“Am I Enough?”

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writingwithintrees:

Good morning, sister. Need a pick me up? She speaks to my heart this morning.
“Every day I have this desire to accomplish something. But every day it feels I accomplish nothing…
When it feels I didn’t accomplish Super Tidy Housewife, or Spiritual Sage, or Fun Mommy, or Adoring Wife, or Betty Crocker, or the Likeable Friend…when I’m none of those titles, and all the opposites…”

THIS.

Originally posted on Barren to Beautiful:

This week my husband walks in the door after a long day at work to find: dishes piled in the sink, laundry all over the living room, the beef for dinner still in a frozen block, and me…looking like Frump Queen. He is gracious. And tells me to take a nap. I instantly obey. (Inwardly rejoicing.) And while I am sleeping for 45 minutes, he manages to clean the whole house…while watching our daughter. (A feat I clearly was incapable of accomplishing today. Many days.)

One part of my feels grateful the house is clean. I can relax now, right? But the other (bigger) part of me feels guilty and defeated. He just worked the whole day at his job, and then came home and did mine, too. Isn’t this why I am staying home? 

Every day I have this desire to accomplish something. But every day it feels I accomplish nothing. I…

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To die for coconut coffee

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While visiting family in Colorado last month they introduced us to heaven in a cup.

Coconut coffee.

Now, before you coconut haters get your little panties in a wad- don’t judge. It’s delish and totally not “coconut’ie”.

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Here’s the scoop. Coconut is good for you. I don’t have to go on and on about it’s benefits, just hit Google.

I will say, in our home… we use coconut oil for everything. (That’s not milk, I know) If you came for a visit, you would see us using it as lotion, hair cream, tooth paste and burn relief. If you came for breakfast, you’d eat it in your gluten free pancakes.

Can you tell I’m in love?

Ok, ok, here’s a handy link on coconut and the health benefits. And here’s one on cooking with coconut oil.

Back to coffee. THIS coffee doesn’t need much (if any) added sweetening. And trust me: I’m a sugar addict. [arg! It's so bad!]  Also, you really do want to either shake it up in a mason jar or blend it in your blender on high for the frothy goodness. Yup, my mouth just watered. Also, the coconut milk you put on your cereal just won’t do the trick with this. I made enough for seven cups and we used almost 1/2 a can. It would take a TON of your cold coconut milk.

Well- back to my coffee.

Happy day!
Kati

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.

Teaching love through the muddiness of life. [how God uses broken people like you and me]

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I’m not sure when it hit me.

The reality. He’s not mine and what in the world am I going to do with this teenager? Besides, what in the world were his parents thinking? Sending him to live with two 28 year olds raising four children of their own in a tiny little town called Chelsea?

I wonder, was it the first time I had to use the phrase– “If you don’t fix your attitude, I’m going to have to take your ipod and cell phone” or was it the first time he raised his voice at me– raised it louder than any child ever had.

Perhaps it was when I raised mine in reply.

I remember feeling very scared. Scared we were going to ruin him for sure and he would never know Jesus.


“Hello Gibson’s-

How are you guys?? Doing well??

I miss you all like crazy when I got back to my Taiwan’s home. 

Remember we used to riding bikes, planting garden, swimming together, cleaning house, also traveling? Do all the things together as a family… and you guys took your free time, come to my school games, I’m really thankful and love you guys sooooo much, more than I can say and write. 

Gibson’s shone the glory, mercy, peaceful around people, let people feel how gorgeous and wonderful this family could be…

I’m glad I could meet you guys, I have learned a lot from you all, learn how to babysitting, how to use the mower cutting the grass without using scissors… also learn how to be independent without parents around, learn how to work hard as a man, the most important is loving people like God does!!!

I miss Gibson’s and love them…, hope we can get together again like we used to be… 

Pray for Gibson’s to do well on everything… “

Ting.

Because he knew us best. He lived every moment, saw our good and bad. And appearance only lasts so long, right?

Sound familiar?

