Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm Comin' Out....

Today I am doing my very first guest blog over at Big Mama's Blog.

I'm excited and also super scared to be sharing this with you all today.

I never know when it’s going to happen.  Sometimes it will hit me when I am in the middle of laughing at a joke.  All-of-a-sudden, I’ll feel a million miles away even though I am, physically, still in the same location.  I feel totally alone even though I am surrounded by people.   I look at the people I know and I feel like I don’t know them anymore.   The feeling of panic starts like a wave.  It grows in momentum until it finally comes crashing down on me.  I break out into a cold sweat.  My fight or flight response has been activated for no real reason.  I want to run, but I don’t want to freak everyone out or look like a crazy person.  It takes every drop of energy I have to not run.  The world seems to close in on me; wrap itself around me and squeeze so hard I can barely breathe.  I wish I could just unzip my skin and run out of the body that has me trapped inside.  The inability to calm myself down or talk myself out of this makes me feel like I am on a runaway train.  My stomach starts cramping and I get hot.  More sweating.  

To Read More CLICK HERE..... 



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

No Thank You, I've Got It.....

I always look forward to my walk to work in the morning during this time of year.  I usually bump some awesome music and lose myself for a few minutes while enjoying the scenery on my one mile hike.  I usually come back down to earth as soon as I get to the stone stairs beside the parking garage that lead to the main hospital entrance.  This is my signal to take out my ear phones, get my badge on, and switch into work mode. 

This morning as I reached the stair case I looked up and saw a young lady lowering a baby stroller down the stairs.  I could see little feet kicking from within.  She looked like she was having a hard time so I immediately I ran up the stairs and asked her if I could please help her carry the stroller down the stairs.  She smiled sweetly and politely told me, "no thank you, I've got it," as the back wheels of the stroller precariously bounced down to the next step. 

I just couldn't let this go.  All I could picture in my head was the stroller falling down the stairs with this precious little baby in it.  I asked her if I could at least carry her bags for her.  She once again smiled and declined my assistance.

I asked her again, "I'm sorry, but are you sure!?  This looks pretty unsafe; for both you and the baby. Please.  Let me help you. I really don't mind at all."  As I am saying this I throw my purse down on the stairs, and walk to the front of the stroller and grab it, preparing to help her carry it.

She looks at me this time with a serious look on her face and says, "Ma'am....No. Thank. You.  Seriously....I've got it."

So as hard as it was for me to do so....I politely consented to her request, let go of the stroller and said, "Okay, no problem.  But I'm just going to walk beside you anyway....just in case you need me."

Thank you Jesus for walking beside us, even when we say, "No thank you....I've got it."
Thank you for being there when we fall.



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

She Sells Sea Shells by the Seashore....

I have no idea why I feel the need to blog about what a crazy, lying, horrible, rotten child I was.  Maybe because it is such a stark contrast from the pillar of the community I find myself to be these days (giggle).  Maybe because I feel like it wasn't enough for my parents to live through it's best to force them to rehash every rotten moment via the world wide webs.  Or maybe it's because I haven't really changed much at all, but it is just way cuter and less likely to bring intense judgment if I tell stories from the past instead of from the present.

Yeah, it's probably that last one.

When I was growing up, the McNemar family somehow found our way to a beach every summer.  We would usually go as a big group with my cousins and aunts and uncles.  My brother and I would fight during the long car rides despite my mothers excellent aim with her backseat hand swat.  (We're lucky we never lost a leg.  I'm telling you, she had eyes in the back of her hand.  That right, I said hand.)

I loved the ocean, the sand, and the seagulls, but my favorite part was shopping in those cheesy touristy stores.  I would save up my allowance for months before we went to the beach just so I could blow it all on junk covered in tiny pink glued-on seashells and bright, plastic key chains to give to all my friends.  I dreamed of one day being a millionaire so that I could buy a hermit crab.  (When the dream of owning a hermit crab actually came true years later...I realized that not only did I not have to be a millionaire, but that hermit crabs are boring, smelly, and creepy.  Herman the Hermit didn't last long once we got him back to WV from his happy home at Edwards 5 &10 in Ocean City, MD.  Sad but true.  Another story of how my mom was right and I was wrong.  Don't tell her I said that.)  

Kirk, age 5 - Look at that FACE!

