Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fahrenheit 300...

This morning in F.U.S.E, our youth ministry at church, my brother Kirk, had one of the kids (sorry Ross, I know you're not a kid, but that's what I'm gonna use okay!? Love you!) preach on something that God had laid on his heart. The message Ross gave blessed me immensely and basically....changed my life and the way I look at hardships. : )

Recently, Ross was making peanut brittle. Apparently, the deal with peanut brittle is that in order for it to get to the point where it is hard, the ingredients have to reach 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything less than that and you'll either be drinking sweet peanut soup or have some goopey peanut nastiness on your hands. The point is....until it gets hot enough to stand's easy changed and pliable. God showed Ross that until you are ready and willing to go through some heat to get hot enough to stand're not going to be able to stand for anything.

So, my brother then asked, what would happen to a human at 300 degrees Fahrenheit? There were some pretty gross (and accurate I'm sure) descriptions of what would happen to a human body if the insides reached 300 degrees Fahrenheit. But what it all boils down to....pun that a human would die at such high temps.

Water boils slowly. It starts off at room temperature and slowly builds until it's boiling. God doesn't bring us to situations that He hasn't prepared us for. The key is, we have to be willing to fight the battles that God calls us to or we will never become prepared for the bigger things. God starts us off at room temperature and builds us up until we are on fire. Are you willing to reach 300 degrees Fahrenheit and die to your ideas about life and your own way of living or run away out of fear because you can't take the heat?

Just like the peanut brittle, when we start our walk with God, we are going to be faced with some heat. As we make it through eat situation, the temperature gets a little hotter. Until we are willing to catch on fire for God, we will be easily swayed and redirected. I don't want to be peanut soup or a gooey mess....I want to be strong and stand for something that is worth dying for. Sound a little romantic, maybe even crazy!? Good....that's what I'm goin' for.

Then Kirk talked about King David. King David wasn't born a King. He wasn't born into royalty. He was a shepherd that protected his father's sheep. While protecting his father's sheep he came up against some pretty unreal stuff. He had to fight a bear and a lion in order to protect his sheep. He could have run and let the bear or lion get the sheep, but instead...he protected them. Who would miss a few sheep here and there? But what mattered to David's father, mattered to David. All the trials and hardships that David had to go through prepared him for the day he fought Goliath. No one would stand up and fight the giants, but God had already shown David that he can do anything with the strength of God. So David stepped up to fight Goliath with the knowledge that God had been raising him up and preparing him for a moment such as this. After David killed Goliath, David's friends and other witnesses went out and killed giants too. So, when you fight, you aren't just fighting for yourself. You are fighting so that other people can witness that winning is possible. Miracles do happen. Even when we think we are going to be the only one's standing up to fight, we are sometimes surprised who is willing to stand next to us once we have the guts to get our butts up off the seat. David kept facing the heat and fighting the good fight....and God took the humble shepherd and made him a King. God is no respecter of persons...what He did for David, He will do for you. No joke.

Have you ever been in a situation where you know in your gut that you need to stand up and say something and you think everyone is going to look at you like you're crazy, or get mad because you're rocking the boat? I mean, you literally start to actually feel hot. You have something burning inside you that needs to get out. I feel like I find myself in situations all the time where God is giving me the opportunity to face the heat and stand up for what's right. It's my decision as to whether I am going to risk saying or doing something that people won't like or if I am going to keep my mouth shut so that I can just blend in and not rock the boat. If I pass up the small things, then why would God ever give me something bigger? There have been situations (many, actually) in my life where I didn't realize that I was in a bad situation until I was right in the middle of it. It's like waking up in a bad dream. When you find yourself in a place where you are heading away from God's path, even if you didn't mean to, there is no time to waste. Get your big girl boots on and get ready for a fight. In order to follow God, you are going to have to fight to stay on the path.

My life has been a battle. It still is. Even when I was a kid I had hard battles to fight. And even though the battles changed as I grew, the fight didn't get any easier. Looking back to that little girl from where I am is truly a miracle of God. People that know me now would probably never guess my struggles, but I know that is the same for everyone. I'm happy that people don't look at me and see a battle torn person. My scars have been healed. What shows now is the light of God and that's all that matters. The simple fact that I am here to write this just shows me that God has big plans for me. My success isn't going to be measured in money, things, and job success is going to be measured by how I live my life for God.

Is life hard right now? Feeling like you are being handed lemon after lemon? Feel like crawling back into bed and pull the covers over your head and hope that the situation miraculously resolved itself? Does life seem unfair? Do you feel like you can't go on? Do you feel the heat?

You know what God tells us to do when we find ourselves facing trials of many kinds????? He tells us to REJOICE!


Why would we rejoice when life sucks!???? That's because when you are facing hardships and trials, this is just a confirmation that God is preparing you for something greater. Think of hard things you've made it through in the past. When you were going through it, you probably wished and prayed that you wouldn't have to, but looking back...aren't you glad that you did it!? You are stronger now. If you were faced with the same situation again, you would have knowledge on how to get through it. Do you see how that hard situation has shaped you? God loves us too much to leave us as gooey peanut soup that can't stand up against the things that come at us in life. That is why God doesn't give us anything we can't handle. Whatever you are facing right now...guess what....God knows you can do it. You may think you're not strong enough, other people might think you're not strong enough, but God KNOWS that you are or you wouldn't be there. You can't compare yourself to others, the battles that you face are going to be different and you are going to fight them differently than anyone else. The point is to keep fighting. Surround yourself with faithful warriors that will help you hold your sword and shield when they get too heavy. You may not feel like a warrior, but if you are facing hard times in life...believe are. And never forget Who is leading you into battle...God.

It's like lifting weights. If you haven't been training and strengthening your muscles and then you just walk up and try to bench a bunch of're going to get hurt and you're going to be crushed by the weight. Sometimes we find ourselves in bad situations that we can't handle because God didn't bring us there....we brought ourselves there and now we are in over our head. We weren't trained or prepared and now we are hurt and bruised. But don't worry...we are never alone even when we head out on our own and away from the path of God. The Bible tells us that God is even there when we make our beds in hell. Whoa...that's pretty crazy. We can only set out to follow the path of God and if we find that we have gone the wrong way...don't let guilt and hurt keep you from getting back up....just dust yourself off and try again.

