Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Father

First, click play, then keep reading :)



Every morning this off season, I've been waking up somewhere around 7 or 7:30 am, I put my contacts in, and sleepily walk to my kitchen to turn the coffee maker on. With groggy eyes and messy hair I open my blinds to let the sun's light shine in. I grab my coffee when it's done, and sit nestled in a blanket in my favorite spot. I open my Bible and my journal, and I sit in the stillness of my home and begin to talk to God. 
On a morning like every morning, I sat with my Bible and prayed that God would again reveal Himself to me. Little did I know that God would be pulling on my heart strings for the next couple of days to share with you what He shared with me. 
Most days I wake up sleepy and often not wanting to leave my warm bed or my husband's presence. 
However, this particular morning after waking up and doing my normal routine, I sat reflecting on the joy that the God of the universe feels when I choose to spend time with Him every morning.

I remember, when I was younger, coming home to my dad sitting at the table or on the couch, and he would never really ask me questions when he saw me. Almost every time, he waited for me to talk to him. He waited for me to come sit with him and tell him the highlights of my day. I know my dad deep down absolutely loved when I would talk to him, open up to him, and spend time with him. 
And much like my father, God does the same. 
I felt like God himself was telling me that it is His most joyous time of the day when I wake up and spend the morning with Him. He actually gets excited when I wake up and begin my morning routine, just waiting for me to sit in His presence as He's eager to spend time with me. His greatest joy is in revealing Himself to me, talking with me, and letting me talk to Him. 
The thing about God though, is that He is a gentleman. Like my own father would do, He sits, waiting patiently for me to talk to Him about anything and everything. He doesn't fight for my attention. 

He delights in these moments every morning with me. Like my father, waiting to be approached, He isn't going to force His way into my life, my business, or my problems. He watches, He sees, and waits for me to come willingly and share my heart. 

As God began to reveal his Father-like heart to me, I was moved to tears and turned on the song you're (hopefully) listening to:
"Good Good Father".

It's become one of my absolute favorites.
This song talks about how He knows all about me and knows what I need before I even ask. 
It says that He's pleased with me, that He likes me. 

This song plays as I reflect on all that God has displayed to me, and His love for me. 
I let the song play as I finish up writing, and when I'm done I open my phone to a photo from 
my friend who was announcing that they had just given birth to their baby. 
In the picture, the father was glowing as he held his brand new son. 
As I looked at this photo, the part of the song that says "You are perfect in all of your ways" came on. Now usually I sing the song and sing that to God, how He is perfect and He always comes through and always knows what's best for me. In all His ways, He is good. 
But as I sat and looked at this photo of a father holding his son for the first time, I couldn't help but choke back tears as the tables were turned.
God began to reveal that this is the exact way He feels about me. 
Every morning. Every day that I choose to walk with Him. 

See the thing about fathers is that from the moment of birth, they melt over their new baby; they fall in love. 
God looks at us and says, "You're perfect! You are so perfect. Everything about you I love. There is no flaw in you. I made you. I am obsessed with you! There is nothing that I don't love about you. I will always fight for you, protect you, and CHOOSE you. I can't even begin to express in words how I feel about you."

Maybe you had a wonderful father. 
Maybe you didn't have a father. 
Maybe your relationship with your father is tarnished. 
There is good news for all of us. 
We have a Father in Heaven who sees us and wants to take care of us. 
He loves you more than you can comprehend. 
He is obsessed with you.
So many times we see God as a judge, ready to convict us of our sins or waiting for us to mess up. 
It's the exact opposite. 
He desires you just the way you are. 
In fact, He loved you long before even YOU knew all the messes you would make. 
Like a new father who loves his baby unconditionally, regardless of mess ups, mistakes, and mischief you would get into... He still loves and cares and protects and fights for you. 
He can't help it. It's who He is.

When we choose to spend time with God, it is His absolute joy. 
You are His joy. He made you to spend time with you. To be relational with you. 
To be the one you go to when you fail or when you succeed. 
He knows your deepest hurts and your greatest needs. 
I challenge you today to begin to spend time with him. 
Get a Bible reading plan, and begin to read. Write down everything you learn about God. 
You'll begin to see that He's the answer for everything. 
He is a good, good Father. 


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

OFF SEASON

Okay people, wow.
I haven't blogged in far too long. 
As some of you may know, it's been an absolute crazy year. Although I thought I was going to be able to blog, I found myself just trying to keep track of where my toothbrush was at all times. I've never traveled as much in my life as I did this baseball season. It has been crazy. Part of the time I lived in a half empty apartment, part of the time we lived in someone else's condo, and the whole time for the last 2 months of the season we lived out of a new hotel every week (out of only ONE suitcase people!). 
It's. Been. Crazy. 
I keep getting nudged by people and especially told by my husband that I need to pick my blog back up again. 
So. Here we go.
This is me "picking it up" again. 
I have SO much I could blog about and the goodness of God I've witnessed this year. 
I could literally write a book on this last season. 
The problem is... I have no idea where to start.

So where would you like me to start?
Reach out to me. Ask me anything!
It's my first year of marriage, my first time traveling with my husband, his first time in the big leagues, his first ever injury, his first time being on TWO big league teams, my first time to the east coast... I mean the list could go on and on.

