My friend Mackenzie stopped by for breakfast this weekend, and we sat on the couch under soft blankets in the morning light to catch up. We exchanged stories of the mundane and the miraculous in our lives. Then, she shared an update that struck me as profound. She described how she and her husband are becoming foster care certified to take in pregnant teen girls. These girls are often terribly vulnerable: kids themselves carrying kids and choosing birth. They’ve already faced the unspeakable trauma of entering the foster care system, and many are victims of trafficking. I pressed her for more about their why, their journey, and their heart in this decision that will change their lives forever. In essence, she explained, they are seeking to live life right in step with the God of comfort, care, shelter, and justice as described in the Bible. As they have prayed, they […]
I can’t wait to be pretty
“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 […]
Control in Chaos
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, […]
“God, we had such a good thing going!”
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 […]
Submission and the Surrender of Speech
“I don’t think that anything reveals the state of a person’s soul more clearly than the words that come out of his mouth.” R.C. Sproul, The Prayer of The Lord If you’re like me, you probably put your foot in your mouth more often than you’d care to admit. Certainly, making an ill-timed comment is an inescapable element of our humanity, but in my case, I often find that my impulsive speech can be not merely ill-timed, but also careless, inconsiderate, and even demeaning. Many times over the past six months, the Holy Spirit has consumed me with the conviction to simply stop talking. Naturally, my flesh hates this, arguing that I must stay true to all my impulses – in the name of supposed “authenticity” (read: hastiness). How dare I be asked to sacrifice my quippy comments and expression of opinions, the very things that brand me as ME […]
How can I keep giving my life away?
I recently hosted my friend and her little girl overnight while they needed a place to stay. In reality, though, my whole community hosted her through how they equipped me: My friends Emily and Austin gave me the bed she slept in My friend Lauren gave me the recipe for the Chicken Pot Pie that was in the fridge My friend Kristin helped me assemble the dresser in my room My friend Megan gave her the car she used to drive to my house My roommates Lisa and Cierra helped clean the house My friend Sarah gave me my bedside lamp My landlords Andy and Kristi provide a great, safe, and well-maintained house for us My friends Garrett and Mindy sparked the vision for where I live A group of friends from church helped me move into this house last year In other words: I can welcome her because I […]
Help! There’s No One to Disciple Me!
As the pastor’s wife of a young church in a young city, I hear and feel the need for discipleship within our church. There are people hungry to be poured into by older men and women, desiring to grow in their relationship with God, and just want some guidance on how to do that. But the overwhelming perception is that there are no older men or women who are available to disciple them. (Remember: our context is in a young church in a young city. They’re kind of right…the older people they’re looking for are few and far between!) So, what do you do when you desire to be discipled, but you don’t think there’s anyone to disciple you? What is Discipleship? First, I suspect that perhaps our view of discipleship is more narrow than the full Biblical picture of discipleship. After all, a disciple in the Bible is simply […]
Don’t Believe Everything You Think
At any given second of the day, I hear a plethora of emotions. Angry yells of “mine!” “Stop” or “I had it first!”; tears from falling off a bike, chair, or just tripping on the floor; or giggles at playing with dolls, building a magnet tile house together, or watching a silly show. Our day is filled with ebbs and flows, peaceful moments and chaotic ones. My stay-at-home mom life with my four-year-old and two-year-old is anything but boring. I love the giggles and times of joy in the day, but I feel pain and heartache when I hear my children cry, argue, or writhe in frustration. As a parent, it is so hard to let them experience discomfort in any way. Do not get me wrong, I am not just sad for them, but sometimes I am also angry, frustrated, and annoyed when their complaints, cries, and arguing destroys […]
The Mindset of Christ
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 […]
Why Can’t I Rest?
I’m scrambled. Laundry invades my personal space. My feet fail me in the minefield of toddler chaos dispersed across the floor. My body tells the story of the struggle with the dead weight of tantrums and self-neglect. I’m tired to say the least. I started physical therapy last week for an impingement in my shoulder. The edges of my shoulders nearly met the tips of my ear lobes as my body seeks to guard itself against recurring pain. How am I to function in this space? And these are just the external things. Internally, grief crouches at the door of my heart waiting to pounce at the most inconvenient moment as I attempt to move forward after my father’s passing. Internally, I can’t seem to settle my mind on just one thought. The pressure of life, the woes of death, the anxiety for what’s to come is a little too […]