Saturday STOP challenge: Ladies. Stop comparing, be you!

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Be you! Be brave!

May we be more concerned in making those around us feel special than trying to make ourselves perfect. Maybe then, we will all feel wonderful about how God made us and how God is shaping us into HIS likeness rather than the likeness of this crooked, skewed world.

While you’re all alone by yourself do you, like you? This video speaks to my inner “girl”.

Enjoy.

God likes you. Wait a minute. He loves you. Beautiful scars, curly hair, paper thin hair, big bones, crazy eyebrows… and everything in between. He delights in YOU!

Loves,
Kati


 

Some of you have asked how to receive posts in your email: it’s simple. On the lower right hand side of the screen there should be a “follow” button. Click and enter your email. It’s totally safe.

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Um, yeah… is there an ad below here? A creepy ad  (yes, directly below here, some strange video, perhaps?) I didn’t put it there = / And I didn’t choose what it will advertise. Sorry about that.

Surrounded by millions, sitting alone

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You may remember my little going off of Facebook thing? You know, where I sat down one day and spilled all of my secrets of social media addiction? Yeah that’s the one.

Well, a little update here? It has been wonderful times a million.

Because you see, there are lots of wonderful little things going on in my little world and the people who know are the people who care about me. And I celebrated a birthday in the most simple of ways. Because I’ve been sick some days and people around me loved me for real life. We’ve taken road trips, attended important things; even buried a cat. And I witnessed it all! (because usually I would have been too worried about my 600+ friends witnessing it all that I would have missed it by taking a picture to share or updating my status.) Side note: Oh man, i love status updates. It’s like  news all wrapped up in a wonderful package.  Oh, oh! and I miss you people so much! Send me a snail mail, email? I’ll reply, really I will.

I digress. Annnndddd, I’m lame. (…pssttt, it’s true though, go ahead and send that letter)  ; )

This video?

Yup, it’s amazing. Soak.it.up.

Social Media is WONDERFUL.

 

But so are Oreos.

Too much of anything is just too much. And.I.had.to.put.the.cookie.down. as far as social media is concerned.

Shout out to Oreo fans everywhere committed to living a more simple life with a little less social media!

All my love,
Kati

You could tell me all day long I’m horrible & I might listen better.

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We have this place.

In the kitchen, where we seem to gather most. Just an $8 bottle of chalk board paint, an empty wall and scrap wood for makeshift frames. We share lots of words there.

The encouraging place. It’s where every soul in our little home has a place to be loved a little special. We call it the, “speak life wall”

And there, she has written something to me.

The mom.

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My oldest, a lover of words, like me– she simply writes:

“You’re so… thoughtful, giving, and kind.”

And I think…

“Is she speaking to ME?”

Because those words don’t want to settle within my soul– no way. I can feel myself pushing them out.

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Why do we do that? At what point do we, “adults”, go from thinking we’re awesome, wonderful, and capable of doing anything (like the six little children in my home think) to thinking we’re just a mean old lady?

How do our men go from thinking they can be a super hero and save the world to thinking they are no better than the desk he sits behind at work? Why can’t they dream big anymore?

Words.

Words are where it started. Somewhere in the middle– somewhere between acne, leg hairs, bad grades, and 90′s big hair; we lost the “amazing” in our life and just started to settle for, normal.


We started seeing the yucky. We started feeling the dark little parts of our soul.  We let ourselves become identified by our worst, rather than our best.

We let the words within our souls go from, “You are amazing” to, “You can’t even get THAT right.”


How about this?

Today- What if we let the words of others sink into our souls. When someone says you’re pretty- say, “Why thank you.” Rather than, “Oh, thanks… it’s a bad hair day.” When someone says, “You did good!” Don’t reply with, “Oh well… except that little part…” Just say, “Thanks!”

Let those words heal. — I know I need healing.

Today- Let’s be givers of words. Encouraging every little soul who walks by.

“You look pretty today.”

“Wow, kiddo… you’re so strong!”

“My goodness, honey- aren’t you handsome today?”

