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

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

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!