Thursday, December 11, 2014

"Shepherding a Child's Heart" is not my standard this holiday season:

I know that God has gifted my husband with wisdom, discernment and grace to help me all the time!! But there are sometimes when I feel like God is actually present when we discuss an issue I'm dealing with!! I realized yesterday that I have this obligatory standard of Tedd Tripp's "shepherding a child's heart" hanging over my head, attached like a balloon following me wherever I go!!! When I fail to live up to the principles in the book (you know like when I yell at my kids or take something away from them out of anger instead of spanking them in love), I am a bad mom and my kids are ruined!! I've been viewing my motherhood like one would who tried out for a sport. I am not good enough for the sport, I've tried motherhood out and didn't make the cut. 

David shared these thoughts: 
"You know Mozart's or Picasso's works are great!!! But they are nothing compared to how we feel about our kid's work!!! God sees me and my failure and is so delighted in me!! Not because of how I've disciplined that day but bc of Christ and bc I am his!!" He said Phil 2 (I think) "not that I've already obtained it or have already been made perfect, but I press on towards the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!"
He said I'm lacking faith thinking that these kids are going to be messed up because of me! That is faithless bc they are God's children, and he is accomplishing good for them. God knew my capacity, my failures, my sin and he chose me to be their mother anyways!!! 

I need to be free from performing, but I do need to see that In that moment I do have the capacity to walk in righteousness bc through God's grace he gives me ability to obey, but Instructing a child's heart is not the standard, God's word is. And when I fail to meet God's standard, he still delights in me as a mom BECAUSE OF THE WORK OF CHRIST!! "If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness!!! Repent and believe, right! Repent of my failure and believe these children are Christ's!! Believe God sees me through the lens of his son not of a mom who fails!! 

So, maybe this season you see yourself as a bad mom or maybe you see yourself as a good mom, the later just as corrupt as he former!! Throw your view of who you are as a mom under the work of Christ!! This season rejoice because your ability as a mom does not depend on you but on the God who came as a baby, born in a manger, one who would know the capacity of man! Fully man, fully God! He understands yet he walked on this earth sinless! Not stained by his failures, but arrayed in righteousness! Yes this season, enjoy Christ the babe who came to earth to rid you of your failure as a mom! Breaking the walls of inability and standards!!! Christ took his sinless life and gave it to you as a MOTHER!! Christ took your life as a mom, your anger, your lack of discipline, your lack of love for your children, and he took God's wrath for those sins and was punished in our place!! Shepherding a Child's heart is the BEST book on how to rear and discipline kids (disclaimer: the book does point to Christ and is not just a book on principles!) and our house uses these principals laid out in the book. But in the end it is just a book and will burn!!! I want my life to point to Christ and not to  a book of standards. I hope that if you come to my house this season, you might catch us living out principles from Tripp's book, but more than that I hope you see Christ! Praise God who came to earth to save me as a mom!!! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The glories revealed in the weary mom

Ahhhhh. How nice! I woke up this morning to peace and quiet, made a sweet cup of jo and sat down expactanly to have a complete extended time with God. I say complete, because most of my mornings' readings are filled with screaming, diaper changes and the like. But, as my toddles are not here, I was ready for an easy going morning. 

Cue scratches and rips off of a record!!

It is not even 8:30 and I've already had two outfit and swaddle changes from my newborn, a few arguements with the hubs and constant shushing of my newborn, who typically only sleeps well during this morning time. He must have noticed I needed a little more heat this morning. 

So, as I sat, bible opened, coffee in one hand and babe in the other, my mind was overflowing with anxiety tho my morning should have been serene. My body seemed to be in more of a slump position than when I began this morning. Defeated, I sought Christ. 

I began to think about a mother. The one who seems to be in the ocean, her head barely above water. bobbing back and forth waiting on some sort of relief, someone to throw a line out. As I began to pen about this mother and her holy calling, I saw something more. There beneath the stains of circumstance and chaos, I saw a baker. A man hard at work. He was kneading, strong arms and fists, pressing in to dough. He was working in an ingredient into this dough. The dough was hard, not really easy to add something to, but as he kept working, adding to it, the dough began to form. He placed it thence in the heat, and it began to rise until there was a final product! The product? A loaf of bread that smelt so sweet and palatable. The baker was happy with his work, for his creation was a testament to his skill!

Like a baker hard at work, so is our Master hard at work in the life of the weary mother. The glory that is to be revealed in her life from her faithful obedience and sacrifice, will present her without blemish to her king and produce in her a decleration of his faithful hand!!!! 