By the age of 8, I had somehow become greedier than Scrooge McDuck.  The week before our beach trip, as we are preparing and packing, my mom asks me to gather up all of the change I had saved over the last few months so that she could take it to the bank and get it counted and turned into cold hard cash-ola to take on our trip.  I went in my room and poured out my big red crayola crayon bank and began to count and separate my money.  I quickly realized that I was majorly penny-heavy.  I needed some silver and I needed it bad.  But how!?  WHERE!?

Then it hit me.  

My 5 year old little brother had a Mickey Mouse piggy bank chalked full o'quarters.  I knew this because he liked to brag about it.  And so began the plotting and planning that lead to the Great Quarter Heist of 1989....(I'm sure you've heard of it).

My reasoning was as such:
1) What could a 5 year old boy possibly want to buy at the beach?  I mean, he's freakin FIVE! 
2) Let's say he wants a paper airplane. Okay, well that will cost about $.50.  I'll leave that much in his piggy bank and he'll be as happy as a clam (even as a kid I was excellent with puns).
3) He's FIVE, he can't count his change.  He'll be none the wiser that anything is amiss.

So I waited until my mom was giving Kirk his bath and I quickly made the exchange.  Pennies for quarters.  It was during the midst of the heist that I got even greedier.  Why would I give him all these pennies???  If he can't count, then he won't notice if basically his entire piggy bank is gone, right?!

And I was totally right!!!!  He didn't notice at all!!!

But my mom did.

When Kirk brought his piggy bank to my mom, she noticed that for all intents and a couple was empty.  I remember my mom turning towards me, looking at my McDuck-sized money bag....back at Kirk's little angel eyes....then back to her hell-spawn of a daughter....then back to her innocent quarter-saving son.  She slowly and calmly asked me if I had any idea where Kirk's money had gone whilst staring directly at my silver-packed bag of change.  I had to think fast.  Of course I was going to lie, but!?  I don't remember what I said, but I do remember what happened afterwards.  I got punished for being a sneaky, shameless liar and thief.  I had to give my brother back all of his money, plus half of mine.   As she doled out the punishment I sat on the floor of my room holding my empty money bag crying.

My brother came in my room and saw me crying and said to my mom, "It's okay can give it all to Katie.  I don't want it.  I don't care.....Don't cry, Katie (as he pats me), you can have it".

Why!?  Why did he do that???  

In that moment, even though I was 8, I remember thinking to myself....I know in my heart that I wouldn't have returned the favor if he had done the same to me.  If I were him, I would have gladly taken back all my money and relished in his tears.

I wish I could tell you that immediately following this revelation, we had an adorable Cosby-type moment where I hug Kirk and tell him how sorry I was, how much I love him, ask him to forgive me, and promise to never do it again.

But that's not what happened.  

I looked at my mom and said, "See!!!!  Kirk doesn't, give it back!"  Yeah.  I know.  Awful.  Sick.  Selfish.  Horrible.  Mean.  Nasty.  My brother was willing to give me everything he had, even though I had totally plotted and planned against him, just so that I wouldn't be sad or get in trouble.

When I think of how I feel about my brother now, I just can't even imagine how I could have ever treated his soft little heart with such a lack of compassion and caring.  I didn't deserve his grace and mercy.  I didn't just accidentally hurt his feelings.  I actively and purposefully did something that I knew was wrong and that would directly hurt him and leave him with nothing.  Even after I rejected Kirk's kind words, I remember that he still wanted to hug me.  He hated to see me sad.  I felt so riddled with guilt and confusion about the whole thing, that I completely pushed him away.  I called him a name and yelled at him to get out of my room.  It's not because I didn't love him or feel bad; in fact, I wanted more than anything to run over and hug him, but I just felt so undeserving of his gesture.  

I stole that money from my brother because I thought there was something out there that I was going to miss out on.  I thought that if I didn't go out and get what I wanted for one was going to give it to me.  What I didn't know was that my mom was going to give me money to spend at the beach on top of the money I had saved just because she wanted me to have a good time.  My mom was getting ready to reward me, and I blew it because I felt that I had to take care of it on my own.  I felt like I didn't have enough.  I needed more.  Not only did I lose half of the money I had saved for months, but I missed out on the free gift my mom was going to give me just for being me and because she loved me.

