There’s No Place Like Home

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I’ve lived in quite a few places over my short lifetime and none of them have ever really felt like “home”.

Some say home is where your family is.

Others say it’s an actual, physical place.

But what makes a “home” a home??

My childhood wasn’t horrible. I’ve got some rough memories, like everyone. It wasn’t a dream but wasn’t awful. My parents are great. I simply just never felt “home” in the few places we lived.

I always felt like there was the next step for me. Like the places I was at in those times wasn’t where I was supposed to be. They never felt like home.

We lived in Illinois until I was 12 and it was okay. I didn’t really love it but also didn’t hate it.

We moved to Indiana when I was 12 and I lived there until I graduated high school. That wasn’t home either, in fact I would say it was closer to hell, ha.

I went to school in Chicago for a little while and that never really felt like where I was supposed to be either. Then I went to school in Nebraska. Then I moved to Illinois again.

And again, none of those places were home. I’ve had people tell me they thought I was always running from my problems, going from one place to the next.

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My husband and I moved to Colorado August of 2016. It was hard. We didn’t have jobs right away, and once we got them they weren’t what we wanted to spend the next few years doing.

In January I got an incredible job doing what I love. My husband got his a couple weeks ago and God is good.

Last year was the hardest year of my life. I’ve never felt so alone, desperate, depressed, and completely broken. I was emotionally and verbally abused all year long working in a church, in the place that was supposed to be the most welcoming and encouraging. It. wrecked. me.

Goodness has God brought us such a long way since then.

Where is this going….

Once my husband and I  moved to Colorado, we found an INCREDIBLE I mean incredible church. With people who are actually intentional and encouraging. With people who want to really know how we are doing. Who like doing fun things, and who are our age and in our stage of life so it’s very fun.

We both have good job’s.

Colorado feels like home. I’ve never felt like this in any place I’ve lived. It feels right being here, and for the first time in my life I don’t want to be anywhere else. I feel extremely blessed to have a church family that genuinely cares about me and how we’re doing. I feel blessed to be able to drive a short ways to the beautiful mountains and get exercise. I am blessed because I’m at a job where my boss is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and my coworkers genuinely care about me and want to help me succeed. I feel blessed to have a husband that loves me through all of my moods, who chooses me every day.

I am blessed and this is HOME 

So what makes a home a home? I think a lot of it has to do with circumstance. But I’ve also learned that I choose my attitude too. And I can choose to hate my life every day or I can choose to feel blessed by what God has given me.

All of the previous places I lived was either because I had to, or because it was where I thought I was supposed to be or where I knew others wanted me to be. None of them were because I wanted to be there, because I chose it.

I also think God doesn’t show us where He wants us to be until the time is right. And it is all in HIS timing.

I believe Colorado is my home because this is where Jesus wants me, but it is also where I want to be.

Where do you want to be? And do you feel like you’re there?

This life is too damn short to not be where you want to be. I say, take a RISK and do what you want to do. A lot of people thought Jacob and I were stupid for moving to a place with no jobs, no real plan. But we knew this is where God wanted us to be and He has completely blessed us in this place.

It is worth the risk.

GO TO YOUR HOME 

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A Light At The End Of The Tunnel

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Goodness. The last, about 8ish years, have been off and on hard for me. My cousin died when I was 14 and thinking back to that time, that’s what probably started my struggle with depression. The summer I met Jacob, My husband, was one of the best I’ve ever had. After that I really struggled. I transferred to a new school where I knew hardly anyone and became more introverted from lack of people to hang out with. After college I was on my internship where I struggled more and felt more alone than I ever had in my life. It was definitely hard getting married and struggling with that. Thank goodness God gave me Jacob. He is honestly the most patient and loving man I have ever encountered besides Jesus.

We moved to Fort Collins about two months ago. It was hard at first, as it is moving to any place new. We knew God wanted us here but that’s about as far as we had gotten. Jacob got a job after a couple weeks, one that isn’t fun at all, long and hard hours. And I hadn’t found one until last week. I’ve been stressing about money way too much and definitely not giving that fear to Jesus. Again, we knew God wanted us here but that was about it.

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In my time of unemployment, I had a lot of time to think and it wasn’t always a good thing. I had time to feel sorry for myself and really start to believe that I was a loser and nothing good was ever going to happen. I couldn’t find a job, I have a college degree, and that made me feel like the biggest loser in the world. Being honest, I was probably more worried about what others thought of me. I kind of started distancing myself from people and avoiding questions that were being asked.

I really feel like God has asked me to step away from ministry in the church. I’ve realized how, I don’t know what word to use, legalistic (not sure if that’s right) my experience was growing up. I’ve always felt kind of trapped in the churches I grew up in. My dad is  GREAT pastor and it has nothing to do with him. The whole denomination. Too worried about how things are done verses being real and building relationships with people. I always felt like how I loved Jesus and how I loved others was wrong. I never felt like I could fully be myself. And Internship just solidified all of that. I think God put me in that situation to help me see that working in a church isn’t for me.

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Fast forward to now. GOD IS GOOD PEOPLE. I really feel like I’m at the end of this long dark tunnel that I’ve been in and out of the last 8-9 years. A lot of it has to do with my attitude and how I choose to view situations. But, a lot of it also has to do with where I’m at and who I’m around. I’m learning things about myself and how I can view myself in a more positive way. I’m really seeing and experiencing for the first time what Freedom In Christ really means and feels like. Its crazy, I grew up in the church my entire life, never went to public school, and I always felt a weight, I always felt like I was trapped.

I’ve started volunteering with Young Life (if you don’t know what it is, go look it up, seriously a freaking awesome ministry). We go into schools (we are assigned one on a team) and just love on kids. Its literally all I’ve ever wanted to do. I have a huge passion for High school kids and I love Jesus. I want them to experience the freedom and love there is in having a relationship with Jesus. Life is never going to be easy but dang, with Jesus by our sides, it helps a ton. There is hope. There is love. There is forgiveness. And most importantly, a community of people, of believers, that are there for one another. I have never fully experienced this until now as well. Jacob and I found a AWESOME church. They are a family and they really will walk with you through anything. If you’re struggling with your faith, they’ll walk with you through it instead of telling you you’re wrong and you have to believe whatever they do. I never felt like I was allowed to struggle growing up. The answers were always there and you weren’t really allowed to have questions.

