Thursday, April 28, 2011

The G-Word

As many are quick to remind me, graduation is less than a month away.  I'm trying to ignore this fact.  If I don't think about it, if I don't write it on my calendar, it's not going to happen, right?

At our mission trip reunion I shared how I'm having a hard time with this whole graduation thing.  Later someone mentioned that summer was coming fast.

"Shhhh!  Don't remind me!"  I protested.

They were all really supportive and told me it's going to take forever to get here, like Christmas.  A little while later, someone else spoke about graduation.

"We're not allowed to use the G-word," I said.

Of course, Neal's ten year old son Ethan proceeded to use "The G-Word" repeatedly just to vex me.  He counted down the days and told me how fast it was going to come.  Typical brother...

It was all in good fun but I didn't really appreciate it.  Later, in telling the story to my suitemates, I slanted it to share how I got picked on by a ten year old.

Allyson came in to the middle of the story.  "Wait, what G-word?  God?  We're not allowed to say, 'God'?"

From now until whenever I'm allowed out of time out, whenever my suitemates and I are discussing graduation, I must also say "God is in control."  But don't tell Ethan.

God IS in control!
<>< Katie

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I am very slowly getting over a cold that has stolen my sense of smell for almost the last week.  I didn't really miss smells because the most prevalent smell in our home is a repercussion of the weird food our dog has to eat.

Unfortunately, my sense of smell is returning and I too now groan when the dog lets one rip.

Or when someone starts the stove.  Or when Dad gargles and then gives me a hug.  Or when my sister uses too much perfume.

Suddenly every smell is suffocating.  Anything with a scent makes me gag.

Isn't that life with the Holy Spirit?  Sometimes you don't realize what you're missing until you have it.  And then once the Holy Spirit begins to change your life, everything you once did makes you gag.

Of course, eventually smells will go back to being a normal part of my day (I can't wait!) and not overwhelming.

As we continue our faith journey, we grow more content with whatever our "normal" has become.  Those things that once repulsed us are accepted now.  We blaze through things that once made us pause and reflect.

Stop!  Pay attention to what you're doing! 

Breathe in the beautiful scent of life and exhale the rancid stench of sin.

<>< Katie

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sadness and Joy

A large group gathered together in a dark upper room. The door locked out of fear. No one had bothered to light the lamp. No one wanted to speak. Complete darkness. It was not only a physical surrounding but also an emotional feeling.

Their best friend, their leader... was dead. Three years earlier they'd given up everything to follow Him.  This is not what they had expected.

Not even a week earlier He'd been celebrated. He was welcomed as a king. Not forty-eight hours previous they'd enjoyed a meal together. Now He was gone. Everything happened so quickly.

The room was filled with a myriad of emotions: hurt, regret, failure, longing, desperation, depression, darkness, confusion, loneliness, loss... the list goes on. Yet the most prevalent had to be hopelessness.

"How could this have happened?"

"I really didn't see this coming. Did He?"

"Now what?"

"Where do we go from here?"

The incessant number of unanswerable questions plagued them as they sat, paced, and cried.

Silence in a crowd. Darkness in the middle of the day. Loneliness among great friends.

"Peace be with you." A voice rudely interrupts their pensiveness. Who would offer peace on such a dreary day?

Only the One who can bring light into their darkness.  Only the One who brings hope to the hopeless.  Only the One who was dead but lives again!

Can you imagine the relief of the disciples?  Can you imagine the pure joy?

Place yourself in the upper room with the disciples.  Kneel before Jesus.

Notice the holes in his feet.  Touch the wound in His side.  When His nail-scarred hand slides under your chin and lifts gently, don't be ashamed. When your teary eyes meet His compassionate ones, don't look away. Think about all of the power those eyes hold, but now their focus is on you.

"I love you."

Accept the warm embrace from the living Savior and never, ever let go.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I'll be honest: I've spent quite a bit of time in our campus' prayer room lately.  On a regular basis that time has involved harsh words, pleading, and tears.