Don't let guilt and fear keep you from the free gift of grace that Jesus offers.  He loves you, just for being you.  There is nothing you've ever done or will ever do that would make him take his love from you.  His kind of love and forgiveness is free...all you have to do is ask.  He wants to take your hard, hurting heart and heal it and make you new.  In exchange for eternal life, he just wants your old beat up life.  Maybe trading your junk in for a new life kinda sounds like Jesus is getting the raw end of the deal on this one, but believe me....he died for your junk so that you don't have to be buried by it.

My mom probably would have let me keep my money and given me the bonus cash if only I would have been honest when she first asked me, and told her I was sorry and asked she and Kirk to forgive me.

It was my pride, guilt, and stubbornness that kept me from getting my mom's gift.  Let's not let pride, guilt, and stubbornness keep us from God's free gift.

Can I get an AMEN!?!


The artist formerly known as "crazy, lying, rotten, horrible Katie"

Have you ever done something so dastardly, demented, or devious as a child? How do you get past your pride, guilt, and stubbornness and ask for/accept forgiveness?  Did your mom also have a keen backseat swatting hand?

Troubled Tuesday....

I'm troubled.

I'm bothered.

I'm verklempt.

Please click here to read today's blog post from the Friendly Atheist.  Read the blog and the comments as well.  And then come back, and we'll discuss amongst ourselves.  Ya know.....Coffee talk.

All "Coffee Talk with Linda Richman" jokes aside, this post really got me thinking this morning. 

What are we (the church) doing wrong?  What are we doing right?  What are your thoughts about Hemant's blog?  Talk to me.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Smilin' Faces.....

This may not be funny to anyone other than me, but I'm doing it anyway.  For reasons I can't explain, I feel like publicly embarrassing myself, my family, and my friends.  I went through my pics looking for embarrassing or funny pics.  These are the ones I felt I could post without anyone disowning me.  If you want to see more, you must become my friend, take years earning my trust, get me all sugared up on skittles and mountain dew....and then ask me to show you "The Vault".

This is my dad.  He's usually pretty serious looking, so this is the only one I could find of him looking even 2% silly.  I thought I would ease you all in with this one.

This is my brother Kirk. Not quite sure what's going on here.  If I had to guess, this was probably the time we locked him out of the house and then ate Thanksgiving dinner with him standing in the cold.  That never happened.

This is baby Kylie Paige.  She looks...umm...worried!?

Bryn and Sarah on their wedding day. I was determined to capture an embarrassing moment. YAY!

My sis-in-law, Dana and me.  The funniest part?  The cheese puffs shaped like a carrot.  The second funniest part?  Dana looking like a killer bunny.

Kirk and his karate kid Easter egg.  So proud.  Fear does not exist in his Easter egg basket, does it!?  (I know...this is officially the worst use of a Karate Kid movie line ever.)
Bryn and Kirk wrestling.  It's not funny, but it makes me smile.

SO, Heather and Tiffany stole my camera a few Christmases ago and took funny pics. Some of these pics were benign pics of elbows and such.   Others were pics of dogs buttholes.  They didn't think I would post this one on the internet.  But I did.

Kirk pounding his chest like a gorilla.  Pretty standard, really.

Josi and I trying to eat our way out of the corn fields.

This is Dana.  She makes funny faces.  I love her.

Me trying to show my friend Julie what my angry face looks like since she's never seen it.  Obviously, I'm not very good at it.

 This is my cousin Heather's hubby, Roger.  I love him.  His face is stuck this way.  Just kidding.

We call this "Chrissy face".  Cause,'s the face that Chrissy makes.

So many funny things here.  The funniest by far is the fact that I am doing dishes.  If you know me at all you know that I loathe doing dishes.  But I LOVE Nerds....and bandanas.....and aloe??!!!! : )

I don't really think I need to explain this.

Me and Heather.   What you see here, is Heather in the midst of telling me a horrifying secret that she finds quite funny.  Me = horrified.  Heather  =  giggle cookie

Yes, this is exactly what it looks like.

I'm 120% sure that this is the only pic of Kirk and I not smiling like idiots.

My glasses were almost as big as my hand.  I hope this was middle school.

He looks like the monkey, GET IT!!!????

If you can,  ignore the fact that we are in McDonald's looking like freaks and focus in on how creepy Ronald McDonald looks peaking around Todd.

And for the finale......I know...there's a lot going on here.  Why, you ask!?  Simple.  Heather had a friend over and they weren't paying any attention to me.  This is what happened.



