Monday, January 31, 2011

The Big Move...

My life.  In a ten foot UHaul.

It's official.  I'm baaaaaaaaack! (said in the voice of that creepy little girl in the movie Poltergiest).  I'm back in the Mountain State for now.

I'm definitely still adjusting...with a capital DEF.  It hasn't fully hit me yet.  I still feel like I am on a long weekend in WV.  However, unlike a long weekend, all of my belongings are stuffed into my parent's garage and also in various closets.

My shoe collection.  My babies. :)

Technically, I know I quit my job, left my friends and my bro, and packed up my life in a 10 foot UHaul and moved it through snow covered mountains; but it still feels like tomorrow I am going to wake up to my extraordinarily annoying alarm that blares Callipso music and not remember anything else until I find myself sitting in front of my computer in my office, checking my voicemails and emails with a cup of coffee I make in my non-Biomedical engineering approved (secrets out!) mini coffee pot.  But I'm not.  Tomorrow, just like today, I'm going to wake up at my parent's house by the sound of them making breakfast, watching the news, and talking to the dog.  A few days from  now I might be resting my head at someone's else's house.  And then next week, another.  Oh, the life of a nomad.
My last week in DC was hard, but at the same time...not hard.

One of the best moments of the week was the night before I moved.  My best friend Wajh and I grabbed some sushi  and a bottle of wine from Whole Foods after work and had full intentions of coming back to my place to pack and clean.  But instead, we stayed up until midnight looking at pictures in my photos albums,  telling new stories, and re-telling old ones.  By the end of the evening we found ourselves sitting on my kitchen floor encouraging and reassuring each other.  

What we have realized over the years is that trusting in God is all we really have.  Nothing is a guarantee no matter how hard we work, try to protect ourselves, or try to plot and plan to make things work out the way we want.  God doesn't fit in a box and His plans are bigger and better than anything we could ever come up with.  That fact is both extremely comforting and extremely uncomfortable.  We love to think we have control.  But we don't.  Luck for us, God speaks to His children.  He guides us.  His sheep will know His voice (John 10:27 paraphrase).  All we have to listen. 

The morning of my move, Wajh had to work so she wasn't there to help carry my bags and bags of shoes or my library of books.  But, she ended up helping me more than I could have imaginged.  She sent me this picture:
 When she went to work, she saw this sign at the hospital and took a pic and sent it to me.  This gives me hope.  Hope that I am doing the right thing.  Pursing your dreams is one of the hardest things you can ever do.  There will be tons of people telling you one way or another that you can't do it, or that you are aiming too high, or tell you stories of their failed dreams.  People will want you to hold on the side of the pool instead of swimming out into the deep end.   It's not because people are mean or evil; it's because they want to protect you.  They don't want you to get hurt or go through hardships.  Or it could be that if you succeed at your dream, then that means that they might be able to succeed at theirs.  And to find out, they will also have to let go of things they are comfortable with and tread water in the deep end.  And it's not just other people that will be telling me to play it safe.  I'll be telling myself to do so as well. 

It's a familiar voice.  The one that whispers to me that I'm crazy, or I can't do this, or that I won't find the money to go to school, or that I'm not going to make the right decisions, or that I will end up stuck somewhere in another job I hate just to get by, etc.  This voice has kept me from my dreams all of my life.  I'm not strong enough to fight against all of the fear and opinions of others; but Jesus is.  He is the one that is telling me that I can do ANYTHING.  He is telling me that this is JUST THE BEGINNING of all the miracles that I am about to witness.  He is telling me that if I trust in Him I will have so much LOVE, WISDOM, PEACE, and HAPPINESS that it won't be able to stop it from overflowing from me and into the lives of those around me.  His voice is my resting place.   His love is all I need. 

Today, I am having a hard time with all this.  I feel overwhelmed.  I don't have a plan.  I don't know what to do first. I don't know what to expect in the days to come.

I feel like I am supposed to figure this all out, that everyone can just relax.

I don't have an answer to the questions, "What are you gonna do?" or "Where are you gonna work?" or "When are you gonna work?" or "Where will you go to school?"  or "How will you pay for school along with the money you already owe!?" or "What do you want for lunch?"

I can't even decide on lunch, people!

Everyone has an opinion or some advice about what to do about all of it; except me.  I feel like my job for now is to sit at the feet of my Savior and listen.  Not only does this make me uncomfortable, but it also makes the people around me uncomfortable.  Everyone has something for me to do in order to get my new life on it's way.  A list of responsible things that grown ups do when they quit their job and don't have any clear direction on what to do next.  But something in me isn't allowing me to do these responsible grown up things just yet.  Sitting and waiting is way harder to do than it would be for me to go out and get another job tomorrow.  Getting another job isn't going to be that hard.  Waiting on the Holy Spirit to guide the hardest thing to do. 

