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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What makes you… HAPPY?

I hope that your long weekend was as amazing and relaxing as mine was! This morning, my husband and I hit the snooze for almost an hour! This week is going to be good. Ya know why? God is good and He is in control! No matter what comes my way, I know that it has to go through my loving Father’s hands first and you can rest in that too.

Okay, I’m totally in denial that its already September!? I’m ready for some cozy fall weather, how about you? Speaking of September, today I’m linking up with Brave Love Blog for an awesome daily blogging prompt for everyday in September. She calls it, “The Blogtember Challenge”. I love the idea! If you are a blogger, I totally recommend you checking out this challenge!

Today’s focus is this: what makes me happy

I often think a lot about the difference between happiness & joy. Happiness is more about your emotions and what gets you excited or satisfied. It can be changed in an instant depending on your circumstance. On the flip side, Joy isn’t based on your emotions or your circumstances. It comes from being in the presence of God, being content with life and knowing your purpose through Jesus Christ….Joy is more spiritual than emotional. It’s lasting, it’s eternal, it’s a fruit of the spirit of God! Joy is one of the two words that I have been focusing on this year along with intentionality. While only God can give true joy which is lasting, He blesses us with little bits of happiness throughout our lives. Here are a few things that make me happy….

+ Spending time with my husband doing fun things like shopping, traveling somewhere we haven’t been before, picnicking, or exploring our new city…

+ A cold and thick Frappuccino from Starbucks…

+ When our puppy, Penny, is being sweet and cuddly…

+ Spending a long weekend with my husband’s and my family…

+ having heart to hearts with dear friends over a good cuppa joe (holla, Jaimie!)…

+ spending a day (or five) at the beach…

+  laughing so hard with someone until your stomach hurts…

+ yummy homemade food (I’m a total foodie…)

+ my husband, of course!…

+ lastly, meeting new people through my blog or other’s blogs! I love it!

Here are just a few things that make me HAPPY! What makes you happy?!

You are loved!

Katie

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My first ever VLOG!

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Hey y’all! So today I’m linking up with Kiki from In its Time & Jenna from Dearest Love for a closet confidential link up for the month of August {better late than never!} & also sharing a few of my favorites from my closet with Oh Hey Friday! and I have to say that I am totally going out of my comfort zone here because I am super awkward when it comes to video but I have always wanted to do a VLOG so here it goes!

Before you watch, please note the cutest dog ears that will appear at the beginning. Haha! My pup, Penny, loves being around me and had to get in on this vlogging stuff. Also, this video has no editing so please don’t mind the guest bed looking like a mess & how you can only see half of my face for half of the video. Oops. Learning! Next, I’m super awkward and a little southern so bare with me if you can’t understand what I’m saying, haha! Lastly, I hope you enjoyed this humorously awkward video {I’m laughing with you} of all the fun things in my closet! Go check out Jenna & Kiki’s blogs after you watch! Enjoy!! xoxo Sorry, I ramble a bit…. ; )

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What are some faves from your closet?  Five of mine are my maxis, that denim shirt, my new white dress, my cozy sweaters that I can’t wait to wear this fall, & my new coral dress from my husband! I would love to hear yours!

You are loved!

Katie

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Linking up with The Dwelling Tree

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Wednesday’s Words {Intro to Me!}

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Hey Y’all! I’m so glad that you stopped by. I’m currently sitting on my back porch with a bowl of cotton candy ice cream while my favorite pup is underneath me with her own bowl of peanut butter. It’s a good day. I’m so excited to start this new link up with Jenni from Frankly My Dear & other sweet blogging girls for a good dose of encouragement and community! It’s a brand new community starting TODAY & it’s the perfect replacement for my Wifey Wear Wednesdays I believe!

This week, we were asked to share a little about ourselves & what God is doing in our lives! So, let’s do this.

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I’m Katie. I have a huge love for Jesus, my Savior & BFF, and I daily strive to life my life for Him in all aspects.  A year ago, I was overly blessed and full of JOY to marry the man of my dreams. His name is Joe and he is utterly perfect for me. I still pinch myself at times to make sure this isn’t all a dream. He is romantic, tall and handsome, and takes me on trips all over this green earth. We are super-duper in love and you would quickly learn that if ever you were around us for at least two minutes. He is the most selfless, wise, hilarious, caring, & faithful man I know. He is my joy. We live in a cute house in a fun city and we serve at our local church home & eat way too much good food. Oh, and we also have a Siberian Husky whom we adore & call our child.