I needed to hear this today. I thank God with all my heart for the amazing friends and family I have that help keep me standing. My family has seen me grow from a frail little thing into a woman that will fight and never give up. These friends and family are fighting their own battles as well. We are all moving forward...our arms linked. When one person starts to go down, the people beside them lift them up. When life seems overwhelming and you feel like you might drown in your To-D0 list...just turn that To-Do list into a battle plan and remember that God has given this trial to you because you are a shepherd that He is turning into a King.

For those about to battle....I salute you...


Katie the Great

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Great Expectations....

My previous blog about my humorous and death-defying search for the perfect pair of jeans really got me thinking a lot about "expectations". And what I've come to realize is....we really expect a lot....great expectations. We are all just a big bunch of expectors (new word). We expect a lot out of life, out of our friends, out of our families, out of our spouses, out of our jobs, out of our educations, out of our blue jeans, and especially out of ourselves, and so on and so on. People, places and things aren't adding up to our expectations and we as people aren't living up to the expectations of the people, places, and things. No wonder we are so darn unhappy.

When we have expectations about something, and it doesn't happen the way we envisioned it would...we are disappointed. Along with our very long lists of what we expect, we have ideas of what we deserve and should have, which are greatly skewed as well.

I've realized that expectations are a huge part of why we are so sad, depressed, stressed, and disappointed. Expectations keeps us in a mold. They keep us weighed down. They keep us from dreaming, wandering, and flying free. We all want to be free, but we keep bogging ourselves down with trying to be all that we are expected to be...for others and for ourselves.

In my own life, I've been feeling overwhelmed with stress and pressure because of what I feel people expect from me, and even more so, what I expect from myself. I worry that if I don't always smile, laugh and say positive things that people will think that I don't trust God, or they'll worry that somethings wrong with me, or that people will think I'm a negative person, or that....etc. I worry that if I don't show up for church every Sunday that people will think that I gave up on God, or that I'm leaving, or that somethings wrong, or that I'm doing bad things, or that....etc. I worry that if I mess up at work or don't work till I fall over that people will think I'm lazy, or that I don't know what I'm doing, or that I don't care, or that I suck, or that...etc.

I could go on...believe neurosis run deep.

But here's the deal, I don't deal well with unhealthy expectations. None of us do. When people start putting unhealthy expectations on me and then don't like it when I don't play the part they want me to play...I get the heck outta Dodge. Not gonna do it.

In my personal opinion, I think unhealthy expectations is a large reason we have such a high divorce rate, as well as high depression and suicide rates. We expect a lot from each other when it comes to relationships. This applies to all types of relationships...friendships, dating, marriage, families. I'm not talking about people expecting me to show up for work on time, and things like that...we need those types of expectations. I'm talking about the unhealthy ones that are self-centered, selfish, and just plain yuck. I am guilty of putting unhealthy expectations on people...we all are.

When I was writing my blog about finding the perfect jeans, I realized that the reason it's seems so impossible is is. There is no such thing as the perfect jeans. They can be great, they can be nice, they can be comfortable, they can lift your butt, they can make you look taller, etc, but they will never be perfect. They will change over time. It's inevitable. They're denim for goodness sake. Even if the jeans stayed the same....I will change over time. All I have to do is walk by a Krispy Kreme and I gain 5 pounds. Nothing stays the same from one millisecond to the next. We live in an ever changing universe....alive and jumping. We realize this...and yet, we refuse to be forgiving and understanding when it comes to each other. The perfect jeans don't exist and the perfect partner doesn't exist. We are all flawed...we're a little somethin' I like to call...human. But for some reason we want to make excuses for why we aren't perfect, but blame everyone else for not being perfect. We're SO WeIrD!

We are living in crazy times. Since the industrial revolution the world and the people in it have grown and changed exponentially, and I don't see it slowing down. Everything is moving faster and faster, and getting bigger and better. We have drive-thru's, vending machines, and the whole world at the touch of our finger via our cell phones. Society is telling us to get what we want, take what we want, look out for ourselves, and screw anyone that doesn't fulfill our every hope and dream. If your love life isn't The Notebook then it's time to jump ship, right!? We're supposed to live the dream , but I kinda want to wake up from this dream because it's turning into a nightmare.

We think that our love lives should be like what we see in the movies, and then we're disappointed when they aren't. We think our friends should be our crutches instead of people to just walk beside us on our journey, and then we are mad when they aren't there. But God tells us to be humble, give selflessly, put others before ourselves, love our neighbor, and above all else, love God....put our trust in Him. Until we are willing and able to do these things, we are going to be sad, angry, disappointed people. We are a self-focused society and we need to start giving and stop taking. We are willing to donate our money to charity and give our old things to Goodwill, but we have a hard time giving forgiveness, charity, and kindness to the people sitting in our own living room. Our boyfriends, parents, friends, husbands, wives, bosses, teacher, etc can't carry us through our lives...only God can do that. But instead of leaning on God and trusting in God, we turn to people...and people....let us down. No matter what, everyone that you love, even the people you think are as close to perfect as you can get, will let you down. It's inevitable. The key is, to not have unhealthy expectations and to lean on God instead of on people. It's not fair to put unhealthy expectations on people...especially when none of us like having them put on us.

When you have God living in your heart, your life changes even without you trying. You trust in God and not people. You love people with the love of God. You see people through God's eyes. You forgive people, because God forgives you. God loves us, and He wants us to want to be with Him and follow Him, but He doesn't force us to. We have free will. We don't have to do anything that we don't want to do....we aren't robots. God loves us too much to force us. God loves us even if we don't love Him. Isn't that amazing!? I can't imagine that. Can you imagine loving someone so much that you would die for them, but they wouldn't even look at you or talk to you? That would be pretty awful. But God does that. So, if God loves unconditionally, then shouldn't we try to do the same?

Think of all the ways that you put expectations on yourself or that other people put on you, or that you put on other people. Are any of those expectation unhealthy? Are you leaning too much on other people? Do other people lean too much on you? Do you kill yourself trying to be everything to everyone all the time? Do you love with conditions? Do others love you with conditions?