I WANT to tell you everything! 
I. Just. Don't. Know. HOW. 
I leave you with this question:

Where do I start?



Thursday, August 27, 2015

On A Journey

It's funny, in life, how we seem to go through things we would never choose for ourselves, yet it always seems that things happen for a very unique reason.

I've been in a learning process of facing every battle that I have in life rather than running from it or thinking I'm abnormal. In choosing to view every situation, whether it's my emotions, my marriage, my insecurities, or something else as a learning curve for what God wants to speak through me to other people, it's opened doors that before I may never have had the opportunity to enter. I have been learning to view my trials with joy, and to view them as a chance to grow and learn another degree of steadfastness.
(James 1:2-4, vs 12)

This post is exactly that. In an effort to be completely genuine about life and it's struggles, I've been really trying to seek out how to approach this post in order to convey it as hopeful.

Have you ever felt alone? I know I have. 
I remember there were times of feeling alone in a room full of people enjoying themselves and enjoying their life. 
What was my deal? What caused such separation from the way I felt to the reality of this beautiful life that I live every day?
I remember reading an email from one of my readers whom I've never met. She, like many have before, told me her story of anxiety and depression and it broke my heart to read it. I used to always think, how could anyone be depressed? Life is so fun! 
But, to my dismay, just a few short months ago, depression knocked on my door every day. 
(Did you know that depression is actually a form or side effect of anxiety?)

I remember feeling really lonely, and no one could help.
I researched everything. I talked in circles with my husband about this issue, and nothing ever helped.
I cried out to God to restore my emotions, my mental health, and my strength to see the world in a positive light.
The enemy had such a grip on my thoughts!
Maybe you have felt this way too.


I remember picking up a book called "A Praying Life: Connecting With God In A Distracting World" by Paul E. Miller.
 I'm not sure if it was the book's content, or the Lord himself speaking and getting ahold of my heart.
Through a slow, restorative process of waiting and listening to what He wanted to say to me or teach me, I slowly learned to pray.
Now, I've always known how to pray, and usually I am good at knowing what to pray.
Words come easy to me, they always have...but that was exactly my problem.
My heart was searching for a connect, yet it felt so disconnected.

Maybe some of you can relate to this regardless of what issues you are facing.
Sometimes when we pray, or even if you've never prayed in your life, your heart and mind feel disconnected.
I think for me, when the Lord taught me to truly press into Him with my heart and with honesty, that's when I began to learn to have a HEART of prayer rather than a VOICE of prayer.

Through learning this heart of prayer, the more I prayed the more thankful I became.
I would pray for God to do something in someone else, and He would do it.
I would pray for small things, He would act, and I would become grateful.
I would begin to ask for big things, and He would come through.
Even in the last couple of months I have been on my knees asking the Lord for a miracle in certain places, and guess what? He was faithful.
As I developed a prayer life of gratitude for every small blessing, I sensed that my heart was conforming to pray for the things God Himself wanted in my life.
As I became more grateful, my anxieties lifted. As I became more thankful, the depression was no more.
(Philippians 4:6-7)
I can't tell you that I will never struggle with anxiety or depression again, but I can tell you that through the Lord taking me by the hand in the dark and lonely times, I have learned more and more of His character and the things He wants to teach me.


I'm for certain that God answers prayers. I'm also certain that just because He answers them in ways you may not agree with doesn't mean He isn't faithful.
In fact, most of what I'm learning, like I slightly mentioned before, is that He is teaching me to pray about the things He is concerned with-- the eternal, not the temporary: the position of my heart, not the presumed answer I deem correct.

When we align our eyes to the things of His kingdom, our hearts to His heart beat, and our ears to His Word, our prayer lives become a beautiful dance with the Creator.
I started to sense and realize that when He closed a door that I wanted to be open, it was actually a profound act of His gracious provision for my life.
I don't know the big picture.
I don't know the whole story.
I don't want to.
I don't need to.
He loves me and cares for me, and that promise over my life is enough for me to trust His process.

I challenge you today to take a step back, and look for the things HE wants you to be concerned about.
He will take care of the rest. He knows you better than you know yourself and this includes your deepest desires.





Saturday, June 27, 2015

when life gets messy

You know it's absolutely crazy to me how my life has taken so many turns. Doors have been opened, they've been shut, and doors have also been left open but for a later time. 
My life has been so beyond what I thought it would be. In my head I never realized the great things that I would be able to see or accomplish or be a part of. I remember back to elementary, middle school, and high school days. I wasn't always the most popular. In fact, a lot of the time I felt as if I had no real friends, or I didn't quite fit in. It just shocks me how life can change so quickly. 
I never knew what God was up to. 
In times of drama with other people, or times that I called a "crisis" in my life... I could never see the bigger picture of why what was happening actually was the best thing for me. You know, sometimes we see problems in life, or things not going the way we would like, and we get mad at God, ourselves, or others. In life, I've seen heartache, I've seen a door close that I really wanted opened, and I've seen things not go "my way".
 I'm sure you have too. 
But the beauty of it all?... 
You don't know the big picture. 
I remember Senior year of high school getting a letter of intent to play college basketball. 
I never signed that letter. 
I drove home confused as to why I didn't want to play college ball, when all logic told me to, but my gut told me not to. 
In those moments I look back and thank God for the door He allowed shut for whatever reason. 
I would have been on a completely different path than I ended up being on.
I wouldn't have met my now husband, I wouldn't have met my now friends, and I sure as heck wouldn't be living this life I live today. I am so incredibly grateful that God had his hands in the things I thought I wanted most. 
Have you ever seen that photo of the little girl with her small teddy bear, and then Jesus is there with a huge teddy bear behind His back? I believe the caption shows the little girl not wanting to give Jesus her small teddy bear, and all along Jesus holds something so much greater for her if only she would trust Him.
As cheesy as that sounds, I really feel like that's what God has done in my own life. 

