Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Let Us Run With Perseverance the Race Marked Out For Us...


On The Wings of Faith

Spread your wings of faith and fly
Don’t let opportunities past you by
Rise above your impossibilities
Soar over your adversities
Don’t let doubt scheme
It destroys your hope and dreams
Doubt is your worst enemy
It brings fear and agony
Doubt closes but faith opens the door
So fly on the wings of faith and explore
You can’t see the wind but it blows
That’s the way faith flows
Without faith you can not please God
So fly on the wings of faith and rise above the odds
by
Patricia Bankhead

On my way into work this morning, God gave me the most amazing gift! I still can't believe it! I had to take a picture!! The picture above is of a beautiful rose that is still red and alive in days worth of many inches of snow and ice. The only one in the entire rose garden on Georgetown's campus to make it into the sunlight. What a gorgeous miracle!!! The sun was shining on it and the snow around it was sparkling. People were just walking by, not noticing it. But I stopped dead in my tracks as soon as I saw it and grabbed my camera. Thank you God for showing me that there is beauty in hope, strength, and endurance...and that I am never alone.

Hebrews 12:1-3
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Monday, December 21, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! : )

Merry Christmas!!!

For many reasons, I'm not mailing Christmas cards this year (or last year...or the year before):

1) My handwriting is seriously illegible. (I shoulda been a docta). I'm saving you from retinal damage and eye strain...you're welcome.
2) I didn't want to fight that "sweet" little old lady over the last box of "Merry Christmas" cards at the CVS. This isn't your typical CVS, people...this is a CVS in DC. And in Georgetown no less...these people are used to getting what they want when they want it...it makes SE DC look like a playland! Plus, she looked like was ready to go round for round and quite frankly...I had already fought some rather huffy college girl over the last box of Light Ash Blonde Clariol hair dye (and won..Hello!), had my arms full of cheesetastic santa/snowman wrapping paper, and still needed to grab some deoderant...I wasn't ready to scrap properly. Plus, it's Christmas...tis not the season for giving old ladies black eyes.
3) Have you seen the price of stamps!? (Not that you're not worth it, I mean, you totally are...but you are just going to throw the card away eventually anyway! Sure, you might keep it for a little bit, but only out of guilt. I don't want you to feel guilty. Again, you're welcome.)
4)....I'm gonna be honest....I didn't want to. It's not you...it's me...

SO...instead..I am thiefing this GORGEOUS picture of the White House Christmas tree (thank you Google!) and am doing a "The Dailies Merry Christmas Blog 2009" for all my loyal subjects...I mean followers...I mean FANS. Phew!

Without further adeu:

"The Dailies Merry Christmas Blog 2009"

Dear Friends, Family, Fellow Humans, and cute little puppies, (Hmmmm puppies can't read. Please read to puppy),

Merry Christmas! What a wonderful year 2009 has been!!!!! I am so thankful to God for all that He has blessed me with! My best friend Julie and I said that 2009 would be The YEAR. The best year EVER. Although it has come in a completely different package than what we expected (I love that about God!), it's been a fantasticly amazing year full of learning, growing, loving, new things, healing, moving, and living and loving life more than we ever have. Every year we say...this is THE YEAR...and every year...it is. Each year just brings more and more of God's blessings. I feel so blessed that I can hardly contain myself. I am so thankful, grateful, and humbled by God's love. I love my new job...I've never been able to say that with total honesty before. It's so important to love what you do and I feel so grateful to have the job I have and get to work with the most amazing people every day. I love all the med students, residents, fellows and doctors that I get to work with every day. They have been so amazing to work with. What a wonderful group of people!! I love my new apartment...I never ever thought I would live in DC. I didn't think I could do it. But here I am...and I love it! I love my friends...I have some of the best friends a girl can ask for. I consider most of them family. Without Wajhma, Julie, and Heather...just to name a few...I don't know where I would be. I love my family...I have the most amazing, loving, caring family anyone could wish for. Without my Mom, Dad, and brother I would probably not be here. They are too amazing for words and I pray with every fiber of my being that God bless them above and beyond anything they can ever imagine. Each year my heart grows and grows...it's hard to imagine that it can hold so much love and happiness. I feel like the Grinch, when his heart grew two sizes....I'm just thankful that I didn't have to steal Christmas from a village of adorable little Whos in order to gain my new perspective. : ) I can't think of anything better in the whole wide world than to give the gift of love. Just thinking about sitting around the fire with my friends and family...talking and laughing...it just makes me smile till it hurts. This is the only gift I want. Friendship, family, and love. I pray that God bless everyone with the gift of love this Christmas...whether you celebrate Christmas or not...it doesn't matter....God's love is for everyone and He wants to give it to you and me. I pray that God bless you and your family every single day. I pray that God's love flow from you to others effortlessly. I pray that your cup over flow with blessings and love! Merry Christmas to all....!

Big love and blessings,

Katie

Sunday, December 20, 2009

This is just hilarious...

Every year Slate (MSN online magazine) does a year-end Explainer "Question of the Year". Take a look at the link below...HILARIOUS!!!

http://www.slate.com/id/2238241/?GT1=38001

I voted for this one...

  • Are there really special agents like 's Jack Bauer working for the U.S. government? Just total bad@$$ muthas who can basically do anything? Or are Navy Seals and Army Rangers the toughest we've got?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Big Props to Mama and Papa McNemar

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two." -St. Augustine

Praise God for parents that are one tree and not two! I know that I am very very blessed to have parents that are still married. In a time where divorce rates are through the roof and commitment is a four-letter-word...it is all the more important to see that it's possible...it's possible to stay married...to become one person...to be a family. I'm not judging anyone that is divorced or whose parents are divorced...I really am not...but I am taking a moment to give some big props to my folks for sticking together through some super duper hard times. They have shown me that you really can make it through things that might seem like deal-breakers. Thank you Mom and Dad for loving eachother (honestly...it's kinda discusting how lovey-dovey you two are!) through thick and thin, sickness and health, richer or poorer, the good times and the bad! Thank you for making our family a priority. Thank you for refusing to give up even when it might have seemed easier at the time. Thank you for growing into one strong tree that can withstand the wind, rain, and cold. When things, people, and life tried to seperate you...your roots grew deeper...your branches closer together. No tree can survive without the Sun, and I thank God that His Son is the center of your strong marriage. Through the Son you gain strength, wisdom, love, forgiveness, patience, and kindness. You've shown me that all things are possible with God...as individuals...and as a pair. Thank you for not giving up. Thank you for not running away when the pretty petals fell to the ground. Thank you for enduring the pain of growth. Thank you for not caring what other people thought. Thank you for believing that God is good and faithful. Thank you for loving eachother. Thank you for loving me.
THANK YOU!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Why Church...? Part 2


Why go to church?


I've heard a million excuses...many of them I used to make myself.


"You don't need some building to believe in God. I have God in my heart and that's what's really important."


"Churches are just full of a bunch of hypocrites that come to Church on Sunday just to look good and then go out and do whatever they want."


"All Churches want is your money."


ETC....


But no matter what excuse you use to not go to Church...Church is a vital part of your relationship with God.


But why!!?


The Bible tells us why in several places. If we are willing to follow only the parts of the Bible that we like...then are we really following God? When we start picking and choosing what we want the Bible to say then we are creating our own god...and I'm pretty sure that's bad...just ask the Israelites who worshipped the Golden Calf.


Here are some verses that clearly show the importance of Church:


Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25


God made ten commandments (PS- One of those commandments were about not worshipping self-made gods). And Jesus tells us which one is the greatest of all of the commandments: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."Matthew 22:36-40


... so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:5


The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12


Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. 1 Corinthians 12:14-23


To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder ... Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 1 Peter 5:1-4


Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2


So there are just a few verses that I hope help outline my point.


The Body of Christ isn't a building. God's Church isn't made of mortar and iron beams.


It's people. The Body of Christ is the people of Christ.


So it's not the church pew that you sit in that makes you a Christian. 'Cause it's made of wood and doesn't have any magical God powers that give you an automatic ticket to heaven.


