Won’t you be my friend?

I have realized that since we have lived in Georgia, I haven’t made any new close friends. Like really close. I have certainly made friends, good friends even. I have met and spent time with some very wonderful people but nothing like any of the relationships I left in Florida. I was fortunate to have my cousin (in law) when we lived in Dallas, instant BFF. Living in such close proximity to each other, our husbands were also not only family but good friends too, and our kids were in the same age bracket, so it was just an aligning of the stars sort of thing. Having them nearby I just didn’t need to venture out and make new friends. Quite frankly, much of the time we would meet new families, and just compare them to Scott and Nicole and how easy the nature of our relationship with them was. I mean for goodness sake we have lived with them and still like them, that just says a lot πŸ˜‰

So here we are in a new area of Georgia and I know how much I need good friends. Not just hang out buddies, like some quality, godly friendship. Jason and I both need this. And I’ll be honest, this new friend search….. it’s rather depressing.

Making friends as an adult is awkward and challenging to say the least. Anybody feel me? It’s a lot different than when I was young. Or maybe not, maybe it’s the same….. but worse! Maybe it’s just me.

I think way too much about what I say, what I do, and how it’s interpreted. The whole “getting to know you, getting to know all about you….” phase, ugh, I’d like to skip it sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I am an open book, but then I analyze to death everything I shared and I usually come to the conclusion “they probably think I am a needy, crazy, lonely, whackadoo.” I suppose I should just come right out and say “here’s my messy life, can we be friends or not? And if not, fine by me, but let’s cut through all the shenanigans. I need a real-Georgia- peach-friend and I need one pronto!” Yeah that would be real nice if we could approach relationships that way but it’s not entirely realistic. Good friendships take time and patience.

There are a couple things I am trying to keep in mind with this whole making friends thing.

I am praying God would bring someone that provides an avenue for mutual edification. Iron sharpening iron. That’s what I miss most about Florida. All the women there that not only encouraged me but also would lovingly correct me. We need friends that we can be honest with so we can grow. I won’t be challenged to change and grow if I surround myself by people that just nod and agree at everything I say or do.

I am trying to remain confident in how God has made me and where he has me in life. Sometimes I try to fight how I’m wired and sometimes I will feel uncomfortable around other women if my stage of life or circumstance differs from theirs. God doesn’t want me to be insecure or feel guilty about either of those things. He is sovereign over my life and as I walk in obedience I just need to point to him.

I’ve been practicing boldness and moving out of my comfort zone. Every mother knows it’s just EASIER to stay home. There is always something to be done. Just the other day I had to call in reinforcements from a friend to say “Go! The chores can wait. Grocery shopping can wait. Take the opportunity to spend time with a new friend.” I have a tendency to make excuses for why I should stay home and they are always legitimate. But often times we really do have to let things wait and make time for relationships.

And I am trying to recognize that not every meeting will be my new BFF and that’s okay. Just as God has ordained all the wonderful friendships I have, he will develop all my future relationships with women as I trust him. I just have to do my part. No one is going to show up at my doorstep asking to have coffee. I have to go where women are!

Our church doesn’t have a women’s ministry yet. So I am trying to be creative with ways to connect with some other ladies. So far I have had some random run-ins with a couple of gals. But I am excited to try out a local MOPS group. I have heard such wonderful things about MOPS from one of my closest friends, Kaitlyn, so I decided to see if there was one in the surrounding area and there is. Hopefully it will be as beneficial, not only relationally but also in Spiritual growth, as I have seen it to be in Kaitlyn’s life.

Has anyone tried a MOPS group? Or what are some other good ways for women to connect with other women? Moms with moms and wives with wives? It’s always good to do life together with people who can relate to you! πŸ™‚

On another note, we have some animal friends visiting us. Our neighbors, who moved in “next door” shortly after us, have 2 horses. They need to fertilize their pasture so we get the pleasure of hosting their horses in our pasture for a time. They are very pleasant guests, no trouble at all and very picturesque.

Sundance is the paint and Trinity is the beautiful Arabian. The girls are eating them up to say the least. πŸ™‚ Micaila is very attached to Sundance, they have a thing. πŸ™‚

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Somewhat Crafty, Somewhat Crispy

Maybe a year or two ago you might recall me posting about my non existent baking abilities. I thought I had come a long way from taking instructions like “mix by hand” literally. Or the time I tried to use a cookie cutter on cookies before they were cooked. “Why are these pumpkins SO fat?! And how do people get perfectly cut cookie shapes? What good are you cookie cutter?!?” I don’t know why I must do things with out studying the proper way. It’s a sickness. It’s so frustrating. Am I incapable of breaking free from thinking I can discover the right way on my own?

I actually did not mean for this to take on a Spiritual undertone but goodness, that does sound like my approach to faith, God and the Bible sometimes!

Who needs a manual? Umm, me. Definitely me.

