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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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!

Wrecked // Homesick

I live in a three bedroom home with AC, heat, stainless steel appliances, a loft, a dog, a backyard with a deck, a fancy grill, a flat screen, a laptop, two beds and an extra air mattress, three closets packed full of clothing, and stuff that fills the rest of our home. How is it, then, that I am not fulfilled? I still think that I need more clothing, more wall décor, more food, & more games. I am SO thankful for these things and for the amazing husband that has provided us with a home.

But this isn’t an issue of not lacking or lacking stuff.

This is a heart issue. My heart issue.

And God has and is doing a big work inside of me and it hurts.

I’ve lived on this earth for 21 years and five months. In all of my 21 years and five months, I have never gone hungry. I have never went without. And yet, I am not content. I find myself wanting more. Because of sin, I have grown up thinking that this urge for something more was meant to be filled with worldly things (even good things) when really that urge inside of all of us was put there by God. He is the only that can fill that void, please that urge, make us complete, & give us true joy. I don’t want to go my entire life trying to find fulfillment in things other than God. I’m ready to call it like it is. I’m selfish.

 

My home isn’t on this earth. But, I sure have been living like it is. And I have been laying up treasures that rust in an instant.

You may be thinking, of course your home is on earth. Where else would it be? But you see, my Father, God, says that His children are just pilgrims passing through. Our home, the place where Christ-followers belong, is in heaven with Him. We, I, have been placed on earth to love and to show others The Way.

But something has gotten in the way. Sin, of course. But sin in the form of neglecting our purpose and neglecting the truth.

For as many years as I could remember, I have been living on this earth like it is my permanent home. Like this is where I will live forever. I have given into the lie from the enemy that it is my purpose to indulge, satisfy my every desire, get as much as makes me happy, & entertain myself. Like my pastor who just returned from a mission trip in a third world country, we have been blinded.

I have dug into scripture only to fish out what sounds best to me.  Like how God wants me to eat, drink, & be merry. I have neglected every breath of Jesus as He pleads for us to take up our cross, only thinking about it and putting it on my bumper sticker, never actually living it out. To Suffer, love, lose, glorify, lay down, and to die. To die to the self, the flesh that we are living in so that His Spirit can freely flow through our veins. He calls us to die to self so that we can truly live through Him. Our sole purpose, our only purpose on this earth is to glorify God.

We know this truth so why are we doing things and striving for things that pump up our fleshly veins, only burying deep and neglecting the supernatural Spirit of God inside of us?

“Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” James 4:17

I have been living selfishly. I have been learning the good that I ought to do since the Sunday School days yet I do not do it. I have been living in sin disguised with the masks of success, happiness, & entertainment. I am fearful, weak, and unable. And I wonder how all these things can be if I am a believer. I am realizing that I have been starving my soul. I have been feeding it fake food. It’s like giving an infant mountain dew and cigarettes and wondering why she isn’t growing properly. I have been feeding it worldly slop and wondering why God & home feel so far away.

For the past few weeks, I have had a feeling of homesickness. This feeling has been growing as my husband and I dig more into scripture, specifically the book of James. We read about orphans and widows and counting it JOY when we fall into all sorts of trials and problems. That homesick feeling grew when we ordered our plane tickets to Haiti. It grew as I watched videos and gazed at faces of the people of Nepal. It grows as I think about how I have lived my life these past 21 years.

Selfish and comfortable.

But God has great plans. He will not leave us in this mess as long as we call it for what it is & repent. I am begging God to change me.

These past weeks, I have become sick to my selfish living and so drawn to the life that Christ lived. Selfless, humble, lacking all material possessions yet possessing EVERYTHING. Because to Him, God was and is His life. And I can say that I love God but until I snap out of this selfish, comfortable, controlling, prideful, worldly, cowardly way of living, I will never be as close to Him as is possible. God has been slowly chipping away at the scales over my eyes and what I see is the need for the Gospel.

And it’s wrecking me.

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 katie