Let go.

Be free.

Live in the knowledge that you are free in God.

John 8:32 - Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

Galatians 5:1 - It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened by the yoke of slavery.

Psalms 27: 1-3 - The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?

Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

1 Corinthians 3:16 - Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?


Expector and Expectee....Katie

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm convinced the devil invented jean shopping....

I didn't think it was possible...but was.

Alert the media! I found a pair of skinny jeans. And....they fit me.

I see plenty of women of all shapes and sizes walking around with jeans that fit...but for just doesn't happen. Until now....

The Story about the Skinny Jeans

by Katie McNemar


Wajhma Massoumi - as the best friend with a positive attitude that refused to give up on my quest for the perfect jeans.

Gap sales lady - as the lady that started the downward spiral into my inevitable existential breakdown.

BDG Skinny jeans from Urban Outfitters- as the jeans that finally fit perfectly and gave me hope for a future..a future where women don't hate to shop for jeans.

Once upon a time there was a girl (I mean woman) named Katie. She wasn't too big. She wasn't too small. She was juuuuuust riiiight. All Katie wanted in the whole wide world was a pair of jeans that fit. Not too big. Not too small. But juuuuusst riiiight! So one day, Katie went skipping through Georgetown with her best friend Wajh....

Okay, I'm gonna have to stop telling the story like that...

So anyway, Wajh and I weren't really planning on actually buying things when we set out on our journey..just some coffee...some window shopping (I know...silly girls!). Plus, it was just one of those days that you just knew wasn't a "jean shopping" kinda day. It was more like one of those "I feel like I just ate ten people and washed them all down with a big bucket of lard" kinda days. One of those days where even your "I gained a few pounds" jeans are fitting a little snug. One of those days where if you tried on a pair of jeans in the size YOU KNOW YOU ARE EVERY OTHER DAY and they were too small you would just scoop your eye out with a spoon.

If you're a woman, and you've gone jean shopping, then you know that I am in fact not being overly dramatic. I feel like I need at least 7 days to prepare to go jean shopping. I need to run every day, stop eating, and grow 6 inches.

The sales lady in the Gap must have not gotten the memo that I was having a "not jean shopping" day. I thought it was pretty clear. Big coat, baggy jeans, no hair was in pigtails for goodness sake! In my own silly mind I just assumed that any observant sales person...or person in general for that matter...would take one look at me and know that I had just eaten ten people and washed them down with a bucket of lard and was in no mood to try on jeans....but I was wrong. Apparently I looked like someone with a firm grip on reality.

The sales lady saw me briefly glance at the jean section and then she was on me like a gazelle. I didn't have the strength to fight her off. Before I knew it, my sorry butt was in the dressing room with a pile of jeans. Now, I know what I size I normally am. I have Gap jeans. BUT, this particular I had previous guessed it would be...nothing fit me. I tried to explain to the sales lady that I refuse to try on jeans that are two sizes bigger than what I KNOW I wear strictly because....mentally....I couldn't handle it. So, I left the gap spending only $7 on a pair of very stretchy, very comfy...flannel pj pants. Hallelujah!

We go from store to store...each one as mentally damaging as the next. I mean, while I'm at it I might as well have just tried on some bikini's to really drive my self esteem into the ground. My mind was spinning with dreadful thoughts of three way mirrors, florescent lights, and size zero sales ladies. I tell myself to be thankful that the jeans don't fit because I can't really afford them anyway. But then that thought is kicked out by the even bigger thought that I would sell my kidney for a pair of jeans that fit and didn't make me look fat, short, frumpy, and give me a mean case of muffin top. Wajh, being the natural born inspirational speaker that she is and one of my biggest cheerleaders, continues to assure me that not only do I not look like someone that just ate ten people and then washed them down with a bucket of lard, but that she believes that there are a pair of jeans out there for me....and we aren't going home without them.

Even though I was acting like a ten year old...folding my arms across my chest and refusing to go into one more dressing room....Wajh convinced me to try on one more pair of jeans. I read the tag...skinny jeans. HA! said I. I told her that if I can't find regular jeans that would fit me, then there is no way one Earth that a pair of skinny jeans would fit. At that point I wanted to try them on just to prove to her that I was right and she was wrong.

But then it happened....

Even with the florescent lighting and low hopes.....I knew that I had found them. The perfect jeans. (Please see picture to the right...BDG Black and Blue Skinny Jeans from Urban Outfitters They weren't so high that they looked like mom jeans, but they weren't so low that my underwear hung out. The weren't so tight that it looked like I had eight butts, but they weren't so loose that you couldn't see my butt at all. They weren't so short that they looked like capri's but they weren't so long that I needed 5 inch heels just to wear them. They. were. PERFECT. And get this...they were affordable. I mean, I was ready to sell a kidney, so I suppose that any jean would be affordable in comparison. But the point was....even when I didn't think it was possible. Even when I wanted to give up. My best friend made me feel good about myself and helped me to see that what I want is out there.


I didn't plan on this happening when I started typing this blog, but typing that last paragraph has forced me to realize something. The same way I feel about shopping for dangerously close to the same way I feel about dating guys. Whoa.


Some days I he out there? The guy that just fits right?

Let's take it back to the jeans again for a second. When I'm shopping for jeans, sometimes I'll find a pair that fit right while I'm in the store....but once I wear them for a little bit...I realize that they totally don't fit. They either stretch out or start puckering in weird places, etc. But you don't know that when you're in the have to wear them first to find that out. See where I'm goin' here with this analogy!? I've had plenty of guys that seemed right at first only to realize that they are SO not fitting me.

Or sometimes you'll buy a pair of comfy, soft jeans and after wearing them a few times they start ripping and coming apart.

Or sometimes you'll buy a pair of jeans that are too tight and every time you put them on you feel like you can't breath and you can't wait to take them off.

I could go on, but I think you get the point.

I've gotten exhausted looking for the perfect pair of jeans and I've gotten exhausted looking for the right guy....but the point is...I won't give up on either one. I keep trying. I keep giving it a chance. And one of these days it will happen. The right guy will come along. And who knows....maybe it will be because of my new kick ass pair of jeans! : )


The Princess in the story that lives happily ever after....

