BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!! We are moving!

WE ARE MOVING!!

That’s right! Hot Tea and the Empty Seat found a new home & it’s waiting for you to go get cozy and show some love! I will no longer be posting on this URL/blog page and eventually it will be deleted. SO, please check out the new blog! Let’s not miss each other for too long…

Since we don’t want to see you go, please head over here now and subscribe via email to our new blog! You will still receive the same encouragement in your inbox, it will just be prettier & more organized!!! If you don’t subscribe and follow the new blog, you won’t get all of the weekly awesomeness & we don’t want that!

I would also LOVE you if you headed over there right now with your hot tea in hand and peeked around a bit. There is a new ‘about me’ and lots of goodies just waiting for you to enjoy!

The new blog link is: http://www.hotteaandtheemptyseat.blogspot.com/

 

Thank YOU so much for being a part of Hot Tea and the Empty Seat. This is just the beginning! Can’t wait to hear from you!

 

See you soon! -Katie

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Big Changes!

Hey sweet friends! In the next few days, there will be some big changes on Hot Tea and the Empty Seat. I’m making the switch from .com to .org so please be watching so that you can follow along on the new & updated blog!

Plus it’s about to get super cute & sleek {finally!}

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If you are a blogger, Follow my blog with Bloglovin
You can find me here!

Hot Tea and the Empty Seat is also on Facebook!

I would love to get to know you & chat with you! Follow along & let’s connect!

Blessings, friend!

You are loved

-Katie

Let’s Chat Over Coffee! {highs + lows}

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Hey love! How are YOU doing? If you’re like me, you are so thrilled that Friday finally made it’s appearance. This week has been something of a whirlwind & I am so excited to spend the weekend unwinding and relaxing. Today, I’m linking up with Jenna & Jenna for another edition of Coffee Date. There is nothing quite like pouring your heart out over a big warm mug full of creamy coffee goodness. How I wish I could meet up with you & we could do just that. Over the past year, I have learned how important community is. It knits hearts together, creates lasting and strong friendships, & gives us enough refreshment and encouragement to keep running the race.

If we were talking over coffee right now, here are a few things I would let you in on. I would get super excited about most but then I would ask for your prayers in some.

– Highlights of the week –

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– I started my new job as a nanny! This is the major highlight of the week. God has been so faithful in this. It happened so quickly & I couldn’t have been more blessed with the two precious girls that I am watching over. They are hilarious & such sweet gifts from God.

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– Our Home Reno is up & running again. my hubs & I finally mustered up enough motivation & help to completely destroy the Jumanji jungle {miss you, Robin} that was growing in front of our house {the shrubs were going wild}. The boys pulled all of those bushes and trees up so we now have a clean palette to start over. The next items on our Home Reno list are fix all of the puppy damage to the doorways {thanks penny} & my favorite… paint the front door teal! I have been dreaming about turning our little front porch space into a welcoming morning area but haven’t had the motivation to actually put those dreams into action until this week. I’m excited to post before & after pictures!

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– My husband and I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen lately. We whipped up his mom’s special lasagna one night, my grandma’s amazing chicken casserole another night, & even made a few sweet treats over the weekend. I love making our family’s homemade meals because it makes me feel like we aren’t that far away. My grandma, aka the BEST cook in the entire universe, created a recipe book for me with all of her special homemade goodies & gave it to us at our wedding shower last year. I cried. She cried. My mom cried. It was my most favorite gift ever & I will always cherish it!

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-Speaking of community, my husband and I got to spend some time with one of my closest friends and her husband one night. Nick created this awesome life-size Jenga game & it was definitely a hit. I love spending time with other Jesus followers, always such a sweet time of refreshment.

Today, we are heading to our hometown to spend time with our families! That makes a hard week a little better.

Speaking of hard things, here are a few of the lowlights that have gone on this past week:

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-I can’t share the entirety of this situation but something came up this week that has completely shaken me. It’s one of things that begs the question, “God, what in the world are you doing???” It’s one of those things that makes you sick to your stomach because you don’t want to deal with it. It’s one of those things that makes you want to crawl into your little bubble of comfort and never come out again. It’s also one of those things that God may be using to stretch me, to put my faith to the test, to really break me down. This quote above has been a huge help to me as I deal with this situation. My fears are before me & I’m having to make the decision on if I will give in to them & let the fears control me OR step out in faith, complete faith even though I don’t know what to do but trust God. It’s hard following Jesus. But He never said it would be. I’ve had to ask myself, “is he worth it to you?” if He is, then I must keep walking. even if I am completely in the dark.

