Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Scandal of Grace

Bless my heart, I’m all over the place in my Bible studies, y’all. 

In my Chronological study, I’m in Ezekiel. For the Intermediate Bible Classes I’m teaching I’m in Genesis. Our Friday Ladies class has me knee deep in Galatians and I’m still wrapping up my morning studies in Proverbs. 

(I use a lot of bookmarks.)

In my digging into Galatians, I’m uncovering a lot of truths I hadn’t really considered. A lot of Big Picture concepts I hadn’t thought about before. IT IS GOOD STUFF. 

A big one is grace. 
It’s HUGE. Monumental, even. 

You see, I woulda been a TOP NOTCH Pharisee. I love lists. Rules. Black and white answers. Boxes to tick. Checklists to scratch off. Concrete, tangible proof of a life lived righteously. The Law would’ve been my JAM. I would’ve carried my Old Testament measuring tape and been SURE AND CERTAIN I never travelled too far on the Sabbath. BLESS MY HEART. 

Gray areas are harder for me. They’re cloudy. Murky. STRESSFUL. Unknown and hard to grasp. I live in a constant guilt-good behavior-screw up cycle (don’t we all) so you can see how relying on intangible things like grace and faith and love for assurance and calm AND SALVATION could be hardish and difficult for me. 

Gimme a turtle dove or a spotless lamb, lemme sacrifice it and be on my way- confident and assured that I’ve done my duty for repentance of sins. Whew. ::scratches it off her To Do list::

It’s really lazy, actually. 

To sit back and allow my life to be covered in things like Christian Hospitality and Good Church Attendance and Daily Bible Study and Active Prayer Life AS A WAY OF WORKING MY WAY TO HEAVEN. Earning my keep. Showing up with a basketful of Good Works. 

When I live my life through a Please Don’t Send Me To Hell I Promise I Will Go To Church Twice A Week attitude- I AM MISSING OUT ON THE MOST SCANDALOUS PART OF THE GOSPEL. 

Plus nothing. 
Just Jesus and what He calls me to be. 

Paul’s whole entire point of Galatians is this one word. He so desperately wanted to free his church family from the bonds of law keeping. To remind them that THE PRICE HAS ALREADY BEEN PAID. To go forward, living righteously not fueled by fear of punishment but propelled by LOVE. (I could write a novel about uncovering this concept. MAYBE I SHOULD.) 

So that’s where I’m growing these days. Out of my Fear Filled Rule Keeping and into Love Fueled Following. I am finding and growing and stretching into so much freedom in this season. I can’t wait to find out where He leads me in 2020. 

Galatians is an amazing book to study. If you’re looking for a place to dive in- here’s my recommendation. 

Have a great week, y’all. 
Open your Bibles. Dig in. You 1000% won’t regret it. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019


I know it’ll be hard for y’all to imagine- but our morning today was ROTTEN. 

The kids woke up squabbling. I had a sinus headache. Schoolwork was waiting. The kitchen countertops were mysteriously sticky and somehow a toilet was clogged. 

And it kept building. 

Like a slow boil, everything began to rumble. Voices got louder. Whining was almost unending. My coffee got cold as my temper flared. By the time breakfast was over I was maxed out FOR THE DAY and it was only 7:43am. 

Sick of putting out 57 different fires, I did what any sane homeschool Mom would do: 

I gathered up pencils and workbooks and readers. 
Blankets and pillows and fresh coffee. 
Spelling books. Phonics pages. Perler beads. 

I threw all of it, along with my three homeschool hoodlums and our dog into my room. AND I SHUT THE DOOR.  I sat down and exhaled. Then questioned my sanity as I set out to get everyone stated on SOME SORT of home education.  

(Can we talk for a minute about the weight of schooling three elementary kiddos? There is almost ZERO work they can complete independently because they’re all still pretty young. They are all dealing with long division and subtraction with regrouping and phonics and adding dimes and nickels AND EVERYONE NEEDS HELP WITH ALL THE THINGS ALL THE TIMES. I’m borderline overwhelmed like 97% of my day. Which is why I pray so much and drink a lot of coffee.I digress.) 

