Monday, November 29, 2010

A Cultural Experience

It was 6 o'clock on Black Friday, and I was standing in a line that wrapped around the outside of the building.  Every single one of us wanted the same thing.

Except it was 6pm, the crowd was angry after a hard loss, and I was about to spend $8.50 on a two-word order.  "Provolone witout."

I wasn't sure if I would like a cheese steak.  They look gross.  I've never been brave enough to try them, but this was a weekend of new food.  Crab, lobster, pierogies, shoo fly pie, scrapple, potato filling, Wilbur buds, and cheese steak included.

Mr. Steve: Do you like steak?
Katie: Yes.
Mr. Steve: Do you like cheese?
Katie: Yes.
Mr. Steve: Do you like rolls?
Katie: Yes.
Mr. Steve: Then you probably won't like a Philly cheese steak.

We didn't have time to do all of the touristy things on my first trip to Philadelphia, but our Philly-native tour guide took us to Pat's, Little Italy, and the Wells Fargo Center.

When it comes to hockey, the City of Brotherly Love does not live up to its name.  I've been to professional hockey games in four different cities: Chicago, Nashville, Raleigh, and Philadelphia.  For every game, the away team won, but never has a crowd shouted so many obscenities at the ice as they did in Philly.

I knew I was at a different hockey game from the very beginning when the players for the opposing team, the Calgary Flames, were announced.  After each name, I am used to the crowd shouting, "Who cares?"  Not Flyers fans.  No, they shout, "Sucks."  If the word "Sucks" is accepted in hockey, might as well use it in every viable opportunity, eh?

Who would have through that this family-friend sport in the city of brotherly love would have been so... well, unloving.  The crowd of almost 20,000 breathed, cheered, and booed collectively.  As the game progressed, the more entertaining the fans became.  If I hadn't been glued to the ice for every shot of the shootout, I would have been entertained by the lone nuts, the orange chaos, and man with the "Insert here" sign.

I was so glad I was wearing a the jersey of a Western Conference team, the Nashville Predators, rather than another Eastern team.  I might have gotten cussed out (like I did in Chicago) for supporting the opponent.

I do know that if God ever moves me to Pennsylvania, I'm going to have to give up hockey.  There will be no rooting for my Predators in the Wells Fargo Center.

I might need a cheese steak and some Wilbur buds to sulk.

<>< Katie

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Give Thanks

"Happy Thanksgiving," said the man on the other end of the phone.  Those two words caught my off guard and it wasn't just because the phone was answered on the first ring.

Every holiday my dad answers the phone by wishing the caller a happy day.  Happy Thanksgiving.  Merry Christmas.  Happy New Year.  Happy Labor Day... you get the idea.  I've listened to him do this all my life, but we've always been on the same side of the phone.

"Happy Thanksgiving," I choked back.

Two words was all he needed to recognize my voice, and I heard the smile in his.  For the next hour we played "Pass the phone" with my nine relatives.

I was told that this year our family was not separated by gender.  Instead of men in the kitchen and women in the dining room, all nine of them fit around the dining room table.  Somebody got the bright idea that they should all share something they're thankful for.  I'm thankful I wasn't there for Sap Fest.

Christina: I'm thankful for Jesus.
Aunt: I'm thankful for our family and that we don't fight.
Uncle: [to my aunt] I'm thankful we're not facebook friends.
Grandma: I'm thankful we're all alive and here and...
Mom: I'm thankful Laura loves her college, and they were able to "unbreak" our dog.
Dad: I'm thankful we're all healthy. [insert sappy sermon here]
Grandpa: I'm thankful for your momma and that she puts up with me.  I love her.

I've never heard my grandparents express love to each other.  Love pats here and there but sassiness is more common.  For my grandfather to compliment my grandmother and say he loves her in front of all of those people made Grandma cry.  I've seen the video to prove it.

How was your Thanksgiving this year?  Was it the typical sweet potatoes, turkey, and pumpkin pie?  Was it merely a the precursor to Christmas?  Or was it really a time of reflection and thankfulness? 

