If we were having a {Coffee Date!}

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Hey y’all! I’m so happy to be back with Jenna + Jenna today spilling my heart over coffee.. & this here blog! I hope that you all have enjoyed your week, the good & the bad that life brings along. Coffee makes everything better, right? Which is why this Coffee Date Link Up is one of my faves!

If we were having coffee, I would take you to this new and modernly rustic local coffee shop where I live. I would order a venti-sized pumpkin flavored latte with extra cinnamon.  I would tell you about all the highs + lows in my life & laugh about this vlog I did last night with some other lovely bloggers…

 

I would probably let you in on these little not-so-secrets:

+ I’m exhausted. And this blog is getting the bad end of the deal. I’m so thankful for  a job but it has totally turned my normal routine & schedule upside down. But, on the bright side…. that just means I am learning to be more organized. And that will be good for me.

+ Oh, I would get excited & tell you about how I am in the process of revamping my entire blog & I would show you pictures of the amazing blog design I am waiting for.. did someone say coral and teal? Eeee!

+ After asking how your week has been, I would tell you in a high pitched tone that my mom, brother, & sister are coming into town for the day & I am SO excited to see them after two weeks of being here at home. We’re going to eat lots of food and try not to spend so much $$ at Target.

+ My hubby & I are going to Canada next week for a mini-getaway and I would ask you… have you ever been to Canada?! Montreal to be exact. I hear they have maple syrup & tons of resturants, ay!

+ Last but certainly not least, I would tell you that God is good. And faithful. Oh, and trustworthy. He has given me strength when I thought I couldn’t go on. He has given me peace when my mind has been in some bad places. He has given me joy in trials. I would pray with & for you and ask if we can get a refill on those lattes?!?!

How have you been, lately? And what would you let me in on if we were having coffee right now?! You are loved, lady!

-Katie

Also linking up with:

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IMG_6444.JPG Can’t forget the Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop!

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Wednesday’s Words {Worth & Identity}

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Yesterday, I broke a kitchen glass. Oh, and I also washed my husband’s shoe with his work clothes. HOW DO YOU WASH A SHOE?! Only I would know. Apparently. This is what happens when I wake up and go straight to the laundry room without putting in my contacts or getting a cup of coffee down first. This morning, I forgot to add a vital part to our Keurig coffee maker which turned my nice hot cup of coffee into a murky cup of water and no time to make another cup… on my 5 AM work day. Needless to say, I’m not perfect. Surprise, surprise. Later that evening while my husband and I were getting ready for our double date, I asked him if he thought I was a good wife or not. “Of course, you’re the best.”

I am a wife but my identity and worth isn’t found in that vital & important role. I am a sister, daughter, & friend but my worth doesn’t depend on how “good” of a friend or sister or daughter I am. I am a nanny and a youth leader but my identity isn’t based on those roles. I am the worst of sinners and I tend to be negative at times but those things do not define me.

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Who I am, the essence of Katie, is found in Someone greater than I could ever be. My worth is found in Jesus Christ. HE makes me holy, righteous, & beautiful. He is the One who gives me worth, identity, and purpose. And the amazing part? I did nothing to deserve or earn it.

“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life..” Titus 3:3-7

Jesus Christ saved me and you.. not because of works done by me in righteousness but according to His own mercy.

Because of His love for me, I have purpose and worth.

I can rest in that love that gives me identity. I am no longer my own. I was bought by a price by Jesus who paid the price for my sin. My worth is found in what Christ did on the cross. He made me alive by dying for my sin and then conquering it when He arose from that grave. With that declaration of an empty tomb, my soul came alive.

My identity? Yes, I am a wife, sister, daughter, leader, friend.. But because I was saved by God’s great mercy, I am now…

alive eternally & dead to sin {Romans 6:11}

holy {Hebrews 10:10}

righteous {Romans 4:5}

blameless {1 Corinthians 1:8}

free {Galatians 5:1}

whole {Colossians 2:10}

not condemned {Romans 8:1}

LOVED {Romans 8:35}

And YOU are loved!

-Katie

Today, I am linking up with Jenni & Martha Kate again for Wednesday’s Words! Also, this was my 200th blog post! Awesome!

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Also linking up with The Artsy Cajun with..

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And Simple Moments Stick

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A Love Letter to…

 

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Dear Monday, you were ushered in before the sun rose. Bring it on.. I’m so thankful for a day job!

 

Dear Husband, YOU ROCK. Without you, I wouldn’t have been able to wake up so early. Without you, I wouldn’t have had coffee & breakfast awaiting me. Without you, I wouldn’t know silly and beautiful and selfless love the way that I do. I am so glad that I will never have to be without you!

