Living Life Brave

Posted on

I made a pretty dramatic change this week!
I cut off most of my hair and I changed the colour!

It is a big change for me, and we all that change is scary!

The thing is, I have been talking about cutting my hair for the last 2 years. Every time I would go to the hairdressers, I would say to the family “This time. This time I am going to do it!” And every time I would come home with it exactly the same. And they would all just smile at me.
Now there is nothing wrong with keeping my hair the way it was. I actually liked it long and blonde, I have had it that way for the last 12 years and I was quite happy with it.

But I wanted to be brave. I wanted to see what it would be like to look a little different than I have for the past 12 years. I wanted to see what it would take for me to make that change, and the catalyst was a comment someone made the morning of my appointment.

They said “You won’t, cause you can’t make decisions!”

REALLY!
I cant make a decision! Hadn’t I made the decision to not cut my hair for the last 2 years! That’s a decision right? To not change? Surely that’s a decision?

Or is that just being a chicken?
Am I a big fat chicken who cant make decisions?

I don’t want to live my life as a chicken. I want to be brave. I want to be courageous and for people to look at my life, and say “Yep, she is one girl who went for it! She took risks, she loved adventure, and she was brave!”

Now I know we are just talking about a haircut here! Really, the world is no different because I cut my hair, but you know what? I am!

I am different because I made that decision. I threw off all fear. I threw off my fear of what people would think, what people would say, whether they would hate it or not, whether I would get those polite “Ohhh, you have cut your hair” statements which we all know really means “I liked it the way it was.”

I put up a before and after photo on social media. It took me until the next day to get up the courage to post the picture. It’s not that I wanted validation from the world (although to be honest some of the comments made me cry happy tears!) but I wanted to show people that its ok to be brave. Its ok to make a change. Its ok to be bold. Its ok to take a risk. Its ok to get out of your comfort zone. We can do scary things and live to tell the tale.

Am I happy with my hair? Actually I am, but more than that, I am super proud of myself for being so brave!

So what could being brave look like for you this week?

 

 


But you’ve arrived!

Posted on

This is what a beautiful woman said to me the other day as we sat chatting, and I have thought a lot about it ever since.

I had just preached at Church and I was telling her how I was struggling with who I was, the calling on my life, and that I wondered what more God has in store for me. And she looked at me so confused and said: “But you’ve arrived!”

I knew right away what she meant, and I knew she meant it with good intentions.
Because Phil and I were the Senior Leaders at Church, surely this meant that we had achieved success. That we had reached the pinnacle of what God has for us.

I’m not sure how well I did at keeping a straight face and not look genuinely confused or to not laugh out loud. Not laugh at her of course, but laugh at the thought that I have arrived and someone could look at me and think that!

The Cambridge dictionary defines having arrived as “To have achieved success and become famous.” The Urban dictionary defines it as this “When one reaches the finish line or otherwise achieves a victory, that required great endurance.”

I can tell, you, friends I feel none of the above. And so as I do, I got to thinking….what would it mean for me “to arrive”?

What would my perfect life look like? (if there is such a thing!)
What would success look like for me? Not success in the world’s eyes, but in the eyes of the only one who really matters?
What would my life look like if I feel I have arrived?
Do we ever arrive?
Maybe our arrival is when we walk through those pearly gates and we hear those words “Well done good and faithful servant.” Is that when we actually arrive?

I don’t actually know the answer, but what I do know is that God is far from finished with me.

I know I have not arrived at God’s best for me. I know I am on a journey towards wholeness and a life filled with Gods truth of who I am. I know I feel so far away from having arrived, and some days I wonder if I will even get close!

I was flattered that she would look at my life and think that I had arrived! That she would think that I have made it. But to be honest, I hope I never feel I have arrived. My hope is that I will always continue to grow, I will always pursue more of what God has for me, and that I would never settle in life, thinking I had made it!

Because friends, when you walk with God, there is ALWAYS more!


It’s A New Season Baby Girl!

Posted on

Dear Gracie,
My Mammas’ heart is hurting today. But you know what? I am fine. I will be fine. And I will get through this.
But today my heart aches.

Today is an end of an era for you. I knew it was coming and I had prepared myself as well as I could, but today the tears are just there, waiting for someone to say the wrong thing (or the right thing) and I know they will come spilling out of my eyes at a great rate of knots. In fact, some may be already spilling out. But I will try my hardest not to embarrass you!

Poppet, today is your last day of school……FOREVER!
And it’s a good thing, it would be awkward if you didn’t leave right? You have  done your time (and yes, for a while you did think it was a prison) and now is the season where you spread your wings and see what the big ole world has in store for you.

It honestly feels like yesterday you had your first day at Kindy. You were so excited to finally be an official Kindy Kid. You had spent lots of time there before you were three with Jackson but you were so ready to be there on your own merit.