I went to a leadership weekend with Young Life and wow. Its all volunteer and these people, young people, have such a passion for middle school and high school kids. They WANT to be in their lives and to lead them to Jesus. It’s so crazy awesome. But they also want to be in one another’s lives too. You’re put on a team and you don’t do a lot by yourself. That’s Jesus’ model. Living in community and doing His work TOGETHER. That’s what He made us for. I was struggling on the leadership weekend because I had never been around so many awesome people before. And one of the leaders told me that they’re there for me, to help me through this struggle, to help me really grasp what Freedom in Christ looks like.

IT’S SO GOOD. I can go to church and worship how I want and not feel like I’m being looked at weirdly. I can love others how I feel that God is asking me and not be told that it’s wrong, that I’m spending too much time with one or two kids. I’ve never felt so free in my life and it is so good friends! That’s what life with Jesus should look like. We shouldn’t have to feel like we have to hide who we are, who God has made us to be.

Jacob and I also started going to a young married couple’s Bible study and I love it and the people as well. So many people who really truly love Jesus and others. I’ve never been so encouraged in my life and I hardly know these people. I can simply see their love for Jesus and others.


I’m not writing this to say my life is perfect and things are great. It’s been a long hard season of struggle, questioning, hurting, being completely broken on my knee’s crying. I am writing this in hopes that someone who reads, who has been in a long hard dry season of life, will know there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. That Jesus will pull through. I think He brings us through hard times sometimes so that we learn to lean on Him and Him only.

You are loved by the King of Kings. And He is right here with you, holding your hand, drying your tears. It may seem like there will never be a light but there always is with Jesus. And that’s why He gave us one another. To help each other get there. I’m so excited to see what God does the next few months for Jacob and I. I can just feel the hope and I know it’s going to be so good. How? Because God is good, all the time, no matter what.

I’m still struggling with a few things, but that’s life. We are always going to struggle. Jesus doesn’t promise that this life will be easy – that’s why we have heaven to look forward to. But, I am learning how to move through that struggle and to share it with others so they can help me too and vice versa.

“The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail”  Isaiah 58:11

I am praying for all who read this. And I hope you have the strength to reach out to those around you. Walk with them as you walk with Jesus through your struggle. Find a community where you can truly experience what it looks like to be FREE. Because Jesus gave us that freedom when He died for YOU and ME.

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I am super obsessed with this song right now. Worship is one of the ways I feel closest to God. I think He gives people amazing gifts so that others can feel His presence through music. Enjoy.

 

COME. TO. ME.

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Two blog posts in 10 days? I’m not sure how this happened, really.

I am sorry if I keep saying this. I am not okay. I am really hurting and feeling more broken than I have in a long long time. I am really struggling to find my footing after the worst year of my life. I have been so hurt by the church it’s unreal. And now, I understand what thousands of people have gone through. And I am sorry if you have been hurt by the church. It is NOT okay. We need to be better. For one another.

But that’s not what this post is about.

And it’s not about my struggle either (well maybe a little)

But it’s about how, again, in my most desperate moments, God still speaks. To me. To you. We simply have to be open and willing to let Him in.

COME TO ME.

He whispers this every second of every day.

I really find Matthew 11:28 a comfort (and would like it tattooed someday)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

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My struggle today is work. It has been a lot harder finding a job than I thought it would be. We did choose to live in one of the coolest places ever, so it makes sense.

So I feel stupid. I feel like a failure. I want to do something that’s worth something (more in my eyes than anyone else’s).

I want to feel like the thousands of dollars spent on school was worth something.

But really, I just want to serve Jesus. And I need to get outside of myself and recognize that I can do that literally anywhere, doing anything. But still, I’m frustrated. I don’t understand what God is doing at all. Because I have such a fire inside of my heart for kids, more specifically high school kids. It brings tears to my eyes thinking of my dream job. Getting to walk through life with them, helping, guiding, loving. It’s literally all I want but I know God’s timing is perfect. (but please not in a church).

So, while sitting in my misery last night, God urged me to open His word. Again, I opened it and He threw in my face what He wanted me to read.

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Isaiah 58:11-14

“11 The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.”

To me, God was reminding me that He is always here. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in a sun-scorched land. But I can imagine how hot it is and I would imagine one would want a lot of water. This verse is saying that even in those times, Jesus is guiding us. Wow. I wish I would remember that every time I worry about something. HE IS ALWAYS THERE. I think we just forget to “come to Him (me)”. We forget that He has already said “ask and it shall be given seek and you will find, knock and the door would be open”. I know all of this but I just forget to ask, or am afraid to.

You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”

God showed me here that once I start trusting Him, looking to Him, going to Him, He wil show me what He wants to do, where He wants me to be. We, as believers, are repairers of broken walls, we are restorers. Or we can be. And I think we forget that. We forget that the power of Christ is ALIVE inside all of us.

1“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
    and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
    and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
    and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
    and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

And this last bit hit me kind of hard. I felt Jesus reminding me to stop trying to live in the world. Trying to please those around me, or even please myself. To stop looking for the “next best thing”. To stop worrying about money and trying to attain a certain salary. To stop trying to be someone I’m not because I think it’s what everyone else wants. He’s saying, “hello Katrina, I AM all you need to be satisfied, look to me and I AM where you will find your Joy.”

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I hope this is encouragement for you. Yes, I have been struggling a lot and I know I will continue to do so, but I am trying my best to put my hope in Christ and not the world. To look to Him, to come to Him in all things. And my prayer is that you will be able to do the same.

He LOVES YOU so freaking much. He wants to hold you in His arms. If I’m being honest, a lot of times I don’t let Him hold me. He wants YOU.

