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Gifts

Who Are YOU?

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Who Are YOU?

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It's the first of the year and I am cleaning out, straightening up, praying about direction and basically trying to get things back in order after the holidays. January feels fresh and anew as the cooler temps bid me to crack a window and smell the cleanliness of the air! Over the years, the Lord has been faithful to speak to my heart His desire for my life...the direction He wants me to go...the path He bids me to follow. Sometimes it seems more than I can do. Other times it's a walk in the park. This past year was a year of change. A year of new visions and the closing of doors. This year...It's time to begin putting feet to the vision He has written on my heart.

 

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I sometimes struggle with writing. Not because I don't enjoy it, or because I find it difficult to express my heart in writing (or on the screen), but because I forget that it is the Lord who first writes on my heart so I can write with a keyboard. My friend Jennifer over at The Kindle Crew expressed my heart about writing, so I thought I'd share it with you.

I’m a writer, who apparently never seems to write. Oh, but what you may not know about a writer is that we are always writing…in journals, in 5 subject notebooks, on post-its, on envelopes dug out from beside the seat of the car. We mentally write in the shower, on the pot, when our husbands are talking to us (love you, sweetie!), when we are venting, wishing, wanting, hoping for, dreaming about….we are writing. Words are everywhere. My family is learning sign language…I write with my fingers spelling out the words with characters. At times it’s almost as annoying as dreaming about Mario jumping up and hitting mushrooms with his head. (maybe that was just me as a teenager).

Unlike Jennifer, I didn't have Mario dreams...it was Tetris that fit every object in my dreams into nice neat rows and then vanished!

As I share this truth about me, I know many times I do not fully walk in the gifts and callings God has so graceously laid on my life. You never have this problem...do you??? Sometimes we find difficulty in confidently embracing Who We Are in Christ and How He has asked us to walk that out. Writing is more than what I "do". It is who I am. It is in the very fibers of my mind. It shapes how I look at life around me and governs the way I express my inmost thoughts, conviction, passions and questions. It is how I encourage, show love, tackle problems. I write. And even now, that is strange for me to see typed our in black and white staring back at me from my screen.

Be Bold. Be Confident. Walk FULLY in God's calling on your life!

These gifts and callings I am learning to walk boldly, confidently and in the fullness of:

I am a Pastor's Wife. I am a Homeschooling Mom. I am a Writer. I am a Servant. I am an Administrator.

I'm not there...yet. But I am making strides to listen fervently to the Spirit and to join Him where He is calling me. I am thankful that the Lord doesn't desire perfection...but a willing heart and obedient hands and feet. Who Are You in Christ? What are the gifts and callings He has placed on your life that you need to walk in the fullness of?

Katie

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A Prayerful Heart

A few years ago, the Lord began maturing in me a servant’s heart. I didn't always enjoy having a servant’s heart...but I have discovered a love for serving others in vast capacities that I didn't know before. I love how the Lord works in so many different corners of my heart...growing me into what He envisioned from before my conception. When I yield, His strength is made perfect and His perfect will can be walked out in my life.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!"                                  Psalm 139:13-17

I have always been someone who prays for others if they asked, but my prayer life has not been my strength. I can dive into God’s Word for hours, sing worship songs until I can longer sing; I can even minister to others’ needs with little effort or complaining. As for Prayer…well, I've always had to work at it. Don’t get me wrong. I pray every day. I pray with and for my husband and children. I pray if a hardship arises. I praise the Lord in prayer for His gracious provisions…but I have never been what I consider to be a prayer warrior or an interceder.

 I love that my past does not dictate my future!

I love that the Lord is stretching me in this area, for He has burdened my heart for many things and has given me opportunity to mature more in my prayer life. I love that He is teaching me to be someone who petitions Him for the needs of others, who seeks His face for even the small details and who longs to be in His company. I am finding myself before the throne of God in greater magnitude than any time in my life…and I am thankful. I still have much to learn and mature in...but that will come over the years of walking out daily this life of prayer.

I know I am still in the making; that God isn't finished with me quite yet. I know that God’s timing is perfect. I know that it IS possible to teach an “old dog new tricks.” PRAISE THE LORD!

'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

It has been hushed here on the blog front, but only because my heart has been robustly before my King learning to pray more fervently. I usually find myself writing from what I am reading and studying…so I haven’t had much to say as of late. I pray the Lord will refresh some of the posts He put on my heart over the past month, that I did not get typed out. I am thankful to my gracious Heavenly Father who forgives disobedience and uses me nevertheless…even in my smallness, He can move.

I pray for you…my readers, even though I may not even know your name. I pray for God to transform your days, years and lives. I pray that He will “show up” and you will KNOW it is Him. I pray for you to have a zeal for His word, a compassion for His people and that you will be His hands and feet when He needs you.

So what is God doing in your life? Is He teaching you something new or refining something old? Won’t you share?

Love to you all in the name of Jesus!

Katie

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Fitting into a Box

Yesterday, I wrapped gifts!  It took a while...I tend to me a little on the perfectionist side when it comes to wrapping packages...DON'T have a clue as to why! HeeHee!  Some gifts fit well into the boxes I had strewn out in the kitchen, while others...well, I'm still looking for the perfect fit.  

Which, of course, started me thinking about "fitting" it all into a box.  This year, MANY bloggers have been wrestling with Christmas.  Why we do what we do.  What do we need to change, if anything...and so on.  God made us all individual.  He gave us convictions, families, and lives that look a little different from the family next door.  My homeschooling doesn't look exactly like my sister's or my best friends'. The media convictions we have in my family are different than those around us...they are the convictions for OUR family.  It is what makes us unique, individuals that love the Lord where we are.  So why shouldn't our Christmas traditions look different from those around us?

 

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I am reminded of the story about the woman who is preparing Christmas dinner and the daughter askes her, "why do you cut off the end of the ham before you cook it?" Her reply is. "Because that's the way my mother did it."  After much investigating they find out that the great grandmother cut off the end of the ham to begin with because her pan was too small!  You see, sometimes we just get caught up in the traditions that have been passed down to us because it's what we've "always done."  We don't stop and ask the question..."WHY" or even does it FIT our family now?

 

We struggle to fit our convictions and promptings from the Lord to do something a little different into the BOX of Traditions for the season...AND there is a bad fit.  A buldging box that won't close and cannot be wrapped.

 

What is the Lord speaking to your heart for YOUR family that you are trying to squeeze into a BOX labeled Tradition?  Maybe it's time for a NEW box...

 

Just food for thought today.

 

Merry Christmas to you all!

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Gifts from the Heart...

Today, the homeschool group our family is involved in, had a Gift Making Day.  The point was to reitterate that Christmas isn't just about getting, more importantly, it is about giving.

We began by reading the account of the Magi in Matthew 2:1-12.

"Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him."And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.  And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born. And they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet,

'AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER, WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.'"  

Then Herod secretly called the magi, and ascertained from them the time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, "Go and make careful search for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, that I too may come and worship Him." And having heard the king, they went their way; and lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.   And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another way."

So WHY do we give gifts?  Do we do it out of tradition, or obligation? Is it our pride or insecurities that lead us to give to keep up appearance? This season, I urge you to take a few minutes and ask yourself WHY.  Talk with your family and encourage even the youngest to give something this year, whether it be a handmade gift or even the gift of time. Use gift giving as a catalyst to discuss the TRUE reason we celebrate CHRISTmas! You will be truly blessed!

Merry Christmas!
Katie

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