Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kindred Spirits

I hope you are all blessed with kindred spirit in your life.

I met mine 10 years ago as a freshman in college. Julie moved into Abby’s dorm room (they were my suite mates) our second semester as Pensacola Christian College and she quickly became a fixture in the Forester family. Loving Julie came easy to us all because she is full of kindness, sensitivity, humor and love for the Lord! She is truly beautiful inside and out!

Julie and I have the kind of friendship that can pick up right where it left off…isn’t that a blessing?! It’s also the kind of friendship that can stand the test of time and distance. We live about 13 hours apart and rarely get to see each other. BUT- yesterday, Julie and her husband, Jon, meet me and my mom outside Atlanta for an afternoon together! It was a beautiful visit with the highlight being able to meet her 14 month old son for the first time!







Enjoying his cowboy gifts from "Aunt" Katy!




Yes, I can do one-handed, self-portraits with a baby!









What a blessing you are in my life, sweet friend!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas in Dixie

Here are a few shots from our White Christmas...


Not my original pic, but I love my Huntsville!



One of my favorite gifts!




Won't they look sweet, upon the seat of their bicycle built for two!




My snow bunny...



Abby ADORES snow and considered it her personal Christmas gift from God!



My snow covered house...



While playing a new board game, we noticed a co-dependent trend, as our pieces moved in unison around the board! LOL!!!


The best part of the snow? Watching my family play in it while I stayed warm!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Celebrate 30! {Week 23}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

You would think that since I’m on Christmas vacation, I would have had plenty of time to write a non-song post, but I was too busy opening presents to write a post! Here’s a song that I remembering hearing on a CD my grandmother gave me when I turned 16.

Over the years, it has become another prayer I can sing back to the Lord. It was this song that came to mind just the other night as I was reading "No Other Gods". I pray in ministers to you as much as it does to me!

I hope you will take a minute to listen to it:




Do I Trust You
by Twila Paris

Sometimes my little heart can't understand
What's in Your will what's in Your plan
So many times I'm tempted to ask You why
But I can never forget it for long
Lord what You do could not be wrong
So I believe You even when I must cry

Chorus:
Do I trust You Lord does the robin sing
Do I trust You Lord does it rain in Spring
You can see my heart You can read my mind
And You've got to know I would rather die
Than to lose my faith in the One I love
Do I trust You Lord

I know the answers I've given them all
But suddenly now I feel so small
Shaken down to the cavity in my soul
I know the doctrine and theology
But right now they don't mean much to me
This time there's only one thing I've got to know

Chorus 2:
Do I trust You Lord does the river flow
Do I trust You Lord does the North wind blow
You can see my heart You can read my mind
And You've got to know I would rather die
Than to lose my faith in the One I love
Do I trust You Lord

Chorus 3:
I will trust You Lord when I don't know why
I will trust You Lord 'til the day I die
I will trust You Lord when I'm blind with pain
You were God before and You'll never change
Do I trust You, do I trust You, do I trust You
I will trust You, I will trust You Lord
I will trust You Lord

Monday, December 20, 2010

True vs. Truth

I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep lately. I’ve also been falling asleep with a pen in my hand. Why? I’m reading one of the most captivating, convicting, challenging books EVER- “No Other Gods” by Kelly Minter. I’ve basically underlined the entire book!

I’ve had the privilege of hearing Kelly (notice I’m on a first name basis!) in person on a couple of occasions and completed the Bible study version of NOG a couple of years ago. The lessons I learned through that study have had deep impacts on my life and I look forward to sharing some of those lessons in future posts, but tonight I want to share what I read last night.

I won’t even try to paraphrase, so listen to what Kelly says in chapter nine:

"Satan will often tell us what is true, but will never tell us the truth.
If the lies of our idols attach to us, the “trues’ of our idols will
absolutely devastate us."

When I read those words, tears ran down my face as I realized that so often let the lies of my idols…

“this will satisfy me”
“everyone is doing ______”
“no one will know”
“this isn’t hurting anyone”
“at least I’m not doing ________”

…become the “trues” to me.

Ok, so I’m crying over chapter nine, but keep reading to chapter ten and find myself even more overcome, but this time with gratitude to the Lord for not leaving me in my life of lies. I can so relate to how Kelly describes the transformation from lies to truth in her own life:

"Eventually envy [one of her idols] gave way to a new place
of being able to revel in others’ achievements, peaceful that
God was as present in my own life when my successes didn’t
look the same."

I immediately thought of John 8:31, “The truth will set you free.” This is where I feel the Lord’s been taking me over the last couple of months. He’s helped me realize the truth of my life and realize how to live in the freedom found in that truth and the peace that God is 100% present in my life.

That’s some deep stuff, huh? Sometimes I can’t even wrap my brain around it all! All I know is that for the first time in a very long time, the bitterness, worry and questions that so weighed me down, are gone.

The truth has indeed set me free.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Celebrate 30! {Week 24}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}


If I were to make a playlist of my life, one artist would appear several times- Carmen! We Foresters were some intense Carmen fans back in the early 90’s…I’m talkin’ in-line-for-hours-waiting-for-the-doors-to-open, running-to-front-row kind of fans!