So next time I have a melt down or am feeling sorry for myself, I am going to try my best to cling to the one who made me. To the one who literally tells me to come to Him with EVERYTHING.

  1. Come to Me
  2. Stop trying to live up to the world’s standards
  3. I am your Joy, Come to Me.

Rest in His presence today friends. Spend that time with Jesus, He wants you, all of you. He is in love with every single part of you, every. single. part.

Your Faith Has Healed You

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How often are we this woman? 

Reaching out to touch anyone or anything to heal our wounded hearts. Crying out in the darkest moments of our lives trying to find whatever it is that can heal us. On our knees in desperation for something, someone, anything, anyone to help us. To guide us. To lead us.

If we could just touch Jesus, physically touch Him, all our problems would go away. If we could just have one conversation with Him over coffee at our favorite shop, all our questions would be answered. We would be comforted by His simple presence.

But He’s not physically here.. We can’t see Him, or often times even hear Him above all the noise of this world, above the pain in our hearts, above the hurt we’ve felt. 

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The last year as been a real B for me. In the next few months I will share the pain and hurt I’ve experienced through working in the church. Right now, I’m still too hurt and angry and confused and broken to figure out how to write it out. And honestly, I’m asking

Why me God??

Why did I have to be used, abused, and hurt over and over again with no way out for a year?

Why did I literally have to come to a point where I didn’t feel like living anymore was worth it? Where I felt like there was no other way out of my pain and hurt?

Why me God??

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, slowly of course, since I was 15, its that God uses all of our situations for good. It’s hard to see it most, if not all of the time, but He is good, ALWAYS. When I was 15 my 14 year old cousin died and I felt so lost and confused. I didn’t understand how God could let something like that happen. But because of my cousins faith, because of the testimonies that other 14 year olds gave at his funeral, I started having a real relationship with Jesus. That situation sucked and still does 8 years later but man oh man, God is good. I wouldn’t have the passion and fire for Christ that I have without that situation.

It is still hard for me right now to understand why I had to go through what I did this last year. Typing this up makes me want to cry forever. But still, through it all, God is good.

We’re living in Colorado now, and it’s been great. I am still looking for a job, confused as to what God is doing, where I’m supposed to be, who I should be pouring into. But again, He is good, Always. I just want to serve people and love them. I want to show Christ to them by how I love them. But I don’t even know where to begin because it’s hard for me to see beyond my pain and hurt right now. I feel God stirring something in my being. I feel Him telling me to be patient because He’s going something great planned. Whether it’s a dream job or a healthy church to be apart of.. no idea right now. But I know something good is coming. I just have to be patient and have faith.

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I got off my lazy butt this morning, actually got up before 8 and went for a run. Got some laundry done, cleaned, and then decided to read my Bible. I haven’t been the best at being consistent lately.

I really believe that God can do cool things when we randomly open the Bible up. I believe there are things He wants to show us in those moments, we simply have to be open to what it is and be willing to take that time.

Here’s what I got from Him this morning.. 

                              Luke 8:40-56

I’m going to make you open the Bible and read it.

This is where the bleeding woman touches Jesus in a HUGE crowd of people. The Bible says the crowds almost crushed him. This woman had been bleeding most of her life and knew that if she touched Jesus she would be healed. He literally felt the power go out of Him and told the woman she was healed because of her faith. Because she believed by a touch that she would be healed.

Jesus was on his way to heal a sick girl as well. When he got to the girls house with her father and huge crowds, she was dead. Jesus told the people she was not dead just asleep. He touched her hand and told her to get up, she was raised to life.

AHHH. How good is this Jesus???

All he did was touch people and they were healed!!! And While we don’t have Him to physically touch, He is there. He told the bleeding woman and the girl’s father to have faith and they would be healed.

This spoke to me. I feel like Jesus is screaming at me to just trust Him. To have faith. To believe that I will be healed. And I know I will. And it will be in His timing.

I am overwhelmed with love for Jesus. He is so good. He promises to always be with us. He tells us to have faith and the mountains can move.

So what can we do today? What can you do today to help your faith? To move those mountains? To begin healing? 

Reach out and touch the Savior, the King of the universe in whatever way is best for you. Have faith and believe because He IS GOOD. All the time.

I hope this has encouraged you. I am still very much hurting but I know God is good. I know He is sovereign. And I know that through my pain and hurt, He is working. He is here. Guiding me, protecting me, encouraging me to reach out and have faith. I pray that He will do that for you each and everyday.

Give Him your time. Let Him move those mountains in your life. 

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Also, If you haven’t yet, go listen to Hillsong United’s new Album Of Dirt and Grace. It was recorded in different parts of Israel where Jesus walked. Truly incredible.

I hate Goodbye’s

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Ahhhhhhhhhh so many thought’s in my head (no different than any other day).

Because my job is almost finished, I can start opening up about it on here. I started working at a church almost a year ago. It is a year-long internship through my school.  I have a 4-year degree in Behavioral Science and Christian Educational Leadership. This Internship is the 5th year to my degree and was a requirement to get a certain certification that I will not use, at least not in the next few years.

To say the least, it has been hard for so many reasons. As I slowly process the year over the next few months, I will open up about it. I still cannot yet because I am still at this job for 15 more days. A lot of emotional abuse has happened and I haven’t really had time to deal with it/can’t until it is done and I am away from the situation. God has for sure been testing me in being in a very difficult situation with no way out. I have numbed myself a lot.

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I have learned how healthy seeking help is. I started counseling a few months ago. I was having not good thoughts and knew I needed to do something about it. I am so thankful for my husband this year. I wouldn’t have not made it without him by my side praying for me and talking me through all of it. Again, I know I cannot fully heal because I am still in the situation so to fully move on, I need to be out of the situation. I plan of seeking help once I move to Colorado.

ANYWAY….

Despite all the shiz that has gone on in the last year, I have fallen in love with the people I have served in the church. God calls us to love and be present with one another, to walk through life with one another, to pray with one another, etc. And I have made it my mission and goal to do that in the best way possible this year. I have intentionally gotten together with groups of people and individuals to learn more about them, see how they are doing, praying with them, and sharing my struggles as well.