It only makes sense that my eyes fill with tears and I’m full of emotion when I read his words. Words sent from across the world– words handwritten and sent right to our little place we call home.When I opened the package and saw his writing, my heart leaped and I cried just a bit. Even now, as I type– my eyes fill with tears, at just the simple thought of his words written on paper for us.

There’s no obligation now. He doesn’t live here, eat here, rely on our transportation. He’s home– free to live his life. Yet, each morning– we talk. It’s his night, our morning and always– there’s Ting.

 

When he writes to tell us he finally attended church for the first time in Taiwan, along side his Dad– my heart leaped again.


 

 

 

Then he says, “I was the only teenager there and the crowd was small.” And I think,

he went.

He continues, “It felt good-like being back with the church in America- I could feel Jesus close. We sang songs and worshiped our God”

I wanted to wrap my arms around his tiny self and whisper, “He is always close.” I wanted to look into his eyes and tell him, “You are not alone in this scary journey. God is there. He is real, can’t you feel Him?”

 

And I think to myself, is this it? Is this what it is like, sending them out– our little children, out to the wolves? How will my heart take this ever again? How can I do this not once but four more times and possibly even more? How do I let go?

 

How do I trust that God is God and He is Good. How can I Trust that my children listen to God, not me. How do I trust that He is the Lord of their life and I’m not just lording over them. 

After we’ve spent years raising our voices louder than anyone else ever has– threatening to take away everything under the sun, for whatever reason irritates us that day; said, what feels like, one million I’m sorry’s, cried over math problems, worried over reading and relationships– then blistered our knees in prayer–

How do we know they will be alright?

How do we trust they will seek Him? How do we know we haven’t ruined them for life? How do we know this everyday thing we call, life– hasn’t left it’s ugly mark all over their souls?

We know, because we’ve loved.

We know, because He loved.

We know, because we fell.

Time and time again, we fell.

We muddied our knees once more, wiped up our mess and tried again.

Just like they will one day do.

We loved through spit up, spilled milk and mis-spelled words. We loved when it was hard and they were ugly. We loved just a bit harder when we felt like giving up. We went to games and cleaned the house. We rode bikes and said, no. We showed glory, mercy, and peace to people — so they could see Jesus. We lived. Together. Every moment.

And they watched.

He watched.

and now he says, “I know the most important thing is loving people like God does.”

He doesn’t say, “Why did you take my ipod that time, or yell back at me when I was rude.” Not, “Why did you make me go to bed early some nights and tell me I couldn’t have everything I wanted.”

He says, you taught me love. 

And I think, really? Us?

Us, with our crazy bed hair, messy house; and crying baby? Us, with the five year old who’s always in your business and the sometimes moody 11 year old? Us? Married, with our “discussions” that can sometimes become heated or long and drawn out?

Us, with our constant talk of that crazy love for this person you’ve never heard of– this person called Jesus. Us? Messy, desperate for grace, constantly in the mud of life… We taught you love?

He simply says, yes.

And that great big God of ours, so full of good, simply reminds me– it’s not about what you do, Kati. It’s about what I’m doing.

Because I Am. And I Am good. And I Am always there, can’t you feel me?

 

May you trust– they are watching you, He is using you, and He is always good.

Much love, friends.

Jude 1:2,

Kati

 

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.

Fellowship with daughters: the very best thing I do with my girls.

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Remember when you were young and passed notes to your best girlfriends?

I do that with my girls. =)

Those girls of mine, all crazy four of them– they need love. They all need loved in different ways too, and that can be tricky.

I have one who speaks the least but feels the most. She loves words like me. We talk about everything from Jesus to dresses. Another of mine, she’s one for attention– she always wants to know when we’re going somewhere again. Then there’s this one who is new to the whole mom thing and she’s just happy to write. Then Emmyn, my littlest, little? Well, she makes pretty drawings. =)

In order to keep up with all of their girly goodness, we have momma journals. Each one have a decorated journal that is between just she and I. When they feel they need to talk, they pass the journal my way.