                                                         Romans 8: 18-30

"18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope
21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified."

Monday, September 30, 2013

Quick Update

It's been a minute since I have written anything. Honestly, I feel a bit overwhelmed and incapable. But, I decided instead of writing about something going on in my heart, I would give a quick update!

We are still a family of four (me, David, AK and Spero). We are longing to make our family bigger, but there are no double lines for us, YET! We are a part of a church plant in Franklin, TN called Redeeming Grace Church. This is a Sovereign Grace church and is launching mid October!! We are so excited!!

We live of eight people, at one time there was eleven. We also all four live in one (big) bedroom together. Both of these have there pros and cons, but for the most part, it has been such a joy to live here!!! What a great experience to live in community with other like minded believers! I get to spend basically all day in and out with another mommy and baby. How kind of God to allow me to be refreshed daily by walking through the day with another mommy!! This family, The Lockwoods, have actually shared that they are moving out in Jan, maybe earlier, so please pray that God would provide another person to pay their part of the rent. If not, there is no way we can afford to live in Franklin. We would have to move back to Knoxville. This is certainly not a bad thing, for we long to dwell in community with Cornerstone again, but David does feel as if God is calling us to plant our feet here for awhile.

David is working at Fed Ex as an assistant manager right now. He has just started a second job at Appleton learning center and really enjoys that. He also has began a class for CCEF on counseling, and he LOVES it! His dream would to be a counselor one day!!

I am keeping a little girl on Wednesday who is pretty cute, and we love getting to play with new people!! But, Im not sure if we could say that AK ever even meets strangers, she is soooo outgoing. Sometimes it can be so intense that other little ones are quite afraid. But, something I have noticed is that she is outgoing when she feels secure. But, if she is in a new environment, she is a bit scared. Which is just like me!!!!

My heart is pretty soft towards Christ right now, although a week ago it was not so! At least for me! But God really has given me some time of longing for his word and the gospel.  We are SO weak!! But I know God gets glorified in our weakness!! Praise Him!!

Monday, July 8, 2013


It seems so cliche to start this by saying, "I remember it like it was yesterday", but there is something about going through a tragedy that makes you lock away every passing second into a vault! So, here we go... I remember it like it was yesterday. I was eating a jar of chocolate icing, watching Tv when I got a phone call from my good friend, Kacy. Her voice seemed a bit worried as she asked, "Katie, how is Jerry?"

Let me digress for a moment on who Jerry is. I first met him when he coached my brother in baseball, a disrespectful, loud sort of creature, a bachelor who lacked self-control. Our paths crossed again when they moved across the street from us. This time though, it was as if he had been through a transformation. He was married, gentle and kind. This man was sweet, funny and loved people. Christ had saved him and changed him. I think our memories tend to be glorified in our minds, but Jerry, I feel was truly this way. He was still rough around the edges but was being etched with character and grace from God!!

As my friend so kindly called me to check on me, she continued to say she had heard Jerry was in a wreck. I quickly got off the phone and called his wife. As I talked to her, she had not heard anything either, so I had some fears, but was hopeful. I called my mom and she quickly got off of the phone with me and went to investigate. I sat and waited. Waited and sat. Until my mom called and said that my brother was coming to get me and take me to the police station. As I sat on the porch waiting to see what all the commotion was about, another friend called whose dad was in the force. She kept saying over and over again that she was so sorry. It didn't register with me yet that anything but a simple wreck had happened. On the way, as I sat in the back seat, quietly waiting to arrive to see what was unfolding, my mom called. I think everyone knew at this point that Jerry had passed away, so she felt the need to tell me. I remember her saying that he was gone, and I remember throwing the phone down as if I had not control of my hands. He was gone!! What does that mean? Over the next days as our family and friends walked through this loss, there were moments that are chiseled into my mind, burnt into my memory. I remember collapsing as I went to tell another family friend who is like my sister and his other daughter. I remember I just couldn't tell her he was gone. I remember not being able to go into the church to receive visitors who would pay the respects because I felt if I walked into the room, it really meant he was gone. 