Have you ever struggled through something? (I know we all have...) 
Maybe it's a break-up with the person you thought you were definitely going to marry. 
Maybe someone changed along the way of your friendship, ultimately making the friendship non existent. 
Or maybe you feel like you yourself messed up something so bad, and that you "lost your chance".
I'm here today to tell you that nothing is a lost chance. 
Nothing is a messed up opportunity. 
Even when we think we messed up, or someone has so badly hurt us or left us lonely or broken hearted... nothing has surprised the God who created you. 
Have you ever thought that maybe God did you a favor in taking something from you? 
You may never be able to understand it this side of Heaven, but maybe, just maybe, things that don't "go our way" are actually a protection, a provision, and a way for God to give you something even greater-- something you could never dream up or imagine. 

My encouragement to you tonight is to live your life in such a way that you allow God to have control over every single event or situation. You never know what God has for you; you can never see the larger picture. 
I know that when I look back, all those hurts, all the past drama, all the heart ache or loneliness, all the things that caught me off guard or didn't go as I planned... it's all led me to this moment in my life. All of it making me a stronger individual, with a life I couldn't have even dreamed up. 

Keep your head up! Something greater is coming.

XOXO, 

Katie

Saturday, May 30, 2015

community.

Hello!

If you don't already know, Ken and I are living in Denver now, as Ken is playing with the Rockies. 
I have found some awesome friendships with the amazing women here. 
If there's anything that I have been learning the past couple months, it's to love yourself and love others.
I think if women grasped this more and more on a daily basis, this world would be a kinder place for all of us.
Respect yourself, love yourself, and do the same to others. 
Take care of yourself.
Do what makes you feel your best.

Personally, something that makes my heart full is community & relationships. 
It is crucial, no matter who you are, to cultivate relationship and community in your life. 
As humans, we were created with a basic need of having relationships with others. 
Feeling down? 
Strive to have a good, fun, honest conversation with someone today. 
Meet someone new! 
Invite someone to coffee that you've always wanted to get to know, but never have!

Relationship and community with others is absolutely soul satisfying! 
Just last night I went to dinner with some fellow wives and girlfriends... the night was full of great conversation, amazing sushi, some tears, and a lot of laughs. 
(What an absolute beautiful display of how fulfilling female friendships are!)...
I left feeling strong and confident because of the strength and beauty each one of those girls emanated and reflected onto one another.

If you feel like staying home majority of the time (like I do now, and did last night), it may be worth your while to throw that lipstick on and head out with other people! 
Try it today.
Spread your uniqueness to others and allow and accept them in doing the same!
Let's make this world a little brighter by loving ourselves and loving others.
xoxo,
Katie


Friday, May 1, 2015

NuShu Sisters: A Movement to Empower and Uplift Women

As I've said before, I firmly believe in the power of encouraging and empowering the women around me. Although it's hard, if I'm being candid, to shake off the nasty habits of gossip and ill feelings towards other women who may have hurt me or "rubbed me wrong" before, the life of giving the benefit of the doubt and forgiveness all while protecting and respecting myself is absolutely rewarding. 

So here's my story. 
I'll be the first to admit that I have been a mean girl, and I've dealt with girls being mean to me. 
Haven't we ALL hurt or been hurt by other women? Whether it was when you were 6, 16, 23, or 42 we have all had encounters with women that hurt our hearts. I remember being so confused as to why a girl in high school didn't like me. She would say the meanest things to me, ignore me, mock me, and everything in between. Those hurts went deep. It took a conscious effort to forgive her, and see the hurt inside of her that fueled her meanness towards me. 
Still today there have been women who have hurt me so deeply, especially when I openly took the stance to be a nice girl-- no more gossip, no more mean girls. 
It seemed like the more I stood for women empowerment, and the collaboration of women, the more I would find myself hurt by the women around me. Some would say "yeah that whole women being friends thing? That's impossible." or "You are just so naive to believe that female friendships can actually work." 
Those words not only discouraged me, they pierced my character and the very heartbeat for my belief. 
The easy road would have been to lash out, be mean back, and to ignore the ones that hurt me, but in a battle to fight for what I believe in (a world where women uplift and support one another regardless of differences) I chose to forgive, respect myself, and continue to fight for my beliefs. 
Girls and women, it is time to stand up for one another. 
As an individual who has been the queen of vicious gossip, yet has definitely felt the hatred of other women on me, I am here to say that it IS possible, beneficial, and HEALING for women to have healthy friendships with one another. 