Sometimes, it’s on the stand next to my bed– other times, it’s lying on my desk. I’ve even found it next to the kitchen sink.

A cutie-pie picture from when my little Jordi pie started her journal a few years back?

It’s a place where we can be total cheese heads, encourage each other, love each other with our words, and it’s all right there, in the book– a book we can keep forever.

{ ok, ok, and it helps with handwriting practice ; ) }

Simple & silly love, today and always~

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. 

Let’s get bored

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writingwithintrees:

Hello Readers!

THIS was one of my favorite reads this week-

“As much as I love, use and benefit from technology (and I certainly do), I think today’s constantly-innovating, tech-driven lifestyle is encroaching on our time and freedom to just be.”

Just be. Oh my. I love that.

May you find yourself bored sometime this weekend! May your ingenious side shine bright!

“Next time you feel bored, try resisting the impulse to reach for your phone and, instead, let yourself be bored for one minute. You might suddenly find yourself exploring a more interesting device: you.”

Much love,

Kati

Originally posted on Preston's Blog:

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When I was in China last fall I watched a teenage girl on a Beijing subway say goodbye to a friend getting off at a stop. As soon as they had waved goodbye and the doors closed, the girl pulled out her phone and began thumbing away.

This reminded me that these days, all around the world, it no longer looks “normal” to be doing nothing — even on trains, in elevators, in waiting rooms, standing in lines, or walking down the street.

Since we can now bring our personal entertainment environments with us everywhere in the form of phones, tablets and headgear (like Google Glass), all locations and situations are becoming our personal entertainment environments.

We no longer have to be bored in traditionally boring situations…and are likely never to be bored again.

That’s great, right? Or is it…

The continually advancing capabilities of devices (and the media hype…

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That stinkin’ proverbs 31 woman again. How love can shape generations to come #14daysofsimplelove

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“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”  James Baldwin


like it most when I’m up before the pitter patter of little feet. I like to sit and prepare before they come bounding, excited and ready to start a new day.

They usually start by telling me all about their dreams or informing me they’re hungry.

While the house is quiet, I like to set the mood. My mood. 

It is a peaceful thing, a quiet house. Before I begin the daily battle that wages deep within me, the battle of self and selflessness, it is best if I start in the quiet.

I wonder if that’s what she thought. You know that girl.  The one who puts us all to shame. “That Proverbs 31 Woman.”

“She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.” …but no servants found here.  I’m planning my work. –  and maybe it’s best if I begin in the quiet. Begging God to help me get it all done.

“She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.” because the Lord is her strength. …because he alone is [her] rock and her salvation. [Her] fortress where [she] will never be shaken.

“She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.” …because she knows it’s the only way her children will see, those people matter.

And my very favorite part…
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”because she realizes she cannot parent out of fear of their future, or of her past.

“When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.” …only because she pauses. breathing quietly and deeply before she responds, perhaps?

“She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.” …because she runs one more time at the cry of help, bends down one more time to pick the little one up, and sits to read… just a little bit longer.

Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.”  because he knows, this job of being a mother—will keep her close to the heart of God.

So, they tip toe out, into the darkness of early morn one.by.one.

And then your sweeties little baby joins the two of you…

and the list goes on,
and on,
and on.

I wonder- if the Proverbs 31 Woman of today would have been able to explain herself- would she have said things like,

“Yeah, it’s super, duper hard some days and I just need my Fathers help over and over again.”

because she knew, one day she’d be old and grey. If we caught up with her years later after her hands worn from years of love and hard work, would she have told us,I realized I was raising generations when I loved my little ones so it was worth the fight. I knew the love I gave today would impact them forever. I knew I was shaping generations to come.

Because when we love them, they’re learning how to love forever, right?

Our children, our students in a classroom, our neighbor, the neighbors kids… whoever we talk to, share life with, share stories with. If we’re showing, living, and talking about love. Wow. What a difference that can make.

