Monday, August 31, 2009

Keep Your Head Up!

I woke up early this Sunday and felt like I should go for a run. So, I get all geared up and head out. As I am running I begin to feel this tightness in my throat. I feel like I can't catch my breath. I knew that I was still stressed out and figured that I was just too tense to run. But I felt like I didn't want to I couldn't stop. I start praying to God in that moment and telling him, "Jesus, I don't know what's going on but I feel like I can't catch my breath." Jesus, being the best coach there is, says to me, "Lift your head up." It was then that I realized that when I run I keep my head down and watch my feet. I couldn't believe that I had never noticed that I did this before. So I try to run with my head up, but it just kept going back down to my feet. That's when Jesus said, "Katie. Why don't you trust that the road you see ahead is going to be the same road that is under your feet? Why do you need to watch each step as you take it? If you would only keep your head up, you will be able to breath." So I lifted my head up and shot off down the road as fast I could. It felt great for a while, but then I couldn't run anymore and started walking. Then I heard Jesus again, "Katie. You don't have to sprint every race. I am not asking you to run as fast as you can...that is all you. If you would only pace yourself, you would be able to run for much longer. I am not even asking you to run at all. Walk if you want to. As long as you are moving forward you can crawl if need be." Man, if you all could have seen me then. I was one of those crazy people talking to themselves on the street. I shouted out "I GET IT!!" I TOTALLY get it!!!" God showed me that Sunday morning that all the pressure I have right now isn't from's from me. I need to stop looking down and worrying about what's going on and keep my head up and believe that God isn't going to let me stumble. I don't have to exhaust myself by sprinting into new things like I am a greyhound on it's first race of the day. All I have to do is just trust. Trust that if I keep my head up and keep moving forward even on those days were you can barely get out of bed, that God will not let me down. I pray that God give me the strength to keep my head up, because some days....I can't do it without him. I pray that God continue to move in my life in these awesome ways that get me so excited that I don't care that I look like I am crazy person talking to themselves. God is in control.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Life is like a box of chocolates...and I like to stick my finger in the bottom of all of them to see what I'm gonna get.