Back in June I joined with my friend Jenn Dean-Hill (a licensed therapist) and a team of women to launch a movement that stood for empowering and educating women to live out their own unique strength and beauty, and to encourage other women to do so as well. 
This movement has absolutely changed my life, and I hope it does for you as well.





I can attest that being a NuShu Sister hasn't always been easy. In fact, at some points it has been really really hard, but isn't that with any stance you take? I can't imagine the abundance of pain and loneliness I would feel if the strong, beautiful women that have supported me hadn't have been there. 
I have been able to share with, pray, encourage, and benefit from healthy female friendships. 
If you have a desire to do this, PLEASE contact me. 
I have been pulled out of some of the darkest times of my life because of the female friendships that I've formed with other women around me. 
Yes, you should protect yourself from women who only want to consume rather than give of themselves, yes you should deny access to your heart of hearts from some women. What I am saying is that if we as women start to form and create a culture of empowerment and encouragement among other women, we not only learn how to respect ourselves more, but teach the men around us how to respect us as well. 
It starts with us ladies. 
It starts with being nice, being genuine, stopping gossip, giving the benefit of the doubt. You can do it. 
Healthy female friendships ARE possible. 

Go take a look at NuShu Sisters, read all about how it was formed, our vision, and our mission statement. Ladies, it's time to empower one another. It's time to collaborate rather than compete with one another. 
It's time. 


Sunday, March 22, 2015

4 Things I Wish My Younger Self Would Have Known

I feel like there are so many things that I would go back and tell my younger (teen-21 year old) self, but for now, here's just four things I wish my younger self would have known. 

1. Don't be so sassy. 

It's not cool, it's not cute... you look immature. I get it, joke with friends, but being sassy towards people or towards people behind their back... no. You may think your friends or the people around you think it's funny, but really you look unwise and unkind. 

2. Run the "joke" in your head a couple times before you blurt it out. 

More times than not, your poke at someone is painful, not funny. If your goal is to get a laugh or two for a moment yet you're saying something that could also possibly hurt someone-- don't do it. It's not worth the laughs. Be gracious and lady (or gentleman) like. You can have a good time without running other people down. 

3. You don't have to be friends with everyone. 

I'm the girl that wants every one to like her (what person doesn't want that?). 
I'm the girl that used to feel like I had to strive to make relationships peaceful, have heart to hearts with those I felt didn't like me, etc. Well, I'm here to tell you that you don't have to do that. There comes a point in your life when you realize that people are people, no one is perfect, and you have the responsibility to love them but also the power to choose at what distance. Does that make sense? 
Let me explain. If someone and I don't get along for whatever reason, that's okay, I don't have to be best friends with them, some people don't click and THAT'S OKAY. My job, and my goal, is to love every person, but not with the same way that I love on the people who are close to me in my life. You have to guard your heart. Some people, heck even some pastors may even disagree with me, but I'm telling you that when you stop trying to be friends with every person, and invest your time and energy into the people who are close to you, your world will be a lot less challenging, and a genuine heart shines forth on all those around you. After all, Jesus loved the world, but had a close 12 that he poured into and shared intimate moments with- he didn't try to do that with every single person he encountered. 

4. Forgive but you don't have to always forget. 

Sooooooo many times people say forgive and forget! 
STOP. Here's why. 
When deep hurts happen to you over and over that are directly caused by another person, I would say it is UNHEALTHY to "forget" or act like they never happened. 

TRUE FRIENDS DO NOT INTENTIONALLY HURT YOU. 
TRUE FRIENDS SAY THEY ARE SORRY AND MEAN IT. 

I remember being manipulated so many times by other people who I thought were my "friends" but in reality, they just wanted something from me (again, another reason I will preach number 3 till I die). I think it's right and biblical to forgive many times, but don't be a fool to keep going back to someone who hurts you. That's not healthy. Take a deep breath, evaluate the friendship/relationship. If you are continually having to apologize for things that you don't feel were wrong, and if the other person never takes responsibility for their actions, it's not healthy. If the relationship doesn't feel natural or if it causes anxiety in you-- Let. It. GO. Forgive, but don't forget those feelings. 
Let me explain this a little further to give you better understanding.
I'm saying yes, forgive, but don't keep going back or trying to "work on the friendship". 
I have to work on my marriage, but Ken and I are mostly having fun, laughing, having deep fruitful conversations than we are "working on our relationship". If it feels like more work than play, if it feels like more drama than dance, it's not a well-balanced, fruitful friendship (and let me remind you, THAT'S OKAY). 

Now, I will say this. In my relationship with Ken, if I do him wrong or am unkind to him, I say sorry and he forgives and forgets.. love keeps no record of wrongs. However, if it isn't TRUE LOVE in any friendship/relationship, it's a disservice to yourself and the other person to just keep trying to forget and "start over". 
You'll know when your friendship is real and has substance, but if you know it's not, carry on and number 3. 



 Ladies, let's strive to be kind. 
Strive to lift others up in every situation, behind their back and to their face.
When dealing with people who don't like you for whatever reason, don't take it personally. 
Still, be kind. Be the bigger person. In ten years, the drama won't matter. 