My friend Caitlin is extending Thanksgiving for a year.  For the next 365 days she's going to share something she's thankful for.  I'd love to be able to do the same thing.  Look at every day with the realization that I do have something to be thankful for.

Even when it rains.  Even when my suitemates pick on me.  Even when my computer refuses to cooperate.

I still can be thankful.  I can still tell someone I am thankful for their influence in my life.  Thankful for their love.  Their smile.  Their encouraging word.

I can tell Christ I am thankful for His sacrifice.  Thankful for His love.  Thankful for His controlling, disciplining hand.

I wasn't going to post about being thankful.  After all, it's Thanksgiving.  That's kind of the cliche thing to do, right?  Wrong.  It's something we need to do more often than we do.  Not just on the fourth Thursday of November.  Be thankful around the year.

Cyber friends, I am thankful for you.
<>< Katie

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Close Encounter

I am thankful for the grace of God and His arms of protection.

After safely driving eleven-plus hours, Amber and I were within a mile of our destination when life could have changed dramatically.

Katie: Your roads are narrow here.
Amber: Not really.  It's because I'm driving in the middle of the road due to the deer.  If I go back where I belong they're not that narrow.
Katie: I guess so.

As she was returning to her place in the middle of the road, a deer as tall as the car charged our passenger side.

I only saw the buck out of my peripheral vision, but Amber saw him head-on.  We cannot explain how.  He was in her blind spot, so we think she might have looked at me to talk.  If she hadn't, his antlers would have been through the window (and possibly into my head?).  As it were, she swerved towards the center of the road the same time the deer changed direction and ran parallel to our car.

Katie: Did you hit him?
Amber: I DON'T KNOW!  Did you hear anything?
Katie: Nothing that sounded like deer-hitting noises.  Only gravel squishing noises.

Upon further inspection of her car, there are no antler scratches and no deer fur.

There is no reason we should have made it home unscratched.  We were charged by a buck!  And yet we did.  Because God is good.  All the time.

<>< Katie

Of course, when we got home a mile later, the adrenaline was still pumping and going to bed was not an option, even though we had to be up again in less than seven hours. That morning was rough.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jesus Does the Dishes

On Saturday I was doing my devotion when I ran across this verse,
"Blind Pharisee!  First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside will be clean." (Matthew 23:26)
That's our Savior who's not making much sense.  Big surprise, right?

I thought about the passage briefly before concluding I will continue to wash both the inside and the outside of my dishes.

They are really talking about dishes.  Or are they?

The previous verse says,

"You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence" (Matthew 23:25b).
What if they aren't really talking about dishes?  What if Jesus is calling us to be the cup and the dish?

All too often we try to change our outwards appearance.  Put on some make-up.  Pick a different shirt.  Act more kindly to that person.  Serve this person.  Surely that makes us a better Christian, right?

According to what Jesus said right here, wrong.

We can do all of the "nice things" on the outside and make us look like good Christians but until our heart is changed it's all futile.  I do not believing having your heart changed is a one-time deal.  Boom you're done and you know everything there is to know.  No.

Having your heart changed is a lifetime process.  Rid yourself of some greed here.  Pride there.  Put in some joy take out some hatred.  A process.  Just like washing dishes.  And just like washing dishes, as soon as you think you're done, you find one more.  One more problem area that needs to be dealt with.  One more outburst of anger you weren't expecting.  One more nudge from Christ saying, "Hey, you forgot about this.  That's not of me."

What I believe Jesus is saying in the verse is if He changes your heart, if He cleans your inside, your outsides will follow.  Change in the inside, the desire, and the outside, the action, will change too.

It makes me think of the song, "Change me from the inside out, Lord."

Feel free to join me in making this your prayer for today.

Change me from the inside out, Lord.

<>< Katie

Monday, November 22, 2010


Sometimes Elizabeth is struck with this uncontrollable urge to touch someone's hair.  It's really bad when she walks up to a stranger and starts running her finger's through this person's hair.

