Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Wow. The last couple of evenings, I've spent re-reading much of my blog. I've read most of the published posts, and some unpublished ones as well. I've remembered thoughts and circumstances which lead to thoughts which led to the writings here. And I've been amazed.

What an ebenezer, this blog is.
And it is a good thing for me to see this ebenezer, this stone of remembrance.

An ebenezer is a stone raised in a certain place, so when others see it they can ask what it stands for, and can hear and remember the stories it represents. Ebenezers of God's grace and goodness and mercy.

In the path and rush of life, it is so incredibly easy to forget these mercies and graces and answered prayers. Its so easy to forget the thousands of blessings and gifts. It is necessary to remember these things. Its necessary to look back and see the beauty of God's presence.

I used to keep a prayer journal, and go back periodically to date when things happened or prayers were answered. It was amazing to see it in black and white. Now I am looking back at this story, and am amazed at the views I've seen and the miracles that have happened.

God is ever good.
God is ever present.
Here I raise my ebenezer. My stone of remembrance for all He has done.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Peace and Reflection

The following quotes are from two different devotionals given to me the last week. I've begun reading them daily, and found both meaningful and pertinent for today.

From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:
"My peace is the treasure of treasures: the pearl of great price. It is an exquisitely costly gift, both for the Giver and the receiver. I purchased this Peace for you with My blood. You receive this gift by trusting Me in the midst of life's storms. If you have the world's peace-everything going your way-you don't seek My unfathomable Peace. Thank Me when things do not go your way, because spiritual blessings come wrapped in trials. Adverse circumstances are normal in a fallen world. Expect them each day. Rejoice in the face of hardship, for I have overcome the world. Matthew 13:46, James 1:2, John 16:33"

And from My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers:
Transformed By Insight
"2 Corinthians 3:18 We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image.
The outstanding characteristic of a Christian is this unveiled frankness before God so that the life becomes a mirror for other lives. By being filled with the Spirit we are transformed, and by beholding we become mirrors. You always know when a man has been beholding the glory of the Lord; you feel in your inner spirit that he is the mirror of the Lord's own character. Beware of anything which would sully that mirror in you; it is nearly always a good thing, the good that is not the best.  The golden rule for your life and mine is this concentrated keeping of the life open towards God. Let everything else-work, clothes, food, everything on earth-go by the board, saving that one thing. The rush of other things always tends to obscure this concentration on God. We have to maintain ourselves in the place of beholding, keeping the life absolutely spiritual all through. Let other things come and go as they may, let other people criticize as they will, but never allow anything to obscure the life that is hid with Christ in God. Never be hurried out of the relationship of abiding in Him. It is the one thing that is apt to fluctuate but it ought not to. The severest discipline of a Christian's life is to learn how to keep "beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord." "
The first one about peace is significant because I have been seeking peace in my heart and life. And I am discovering that perhaps peace is through trusting, and trusting is through faith, and faith is by living what you know to be true.
The second one is how that peace from God is shown to others. The light in us is a mirror of God in our heart. How we keep that mirror clear so God can be seen by others is by opening our heart toward God and not towards all the other things around us like the food, clothes or other things. The other things cause our mirror to be fogged up. I want others to look at me and behold in the glass the glory of the Lord, to see the peace and love in me.
Part of this journey.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Do I Want Jesus?

"I want you Jesus."
I stared at the words I had just written, black ink on cream colored paper, the script lovely there. I stared and prayed, and searched my heart and wondered.
Do I really want Jesus? Do I want that gift of sacrifice in my heart? Do I want that joy? Do I want that peace? Do I want that difficult journey, that hard life of following Him? Do I want that freedom, that love always present? Do I? And do I have the commitment to keep on following during the dark days, when I can't see one step ahead? Do I trust that He will lead me? I have faith His way is good? What is His way? Of following principles of living righteously before God and man, of showing love to others, of giving ourselves selflessly to His will and service. Yes, and I committed to die for Him. I thought I could hold to my faith enough to die for it.
Is a form of dying for your faith dying to wants in favor of principle?
Jesus, the sacrifice of love. Jesus, the one who brings wholeness and wellness and fills our hearts and minds. Jesus, who died, so I might live.
Every day Christ comes. We accept salvation at a pivotal moment perhaps, and it becomes "the" moment in our minds when we became saved, when we became Christian. Mine is June 26th. But faith is an every day affair. Somehow, you are required each day to continue to live with faith and trust. Every day you must accept the salvation. Christ comes every day to save you and me.
This moment, this day, I accept the salvation of Christ. I receive the love of Christ in my heart, and remember my baptism that signified a change in me, signified a cleansed heart. Today I renew a life lived for Christ, a life lived following Jesus.
And I am grateful for this joy, this gift. The salvation of my soul from Hell. The salvation of my soul from the darkness that pervades us, surrounding us.
The gift of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God.