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Arizona Living

Hello Sunshines! 
Hope all is well from wherever you are across the globe! I am very excited to catch you up with all things Arizona living!

We are in a little condo right behind Scottsdale Fashion Square (the mall- HELLO!) and we are loving it! 
Marriage has been AMAZING and we literally grow closer every day as well as closer with God. 
Ken has been doing amazing with the Rockies so far, and can I just mention we have met some AMAZING people this spring!?
We have been going to Gateway Church here and absolutely loving it and inviting all of our friends... and even strangers! 
God has been blessing us with AMAZING people who are leaving lasting impacts on our lives, some baseball people, some not. Each is making such a difference in our lives and we are SO thankful! 


 (Some friends and I watching Ken and I throw on Sunday) 


Ken has been throwing every two days or so (at least that's how it feels so don't quote me). 
On St. Patty's day me and some other wifeys snuck down to the bullpen, and I snapped some creeper pics without him knowing.





Anyways, loves and hugs from AZ! 
xoxo


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Spread LOVE

Lately, Ken and I have been really challenged in our small group we are apart of here in Arizona. They talked about what we are actively doing to help those in need wether they are close to us, or just every day people living their lives the same as you and me. 
I got to thinking, and it seems as though the Lord has really been working on both Ken and I's hearts in this area. 
Ken has SUCH a big heart for people (like seriously); he's always willing to help someone financially, help someone with their car, give someone a ride, etc. He genuinely has a heart to serve others the way that Jesus would. 
Both Ken and I have had such a heart to share our blessings, time, and resources with those in need, and this week we got a very unique open door to do so. 

We were allowed an amazing opportunity to serve a refugee community here in Arizona. These people have been brought to America by American's help, and now are figuring out how to survive here knowing very very little English (could you imagine??!). My heart broke because I thought we were bringing them couches and a kitchen table to maybe replace older items they had, but that was not the case. We walked into the first home that literally had nothing. Their floors were bare; they had no kitchen table, no couches, and no coffee table-- nothing. The young family receiving these items were so thankful. 

As we sat and visited with families who had been moved here from various countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, Thailand, and other places), I could feel Jesus in those small, empty living rooms. To them, a bag of not so new clothes, a new bed, and couches just weren't something they could ever afford. They were living to survive. 

I pray that we take many more trips back to this place. It's truly life changing to step outside of your comfort zone and allow vulnerability in this area of your life. 
My goal is to stay in tune with where God leads me to give, and to pour into and love on those whom need his love (aka everyone I encounter). 

You don't have to spend thousands of dollars going to foreign countries (although that is VERY needed, so don't think I'm saying it's not). Step into your own neighborhood, your city, and see the people who are hurting around you. 
God will be faithful to protect and guide you through this and allow you to experience Him in new ways!

(I ADORED this little girl on the right next to me! She is 8 years old and translated SO quick between english and her first language; I wanted to put her in my pocket and take her with me!) 






I would LOVE to see how you are impacting those around you, or the organizations you may be a part of! 
Post your pics on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter (tag me! @katiellisroberts) and share how YOU are spreading love! Let's inspire those around us to 
SPREAD LOVE
Also, feel free to send your pictures and testimonies to tenrowsback@gmail.com! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

RAW BEAUTY TALKS

As a wife in this baseball life, it is so easy to get caught up in all the hype of looking perfect, being something you're not, and trying to keep up with the woman next to you. 
As I sit and contemplate why women (myself included) do this, I find that sadness floods my heart. 
Why is it that we can't just be happy with the way we were made? 

I don't know how you feel, but my favorite thing to see is people being real and authentic with not only their heart, but their physical appearance. 
That's why I absolutely love what Raw Beauty Talks is doing. 

I don't want to compete with other women to feel beautiful. 
Can't I just be confident in how God made ME?
My passion is to tell women how beautiful they are (not only on the inside, but the outside), but how can I do that, how can YOU do that and share that same message if we don't even believe it for ourselves?
So I'm starting the conversation. Because 
Raw. Beauty. Talks. 

Ever noticed how many women are trying to be like the woman on the front of the magazine (or how about Pinterest?). I know I do it. But I'm joining the conversation, signing the petition, and taking a stand against my insecurities that lie deep within (pun intended). 

I want to see REAL women on the front of magazines. I want to see REAL flaws, and with that, REAL beauty. I remember a while back talking to a well known photographer friend of mine at how incredibly easy it is to just photoshop a photo to make it look like a girl has bigger boobs, thinner arms, leaner legs, skinnier waist....This has to stop! 
I am part of this petition, and I am taking a stand for RAW beauty. 

Women you are enough.
Let's stop buying into the lie that photoshop, filters, and caked on makeup is real beauty.
Let's start accepting ourselves.
LOVE yourself. 



Here's to RAW BEAUTY TALKS. 
No filters, no makeup, just me myself and I.
Less is more. 