Church is about worshipping God, praising Him for all He has done for us, and fellowshipping with eachother...supporting eachother...growing stronger in God TOGETHER!


The Human body only works as well as it's parts. If you don't have legs, you can't walk on them. If you don't have eyes, you can't see. It is the same with the Body of Christ. The closer we are to eachother, the more we can move more fluidly towards God and His purpose. We use our unique spiritual gifts together...as a body...and support eachother and just as importantly...support people outside of the church. It also gives us the opportunity to Love eachother as we love ourselves just like God commanded us to do.


And if none of the above convinces you...then how about the fact that Jesus went to church. Luke 4:16 says, "He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom." If Jesus is who you say you Love and you want to follow Him and His ways...then why not go and meet with other believers just like He did?


I think the reason why there is an issue with church attendance at all is because there are A LOT of dead churches in the world right now. Churches aren't able to keep people coming because the Spirit of God isn't there. No matter how big your building, how great your free coffee is, or how much your worship team rocks out...it doesn't matter one bit if the Spirit of God isn't there. It's God who draws people to Him. He uses His people to fullfill His purpose...but it's not us that people are drawn to...it's Jesus in us. It's important that you find a church where God's Spirit is alive and present...and the preacher and congregation are following the teachings of the Bible. Once you find that...going to Church will be something that you actually look forward to. It will be a place to recharge your Spiritual battery. It will be a place where you feel fed by the Word of God. It will be a place where you can go to praise God and thank Him for all He has done for you. It will be a place where you grow in your knowledge of God. Yes...there are hypocrites in Churches. It happens. But that isn't your concern. God is the only One who can judge and is the only One who knows our hearts. So it doesn't matter if there is someone at church that you know is cheating on their wife....that has nothing to do with your relationship with God. Yes...lots of people have had bad experiences at church and never want to go back. Well...lots of people have also had bad experiences at work...does that mean that they quit working and give up!? Lots of people have had bad experiences in relationships, but does that mean that they stop trying!? No...they keep going to they find the right job, or the right person...or the right Church!!! : )


Our relationship with God is like any other relationship we have in the natural. Taking dating for example....the more we know about someone...the more we are able to decide on whether we want to be with them or not. We need to know someone before we decide to let them into our Heart. Once we decide they are right for us...the more time we spend learning about them....the more we love them and want to be with them. Spending time with this person is the only way we will ever be able to trust them and believe in them. Spending time with someone shows us who they really are. Each moment spent with that person is another brick in the foundation of your relationship. This is how we decide whether or not someone is right for us...this is how we come to truly love someone.....we spent time with them.


The more we know the heart of God, the more we know God's character, the more we know God's purpose...the more we love Him. The more time we spend with God the more we realize what He does for us. The more time we spend in the presence of God, the more like Him we will become without even trying to. Knowledge and wisdom are KEY. God isn't asking us to blindly follow Him just because "we should" or it's what's "good".


God tells us:"Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her." Proverbs 3:13


"Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." Proverbs 24:3


"For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright ..." Proverbs 2:6


Just like we are when we are in a relationship with someone here on Earth...we don't want anyone to say they love us...just because they think they should. We want someone to love us with all their heart, someone that can't wait to spend time with us, someone who wants to learn about us...God wants the same from us.

LOVE you all!




Monday, December 7, 2009

Why Church...?

Why go to Church?

It's an extremely important question...with lots of super great answers. I could talk for hours about it...and if you know me...you know that I'm not exaggerating..lol.

I have many opinions about "why church"...Jesus tells us "why church"many times in the Bible...so while I was contemplating on how to answer this question in the shortest and sweetest way possible...this song came to my head and I think it does a pretty good job of bringing home one of the basic reasons for "why church" using 100 words or less.

So in the style of the great Mary Katherine Gallagher of Saturday Night Live fame...I feel that my thoughts are best expressed through the lyrics of the theme song to the 1982 hit situation comedy...Cheers:

Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows Your name.
You wanna go where people know, people are all the same
You wanna go where everybody knows your name.

: )

SUPA STAR

Sunday, November 22, 2009

LOVE, Love, love........


Have you ever loved someone so much that you would act like a crazy person? The love would just well up inside you to the point that you feel like your heart might explode!?

Does the thought of being without this person even for a short amount of time made your heart hurt. If that person asked you to leave everything and move with them would you have already had your ticket in hand and bags packed?

You can't stop talking about them. You can't stop thinking about them. You have to recount every word of every conversation you ever have with them to anyone who will listen. You think about them all.the.time. You replay the wonderful times you had over and over again or you think about all the great things you are going to do together in the future. When you see something beautiful.....you think of them and wish they were there to share it with you. When you are sad, they are the only ones that can make you feel better. When something exciting/funny/crazy happens, they are the first person you want to call and tell all about it.

You LOVE them, the way they make you feel, and just being with them.

Believe it or not, this is the way we need to feel about God.

Just like you almost can't contain yourself when you fall in love with a man/woman...you should be so filled with love for God that you can't stop talking about Him, can't stop thinking about all the things you have talked about, can't wait to spend time with Him, He is the only One that can make you feel better, and if He asked you to leave everything that you know...your bags would already be packed and the ticket purchased.

It's true....God wants us to be completely and totally in Love with Him....for the Bible tells me so.

BUT it's not easy, is it? Passionately loving God isn't something that comes as easily as passionately loving another human being...and even that is hard. Here's the deal, yo,...if we can't passionately love God...then how are we ever going to be able to passionately love the people He created?

What would happen if we treated each other the way we tend to treat God?

Ponder this:

What if we said we were best friends with someone, but the only time we ever thought about them or saw them was on Christmas and Easter....and even then we couldn't wait to leave and we really only came because we felt like we should? Two visits a year does not a best friend make. You need to spend time with someone in order to say that you know them. A best friend is someone that you WANT to know and WANT to spend time with. You want to know what they like, what they don't like, where they come from, where they want to go....etc.

What if all we did was ask our fathers to give us something whenever we were with them?

What if, after working a long day at the office..your dad rushes home because he can't wait another second to see you..he runs through the door and you barely give him a second glace...even if you do notice him there all you do is ask him for something? Dad, can we get pizza for dinner? Dad, can I get a new bike like all my friends have? That would break your Dad's heart wouldn't it? All he wants to do is spend time with you and all you want from him is stuff.

What if every time our Dad told us to do something, we didn't listen and half the time did the exact opposite?

What if your Dad told you not to sit on the left side of the park bench. At the time, it sounds stupid and doesn't make any sense....so you sit on the left hand side of the park bench and find out that the paint was wet and that he saw that Wet Paint sign on the back of the bench from where he was standing and knew you couldn't see it. Now...you have a painted butt because you thought you knew better than your Dad that loves you.

What if we never thanked our husbands/wives?

What if, after making your favorite meal, listening about your day, rubbing your feet, telling you how amazing you are and how much they love you... you just went off to bed without so much as a smile or a thank you? Not only that, but you tell them that next time they shouldn't cook the meat for so long or rub your feet so hard. That would really make doing nice things for that person really hard.

I think you see where I'm going so I'll stop with my (super awesome) analogies.

My point is....when you love someone...you feel a desire for them that you can't create yourself. There have been guys in my life that I wanted to love, wished I could have loved, tried to love....but I just couldn't. I couldn't create a love that wasn't there. When you truly love someone the desire to know them and to be with them can't be faked.

If I didn't love God, it would be really hard for me to stand up for Him. If I didn't truly love God then I wouldn't want to do what He asks me to do. God has asked me to give up my life and come follow Him. That's intense and overwhelming to say the least. Doing so means that I am going to lose friends, boyfriends, etc. Following Jesus means that my desires will change..and have changed. I don't WANT to drink anymore...it's not like I have to constantly stop myself from drinking....I didn't even need to stop drinking really. But I just stopped desiring to drink...and if you don't desire something....it's hard to make yourself to it. I also don't desire to hook up with guys just so I can feel wanted, accepted, and pretty. I don't need it. Yeah, it's lost me some potential boyfriends, but I couldn't care less. Why would I want to be with someone that just wants to hook up with me?! Anyone can have sex. Sex is so easy a monkey can do it...lol. (Bad joke alert.) God loves me soooooo much that He wants me to guard my heart. My heart is where God is. The Bible says that it is "the well-spring of life". I have let some wrong people into the garden of my heart and instead of planting a seed that will grow...they trampled my flowers....but I can't be upset....I gave them the key and gave them free reign. That was then....this is now. God wants me to be in love with Him first, and then everything else will fall into place. It's not easy to do. I find myself praying to God to give me the desire to love Him. I want to know how to love Him. And just like any relationship....He teaches me how to know Him and how to love Him. He wants us to seek Him out. He wants us to be hungry to more knowledge of Him.