Even though I'm going for the world record number of bloody noses in a single week, there has been no bleeding in the prayer room. There has been no serious sweating in the prayer room.  There has definitely been no sweating blood.

My prayer time always includes, "Not my will but Yours be done."  Words I do not even feel qualified to say given the severity of God's will surrounding the original usage of those words.  God's will meant pain, suffering, abandonment, death.

"Thy will be done."

Obedience is a hard thing to learn.

Ask Abraham, obediently ready to sacrifice is only son, the son given against all odds.

Ask Moses, asked to return to the land where he was considered a murderer and demand the freedom of his people.

Ask Jesus, asked to live perfectly and die a brutal, undeserving death.
"My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Are you willing to pray, "Not my will but Yours be done"?
Will you be found obedient? 
Even to death?

Suiting up for a wild ride,
<>< Katie

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Lot Can Change

"A lot can change in four weeks."  Using that often-forgotten fact, I was encouraged about post-graduation life.

Of all weeks to be reminded of that small fact, Holy Week.  The time of the year when we remember Christ's warm welcome, final meal, prayerful agony, betrayal, sacrifice, lonely death, and wonderful resurrection.

A lot can change in a week.

On the day now commemorated as Palm Sunday, Christ was warmly welcomed as He entered Jerusalem.

The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:
“Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”
At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.
Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
John 12:12-19

Of course, the next week the same crowd shouted for the death of the same Christ.

As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw [Jesus], they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”
John 19:6

A lot can change in a week.  A lot can change in four weeks.  The challenges that seem overwhelming this week may seem petty next week.  Things you rejoice in this week could be devestating next week.  And neither is too big for our God to handle.

Take peace in that this week as you remember when God defeated the biggest problem (sin) in the most humiliating, agonizing way (a criminal's death).

<>< Katie

Friday, April 15, 2011

Free Candy

"Didn't I just see you walk by?" Matthew asked.

I had just walked from the English building to Quick Snacks for a candy bar and back to the English building for class.  When I walked in chomping on a Snickers, my classmates started drooling. Even though class was about to start, I asked the professor if I could run back and get candy bars for the seven of us unfortunate enough to have class all afternoon.  Of course, he said yes.  So back to Quick Snacks I ran and passed Matthew for the second time in five minutes.

Matthew: We have free Twix right here.
Katie: No thanks.  They want Snickers and Kit Kats.

I walked away.
I turned around.

Katie: Wait, did you say free?
Matthew: Yes.
Katie: As in I don't have to buy them?
Jacob: You're an English major; what other definitions for the term "free" are there?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, mock me.  It's cool.  Everyone does it.


Surely there had to be some catch.  Why would some college boys be sitting on a swing offering free candy bars?  These weren't the unfun Fun Size candy bars either.  These were normal-size candy bars.  The kind next to the check out aisle at Wal-mart that we always begged our parents for and our parents always said no.  Yeah, those.  For free.


No charge. No catch.

What have you gotten for free today?
What have you given for free today?

Let me rephrase the question: What have you done today without expecting anything in return?

How have you given of your time?  How have you given of your resources?  How have you given of yourself?


What have you done today without expecting anything in return?

<>< Katie

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Love like a Child

Author's Note: the following is a revised repost from the days before I had faithful readers.  It was Summer 2008 when I worked part time at a day camp.

 This afternoon I was playing "kickball" with some kids.  We just kicked the soccer ball to each other, and the group changed every few minutes.  A few five year olds, a six year old, a seven year old, and an eight year old.  Eventually the bigger kids left and the five year olds had grown bored with "kickball."  They moved on to "Let's make the teacher into a jungle gym."

When will that new playground be completed?  The word "headache" means nothing to some five year olds.

An eight year old and I sat in the grass while the two five year olds ran back and forth between us leaping into our arms with the goal of knocking us over.

Ultimately, I was lying flat on my back with both of them in 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 "kickball" games), I get the ball when it rolls in the street (when will that new playground be done?), and I let them climb all over me (does it have monkey bars?).

