Lost For Words!

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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.


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!

 

 


Declare Link Up!

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IMG_5637Ok, so this is my third year at Declare!
I know right….who would have thought!

That first year as I jumped on the plane (actually 3 of them!), travelled for 22 hours, flew thousands of miles and completely stepped out of my comfort zone, I had no idea what kind of impact it would have on my life. But boy oh boy, am I sure glad I did. I have made the most incredible life long friends, and this year as I get ready to travel again I am not nervous at all but filled with pure excitement at seeing everyone again….and making new friends!

So here are my answers for the link up:

1. If we were meeting in person, how would you introduce yourself? (job, family, career, ministry, where you live … share whatever details come to mind)

Hi, I’m Kathy. Yes, I do have a strange accent, and no it is not Australian! I live in New Zealand with my husband Phil and our two fantastic teenagers, Jackson who is 18 and Gracie who is 16. Our family is crazy and that is just the way we love it!
Phil and I have been married for 20 years this year and are passionate about seeing God restore broken relationships.
Recently we shifted towns and are now Seniors Pastors at a local Church. It’s challenging but we love it!I have just launched a new ministry for young girls called “Daughters of the King” and have our second event coming up soon!
I love writing, organising, Christmas, french fries and Jesus!

2. What is your favorite thing to write and why?

I love to write from the heart! I am currently studying at Bible College so have been doing a lot of theological writing and so I love to get back to blog writing and write whatever comes to heart. I know God has called me to encourage women, so this is who I target my writing for (although I do know of lots of men who read my blog!)

3. What is your favorite thing to read and why? (If this question is too broad for you avid readers, what’s a favorite book or blog you’ve read lately?)

During the year I tend to stick to self-help books, books to encourage me and books which will help me to grow. Over the holidays (our summer is Dec/Jan) I LOVE to read Amish novels, as they just take me to a whole nother world, one so much simpler than the one I live in!

mickey4. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

Go to Disneyland! It is my most favourite place (yes, you guessed it, I am just a big kid!) I have been 4 times (which is no easy feat from NZ) and I am definitely planning on going back!

 

 

5. What’s one thing you love about your blog and one thing you’d like to improve?

I love that it is my own wee place in cyber-space where I can be myself and write what I like with no expectations from others! One thing I would like to improve on is my knowledge of behind the scenes operations!

6. [Lightening Round] Would you rather …

  • Read on Kindle or paperback? Paperback
  • Drink coffee or tea? Coke Zero
  • Go to a musical or a movie? Both!
  • Vacation at the beach or the mountains? The Mountains
  • Have an exciting night out or a relaxing night in? Depends! Mostly an introvert but do love a good night out!
  • Watch sports, play sports, or no sports? Watch sports

Thanks for taking the time to get to know me a little better.
Looking forward to seeing you all in a few weeks!

 

imageKathy
xxx


Living A Blessed Life!

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So, I wrote last week how my life is so blessed! If you missed that blog you can read it here.

But I also wrote that I don’t just sit on the couch and wait for life to happen to me. I go out and I grab it with two hands and go after it with all I have. I don’t want to be a passenger in my life, I want to take control (with God at the wheel of course) and live life to the fullest. And so how do I do that? Well, here is just one example:

Last October I joined hundreds of women (actually, I think it could have even been in the thousands) who participated in a blogging group who wrote for 31 days straight. On one of the threads, everyone was commenting where they were from and so of course, I chimed in saying that I was from NZ. One of the ladies from the USA just happened to mention that she was coming to NZ for her brother’s Wedding. At this point I had two options: I could think to myself “Aww, that’s nice” or I could comment and ask more questions.

And so I asked more questions! It turned out that this blogger and her Mum were going to be 20 minutes from where I live! What’s the chances of that? Now, I know NZ isn’t that big, but I thought it was no coincidence that they were going to be so close to me. So I said if they had a some free time we could meet for a coffee.

a zipWe kept in touch over the months and a couple of weeks ago I met Lisa and her Mum Carlene, and we had the most amazing day!

Now, I am pretty sure Lisa and Carlene had a great day, but you know what? I was so incredibly blessed. The fact that I got to be a tourist in my own country, I got to spend the day with two incredible women who I just feel in love with from the moment I met them and the fact that I went zip lining through the NZ forest! It’s not every day you get to do that!

As I stepped out of my introverted comfort zone, God was right there waiting to bless me. Instead of spending my usual Friday doing housework, I got to spend the most incredible day with two incredible women!

So this week, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. Talk to that person who you wouldn’t normally talk to, take that risk, and go and grab life for all it’s worth!

As we parted ways at the end of the day, Both Lisa and Carlene invited me to visit them in the USA. And you know what? I think one day I might just do that!!

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When There Aren’t Enough Words…..

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Don’t you think its funny when you are meant to be a writer and you have no words…none!
This is day 2 that I have sat here and tried to fill this page with words……but Nothing! Zilch, Nada! Not a thing!

It’s not that I don’t have any words, I mean really, I am a woman so I am not likely to run out, right?. But it’s more that I don’t have adequate words to convey what is in my heart!

So I am opening up my heart and writing what pours out….