Ok...Life Freakout #345 2009 is officially over. There was a pity party for Katie and believe me....everyone was invited. Thank you to everyone who helped me get through this one (seriously, I love my friends and family). Phew! I hate that feeling. I can't stand feeling so overwhelmed by life that I totally freak out, won't listen to reason, and am one more bad thought away from quitting my job, shaving my head (thanks for the idea Britney), speaking only in Pirate (ahoy thinks me life is about ta walk the plank), watching reruns of Reba for 4 days straight (I actually did that during one very memoriable life freakout in 2006), and moving to Hazard, KY (it just sounds cool). BUT thank the Lord that none of that happened...especially the Hazard, KY part. The Duke boys are probably in their 60's and I don't look too hot in Daisy Dukes these days. But I digress...why did I have Life Freakout #345 2009, you ask!? Well, I don't really know for sure. It's a bit of a pattern I have. Just when life seems pretty freakin' awesome...what does Katie tend do!?...Katie tends to freaks out. It wasn't until this recent freakout did I recognize the pattern. Life freakouts are no longer a part of New Katie's life, BUT sometimes I forget and I allow the Old Katie to take charge again. The thing about Old Katie is that she couldn't handle things very well. So I died to that old life and became the Real Katie in Christ. Old Katie used to not be able to handle any kind of stress, but in Christ...I can do absolutely anything He wills me to do. It's truly a miracle. So, I am not going to blame this freakout crap on the devil, even though he is very well pleased when it happens...oh no...the freak outs are from me. From parts of me that need to be nailed up on the cross where they belong. That is what Jesus is talking about when He tells us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him (paraphrase Luke 9:23). Jesus is saying that following Him is a daily process of denying yourself and placing those things that need to die upon the cross where they died with Jesus long ago.
What do you struggle with? Drinking, eating too much, starving yourself, shopping, gossiping, depression, worry, no faith, anxiety, lying, judging, stealing, drugs, etc? Until these things are dead, they must be placed on the cross daily. This. Is. HARD. For example...I love to eat. I live alone and when I am feeling lonely, I want to eat, and most times I do. Does it help me feel not alone!? Not at all. As much as I talk to the ice cream, it doesn't talk back to me. When I give in to what I know is something I shouldn't do, not only am I sinning which makes me feel like crap, but I am not denying myself. I am saying to God.."Hey! Thanks for dying for all of my sins and all, but I prefer to keep stuffing my face because you aren't sufficient to fill my void". But do I ever feel full? No, I don't. I could eat two pizzas and still be hungry...why!? Because I am actually hungry for God but refuse to deny my need to eat so that I can see that God is faithfully with me. So not only am I not full when I eat too much, but now I am mad at myself for not having control. And let's not forget that sin always involves a my case...the awesome weight gain that occurs. Too bad for all of those new pants I bought (which also didn't make me feel any better about myself). Guess they'll just have to go in the "clothes I'll wear one day when I quit eating everything in sight" box. Will a new pair of shoes fill the void? Heck no...but I keep buying them. Will a hot guy fill the void....I WISH..but no...unfortunately that doesn't do it either. I have yet to hear of a case of someone being totally satisfied with what they have other than when they are in the presence of the Lord....some people may deny this claim...either because they are in complete denial or they have never been in the presence of God. When I freak out about life it's not because I am sitting there thinking that God doesn't have everything under's not God I'm worried about. It's me. I'm worried that God has this awesome plan out there for me and I am going to make the wrong decision and miss it. I want to stick my finger in all the chocolates to find out what is in them because I can't stand not knowing. With God...every chocolate is filled with your favorite yummies...if only you will believe and just stop poking around and enjoy. I have changed so much and so quickly over these last few years that I barely remember what Old Katie was even like. I only get little glimpses when I have these little freakouts, but even they aren't that bad in comparision to how bad it used to be. There are many things that I have been able to give up because, honestly, they just stopped being enjoyable to me. God is now working on the things that are going to be painful to give up. My security blankies if you will. He wants to be in their place. Every time I feel like eating when I'm really not hungry....God wants to be there instead. Every time I feel like I need to buy something new to make myself look pretty....God wants to show me that I don't need new clothes and things...I am pretty in a potato sack because God's love shines from me. Every time I feel lonely...God wants to comfort me. The best moments of my whole life are when it's just God and me...chillin'. God wants me to take these deepest hurts and fears...and walk right up to the cross and nail them there. God isn't going to make me do it. He doesn't force us. But if we are to ever know the true joy of living in the Spirit of the Lord, then we need to be willing to give up our idols. Food is an idol to me. Having an idol to me. All of these things will rust and rot, but God's love is eternal. So I start my journey of digging deeper. Any time that the old me tries to pop back up and run away...I am going to keep pushing forward. God has big plans for me and I don't need to know what they are right now...I just need to believe that they are good.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Man Overboard! All Hands on Deck...

Let's start off with my dream a few nights ago...

