Thursday, September 24, 2009

Engaged!!!!

God is amazing! He has brought be to a place where I could meet and be pursued by the love of my life! Kevin is his name, and we're getting married on November 21!!! He is so loving & patient, and is more than I ever could have wished or prayed for! God is truly all-knowing, and has been preparing each of us for each other for a very long time! I look forward to becoming Kevin's wife, and experiencing Christ in our marriage together!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Soundtrack

"Who I Am Hates Who I've Been"

I watched the proverbial sunrise
Coming up over the Pacific and
You might think I'm losing my mind,
But I will shy away from the specifics...

'cause I don't want you to know where I am
'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

[Pre-Chorus]
Stop right there. That's exactly where I lost it.
See that line. Well I never should have crossed it.
Stop right there. Well I never should have said
That it's the very moment that
I wish that I could take back.

[Chorus]
I'm sorry for the person I became.
I'm sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.

I talk to absolutely no one.
Couldn't keep to myself enough.
And the things bottled inside have finally begun
To create so much pressure that I'll soon blow up.

I heard the reverberating footsteps
Synching up to the beating of my heart,
And I was positive that unless I got myself together,
I would watch me fall apart.

And I can't let that happen again
'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

[Pre-Chorus x2]
[Chorus]

Who I am hates who I've been
And who I am will take the second chance you gave me.
Who I am hates who I've been
'cause who I've been only ever made me...

So sorry for the person I became.
So sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.


Just in case
I will leave my things packed
So I can run away
I cannot trust these voices
I don't have a line of prospects
That can give some kind of peace
There is nothing left to cling to
That can bring me sweet release
I have no fear of drowning
It's the breathing
That's taking all this work
Do you know what I mean
When I say I don't wanna be alone?
What I mean when I say
I don't wanna be alone?
Empty spaces
Shadows hit by streetlights
With warning signs and weight
Of tired conversations
In the absence of a shoulder
In the abscess of a thief
On the brink of this destruction
On the eve of bittersweet
Now all the demons look like prophets
And I'm living out
Every word they speak
Every word they speak
Do you know what I mean
When I say I don't wanna be alone?
What I mean when I say
I don't wanna be alone?
What I mean when I say
I don't wanna be alone?
Do you know what I mean
When I say I don't wanna be alone?
What I mean when I say
I don't wanna be alone?
What I mean when I say
I don't wanna be alone?
Alone, alone
I don't wanna be alone
I have no fear of drowning
It's the breathing
It's taking all this work

I am full of earth
You are heaven’s worth
I am stained with dirt, prone to depravity
You are everything that is bright and clean
The antonym of me
You are divinity
But a certain sign of grace is this
From a broken earth flowers come up
Pushing through the dirt

You are holy, holy, holy
All heaven cries “Holy, holy God”
You are holy, holy, holy
I wanna be holy like You are

You are everything that is bright and clean
And You’re covering me with Your majesty
And the truest sign of grace was this
From wounded hands redemption fell down
Liberating man

You are holy, holy, holy
All heaven cries “Holy, holy God”
You are holy, holy, holy
I want to be holy like You are

But the harder I try the more clearly can I feel
The depth of our fall and the weight of it all
And so this might could be the most impossible thing
Your grandness in me making me clean

Glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
You are holy, holy, holy
All heaven cries “Holy, holy God”
You are holy, holy, holy
I want to be holy, holy God

So here I am, all of me
Finally everything
Wholly, wholly, wholly
I am wholly, wholly, wholly
I am wholly, wholly, wholly Yours

I am wholly Yours

I am full of earth and dirt and You

It's time for healing time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time to make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
And all I can do is surrender

(Chorus)
Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something Heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow Your will
Or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is You want from me
I give everything I surrender...
To...

(Chorus)

Time to face up
Clean this old house
Find More lyrics at www.sweetslyrics.com
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This is something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly
Something Heavenly

It's time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out

"When I Go Down"

I'll tell you flat out
It hurts so much to think of this
So from my thoughts I will exclude
The very thing that
I hate more than everything is
The way I'm powerless
To dictate my own moods

I've thrown away
So many things that could've been much more
And I just pray
My problems go away if they're ignored
But that's not the way it works
No that's not the way it works

When I go down
I go down hard
And I take everything I've learned
And teach myself some disregard
When I go down
It hurts to hit the bottom
And of the things that got me there
I think, if only I had fought them

If and when I can
Clear myself of this clouded mind
I'll watch myself settle down
Into a place where
Peace can search me out and find
That I'm so ready to be found

I've thrown away
The hope I had in friendships
I've thrown away
So many things that could have been much more
I've thrown away
The secret to find an end to this
And I just pray
My problems go away if they're ignored
But that's not the way it works
No that's not the way it works

Any control I thought I had just slips right through my hands
While my ever-present conscience shakes its head and reprimands me
Reprimands me
Then and there
I confess
I'll blame all this on my selfishness
Yet you love me
And that consumes me
And I'll stand up again
And do so willingly

You give me hope, and hope it gives me life
You touch my heavy heart, and when you do you make it light
As I exhale I hear your voice
And I answer you, though I hardly make a noise
And from my lips the words I choose to say
Seem pathetic, but it's fallen man's praise
Because I love you
Oh God, I love you
And life is now worth living
If only because of you
And when they say that I'm dead and gone
It won't be further from the truth

When I go down
I lift my eyes to you
I won't look very far
Cause you'll be there
With open arms
To lift me up again
To lift me up again



Saturday, June 13, 2009

What is failure? Why is there a tendency to fear failure, or to appear to others to have failed?

Failure: (noun) lack of success or falling short


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Transformation

Last summer I was in the Barnes and Noble at South Lake Town Center when I came across a picture book about caterpillars becoming butterflies. I remember that the theme was about transformation--a topic that I find intriguing.

I would have to say that one of my favorite verses--one that has had tremendous impact on my walk with God is Romans 12:1-2:

And so, dear brothers and sisters,I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Over the past few months different parts of this scripture has stuck out to me, "but let God", "because of all he has done for you", "changing the way you think", "transform you into a new person".

Transformation doesn't happen overnight. It takes time, and for me it has at times seemed agonizing, and at other times seems uneventful. However it is beginning to become apparent to me that God is and has been at work within me. That if I let Him, He will transform me. My thought life, though not perfect, is noticeably different.

