Stop Apologising!

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Last week I posted a video on social media.
And the minute I posted it, I started doubting myself:

Oh my goodness what have I done?
People from Church will see it.
The kids’ friends will see it.
Other Pastors and their wives will see it.
Those people who I really want to like me will see it.
Those girls who I so badly want to speak into their lives will see it.
Why on earth did I post it!!!

Those voices of doubt and insecurity started screaming in my ear. Those voices that tell me I am not good enough, that I am not worthy, and that I will never be all I wish I could be. The lies of the enemy started to attack who I am and who God has made me to be!

But then Gods voice spoke louder than those of the soul bullies and said to me “Kathy, this is who you are, and I love you for it. I love every single aspect of you, just you be you.”

And with that, I left the video up and carried on with my day!

You see, the thing is, I am who I am! And whether you meet me at Church, at the supermarket or come to my house, I am who I am. I don’t have different personalities for different situations. I am the same person no matter where I am, and so if people are going to judge me for a silly video, then they can’t know me very well!

It has taken a while, but I am ok with who I am! Sure, there are things I would love to change (wouldn’t we all?) but God has created me this way, and so who am I to doubt his craftsmanship? Who am I to try and change or squish who he has made me to be?

Now I know not everyone is going to like me, and again I am ok with that (well, most days I am ok with that!) but I have to be true to myself and who God has called me to be. And if that means I make an egg of myself, I’m ok with that!

I have stopped apologising for who I am.

And so friends, I want you to do the same. Stop apologising for who God has created you to be! Seriously, just STOP IT!
Be you. Be who God has created you to be. Stop apologising that you’re too short, you’re too serious, too conservative, too silly, too shy, too outgoing. Whatever it is you are apologising for…….STOP IT!

God doesn’t make mistakes and therefore you are not a mistake. You were not meant to be anything you are not. Stop looking at the girl next to you or the one on the internet and wishing you were more like her. Embrace who you are. Laugh at yourself. Have some fun. Stop beating yourself up and start accepting who you are, quirks and all! And if people don’t like the real you, then they don’t deserve to be your friend!

Let’s all start to embrace who we are and live life to the fullest, without apologising for who we are!

And for those of you who missed it, here is the video I put up:

 

 

 

 


Getting to Know Me (Declare Link Up)

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Hey!
I am Kathy.
I have been married to the love of my life, Phil for 21 years and have the two most fantastic teenagers, Jackson who is 19 and Gracie who is 17.
My number one job is wife and Mum to our two kids but that season is changing at a rapid rate at the moment, and I seem to be clinging on for dear life! Outside of that, we are Senior Leaders of a Church and I run a ministry called “Daughters of the King” where we speak Gods truth into 8-12-year-old girls.
I love Jesus, Christmas and french fries and all things American!

Ohhh, and I also write a blog!

I tend to live my life in a constant state of excitement! I can always find the good in every situation and I am always excited at what God has in store for me!

One of the things that I am most excited about at the moment, is the fact that I get to jump on a plane in a few days time, travel for 28 hours and spend some time with some of my most favourite women on the planet, and also that I get to make some new friends at the same time!

When did you feel called to be a digital evangelist, what’s your main medium and how long have you been doing it?
I have been blogging for 5 years. I have my own blog and I also write for a few other blogs as well. I also love speaking to groups of women and encouraging them in their God dreams.

What is your life scripture?
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live, and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice and hold fast to him.”
I love these verses! Every day we get to choose, and for so long I lived my life as a victim. I love that I can now choose, and I choose life!

 

What are your passions?
I absolutely LOVE speaking and writing on dreaming with God. It is something I can write and speak on for days! I also love to speak God’s truth into young girls. To show them who they are in Christ, and to replace the lies of the enemy with His truth. And travel, I would spend my whole life travelling if I could!

What is your favorite candy and/or food?
Burgers and fries! I would honestly have them every night if I could. I also love everything American that we cant get in NZ, jolly ranchers, milk duds, krispy kreme doughnuts, cookie dough ice cream etc etc etc!

Where is your happy place and what’s it like?
I have a number of them, but I love being by the water, whether it’s walking around it, sitting by it writing, or even in it! I always find God when I am near the water!

Are you working on any exciting projects that you can share? If so, please share!
I have just started working on a 6-week study for young girls. It is all about self-esteem, being brave, knowing who they are created to be, and being ok with that! I am only in the early stages but I am super excited about it!