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I have a slightly obsessive love for hot tea, coffee, sunshine, Mexican food, spending time early in the morning in the Word, laughing, & reading books. I love Jesus, my big family, & my friends who are as dear as family. I just accepted a job as a nanny during the week after being a SAHW for the first year of our marriage. One day I will write about all the things that I learned from that season of life. I also adore this blog space. The community that it possesses is irreplaceable. I am in the process of growing my blog and I just love meeting new ladies who love Jesus & adore coffee as much as I do. It’s such an awesome thing. I started this blog almost two years ago while sitting in my formerly favorite coffee shop back in my hometown. I have a huge heart and passion with sharing Jesus’ love with everyone I meet. With that passion for Him and a passion to write since I was young, God led me to start this blog over a hot cup of African Sunset Red Tea. He knows the way to my heart. You can read way more in-depth of what and how He spoke to me about this blog here.

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God has been showing me what it looks like to truly follow and live completely for Him. Honestly, I am growing {being stretched} more right now than I ever have in my walk with Christ. He is teaching my husband and I what it looks like to truly die to self and live for Christ even when it’s hard and complicated. I am slowly learning that He is worth it. In my personal life, God is teaching me to open my hands and let Him have the control, the insecurity, and the fear that I have been clinging onto for years and years. He is teaching me that opening my hands means that I am trusting Him for who He is.. GOD. I can’t play God anymore by trying to be in complete control over my life and the people in it. Trust, faith, believing. Surrender. That’s what I’m learning.

Oh, and did I mention that I love chatting with you so let me know that you stopped by! See ya tomorrow dearies for our Romans Summer Bible Study! We’re going over chapter 14.. here’s a sneak peek.. freedom & love!.. you know it will be good!

You are loved!

Katie

Friday Faves!

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Today I’m linking up with some fellow blogging girls for everyone’s favorite day of the week. This week has been my kind of week. We were at the beach the first two days, taught youth group Wednesday, got a ton of housework in, & enjoyed a late night swim party with that same fun youth group from Wednesday. I’m blessed.

1. We fell in love at the ocean…

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The hubs took me to the ocean for our one year anniversary and needless to say, we totally fell in love all over again. With each other and also with the sea, deep and wide. I honestly could walk along the shore for days upon days or let the waves carry me away for hours. It’s amazing. We felt God’s presence all around as we gazed out at the vast ocean that He created and still controls to this very minute. We stayed in a villa on Hilton Head Island and we almost didn’t come back. One morning we woke up at 4:30 am to bike along the shore and watch the sun rise. There were no words to describe how perfect. Gets me pumped for Heaven. Every time I travel to the sea, I leave a little bit of my heart there.

2. I did the deed…

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I cleaned out my fridge for the first time in a year. Seriously, you probably think I am joking. Or you think I am a genius because you haven’t cleaned yours out in a year, oh I hope so. My obsessive love for cleaning washed over me as I was scrubbing and organizing. Needless to say, the hubs came home to a bleach-drenched clean house. Wifey for the win. It’s been interesting learning as a new wife and home-owner what needs to be cleaned daily, weekly, and monthly. A year in and I’m finally wrapping my brain around it. Although the thing never stays clean. And we don’t even have kids yet. How does this happen?

3. What I think about you, August…

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For the month of August, my husband and I aren’t spending any money. Like none. Except of course on gas and a few groceries. This was his idea although I had just finished reading Jen’s book 7 which means it should have been my idea. This whole idea of less is more is really convicting but challenging and I am a sucker for a good challenge. Although my husband will have to pry my greedy little fingers off of Starbuck’s front door, I believe I can do this. I have a few reasons. One- we are going to Haiti on a mission trip in October and every time I think of those Haitian faces, my desire for more of anything, really, ceases. They, like millions around the world, have no excess like I do. Yet they are content. I want that. I desire for joy and contentment without any material possessions. Two- I’m tired of spending money. You see, fashion and I have a reckless relationship. I am drawn to fun fashion but I die a little inside each time I hand over my debit card. Three- I like change and this will definitely be change.  Four– God has called me to be a good steward of our money and although I have only been on one big shopping spree this year, I can always do better. Starbucks adds up.

4. I got stacks…

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And by that, I mean I have a stack of books on my desk getting taller than me and I so wish I had time to sit and read all of them. Have you read any of them? I want to know how they are! I have read half of a lot of them and haven’t gotten around to finishing because I’m a faithful book reader like that. This is my second time with Whispers of Hope.. it’s a must read/do.

5. One of my favorite beachy things…

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about this week was seeing all of the marine life at the beach over the long weekend trip my husband and I took. It was amazing!

We saw two sharks swimming along the shore at the harbor. They accidentally got too close to shore and were splashing around like crazy trying to get off the sand. I snapped a few action shots. We watched families upon families of dolphins frolicking in the ocean right in front of us outside of our villa. They were beautiful. I also got to snap pictures of a sting ray that a fisherman caught one early morning. And last but not least… we got stung by jellyfish. Thankfully, my 6’4″ husband was stung by a baby one and the huge papa jelly came at me like a raging bull. I thought I was getting attacked by both a shark and a lightning bolt. Six days later, I still have the battle scar to prove it. And of course, I got stung the next day again. My legs now look like they survived a war. Cute little squishies, yeah right.

