.

Her most recent adventure was getting to go backstage during a Switchfoot concert. She watched the show from backstage, how fun is that? (Ok, it'd be more fun if I liked Switchfoot). How'd she do it? I'm not completely sure, but I know she's not lying.

It can't hurt to ask, I guess.

In Christ,
<>< Katie

"But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD." Genesis 6:8

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Amazing Love

Six consecutive days and the daily blogging has come to an end. I'm terribly sorry, but I was only home for a grand total of nine hours yesterday (8.5 of them being before 8:30 in the morning). It's ok; it was a fun day!

There's a worship song entitled "Amazing Love" that almost everyone has sung at some point in time. I grew up singing it and don't even know who wrote it. Part of the song goes, "I'm forgiven because You were forsaken. I'm accepted, You were condemned. I'm alive and well, Your spirit is within me because You died and rose again."

I'm forgiven. Check. You were forsaken. Check. I'm accepted. Uncheck.

It's a great song, and I hear it all the time, but sometimes I feel bad singing it. Sometimes I feel like I'm lying to God. Those words, "I am accepted" don't roll off this tongue very well. I always hesitate because there are many days when I don't feel accepted. Many days when I'm picked on, laughed at, and rejected. Singing "I'm accepted" seems untrue.

The next line always catches me, "You were condemned." Maybe I'm not every one's favorite person (Maybe that's for good reason), but I have no been condemned. I haven't had my life threatened. I haven't been forced to die on a wooden cross. Maybe I'm not accepted, but I'm definitely not condemned. Thank God for that. :-D Instead, "I'm alive and well". How so? "Your spirit is within me." Why? "You died and rose again."

"I'm forgiven
because You were forsaken.
I'm accepted.
You were condemned.
I'm alive and well
Your spirit lives with me
Because You died and rose again.

"Amazing love, how can it be?
That You, my King, should die for me?
Amazing love, I know it's true,
and it's my joy to honor You in all I do.
In all I do, I'll honor You.
You are my King.
Jesus, You are my King."

Accepted or Rejected by men, accepted by Him. He is my King.

In Christ,
<>< Katie

"Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit." Mark 13:11

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Purple Flowers

For some reason, every time I see purple flowers they make me think of my friend Chelsy. I don't know why, but they do. Every time I see them, they make me smile (because they're purple) and I say a quick prayer of Chelsy. That she's having a good day, that He helps her through whatever she's struggling with... whatever He puts on my heart. It's a nice pause from what I'm doing, too.

I still don't know why. Chelsy was in my small group freshman year, but we don't hang out all of the time. I've only talked to her once or twice since the summer has started, but purple flowers always make me think of her.

Do you have anything like that? I can't think of too many other inanimate objects that make me stop and pray for someone. I've started to stop and pray for Carrie when I see orange flowers, but I know that came from the purple flowers thing. Whenever I hear a Steven Curtis Chapman song, I stop and pray for his family since they're still struggling. That's a conscious decision, but the flowers were kind of spontaneous. I'm baffled as to why, but I know He knows and that's all that matters.

Those little reminders are nice and they give us a good break from the day. It's a good way to focus attention back on Him.

Have a great day. Stop and pray.

In Christ,
<>< Katie

"In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy" Philippians 1:4

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Holding History in my Hands

I kind of want to just see how many days in a row I can update my blog. Posting comments might encourage me to be more diligent.

I don't remember where I read this, but I read it within the last few days. It said, "Everyday, do something you don't want to do." I had to read it twice before I really understood it. Everyday, do something you don't want to do. Some days I just don't want to get up in the morning. Other days, I don't want to clean. Today was both of those days.

I awoke this morning to "Moving Day" at my grandparents house. No one was really moving, but the furniture was. It's hard to sleep when someone's carrying beds and dressers down the hall and stairs right next to your room anywhere much less in an old farmhouse where the floor squeaks if you look at it. Then--go figure--they need something out of your room. It's hard to keep four dogs out and ten people quiet anywhere, but it's even harder at my grandparents'.

The men loaded the furniture into trucks and the women decided we should take the opportunity to go through some boxes. After all, we were all there, and the boxes needed to be moved anyway. It was a job no one really wanted to do but desperately had to be done! My grandmother is a pack-rat, and it seems whenever someone passes away, she gets their stuff. She has all of her mother's stuff, all of her friend Ruth's stuff, and some of other miscellaneous friends' stuff. As a result, my grandparents' five-bedroom farmhouse, barn, and garage are FULL! Someone had to sleep on the floor last night. Not because there weren't enough beds, but because we couldn't GET to all of the beds. Every room in their house is a fire hazard.

We started going through boxes. Ruth's stuff has the least sentimental value, takes up the most space, and has been sitting un-touched for the most years (because we don't know what's in there), so it was a good place to start. We went through a plethora of old boxes and each of us came home with an item or two. Then, a truck load when to Good Will. We even made sure the truck left and everything wasn't piled back into the house, too! (We're getting smarter in our old age).

There were some cool items. Like a WWI military pin that my cousin snatched up before I could claim. A plethora of handkerchiefs we gave to a friend. My mom got a martini shaker. My aunt found a pretty crystal vase. My sisters took necklaces, books, and bent-out-of-shape rings. I wasn't so excited about Ruth's stuff, although I did find a fun-colored kitchen set I'm storing at my grandparents' house until I have an apartment.