I had an "Elizabeth Moment" the other day.  Sarah was sitting beside me in class with a stack of blank paper in her notebook.  During the entire 50-minute class I had this barely controllable urge to run my hand along her beautiful paper.  I'm a writer; I can't help it.  Don't judge; it's the little things in life.  As soon as the professor dismissed the class, my left hand shot across the aisle and onto Sarah's notebook.  It happened at the exact moment that she was closing her notebook, sandwiching my hand between the new and the used paper.  She gave me a weird look, I explained, and the weird look continued.  But she let me touch her paper.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, what if had the same urge to touch lives in His name?

Christian told me this story about his first trip to Guatemala.  They were serving food outside the garbage dump in Guatemala City.  As the dump inhabitants came for food, Christian and some of the other members of his team sanitized their hands.

"The biggest thing we could do for them was to touch them.  These people were considered untouchable and when we touched them to sanitize their hands we accepted them," he explained.

Jesus did the same thing in touching the man with leprosy in Matthew 8. He could have said, "You are healed," and it would have been done. He's God. He has the power to do that. But He didn't. He made a point to touch someone that society had seemed untouchable.

Now, I'm not saying run up to everybody and touch them.  There are ways to touch people without ever making physical contact.

Jennifer and Amy just sent letters to their Compassion children in the Philippines and Ecuador. Lives touched. The executive chef served some weakling from the self-serve ice cream cooler. Life touched. We packed seven Operation Christmas Child boxes last week. Lives touched. A grad student spent her birthday doing homework and grading papers, alone, until some friends invited her over to hang out. Life touched.

It doesn't always take much. A small act can have a huge impact.

May the Lord give us all uncontrollable urges to touch the lives of His children and those who do not yet know Him. Let's do it all in His name.

<>< Katie

PS: I was inspired to write this during church this morning. As I was revising tonight, I was thinking about how it was similar to this post I wrote for Kaitlyn's birthday. I just found out an hour ago that after two and a half years of medical treatment 800 miles from home, Kaitlyn finally will be able to go home this December! What a wonderful Christmas present!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Beer with the Boys

The weekend before Thanksgiving has always been reserved for deer hunting.  My dad would go up to my grandparents' house, kickback, relax, and hunt.  Long before any sane person would even consider leaving the depths of their plush, warm bed, Dad and Boppy would be donning their layers and blaze orange to head into the woods.

They always hoped for a nice layer of fresh snow as they hunted the same land year after year.  The tree line and a corn field belonged to our goodfriends Herb and Arnie, two brothers in their 80s who lived independently in neighboring homes.

Sometime after the sun came up, our two men would trudge into Herb's kitchen where the fridge was full of Miller.  Not because Herb drank beer but because Dad and Boppy drank beer.  Arnie would come over and the four would sit around solving the world's problems.

As everyone grew older, hunting became harder and harder.  The time in the woods was shorter and the time in Herb's kitchen longer.  "Deer hunting" became a pretense for a good time with old friends.  It has been years since we've had any venison.

The day I started college I got a phone call saying Arnie passed away.  This was eight months after the contemplation of terminating life support, the planning of the funeral, and the Christmas Miracle.  That year Dad and Boppy BYOB-ed it to Herb's room at the nursing home.

Herb passed away on New Year's Eve that same year.  The only time I've ever been to the gravesite was when we almost froze to death in the sub-zero temperatures and wild winds ripping off the surrounding barren fields.

Even though the will brouhaha had not yet been settled, Dad and Boppy hunted Herb and Arnie's land that year.  But it was too hard.  Instead, they took a drive to the cemetery in the middle of nowhere.  The one that only has two remaining plots, graciously given to my grandparents to use sometime in the distant future.

With the headstones protecting them from the wind, two grown men wearing blaze orange sat on a nice layer of snow to have a beer with the boys.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Perfect Timing

A few years ago at an outdoor music festival, I heard Peter Fuller (then the lead-singer of Newsboys) talk about God's perfect timing. In the middle of his statement about how perfect God's timing is, a train horn sounded in near proximity.  The entire audience errupted in laughter. In his heavy Australian accent he looked at us and said, "A train interrupts my concert and you laugh?"