I am so grateful that God is at work within my life, and has sustained me through so much. I pray that next time I doubt God's work in my life that I would be able to reflect back on all that He has done for me--and how I did not deserve any of it.

Below is an interesting excerpt from a website I came across:


http://www.churchplantinginternational.com/articles/Life_Transformation_Sermon.pdf

Do you believe that sharing the Gospel is urgent? If you don’t, then your mind needs to be renewed. When you look at the people in your daily life who are unbelievers – your co-workers - your relatives – how do you see them? They may be nice people, and you may even think of them as successful - yet are you able to see them in their true condition - held captive to the Devil, under the wrath of God, and headed to an eternity of unspeakable torment from which there will be no escape? Do you really believe that you have eternal life? Are you persuaded that you will never die, that you will live eternally in the presence of God? Only then will you live fearlessly for God. Or as the Proverbs say, “You will be as bold as a lion!” But if you think that this life is all there is then you will love this world and you will live to gratify your own desires. Are you a believer? And yet are you easily offended? Do you fear the rejection of others? Are you in bondage to what others think about you? Renew the mind! Think about yourself the way God thinks about you. Realize that you have the unchangeable favor and acceptance of Almighty God. This is the only true security. It does not matter what mere people say. It does not matter what they do! Nothing can harm you, because “if God is for us, who can be against us.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Determination, Perseverance & Passion

It seems that the things in life that motivate us the most require passion. A deep unswerving passion that does not lose it's fire.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Test 123 uploading a post from my cell phone...is technology really this advanced???

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lady in Waiting

God blesses us. I know He does, because there are countless times that I can recall him doing so, and not just me, but the entire body of believers.

I also know that God calls us to not sit by idle. We are to be prepared for Him. For Jesus' return, we are to be prepared--like the parable of the 10 virgins, we are to be proactively prepared for His arrival.

My prayers are going forth for God to bless this journey I am on. I know that God has called me to go to Russia this summer, and I am anxious for Him to reveal to me all of the wonderful & surprising blessings yet to be experienced.

I await the moment that I get to meet the students I will have this summer. I am wondering how much my heart will be changed while on this trip. I am excited to get to meet my team this Saturday, and see how we mesh.

I am encouraged by the pledges of prayer support that I am receiving. I am also at peace and am confident that God will bring forth the finances that will be added confirmation to His sending me out to the ends of the earth. I am just so filled with JOY, PEACE, and PATIENCE at this moment....for once, I don't mind the wait. I don't want the surprise(s) spoiled. I am okay with waiting for God to reveal his blessings.

Joyfully Waiting ~

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Henna Feet



At the women's retreat last weekend I discovered how much fun Henna can be! I didn't do the typical Henna; but I did have fun decorating my feet. I'll post pics of them later.

The cool part about it, is that today after I got a hair cut, I was asked by the manager about my Henna'ed feet. So I got to share with him that I am going to Russia on a mission trip this summer, and was basically able to share a little bit of Jesus with him too. :)

Then when I came home, I received my first support check! :) Awesome blessing; and wonderful how God is providing for this trip in so many ways!

Mark your calendar---Russia Dinner @ my place May 15.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Support Letter

Hey blogger readers!!

Want to partner with me on the upcoming Russia Mission trip?? email me your address and I'll send you a letter! mcnally.kathryn@gmail.com

Thanks!!

Nighty-night!

PS a great song to check out is Whispers in the Dark by Skillet

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tatarstan Russia: Here we come!!

So the meeting with Phil went GREAT!!! I am so excited, and my faith has increased so much at God's divine interventions, and intimate involvement in my life!! I praise Him because His plans are FAR better than my plans!!

It is late, and I need to get to sleep, so more details will follow soon.

Please join me in the interim by praying for the people of Tatarstan, Russia that our team will be ministering to. Please also pray for the support raising necessary for this trip, that God would lay it on the hearts of those He has blessed to help fund this mission trip.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Russia over a cup of joe

Okay, so I am still quite overwhelmed at how awesome God is at sweeping down at the "last minute" to answer prayer--especially since it is a prayer that I've had since Summer 2006 when I was in CollegeLife and I first heard about an opportunity to go on a mission trip to Russia. I wanted to go, but was WAY too new in my faith to really step out and go. Plus I HAD to have an internship before I graduated with my lofty accounting degree...(please note there was sarcasm there). So I didn't go, but that was the beginning of my want to serve God in Russia.

So I was at church on Thursday, and on my way home discovered that I had a voicemail from someone named Phil who organizes annual mission trips to Russia. He had received my name from a lady named Lisa last year. Here is that story:

I was studying at the Mo (coffee shop) for my ESL Supplemental exam, and noticed that another pair of women were discussing similar topics to what I was studying. So I eventually asked them what they were studying, and why. I found out that it was for a mission trip to Russia to teach English. I was excited to hear that they were going to Russia, but sad that I couldn't go--it didn't work into my schedule, and they already had the final team situated. However, they did take my name, email, and phone number and promised to pass it on for me.

Flash forward:
So I have been praying for God to send me somewhere for a mission trip. And when I thought I would not find a trip to Russia, I realized that Russia might not be the only place God wants me to go. I opened up my heart and mind to other possibilities. However, I was not actively searching....but God did bring the opportunity to me. Someone came to speak to my Bible Study class about Haiti; at first I was hesitant, but the more I prayed about it, the more excited I became.

I asked people for prayer, especially in the area of discernment; that if this is where God wants me to go, that I would know.

Three days before my Haiti application would be due, I received the phone call about Russia. I'm still not sure what God wills in this situation, but I am excited nonetheless, and look forward to finding out more details over coffee at 3PM on Sunday...stay tuned, and keep praying!! :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dreaming

So I tend to have dreams almost nightly, and I remember them.

Dream #1

Last night I had a dream that I was out dancing. No one had asked me to dance yet, so I was going to start dancing with one of my girlfriends. Then, a handsome man asked me to dance by holding out his hand. I accepted by placing my hand in his. He glided us over and across the dance floor, dancing so smoothly. It wasn't hard to follow his lead, but I could definitely tell these were new steps, steps I wasn't quite sure of how to make. But he knew how to lead, and so I appeared/felt much more graceful than I should have had I been alone or with someone else.

Then, un-expectantly another man made his move to break in and have me switch partners. My first thought was "how rude!". But I also couldn't help but think "Wow...2 different men want to dance with me?!" Me? Really?