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And that’s my week in a nutshell. Did anyone else have an awesome week?

You are loved 🙂

Katie

Linking up with Amanda, The Farmer’s Wife, & Lauren!

Coffee Break // when you want to give up

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

 ‭Psalm‬ ‭27‬:‭1, 4, 13-14‬ ESV

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There are people in my life going through heart breaks, health issues, job loss, and confusion. I have known hopelessness, sleepless nights, & worry.

Some say life stops for no one and but I say that we have a Great Father & Protector who would stop time to save us.

Realize that God is on your side. The Lord is your Light in the darkness, your salvation when you feel like giving up. He is the one and only one who can guard your life and protect you with His right hand.

Have faith. Keep praying. Continue to trust.

Even when you can’t see the light. Even when you have been praying for years. Even when you want to give up.

My husband has had a tough month at work. While is it easy and natural to want to give up and think that God mustn’t care that we are struggling, our faith in God in these hard times is vital. If we had faith in God when everything was going great, is that really faith at all? We must have faith that God will work all things out for the good of those who love Him. His Word proclaims that truth.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

-Romans 8:28

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Father, help me to have faith in you. True, unwaivering, undoubting faith. Please help all of your children who are struggling to find peace and hope. Lead them beside still waters, comfort their hearts. I pray for all of your children who are not struggling right now. I pray that their faith will be increased in this season so that when storms do come, they will stand strong through faith in You. You are so good & gracious. Amen.

You are loved

-Katie

**If you want to link up with Hot Tea and the Empty Seat’s Coffee Break Pick Me Ups {every other Friday}, upload this below pic to your post {a psalm with some encouraging words} & be sure to link back to Hot Tea and the Empty Seat’s blog! { http://www.hotteaandtheemptyseat.com } Then, comment below to let me know that you are linking up! Can’t wait to hear from you, friend!  

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Hospitals & Harry Potter/ / SUMMER STUDY!

Friday afternoon, I was taken to the emergency room due to sharp pains and overwhelming pain in my side. After hours of tests and pain medicine, I was able to go home. Turns out, a large cyst that had been growing on my ovary for who knows how long decided to rupture {right before a cook out we were hosting}. I was so scared there were issues with my one kidney that I have but praise God, my kidney was perfectly healthy! God put sweet and caring doctors and nurses in that room that night. Everything went smoothly & pretty quickly {or maybe I just thought so because I was floating on cloud morphine, haha}. My husband deserves the Best Husband Ever award. For these past days since last Friday, he has taken amazing care of me. He is so gentle and sweet. We laid in bed and watched almost the entire series of Harry Potter. We love that magical little trio.

I am so happy to be back in the land of the living! While recovering, I texted my sweet friend, Jaimie, who is away for the summer with her hubby if she wanted to start an online bible study together over the summer. She agreed! We started Romans chapter one this morning.

After reading the first chapter this morning, God nudged me to widen this bible study. So….

I’m going to start it through the blog on TOMORROW!

That’s right…

Hot Tea and the Empty Seat’s Summer Weekly Bible Study through Romans!

If any of you faithful readers and even new friends are interested in a stress-free, fun, weekly summer Bible study reading through Romans, join us!

Each week {starting tomorrow, Thursday, May 29th}, we will be reading a chapter of Romans.

I encourage you to grab a bible/bible app and a journal! You will have all week {Thursday-Thursday} to read each chapter. Can it get any more easy?! 🙂

Each Thursday, we will meet up here on the blog & discuss what we have learned, favorite verses, passages that convict or encourage us, and any questions we may have! That’s my thoughts & YOURS!

This will be super casual and down to earth since I am no theologian or smarty pants. I just ADORE reading God’s Word and learning with my fellow siblings in the faith. If you have a blog, feel free to LINK UP & post your own thoughts or whatever God has been showing you each week. If you don’t have a blog, no problem! You can follow us each week by subscribing through email at the bottom of this page and also comment below with your own thoughts/etc OR you can “like” Hot Tea and the Empty Seat on Facebook and follow along there!

JOIN US, won’t you?! You have nothing to lose and so much to gain!

Starting tomorrow, I will post the first official “Thursday in Romans” blog post to get this party started! Please don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to become closer with God, learn from His Word, and flourish in community with other believers in the faith!

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…”

Romans 1:16

-Katie

Don’t forget, week 1-chapter 1 starts tomorrow!

I encourage you to wake up {duh}, start a pot of coffee or travel to your local coffee shop, and pray for God’s wisdom to be poured out on you as you read Romans 1!

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