Faith to let go

There are a thousand ways to magnify Christ in life and death. None should be scorned. All are important. But none makes the worth of Christ shine more brightly than sacrificial love for other people in the name of Jesus.- John Piper in Risk is Right: Better to Lose Your Life Than Waste it

Today Micaila and I made a little visit to see the boys. I had run across a few items of theirs and wanted to check on grandma, make sure she didn’t need anything before we headed out of town. I’m so thankful she is close, it was so sweet getting to see them. In my last post I wrote about the strangeness of having children for six months and then one day they are gone. It was surreal and I wasn’t sure how I was going to emotionally handle it. That’s the thing a lot of people say, “I would get to attached. I wouldn’t be able to let them go.”

God has been so very gracious.

I love that about him. You guys, can I just be honest with out getting on some sort of “soap box”? Sometimes I feel we choose not to do things because it seems like it would be too hard, too sad, too risky or too painful. We are so protective of ourselves that we miss getting to love and serve others. I’m here to tell you that you can entrust your heart, your fears, and your emotions to the Lord. I’m here to tell you that He will step in in ways that you can’t possibly imagine if you will just trust Him. He is not a God that wants to leave you broken hearted. He is a God that wants to offer hope and healing. Does it always look the way we thought it would? No. But we can still trust him.

God has flooded me with peace during this time in a way I could never muster up on my own. It is 100% a work of the Lord. And I am so thankful that we get to continue a relationship with the boys and their grandparents. Because what if this isn’t just about two boys….. what if this is about several family members that need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ?

I am praying more Christians would take the step of faith and serve these children and their family members who need Jesus in foster care.

If our single, all-embracing passion is to make much of Christ in life and death, and if the life that magnifies him most is the life of costly love, then life is risk, and risk is right. To run from it is to waste your life.- John Piper, Risk is Right.

Please please check out this video!!

Advertisements

Hope of the World

Today we began decorating for Jesus Birthday. And can I just say, I really hate not getting to share pictures of all our current family members. 😩 It almost feels wrong picking over the photos of our cute little munchkins, like I’m leaving them out. But, rules are rules.

Little babies teensy little hand

Big babies chunky foot 🙂

This Advent season I am reading through John Piper’s devotional The Dawning of Indestructible Joy. You can download it for free from Desiring God’s website. Today’s devotional is entitled Why Christmas Happened and the scripture used is 1 John 3:5, 8 “And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him…..The Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.”

Before John Piper even goes on to tell me “Make this personal and love Him for it” I already am. Not only do I love Him for coming and taking away my sin but I love Him so much for destroying the works of the devil. Works like anger, hatred, addictions, abuse, rebellion, and specifically works like broken families and children in foster care. I have felt hopeless for our boys being reunited with healthy parents. I have felt concerned at the thought of them going to another family member. I have felt confused not knowing if, given the opportunity, we should adopt them. I have felt unsure about their stability in life.

And then He came.

“”Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, who pleases me. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations……And his name will be the hope of all the world.”” Matthew‬ ‭12:18, 21‬ ‭

His name will be the hope these boys need.

His name is the hope their parents need.

His name will be the hope of all the world.

I am so thankful for Christmas. Every year we get to take time to focus on and have our perspectives refreshed on why Jesus came and what that means for us.

For me this year it means I don’t need to feel hopeless for these two baby boys and their family. God has clearly intervened on their lives and allowed us to play a role and no matter what happens I can trust our time is not meaningless. Because Jesus came I have hope that God is at work even if I can’t see or understand from my limited perspective.

Jesus came to take away sin. My sin. Their sin. Your sin. 

I pray this Christmas this truth resonates deeper in our hearts than it did the last. I pray we would understand the magnitude of Jesus coming and that it would strengthen weak faith, give hope to the hopeless, bring light to those living in dark, call home those who have walked away, and bring people from death to life. I pray with the deepest gratitude in our hearts we would celebrate our Rescuer and King, the Hope of the world.