This second man is still waiting as I continue dancing with the first man. Then after some time had passed, I realized I was dancing with both of them at the same time. It wasn't as smooth and graceful as before, but it seemed to be working out just fine. (picture more of a line dance as opposed to a two person dance)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dream #2

I am riding my bike to one of my girlfriends houses. When I get there, her sister says she is sick, and contagious, and I shouldn't stay.

I leave on my bike, and somehow can't find my way home. It is dark, and getting late quickly. Suddenly my bike tires go flat. And I'm in a parking lot of a medical facility. I go in and ask if I can stay the night. The nurse sees that I have a medical bracelet, but says I need a new one, one that will allow me to stay, and show that I belong there.

She acts as if time was of the essence, that someone would soon be by to check and make sure that only authorized people were in the facility. She quickly put on the bracelet, and I made myself at home.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dream #3

In my dream, I was fully aware that I had just had an EGD, and along with that knowledge, knew that I had been under anesthesia and was not allowed to drive for 24 hours. My roommate Mary was with me initially, and for some reason we were in Denton. She decided to head back to Irving, and said that when I was ready, I could come back to Irving in my car. After stopping by the Wells Fargo in the Square, I head out, in my car. As I am turning onto the road, I realize that I don't really have much control of the car. I made a huge right turn, instead of turning right into the right lane, I crossed 3 lanes of traffic and made it into the left lane and nearly hit the curb!!

This frightens me, and I am wondering why I am driving so badly. Then I suddenly recall that I am NOT supposed to be driving at all! I haphazardly continue driving until I find a parking lot I can pull into. I pull out my phone, and call Mary. She says she will turn around and come get me, and that she is sorry for leaving me there.

I get out of my car and sit at a table at an outdoor patio type of restaurant. I can see I-35E, and I am to the west of the highway, just north of the Outback Steakhouse. This restaurant is crowded, no empty tables. So I plop down at a table with an older woman, probably in her late 50s, early 60s.

I am an emotional mess! I am stressed out, scared, crying, and impatient. I realized that I hadn't even asked this lady if I can sit there, and when I ask, she says yes.

I'm not sure how long I sat there in my emotional mess, but after a while, I saw two familiar people. I won't name names, simply because it usually weirds people out when I tell them I dreamt about them.

Anyway, the husband and wife sat down with me, and asked why I was in town. We talked for a while. I don't recall anything else about this dream.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mission Trip- When I prayed...Send Me...

Okay...so I find this rather interesting and don't quite know what to do about it yet.

As I've mentioned, I've prayed about going on a Mission Trip for the last few months, though began thinking about an international mission trip back in college-specifically to Russia.

But nothing has ever worked out for me with Russia. So when the opportunity for Haiti came up at church a few weeks ago, I dismissed it, then decided to pray about it, then decided I was pretty sure I'd go...and today I received a voicemail concerning a mission trip to Russia.

Not quite sure what will happen. I don't know where I'll go, or even if this is the time for me to go. But I am praying for discernment. I am praying that God will lead me to where He wants me to go. I know and trust that I am exactly WHERE God wants me. I just hope and pray that my heart continues to move closer to where He wants it to be.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Haiti - Send Me, I'll Go!

I've been in active prayer about going on a mission trip since fall of 2008, and have a trip and country in mind: Haiti.

I called my mom to share with her about it today, and well...she wants to read up on the country and see how they're doing, and if I would be safe going there.

I've been researching, and here are some links I came up with:
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_917.html
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=haiti+mission+trip+2009&aq=f
http://news.google.com/news?q=haiti+news&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&ei=38HJSZ78H6CMtgfVuOyUAw&sa=X&oi=news_group&resnum=1&ct=title
http://livefromhaiti.blogspot.com/

So, my heart is definitely softening a lot for the people of Haiti, and I desperately want to go out and serve them.

I used to be afraid of what God would do if I sang this song...now I sing it from my heart, scarily fearlessly, in anxious anticipation of God sending me out.

Send Me, I'll Go!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPGCG8Y2WXc

Send me I'll go,
send me I'll go,
send me I'll go,
lemme go lemme go!
(repeat x4)

i seen it with my own two,
there's no way i can show you
a perfectly poverty stricken people with no view.
And i bet you can't believe this,
they never heard of jesus.
Heard young butler, lil wayne, and young jeezy.

No one's signing up to go on missions this summa.
Rather sit at home and watch exibit pimp in a humma
while a nine year old is shot down.
No one's screaming 'stop now!'
no bridge illustrations for criminals who on lock down.

People deep in africa
looking for an answer bra'.
In china man,
they're dieing man,
until they know who died for sins.
So look what grace did.
Not for us to stay here
inside our comfort zones
at home in mama's basement.

Get out on the grind y'all.
Ain't no better time doll.
I know y'all read the great commission.
Let me just remind y'all:
make disciples of the nations.
Teach'm to obey the lord.
Have to lead someone to christ before i face the lord.

Send me I'll go,
send me I'll go,
send me I'll go,
lemme go lemme go!
(repeat x4)

hey! After, 1,000 years in the west and the churches
get'n bigger daily without understand'n worship. (say what?)
Some regenerate but a lot ain't saved.
You walk outside and be surprised cuz the block ain't changed.
And the numbers they be get'n me.
Something just ain't hit'n them.
America ain't christian they practice'n the ritual.
That's why we should be mission though.
Hey, what you think i'm spit'n for?
The united states is die'n
and in the east is looking pitiful.

Some places if they catch you
they'll arrest you.
They'll serve you,
but they still need the word too.
The gospel should be heard too.
We claim we ain't ashamed,
but we ain't hit the block up.
Were in our christian bubble,
while our brotha's get'n locked up.
Lord i wanna stock up,
pack a bag and walk up
in a country where my faith may get me shot up
anywhere i go, whether my city or far abroad,
i just wanna show' christ the risen holy god.

Send me I'll go,
send me I'll go,
send me I'll go,
lemme go lemme go!
(repeat x4)

i know they're die'n in the streets over in the middle east.
Some kids sink in piece
others hold'n up a piece.
If the violence doesn't cease,
then at least the deceased
might know jesus as their savior as their bodies hit the streets.
And i know this is a graphic view.
And i pray that it's attack'n you.
Track'n you to act and do
what you see in the back illusion.
Mathew twenty-four and fourteen.
We should read it twice
before we think that life is just a battle
see we free in christ!
Look dawg! Life is more than church work and football!
What if you were dead and seen that christians overlooked y'all!
This is why we leave the couch
and leave the comforts of our house
to show a die'n world a god they'll probably never read about.