I am so thankful to God for the fact that I have experienced being crazy in love with someone. If I hadn't experienced it...I wouldn't have known what it looked like. I want to love God in the way that He deserves for this wonderful life He has blessed me with. Thank you God!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanksgiving...


Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. (Psalm 100:4)


To write of all the blessings, mercy, and grace that God has given me in my life would be impossible. First of all, there would be too much to write, and secondly, there is no word I can think of that would properly express my "gratitude" or "thankfulness". God knew me before I was born. Whoa. Take a second and think on that one.
God was there even when I didn't know Him and didn't want to know Him. I look back at the way I lived my life and I just can't imagine that God would have still given to me so abundantly when I was so obviously spitting in His face. What's even crazier is that now that I have God in my heart and my life, I realize that even though my life and the way I live it is so much better than before...it's still not good enough...not even close. I realize that no matter how "good" I am, it will never be enough to deserve what God freely give me. I realize that no matter how "bad" I am or how much I mess up, it was never be enough for God to leave me and stop blessing me. That blows my mind, man.
I still have the hardest time wrapping my mind around God's love. Being able to let go and have faith that God will be there and do good things through me, with me, and for me...all for His glory....is soooo hard for me to get. I constantly feel like I let God down. I want to understand His love for me, have faith that can move mountains, speak words of truth and encouragement, fear Him, rejoice always, give, serve, meditate on things that are true and good, love God, accept His discipline, trust that He is good.....but it's not easy. I know I don't deserve this wonderful life God has given me....mainly because I don't appreciate it. Each new blessing God gives me, I look at what I still don't have. The issue is this....it doesn't matter what job I have (even if I love my job...which I do!), where I live (even if it is an awesome apartment in DC), or how awesome my friends and family are (hello! They all rock!), I am still asking God for more...instead of simply being thankful and giving Him all the praise.
I get so frustrated with myself. No matter how much God has given me, I still think I can figure it all out on my own. I have faith only in what I can see and figure out. I allow life to overwhelm me. I think it's because in my own experience thus far, I haven't really known a man that I can really really trust...one that will love me, support me, protect me, fight for me, guide me, etc. Therefore, it's hard for me to get my mind wrapped around a God that will do that for me (and so much more) AND actually WANTS to. One thing I have realized though, is that God is the only Man that can be everything for me and never leave me or foresake me. Every other guy...is human..and therefore flawed...just like I am.
I have taken care of myself for a long time. Even when I had a boyfriend I hated to let them help me with anything. I think the reason was that I was afraid if I let my guard down and depended on someone, even just a little bit...that they would leave me and I wouldn't be able to take care of myself. It's been great to learn just how strong I can be. I have taken damn great care of myself. I can change a tire, carry my own suitcase/groceries/furniture, I can do minor household repairs, shot a gun, pay my own bills, work my butt off, cook for myself, clean for myself....etc. I love all that about me! But that very strength and stubborness might be what hinders me from letting go..and letting God (not to be too cliche).
I have a lot of strong, independent women in my life that I look up to so much. My mom for one...she is smart, beautiful, strong, independent, loving, caring, giving, hilarious, and my best friend. She taught me to be all of those things I listed above. She has made it through things that I can't imagine going through. When life gets nuts and I feel like I can't go on...my mom is always there, holding it together for me. She is my biggest fan and cheerleader. My Grammy is another woman that is totally amazing and strong. She raised two rambunctious boys (my Dad and Uncle Ronnie), plus me, Kirk, Bronson, and Bryn, loved my grandfather with a love so true and deep that I can't even comprehend it, and always looked gorgeous, put together, classy, and happy. If I have style, it's because of her. After my grandfather died, she didn't give up. She kept on trucking for her family. She kept it together as he slowly died of cancer, and she continues to keep to together for all of us. She is the McNemar rock. She has been diabetic for almost 40 years now and at the age of 86 still walks two miles a day, rain, snow or sunshine (like the postal service), eats healthly, and won't be seen without her hair and makeup done. She loves to laugh, and she loves to love! My best friends, Heather, Julie, and Wajhma are all amazing examples of strong, smart women that love God and love life. Each one of them has impacted my life in such a profound way that words can't even describe how blessed I am to be able to call them sisters. So....as you can see...I am surrounded by strong, independent women. Thank you, God for these women. Thank you for blessing their lives and blessing mine by having them in it.
I have no shortage of strong women to look up to.....but I definitely find it hard to depend on God. I'm scared. I'm scared that I will trust Him with something and then it will all fall apart. So instead of letting Him come into a crazy situation...I try, in my own knowledge and strength, to make it work. I worry relentlessly. I do my best to deduce the best way to do something in order to get the outcome I feel is best. I want minimal pain. But what actually end up doing....again and again....is create an outcome that is far below the awesomeness that could have been if I just would have trusted God to come into the situation and let His glory shine. I have a hard time remembering that it's not all about me. I know! Shocking, right!? It's alllllll about God! All of it. My ego doesn't like that. But that doesn't take away the fact that it's true.
Another thing I can't wrap my mind around...I'm going to die one day. I could die right now. Who knows!? No one but God knows when their time is going to be up. I just don't want to die without having more time to shine God's light. I want to get it. I want to really really get it. I want to be able to wrap my mind around God's free gift of salvation, grace, and love. I want more time to show people the truth about God. I want people to understand that it's not a religion or a list of do's and do not's. It's about love and relationship. Giving and serving. I want my life to matter. I don't want it just to be a brief mist in time that made no impact for God's kingdom. I want my life to change lives...not for me..but for God. I don't care as much that my name be remembered as much as that my life will change the life of my family for generations to come. The decisions I make now...will save my family for generations. I will leave a legacy of God's love. I am not afraid to die...to quote Pastor Clark yesterday..."what are they gonna do...threaten me with Heaven!?". I am not afraid to die. I know where I'll be. But I want to be able to stand before Jesus and know that I did my best to know Him while I was here.
I want more than anything for people to know the Truth. I know it's hard if don't already know Jesus. Trust me, I was there. But you can't say that you don't believe in Him if you never looked for Him. You can't say that He isn't God if you haven't given Him a chance to show you that He is. When I die and I stand before Him, I don't want Him to say that He didn't know me. I wish I could understand what it's like to live each day like it's your last. What would I do differently if I knew I was going to die soon? I mean, we're all going to die....we are currently all dying...but we live like we have forever to get it together. I used to be so scared of dying. When I was a kid I used to sleep in my parents room because I was afraid I was going to die in a fire. (No idea why I thought that). My whole life was based in fear. Fear controlled everything I did. With God...I need not fear anything. God is with me. He is with all of us. I thank God from the bottom of my heart for His love and am so sorry for not appreciating it enough. God is good. I write this as a cry out to God that I truly do want nothing more than more of Him and less of me. I know I don't have all the answers and the ones I do have are usually wrong. lol! I pray that God show me the truth. I pray that He show me how to love Him more, to trust Him more, and to have faith in Him.
Love you all!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Moving on UP! (Or down...I'm not good with directions..)

THIS...is my new view.

It looks like you can reach out and touch the Washington Monument (but you can't, I tried...).

My moms and pops came to see Kirk, Dana and I this weekend, so I took them to see my new digs. I haven't actually moved it yet...I'll be moving in this Saturday.

I don't know what I am going to do with all of my new-found free time.

