Sunday, May 28, 2017

It's Not A "Plan", It's A Habit.



I finished another Chronological Reading Plan this morning. Allegedly you can read through the entire Bible in a year, BUT I HAVE NEVER MADE THAT WINDOW. 

It usually takes me 14-16 months (Okay. One time 18!) to get through cover to cover, but that's because LIFE HAPPENS. You have a baby or your kids get sick or you get sick and you won't always have 30 minutes to sit down and study every morning. (Or night- if you're a night owl, bless your heart.) 

Once I got passed that mental block of "I have to check off this tiny box of specific chapters everyday to stay on schedule" I began seeing it as an opportunity to grow a habit instead of meeting a goal. 

My hope is that by posting this I can encourage just one person to get rid of the "schedule pressure" and simply use a printout as a tool to help build within them the habit of daily Bible study. 

If you're hesitant about the insurmountable idea of reading through the Bible (YOU CAN DO IT!), or finding time to read your Bible every day (I PROMISE IT DOESN'T TAKE LONG!)- let me know and I would love to be able to encourage you! (I was a cheerleader in the 8th grade, by the way so that basically qualifies me as a professional, you know.) 

Thanks for stopping by! ~ Katie

Friday, May 5, 2017

A List for This Mother's Day


Mercy sakes alive. It's Friday afternoon and we've survived another week so GO US. 

It's been a good week, but a long one all the same because HOW MANY MORE WEEKS OF SCHOOL DO WE HAVE?? In an effort to preserve a smidgelet of what my life is like in this current season we're in, I'm compiling (an incomplete!) list of things I've had to ground the kids from or take away from them recently. It is below. 

carrots
board games
toothpaste
church pew pencils
garden spades
blankets
popcorn
puzzles 
EACH OTHER
bacon
leather furniture
water hoses
outfit changes 
construction paper
jelly
teeth flosser picks
dirt
clementines
drinking straws
balloons
forts of any kind
piggy banks 
night lights 
crayons
tape
Rhino, our hamster
salt and pepper shakers
light switch priveledges
talking
singing
humming
umbrellas
hair elastics
crayon peeling priveledges 
books
socks
song books 

That should cover through about Thursday of this week. Parenting is fun, and kids are an amazing blessing, but it is mind numbing and a refining fire at the same time. So to all the Moms out there who can compile a list similar to mine- Happy Mother's Day, friend! You're doing a fantastic job and your kids are amazing and YOU are amazing. 

I'm so proud of you!! Lots of hugs and lots of coffee, ~Katie 

Monday, May 1, 2017

An a-MAY-zingly Fresh Start


Can you feel it? 

The blank slate of another new week AND another new month is upon us. Bless it. 

I love Monday's because I feel like it's a fresh and unspoiled package of days that are waiting for me. Because I'm a huge nerd, I love to flip the pages of my planner over early on Monday mornings and survey the week's activities. We have baseball games and Story Time and co-op and play dates and errands and Bible Classes. My meals are jotted down and I've got a (lofty) cleaning list laid out. Like I said, I KNOW I AM A NERD. 

Our weeks fill up surprisingly quickly and by Thursday's I'm usually feeling run down and depleted. I've gotten behind in more than one way and I've lost my temper and probably the mates to at least three pairs of shoes. (HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN SO EASILY?? They're shoes!) However, on Monday's- everything is fresh. I really enjoy that early morning, quiet house, third cup of coffee kinda feeling I get around 6:30 when I can look over my planner, make lists of things and pray over things. And that's exactly what I just did. 

I'm nearing the end of my chronological Bible study and I'm knee deep in a bunch of Paul's  letters. (Romans always gives me brain cramps. It is so much good stuff BUT IT IS SO MUCH GOOD STUFF. Bless it, y'all.) I'm currently in Colossians and a few of his admonitions stood out to me this morning as I read them with my "fresh week, fresh month" attitude. 

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily (from the soul), as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. IT IS THE LORD CHRIST THAT YOU SERVE." -Paul, Colossians 2:23-24, emphasis mine

That encouraged me with ALL the encouragement, y'all. All my little lists and notes and activities I'm planning- I'm doing it all FOR HIM. I'm going to iron my husband's work clothes and purge closets and wash shower curtains this week. FOR HIM. I'm going to teach Phonics and handwriting and addition with regrouping. FOR HIM. I'm going to take us to the library and grocery store and church and maybe even the beach and the whole time, every day, every hour- I'm going to be serving Him. 

