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

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Life Lately…

Life lately has been all kinds of things. As I think of all the life going on, I come to one word that sums up this season of life that I am in: refreshment. Whether it be deep talks over coffee with a good friend, a much-needed fun date with the husband, or a reminder of our heavenly home, I am being refreshed….

 

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Over the weekend, we were able to visit both of our families for a bit. It was refreshing to see them and catch up. Right after being married, I wanted to go back home pretty much every single day. After growing closer to my husband and learning to trust God where I am at, both my husband and I think of trips back home as more special and dear to us than before. The trips are fewer now because we don’t feel that sting of needing to go back home because together, we are at home. We treasure times spent with our families now more than before & I know that that is a gift from God. I even got to snag my coffee cup I bought right before getting married that I kept leaving at my mom’s house. It’s now where it belongs & so am I.

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Also over the weekend, we attended the funeral & life celebration of a dear man in our home church who finished his race well and left this earth to be with our mighty and sweet Jesus. His name is Bob & I have known him since I was young. He founded & was president of a mission organization focused in Romania. If ever was a man who LOVED Jesus and served Him in every way, it was this man. I always saw him in worship with a smile on his face and arms directing worship. He wasn’t perfect but he was in love with Christ. Thousands and thousands of people, here in the US and in Romania, have been changed because one man loved Jesus so much that He answered the call to go. His life is an inspiration to me to focus ONLY on Jesus & the souls around me. Before his death, I read pages upon pages of facebook posts written by all of the lives that he had touched for Christ. He truly was just a man who served a great God and now He is in the presence of His great God & Savior. Please pray for his wife, Yvonne. Having a husband myself, I can only imagine what she is feeling. I am so thankful that she is in love with the Man who has her man of over forty years safe now in His everlasting arms. It amazes me how the death of a Saint opens up eyes (especially mine) to the reality of Heaven. It’s not a fairytale, far-away place. It is the presence of God in REAL LIFE. Oh, I cannot wait to get home.

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Penny, our Siberian Retriever puppy, made some new friends on our family land this weekend. I’m not sure if she wanted to play or chase them down. They were quite curious as well to see a little deer-looking things sniffing at them.

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My mother-in-law’s tree right outside her window that is always all kinds of pretty depending on the weather. I especially love seeing it today since it’s 50 degrees and rainy this week. It reminds me of this verse six in Nehemiah 9… “You alone are the Lord. You have made the heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their hosts, the earth & everything on it, the seas and all that is in them. And you preserve them all. The host of heaven worships you.” It’s encouraging to know that just like God preserves the beautiful flowers, trees, and the air itself, He preserves us. You and me. We are His beloved children. And He never ever leaves us.

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 I had the delightful opportunity to meet up at a little coffee shop with a dear friend who is finishing up her dental hygiene schooling. We talked about our family, faith, & fears. We are both so much alike {and it’s such a relief to know I’m not crazy} and we both have quite the same personality. The weekend before, on my girls retreat, we took a personality/spiritual gifts test/quiz/cool thing. It revealed what I totally knew was true. I am a type C personality which means cautious, reserved, serving, & sensitive and showed me things I needed to work on spiritually speaking. It was encouraging & refreshing to know that I am not the only one dealing with fear and other things. We were also able to talk lots of photography as we are both up&coming photographers. Oh, and I tried a macaroon for the first time ever. Delish. These things are just too cute. I am now on a mission to be the next macaroon baker. We’ll see. 😉

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And last but certainly not least, my husband and I spent our beautiful Sunday very well. After worshipping, learning, and hearing God speak to us, we set out for downtown. We ate at our favorite local restaurant, went bike shopping only to learn that the bike shops are closed on Sunday and then found ourselves in our new favorite cupcake shop. I indulged in a cookie dough cupcake that had actual cookie dough baked inside the cupcake & hubby inhaled a reece’s peanut butter and fudge cupcake. It was safe to say that our gluten-free diet was over for the month. HA! But it really was. We were proud. And I have decided that I can’t/won’t go back to bread-eating. Oh, besides all of those delicious cupcakes that are calling my name right.. about.. now..

❤ cheers to a new week. and a VERY SPECIAL week, at that. In six short days, we will celebrate the resurrection of the ONE who changed history & eternity forever!

Here is the song we sang Sunday in worship that completely broke me down. While trying to trust God in the hard & good times, I want this to be my heart’s song no matter what.

 

 

xoxo

-Katie

 

 

 

let me fly there

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I feel like I am being consumed.

Like all out, go big or go home, filled with the spirit and joy of God. It’s an amazing thing when you think you know someone & then they amaze you with something extraordinary. say, a minor glimpse of their heart. say, that person is God Himself. say, i’m amazed. {say, I should stop saying that.}  For so many years, I thought I KNEW God simply because I knew ABOUT Him but day by day, He is giving me little mini-glimpses of His power & His heart and how much He loves me. Be careful what you pray for. Because it just might become truth. I asked God to give me joy. I asked Holy Spirit to fill me up.

I feel His power, His love, His JOY overwhelming me today, every day. I want to live in His power, His glory.

When I think about Him now, it makes me quiet. It makes my mind go numb from all the glory surrounding me. I daydream into the day when I fly into the Throne Room & I really am quiet.