Sunday, October 10, 2010

Katie's Favorite Blogs....

Hi all!  Jon Acuff over at Stuff Christian's Like just did a Shameless Saturday post where he asked people to post about their blogs, causes, bands, books, etc.  I am still shocked as to how many completely awesome blogs there are out there.  And here I was thinking mine was the only one!  So, in order to make your life more awesomer, you should check out some of my favorite blogs. Some I have been reading for awhile and some I found yesterday.  All are amazing.

In no particular order:

- Stuff Christians Like - If you want to laugh and at the same time be challenged (especially on Serious Wednesdays), then this blog is for you.
- Jen's Account  - Jen loves Jesus, Truth, Growth, and has a passion for helping people.
- Big Mama'a Blog -  Alise lives in WV, but that's not why I love her.  She is transparent and open.  She believes in grace and love and she doesn't care who knows it.
- Donald Miller - If you don't already read this, then you should.
- A Women's Guide to Women, A Blog for Men -  I seriously just love the hell out of this blog. It's all just so true.
- (in) courage -  A different amazing woman of God writing every day.  Check it out.
- Jesus Needs New PR -  Matthew Paul Turner just tells it like it is.
- Pop Thy Collar - Pure awesomeness.
- Rachel Held Evans -  Rachel is an author, a Christian, and a believer of evolution.
- Bryan Allain - I look forward to reading Bryan's blog every day.  He is hilarious and inspirational.
- The Church of No People - Matt Appling makes me laugh, cry, and stretch my thoughts and beliefs.
- Jamie The Very Worst Missionary - Jamie shares her thoughts, feelings, and experiences as a missionary in Costa Rica. She is transparent and cusses....I love her.
- What He is Teaching Me - No other blog I read challenges me more than Jeremy's.  He is honest and speaks the truth no matter what.  He is also hilarious.
- Messiah Mom -  Honest, wonderful, funny, and just all around amazing.

I know....there are a lot.  And I am totally leaving some out.  The people that write these blogs have no idea how much their words have changed my life.  They make me feel normal.  They encourage me to challenge myself.  They touch my heart.  They help me be more honest about who I am and what I struggle with.  They make me laugh 'till I pee my pants.  They show me God.  THANK YOU and please don't stop writing!



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Go Ahead Mr. Wendal....


Mr. Wendell by Arrested Development

Here, have a dollar,
in fact no brotherman here, have two
Two dollars means a snack for me,
but it means a big deal to you
Be strong, serve God only,
know that if you do, beautiful heaven awaits
That's the poem I wrote for the first time
I saw a man with no clothes, no money, no plate
Mr.Wendal, that's his name,
no one ever knew his name cause he's a no-one
Never thought twice about spitting on a ol' bum,
until I had the chance to really get to know one
Now that I know him, to give him money isn't charity
He gives me some knowledge, I buy him some shoes
And to think blacks spend all that money on big colleges,
still most of y'all come out confused

Go ahead, Mr.Wendal

Mr.Wendal has freedom,
a free that you and I think is dumb
Free to be without the worries of a quick to diss society
for Mr.Wendal's a bum
His only worries are sickness
and an occasional harassment by the police and their chase
Uncivilized we call him,
but I just saw him eat off the food we waste
Civilization, are we really civilized, yes or no ?
Who are we to judge ?
When thousands of innocent men could be brutally enslaved
and killed over a racist grudge
Mr.Wendal has tried to warn us about our ways
but we don't hear him talk
Is it his fault when we've gone too far,
and we got too far, cause on him we walk
Mr.Wendal, a man, a human in flesh,
but not by law
I feed you dignity to stand with pride,
realize that all in all you stand tall

Mr.Wendal, yeah yeah yeah, Lord, Mr.Wendal

Music Video for Mr. Wendal...


I got on the bus the other day and it was totally packed.  I had just gone to Trader Joes and stocked up on some groceries.  My bags were so full that they were almost overflowing.  I could barely carry them.  I had waited for the bus for 35 minutes in the hot sun.  When I got on and didn't see any available seats, I was even more irritated.  As I started to walk toward the back I saw a row of seats open and was confused as to why no one was sitting there.  Until I realized that they were located right behind a homeless man.  He had several bags full of his belongings in the seats in front of him and he was taking up two seats all by himself.  He was smiling, rocking back and forth, and talking to himself.  He had two pairs of pants on.  The top pair, army fatigues, were ripped in the crotch and were covered in black scribbles.  He looked at me as I approached him and we made eye contact.  When he looked at me, I saw in his eyes something I can only describe as disconnectedness.  He looked at me, but yet didn't connect with me in any way.  I sat in the seat behind him as everyone looked at me like I was some sort of martyr.  No one that lives in DC can avoid the homeless.  Even in Georgetown.  But his existence on that bus was offensive to people.  I could see it on their faces.  They looked at him with pity and disgust from behind their dark sunglasses. 

