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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Thoughts from the Countryside

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I’m sitting outside on my mama’s front porch in a rocking chair staring out over the fields and the ponds and the sunrise that is bright in my eyes this morning with my coffee in hand and a pup watching me out the window.

  I grew up here in this small town where everybody may not know your name but you can be sure that they know your grandparents. I went to a little elementary school down the road in the middle of a field. A few of those friendships I made there in that little school are still going strong. When you’re a kid in a small country town, you don’t pay any attention to how simple life is. Because life as a little is all about your friends, games, and wishing you could have a longer recess. Complex in your young eyes but really, just simple. My family has lived in this same area and possibly on the same street for 100 years plus. A few of my relatives were born in the two-room wooden house that was at the bottom of our road and my great-uncle lives in his now-deceased father’s farmhouse that he rebuilt. My grandma lives to the right of my parents and her other daughter to the right of her. We are surrounded by family. Simple.

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In high school, I hated living in such a small town. Everyone knew everyone else’s business and if your parents weren’t popular in town then neither were you. I couldn’t wait to get out of small town USA during those four years. But etched in my mind are memories that will last. Memories of the simple life as a kid living in the country. Memories of riding my bike with my brother on “our road”, visiting our great grandpa, Papa Nash, getting a dollar and some candy from him every day before he went Home and taking my friends down the road to see the horses. We even named a few of the little creatures living around us. Simple. I lived my life out loud for the majority of my childhood.

Now I live as an adult in a bigger city with tons to do downtown. There are cars in place of cows and the people living around me aren’t my aunts and uncles anymore. I absolutely love the city that we live in now but there is just something about the country. Each time I travel back to the spot that grew me up, I am reminded of how simple life can be. Those memories of cold creeks, fishing in the pond behind my grandma’s house, and dancing in the rain always come flooding back. Those memories of building forts in the woods for hours, catching fireflies in jars, hunting for big foot with friends, chasing squirrels, and running up and down the road chasing the sunrise every morning in high school.

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The little town that I couldn’t stand growing up now stands in my mind as the countryside that reminds me how we can choose to live life. To me, the country symbolizes simpler living and the inspiration to live out loud. Last weekend, I was walking back from my grandma’s house to my parent’s house carrying a bag of fresh vegetables just picked from my grandma’s garden. Organic, simple life. As I stared out across the pond in front of me, I watched my great-uncle on his tractor with a big brown dog following behind him. I couldn’t help but think, “this is the life.” Of course, it isn’t only in the countryside that we can experience this kind of simple living. And when I say “simple living”, I mean a life that isn’t cluttered with over-indulgence in what the world has created but rather making memories with the people and the things that God has created.

We can have simple living right here, right now. We don’t have to be chained to our cell phones every hour of the day. You can experience God’s beautiful creation when you choose to put down the remote and walk outside. Video games, Netflix, blogs, Facebook. Those things don’t have to be our “go-to” every single time we have a free moment. The good ole days can be today. It’s the choices we make each day that create lasting memories in our minds for years to come. It’s what shapes our lives, present and future. It will even have an effect on our kids in the future. Being on social media for three hours, mindlessly scrolling, will result in absolutely nothing. It’s a hard pill to swallow in a culture that is literally drowning in technology. I want to remember the times that my husband and I explored and loved and grew together and laughed and met new people and hung out with friends and went on hikes and visited with family and actually lived out loud. You can’t experience things like that if you aren’t living out loud.

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I can’t wait until my husband and I are able to buy some land. Memories are waiting to be had there on “our road” wherever that may be. But it’s more than the place, it’s a way of life. You don’t have to live off a long dirt road to start living simpler now.  I want my life to sing songs of God’s creation and beauty and family and working hard and loving people and… life out loud.

Temporal happiness that fades comes from over-indulgence in what this world has to offer. 

Joy comes from God. Loving His people, loving His creation, and living life out loud right where you are.

Enjoy the little, simple moments.