I love going to Youtube and watching old footage of Carmen classics like “Radically Saved”, “This Blood”, “Satan Bite the Dust” and “Lazarus Come Forth”. I'm mean, look at him- what's not to love?



My senior year in college, I drove to Family Christian stores and bought Carmen’s newest release at the time, “House of Praise.” I remember sitting in the Granny Wagon (a post all it’s own someday!) and listening to “My Pledge” for the first time and just crying my eyes out. As is true for most college seniors, I was facing major changes and challenges. All I knew is that I wanted to please the Lord with all my decisions…this song became my prayer…my pledge…



My Pledge

All of my life is a gift, that I can give You.
All of my life now is Yours, whole and complete.
All of my hopes and my plans, carefully lay in Your Hands.
This is my pledge, cause You mean that much to me.

Right or wrong, the past is gone
The pain was strong, the road was long
But now I'm on a whole new avenue.
Now I see new hope for me
A picture of eternity,
Going where I've never been
A brand new chance to start again.



Friday, December 17, 2010

My name is Katy and I’m a groupie…

Last night had the opportunity to go to a concert of one of my new favorite artists! I discovered the music of Kerrie Roberts just a couple of weeks ago and feel in love with it immediately!

She’s the perfect mix of a powerhouse voice with Christian lyrics. It honestly feels like she read my journal and then wrote her songs…that’s how much I relate! I’ve had some serious worship time in my car with this girl’s music! Given some of the circumstances of the last couple of months, the Lord used her music to rescue me from a pit I would have surely fallen into.

Her debut CD is only $7.99 on iTunes…go grab it and enjoy some sweet time with your Savior!

Below are the pics from the concert…Newsong’s Very Merry Christmas Tour with Newsboys (featuring Michael Tait from dcTalk) and a really cute fiddle player, David Klinkenberg.










Had a blast with my spontaneous road trip buddy, Jeanine!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ark Encounter

I’m so excited to share with you one of the ministries I’m passionate about- Answers in Genesis. I heard it’s founder, Ken Hamm, speak when I was in college and I’ve been fascinated ever since.

I’ve had the privilege of solid Christian education- being homeschooled since fifth grade and attending Pensacola Christian College, so the whole Creation vs. Evolution issue seemed distant to me, since there’s never been any doubt in my mind. But over the last several years, my eyes have been opened to see that many Christians don’t have a strong Biblical worldview when it comes Creation. Those who have had to hear lessons supporting evolution might find it hard to balance the secular view of “scientific proof” with the Biblical account of Creation.

What I love about Answers in Genesis is that they answer all sorts of questions about Creation, dinosaurs, the Flood and the Ark in very easy-to-understand ways. Their website has great articles, downloads and videos (great for parents and teachers!).

A few years ago, they opened the Creation Museum (visiting it is on my Bucket List!) and they’ve just announced that they will soon beginning building a full scale Ark in a venture called Ark Encounter.

News stories are already popping up online from skeptics, but I’m convinced that it’s just Satan trying to stop the spread of the truth of Creation. I’m excited to join this venture by purchasing a peg to be used in the construction of the Ark. If you would like to support this ministry (or just read interesting articles about dinosaurs!), visit their site at http://www.answersingenesis.org/.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Celebrate 30!- Week 25

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

I have a list of topics that I’m using for my birthday countdown, but I’m going to stray from the list this week to share what the Lord is teaching me this week through my study of Isaiah at Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). It’s a spiritual milestone in the making!

This week I was struck at all the verses that encouraged and challenged me to keep trusting, waiting and following the Lord. The book of Isaiah is written to the rebellious children of Israel, yet in the midst of their disobedience and punishment, God’s mercy is right there, waiting to bring them back. My pastor defines mercy as “God’s determined love.” Not only was God determined to love His chosen Israel, but He is determined to love me despite my own rebellion and disobedience. Praise God, He won’t give up on me!


Isaiah 28:29
…the Lord Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom.

Isaiah 30:1
Woe to those who carry out plans that are not Mine.

Isaiah 30: 18
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him.

Isaiah 31:19
How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you.

Isaiah 30:21
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
This is the way; walk in it.”

Isaiah 33:2
O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for You. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Catchin' up on Uploadin'

  • I discovered a new favorite place today: the new Kroger at University Drive and Jeff Road. The first thing I saw: COKE ZERO!!!!! It's like Fresh Market and Publix but with Kroger prices. The fountian drink took my grocery experience to a whole new level!




  • I made a fudge ring for a friend's open house tonight. The hidden treat: Oreos inside!




  • Our Recipe Club celebrate our one year anniversary the other night...a year of meeting monthly and trying new recipes. This time I tried Mini Honey-Almond Mixed Fruit Crostatas...yummy!



  • I was able to attend the Deeper Still event last weekend in Birmingham with my dear friend, Jeana. We had such a blessed time of conversation, laughter, worship….and shopping!



  • 14,000 women + Travis Cottrell = amazing worship!




  • Does a girl ever get too old for Disney? Sharing the magic with my favorite ten year olds!