So when I want to lose my temper and freak out over the dog hair in my carpet and the kinetic sand under my dining room table and the congealed oatmeal on the kitchen counter and the fourth skirmish over a plastic light up pirate sword, I'll be able to stop, exhale and remember that this is not only a fresh start to a new week, I've been given a fresh start to a whole new MONTH. And I can work to let Him guide me and hold me and strengthen my resolve to make May the best month of 2017 we've had so far. And I believe it will be. I really do! 

And I hope y'all have an amazing week, as well. Here's to a fresh start of a new month of more Bible studies and prayer times and peacefulness and coffee. 

And thanks for stopping by! ~Katie. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

When I Was OK With Dirty Teeth.


So, it's been a long weekend. We traveled four hours back to Louisiana on Friday and then the four hours back home to Florida late Saturday night and then had a big, long, good day at church yesterday. It was a weekend filled with family and crawfish and Popeyes and potlucks and post-church service foyer games of tag, BUT IT WAS LONG. 

We got home last night and the looming idea of the kid's bedtime routine made me want to carve my eyeballs out with a spoon. The brushing and flossing and flouride-ing.  Then the Bible reading and the praying and the cuddling and kissing and re-tucking-in-ing. It's like a whole big, 30 minute process in our house and most nights, I can totally do it. But y'all- last night- IT SO WASN'T GONNA HAPPEN. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who gets burned out by the bedtime routine thing.) Something was going to have to give. I needed to shave some time from our routine, and given the fact that we'd just been at church FOR LIKE ALL DAY, our Bible study time was looking like it was going to be on the chopping block. Please don't judge me for my honesty here, y'all- but skipping the 15 minute reading and just going straight to prayers and cuddles after the tooth brushing montage was looking mighty tempting. 

But then it didn't. 

I thought about it some more, and realizing that as exhausted as I was and as ready as I was for the day to be DONE, I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to open His word with the kids so I decided to trim the time from another area AND I SENT MY KIDS TO BED WITH DIRTY TEETH INSTEAD. I know, that given my past history with my kids and cavities that foregoing the nightly dental cleansing routine IS NOT IDEAL. On the nights when I just.can.not.deal, the item I usually skip over is our Bible reading because in my mind- cavity prevention thing trumps all the things, but last night I realized that I'd rather spend time cleaning their hearts instead. 

I'll do better tonight and they'll go to bed with clean teeth AND hearts, but last night I gave myself permission to break the rules and I felt SO MUCH LESS GUILT over not brushing their teeth than I do when we skip studying and just pray together instead. So tonight I'll do it all, but it felt good to feel good about choosing the right, best choice for us last night. And if one night of dirty teeth leads to a mouth full of cavities, it'll be worth it. 

I'm going to work hard this week to make better and wiser and more Godly parenting decisions. (And to brush all the teeth in our house twice a day, EVERY DAY. Bless it)  

Happy Monday, y'all! 


Friday, March 24, 2017

I Can't Eat That.


So y'all, I love apple pie. LOVE IT. It's superior to both peach and lemon. You'll never convince me otherwise. IT IS FACT.

So what would happen if some sweet neighbor lady (because we live in an amazing neighborhood and it's basically a 2017 version of Mayberry) bakes me an apple pie and brings it warm from the oven to my house with a half gallon of Homemade Vanilla Blue Bell (again, superior to all other store bought ice creams- there is no room for debate) a cuts me slice that would make Paula Deen proud but JUST AS I WAS ABOUT TO TAKE MY FIRST BITE tells me that during her assembly a roach crawled into it and bless her heart, she tried- but she just couldn't get it out.

But she promises me it was a teeny, tiny roach and that I'd really, REALLY have to look hard to find it, and that if she would have never told me about it before I ate it I'd probably miss it all together- Do you think I'd still eat it? Do you think I'd still feed it to my kids? Ain't no way. You can come over and have a slice and be our guest, but I'll have to pass.

Now when all is said and done, YOU BETTER BELIEVE I'm gonna pour some Community Dark Roast over a spoonful of that Blue Bell because ice cream coffee is like manna from heaven. Go try it and see if I'm wrong...


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

CAN I Be Their Guest??


In a recent interview, director Bill Condon has shed light on Disney's plans for their first homosexual character/plot line in the upcoming live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. 
::exhale:: 

Let's talk about it.

Here's the thing: I've spent untold and countless hours degrading my mind with garbage in books and on TV and through social media. I was Downton Abby's biggest fan and they included homosexuality during the very first episode. Friends and Seinfeld are two huge favorites of mine and they are both filled TO THE TOP with premarital sex and promiscuity. Don't even get me started on the hilarity that is Anchorman or Bridesmaids. (I'm ashamed to even admit how funny I found those movies.) And man y'all- even Andy Griffith includes the town drunk, Otis, bless his heart. 