I am walking down a nice city street trying to meet up with some friends for lunch. It's midday and the sun is out and I feel relaxed. As I approach a crazy looking intersection with roads leading off in many different directions, I look up at the road signs to see that I am on Bee Street. I wanted to make sure that I stay once I get to the intersection I will be able to find where the other side of Bee street is so I can stay on the same street. There are no cars or people in sight, yet I don't feel alone...I just feel relaxed. I am enjoying Bee street. As I take my first step off of Bee street and into the intersection I start looking at all the other street signs to see which one is the other side of Bee street, but I don't see it. In fact, now the Bee street that I just stepped off of was gone. But I didn't feel worried...still relaxed. As soon as I turn to see that Bee street is no where to be found, I see a skinny shy young lady around my age walking next to me. She seems a little lost too, so I smile at her and say, "You lost too?" And she smiles shyly and replies, "I think so". I look around me and I see the road closest to me looks sunny and nice, so side by side we begin to walk up a steep incline of the road which happened to be the road closest to us at the time. We didn't talk, but I felt very relaxed...kinda like, I didn't know her...but I already liked her and cared about her. As we approach a little plateau in the street the sky ahead looks a little darker. At the same time I notice a man in black leaning against the building to my left and feel someone very close behind me. As I am noticing all of this I look over at the young lady and she is giving me a very nervous glance. She is positioning her body in a way that makes me think she is getting ready to defend herself if need be. Oddly enough, I still feel completely calm. Because I was calm, the young lady relaxed a bit. I turn around to see a good looking young man standing behind me looking really strung out. He eyes were all red and bugged out. I felt the presence of the man in black somewhere near me, but he hadn't moved from the building. I knew in my head that I was about to get robbed, but I didn't have any fear whatsoever. I slowly and calmly put myself between the young lady and the strung out young man. The young man then calmly spoke to me. He said, "I'm sorry, it's not personal. It's the drugs. I need them so now I have to take your money and anything else you have on you that I can sell." I said to him in a very calm voice, "OK. That's totally fine. If you don't mind, I'm going to walk over to this bench and empty out all I have on it so you can have all you want. I wish I had more, but that is all I have. One request though, I just ask that you let me keep my cell phone because I will need it to call my friends that I am meeting for lunch." He kindly obliged and calmly stood by as I poured out the contents of my huge purse. The young lady that was traveling with me just stood quietly behind me without saying a word. I believe that she had already handed her purse over to him. As he goes through my stuff more and more people come over to see if they can divide up my stuff among them. I sat on a short wall behind them and watched them gladly take my things. Even mocking some of it. As I sat there I felt very calm. None of that stuff they took mattered to me at all. In fact, as I watched them, all I could think about was how much I loved them and just delighted in them. One of the guys found a straw in my purse and put it in his hair as a joke and I started laughing with him and told him that it was definitely a good look for him. The young lady sat with me as well. We didn't talk at all. I felt like she was mimicking everything I did. My calmness kept her calm. At one point I decided it was time to call for help so I opened up my cell phone and dialed 911. I didn't want them to see me, so I just dialed the number and left the phone open on the grass. Their discussion turned to the fact that they knew the police were on their way. Then I woke up.

This dream has really stuck with me over the last few days as I have been basically freaking out about my life. I don't know exactly what it means, but I know that it's important. Today...I feel better. I feel like I have been under heavy enemy fire for days with no where to run. Maybe the reason I feel this way is because I have actually been under enemy fire. The more big steps I take towards God and reaching people for Him...the more I am under attack by the enemy. I WANT to retreat. I WANT to surrender. I WANT to give up and stop fighting. Where's my knight in shining armor!!!? Isn't this the part in the story where the hero rides up on his white horse and rescues the damsel in distress? But by the strength of God I keep fighting. God is strengthening me for a purpose. His purpose. Each attack I withstand without fainting is another step closer to being where God is calling me to be. This is what people mean with they say that following God ain't easy. You are going to be perfectly happy going down one road (Bee street if you will) and for no real reason you suddenly find yourself lost and not sure which road to take. You decide on a road and wish for the best. The right road is probably the hard road. God is going to want you to give....and people are going to take. Just think of it like you are trying to help someone that is drowning. You, as the good swimmer, are trying to get them to stop flailing around and freaking out and just trust you to help them. They don't realize that if they just calm down they will stop drowning. They are so freaked out, they can't even see that help is right beside them. Sometimes when you get too close when they are like that, they will accidentally drown you too because you get caught in their struggle. You try and help them and they climb up you to get to the top of the water and push you down under them. They don't mean to do it, it's just that they don't know any other way. It's survival. Desperate people do desperate things. But once they calm down and just let you help pull them back to shore, there is a chance that you will both survive. Sometimes it feels like you are the only swimmer in a sea of drowning people. But you aren't alone. God is there. God is your life vest. You are tied to the boat. God may have elected you to be the one to go out and save the dying, but He didn't send you out there without knowing how to swim. He trained you. He helped you build your strength and endurance. He didn't send you out there without a life vest. He didn't send you out there without HIM! So...I have been feeling overwhelmed. I have been feeling like I am supposed to help save people, but I need help staying afloat myself. I need a swim team. Even better...I need a coach. Considering that I have only been a Christian for a few short years of my life, I am pretty much a newborn. I still have my training wheels. So I am going to learn to be patient with myself, with others, and with God. I hate freaking out about my life. There is a lot I don't know...but the things I do know are:

