The last 24 hours have been some of the best hours I have ever had. In the spirit of Mrs. Oostra, I am making not a letter, but a list.
1. Baseball/soccer/kick ball at the Pink House. I created a score chart that included both points, stars and smiley faces. Oh, and golden arrows. "Katie hurts people more than balls."-Ryn
2. I got a ball ran over. And cried.
3. "Shout" -Tears for Fears
4. Blueberry beer at the Adams with Becca.
5. "It's not funny until Katie pees."
6. Midnight airport run. In. The. Rain. :-)
7. A slight white-trash-Minnesota birthday party for a 78 year old. This party did in fact include Patrone.
8. "You guys, do you inhale fire when you smoke?" -Kristen.
9. Sweet dance moves in a kofia that would make a Muslim man angry.
10. "Katie, these people have Minnesota accents like people on TV."
Such an amazing weekend. I am one lucky lady. Go outside. Run around. Drink a beer. Jesus is alive and life is so, so good.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
As I was walking down the stairs this morning, I was looking out the window. I'm not super good at doing things with my feet when my brain is not fully involved, so naturally, I fell down the stairs. And since it was morning, my contacts were not in and my glasses went flying.
So I did what anyone would do: I started crying. Now, some who know me know that I can be a tad emotional at times...so, things like snow and tripping and not being able to see sometimes makes me react in a much more, ahem, emotive way. I realize this is silly.
As I was sitting on the stone landing, crying, I realized how insane I was, so I started laughing at myself. (Bipolar what?) My life is funny.
Snow in April is funny.
Thinking my life is hard is funny.
Falling down an entire flight of stairs because I am craning my neck to see the snow covering the tops of houses and am not paying attention to what my feet are doing, is funny.
My reactions sometimes are funny.
I may be a lot of things, but someone who takes themselves seriously is not one of them. Thank G.
So, on this snowy Spring day, I am thanking God for jobs and friends and stairs to fall down and emotions to feel and perspectives that sometimes do not come right after the fall. Sometimes we need to fall, start to cry and then realize the truth of situation, and laugh. And then we can get up, put our glasses back on and be glad that we can make ourselves laugh.
It's a good day.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Recently I've been having conversations with people who love Jesus yet, for whatever reasons, don't fully understand He loves them in return. Now, I know no one will ever fully understand the love of God, it's certainly a process, but I do believe we can know God's deep affections for us in a way that changes how we view everything.
Last night I was talking with a friend and as I listened to her talk, I was reminded of a time in my own life when God gently challenged me: "Kate, how much of what you think about yourself is the same as what I think about you?" I was astounded at this thought because, well, hardly anything I thought about myself at that time lined up with what God thought about me.
It dawned on me. My friend last night, my friend from earlier that night, people I spoke with all week, friends I know in Chicago and Alaska and India and Ecuador and Thailand and St.Paul all struggle to receive love from God because they themselves do not believe they are lovable by God. They do not see themselves as God sees them. They do not think the same thoughts about themselves as God does. I include myself in this category as well.
I have only changed a tiny fraction of my thoughts (thus my views, thus my feelings) about myself in the past couple years to line up with what God thinks about me. It's hard. It's alarming. It feels like I am lying to myself (because I don't believe the truth), BUT it is oh so sweet. It's amazing how easy it becomes to accept God's insane-all covering- ridicules -overflowing- FREE-abudant-lavish love for me when I believe I am lovable.
Why on earth would I even waste time thinking anything about myself that God does not think?! Sure, I have sin. Lots. Sure, I am flawed. Very. And sure, I need work. Mucho. However, as I slowly become undone and warmed before God, those changes and sin that need to be addressed, happen. Not out of force or obligation or even my own attempts, but because I want to become more and more the woman God sees and loves.
So I challenged my friend and I will challenge you and me and anyone I see: think only what God thinks about you. If it's in your head and it's not a thought God would think about you, change it. It takes time and effort and a lot of discipline, but man it's worth it. Feeling the love of God becomes real.
Don't know where to start? Try these on for size. I know for a fact, for real, that God thinks these things about you.
1. He does not cringe when you come to Him, no matter how many fails.
2. He is not frustrated with you.
3. Shame does not come from Him AT ALL.
4. He doesn't want you to TRY and love Him, He wants you to first RECEIVE love from Him.
5. He takes pleasure in your company.
6. You are His inheritance, what He wants and desires.
7. He is not mad He made you.
8. He sees all of you, and STILL rejoices any time you turn to Him.
9. He waits for you.
10. He doesn't think you're a failure. At all.
Here's to seeing ourselves, thus God, thus our world, well.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
glorious. a silent shudder a brisk breeze lifted hair wisps- there you are. a moment so sweet- a deep aching, a longing for something i have not touched but know exists. my heart goes to a new place, light flickers in the distance. here you are. i stay where i am, not wanting to leave. feeling so full, on the verge of something new, bigger. here we are. this is what i live for- the silent, screaming bursting, still moments only my heart recognizes. still, deep waters both peaceful and terrifying calm yet turbulent- it's this dangerous wonder i want- flickering light, the breeze passes, i am left standing, full and hungry. you are glorious.