Life is full of to-do lists and should-do lists and can't-do lists.  I want to throw out all of those lists and let Jesus, the One that Created me for a purpose, direct my steps. 

Am I scared as hell!???  You bet cha.  Big time.  If I allow myself to think about it for too long, my blood runs cold.   I don't want to let anyone down.  I've let people down before, and I don't want to ever do it again.  BUT (I like big BUTs and I cannot lie) I have to risk letting people down, and letting myself down, in order to go down the road less traveled; the one that Jesus promised us would be hard to find and even harder to stay on....BUT that would lead us to LIFE!!!

It was four years ago that I made a similiar transition in my life.  I was getting ready to get married and then three weeks beforehand I called it all off, quit my job, got back together with an ex-boyfriend, and moved to DC.  There were a lot of people that thought I was crazy.  My parents wondered aloud to me, "Kate, don't you ever want to be happy?  Why do you keep messing your life up!?"  I wondered the same things.   I wondered why I couldn't do anything right.  I wondered why I was such a royal mess up.  Looking back from where I am now, I see that even though all of that was extremely messy and seemed like a horrible failure; it was what needed to happen in order for me to really meet Jesus.  The real Jesus.  Not the Jesus I thought I knew.  Not the Jesus that I heard about in church...the few times I had gone.  Not the Jesus that I had constructed in my head.  The real Jesus. 

I met the living God.  Face-to-face.  He saved me.  He showed me that I am NOT a royal mess up, destined to be an unhappy wreck.  He showed me who I am in Him.  And now...I am willing to give everything I know, everything I own, and everything I hold onto for comfort  to Him.  I want for Him to take what little I have and multiply it so that I can help Him save other lost and empty souls like He saved mine.  If Jesus can take a few loaves of bread and feed thousands, then He can take what I have and do the same.  There will be times like today where I want to crawl in a cave and not come out until everything is all fixed and figured out.  But that's okay.  Change is hard.  If I've learned anything from living in DC, I've learned that I can do anything as long as I lean on Jesus.  I can't tell you how many times I was told something was impossible in my last job.  If I would have tried in my own strength, then I am sure it would have been impossible.  So I did the only thing I knew to do when all of my resources are exhausted and I need to make the impossible possible...I hit my knees and prayed.  Sometimes right in my office.  And there was not ONE TIME that Jesus didn't come through for me.  Not once did I have to say, "You're right.  That is impossible."  Even when I am scared, like today, I know my Savior is bigger than my fear.  I know that I will never have to utter the words, "You're right.  That is impossible." 

Sorry this is such a long post.  I've been writing it since yesterday.  My parent's computer is so slow that it keeps freezing up on me.  I asked my dad if they forgot to feed the hamster living inside it that keeps it running. :)  I got jokes!!!!!

I'll keep ya'll posted as I take each day one at a time.  I am believing for big things!!!! BIG big big!



Bailey has kept me entertained.  She thinks she's a human.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dove That Ventured Outside....

Dove that Ventured Outside
Dove that ventured outside,     flying far from the dovecote:
housed and protected again,     one with the day, the night,
knows what serenity is,            for she has felt her wings
pass through all distance and fear     in the course of her wanderings.

The doves that remained at home,     never exposed to loss,
innocent and secure,     cannot know tenderness;
only the won-back heart     can ever be satisfied: free,
through all it has given up,     to rejoice in its mastery.

Being arches itself     over the vast abyss.
Ah the ball that we dared,     that we hurled into infinite space,
doesn't it fill our hands     differently with its return:
heavier by the weight     of where it has been.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day Dream Believer....

"Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter." - Francis Chan

This quote wrecked my life.

And I hope that it is going to wreck yours.

I think it was a combination of things that finally lead me to make my recent decision to change every single aspect of my life as I know it.  Sound dramatic!?  That's 'cause it is.

When you allow God to take a wrecking ball to to your life, things can't help but get a little dramatic.  But there's good news; great news, actually!  After the dust has settled and the old life you had built for yourself lays around you in scattered broken pieces...the rebuilding begins.  This time, God lays the foundation; God provides the materials; God designs the structure and the purpose it will serve. 

It's scary.  Change is always scary.  But with Jesus there is a peace that transcends all understanding (Phil 4:7). 

