God is Faithful, Forever

Scared, oh I thought I knew scared

Now I’m so filled with fear

I can barely move.

Doubts, I’ve had my share of doubts

But never more than right now

I’m wondering where You are.

I’m on the edge of fall apart

But somehow Your promises

 Find my troubled heart.

 When I first heard these song lyrics from the song: Truth I’m Standing On, I thought—wow, someone wrote a song that exposes my deepest thoughts and feelings.   I especially liked the line—I’m on the edge of fall apart.   Have you ever felt that way?  Like you are on the Edge of Fall Apart?

The song goes on to say:

This is the truth I’m standing on

Even when all my strength is gone

You are faithful forever

And I know You’ll never

Let me fall.

Right now I’m choosing to believe

Someday soon I’ll look back and see

This pain had a purpose

Your plan was perfect all along

This is the truth I’m standing on.

This is the truth I’m standing on, even when all my strength is gone—You are faithful Forever!!  God –You are faithful forever!!    This video is a man telling a powerful story from his life that illustrates so clearly  the faithfulness of God, and the steadfastness of God’s love.

God loves us with steadfastness, and faithfulness, teaching us how to love others as well.   This is the truth I’m standing on—a truth that encourages me as I pray it does you!

The Safest Place To Be

I started my “Encouragement from Katie” blogsite a little over 2 years ago.  I have written some stories detailing  the times when I have relied on God’s strength and guidance in my parenting, and that is the purpose of this blog—to encourage young moms to look to God for the answers and strength in their mothering role.   However, there were times when I did not do this.  There were times I was angry, frustrated, fearful, or anxious and I acted out those emotions.  I remember a time when I expressed fear, and then anger, in the space of a heartbeat.

At the time, I was a mom with just 4 children (I would have a fifth- 7 years later); their ages were: 8 years, 4 years, 3 years and 11 months old.  It was time for our church’s VBS and I was helping with it.  I dropped off my 11-month-old with a friend, who also had an 11-month old baby.  She watched our babies while I took the 3 older children to VBS.  At the end of VBS, I loaded up the children in our mini van and ran back in the church to grab something I had forgotten.  Then— I came back out to the van, got in and drove off.  I parked at my friend’s home and went in to get my baby.  I came back out and noticed that my four-year-old was not in the van.  I thought he had gotten out and was wandering around the neighborhood.  I started calling for him, yelling his name one minute, and crying his name in the next.

My friend’s husband looked at me in amazement—I seemed like a woman gone berserk—yelling, then crying, then yelling, then crying.    I was demanding that we call the police and the fire department.  He said, “Why don’t we call the church first, maybe he’s at the church?”   “No”, I snapped back, “I put him in the van, he must have gotten out at your house, and he’s wandering around the neighborhood.”  

“Well”, he said, “let’s just call the church first.”  Eventually, I agreed, and we called the church.  Yes, my child was at the church.  He had gotten out to use the bathroom, and I had not noticed when I got into the van.  Even now, when I remember that story, my heart starts pounding and the adrenaline starts rushing through my body at the terror I experienced when I thought my child was lost.

Why do I recount this story?  Because—this is what life is like isn’t it?  Life is going along, and then something that we don’t expect happens—and how do we react?  I don’t and haven’t always reacted well.  The first thing I thought of, in the situation I just recounted, wasn’t God; I did not call out to Him to save my child.  I tried to deal with the situation myself—and in relying on my own resources—I vacillated between terror and anger. 

Perhaps, you can relate.  Perhaps you too, try to deal with your life situations with your own resources, not turning to the Lord.

I have just recounted one story, yet, over the past 29 years of being a mother—my life is filled with many stories, many moments.  

I have seen that being a mother has taken everything I have and more.  It has brought out my worst self, and my best self.  Like most mothers—I would willingly lay down my life for my children—-yet get annoyed with them for the smallest of offenses. 

Fortunately, I have a Father who is the most patient of teachers, and He continues to give me lessons on how to love, until I learn.  He is the most consistent, faithful, love-motivated teacher there is.  His goal—to make me Holy, (whole), like Him.   I came to Him broken, and He—He is fixing me.  He is teaching me to love, like He loves.

It does not happen overnight, or in a month or in years—it takes a lifetime—it takes believing God and acting out what He shows me to do.   

Just recently, I had another incident where I reacted from emotion.  I thought I was beyond doing such things, but I am never beyond those things, because I will always need God.  Whenever I think, “I’ve got this.”  Life will throw me a curve-ball, and I will realize once again, “No I don’t have this, and God, please—HELP!! 

Being a mom, has taught me how amazing God’s grace truly is, as I am continually leaning into Him to just take the next step, when my strength has given out.  If that’s what you are learning as well—you are in a good place—you are in your Father’s hands—the safest place to be.

So Be Encouraged!!

What do I write about?

What do I write about?  Who do I write to?  These are questions that writers ask themselves. 

For years, God had been telling me to write, and I would start writing but lacked the conviction to continue to write.

Finally, I said to God, “If You really want me to write, please tell me what to write, and tell me what to write about.”