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– on a lighter note, I forgot to do all the laundry this week because I have been so distraught with the above situation. That created a problem when my husband got up this morning to go to work. No clean work shirts or socks. Another obstacle to jump over without tripping and falling flat on my face: feeling like a failure as a wife. Praying for God’s grace to cover me.

That’s a serious coffee date, friends. I hope you were encouragement somehow by my transparency & God’s grace in my life lately.

How can you relate?

you are loved!

Katie

True Beauty {Community Brew}

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Today I am linking up with Madison & Rachel for volume 3 of Community Brew! This post was inspired by a fellow blogger and is straight from my heart. It is something that I have struggled with for years. I hope that you will be encouraged and inspired to realize your true beauty. You are loved!

“Where did that roll come from? I wish I was skinnier.”

“How can my husband look at me? I’m a mess.”

“Why can’t I just look like her?”

“I’m too short. No one will ever take me seriously.”

“My hips are too wide.”

“I can’t believe I hit over 100 lbs. It’s all downhill from here.” {I’m ridiculous, I know}

“My hair is too thin and not shiny enough.”

“My eyes are too dark.”

“I wish my face was clearer and my legs more tan.”

“My face is too fat.”

These are the words I too often speak about myself. I am my own worst critic and everything I do just isn’t good enough. Can you relate? But girlfriend, do you ever stop to think that what you’re thinking isn’t what God has intended for you to think? Who am I to do speak these things about myself? I didn’t create myself. The perfect and amazing Creator of the Universe who is beyond perfect in all He does made me because He delighted in me and wanted to create a life out of me. God made me perfectly in His image. Why am I so focus on the outside when God has already made me beautiful? Why do I focus so much on the physical and not the spiritual state of myself? This world, the same world that is here today and gone tomorrow, is so fixated on how people look on the outside. We are slaves to their fake airbrushed pictures. We thrive off their acceptance and break under the pressure of their worthless opinions. Their focus is shallow and solely based on appearance. How pointless is that? I don’t want to be that way. It’s time that we break away from this world’s definition of beauty and truth.

 I am a daughter of the Heavenly King. I am royalty. I am loved and pursued. I am more than just a face; I have a purpose. I don’t want my friends or sisters or even future daughters to obsess over how they look on the outside. As long as they are pursuing a healthy lifestyle, that’s what matters. I could complain about the little things that I don’t like about myself but what good would that do? Not one thing.

When I look in the mirror, I see so many things that I am thankful for.

I am thankful to have legs, strong and able to get me places.

I have arms that can swing around my husband’s neck when he comes home from work. I am thankful for that.

My many freckles on my nose and arms remind me that I am my mother’s daughter and that is definitely something to be thankful for.

My body that I find flawed is loved by my husband and he tells me multiple times a day how beautiful and perfectly made I am. I am thankful for the way he sees me. He sees me as the most beautiful woman in the world and that’s all that matters.

I am thankful for my long brown hair that matches my father’s.

I am thankful for my unique green eyes with specks of brown in them lined with blue which matches perfectly with my husband’s bright brown eyes mixed with green. I hope our future kids have those eyes that see life as a gift and an adventure and nothing less than God-given.

I have a heart as big as the ocean. It loves many people, both near and far.

I have a Spirit in me that is not of this world. His name is Jesus and He makes me who I am. My figure or my looks do not give me worth and identity. My life isn’t about me and when I look in the mirror, I see a woman who was once broken until Jesus came and made me beautiful and new. His Spirit makes me alive, new, and beautiful.

This world’s definition of beauty is a lie. Beloved, you don’t have to be stick-thin. It’s okay if your teeth are a little crooked or your hair too messy. You are beautiful with your curves and your pale or dark skin. Your nose and your eyes were perfectly placed and your ears shaped by the loving Creator. Real, true, eternal, God-made beauty comes from God Himself and it has a name… Jesus.

and Jesus is within me, in my heart and in my Spirit. That’s what makes me beautiful. I am His.