Dear Summer, you were good to me while you lasted. But I think it’s time you leave. I’ve had my beach time and I’m ready to break out the bad boys– my knee-high boots. Yes. And I’m gonna need some room for a pumpkin spice latte. Love ya, summer, but I gotta let you go…

Dear said Pumpkin Spice Latte, I need you like I need oxygen. My husband and I are going to meet you on top of Rock City next week.. Let’s make it a date, shall we?

Dear Fear, you may have had me backed up in a corner last week but this week and beyond, I’m sending you straight to my Dad and that’s God so you better watch out. Because perfect Love casts out fear. See ya never.

Dear Recently Purchased Jet Ski, thank you for being awesome. You are an awesome after-work-de-stresser. That’s all.

Dear Penny, I’m sorry my new job is going to mess up our morning routine but I promise to take you to the park whenever I can {aka whenever I have enough energy} One day you will have a puppy sibling to play with! Until then, I’ll tell your dad to give you double the jerky treats when he leaves.

Dear Jesus, You are my strength… and You keep proving that to me over & over again even when it hurts. But it’s amazing how You do that… How you draw me into Your unexplainable presence in times where it seems like you are slaying me. You are good. You are holy. You are so worth all the pain that carrying my cross brings. Because You, God, You saw me worthy.

Love, Katie

 

I want to hear how you are doing… So what are you waiting for?! Let’s be friends.

Facebook // Email  // Blog

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

Summer Bible Study: Romans // Ch. 13

HEY! I’m so glad that you are back! I can’t wait to dig into scripture with you. If you have never joined us before, we are on chapter 13 of our Romans summer bible study. There are only a few more chapters left but it isn’t too late to hang out with us today! If you missed Romans 12, you can check it out here! This journey through Romans has grown me to love being in His Word. It’s such a comforting joy to relish in His truth. I pray that you & I would have a greater desire to study and truly live out what we learn from Him in His Word. Let’s jump right in!!

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Romans 13: 1-7

What is this passage saying?

Paul is instructing his readers to submit to authority. Although Paul seems to focus more on the government side of the authority, we can apply his words to any authority we may have in our lives. I remember when I was a teenager {Lord, help us all} and like any 14-year-old, I didn’t have much respect for my parents, much less any other higher-ups. Without getting into all of the stories of doorslamming, yelling, and eye-rolling… I did not have the attitude of submission. Most people don’t. And that’s exactly why God places that word, submission, all throughout scripture. In God’s eyes, when we submit to our parents, our boss, our teachers, or any other “authority figure” in our lives, we are really submitting to God. When government seems crooked, our boss is a jerk, or our teachers & parents are unfair, we are called to respond in a respectful and loving way.

How can I practically apply this truth in my life?

Let’s ask God for His perspective on this subject. As hard as it is, this glorifies God. There is no higher than God and we can rest in that fact. God Himself has appointed the rulers in this world for His reasons. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. {Isaiah 558-9} We can trust that God is the only One to judge and He is in control of all things and people, including authority.

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What is this passage saying?

Paul goes on to speak about LOVE. At the end of verse 7, Paul tells us that if we owe someone something, we ought to pay them back no matter if it is taxes or honor. He then goes on to say something amazing. “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another” We are called to love one another above all other things. Respect, submission, honor… all of those things stem from the love that we should have for one another.

How can I practically apply this truth in my life?

Before we can truly love anyone, we must know God. Did you know that?! Those aren’t just my words, either. God Himself speaks through John and tells us this in 1 John chapter 4:

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

Loving others is what God has called us to do. Period. How are you loving others? How are you loving your spouse, your children, your family, your friends, your coworkers, your actual neighbors, and even complete strangers?

Loving someone means putting their needs above your own.

Love is knowing God, experiencing His love, & sharing His love with others.

How are you loving?

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What is this passage saying?

I picture Paul getting really excited while He is talking about love and how love is the fulfillment of all the commands from God. Then, He starts to quiet down and starts to talk s-l-o-w-l-y because He REALLY wants us to hear these next few lines. Picture a tall dude named Paul standing in front of you and a crowd of people. You know that His Words are actually God-breathed and then He says this…

“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

…and all is quiet before he screams…

WAKE UP!

Wake up. Friend, fellow sibling in the faith, we are almost out of time. This life we are living in simply a vapor. We are here today and gone tomorrow. Are we aimlessly going through life, like we are halfway sleeping? Eat. Sleep. Work. Play. Repeat. We do not have time for simply this! God put us on this earth and called us His own not so we could indulge in our desires, sinful & fleshly. No. He created us for ONE PURPOSE: to glorify Him. We already learned that by loving others, we can glorify Him. Another way? By putting aside, throwing off, the deeds of darkness (sinful things) and putting on the armor of LIGHT.

It’s time we stop flirting with sin. It’s time to destroy it. To shine His light ALL OVER this world & it’s darkness.

