Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …


Leave a comment

Only a Few Books at a Time

She looked at me liked I was crazy. But what she didn’t know yet was that I really was. Crazy for her to know how much she was loved and how much grace the Lord had for her questions. He wasn’t overwhelmed by them even if she was. And He would give her the permission and peace to rest even if she didn’t fully understand or have all the answers to the questions her heart was asking just yet.

With many ‘are you sure?‘ glances she finally did as I asked and pulled all the books off the shelves till they were piled around her on the floor. I mercilessly began to toss them at her, asking her to read that chapter, or this sentence from a dozen different books, faster than she could keep up with them.

The books flying at her mimicked what the questions assaulting her heart and mind were creating: Overload.  That night I was able to share with her a very important, tangible, lesson I’d learned on my own journey.

Will you join me by reading what that lesson was for me? Click here.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love what I do here at the Discipleship House? Listening to the students stories and having the honor of walking a short bit of their lives with them? I am blessed indeed.

_________________________________________________________

“Only a Few Books at a Time” is Day # 30 of “In Deep, a 31 Days Series”.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Memes

In the Discipleship House this week, Memes have become a new and creative way to have an entire conversation.

A conversation that follows me on the road. I’m traveling and speaking at a Woman’s conference and finding  out that I’m miss the students already. Fitting I guess when I’m speaking on Spiritual Motherhood!

Thanks to group chats, my phone continues to go off as the meme conversations roll in. I wish I could give you a picture of the hilarity, sarcasm, creativity and wit these young adults have! While I can’t share their stories, I can share some of the memes they’ve made of me. The humility to laugh at One’s self is so freeing!

Join me? I mean look – it’s like I’m the many faces of Chuck Norris or something! 😅

IMG_0168

IMG_0167IMG_0166IMG_0158IMG_0164 copyIMG_0157

While I may have intentionally set my phone away from the podium while preaching, there isn’t anything I would trade to not have the “mime’s” (as I may have referred to them at first, ahem) roll in.

I am blessed Yawl!


Leave a comment

Invited In

We were swinging on the swing enjoying the fall breeze when he kept pointing to the tree branches above. The little monkey – he was always so curious. 

During our afternoon walks we would often explore the different tree leaves. Today was different. He wanted to do more than just finger and feel the crunchy leaves or bark, he wanted to climb the tree. For not being able talk much yet, he could communicate quite clearly what he wanted. 

Why not? Climbing trees was one of my favorite past times as a child. Sure, he was young, but here was an opportunity for me to invite him into one of my past joys. (Ok maybe I STILL love to climb trees). 

 
Tomorrow I’m scheduled to speak at a conference on what discipleship and mentoring as a lifestyle looks like. One of the things I’ll be sharing is that the best way we can learn to love people is by loving them the way Christ loves us. 

And He invites us in. Much like I invited this little guy to experience what I enjoy so much, Jesus invites me into His joy as well. 

Into His death and pain yes, but also into His resurrection and life and joy. Sharing life together is being invited in to others joys and sorrows. 

“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,” Romans‬ ‭6:4-5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Leave a comment

What’s Better?

Can you know Jesus more when you are single or married?

I sat in silence for a long time over that question. However I answered would take the conversation into so many different areas. We could argue over Paul’s writings and wether or not it was better to be single or married, we could dive into Jesus’s set apart life, or maybe the examples of marriage and Christ’s love of the church. None  of these addressed the heart of the question though – knowing Jesus.

It was a rare night in the Discipleship House, all five of the D House girls were  hanging out in the living room with me and none of the guys were around or home. Relationship questions abounded and stories were shared as the night grew late. 

I was familiar with the question she posed to me: Can you know Jesus more when you are single or married? I’d wrestled over it for years myself. In my mind I always thought that knowing Jesus better single or married was an either/or thing. One of them must be a better way to know Jesus than the other.

Questions like those below dug deeply into my soul:know Him more

If I never get married will Jesus be enough for me?”

If I  get married, I’ll get to experience more of the Lord’s love cause that’s an example of how Christ loves the Church, right?”

“But then if I do get married won’t that mean that I won’t be able to serve the Lord as well?

Perhaps it is not a matter of knowing the Lord better in “either/or”  (either single or married) but instead a matter of greater importance to know Him in “both/and” (both single and married). Asking questions and wrestling in our souls is a beautiful thing, but we are asking the wrong kind of questions. The question isn’t which season of life can I know the Lord better in, but how can I know Him in the season that I am in now?

Each story is beautiful, individual, song. The Lord will call to each of us to walk different seasons at different times, but the resounding bass in each call will be the same – to know Him. The melody will look different, but there will be a steady beat that does not change in your song. Him. 

A dear friend of mine married young and just celebrated her 10th anniversary. Her husband provided her with a safe home and a loving environment that freed her to begin to know the Lord’s love in a deeper way through her marriage. For me, the past decade of mostly going it alone has drawn me to the Lord’s love in a deeper way than anything I could have imagined.