  • Speaking of 10 year olds...during our afternoon together, Keri talked me into riding bumper cars for the first time in a loooong time! I think I'm wrapped around someone's finger!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Isaiah 62:5

We’re studying the book of Isaiah in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) this year and it’s been a great encouragement to me! I marvel every week how God’s living word speaks to each of His children in individual ways. I think it’s great how God can use the book of Isaiah to speak to me about my season of singleness and waiting! I bet that was the last thing on Isaiah’s mind when he was writing, but praise God, it was on His mind!

Our study hasn’t reached chapter 62 yet, but I peaked ahead to a verse I don’t ever remember reading before:

“As a bridegroom rejoices over His bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.”

Isaiah 62:5

Now, I’m not ready to claim this verse as a substitute for marriage, but it encourages me that when I’m lonely for the attention and love of a man, my heavenly Father is rejoicing over me.

What a beautiful picture of His faithful, unconditional love! What would I do without it?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Celebrate 30- Week 26

Music has always been an important part of my life and I look forward to sharing several more songs on my countdown, but I want to start with one of the first songs that ever spoke to me. When I was about 12 years old I heard “Giving You the Rest of My Life” by Bob Carlisle on WNDA (remember that station?). Even though I wasn’t a Christian yet, the lyrics grabbed me and after I became a Christian, about a year later, this song took an even deeper root in my heart and has been my prayer ever since.

I tried my hardest to find a video of this song to post, but I guess 90’s Christian music isn’t as hot as it should be on Youtube! Anyway, if you’d like to hear it, Google “Giving You the Rest of My Life, Bob Carlisle” and you should be able to listen to it on iLike.


“Giving You the Rest of My Life” Bob Carlisle

I’m not a wealthy man
what I hold on to has no
worldly value
people don’t understand
no way to measure the things
I treasure
can’t put a price on somebody’s love
oh Lord, there’s nothin’ that I’m
giving up when I’m

CHORUS:
Giving You the rest of my life
it’s no sacrifice – as long as I shall live I’ll be
giving You the rest of my life
with all that I have
no idle promises, Im giving You the rest of my life

I wanna pay You back
with something precious, this is
what my wish is
there’s just one thing I have
that’s mine to give You,
it’s Yours to keep forever
whatever time on this earth
I’ve got left
whatever happens, for the worst
or best I’m

Don’t know what the future
holds for me
there’s no way to see
but if I just hold on to Your love
I’ve got it all, what else do I need

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cinderella Syndrome

I had a lot of interesting thoughts tonight as I was watching the Disney Princesses on Ice with my favorite 10 year old friend.

For the first time in a while I actually listened to the words from well-loved Disney classics:

“Someday my Prince will come”

“So this is love…this is what makes life complete”

“To be happy forever I know”

“You'll love me at once the way you did once upon a dream”

I noticed that in most of the stories, the “good life” only started once true love entered the picture and of course, true love was always a romantic, handsome prince!

Don’t get me wrong! I’m not dissin’ Disney! I am a romantic to the core- I LOVE sappy movies, songs and stories! I hate it when a realist tries to burst my bubble…but as you can tell from previous posts, I’m in a odd place right now- The place where my Cinderella dreams of childhood are being replaced with the reality that I’m single and turning 30 in about six months.

You may save your “30 is young” or “people are marrying later these days” comments for another day. I know those types of comments are meant to encourage (and they usually do), but right now I just need to process the reality of my life.

As I listened to the lyrics and watched the wide-eyed children around me, I wondered how to balance our dreams with reality. Am I going to grab a 10 year old and say, “Listen, you could end up alone, bitter and disenchanted!”? NO, of course not! I want little girls to dream of falling in love, getting married and becoming a mom.

But, I also don’t want every little girl out there thinking that her life won’t start until her prince shows up. Because wonder if he never does?

I think we are doing the next generation of girls a disservice if we don’t encourage them first to pursue God and His plan for their lives rather than pursuing Prince Charming and all his trappings.

I guess I’m at the point where I’m having to daily choose to keep trusting God, instead of becoming bitter and disenchanted. And I don’t mean trusting that God will bring me a husband, but rather trusting that His plan for me is better than my own…no matter what it looks like.

Before I give my mom heart failure, let me clarify: I don’t think my mom did me wrong in letting me watch princess movies or encouraging me to dream of true love. She’s the one who taught me to pray for my husband and trust God completely. She is my biggest cheerleader, sympathizer and prayer warrior! And on days when I have no words, tears or prayers left, she’s the one who reminds me of God’s great love and precious plan for me.

I guess in the land of Disney, she’d be cast as my Fairy Godmother! Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Celebrate 30! {week 27}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

I love how the Lord is exactly what we need in every situation we face. Over the years, I’ve learned several names of God- El-Shaddai (God Almighty), Jehovah-Jireh (God our Provider), Adonai (Lord).

In the spring of 2005, I learned a new name for God, El Roi, the God Who sees. The Lord taught me that year that I can’t retaliate against those who wrong me. That’s a hard lesson, isn’t it? My fleshly nature is all about fighting back, defending my reputation, proving people wrong, but that isn’t the Lord’s way. I’m not saying there aren’t ever circumstances where you might need to speak up, but the particular situations of 2005, I needed to hold my tongue (see Romans 12:18).