Well, God's perfect timing struck again and there was only nervous laughter.

I'd just gotten out of class at 10pm and was driving back to my apartment from the library. As I approached the stoplight I noticed a car cross the intersection and instinctively slowed down to stop at the white line. It was only then that I glanced up and noticed I had the green light. Maybe there was a malfunction? No, the other car definitely had a red light.

I made a quick glance around for:
Police officers. None. What are the odds?
Other cars. None. Thank goodness.
A green light. Go ahead.

At first, I didn't really think much of it. We all accidently run red lights from time to time. Not a big deal. Besides, it was late, and he probably got sick of waiting for the light to change. I was the only other car around. It wasn't until I was back in the safety of my apartment that I truly realized what had just happened.

Rewind. When I pulled out of my parking space, there was an exit to the left (the direction I needed to go) not far from where I was parked. Instead, I drove an extra thirty seconds, out of my way, to the right exit. Why? I don't know. I guess I just wasn't paying attention. It was 10pm! I'd just gotten out of my last class. Twelve hours earlier, I'd been dismissed from my first class of the day. Yes, one of those days.

It wasn't just because I was tired. It was because if I'd been to the stop light thirty second earlier... well, crash boom bash. We know this story. Been there done that. Unlike last time, this car wasn't starting from a stopped position. He was going and going fast. That could have been a really bad end to a long day.

I cannot take credit for avoiding that collision. I didn't do anything except absent-mindedly leave the parking lot. It was God who perfectly positioned and timed our cars for this to be only a "thanks, God" rather than a "help, God!"

Had any close calls lately? Whether you're aware of them or not, they've happened. Take a minute to thank Him for His perfect timing and arms of protection.

<>< Katie

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Craving Attention

With the Wiimote in her right hand the nunchaku in her left, she aimed for the television ready to shoot her archery arrow.  As she prepared to complete her shot, she was interrupted by a flying monkey.  Also known as her little brother.

When their mother told him to stop, he made her his next victim.  She was sitting on the floor, and he began a game of king of the hill.  I could see it was only a matter of time before my little buddy earned himself a time-out.

"Hey, Buddy, I've got a question for you," I said from the other side of the room.

"Did you hear that?  Katie has a question for you," his mom echoed, giving me the "thanks" smile.

The six year old ran around the coffee table and leaped into my arms.  There wasn't time to wonder if I was going to catch him or not.  I did and in a matter of seconds I had him in a headlock.

Katie: First question, how old are you?
Buddy: Six.
Katie: Second question, how do you like being upside-down?

I flipped him over, and he giggled and giggled and giggled.  I pulled him onto my knees.  My next move was going to be a "walk in the woods" where my knees become a horse galloping and suddenly the rider drops in a hole.  But it wasn't necessary.  When I pulled him back up and onto my knees, he sat peacefully for almost five minutes.  I was shocked.  The kid who mere minutes earlier bouncing off the walls was relaxed on my lap.

He had been looking for attention, and I gave it to him.  That's all he wanted.  He didn't want to cause trouble, he wanted someone to pay attention to him.

Don't we do the same thing?  We run around searching for attention in everything we can find.  More often than not, the wrong things.

When we focus our attention on God, He gives us what we need.  He catches us and holds us to His chest.  Sure, life isn't perfect in His arms.  Sometimes we even get flipped on our heads.  But He's still there, with His arms held firmly around us.  His constant love engulfing us. 

When Buddy was on my lap, the adult conversation around me no longer mattered.  He had my undivided attention.  When we're talking to God, we are given His undivided attention.  How cool is that?  To know the Creator of the universe is listening to you

Talk to Him, my friends.  Seek His attention.  Cuddle in His lap.  You won't regret it.

<>< Katie

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Green Beans on the Ceiling

Back in the day when my mom fed my sister green beans out of the jar, I learned some life lessons.  Once, Mom accidentally dropped the jar, and green beans went everywhere.  To my four-year-old self, this was fiasco.  The ultimately BIG MESS!  Mommy should have gone to time out. 