The great commission says make disciples of all nations.
Have we even made them in our own nation?
Come on christians!
Missions exist because worship doesn't.
People don't worship the god who made them.
We're ambassadors.
Let's go!

Send me I'll go,
send me I'll go,
send me I'll go,
lemme go lemme go!
(repeat x4)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Random thought resurfacing from the day Dad died

I remember being in a prayer circle at the hospital on Feb. 23, 2003....doubting that God would do anything to keep my Dad alive....knowing in my heart that his life was over......before it was confirmed that he was dead.

A deep part of me wanted to believe it would all be okay, that God's hand was in this situation, that God was near.

Another part of me did not know God. This part of me was convinced that there was no point in praying to God, that He would not come through for me....never had and never will, especially not in this crisis situation.

When the news was delivered, and my fears were confirmed to be true, that Dad was dead....time slowed....I have no clue how much time really passed by, but it is still vividly imprinted in my mind.

I remember thinking, okay, so perhaps there will be good in this....I mean everything HAS to happen for a reason, right?

Maybe this will force Natalie and I into becoming closer to each other.

Selfish thoughts came into my mind as well...thoughts so darkly selfish that I am ashamed to admit them aloud, let alone type them.

But what has resounded in my heart over the past 6 years is "Maybe this will force Natalie and I into becoming closer to each other."

Summer of 2003, I pretty much did everything in my power to push her away. I said mean hurtful things to her, blamed Dad's stress, bad health, and yes, even his death on her. We literally fought in the front yard....I think that is the only fight I've ever been in...

The next few years went by, and I don't really recall any other mean words, but I also wasn't the most loving sister. Nor was I encouraging and accepting. If anything, I nitpicked and nagged at her bad habits.

When her high school graduation came....I didn't go. I had a dance performance that I thought was more important...oh, and our Mom watched me dance, so she walked without us there to congratulate her.

As much as people say my life was hard, I KNOW Nat's life has been harder.

After I became a Christian, I realized that I was wrong about so much. I started praying for Natalie in 2006.

I so desperately envied my friends who had close relationships with their siblings. Why couldn't I have that? Was it my fault because I live here and she lives in Houston?

I realized it would take more than my faulty love on her for her to want God in her life. I started praying that God would put people in her life that would have a godly influence on her.

I remember asking her if she believed in God. She said "Yes, of course! I mean who else could have created all of this?"

But that was as far as my evangelism skills took me.

The last time she came to visit me, she did nothing but love on me. She loved on me with a love I have never seen from her....it was completely selfless.

So I wrote all of this to reflect on the fact that it has been exactly 6 years and 1 month since Dad died. So much has changed. Yet I do believe and have hope that God is near, God is in control, and that he is redeeming Natalie. I am so excited for all the joy that God has yet to unveil to both Nat and I.

Praise God for Answered Prayers

So I'm super duper excited to become an Aunt in August!! And not just because I'll have a niece, but because of the amazing answers to prayer that is going on in Natalie's life lately. Nat and I were talking on the phone last Thursday, and she was telling me about how she's been going back to Cypress Bible Church, and how they've been loving on her and have set her up with a place where she can take classes in exchange for earning stuff for the baby....and I'm all tearing up on the other end of the phone line because of how amazing it is for this body of believers to lovingly accept, embrace, and help my sister!

She is genuinely excited to be going on the Women's Retreat through Irving Bible Church with me in 2 weeks, and here are her 2 reasons: (1) to get to hang out with me, her big sis (which makes my heart soooo happy!) and (2) she is excited to learn more about God!!

I am so very thankful at how God is orchestrating all of this in her life right now, and still get teary eyed when I think about how awesome our God is at answering prayers.

I told Nat that I've been praying for her for a little over 3 years....her response?? "It took 3 years to be answered?"

Haha....yes, 3 years does seem like a long time here for us, but to God I don't think it is much time at all.

This actually does more than give Nat hope, salvation, and a relationship with God---it increases my faith in God answering prayers.

There is such great power in prayer. I'm thankful for the many people that I may or may not know about that prayed for me. And I'm thankful for God answering their prayers by bringing me into a relationship with Him.

Takeaway: Don't stop praying for what God has laid on your heart-this is kingdom business, and we are priveledged to be able to take part in His work here on earth!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Insomnia Spring Break

So I do find it slightly ironic that a week ago I posted about sleeping in...and now I'm posting about staying up late.

I haven't quite figured it out, but I haven't been much into journaling lately, which is odd, because I've pretty much had my pen to paper for the last 4-5 months almost daily. And I think it has been about 2 weeks since I've had an entry.

So I am drawing close to the end of Spring Break. It's been quite interesting, and not at all how I imagined. But that's life, right? Interesting, yet not how we imagine it to be.

Started off heading to Nashville, but one of my good friends got sick, and we ended up in Forrest City Arkansas. (Get it, For-rest?) Guess we needed some rest. Anyway, we headed back to DFW the next morning dark and early. I listened to a sermon on contentment. I was not content, but knew I needed to be.

Got home and drank Pepto, then went to sleep from 4:30pm till 9:30am. Did a bunch of nothing all day, then watched Lost.

Thursday I woke up sick, and cancelled my plans. Then felt better and made new plans. Went to Billy Bob's and did some dancing. Had fun, and got to hear Billy Bob Thornton and ZZ Top. Great show.

Friday I planted a garden and went swing dancing. Loads of fun!

Saturday I had a raspberry white mocha, swiss oatmeal, taxes and a massage. I wanted to get my laundry done too, but felt that might push it towards being over-accomplished. Ha.

Danced around in the living room for about 30 minutes, had fun, but felt lonely.

Needing to sleep, should have at least put a load in the wash, but messed around with this instead.

Now to the serious stuff...I don't know why, but I still feel resistant toward spending time with God. I don't know why. And I know it shouldn't matter how I FEEL in regard to my relationship with God and spending time with Him. But I haven't spent time with him this week. And I can feel it in my soul, and sense it in my thoughts.

Haiti...ask me about it....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sleeping In

I would say that a major lifestyle change that I've experienced over the last 3-4 months has been a major increase in the number of naps I take, and the ease at which my body tires! I am not able to handle staying super busy anymore...it has been hard for me to be okay with this. I feel like I am being irresponsible, and not taking cared of my commitments.