I FINALLY got everyone started and the dust settled. I drank some coffee and did some spelling lessons. Then some grammar. Then some phonics. Blankets were spread and pillow piles were climbed. Perler bead patterns were made. 


(It’s like a Hallmark movie. Almost. But not really, bless it.)

Turns out, when I was close to snapping- instead of pushing my kids apart and separating them from each other WHAT WE NEEDED WAS TO BE TOGETHER. Locked down like a jailhouse in one room with nothing but Number 2 pencils for company. Desperate times called for desperate measures, you know? 

I reckon God does the same thing for me. When I’m moody and tired and cranky and depressed I don’t need distance from Him I NEED A HUG. I need Him near me most when I’m my most unlovable. When I’m prickly and testy and wanting to pick fights THAT IS WHEN I NEED TO LOCK MYSELF IN A ROOM WITH HIM. Man, my crew really does get it honestly, don’t they?? 

It might now work for me every time, but today, lockdown was the thing we needed. 

Monday, November 18, 2019


Friends let’s talk about January 1st. 

Spoiler Alert: IT IS A MYTH.  

There is nothing magical about that sunrise. Your house will be the same. Your bank account will be the same. The greasy dust on top of your kitchen cabinets will still be there. The best time to make a positive change in your life is TODAY. 

Sneak attack 2020 by starting now. Crack open that Bible (I can totally recommend some awesome reading plans.) or purée that kale smoothie or purge that closet THIS AFTERNOON. You’ve still got 6 weeks left of 2019. If you jumped in and started working on your goals now IMAGINE HOW GREAT starting 2020 will feel. 

So let’s pour a cup of coffee together and start thinking on ways we can wrap up 2019 in the best way possible. My junk drawer isn’t gonna know what hit it... 

Have a great week, y’all! 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Flaky Mascara

Y’all, I went to church yesterday without showering. 


I mean, I MEANT TO- I had all the best plans when I rolled out of bed early Sunday morning to shower and blow dry and fancy schmancy myself up before worship.

And then life happened.

 Breakfast ran long because there were about 14 sibling conflict conferences to oversee and I forgot to run the dishwasher the night before and there were literally zero clean spoons available for our oatmeal. (Except the iced tea ones, and that’s like trying to eat breakfast off a butter knife.)

I wrapped up breakfast and was juuuuuust headed to grab a quick shower when it happened. The Big Feelings exploded and I was hit with a tidal wave of Motherhood Responsibly. One of our awesome kids made a mistake, and to them- it was the end of the WORLD. It wasn’t, honestly- but they developed a sort of tunnel vision about it and nothing was changing their minds. 

“But Mooooooom- I KNEW NOT TOOOOOOOOO! I’m so sorry!!!!” 

This spiral of tears and angst and guilt started and it was picking up speed like whoa. I looked at my watch and realized that time was reeeeeeeally getting away from me. I thought for a hot second about getting angry with them, shutting them down with a Level 10 “Quit Crying or I Will Give You Something To Cry About” (BECAUSE SOMETIMES THAT IS NECESSARY) and jumping in the shower. But then, looking at their crushed face staring up at me, I realized something they needed more: GRACE. 

This precious soul was hurting. Dramatically, yes. But hurting all the same. And I just sort of crumbled a little inside because I realized looking at them, that they were having a for them Real Life Struggle with the concept of forgiveness and grace. Sure, in my eyes their infraction was minor- but to them it wasn’t. It was enough to break their little heart. To wound them in a very, VERY real way. And if I didn’t stop now to help reinforce this foundation for them now, what will we be facing together 7 years from now??

So I didn’t ever get around to that shower I needed. I piled them into my lap, wiped their face and we prayed. I reminded them of how special they are. To me. To Jesus. And how excited He is when just one sheep returns to the right path. How amazing it is that once we’ve asked for forgiveness, that He can’t remember what He forgave. 