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:9-10‬

Approval Junkies

“I remember years ago I was just powerfully impacted by John 5:44 where Jesus says this: “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” Well, what is the answer? You can’t. You can’t believe. Itching for glory from other people makes faith impossible. Why? Because faith means being satisfied with all that God is for you in Jesus.” John Piper

When I saw this Ask Pastor John on the DesiringGod website I just knew I had to open it. Admittedly I have always struggled with this. Essentially it’s why I shut down my social media accounts because I knew they only fed my sinful craving. You can watch or read the transcript for the full question/answer. I encourage you to. 🙂

http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/gospel-wisdom-for-approval-junkies

Lord keep making me…..

It seems like every time I come to write it’s been awhile since the last post. Forgive the lack of fluency going on here. I never know if I should just go with the post that was prompted on my heart or give an update on our life and then I’m thinking “I mean who reads this anyway? Does it even matter what I post!” haha! My dreams of being a professional blogger are dissolving rapidly 😉 I’m not forcing anyone to read my jibber jabber but I do enjoy writing so here I go again.

“This is my wife Katharyn…..”

Wait? What? I mean “Howdy! Nice to meet you.”

That was how Jason introduced me to the first person we met here in Lindale. (where is the laughing-crying emoticon when you need it) I know that IS my name but outside of close friends or family using it as sort of my pet nickname, I have not been called Katharyn since Elementary school,….. when, I was too shy and embarrassed to inform my class that I actually go by Katie not Katharyn.

Katharyn of Lindale y’all! 🙂 We are here!!!! Oh it is good to be in our home. Everything about this move was SURPRISING. Nothing really went they way we thought it was going to and it just testifies God’s sovereign will. One day I hope to tell more thoughts and details but that will have to wait.

Can I just tell you that we are relishing in this country life. Jumped in with both feet and boots on. Oh I wish I had thought to make a cute picture of all 5 of our muddied up boots! Oh well.

Truth is the first week after our closing I had quite a melt down. (as if that’s new! 😉 ) All the things I knew that were about to take place, new school, new church, new friends, (new name??? hehe, not really) came full force to stare me in the face and say “Are you SURE you want to do this?!” I SOBBED as I spent the last few nights with my cousin Nicole wondering “Are we about to ruin our life?!?!” I’m such a melodramatic. I mean come on! This was when I needed a swift kick in the rear that told me “Suck it up buttercup!” And the Lord was quick to remind me that in every weak area of my life was an opportunity for his presence and power to be made known. I was feeling fearful, anxious, doubtful, overwhelmed and depressed. And God tenderly took me and said “Trust me. Believe me.” Often times that’s right where he wants us. Broken down to become fully surrendered to him so that HE is glorified. I read a blog from John Piper that was the best segue for a new year. I encourage you to read it if you feel prompted. Don’t Waste Your Weakness in 2014

As I write this post that song from Sidewalk Prophets is playing in my head.
Make me empty
So I can be filled
Cause I’m still holding
Onto my will
And I’m completed
When you are with me
Make me empty

Till You are my one desire
Till You are my one true love
Till You are my breath, my everything
Lord, please keep making me

Make me lonely
So I can be Yours
Till I want no one
More than You, Lord
Cause in the darkness
I know You will hold me
Make me lonely

It’s a beautiful song but it’s a much easier to sing than to really mean. Being broken and empty and alone is a tough place for anyone to be. We all have different things in life that take us to that place and I know personally when God takes me to a “dark” place, I’m initially gritting my teeth and digging in my heels. It’s in our broken down humbled state that we find such closeness with God and there isn’t anything sweeter than that. Thank goodness the Lord is so patient and faithful.

So we are trying to get settled in to this new lifestyle. We have big aspirations for how we want to use this property that the Lord has entrusted to us. I mean I have SO MANY ideas!!! And my personality wants to do it all NOW! Once again I am trying to develop patience and believe in God’s sovereign timing. So we are hard at work, taking one thing at a time. Or 4 little fluffy things at a time……
IMG_1013
Meet Peck. He’s one of our first additions to what we soon hope will be a little mini farm.IMG_1022
Here’s Chippy. How cute are they?
IMG_1324
The whole gang. The other two the girls let their cousins name. They chose Penny for the black one who is definitely a hen and Abney for the gray one. We will know what the rest are when they start “crowing” or not. Around 18 weeks the hens will start laying eggs. We will see how the whole egg consumption goes and decide whether or not to get more. The thought of having chickens of our own giving us eggs is so exciting!