They won’t want to let the words sink in at first. But if we keep doing this little test of love… I bet they’ll start realizing, they’re fearfully and wonderfully made.

Let’s praise HIM by using healing words, speaking into others lives.

Because those around us are wonderfully made.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,  I know that full well.

Psalm 139:14 NIV”

I’m right there with ya!

Loves,

Kati


Someone you know, perhaps? Share the love today.

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Some of you have asked how to receive posts in your email: it’s simple. On the lower right hand side of the screen there should be a “follow” button. Click and enter your email. It’s totally safe.

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Um, yeah… is there an ad below here? A creepy ad  (yes, directly below here, some strange video, perhaps?) I didn’t put it there = / And I didn’t choose what it will advertise. Sorry about that.

why i’m breaking up with facebook

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A few weeks ago, I felt a stirring in my little heart that I needed to break up with Facebook. In a chat with my sweet man, after I had made this decision– I said, “Facebook is a trap for people with helping hearts”

At least for me.

Because I want to help everyone. I want to answer all questions right away- I want to solve every problem, send flowers if you’re hurting, and kiss your little boo-boos! Because I want to share with you how easy eating healthy is, how simple it is to do fun things with your littles– I want to share with you adoption is so close to the heart of God and worth all of the pain and trouble.  I want to share with you, I’m just as tired as you, just as broken as you, and God’s grace covers it all.

But there are these little people in my life- the ones who are always watching. And their little eyes remind me:

There are six little people in my home who will lead generations to come. Am I spending too much time staring at screens, sharing recipes, good advice, and encouragement with my sweet friends and not enough time bending low to kiss the boo-boos of tomorrows generation?

Of course I love to write- and Facebook is such a powerful way of sharing your story with people to encourage them, help them feel like their story is amazing and God is so totally in love with them. But then God always reminds me:

You don’t have to be trending to make a difference. It’s all about the one.

Then there are these groups I lead where using Facebook as a tool for communication is so effective. And God reminds me:

Do you really need to lead so many groups?

Today- this article in the Huffington Post was amazing- spot on, and totally great.

I could just take a break– but this girl and her personality just doesn’t do breaks well. In fact, I’ve done a year long “Facebook fast” before– but here I am again. Addicted to chatting it up on Facebook.  I’m strange, a little OCD perhaps? ; ) For instance, one day- my little blog, writingwithintrees was spiking over 6,000 hits at one time. Ummm,  I freaked out and felt like I needed to send everyone a thank you card. For real.

Issues, I know.

I promised that day, I would never. ever. look at numbers again. And I haven’t.

Now, I have peace and never feel like rushing to the post office to buy postage for 6,000 cards. I also don’t have an overwhelming desire to pump out the ‘next best post’– because I have no idea how many people are actually reading my broken words.

So, when I decided to delete my Facebook account forever, I told my man, I’m cutting off my hand.

If your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” Matthew 5:29-30

 

OH my gosh- I’m sorry.. I know this is such a selfish and stupid post– but maybe you’re an addict like me? Probably not.

 

But John Piper puts it best:
“Am I wanting to look at Twitter before I look at Jesus? It sounds stupid. That’s how stupid sin is.

 

I check email first thing when I wake up– Facebook second, Jesus last.

Here are some things to think about if you are considering doing a Facebook detox.

There are two ways:

There is a “take a break” mode where your wall and pictures are just hidden until you log back in again. When you select this option– most of your things go hidden. It’s like, “Hey- where did Kati go? She was just here.”  However, not ALL past messages and conversations go hidden– it’s so confusing. BUT, the good news is- when you sign back on, it’s all there waiting for you as though you never left.

HOWEVER– when you opt to DELETE your account, everything is gone after 14 days. All of your past messages, all of your pictures, groups, things you wrote on groups–everything. So, when your friend searches for that message you sent last year with, whatever info they need at the time– it’s gone. Let’s hope they have your phone number or email address ; )

I think it’s apparent in my life story and view of grace, Jesus and all things considered: I don’t hold to the view of

“You have to spend all of your time WITH Jesus, READING ABOUT Jesus, and NEVER do anything else fun with your life…” I do, however, hold to the view of: When Jesus changes your life like he did mine? You sort of want to be with him a whole bunch.