Still.

Stretched out before the King.

Peace. Joy, unspeakable Joy! It’s like I can feel my soul yearning for that place.

Home.

When I think about home, I am excited. I am excited to worship God of creation into the timelessness of eternity. I am excited to walk with Jesus and feel the heart beat & the scarred hands that saved my soul. The same hands that kept me and brought me home. I am excited to sit on the stars with Him, with my husband, and watch the Holy Spirit of God all around me. Joy. That is joy. & until I am there, I want to live daily in as much of the glory of God that I can find. because.. “there is fullness of joy in the presence of the Lord.”

This old country church song always makes my heart leap with excitement about my home that awaits you and I. Let me fly to you, Jesus..

“Some glad morning when this life is o’er,
I’ll fly away;
To a home on God’s celestial shore,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

I’ll fly away, Oh Glory
I’ll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I’ll fly away

When the shadows of this life have gone,
I’ll fly away;
Like a bird from prison bars has flown,
I’ll fly away

Just a few more weary days and then,
I’ll fly away;
To a land where joy shall never end,
I’ll fly away”

-I’ll fly away. Brumley

Be joyful always…

Katie

the weight of glory

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“Where are there lots of colors, Colton?”

“In Heaven, Dad. That’s where all the rainbow colors are!”

{Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo} 

On a plane to Arizona, I dove into a book called “Heaven is For Real” by Todd Burpo.
It’s an account of his small son who went to heaven and back. You will have to read it for yourself to find out more but truly, this book changed the way I now think about life, death, and Heaven. It opens your eyes to realize how REAL Heaven truly is. With this refreshed hope of glory, a week later, I stood during worship service at my church. As I was lost in the crowd of people singing,

“No sky contains, no doubt restrains
All You are, the greatness of our God
I spend my life to know and I’m far from home
To all You are, the greatness of our God”

 an amazing song by Hillsong,

I couldn’t help but think about Heaven… My REAL glorious home, the place where my soul will find rest, the Presence of GOD.

And then I felt it. Rather, I felt HIM. God Himself. The weight of glory all around me. I tried to utter words of praise but the wordless weight of God surrounded me and for minutes, He was all around me. Tears streamed. I couldn’t make a sound. I felt not a heavy weight but a weightless Presence, one of Hope and Reality and Joy… God’s Spirit. I cried out in my heart, “never leave me!” If I could have stood there in that moment forever, I would have. My Yahweh-breathed soul was at rest. Peace. I can’t help but think about my grandpa Wayne, Papa & Mema Nash who have been experiencing this peace in Heaven already. Peace that surpasses all understanding.

I believe God gave me just a tiny little wisp of how it feels to be in Heaven, to be in His Presence alone. I can’t imagine being in the presence of ALL OF HIS GLORY FOR ALL OF ETERNITY! It makes me want to leap for joy! After this brief encounter with my Father, my heart is excited. Life gets a reality check when God intervenes. I am refreshed with this:

“All that you may seek in this world will never satisfy. You were made to worship Me alone.”

“Heaven truly is your HOME. In My presence, your life will be complete. Heaven IS real and it is waiting for you.”

“Let the Holy Spirit be your guide. Let my love control you. You can feel Me when you truly seek Me.”

“But come to Me with child-like faith. There is no room for doubt, big theological words, or earthly wisdom. Just come to me and I will meet you just like I met you in worship.”

and lastly…

“Live on this earth with HEAVEN in mind. Keep your mind focused on things above, not the things of this earth! People’s salvation is all that matters. Work for Me.”

It’s amazing all that God is able to reveal to you in a matter of minutes or seconds. Just as the little boy walked with Jesus for simply three minutes was able to meet family members, see God Himself, and walk along the streets of Gold with Jesus, I am able to walk with God while I wait to be taken home. Heaven is for real and it’s calling our name.

Can you feel the weight of glory?

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” 

{Revelation 22:1-5}

-Katie

enjoy The Greatness of God by Hillsong here!

Day 8: From Dead to Living

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“Christ took the hell that you and I deserve.” -Billy Graham

Day 8 of iAmThankful, I am most thankful for the Cross of Jesus Christ.

Jesus, Creator of the world. Born, on earth, of a virgin. Lived a sinless life. 100% man. 100% fully God. He was beaten, scourged, spit on, mocked, stripped naked, hated, and crucified. For you. For me. He took our sin and nailed it on that tree. Nails pierced through the hands that held the world. Now God turns His back on Him. God, Holy, He cannot be in the midst of this. Jesus, covered in our sin and filth and dirt and death. Died. Crucified.

Then, Jesus arose. He is alive!
He conquered and He rose from the dead. He carried the sins of the entire human race to the grace and left them there! They are no more. Jesus is alive. Jesus reigns. We are free!

If it weren’t for the cross, I wouldn’t be here. Jesus saved me. It was nothing I did. I don’t deserve life. He did it for me. He did it for the drug dealers, the woman who just had an abortion, the thief, the lonely and the broken, the rich and the poor. He died to save us all! Receive this gift. Believe in Jesus to live!

Watch this!

For God so LOVED THE WORLD, that He GAVE His ONLY Son that whosoever believes in HIM will NOT PERISH but have EVERLASTING LIFE! -John 3:16

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