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 these girls, but I probably wouldn't willingly died a painful death for them.  Yet Christ did, but sometimes I'm more willing to tell the girls of my love than I am Christ.

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).

<>< 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

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Saved Catholic?

"I don't know if you can be Catholic and be saved... I'm still figuring that out," cried one of my Catholic friends during our team worship night in Nicaragua.

When she first made the statement, my defenses went up.  I'm not Catholic, but I have a lot of friends and family who are Catholics.  Of course you can be Catholic and be saved.

Throughout the rest of the week, God let me see the plight that literally brought her to tears before us in a moment of transparency.

We walked into Central American cathedrals and my heart broke due to the distorted Jesus so many people have been taught.

The man huddled in the corner fervently praying to the painting of a deceased bishop.

The woman filling the offering box with Cordobas as if she could buy forgiveness.

The crowds ritually progressing through the streets holding a crucifix high in the air.

Jesus still on the cross.

As we walked through those decorated cathedrals, I found myself praying for the lost within the sanctuary.  I wanted to stay and minister there rather than be a tourist.

It wasn't the label "Catholic" that bothered me. It was the un-biblically based Jesus.  The Jesus represented is not the Jesus I know.  That's what broke my heart.  The desire to earn forgiveness and eternal life doesn't take into account for grace and mercy.  The lack of understanding that Jesus is accessible to each and everyone of us, made me sad.

I'm not bashing Catholicism, I promise.  I'm bashing the missing of Jesus that we are all guilty of.  We get caught up in talking about homosexuality, abortion, and divorce rather than showing and teaching the love Jesus was adamant about.

We can call ourselves Christians and not know Christ.  Worship can be a weekly event we attend out of habit not a lifestyle we lead.

Yes, you can be Catholic and be saved.  But going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to the race track makes you a race car driver... going to a ballet makes you a ballerina...

The Christ I know is more than a character in a big book.  He's more than a man who did some really nice things.

He's God and man.  He lived by example, practiced what He preached, and gave the ultimate sacrifice.  And He calls us to do the same.

Do you agree? 

Then show it.  Not in my comments section but today on the road, in the classroom, in the cafeteria, and at the store.  Let's redefine Christianity.

It starts with me.

<>< Katie

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Guilty Getting Gas

Sometimes I have a problem with the "You are now entering the mission field" signs on the edge of church parking lots.  Can the church property not also be a mission field?  Yet sometimes we need that reminder.  Sometimes we forget worship does not conclude when we leave the parking lot.

I forgot that on Sunday.

After church and lunch, we said goodbye to the youth who had touched our lives for the last two days and prepared for our three-hour journey back to school. 

First stop: gas station.

The university keeps a gas card in the twelve-passenger van was I driving.  I plugged in the card and it said, "See attendant."

Trip into the gas station number one.  She told me to try it again and if it didn't work I could pay inside after I filled up.

Back at the pump, it didn't work a second time.  I filled up the van and went inside to pay.

Trip into the gas station number two.  We ran the card and it was denied.  We ran it again, still denied.  We ran it as debit, but I didn't have a PIN.

Back at the van, I called Heather.  No answer.  We called Kevin.  He said he didn't know the PIN and told us to call Neal.  Neal was apologetic that we hadn't been given the PIN before we left campus.

Trip into the gas station number three.  On the phone with Neal, I punched in the PIN he gave me.  Still no luck.

That's when I started to get short with him.  It was out of frustration but that didn't make it right.  Had I learned nothing on our weekend of living to worship?  I could have been worshipping at the gas station... thanking God that we had gas to fill up the van, that our only snafu was a misbehaving gas card, and the ability to reach someone who was willing to help us on a Sunday afternoon while he was spending time with his family.  I could have been courteous to the attendant and the man on the phone.

Getting mad at Neal wasn't worship.  In fact, it was the opposite.  It was getting cranky with someone who was trying to help.

The chorus of the Casting Crowns's song "The Altar and the Door" saying, "I will not lose my follow through between the altar and the door."  Not forgetting everything we learned in church between when we leave the sanctuary and when we, as the sign in the parking lot says, enter the mission field.  Instead, we should take what we've learned home with us and implement it into our lives.

