BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!! 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:


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




Our First Year of Marriage


On July 20th, 2013, I stood outside dressed in ivory and promised my heart and life to my tall and handsome best friend in a coral tie who just so happened to be the man that God created just for me. The words we spoke, straight from our hearts, tied our lives together.

“I do!”


That was exactly a year ago! The tall & handsome fella in the cream-colored suit who carried me down the aisle is the same strong man who has carried me through sleepless nights, lots of tears, laughing fits, & everything in between. He has been faithful, bold, strong, caring, trustworthy, warm, & gracious. He has been the one I run to when I mess up or get my feelings hurt. He is the one who deals with my mood swings & random crying spells. He is my encourager, my best friend, & my biggest fan. He prays for me daily and I lift him up to our Lord every morning and every night.

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He is the one who makes me frustrated, cry, or laugh until I pee in my pants. He gives me butterflies in my stomach every single time he looks me in the eye. {no joke} I have never gotten tired of having him around. His laugh and sense of humor are both contagious. He gets mad at me when I feel like getting under his skin. He is smart and wise and way better at sports than I am. He supports me in my dreams and provides for my every need, working hard, and will walk around the mall with me and buy every coral dress we spot.

He leaves the toilet seat up and in the middle of the night, I fall in the toilet. I forget to dry his work shirts and he ends up wearing a wrinkled and wet button up.

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In life, We walk together. Some days, he is holding me. Some days, I am pulling him. And some days, we are both too weak to keep going but we do. Our God is in the middle of us.


My husband is on my side but some days aren’t picture perfect. We are two sinful humans in one home trying to keep from messing up too much. We dream together and sometimes we have to speak reality to one another.
I hurt him and he hurts me. My feelings get crushed over words he speaks and he feels unloved when I choose selfishness. I get way too sassy with him and he gets a little too real with me.

We read our bible together and ask the hard questions. We encourage each other to seek the face of The Lord. We pray and we intercede. We praise and we dance together. We serve in church side by side and he fills in the gaps that I miss. We push each other. We strive to serve God wholeheartedly. Sometimes we forget to read our Bible and sometimes we doubt God’s perfect plan. We ask for forgiveness & do it all over again.


We fight temptation. We mess up. We pray over each other. He speaks healing and blessings over me. I ask for strength and wisdom over his heart.

This is marriage. This is love. This is life. Joe and Katie. Husband and wife.

And we will do these things and more, each day for the rest of our lives on earth until we finally get Home. And even then, we will meet on our stars and sing praises to the King of Kings who saw it fitting to place two of His children together on earth.

Happy one year, babe! I love you, Joey Donut!

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Day 30 #iAmThankful!

Can you believe that today is the last day of November? It has been such a great time and inspiring month but it has definitely flown by. I absolutely adore this time of year because it brings family together and friends closer. I have enjoyed so much sharing with you all what I am most thankful for. God has blessed me so much, it would take years to Just because this journey is drawing to an end doesn’t mean that you have to stop counting your blessings. We have so much to be thankful for all throughout the year!

In honor of the last day of our iAmThankful picture journey, you’re going to hear what other people are most thankful for! These are a few of my friends, family, and strangers; both near and far. I hope it blesses your heart and inspires you to realize
how much God truly loves and blesses us! Happy Thanksgiving and may your heart be overwhelmed with worship to the One who gives perfect grace, perfect love, and abundant blessings!

Vickie from China who just moved to the States a few months ago—“I am thankful that I am here in the US now!”

Yvonne from Lousiana—“First God then my family (both near and far)”

Judy, my mom-in-law—- “Above all, for God’s grace and mercy. I am most thankful for my family.”

Sarah C, new mom from Florida— “Ben and Jerry’s phish food ice cream”

Joe, my husband— “God and you!”

Jaimie from Tennessee— “God’s unconditional love”

Danny, my brother-in-law—“Probably that I’m alive and yeah of course my family!”