Here is a list of things that I can do with my life now that I will no longer have a 3 - 4 hour commute to work each day:



  • Learn to play guitar or piano. I've always wanted to learn. I love to sing, so why not have some musical accompaniment. No more silly excuses about how my baby-sized hands don't allow proper guitar/piano playing. I'll just have to buy a baby-sized musical intruments.

  • Take some classes. I don't know what I want to take classes in quite yet, but I like that I now have enough time on my hands to consider it. I could take some grad school courses. I could take guitar lessons (see above). Judo. Bollywood dancing (heck yeah!). I could learn to belly dance. Rock climb. Speak spanish. Heck, with 3 extra hours a day, I could probably learn to play guitar while belly dancing and singing songs in Spanish. Unfortunately for me...more time doesn't always mean that I get more done. It typically means that I have more time to procrastinate. And then more time afterwards complaining about how I hate doing things last minute. I'm silly.

  • Get a life! I know...this one is my favorite one too. Now I have time and energy for FRIENDS!! And who knows..maybe a few dates here and there....I know, crazy. It's hard to date people when you live 24 miles outside of the city. I've done it, but it ain't easy. To guys in DC, living anywhere outside the city limits is pushing it..sometimes you're out just because you don't live on the metro line. It's nuts. So, when a guy hears that I live 24 entire miles away...that's pretty much the end. No one wants to sit in traffic. (except me it seems). You don't have to say it....I already know what you're going to say...Katie, if a guy really likes you...he'll drive 24 miles to see you. And do you know what I have to say to that? Have you SEEN 270!? It's impossible. No self respecting man would subject himself to such torture. Any guy crazy enough to drive on 270 to see me must be an insane stalker psycho killer. I wouldn't wish that drive on my worst enemy, not to mention a nice guy.

  • Volunteer. I would love to get more involved in local DC mission work. Feed the homeless. Spend time at a nursing home. Anything I can do to shine some of God's light.

Ok, that is just a short list. I am sure that I'll find something productive to do with myself.


Kirk up on the roooooof.......

Sunday, November 8, 2009

No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank


"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." (1Peter 4:12-14 NIV)

Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. 21"What is it you want?" he asked. She said, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom." 22"You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said to them. "Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?" "We can," they answered. 23Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father." 24When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mathew 20:20 - 28 NIV)


Do you know what my problem was most of my life? (Ok...there were lots, but lets just go for the Big Daddy of all problems, k!?) Do you want to know why I was depressed, dissatisfied, selfish, fearful, and always left wanting more? I lacked understanding of the one act/concept/desire that is the key to the knowing and experiencing the heart of God....One little word, big big big thing:

Giving.

Giving is the key to everything.

I wasn't a giver.

I was a taker. I was a requirer. I was a blamer. I was an expecter. (A smiley and cute taker, requirer, blamer and expecter...and that's what made it hard to detect.)

I wasn't a forgiver. I wasn't a server. I wasn't a follower of Jesus.

You can't serve without giving. You can't truly love without giving. You can't grow without giving.

Without true giving there is nothing. Love means nothing. Friendship doesn't exist. Pain and Growth are nada. You can't have God living in you and not become a giver. You just can't. When the Spirit of God guides you, you become a giver without even thinking about it. Because that is God's way. Giving. He gave up His only Son for us. Giving is the way that God operates.

I spent a lot of years not understanding the concept of giving in the way that Christ gives. Sure, I gave things...when it was convenient for me, easy for me, or made me look sweet and nice....but I am sure I rarely gave when the giving would require pain or self sacrifice. Heeeeeck no. I didn't want to be a sucker. I deserved respect darn it.

I didn't even give to people that I really loved. Because the only love I knew was a copy of what real love is. I hadn't met with Love yet. Not really.

I have never loved like I love now. The love I love now...is for real. It's deep, wide, and awesome. Because it's God's love. Our human, fleshly love can only take us so far.

Until I met God, I didn't understand what love really was, not even with my family. I think I mimicked what I thought love should look like, but I didn't really really get it until I got a taste of the love of God. It's still a hard thing for me. It just seems too good to be true. Could God really want someone like me sitting at His right hand!? The answer is yes....yes He does want someone like me sitting at His right hand. He wants everyone. Here's where it gets tough....just like Jesus told Zebedee's sons, James and John, yes..they can sit by Him in Heaven, but they have to be willing to drink the cup He is going to drink. This means that if you want to hang out with Jesus and be great..you have to be willing to do what he did. And what He did is He served. He gave. He gave EVERYTHING. He gave His life. The concept of serving is hard because of our pride. People feel like they "deserve" to be treated a certain way, but God is no respecter of persons. We are all loved the same in His eyes no matter what we do.

We are a world of people that feel like we "deserve" stuff. We think the world....and God....owe us something. We all think we deserve respect, deserve the best things in life, etc. That is what society is telling us....but really....we don't "deserve" jack. In fact, I think the world needs a time out.

Ever since I wrote that blog last week about my ex, I have been realizing so much about myself. Old Katie was selfish, fearful, and manipulative. Ew. I covered it up pretty well unless you got too close. Then you could see the truth....the emptiness....the fear....the void. I felt like I "deserved" to be treated a certain way...no matter how I acted. I wish I could say that he was the only guy that I manipulated and treated so selfishly...but that is just not the case. What I have been dealing with this week is the fact that because I didn't have God in my life, I hurt a lot of people. I didn't think about them. I thought about me. All I thought about was...What could they do for me? I wasn't asking much...just that they fill the huge empty hole in my life and cater to my insecurities and fears.

I am so glad that in real life the ghosts of boyfriends past don't come and visit you....because I would be totally and completely mortified by how I acted. I just loved to blame everything on everyone else. It was ALWAYS the guys fault. Not mine.

I don't know why I feel compelled to air all my dirty laundry via my blog, which at this point I am kinda hoping only my mom reads...lol....but I just have to get it out of me. If I have to be something in this world, then why not be a chronic oversharer. It may not all make sense, but that's ok. I just have to write what I think I should write no matter whether I think it's important or not. I'm not ashamed of my past. I regret my actions and deeply apologize to anyone that I treated badly. I've apologized before, but never with the sincerity that I apologize with today. I want people to know the truth. I don't really know what people thought of me years ago, but I suspect that in general people would have considered me nice, fun, happy...maybe. My point of airing my dirty laundry is to show that we allllllllll need God. I appeared to have it all together, but I was seriously messed up. We all have this void in us that makes us act like selfish, self-deserving, fearful, yucky poo faces...unless we let God come in to where He belongs...in the void...in our hearts. Without God, we can't understand true giving, true love, and true serving.

If I have to go through hard times and feel some pain and suffer for God...so be it. I suffered before knowing God, and it got me nothing but depressed. Jesus is asking us to sacrifice and suffer in the way He did....drink His cup....and the way that He suffered was to serve and to sacrifice out of love no matter what people did or said to Him. If I have to be single and "suffer" being lonely sometimes, eating dinner by myself, paying bills by myself, sleep by myself, etc...so be it. If I have to "suffer" people judging me because I don't drink, go hang out at clubs, and sleep around....so be it. These little sacrifices are NOTHING compared to the miracles that God has already done in my life and will continue to do. There are so many ways that people truly suffer in the world...I don't consider it true suffering to sacrifice for God.

Ok...so...stepping down off the soap box now. I can't promise I won't talk about it again. I also don't want it to come across like I am talking bad about myself and don't like myself. I am talking about the old me in these posts and she is long gone, so we don't have to worry about hurting her feelings. For the first time in all my life I truly realize my worth. It took me a long time, but now I get it. I'm awesome. I will never be that empty girl again. I love ME!!! But that is only because me is me because of God. So, while I am talking about the past because I am dealing with it and moving on....I'm not trying to be self depricating....I'm straight up amazing and I know it. Ok...seriously, I'm done now....


LOVES!!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wanderers, Dreamers, and Lovers....