I needed to know that though I felt alone and wronged, the Lord knew the truth. He saw it all.

Thankfully such attacks are few and far between, but the principle that God sees is a powerful one in many areas of my life. And when I’m the one on the attack (yes, it happens!), He’s the one who sees that too and will hold me accountable.

Every Monday morning at BSF Leaders’ Meeting, I have the privilege to pray the names of God back to Him. It’s a sacred time of letting the truth of who God is wash over me. As I’ve faced some emotionally trying times over the last year, I’ve realized that sometimes all I have to hold onto is who God is. At times of deep distress, I can’t always recall a Bible verse, but you know what rolls off my tongue and out of my heart? The names of God. Not the Hebrew names, but who He is to me:


Friend


Counselor


Strength


Refuge


Savior


Peace


Truth


Healer



HOPE.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Coming to Terms

I read a phrase this week that really hit home, “coming to terms with the Lord.” The minute I read it, I knew it perfectly described what’s been happening in my life over the last couple of months. I guess if I were honest, though, it’s been happening over the last few years.


Here’s how the dictionary defines “coming to terms”:
1. to come to an agreement with someone
2. to learn to accept someone or something

Here’s how I define “coming to terms”:
1. agreeing with God that He is in control of my life
2. accepting what my life looks like


I discovered a song a few weeks ago that I wish I had written, but I’ll have to give Bebo Norman credit for that! I hope you’ll listen to the entire song (“Tip of My Heart”) but the phrase that most sticks out to me is “this life I’ve made but don’t understand.” I know that I live a blessed, beautiful life, it just doesn’t look like what I thought it would. This is what I’m coming to terms with: accepting my life as it is, as God has it.

When I was a young teenager, my favorite verse was Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” When I was 13, I was positive this verse meant that God would make all my dreams come true. As the years have gone by and life happened, I realized I had been misinterpreting the scripture. I came to realize that Psalm 37:4 is saying that as I delight (obey) the Lord, my desires will be to know Him.

I was so excited tonight when I found another verse that goes perfectly with Psalm 37:4 and clears up the misinterpretation:

“Yes, Lord, walking in the way of Your laws, we wait for You;
Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”
Isaiah 26:8

Psalm 37:4 isn't God promising to fulfill my Cinderella dreams; it's God promising that as I obey Him, I will know Him in deeper ways.

Of course, I’m still praying that my prince shows up to make those Cinderella dreams come true, but my goal in the meantime is to continue to daily delight in the Lord, knowing that as I do, He will reveal Himself to me in new ways and help me share His love to those who come across my path.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Celebrate 30 {Week 28}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}


Girlfriends are a big deal in my life. They always have been. Sure, I’ve experienced the heartaches of friendship, but for the most part, my life is much richer because of the friends God’s given me. There’s no way I can mention each of my girlfriends by name, but I would like to write a little tribute (or shrine!) to one of my first friends, the one who really taught me how to be a friend.

Dawn and I met when I was about 12 and she was about 16. She quickly became a fixture in our home and was the older sister I never had. She loved me when I was a headband-wearing, drama queen. She inspired me to love BBQ pizza, write letters and to follow in her footsteps as a summer camp counselor. Even after all these years, my family still calls me “little Dawn,” in reference to the sarcasm she taught me!


Every experience God gives us,
every person He puts into our lives,
is the perfect preparation for a future only He can see!

Corrie Ten Boom


In my post a few weeks ago, I mentioned God’s unseen hand in our lives. I can look back now and see that this is one of those areas where God was providing a foundation of true friendship that would see me through some dark days. I’ve been reminded lately how important it is to have friends and mentors in our lives to encourage and guide us when we can’t see the way ourselves and also challenged to be available for God to use me in the lives of others.

How I wish I could blog about each of my precious friends, who, over the years, have prayed and loved me through many highs and lows. I’ve often marveled at God’s goodness in my life to bring such great women of God into my life.


Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Others stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts
and we are never, ever the same.


To those whose footprints are forever on my heart- thank you. You are among God’s greatest gifts in my life! Much love, dear friends!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Exit Strategy

Abby and I had grand plans to kick-off the Christmas season by seeing Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas concert tonight.

BUT....we left at intermission!

I don't want to offend my friends who love Mannheim, so I'll just leave it at that, but on the way home we started laughing about what other things we've walked out on:
  • We've walked out of "Keep Christmas Alive"...I want Christmas alive, just not some of those performances!
  • We didn't even make to intermission with "Little Women- the Musical" and we had driven almost 2 hours to see it!
  • And even though we have a great time together on vacation, we actually cut 2 vacations short this year!
What's wrong with us (yes, I'll drag my family into this!)?!?! Is a sign of a lack of commitment? Of a short attention span?

I like to think that as we've all gotten older, it's a sign that we can be more honest with ourselves and each other and not suffer in silence to sit through something everyone is hating.

So, my Christmas season didn't get off to the start I expected, but I guess it's here and there's no getting out of it!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Celebrate 30! {week 29}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

It seems only fitting that the first spiritual milestone I share is that of my salvation.