You spent hour upon hour doing puzzles, to the point where after a couple of weeks after starting, they had to get you out the four-year-old puzzles as you had done all the three-year-old ones! You lived in the family corner, and would often take extra morning tea for some of the kids who came to Kindy without it. Your beautiful heart shone brightly from day dot!

 

And then came school.
Again, you were so ready…me not so much! I remember I had a wee meltdown on your first day. I went shopping and bought all kinds of crazy things like skirts and blouses and high heel shoes! It was as if I thought that because my baby girl was growing up, maybe I should too! And you know what? I don’t think I ever wore the stuff I bought! I know you coped better on that day than I did!

You have been to 3 schools during your schooling career as well as doing a stint at homeschooling.
I know you don’t have the fondest memories of homeschooling, but they really were good times and I will be forever thankful we had that time together. I think we learnt a lot about each other during that time, and how different we are. But I think it also cemented our relationship to become what it is today!

Baby Girl, when you read this, I hope you know how proud I am of you!
You are a beautiful young woman. Not only on the outside but on the inside, and that is what I am really proud of. You are fun and bubbly and bring joy to any room you walk into. You live life to it’s fullest and your heart for people is beyond measure.
I know that whatever path God takes you down, you will shine and do it to your best ability. I am excited to see where He takes you and I know you will leave a beautiful aroma of Him where ever you go.
Remember He knows the desires of your heart, and He has an amazing plan for your life, even if you can’t see it at the moment.

Gracie Grace, as you enter this next season, know that I will always be here whenever you need me. It doesn’t matter how old we get, I am always here for midnight K-Mart & cheeseburger runs! I am always here when you need to watch untold tales of the ER. And you know I will buy you a burger whenever you (we) need it! I am here when you need a shoulder to cry on and I am here to celebrate life with you.

And poppet, don’t you worry about me! Your dear old Mamma will survive this, I may need a few coke zero’s and the odd Big Mac to get me through, but I will be ok!
Go into the world and be all God has called you to be, but most of all, make sure you have some fun along the way, and run into the world with arms wide open because it is an exciting place with unlimited possibilities!

Love
Your Mamma who loves you more than you will ever know.
ps….if you could please tidy your room before you tackle the world, I would really appreciate it!

 

 


#Strugglingwell

Posted on

Friends, can I be honest?
This week has been hard. And I mean really hard.

Not just one of those weeks where you are busy life is full. Nope, it’s been one of those weeks, where I have been attacked big time! It’s like the enemy is picking on me, and sending all his yuckiness my way!

Phil and I are coming up to a month where we have not been in the same country together. I am fighting off sickness. I jumped out of my comfort zone again and preached at Church. I have events that I am planning and speaking engagements to prepare for. The kids are facing battles and I am standing in the gap for them. Phil had food poisoning and was so sick, he couldn’t even talk to me over Skype. Do you know how hard it is to be sitting helplessly on the other side of the world when your husband needs you?

My healthy eating has gone out the window, my consecutive sleeping hours have numbers like 3 and 4 in them and I am exhausted! And to top it off my pantry is a mess (I know you might laugh at this one, but tipping point people, tipping point!)

Life was attacking me from every angle and so I was left with only one option:

I had a Party!

I felt like a rebellious teenager. You know that kind of teen that when her parents go away, she goes wild!

Yep, I had a full-blown, rebellious “I’ll do what I want” raging party!

I’m sorry if you didn’t get your invitation but this was a party just for me and my pity. Yes friends, I had a full-on pity party!

Out came the “It’s not fair” statements, the “Why God, why” questions, the “I don’t even care my pantry is a mess” lies and I hate to admit it, but “God, I quit” also came pouring out. It was not pretty friends!

But you know what? The enemy is not going to keep me down, and if he thinks he can, he doesn’t know me very well!
I am a fighter.

So, I got my fight on! I showered (always a good start!) I lit a vanilla candle (my favourite), I blasted out worship music (cause loud is good) and I Bible journaled (cause God’s word is always a good idea!) and I came back to my senses!

Friends, we always have a choice!
Yes, I was not in a good space but I still had a choice. I could choose to handle this badly, wallow in my self-pity, feel sorry for myself and whinge to all my friends about how tough life is.
Or I could handle this well. I could choose to focus on the good things, to count my blessings and to see all the good around me.

I chose option 2 because life is good and I am so blessed.

I #lovemylife and I have so much to be thankful for. Sure, things are not perfect, they won’t be until I make it to Heaven, but in the meantime, things are pretty jolly great.

I have a husband who I love and adore, and the fact that I miss him is a good thing!
I have friends who pick me up and bring me to my senses.
I have an amazing family who loves me unconditionally.
I have K-Mart who have just released their Christmas Stuff. (ok, so that ones a bit of a joke, but it still makes me happy!)

