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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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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Why Can’t I Rest?

girl laying in grass

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 […]

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What Lasts is Love

homeless sign

My mentee Ally and I volunteered at a homeless shelter together last week. We handed out toothpaste, floss, towels, and more from a supply closet to the men at the shelter. We spoke to a man whose dog Bobo had all the guests (and us!) enraptured. Another man told me about his son who died at age 18 – and I shared about my brother, in heaven at the same age. We reasoned they were likely having a party together now. Do you think age matters in heaven, that you tend to make friends with people your age like you do on earth? We didn’t always have what the men requested – eyeglasses so they could read, clean boxers, or the right charger for their phones. The needs felt so great in this building where dozens of men shared one communal room in which to sleep and find shelter from […]

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Soul: Remember your God (A poem)

man in black and white sweater sitting on chair

You have replayed your anxieties, complaints, and sorrows. Again. And again. And again. But have you rehearsed the glory of your God? Yahweh, Jehovah, Messiah. Trust Him!  Lean into His grace. Drink from His well. Feast on His abundance. Look up. Look to Him. Who, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross. Remember. He has purpose for this season. None of it is wasted. Fear not. Don’t give in. He has overcome the world. Be present today. After all, it’s all He’s given. And He will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Do not worry about tomorrow (or how you’ll finish this season). It has enough trouble of its own. Fear not, little flock, for your Father knows what you need and is pleased to give you the Kingdom. Hold on to the hope of the gospel.  Stay anchored in your Redeemer.  […]

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Good News For the Poor

ashes burning

My heart burned within me as I read Isaiah 61:1-3. The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,because the Lord has anointed meto proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,to proclaim freedom for the captivesand release from darkness for the prisoners,to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favorand the day of vengeance of our God,to comfort all who mourn,and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beautyinstead of ashes [dignity — valued, respected, worthy],the oil of joyinstead of mourning [honor],and a garment of praiseinstead of a spirit of despair [heaviness].They will be called oaks of righteousness,a planting of the Lordfor the display of his splendor [glory]. It took me a while to realize why my heart was burning. Weeks, actually. At first, I was simply moved by the stunning imagery of Isaiah 61. Then, I began […]

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Changing Your Outlook (in Christ)

horse in sunshine

Riding has been my passion since I was 8 years old. It is what I have lived, breathed, and dreamed of at times, and the Lord has always provided a way for me to be around horses–to which I am incredibly thankful. Riding has affected my life in such a knitted way that many of my experiences riding affect who I am outside of the arena.  A few months ago, something changed with my riding that has deepened my love for Christ and trickled into the rest of my life.  When you get on the horse, the horse looks, listens, and responds to what you want her to do or where to go, how fast, straight, and energetic you want her to be. Riding can be like a dance between two partners. The rider leads the way and the horse responds. It can be something beautiful…but if the rider is […]

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Be Still and Know

women

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46: 10 (NIV) The word stillness is not my favorite word by any means. At some point in my life, I completely removed it from my vocabulary. Utterly resolved to venture into a life of productivity, and perfect it, I was prepared to ring in the new year with this mentality. Excitedly writing my hopes, dreams, and things I wanted to accomplish in 2021, I vowed not to hold back—to be proactive and watch the blessing flow. Then December 31st happened.  You know that poem we love to quote? Psalm 23. “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures.” In theory, it sounds great. In reality, it’s far from it. The keyword here is makes. This situation […]

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Healing when I’d lost hope

sad woman

Have you ever gone through a trial that seemed like it was just too much to bear?  I have.  Seven years ago, I had hit rock bottom. My marriage had completely fallen apart, and as a result, after five  “good years” I began to wrestle with self-harm again. To be honest, I was a complete mess. At that time in my life, I struggled a lot. The pain felt unbearable. I was having a hard time pushing through each day, and most nights I barely slept at all. I clearly remember one sleepless night when I was sitting at my kitchen table crying out to God, asking Him to help me get through it all. After praying about it for a while, I did what we all do when we can’t sleep and scrolled through Facebook. As it turned out, while I was praying for some words of hope to […]

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