Well, fail, Katie.

I lost a fight with a gas card and I lost my worship mindset.  A mile from the church and I had two apologies to make: one to Neal and one to God.

Thankful for forgiveness,
<>< Katie

PS: On the fourth trip into the gas station, I paid out of pocket and was reimbursed when we made it safely back to campus.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Live to Worship

We were told to expect thirty middle and high schoolers for our youth retreat.  Most of the time there were five.

I think guys are pre-wired to play sports.  It's an unfair advantage they have for a bonding activity.  Our guys jumped right in with their guys and commence the weekend-long Knock-Out tournament.  We ladies had a bit of a more difficult time.

I was God-placed in the right place at the right time.  When two sisters walked in, I happened to be near the gym door.

The younger, a very thin middle school student with hair just past her ears, was less than thrilled about playing basketball.  She picked up the volleyball and tossed it to herself.  I asked if I could join.  She nodded yes.

I'm not any better at volleyball than I am at basketball.  But, it's easier to play one-on-one than eight-on-one.  We bumped the ball back and forth.  I was kind of impressed with myself for knowing how to hold my hands, to get under the ball, and for not getting hit in the face.  There still might have been more running than bumping.

By dinner time, my arms were bright red.  They hurt.  Hers matched.

In that volleyball time, she became my buddy.  For the next two days, she clinged to me.

We sat together at meals and played volleyball during free times.  Since there were five youth and eight college students, I could focus my attention on her.  And sometimes she needed all of my attention.

The lively girl I saw when we were playing ping pong and listening to the same two Skillet songs on repeat was not the same girl who slowly scooted her chair next to mine during Bible lessons.

The only time she actually opened her Bible all weekend was during the lesson I taught.  She was not interested in playing group games and much preferred to organize the preschool Sunday School room all day Saturday rather than participate in our planned activities.

I prayed a lot for God to show me how to reach her.  None of my tricks of the trade seemed successful, so I did the same thing I did with the Nicaraguan niƱos, I loved her.  I made a point to always know where she was.  I offered to help her organize and when she declined, it I sat with her while she worked.  I put my arm around her when she rested my head on her shoulder.  I told her I loved her with my words and my actions.

As seems typical, we had to leave before I could see what God was doing in that girl.  But I saw Him work in me.

Our theme of the weekend was: Live to Worship.

One thing God taught me was that even though the middle schooler and I didn't have any deep conversations, my time spent with her was still worship.

I'll be honest, it felt a bit more like babysitting than it did a youth retreat.  But it mattered.  It was the ministry of presence.

On Saturday night she gave me a piece of construction paper with my name written on it and decorated with glitter.  I hung it in my dorm room as a reminder of our weekend and to pray for her regularly.  It's a reminder that sometimes even what feels different than we expected can be worship, can be a ministry, can make a difference.

How have you worshipped today?
<>< Katie

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

David: Katie, I especially like the Wacky Wednesday quotes when Nikki's mocking you because they're so funny!

Heather: Evan, get a canoe and row home.
Evan: I would love that but I think it's uphill.
Katie: It wouldn't matter; you'd be in a canoe!

Katie: It's "Yo quiero verTe."
Neal: Yeah, V-E-R-D-E.
Katie: No, V-E-R-T-E.  It's "I want to see You" not "I want green."

Andy: What is this?  Do I look like a maid? Or a butler?
Amy: The first one.
Nikki: Maid.

Caitlin: You exchanged hats!  That's like a promise.
Michael: Yeah!  It's a promise ring for gangsters.

Katie: Is that the Beast from Beauty and the Beast on your shirt?

Professor: James, do you know your Bible well?
James: No.
Professor: That's because you didn't grow up Lutheran.

Jennifer: Elizabeth, I can feel your heart beat through my butt!