“Some people do not have to search, for they find their niche early in life and rest there seemingly contented and resigned. At times, I envy them but usually I do not understand them… And seldom do they understand me. I am one of those searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we completely content. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach; we are drawn to the ocean, taken by its power and unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests, mountains, deserts, hidden rivers, and lovely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as our laughter. We are ambitious only for life itself and for anything beautiful it can provide. Most of all, we want to love and be loved, to live in a relationship that will not impede our wanderings and prevent our search. We do not want to prove ourselves to others or compete for love. This passage is for wanderers, dreamers, and lovers who dare to ask of life everything which is good and beautiful.”

Author Unknown

Monday, November 2, 2009

You know what SUCKS!?

Pretending like someone never existed.

It sucks. And quite frankly, I just can't do it anymore. I promised I would be honest with this blog. And HONESTLY, this is really bothering me...so I am going to write about it even though every inch of me would rather just continue to keep it all inside. Keeping things inside is "safe"...writing what's in your heart on a blog that anyone can read...not safe. But I'm done with playing things safe. I've been done for quite some time. You can't grow stronger if you always keep all your padding on and sit on the sidelines. This blog is probably the hardest one I have ever written. Eek. So here goes...

This person definitely existed. And to the best of my knowledge, thankfully, still exists. It's hard to pretend like someone who was a major part of your life since you were 16 never existed in your life at all. No pictures on Facebook. No stories that mention him. No blogs (until today, of course).

I'm talking about my ex. The ex. The ex who superceeds all exs. We were together off and on (and off and on and off and on) since I was 16 and he was 18 up until two years ago. I'm not going to put his name on here for obvious reasons, but in real life...I can totally say his name out loud to anyone I want to without a problem (at least it's not a problem for me..it may be for them..but I don't care)...and that's really what counts. It doesn't matter that you know his name...it matters that I am ready to write about him. I have twelve years of pictures, stories, and great times that no one wants to hear me talk about because they just want me to forget he existed.

He Who Must Not Be Named.

Alot of bad things happened over the years. He messed up. Alot. He knows he did. I know he did. Everyone else knows he did. (Hence the whole thing with no one wanting me to talk about him). But this blog isn't at all about bashing him. Trust me, he really doesn't need any more of that. Especially from me.

Yeah, he messed up, it's not a secret. But so did I. That....is the secret. Not many people on the outside of things thinks thats the case, because all they see is all the bad things that he did to me. It's not like I sat there and told them that I did mean things too. That might make me look bad. God forbid anyone would have found out that I had problems. And as far as my friends and family go....their perception was that he was the devil incarnate....and that's mainly my fault. I told everyone within earshot every single mistake he made. I wanted to hear "Poor Katie, she's so sweet and he's such a jerk." I played the part of the sweet little innocent girl that was being treated badly by the big bad boyfriend....but didn't stop to think about my part in all of it. I'm SO done victimizing myself. I've been done for almost two years now. The minute he walked out the door, I started forgiving him and letting him go...for real this time. I just haven't had the guts to write about it. It's easy to blame him for everything, but what I have realized is that I wasn't able to have my own life all those years, I depended on him to by my everything....which no one on earth can do.

All of those years we were together, we truly and deeply loved each other for who we really were. We really really did. I know he loved me. But almost from the very beginning we both had huge issues that got in the way and caused us to make each other totally miserable at times. I don't think I was ever really and truly able to see my fault in all of this until recently when I started my relationship with God. I knew that I was wrong for pushing him all those years to be someone that he wasn't, and to be ready for things that he wasn't, but I didn't really and truly get it until recent years. I used him to fill a big huge void in my life. Instead of breaking up with him and letting him go when he did things I didn't like, I would keep him around and make sure that he felt bad all the time for the things he did. He could have left. I could have left. But we were dependant on eachother for the wrong reasons. I used him. I was selfish. End of story.

All of the awful things I said and did to him, and pushed on him, all revolved around the fact that I expected him to be everything to me. I felt empty and I put the pressure on him to make me feel better. When I felt like he wasn't fullfilling his end of the bargain (a bargain that he wasn't exactly included in) I made him feel guilty and told everyone that he was bad. Everything was his fault. Everything. I just wanted to hear that I was so good and he was so bad and that I deserved better, blah, blah, blah. I don't really know any of his other girlfriends, but I am pretty sure that I am the only one that so thoroughly accused him of being such a piece of crap human being on a regular basis. The reason I am writing all of this is because I just have to get it all off my chest. I feel like to only way I am going to feel better is if I write how sorry I am for the way I treated him when he didn't do exactly what I wanted him to do. Every mistake he made I held over him and never let him forget that he owed me. I would say that I forgave him but then I would constantly remind him of all the bad things he did. Who could deal with that!? I'm not some innocent little victim of his big bad scheme. He's a good person that did bad things sometimes. I'm so sick and tired of having to pretend like I hate him. I don't hate him at all. I never did. Ever. Not even for a second. I have long since forgiven him for all the mistakes he made. I just hope that in some way he has been able to forgive me. If he hasn't...that's okay too. It doesn't really matter. It's tiring carrying all of this crap around and not being able to talk about it to anyone. It's tiring trying to pretend that I didn't spend almost half of my life either with him or wishing I was with him. I feel like a completely difference person from the Katie I was when we dated. Of course I'm different from when I was 16, but I feel different from the Katie I was two years ago as well. From the moment that I asked God into my life I have started the slow process of allowing God to heal areas of my life and my heart. I needed to be able to let go of him in order to allow God to fill the void. But I just refused to let go. I didn't trust that God would be there. I held onto my ex with a kung fu ninja grip because I thought he was the only thing that could make me happy. Oh how wrong I was to do that. My family and close friends know that I forgave him a long time ago. I was sick and tired of not being able to ever mention his name to my parents so we had a nice loooooong talk a while ago and I told them the truth. The picture of him that I have painted all of these years is skewed. Yes, he DID bad THINGS, but he IS NOT a bad person. We were young and dumb and most of the time totally drunk and doing bad things....TOGETHER...not just him. I hate the bad things he did, but that doesn't mean that he, as a person, deserves for people to think he is bad. Just like I was looking for a way to be filled, so was he. We both tried to fill our lives with things that would never ever satisfy. Anytime you don't have God as your center...you are going to be looking in all the wrong directions for all the wrongs things that will never make it better. We both had the same problem...no God in our lives.

Ok...starting to feel a little better.

Let me be super clear....writing this doesn't mean I want him in my life again, this is totally not about that. And that's why I never talk about him to anyone. I don't want people to think that just because I talk about him that I am wanting him back. That is why his name is like a cuss word...everytime I say it people think that I want to be back with him. I can't blame them at all for thinking that. But it's not true anymore. I'm a new person in every way. Writing this is about finally setting the record straight. He is an intelligent, talented, hilarious, witty, great looking, fun, and caring guy. He genuinely cared for me and about me. He wanted to make me happy. I cared about him and wanted to make him happy too....but neither one of us could do that for the other because both of us were messed up and empty. We couldn't give what we didn't have.

I love him and care about him and always will. There I said it. Nothing blew up! : ) That is what I think of him and that is what I feel. It feels good to write it. I have never seen him as bad. Even if I said I did. The Katie that I am today doesn't care what people think about her or what people think she should do or say. God lives in me. God's love lives in me. And God loves him. I wish when we were together that I would have known God so that I could have loved him with the unselfish love of God that I know now. I regret that I wasn't a better example of God's love to him..I think all I looked like was a hypocrite. I pray that he find someone that can love him like that. The way everyone deserves to be loved. I think it was because I was beginning to have God in my life that I was finally able to be unselfish and let him go. When I broke up with him two years ago that was actually the first time that I felt like it was really and truly over. It would have been selfish of me to continue to pressure him. One of the most selfish things I've ever done in my whole life was pressure him to move in with me when I moved to DC. It makes me sick just thinking of how I acted. He wasn't ready, and neither was I. I was just so scared of losing him that I did the one thing to push him away...guilt him into moving too fast. With God's strength, I stopped thinking about myself...and I let him go.