So, when I say things like: checking Facebook first is a sin in MY life. I don’t mean it as a ball and chain sort of thing.

I simply mean, for ME. Spending more time with Jesus helps me mother the way I should. Helps me love my man the way I should. Helps me take captive my thoughts the way I should instead of thinking I should be more like this person or that person. It helps me sit. be still. and listen more.

Back in the olden days, before Zuckerberg made his millions-people called friends, sent letters, in fact, texting wasn’t even that big (and still cost a fortune back then!) but you see now, the lives of everyone is available for view 24/7. Twenty-four hours a day I can turn on my screen, pick up my phone and lose myself in a world of perfect reality.

THIS. this video. Watch this video. See the woman with the cake, missing life? That is me.

My– oh my, if only we could see our lives on screen– we would see where we should truly change.

The truth is, I am truly rich– right here. And I am committed to helping people around me; hugging the necks of hurting people — no matter who they are and what they’ve done. And I’m just a phone call away and a cup of fancy tea and sweet conversation with anyone on my “friend list.”

And when my children are grown- I hope and pray they spend more of their lives with their head held high living life, rather than bent low watching screens pass by– while real life passes them by.

Because after all, they can’t be the people they can’t see. And I want them to see a lot of Jesus in me.

When we become the Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church

Where there is love, there is God. God is love. - Mother Teresa
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Where there is love, there is God. God is love.

- Mother Teresa

It seems like a lot longer than four years. Since the last time I saw him cry.

That sweet man of mine, he’s not really a tear kind of guy. Three times only that I can remember in our almost 13 years of marriage. This day was number three.

Home early, midday. A car full of books, papers, plans, and dreams– ready to be packed away for safe keeping.

Those things, still packed away. 
 

It’s a sad day. The day they say to you, go away and never come back. Don’t say goodbye, don’t finish the conversations you were having with so many people, just sign here.

Their demand was simple.

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“We are offering to pay a 60 day severance to be paid in normal payment cycles, providing you agree to the following terms.

 

A. Attendance to this church is forbidden

B. Any and all means to malign the church or its leaders by you or your spouse, Kathlean Gibson, will terminate the severance agreement immediately. This includes all forms of internet use, chat rooms, Facebook, texting, etc. Any behavior that is viewed as defamation will be reviewed and decided by the Elders of this Church. 

C. Contact with he youth of this church with the intent of defamation will also terminate the agreement. 

 

Additionally, if all terms are met, a letter of reference by the Senior Pastor will be provided. 

 
Sign Here”


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“Have your stuff out within 24 hours and don’t take it personally” they said– “it’s just business”

 

He sat there. Just crying.

Finally he says, “They asked me not to contact anyone until after Sunday. I’m not allowed to talk about it until they tell the congregation.” He explained, “They canceled all the service projects scheduled for this weeks spring break, not giving a reason to anyone–I can’t even give people a reason.” 

What was their reason”, I asked.

He replies, “We’re not relational enough. and I don’t agree with the vision of the church.”

No warning, just get out.

 

What in the world do you do when you’ve been told to go away and never come back? 

What do you say when your nine year old,  who eats, sleeps, and breathes church– says, “Can’t go back to church? But anyone can go to church- no matter what.”

I’ll tell you what you do.
you die.
 

When the church, the body of Christ, Christ’s Bride, the place where grace is abounding, becomes a business- when they turn their face to you and say go away, you die. 


You die a slow and painful, lonely death.


We’re still dying.
We’re different now.