Father of grace, You’ve sacrificed
Your only Son for us, the crucified Jesus
Enlarge our hearts to love Your Son
O grant to us the grace to walk with Him always
To make Him our great delight 
Bringing worship with our lives 

Only Jesus! Only Jesus! 
Give us Jesus, we cry
Only Jesus! Only Jesus!
The Pearl of greatest price

Verse 2
Spirit of grace, You’ve shed Your light
Upon our darkened eyes, unveiling Jesus Christ
Come change our hearts, conform our ways
To honor Jesus’ Name, His glory our refrain
Let His love compel our own 
As we worship at His throne

Jesus, our great Savior,
Lord of heaven, Son of God 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Just Katie

Who am I?
Deep down inside, where the heart pumps, sending blood coursing through my veins?
What are my dreams when I close my eyes? What are my hopes, my fancies, my wildest imaginings? And how do they fit with this body I live in, this humanity that covers my soul?
Who is this person, and what are her goals, and where is she going?

And so I begin a questioning and serious thinking as I try to define even more who I am. More blogging will come from this. I've begun already a little the past few days. But more ideas of who I am will come trickling up from the depths.

I'm thinking of my future and where it might be going.
I'm dreaming of my home and lifestyle and way of doing life.
I'm imagining different paths to take.
I'm examining my passions and joys.
I'm captivating these glimpses and putting to words what I see.

Some things may appear here. Some will be written on my heart, for others to discover later.

Who am I?
Just Katie.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Home That Says Welcome

One day, I want to have the type of household that makes people feel welcome. The type that has an open door policy, with people in and out, coming to sit and talk, or coming to find the answer to questions in their hearts.

I want the hospitality that says, "come live with me for a while," and means it. If it means a few minutes, or a few months.

I want to share the warmth of knowing that everyone is welcome to come with you whether its your best friend, or your aunt's second cousin twice removed always with long stories on his mind that just has to be shared. I want many people, of many colors and many accents and many languages and many backgrounds to gather under my roof, to share bread together, laughter echoing off the walls. I want my family to spontaneously invite random strangers home for a meal, warm soup filling cold stomachs after a hard day.

I have a dream of a home that welcomes folks in, drawing them in irresistibly. Lamps in the windows, warm lights streaming out. Delicious, comforting food causing folks to sniff the air hungrily, and gather around the table willingly. Hands held as prayers are said, and hearts are lifted. I want the home that sings, and laughs. That long, quiet discussions are held in, that stimulating ideas are formed in, that people leave, feeling they encountered Someone unexpectedly, but blessedly.

I want the home that says, "walk in and become one of us for a while. Join our lives, our activities, our way of living, and become one with us."

One of my favorite things to do is to make people feel welcome and important and special. I want to find ways to connect with people, and to somehow express Christ's love to them, even if only through a smile or cheery hello. I want to use this gift in my own home.

I love to talk to people and find out how they think. I like to read their hearts, hear their stories, and find kinship with people. Its amazing how this works across language and cultural barriers.

One day, this will be the home that I will have. One day, my welcome mat will be swept and ready, the lamps lit, the bread baking in the oven.
And a smile and cheery hello to welcome.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Life is such a transformative process. Its never still, always moving and changing you, if you let it. If you're living passionately and fully. And as you live, you change, transforming into a person you never thought of before. Its beautiful and mysterious, and it all fits together in a way that can't always be explained. Any attempts to define it turn into an emphatic shake of the head, and a "that's life!" comment.

Every so often I suddenly awaken to the fact that I have changed or moved on to being someone I never thought of before for myself. I take a quick look around and realize that the Katie that used to be has morphed into the Katie of today, and often its like watercolors that have bled from pastel to vibrancy, or from one color to another, becoming an interesting riot of yellows or pinks, blending into oranges or purples, fading into an entirely new shade.

Every so often I realize that the passions or interests or reactions have all changed, and I'm doing things or going places I never thought I'd see myself do or go. New paths are taken, the old ones never to return. Its interesting, to take an observer standpoint and review my life, watching myself as a movie, as it were. I wonder how the story will end, because I get to a certain point and suddenly realize there is only future left, no more history to remember. It remains to be made.