Gosh I love people. I seriously love getting to know people. Having coffee with them. Praying with them. Teaching them. If I could have a job that simply required me to have coffee/meals with people all the time where I got to pour into them the love of Christ, I would be in heaven. I hate office work and would much rather be with people.

SO, the time that I have spent doing that this year has paid off. I have build incredible relationships with SO MANY people. I feel extremely blessed.

Again (sorry if I say this a lot), this year has been hard and I have learned (not healthy) how to suppress feelings and go through life ignoring things. I only have 15 days left in this place and I don’t even know how to begin dealing with that. I love these people deeply. I feel deeply for most of the people in my life. I just love people and I want to be as intentional as possible with them. Its a gift God has given me but is also a curse because my heart physically hurts when I have to leave a place where I have spent intentional time building those relationships that God asks us to build.

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Despite all the hardship, God has blessed me with all of these people. I am really sad and not sure how I am going to say goodbye. And then there’s the HS students I’ve spend all year pouring into. I don’t know how I will say goodbye to them either. I have seen them grow in so many ways this year and it is going to be hard to let go.

Why do we have to say goodbye?

Why can’t all of our favorite people be in the same places?

Jacob and I are blessed by all of the great people we have in our lives. I can think of about 10 people (not family) who I know would do anything for us. And half of those people are trying to move to Colorado in the next couple years.

This is what we’ve concluded. Life is short. And people matter. So we want to do everything we can to get all of our favorite people in the same place, or at least state. We want to have worship nights. Bible studies. Intentional time with one another, pouring into each other in the way that Christ asks. And of course there’s time for fun too. Fun probably takes up the most time.

Life is too short to not be where you want with who you want. Jobs are whatever, they aren’t forever. People are.

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So yes, goodbye’s suck and I still hate them. But God is good and He blesses us with wonderful people in every season of our lives. We just have to be intentional in all of those seasons in building important relationships that last for eternity. And the crazy awesome thing about being a believer is we all get to worship Jesus someday TOGETHER in heaven.

Next time you’re really struggling with life or in a rush or need guidance or encouragement, take the time to be that for others and it will happen for you. Even when I thought I had nothing left to give this year, God gave me the strength and it has paid off. I have created relationships that I know will last a lifetime. God gives us the strength even when we think we have none left.

-K

Slacking, To Say The Least

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Man Oh Man, have I been slacking. On this page, in my workout life, in my friendships, etc.

My job has been weighing me down this year. I love the people and the kids but the every day environment is very hard to be in. I’ve let it get to me in every way possible.

I’ve become so lazy. I’d rather sit and watch TV and eat food than work out or spend time with Jesus, or invest in my distance Friendships.

The last few weeks have been a mixture of good and bad. The one thing I’ve managed to stay pretty consistent at is spending time with Jesus every day. And because of that, I’ve stayed somewhat sane.

In another post, I will talk about the book I’m reading and how it’s helping me find purpose and passion again in my life. I will also talk about a ministry conference I went to for youth ministers and how it also gave me hope for the future.

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My husband and I are moving to Fort Collins, Colorado in August. We are very excited. We will be living with his brother and a friend’s brother. We are so excited at the thought of being around people. The last 10 months have been hard on us. We don’t have a christian support system where we are physically at and it has been hard. We are excited to be around encouraging people. We are excited to worship and get in the word weekly with friends. We don’t have jobs yet, but I know God will provide.

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I am taking a risk I don’t usually take talking about the next part. I feel heavy. In so many weights but mostly my body. I am not fat by any means, and I know that. But I’ve slacked off more than usual. I’ve struggled going from college to “adult life”. I realized in college I walked everywhere for everything and now, I don’t do that and it’s starting to show. I have no one to work out with here, and that makes it hard for me to be motivated.

I don’t want to pay for one of those challenges that every one is posting about. I want to do something on my own and prove to myself that I can do it. But I need help and encouragement along the way. I am going to post the workout I am working through, and if you would like to start this journey with me, that would be great! I will keep updated posts on how I’m doing.

I know God has plans for the future and I completely trust that He will work my life out. I simply need help and reaching out for that help is not easy for me. I keep a lot of things in and assume people don’t care because of how things have happened in the past.

 

So please start this journey with me. And keep me update on how you are doing. While working out everyday, be sure to spend time in the word, too. It is so important to spend time with Jesus. He wants to get to know you as you get to know Him.

 

10-Week Workout Plan

 

Monday                                                                      Tuesday

150 Jumping Jacks                                           80 Jumping Jacks

50 Crunches                                                       50 Vertical Leg Crunches

20 Tricep Dips                                                    20 Sit-ups

15 Squats                                                             15 Tricep Dips

20 Lunges (each leg)                                        20 Squats

70 Russian Twists                                              10 Side Lunges (each leg)

20 Standing Calf Raises                                   50 Bicycles

5 Push-ups                                                            15 Wall push-ups

10 Lunge Split Jumps                                                40 Russian Twists

 

Wednesday                                                               Thursday

90 Jumping Jacks                                                  100 Jumping Jacks

20 Tricep Dips                                                        25 Vertical Leg Crunches

10 Sit-ups                                                                  20 Squats

30 Bird-dogs                                                            20 Walls Push-Ups

30 Second Plank                                                        50 Russians Twists

30 Squats                                                                      15 Second Side Plank (each side)

40 Crunches                                                                 10 Lunge Split Jumper

10 Oblique Crunches (each side)                           5 Jump Squats

20 Standing Calf Raises                                         40 High Knees

 

Friday                                                                                    Saturday

60 Jumping Jacks                                                            50 Jumping Jacks

40 Crunches                                                                       20 Squats

10 Sit-ups                                                                           100 Russians Twists

10 Tricep Dips                                                                   5 Kneeling Push-ups

20 Side Lunges (each side)                                            1 Minute Downward Dog

15 Incline Push-ups                                                         15 Jack Knife sit-ups

10 Oblique Crunches (each side)                                  10 Lunges (each legs)

30 Butt Kickers                                                                     20 Bird Dogs

5 Jump Squats                                                                       20 Inner Thigh Lifts (each legs)

15 Jack Knife Sit-ups

 

