Push deeper. Don’t be complacent. Be consumed. Dig. Not just what seems visible, what’s REALLY underneath. What is trying to be shown to me. What am I seeing. Seek. Earnestly. Don’t stop. Pray. Plead. Strive. GO. DO. SHOW. BE. Disciple. Be discipled. Meditate.
That’s what’s playing in my head. I’m sitting trying to want to write a paper. But I have no drive. In the grand scheme of things, a paper or a life. But is this the means God is using to get me from here. HERE. to THERE.
I ask that you pray for me. And know that I’m praying for YOU.
I have been completely totally 100 not productive today … as far as my history paper is concerned. I thought okay I’ll get up, go work out, get ready, then go live at Borders. Well .. that sort of happened. I did all of those things .. and a lot more, and not at all on the time schedule that I had intended.
I have been really productive at reading everyone’s blogs. It is so encouraging to read everyone’s God stories. To hear what they are struggling with and me saying hey me too! Or to see what God is doing in their life. Or just being able to see from the outside what God is doing in the lives of HIS children. Today, I found oh so many more blogs to follow. Actually, in my Abnormal Psych class, Delaney and I sit next to each other. She aids me in my blogging addiction, because she finds all sorts of good ones .. and then I stalk hers to get them. (Don’t worry, she knows this)
I feel like a major creeper for admitting that. But it’s the same as following people, but they are just on different sites, and I can’t follow everyone!
Not only have I been blog stalking, I have definitely been heart stalking. My heart that is. Trying to figure out what’s going on in my heart. Trying to remember that my heart is deceitful above all things. Trying to discern the good from the bad. Trying to figure it all out. And realizing that I’m, again, not supposed to figure it ALL out. But in that still being responsible for my own heart and it’s desires. It’s a tricky line to walk my friends.
The fam went to dinner tonight. All of us. In ONE car. This is the second time this week that we have had family dinner. I’m really not sure what is going on. I love my family. They are my family. But we are weird and dysfunctional. In fact, I drove to dinner tonight. Dylan rode shotgun. Mom and dad were in the back, and honestly, it was like when I drive the kids I babysit around and they think because it’s me and not their parents they can get away with .. everything. Yeah no. I’ll stop there, but say it was an experience. But I also realized today that this is an answer to prayer. A prayer that I’ve been praying for YEARS. I get tired of it. I get frustrated. I get beat down. I think it’s never going to change. I give. up. hope. But God is still God. He is able to do incredible things. As He showed me with my family tonight. No, it wasn’t all happy go lucky, but honestly, what is? But it was real. It was me being real with them. Them being real with me. And everyone being real.
I’m really good at running from things. My family is probably the best example. I’m never ever home. I say it’s because of work, but really I am that busy so that I’m never home because I don’t want to be. CONFESSION. But the past month, I’ve been home a lot. Especially compared to the summer, but other than that compared to previous semesters. I only have class a couple days a week. My nights are generally free. My weekends aren’t packed. I don’t babysit my life away. People don’t believe me when I tell them this, but my family will agree. But tonight at dinner, I realized that I’ve stopped running. Accidentally. I need my family. My family needs me. We all go together. And if we aren’t all working together it’s not going to happen. I can’t blame problems on my mom or my dad. I’m guilty too. But I can also help. I’ve prayed about certain things for so long. There are some things that only the Lord can bring peace and order too still, but me being home is good. Me not running is good. Me investing in my family is great.
So there’s tonight’s late night musings.
… because that would be crazy right?
I think that DCB says it best,
I think I’m on the brink of something large
Maybe like the breaking of the dawn
Maybe like a match being lit
Or the sinking of a ship, letting go gives a better grip
I’m finding everything I’ll ever need
By giving up gaining everything
Falling for You for eternity
Right here at Your feet
Where I wanna be
I am Yours
I’ve been really excited all day to share what’s on my heart. Only to realize I’m not going to.
I will tell you that the past 24 hours have been hilariously .. God. I say hilariously because of all that has happened. Nothing was a huge monumental decision. In fact, it was a lot of little decisions that I put little thought into because I didn’t think they would be important, they were menial, thoughtless decisions. But they combined to form … a gold nugget.
