It’s A New Season Baby Girl!

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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

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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

 


“You Are So Lucky”

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“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!

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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

 

 


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……

 

 


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!