Are you a part of the 14 days of simple love challenge? Where we love simply, in some way — each day? Knowing our little bit of love can make a big difference. But wait! It gets even better! The great news——>> When the person we loved goes and loves someone else, all because of the love we showed them? Well, that could change the world.

Leading up to Valentine’s Day why not love, simply each of the 14 days? Besides, why save big love for only one day, right? Here is how it works:

Everyday there will be a new simple way to love posted here. Each day you use that simple love idea and run with it. However that way is possible for you- do it!

Everyone is looking for someone to love them. And the more we love, the happier our little hearts are.

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread” – Mother Teresa.

Today’s simple love: Give Instruction With Kindness.

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“Her words are wise and kindness is rule when she gives instruction” Proverbs 31:26

this.one.will.be.hardest.for.me.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.

Loves today and always,

#14daysofsimplelove guide:
Day One: Who said grown men can’t date boys
Day Two: Everyone’s view is different than mine

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.

Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes. She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns. Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders. She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:
“There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.”

Proverbs 31:10-30 NLT

yeah… if there’s an ad below here—> don’t click the creepy ad  (yes, directly below here, some strange video perhaps?) I didn’t put it there = /

So, you think everyone is better than you huh? Think again.

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THIS is what I look like when the little things I write matter to people and they actually read it and I’m left feeling like a little Minion on the movie Despicable Me saying,  “whaaatttt?”

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That, my friends- is a thirty year old woman taking a planned ‘selfie’. =)

Cue next picture of me climbing into my turtle shell- bound for hiding because I think maybe people have it all wrong? Maybe they don’t really understand I’m just a mess trying to figure it all out and it just so happens, my heart pitter-patters for words? Maybe they don’t know I’m just a silly girl who loves sharing words on a screen- hoping one day they’ll spill over onto real sheets of paper and sit next to peoples bedposts. Do people even know that I really don’t know what I’m doing? Like for real- I may love words, stories, and sharing brokenness with the story of Gods redemption, but I don’t even know where the commas go and spell check is my best friend.

So, yeah. I know. It’s a scary impossible,  you just know everyone can’t wait to see you fail sort of dream.

But it gets me thinking just a bit- makes me wonder:“Do people reading my silly words understand they’re amazing? No, seriously. Do they realize they’re created to be unique, different, and totally not like anyone else?”

Then I realize, the truth is: probably not.

Most of us spend a lot of our time comparing screens. Your screen is much cooler than mine. Your facebook or twitter page gets way more likes than mine and you have way more friends than me. Your kids are perfect, and you read your bible every day. Your husband takes you away for mini-vacations three times a year and he even buys you a new dress to celebrate. You’ve adopted three kids, I’ve only adopted two- you drive a new mini-van, I drive a beat up SUV with a broken heater. Your house is bigger, your family is much cooler, and you even have a dog that does tricks.

*sigh* I’m such a major loser.

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See I told you. Major.

If you are someone who is a major loser like me but you think you’re the only one– I’d like to share with you this simple truth:

psssst, it’s a secret. guess what?

Everyone’s kids have cranky, bad days. We all feel lonely and misunderstood from time to time. Not all of us go on vacations all of the time and I know I never get new dresses. We all spend too much money on something, and we all have our things we “just can’t live without”. We all have seasons where our spiritual walk seems dry, and we all sometimes want to walk away from a screaming child of ours at Walmart and pretend they aren’t really ours. There are days when we all want to give up or  just sit in a corner and cry. I know I’m the only one who sometimes lets a bad word fly out of frustration though- right?

Here’s the truth. Nobody’s life is picture perfect. If our lives were perfect, we wouldn’t need the cross.

There is a false reality that comes along with reading about other peoples lives day in and day out. I can get all wrapped up in what others are doing that it becomes very damaging to me as a wife, a momma, and a daughter of the King. I start to compare my life, actions, and activities, with other mommas instead of how I measure up to the calling placed on my own life; The calling of Jesus.

“Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:6

If I claim to follow Jesus, I must try to live as He did. It’s not a choice- rather a reaction. It is an overflow of who I am. I am loved by the King. Oh my goodness, I get goosebumps just thinking of His love and favor!!