Sometimes we think we are able to help people but all we are really doing is standing in God's way. AND sometimes we think that the other person is the one that needs all the help and we totally refuse to consider that we are in just as much need of help as they are..if not more. It's because of God's love and healing that I am able to write all of this. It is because my heart is healed and I have forgiven my ex and have moved on, that I am able to write this. I truly want nothing more in the whole world than for him to be happy and know God's love. I want that for everyone. But I just need to get it out that I want that for him too. I know he'll never read this...in fact, I really hope he doesn't. This isn't a letter to him. If I wanted to write a letter to him I would. But I don't want to. It's not about him reading it...it's about me being able to write it. To finally be honest and stop pretending like I hate him and that he never existed. He existed, we loved eachother, we have wonderful amazing memories, and now it's over. The end.

Now, I'm going to let out the breath I've been holding in forever and push the 'publish post' button. And throw up. JK! LOL! : )

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Testimony...a Happy Birthday tribute to my brother Kirk

I don't know why I am even trying to put into words how important and special my brother is to me. At the risk of sounding totally cliche...words truly can't express how much I love Kirk. BUT, I'm gonna try. The best way to show how important Kirk is to me is to tell you how he literally saved my life. Happy 26th birthday little brother.

Kirk is 2 1/2 years younger than me, but in some ways I feel like he is my older brother. When we were younger we used to fight all the time (as evidenced by the picture insert to the right..lol!), as many brothers and sisters tend to do. Looking back, I wish I would have acted differently toward my baby brother. All he wanted to do was hang out with me. And all I wanted was for him to be away from me. Kirk loved me so much that when I would do bad things and blame them on him...he would take the blame for me so that I wouldn't get into trouble. The peak of our fighting was when we were both teenagers living under the same roof. I was getting into some bad stuff and Kirk knew it. My fear was that Kirk would try and do what I was doing and didn't want him to be any part of it. So I pushed him away even more. It wasn't until I left for college that I truly missed him.

While I was away at college...partying and making lots of bad decisions.....Kirk was choosing a different way of life. When I was 18 and Kirk was 16....he got saved. While he was away at Younglife camp he got radically saved and came back to tell all of us the news. Kirk and I didn't grow up in church. I didn't even know what the word "saved" meant. I just knew it was one of those words that church people used....and I didn't like it. I was totally not supportive of Kirk's decision to follow Jesus and I wasn't shy about telling him my opinion of his decision. I thought he had been taken in and the wool pulled over his eyes. I thought it was just a phase and that he would be back to normal once the 'phase' passed. Some of his other friends had gotten "saved" at that same camp and they didn't change when they got back...so I thought that Kirk would just go back to his wild and crazy ways any day. Kirk was the kind of person that if he did anything...he went all the way with it. When he was the crazy bad kid...he was the craziest and baddest of all bad kids. And when he got saved and started to follow Jesus...he did it all the way.

At about the same time that Kirk got saved, my family went through a super bad time. I thought that if anything would kill Kirk's belief in God....this would be it. There would be no way that he would cling to his false god now. But he didn't change or doubt even for a second. As Kirk grew stronger in his walk with God....I spiraled down into the darkness. I don't really remember those days very clearly, which is good in a way, but I do know that it was one of the darkest times of my life. I felt hopeless and alone. I would drink until I couldn't see. I didn't want to feel all the pain that was going on in my life. My brother wanted to help me, but I wouldn't talk to him much. If I did talk to him I would mock him and what he believed. Every time I would talk to Kirk or be around him I would be both amazed and almost angry. I was amazed that Kirk really had changed and I was angry that I couldn't have what he had. This went on for years and years. Kirk growing in God and me allowing my life to get further and further out of control.

Even though I would have never admitted it. I watched Kirk like a hawk. Everything he did and said was under my microscope of judgement. I was just waiting for him to say or do something that validated my disbelief in God. The truth was....I wanted SO badly the peace that Kirk very obviously truly had. It wasn't fake. It was for real. I watched him for years. And I knew my brother like I knew myself. No one could fake peace and happiness like he had. At least not for that long. I knew lots of "Christians" in my life that went to church and did all the "Christian" things that you're supposed to do...but never ever had I met someone so truly in love with God. I was slowly coming to realize that my idea that all Christian's were ignorant hypocrites may not be true....at least not when it came to Kirk. So I started asking questions. Lots of questions. My poor brother probably felt a mix of happiness and 'oh my gosh, how do I answer all of these questions'.

One night, Kirk asked me if I wanted to go and see Passion of the Christ at the theatre. I thought, why not!? So I went. Ask Kirk....from the very first scene of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane....I bawled. I mean rivers of tears. The entire movie. The thought of Jesus dying for me was so completely overwhelming that I seriously couldn't deal with it at that moment. When we got home, I stayed up and talked to Kirk all night. I asked tons more questions. I told him that I still just wasn't ready to believe but that I something had touched my heart and I didn't know what to do with it quite yet. My life was crazy. Ever since I was 15 my life was one party after another. I drank every day.

So after a while, I set out on a secret mission to find out what this Jesus guy was really all about. I didn't want to take anyone's word for it..not even my wonderful brother. I didn't want to be a hypocrite. I knew I wasn't ready to change my ways and life and I certainly didn't want to call myself a Christian until I knew what it really meant to be one. So I started reading books and talking to experts about all the religions. How could I say I wasn't a Muslim or a Buddhist unless I knew what they believed, you know!? This secret search for the truth started when I was around 22 or 23 years old. I read every book I could get my hands on about the different religions of the world. As I learned more, I knew that my heart was being drawn towards Jesus. Not a religion. Not a label. Not traditions. It had nothing to do with going to church...still didn't go. It had nothing to do with living my life by a certain set of laws. It was about Jesus and me.

When I was around 24 years old I was finally ready to declare that I believed in Jesus and wanted to ask him to live in my heart. When I told my brother, he wasn't really that surprised. He had started to notice a change in me. And I'm sure the constant interrogating him about God probably gave it away a bit too. This was a huge moment for me and my little brother was the one to lead me through the prayer of salvation. Holding my hands. Holding me when I cried. Rejoicing with me!

I wish I could tell you that I had a similar story to Kirk in that my life radically changed for the better from that day on. Yes, my life totally changed, but not in an instant.....more like years. I was 24 then and it wasn't until I was 27 that I started to really understand and know Jesus in a way that would radically change me forever.

There are a lot of crazy things that went on in my life. As much of a chronic oversharer as I am..I don't think I'll share all of that today. A girl has to have some mystery. : )

My life was out of control and I needed help. It was my little brother that saved my life in more than one way. If Kirk hadn't gotten saved and lived his life for Jesus no matter what came his way...I may not have made it to write this testimony. Had my little brother not had faith in me and loved me with God's unconditional love....I may not have made it to write this testimony. If Kirk hadn't shown me how special and lovely I truly am, and that God really does love me....I may not have made it to write this testimony. My brother is still the only man I have ever met that has never let me down. My brother isn't perfect, but to me, he is the world. Without Kirk's consistent encouragement and support...I may have never come to know Jesus with the depth that I know Him now. If my brother wouldn't have fought for my heart and soul....I don't know if I ever would have turned my heart towards God. My brother is my rock. His marriage to Dana is such an inspiration to me. They have given me something to aim for...to believe in. I won't ever settle for anything less than the best, because their love has shown me that fairy tales really do come true. My brother has touched so many lives. His smile can light up a room. He is always laughing. He is always loving. He is always encouraging. He is proof that God is real. What he has you can't read about in a book. What he has isn't a religion. What he has is a true relationship with God. What he has isn't some law to follow or some tradition. What he has is a friend in Jesus. I am the woman I am today because of Jesus and the radical change His love has brought to my life. And I know Jesus because of Kirk McNemar....my little brother. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't know true love....I wouldn't know trust.....I wouldn't know God. One of the best moments of my life was when I was on stage at church, singing with the band...I was so excited...and I look out into the crowd and I see Kirk in the front row...with a huge smile on his face and tears rolling down his cheeks. He was so proud of me. He always prayed that one day, I would know God's love and seeing me up on stage, singing God's praises was truly an answer to his years of prayer for me. Every Sunday I stand in the front row beside my hero...my brother and I thank God for Kirk and all that he is and all that he does. Sometimes it is hard for people to understand the love of God. They don't really know what it looks like or feels like. God isn't here incarnate to hug us and love us. But His love is all around us. I was able to imagine how great God's love is for me by Kirk allowing God's love to flow out of him and into my heart and into my life.

