Restored and Redeemed: A Marriage Story

Wedding rings

We all have a story to tell. I would like to think that mine is not much different than yours, but I know that it probably is. As I think about celebrating 41 years of marriage, I know there was a time that the word “celebration” would not have been a part of my vocabulary in speaking about my life with my sweet, precious, ever patient husband. God knew when I married this man that my relationship with him would be filled with so many ups and downs, so many trials, but also so many joys….and He knew that this …

Pure Joy

Stress. That would be the single word that best describes the last few years of my life. So much so that when we rounded the corner into 2014, I began to pray, “Lord, will You please grant me a season of rest?” I was so weary that it didn’t seem like a selfish thing to ask for. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to keep going without some time to re-energize. Maybe I just wasn’t specific enough in my request… ‘cuz I was kind of thinking about several months, maybe even a whole year of rest! And initially, it …

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly… Birds fly over the rainbow, why then oh why can’t I? These words, from the song made popular by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, were sung to me by my mother when I was a young girl and when I was a new mother anytime I got discouraged or down. No matter what I was dealing with, she knew when to spontaneously start singing, and it always brought even the slightest smile to the situation. Today I don’t hear my mother’s wonderful voice as often…guess we thought I out grew it, …

In the Wandering

Have you ever found yourself stumbling through the dark in the middle of the night? Whether it’s to calm a crying child or to find your way to the bathroom, we’ve all had the experience of feeling disoriented and frustrated trying to navigate through a dark place. Arms outstretched, we feel our way through the dark for something familiar. We hope our eyes adjust while we look for some sort of light. And then it happens. We run into an unexpected wall or we choose a path we were sure was the right way only to find out it didn’t …

Soil of My Soul

I am going to be honest: I do not really know you that well. I don’t know if you are a 30-something mom, a divorced man, a hurting teenager or a heart broken widow. I don’t know what part of my testimony to offer you and what parts to withhold and keep guarded. So, as I write this I fully trust the Holy Spirit to intercede so that my words reflect God’s heart and encourage yours. Sticking to the theme of honesty, you do not really know me either. I am Katie. I just turned 30. I have experienced the …

What If?

I keep asking myself the question, What if I lived my life as if I believed everything the Bible said is really true? What would THAT look like? I actually do believe that, but I know that through the years of life’s experiences I have unwittingly allowed little lies to creep in or built up protective walls to defend myself that can also be a barrier to real truth. Life seems to have brought one trial after another the last several years and this week dropped another bombshell. My initial reaction was not a calm reflection of the truth I …

Praise Him through the Storms

I once thought that God didn’t give us more than we could handle but I now believe the opposite to be true…He gives us more than we can handle on our own so we have nothing left to do but cling to Him. We cannot do it without Him. I have learned that He will provide if we just let Him and He will calm us so much during the storms that all we can do is praise Him. Exactly one year ago, my family weathered some storms. The details of those few months will be saved for another day, …

God Isn’t Done with Me Yet

To pick one moment and say, “that, that right there was when God wrecked me,” is hard to pinpoint. It wasn’t the moment our 6 month old daughter was diagnosed with cancer, it wasn’t the moment my husband deployed, or the moments I thought he would never return. It was a gradual build up, a gutting of everything I held dear before the final sweep of the wrecking ball knocked through my walls. Our first child was born during the week before finals of my second to last semester of grad school. I was on track for the life I’d …

Wilting

“I’m wilting.”Two words I recently told a friend.  They were out of my mouth before I even had a chance to realize what I was saying.  But after the words were out, I couldn’t quit thinking about the state I was in. I was wilting. Wilting: to become limp through heat, loss of water, or disease; to droop Yes, I was wilting…I was becoming limp through heat– certain trials I was up against had proved to be very hot; through loss of water– I was looking inward to myself rather than looking at Jesus, the very source of Living Water; …

His Faithfulness Remains

I have had the unfortunate opportunity to endure not one, but two, exceptionally difficult ministry experiences. The first one involved me directly while I was working on a small ministry team at a large church. The details aren’t important, but it devastated me at the time. It didn’t change my view of who God was, but it was disheartening to see a ministry leader behave in very ungodly ways that were destructive to me and many others. Eventually I healed, but I didn’t realize that first event was preparing me for things to come. The next ministry falling out also …

The Weather of Relationships

Just like the weather in Arkansas, things change. Sometimes they change quickly. Just this evening the weather was hot and dry with dust blowing in from Africa of all places. The weatherman had warned us, but really? Africa? Sure enough. Then the thunder and lightning began just at dusk. When we went out to wave the last of our children good bye for the evening my hubby noticed the rain gutter bucket was full of muddy water! A relationship that seems clear and perfect can run aground without anyone really doing anything. Personalities, differences of opinions and just plain humanity …

Taking Time to Connect

I always say when God wants to minister to someone, He orchestrates a relationship! People are often more receptive when they are in a non-judgment zone. God sends people into our lives to prepare us, minister to us and sharpen us as we travel on our journeys. Proverbs 27: 17 (NIV), “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” As I reflect on my own personal relationships, I just begin to thank God. I have had the awesome opportunity to encounter some wonderful people on my path. I have been the one encouraging and have been the recipient of …