Isn’t it exciting? As Christ followers, we get to share with the world the beauty of being unique!

You may be like the widow who fed Elijah; or perhaps you have a faith like the Canaanite Woman whom Jesus called a dog. Perhaps you need grace, like the  the woman caught in adultery who Jesus saved from stoning. Or perhaps, you’re someone who needs to just.quit.throwing.stones. No matter what point we are in our walk with Jesus, we have only one person to imitate, Him.

I remember when I first became a stay at home momma. It all happened at once. I had just had our third kiddo, Judah. Only days out from c-section (i know you have home-births, you’re so much cooler than me) I became a stay at home, homeschooling momma. Also a full time ministers wife all in a new town, surrounded by all new people. One night, I was crying, talking to that sweet man of mine about how I just didn’t know how to juggle it all. In response, he looked at me and said something I will never forget.

He said:

“As long as you are being the best daughter you can be; then how can you not be the best mother, wife, and friend.”

I still think of that every day. “Father, I’m doing the best I can; you’ll have to fill in where I lack.” And trust me, I lack a lot. So, the truth is simple. We’re all always falling, and He’s always picking us up, dusting us off and helping us start again. In the world of computer screens, blogs, facebook, pinterest, twitter– we hardly see the falls, we only see the beauty of His help.

For instance, see my little Emmyn making a cutie-pie snow man in this picture?

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Well, what you don’t see is the fight she gave me when I made her wear boots instead of flip-flops only minutes before. =)

Oh and… remember the post about my crazy past of drug addiction and God’s saving grace? What you don’t realize is… i didn’t even realize my sweet man (aka HUSBAND) didn’t even know the ‘date story’ from that post.  ha, ha… oops = /  I thought he knew every little detail of my life.

How about this random pig we saw walking down the road a few weeks back? Yeah- that was strange and my kids wanted to take him home. I almost did.

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See this cutie pie picture from our adoption day? Yeah, the picture of my boys? Isn’t it nice of Triston to be giving Judah a piggy-back ride? Well, what you don’t see is Judah running over in between picture shots to get a huge drink of lemonade and then spilling it all down his shirt. So, we had to hide the evidence. Hence, their sweet, on screen, brotherly love. ; )

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The truth is, there is no one good- accept the Father. Including people with cutsie little blogs or pictures on Facebook. Our days are filled with challenges, temptations, sin, wrong choices, harsh tones in our voices, and bad judgment calls. That’s the beauty of grace.

He is so good to give such good gifts.

Titus 3: 4-7 NIV
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

May we be seeking Him each and every moment of our days, friends. May He fill our every thought. May we compare ourselves to that sweet Jesus of the cross. Who took on flesh to live a life of example and sacrifice. Let us not compare ourselves to the broken brother or sister sitting next to us in the pew, showing up in our newsfeed, or walking beside us at Walmart.

While you slap your little babies hand, while you wipe your little guys runny nose… again. While you have yet another hard discussion with your teenager; while you show grace to your nagging mother just one more time. While you serve at that job you hate just one more day, or help that person just.one.more.time.  May you remember to be the best Daughter of the King you can be.

“As long as you are being the best daughter you can be; then how can you not be the best mother, wife, and friend.”
The rest will fall into place, my friend.

“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”  Ephesians 5:1-2

No better than the next guy,
Kati

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yeah… if there’s an ad below here—> don’t click the creepy ad  (yes, directly below here, some strange video perhaps?) I didn’t put it there = /

It’s monday, again. And things aren’t going so great.

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The baby didn’t sleep and the toilet didn’t work. The friend didn’t call and the raise didn’t come. The car didn’t start and the bills didn’t get paid. The church didn’t work out and the kids fought all day. The school work didn’t get planned, the lunches didn’t get made.