At the age of 5, I prayed to ask Christ to be my Savior, so it was with great confusion that I started feeling convicted at age 13 when I was in a revival service led by former rocker, Ed Lacy. During the invitation I realized that if I died on my way home from church, I wouldn’t go to heaven. I vividly remember standing in the balcony of Southside Baptist, gripping the pew in front of me, stubbornly refusing to respond during the invitation. The revival lasted several evenings and every evening on the way home, I begged God not to let me die yet.

One night after the revival, I asked my mom to make an appointment for me to go speak with our pastor and on Thursday, May 19, 1994, I knelt in his office and settled once and for all, my eternal destination.

I laugh now when I remember asking my pastor if all those “quiet times” I had marked off my to do list (yes- I’ve always had a to do list…even at 13!) before my salvation were all useless now. Of course not! That’s how the Holy Spirit was speaking to me!

As I continue on my countdown, I look forward to sharing some stories of how “God’s unseen hand” was pursing me even before I had a personal relationship with Him.

In typical Forester fashion, you can count on me celebrating my spiritual birthday every May 19! Hmmm…maybe I’ll do a “Celebrate 30 - Spiritual Birthday Edition” when the time comes!

Friday, November 12, 2010

K-I-S-S-I-N-G

I didn't mean to write two posts so close to together, but I just read an article that so grabbed my attention, I had to blog! The article was on www.yahoo.com and said, "The average woman kisses 29 men before she gets married."

Maybe it's just my deprivation speaking, but that seems like a heartbreakingly high number.

According to the Census Bureau in 2003, the average woman marries at age 25. That means that between the time she was 16, she kissed about 3 guys per year before she got married.

Now, I know my views on such matters of the heart are conservative and to many outdated, but it breaks my heart to think of girls (women of any age, for that matter), freely giving away their kisses.

Even in the Christian community, it seems acceptable to encourage dating, kissing and all the trappings at an early age. As difficult as it is being single at 29, I'd rather be single at 29 with most of my heart intact and my first kiss saved, then to be 25, married, but having kissed so many frogs, I can't name them all.

I don't mean this harsh or judgmental to any of my readers who have kissed 29+ men; I mean it as a call to action to those of us raise or will raise girls. Let's teach them that their kisses are special and to be shared with a worthy man, not just any ol' Joe who comes their way.

In my own life, I decided 16 years ago that my first kiss will be with the man I marry. Is it easy? No. Have I been mocked? Yes. But will it be worth it? Oh, yeah!

For those of you in the trenches of parenthood now, let me share a book for you, "The Princess and the Kiss" (find at @ www.reviveourhearts.com) It's a beautiful way to teach your girls at an early age, that purity is worth pursuing.

The old saying is "you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince" but I'm determined to do things a different way!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The End

The good thing about endings is they make room for beginnings. I don’t normally think such things, since I’m a sentimental fool who loves tradition and hates change, but this week I’ve seen the value of endings.

As I faced a particular rough “The End” this week, here’s what I’ve learned:

First, the Lord starts preparing you for a crisis before it happens. I think it’s a lovely thing He does for His children- equipping us with His strength and peace to make it through. One way He prepared me was through the singing of “How Great Thou Art” at church on Sunday. Now, I’ve sung that song countless times in my life but over the years it’s message was lost to me. On Sunday, though, I was struck with the truth that NO MATTER WHAT, God is great. My circumstances don’t change His greatness. Though my pain is great, my God is greater still.

The second thing I realized is that sometimes you don’t know you’re holding your breath until you release it. Endings are painful, but experiencing that release of breath opens up life in whole new ways. As I said goodbye, I expected to be filled with great sadness, but instead I’ve experienced a great sense of relief and freedom.

My week started with tears, but it’s ending with praises to my great God for His sovereignty in my life. So here’s to beginnings…to new possibilities…to the freedom found in “The End”…

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Celebrate 30! {week 30}

Thirty weeks from today I will celebrate my 30th birthday! In an attempt to squelch my anxiety over reaching 30, I’ve decided to do a countdown….to stretch the celebration into 30 weeks. I mulled over several ideas, but eventually decided to blog about the spiritual milestones in my life.

A few Sundays ago, my pastor said, “The longer you live, the more you can trace the unseen hand of God in your life.” That statement really stuck with me and brought to mind the scarlet thread we see in the Bible. I’ll let the great preacher R. G. Lee explain it: “Interwoven in the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation is a scarlet thread–the story of redemption. Only as we consider that red road do we properly understand the story of man’s sin and the Cross of Christ. Overlook that scarlet thread in your reading of the Bible, ignore its fact in your religious life, remove it from your thought, and you have no Christianity. Without knowledge of that scarlet thread we have no knowledge of the supreme theme of the Bible–and we are ignorant of the full price He paid for human redemption.”

I want to take these 30 weeks and trace God’s unseen hand and reflect on the scarlet thread of His redemption in my life. So stay tuned every week, as I countdown to the big 3-0!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Let it be known!