Monday, January 25, 2010

He Moves in Mysterious Ways....

Today was a rough day. Not for me. Okay, for me too. It was a rough day for a lot of people that I know. In fact, it's been a rough couple of months for my friends and family. There are a lot of people I love and care about who are scared, in pain, sick, and worried. The people I worry about are worried about other people too. The need for comfort, healing, and love is overwhelming and I wish I could just make it all go away. But I can't.

I try to not let it get me down, but some days you just feel so helpless. I know that God is in control and that all I can do is allow Him to use me, but I want nothing more than for my friends and family to be happy, healthy, and full of the light and joy of God.

I haven't been spending much alone time with God lately. I feel like I talk to Him all the time, but I feel like it's been months since I have really stopped and allowed Him in. I talk about Him all the time and I know He's there, but today....out of nowhere.....I just needed to run to Him.

I was sitting in my office working after just talking to a friend about some sad news they had regarding their health. After all the sad news I've heard lately, this was the straw that broke the camels back...I just couldn't be strong anymore.

I felt this overwhelming urge to talk to God, so I walked (ok...I almost ran) to the church at Georgetown Hospital down at the end of the hall from my office. I go there on Thursdays when I can for the lunchtime church service, but it's open all the that is where I went.

As I walked past the pews and toward the front I felt the my face get hot and that's when the tears started. There was one other person in there a few pews back. I sat in the front and rested my head on the pew in front of me and I prayed and I cried. I haven't cried in a long time. Not because I stop myself from crying or try not to cry...I just haven't felt like I needed to. But today, the hot tears dropped off the end of my nose and onto the floor as I ran to the only Person that could help. I realized at some point that if I didn't get some tissues that the flash flood warning wasn't just going to be for outside the hospital, so I got up and quietly looked around the room. As I was just about to give up and walk out, the lady that was in the pews behind me lifted her head. She immediately got up and started to look for tissues with me. We didn't even look at each other as we are walking around the sniffing...her telling me it's going to be okay.

As we approach each other, we finally look up and realize that we know each other...kind of.
I've been at Georgetown Hospital for almost 3 years and for these 3 years I have seen the smiling face of this beautiful woman, but never knew her name. She is so full of light and love that you would be able to tell over the phone that she knows God. We would pass in the hall and share a smile, and sometimes say "how are you!?", but we never knew each other's names or where each other worked. One day as I was walking through the hall with one of my friends, I saw this lady and we said hi to each other like we had been friends forever. When I walked away my friend asked me who she was and I told her that I didn't know....but that I knew that she knew God.

This same lady is now staring into my watery eyes. She reaches out and she hugs me. I didn't pull away. I didn't try and act like everything was fine. I didn't try and be strong. I cried. It was like God's arms were wrapped around me. People were coming in and out and I didn't care. I was running to God and He was there. She and I prayed together. We prayed for my friends and family, we prayed for more God in our lives. We stood in the back of the church and prayed and prayed and prayed. People came and went, but we prayed until we couldn't pray anymore. Then we sat for a few minutes and talked. We both teared up realizing that God had just put us together at the exact right time and at the exact right place. God is so good. I made a new friend today...a new friend and sister. Thank you Elaine and praise God for you!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ain't No Mountain You Can't Climb....

What did Waylon Jennings and Big Bird ever do for me!? Well, they gave me this song...and even though I still have trouble climbin' mountains (literally and figuratively) and walkin' long's simple and it's true...and I love it:

I found out a long time ago
You gotta learn to say "yes" when life says "no"
Don't dwell on the bad times once they're past
That kind of thinking gets you nowhere fast

'Cause there ain't no mountain you can't climb
If you hang on tight and just make up your mind
Once you set your heart to movin' on
Son, there ain't no road too long
- Follow That Bird

I wish I was one of those people that approached obstacles (let's call them mountains to stick with the theme, shall we)..I mean mountains...and said "What!? You think just because you're a big mountain that I'm afraid of you? Whatever! Prepare to be defeated! I'll make you feel like nothing more than a piddly little ant hill (I realize that ant hills are quite complex and I am certainly not one of those people that step on ant hills...but I'm using the ant hill as more of a size reference....nothing against them.) I'm Katie McNemar and I do what I want, so either move aside or I'll help you move....SUCKA!" But I'm not. I'm not one of those people. I'm one of those people that come to a mountain and I say "Oh I'm sorry, I didn't see you there. I didn't mean to bump into kinda came out of nowhere. I wasn't trying to climb you or anything. Oh no...that would be crazy. I just climbed a perfectly satisfying hill before I saw you and...phew I am tired. I, um, will just be getting back to where I came from now. Sorry to bother you. Have a nice night."


But you know what. Even though I'm not naturally one of those people that come to an obstacle, road block, hard time, sad event and immediately feel prepared to tackle it....God helps me not turn around and go back.

Sometimes I get scared. I come to a place in my life where I know it's time to start hiking up the mountain of change (Plan A, if you will) and all that makes me want to do is start making Plans B-Z...most of which contain escape plans. It's not like I know I'm doing it. I don't purposefully screw up and make bad decisions. They just...happen....sometimes. But the good news is....I still complete Plan A!!!! Whoo hooo! I may have taken the hard route up the mountain or maybe I even walked around the mountain....but I got over the dag on thing and that's what's important. And after I get over the mountain, I can look back and say "What!? You think you own me!? Ah, NO, you don't...I own YOU, MOUNTAIN! THAT. JUST. HAPPENED!" Just kidding....I look back and say "Whoa! Did I just climb that huge freakin' mountain!? I had no idea! That's nuts! I guess it wasn't so bad after all."


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Least Likely of Creatures


The following post will contain references to Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars...just to name a few. Please enter at your own risk. The risk of becoming a bigger nerd.

Do you ever feel like you are in way over your head? I do. All the time. Like, almost everyday. I always have this underlying feeling that one of these days everyone's gonna realize that I am really just a MacGyver type holding it all together with a tube sock and an old piece of gum. I'm ready for it though, I already have my escape route planned (I'm not gonna give it all away, but it does involve a potato gun and some laffy taffy wrappers).