It has changed us. Oh, we love. We serve. And we worship the One True God. But we don’t give our heart away. We don’t talk about much with you anymore. We don’t really discuss much about what God is teaching us. And when you are sitting next to us in church, we’re wondering– who are they really and when are they going to hurt us? Daniel? He’s not going to open up to you, that’s for sure. You can tell me how wrong all of that is– I already know. But for now, for some reason, it’s just something we cannot shake. We pray for people to come into our lives and aid the healing. We’re waiting, leaning on Jesus, and hoping for a day when all of that is gone.

And you see, when there is a pain like this– people don’t mention it. It’s like a secret they don’t want to bring up. Like having a child pass or a spouse leave you. Doesn’t anyone realize maybe you just need to hear, “Hey, how are your wounds and what can I do to help? Let me sit here with you in the ash of the painful wounds; what if we heal together.”

The hurt, it does bring hope. Being ripped away from the gathering of believers, being told to go and never return–the pain it has caused, there is hope in it.

There should be pain.

In scripture we see a loving, jealous, and just God. Then, we are introduced to a radical, loving, and just Jesus. A Jesus who loved prostitutes and sinners. A Jesus who always told off the Pharisees, A Jesus who said, keep nothing, and give it all. A Jesus who taught us how to offer a kiss to the person planning to turn against us and ultimately lead to our unfair trial and death.

You see, when the church, or anyone who follows Jesus, has operated outside of this Jesus way. It hurts. But when your heart longs to be loved the way Jesus loves, unconditionally. There is hope.

There is hope because God is a healing God. He takes our wounds and makes us new. It takes time, yes. But in time– memories fade, the pain slows and you begin to trust just a little here and there.

Then there is love. I could rant and go on about how poorly we felt treated. I could tell you the lies, the disgusting truth of it all. I could share with you the sad stories of how badly I just wanted to go back and see my friends but I had to realize, those are not friends. But love has came and made that story new.

Oh, it still hurts. And it’s wounds go deep. But there is love and forgiveness.

This is the amazing thing of God. He is a God who not only teaches us good things but also brings us out of the human mistakes we often make and he teaches us good lessons.

I cannot tell you how many times I have said something that hurt someone– all in the name of Jesus. I cannot tell you how many times I have been the deliver of death- like the church was to us that day.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been the Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church in the lives of my friends.

Because the truth is: we live in a broken, broken world with hurt and ugly all around. I think we are a world torn apart by abuse, selfishness, divorce, lack of love, and even yes– people getting kicked out of church and not allowed to go say goodbye all because they don’t agree with the unknown vision of a church.

We’re all human. Fred Phelps felt strongly about certain groups of people. That church felt strongly of me.

And both of those sad situations hurt hearts.

I struggle through my own issues. If good ‘ol Fred and his group of people were to hold up signs directed toward me, they would say: GOD HATES PRIDEFUL PEOPLE. GOD HATES SINNERS. GOD HATES PEOPLE WITH TERRIBLE PASTS. Because I have Issues of pride, anger, self-righteousness; the temptation to stir the pot and cause dissension. And I was a total mess before I met Jesus.

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But you see: those issues- God has to work out within me, through fear and trembling. Nobody’s rant, sign, or bull horn will change my heart- nobody’s rant DID change my heart- Jesus did.

So, therefore. In my OPINION… I think-

the more people I love to the feet of Jesus, the more hearts he can heal to his perfect way.

“The saving grace of Jesus changes the hearts and ways of fallen men, not me. So- hopefully the more time I spend with the broken people of the world- the more people I can share this healing Jesus with.”

And handing it to Jesus- isn’t “just siting by and doing nothing” After all, God handed it over to Jesus and he started a revolution.

May you realize the truth: When the church, or anyone who follows Jesus, has operated outside of this Jesus way. It hurts.

BUT when your heart longs to be loved the way Jesus loves, yes- that unconditional love: don’t give up. This life is big and someone will come along and love you back to health. And until then, lean on that Great big God who loves you– you. YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU. Not the Sunday morning, masked you. Just you. Not the office you. Just you. Not the you on the weekends. Just you. Not the “you” you were when you were getting this christian thing right. Not the you I see. Not the you people like Fred Phelps sees.