Seriously, life is good and as I fill in my gratitude journal every night I am reminded of how much good there is in my world.

And so this week, I choose to struggle well. I have an amazing friend Emily who lives by this mantra, and encourages everyone to do the same. If you don’t already listen to her podcast, you seriously should! (www.momstrugglingwell.com) When I was in the USA I got one of these seriously cool bracelets from her, and I wear it with pride this week knowing #Iamstrugglingwell

 


Lost For Words!

Posted on

It happens to me every time!
Every time I come back from Declare and I feel like I have no words.
Do you know how hard it is to be a writer when you have no words?

I come home and I just want to share all that God has revealed to me. I want to share my excitement and the revelation. I have so much that seems to bursting within me, and yet, I have no words!

People ask me how the conference was, and all I can get out is “oh, it was so amazing” and I feel like I have shortchanged them, left them hanging like they are waiting for the next sentence…..but there isn’t one!

Nothing.
Zip.
Nada.
Crickets.

Just no words.

I used to think “what on earth is wrong with me? Where are my words to tell people of my adventures?” But this year God revealed it to me. In the very last session at Declare, Jan Greenwood (who just happens to be one of my most favourite people on the planet) spoke about how we transition back into normal life after having had the most incredible God filled three days, where all we did was soak in Gods word, listen to incredible speakers, share our hearts and dreams with others, and not have to worry about cooking or laundry!

It was an amazing session. Jan spoke about how people back home have not had the same revelation as we have, and so we cant expect them to have the same excitement levels as what we do. And then God whispered to me:
“Kathy, this revelation and this time away were for you. Just for you. People will see the fruit of this in your life at a later date, but the things I revealed to you, and the words I spoke to your heart are for you.”

And with that, I am ok with my one-line answer.
I know that in His timing all will be revealed, but for now, it is a gift just for me.
A gift that I treasure as much as I do the time I got to spend with some of my favourite women on the planet.


“You Are So Lucky”

Posted on

“Man, you are so lucky”

Honestly, you would not believe how many times I hear this about my life!

“How did you get so much luck?”
“It isn’t fair how lucky you are.”
“The cards are definitely dealt in your favour.”

Whenever someone in our family uses the word luck (and it is not very often) I immediately turn around and say “We don’t believe in luck” and it is so true!

If you put things down to ‘luck’, it is like you are leaving your fate up to “The Universe” and that is something I definitely don’t believe in.
I know without a doubt that God is in absolute control over everything and so I don’t need to rely on ‘luck’ to get me through life.

As you are reading this, I am winging my way to America to attend The Declare Conference. I am staying with one of my closest friends for a few days before the conference in Alabama, and then I am headed to Texas to spend 3 days with some of the most beautiful women I know on the planet! And I can tell you, I am beyond excited, and am finding it hard to stop jumping around the room, giggling to myself, and praising God.

This is my fourth year attending Declare and it is the absolute highlight of my year. The food, the fun, the women (wal-mart) and everything about this trip is all my love languages rolled into one!

“Wow, you are so lucky” I can hear you saying…..but this my friends is not luck!

This is months and months of sacrifice and denial as I saved for this trip.
This is a year worth of praying that this would happen.
This is being faithful in the small things.
This is being obedient in my calling.
This is giving it all to God and allowing him to be Sovereign in my life.

This IS NOT luck!

To be honest, I use to get annoyed when people would say how lucky I am, but now I just let it go!
It’s so easy for people to see the fruit of your life and not see the process you have been through to get to this point.

No one was telling me I was lucky when my life was at its lowest and I was making bad choices.
No one was telling me I was lucky when my marriage was holding on by a thread.
No one was telling me I was lucky when I felt my world was falling apart and couldn’t see God in the midst of my mess.
No one was telling me I was lucky when I had a nervous breakdown.

But all of these things have been a part of my journey which has lead me to the here and now.
I can guarantee you that my life is not as shiny as it may seem on social media. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely #lovemylife, but just like everyone else, I have my own struggles to deal with. But I guess the difference for me is, I choose not to post those struggles on social media but save those for a few close friends. Not everyone needs to know how I struggle with who God is calling me to be! (and that my friends is a whole nother blog for another day!)

But on the other hand, I am not bragging about how ‘lucky’ I am. I am boasting in the goodness of God. I am rejoicing in where he has brought me from, and I am celebrating who I am becoming and the journey God has me on!

So please, next time you hear yourself ushering the words “she is so lucky” stop yourself and realise that you are just seeing the fruit of that persons life. You may never know the process she has gone through to get so ‘lucky.’


Stop Apologising!

Posted on

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)

Posted on

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!

Posted on

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….

Posted on

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!