It's been 10 years since this tragedy when Fallon Talent swerved on the interstate at Jerry and another cop who were setting up spikes strips for her to run over. It's been 10 years since we lost the man who had the brightest disposition! It's been 10 years since the police force lost a hero! It's been 10 years. I'm not sad though. I do miss him, and I miss the Jerry bomp (a silly dance he did). But the thing that encourages my soul to something greater is knowing that he is walking with Christ. I don't mean the kind of feel good "he's in a better place" sort of comfort.  I mean the deep, hold on to your hat whilst I throw off every harsh reality this world brings, raise my hands to the skies,  dance around and worship the creator comfort.  This world is not about us, its not about our happiness at all, but it is about Christ. It's about conforming into his image because he is worthy of praise and glory!! Its about knowing the God who created the world for himself and by himself. This world is not the end! I would even venture to say the end is not heaven, in a sort of sense that society believes. The end is Christ. Your end is Christ. Regardless of if you chose to bow to him on earth or not! Your end is you kneeling to God! Jerry's God.

I also want to encourage you with this. Jerry is not in heaven because he was a hero, or because he did good things, or because he learned from his mistakes. No, Jerry is in heaven because of CHRIST!! Because of Christ's work on the cross. Christ lived a perfect life and died in Jerry's place so that Jerry's sin may rest on Christ's head!! God thank you for saving Jerry, and thank you for my time with him!! To live is Christ and to die is gain!! Oh to see what Jerry has gained!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


It came! The thing so dreaded and feared, but never expected. As swift as we found out we were expecting our second, we had lost our second. Through this trial, I have come to realize a few things that we so often forget. Let me first say that if you have gone through this or will go through this, I can not begin to explain how deeply sorry I am for the loss of your child. Although I have been through a miscarriage, I believe all miscarriages and all families are different, so I can't tell you that I understand your pain. I don't understand how this loss has affected you, but it is my hope that it brings good about in your life. Also, it doesn't matter how far along you were. If you were only a few weeks or further, you have lost a child, and that is so painful. 

In our first pregnancy, my fear of a miscarriage consumed me. I was so afraid that I was going to do something wrong to cause a miscarriage, but by some grace, nine months later I was holding a precious baby girl. I guess maybe that is why when I became pregnant for the second time, I did not expect anything to go wrong. I had been through this before and produced a healthy baby. But, as I started to spot and show signs of a miscarriage, my fears multiplied within me. 

There I was, laying on the ultrasound table. Looking at my baby. Nothing seemed wrong. Then as the tech listened to the heart beat, there was silence. No beat. Nothing. I guess my denial kicked in, because as I laid there, I convinced myself it was too early to hear it. But, when the tech said she was going to get the doctor to come and talk to us, my husband and I quickly fell apart, as we knew what was unfolding.

So, there we sat in the doctors office. Trying to understand what was happening. And, I rest here today on this, that although miscarriages are common, we may never know why they happen. As the weeks went on, I played all the moments before the loss over and over again in my head, did I eat something bad, did I play too rough with my other child, did I not take my medication. These thoughts sprinted through my mind. Let me tell you friend, miscarriages happen. There is no reason for them from our earthly perspective. We can't unwind our days and come up with some evidence for it. It just happens. 

As you may try to reason with yourself as to why this happened, you may also find yourself running to the internet for an explanation. DON'T!! There are so many things on the web that breed fear and anxiety in us. I can say that reading about miscarriages on the internet will only leave you with more unanswered questions. I found so much comfort in talking with others who had had miscarriages. My soul was encouraged to know that others had gone through this before me. Also, know that people really don't know what to say, and sometimes they might say the wrong thing. Just try to give them grace. Some might be uncomfortable and feel the need to talk more about themselves, some might minimize the situation, and some might not say anything at all.

Before my miscarriage, I did not know how to respond to those who had lost their child. I found myself not saying anything at all to them, avoiding them, if you will. I found this lack of condolence during my miscarriage to mean apathy. I know this is not true, but I would have loved a call, text, email, or some sign that I was being thought of. If you have a friend going through this, let them know they are loved. They may never answer the phone or text back, but trust me, it means a lot! And, while we are on the subject, a few words you should never say to them are, “I understand (even if you have had a miscarriage)” or “you'll get through it, it will be ok”. But express something to the effect of, “Im so sorry” “let me know if there is anything I can do” “Im here if you want to talk” “Praying for you”. 

As the days went on I remember venturing out and not wanting to see happy people. “Don't they know what has happened to me?” I thought. I did not want anyone happy around me, nor did I want to be happy. When I felt happy, I felt guilty. But, you are not forgetting about your baby because you are happy. It is ok to feel emotions and to move on. 
As the weeks went on, I found myself thinking a lot about the baby. Everything was somehow connected. I remember putting on a pair of undies and thinking, these are my pregnancy undies. I wore them when I was pregnant. 