I know you're probably itching to hear what I've gone and done, so let's get down to it. 

I decided to quit my job as an Administrator at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC and move back to my home state of West Virginia in order to pursue the dream that God laid on my heart many years ago.  Next Friday is my last day at work, and on Saturday the 29th the McNemar's and friends are moving me out of the city and back to WV.   I'm going all Green Acres, ya'll!  (The theme song is playing in your head right now isn't it!? [insert evil  laugh here])

I'm gonna be honest.  I'm scared crap-less (edited for content) of telling you all the details of my dream.  It's scarier to talk about my dream than it is to uproot my entire life.   What if my dream doesn't come true?  What if I am making the biggest mistake of my life and by telling you all this, you will have front row seats to my failure?  What if this isn't what God wants me to do and everything is going to fall apart and I'm going to become some crazy hillbilly?  What if I'm not strong enough to do it?  What if I keep typing "what if" scenarios ad nausem?? 

But fear does not exist in this dojo. 

As I have told people that I am moving back to my home state, I have gotten mixed reactions.   Some people feel that moving to West Virginia is like a step backwards for me.  They feel that I have worked so hard to get where I am with my job and make it in DC (which is a tough place to live when you're supporting yourself) that it would be crazy to give it all up and move back to a state that doesn't have a lot of job opportunities and lacks some metropolitan flair.  West Virginia gets a bad rap. It's true that there is a lot of poverty in my home state, but then again there is a lot of poverty everywhere.  What we might lack in subways and skyscrapers...we have in family values, community, beautiful mountains, and hard working, God-fearing people.  I grew up having everything I needed and plenty of what I wanted, but more importantly I was raised by a community of people that have worked hard for what they have and have instilled their values and morals in me.  I could live anywhere I want.  I don't have a husband and kids (or a boyfriend for that matter), so I the possibilities for me are endless...and yet I find myself longing for those Country Roads.

We live in a time where we are told to look out for ourselves.  We are encouraged to pursue careers, make money, have stuff, and get the job done, now matter who you have to step on to get there.  If we don't work ourselves to death, then we aren't successful.  But to me, the true measure of success will not be whether or not I can live in DC, move up in my career, or get married and have babies.  To me, you are successful when you are willing to give everything you have to God and then follow Him.  When Jesus called James, Johns, Simon and Andrew away from their fishing business, He promised to make them fishers of men.  I'm sure they could have spent the rest of their lives getting by with their fishing business, but Jesus took what they gave Him and multiplied it because they were willing to sacrifice it in order to follow Him. 

But living in WV, isn't my dream; as excited as I am.  My dream has little to do with WV.  WV just so happens to be the means in which I will be able to pursue my dreams with the added benefit of having my friends and family close by to support and encourage me.  When I decided to give up my job and follow Jesus, at first, I wasn't really sure where I was going and why.  I just said..."Okay! Let's roll!"  While I prayed for direction, Jesus revealed to me something I have kept hidden deep down in my heart for a long time.  A dream I've had since I can remember.  I didn't want to ever let it back up out of the tomb I closed it up in, but like how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead...He raised my dreams!

What a friend I have in Jesus!

Obviously, I am I'll tell you my dream.  Thank you for being patient.

Deep breath.

I am going to go back to school in order to become a Counselor. 

There. I said it!

But wait there's more...

I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and from a young age always wanted to be a counselor.  After undergrad, I thought I would just take a few years off to figure things out and save up some money, but happened.  I followed other people's dreams.  I lost myself.  I lost my purpose.  Over the last few years, I have been allowing God to come into all of the broken places and restore me.  God's timing is perfect.  He resurrects our dreams at just the right time after He has equipped us to carry them out.  When I was younger I felt like I wasn't smart enough or driven enough to pursue my dreams.  Over the last few years God has shown me just how smart and strong I really am, but He had a lot of work to do on me first.

My passion has always been women's issues; such as physical and emotional abuse and domestic violence, depression and anxiety, and other types of struggles that debilitate and scar us.  God has shown me that I didn't suffer for no reason.  The hardships I've faced have given me the ability to understand women (and men) that face the same issues.  It seriously brings a tear to my eye just to type this paragraph.  Working with adolescents and teens in the youth ministry over the last few years, has completely broken my heart for them and the decisions they face on a daily basis.  It was hard for me 15 years ago, but I can't imagine how hard it is now to be a teenager.  I want to tell them what I went through, and give them the tools and the strength to know who they are and how precious and special they are to God.  I am 30 years old and am still deeply effected by decisions I made when I was a teenager.  I want to guide them towards Jesus' healing and restorative Grace and Love. 