But, today I had a realization. A friend was telling me how his wife is sleeping a lot more now that she is pregnant. Now, I know what you're thinking, and don't worry. I'm not pregnant. But what I was thinking about was how God knits us together in our mother's womb, and how cool it is that God put Adam to sleep to create Eve from his rib. And how surgeons today put us to sleep to operate on us. And that made me think about how healing our sleep is. Which made me think of Jehovah-rophe from Exodus 15:26, the God who heals us.

I am on a healing journey. I am learning how to take care of myself, reach out to others, live a transparent life with my friends, and how to listen and accept God's love for me as opposed to accepting the lies of self-condemnation that have plagued my heart and mind for too long.

This journey doesn't really have a final destination. At least none that I can see. But it does have a lot of hope, and drawing near to God. I like the idea that I am being healed by God in my sleep. Because when I'm awake I have a tendency to resist growth, but in my sleep I am not in control; that is not to say that when I'm awake I'm in control, I only have an illusion of being in control.

Here's a good song to listen to, I'm trying to learn to stop running away...so maybe it's time to unpack my bags....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5ilvi4E-zA

Just in case, I will leave my things packed
So I can run away

I cannot trust these voices I don't have a line of prospects that can give some kind of peace
There is nothing left to cling to that can bring me sweet release
I have no fear of drowning
It's the breathing that's taking all this work

Do you know what I mean when I say, "I don't want to be alone"?
What I mean when I say, "I don't want to be alone"

Empty spaces with shadows hit by streetlights
Warnings signs and weight of tired conversations
In the absence of a shoulder, in the abscess of a thief
On the brink of this destruction, on the eve of bittersweet
Now all the demons look like prophets and I'm living out
Every word they speak, every word they speak

Do you know what I mean when I say, "I don't want to be alone"?
What I mean when I say, "I don't want to be alone"
What I mean when I say, "I don't want to be alone"

Do you know what I mean when I say, "I don't want to be alone"?
What I mean when I say, "I don't want to be alone"
What I mean when I say, "I don't want to be alone"
Alone, alone, I don't want to be alone

I have no fear of drowning
It's the breathing that's taking all this work

Thursday, March 05, 2009

My Trademark Move

As I was driving home tonight, this song played on my iPod. Granted, I've heard it countless times, and have had the song on my iPod for several years...it touched my heart tonight in a way it never has before.

I have always held on to old habits, and have begun to acknowledge this tendency to myself lately. For some reason, I have a strength right now that I have never had before. I still have the same sinful thoughts, but thus far, they have failed to come to fruition. I am very thankful for that. I can happily boast that it is because of Christ living in me that I have been able to abstain from those bad habits for 3 months now. I don't think that a week goes by that the temptation or the thought doesn't cross my mind, and for that I am very thankful. I do also know that I can't just be satisfied with that, and then put myself in a place where I can stumble again.

I also know that I have a tendency to puff myself up....to tell myself that it is all me, and not God doing this work in me. This only leads to me separating myself from God, and allowing a barrier to exist between me and Him. I begin to think that I can do it on my own....but yet KNOW that I can't.

Reflecting back, I know that I fall into sin and temptation when I leave what matters out of sight. When I push God to the back of my mind. When I hush that still-small voice in my heart and ignore all truths that are reverberating in my heart. That only leads to me falling back into old habits. Habits I want to walk away from. I can't simply run away from them, because I would be in denial and or be able to suppress its existence and hold over my life. No, I must learn to walk away from those bad habits. Those bad patterns of living. (Romans 12:2: Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.)

When I attempt to sever my tie with God by turning my back on Him, I am basically going back to this "I can do it all on my own, and I don't need you to accomplish what I want for my life". I am also saying "I don't want Your will for my life, however seemingly 'good and pleasing and perfect' it may be! I want what I want, and I want it now!". (Wow, typing that makes me realize how immature that thought process is!)

It doesn't take long until I am forced to realize that I can't hold it all together. It takes a little longer for me to admit it, and by then, I've fallen apart!

And so here is where I turn back to God, knowing that I need things to improve, that I need God, and that only God can make me well. So, I come crawling back to God, begging for forgiveness, usually with my head down in shame.

So here I am. Willing to kill the thing(s) that turn me away. Not quite literally ready to amputate the arm that will disobey, because I'm not convinced that that was literal...but I would agree that I have not yet reached the point of shedding blood to keep from sinning, and therefore I am still needing to put up a good fight in this battle against my habitual sin. (Hebrews 12:4: After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.)

So I WILL withdraw from everything that's hurting me. For me that means not interacting with certain people. That means not engaging in certain activities. This is for my own good, and not something that I think that everyone should adhere to. Nor do I think that I will have a need to adhere to these restrictions forever. Just until I feel like I would no longer be tempted by those people or activities. Basically not until Jesus is finished with this part of His work in me. (Phil 1:6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.) Now I realize that His complete work in me will not be finished until the day when Christ Jesus returns, but I am hopeful that I will be healed enough to be able to participate in those activities and relationships when they can be had healthily.

So here is the Relient K song that inspired this post. Lyrics are below:






i think it might just be alright
to leave what matters out of sight
old habits die hard, holding on
inevitable means it's never gone

told myself what i need to hear
i think the point was very clear
i showed me what we missed since we
slipped into inconsistency

it seems if my ties with you get severed
i can't seem to hold a thing together
i just fall apart
cause that's my trademark

it's my, my trademark move
to turn my back on you
it's my, my trademark move
to realize i should improve
and sometime soon after that
you'll see me come crawling back

i'll kill the thing that turns me away
amputate the arm that will disobey
withdraw from everything that's hurting me
until you finish your work in me

told myself what i need to hear
i think the point was very clear
i showed me what we missed since we
slipped into inconsistency

it seems if my ties with you get severed
i can't seem to hold it all together
i just fall apart
cause that's my trademark

it's my, my trademark move
to turn my back on you
it's my, my trademark move
to realize i should improve
and sometime soon after that
you'll see me come crawling back

it's my, my trademark move
to turn my back on you
it's my, my trademark move
to turn my back on you
it's my, my trademark move
to turn my back on you
it's my, my trademark move
to realize i should improve
and sometime soon after that
you'll see me come crawling back

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Out of Control

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2KqkVDg3zg

Out of Control by John Reuben

What I needed to hear wasn't coming in clear
And what I now know is only partial info
I speak over tempo to put words into motion
You can't stay stagnant with the future that's approaching
So where do you stand it's either break or be broken
Forget dry land, I'd rather stand in the ocean
And let the waves of devotion roll over me
Irony, I had to suffocate before I could breathe
Now I'm in a head space I've never been before
Ever since my feet hit the shore
I tell you it feels good so give me some more
It feels good

