Sunday, 28 April 2013

Fear, Focus, Boston Marathon & Moving Forward.

Things have seemed pretty quiet on my blog lately. 
Life has been anything but though. 
This month I have stepped back a little from being here, and online in general, 
to be entirely present in real life. 
It was needed friends, as much as I enjoy blogging...there will always be other things which are and should be my first priority. The Lord has made it very clear to me that when this becomes more important than several other things, I should make a quiet exit from being a blogger. So family, marriage, being a wife, being a part of our local church, all come first. 

With that said, it has also been a great month for focusing on things outside of my immediate view of life. My Purpose Project with the Mocha Club has given me such a focus on the needs in our world, things I have become desensitized to. 
Things which should hurt my heart, like it does the Lord's but often it doesn't. 
My focus has been on providing for three children this month.
I haven't had much else to write about except this need. 
Everytime I sat down to write anything, it seemed meaningless in light of those posts.....

It has been a month of feeling deeply.
Not long after I announced my plans to run in order to raise money, the country was shaken with the news of what happened at the Boston Marathon. 
This shook me friends. 
As I have been running to train and planning to participate in a city run next month. 
It was so close to home and raised so many questions.
How it could have been the race that I am due to be a part of where this took place. 

Fear has been creeping in all month, little by little. 
What if the goal is not reached? What if I can't run the race? What if the proposed time of 26mins is not beaten? What if we only raise enough for one child instead of three? 
Have I failed? What did I do wrong? 

Honestly, I am still wrestling with most of these fears. 
But God has started to show me the hindrance of fear and need for trust
How fear has been taking my eyes off Him. 
He has been reminding me not to fear certain things - like what people will think of me if my proposed goal is not met. 
Because the whole point is focus on Him and obedience, not the number.

These words from a famous hymn have been going round and round in my head.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the Light of His glory & Grace. 

When my eyes are fixed on Him, it doesn't matter whether the goal is reached or not.

Already it is a privilege to watch funds come in to provide for one child. 
Through our willingness, He has worked through us. 
Even if it isn't what I think it should be.
It is always how God wanted it to be.

I know that God is able to go impossible things, He has shown me in the past. 

All of this has been orchestrated by Him this month, none of this is done by me. 
I'm not sure He could have shown me that if the funds had been completed by week one. 
He knew what else I would be walking through and knows the exact number for the final donation total - it will be no surprise to Him. 

And regardless of the goal being reached or not - It was all to bring Him glory and be obedient! 

So I am rejoicing in the knowledge that whatever happens, I or we together friends, 
have not failed

What a huge weight lifted! 

That being said, we still have a couple of days to finish raising the money, I would love for you personally to join us friend! 

Any amount makes a difference, no matter how small you think it is. 

A Giveaway

I also want to thank those of you who have partnered with me already! It is only with your help, this is happening! And I want to encourage those of you who haven't yet joined me that it isn't too late! 

And to thank you for partnering, I am giving away a pair of earrings from my store to one of you who donates in these last few days!! 

No matter the amount - if you donate, you may be receiving a pair in the mail soon!!! 

Loving the least alongside you friends! 


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Sunday, 21 April 2013

Girl Behind the Blog - Your Non-Blogging Passion


The Girl Behind The Blog- Your Non-Blogging Passion
Time limit: Vlogs should be 2-3 minutes long
What topic could get you talking for hours, if someone asked you to share?
What are your hobbies and passions that you might not talk about often on your blog?
Is there a reason you shy away from sharing this passion on your blog?

Things have been SO crazy over here for us this week.
But we finally have our new place all lined up for next month woop woop
Which we signed a year long lease for. So I'm thankful that even though we will be seeing boxes around here again really soon, after this month I hopefully won't see any for a while! =) 
So with that said, I am a little late linking up this week to the Girl Behind the Blog video linkup.
I apologize for my messy I-just-played-softball-after-church hair and would love it if you guys would check out my purpose project happenings with the Mocha Club which I talk about as one of my passions in the vlog.
It is what I am ALL about this month! As I am SO desperately passionate about providing for three orphans, but I need your help! 
So awesome the way this topic tied in so nicely with the goings-on for April round here!

Love you guys and can't wait to go see all the other videos now.
I purposely didn't watch any before making mine so that I could honestly answer the questions haha!

Much Love!

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Monday, 15 April 2013

Life Lately LinkUp.

I am super excited to be co hosting with several lovely ladies today for the wrap up of the Life Lately Linkup over at Life on Leroy
I had an amazing time meeting Alli at the Influence Conference last year.
She is just so fun to be around! 