But she didn't.  She laughed.  She laughed so hard we had to write a song/poem about it in order for Daddy to fully grasp the magnitude of the mess we (she) made.
Green beans on the ceiling.
Green beans on the floor.
Green beans in the kitchen.
Green beans galore.
There really were green beans everywhere.  We found them splattered on the cabinets fifteen feet away.  We found them on the nine-foot ceiling.  I don't think we could have created such a massive green bean explosion if we had tried.

But Mom wasn't mad.  I panicked.  Mom laughed.  Sure, there was a huge mess to clean up but so what?  It was almost as funny as the time Grandpa sneezed egg all over the wall.

In that moment, she taught me that messes are ok.  She taught me to laugh at myself.  She taught me sometimes things don't happen was we plan but that doesn't mean it's the end of the world.

And she did it all with a jar of green beans.

Learning to decorate with green beans,
<>< Katie

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Brownie

Yesterday, Dr. Johnson (of the science department) threw a brownie with green frosting to Chelsea.  Today said Key Lime Brownie made an appearance in our fiction writing class.  Chelsea gave it to Logan.  Logan gave it to me and told me he made it himself.  I asked how he wrapped it in plastic and left it on Dr. Vance's desk.  Saxon decided he wanted to eat said brownie.





"That was disgusting!  It was like coconut.  Yeah, very bad choice."

Dr. Vance refused to eat the remainder of the brownie.  At the end of class, the brownie missing one bite was still sitting on the desk.

"Somebody's going to have to take care of that," Dr. Vance said.

"That was a very bad decision," Saxon repeated.

The class concluded the brownie made out of ginkgo tree berries and injected with poison.  Dr. Johnson knew Saxon would eat the poisonous brownie, thus making him incapable of playing kickball.  He knew Dr. Vance would not refuse a brownie and the poison would make the English department short two vital kickball players.  In the rule book we write, we will have to make sure distributing poisonous brownies is illegal.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what happens when you give a key lime, coconut brownie to a Fiction Writing class...

When the story got back to Dr. Johnson, he was amused.  He said the brownie came from the bottom of a chemistry test tube.  Saxon said it tasted like that could have been true.

<>< Katie

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wacky Wednesday

"If life is worth living, then it is worth recording."

Classmate: What is that?
I glanced down at the brown bottle in my hand.
Classmate: That's kind of bold.
Katie: Well I am from the North.  No, actually, it's root beer.  They're serving it in the caf for Oktoberfest.

Mom: I'm bored.  I want to eat, but I shouldn't.  Maybe I'll just go to bed.
Katie: Read a book, that's what you always told me.  Did you ever finish Three Cups of Tea?
Mom: No.  I lost it. 
Katie: You lost it?
Mom: Maybe it's in my music bag, but I'm not really sure.  It might be in my van.  No, I know it's not in my van.  I think it got swallowed by a log cabin magazine.

Katie: The only thing I can actually throw is a pen.
Chelsea: That's the sign of an English major.

Ron Rash: Galloway, who has already killed the typical Rash body count of about a dozen...
[about his amazing book Serena]

Nikki: Chloe told me to feed my cat.  I don't have a cat.
Allyson: What if fish were mini-giraffes swimming around?  How different would our world be if all our pets were shaped differently.

Isaac [age 3]: There's a Ternanisarus Rex out the window.  See it?  Do you see any other ones?
Katie: No, I only see one.
[All of the other adults at the table laughed at me]

Elizabeth [to her boyfriend Andy]: It hurt last time you bit me.

Michael: I tend to not put my mouth on things that can electrocute me.
Caitlin: That's why my hair is curly.
[really the outlets exemplify sound if you're anywhere near them]

Dr. Jones: Bekah's carrying a friend to the hospital.
Katie: That's going to take awhile.

Amy: My goal for this year: to understand Katie.
Katie: Good luck.

Uncle: We just scored in the opening kick off and we've got mini-screen!
Dad: Sarah!
Mom: I'm taping my hockey game.  Just a second.
Dad: Rewind!