(chorus)
It's a bit passionate for your radio
But that's alright though it's good for your soul and it
It feels good to be out of control
I said it
It feels good to be out of control

Now ain't that something
Adrenaline rushing and I'm touching the heart of God
And adjusting rather nicely to the feeling that's inside of me
Alive in me continually guiding me and surprising me
It's beyond my reach but it's in my grasp
I walk steadfast along a narrow path avoiding snares and traps
And all else that seems to keep me from who I need to be right now
I'm thinking clearly and I'm in a head space I've never been before
Ever since my feet hit the shore
I tell you it feels good so give me some more
I said it feels good


_______________________________________________________

This song rings so true to my heart and soul! Hindsight has proven that what I've often needed to hear has not come in clear, mostly because I wasn't willing to hear it. It's amazing how much I could tune out or ignore just because I was too stubborn to admit my weaknesses, powerlessness, sin, and faults. Amazing still is that what I now know IS only partial info! I can't wait to see all that God is going to reveal to me on this journey about Him, me, healing, forgiveness, His will and good plan, etc.!


I can't stay stagnant with the future that's approaching, I am giving into this journey, actively participating in my life. Living each moment, and not content to stay the same.

I'd much rather break, than be broken, but either way, this is the only way that God can truly work in me. I'm ready for it.

Let the waves of devotion roll over me, irony I had to suffocate before I could breathe.

Reminds me of Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think from Romans 12:1-2 (NLT). I have to LET this happen, without resistance. When I resisted in the past, I would only end up struggling, until I finally suffocated!

It really has felt good since my feet hit the shore!

"I'm touching the heart of God
And adjusting rather nicely to the feeling that's inside of me
Alive in me continually guiding me and surprising me
It's beyond my reach but it's in my grasp
I walk steadfast along a narrow path avoiding snares and traps
And all else that seems to keep me from who I need to be right now"

I really want to touch God's heart more, and adjust more and more to be more like Him. I'm learning how to FEEL my emotions, and experience them as opposed to suppressing them. I'm adjusting rather nicely to the feeling that's inside of me, that is alive in me.

I'm so much more in tune with who I am lately, that probably ever before in my life. I totally feel like I am learning so much about WHO I am, Who God is, and Who He has made me to be.

I feel God truly guiding me, through this season of my life. And it is surprising me that I can trust Him so completely and find rest and peace and hope in Him. Not in me, and what I can do, not in some person, but in Him.

Yet, I still feel like everything is beyond my reach, even though I know it is in my grasp. I have to keep reminding myself that it is a journey, to keep taking one step in the right direction at a time, babysteps, and that yes, sometimes I will stumble. But that is OKAY! I am constantly reminding myself to LIVE in the moment, enjoy it. Even if things are a bit bumpy, I need to experience that, and LET God into my heart all the time. I also have to remind myself that this journey is going to be full of adventure, and that it is not about reaching some destination. The point of it all is to simply be on the journey. Experience all of the adventure, disappointments, highs and lows, and through it all to fall more in love with God, and learn to accept and love who He has made me to be. Embrace Him. Embrace me.

I pray that my feet keep to the narrow path set before me, that I walk steadfast, and keep my eyes on Jesus. I know that I have a tendency to be distracted. A verse that stuck out to me this week speaks about this distraction. It grabbed my attention because it has both the words pure and devotion...which if you've read my first post from Dec. 2008, you'd know the deep meaning those words have for me.

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:2-3, "For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband--Christ. But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was decieved by the cunning ways of the serpent."

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

I hope and pray that I would remain devoted and continually be purified by God. I can only do this if I LET God transform me as in Romans 12:1-2:

1 And so, dear brothers and sisters,a]">[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.b]">[b] 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

So there you have it...I am out of control, God is in control. I am going to each day choose to LET him transform me into the person he created me to be.

Spring is Coming...



Friday, January 30, 2009

Beating myself upside the head

Tonight things got real. God has once again opened my eyes and my heart. I was vulnerable and shared a struggle. I know there is more to share, I just didn't have the courage to tonight. I wanted to be invisible. I didn't want anyone to see me. I felt shame.

"My grace is sufficient for you, Kathryn"

Hard pill to swallow, that's for sure.

Keep taking those baby steps. Keep taking one step at a time, in the right direction. Let it all out, let out a big sigh.

I have this book called "e-mail from God for Women" by Claire Cloninger. Kinda cheesy sounding, I know. But it is so sweet to me. Each email starts with something like "Dear Daughter" or "My Daughter" or "Dear Child of Mine"...which is very endearing to me. I miss getting notes in the mail from my Dad, or emails....I plain just miss him. I miss getting to talk to him on the phone. I miss his voice. I miss his hugs.

I can't believe it's almost been 6 years since he died. And yet, right now, it feels fresh. I recall those lonely nights in my dorm, tossing and turning, calling his cell phone just to hear his voice, mad at everyone and everything for continuing while I was left alone to sort out my feelings. I would often finally drift to sleep just minutes before the dorm cafeteria would open to serve breakfast.

When I got home from the hospital, the night before he died, I found the valentine's day card and chocolates he bought for me. It was only 11 days late, but still so sweet. Dad had baked barbecue chicken for me to eat while I was in town that weekend. It was in the fridge. I couldn't bring myself to eat it. I don't know why.

I promised him that I would come see him before his surgery. But that meant waking up at 6am on a Sunday. I couldn't bring myself to do it. I slept till 10am before finally driving to the hospital. I wish I could take that back. I wish I had been there before he went in for surgery.

....kinda got off topic there...but the point remains the same. I need to learn to extend grace to myself. Here is the email that I flipped open to in my aforementioned book:

My Daughter,

Everyone knows that caterpillars turn into butterflies eventually. But they are definitely caterpillars first. They can't fly; they move slowly; and they look like big, fat worms.

When you start your spiritual walk with me, I give you the promise of spiritual maturity, healing, and wholeness. But you aren't there yet. You are still a spiritual caterpillar. So stop beating yourself up for not being perfect and just keep moving toward the promise. I've created you to fly, but it is a process that takes time, patience, and lots of grace.