How can we pray for you as you prepare for this year’s conference?
I would really appreciate your prayers for travel. That all connecting flights would connect, and that jet lag would not be a problem!

Thanks for taking the time to get to know me a little better, I cannot wait to see you all at Declare!

Kathy
xxx

 

 


My Time Is Drawing Near!

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It’s true, but no, I am not dying! Well not any quicker than I was yesterday anyway.

But I am very aware at the moment, that the time I get to spend with the kids is going to be changing from what it is at the moment! Jackson is furiously saving for his first house, and Gracie is finishing High School in a couple of months and looking at what the future holds for her! This time next year, things will look completely different for us. This excites me and scares me silly all at the same time!

Gone are the days, where Phil and I just make decisions and the kids follow along! We now have a calendar app so we can keep track of what everyone is doing! Jackson is probably not going to spend Christmas holidays with us as he is working and Gracie is in the process of looking for full-time work over summer. Things are changing friends, at a great knot of speeds, and this Mamma is trying to hold on for dear life!

And so a couple of weeks ago, when I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with Gracie, I knew I was going to make the most of it! My time with Gracie as I know it is drawing to a close. And I am ok with that. I am sad, but know this is what happens when our kids grow up. God has been preparing my heart for a while. He knew this was going to be hard for me, and so he has been gently guiding me as we navigate this new season.

Gracie and I took a road trip to my Mum and Dad’s as they were shifting house and we wanted to go down and help clean and say goodbye to my old family home. 6 hours in the car. Just me and my girl. Uninterrupted time with my baby and I was going to enjoy every single minute of it! And I did!

We stopped and took photo’s along the way. We laughed. We sang. We were silly. We had fun and we created memories! There was no pressure, no time constraints, and no one to tell us we couldn’t!

I savoured every minute of our time together. Gracie and I have taken many a road trip together but now she is growing up, they are becoming less and less as she spends more time with friends, and life seems to get busier and busier! I am not resentful of this but I am aware of it, so I can appreciate the time I do get with her!

It is a beautiful thing to say that you are friends with your daughter!
It hasn’t always been this way! When Gracie was about 13, she went through a “you are so awkward” phase with me and our relationship was not that close. But I am so thankful God told me to persevere, knowing she would get through that phase and we would end up as close as we are!

She is such an amazing young woman and I absolutely adore her. I am so proud of the woman she is becoming and seeing her walk out the things God has spoken over her life.

And so as we continue to navigate this new season, I am focusing on the here and now! I am appreciating the small things and enjoying the time I have with her before she flies the coop into the big wide world!


Bible Journaling….

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So last week I promised you I would share my Bible journaling journey with you, so here it is:

Denise Hughes book “Deeper Waters” has had a profound effect on me. It is a beautifully written book that spoke to me in volumes. You can learn more about the book if you click this link (she even gives you the first chapter for free!)

In her book, Denise talks about writing out passages of scripture to help you get into God’s word and more than that, to actually retain it! I have never been great at remembering scripture and so have always said to myself, that it just wasn’t my thing! But you know what? I want it to be my thing! So I am training myself. I admire people that can quote scripture with ease and seem to know where every verse in the bible is found. I may never be one of those people, but I will give it my best shot, and surely something will stick, right?

And so I have started writing out passages of scripture. Denise says this doesn’t have to be fancy. You can even get an old school book and just write in it! But for me personally, I want it to be pretty. I have always loved colouring in. I remember lying on our lounge floor when I was a kid and colouring in for hours. I remember sorting all my felts in order (yep, I think the OCD tendencies started back then!) and getting so excited when I would get new felts for my birthday!

And so for me, my scripture journal was going to be pretty! I first went searching the web for some inspiration, and then I went down to our local stationery store and got myself a spiral bound notebook, some gel pens and water colour pencils…..I was ready!

As I sat there, my perfectionism kicked in and I was too scared to write on the first page!

What if I stuffed it up?
What if I didn’t like it?
What if I made a mistake?
What if it wasn’t Pinterest perfect?

Breathe Kathy, just breathe! This is just for you, it’s not like your going to share it on the net!!!
What did it matter if it wasn’t perfect, that was not the point of the exercise. And so I just started!

I took my new stationery (which I am sure is another one of my love languages!) turned off all social media devices, put on some worship music and put pen to paper! Oh, the simple joys in life! I spent the whole day (guilt free) writing, colouring and creating, and I can tell you, I was one happy camper.

I never knew that getting in God’s word in a creative way could be so good for the soul!