I am the least likely of creatures, you see. Just like Frodo in The Lord of the Rings. Just like Harry Potter. Just like Luke Skywalker. Just like King David. Just like Jesus.

Why me? Why did God pick me?

God can do whatever He wants...obviously. But it seems as though His "thing" isn't to take someone who became a King by his own strength and make him an even bigger and better King. It seems as though God's "thing" is that He takes the least likely person, the one that never feels like they are worthy, the one that tends to feel like they aren't strong enough or able to do big things....and He makes them King.

Frodo was just a small little hobbit from nowhereville. He ended up being entrusted with a very powerful and evil ring. Because of his innocence and pure heart he was given the burden of carrying the ring to Mount Doom in the land of Mordor in order to have it destroyed forever. This ring had a very powerful wanted to be found. So for years and years, Frodo evaded death left and right in order to complete this journey. It doesn't seem fair that Frodo was given this that the reward for a pure heart!? Hardship?? Frodo was exausted, overwhelmed, and scared a lot of the time. He didn't feel like a warrior at first. But as he continued....and didn't quit....and didn't give up...he grew stronger...more savy...more determined.

I totally feel like this in my life. God has given me this enormous task, and sometimes I just don't feel like I can do it. Instead of dealing with trying and failing...I would rather just stay in bed. But that's the thing about God...He doesn't give us a purpose and then just let us stay in bed and cover up our heads. He gives us the strength to complete our purpose even when we don't have enough to go on.

The same with Harry Potter. An abused teenage orphan becomes one of the most powerful wizards ever. It's not like Harry woke up one day and said...hey, there's something special about me...I'm going to go out and rule the wizarding world. Nope. He was always surprised by his gifts. His home life was impossible and sometimes he felt totally alone, but he didn't give up. There were people fighting for Harry even when he didn't know it.

Luke Skywalker wasn't out to conquer a galaxy far far away. He was just an orphaned boy who grew up on sandy Tatooine (I warned you...I am a nerd...and now you are too!). But low and behold...this skinny little orphan became the leader of the rebel alliance. Dude...he kicked ass. Other than the fact that he fell in love with his twin sister that he didn't know he had for a moment....Luke's life ended up pretty amazing considering that his father was trying to kill him.
If there hadn't been a Goliath, then maybe David never would have left the fields where he sheparded his father's sheep in order to become King. David was far from perfect even after all that God had done for him. He ended up sleeping with a married woman and then having her husband killed in order to cover it all up. That doesn't sound like the same guy that wrote those beautiful psalms.
Jesus was also the least likely. He was a carpenter's son from Nazareth. He certainly didn't look like the creator of heaven and Earth. He looked like a normal Jewish guy. It was really hard for people in His hometown to accept Him as God because they had seen Him grow up.
God uses the least likely...the humble, the persecuted, the poor, the bad seed.
Think of Saul. He was one ruthless brotha. He used to brutally kill Christians. One night he met up with Jesus and because of mercy was reborn as Paul. One of Jesus' closest and most trusted friends.
I'm not saying that you should go out and do whatever you want just so you can get mercy. I'm saying that living in guilt or living in the lie that you're not enough is not a part of God's plan for your life. Put your trust in God and believe that He will guide you and not let you fall. No matter what you've done or how many times you've done it...God is merciful. God doesn't see us the way we do..we are so hard on ourselves. He delights in us. So smile and continue on in your journey. Be ready for twists and turns. Be ready for excitement. And remember that you are staring as the lead role in the movie of your life. And long as you are on the side of good and not evil, you shall prevail! The force is strong with you my child!
Ok...enough dorky movie references.
Live long and prosper,
The Little Blonde Hobbit

Birthday Week - Day 5 - Lord Have Mercy...Seriously...

I got an amazing card in the mail last week from my Aunt Gerdy. The end of my week was so crazy that I didn't even open the card until I got home last night. I immediately knew that God was trying to speak to me as I got one of the best presents a girl can get. My Aunt sent me a piece of paper she found in her Bible. This piece of paper is from the back of an old address book. When my cousin Heather and I were still in school she wrote about us and kept it. For my 29th birthday, she sent that piece of paper to me, and it melted my heart. Here is what it says:

A fresh breath of Spring. Lively yet tender disposition. Always ready to take care of the underdogs in this world. Words that best describe Katie include: sincere in her beliefs, a wonderful friend, slow to anger yet quick to get things done. Katie has a beautiful sense of the importance of family and keeps the angels busy helping her to keep us all on our toes. Katie has the smile and heart of one who conquers the unconquerable.

I seriously can't tell you how much this excerpt means to me. This was written at a time where I didn't see any of the above attributes in myself and and certainly didn't think anyone else did. This was also written at a time where I wasn't very close to my Aunt, so it amazes me that she would write such deep and meaningful things about me. This is mercy. This is Grace. This is how God sees me all the time, even when I feel like all I do is let Him down.

I watched the movie Les Miserables last night and it touched me in such a profound way...especially after reading this excerpt from my Aunt. If you've never seen it, spoiler alert. This is the ultimate story of mercy. In the beginning a robber who spent 19 years hard labor for stealing bread as a young man because he was starving, was shown mercy by a priest. The priest and his wife took the robber in and fed him and gave him a place to sleep. And what did the robber do in return? He stole their silverware and hit the priest over the head and left. When the police brought the robber back to the priest, the priest told the police that he had given the silverware to the robber, but that the robber had forgotten to take the two silver candlesticks he had given him as well. By the priest showing the robber mercy, even though in no way did he deserve it...he allowed the robber a new lease on life. He was a new person. The darkness was released. Throughout the rest of his life the ex-con showed mercy and love to all he could. His humble and selfless living wasn't easy, but in the end, he was rewarded greatly for his sacrifice.

This is how God sees me. I'm far from perfect. Like, way far. I am that robber. But instead of living my life bouncing from one place to the other stealing to get by...God showed me mercy, and now I am a new person. Just like the priest didn't condemn the robber, God doesn't condemn me. And just like the robber stole the priest's silverware because he was afraid he couldn't make it on his own....I do the same in my own life by working in my own power to hold onto things are weren't given to me. When I let go and stop trying to steal my way through life because of fear...God not only gives me what I was holding onto, but he gives me more than i could ever dream of.