The weather wasn’t agreeable, the grocery store- too full. The oil didn’t get changed and the trees didn’t get planted. The sun didn’t shine on winters chill and the toys are still strewn all over the yard. The mother didn’t care and the son didn’t call. The little one felt hot to the touch and you don’t feel so good. The chemo didn’t work, the big break didn’t come, the prayer wasn’t answered.

The laundry’s still waiting and it wasn’t even your day to put it all away.

The letter didn’t get written, the book didn’t get read. The cake wasn’t baked and the memory wasn’t made. The grocery list was never started and the coupons never clipped. The jog never happened and the cupcake tasted so good. The husband didn’t say sorry; in fact he didn’t even care.

But you know what? The Father, yeah that one they call King, Savior, Adonai? The I Am, the Alpha the Omega the one who touched the dirty and loved the crippled? He saw it all. He sees it all.

And He is always there.

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Of this I am reminded once again~

It isn’t what happens to me that defines who I am – it is how I react to it that determines whose I am.


Hebrews 12: 1-2 NLT “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne…

[... watching you, smiling at you, finding joy in you sweet friend.]

Monday, Tuesday- whatever day. May your heart be full of faith as you conquer the darkness that tries to capture the joy from our days. May your mind be focused on the I Am because we know we cannot conquer this day without the One who created it. May you lean solely on The One and Only. May the creator of the universe, the painter of the sky; the designer of the honey bee and the intricate flower it draws its strength from- may THIS God be ever evident in your day as you trust in him. As the honey bee must have the beautiful flower to begin it’s journey to honey- may you start your everything by the strength of our father.

Loves,

Kati 

why you should never talk to homeless people

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They will drive you crazy.

Because my house seems small everyday some days. Because us eight who live here? We really live here. Because I’m compulsive about my house being clean (WHY?!) Because my kids are probably bickering again. Because one kid spilled a smoothie last night, another one did today. Because that joke one kiddo told me for the millionth time really wasn’t that funny but you have to laugh. again.  Because five times they tried to come in while I was taking my allotted two minute shower. Because the snow makes my crazy night job incredibly scary and hard. Because boys are stinky and girls are always making something messy. Because of all these things and countless more reasons… I’m sure there’s something at the store I could buy today that would make it all more simple. A tote perhaps to put all the mess in? A new shampoo to handle the stink? A book I could buy that would solve this problem I have- maybe a nice glass of wine and a quiet dinner. Because after all. I see all of you and you all seem to have it all together. Right?

Contentment.

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Paul and Silas sang while in prison. I complain in the Wal-Mart line. In the Wal-Mart line! The place I drive my CAR to, buy a bunch of things I don’t need, and then complain about the line. Or, if I don’t let the line seal my joy I let the long red light in traffic steal my joy.

When these moments come, which they do so often… me being human and all. I go back to a story. Stories, always. Stories are what make us. Mold us. Shape us.

The amazing truth? Every homeless person or hard up person I have come in contact with is happy. Once you start to talk with them anyway- always. They laugh through toothless smiles about some great story. What do they have that I don’t?

Several years back while visiting home; the town we actually LIVE in now (c-r-a-z-y)… we met a man sitting on the ground at the local convenient store.  For so many reasons, you can only imagine, you could tell he didn’t “belong”. So, we offered him a hand. And of course, he did what all of of those stinkin’ (pun not intended) homeless people do to us- he changed us.

Sept 2005
“Oh wonderful God, you have sent us an Angel. Floyd is his name. He came to us as a homeless man from Chelsea, Oklahoma. Full of love and joy. He has now gone but I pray we will never forget him. While we were visiting home last weekend, Daniel saw him sitting outside the convince store; no sign, no bags, just sitting. He offered him a ride. Then after hearing his story offered him our garage to sleep in. He was so happy! So ready to go find work, maybe go settle down, start a family. But there was no way Floyd could go find a job, or even start a family on his own without help. Floyd was slow, but he had something special. A gift. Joy.