Paul lays it out for us pretty clear:

“Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh

This is radical, my friend. Because all of those fans of Jesus think it’s perfectly fine to be wallowing in their sexual immorality and jealousy and drunkenness and straight up sin. God has given you one purpose, and that purpose has nothing to do with your own self. It’s all about our lives and our will being handed over, being traded with God’s…. with love, selflessness, with joy unspeakable, hope, with JESUS.

How can I practically apply these truths to my life?

Spend time with God. Pray to Him, talk to Him, listen for Him. Sing to Him, cry out to Him, whisper to Him. Ask Him questions.

All of this is done in vain if we do not know Him. Loving others is impossible without knowing God’s love. The ability to put our sin to death is impossible without Jesus’ blood covering it.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” Those verses from James 4 changed my life forever. God spoke those words to me when I was a rebellious 18-year-old searching for purpose when my world was falling apart. He spoke truth, conviction, and hope into my soul that night. I haven’t been the same since. He can change you too. Be willing. And be ready to have your world turned upside down. When He speaks to the dead, life & beauty rises. He has a purpose for you. Glorify Him. He is worth it.

Inspire Me // Volume 3

 

This big ole blogging world & all of the great community that it holds has had such a great impact on me after just a year and a half. One word comes to mind when I think of the blogosphere: inspiring!

Sometimes inspiration, dreaming, motivation, & creativity get pushed to the side when the ups & down of life happen. But is it really abundant living without all of those whimsical little words floating through our minds and out through our hands?

Here are the latest things that have been inspiring me lately… Enjoy! {simply click on the pictures if you want more info for your own inspiration!}

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This welcoming & rustic front porch totally inspires me to head over to hobby lobby, sweep off my vacant mini-front porch & redecorate! We are in the process of painting our front door an amazing TEAL like the picture below so we are off to a great start already!

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I totally love the garden veggies decorating the front steps… perfect for any season

4d509ab232478540177d52fabbe5c36aI am sooo itching to pull out my flannel for this lovely fall season that is creeping up on us! I LOVE this combo- stripes & flannel. Who would have ever thought!? I’m super excited to put this together once the weather cools down!

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Speaking of fall, this delish homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte is totally calling my name. You can find the recipe by clicking on the picture! Pumpkin Spice lattes & frappes (okay anything pumpkin-flavored) are totally my weakness! Can’t wait to make this one!

615dc52e268b0f2121cd5d9e0974722fIf you aren’t familiar with French Press Mornings, I recommend that you go right after you leave my blog! They are amazing. I am loving this one especially since it’s from Romans, the summer study we have been doing!

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Our kitchen looks SO familiar to this one so I am itching to pull my sewing machine out to whip up some teal curtains & a DIY ‘eat’ sign to tie everything together. And maybe even one day, I will blog about it…that will give me the motivation to actually do this! LOVE!

ea3947d48b7d10a4d878d48da04c33bcThis quote… oh, this quote. Inspiring, motivating, convicting, & encouraging. I need to write this all over my house & in my car. Let’s do it, friend. Let’s let our faith in God be bigger than all of our fears. “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

I hope that you have been inspired to get up & get to working on your home, your faith, your fashion, & your good eats!

What inspires you lately? I would LOVE to hear from you!

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what’s your heart like?

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Gratitude warms the heart, draws you into God’s goodness, & blesses others around you.

It’s so vital for your spiritual well-being & overall health to examine your heart on a daily or weekly basis! Examining your heart may look like this:

-Ask God to reveal to you what is hindering the intimacy of your relationship first & foremost with Him, and then your relationship with your spouse, and friendships of siblings, friends, etc.

-Is there any unforgiveness or bitterness welling up inside of you? Why and how? And then repenting & asking God to release you from that.

-How do I feel about the current season of life I am in & why?

-What am I in need of?

-Is my heart focused on God and His ways or the ways of this world and my own personal agenda?

And lastly….

-Am I in a state of gratefulness and thankfulness or is my heart too focused on what I don’t have or can’t do?

Gratefulness is key to a healthy heart. Like I said earlier, gratefulness warms the heart, draws you into God’s goodness, & blesses others around you.

Having a heart of thankfulness in all situations can turn defrost any cold heart.

Being aware and intentional of all the blessings in your life, even the blessings in disguise, draws you closer to God Himself. Because every good & perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father! {James 1:17} God is revealed & glorified in our lives when we intentionally choose to focus on the things we are thankful for.

When we have a heart bursting with gladness that life itself is a gift and we are thankful, we shine Jesus’ light brighter than ever before. People will see your heart and they will question their own heart issues.

How is your heart? Is it full of thankfulness and gratitude or are you like me and need to be a little more intentional about living a life of sincere thanks to God? Today is the perfect day to examine your heart & get it right before God. Maybe you could start a journal of all the things you’re thankful for or commit to thanking God more in your prayers. He desires us to live a life of total gratitude.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” {1 thess.5:18}

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