He loves the YOU he made. The YOU he’ll see in glory.
As you reach, lean, jump, burst forth- trying so hard to find this healing Jesus- remember. He is always there. He is always ready.

And he is never a business. He is the lover of your soul.

Oh friends may we never be the one causing the pain. May we be life givers and deliverers of hope. But when this wicked heart deceives us and we cause the pain– may God come along side of us and love us through correction. May those we hurt have grace and understanding. And above all– may God heal those wounds and use them for glory.

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16

Don’t give up- real love gives hope.

Healing alongside you,

Kati

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Some of you have asked how to receive posts in your email: it’s simple. On the lower right hand side of the screen there should be a “follow” button. Click and enter your email. It’s totally safe.

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Um, yeah… is there an ad below here? A creepy ad  (yes, directly below here, some strange video, perhaps?) I didn’t put it there = / And I didn’t choose what it will advertise. Sorry about that.

why cinderella and her crazy story is totally bogus.

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There’s this man I love.

It didn’t always use to be that way.

But we found Jesus, you see and he taught us how to love. How to laugh, how to live fully- together.

So now- I don’t yell and him and kick him out of the bed (like, for real with my feet) when he starts to fall asleep earlier than I have planned. Hey- I never said I came into this relationship without issues.  ;)

This year, I made the decision to have 12 stories tattooed on me. My man thinks it’s silly. So, I couldn’t help but laugh like crazy when he sent me this private facebook message this morning:

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He doesn’t really think I’m a pagan, just so ya know ; )

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Everyone has a different fairy tale, ya know. And that Cinderella story? Well, I think it’s sort of a rip off.

I mean, I know it happend to you– don’t get me wrong.

I know your sweet man waited until you were married to hold your hand. I know he asked your dads permission, and even got down on one knee. But it didn’t happen for all of us.

Oh, we dreamed that it would, didn’t we? But life gets icky and stories get stuck on us like mud- and before you know it, we’re just a mess. A mess of ladies walking around looking for something to make us new. Well, it’s surely our Prince Charming, right? He will come and rescue us from this mess of a life and make all of our dreams come true.

Ummm, maybe not so much.

Because you see, there’s this thing called life and like I said, it gets all messy. I want to hear the Cinderella story that tells of Cinderella all crazy and emotionally unstable or just down right mean because she spent all that time under the oppression of a wicked stepmother. Or the Prince who ends up being a starving artist because he’s sick and tired of being royal and needing to meet the crazy expectations placed on him.

The Cinderella who partied back in the day and struggles with her past choices? Or the Cinderella who didn’t know what in the world to do so she just did the unthinkable and aborted that baby. She wishes she had known better but what could she do? It’s not like she could turn to her stepmother.

How about the Prince and his past lifestyle of rich and famous? Now he has found himself swarming in debt because he’s trying to have everything his parents had, in his young life.

What about the Cinderella and Prince who just couldn’t ever seem to lower their expectations– so their children grew up hating them because they were never.able.to.just.be.kids. Or what about the Cinderella and Prince who lost a baby and now don’t know how to cope with life together.

Whew, it can be a messy life.

The good news is God is a God of changing stories.

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That man of mine use to be gone all of the time. I was a sports widow. At night, when he and the baby were sleeping- I would sneak out and go to the clubs and dance with strangers. On weekends we watched MTV and he played video games all day. We were a mess. Just trying to figure it all out and having no idea what in the world we were doing.

Hey, if that is your life ^^ more power to ya. For me. For us? We were dying.

Now, that man and I have a crazy, deep love. We have a loud house with six crazy kids running around. We even have a few pets to add to the mix.

He’s not a romantic, oh I wish he was. But he makes me hot tea each morning and always tells me he loves me.

He still loves sports and I love that he does. It’s a family thing now. We do it all together.

I still have issues, but I don’t kick him out of the bed ; ) Now, when I’m sad- he understands I need a little extra love that day.

You get the point.