Abby’s post from today was talking about Peter walking on water, I’m about to talk about it too. Peter is my favorite person in the Bible who isn’t Jesus. I see so much of myself in him. He tried so hard. He cut off a soldier’s ear when they were coming to arrest Jesus. He told Jesus to his face that he wouldn’t deny him, and Jesus looked at him and said yes you will. You’ll do it 3 times before the rooster crows. (Mark 14)
A couple chapters earlier in Matthew 14, is where my new favorite story of the moment is. Verses 29-31 say
He [Jesus] said, “COME.” So peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink he cried out. “Lord, save me.” But Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
I can’t help wonder what went through Peter’s mind at that moment. “Okay, well Jesus told me to get out of the boat. At least I think it’s Jesus. He said he was Jesus. Ghosts don’t exist .. right? But if I got out of the boat, I’d be walking on water. It’s not possible to walk on water. I’d sink. But it’s Jesus .. it is Jesus right? Can I walk on water? If Jesus tells me to, then I can. Is it Him … it IS him!” - Katie paraphrase, because that’s what would have gone through my mind … Before Peter could get out of the boat he had to decide that he WANTED to get out of the boat. It required faith that it was in fact Jesus, and that He would protect Peter. It was a mind battle. Against all laws of nature and ‘common sense’ he got out of the boat and walked toward Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m walking toward something I’m looking at it. If, or inevitably, when I look away, I veer one way or trip or run into something. I can’t keep going the same direction exactly. But when I’m looking ahead at what I’m walking towards, things turn out a lot better. Peter was walking toward Jesus. In spite of what the world said was possible, he was in fact doing the IMPOSSIBLE. Against ‘odds’, it was happening.
Then we get to verse 30. Good ‘ol Peter, like me, got distracted. It says he saw the wind. I think he realized that he was in the middle of a lake. Not surrounded by a wooden thing with a mast that was more protection from the wind than was him by himself in the middle of the lake. When he saw the wind, he no longer saw Jesus. Maybe far off, but his immediate attention was on the fact that there was wind blowing him.
This part is life. My life. I step out in faith. I say okay God, I’m doing this because I kNOW you are telling me to do this. I know this is where you are leading me and I know that you are here with me guiding me telling me what and where to go. And then the whispers of the world become shouts in my ears. Friends tell me I’ve lost my mind. People don’t understand. Even my parents say okay Katie that’s great, but not for you. Or it’s something I see as impossible. I think how on earth did I end up out here? In the middle of my ‘lake’? I see all the things that are fighting against me telling me I’ll never make it. I know that “with God, all things are possible.” I got my gold star for memorizing it in M&M’s. But somewhere deep down, I don’t believe that truly, with God all things are possible. I begin to doubt and get anxious and confused and scared. And just like Peter, I start to sink. Sometimes it’s a slow fall, I don’t realize I’m sinking - the water is slowly creeping up my ankles to my calves to my knees - and then I realize I’m in trouble. Sometimes it’s a fast fall. I’m walking. I look to the right. And I get knocked down by a wave and I’m flailing just trying to keep my head above water. Instead of focusing on Jesus who has gotten me this far out of the boat without anything bad happening to me, I for some reason, think no wait I can’t do this anymore. (Duh self, I CAN’T!) I forget that in verse 29, Jesus says COME.
When Peter started to sink he called out to Jesus, “Lord save me.” This again plays through my mind. I imagine him having a look of panic in his eyes when he realizes he’s falling. Realizing he’s messed up, but also realizing that only Jesus can save Him. Right now, this is REALLY me. Right before the Lord laid this story on my heart this morning this is what I wrote,
I feel like it’s all hanging by a thread … Everything is slipping, fading, changing … Lord I want to fall on my face before you right now in the middle of this class. I’m floundering …
I uttered the prayer, and Jesus reached out and caught me (verse 31). The verse actually says he IMMEDIATELY saved Peter. I called out to Jesus realizing that I’m sinking … fast. I need Him to save me, because in the middle of this lake where He has called me to come, only HE can save me.
With Peter safe in the arms of Christ, Jesus looks at him and says, “You of little faith. What did you doubt?” Before today, I’ve always read this as a harsh chastisement. But today I saw it how a parent would look at a child when they have just disobeyed, almost gotten hurt, and the parent is just so glad the child is okay that they aren’t mad, just lovingly wanting to say what were you thinking?