Manolo: Say, "Esta es mi primera vez en Nicaragua."
Neal: Esta es mi primera vez en Nicaragua.
Katie: Neal!  Stop swearing at us!
Neal: What?
Katie: He's teaching you naughty words!
Neal: Nah!  This is a man of the Lord!
[an hour later Manolo did intentionally teach Neal the wrong word]

Nikki: I made a phalic image in this poem and he totally caught it!
Katie: He's a boy.  I'm not surprised.
Nikki: No, it was a Biblical image!
Katie: He's a boy and a div school student.

Sara: Katie's always brave and tries the mystery salad from the stir fry line.
[That's really just in here for Mom]

[I'm cutting cookie cake with a butter knife.  Andy handed me the machete we use to cut watermelon]
Katie: Will you make the bleeding stop when I cut myself with this knife?
Andy: Yes, but only this once.
Katie: Do you want some cookie cake without any blood on it?
Andy: No, I want blood on mine.
Katie: Well, I'll supply the cookie cake. You'll have to supply the blood.

Boy: I thought it was a fart.  But then it rolled down my leg.
Mother: And onto the carpet.
Brother: Yeah, I'll put that on my facebook: my brother pooped on the carpet.
Mother: No.
Boy: Please, Mom?

Ted: Uno, dos, tros.

Mo: Oh, did you see?  The directions are in plastic, too.
Jessica: You can't read plastic?
Mo: I mean, English.

Nikki: Do you like your sandwich cut?
Amy: Yes, like animals.
Nikki: You're going to get triangles.  Four of them.  Actually, I changed my mind and cut your P, B, and J like a pizza.

Erica: Where's Sherry from?  America?  I thought she was from Australia.

Sara: Are you stretching or giving me a hug?
David: Yes.

Heather: God is so good amidst all this crap.
Katie: She just said a naughty word in the prayer room!
Anonymous Friend: Hell, yeah!

Katie: Nikki!  You always walk away when I'm talking!
Nikki: I know that your stories are long enough that I can walk away and come back to hear the real point.

Amy: Ah!  I just got my phone charger stuck in the air conditioner vent.

James: I didn't do the assigment.
Professor: Well, that's what we expect from males.

Dad: I had a bad dream last night.  I was graduating college and I didn't have a job.
Katie: I'm so glad your nightmare is my reality.

Neal: If you don't perform your role, our body is not whole.  So don't let satan convince you that you're insignificant or something you did last week means you're not capable for being part of the body this week.  Without you, our joy is not complete and we can't enjoy this trip.  Maybe you're a pinky or maybe you're a heart; you're still part of the body.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Post in Which the Author Laments

It is the end of an era.  Saying goodbye to my parents in what we now affectionately call "The Crying Parking Lot" seems like forever ago.

"One Sunday afternoon in June" is very quickly becoming "a Monday morning in May."  That very expensive piece of paper is almost mine.  But I don't want it.

I'm not ready to leave.  I'm not ready to get a big girl job.  I'm not ready to start over.

I love it here.  It's why I prayerfully chose this place.  God has grown me and used me here.

I'm not the same woman I was four years ago when we cried in the parking lot.  All too soon I'll be crying in a different parking lot.  Pulling away from a place that has shaped me, formed me, and made me who I am.

As my peers discuss what dorm they're living in next year, I ponder what state (country?) I'll be in.  As they plan their schedule, I look at the classes I wish I could take.

When my parents, sisters, and I said goodbye, I walked back to my dorm while their van pull away.  I never looked back.

Will I be able to do the same in a month?

Based on how easily the tears filled my eyes tonight, no.

I refuse to count the days until I walk across the stage. Instead, I'm being pulled towards it kicking and screaming. Even my pullers are screaming.

"I'm going to have a hard time when you graduate."
"Are you sure you don't want to add an seventh major and stay a little while longer?"

But, unfortunately, it's time. 

The rites of passage passed and the mile stones crossed.  Those "one day in the future" events have become items to be crossed off the to-do list.

Yet still it hurts.

I'm comfortable here.  Four years will do that.