For this reason, I am going to go back to graduate school.  Somehow.  Some way.

I always made excuses.  I've always limited myself to the safety of a career that I was good at, but felt no passion for.  If I failed at this, then it wasn't as bad as failing at my dream.  But God is not content to let us stay where we are.  It's my time, and even if it takes a year or so...I will do this.  Not because I am strong enough, or I am dedicated enough...but because if it is God's desire...there is no stopping me.  I dream of one day traveling around to middle schools, high schools, colleges, my testimony and working with people in order to bring healing to their lives.  I dream of one day writing a book that will bring glory to God in a way that only my story can.  I don't care where I live, or what kind of car I drive, whether I am married or not.  I just care that I have the strength to throw down my fishing nets and follow Jesus.  ( I am so excited writing this that I am standing up at my desk typing!) 

I had a dream one night that I was walking through the woods.  There was no path, but I didn't feel lost.  As I walked, I would occasionally come upon a path, and I would follow it, but then I would end up crawling through the brush again.  At some point, I realize that there are people following behind me.  I can't see their faces,  but I get a feeling inside me that I am leading them.  Then someone comes up and grabs my hand and tells me that they feel lost and don't know where to go.  I squeeze their hand and tell them that I have been through these woods many many times before and even when there is no clear path, they have to keep fighting to move through. 

So, there you have it folks.  It's scary to put all this out there.   I seriously don't want to publish this.  This is the first time I've ever done something like this.  This is the first time I've made a goal of pursuing my dreams.

I'll be moving back to WV with no job, but with a burning desire to do whatever Jesus calls me to do.  Please pray for me as I take this massive leap of faith.  I feel so blessed that my family and friends are supporting me while I get everything figured out.  My best friend Julie is letting me stay with her in Charleston and my parents are offering to feed me all the good cookin' I can handle when I'm in my hometown of Buckhannon.  So, please pray for them as well, because I am sure that this will be a big adjustment for all of us (and please pray that my mom make me some cornbread and beans with fried potatoes. I'm sure you can understand the importance of such a prayer request).  I'm going to look for a job and work while I do what I have to do to get into school.  My friend Tony blogged today about giving of your money and time, and that is exactly what my friends and family are doing.  They aren't giving to me so that they can get something....I ain't got nothing to give 'em!  They are giving from their hearts.  For the first time I am giving up control and letting people help me.  I'm a prideful, stubborn, strong-willed lady, but I am willing to give that up in order to see Jesus' plan for me come to fruition.  Thank you all for your support!  I'm sorry this post is so long.  I'll be sure to keep you updated along the way.  I'll do my best to be honest. 

So to all my friends in DC.... I LOVE YOU and thank you!  This is so bitter-sweet.  Don't worry, you haven't gotten rid of me yet.  My brother still lives up here and I know I'll get a hankerin' (I'm already trying to get my twang back so I won't seem too out of place) to bust some serious dance moves with ya'll (there it is again).

To all my friends and family in WV...let's get this party started!!!!!!

Okay.  I'm going to go puke now.


Krazy Katie

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Babies Havin' Babies....

Unfortunately, not much shocks me these days.

Except this:

90 preganancies at one high school

Even more than being shocked, it makes my heart hurt.

This is where I begin my rant about the negative effects of "reality" TV, the media, and our society in general.

Get comfy.....

I've never watched 16 and Pregnant or any of the other TV shows that glorify teenage pregnancy; mainly because I think I would throw the remote through the TV screen.  But I don't have to watch it to know that it is spreading the worst kind of lies and falsehoods to our young adults; both male and female.  It preys on the loneliness and need for attention and acceptance that is so common in teenagers. (And if we're bein' honest....all of us, no matter our age.)  The girls from Teen Mom are making headlines in US Weekly, and the teenage girls are looking at this thinking that the consequences of having a baby aren't really that bad.  They think, "Sweet! I get a cute little baby that will love me.  My mom will raise it for me while I party with my friends and fight with my baby daddy...AND even better....I might get the chance to make the front page of People magazine."  And it really isn't hard to blame them for thinking that....since it's happening all the time.  It's no wonder that schools are having to deal with teenagers getting pregnant on purpose in order to get on a reality TV show.

People just want to be known.  They want to be seen.  They want to feel they have a purpose and that their existence has meaning.  They want attention and love.  The whole world is hungry for it.  And in my one feels this need more deeply than adolescents and teenagers.