I mess up all the time, but God sees the girl in that writing above. He doesn't look at me and say, "Again, Katie? Really!? Why can't you just get it together? You never do anything right." God says, "You have the heart of one that conquers the unconquerable."

Birthday Week Day 4 - Mom recounts Katie's school days

For Birthday Week Day 4, the honored and revered guest blogger, my mom, will dazzle you with stories of my school days. In order to defend myself, I will comment..they will be in red. Prepare to be amazed.

Katie's Island Nursery years: Believe it or not, Katie was quiet and shy. She had curly blonde hair and was very particular about picking out clothes to wear each day. She picked up her clothes and kept her toys put away. She couldn't even go to sleep if her closet door was ajar or blankets were wrinkled. None of this would be a surprise to you unless you are a previous roommate.

I remember being particular about everything when I was a kid. I also remember being shy and quiet...which believe it or not, I still am sometimes.

Katie's Academy Grade School, East Main Street School, Union Elementary School and Intermediate School days. We lived in the same place through these years but for one reason or another, she changed schools almost every year. OK, it is hard to pick a story but in case you haven't heard about Katie's insatiable lying, here goes. Katie made up a story at school about having an older brother that was in the service. Of course, the principal knew us and knew that Katie did not have an older brother. She continued stories about him, gave him a name and almost convinced her brother, Kirk, that they had another brother.

In my defense all that moving made it hard to make friends...especially for a shy and quiet girl such as me. You failed to mention howI used to get picked on...which would explain the insatiable least kinda. Don't fault me for having an active imagination.

Katie at BUMS (Buckhannon-Uphsur Middle School). I choose the "Woodstock Party" for this era. Katie and Heather decided to have a party at our old house out on the Elkins Road. Connie (my sister) and I told them they could have a party but we did not know that they made flyers and passed them out at school. Connie and I were trying to scarf down some food before the party started. We looked out the window and there was a stream of kids coming down the long driveway. Our neighbor had a rustic fence and they were setting all along the fence and more were coming down the road. We went into panic mode. I told Connie, "You take the back yard and I'll take the basement". We corralled them until Randy got home to help.

Hey...that party kicked ass. That's all I have to say.

Katie in high school. Well, cheerleader, soccer player, sprinter in track, Homecoming Queen, Prom Queen. Katie always wanted to do it all. She had a slight problem of finishing what she started sometimes. Needless to say we were very proud of her. For birthday week, I prefer to tell stories about Katie getting into trouble. Heather is going to relate my favorite story. I will tell about Katie and Heather driving our new Jeep (the one Katie has now). They took someone home that lived up a narrow driveway. They were both looking out the window and backing down the driveway. Somehow they did not see a building on the side of the road and scraped the side of the car. Katie had to pay for it herself. We told her we were not going to report it to our insurance. She went to Jenkins Ford and got it done for a song. We could not believe that they would do it $250 or $300. I guess it helps to be a pretty girl.

Why do one thing when you can do it all!!!? I don't finish things that I don't like. Why force yourself to be miserable doing something you know isn't right for you. I'm not a quitter...I'm more of a try everything and weed out the stuff that sucks kinda person. I don't know what it means to have something "done for a song" but all I know is that they made that Jeep look good as new.

Marshall University. The thing I remember the most was moving every year. A habit that Katie and Heather had after college. Actually, both of them has moved in the last 2 months. Chrissy and Krisha were Katie's first roommate. Their first apartment was not bad but they thought they wanted a house. It turned out to me owned by a slum lord. I called the building inspector on him. Then they moved over on 6th Ave in a pretty nice apartment house (except for the hookers on the corner). Katie then moved to an apartment by herself with her new puppy, Bailey. Bailey moved out first so Katie would not get kicked out. Katie was also suffering from sleep deprivation because the puppy chewed on her all night long. Whow, that makes about 10 places since you moved out of home. Makes me tired to think about it.

I'm a nomad.

Hope I am invited back to Birthday Week next year. Love ya, MOM

You will most certainly be invited back for Birthday week next year. Who else knows enough about me to make fun of me so thoroughly!?



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

BDay Blog Day 3: The Walk of Friendship by Wajh

YAY! It's my birthday! The following blog is brought to you by one of the best friends a girl could ever have. The Dailies are proud to present today's birthday week guest blogger Wajh.

The Walk of Friendship

by Wajh

I had a lot on my mind that day. Life was taking a toll on me. Too much was happening all at once. I wanted to share my story and tell someone before I burst and exploded into tiny little pieces…but I couldn’t. I lived a very private life. Aside from my immediate family, I didn’t know who to trust and how to share my life stories. And…so God sent me Katie Lynn McNemar.

I was sitting at my desk, answering, what seemed to be 1000 phone calls, my mind was in complete chaos about my personal situation and I just, physically, did not feel good. So, I looked over to Katie’s desk and seriously, like a ray of sunshine she smiled at me – as wide and genuine as anyone can smile and then shrugged her shoulders. For that moment, I forgot that I was dealing with a million things and smiled back. Before I knew it, we were “fake” laughing and then eventually burst out laughing so loud in the office, like no one was listening. Later that day, towards the end of the day, Katie came and sat on the chair next to my desk and asked if I was okay….that’s all it took. Normally, I would answer with “yes, I’m fine”…to just about anyone else that would ask me that question. There was something about the way she asked…it was the hope in her eyes and the deep sympathy, empathy & caring in her voice that I couldn’t help but answer her.

Unlike me, Katie had a very carefree personality. Nothing in her life was private. She too was going through a break up. Katie sat in that chair, for the next hour and shared her story as I shared mine. Her face would change and her eyes would tear up from time to time. So, we decided to go to a restaurant and talk some more. We walked slowly to the parking garage. We took a few steps and then we would stop. We would talk for a few minutes and then we would walk some more. Every time we stopped, another story would come up that somehow linked us…meaning, our lives were so similar. We finally walked to the car and somehow ended up sitting on my couch, at my apartment and talked non-stop until 11:00 p.m. without eating anything and only had a glass of water and we talked and talked. Every minute of that conversation, I would find out more and more about Katie McNemar. Her stories amazed me. Her maturity amazed me. Her spirit amazed me. Most of all, her heart and courage amazed me.