Will you join the movement // petition? 
Check out their website and read the countless interviews of women who have rallied together for an amazing cause. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

An Interesting Day In Starbucks: Enjoy Your Life


I had a whole blog post written out that I actually didn't even like, but just kept writing in hopes that it would turn into something decent. 
Today, as I'm sitting in Starbucks, I noticed a couple things that actually brought a lot of healing to me.
I saw this first situation, but just kept writing my lame post. By the time I had my second encounter, I deleted it all and started this one.
So here we are. 
I hope you find a smile on your face after this, and a new appreciation for your own life. 

The first occasion was when a husband and wife came in.
The husband was barely able to walk. He had a disease of some sort that inhibited him from walking without his crutches. 
His legs were wobbly. They didn't function properly.
I could tell he wasn't mentally functioning properly as well.
I thought about his incredibly hard life.
My heart broke for him. 
To be very candid, I thought, "I sure am glad that I am healthy. Thank you for my health Lord, I would be miserable."
Now, I really am thankful, but something changed my immature, naive heart in an instant. 

He was smiling, his wife was flirting with him, and looking at him with eyes of adoration. They got their coffee, sat together, and just began to talk. 
At some points they laughed, sometimes they talked, and sometimes they were just quiet together. 
It's an amazing thing to witness a love that breaks the power of depression over broken bodies, minds, and souls. 
What healing it was to watch that couple genuinely love one another. 
Yes at times their life may be difficult, and they may be ready to give up and throw in the towel, but the very fact that they can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee together in the midst of what most would consider chaos... that gives me hope, that shows true, unconditional love. 
Love truly does conquer all. On top of that, genuine relationship makes this cold, broken world a little brighter. 

The second encounter I had while sitting in Starbucks today was a man sitting at his computer working. 
He was a completely normal, focused business man getting his work done. 
All of a sudden, the song All Of Me came on over the speakers. 
He paused. He removed his glasses, and closed his eyes. 
At first, I wondered what he was doing. 
As the song played, he slowly started singing with it.
Not loudly. In fact, if I hadn't noticed his physical presence, I wouldn't have even heard him. 
As the song kept playing, I would glance up from my computer, and every time I looked, he looked more and more at peace as he slowly just soaked up every part of a beautiful song.
He was enjoying the song to the fullest, in such a peaceful way. 
He didn't stop singing or open his eyes until the song was completely over.
When it was done, he put his glasses back on, and went to work like usual. 

I was shocked, but something about watching him brought so much revelation and peace to me. 
I began to feel the enjoyment of life run through my veins. 
How many times do we focus so much on what we are doing, that we don't ever stop to simply enjoy creation around us? It could be anything from the scenery, music, young love, etc.


I felt Jesus nudging me as I encountered these two different situations.
I felt so convicted about how busy my life can get, that I never stop and rest or enjoy a good song. I am always thinking about what people will think, how many stares I would get, etc. 
But these two encounters changed my whole perspective. 
They were living and enjoying the life they've been given, and it brought such healing to my busy mind and busy soul. 
They were unapologetic for enjoying the little things in life, and without even knowing it, completely turned my day around.


I experienced Jesus in Starbucks today.
I encountered His unconditional love.
I felt His rest and peace. 
I want to be that for other people. 



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Arizona Bound

Well it's our last day in Tennessee and although I am sad to leave the people I love here, I know that Arizona will be amazing and filled with adventure and opportunity!
I am SO incredibly blessed that I get to travel with my hubby this year! 
Here's to a new season of life, with the one I love! 
I can't wait to see the ways we both grow in the Lord and grow in our relationship with one another. 
How amazing that I get to watch my husband chase his dream. 
We are leaving tomorrow and will drive from Tennessee to Arizona in two days! 
So excited to dream, talk, and plan in the hours we have on the road! 


Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Imperfect Tribe | Highlight Real

This.

Megan is a friend of mine who has started an incredible movement. 
The Imperfect Tribe. 

I won't say much, as the video says it all way more brilliantly than I ever could, but I will say this- 
Beautiful. I couldn't agree more. 
I love that Megan has a heart to use social media, not as a highlight reel, but to highlight real. 



I have definitely learned that being vulnerable is what connects me with people.
We all have struggles, we are all craving to connect relationally by having someone else love and accept us just the way we are. 
I love that in people. I love when people are bold to share and let others in. 
Yes, it may get messy, but I can tell you from experience, it is definitely rewarding and worth it. 
I am such an advocate for this movement! 


For me, my biggest insecurity is my battle with anxiety, and the fear of becoming mentally ill one day. 
I'm a "high sensitivity person"; for me, this means that I take on others' anxiety and emotions and often feel overwhelmed by the weight of their situations. 
My empathy, although can be used for a lot of good in helping others, can be detrimental to me. If I'm not careful, it becomes a door in which the devil can quickly charge right through and put very negative thoughts in my head that lead to panic attacks and various symptoms anxiety brings on. 

For an example of how I have been vulnerable in talking about my struggles with anxiety, check out this blog post
That post alone allowed so many people to email me or text me and open up about their struggles as well.
I hope and pray we can all learn something in the process of learning to open up with others in certain areas of our life. 

Will you join the movement? 
You'll see amazing stories of vulnerability and people being real with their fears, struggles, victories, successes, high times, low times, and everything in between. 