"Sing to the LORD, for He has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world."
Isaiah 12:5
When I read this verse tonight, I knew it was the best verse to describe a project I'm about to embark on. The Lord has done many glorious things in my life and I want to make them known!
I'm going to "unveil" my project this weekend, so I hope you'll check back and hear what it's all about!
What glorious things had the Lord done in your life? Take the opportunity right now to let it be known....post it on your blog, update it on your Facebook status, tell your co-worker, share it with your family...LET IT BE KNOWN!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pre-Mid-Life Crisis

I pretty sure I'm having a pre-mid-life crisis and as much as I try to talk myself into staying calm, approaching "single at thirty" often freaks me out. I can't really wrap my mind around it.

Here's my latest freak-out: Until about 2 years ago, when asked about my marital status, replying "single" was sufficient. But over time, I've had to adjust my response to "single, never married."

When I did I get old enough to have to add the "never married"? Is it so expected that someone of my advanced age must have had at least a brief stint of marriage? I guess this is just the beginning of other life changes, like wrinkle cream and marking the 30-40 age group box on surveys!

With some of my freak-outs, I cry, but with this one, I choose laughter! Join me, won't you?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One Year

Tomorrow, October 28th, is my one year anniversary at my current job. To celebrate, I'm making sausage cream cheese swirls and a co-worker is making homemade peanut butter ice cream. We love parties at my office!!!

God literally dropped this job in my lap last year and it's a blessing to get along with my co-workers and to like my job (on most days!).

Though this last year has been filled with some major ups and downs, I'm glad to be able to celebrate the blessings instead of focusing on the rough patches.

So, happy one year anniversary to me!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Somewhere Out There

One of my favorite movies as a child in 1986 was An American Tail starring Fyvel, a lonely mouse, separated from his family. Who knew that 24 years later, the theme song to that movie, would be the theme song to my love life?

As I see the most beautiful moon tonight, my prayers are for my someone I haven't met yet. Somewhere out there, whoever you are, I'm praying for you...waiting for you...and loving you tonight...


Somewhere Out There

Somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight
Someone's thinking of me and loving me tonight

Somewhere out there someone's saying a prayer
That we'll find one another in that big somewhere out there

And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star

And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
It helps to think we're sleeping underneath the same big sky

Somewhere out there if love can see us through
Then we'll be together somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true...



Saturday, October 9, 2010

Momma's Love


Shared a delicious Momma's Love tonight with my "Moma love"! I've tried several sandwiches at Momma Goldberg's before, but this was my fav!


Not only did Momma's Love make it on my list, but it was named one of the Top 100 Things to Eat in Alabama Before You Die....only 99 more to go, I guess!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Long time...no see!

Well, I've removed myself from the world of Facebook, so I hope I will now have more time to focus on my blog!

I realized, I should have named my blog "Katy's Kitchen" because I bet most of my posts will be cooking related!

Last night I made Chocolate Chip Popcorn Bars and took have of the batch to work (they were a hit!) and served the other half at my BSF fellowship tonight. These bars combine chocolate, cookies and marshmallows--what could be better!?!?

Chocolate Chip Popcorn Bars


Get the easy recipe here!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sweet 16

Happy Sweet Sixteen Re-Birthday to me! Sixteen years ago today, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and I honestly can't imagine my life without the Lord.

The Lord is my everything, but here are 16 reasons why I love Him:

1. He is my encouragement
2. He guides my every step
3. He speaks peace when my soul is troubled
4. He is Truth in a world full of lies
5. He is my Defender
6. He is my Friend who will never leave me
7. He is my Father, loving me unconditionally
8. He is my eternal Hope
9. He speaks to me personally through His living Word
10. He convicts me of sin, loving me too much to leave me as I am
11. He is always available to hear me when I call
12. He loved me enough to send His son to suffer and die on the cross for my sin
13. He is my loving Shepherd who knows my name
14. He provides for my physical, emotional and spiritual needs
15. He is my strong tower I can find refuge in
16. He is the one constant in a changing world

Here's a song that sums up my heart, "My Pledge" by Carman:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Such a God-thing!

Hartselle, AL.

11:30pm, Friday night.

Random gas station.

Flat tire.


Here's the story:
Jeana's mom and I drove to Tuscaloosa Friday for the visitation for Derek's dad. On the way home, we missed a detour exit, found another detour, found the interstate again by accident and then "happened" to choose the gas station on the left side of road instead of the one across the street.

We didn't want to stop in the ghetto, but felt comfortable about our choice, when I recognized other travelers as Jim & Peggy Williams, a couple from Whitesburg Baptist.

After going in to buy an Icee (my answer to late-night driving!), I noticed that my back tire was flat. Now, I'm paranoid about flat tires, so I carry a tire gauge with me. My pressure is supposed to be 30 and the back tire was 10. Before I had a chance to panic, my friend suggested I go flag down the couple I recognized.

Jim was able to fill my tire up with air, assure me we could make it home and even followed us the 30 minutes home!

If they hadn't been there, Mrs. Watkins and I surely would have panicked, but the Lord spared us any stress by meeting our needs before we knew we had them! All the things we thought were slowing us down, actually helped us end up at the gas station right when they were.

What a God-thing!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Last of Lent

I don't know much about Lent, because it's not really a Southern Baptist thing, but this year, I decided that the principle of giving up something for 40 days was a good idea. So 40 days ago, I gave up something that wasn't beneficial in my life.