Why did I start to sink? because I stopped having faith. I, even if for a brief, or long moment, looked away from Jesus and saw what was raging around me in the world. I saw the faces of the people telling me not to do something, I heard the voices saying I don’t understand you why would you do that. I listened to Satan whispering in my ears, but Katie, this is better. This fruit over here, YUM, this is what you REALLY want. So I looked. I turned my head, ever so slightly at first and began to sink.
I ask myself the question, why do I doubt? Still. Today. Why? I have a million and 1 reasons to stay focused completely on Jesus. He is the creator, sustainer, giver of mercy and grace, he took my wrath. So why? It doesn’t make sense that after all of that, after knowing how much he LOVES me that I would look away even for a second. But I did and do … because I’m prideful. I have a wicked sin nature that rules my heart. I get jealous. I covet. I put my emotions in Jesus’ place, and like Corey said Sunday, when that happens, Jesus doesn’t rule, and my life turns into a roller coaster.
I will never be able to read this story and not remember this day. Not remember the way that I REALIZED that Jesus had caught me from drowning due to my own … stupidity. He looked at me and said, “child why did you doubt?” But didn’t throw me back in the lake. The rest of the story ends with Jesus and Peter making it back to the boat, and at that moment, the wind ceases. Jesus took me back to the boat. He carried me so that I didn’t start to sink again. Actually, He’s currently carrying me. I haven’t made it back into the boat. The storm hasn’t stopped raging, and I still have a nagging, but I can rest in the arms of my Savior. He’ll get me to the boat, and when I’m there, He’ll still be with me. And my storm too shall cease.
I started running again yesterday. It really was on a whim. I used to HATE running. In gym or wellness every year when we had to run the mile, it was the worst day EVER. Before this summer, I can honestly say the last time I had run … more than maybe a couple hundred yards consistently … was running the mile sophomore year … OF HIGH SCHOOL. Yeah I know .. pathetic. But truth.
This past April, Kelsey (high school intern summer after my senior year who is STILL one of my favorite people) ran the Nashville Country Music half marathon. So of course a couple of us went to visit. Nashville is so much closer than Kansas. But I was inspired. I thought to myself, “I can run. I could do this.” So I made a goal. I wanted to start running and eventually work my way up to running a half marathon.
I left for Hendersonville about a month later, and that was still on my heart and mind. In fact, one of the first conversations I had with Jennifer, the mom of the family I was staying with, was me sharing this goal with her. Unbeknownst to me, she used to run, her husband, Mr. Landon, still runs, and ran the same half marathon a month earlier. So we decided that at the end of the summer, we were going to run in the Goodlettsville 4 mile run. Not going to lie, I was skeptical, but having someone else getting up at 6 something in the morning to run with me, made it a whole lot better. So training began. And it went really well. We started with run/walking for 45 minutes to do however much we could. Then we started still running for 45 minutes but trying to run more and seeing how many times we could run the driveway - the driveway was 4/5 of a mile with a hill at the beginning and at the end.
The first day was definitely the hardest. It was humid, even though it was so early. It was hot. I was gross and smelly. I was not so sure how this was going to work out, but at the same time, I was excited about having something to work towards the entire summer. Well, then along came camp. 11 days of insaneness. God did some incredible things, deeper relationships were formed, and spiritually it was both filling and exhausting. And then I got sick about half way through. Bless my high schoolers hearts, because if they could hear me, it was raspy, and then there were the times when I only got through small group by saying Lord … I physically can’t do this I need YOU. You better believe he came through. I didn’t know I felt this wretched way I was feeling was because I got mono (what a great surprise to find out .. a MONTH later … however it did make me feel better because I KNEW there was something so not okay. But me being sick made me completely dependent on Christ - so there is a HUGE positive in it.)
Anyways, got home the docs thought I had strep, bronchitis, and a sinus infection. What an awesome combo if I do say so myself. I thought I was exhausted because I had been at HC for 11 days … (random side note, two of my girls came in last weekend and they still crack jokes about how I was never awake on trips or anything - we were on trips pretty much the entire end of june and all of july .. in fact derian’s pictures of me, are of me sleeping. Honest.) But because I had all these other medical things going on and slept so much, running fell to the wayside. The date of the Goodlettsville run came … and went. Without any of us running in it. Which was kind of sad.