Friday, January 30, 2015

A New Appreciation




Today is the last day that you can get this book for 99 cents on kindle
Even if you buy it and read it on your phone (kindle for iPhone, just do it!) you will not be disappointed. 

I never realized that when I started this book, it would leave me absolutely bawling 3-4 chapters in. 
I had to stop and contact my dad and just thank him for never walking out (as the dad did to the author of this book). 
Really, both of my parents have done an incredible job staying together and making their marriage work.

I simply cannot put into words what this book did for me.

As someone who never had a parent leave, whose parents are still married, I can tell you honestly this book is for EVERYONE. Like I said, I cried my way through the first four chapters and the only time I put the book down was to stop and give my dad a very long, tearful explanation of just how grateful and appreciative I am of him. 


For the person whose parents are still together - you need to read this book. You may think it won't move you, because you "can't relate", but that is the very reason I was moved to tears. Thank God for this book to open my eyes to just how much my parents have done for me and how much they love me.

At the end of this book, the realization of the grace of God on my life was simply something I couldn't thank Jonathan enough for. Through his story, he uses examples and scripture to bring hope and healing to those who need it, and a hard truth to those who, like myself, have taken my parents and God's grace in this area for granted.

Some of you know, Ken and I didn't do a first look at our wedding. 
However, I did one with my dad. 
It was such a special moment, and one I will remember forever.

I love that both of my parents were there on my wedding day.
My mom helped me get ready and graciously made sure it was a wedding with everything that was important to me rather than micromanaging, and my dad was incredibly patient and sacrificial with his resources to give me the wedding I had dreamed of.

Above all, I can't thank God enough for the fact that both Ken and I's parents were there, still married to one another, cheering us on and giving us a great example of godly marriages.

I'm in tears even as I write this post. 
I just cannot express how much this book is to read ... whether you resonate with Jonathan (the author of this book) in that a parent has left you and you now have to deal with the repercussions, or maybe you have parents like mine.
 I'm telling you, get this book!


Now... to the lovely pictures that make me tear up and thank God every day for my parents. :)












(notice Ken and his mom in the background)



Friday, January 23, 2015

4 Things Brides-To-Be Have All Wrong

Going through this whole wedding planning experience last year opened my eyes to a lot. 
I don't have time to unveil all that it did, maybe I'll write a book someday, but for now, if you're about to be married, (male or female, bride or groom) give this a read. 
I was talking with one of my best friends the other day, and we talked about how so many brides these days are focused more on the wedding, and less on the marriage. 
With some frustration, evaluation, and some simple problem solving, this post was born!
Let me show you 5 things you should reevaluate during your wedding planning season. 

1. Be a gracious bride, not an outrageous bride. 

This is just a friendly reminder that even though you can have your opinions that you are entitled to,
be gracious every time a vendor or someone you just met tells you what they think is best. 
For example. 
Everyone, and I mean everyone, wanted Ken and I to do a first look. 
Ken and I both really wanted the "first look" to be when the doors swung open and I walked down the isle. 
For over a year of planning I heard from everyone why I should do a first look: for the pictures, for the timing, for the flow, etc. 
Instead of snapping at them and yelling save it, like I wanted to, I tried to remain gracious. 
It's okay. They are just trying to help. 
Be gracious. 
Don't flip out. 
(ps. shout out to my videographers and amazing photographers for running around like crazy in order to make this happen)

On the other side of that, I would say don't let your expectations be so outrageous that you expect everyone to follow suit. 
You don't know everything about planning a wedding, these vendors have done probably hundreds if not thousands of weddings. 
Don't be outrageous in your demands. 

Cue my second point!

2. It's not all about little miss Y-O-U

Okay, I get it, to a point, the wedding is all about the bride. 
Your maid of honor/mom/cousin shouldn't be planning your wedding while living vicariously through you. You have the say so on what you like, what you want to wear, what you want other people to wear, etc. I get that. 
However, I think this gets taken out of hand by way too many brides.
Brides get into this mentality that it is all about them, and if they want their parents to buy them three different wedding dresses to find the perfect one, then gosh darn-it they better! 
I'll be honest, my dad never gave me a number or a budget to stick to for my wedding. He just didn't. He was so gracious and sacrificial when it came to me planning my wedding. I can't thank Him enough for it. 
But I never once tried to take advantage of that. 
I'm not trying to pat myself on the back, but I'm saying that there comes a point, that you don't take advantage of what people give you.
Just because your parents, grandparents, or whoever pays for your wedding is loving enough to pay for things you really want or "just have to have", doesn't mean you take advantage.

I tried to cut costs wherever I could. I skipped on some things I thought (at the time) were really important to me, and I still had my dream wedding. 
Get over your unrealistic fantasies... which (maybe not so graciously) leads me to my third point.


3. Get rid of your Pinterest fantasies

If I see one more picture of a big celebrity ring pinned on Pinterest I think I'll freak out. 
Literally. 
Would you stop?
Could you stop putting unrealistic expectations on a man for what he is supposed to propose with?
Don't get me wrong, I love my ring. I do. 
All I'm saying is that dreaming up elaborate million dollar weddings isn't the way to go. 
It'll leave you focused on the wrong thing...things! 
All that to say...