This picture below is me. I’m going on two days of no showering due to having too much fun at the lake and I am in my husband’s old t-shirt. My eyebrows never look the same {for some odd reason}. My eyelashes aren’t spider-long. You will find no trace of makeup here and my face isn’t flawless. I have bags under my eyes and lines are already showing around my smile at 21. But those are simply proof of lifeAnd on the inside, I am spotless because of Jesus. I am loved by an eternal God. No matter what I am wearing on my body, I can have confidence that I am clothed in Christ’s righteousness. I am worthy. I am beautiful.

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What do you see when you truly look at yourself? You are beautiful. You are loved. You are cherished. Every hair on your head and every freckle on your body. And your heart, that is worth more than gold. And that is the truth.

-Katie

 

After reading this amazing post by a fellow blogger, I was moved to tears and knew I had to share my own story. Thanks, Rachel, for your encouragement and inspiration!

Linking up with The Grits Blog!

marriage: selflessness & selfishness // community brew

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“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” -D. Bonhoeffer

Today, I’m linking up with some sweet blogging girls through Community Brew. This week’s topic is marriage & what the Lord is teaching me in our marriage. It’s totally fitting seeing that our one year anniversary is creeping up! {just 4 days away}

God has molded me in many ways through this sanctification process called marriage. But the one thing that has stuck out to me in this first year that my husband and I have been joined together has been the selflessness of marriage.

I have seen numerous selfless acts done through my husband for me. I have watched his heart mold into looking more like Christ’s. I have been hurt, joyful, confused, blissful, angry, & molded myself. So many things happen when we choose to be selfless or choose not to be selfless.

When I intentionally choose to be selfless, through the power of Jesus in me, my husband and I grow closer together, intimately & more known.

When I choose to be stubborn, rude, quick to speak, & quick to be angry, that is causing a riff between the intimacy my husband and I could experience. My actions do that. Me.

The same happens when my husband chooses his ways over mine, or ours. It happens to all of us because all of us are sinful.

It’s so unnatural to put someone first. Yet, marriage requires us to put our spouse in front of our own self.

Just as Christ bids man to come and die in order to follow Him, we must come & die to our selfish desires in our marriages so that we may flourish & grow, together and with God.

It takes power & strength, boldness & love to intentionally, selflessly, put to death my selfishness & walk in the selflessness that Christ calls me to.

When my husband wants something that I do not want, I must choose selflessness.

When my husband has been feeling unloved & I just want to go to sleep, I must die to my selfishness & choose selflessness.

When I don’t want to get up in the morning to make my beloved husband breakfast, I must put aside my selfish desires & choose to walk in selflessness.

Even when my husband is being selfish & I have the prime opportunity to be selfish right back, I must stop & intentionally choose Jesus’s way, selflessness.

How do we choose selflessness?

With God’s help, Jesus’ power ALONE. I, Katie, cannot be selfless without the help of the Father. Without His strength, His Holy Spirit working through me, I will choose selfishness time & time again.

We must walk & talk with God daily in order to walk & talk the way of selflessness.

It is by His strength & graciousness to us that we will live selflessly in our marriages, in our lives.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not lean on your own understand;

in all your ways acknowledge Him

and He will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

You are loved

-Katie

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He Reminds Me…

I’m currently sitting outside in a lawn chair listening to Phil Collins on Pandora in my backyard watching our puppy play. Before I walked outside, a thought flashed across my mind. It was one of those thoughts that Jesus tells me to bring captive to Him so that He can deal with them correctly. “What is God doing for me?” flashed as quick as lightning across my mind. I can so easily become consumed by what God is doing all around me that I lose sight of what He is doing in my life and in my heart. Friend, do not be consumed by those thoughts. Thankfully, right after that thought floated across my mind, the Holy Spirit intervened in me & quickly evaporated that negative thought with the TRUTH.