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This song by Florida Georgia Line is a sad but sweet song reminding me to not get caught up in this world but to just stop and enjoy the little moments. The little country towns and the big city life. The little memories I can create with the people I know & love and the ones I have yet to meet. The simple life that can be lived. And how it has such a major effect on our memories & our generations to come. And of course, I love Amarillo Sky & That’s What I love about Sunday  🙂

 

 You are loved

-Katie

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Our First Year of Marriage

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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!”

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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.

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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.

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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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Inspire Me!

After getting married, I never realized how negative I could be at times. My gracious husband has shown me how to find the positive in every situation. You and I… we always have a choice. You can chose to focus on the good or the bad way of things. When you focus on the positive, beauty & inspiration can be found in every situation that you find yourself in. Inspiration keeps us motivated & positive. Circumstances, people, and even words have the power to inspire us, to motivate us towards fuller living that Jesus desires for His beloved children. I desire to live a life that inspires & motivates others towards the beautiful life that God has for them. I want to share with you all a few of my favorite words of inspiration. Enjoy & of course..

Be inspired.

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{Top quotes found here}

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You are loved!

-Katie

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

Purpose

This word

Purpose

Has been on my heart for the last few days

I spend so much time trying to figure life out

Do I live in His grace or do I follow these rules to please Him?

Do I get this job, serve at this place, or do something different? What does God want me to do?

Purpose

God created humans with a purpose.

He created us to reflect Himself.

He wrote out our days before He sewed us together quietly in our mother’s womb.

His goal, our purpose..

To reflect Him & glorify Him

To spread His love in this world.

It is going to look different for everyone. We each have our own story.

We are doctors, mothers, policemen, business owners, teachers, counselors, builders, creators, caretakers.

None greater than the other

Yet we all have one great purpose

And that is to glorify God in all that we do.

Be encouraged today that no matter what your job title is in this season of your life, you always have an opportunity to share Jesus and His love, what He has done for you, and the joy and change that He gives.

Don’t forget your purpose.

Now, go out & live big

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He writes my story…

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Last Friday, my husband and I had the opportunity to travel to see our parents for the weekend.  Being married and moving a couple of hours away from our families has taught Joe and I to cherish every moments we get to spend with them. The distance has made our hearts grow fonder to the sweet times spent with our families and enables us to never take one moment for granted. Many married couples have told us that moving away together truly strengthens marriages because living in a foreign place far out of your comfort zone teaches you both to cling to one another, depend and help one another in ways not possible if you were constantly around your family for help and advice. Whatever you believe, I can already tell that it is growing, stretching, and drawing us closer to one another as husband and wife and I am overwhelmingly thankful for the work that God is doing in our lives and hearts as we live as one. 

Six months have already sailed on by since we first stood in front of precious friends and family and committed our lives and hearts to one another until the end. Time is running by in a flash and I don’t want to waste a minute of this wonderfully scary and beautiful adventure that God has laid out before us.

It’s a new year and a new chapter in our life stories has begun. My husband and I have the opportunity to do anything in this world. Our hearts are being prepared, our eyes and ears waiting for our Jesus to send us wherever He wants us to be. But I refuse to just be.

I want to live.

 This life is a storybook authored by the Creator and I don’t want to miss all of the twist and turns He has written for us to experience and enjoy. As much as I want to experience all that He has for me,  I must remember that I am not the main character in this story. This life isn’t about what makes me most happy. 

The glory and love of Jesus shining out of my husband and I to this dark world is the exact reason we were written into the story of creation. Jesus is the center, the reason, the main character. He gives my story purpose!

When I get to the end of my life, I want to be able to look back and see Jesus. How He blessed us, used us, guided us, taught us, spoke to us, and loved us. He is my motivation. He is the reason for living.

As 2014 continues to go on by, I want every adventure, every twist and turn, every action and thought to be for Jesus and for others.

I want to be intentional and joyful.

I want more of Jesus.

It’s time to start living now!

Your story has been written. Don’t let the pages slip by.

be joyful always,

k