I was more excited about the fact that Grandma let me go through her books and see if there was anything in there I wanted. After all, I am an English major. She'd already gotten rid of a lot of them (yay for Grandma!), and she wanted to rid of the rest before we came back at Thanksgiving. I'd already read most of the titles and searched for a good book to read on other visits, but this time I was searching with a different intention.

I only pulled out a few books. A dictionary of quotable definitions from 1970. Grandma was sooooo excited that I wanted it. I'll have to add "reading the dictionary" to my interests on facebook... haha.

I asked Grandma if I could have her hymnal. It was a confirmation gift given to her by her parents in 1952! She said I couldn't take it today, but at some point, yes, I could have it. I pray maybe she'll read it, though the chances are unlikely.

One of my coolest finds for the day was actually in Ruth's stuff. It's a medical book from 1912. It's well-loved, even though all of the pages are still in tact. Even though I know it's really out-dated, and I don't really plan on reading it, it's still something cool to have. How many people have books from before World War One? Not to mention one where it's very easy to note changes and technological advancements since then! I just felt like it was something that shouldn't be lost in the house (or the piles for Good Will). If you ever want to know the 1912 treatment for something, let me know! :-)

Even though cleaning anyone's house does not sound like a fun job and was not on my list of things to do today: it was well worth it! There are only six words that seem appropriate for the hard work done today:
"Well done good and faithful servant."

Ok, maybe a little sac-religious, but it works!

Sorry, this is a really long, pointless post, but thanks for reading!

In Christ
<>< Katie

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'" Matthew 25:21

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July

Thank you to all of the soldiers who have given up all of their tomorrows so we can be here today! Let us always remember that freedom isn't free! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SACRIFICE!

"After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone. And our children sift through all we've left behind. May the clues that they discover, and the memories they uncover, become the light that leads them to the road we each must find. Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful! May the fire of our devotion light their way. May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe, and the lives we live inspire them to obey!" - Randy Vader, Camp Kirkland

In Christ,
<>< Katie

Thursday, July 3, 2008

War Wounds

Today was more of a winter day than a construction day... The banging has stopped temporarily, but I am wearing long pants and a long sleeve shirt. What the crap?

I cut the grass today for the third time since Saturday. I've come to a conclusion: cutting the grass shouldn't be this painful. It is literally painful for all aspects of personal health. Ok, maybe not relational, but then again, I've never tried to have a deep conversation on the tractor. Emotionally it's hard especially when the neighbors are those kinds of people who measure their grass with a rule and use a scissors to cut the grass (just kidding, but only a little). Spiritually it's a challenge because I listen to sermons on my iPod. Mentally it's a strategic battle because I have to make sure I'm going the right direction at the right time in order to avoid grass shavings in the trees... (Whatever you say, Dad.)

Cutting the grass causes physical pain. Our trees, bushes, etc. are taking over and desperately need trimming! Cutting the grass next to them involves scratching, pricking, and (since it just rained) wetness. It's not pleasant. Especially compiled with the fact that my "Lay on the steering wheel, close your eyes, hit the gas, and pray for the best" no longer saves me from scars.

Cutting the grass leaves me with war wounds in the same way being a witness for Christ leaves me with war wounds. Wounds from the trees are a lot more visible on the outside, but wounds for Christ hurt just as much on the inside. God's changing out lives and sometimes we have to get a little dirty in order for Him to do it. To quote Audio Adrenaline, 'Let's get dirty, let's get used..."

<>< Katie

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Eight Years Ago Today.

I am a firm believer that we have two seasons: winter and construction. Since it's July, we pray it's not winter. On the other hand, that makes it construction season. Normally construction is just an inconvenience. At 6:30 this morning when I was rudely awoken by the banging to who knows what, it was not simply an inconvenience. This banging has continued all day. Oh, the joys of being able to fly around the "Road Closed: Local Traffic Only" sign...

Driving home today looking at the eerie storms looming over head brought to mind some not-so-pleasant memories. It was eight years ago tonight that our basement flooded with sewage and we lost two full-sized dumpsters worth of stuff. My mom always says, "That's one way to clean the basement." Yeah, not my favorite way.

In Christ,
<>< Katie

"I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth." Genesis 9:11

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Show them Christ

My sister's an expensive kid. She always has been. (No, I'm serious. She was born nine hours too late for a major tax break). This week ranks right up there as her most expensive weeks. Her iPod died this weekend, and her cell phone and camera were brutally murdered yesterday. It's only Tuesday! She's been waiting for two years to get a cell phone, gets it, and two weeks later it's killed when she's pushed into a pool with it in her pocket. There were some choice words thrown around yesterday regarding the kid who pushed her in. My non-confrontational mother even called the parents and informed them of the situation.

Today, the kid's last name appeared on our caller ID followed by "Christ." Apparently one of the parents' names is "Christopher" or "Christine" or something, but the caller ID cut off the latter half. Instead, it read "LASTNAME, Christ."

We are Christians. We need to show Christ's love to this kid even though the choices made were not good and the repercussions are less than desirable. We need to forgive this kid for pushing my sister into the pool and for ruining her stuff. This isn't the first time we've had issues with this kid, and we need to express forgiveness 70 times 7 times.

Oh, if only forgiving were easy...

In Christ,
<>< Katie

"Forgive, and you will be forgiven." Luke 6:37b