Monday, April 11, 2011
This last week I had the AMAZING opportunity to go to Kansas City with two of my favorite women.
We went to IHOP, and no, not the pancake place. We went to the International House of Prayer. And let me tell you, it was off the freaking chain. In fact, there is no more chain, that's how amazing it was.
One thing that hit me hard over the week was the massive amount of truth packed into John 17. As a woman who has gone to Bible college, gotten a degree in Biblical/Theological Studies, and started Seminary, you would THINK I understood God's love for me.
Nope. Not even close.
I felt like I had never even READ John 17 after hearing some of the speakers teach on it. It was insane. I was hit hard by the reality that God PUT His love for HIMSELF in us. IN us. There is no need to conjure up anything, HE GAVE IT TO US. And, when reading the passage further, it's so clear how the whole point of everything is KNOWING the LOVE of God.
Basic, right? Wrong. For whatever reason, I never got this. I never understood that God loved me first and that by having the Holy Spirit living in me, I has access to God's own heart which intrinsically loves itself. That means, all I need to do is ALLOW God to love and then love FOR God will come naturally.
They challenged us to pray a simple yet life altering prayer, "Holy Spirit, what do you FEEL about me? Holy Spirit, what do you THINK about me?" The Psalms say God's thoughts about us are more numerous than there are grains of sand. Just simply praying that prayer and opening myself up before God put me in a position to be FLOODED with words and images from God's heart to my own. Things like: I am not ashamed of you , Kate; you've done a good job (um, what, G?!); thank you for loving me, Kate (again, WHAT?!); you look like me, Kate (okay, God, you're nuts) and so on.
I don't think I need to go into great detail to explain how one's heart jumps at the sound of God's voice saying He's not ashamed of you, even proud of you. Those who know me know I battle with shame...I am not some little prim and proper Christian. To hear God say He's not ashamed of me astounded me. It freed me. To hear Him say that I look like Him, that I resemble the LOVE of God, well, let's just say I needed several tissues.
I have so much to share about my time at IHOP, but I just had to share that prayer before I went to bed.
Pray it. Ask the Holy Spirit to tell you what He thinks about you. Ask Him what He feels about you. Guaranteed it will blow your perception of yourself out of the water, and loving God, well, it will become....different.
Can't wait to share more,
Saturday, April 2, 2011
I decided I'll post the other pictures I printed and put on my wall later, not today. Why? Because today is the second day of April and I have some things I'd like to say to April. My good friend Julie inspired the format for this particular post. So, enjoy a letter to my friend April.
As you know, we've been together roughly 24 years now. Almost half a decade! My how time flies. Please know how it warms my heart when I think of our deep commitment to one another.
However, this being our 24th go round, I have some things I'd like to change. Maybe we could use the word refine. Yes, April, there are some things I'd like to refine.
1. I don't want to crash diet. Though I love you, you are notorious for making me feel, well, fat. You tell every department store to get its swimsuits out, you tell gyms to start offering incentives for joining, Jennifer Hudson won't shut up about Weight Watchers and I'm even a little suspicious as to what you've asked Special K to do this month. The point is, I know I need to get in shape, and I feel the pressure. However, this time we're together, I am not doing anything stupid.
2. I do not want to buy new 'spring' clothes. Listen, April, March technically owns Spring, so back off. I do not need a new wardrobe. Not only can I not afford it, but I just straight up do not need anymore flat toe-less shoes. Especially from Target. (Anyone? My goodness they are cute!) I know you like to make your time with us about sprucing things up, getting fresh and turning over a new leaf, but I don't think clothes will do that for me this time. And, let's not forget, according to you, I would need to loose 10+ pounds to look good in those new 'spring' clothes, remember?
3. I don't want to be teased. Listen, April, I feel bad for you, I really do. You're stuck between March and May, sometimes you get Easter, but it's never guaranteed, and you always have Lent. I hear ya, it's rough. But here's the deal: you don't have to get nasty. Pick a temperature and stick with it. Also, pick a form of precipitation and stick with it. None of this 20's then 60's bs and please no snow. Please. I know you hate that you have to be all wet so May can be all colorful, but we all have a role to play.
I know some of this may sound harsh, like I don't appreciate what you do for me, April. I do! I do! I just think we're getting to the point in our relationship where we can be honest with one another and express our needs in a healthy, real way.
In return, I am willing to make some changes for you.
1. I won't complain. Before, I know, I hurt you with my sighs of frustration at the rain. But hear me, April, I am in a new place now. I welcome the rain! I love the rain. It's a sign of change and growth and things to come, and you, April, usher in a glorious time of renewal. So, my griping will cease. Promise.
2. I will push into Lent and LIKE it. Yes, it's true, most (ahem, all) seasons of Lent I make commitments and forget about them and get annoyed that it's not full blown spring yet. Well, that ends here April. So far we are a couple weeks into Lent and I'm all in. I'm doing what I committed to and I'm so feeling this idea of recommitting my baptismal vows. April, you represent a time to journey out of death and into light.
3. I will work out. I get it. Swimsuits. Health. I get it.
I hope this letter finds you well. I can't wait to share these next 28 days with you.