Had I married young, I wonder if I would know the Lord in the way that I do now?  Would I have been too tempted to put my husband in the place in my heart the Lord should be? I don’t know. It’s not my story to know. Singleness has been one of the most refining fires in my life, but my married friends will say the same about their marriages. I’ve also tasted enough in a serious relationship or two to know that those relationships brought me to the throne just as much as my singleness did.

 In DeepIt’s so easy to get caught up in comparing apples to oranges that we miss the bigger picture: its all fruit. And it’s all about knowing Jesus. Whether you are single, married, divorced, widowed, engaged, a parent, or childless – through EVERY season, Jesus wants to be enough for you. Marriage and relationships have their struggles, their loneliness and their happiness too. And they are different, but Jesus isn’t an either/or. He is in BOTH singleness AND marriage.  I can’t tell you what’s better, but I can tell you that you are loved right where you are, and that He longs to know you and for you to know Him. And what I can also tell you is my story. Tomorrow. 🙂 Check back tomorrow for part 2.

_____________________________________________________

“What’s Better” is Day #13 of “In Deep” a 31 Day’s Series


Leave a comment

Desti… What?

Destiny. Destination. Predestined.

These words always seemed a bit mystical and useless to me – Christians argued over them, and New Agers smoked over them. I wasn’t interested in either.

In August when I left my prior job and the ministry I’d been involved with for almost a decade, the most profound thing happened at my goodbye party. It both released me and freed me not just physically, but spiritually. My boss listed all of the different hats and roles that I had worn and served in over the years, and then released me back to be only “Katie the Pure”.  Not Katie the Costumer, Katie the Counselor, Katie the Administrator, Katie the Event Planner or Youth Leader. Just Katie the Pure. My name by definition means “pure, or pure one”.

Look at these definitions:

Destiny: the predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events.

Destination: the place to which a person or thing travels or is sent.

Predestined: to destine in advance; foreordain; predetermine.

In life I frequently mix up my destiny with my destination. My destiny was predestined when I said “yes” to Jesus, and when He chose me at the cross. I became a child of God, a pure daughter of the King. My destiny is to be a daughter. My destinations have included the roles of working as an Administrator, or an Event Planner. But they aren’t my destiny, just destinations along the way as I walk out my destiny as a daughter.

Life will travel on, and I’m sure there are many more hats I will wear and roles I will gladly fill. Destinations will be traveled through or camped at for years, but the one thing that will always remain constant is my destiny.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—  to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace  that he lavished on us. Eph 1:3-8a (Seriously – go read the whole chapter!)

Over the years I’ve been pretty disappointed at relationships that didn’t end as I would have hoped, or destinations that tarried years beyond what I would have wanted – but I’m thankful. In that stripping, in the waiting, and in the frustration the Lord in His profound love purified the destinations that warred to steal the place in my heart that was for my destiny as His alone.

In Deep:

In DeepIn waiting for redemption it’s all too easy to miss out on knowing our Redeemer, and in pursuing our callings and destinations, its all too easy to mix up our destiny. Friend, destinations are incredible adventures! And redemption of broken dreams is a reality in the Kingdom of God! But don’t pursue them over knowing your Redeemer, or understanding your destiny as a son or daughter of God. Knowing your Redeemer and your destiny makes the destination so much sweeter.

What’s your current destination? Where are you traveling to or being sent? Is it to be thedestiny vs destination best Mom you can be? Student? Husband? Accountant? Musician? Are you sent to the coffee shop? Or to the church? Maybe you are putting in job applications. Wherever you go today, whatever relationship you answer too, whatever you do – know that what you do, is not who you are. You are first a Daughter, first a Son. Your Father is lavishing love on you. That is your destiny – carry it into your destination!

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:3

—————————————————————————————————————-

“Desti… What?” is Day #7 of “In Deep – a 31 Days Series”


1 Comment

Our Lives as Well

So we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 1 Thess 2:8

Something stirred deep in my soul the first time this verse stood out to me. Sharing the Gospel? Yes! Loving others enough to share my life with them? Letting them in? Now that was a completely new level of selflessness and love.

I stood at her sink, my arms covered with suds up to my elbows when it hit me – Maybe THIS is what both sharing the Gospel AND my life could look like. At this point, I was discipling a lot of women in one on one Bible studies each week and it was a beautiful thing to share the gospel with them, but my heart was beginning to hunger for more. I couldn’t get the verse from Thessalonians out of my heart.

She had three small children, so sometimes it was easier for me to come over to her house as we made our way through the book of John. And while the kids were getting ready for bed it was the most natural thing in the world for me to pick up the dish towel. We started doing life together. Not just studying the Gospel, but living out the Gospel in our every day lives with each other. If she and her husband had a fight or a bad day, I saw it. If I was grumpy or stressed out from work – they saw it. We lived real, raw, life where we could each see it and point the other back to Jesus.