Sweet Floyd. We didn’t know what we were going to do, or how we were going to be able to tell him he couldn’t work or probably “settle down” here. His family was back in Oklahoma. Not the city we found him in, but another one far from it.  On our way to church today I asked him if he would want to go back home by way of bus. Oh, man! Was he ever EXCITED! He had just left a boarding house and had not been home for years.

Well, we bought him a ticket. Alli was just so happy “Flo” (that is what she called him. Being only four, she couldn’t say or remember Floyd) was here and she was very sad to see him go. In just a few short days he had become family. He would crank up the music loud and just sing his heart out to the “good ‘ol oldies” He ate all our meals with us. He always said “thank you”, “I appreciate it”, and always said… “You’re so kind.” He was such a thankful person.

Last night, Daniel went out to check on him. After several minutes, I thought I’d walk out across the yard to check on the two of them. You know, thinking maybe the toothless, homeless man, fresh from a shower in our home– might have killed Daniel and left him for dead. Hey, you never know. But then I heard it. My man. Reading to Floyd. He was Reading the sweet words of  Apostle Paul.

Apostle Paul. The man whose life was changed as he sat in a strangers home. Floyd who couldn’t read a word was letting the sweet words seep deep into his rough, dark skin. Seeds being planted.

Floyd is happy to be going home. Daniel took him tonight to the Greyhound stop. His bus leaves out at 1:15 am but he’s been asking the time since 7:30. We watched a movie tonight, “Bruce Lee”. Man, was Floyd excited! He loved it. He said it reminded him of going to the movies when he was just a boy. I thought, a boy? You mean when life was normal. When he had a mom, a dad, sisters and brothers. When he played in the yard like our kids?  Because I’m sure he didn’t plan to grow up and be a homeless man. Just like my kids don’t. He kept complementing our stuff. Our house, our beat up cars, our dry, dusty, rocky yard. Our church with hard pews and slow hymn songs and our family. And God, most of those things? I’m unhappy with or sometimes even embarrassed. And that Bruce Lee movie?  I’ve hated that VHS since the moment I married that man of mine and it came with him.

Daniel and I cried tonight after Floyd left. We thought, “God, when were we ever as happy as Floyd was? When were we ever happy having nothing while someone else seems to have everything? Come to think of it, when did we ever have nothing?” He never said one time: Man, I wish I had a house and a yard. I wish I had this Bruce Lee movie, this place to sleep, this shower, this place called home.  He had nothing, yet he never compared his stuff to ours. No, he took joy in everything– for us. He NEVER stopped smiling, even though he had no teeth. He just wanted to sleep in our garage.

Lord, Thank you. Bless Floyd. He can’t read the promises in your word God, send him someone to be the word for him. And thank you for sending him to us.

Thanks.

At the time we lived in a 900 sq foot house with two VERY small bedrooms, one living room, and a kitchen. We dreamed of bigger living. We had moved from our American Dream life, complete with white picket fence and all, for Daniel to go to bible college and thought we were making such a sacrifice. Luckily, we had an old detached garage with electricity that Floyd was able to live in for such a short time. But it would not have been long before he would have shared our home if he had stayed.

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You see, if I had this book or that curriculum-  I’d be a better homeschool mom. If I had a bigger house, I’d be a better wife, friend, or host. If I had this job or he did this different, THEN I would be pleased. If I had this type of floor, the smoothie wouldn’t stain the carpet- if I had this type of vehicle, my kids wouldn’t argue over getting in and out. If I only…

If I only had a homeless person for every day of the week, huh? Maybe my life would then be truly different.

Good thing Jesus was homeless. And he’s mine.

He’s mine,
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

and over and over and over again I just need to set my mind on that sweet, sweet Jesus.

Because the house will never be big enough, the smoothies will spill again tomorrow; and someone will always have something better than me.

But that Jesus of mine? He will always be the life giver of true joy. Which is never found in things, rather life being lived.

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May we become crazy! As crazy as a homeless person. (because that Jesus is yours too!)

“Be good, keep your feet dry, your eyes open, your heart at peace, and your soul in the joy of Christ”. ~ Thomas Merton

Loves this Monday morning,
Kati