Katie: At my house we have an actual cheese cutter.
Nikki: What's an actual cheese cutter verses a metaphorical cheese cutter?
Katie: An actually cheese cutter stinks up the place and a metaphorical cheese cutter makes a lot of noise.

Katie: My head hurts.
Jennifer: Take medicine.
Katie: I did.
Jennifer: Take more.

Andy: So are we going to the store or what?
Elizabeth: Yes. We need medium trash bags.
Amy: Medium trash bags.
Andy: Medium trash bags.
Elizabeth: Medium trash bags.
Amy: And Katie needs new Scrabble Cheeze-its.
Elizabeth: No she doesn't.  We haven't played with hers yet.
Nikki: Roommie, don't be rude and play Banangrams on the floor with Katie's Scrabble Cheeze-its on then put them back into the box.  Be considerate and lick all of the germs off of them before you put them away.

Random man on the phone: I'm not shaving my chest hair.  Yeah, it's getting really long.  It grew a millimeter already.

[Sign Choir practice]
Amber: We could have one or even two Jesuses...
Katie: Sign Choir goes polytheistic... at least we have Jesus in our songs.
[Ten minutes later]
Girl: Wait, how many Gods?
Queen Emily: Religion 1-0-1: One God!

Jake: SURE!  The lactose intolerant girl brings cheesecake!

Katie: Brain fart: what's it called when there's a need and you make it go away.
Nikki: Satisfy.
Jennifer: To.
Katie: You to the need?
Jennifer: Yeah, like the number "two."

Amy: Don't let me forget, I have to mail my Compassion child tomorrow.
Katie: DON'T PUT YOUR COMPASSION CHILD IN THE MAIL!  Who do you think she is?  Flat Stanley?

Jennifer: WHY is there hair in the microwave?
Elizabeth: It goes there, Jennifer; it makes everything more tasty.

Keith: Katie, I'm cold.  And I have that exact same sweatshirt.
Katie: Are you asking me to give you the sweatshirt off of my back?
[Keith nodded sheepishly]

Jennifer: I think Allyson's cough is getting to her ears. I said, "Your phone rang," and she thought I said, "Your padre." It was her dad who called, but I didn't know that.

Katie: Where is my phone?
Andy: In your eye.
Katie: EWW!  That would be so germy!
Nikki: Don't point out the cell phone in her eye until you remove the laptop from your own eye.

Katie: It didn't work.
Nikki: It would have worked if I had done it.
Katie: That's right because you're better than me at everything.
Nikki: Except being skinny, using random German words and pretending they're English, writing really long blog posts, sanitizing light switches, and not licking things on impulse.

Shellie Warren: But as you mature, hopefully, you will encounter men of character and quality. The bad news is that they may not be your husband. The good news is that they very well could bring you one, two, or ten steps closer to him.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Worship Around the Campfire

We sat out by the fire literally in the middle of the woods.  No buildings, no platform tents within sight.  The trees opened to the stars illuminating the autumn sky.  The babbling brook down the hill accompanied our singing.  We did a mix of acoustic and a capella worship songs to our God, the Creator of this beautiful moment.

Listening to Mindy's rockstar voice, I'll admit, I got a bit jealous.  I enjoy singing; I do a decent job.  I don't sound like Mindy.  At all.

I watched an eight year old pick and play in the fire.  I'm not sure if it's my history of burns or my natural inclination towards safety but I've never been a fire picker.  I'm barely brave enough to roast a marshmallow.

I watched Kurt rhythmically strum his guitar.  Despite the smoke in his face, his fingers found the frets.  Allyson's slowly teaching me guitar.  But I only know four chords.

A high schooler cuddled with the camp dog.  I've always been more of a cat person, an idea reinforced when I was attacked by dogs a few weeks ago.

A chaperone faithfully kept the fire burning.  Not so big that we all had to scoot back.  Not so small that we needed additional blankets for heat.  Just perfect.