In fact, no one ever truly comes into the fullness of my promises until they pass through the cocoon of death into my perfect kingdom. So live graciously in this caterpillar state, being the woman I've created you to be. And keep moving toward the promise of flight.

Your Creator,
God

"I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus" Philippians 1:6

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pushing through the dirt

Lately, I've been painting flowers with pastels...it's been quite therapeutic, and I've really enjoyed expressing myself creatively. But then I started to wonder why I always want to draw flowers. I mean, they aren't even flowers I've ever seen before. Which led me to wonder how awesome it must have been for Jesus to be with God during the creation of our world! Creation takes such great amounts of creativity!

I also love discovering parallels. For example, God using Moses to lead his people out of slavery in Egypt through the Red Sea, and into the Promised Land (which was prepared in advance for us)...and Jesus buying us out of slavery to sin through shedding his blood, and walking with us on our journey until we come to live at our Father's House (which is prepared in advance for us).

With that in mind, I've been wondering why I always create flowers. Then, as I was pulling into Tom Thumb, listening to Wholly Yours by David Crowder Band, I heard these lyrics:

but a certain sign of grace is this
from the broken earth
flowers come up
pushing through the dirt



And I couldn't help but smile....then I quickly grabbed my journal, rewound the music, and copied it down.

In a book I'm reading, "Changes that Heal" by Dr. Henry Cloud, I've learned that 3 components necessary for change are Truth, Grace, and Time. The truth is readily apparent in scripture. And in counseling last week, I discovered that I have quite a bit to learn about extending grace (especially to myself). And time? Well God takes care of that one. :)

Back in October, I was asked to pick a picture which represented where I am right now in my walk with God.

I picked a broken plate.

I thought it was rather sad at the time, until I started to realize that the plate could serve a better purpose now that it was broken. It could be rearranged into a beautiful mosaic, held together by Jesus, the only bond that will never break or sever. I have prayed since then for God to continue to break me. He has been faithful, yet merciful.

I have been experiencing both back pain, illness, and emotional distress (to say the least) over the past 6-7 weeks. It has been overwhelming, at times I have wanted to cry, yet had no tears. And when I finally had the tears, I was at church, and cried in the arms of a dear friend. Another dear friend has encouraged me recently with these words:

I know it has to be hard to go each week and find that things are much deeper than you thought before, but I truly believe that the Lord is showing the "roots" of the issues, and not allowing you to just "trim the fruits" off the tree. But like uprooting anything, it hurts and leaves a scar in the ground - but He is so faithful and will not leave you empty, my sister.



So all that to say, I am continually encouraged to persevere and surrender. The journey will not be easy, but I have the best Guide leading me, and preparing the way ahead of me. He has continually built my trust and faith in Him, and I have no doubt that He will continue this work in me until it is finished.

I can't wait to see the flowers that will be pushing through the dirt!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Snot Princess

So I've been sick for the better part of 3 weeks. I've also had a lot of alone time, rest/down time, and have done some soul searching.

Most of my life I have been a suppressant kind of gal. Push those feelings down until I can deny their existence. Kathryn just isnot the feeling kind of person, she HAS to persevere, and live in survival mode, there isnot time for living in the here and now.

Not a great thing to do. I really only know how to identify 3 feelings: happy, sad, angry. And that's only because they are usually accompanied by laughter, tears, or outbursts. I can't deny those.

Well, I can't really deny being sick. I tried. I'd pretend I was sneezing from allergies (when there weren't any cats around). I'd pretend it was normal to constantly need a kleenex within arms reach, and have needed them so often my students just hand them to me.

This healing journey I'm on with God has been trying to say the least. Feelings are starting to surface, with much of the same violence and unpredictability of my fits of coughing. Only now, I am determined to face the truth, and hopefully learn how to extend grace to myself during the process. No more suppressants for me, I'm all about the expectorants now! I've discovered 3 types of expectorants: OTC medicine, laughter, and tears.

I am really tired of being sick. I am ready to let God heal me. I don't want to live the rest of my life as a snot princess! I'm ready to live in the here and now. To truly experience this journey. I don't want to just survive my life, I want to live it out loud!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Closer

It is so amazing to me how faithful God is at answering prayers! I noticed recently that I have 3 songs on my iPod with the same title, "Closer".

The first one has been my prayer several different times over the past 6 months. It is by Charlie Hall:
Beautiful are the words spoken to me
Beautiful is the one who is speaking

Come in close, come in close and speak
Come in close, come closer to me

I love that song because it is so simple, yet so profound!

The next song I was priveleged to hear on my iPod is by Sanctus Real:

I'm not satisfied in this lifetime
I'm following you to the other side
There's nothing that can change my mind
You're all I need

You're the only tie that binds my heart
Away from you I'm falling apart
We need to be closer than we are
You're all I need

So what can I do to get closer?
I know there is more my heart can bear
I give you control 'cause I need you
To take me there

Like a bird flying southI'm seeking you out
And there's no rope that can tie me down
I'm running home, I'm a slave set free
You're all I need

I am waiting
Draw me closer
I am waiting
Make me stronger

The lyrics of this song match up so well with the journey I am on right now. I'm not satisfied in THIS lifetime. There is nothing that can change my mind, God is all I need! Whenever I take matters into my own hands, and keep God out of my life, my life falls apart! Jesus is the glue that holds me together. I daily am giving God control to take me where he wants me to go. I am a slave set free! This journey is so liberating, and I am yearning for the day that I have the strength to run! Draw me closer, God! Make me stronger!


Come near to God and He will come near to you! James 4:8


The 3rd and final song on my iPod is by Group 1 Crew:

Lord can you forgive me for the way that I have been
Bring this heart around to where it all began
I've been too blind to see the signs that you keep sending
So I'm ready, no more pretending.

[Chorus]
Take my life, I need you now
Draw me closer draw me closer

I'm on my knees, I'm crying out

Draw me closer I want to be closer to you

I've traveled down so many roads that only brought me pain
And with every bridge I burned you could've turned away
But you never let me go your love is so incredible
So let it over flow

Cuz I'm too far, too far away God, You are You are the Way
I'm too far, too far away so I'm hanging
on every single word You say
Oh Lord, I wanna be closer, take me over, take me over

God has been pursuing me lately, He is truly drawing closer to me! I love how He responds to me coming near to Him in such a loving way! Yet, I am not satisfied, I want to continue drawing near to Him!