They need to hear that they are loved and accepted no matter what.  They need to believe they are valuable, precious, and deserve respect and love.  They need rules, structure, and discipline.  They need to be encouraged.  They want to feel like they are pretty or handsome or cute, and that they are accepted by their peers.  They need hugs and kisses from parents, family, and friends.  And just as important...they need to be heard.

We need to listen to our teenagers and not just talk at them.   All of this talking is getting us nowhere.  They've heard it all before.  They'll nod their heads in agreement and then turn around and do the exact opposite of what they should do.  (I'm speaking from experience.)  The peer pressure is too strong.

What's happening here?  Maybe we should try listening to them for a change.  Maybe if we listened we would be able to see where their thoughts are and what we can do as a society and as parents in order to give them the support they need to mature into healthy, productive adults. 

I know I thought I knew everything when I was a teenager.  I thought my parents were geeks that didn't understand the severe implications of their decision to ground me so that I couldn't attend some party and make sure my boyfriend didn't hang around with some other girl.  They just didn't get it.  If I miss this party, I probably won't even be able to sit at the same lunch table by next week.  These may seem like insignificant things to us "grown ups", but to our adolescents and feels like life and death.  If we stop listening and just keep throwing words at them, and telling them their feelings and thoughts are silly....we are going to continue to find ourselves even further down this teen pregnancy rabbit hole than we are now.

I wish I knew then what I know now.  (Don't we all!?)  I wish I could tell 14 or 15-year-old Katie that she is beautiful, smart, fun, and amazing just the way she is.  I wish I could tell her that the risks she takes for attention will only make her feel more lonely and unwanted in the end.  I wish I could tell her that it makes God's heart break into a million pieces when she doesn't see her worth and chases after boys that will never be able to fill that missing place in her soul; the place where He belongs and longs to be.  I wish I could tell her that one day, she will come face-to-face with the living God and He will change her heart forever....and she will finally see herself through His eyes.  She will stop beating herself up about her looks and accept herself for who she is and Who lives in her.  She will stop comparing herself to everyone else and trying to impress other people.  She will stop chasing after boys in general, but especially ones that don't respect her nor deserve her heart.  She will let Jesus in and He will pick all the broken little pieces of her heart and He slowly heal her and show her what pure love is and how to trust again.

I wish I would have been able to tell myself all that.  The pain and hurt that comes from seeking acceptance and love anywhere other than God doesn't heal overnight.  The scars are deep. 

More than anything, I want to save young guys and girls from making life altering decisions during a time in their lives where they are so susceptible to influence and also a time when they are so extremely vulnerable.  I want to say to them that a baby isn't temporary.  A baby is forever.  No matter if you keep the baby, give the baby up for adoption, or choose to abort...that decision and that life will be with you as long as you live. A baby won't fill the emptiness or make you cool, grown-up, or sexy.  At some point you'll be faced with the magnitude of your decision, whatever it was, and then...then, you will feel the most lonely, desperate, and empty than you have ever felt in your life.  Don't put yourself in a situation in which you would have to make adult decisions while you should be going to soccer practice or studying with your friends for a math test.

Okay....the rant is officially over.

For now.

Reality TV that glorifies bad life decisions just makes my blood boil!!!!

Okay, I'm really done now.  Seriously, this time. 

No matter what your age, I pray that you know that you are loved and adored by the God that created you for a special purpose.  If you've already found yourself in a bad situation because of a decision (or lots of them) you made, please believe that our God is a God of grace, mercy, and RESTORATION!  We don't just get one chance.  He is good to forgive and renew every single time we lay our sins at His feet.  If you are or were a teen mom, this rant was most certainly not in judgment of you or your decisions. I thank God all the time that I never found myself in such a position.  It was truly by His grace that I didn't.  There is no judgment comin' from this gal.  Just love and understanding...and lots and lots of it.  Babies are a blessing from God and are not mistakes, no matter when or how they arrive into the world. The teenagers on these reality TV shows, and in the "real world", don't need more name-calling and judgment, they need more education, time, discipline, attention, grace, love, and forgiveness. 



Does this get you fired up too?  What are your thoughts about reality TV effecting our teenagers?  What is the solution?  What can we do as individuals, whether we are parents or not?

Talk to me.....

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dream A Little Dream.....

About six months ago I had a dream that I had a baby.