God, I said in my head, You've given Mindy the gift of singing.  She sounds wonderful.  You've given Kurt the gift to play guitar.  It's peaceful.  You've given these other folks bravery and fire-building abilities.  It's so great that we can all be here together amidst Your beautiful creation to enjoy this moment.

Katie, God responded, not in an audible voice, You're jealous that you can't sing like Mindy, play guitar like Kurt, find a cuddle-buddy in a limping, four-legged friend, and build a fire like the one we've got here.  But you know what you can do?  Make twenty s'mores in less than five minutes.  Ready, set, go.

"I'm ready for some chocolate and graham crackers..."
"Me, too."

Chaos.  And I only broke one half of a cracker.

<>< Katie

"Now if the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,' it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, 'Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,' it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I don’t need you!' And the head cannot say to the feet, 'I don’t need you!' On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." 1 Corinthians 12:15-27

Saturday, November 6, 2010


The middle school girl across the dinner table from me was lost gazing into space.  Her friend said she was deep in thought.  Naturally, I asked what she was thinking about.  Again her friend provided the answer: boys.  She has a boyfriend but there's another guy she likes.  I've never been there, but I still realize that's a difficult position.

"You know that one thing all guys want?"  the girl asked.

I nodded, carefully choosing words as we embarked into dangerous territory.  "If he does not respect you, then he is not worth your time," I said.

She nodded and told me about her purity commitment.

"One day you will find a man who respects you as a woman," I continued.  "One who will honor your commitment and your relationship with God.  Maybe he'll even share in them.  You will find a man who treats you right.  Do not settle for anything less."

She nodded.

There was no point in continuing my sermon.  It was something she already knew but needed to hear again.  Likewise, I needed to say it again.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


My heart was not in the right place last night.  It was one of those days where all of the little things add up and get to you until the smallest thing causes a waterfall.  Someone asks you what's wrong and you can't come up a reason worth crying.

Sure, your unreliable internet spent more time in the "cannot connect" phase than the "connected" phase, but that's not worth crying over.  Your laundry was disrespected in the community laundry room, but that's a perk of college life.  Today's caf food and your stomach are having an argument, but it will work itself out eventually.  A playful sass from your suitemates crossed the invisible line, but that's all (supposedly) backed with love.  And you ran out of blaze orange notecards before you were done making notes.  But none of those seem to justify the tears.

"Can't one thing just go right please, Lord," I said out loud, much to the chagrin of my sleeping roommate.

I walked into the bathroom to take out my contacts before they were permanently glued to my watery eyes.  A drying shirt slung over the shower curtain caught my eye.  Big white letters on a black shirt.
It was as if Andy's bouncy ball hit me in the face.
God is Good.
All The Time
Thanks.  I needed that.

I bought this Peder Eide shirt to wear on days where things aren't going too well just so people ask me what my shirt says.  Telling them, "God is good all the time" is a great reminder for myself, too.

GIGATT, friends, ATTGIG,
<>< Katie

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Make a Difference

The following is a story requested by Wess Stafford of Compassion International requesting people tell stories about a time when an adult encouraged you as a child.  A moment that has stayed with you.  It is part of the push to get adults to make a difference in childrens' lives.  See the whole story here.

During my junior year in high school, I ran for a position that required a certain number of support signatures before I could even get my name on the ballot.

Approaching me for another reason, my adviser (who now lets me call him by his first name) saw the petition in my hand. He grabbed it from me and reached to his breast pocket for a pen.

“Can I sign this?” he offered.

I was taken aback. We were told a signature would require a polite, well-timed request followed by a semi-brief interview. Brian asked me if he could sign my paper not vice versa.

“I’m not even going to ask you those silly questions. I know your heart is always in the right place.”


If I wasn’t caught off guard before, I was then.

“Your heart is always in the right place.”


I might have chosen “sometimes,” “periodically,” or “occasionally.” Yeah, those would definitely be more accurate. But no, he said “always.”

“Your heart is always in the right place.”

While I still don’t quite believe that statement, it was wonderful encouragement at that time and has been an excellent challenge since then.

I would love to hear your stories about some encouragement you received from an adult!  Little moments matter, especially to little people.

<>< Katie