Her life has been an adventure. She hasn’t traveled all over the world…no not that kind of an adventure. It has been a learning adventure. Katie has made every step of her life a learning process, whether it was learning from her parents, her brother, her sister in law, her friends, her boy friends, her dog, her neighbors, relatives and even the homeless on the streets. She is amazed by life and people’s stories. She wants to know more about everyone’s inner core…their soul. Ever since I’ve known her, she gets so deeply involved with people…she connects with them at a very deep spiritual level. She usually ends up helping those people become better…and from every connection and story, she learns something about herself and makes her own life better... and ladies and gentlemen – that’s the key to life. Everyone can sit and listen to you, everyone can nod their head, everyone can give you some advice here and there. Yet, not everyone can connect with your soul and make you and themselves better.

Katie Lynn McNemar was born on January 13th, 1981 – A ray of sunshine, even when she’s in a grumpy mood – She has become a best friend that will be there for you through your toughest times in your life! A daughter, from what her parents say –that they are proud of every day! A sister that when talking with her brother and sister in-law, look up to her, respect her and loves her so much! A warm and kind human being that will treasure your heart and nurture your soul, no matter what your relationship is to her! Happy Birthday Katie! : )

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Birthday Week Day 2 - Guest Blogger....MOM

Awwww! Me and my mommy! We look alike, we walk alike, sometimes we even talk alike.

Back by popular demand...
The Dailies are proud to present....Sharon McNemar....Birthday Week Guest Blogger Day 2:

Today I must comment on the picture that you have of your dad setting on the hospital bed in his scrubs and holding you on his knees. Meanwhile, the new mother is setting on the chair in the corner. Again, enough about me; the idea of the picture is, you quickly became the center of our attention. We have spent 29 years trying to break the habit but you are just too pretty, fun and interesting. The phenomenon of giving Katie a lot of attention snowballed and now the whole world admires our creation (again enough about me - oh, and I guess your dad too). Can't wait for day three, the birthday day of birthday week.

I wish I had that picture of dad sitting on the hospital bed as you sat in the chair beside the bed...hours after giving birth. I'm sure watching you go through 18 hours of labor was hard on dad...he needed a break. And quite did I. I was a baby for goodness sake!

Ya know...I've realized a lot over these 29 years. One of the most important things I've come to understand is the importance of family. My mom and dad are so special to me. No matter what I've put them through...and they've put me through....we love each other. No man can love you like your daddy and no human on earth can understand you and love you like your mommy.

I was just talking to my mom the other day about her mom, my grandma. I was talking to my mom about how when you are scared, sick, or hurt, there is no one on earth that can comfort you or heal you like your mommy. She told me about how right after her mom died, she got really sick with a terrible cold. She was miserable and my dad was trying his very best to do anything and everything to make her feel just wasn't the same. The more he tried, the more my mom missed her mom. The more he got frustrated at not being able to fix the problem....the more my mom ached to have her mom there. I get it. I totally get it. No one can fix things like your mom. You see, moms stay....they stay when you are grumpy and mean...they stay when nothing makes it better....they stay when you are gross and smelly....they stay when you want to be left alone....they stay. They are your mom. And they stay. No matter how much a brother, sister, boyfriend, husband, or best friend loves you...they aren't your's just not the same. While everyone else may eventually get tired of you and your grumpy's stay.

Hearing my mom tell me about missing her mom totally shook me. I cried just imagining not being able to talk to my mom whenever I want. I remember when grandma was alive and she used to call every single evening and I would get so frustrated because I knew she didn't have anything important to talk to mom about and I had boyfriends to sit on the phone with and not have anything important to talk about...priorities people! Even my mom would get frustrated sometimes that her mom would call every day, but she talked to her matter what. It wasn't until recently that I could understand how devastating it would be to never get that evening phone call from my mom. Even though we rarely have much to talk about, and it's usually that she just wants to make sure that I made it into my apartment life would be forever changed without it. I've tried to stop. I've tried to not call her. And she tries not to call me. But I find myself just needing to sit on the phone with her for a few minutes and talk about nothing in order to feel okay sometimes. Sometimes we literally don't talk at all. I listen as she does the dishes, or talks to the dog, or fights with my dad about something silly. I'm going to be 29 tomorrow....but on days at work where people are mean and I want to cry...I still call my work....from my desk.

Our conversations consist mostly of me talking and her listening. I don't ever ever ask her about her day. I don't ask her how she is. I don't ask her if she's happy. I talk about myself. And she listens. Because she is my mom and she is the only person on this earth that I can be totally and completely selfish and ungrateful with and she will still pick up the phone SO excited to hear from me every day. With everyone else in my life, there is a nice balance of I talk about me, and then they talk about them....equal, ya know....but with my mom it's different. When I am nervous, I am mean to my mom. She doesn't take it personally...she just knows from her mommy instincts that I'm nervous. When I am grumpy, I don't put on a happy face for my mom. In fact, I think I get even grumpier. When I am sick, I magnify it a million times when I talk to my mom so I can get attention. It doesn't seem fair. She doesn't have her mom to be grumpy and mean to, but I do. One day when I don't have that cheerful hello on the other end of the phone "HEY KATE!" I will be truly lost.

I don't know why it's so easy for me to tell my friends how much I love them and my brother how much I love him, but can't seem to tell my mom. It's not because I don't. I think it's because the love I have for my mom is so deep and so complicated that I don't know how else to express it....other than to sit on the phone and talk about nothing in order to feel sane.

Mom, I love you more than I can say...obviously...since I don't really say it very well. I unfortunately express my love for you in the same way I did when I was a kid....and that love is expressed by needing you. I need you. I love you. Thank you.