God said, “I want you to write a blog.  Write it to younger moms.  Tell your stories, so that they may have the encouragement to love their husbands and love their children.”

When God said that, He was restating one of an older woman’s purposes in Titus 2:4  to encourage the younger women to love their husbands and their children.

Finally, I had direction.  Finally, I had conviction.  I could do this.  I was still fearful, but I knew what I was doing, was in direct obedience to God, and that has helped me write this blog.

I have been writing this blog for just over 2 years.

I don’t have very many followers.  14 people liking my blog on WordPress—is a lot of likes for me.  My blog has been read in many countries—which is really exciting to me—and I am becoming friends with other bloggers across the globe-which is also exciting to me.

But why do I write this blog?  It’s pretty simple really.  I write to encourage.  I write to help.  I write to obey.

Most of my blogs, I ask God—what do you want me to write about?  And He tells me.

Almost always, my blogs are to show through my life stories—God’s faithfulness, God’s love, and God’s filling.

Here’s what happens after I write.  I am almost always tested in the area I write about.  My last blog was about, “Repairing the damage of your words.”  Guess what happened?

My husband and I argued. There was a point, where I could have ended the argument — but no, I did not control my tongue, and instead poured more fuel onto the flame.

After our disagreement, I turned to the Lord and said, “I don’t think I can do this anymore.”   I’m not sure what I meant by that—but that was how I felt.

God was very specific with me:  “I will not fail you, however, whatever or whoever, you are putting your worth, your belonging, your significance in –will fail you, and you will fail whoever is putting their worth, belonging and significance in you.”

” I will not fail you.    You belong in Me.     You have worth in Me.    You have significance in Me. ” 

After God spoke those words of encouragement to me, something tight and hurt inside me, was lightened. I realized that the needs I had to be loved, to belong, to have worth, to have significance–were already mine in the Lord, and nothing could take them away from me.

My husband and I were able to speak honestly with each other, and it was a healing talk—the kind that feels as if something pivotal has happened, and some old sore wounds were starting to heal.

Today, when I was going to share someone else’s blog for your encouragement, God said—“Don’t do that today.  Share this instead.”

So, I’m sharing this—because God does not just love me—He loves you, and He wants you to know—

“You belong, you have worth, you have significance!”  You belong in Him!  You have worth in Him!  You have significance in Him!!”

Praying that you are encouraged and have the courage to obey the One who loves you as no one else does and as no one else can!

Repairing the Damage of Your Words?

In Marriage, in relationships, words are powerful.  They can tear down; they can build up. 

This video, titled Repairing the Damage of Your Words, has been very helpful to us.  My husband and I both share this with you, in hopes that it will help you as well.

If after you have watched it, you think—that is great, but I have tried to control my words, and I just can’t seem to stop being angry or hurtful, what do I do?

First you are not alone.  The first step to healing is acknowledging the problem.

Second, God has given us His Holy Spirit to empower us and change us. If you click on the past sentence it will take you to a website that will explain how you can plug into God’s power, relying on His strength.

Third, we can ask others to pray for us, preferable a small group from a Bible Study, or a friend who will pray.

Fourth, God has supplied the church with men and women who can provide wise counsel. Their role is to help us focus on God and receive His wisdom.

We are praying for you!!  Please pray for us as well!!

May we be encouraged!!

Wedded Bliss?

This is a picture of my husband and I after we had been married for 2 weeks.  Don’t we look young and lovely? We were at a party being held in our honor by my husband’s parents. I must tell you that when this picture was being taken, I was wondering if I had made a mistake.  I was angry with my husband, and he was probably angry with me.   Why do I share this story?

To give hope, to give encouragement, to give courage.  And to give voice to the lie, that everyone else’s lives are perfect, everyone else is experiencing love and commitment, everyone else is happy.  This is a lie. 

My husband and I are celebrating 32 years of marriage.  Many times, we are challenged to love each other, forgive each other, and stay committed to each other.  Many times, we experience joy and fun and love in abundance.  We are human beings—and thus we are broken.

There is a song, called Broken Together by Casting Crowns, that speaks to the truth of this.

If you look under the song at the comments, you will read so many stories of hope, and encouragement, as well as so many people asking for prayer.  

These are the words to this song:

What do you think about when you look at me

 I know we’re not the fairytale you dreamed we’d be

 You wore the veil, you walked the aisle, you took my hand

 And we dove into a mystery

How I wish we could go back to simpler times

 Before all our scars and all our secrets were in the light

Now on this hallowed ground, we’ve drawn the battle lines

 Will we make it through the night

It’s going to take much more than promises this time

 Only God can change our minds

 Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete

 Could we just be broken together

If you can bring your shattered dreams and I’ll bring mine

 Could healing still be spoken and save us

 The only way we’ll last forever is broken together

 How it must have been so lonely by my side

 We were building kingdoms and chasing dreams and left love behind

I’m praying God will help our broken hearts align

 And we won’t give up the fight

Please know that we are praying for you and your marriage, and we ask for you to pray for us in our marriage.  We are a broken people, and we need God’s grace and strength to love and forgive each other.  We need God’s grace and strength to love and forgive each other!!!

May we be encouraged!!