I have sectioned my journal into months, and at the start of each month, I am keeping a gratitude diary to remind myself to look for the blessings in my everyday life. So every day I am writing three things that I am thankful for.

Phil and the kids joke and say “Are you colouring in again?” and I just say “yep” knowing that this journey for me is so much more than just colouring in!

I am not an artist by any means, but that’s ok! I am teaching myself lettering, and I am getting stuff off the net till I am more confident in my own skills (or where I get to the point where I don’t care!) But I am having fun, and I am soaking myself in Gods word, and that my friends, is what it is all about!

ps….For those of you wondering how my chronological reading of the bible is going…..it’s going great! To be honest, I am glad I have made it through Leviticus, that was seriously hard work! But I am loving it so much that I am 24 days ahead of my reading plan! Miracles, my friends, miracles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Getting into my Bible….

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I have started Scripture Journaling and I love it!

I have had quite a few people message me about it, so thought I would explain my journey here on the blog, but first I need to give you some background on how I got there…..

A couple of weeks ago our internet went down for 2 days. 2 whole days people! I know 1st world problems right?
And so because the internet was down I spent my time doing other things….I spring cleaned my wardrobe, organized my pantry, sorted out all my craft supplies and vacuumed the garage (I know, I am totally living the dream!)

But the best thing I did was start a new book. My friend Denise Hughes invited me to be on her launch team for her new book which is being released next week called “Deeper Waters.”
I started reading it because I wanted to support Denise, but I had no idea the impact this book would have on me!!
I couldn’t put it down and finished it in two days! It is not something I would say lightly, but this book has changed my life as I know it!

In it, she talks about getting into God’s word. If I was going to be totally honest, it is something I have always struggled with! Now I know all the reasons why I should, and I do read it, but it was only if I was doing sermon prep, was in desperate need of God or so I could “tick the box” for the day.  Now, I am not a bad Christian, I constantly have worship music playing, I read Christian books, I listen to podcasts, I pray and I spend time with God, but I just struggled with getting (deep) into His word.

Denise suggested starting with a chronological reading of the Bible, which I am doing. I am only up to Leviticus (did you know that Job comes after Genesis if you are reading it chronologically? I never knew that!) and I am honestly loving it. I am listening to it on my Bible app (I love the man’s deep voice as he speaks out Gods truth!) and at the same time I read along in my bible. I find that listening and reading at the same time really works for me! It stops me from getting distracted and my mind from wandering.

I love how God doesn’t do coincidences but everything is in his perfect timing. You see, I have never been a morning person and I struggle with functioning in the morning, let alone getting up and reading my bible. But a couple of weeks ago I started drinking New York Breakfast tea (that is a whole nother story I will share another day!) and so now I LOVE mornings! Miracles can happen my friends!

I set my alarm to get up early (well, early for me anyway!) I make myself a cup of tea and sit down with my bible! This is something I always wished I did, but now I am actually doing it and loving it! It is not a chore, it is not a tick on a to do list, and it is not done because I should. I am doing it because I want to!

I am purposefully staying off the internet more these days and instead of having FOMO (fear of missing out) on whats happening on facebook, I have FOMO about what I am missing in Gods word! I can’t wait to see what happens in the next chapter….it’s way better than any suspense novel I have ever read!

I have not given Facebook up completely. It’s how I stay connected with so many friends oversea’s and I love seeing whats happening in the lives of my friends, but my time is no longer consumed with scrolling through every spare minute I have, in case I have missed something!

And so you may be wondering where the scripture journaling part comes in? Well, stay tuned and I will share that with you next time……

 

 


My Wee Oasis….

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I had a bath last night!
I know, it’s not the most amazing revelation I am sure you have heard this week, but for me, it was a wee oasis in the midst of my busy full life!

As I sat there after dinner, I was thinking “Man, I really feel like a bath” but had so many other things I really should have been doing. As Gracie was walking out the door to meet a friend, she said to me “Mum, if you want a bath tonight (random thought from her, as I haven’t had a bath for probably a year!) I have a Lush bath bomb you can use.” That my friends was the sign, I knew this was a good idea! A wee oasis was just what I needed…..

But it didn’t start out as an oasis….I made the bath too hot and so I was having to wipe away the sweat as it poured down my face. The candle I lit kept fizzling out and so I was left to sweat in the dark with the window open to try and cool myself down, hoping no one would walk past (highly unlikely, but you just never know right?) This is not what I had imagined and so, I got out, fixed the candle, closed the window and got myself a large glass of water and started again!