Friday, January 02, 2009

Starbucks

(definitions provided because I love dictionaries)

com·mit·ment:
The state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action or to another person or persons

lib·er·ate: To set free, as from oppression, confinement, or foreign control.

tyr·an·ny: Absolute power, especially when exercised unjustly or cruelly

crit·ic : a person who finds fault and criticizes [Greek krit─ôs judge]

fear: A feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger

ra·tion·al: Of sound mind; sane

hes·i·tate: a. To be slow to act, speak, or decide.b. To pause in uncertainty; waver.

head: Freedom of choice or action

bar·ri·er: Something that separates or holds apart

life:
Human existence, relationships, or activity in general

I shared with a friend today about my resolutions, and was asked how I plan to accomplish these resolutions. I honestly had not thought about that yet, but a phrase that was stuck in my mind after waking up in the middle of the night was "to begin a journey, let out a big sigh, and take a step in the right direction". So when my friend mentioned taking baby steps, the journey phrase resurfaced in my mind. I'm not sure where the "journey phrase" came from, but it has got me thinking about this journey that God has me on; I know where it started and how I got here, but where is God leading me? Will I go willingly, and courageously submit to his plan for me? Or will I try to control and manipulate "my life" to accomplish my goals and plans, as I have so often done in the past?

What I do know, is that I want and need to take some steps in the right direction; I need to appreciate the gift of the Holy Spirit by listening and obeying. I have discovered recently that often the depth of my guilt is in direct relation to the depth of my ignoring God and going my own way.

Having a commitment to my resolution this year has been very liberating thus far (yes, I know it has only been a few days!). I am excited for what God has in store this year, and am ready for God to remove the barriers so that I can live the life He intends for me to live.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Resolutions & Courage

Today, I decided that I would make a New Year's Resolution. I Googled the definition for resolution: the act of determining; synonym: courage. That piqued my interest! I have been praying for courage lately, so it was a welcome surprise! Courage: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. So with this in mind, I decided it would be best to reflect on 2008 prior to making a 2009 resolution.

Fascinating how time flies! I remember my Dad and I talking at the dinner table one night, Larry King Live was on in the background. I think I was probably antsy for my birthday to arrive, the countdown had begun, there were about 20 days to go. "Time seems to pass faster as you get older, Kathryn. Enjoy today." Such wisdom!

This past year, I remember filling out my application for Dallas Christian College's Alternative Certification Program in Feb/March; from then on out, I was literally counting the weeks and days until I could say goodbye to my accounting job at AAFES, and hello to becoming a teacher!

Then in April I decided that I was ready to get out of apartment life, and began looking for a house. I found a foreclosure, that was in my price range (actually quite below), but would need remodeling. I was excited for the challenge, and thought that I would have plenty of free time to work on it while going to school in the summer. So I forged ahead! Counting down till I could close on the house. Then count down till my apartment lease ended...which meant that all of a sudden I felt the time crunch! I had 8 weeks to get this house move-in ready...and it was the same 8 weeks I had school 4 days a week, and did I mention that I was working 6 days a week? I really don't know how I survived!

Then next thing I knew, those 8 weeks were gone. GONE! I then realized that there were only 3 weeks until school would start....and I still didn't have a teaching job!

My prayers became desperate! I was literally CRYING out to God to rescue me from this mess! I started to set aside time for regular quiet times again...something I had not done for most of those prior 8 weeks. During these sweet times I kept stumbling upon Psalms that mentioned God's unfailing love. I cried.

I sent out an email to friends and family members, practically begging for their prayers! There is truth to Ecclesiastes 4:12 "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three is not quickly broken." I felt renewed. I made a plan to visit every Irving ISD elementary school; and was told at every school that they were fully staffed. The next day, I moped around the house, and planned a route that would take me to every Grand Prairie ISD school. But the following day, I still felt bummed out. So I started calling the GPISD schools instead. After more let downs, I humbled myself and decided to give Dallas ISD a shot. I called about 30 more schools and called it a day. Did I mention that my plan for the day was to drive around town, and that instead I ended up making phone calls? I think that was definitely one of the first wake up calls I received that my plans are no good if I don't invite God into the mix!

I got an interview the next day, and got the job! It was such a HUGE blessing! And the best part? I got to share God's faithfulness with everyone that had been praying for me!

Teaching has definitely taught me a lot about myself, and I know I've been humbled more times than I can count! I love my kids and my school, and am thankful for this blessing God had prepared in advance for me! My first thought in my classroom, was "I can't believe they hired me! Do they realize that I have never taught 3rd grade before? Are they really giving me the responsibility of educating 3rd graders? How in the world will I do this?.....The room isn't decorated....How do I make a bulletin board? How do I arrange the desks? Where does the word wall go?" and on and on and on.

The first day went well, it was a bit of a blur, but I survived, as did the kids. :) The first 8 weeks were tough, but manageable. There were discipline problems, which I began to realize were mostly due to a lack of clear identified/communicated/enforceable procedures and rules. I came to develop a loving bond with my kids. It was awesome!

Then the Dallas ISD Budget Crisis! We were told it wouldn't affect our school, we had good enrollment. But it did. And not just my school. But me. My kids lost their teacher. We had a lot of crying those last 2 days! I had that weekend to process and pray through it all at a Women's Retreat for IBC. My mourning for me, changed when I began to realize that I can't control this. I can't change it. So I began to pray for my kids. I prayed they would get an amazing teacher to get them through 3rd Grade. I prayed for healing in my heart, I wasn't ready to get new kids, though I knew I needed to get a teaching position. I emailed the prayer warriors, and asked for their prayers.

Relunctantly I revamped my resume, and got ready for a career fair. Before I left, my principal called to ask if I would like to come back, either teach Pre-K or my 3rd graders! I said YES! I was so ecstatic, it felt so unreal! I was definitely encouraged and amazed at God's amazing answer to that prayer!

Transitioning back to school was tougher for me, I had to jump back into the lesson plans, and re-set up the classroom. I think it was a lot tougher coming back, than it had been the first time around. I was more stressed out, and had a few moments where I had to hide in the bathroom and cry because of how overwhelmed I was! But it was all worth it.

Now I'm on Winter Break, and trying to figure out what my resolution should be for the year 2009....So what does all of this have to do with Resolutions and Courage?

I think that my resolution will be to Live Courageously for God, and to Rest Humbly in His Plan for Me.
I will give up my "need" for control. I am not in control; God is.
My plans fail; God is unfailing.
I will not do life alone; God designed us for relationship with Him and others.