In the dream I was in the hospital giving birth, but I didn't feel any pain.  Then, all-of-a-sudden, the doctor hands me this tiny baby.  The baby looked like it was premature and unhealthy.  As I was holding the baby, it started to shrink.  I felt extremely stressed out because as the baby got smaller, I had a hard time keeping a hold of it.  By the end of my dream, the baby was so small that I dropped it (I am saying "it" because I can't remember if it was a boy or girl) and had to use a magnifying glass and tweezers to pick it up.

I know...weird.

I woke up from that dream thinking it was just another one of my weirdo vivid dreams that probably doesn't mean anything.

But then I kept having dreams that I was having premature babies.

A month after that dream, I had another dream that I had a tiny, premature baby and was stressed out about it.

And then again the following month.

I finally decided that I needed to pray about it and see if God was trying to tell me something that I wasn't getting.

As I was praying God started showing me what it all meant.  He showed me that the desires and dreams that He puts in our hearts, are just like babies.  We need to take time to grow and mature our dreams because if we try and make them happen outside of the perfect timing of God....they might not survive.

Women are pregnant for around 10 months.  During that time, the baby slowly grows in them and they begin to change as well.  The time between conception and delivery give both momma and baby a chance to grow, prepare, and adjust.  If a baby comes too soon or doesn't come out soon can mean bad news.

Our goals and dreams need the same kind of patience and care.

When it's time for the baby to come there are unfortunately labor pains.   Right before the baby comes is the hardest work.

Sometimes we have to go through hard work and pain in order to see our dream come alive.

There are times when a mommy-to-be just wishes she could hold her baby already and not have to wait, but she knows that the health of her baby depends on it not arriving too soon.  After all the waiting, the worry, and the pain....none of it is remembered as she finally holds her little one.

God's timing is everything.

The reason I was having dreams about premature babies is because I was wanting to make some changes in my life before their time had come.   I was impatient (no shocker there), irritated, and trying to do things in my own strength and in my own timing.  If I would have kept pushing even though it wasn't the right time, things might not have worked out for me.  God revealed to me that just because it wasn't time yet, didn't mean my dream or goal wasn't going to happen.  He was trying to get me to see that if I would just allow myself to trust Him with my dream....He would take it and make it into something that I could never achieve in my own strength.  My heart is connected to Jesus' heart.  My will is to do His will.  My dreams are His dreams.  My purpose is Him. Why wouldn't the Sower harvest what He planted?  Knowing this helped me have patience. Even though it was hard...I waited.  

Not too long ago, I finally dreamed I had a healthy two-year-old....

It's go time.

Stay tuned.......

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you,

K to the T

Thursday, January 13, 2011

30 is the new Black....

This pic captures the moment my dad's life got totally Katiefied....

So...I turn 30 today. 

It's kinda hard to believe.  I don't "feel" 30.  I'm not really sure what 30 is supposed to feel like.  Am I supposed to do something super adulty (like invent a new word)?  Should I invest in stocks or something?   Maybe open a savings account and actually put some money in it?  Perhaps I should consider bringing back the monocle?

Turnin' the big 3-0 has had me thinkin' a good bit.  (And obviously, it has also had me dropping the "g" at the end of all -ing suffixes. Whatever...I've earned it.)

Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, counting birthday wishes on Facebook as if they are sheep, I started thinking about the fact that 30 years ago today God brought me into this world at the exact right time, to the exact right place, to the exact right parents, and all for a purpose only I, Katie McNemar, can serve.  It was a completely overwhelming thought.  I seriously couldn't sleep all night because I just kept talking to God about how special and loved I feel by Him.  I felt completely filled with His love.  I could have been born 3,876 years ago, but I wasn't. I was born on January 13th, 1981 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Buckhannon, WV; the first child of Randy and Sharon McNemar. 

I just read an amazing blog post by Tony Alicea that couldn't be more perfect for this day:

Tony is talking about the dash between dates on a gravestone.  That dash is what it's all about.  We can't control when we are born or when we die, but we can do something about the "dash" in between the two.  God brought you to this Earth for such a time and place as this (Esther 4:14).  

A few months ago it really hit me that I am going to be thirty. I don't know what it was about that thought that snapped me back into reality.  It made me realize that my purpose in life isn't to get comfortable where I am.  My purpose is to live out a life that will bring glory to God and bless my family for generations to come.  I don't really think that much about the future.  I'm not married and don't have any kiddos yet, so it's hard for me to think about how my life and the decisions I make will impact people I haven't even met or given birth to yet...but it is important to do so.  I want my children to inherit a legacy that won't rust, rot, or corrupt.  I want my children, and their children, and so on, to inherit the legacy of living for God and bringing Him glory.  Truly...that is the only thing that matters.  I've tried everything else already so that they hopefully won't have to.