I whispered in their ear as they hiccuped into my armpit how much I loved them. How God’s love for them was even better than mine because He never gets impatient or irritated or stressed out. They sat for a minute, doing that weird post cry shaky breathing and when they stood up on their own, the light on their face told me I made the right call. Dry shampoo was going to be as good as it was gonna get for me. 

I went to church yesterday with two day old flaky mascara, but my kid showed up with a fresh supply of grace. And I’m totally OK with that. And I’m stopping to write it down because I hope I can remember this the next time I have greasy hair and a kid with  a Defining Moment itn front of me. 

Bless it. 

Thanks for stopping by! -Katie 

Saturday, August 24, 2019

...and dirt don’t hurt.

My kids play in a sand pit. 

We moved about a year ago and our new back yard doesn’t have any of the outdoor play equipment we had at our old house. No swings. No inflatable pool in the summer. No fire pit. No fort. Not even a fence! (Yet.) 

We’d been in the new house approximately 17 minutes when the kids discovered that beneath a layer of pine straw in our backyard was...SAND. Soft and glorious and easy to dig into sand. 

Thank you, Florida Panhandle. 

Without a swing set or other outdoor weapons toys to play with- they went Classic Childhood and dug a hole. And dug. And dug. AND DUG. Y’all I’m here to tell you that no other three children IN THE HISTORY OF TIME have loved a sand pit more than mine. It’s a beautiful relationship. 

Except for one thing: SAND. 

Have you ever faced three dirt-and-sand-encrusted children knocking at your back door at 9:17am, wanting to come back inside to play after a glorious half hour of Hole Digging? I’ll tell you- it’s gross. There is sand in hair and ears and toes and shorts pockets. No matter how much they shake off their bodies, sand is going to leave a trail from the back door, through the living room, down the hallway and into the bathroom where it will be ground into your brand new bath rugs and crusted along the bottom of your freshly cleaned shower. 

It’s maddening. 

It drives you SO CRAZY that the next day, when your fresh faced cherub children ask if they can go outside for another expedition of Hold Digging, YOU TELL THEM NO. The thought of having another trail of Hold Digging Evidence to clean makes your eye twitch and you can’t summon the strength to face another gritty, grimy apocalypse. 

BUT THEN, three hours later when the volume level in your house rises and you’re eye is twitching for an entirely different reason- YOU TURN THEM LOSE. Watching them holler and howl with reckless abandon OUTSIDE WHERE JESUS LOVES THEM you break out the vacuum, shake out the bathroom rugs and get ready to hose them off on the back porch. 

‘Cause God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt. 

Thanks for stopping by, Katie. 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

School is IN!


Yes, Luke’s shirt is backwards. 
And yes, Josie is in a princess dress. 
(Our dress code is very relaxed.)

4th Grade

2nd Grade


We’ve survived wrapped up our first week of school and it was great! 

Adding in Nathan to the mix with the other two felt massive and overwhelming but honestly, having him along with us at the table wasn’t very different from what things had been like these last years. I think I put a lot more stress on myself mentally about it than there really was- SHOCKING, I know. 

I do realize this is only Week 1 of 36 that we’ll navigate, but for now I’m feeling motivated and excited and encouraged for the year that’s before us. Our blessings and laundry hampers and pencil shavings overflow. Until next time! 

Thanks for stopping by, Katie. 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Obligatory Curriculum Hyperventilation, bless.

It’s only been about a thousand days since I updated things here, BLESS MY HEART, but rest assured- nothing has changed. 

The kids are still loud and messy and awesome. 
Luke’s starting 4th grade, Josie is hitting 2nd and Nathan will be in KINDERGARTEN. 


I’m looking to start our new year in just about 10 days so I’m currently battling all the stress and the planning and the freaking out that I always do at the end of every summer before school starts. 
Good times.

I’m prayerfully planning on how to blog more and record more of our family memories/stories via this medium so if there’s a chance you’re still following along- don’t despair there will be more coming soon but right now I’ve got to go confiscate some butter knives. See y’all soon!!  

Thanks for stopping by- Katie.