And now, as I am pregnant again, I find myself walking in fear sometimes, so afraid that I might lose this one. Our first ultrasound was really hard. I was so afraid I would not hear a heart beat. But, we are on week 17 now, and I hope and pray I will get to meet this little one, but if not, I know that there is hope! Take heart my friend, there is hope for you as well. 

[previously written]

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Wow!!! Let me reflect, if you will allow, on mine and David's last five years of marriage. We got married in Cookeville, Tn. Lived there for a little over a year. Moved to a little tiny place called Oliver Springs with David's parents. Lived there for a year. Lived back in our house in Cookeville for the summer. Got pregnant. Moved back with David's parents for half of the year. Moved to little ole Athens, Tn. Lived there for a year and a half. Got pregnant twice. Lost our job. And now, we are living in Nashville. This has been a whirlwind, and not a lot of this journey has been exactly where we want to be.

When we found our church home at Cornerstone Church of Knoxville over two years ago, we knew that is where God wanted us, but as for our living quarters, with David's ever so loving parents and then in Athens, Tn. we were not quite satisfied. I don't think we ever thought about moving to Nashville, mainly because we didn't see our hearts away from CCK. But, after being uprooted from Athens when David lost his job, applying aggressively everywhere we could think of, and after receiving a job in Nashville, we see that God is giving us grace for Nashville.

We have visited Immanuel Church in Franklin, and I must say that I never thought it could be our church home. I liked it, but it was not CCK! But, last Sunday, the Lord opened my heart, and I was so blessed by Immanuel. God has given us friendships here already that I can see are going to be deeply rooted in the gospel, and we meet new friends every day! No joke!!

We have already been able to minister a little to people in the community, and this was so hard to do in Athens. You would invite someone to church, but after they drove an hour with you to church, they never really wanted to come back. We also (possibly sinfully) did not have a heart for Athens. But, last night, David got to talk a little with a guy, Trevor, about church and spiritual things. He seemed excited about coming with us to Immanuel. David also had my cousin with him who has really started growing with Christ. They got to talk a little with Trevor together. It sounded so encouraging!!!

Let me say that we LOVE the Nashville life. There are so many things to do here!! God has really knit our hearts for this area! This may be just a feeling and may be fleeting at that, but we are so encouraged!! God has proved faithful by providing a job for us! I must admit that David and I lacked faith, but God still chose to remain faithful!!

I am not sure how long we will stay here, or if we will continue to like it, but I know this... That God is working all things for our good! He has not and will not abandon us, though we feel ourselves to be adrift the sea when the tides come. HE WILL NOT ABANDON US, THOUGH WE FEEL OURSELVES ADRIFT THE SEA WHEN THE TIDES COME!

Please pray for:
1. Spero (our baby boy to be born Sept 29th)
2. Insurance. We will be between insurances and are trying to apply for medicaid.
3. Trevor
4. David's new job. This is his first job after college that is not teaching.
5. Our transition to Immanuel/ friends and community

Thank you! We love you all and will be back at CCK soon to visit I am sure!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Being swept from our home, jobless with no prospects and baby due in almost 7 weeks or so, David and I have had a really hard time! But, this hard time, like the others in our life has been so rich, too. Even the dry in this season is rich!!

One grace in our life is that we have sought counsel after counsel and each time we talk to someone, our hearts are so encouraged!!!

I find it interesting that three people have produced the same thought for me:

Jeff, our counseling pastor encouraged us with "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." He said to really revel in what God has revealed to us. This meant that all my worry and anxious fear about where we would work or what we were going to do fell in to the unrevealed which was not mine to lay hold of.

Then, a plant pastor at Immanuel shared on Sunday the question "am I just seeking God's plan for my future or what he has already revealed in his word?" This too caused me to focus on what God has for me today and not the future.

And lastly, as David and I met with our friend, Chris Moore, he encourage me to look back at what God has done in our lives already, how he has been faithful to us in the past. And boy does that give us faith for the future!!

How encouraging to my soul that God would confirm this to me over an over again!

Yesterday we met with Dr. Dave Smith, a counselor in Knoxville! God used this in our lives as well! We felt heard, understood and loved just by a mere 80 minutes we had with him!!

Through all of our encounters with these men, we can see God shaping and molding his plan for us! The blank we see becomes a little more clear! And when it does not, we still see God's hand!!

Although we struggle with faith through this time, God continually gives us a drink from his well! We are thirsty and yet so saturated!!

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