My first reaction was to pray.  Not for him.  For the rest of us on the bus.  For us to see that we are no different than he is.  I wanted for us to look at him, even if just for a brief moment, and see him the way that Jesus does.  I know that when Jesus looks at me, He looks past all of my mistakes, failures, and imperfections and sees who I am in Him.  He sees me as pure.  He sees me as beautiful.  Jesus does the same for this man.  I am just as dirty, filthy, messed up, offensive, and in need as that homeless man.  I just happen to make things look and smell better on the outside.  I follow societies rules.  I don't yell out the windows at random people.  I don't have ripped clothes.  I don't smell like excrement.  I don't sleep outside.  I don't beg for money.  But, does that make me better than him?  Does God love me more and that is why I am not currently offending people with my existence?  Am I smarter than him?   No. No to all of it.  Especially considering the fact that upon further inspection of the black scribbles on his pants, he seemed to be doing some seriously complicated Good Will Hunting-type math problems.  My filth is hidden and his is out for all the world to see. I'm almost jealous about that fact.  For him, It's all laid out on the table.  We are seeing him at his worst.  I strive every single day to make sure that no one sees me at my worst.  I hide it.  I tuck it away.  I put deodorant over it.  I put makeup over it.  I put a smile over it.  I put pretty clothes and shoes over it.  I spray strawberry-smelling room spray over it, light a match, and turn the fan on.  I put perfume over it.  I use fancy words to hide it.  When you see me, you don't see him.....but he and I are the same.  We are both in need of a Savior so that we aren't slaves to our darkness.

God's grace has brought me to where I am today.  We look at homeless people and we like to tell ourselves that it was poor decisions that got them where they are.  It makes us feel protected to think this way.  We think our college degrees, work experience, and our network of friends and family will protect us, but there are so many people living on the street that have or did have all of that.  Can you imagine yourself homeless?

My faith is what sustains me.  My love of Jesus is what keeps me from being the smelly homeless lady on the bus.  Not because I actually have the strength to keep it together, but because in my weakness, He is strong.  Do you know who else's mere existence offended people?  Jesus.  He offended people every where that He went.  The Pharisees hated Him and the message He preached.  But Jesus didn't hold back.  He laid it all out there on the table, plain as day.  He didn't try and dress His message up so that it wouldn't offend anyone. He preached the truth.  We don't like the truth sometimes.  That homeless man on the bus reminds us that all isn't right with the world.  He reminds us of our frailty.  He reminds us of our filthiness.  He reminds us that there is a darkness out there trying to keep us from the light.  We just want to go shopping and site seeing.  We just want to go to Starbucks.  We just want to meet our friends for brunch.  We don't want to deal with this right now.  We don't want to see it.  We don't want to smell it.

I worry all the time about saying something that will offend you all, even if I think it's true.  It is the truth in Jesus that is so offensive.  And it's not just Jesus' message that can be scary to share.  I'm also afraid to tell you about my doubts and fears and questions I have about my faith.  I am scared to tell you that sometimes I struggle.  I don't want you to know that I have a hard time with "church people".  I don't want you to know that I mess up a lot.  I don't want you to know that I make the same mistake over and over again.  I am scared if I tell you this stuff you'll push me away or you will push Jesus away.   I am afraid of speaking the truth  and offending you.  I know I shouldn't be, but I am.  I try and do it anyway, but I don't always do a very good job.  Realizing the truth sometimes means that we have to change and we just don't have time for that.  We don't want to look at the truth.  We want our buses full of pretty people that will sit and listen to their Ipod and not bother us with their craziness.  We like things to fit neatly into a box.  We are comfortable with that.

As the bus continued up the street, he turned his head to look out the window.  The sunlight hit his bright blue eyes.  He smiled and wrinkles appeared at the corners of his eyes.  He laid his head out of the open window. He had a few tattoos on his left arm.  His skin was leathery looking from being outside in the sun.  I wondered what he was thinking.  I wondered what the world looked like to him. 