This week I was making a gift for my cousin. It’s part of her wedding present, totally belated. What can I say, I love dragging out celebrations πŸ™‚ So it started with inspiration, a photo of course, off Pinterest. All I need is the pretty picture, don’t bore me with instructions, I totally got this.

IMG_4513.JPGClearly, this is handled.

At one point all that mess was on the floor with a Barbie tangled up in it.
Seriously Barbie, if you aren’t going to help, go have a pool party, or a fiesta, or something.

You see, I started to wrap the letter and realized the spool was not going to fit through that hole so I had the B-rilliant idea to unwind it ALL, just to figure out that allllllll that twine would have to come back up through said hole. So then, I had to begin untangling. Which requires me to cut, which led to just wrapping the O with sections of twine. Which I probably would have READ about had I looked at some directions or watched a tutorial.

Dear Katharyn, There is a way. It’s not your way, its a better way. A bit more simple than your complicated ways. A way that still requires you to work, but definitely will guide you one section at a time. You might make a few mistakes but likely they’ll be easier undone or at least repairable.

So I did finally seek instructions. A few tutorials later, here, here, and here. I finished this adorable O to adorn my cousins front door on her first home. Well hopefully, if she likes it. Haha! I went for the crocheted embellishment because I sort of know how to crochet. πŸ˜‰

IMG_4527.JPGIsn’t that just like some of us as Christians sometimes. We think either we know it all or we will wing it on the way. We have got to humble ourselves to our Creator and His Word daily. We have to learn about him, Who he is, how he operates, so we can approach life with his eyes, wisdom and guidance.

Okay so one more story because this will just make you laugh. I am TRYING to get better at making home made snack foods for the kids. Not because I’m a health nut, I mean, I like to be healthy but again, my way, chocolate, Chickfila, you get the picture. This is about saving money. I was making Rice Crispy treats, that’s completely healthy right? I don’t know what’s in a marshmallow but I know what’s in the rest of these treats, butter, crispies,……good enough for me! So I had them made, cooling in the pan and I began to start dinner. I had been browning meat and making sauce, everything is great. I went to boil my pasta and then I remembered we have FRESH basil in our garden. That belongs in my sauce pronto. So I march outside, pick off some leaves, at this point I am feeling like a total winner, growing and picking my own herbs. Yeah it doesn’t take much. I come inside and smell roasting marshmallows. Oh how lovely, it’s like we’re camping. Come to find out I need to get to know my stove because I turned on the wrong burner and was instead boiling my beautiful scrumptious rice crispy treats.

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IMG_4519.JPGI managed to salvage a few but Micaila did inquire the next day “Did you burn those rice crispy treats?” I guess even though they looked fine on the outside, the pungency of all the roasting seeped into the whole batch.

I hope you found these moments to be as teachable and funny as I did. πŸ™‚

In His grace,
Katie

Unique family units

Say this with me

Every family is different.

Seriously, say it again if you have to.

I know I need to remind myself this all.the.time.

While visiting Florida I was affirmed countless times with our choice to move our family and have a little piece of country life. I had a couple people say in humor “we wish we were you!” I know this is a way to express approval and I am thankful for the encouragement and affirmation. At the same time many a truth is spoken in jest. I want to assure whoever may need it that God is sovereign with wherever your life has you. That just because, say, our life looks different and maybe even desirable to some, it doesn’t mean that your life should necessarily resemble it. God has allowed things in all our lives to happen, he has mercifully used our faithfulness and unfaithfulness, our sins and our obedience, to bring us to exactly where we are now. Our chief purpose is to glorify God, not to pursue earthly comforts or self centered desires. He wants us to acknowledge him in this very moment, seeking ways to glorify him where he has graciously placed us. This may mean remaining where we are, this may mean changing behaviors, this may mean moving, and it definitely looks different in every individual and family. What I can say for certain whether we change, go or stay, it will mean nothing if it’s not in obedience to the Spirit of God.

Ya know, every time I return home to Florida there is a deep ache that longs to be with my family, close friends and the church body of Lutz. Sometimes my mind wonders “why are we away from our family?” But it is, without doubt, obvious to Jason and I that God has intentionally directed our steps to Georgia. On the outside it may look like a breeze, that we are just living it up here on the farm. Truthfully, most of the time it is but it’s not with out sacrifice however small or big it seems to onlookers.

And here in lies the problem. Here is where satan has stepped in.

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Seriously. Can we just stop it.

I believe there is a pervasive insecurity creeping into our hearts and minds about where God has each of our families. Sometimes we think we know it all, that “this fill in blank is Gods will” as if one thing applies to everyone. Sometimes we observe other families and think “maybe we should do that.” There are days that satan tries to plant seeds of guilt in my heart about how I spend my time staying home. Should I homeschool? Should I be feeding the homeless or volunteering somewhere? Should I be taking meals to people? Holy conviction from the Spirit, bring it on. And it may lead to a sacrificial act of service like the examples above. But I have a tendency to get sucked into this vortex of lies that I have to prove myself to man that my time is spent wisely. That I have to show and do things that say “see, I’m not just staying at home doing nothing all day.” I won’t fall for it satan. I will seek Gods approval. Mans approval becomes about me. About my good deeds that everyone sees. Gods approval, is about God. About how I honor him, with out it needing to be known to anyone but him. And that’s not a cop out. God does convict and reveal about how we should invest His time. And it’s not up to man to decide if we think it’s appropriate usage of time. That’s between individuals/families and God.