1. God is very very real and alive
2. God is good
3. God loves me
4. I am not alone
5. I am here for a purpose
6. God already has my situation taken care of
7. God's word is true for me just like it is for everyone else!

No one is too bad for the Grace of God, and no one is good enough to deserve it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Cannot Tell a Lie

Honesty...oh how I loathe thee sometimes. Just when you have yourself believing that everything is fine and as it should be, you end up having to do the one thing that is the hardest...look into your heart...tear down the beautifully constructed facade (just got done painting it and everything!)....and be honest with yourself. All that work ...only to discover that things are in fact not fine and not as they should be. DRATS!

So, I promised that I would be honest even though I have no idea who is reading these posts, so it is a bit of a scary thing. I knew when I typed on my blog that I was going to be honest that God would probably test me to see if I would really do it. It's so much easier for me to talk about all my past hardships no matter how bad I was or what I did, because I am past all that...I'm a new Katie in every way. Talking about my current struggles is the hardest for me because I have spent my whole life perfecting the art of "everything is GREAT! Just fine. Could not be better." Only within the last year have really realized that I do this. One of the ways I excused this behavior in my mind was to say that I was trying to be a glass-half-full kinda girl...keep a positive outlook...not burden others, etc. Sounded good to me. But the real truth of all is, I am a prideful schmuck who wants everyone to think I have it all together. Well world....I don't. The worst part is...I'm really the only one that's truly convinced when I am lie to myself and tell myself that everything is great. All my real friends and family see right through all the BS. And thank God that I have friends and family that are awesome enough to crash through my wall of BS and make me be honest with myself (thanks ya'll!). Most days are great...but some today...I just want to crawl into a cave like Johnny Cash did and not come out until I hear from God. (Instead...I ran to my best friend's office and cried my eyes out and made her listen to me selfishly drone on about my seemingly helpless situation.)

The funny thing about life (that's not actually funny at all) is that there are tons of decisions that are to be made....and we want to talk about these decisions with every person within earshot just in case some stroke of luck says the magic words and it all goes away. But matter what anyone else says (well intentioned or not...Mom) you have to make the final call all by yourself. And you also have to accept the consequence of said decision...right or wrong. Where did I put that magic eight ball again!? : ) I swear, when my cousin/BFF were younger we used to make serious life decisions from our trusty purple-watered eight ball. Kinda scary! LOL! Now-a-days, I open up the Bible...I'm sure you're not shocked to find out that I got waaaaaaay better answers.