This time, this time it was just what I needed! As I lay there in the warmth I let myself fully relax and not think of all the things I should have been doing. As I let the water wash away the aches of my body, God washed away the aches of my heart. As I lay there with no interruptions and no to-do lists, I was still for long enough that I could hear God’s gentle whisper as he spoke straight to my soul. He spoke of love and of dreams, and of the exciting things he has in store for me, and just for a moment I allowed myself to be taken away and dream of what things could look like if I allowed myself to fully trust him!

Who would have thought a simple thing like a bath on a Tuesday night could be so good for the soul?
As I eventually got out of the bath, I felt renewed from the inside out. I felt like I had been in a spa in the far east instead of in my bath tub in little ole TA. I felt like I was ready to hit life head on again, and this time, with God leading me, instead of me being so busy in my mind, that I can’t hear his voice calling me back to him.

I have been intentionally slowing myself down lately. Less noise, less social media, and less busy fullness in my life. I am seeking more of him and less of me. I am longing for less of the world’s influence in my life and more, way more of his.

So as Phil and I head off to a conference today and as I look at my calendar and see that I away for more nights in the next month than I am at home, I am ok with that! I am determined to keep this slower pace in my mind. To fully trust God in his plan and to know that there are good things in store for me. But more than that, there are good things happening in the here and now, if I would just slow down enough to hear his voice and to enjoy this journey that he has me on!

 

 


The Harder I Try…….

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Do you ever find the harder you try, the worse things get?
I’m sure it’s not just me right? Please tell me, it’s not just me!

The last couple of weeks, I have been really trying! Trying to be in a good routine, trying to eat healthier, trying to get enough sleep, trying to get a good balance in my life, and you know what? I feel I was better off when I wasn’t trying!

It seems as though, the harder I try, the worse things get. I feel cranky, overwhelmed, feeling like I am in over my head and generally feeling like I am not winning at life. And I can tell you, this was not the outcome I was hoping for.

It’s been little things along the way…..I have cut down on the amount of coke zero I drink and have been drinking tea instead. Not realizing how much caffeine some teas have, I had a cup before bed one night and at 3 am I was still wide awake, not even the slightest bit sleepy! The next day I just say, was one I was not proud of! But lesson learnt and now I only drink caffeine free tea after 8 pm!

The funny thing is, the week before I started all this, I was good! I wasn’t changing because things were bad and I needed a dramatic change, I thought things would get better and I would feel happier with just a bit more discipline in my life! Gosh, how wrong could I have been!

But you know what? I am not going to stop!

The easy option would be to go back to my old sluggish ways and not change. But that is not my style, I am too stubborn to give up, and so I persevere. I hang in there when it doesn’t make sense and it all seems too hard. I hang in there because I know change does not happen overnight and I hang in there because I know it doesn’t happen without opposition.

I will become a better person because of my changes and I will see fruit as long as I persevere!
And so tomorrow morning, I will again implement these changes and no matter what may come my way, I will be victorious!


You can’t keep me down….

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I have a cold!
Another rotten head cold, and I am feeling miserable!
This is the 3rd cold for me this winter and I am kinda sick of being sick.

Our family is not one that gets sick very often. We have gone for years and years with none of us getting sick. To the point, our Doctor rung us to see if we were still patients of his as he hadn’t seen us for so long!

But since moving to TA, we have had more sickness and injuries than we have had in the previous 5 years. We have had broken bones, damaged tendons, influenza, bronchitis, root canal’s, gastro bugs, headaches, unexplained aches & pains, and cold after cold after cold!!

Now, this may sound like I am complaining. I am not! Honestly, I am not!
But I do look at all the sickness and think to myself, that we are getting attacked. And that kind of excites me, not the sickness part, but the part where the enemy is so scared of what we are doing, that he is trying to attack us any way he can. And it seems he thinks he can stop is through our health!

I think not enemy!
If you think a broken bone or a rotten cold will hold us back, you don’t know us very well!
Team Strong are stronger than that, and to be honest, there is nothing that would stop us doing what God has called us to do! We are on a mission and we know we have been called for a purpose!

So, as I write this, I am grabbing yet another tissue, and blowing my nose. I am counting down till I can take more panadol and I am SO looking forward to my bed at the end of the day.

But I am also praising God! Praising him for all he is doing in my life and all that he has promised to us. I am thanking him for my #blessedlife and I am so grateful I don’t have to go through life without him. As I spend time on the couch, I am thankful that life can slow down a little and I can spend time in prayer and thanksgiving.