I've had moments of temptation to give in, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, I withstood. It feels to good to know that I had enough discipline to make it 40 days!
Now the real temptation begins...to continue to give it up! Help me, Lord...I already feel weak!



Then Came the Morning

A wonderful, classic Easter song, sung by one of my favorite groups, Ernie Hasse and Signature Sound. Take a minute to worship our risen Savior!


Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Good Friday

Well, besides being Good Friday...a celebration of our Lord's sacrifice...I've had a good Friday.

I've almost survived my first tax season at an accounting firm! Today was super busy, but I have great co-workers who keep me laughing! But after a long day of printing tax returns, I was ready to relax and ended up having a great evening!

Abby went with me to the Good Friday service at my church where a drama team read the crucificion story by compiling verses from the Old and New Testament. It was remarkable to hear it the story read in that way.

Afterwards, we went on the hunt for porch decorations. It hit me a few weeks ago that my front porch had no personality and that's just not acceptable! I was inspired by a friend's porch the other night so tonight Abby and I bought a lamp and two amazing pillows to add pop to our porch! I'll put pics up soon!

After shopping, we split our favorite entree at Mei Wei, where I had a punch card filled and good for one free entree, so we only had to pay for drinks!

We then spent about 15 minutes trying to find a parking spot at Bridge Street, but soon realized it was worth the wait! What a beautiful evening to be outside at such an enchanting place! We tried Orange Tree Yogurt (self-serve, mix & match, $0.45 an ounce). I had cheesecake, peanut butter and chocolate! Major YUMMY!!!

My To Do list is still looming large, but I did set up my scrapbooking supplies! Right now, I'm basking in the fact I can drink caffeine and sleep-in tomorrow!



Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Apparently when the temperature hits about 60* and the sun shines longer, I realize what a bum I've been all winter! In the last week, I've felt an urgency to get everything in order and catch up on my to do list that has grown dusty all winter.

What's so funny about my to do list, is that most projects are recurring or have been on there for years! One such project is organizing the five years worth of BSF notes I have. So last week, I bought binders and got three years- Matthew, Life of Moses and John- organized. BUT...I can't find Genesis and Romans! I'm BEYOND frustrated!


I also want to get caught up on my scrapbooking. I think I'm about a year behind, so I have to drag out all my 2009 stuff. I try to stay organized, but...you know how it goes. I have some pictures printed out, and others haven't been ordered. I have some memorabilia in files, but some is just in nasty piles. So starting is half the battle! Once it's all set up, I'll be unstoppable!!! :)


The other overwhelming task is cleaning out the garage. But that might have to go on my summer to do list! Spring is only so long!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The worst blogger EVER

I realized today that I'm the worst blogger ever! It's been almost a month since my last post. I can't begin to tell you how many posts I've typed, deleted, re-written and deleted again. I may be a terrible blogger, but I'm a master deleter!

I find that when I start writing "funny" posts I start thinking that no one else will see the same humor, so I delete it.

Or I start writing a more serious post and then fear that I've shared too much, so I delete that too.

Have other bloggers out there struggled with this? How do you handle bloggers-remorse over posting too much or too little?

Be patient as I journey to be a better blogger!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blonde moment...but wait, I'm a brunette!

When I was backing out of my garage today, I got distracted and started backing out before the garage door was fully open! Abby and I burst out laughing and when I came home tonight, she directed me safely into the garage and reminded me to wait to close the door till I was in park!

My beloved car is unharmed and except for a crease and a few extra creaks the garage door is ok too. Just don't tell my landlord! :)

















Saturday, February 13, 2010

Spirit of Truth

In BSF this week, we're studying John 14, where Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit after His death and resurrection. The part that really spoke to me was verses 16 and 17, where Jesus refers to the Spirit as the Spirit of truth.

"And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of Truth." John 14:16-17
I love that the Lord knows how easy it us for us to believe lies and the He made provision for us to know truth...to know Him.

Sometimes truth is hard to come by...case in point: Valentine's Day. Now, I'm all for celebrations, but during a holiday that focuses on couples, being single is particularly difficult. However, I'm determined this year to focus on the love that I do have in my life and not the one love I'm missing. I'm choosing Truth.

May the Spirit of Truth bring peace to your soul tonight...



Thursday, February 11, 2010

V-Day Treats
















I love making goodies to take to my co-workers! Here are some pictures of the Rice Krispy treats I'm taking in the morning. For some extra V-Day love, I added Fruity Pebbles. They add great color and flavor!



































Monday, February 8, 2010

'nough said

Now, those who know me well know I would never wish ill on someone who's done me wrong. BUT...if I were that kind of person, this is the song I would have written! After all, we are supposed to pray for those who hurt us, right?!?


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My new friend

One of the highlights of my new job is my new friend...I've named him Buddy (my favorite dog name is Max, but I'm saving that for my real dog!). He lives in the house next to my office and I get to talk to him everyday, since I park right in front of his house. Isn't it odd how a dog brings happiness into your life, just by being a dog?