So, my birthday gift to myself is that I am going to step out in faith toward the adventure that God has called me to.  How exciting!!!!!!!!!  When I blow out my candles, my wish is going to have the strength, wisdom, perseverance, and discernment  to chase after Jesus no matter how difficult the path.  I will walk by faith and not by sight ( 2 Cor 5:7).  My prayer for all of you is that you truly believe, in the deepest part of your heart and soul, that God loves you so much and has an amazing purpose that only you can serve.  I know you've heard it a million times before, but please, take a minute and really let it sink in. Please!? For me???? Come's my BIRTHDAY!!!  I pray that He show all of us what that purpose is, and give us what we need in order to take the narrow road that leads to Him.  It's not going to be easy, my friends. It certainly will not.  But we're here together.   And if you happen to come across me on your travels....just know this....I'm crazy as hell, but we gonna have us some fun ya'll!

Thank you to all my friends and family who have helped me become who I am today.  Thank you to Jesus for loving me before the universe was ever created.  Wow....just wow.   

Okay ya'll....lets get out there and LIVE!!!!!


The birfday gurl

And for your viewing pleasure:

One of our dorkier moments, for sure.

The day I was baptized.  My other birthday.

Let me draw your attention away from Kirk's jam pants for a brief moment so that you can take a gander at the fact that I am wearing white sweatpants with white loafers.  Do I even have to mention the glasses or the bangs?  Okay good.

Katie and Heather : )

Aunt Debbie and Uncle Ronnie gettin' totally Katiefied....

Don't give me a microphone. Seriously....

I can WREAD!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Holiday Recap and Resolution Extravaganza....

Camp McNemar

Happy New Year, ya'll!!!

I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year celebration.

White Christmas
Me and my peeps had an amazing Christmas!  I got to hang out with some of my friends that I never get to see.  I would have to say, the highlight of the season is that I got snowed in with my family at Camp McNemar over Christmas.  The snow was so light and dry that you could sneeze and clean the snow off your car.  It was the most beautiful white Christmas I can ever remember experiencing.  Kirk and Bailey (our dog) played in the snow while Dana, dad, mom, and I hung out inside by the fire eating yummy food and watching the snow fall.  It was so relaxing and wonderful to get to spend time with the most important people in my life.

Everything was completely amazing and perfect until I was using the upstairs bathroom and my dad chopped a hole through the door with an ax, stuck his head in and with a huge grin and a crazy look in his eye yelled, "Here's Johnny!".**  Man, I was really hoping my family wouldn't go all "The Shining" just because we were snowed in for a few days.  I mean seriously, it was only two freakin days.  I'm pretty sure that Jack, Wendy, and Danny were stuck at The Overlook for months on end without any contact from anyone that wasn't a projection of their subconscious, covered in blood, or dressed up like a bear.  Jack at least had the decency to lose it AFTER a fortnight of being cooped  up with his weirdo wife and kid.  All I have to say about all that is...REDRUM.***

**That didn't happen at all.  My dad knows full well that if I am in the bathroom, he is to be no where near it whilst wielding and ax.  Us McNemars take bathroom time very seriously.

***If you've never seen Stephen King's The Shining, then this last paragraph probably seems extraordinary odd and confusing to you.  Actually, even if you have seen The Shining it's probably equally as odd and confusing.  The Shining in and of itself is odd and confusing.  Please excuse my twisted sense of humor.  All work and no play makes Katie a dull girl.

But seriously folks, my family and I had one of the most wonderful Holidays I can remember having; even if no doors were chopped down in a murderous rage.

Kirk put his long johns on backwards.
I love my family.  I really really do.  They are some of the best people that God has ever put on this Earth.  My brother Kirk and his wifey Dana are two of my most favoritest people to hang out with.  Their love inspires (and slightly sickens) me.  My mom and dad are another two of the finest human beings around.  My dad and I have the best conversations about life, love, God, football (of which I know absolutely nothing), movies, etc.  My mom and I talk about the same things; minus football, plus hair care.  Example of why I love my parents ( a conversation I was not present for, but this was recounted to me via Kirk):

Mom (talking to Dad, Kirk, and Dana): Ya know, I've been thinkin' we should get one of those Wii things so that we can all play together when you kids come in.  Wouldn't that be fun?

Dad: Aw heck, by the time we get one of those things they'll be callin' it a "They".