Love,'re mommy needin' 29 year old

Monday, January 11, 2010

Birthday Week Guest Blogger....Mom

I am ending day one of Birthday week with a comment from a guest blogger. Please read the blog below brought to you by the wonderful woman that brought me into this mom...Sharon McNemar:

As your mother, I am sure no one could remember your birth better than me. Let me say to start with, that it was a highlight of my life, a dream come true, a blessing sent from heaven, the happiest I had ever been. That being said, I think day one should have some mention of 18 hours of labor. Enough about the mother's part in this. Let's move on to a comment about the picture you have on facebook of your proud daddy looking at you with adoring eyes. I love the picture but I can't forget what he said to Dr Reed when you finally arrived -"Will she have this much trouble giving birth next time?" And with the strength I had left, I grabbed your sweet daddy by the collar and said, "Next time?!!!" But one look into your beautiful eyes and all of that was forgotten. To be continued on day 2 of Katie's Birthday Week.

Thank you mom for the 18 hours of labor...I don't really remember it, but I sure am glad you kept on goin'! Katie McNemar being born wasn't easy...and Katie McNemar livin' life isn't always easy.....but both are a labor of love! : )

See you all tomorrow for Birthday week Day 2!

Katie's BIRTHDAY WEEK 2009!

It just love this picture. Little naked baby Katie and an awed and proud Papa McNemar gazing at his future (his afro covered securely by the hospital cap).

This was 29 years ago. Kathryn Lynn McNemar...the first child of Randall Lynn McNemar and Sharon Kay Eskew McNemar...6 pounds, 14 ounces.

My annual Birthday Week commences today!!!!


The Birthday Girl

Monday, January 4, 2010

Believe Again in Twenty Ten...

Yep, that's me. What am I doing, you ask!? Well...I'm dancing in the card isle of CVS on New Year's Eve. Why, what did you do that was more fun!? (Don't answer that.)

This picture really doesn't have anything to do with what I'm going to write about, but I just felt like posting I did. I do what I want.

Here's what I'm gonna write about...

Believe Again in Twenty Ten.

At church this Sunday my brother Kirk, who is the youth pastor at our church, was trying to come up with positive 2010 motto's..and of course, they have to rhyme. Some of the ones he came up with:

- I will grin in 2010
- I will win in 2010
- I won't hit my shin in 2010 (he already hit his shin, so we tossed that one out..)
- I will shave my chin in 2010 (that one does not apply to me...just wanted to be clear)
- I won't drink gin in 2010

You get the picture...

Then in the second service, Pastor Clark said it. The perfect 2010 motto. Believe Again in Twenty Ten.

I like it.

I can talk a big game, but honestly, I struggle all. the. time. to trust and believe in God's goodness and that He is here with me all the time and that He WANTS me to be joyful. 2009 was mighty fine (that rhymed), but I am moving into 2010 believing that this will be the year that I believe more than I ever have in my life...that God is good and wants to prosper me and my family. Faith is believing in what you hope for...and I believe that God wants to give me the desires of my heart. Not because I deserve it or I don't sin, but because He is a Good Father.

When I pray, I will believe that God hears me.

When I cry, I will believe that God saves every tear and that one day there will be no more tears.

When I am worried, I will believe that God has already gone ahead of me and paved the way for me. He will not start a good work in me and not finish it. Even when all the cards are down and it looks like I'm losing...I will believe that God's plan works all things out for good.

When I feel like things aren't working out the way I thought they would, I will believe that when God closes one door all I have to do is turn around and see that he has opened another one.

Sometimes we think the desires of our hearts are impossible, but BELIEVE that nothing is impossible with God. Believe again in that dream, even if it seems crazy. We only live once, my friends, it's time to let go of the "boo hoo for me" and embrace the impossible. Live. Love. Laugh. BELIEVE! Are you ready for a miracle?!

I am.



Sunday, January 3, 2010

Adios 2009, Hola 2010....


I am supposed to be super pumped and excited that it's a new year.

2009 is gone and 2010 now begins.

I'm supposed to make some new year's resolutions, like lose weight or stop drinking coffee, or whatever...but quite frankly....I'm fresh outta stuff to give up. I like my curves and my caffeine. I would like to give up having to pay rent...and parking tickets...can we arrange for that!? Didn't think so.

Don't get me wrong...I know that 2010 is going to be an amazing year! No doubt at all about that. I'm pumped every morning that I open up these hazel eyes and get to live another day!

I think what I've realized over the last few years is that I have the ability to live an awesome life every single day. God doesn't make time lines and say to us...okay, just get through 2009 and then I'll give ya a good year. God doesn't want us to live waiting for the next new year so that we can make more resolutions we can't keep, and then subsequently feel guilty about how we can't stick to anything...and then get depressed and year is another year...I'll have a better life then. No, God wants us to live every single day to it's fullest. Who does that!? Not too many's not an easy thing to do. People are walking around waiting for an awesome life to fall out of the sky and hit them on the doesn't quite work that way. If you want the best life have to get movin. Stop waiting.

I think the reason that I'm not jumpin outta my skin excited that it's 2010 is that I decided a long time ago that I was going to live every day trying to serve my purpose here on Earth. Some days I fail, and some days I do better than my best....but the point is...I don't wait. If there is something poisoning my life...I don't wait to make a resolution about it...I change it and move on. If I'm not happy with my life, then I take steps to change it.

God put the desires of our hearts in there for a reason. So we would pursue them. Each person is here for a specific purpose and therefore the desires written on your heart might be different from the ones written on mine....but the point is...they're there. Don't fear failure. Don't fear disappointment. Make your intention to follow the path that God has laid out for you and go. Don't let the fear of going the wrong way stop you from moving forward....just take that one step into the unknown and trust that God will guide you.

2009 was a year of big changes for me, but that didn't stop when the clock struck twelve on Jan. 1st, 2010. Each day of each year will bring change. What God was doing in my life in 2009 will flow into 2010, and so on. I know that no matter what, as long as I am living, I will be growing, changing, and learning. Not because I was finally able to stick to that new years resolution to lose 10 pounds, but because my intention is to walk in the will of God every single moment of every single every single year. I will never go backwards. I will only progress. My life will only get better...regardless of adversity, pain, heartache, or whatever road block life throws at me...because God is my teacher and the lesson is never over. God takes us through seasons...they can last for a day or for many years, but the constant is that they change....with us as in nature.

So Cheers to a new year of prosperity and blessings to everyone! I pray that God show us all how to live everyday like it's a new year. Live every day knowing that you serve a very importance purpose.