Dating Well During Engagement

man putting ring on woman's hand

The engagement season can oftentimes feel absolutely overwhelming. It can feel like there is a never ending to-do list and deadlines to meet leading up to the big day. But amidst wedding planning, I had my relationship with my future spouse to care for as the days come closer to marriage. How do I wedding plan, future plan, and grow in my relationship all at the same time? It is my hope that this post will help you learn from what I learned during engagement.  This past spring, I married my best friend. The wedding day was the best day of my life–filled with friends and family, laughter, and dancing. But since then, each day married has been better than the day before. I attribute this to two things – Jesus being the first love in our hearts, and the amount of work and preparation we put into our relationship […]

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Immovable Identity

two girls in a field

“Am I good enough? Am I deserving of love today?” These are the types of questions that run through my mindas I seek my husband’s approval. Just recently, my husband, Josh, told friends of some marriage advice he received prior to our wedding. The advice was basically  if there is a problem in your marriage, 99 percent of the time, it comes down to the man’s issue. Now, I’m gonna be honest, as a woman, this sounds great. No problems are really mine? If he was better, everything would be better? Sign me up. Of course, what the advice really meant was, please lead your family, outdo her in love, be an example in love and sacrifice. Of course, I know I sin and mess up very often and that these problems of mine in attitude and actions can affect my marriage in many negative ways, just like my spouse’s. […]

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I can’t wait to be pretty

woman sitting on bus bench seat

“I can’t wait to be pretty Oh the things that I’ll do I’ll kiss pretty people and live out the blue I’ll dance with the lights on in a crowded room When I’m pretty, oh the things I’ll do.” These lyrics struck me as I drove one morning listening to my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify. A quick perusal of the comments on the official YouTube demo tell me these words resonate with people, particularly women, in a powerful, heartbreaking way: “Literally every single lyric is how I feel.” “Tons of people tell me I’m pretty and it feels nice, but at the end of the day when I look in the mirror it pains me to look at myself.” “I’ve felt like this for years, afraid to live my life because I’ve never felt pretty.”  The past few weeks, I have found myself going through a podcast series produced […]

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Control in Chaos

girl staring at sky

I have known it would be my turn to write a blog for a long time now. I have had it on my calendar for weeks. I’ve been praying about it for days. And still, my page remained blank. My mind and soul, however, have not been quiet. So many things have been vying for my attention and creating chaos in my heart. My heart breaks for headline after headline. My thoughts stray to tragedies and injustices. I can’t focus because there is a new calamity every day. I’m distracted by division, finger-pointing, and squabbling. Finally, I felt the Lord say, “Kathryn, just sit and listen to My words and remember I am in control.” So my page is no longer blank but filled with the words of the psalmist. I love the Lord because he hears my voice     and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, […]

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For moments when you are afraid of death

cemetery during day

Writing has been nonexistent these days. I find myself in a whirlwind of transition and busyness. I can’t tell you how many topics I’ve rummaged through to present a reading to you today. Yet, nothing seemed to take. I found myself thumbing through old content and then I found an oldie that perfectly expresses the weight of anxiety that I feel in this current space. I hope it does your heart as good as it did mine as I revisited it.  ————— The idea of death is crippling. Last night, as I lay in bed, exhausted from the day, I was haunted by the lack of certainty in whether or not I would see the next day. I would feel my body relax, heading into a deep slumber, but I would jolt myself awake – afraid that my last breath may have been my last. See, there’s been this unbearable […]

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“God, we had such a good thing going!”

woman carrying baby

My husband and I were recently en route from Philadelphia to Washington DC listening to a podcast by The Bible Project on a passage in Exodus when God changes his mind: Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. Exodus 32:14 We got into this discussion about whether God changes his mind or not. Spoiler alert: This is not really a blog about this question, as exciting as that might be. Part of my response to him was this though: God no more “changes his mind” like we do as God loves like we do. We and God are not the same thing. We are made in His image, but we aren’t Him. However, we do strive to be like Him, to care like Him, to mourn like Him, to be bold like Him, to love like Him – in summary, to […]

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The Falling of the Following

selective focus photography of pen

Here recently, I’ve been overwhelmed by the persistence of God’s grace. For everyday that I’ve lived to breathe and walk here on earth, I’ve sinned. For every season in my life’s book, I can name a different idol that Satan has dangled in front of my face. For each time I come to Him in prayer, I’m struck by my sheer humanity once more. Yet through each millisecond— never skipping a day nor season nor chance— Jesus has pursued me with His mercy, love, and strength. Now that’s persistence.  Recently, I’ve rekindled my love for writing poetry. An old habit left in the dust of college, but revived for the sake of the soul. I’m no Dr. Seuss, but there’s just something about piecing together a puzzle of words in which they become heavier on the heart and closer to the conscience. This poem below was written several weeks ago […]

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No New Clothes 2021

person holding assorted clothes in wooden hanger

On New Year’s Day, my annual ritual is to reflect on the past year by journaling and writing out prayers for the new year. I’ve never participated in New Year’s resolutions. But  last January, as I sat in my teeny tiny one-bedroom apartment and stared at all the ways I was trying to make everything fit inside my teeny tiny one closet, I thought to myself: “no more clothes” and then immediately and in shock, “No More Clothes??”  Little did I know, the Spirit was moving in me to tell me to stop buying clothes. Stop online shopping, stop buying a new dress for every wedding or event or new outfit for singing at church on Sunday. Stop buying clothes.  So last year, (apart from one situation where the dress I was wearing to an event broke on the way there), I did not buy any new clothes. I resisted […]

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The Mindset of Christ

hands

Right now it feels like the only thing we can agree on is that no one agrees on anything.  I’ve started developing a fear of talking about anything except the weather because I don’t know how I will be perceived. “What side are you on about that? Am I judging? Am I being judged?”   Everyone has their own ideas and opinions about the best way to fix the issues of our time.  Even within the church, I’ve caught myself thinking, “If they love Jesus, then they have to believe [whatever I think] about [current topic].”   But the Bible is clear the only solution is Jesus (John 24:6).  So we need to ask ourselves: How does Jesus solve for /x/?  How does Jesus solve for racial reconciliation? How does Jesus solve for vaccine mandates?  How does Jesus solve for homelessness, abortion, refugees, sexual identity, voting, education, wealth gap, healthcare, global […]

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Go to the desert this Lent

brown no leaves tree near hill at daytime

The season of Lent always stirs up images of entering a desert for me. I am brought back to memories of sitting in our gold van perched in my reclined chair with a pillow as I stared out the car window into the vast abyss of compacted rock forming a sea of brown. I think about the times I’ve been mesmerized by the National Geographic aerial photos, capturing the unseen patterns of the cracked earth worn from years under the piercing sun. The desert can seem mysteriously appealing from afar, yet becomes daunting at the thought of stopping the car, letting go of the security of its protective structure, the comfort of my plush pillow, and willingly walking across the cracked earth to the center of the desert.  I imagine willingly following Jesus into a desert. It requires courage to follow Him into the desert, not as a stop along […]

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