It’s been 5 days since I have been home from Texas and I am beyond grateful at what God orchestrated while I was over there. 10 days of sunshine, hamburgers, shopping, amazing hospitality, good friends, new friends and uninterrupted time with God, planning, dreaming and believing with Him for all He has for me. And in the middle of that was Declare. The reason I made the big trek half way around the world. The reason I left my family. The reason I stepped out of my comfort zone. And the reason I knew God had called me to go.

Declare Conference this year, was more than I ever dreamed it could or would be. After the bar being set so high last year, I went this year wondering if it was just going to be a fun holiday. It’s a long way to go, and a long time to leave my family for just a fun holiday! I knew God had more in store for me, but really, how could it top last year?  What more could God have for me?

IMG_5636As I prayed on the plane over, God reminded me that He has given me a voice for a reason. He has called and equipped me to speak into (women’s) lives and that He has a bigger plan for my life than I can see, think or imagine at the moment. He assured me that writing is still a big part of my ministry and even though things seem to be changing at light speed for us at the moment, He has still called me to write. He also reminded me that connection is critical for what He has called me to.

As I spent 3 days reconnecting with friends and making new friends, God spoke into my life in ways I couldn’t even imagine. Dinner conversations, chatting in line for the bathroom, or running into people in the hallway of the Hotel, I knew God had gone before me and pre-ordained my steps and who I would run into! God doesn’t leave things to chance or coincidence. Nope, He knew exactly who I needed to connect with and was with me every step of the way. He even made this introvert girl, who so often feels like a fish out of water, feel like she was where she needed to be, that she actually fitted in! And as for those 2 am talks with my roommate….I seriously have no words for what she means to me or the crazy God connection that we have!

a declare women

photo credithttps://www.facebook.com/cocopaigephotography

To Eryn, Michelle, Heather, and Kristin….I am grateful beyond words for you all. You stepped out in Wild Obedience when God asked you to put on a conference for Christian Women who blog. Because of these 4 women, the path God has me on has been altered, and the journey I am walking, has now become a journey with like-minded women who do what I do, and most importantly, get why I do what I do! I am part of an Army of Women that God is raising up. Each has their own voice with their own story to share, but we all share the same heart and we are all doing it for the same reason…….Glory for God.

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Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas to you all!

It’s the 25th of December today and my most favourite day of the year!

I am keeping this short and sweet as I’m sure you will be spending the day with loved ones and not scouring the internet reading random blogs!  To be honest, I have snuck away from my family for a few moments to get this done while we are all recovering from our enormous and ever so delicious Christmas dinner, but I am itching to get back to the family to play some of the games the kids got for Christmas, so short and sweet this will be!

My prayer for all of you reading this, is that you will take the time to reflect today on what it really means. Yes, the festivities are fun, the food is great and I LOVE spending time with my family, but when it comes down to it, today it’s all about Jesus!

That’s right, what’s most important about today is not the pressies, it’s not the rellies arriving on mass and it’s not even about the houses covered in lights, but it’s all about the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour who came to save us all.

If it wasn’t for this baby’s birth that we celebrate today, I honestly have no idea where I would be, definitely not where I am today with so many blessings in my life!

I cannot tell you how grateful I am to God for sending his son to earth to save us all from a life of sin and shame. I for one am grateful and today is the perfect day to reflect on this.

So as you go off and spend time with your loved ones, please take a moment to appreciate where you are, what you have, and to think about the man who gave His all for you to have this Blessed life.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

a king


Deepest Darkest Africa, Here I come!

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uganda3

Ok, so this week has been a biggie!

As we get back from a weekend away with family and start repacking our bags for Uganda, the realization of what we are doing has hit me!

We (being a nice white middle-class family, who, to be honest, love our creature comforts) are up and leaving the world as we know it and heading off to deepest darkest Africa. Ok, so maybe it’s not the deepest or the darkest part, but it sure is Africa! Every normal thing we take for granted will be ripped from us and we will be thrown into a whole new world! A world very different from our own.

We will have no electricity, hang on, I’m guessing that means no internet or Facebook either, woah, this reality thing is really is sinking in now! No running water, and apparently we won’t be having cornflakes for breakfast (next they’ll be telling me there’s no vegemite for my toast) All our much loved and adored creature comforts….gone the minute we step off the plane! Oh, and speaking of creatures, I have been warned to shake my shoes out before we put them on, as you never know what will crawl in there during the night, and to not sleep with my mouth open either!

It will be hot, it will be different, yes, there will be creepy crawlies, I will be completely out of my comfort zone, and no doubt smelling anything but roses after 2 weeks!

But you know what? I AM RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED!

Oh my goodness! How many people get the opportunity to travel to Africa with their family and have the adventure of a lifetime? Every time I feel myself getting overwhelmed with my “To Do” list, I stop, take a deep breath, eat another french fry and remind myself how Blessed I am. I know God will never give me more than I can handle, so if God thinks I can do this, then who am I to argue with him?

So as I try and pack my 15 kilo’s worth of clothing allowance into my backpack, I am doing my happy dance to some African music I have found on the net (much to the kids horror) and getting super excited about being taken out of my comfort zone and thrown into a world completely different from anything I have ever known or experienced before.

Alrighty God, this middle-class white girl is ready!