But all that to say, I haven’t run since the middle of June. Until yesterday. I was skeptical. I was so ready to start running again because although I used to hate it, something happened … and now I love it. I look forward to it. However, yesterday, I was nervous. I almost chickened out because I knew I hadn’t run in a couple months and I would be out of shape .. and on top of that I’m still recovering from the mono monster … enough ‘valid’ reasons for me not to, but at the end of the day, I was also craving it. I didn’t want to not be able to do as well as I had before, because that was almost a failure in my eyes, but I was so ready to just go. So I did. I got on the treadmill and ran. I had a goal for myself. Just run half a mile. Then it was okay I’m almost there, I can keep going .. go 3/4 of a mile. Then it was okay you’ve run this much just run the whole mile. Another note, I remember the conversation I had when I ran a mile straight after training this summer. I was ecstatic! I remember saying I know this is nothing to you BUT this is HUGE for me. I was so proud of myself! Well then yesterday when I got on and ran a mile straight through - I was totally proud again.
Tonight I debated to run or not to run. Running won out. Partly because it was a great day. Partly because I wanted to run outside. Partly because I just wanted the thrill … regardless I did it. Again I had goals. I don’t know what a mile is in my neighborhood, but I know what 7/10 of a mile is, so I guesstimated. I was going to run to Kingston Pike. In my mind that was almost a mile. Well I got there and it was you can run a little more. Turn around and run to the light post. Run to the entrance of Derby Chase. Run to the sign that says Glen Abbey. Run to the next stop sign. I kept pushing myself forward. I could have stopped. I could have said, no I’m good or I’m just coming off of this illness (its was great as a crutch when I didnt’ want to do something .. I know so bad, but it’s the truth…) But I didn’t. I made up my mind that this was what I was going to do so I did it.
Yesterday I was talking about strength. The Lord reminded me that HIS strength is inside of me constantly, and all I need to do is call on it. Tonight it was perseverance. Just a little further. Just a little bit more. My legs were getting shaky, my steps were sounding less crisp, I was getting worn out - and I didn’t bring my inhaler - drain. But I said to myself, just a little bit more.
I’m not sure why I wrote all of this out, maybe because I just wanted to share my story. Maybe just because I was proud of myself. Maybe because the Lord is teaching me things in my ‘every day’ (pun intended because running isn’t yet an every day occurrence .. 2 days doesn’t count.) life that I didn’t know could be lessons. Maybe it’s all those things together. Or maybe it’s all of those things and more … I don’t know.
Tonight I walked out my front door and got to the road when I realized I didn’t have my ipod. To this point, I’d always run with some sort of noise - be it my ipod (the preferred method) or the tv at the FLC … always something. But not tonight. As I was finishing up, I just looked up at the stars. They were beautiful. It was just me, the bugs, and Jesus. Ever since I was little I have LOVED being outside at dusk and night time - at my house - not just hanging out in the woods or something .. that’s kind of creepy - but there’s just somehting about when the stars come out, the bugs are buzzing? chirping? making noise .. whatever bugs do, and sometimes there’s a breeze - it’s greatness to me, but it’s my favorite thing. I haven’t done it a lot lately, but looking at the stars and just having ‘silence’ without the noise of life - no cell phone ringing, no tv blaring, no music playing, just the thump thump thump of my shoes and the nature noises … it really was me and God. And it was great.
I’ll keep you posted on how the running goes, in case you were wondering, I still have my goal of working my way up to a half marathon .. starting with a 5 k … Turkey Trot anyone? :)
Today … is a GREAT day. So in honor of this, I thought I’d post some things. Enjoy. :)
This is Leah. She will openly tell you that I embarrass her at school when I sing something or act too goofy. She will NOT tell you that she likes to do crazy things too …
This is K Love. Here was one of the rare moments when I was smiling at Horn’s Creek this summer. Probably becasue I wasn’t feeling like death in this exact moment. And I was wearing my Red Bar t-shirt. That always makes things better.
This was like seeing an oasis in the middle of the desert when you are about to pass out. Not. Kidding.