God woke me up this morning. He gave us this beautiful warm morning and working legs so that I could walk my puppy (or so she could walk me). He blessed me with a husband who is out working and providing for us. He DAILY bears my burdens. Psalm 68:19 declares that truth! “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”

You see, God had to remind me that He is ALWAYS working in my life. He is always for me. He is truly always with me. It’s not just some cliché Sunday school answer. God Almighty CARES FOR ME daily! And He cares for you daily. If you are reading this right now, you have a Good Faithful God who loves you more than you can even fathom. He knows you. He is carrying your burdens. He is faithful. He will see you through whatever you are facing. No mountain is too heavy for our God to throw into the sea!

We must realize and remember daily that our God is DAILY working in and through us. For our good. He is for us.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is Your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22

Read that again if you have to! Let the amazing and comforting TRUTH soak into your soul down to the deepest part where you need Love the most.

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Beloved, we are truly loved by our Father. If it feels as if He has left you or is too far, let this truth that He has never left your side permeate into your mind. Don’t go another second without believing this. He loves you! Accept it & believe it. That is where you find freedom & joy & contentment. Then, give Him your all. It is all safe in His caring arms.

You matter.

You are loved.

Live big for Him.

-Katie

 

The Struggle : Memory Book

 

A couple of months ago, I shared with you all my struggle/journey through negative thinking. You can check out those posts here, here, & here! In those writings, I shared a few tips and things that have encouraged and helped me along the way. I want to share with you another super helpful “tip” that I have been working on for the past couple of days.

 A couple of years ago, I used to memorize scripture and it grew me so close to the Lord because I had His Word tattooed on my heart and mind. Unfortunately, I let life happen and I became “too busy” to continue but praise Him for His sweet grace because it’s never too late to start again! A couple of friends in our small group shared one night that they had cards they kept in their purse with memory verses on them & whenever they felt the enemy’s fiery darts trying to pierce their hope, they would pull those cards out and speak LIFE & TRUTH into their mind instead of being taken over by their own thoughts. AMAZING. It has taken me close to seven months to finally put this into action for myself but again, its never too late! I don’t think that there is a better time to do it since I have been writing to you friends about my journey through fear & negative thinking.

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The awesomely fun thing about this little project is that it can look however you want it to! On one of my trips to Target (a weakness store), my hubby helped me pick out this little beauty of a notepad that I thought was perfect to journal my verses in!

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Yes, those are rend collective lyrics written on the front because at the moment, they are quite possibly higher on my faves list than Starbucks right now. Seriously, all of their songs from their Campfire album are soul-strengthening.

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While sitting at Starbucks with my favorite man, I started out with a little beginning letter in the front of the journal if ever I was to lose this journal or hand it down to my daughter one day. Then, I pondered over what verses to add. I want this journal to be a quick go-to when I am in need of a  I decided that each page would be a different topic (fear, identity, being a good wife, joy, etc) and labeled it at the top that you can check out in the picture below! {By the way, those drinks in the picture above are our absolutely faves. Joe’s pink (hehe) one is a cotton candy frappe which is a vanilla bean Frappuccino with raspberry syrup & mine is a cinnamon dolce frappe! Now, go, snatch one up- I know you wanna! and start your memory book while you’re at it ;)}

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I really do encourage you go start your own little memory book! It’s already been such a great encouragement to me & a helper in those times when I cant get right to my bible, am struggling in a certain area, or can’t remember a certain verse.

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I also added a few quotes or song lyrics that pertained to my topic on that page. The writer in me absolutely loves to read other ‘s quotes 🙂 this is my THOUGHTS page…

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To be honest, I had to google who David Jeremiah was because I didn’t even know beforehand but his quote is such a powerful reminder to me!

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This was other powerful quote from John Piper that totally spoke straight to my heart. Oh, how important is it to remember that our FEELINGS are not always reality or true. God’s Word is ALWAYS TRUE. This is such a blessing to me. I had to add it so I could always see this beautiful reminder.

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This was seriously our view as we sat outside of Starbucks reading God’s precious words to us….

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Our Father paints so wonderfully!

I so long for the day that I can see this sunset from above with The Son but until then, I will carry His Word in my heart & mind!

I would love to hear from you if you have a memory book and I would love to see it! feel free to hop on over to Hot Tea and the Empty Seat’s official Facebook page to share it with everyone! Can’t wait to hear how God is working in your life!

-Katie

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