When it snowed, the other day, I saw him chasing and snapping at the snowflakes! So cute! Can't wait to see him in the morning! :)


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Praise His Name

Soooo, since I'm an 85 year old woman trapped in a 28 year old's body, I was watching the Gaithers on PBS tonight...(insert laughter here). Actually, I'm proud of my Southern Gospel roots and here is a good example of why. I'd never heard this song before, but it spoke right to my heart. May the God who is worthy of our praise, encourage you tonight with this song...


Praise His Name
by Sheri Easter

When you're up against a wall
And your mountain seems so tall
And you realize that life's not always fair
You can run away and hide
Let the old man decide
Or you can change your curcumstances with a prayer

When everything falls apart
Praise His name
When you have a broken heart
Raise your hands and say
Lord, You're all I need
You're everything to me
And He'll take the pain away
When you feel you're all alone
Praise His name
And you feel all hope is gone
Raise your hands and say
Greater is He that is within me
And you can praise the hurt away
If you'll just praise His name

Ohhh,
You can overcome
By the blood of the lamb
And by the word of your testimony
You'll see the darkness go
As your faith begins to grow
You're not alone, so how can you be lonely





Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Smiles

  • 1980's Southern Gospel
  • Finding a Bible verse that speaks straight to my heart
  • Mod Podge
  • Discovering a new hole-in-wall with friends
  • Otis
  • Cranking up a new fav on my ipod
  • Peanut butter M&M's
  • Sleep masks
  • Candles
  • Grabbing the last hot deal off the sale rack
  • Lipgloss
  • Picturing my parents at home playing Wii golf
  • Rearranging someone's living room
  • 40% off coupons at Hobby Lobby
  • Moonlight
  • My old scrapbooks & journals
  • Bridgestreet
  • Sappy love songs
  • The "like" button on Facebook
  • Seeing a dog with his floppy ears hanging out a car window
  • Arm length self portraits
  • Paper folding
  • GooGoo
  • The Blue-mina
  • Coke Zero in a Styrofoam cup
  • White twinkle lights

Monday, January 25, 2010

Trust

Can I trust God to handle this? Will He really "come through" for me? Wonder if He's playing games with me and dangling a carrot in front of me, just to jerk it back at the last minute.

Is it blasphemous to wonder such things about God?

In my heart I know He loves me and has my life in His hands, but wonder if I'm the lucky one who gets to keep learning how to release and live without? Wonder if my journey is one of growing closer to God and never seeing my dreams fulfilled?

I don't think this will ever get easier...this trust thing. Even when God "comes through" and shocks me with His "perfect" timing, the next moment, I've all ready forgotten and gone back to questioning.

I guess it's a daily/moment-by-moment thing. I've found myself having to actually say out loud, "I trust You, God." I have to say it when I wake up...when I'm driving...during a restless night. I often find myself begging God to make His way clear, so that trusting is easier, but that doesn't always happen.

I'm thankful that the Lord is patient with me, as I learn to keep placing my trust (and hope) in Him!

May you, too, be able to place your trust in our Sovereign God tonight.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hope 101

My friend Julie and I were talking about the definition of hope today.

If you look up the definition of hope on http://www.dictionary.com/, you'll find several choices. But they mostly deal with the emotional side, "hope things work out", "here's hoping" etc.

But if you look up hope on http://www.eastonsbibledictionary.com/ you'll find the definition that my friend, Julie and I were talking about.

This is the hope that we as Christians must cling too: "To place confidence in; to trust with confident expectation of good."

One of my favorite hope verses is Ps. 25:4-5, "Show me Your ways, O LORD, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth & teach me, for You are God my Savior & my hope is in You all day long."
"My hope is in You all day long." According to our definition, this verse could also say, "Today I have confidence that You will bring good."

May the God in whom your confidence rests, bring good to your life today.



Saturday, January 23, 2010

Waiting

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Ps. 27:14

Does anyone else find this verse hard to accept? This is a great verse to read when you're not waiting on anything. But, if you're in the middle of waiting, in the middle of wanting to take over, make things happen, then this verse is hard to swallow.

At least for me.

However, I know it's truth. I know the Lord brought it to my attention when I most needed it. I think He added the "be strong and take heart" for me. It takes a great amount of strength to wait and let God move.

Last week at BSF (Bible Study Fellowship), I was really struck by the events in John 11. THREE times Jesus is questioned- by two close friends, Mary and Martha, and then by the Jews. They all three basically said, "If You'd had been there, Lazarus wouldn't have died." They had waited on God, but He didn't respond when they wanted Him too. Lazarus died. Jesus later said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"


So, I believe, Lord. I don't understand. I want to take things in my own hands. But I won't. I will wait for Your glory.

May the God perfect timing raise your Lazarus soon.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This Week's Challenge

On Sunday, the pastor at the church I was at, challenged us all to the following for the next week:

To choose joy rather than bitterness…forgiveness rather than anger…trust rather than unbelief…faith rather than fear…love rather than hatred…kindness rather than malice…mercy rather than revenge…peace rather than worry…

Has this been easy? No. Did I live every moment in victory? No.

Did the Lord help me win some battles? He sure did! Could I tell a difference in my week? Oh, yes!

I'm so glad that we serve a God of second, third, fourth, etc... chances! He loves us enough to not leave us as we are.

May the God of victory help you win your battles this week!