Sunday                                                           Cardio (by week)

45 Jumping Jacks                                       Week 1: 1 Min Run, 2 Min Walk (7x)

15 Squats                                                         Week 2: 2 Min Run, 2 Min Walk (5x)

5 Jump Squats                                              Week 3: 3 Min Run, 2 Min Walk (4x)

50 Russian Twists                                      Week 4: 5 Min Run, 2 Min Walk (3x)

30 Second Plank                                          Week 5: 6 Min Run, 90 Sec Walk (2x)

10 Standing Calf Raises                         Week 6: 8 Min Run, 90 Sec Walk (2x)

5 Kneeling Push-ups                                Week 7: 10 Min Run, 90 Sec Walk (2x)

30 Second Superman                               Week 8: 12 Min Run, 1 Min Walk (1x)

10 Lunges (each leg)                                 Week 9: 8 Min Run, 15 Min Run, 1 Min Walk,

40 Crunches                                                                               5 Min Run, 10 Min Run                                                                                      Week 10: 20 Min Run Continuously

Life is good and God is good.

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Man, the last 4 months have been a bit of a roller coaster. I mean, the last 9 have been especially hard but the last 4 have been more so. My husband and are decided to take a step of faith and move to Colorado. So we are doing that in the middle of July. It is very exciting but also scary. We are in the process of finding a place to live and also jobs. We don’t have the opportunity to go to Colorado before and find jobs, so we are going to move and hope God does His thing, which He will.

As I have stated before, I have been learning so much about myself lately. About God, about relationships, about life. God is always teaching me something and it isn’t always the easiest but still so awesome that we have a God who teaches us even in the struggle. We simply have to be open to what He has to say.

My best friend and I went to this HUGE worship concert in Indianapolis last weekend (April 9) and it was SO GOOD. It is called Outcry Tour. I have been before but this time was different. Probably because I got to go with my best friend but God opened my heart and eyes to some things and He is slowly slowly bringing some passion and excitement for ministry back into my heart (Which is a huge deal because of how this year has gone).

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE worship. It is the one way I feel closest to God. I can’t explain the feeling I get when I’m with hundreds of people, worshipping the same Jesus Christ. Where I get to lift my hands and its just me and the Father. It is SO GOOD. Thank you Holy Spirit. There were around 12,000 in Indy and it was so great. The bands were Hillsong Worship (Taya Smith was there HOLLA), Elevation Worship (My obsession), Kari Jobe (that woman melts my heart), and Jesus Culture. All bands are so on fire for Jesus, all bands are there for one purpose and its to worship and bring people to Jesus. They aren’t there to put on a show, they aren’t there to compete, they are there to help more people experience the goodness the Father has for His people. They are there to show others what following Jesus looks like, how good it can be, how hard it can be, and how we are all here for each other in this walk.

The speaker was Brian Houston. He started Hillsong Church in Australia. Guys, this guy gets it and he gives all the glory to Jesus. IT IS SO GOOD. He starts speaking and my friend looks at me and says, “he sounds like Bruce from Finding Nemo” and we both start laughing. Then Brian in his Australian accent says, “Every day that I’m in America, someone tells me I sound like Bruce from Finding Nemo, Fish are friends not food” then he proceeds to talk about Jesus. It was so funny.

But Brian talked about how Our God is an unusual God. And He uses unusual people. You look in the Bible and you can clearly see that. He chooses Abraham, this normal guy to be the father of many nations. He chooses Noah, this normal guy, to weather through a huge flood that knocks out all the earth. He chooses Paul, a guy who had been killing Christians, to be His Hands and feel, bringing the Gospel to many many nations. He doesn’t choose the wealthy people who’ve got it together. He chooses the ones who will fail, who do fail, who’ve got problems, who aren’t perfect to use. He uses you and me!

For those of you that know me, I’m a pretty unusual person. I’m a weirdo and its come out way more since I’ve been married. I don’t have to be a certain way, I can simply be me, and me is weird. I’ve always had this weird crazy Holy Spirit feeling that God is going to do something huge with me. I still have no idea what it is, but I know He is and will. And Brian’s message gives me so much hope. Because I am unusual. You are unusual and God WILL use you.

The first 4,000 people that walked in that night got a free book written by Brian called Live Love Lead. I’m only two chapters in and I’ve been wowed down to the core. He talks about how he started Hillsong Church. He was young and him and his wife had a dream to build this empire of believers. To build a church that was passionate about Christ and people. And they did it! It took them a bit but they did it! He talks about how important it is to trust God along the way and just do.

“The Christian life is a life of unexpected adventure. It’s as exotic as the Australian outback and as everyday as a cup of coffee. You can start wherever you are. It’s never too late, even if you’ve taken a few detours and encountered some dead ends along the way. you only have to follow the greatest Guide who ever walked the path of life: Jesus.”

So good! and so true. I have lost so much hope in the church because of where I’m at and whats been happening to me the last few months. I still have 3 more months left, so if you could shoot up a prayer for me that would be great. But God is slowly showing me that it’s okay and He’s putting people in my life (or books) that can help change my perspective and bring a little passion back. I’ve simply been so caught up in what has been going on around me instead of trusting God and seeking Him through all of it.

Gosh, if I just took the time to pray to Him or seek His will when I’m frustrated or confused, I would be much better off. But I can start now. This life isn’t supposed to be easy. Time and time again the Bible tells us it won’t be. So why do I get so caught up in the struggle instead of seeking God through it because it will always be there. That’s life, but we aren’t meant to do it alone. We have a Savior that is always there protecting and guiding us; we simply have to listen and be willing to step into the great unknown. Willing to take a risk which could end up being a “Failure” but at the same time, we’ve still got Jesus sitting right there with us. I would rather fail knowing I trusted and seeked Him the whole way than not at all.