4. Stop prepping so much for the wedding, and start prepping for your marriage 

As some of you know, Ken and I got engaged October 4, 2013
I honestly felt like something was wrong with me because as the wedding drew closer (and I'm talking 5-6 months before the big day), I was less excited about the wedding day, and more excited for living with Ken, always (minus his away game series he would frequently go out of town for) having him to wake up to every morning, being a housewife, having someone love me knowing all my imperfections and character flaws, and everything else to do with marriage. 

Was I missing something?

I mean, I'm in NO way saying I wasn't excited for my wedding, but I remember something inside of me cringed a little when girls and women would ONLY ask if I was so excited for the wedding. 
I mean, sure, I loved (and still totally do) when people would talk about wedding flowers, bridesmaid dresses, the wedding cake, the wedding venue, my wedding dress, my wedding hair, our wedding vows, our wedding DJ, our wedding theme, our wedding colors, our wedding wedding wedding wedding! 
BUT
I have to be 100 percent honest and tell you (especially girls) that your wedding is NOT the thing you should be most excited about. 
It just isn't. 
Let me explain. 

I went to a wedding one time, and leading up to it, all the bride did was talk about her wedding. 
I asked her if she was excited to be married, and she answered with how amazing her flowers were going to look and how beautiful the venue was that she just booked. 
Something inside me cringed. 

Bride. Groom.
Listen to me. 
I'm not saying you have to be okay with going to the courthouse and saying I Do there... all I'm saying is that if you are spending ALL of your time prepping for this wedding, and NONE of your time studying and researching and letting God work on you to prepare you to be a wife or husband, I would re-examine everything. 
In pre-marital counseling (which I advise to EVERYONE), if you aren't being honest, open, and vulnerable, but only giving the "right" answers, please, PLEASE re-evaluate the reason for getting married. 
It breaks my heart to see the pressure men AND women feel to get married these days. 
Stop it. 
Marriage is a great thing, but if it's not right, or not God's timing for you... it's okay to call things off or wait. I promise you.

--------


I'll go one step further and just ask you this--

What will your attendees leave with?
(and I'm not talking party favors)
I'm talking about the lasting imprint you want to leave on every person who attends your wedding.
For me personally, I didn't want all the focus on me. 
Well, I did, but, I didn't want it for the reasons you may think. 
I knew that it was the one time that I had all of my family and close friends' attention at one time, and I wanted to make sure that by the time they left that place, they knew that they were loved, deeply cared for, and honored.

I still had MY dream wedding, while making it all about someone else, and I'm not talking about how I wanted to impress my attendees, my groom, or my parents. 

I had my flowers and dress and bridesmaids with their hot little gold dresses and dark wine lipstick *insert heart eye emoji*, but what I was most excited for out of the whole shebang, wasn't any of those things. 

What I wanted more than anything, was to make it all about Jesus, and to make His name known. 
Ken and I literally prayed every night leading up to the wedding that our wedding would be all about Him, and that people would see the gospel that day either for the first time, or in a way that they've never experienced. 

One of the moments I will absolutely never forget (besides the very vivid memory of our vows being exchanged) and will always be the most grateful for, was when my dad gave his toast, and the first thing he did was give an invitation to know and follow Jesus. 
With tears in my eyes, I couldn't help but feel the close, intimate presence of God in that big ballroom. 

If people didn't remember my dress, my hair, my flowers, my shoes, my earrings, my nails, my makeup, my tan, or the details of "my" wedding... I didn't care. 
All I cared about is that people had the opportunity to see Jesus that day. 
To experience what His love has the power to do. 
To know that without Jesus, Ken and I wouldn't be able to make the vows we did. 
Without Jesus, Ken and I wouldn't have even been brought together.
Without Jesus, Ken and I wouldn't have lasted longer than the honeymoon stage of long distance dating. 
I wanted people to look at Ken and I on that day, and be pointed to only one thing-
Jesus. The gospel. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"Major" News

 Thought I would share a short and sweet blog post (you're welcome) to keep you updated with baseball, and our time that is ending here in Tennessee!
We are so excited to announce that Ken has been invited to Major League Spring Training!
I couldn't be more proud of him, and we both just feel so blessed by God and His provision in our lives.
We move from Tennessee to Arizona (for Spring Training) on February 9th.
We are excited at this opportunity and can't wait to see what God has in store for us this season!
This is one step closer to fulfilling goals and dreams, all while knowing that our true fulfillment rests in God and His love towards us. 
Prayers are much appreciated as we travel, and as Ken starts this new season! 



"never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do"

xoxo,
Katie

Friday, January 16, 2015

Wedding Bliss

If you haven't seen the photos that the amazing Terra Nyce put up on her blog, check those out! 
But here are some of my favs (okay I loved all of them I just couldn't post them all *insert cry face emoji*) from getting ready through the ceremony itself... and this still isn't all of them! 
Hope you enjoy, and feel free to click on the photo to view it larger! :) 

(yes we texted each other randomly throughout the morning- do what you want! it's your day!)


(my mama looked fabulous!)


 (yum.)...(and I'm not talking about the mimosa)












(I love my daddy so much. He set an amazing example of what to look for in a husband.)








(prayer with our pastors and mentors- so thankful for these people!)