Things happen on the journey, new places open up new vistas and thoughts, and experiences introduce new ideas of possibility. And in the blink of an eye, a snapshot is made, is set into history, and things all change again.

And here we go again, into a new being, transforming again. I hope it is transforming into a better person, with lessons learned. I hope it is with wisdom and joy and depth that I change, becoming more of a well-rounded, healthy person.

 I have to let it happen though. I have to allow the changes of ideas and let go of the past long enough to embrace what comes next. To allow the pain of difference to heal into a stronger version of myself.

I have to allow Christ to change my innermost being, transform me into a new Katie, and embrace the work it takes to keep on changing, to keep on following His new paths within me. Because isn't that the ultimate goal? To become more like Him, mirroring Him as much as possible within ourselves. To follow His examples and to allow our lives to show His love?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Prayer For Serenity

In the middle of trouble, in the middle of uncertainty, in the middle of anxiety and pressure from all sides, there is the need to find some peace and serenity.
So I pray for it.

I have an Anglican rosary, which you can read about here. And here is a picture so you can see mine.
You hold it, your fingers following each bead with each prayer. It is good for kinesthetic learners, because it gives you something to touch. Its good for ADD pray-ers like me, because it gives you focus. And if you choose, you can do different prayers each time you use it.

Here are the prayers I am praying for Serenity:

First you start at the cross.
God take and receive my liberty, memory, my understanding and my will.

Then the first big bead.
All that I am and all that I have you have given me.

Then the second big bead.
Our father, which art in heaven, hollowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation be deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Then seven small beads. Each bead is the same prayer.
God grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Between every seven beads there is another big bead, making 4 sections of small beads, and 4 big beads. You pray the Lords prayer each big bead, and pray around the circle three times. So the seven small beads are prayed 84 times, and the large ones 12.

After the last round of the beads, you pray for the first large bead again. This time:
Let me live one day at a time and enjoy one moment at a time.

The second large bead is next.
Let me accept hardships as the pathway to peace, taking this world as it is, not as I would have it.

And the cross again.
Let me trust that you will make all things right if I surrender to your will.


It takes about 20 minutes to pray this, if you keep the prayers going. But you can make it last much longer, or do the whole thing as many times as you wish. The beauty is the focused prayer, the repeating that has time to sink into your heart, and the written words that are thoughful and direct.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Lists of Joys

I've been told at least three times lately, during a tough time, that I should continue to look for and make lists of the joys, the hidden gifts, the glad things that God has given in my life. I try to do this visibly over on A Thousand Hidden Gifts but it isn't quite the same as writing a list. I'm a big one for lists, and enjoy writing them, even if it is to just tick off everything I've accomplished. Or just to remember things. So I shall remember the past couple of days and list the joys.

  • Standing around the living room, singing "Farther Along" a cappella.  Music filling the space, music blending beautifully on our faces. 
  • Dear friends who check on me, offer prayers for me, and send me hugs through all sorts of means. Dear friends who love, even when they don't understand. 
  • Pink to delight my soul. 
  • A book that has brought much conviction and insight. It hurts to read at times, but it is the type of hurt that burns away and refines. Ultimately a good thing, and joy if I allow it to be.
  • A new coffee cup that is blue with a red initial. From my Dad, just because. Filled with hot tea, it brings comfort. 
  • Written prayers for when I need help praying in a thoughtful manner. And people who take time to pray them with me. 
  • Golden, scarlet sunsets, with lacy trees to silhouette. Or pink and purple ones that fade to pale blue, to deep indigo. Indigo silence, that darkens until a glow of diamonds with a pearl to crown them all. 
  • The scent of an orange candle, burning next to me as I study. I love candles on dark days. 
  • The skinny long pinecones that I spray painted white when they were wet and cold, but once inside the warm, dry house they suddenly opened and became wide, fat ones. Amazing.
  • A new perfume I enjoy all day. Delights my senses.
  • Facebook comments in Spanish from Bolivian friends. 
  • Dancing, and introducing friends to the joy of dancing, too!
  • The gang hitting McDonalds at midnight, causing the night staff to have to scramble, and then eating, laughing and lingering over french fries and Dr. Peppers. 
I am working on many things, but one thing is recognizing joy. Here. Now. Its all around if I just notice it, recognize it and invite it. 

Thank you Jesus for bringing the recognition of these joys into my heart and mind. May I always find joy, and recognize Your Love through them. Amen.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Peace of God

Today's Bible verse:

Philippians 4:5-7
The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.