I’ve allowed my fears and insecurities to get in the way of what I know I’m meant to do. I have such a passion for people. I LOVE loving others and helping them see how important Christ is in their lives. I LOVE walking through the hard times with people helping them trust their Savior along the way. I love being with people. and I’ve been slacking because of fear and insecurity.

“When we allow our fears and insecurities to blind us momentarily, we’re often tempted to make the gate narrower than God does.”

“God didn’t create us to live mediocre, settle-for-less lives. He sent His Son to die on the cross so that we could be forgiven and have eternal life, and not so we could sleepwalk through life as we wait for Heaven”

We are meant for so much more friends!! And I just hope and pray that you can find that thing that brings you joy and brings you closer to Jesus but also brings others closer, too. I don’t want to just get by for the rest of my life waiting for Jesus to come back. I want to live with purpose and passion in all that I do. And still, I have NO IDEA what that looks like specifically for me yet, but I know God’s got it all planned out and I’m ready for the ride. I’m ready to trust Him and take the risk.

“When following Jesus, be careful what you dream. Because you can rest assured that God will exceed the limits of your imagination if you’re committed to advancing His Kingdom”

Brian and his wife Bobbie had a dream. They took the step of faith, they took the risk and look what they’ve build. and the greatest thing about Brian’s story is he gives ALL glory to God. None of it to himself. I want to live like that. And I hope you can find passion and fire to do the same.

 

(all of the quotes are from Brian Houston’s book Live Love Lead) 24397007

The Struggle is real

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I am frustrated with the church. I am frustrated with myself.

Blahhh let me try to make sense.

I’ve grown up in the church my entire life. My Dad is a pastor. I’ve always been looked at differently. People have always expected more of me. No room for mistakes. If I was even about to get into trouble growing up at school, a Lutheran school, my teachers would say, “Katrina, do you need me to call your dad”. And sure enough, they did. Leaving me feeling hopeless and like a failure to the world. I could never make a mistake or do wrong. I could never be a mess. I had to always have it together or someone would tell my parents. Someone would find out and tell me “I really expected more of you”.

Typing this now, I can see that this could be another reason I have a perfection/image issues. Why I always expect more of myself. Why I never feel like I’m enough. I wasn’t allowed to be a mess, make a mistake, or just be human.

And I’m sick of it. Right now, I’m working in a church. I went to school to do this and I’m questioning why. The church hasn’t been a place for me where I can really be me. Where I can be a real person with real problems and still be loved and know its okay. Yeah, churches preach that every Sunday. They preach about the Jesus who died for my sins, He died for my messes. But that isn’t lived out. I’ve never felt like it was okay to be a mess in church. Everyone expects perfection. God forbid the kid in the pew next to you has a temper tantrum. The rest of the church looks over at that parent with rude, accusing eyes. No way should a kid be acting up in church. Shouldn’t his parents teach him better?

What is this poor churchy world coming to? Our society needs a revival obviously, but so does our churches.

Because here’s the bottom line, Jesus didn’t die so we could build pretty little churches with pretty little people that do no wrong. Remember the woman at the well? Remember the prostitute? Remember the Disciple who disowned Jesus in His last days? Remember the thief on the cross who literally spent his whole life doing horrible things? (and the list goes on and on). Jesus died for them, He loved them, He forgave them, and He was physically with them.

Why do we hear these messages, these stories every year but it does nothing? I go to church every week, more or less because its my job, but I hear about how Jesus forgives us, He makes us white as snow, He died for me. And yet I feel nothing from the people sitting around me. I feel no support, I feel no forgiveness, I feel like its not okay to be a crying mess when my life is falling apart. And I can almost promise you most everyone there feels the same way.

The man next to me probably has the hugest secret ever but knows if he ever admits, his family and friends would disown him. His church would shun him from the building. Or the woman whose really struggling because she lost her husband a year ago. But she’s not allowed to cry or look week in front of the perfect church people. I know this sounds dramatic, and I am being that a bit, but you get the point.

I know there are good churches out there. But we all know that those are hard to find. Its hard to find a place that has people who are willing to be completely real, honest, and authentic with one another.

I just long to be in a place where people ask me how I’m doing and know I’m lying when I say fine, or okay, or good. I want to be apart of a place where people see past the BS and are willing to walk through that hard time with me. I am hungry for a community where people will cry with me, pray with me, and simply be present in my life. This isn’t some churchy fairy tale either. These are the people God made us to be. These are the people that Jesus modeled for us over and over again.

I saw this quote by Bob Goff and fell in love.

“When Jesus rose from the dead He didn’t make a speech, He made his friends breakfast”

And thats what I want to be like. I get that we aren’t all perfect, duh. But we can be real with each other. We can be imperfect messes that lean on one another. That build one another up. That simply love.

I want to try my best to be a real, authentic person. When someone asks me how I’m doing, I’m going to tell them. Not say the normal response, “Good”. If I’m not good, I will tell you and if you’re not good, I want you to tell me. I want to create a environment around me where people feel like they can be real. Where they feel like they can tell me whats going on, that big sin they’ve committed and its haunting them, that one thing they can’t stop crying about. Those people are the ones Jesus died for.

“God was a lot more concerned about people who faked it, then the ones who blew it” – Bob Goff

I’m learning so much how important it is to be honest and real. To boast about our weaknesses. Its okay that I’m not perfect. Its okay that my every day life isn’t Instagram picture perfect. It’s okay that I struggle with Gossip or holding grudges or anger. Jesus still loves me and I want to love those around me for the things they struggle with too.

I’m sorry if this is all a sloppy mess. I’m just hurting. I’m tired of being around “perfect” people all the time. I want real authentic people that will tell me what is going on so that I can pray with them and encourage them with the Gospel. The Gospel that says its okay to be a big hot mess because Jesus loves and died for you anyway.

I am mostly frustrated with myself because I have not been the best at this lately. I am realizing how important it is to be honest. Our culture doesn’t support being honest, telling the truth. Yeah the truth hurts. I would much rather have someone tell me the truth and feel like crap but later realize they were right then be living the way I think I should with no one correcting me. Please tell me if I’ve hurt you or done something wrong. How are we to change if no one can tell us the truth or help us to be better or hold us accountable? We can’t. So lets be REAL.