I wondered about him.

And I thanked God.


A very blessed woman

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Check Engine....

I am having some serious writer's block so I decided to share with you something I wrote before I started The Dailies.  This is old school....circa July 2009.  Enjoy!

I drive a fire engine red 1996 Subaru Impreza (with WV tags no less), aka...Big Red. She's a five speed (not fun to drive in DC traffic, people...not fun at all!). No options. And by no options I mean power windows. No anti-lock brakes. No sweet sound system. No leather seats (in fact, even my Wal-Mart seat covers are ripped). Not even a passenger side mirror came factory.

My Dad got me Big Red brand spanking new when i was 15 so that I could have a new car as well as learn how to drive a standard. When I first got the car, my dad sat me down and explained to me the importance of responsible driving. He taught me how to drive the car (thank goodness it was mom was a little to happy with the 'fake break' if you know what I mean...sorry mom) and how to take care of it. He showed me how to drive but he also let me take the wheel and make some mistakes too. He showed me how to change the oil, change the tires, etc. Every weekend I would wash my car (and sometimes in between when I would go muddin). I was so afraid of losing my car that I made sure to be as responsible with it as I could.

'Ol Big Red and I have a lot in common. We are both small in appearance but big in heart, a little banged up and dented, missing a few pieces, have more power and drive in us than our engines should allow, and though unpredictable and prone to break downs...people just can't seem to get rid of us! : )

Some days I am sitting in traffic on 270 just looking at all the new cars, trucks, and SUV's and I am just amazed that I still have Big Red. I can't totally explain why I never had the desire to get a new car over these 12 years, but I feel like I have learned a lot from having her.

One thing that Big Red has, that i am totally envious of is the "check engine" light. I don't really think I have an equivalent signal hardwired into me. I can always tell when I need more "oil" I get sluggish and hard to run at top speeds. I can always tell when I need a new "battery" I am hard to start and can't stay running. I can even tell when I need some carborator cleaner, but we won't get into that! : ) I just wish that I had some way of knowing when I have pushed myself too far without stopping to check and make sure I have everything I need to run smoothly and safely.

We've probably all had the "check engine" light come on in our car before. Sometimes it's obvious there's a problem...your car is barely able to even pull off the road. Other times, things seem just fine when that light comes on. That's the tricky one. Now we have to decide whether we are going to take this little light seriously or if we are just going to keep driving with it on (or put electrical tape over it so you don't have to face the red glare...not that I would ever do such a thing...I'm just sayin' could!).

We do the exact same thing with ourselves.

Just like Big Red, I had spent many years of my life just goin', goin' goin'. Not enough time for repairs. I ignored a lot of my dents and scrapes. I lost a few pieces of myself. At first, there were only a few...nothing to worry about. No one would even notice if they took a quick glance. Only if you got close to me would you realize that there was something missing...something in need of repair.

If left alone, those little dents and scrapes will start to rust. The rust will spread and eat away...inside and out. If you don't replace the little pieces you lost, they will only turn into bigger pieces gone. Just like my car, I've had times in my life where I broke down...didn't think I could keep going. Just put me up on blocks in the front yard and call it a day.

We all know when that little red light comes on that it is potentially going to cost us something. We groan when we see it. We think, NOOOO! Not now! I don't have enough money for car repairs! I don't have enough time to take my car to the shop! I can't miss work! That is the reason that we are tempted to just keep on driving it. Take the gamble that it's just a fluke. We ignore it and hope for the best.

Usually when we get to the point where we are in need of repair, we are too afraid to stop and evaluate the situation because it most likely means that we are going to have to make a change...and us humans...we aren't known for our affinity for change. If we are working too much and that little inner "check engine light" turns on...we put the electrical tape over it and keep on truckin'...time is money and no one has enough of either! There are so many ways that we miss our "check engine" light....or better known as....God's still, small voice telling us something us wrong.

Just like Big Red...I was falling apart...but I had ignored that still small voice telling me that I had neglected myself too much.

Go, go, go! No time to stop right now. Stopping means thinking. Thinking means realizing. Realizing means change. Change means pain.

Let's just avoid all that mess and drive until we fall apart.

Too much rust.
Too many pieces lost.