I cannot walk across campus without stopping to chat.  I know the chain of command for almost every problem and situation.  I'm not afraid to jump to the top of the chain, I know the loop holes, and I call people by their first names.  I keep emergency numbers in my phone, and I have used them.

This is my school.
This is my home.

I understand now why people linger long after graduation.  Part of me hopes I become one of them.

<>< Katie

And to think, this post was supposed to be about my final youth trip this weekend.

Sorry, friends. Thanks for letting me be nostalgic today.

Amber and I purchsed our flights to China on Friday! Now my life doesn't end until August. But I still don't have any idea what I'm doing when I get back.

Friday, April 1, 2011

God: Interpreter, Provider

I didn't realize how much time Neal and I spent together in Nicaragua until I got home and started telling these stories.  I think this is the last one (for now).

On Thursday morning we drove to another middle-of-nowhere church where we were going to do a service at 10am.  The Nicaraguan pastors suggested we walk around town and invite people, especially children, to the service.  So we did exactly that.

We strategically split into two groups with our best Spanish-speaking students split up and our bilingual Nicaraguan pastors split up.  Manolo, the bilingual Nicaragua pastor in our group, told me he wasn't going to translate our invitations.  That was all my job.  Huh what?  Not fair!

I would have much preferred to hide in the back and not do any of the talking.  Manolo was going to make sure that didn't happen.

So towards the first house we walked.  Our team stayed in a crowd in the street, and Neal and I approached the front door.

"Buenas," he said.  "We're going to have a church service over there at ten o'clock if you'd be interested in joining us.  Especially children, we're going to have activities and games for them."

Yeah, I don't know those words.  But I translated the best I could.  Then Neal and I walked on to the next house, and Manolo talked to the people, probably clarifying what I said.

Neal tried to get the other people in our group to introduce the neighbors, but only a few did and still I did all of the translating.  Honestly, I didn't really think it fair that they got to hang out and talk while I did all of the work.

That's because it was awkward and very uncomfortable to walk up to a house and talk to strangers about church... in Spanish never the less!  Neal and I confessed to each other that it was out of our comfort zones.  But with every house, we admitted, it got easier.  Neal became comfortable with his spiel and thus I began to anticipate what he was going to say.  Of course, he threw me a curve ball now and again but the more houses we talked to, the less clarification Manolo gave afterwards.

 Of course, by now it was 10:05 and we were still inviting people to the service at 10:00... Nicaraguan time.

As we walked back to the church to prepare for the service, we talked about how the Holy Spirit interprets for us.  It communicates what we cannot.  That brought me so much peace.  Even with my befuddled Spanish, the Holy Spirit allowed to be heard what needed to be heard.

When we got back to the church, we were able to see the fruits of our labor.  Not at first, mind you, but slowly the church filled up.  Eventually, they dismissed the kids to go out back.

One... two... three... four... I stopped counting at 50.  Our final estimate was about 80.  All squished into an area the size of a dorm room. 

And again we had no plan.

We did a skit to stall for time.  Then Sara told the story of Jonah (and Annalisa, our best Spanish-speaker, interpreted).  Then we handed out Jonah coloring pages... until we ran out.

Then we handed out home safety coloring pages... until we ran out.

Then we handed out blank pieces of paper... until we ran out.  That time we ran out of kids asking for paper.

I manned the paper and crayons while our other team members scattered themselves among the masses.

Some of our girls set up in the corner of the backyard area and made Salvation Bracelets. 

We kept worrying about running out of beads, so we signaled for those incharge of the service to wrap it up.  They saw, "Keep going."

Five loaves, two fish, and a half-a-bag of beads we did not run out.  God is such a provider!  It's was awesome!

It was great to be on the bus leaving and see the children wave, each boasting a Salvation Bracelet on the wrist that matches mine.

I came home with some very important lessons learned:
1. Sometimes God asks us to do things that are uncomfortable.  But the more you do them, the more comfortable they become.
2. The Holy Spirit interprets and speaks when we cannot.  What needs to be said is said through no doing of our own.
3. The Lord provides.  It's as simple as that.

Thankful for Grace,
<>< Katie