Please help me to create this environment where you’re at too. Start taking RISKS and be real with the people around you. And create a place where they can be real with you too. Lets change how the church operates. Lets change how we as people, as believers, can be better for one another.

I am hurting and I hope I can find a church with authentic people someday. A place where I don’t feel the need to be perfect all the time. One where I can start crying when someone asks me how I am without fear of being told to suck it up or sit there awkwardly not knowing what to say. And with your help, we can make this possible. My challenge for you is to take the next few days and consciously try to be more authentic with those around you. Be more intentional about spending time with people, hearing where they’re at, and praying with them in that moment. But also being real with what you need, too.

I’ve said it before, but the last 9 months have been the hardest of my life. And I honestly don’t think I can heal until I start being okay with being honest about where I’m at, what I’m struggling with. So lets do it together. Lets heal together. Because perfect or not, we’ve all got crap that we need to work through and figure out. And we all need each other to do it.

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Be yourself, Be real.

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In my last post, I talked about how my false self is being “perfect”. I am constantly worried about what others think of me. I overthink everything and as a result of that, I am always stressed out or worrying. It is not healthy at all.

So, I am in the process of knowing and also fully believing that it doesn’t matter. I am Katrina and it doesn’t matter what other people think. It doesn’t matter if the guy on the side of the road think I’m a weirdo because I was dancing to a song that I myself was singing. It doesn’t matter that Sally thinks I’m weird because I actually told her how I was doing and word vomited all over the place.

I would think of myself as a pretty authentic person. I remember being in 4th grade and one of my friends moms telling me she thought it was cool that I acted the same around all of the kids in my grade. I didn’t act a certain way around the “popular” girls versus the not popular. I was myself all of the time. And some of us didn’t grow up that way. We’ve always felt the pressure to be a certain way around certain people. We are outgoing when around outgoing people or quiet around quiet people or politically correct around people that feel the need to be that way.

Why did the 4th grade me stop that? At what point did I feel like I had to be a certain way?

I remember when it started. I moved to Indiana from Illinois the beginning of 7th grade. What a horrible age to move to a new place. I didn’t wear name brand clothes. My family didn’t have a lot of money. I got hand-me-downs from my older cousins or we shopped at Walmart. Didn’t make a difference to me; I didn’t know any different. And the 6th grade friends didn’t seem to care. The kids in Indiana were different. They all wore Hollister, Areopostal, American Eagle, etc. They all had hair straighteners and wore more make up than I even know how to use. And suddenly, I was being made fun of for being me. The way I talked and walked was suddenly being judged. And suddenly I never felt like I was enough.

And so it began. The new Katrina that was constantly aware that she wasn’t enough (in others eyes). The Katrina that had to be aware of what she was wearing and doing at all times. I stopped taking the risk of being me and started being whoever others wanted me to be. I remember freshman year of high school being the worst. So full of drama and hurtful words. I was friends with whoever would be friends with me, not caring as much about whose feelings got hurt in the crossfire.

I’ve gotten better about the “Drama” and gossip thing, but I am still worried most of the time about what others think of me. I am not willing to take the risk of being real. And heres the deal, we have to be real to connect.

Again, I’ve been reading Scary Close by Donald Miller (seriously go read it). And he talks a lot about the risk of being real. But if we aren’t real, if we constantly worry about everything around us, we will never be happy. There is a nurse who had seen a lot of people in their last moments and what most people said was this: They wish they’d had the courage to live a life true to themselves and not the life others expected of them. 

Yeah, not everyone is going to like you; thats life. But is it worth the risk of being real to find the ones that do?

“As long as you’re willing to turn the other cheek with the mean ones, vulnerability can get you a wealth of friends” 

And I think about the friends that I am closest too, those are the people I can be completely myself with. I don’t want to be friends with people that are constantly judging me and making me feel like less of a person for whatever reason. It is not healthy to be with those people. 

Judgment shuts us down and makes us hide. It keeps us from being ourselves, which keeps us from connecting with other people. – Donald Miller

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One of my biggest frustrations in college was unauthentic people. I hated it when I would be walking around campus and people in passing would say “How are you?” and continue walking so you couldn’t even answer. Or you would just say good because there wasn’t time for anything more. Don’t ask me how I’m doing if you don’t care for the answer. And I can promise I won’t ask you unless there is time for a real answer. So this guy asked me one time how I was and I gave him a 5 minute answer. He said, “wow, I appreciate you actually answering” and then the conversation was over. But how much deeper would our relationships be if we actually took the time to be real with one another??

Don talks a lot about how we are afraid to be known by others. But life is so much fuller when we are that. Again, my best relationships are the people who fully know me. Who have been there through the dark times and the good. Who will cry and pray with me instead of telling me to get over it because life is hard.

So again, who cares if Sally doesn’t like you because you actually gave a real answer? Or you wear target clothes instead of express? or you actually care and love on people instead of being fake and molding yourself to any and every group? BE YOU. And I will participate in that challenge with you. I will work on being myself and being okay with that. The times where I do that I feel so free, so full of life. And I don’t know how to help you start that journey. A lot of prayer and help from other people. I know for me it will take time. I can’t just wake up tomorrow and say I won’t care about what anyone thinks.

The risk of being known is also the decision to be criticized by some. 

And that is okay. It take risks to connect with people, and I am willing to take that risk. So, take the risk with be of being real, being fully known, and being able to be completely honest. The world needs more honest people. No more fear that people won’t like you if you are anything but yourself. That is a lie that satan is trying to tell you; and for me its been working. No more lies.

The truth is I have a Savior that loves me. He loves me through the mess. He loves the real authentic me, the me He made in His image. Be that you.

I am not perfect

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Phew so much has happened the last few days. As a result of the last few months being extremely hard, I feel like I am constantly learning and growing. It is a slow long process but even in the struggle, I still see God working.