There is and has always been some level of sinful behavior displayed on just about every television show/film produced nowadays. (Except maybe When Calls the Heart. Nerd alert: I love that show!) And some of those shows are soon good and well written and fun to watch- I totally get it. I do. It's so hard! So see here, friends- I'm chief of all y'all when it comes to filling my mind with images and situations that are pointless, empty, degrading and vile. I'm like the Paul of awful past television/entertainment choices. And that's what makes drawing a line in the sand with this movie so hard because I feel like one ginormous hypocrite.

My heart is broken! And y'all, I hesitate to even publicly take that position because I'm worried that there will be friends and family who will fear that I'm gonna judge them with an all seeing eye if their decision about the film is different than mine. 

So please hear me now: Pick it or Pass- I will still love you.
I WILL STILL LOVE YOU.

And y'all, as far as Beauty and the Beast: This "gay moment" could range from overt to subtle and I'm sure that at the end of the day, I will have seen way worse on cable television but here's the thing: THERE HAS TO BE A LINE SOMEWHERE and for me, Bill Condon just helped me draw it.

I don't know where your line is- that's the beauty of you having your own individual faith. I'm not going to sit here, drink my 4th 5th cup of coffee for the day and tell you that you can't go see a movie that's got a man struggling with the temptation of same sex attraction. I can't split that hair and condemn you for watching something with that particular sin and then justify my watching a show that deals with a different sin like drug addiction or gluttony or premarital sex because sin is sin is sin. I'm not going to start nitpicking through exactly what is or isn't appropriate for you to watch on television because by doing that I'm taking away your free will and turning myself into a legalistic judge and jury. And that ain't right!

I will say, however what I've realized for myself today- that going to a movie or watching television or reading books that normalize sinful lifestyles and glorifies choices that are in opposition to my beliefs as a Christian is wrong. That's where my line is. You've got to seek out your line for yourself just like I did for me earlier this morning. (And it wasn't easy. I recommend a Bible opened up at Paul's letters to the early church, a cup of strong coffee and some cookies. The cookies are because I may eat my feelings sometimes.)

Here's the kicker, y'all: The thing that's affecting me more than opting to skip this beautifully shot adaptation (I'm pretty sure I'm responsible for at least 17,925 individual YouTube views of the trailer. SO PRETTY.) of my most beloved childhood movie is how drawing this line in the sand will affect my FUTURE entertainment choices. I don't want to be lame, or backwards, or out-of-touch, but something's gotta give! I can't keep filling my mind with situations that paint sin as socially acceptable or fornication as love. I realize that my Netflix queue is going to be drastically reduced. It stinks. (Especially now since they've pulled Murder She Wrote.) I've still got lots more pruning to do on my heart. My conscience has been pricked today and I'm still not sure how deeply it goes so I'm going to have to keep digging.

So let's turn down the instinct to judge others' movie and television choices and let's hone in on our own hearts. Let's dig into The Word and focus on what He tells us and decide for ourselves where our own lines are. Start in Galatians 5. Drop the accusing finger pointing and use that energy to find your own balance- I know that's what I'll be doing. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

What Was I Thinking??


It's nearly 5pm on a rainy stormy Tuesday afternoon. It's been pouring for over two hours and the kids are going bananas crazy with the thunder and lightning. Popcorn and puzzle pieces are strewn from here to kingdom come and I'm pretty sure the dog is wearing his leash and I DO NOT KNOW WHY. 

I've been home from Bible Class with zero additional plans for leaving the homestead since about 11:30 this morning and I looked down about twenty minutes ago and realized that I WAS STILL WEARING MY SKINNY JEANS. It's like my brain had temporarily left my body.  My mantra is this: No Real Plans= No Real Pants. In my book, unnecessarily cutting yourself in half with the Denim Demons that are sometimes referred to as skinny jeans is an unforgivable sin. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO YOURSELF IF IT ISN'T NECESSARY??

 I remedied the situation by immediately peeling them off my poor, tired midsection and promptly replaced them with my most steadfast and trustworthy pair of yoga pants. It was like my whole body, no- MY WHOLE BEING exhaled. Bless it. 

I've poured myself a cup of collagen coffee, topped it with a generous squirt of Fat Free Redi Whip and have settled down for 90 minutes of animated Disney distraction with my three hoodlums- I mean "blessings".

The storm is going to pass, supper will get fixed, the kids will bathe and bedtime will come AND UNTIL THEN- my elastic waisted confidant, my caffeinated companion and The Holy Spirit will hold my hand and see me through. 
TO GOD BE THE GLORY. 

Hallelujah. Amen. 

::sips coffee::