We are so used to having a glimpse into peoples lives that it’s given us a misconception that we think we know what’s going on. Those glimpses are just that, glimpses. Smidgens of information that doesn’t give complete accuracy.

So for those of you following this blog, don’t let satan produce feelings of inadequacy where God has you. Yes, sometimes God does require us to move and change and yes he does use his people often times to stir our hearts for a new approach or a different way. (I am SO grateful for a body of believers to encourage me, challenge me and hold me accountable.) I promise you though, guilt and criticism will not be tied to the stirring of the Spirit. If you are genuinely pursuing relationship with Christ, reading the Word, learning Who God is, how to glorify him, talking with him in prayer, and acting in obedience to what he reveals to you, he will provide the direction, confidence, and approval you need. It may be definitely begins right in your home, and it may extend to your city, on a farm, in your neighborhood, across the ocean or your office.

I pulled this quote from one of his daily devotionals, he nails it.

Making God’s Word the authority of your life is a stress reliever, because if you don’t have an authority in your life, you’re going to listen to all kinds of conflicting opinions. One day you’ll decide this, another day you’ll decide that, and then one day you can’t decide, and indecision causes stress. But if you decide that God’s Word is going to be the authority of your life, it simplifies your decision-making. -Rick Warren

Seek Him. Be obedient, be bold, be confident. And not for yourself or your happiness πŸ˜‰ for God alone, the Creator, our Savior, Who is so completely worthy of EVERYTHING we can give.

Is it coincidence that as I finish this up one of my favorite Hillsong United songs came on? With Everything πŸ™‚ youtube my friends, go for it!

The Odom Wedding :)

This past weekend the kids and I drove down to Tampa to celebrate a wedding. My beautiful cousin Kimi and her sweet husband Justin, who also happens to be adorable. πŸ™‚ Kimi and Justin remind me so much of Jason and myself. Cute-young-albeit naive-love. They started dating when they were 15 and now are married at 19. This is probably even more abnormal than it was when Jason and I got married but I have to say I am probably their biggest cheerleader wether they know it or not.

Having walked a similar road with absolutely no regrets I have full confidence that they are going to have a fruitful beautiful marriage. We live in a culture that is very consumed with self. For crying out loud the word of the year is “selfie” and I had actually not heard that word used without a hint of sarcasm until this weekend. Getting married launches you to a place where you must learn to be selfless. I look at Kimi and Justin, who to some seem maybe too young to marry, and I just smile because I know from experience that marrying so young was a catalyst in my dependence on Christ and my spiritual growth. Honestly…. I shutter at the thought of what my spiritual condition would be had I not married so young and become a mother early. That just gives you insight to where I was before God sovereignly led me into marital and parental bliss. πŸ˜‰ I believe that even as they navigate the difficult moments in marriage that nothing but good will come out of it as they learn to lay down themselves for each other. And I can already see two people who are committed to doing that. Certainly not everyone should walk the aisle young, however, Kimi and Justin know each other as well as 2 people CAN know each other outside the bonds of marriage and it’s obvious that they completely adore one another. Kimi reminds me of me,….. My mom use to compare my love toward Jason to the unrelenting grip of an alligator! LoL! The point being that in the context of relationship and specifically our beloved, there is a strength and determination, Kimi will never give up on this love she has for Justin. And Justin reminds me of Jason, he has a natural inclination towards loyalty and faithfulness. Gentler than us gator types! πŸ˜‰ I don’t know him well but anyone that shakes his hand would be able to sense this. And yes, imperfect, like Jason and I, who are STILL overcoming challenges, selfishness, and learning new things in our marriage daily, Justin and Kimi will also experience the inevitable ups and downs of being with each other every day for the rest of their lives. They will learn the dance of marriage. There will be twirling, dipping, dropping, embracing, leaping, and stepping on toes. As they keep moving forward, their dance won’t be with out flaws but it will become smoother and they will learn each other’s movements, compensate for each other’s mistakes, and learn to lift each other up with grace as long as they look to Christ for guidance through out their dance. He’s our instructor, coordinator, teacher.

I am so proud of them for making this sacred life long commitment to each other and to God. I can not wait to see how God molds and shapes them and grows them deeper in love with each other and most importantly deeper in love with HIM. Of all the relationships in the world, marriage is probably the one that can most often force you into complete dependence on Christ alone, so I say go for it! And we are here for you, praying for you and cheering you on!

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We love you Kimi and Justin! Congratulations! ‬