From that friendship and several others I began to see the power of what I now affectionately call ‘lifestyle discipleship’. It’s inviting people “in deep”. Into your story, into your life, and at times into your home as you walk life together with the Lord. The discipleship side of it is “come learn” as we live life. Sometimes it looks like formal Bible Studies and Small Groups, but other times its – come over for dinner, watch how we parent our children, go for a hike, pray or play games. Sharing life is just that. Sharing life.

Starting at the Discipleship House has taken this verse to a whole different level for me as I not only get to share my life with everyone here, but also create a place where they can learn to begin to share theirs. To learn its ok to cry, to shoulder one another burdens, and to laugh.

Oh the laughter! It’s my favorite part right now! I love our teaching times, when the students are engaged with and in the Word, but I find my soul smiling when the halls ring with laughter. Our God is a joyful God!

We recently were given the opportunity to drastically reduce our mortgage on the Discipleship House if we can come up with 20K by the end of October. One of the fun ways to spread the word about our fundraiser is that everyone is doing a dance challenge. “How would you dance if you were given 20k?” and then they nominate their friends etc. Its been hilarious as everyone has been trying their best ‘dance moves’. (Oh the laughter we hear then!)

Tonight I’m thankful for my brother Sam who not only loves me, but will also share in whatever crazy adventure I’m doing in life. Below is our dance video. (Something else the Lord is working on “in deep” in me? Freedom. From pride, self consciousness, reserve etc. A few months ago I probably would have died at doing this video!)

“Our lives as well” is Day #5 of ‘In Deep’ – a 31 Days Series


Leave a comment

Both Warrior and Child?

Sometimes living a paradox is like trying to walk while you are doing a split. Impossible and ridiculously painful. Thankfully, the paradox I’m currently walking is a bit more like the two yellow lines that centrally split the road, rather than the white lines that divide opposite ditches.

If you can learn to both walk in the authority and maturity the Lord has built in you, while at the same time be freed to enjoy life like a child, than I’m there. Earlier this fall I returned to the place where I first felt the Lord’s beckoning into vocational ministry in a practical way. That was a decade ago. A decade. The realization loosened a deep, tired groan from my soul. Where had that innocent, bright-eyed, idealistic, eighteen year old girl gone? I could hardly recognize her.

I never understood when I would read blogs or hear sermons on pastors or youth-leaders that got burned out in full time vocational ministry. In that moment I understood. My soul was so weary, and there was quietness in my heart that scared me. It was the quietness of a warrior as he surveys the battlefield. The losses and the victories. The terrain, the call and cost of the battle. When had I become a warrior for the Lord? Wasn’t I still the girl I could barely remember?

I was longing for the innocence and vigor that my eighteen-year-old self approached life and ministry with. But I had forgotten her insecurity. Her laughter was born then of merriment but also nervousness then. As I flipped back chapters of my story through the last decade, I realized the deep steadiness the Lord had put in me was a gift. The foundation of Him. And it was time to start accepting that gift and walking in more authority (confidence) of the warrior that He has made me to be for Him.

Can you have authority, maturity, and confidence at the same time as innocence, pure laughter, and merriment? I hope so.

I’m beginning to see that it’s actually the maturity of understanding who we are in Christ – completely approved – that gives us the carefree grace to be like a child – to enjoy life, to laugh with purity and joy. Not laughter born out of sarcasm or insecurity – but the laughter of freedom.

And so I’m learning to walk the paradox of being a warrior who laughs. And you know what laughter does? It refreshes the soul. Imagine that.

The greatest gift the Lord has given me in coming to the Discipleship House is the gift of space. This space is the freedom to be both the seasoned warrior and the child. The students here have taken years off my life already – in a good way! That I’m able to both teach them and play with them is the best medicine the Dr. could have prescribed for the weary barrenness in my soul.

As I’m learning to play again, I’m also praying the Lord would restore and grow my ability to play with words. A post I wrote a few weeks ago was just published on Kindred Grace, and it’s giving me hope that perhaps maturity and the subtle merriment through woven word illustrations can also abide in the same space. Will you take a read?  Click here

My In Deep thought to leave with you today?

Laugh. It’s best gift you can give yourself and everyone around you. And if you need a place to start? Take all the random illustrations I used in this post, and picture them together. Put your imagination glasses on.

I’m seeing a laughing warrior doing splits, on a paved road, while they read someone’s ministry biography. Ridiculous. Oh, and for no reason at all? They are wearing a cowboy hat.

Laughing yet? Smiling at least? Good. Be refreshed today.

_________________________________________________________________

“Both Warrior and Child?” Is Day 2 of “In Deep” a 31 Days Series for October