Miss Kylie
I had a blast hanging out with my cousin/sister Heather and her little mini-me Kylie.  I don't think I've ever played ring around the rosey for 45 minutes before, but I'll tell ya's quite a workout.  Who am I kidding....every moment being with a two year old is a workout.   One of the highlights of my trip was when Heather and I hung out just the two of us.  (Mommy needed a little break.)  So we went to dinner and then drove around and talked until almost midnight.  We talked about all the crazy things we did when we were younger and the even crazier things we do now that we are "grown ups".  We laughed till we cried.  I know I've said this before, but I have to say it again...Heather is one of the most amazing women I know and I am so thankful and blessed to have her in my life.  She is my safety blanket and one of my biggest cheerleaders.

I got to hang out with my "boys" this year.  My cousins Bronson and Bryn were both in town and I got to spend a few minutes chatting with them.  When I was little it was me and the boys most of the time.  Kirk, Bryn, Bronson and I were always together in the summer when we stayed with my Grammy while our parents worked.  We got into all kinds of shenanigans. These guys are the reason that I find farting endearing and can hold my own in conversations about cars, trucks, model trains, planes, and automobiles, video games, and oddly enough...legos.  If you haven't been fortunate enough to have already read the story about the time I peed my pants....I suggest you do so now.

Bailey McNemar and her best buddy Papa McNemar
There are so many other people who made this Holiday wonderful, but the music has started playing and I'm being called off the stage.  I'll through a few more names out as I exit: Tim Miller, thank you for another wonderful Shackmas party...all I have to say is....water balloon ice sculpture; Aunt Debbie McNemar, your food and heart are both always warm and amazing...thank you for the wonderful conversation.  I needed that; Aunt Connie Baston, thank you for another amazing Christmas Eve extravaganza.  I don't know how it is humanly possible that we fit all those people in your house and still have room for presents. I love my necklace and wear it every day; Bonnie Alkire, thank you for having me at your house for New Year's Eve.  There's no better party around;  My mom and dad for always giving too much and loving extravagantly; and last but certainly not least...I want to thank Bailey, my dog, for always coming into my room in the middle of the night and sleeping on my bed in such a way that requires me to pull some expert contortionist moves in order to not find myself on the floor.  

I'll leave you now with my short list of New Year's Resolutions:

1) Never again yell, "Nice balls" to an elderly lady who is hard of hearing (or anyone else for that matter).  It doesn't matter how nice her Christmas tree decorations's creepy.

2) Try and not gain the 5 to 10 pounds that I always resolve to lose.  That seems like a better plan than resolving to gain weight so that I have something to work on in the new year.

3) Bring back the overuse of the word "tad".  As in...."Kirk, your leather pants are a tad too tight.  Might I suggest a nice acid wash jegging instead?"

This is an old picture, but I sure am glad I still have it!

4) Resist purchasing the complete first season of Magnum P.I. from  Regardless of the fact that I have a $50 gift card, I must resolve to spend it wisely.  Pray for me so that I might have the strength to endure this test.

5) Start a crowd surfing phenomenon during worship at church.  Gone are the days in which a few raised hands are enough to show your willingness to give it all to God.  It's crowd surfing season, my friends.  Mark Driscoll will ultimately call it evil and it will slowly fade away; but hopefully the craze will last long enough for Jon Acuff to add it to his Stuff Christian's Like.

6) Donate at least half of the 30 black turtlenecks that I own to those in need...of black turtlenecks.  How can I sleep at night knowing that I have an overabundance of black turtlenecks while there are people who have walk-in closets totally devoid of black turtlenecks?  The need so great.  I know I won't be able to change the whole world's black turtleneck supply issues, but it's a start.  If you have black turtlenecks that you would like to donate to those in need of black turtlenecks, please email me at:


7) In order to end my list with a Holy number I have decided to add a 7th resolution to an already amazingly awesome list.  In 2011, I swear, by the moon and the stars in the sky...I will not, under any circumstances, do the electric slide at a wedding.  In order to ensure that I keep this resolution I will be attending zero weddings this year.  Unless it's my wedding.  That one I will pretty much have to attend.   But even then, I will NOT do the electric slide.   The Macarena is fair game though.

Happy New Year everyone!  May God fill your lives with love, peace, joy, happiness, prosperity, health, a tad less stress, and few more black turtlenecks.


K to the T

What were your Holiday highlights and/or new year's resolutions?  Do make resolutions?  Did anyone take an ax to your bathroom door?  Talk to me....

Santa is alive and well and getting ready to walk into the dentist's office in downtown Buckhannon, WV.

Our Christmas tree at my parent's house