You know– we almost didn’t make it here. Nope. We had been married for a year when we decided to call it quits. We were both tired. One swift slap to his face and he said, “That’s it- I’m out of here” and he was gone.

And I thought it was forever.

We knew we needed a change. We found a church, people loved us- like crazy get down in the dirty parts of life type of love, not just sit on the pew next to you quietly type of love. And it changed our lives.

Jesus in them, changed our lives.

Many times I have thought about what life would have been like if we had just given up. Oh, it seemed easier at the time. I’m sure it seemed easier lots of times back then. But now, I couldn’t imagine it any different.

Ever been there?

Here are a few simple things that have helped make our marriage work. Made it fun. Got us through a lot of ups and downs.

#1. Talk, Talk, Talk. We talk about everything. I mean every.single.thing.  Weather, plans, dreams, sadness, food, new discoveries, what the kids are learning, what tomorrows plans are. You name it- we talk about it. My man is who I talk with most.

#2. We send love messages. You see- in this day there are so many different ways to share love with people we should be ashamed of ourselves if we’re not! Send a quick text message, shoot a quick picture of where you are, what you’re doing and tell him you wish he was there with you. Leave him a little love note where he’ll see it when he gets ready for work. In some way- love that man with words everyday.

#3 I don’t expect him to be a girl. This one is a hard one. But it’s true. He’s all man. And he thinks like a man too! (imagine that) He leaves his clothes on the floor- drives me nuts! His garage is messy, he doesn’t clean the kitchen like me and he hates to make the bed. But you know what? If I lost that man of mine, I don’t think I could ever make the bed again or even pick up his last pair of clothes lying on the ground. He may be messy- but he’s special and I’d miss every.single.thing.about him if he was gone.

#4 You see, there’s this thing guys like- and yeah… they really do love it when you’re all cute and kissy, and all that stuff… umm, yeah- you get the point. I think he’d be happy with everyday- but let’s just be sure it’s more than four times once a week ; ) What?!! It’s true– he’s thinking about it… go on ask him. (he, he)

#5 I’m not my sweet mans holy spirit- I know, I know- you’ve got this Jesus thing all figured out. You’re the Proverbs 31 woman through and through. But I’ve had to learn the hard way, I’m not my sweet man’s holy spirit. What God is teaching me isn’t always what he’s teaching my man. So really, I can’t be all mad at him if he’s not doing his quiet time quite like mine. Or if he’s not _____________ you fill in the blank. My job as a wife is to live a life of godliness for all to see and pray for my man that God would speak to his heart. And really? Trust me- a daddy who comes home and does devotion with the family because HE feels led to do so is so much more fruitful than the daddy who comes home and does devotion because you’ve whipped him into submission by nagging = (

#6 I’ve learned to let my man- be my man. He’s not your man. He doesn’t have flowers delivered, or even take me to dinner very much (we’re both too cheap for that) But he loves me in his silly ways– Like his Valentine’s gift this year? 14 ways he loves me, sent via text message:

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No diamonds for this girl- no thank you. I’ll take my man, just the way he is. And don’t you go thinking I’m being prideful or thinking I know it all because the truth is- I’ve spent many a day wishing my man was your man because your man did something like, cook you a fancy dinner and my man made romen noodles. =) But we have to realize, ladies: each of our men have a way they love and it is special in their own little way.

Those are just a few- I’m sure you know of a bunch more. Honestly? Jesus is the one who makes it all work here in our house. The rest is just a little bit of fun. When I’m mad, It’s Jesus that reminds me to love. When I’m being selfish- it’s Jesus that reminds me to love my man more than myself.

That Jesus. He is always so good.

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Live your Cinderella story today! Live it BIG, FUN and totally YOU!!

Loves,

Kati

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Some of you have asked how to receive posts in your email: it’s simple. On the lower right hand side of the screen there should be a “follow” button. Click and enter your email. It’s totally safe.

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Um, yeah… is there an ad below here? A creepy ad  (yes, directly below here, some strange video, perhaps?) I didn’t put it there = / And I didn’t choose what it will advertise. Sorry about that.