Repairing takes time.

I had wished that I could trade my dented and fragmented heart in for a new I did.

It might have cost me my life, but my old life wasn't that great anyway. I died to this world only be blessed with eternal life with Jesus....I think that sounds like a more than fair trade! : )

I know a lot of my notes have the same theme...God talks to me through people, events, and things in my world...I LOVE that about God! I knew last month when I turned my key in the ignition and the "check engine" light came on that I would eventually be typing this note. LOL! It's funny really. I laughed when the light came on because I knew that not only had I been neglecting my car, but that I had been neglecting myself (not that that's funny)...and that God was going to use this whole situation to show me the importance of taking care of my engine...the heart of my car...but WAY more importantly...taking care of the heart of Katie.

Some days when I am walking out to my car...I just look at Big Red....all her dents and scratches...I love her just the way she is...she is imperfect, weathered many storms, strong, uniquely beautiful, and serves a purpose. I remember back to when my dad first gave her to me. I washed her every weekend. I cried over the smallest scratches. I made sure never to put her in harms way. I protected her because I was afraid of losing her.

Now, when I look at her, I see how these last 12 years have taken a toll on her. At some point I started slacking on my care of her. I stopped crying over every scratch. Dents went unfixed. I ignored her and now she has scars that will only be able to be removed at a high price.

Even though I would never change anything in my life,because everything has brought me to right where God wants me.... I have had to struggle and pay for many of the decisions that I have made. The scars I allowed on my heart have not been easily healed. The rust had spread. I wish that I had been as afraid of losing my soul as I was of losing my car. As I allowed the world to toss car got dented too. I stopped caring about me, so why would I care about my car.

So now here Big Red and I are. 12 years later. Healing.

No matter how long you have known God...any one of us is just one bad experience away from losing heart....losing faith....allowing the dents and rust to encroach upon us. It's usually slow. Rust doesn't form over night.

When people talk about "fearing the Lord" it's not necessarily meaning a literal fear (although sometimes it does....God will discipline His children...and He is the warrior of all warriors)....most of the time it means that you fear losing Him. Not always of Him punishing you. It's never God leaving us....He has promised to never leave us...He's with you right now as you read this sentence. Believe's us who leave Him.

Now that I have experienced the sweetness and abundance that comes from having a relationship with God, I fear losing it more than anything in the world. I would rather lose everything else in the whole world than my relationship with the One that Created me. Maybe you think that sounds extreme. If you do, it's probably because you've never been in the presence of God. All other joys are temporary. It sucks. But it's true. I spent the majority of my life thinking the other way, struggling...running in the wrong direction.... only to realize that the only Truth is Jesus.

No one can heal my dents and scrapes but Jesus. Oh, I've tried. I've tried to fill my missing pieces with relationships, for example, but no one could do it. It was too much for anyone to handle but Jesus. That is one of my biggest regrets, that I tried to put the burden of my happiness and fulfillment onto someone else. Very selfish. Very desperate. Desperate people do desperate things to be filled. When that "check engine" light comes on...we all would rather do anything than take it to the place where it's going to cost us. We may wheel and deal and gamble when it comes to our cars, but we really can't afford to do so when it comes to our souls. When we take our emptiness to someone other than Jesus to fix all we are doing is putting putty over the holes while we rust away under the facade we've created.

I am sharing this with you in order to encourage you to trust that little voice that tells you to slow down, take inventory, spend some time with God...get healed. Even the smallest dent is important to God. Smaller scars are easier to heal.

If you don't know God, I challenge you...ok, i triple dog dare ask Him to show you that He's there, that He loves you...dents, rust, scrapes and all. He wants to fix your scarred heart. Nothing is too big for Him. Nothing is impossible with Him. If you've never talked to God, but you want to peel back the electric tape and face the fact that you need help...I promise you...just tell Him your fears, take that bold step...risk the cost. It's not in us to have the strength to make it without God. When we try and find the answer in ourselves...we always fall under the pressure. Telling you to fix yourself is like telling your car to change it's own oil....

I really love this post!  I wrote it as a note on Facebook over a year ago.  It's so amazing to me how much I have changed in just one year.  I don't have Big Red anymore.  My parents sold her to some nice country people in my hometown.  I'm sure she's happy.  :)  And I'm happy that I've moved on. 
Katie Mae

(My brother, Kirk, pretending to fix Big Red)