So my dilemma is this: How do I say that I completely believe that God is real, good, living in me, and has it all figured out for me already...and yet still totally freak out about my life? Why the heck do I do that!? I consider myself faithful...yet I am facing a serious crossroads in my life and I feel totally alone and like I have the entire world on my shoulders. How do I know the difference between God talking to me and me talking to myself? Since I'm so seasoned at lying to myself, how do I know when I am following my own half-cocked notion or something God has planted in me!? Because,you see, I will be going along seemingly just fine....and then all-of-a-sudden... BAM! I wake up one day and something just feels wrong. I can't sleep. I'm stressed. My left eye is twitching (the poor maintenance man thought I was winking at him today)! My back hurts. I'm exhausted. No motivation. I'm Grumpy Pants McGee! BLAH! Just like that. And so now, I find myself at a crossroads and none of the choices are clearly labeled "THIS IS THE WAY TO GO IF YOU ARE FOLLOWING GODS PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE". I realize that, number one...that would be a hella big sign and therefore impractical....and two....if it were that easy to figure out I wouldn't be awake all night eating candy and trying to read Jane Eyre while my eye twitches outta control (I'm reading Pride and Prejudice hoping that a good dose of some good old fashioned romance will take me away from all my troubles, but all it does is remind me that I am very much without a Mr. Darcy). SO, I have to do something. I can't continue feeling this way. I'm not one of those people that can swallow the unhappiness and roll on. Heck no!!! Not for a second. Once it hits me that somethings wrong, the investigation starts. Detective Katie has to get to the bottom of the eye twitch before she gets fired for sexual harrassment.

I pray that God give me wisdom and discernment as I choose the road to follow. I pray that I choose the road on which God has already gone before me and make the way. I pray that I be filled with the Holy Spirit and through His power and strength I will do the right thing even if it doesn't make me "happy" at the time. I pray that God lead me to the decision that brings peace. I am not as concerned about immediate happiness as I am about having a deep and true peace. I pray that I am able to shut up long enough to hear what God wants me to do. I pray that God put people in my life that direct me where to go. I thank God for all of the blessings that I have. Not for one second am I not grateful for all of the wonderful blessings in my life. It is enough, Jesus! YOU are enough! No matter how bad the storm, I will never doubt that God is there and that He loves me. I am not asking God for the easy way out. I am asking God to lead me through the narrow opening and onto the curvy road that is His path. I don't want an "easy" life...oh no...too boring...I just want a peaceful soul. Thank you Jesus for the support of my friends and family. I am loved. I am cared for. And I am not alone. I pray for everyone reading this post...I pray that even now as they read these words that you reach into their hearts and bring them comfort. Fill them with your love. Bless their lives and show them that you love them. PRAISE GOD!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Yep, I'm a blogger.

I did it. I started a blog. I'm gonna be honest I'm a little nervous about all this blogging stuff. My goal is to be as honest as possible about my daily struggles, triumphs, blessings, mishaps, etc as I try and figure out what God wants me to be when I grow up and where He wants me to go to do my grown up stuff. Although I am a bit of a chronic oversharer by nature, I do feel that being honest about my struggles is going to be a challenge. But I feel that it is important for me...and for anyone joining me...that I be honest even if someone doesn't like what I say...especially if that someone is ME. I will be changing the names of people in my posts in order to protect the not-so-innocent (joking). I pray that God use this blog to touch not only the readers lives, but also mine. I pray that God use me and my experiences to reach out to the reader and touch their hearts. I want people to see God through me...even when life isn't too pretty..actually, especially when life isn't too pretty. Thank you to anyone who is reading my stuff. God is the star of this show...I am just the key grip or stage hand. In the film business the term dailies (the title of my blog) is used to describe the unedited, raw footage shot during the making of a motion picture. I didn't actually know that until I Googled it this evening when I got home. Why did I Google the word dailies you ask!? Because on my way to work this morning as I am talking with my best friend Jesus about what I am supposed to be doing with my life. Pretty much desperately seeking His guidance. He answered with this: start a blog. I kinda rolled my eyes, and then the He said: You're eyes are gonna get stuck like that if you're not careful. I giggled, then I listened. What He said next was: And call it Dailies...a journey through the struggles, triumphs and blessings of a young Christian trying to figure it all out. So, I thought that "dailies" just referred to the daily struggles,etc...not that it had a double meaning. And that was that. I kinda just rolled on with my day. When I found out that dailies refers to unedited and raw footage I totally fell in love with the title. This blog is going to be the unedited and raw footage of the motion picture that is my life. I am the actor, God is the writer, director, producer, and editor. So...sit back, grab some popcorn, and enjoy...the movie is just about to start!