Happy Birthday, Kirky! Thank you. I love you.

The Man with a plan...

Old Katie would have been sooooooooo freaked out.
Old Katie probably would have cried.
Old Katie would have been pretty dag on pissed (pardon Old Katie's French).

Picture it...

Friday.
End of the week.
Totally excited get on the road to WV; to come back to Buckhannon and see my folks, my cuz, and get my Jeep worked on.
Get to the parking garage.
Jeep won't start.

The moment that I turned the key and the engine wouldn't turn over.....this was a defining moment. What would I feel? What would I do?

Looking back, I am actually quite proud of myself for the way I handled it all. Maybe that is why it worked out so perfectly.

Okay, so back to the story....

The Jeep won't start. I turn the key a couple of times, but to no avail. In that moment...I surprisingly felt peace. I didn't get upset.

I have never really had any huge issues with my vehicles before so I didn't really know what to do. Long story short (yeah right) a wonderful man from hospital security comes and tries to help me out. We try jumping the Jeep. Nada. So, he then drives me to the nearest gas station in DC rush hour traffic so I can try and see if maybe there isn't any gas in the Jeep (which by the way...I knew there was gas in it because I just drove it when me and my BFF drove it to go get some lunch....but you never know). Luckily he and I both have a sense of humor because we ended up getting gasoline all over us while trying to get the gas from the gas can and into the Jeep (not like that scene from Zoolander where they spray gasoline all over themselves...but you get the drift). Still didn't work.

So...now it's tow truck time. $4 per mile. 30 miles home. I called the guy that works on my car (Cedar Grove auto repair in Damascus, MD if anyone is looking for an awesome place to go) and he told me that if I had it towed back to his shop he would take a look at it first thing in the morning. Done. So as I am waiting for what seemed like millions of years for the tow truck I pass the time by talking to my cousin Heather. As we are talking I tell her that this whole situation seems really strange to me...in a good way....in a God way. I had just driven the Jeep a few hours before this and I have never had problems with it, so it seemed strange to me that it stopped working just as I was about to bring it home to get it worked on. Then I tell her that I know that reason I have so much peace about it is because I know in my heart that it is totally part of God's plan. I couldn't see why yet...and maybe I would never know why...but I knew it was for a reason. I told her that one of the reasons that I was coming home that weekend was to get new tires on the Jeep because the ones that are on it are so bald that I fishtailed on some wet roads in Georgetown one day and almost wrecked....totally freaked me out. So I told her that I was coming home before it started raining because I knew that my tires weren't safe on wet roads.

Then Heather says to me..."Well, I know for sure that God most definitely has a plan. He is so amazing and so good. And....who knows....maybe you were saved from a car accident, or maybe your Jeep would have broken down in the middle of nowhere, OR maybe...MAYBE.....the tow truck guy is your future husband!! You just never know, you know!? Or maybe he is super creepy and dangerous and might try and hurt you (Heather is a constant worrier...and she is totally not kidding)...and in that case...we're going to need a code word that you can text me....and I'll call the police."

So I respond, "I guess you really do never know....it would be pretty crazy if after waiting for two hours in a parking garage, smelling like gasoline, with my makeup running down my face, and one eye watering because there is something in my contact...that my future husband would drive up in his tow truck and save the day!! Why not!? That would be an interesting, yet decidedly non-romantic story to tell the grandkids. But what if he IS super creepy? It's gonna suck pretty bad to be sitting beside him in a truck all the way to Damascus. And why do we need a code word? If I'm able to text you....can't I just text you...'hey this dude is super creepy, send help'?"

To which she says..."But what if he reads your text and it makes him even madder (again...she is serious)." Knowing she is seriously worried about me I then say, "Ok. Then a code word we shall have my friend. The code word for 'hey this dude is super creepy, send help' is......um.....pickle. And if he just so happens to be my future husband and I am swept away and we are getting ready to elope, the code word is....pickled. Very similar. I know. Make sure you write that down, so that you don't get them confused and send the cops out after my future husband." And the sad thing is...I am pretty sure that we were both really serious and that if....as a joke.....I would have texted her the word 'pickle' she wouldn't have spared a second in calling the police. LOL! Ok....I am sure that the above dialouge is actually not funny at all unless you were there. Or maybe it would never be funny to anyone other than Heather and me.

We're silly.

Anyway...back to this riveting and fascinating story.

The tow truck guy shows up. On our ride to home, I talked with Alex...the world's kindest, most helpful tow truck driver ever. We had plenty of time to get to know eachother since he wasn't allowed to take any parkways on the way to 270 we had to take all the busy highways. He told me about how he had just moved from LA and didn't know that many people. He asked me about myself and how I ended up in DC. I even got to talk to his mom when she called to see how he was. He helped me brush up on some Espanol. He told me stories about his experiences as a tow truck driver in LA and DC. We had a great time.

What struck me half way through the drive was just how much fun this evening had actually been. Everyone had been so helpful and kind to me. The hospital security guard was so amazing. I never once felt upset or mad or worried. In fact...I had a great time getting to know everyone. While I was in the parking garage, Eva, one of the wonderful women that work with me stopped and gave me her number and told me to call her if I needed anything. SO SWEET! My wonderful brother and his wife said they would pick me up and drive me home from the repair shop. Everyone was so helpful.

As Alex and I were nearing my exit he said to me, "I just feel so bad that this happened to you this evening. I mean, you were going to go back home and see your family. I just feel awful that you had to spend your Friday night going through all of this." Immediately after he said that it started to absolutely pour the rain. At that moment I looked back at my Jeep and thought to myself..wow...if I would have been driving right now I would be in the mountains and probably in the middle of a rain storm.....with my tires they way they are (probably so bad they aren't legal) I could have easily been in an accident. So I turn back to Alex and said, "You know what, no need to be sorry for me at all. I have had a wonderful night. God has a plan. There is a reason for everything that happens. Yeah, I could have looked at this night as totally inconvenient and been mad that my grand plans had been interrupted. But for some reason, from the first turn of the key...I have been thanking God the entire time because I knew that this was all a part of His plan. I don't know if it was to save me from a wreck or for something else....but my heart tells me that this is a God thing." Alex then looks over at me and says, "Are you a Christian?" And I said, "I love Jesus!" He sat there for a moment and didn't say anything. Then he looked back at me and said, "I can tell you do. And I do too!" He then proceeded to tell me his testimony of how he came to know God. It was so amazing that I got chills. Hearing what he had been through and how much he loved Jesus just made my heart melt. On our way to the repair shop we drove by my church so I showed Alex where it was. He told me that since he is new in the area he hasn't really found a church that he feels at home at so he said that he would love to come to mine and see what it's like.

So as we parted ways that night, I knew that if for nothing else, God edified my faith by putting Alex in my path that night. Hearing about Alex's life and his faith was well worth it all to me. God showed me that if I look for Him in every situation...I will find Him. I am sure that lots of people would look at Alex..covered with tattoos and lookin' rough and assume that he is bad news...but as soon as he opened the door to the truck, I knew in my spirit that there was something very special about him. After a few minutes of talking to him....even though he hadn't mentioned God at all...I knew that he knew Him. I can't explain how I knew...but I just did. When God's spirit lives in you...no matter what you look like or what you do....His heart and joy pour out of you. I honestly don't care if my Jeep ever starts again because I have complete and total faith that all things are for the greater good of God's plan. God has a plan for my life. Plans to prosper and not to harm. I could have missed out on a totally amazing experience if I had been pouty and self-centered that night. But because I rested in the knowledge that God is good....I met an amazing friend and got to see that there are so many wonderful, helpful people all around me. Thank you God! : )

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I am declaring Oct. 18th "No Makeup Sunday"!! WHOO HOOO!

Attention: All makeup wearing ladies

I declare Oct. 18th, 2009 "No Makeup Sunday". And by the power vested in me I now pronounce you....beautiful...just the way you are!