In my last post, I talked about Scary Close and how we all have this self, then around that is our shame that could be caused by anything in our life; not feeling good enough, being bullied as a child, etc. And we cover our shame with our false self. This false self is something that we use in a social situation that makes us feel a little bit better about ourselves. It is what we hide behind to feel like we fit in, or whatever. For some people its humor, others its telling stories, it could be perfectionism, etc. It is different for each person. I was really struggling reading that because I wasn’t sure what my false self was.

I started going to counseling (I can’t believe I’m putting that on here). I have been struggling so so much. I think counseling is so good though. It is healthy to talk about your life and process through things with an outsider. Anyway, I had an appointment last week and it was cancelled and I was pretty upset. I was looking forward to talking things out with my counselor. I am an external processor and talking things out is beneficial to me. Recently, I’ve stopped doing that with the people around me for fear of a lot of things. I just don’t like to be a burden to people so I keep it all in.

Anyway, It ended up being a God-thing that I didn’t have counseling. After I found out I wasn’t going to have it, I felt like God was like “Katrina, it is okay, I’ve got something else planned for you today”.

I have had trouble sleeping lately. I am ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS tired. I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried everything. So when it gets to be about 10 at night I am dead. I get crabby and all I want to do is sleep. My husband and I had crawled into bed and were starting to fall asleep. We then decided to get up, change, and go for a walk at 10 at night. We haven’t gotten a lot of intentional time together lately with our work schedules and that has been really hard. I am a quality time person and when I don’t get that I feel disconnected.

So we went for a walk and Jacob has read Scary Close before. So I began explaining the three circles to him and said I wasn’t sure what my “false self” was. He helped me talk through it for an hour and a half. Gosh, God is so good and I so thankful He gave us the opportunity to talk it out together. God knew that was what I needed with my husband.

My false self is perfectionism. I feel like I have to be “perfect” all the time. It isn’t as much looks as it is in how I act. I am a people pleaser and I don’t like anyone being mad at me or frustrated. I want people to be happy all around. I also don’t want people to get a bad view of me for any reason. Its not because I’m a nut, I’ve just never felt enough so I do everything I can to try and be that, enough.

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My shame was created at a young age. Growing up, I got left out of friend groups. I remember being bullied a lot in pre-school through junior high. High school was rough but it wasn’t as bad. I remember being the last person picked for any sporting activity, I was the last one invited to parties (when I was younger). I was always being left out. I so badly wanted to belong. And then theres my extended family (for naming purposes I won’t say who). I was NEVER enough for them, I am still not. I was constantly in a state of trying to be the best because I never was.

So now, I never feel like I am good enough. I am constantly trying to be enough, or be perfect (in my own eyes) and I never measure up. and because I don’t think I’m good enough for myself, I assume everyone else thinks I’m not good enough either and that is what I see. I see people that expect more of me, which is completely false most of the time. But because that has been my entire life, it is hard to look outside of that.

So now, I know what my false self is: feeling like I have to be perfect and constantly creating low self esteem. I hide behind being “perfect” in my own eyes. And I know what my shame is, being left out and never feeling like I was enough.

How do I work through this now, at 22 years old?

How do I see myself as the imperfect, Loved child of the King that I am?

Jacob helped me to see that it is okay that I’m not perfect. I need to be able to look at myself and be okay with making mistakes. Because the reality is, Jesus doesn’t care. He loves me no matter what I do; mess and all.

I honestly feel like I shouldn’t be loved, my self-esteem is so low. I don’t know how to let others love me because I really don’t see how they could; because I don’t see the good in myself. So now I am trying to figure out how to let others love me. When they give a compliment, I take it and remember it instead of ignoring it or making up an excuse and only remembering the negative.

How do we work through our imperfections or our “false selves” and become stronger people that can look into the mirror and see what Jesus see’s?

Donald Miller has three things in Scary Close that he learned about relationships. They helped him to recognize and be better. (page 39)

3 Things about Relationships

1. To be intimate, I’d have to jump

a. In order to experience a meaningful life, I have to face the fear of jumping in, Just do it.

2. Swimming a little is swimming enough

a. Somewhere I became convinced that no amount of work is enough.

b. This creates a problem: those of us who are never satisfied with our accomplishments secretly believe nobody will love us unless we are perfect

c.  I am enough. Even if I get up and work out for 10 minutes it is enough.

3. There are more lifeguards than sharks

a. Other people aren’t out to get us.

b. Am I willing to be hurt occasionally and turn the other cheek in order to have a long-term, healthy relationship?

1. The risk of trusting is worth the intimacy

2. risk yourself on love – it means diving into the unknown, where there are very real dangers, but mostly rewards.

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A lie that satan tells me is “If I’m not impressive I won’t be loved”. This is so so false. And I think so many of us live with this fear and aren’t fully ourselves. We don’t let people really get to know us because of whatever our fear is. Gosh guys, there are so many people in the world that do love you. I just don’t think we give them the time of day or are willing to be real with them. The times that I have let down my guard and been real (like the other night with my husband) are the times that I am rewarded richly by God because of those relationships.

Lets be real with one another! I think that is one thing we as Christians suck at sometimes, being real with each other. Jesus loves us through the mess and we in turn can do that for each other. The reality is, we aren’t perfect and thank goodness! I think Jesus brings out our flaws on purpose so we are forced to grapple with real intimacy with each other. We aren’t made to cover up all of our flaws. We were made to be real, to be forgiven, and to be loved by Jesus but also by one another.

Don’t buy into the lie that “I only matter if…” YOU MATTER. YOU ARE LOVED.

That is what I have learned this past week. I am going to try and learn how to live as a flawed person and let that be enough for myself. Because it is enough for the people around me, and it is more than enough for Jesus. He didn’t die for the “perfect” me that I try to be, He died for the flawed, messy, and struggling person that I AM.

My prayer for you is that today, you would know you are enough. You don’t have to hide behind your false self to cover your shame. Let it out. Let Jesus reign in your life and let those around you hold you and lift you up.