Sarah, Joe’s best friend’s wife— “The fact that we are redeemed by God’s unconditional grace and mercy every single day! (Second in line would be my selfless husband and incredible family.”

Jennifer, My Mom- “all my kids!”

Sean, my little brother– “my siblings”

Bobby, my stepdad— “My salvation”

Dan, my father-in-law—“I am thankful for my family!”

Kristi, my sister-in-law—“Trevor!” (Her son)

Above all, I am thankful for God who gives each of us breath and life and eternal life through His Son, Jesus, who brings salvation from our sin to all who believe and trust in Him!

Be blessed!

Black friDay 29! iAmThankful

Today was the most anticipated yet dreadful day of the year. Black. Friday. The day that prices drop low along with the American person’s morals. It has been a tradition for years on Thanksgiving nights to stay up late with my family and wait until time to head out in the cold and brave the crowds for a few cheap toys and televisions bigger than our kitchen table. There is something invigorating about standing in the Old Navy line for three hours and drinking McDonald’s hot chocolate at 1 a.m.

This year was a different story.

For whatever reason, no one in my family had any desire to take part in Black Friday this year. My husband and I spent way too much money on DVDs last year that are still in the wrapper. And after watching some of the fights on the news and such, I’m glad we didn’t get out!

I am reminded today and thankful that I am not in need of anything. But that isn’t because I have a house full of Walmart bargains. I have Jesus and He satisfies my every need.

For Day 29, I am thankful that Jesus alone is able to satisfy all of my needs.

Jesus provides love. 1 John 4:8

Jesus provides rest. Matthew 11:28

Jesus provides security. Romans 8:38,39

Jesus provides forgiveness. Acts 2:38

Jesus provides life. John 14:6

Jesus provides abundant living! John 10:10

Jesus provides what we need in His perfect timing. Matthew 14:19,20

Jesus provides peace. John 14:27

Jesus provides all of our needs!

“And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Jesus provides unconditional, everlasting, never-failing, constant love. A love unlike any other. Your spouse can fail you. Your job can fail you. Your kids can fail you. Your health can fail you.

Jesus Christcan never and will never fail you.

He is all I need. He is all you need.

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Thanksgiving Day! -Day 28-



It is the day I have been anticipating all year long. For Day 28 of the iAmThankful journey, I am thankful for this season of thanksgiving, the family, the food, all of God’s great blessings.

I so hope you all had and are still having great times with your loved ones wherever you may be.

We are blessed beyond belief! Be thankful for all that He has given you!

Today has been full of traditions, new, and old, and lots of delicious food!

If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share. -W. Stone

My amazing grandma shared her home and cooking skills today, my whole family shared their love and laughter, my in-laws shared their home and delicious food, my husband shared his sweet skills of poker with me and we have been playing with family for the past 4 hours it seems… And, my dear grandmother-in-law shared her crochet skills with me tonight. Such sweet times.

Do you have a skill that God has blessed you with can you share with someone? What was the most valuable gift someone has shared with you?


Day 27 iAmThankful!


November is drawing to an end and we are one day away from… Turkey Day!

I do love the holidays. It’s the ultimate family time for us. This morning, we packed up and headed back to the hometown. Penny was in the backseat sleeping away, (praise!), and we even got to see a little snow flurries on the way.

Today, Day 27 of iAmThankful, I am thankful for my hometown. Most would say that there is not much out here but for me, it is where life started. Generations before me lived on the same piece of land and I hope that generations after me will do the same.
It is the place I can always go to where my grandma’s yummy home-cooking resides and where I can visit my sweet family. It’s a place soaked with childhood memories and wooded paths perfect for quiet morning walks.