And then there’s the beach. I REALLY want to go to the beach. Like right now. I’m not kidding. I would pack up and leave at this moment if someone called and said hey lets go to the beach. Done.
And one more just because. It, apparently, is tradition to sing Happy Birthday to me at restaurants when it was NOT my birthday (Apparently, the fact that I get embarrassed makes it all the more entertaining) … but still .. great times.
Life isn’t always good, but as a Christian, it’s always great. I have more than I need. More than I deserve. And still God keeps blessing me. I think Lord I REALLY don’t deserve this one, and then the verse about ask and you will receive comes to mind and I think, but I didn’t ASK for this. You GAVE it to me. And I think about God as my Father, and how He enjoys giving to His children. I think about how my earthly parents enjoy giving me things when I’m not expecting them, and honestly don’t deserve them.
I didn’t ask for this great day persay, but I did ask that God would look after and protect me. That He would remind me of Himself today. And that I would be found in love above all things … And this, today, is exactly that.
I just typed Dylan’s poem for him. The funny thing is, it was one of those beginning of the year get to know you poems, so he had to use metaphors and similies and alliteration and all of those fun grammatical things. This is my favorite line.
I want to be silent like a tree, but I just can’t. I guess being silent isn’t the thing for me.
Maybe this runs in the family sometimes … But then again, I have learned to appreciate silence, and maybe even more than that, the people who I can be silent with …
God showed me something great today. I was so in awe of the Father that I got to my car and pulled out my computer and just started typing in a word document. I read it after I got done, and it’s a lot more than jumbled. But it struck me in a way that I want to share it.
My prayers lately have been everywhere from thanking the Lord for unseen blessings, to begging Him to show Himself to me, to strength because I feel like I’m in a washing machine that I can’t get out of, to songs of praise for who He is, even when I am struggling - one of my favorite lines from a song “to him the future’s history” - and the hope I have in WHO God is.
Lately, my struggle has been strength. Strength to do what I know He has called and is calling me to do. Strength in the times when my heart hurts because I can’t imagine what’s next. Strength to just rely on his promises. Strength just to keep going.
I was driving home from campus today and truth of God’s strength being inside me - that the HOLY SPIRIT is living inside me clicked into place in my mind and heart and I had this rush of peace. I wanted Moe’s and since I couldn’t get in touch with Ellyn, I decided to go by myself. (Which is definitely something off of my life to do list - eat at a restaurant by myself. Done.) But, Sunday at The Point, Chad taught on Ephesians 3:14-21. It’s a passage where Paul prays for the church at Ephesus. Sunday, we were challenged to pray that prayer for ourselves as well as for someone else. Then we were challenged to do it everyday this week. My thought was okay I can do that.
Well sitting awkwardly in the back corner of Moe’s (Because I had my back to the tv .. and all the men who were sitting by themselves eating lunch were staring AT the tv … ) I pulled out my Bible and started there. But I stopped when I got to verse 16. It says, “I pray that out of YOUR glorious riches YOU may strengthen me with power through YOUR Spirit in my inner being.” I had read and prayed that Sunday, Monday, and then here it was again. Yes I was purposely reading the same passage of scripture, but to me, that was a common portion of scripture. I had heard it before. It was already underlined and blocked off in my Bible with little notes out beside it. I should have been focusing more on the words I was saying, but I wasn’t. But when I got to that verse it all made sense. The peace that passes understanding that clicked in relation to strength all made sense. I was looking at the words, the MEANING behind the words. What was God trying to teach me? He revealed it to me 30 minutes earlier on the interstate, but it didn’t make sense that it was all connected until that minute. As I continued to pray that prayer, I had a new understanding. I had a renewed spirit. I had a joyful heart. The Lord is my strength. AND He is living inside of me. All I have to do is call upon Him.
That’s my problem. I don’t CALL upon Him. I expect Him to provide. I expect all these things of the Lord. But do I call upon Him KNOWING that HE really can do immeasurably more than I could ever ask or imagine? (vs. 20). I think about my life, and how radically different would it be if I took that truth to heart. I don’t know if it will ever make complete sense, but right now I don’t need to understand. I just need to call upon the strength that He has provided me and is living INSIDE of me.
I hope that struck you like it struck me, but if it didn’t, maybe you already figured it out, and I’m just a little slow.