As I type Jason and his dad are building a fence for our property. Hopefully in the near future we wont have to rely on our neighbors cows visiting and we can have our own herd. Yeah that’s right. One rainy afternoon I looked out our back door and their were several of our neighbors cows just helping themselves to a few snacks.
IMG_1051
This is the kind of thing that gets me so tickled over living here. I just love it!

Some of my other favorite things…..
IMG_1231
#KatharynofLindale 😉
IMG_1144
Soon it’ll be “I’ll take you for a ride on my big green tractor…” IMG_1276IMG_1277
I know I really need to get my good camera out. The quality of these photos are subpar. IMG_1148
We seriously only come inside to sleep.
IMG_1095
Now I had to post this. We have enough land that if we aren’t using a 4 wheeler to get from one side to the other we’re in the truck. So my first time trying out the 4 wheel drive one evening and this happens. Seriously, I’m living a country song. You get pretty close to your neighbors when you’re calling to be pulled out of a mudhole in your own backyard. Lesson #437 Just laugh.
IMG_1100
Completely normal Saturday morning.
IMG_1001
Figured while I’m at it here’s an updated picture of the kiddos. They are just getting so big. This was before we went skating for Micaila’s 7th birthday.

I really hope I can be more consistent again with blogging. I miss it! But right now God has been working on my heart about being more present with my family and the people around me. I am easily distracted by many things. But I am at that place again where I’m asking God “Ok you made me this way, how do you want to use me? Where do you want me investing time, energy, resources ect?” I always appreciate the encouragement that I receive in regards to my blog. I don’t know everyone who keeps up with this but when I get those encouraging messages I do feel a sense that God gave me the gift and love for writing and maybe he wants to use that gift in this blog to bring him glory. That is all I want this blog to do. Point others to him. Trying to take this opportunity of “new-ness” and allow the Spirit to reveal where he wants me to be.

Words

My friend Kaitlyn shared this John Piper teaching with me a week or so ago and I got to sit down yesterday and listen to it. To say it was good is putting it mildly. It was awesome. It was convicting and encouraging and I just admire how John Piper just calls it like it is. I needed this. Worth every single minute of your time.

And lets face it sometimes as mothers we have to be creative and intentional (my favorite word!) with our time. Heres an example of what I mean.

The girls are in school now which does relieve me of 2 children for quite a few hours but I still have baby boy and little girl. We still have laundry to wash (more now with an additional child and you can’t repeatedly wear your favorite jammie’s or jumper to school. You actually have to bathe and change clothes. I know, madness! 😉 ) I still have a house to keep up, a hubby to care for, we all have our lists ya know. And I am honored and blessed to have been given these lives and responsibilities to care for.

I’m sitting here 3 days later from when I started this blog. I have 5 little ones in my presence and I’m overwhelmed at the thought that I am investing in a future generation. Seriously, God has entrusted me with so much, and that is something to smile over.

So I started this teaching during nap time and was actually privileged to a moment on the couch but we had to be in Court for our little girl that afternoon so I had to get ready. So as awkward as this sounds I brought John with me while I showered and dressed. I actually wondered “why haven’t I done this before?” I listen to music when I shower but I never thought to listen to biblical teachings during that time.

Anyway, that’s just to encourage y’all to think outside the box when it comes to your Spiritual food. Too often I’m stuck in the “morning/couch/journal/bible/coffee” box. Who’s with me?? Well I’m busting out of the box y’all and in the shower I go!

I love when my only intention is to post a link and then bam, hows that story for ya? And if the “tenses” get confusing, (past tense, pretense, what day is it tense?!?) it’s because I rarely write a post in one sitting. I probably attempted this 15 times before it was finished so bottom line, it might not make sense/tense. Feel me? :-/

If the Spirit is tugging on your heart and you are thinking “what on earth would be so good to continue listening to while she showers?” I say check it out! It’s God that is that good and he will not disappoint you. 🙂

John Piper: Make your mouth a means of grace

And to go along with that teaching is a song. Maybe you’ve heard it. But it took on new meaning for me after I heard that sermon.

Hawk Nelson: Words