It is where my life was shaped. I grew up there…

I am thankful for my hometown because now that I have moved on and am not there, I can easily look back and remember all the moments that once made who I was. It may sound trivial but there is a certain hill on a certain road that connects to my house that I used to run up and down in the summertime when I enjoyed being in shape. On one particular bright morning, I remember running up that hill, sweat pouring and knees aching. A little yellow butterfly twittered right past me and followed me all the way up the hill. I realized that the more I focused on the beauty of that butterfly, the easier the steep hill I was running up became. It showed me that sometimes there are mountains or trials in our life. Job loss, anxiety, lonliness, financial problems, sickness, the unknown, confusion. The more I keep my eyes focused on Jesus, the smaller and more enjoyable this mountain staring down at me becomes. Our circumstances may never change but our outlook on them can. My eyes turn from the problem back to the Problem Solver, our help in time of trouble, Jesus.

That was just one of the thousands of memories and teaching moments that my God revealed to me on that road. I’ll cherish them forever.

I am thankful for the ability to leave my hometown because now I cherish time spent with people I can’t see on an everyday basis. God pulled me from my comfort zone into a place that didn’t have that perfect running hill or any other familiar place. I’m thankful for that because now my husband and I have the opportunity to make our own memories, learn new things from God, and meet new friends who are just as close as family.

How was your life shaped?

No matter how you grew up, God was with you and God has a bright and purposeful future ahead of you. Seek Him and He will make your paths straight!

“A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps.” -Proverbs 16:9


Day 25 iAmThankful


It’s so good to be back! My husband and I had a great, relaxing, and exciting adventure in the mountains this weekend with our friends. It was such a sweet time of not worrying about schedules and plans and having fun shopping, watching magic shows, and being kids again hanging out all day at Wonder Works. It went by all too quickly.
It was such a blessing to enjoy a few days with a couple of the people we love!

Today for the iAmThankful picture journey, I am thankful for holidays.
This afternoon, my awesomely sweet husband took me to my favorite store-Hobby Lobby- to pick out Christmas decor! I love this time of year!

Falling leaves means turkey and out of town family visiting!

Falling snow and cold weather means fuzzy socks and hot chocolate!

Christmas lights being strung by cheerful neighbors, Ella Fitzgerald bellowing out old Christmas tunes on Pandora, warm smiles and good deals at the mall. I’m kind of a big time fan of holidays.

Christmas music is playing in the background as my husband and I scurry around putting up our first Christmas tree together in our new home. As we add each ornament, I am reminded of how much I love this time of the year. In just a few short days, we will be getting together at family’s homes and stuffing our bellies full of yummy homemade dishes and laughing together. We are blessed!

As a child, Christmas was that special time of family togetherness, hot cocoa, gingerbread houses, and snowmen. I remember flipping through the pages of the JcPenney Christmas catalog going highlighter-crazy, starring and circling all of the new toys and gadgets I liked. Growing up in a Christian home, Christmas time wasn’t just about the snowmen and presents though. Even as a young child, I always knew there was something more. A real gift had come into the world; one special gift that couldn’t compare to all of the toys in the world. I only knew of this gift because of my parent’s consistency and great desire to remind us children not to get too caught up in the fairy dust. Jesus Christ was that gift and without Him, there would be no Christmas! They would always remind us, read us children stories about that O Holy night, and also read the accounts of Jesus’ birth in the Bible. More than all of that, they lived it out. And that is why it stuck with me. They served others and helped others. They loved us and pointed us to Christ during this exciting season when it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of trying to buy every single toy on the list; toys that will only get played with once or twice and then replaced with a better one. I believe it’s important that, beyond the earthly gifts, parents give their children “The Ultimate Gift”- learning about Jesus and why He was born into this world. He is the one and only gift that won’t be replaced.

This year, I pray that we may not get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season but use this time to focus on the family members and friends and coworkers, giving the Gift to those who don’t have Jesus.

There is nothing wrong with Christmas traditions and enjoying time with family shopping and putting up the tree, as long as we don’t lose sight of the One whom we have the reason to celebrate!

Is there a certain family member or friend or maybe even a coworker who needs some encouragement, some extra money for gifts, or maybe a table to sit around on Thanksgiving? I pray that we will be extra open to whomever God puts in our way to bless this season.

Thank God for our Savior!

Tis the season!