Here's the challange...

1) You can't wear any makeup. Moisterizer with SPF is allowed and encourgaged...protect those beautiful skin cells!
2) You have to leave your house/apartment/mansion/trailer/dorm. No sitting inside pretty lady! I don't care if it's raining or snowing or monsooning...walk, run, or crawl...but leave the comfort of your own abode.
3) Work it! That's right...hold your shoulders back, keep your beautiful face held high, smile, and walk with confidence. You're gorgeous, daaaaaling. (Caution: Participants tend to feel so super beautiful and awesome that they can't seem to contain themselves. Involuntary winking, finger snappin', and booty shakin' can occur.) The point is to show your true you. The woman (or man) that God made you to be is confident, content, and proud. With or without makeup you should always know that God lives in you and made you just the way you are for a purpose that only you can serve. Isn't the exciting!!? Ah, oh...I think I just winked...

BONUS POINTS : Tell a woman that you don't know that she is beautiful. Do it. I dare you.

SUPER DOUBLE BONUS POINTS EXTRAVAGANZA: Take before and after pics and send them to me along with a testimony about your day (i.e. thoughts, feelings, experiences, etc). I will post them in a blog so that you can be an encouragement to all of the millions of people that read my blog (giggle). This goes for any man, woman, and child that does something to show their true beauty...this isn't just about not wearing makeup...it's about letting the true you shine.

Of course....I am going to participate as well. I will be arriving for church on Sunday morning with no makeup, curly hair, and jeans and a t-shirt. I am the "announcer" at church...which basically means that I introduce the start of both services...I hop up on stage, give any announcements, try and share something that God has put on my heart, sometimes a skit, and other such things. Oh yeah...and it's televised to the DC metro area (I think the camera is too far away for anyone to notice I'm not wearing makeup). I'm also a leader in the middle school/high school ministry that my bro and his wifey run (Kirk and Dana McNemar for those of you who don't know..they RRROCKKK), so I am hoping that by doing this, even though it's just for one day, it will make some kind of a difference. As hard as it was for me to accept myself when I was in middle school and high school, it's even harder for the young folks today. I seriously can't imagine having to be in their shoes right now. If they learn nothing else from my life, I want them to learn that all my efforts to please people, to fit in, to craft an acceptable image, and be loved...were all in vain and brought me nothing but pain, hurt, and more emptyness than I could handle. I have come a long long way from that life, but some people never come back. Some people have no idea why they are so unhappy, empty, and dissatisfied.

So...I encourage you..even if you aren't a makeup wearing lady (non-makeup wearing lady, man, child)...do something this Sunday...just for one day...that takes you out of your comfort zone and shows you that you are beautiful (yes, men, you are beautiful! Wink...see! I did it again) no matter what.

: )

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

To Make You Feel My Love...

When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer a warm embrace
To make you feel my love


When evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love


I know you haven't made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I've known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong


I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue
I'd go crawling down the avenue
Oh there's nothing that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love


The storms are raging on the rolling sea
And on the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
You ain't seen nothing like me yet


I could make you happy, make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn't do
Go to the ends of the earth for you
To make you feel my love


- Bob Dylan (sept. 30th 1997)

I have been listening to this song over and over and over again on my Ipod. (I am listening to the version by Adele that came out in '08...gorgeous voice.)

It all started yesterday. I was on my way to work and I had my Ipod on shuffle. I kept pushing the next button because I was looking for that perfect song that would fit my current mood, something that would speak to me, ya know. Then this song came on....To Make You Feel My Love. I don't really know why this song hit me so much, but I listened to it all the way to work...and all the way home from work.

As I sang the words.....I was singing to him. I don't actually know who he is. But I was singing to him. Even though I don't know if I even know him yet, as I sang the words of this song...I meant them. I know that when it happens..and there he is...whoever he is...these words will be true. He is SO worth the wait.

sigh.

When you read the lyrics...what did you automatically think of? Someone you're with? Someone you wish you were with? Someone you don't know yet? Did you sing the lyrics to them?

Did it ever occur to you when you read them that maybe this song wasn't from you to someone else...but from God to you? Me either.

When I got in my Jeep this morning, I was fully planning on listening to a different song (I mean, come on, the same song for two days straight...crazzzzzzyyyy!)...but for some reason, I listened to it again. And again. Why!? I was totally thinking it was weird. As I am driving and listening to this song...I am thinking of all this other stuff...you know....all that crap that you can't get out of your head...like stuff you need to do at work..whether or not you should do this or that...blah, blah, blah....so....I wasn't really listening to the song....it was just the background to my mental droning. And then I looked out of my driver's side window and saw the most beautiful sunrise (yes, I am up and driving that early). I looked at the sun and all the beautiful colors and then I heard it....the song....the lyrics....I really really listened this time. God was talking TO ME!!! Katie. He was talking to ME. That's when it hit me....there truly is nothing that He wouldn't do to make me feel His love.

wow.

He knew just how many times I was going to have to hear that song until I really got it. IT'S FOR ME!!! Who listens to the same song for two days straight...and I'm talking tons of times...my commute is at least 1.5 hours each way if not longer....so that song and I has some serious quality time together. I'm crazy...but I ain't that crazy. God. will. not. stop. He won't go away just because you do. He already went hungry, went black and blue...went crawlin' down the avenue....to make you feel His love. He did that. For me. And for you. (that accidentally rhymed..lol)

Yes, you. Seriously....YOU!

I have listened to this song plenty of times before...and it didn't really mean that much to me..I was more in to Adele's beautiful voice than actually listening to the words. But God is so good and His plan so perfect that I listened to this song over and over and over again at just the exact right time for it to speak right to me about exactly what I needed to hear. Perfect.

It's hard being single sometimes. I hadn't been single since I was 13. Up until about 6 or so months ago...I always had a boyfriend or some guy in my life. Even when I knew I didn't love them...I would stay...because I couldn't stand to be alone. I was so afraid of being alone...but all I felt was alone. I spent a lot of time trying to fill this void with men that couldn't and shouldn't fill it. I am sorry to them, I am sorry to me, but most of all I am sorry to God. I feel like I don't even deserve a beautiful love song from God after all the years that I rejected Him. Why would he go to the end of the Earth for me....to make me feel His love? Why doesn't he do what all the other guys have done...disappoint me, leave me, break my heart, tear me down, use me, disrespect me, did I mention leave me.....? Why doesn't he? How could he hold me for a million years? I don't even understand or grasp that kind of love. And He knows it's hard for me. And He wants to show me...His love.

For the last two years since I broke up with my on again, off again, on again, off again, on again, off again boyfriend since I was 16....I have taken this time to seek the truth and truly find me and the Katie that God made me to be. It has been the hardest, most painful, most beautiful, most rewarding, scariest, etc...time of my life. Instead of drinking my pain away...I deal with it. I feel it. Instead of dating just anyone so I'm not alone...I decide to be single and wait for him. The guy that's not just some guy. That's going to sing those lyrics to me....and mean them. It's painful. But I'm not afraid of that anymore. I feel the pain. And I don't die and I don't stop. Contrary to my previous belief...the pain didn't kill me. It made me stronger. (Pastor Jerry said on Sunday that David would have still been a shephard if he hadn't had Goliath in his life....so I praise God for all the Goliath's in my life...because they have made me stronger..more than a shephard!)

I used to idenify myself based on what a man thought of me. If he thought I was special...then I was. If he didn't....then I tried to changed myself so that he would....but of course...that didn't work. As painful as that was to live...it was even more painful to let God in...trust Him...and let Him heal those hurts and scars. These last two years of healing has been amazing. When you haven't been able to trust people...mostly men...your whole life...how are you supposed to trust God...who you can't see? Well....while the storms were raging on the rolling sea...He went to the ends of the Earth for me....to make me feel His love. He pushed past all that crap...and showed me He was real. He could be trusted with my scarred and broken heart. And He was good. I cry even typing this because what God has done for me is more true and and more real than anything I have ever experienced in my whole life. Now...I want to go to the ends of the Earth for Him...to make Him feel my love!