Let’s keep it all in perspective friends. Being sick is not fun, I am not trying to pretend that it is. But on the greater scale of things, what we go through now will fade in comparison to the glory and grace that we will eventually see.

So as we say in our family (and it is said with lots of love) “Suck it up princess” and let’s not lose our focus because of a wee cold or a broken bone! You cannot keep me down for long……


Dreaming with God

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I am preaching at Church this Sunday, and I am kind of excited!
I say kind of, because once again I am stepping out of my comfort zone, and that is never an easy thing for me! But on the other hand, I am excited because I am speaking on something I am super passionate about!

I am speaking about dreaming with God, and that is something I could talk on for hours! It is something near and dear to my heart, and I only wish more people would do it!

You know, so often people “settle” for life. They just accept their lot and think well this is it, I’ll just make the best of it. Or even worse, not make the most of it, but just struggling through it! I hear this from women on a regular basis, and honestly, it breaks my heart!

I have absolutely no doubt that God wants so much more for us than just what we settle for. There is a whole world out there, just waiting to be discovered and a world where there is adventure around every corner if only we would dare to chase after it.
Now, I am not saying we up and leave our lives as we know it. We still have jobs, responsibilities, and families that need looking after. But that doesn’t mean we can’t live an adventurous life!

I have recently finished a book called “Loving my actual life” by Alexandra Kuykendall and I loved it! It was all about not wishing for another life, but actually loving the life that God has given you. She looked at her life over a 9 month period and made small changes each month to be more engaged in her actual life. It was a great eye opener for me and so for the last couple of months, I have been implementing some of her idea’s and it is seriously making a difference.

I actually do love my life, but let’s be honest, there are some aspects that I don’t completely love! But that is just the way it goes, and no one’s life is perfect (no matter how shiny and amazing it may look on social media!)
But I am intentional about how I live my life. I seek God and adventure in all that I do, and I have an uncanny knack for turning even the mundane into an adventure. I always try and find the blessings in everything and I am careful who I allow to influence my thoughts and who speaks into my life.

But the greatest thing I do, to love my actual life, is to dream! I dream with God. Now, some of these dreams start off with just a daydream or a random thought, and other dreams come from my intimate relationship with God. Listening for His voice and opening my heart (and ears) to his promptings. God is in every aspect of our lives, and He want’s to bless us in all that we do. It is up to us how much we allow Him into our daily life, and how much we lean in and listen to His voice.

I have some super exciting things brewing, and I can’t wait to share them with y’all. But for now, I am continuing to dream and see where God takes these thoughts and dreams…..stay tuned for when I can share more with you!

So as you head out into your week, my prayer is that you would be open to his voice. Whether you are doing the extraordinary or if you are doing the mundane, that you would allow God to invade your thoughts and allow Him to plant dreams in your heart.

Dream big my friends!


#Blessed

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“Mum, you can’t do that, it’s so cheesy!”
“Do what?”
“Put #blessed” on social media. People will mock you!”
“That’s ok poppet, I’m ok with that!”

And you know what? I am ok with that! I am happy to be mocked and it is not going to stop me doing it!

I often finish things on social media with #lovemylife or #blessed. Now people have accused me of bragging, and maybe I am. But I am not bragging about me, cause we all know there is nothing particularly special about me right? But I am bragging on God and all He is doing in my life. And so yes if it’s bragging on how amazing my God is, then I will continue to do it.

I am very aware of things I put on social media. My life is an open book and I have many non-Christian friends. I am not ashamed of my faith or what God has done in my life, and so why would I not share that openly on social media?

Now, we all know that life is not perfect, and we all have ups and downs, but how am I glorifying God if I am complaining about Phil or the kids? How is that being a positive role model for the younger girls following me?

The world does not need to know every time I get a cold, or Phil doesn’t change the toilet roll. They don’t need to know when the kids have left dishes in the sink or when I have had a bad day. Sure, that is real life, and every now and then I will share this kind of thing, but in general, how is that encouraging or inspiring to someone who is watching my life?

For a few years now, God has called me to live my life as open and as honestly as I can. Whether it’s speaking at Church or writing on the net, I will always be me and I will always be open and honest. But more than that, I will always glorify God in everything I do!

And so as I continue my journey, I will continue to document it, and I will continue to hashtag it because at the end of the day, I am Blessed and I really do love my life!