So be sure to head over and say hi to the wonderful ladies who are hosting this linkup! 

Link up Rules:
1.) Follow your hosts via GFC or Bloglovin.
2.) Follow your co-hosts via GFC or Bloglovin. 
3.) Link up your life lately posts or any post about your life. 

 This is huge part of what I have been up to lately, at least the past 2 weeks. 

 Receiving sweet encouragement in the mail.

 Enjoying my early Thursday Mornings with a bagel at Panera.

Driving through Fairy tale style neighborhoods.

Enjoying the company of these boys.

Dating this amazing man.

Oops....more Panera in there. ;)

And breathing a sigh of relief that Spring has decided to finally make an appearance. 
Was beginning to think Narnia had settled in and it was going to be always winter in the Midwest ;)

What have you been up to lately friends?
Would love to hear!

Much Love! 

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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

When God Answers.

Hello dearest readers, I feel so grateful for L allowing me to blog post. 
I cannot wait to get to know you ladies better! 

 When L first mentioned writing a guest post, I wasn't sure what I wanted to share. But as I sat down and prayed and reflected, sweet Abba brought me to a lovely memory of when he took me on a journey from brokenness to freedom. 

 I was two years out of college, and in that marvelous season had moved to Thailand where I taught English and then spent the following year traveling around the country with a non-profit that worked in Uganda. It was filled with adventure and fun. However when those two years ended and I moved home, my world seemed to come to a crashing halt.

 I was jobless. 
Friendless {most of my friends had moved out of my hometown in northern California} 

 Truly, I felt alone. 
Every job I applied for never even contacted me! Did I have the plague, I wondered? 
 {Come on people...I have a college education!} 
 My self esteem was quickly draining empty. 

 In the meantime, 
I realized it was probably best to buckle down and take any ol' job to make a little money. 
 So what does this girl decide to do? for her dad. 

 And what does this girls dad do? 
 He's a rice farmer! 

 You guessed it, I became a farm girl. 
 Growing up in a city, I never actually had worked for my dad before, so there was a steep learning curve involved. Also involved were flannel shirts, work boots, 11 hour work days, and packing a lunch pail the size of texas. I drove a tractor which was quite the site to see because I was the only female out there and I was tiny. The rice fields were hot and dusty, and I came home exhausted every night, covered heard to toe in mosquito bites, rice dust and dirt. The only human interaction during the day was with a fellow tractor driver named Fidel who brought me one of his wife's home-made burritos. 
Happily, I have no pictures to show of that time period, haha. 

 I'm not going to lie people, I felt was a little pathetic. 
 So amidst Taylor Swift on the radio, the tears flowed freely as I cried out to God asking him what the heck I was supposed to do with my life. 
 Where do I go? 
 What do I do next? 
 Am I even capable of anything, because after like 20 companies turn me down, I didn't feel like it. 

 It was raw out there on the farm people. 

 One night I came home, showered, and curled up in bed. 
 I took out my tear-stained journal and a pen and began to pour. 

 I poured out my fears, my dreams, my insecurities, and hopes.

 I asked specifically for 3 things: 
1) An incredible, vibrant community that loved the poor. 
2) A job at a small non-profit that worked in Africa {I was an African studies minor in college} 
3) A husband that loved the Lord and had a heart for the world. 

 And then hope began to unravel, real and genuine before my eyes. 

 To begin, an organization that worked in Africa contacted me out of the blue. A little background....out of college, I had started a small non-profit called Africa Hope where I designed t-shirts and sold them online. When someone purchased a shirt, a portion of the proceeds went towards an organization listed on my site that was doing work in Africa. Well, this organization, Empowering Lives International (ELI), found my website and asked to be one of the featured organizations listed. 

 My pulse quicked as I scanned their website. They were an incredible holistic organization empowering lives in Africa. And they were also located in Southern California! So I emailed them back to let them know I would put them on my Africa Hope website. I also decided that I should go visit their office and meet them in person. A month later I planned a road trip to Southern California, and met with their staff. I casually mentioned that if they ever had a job opening, I would love to apply. 

 Well....a month later I got a call from ELI. 
 A position opened and they said I was the first person they thought of!!!! 
 I couldn't believe it...I almost died of joy!
 People always used to joke that studying African history wouldn't help me much in the job hunt, but with God all things are possible:) 

 I started my job with ELI a month later. 
 It was a dream come true. 
 God had specifically answered 1 of my 3 desires. 

 Since I had just moved down to Southern California for my job, I needed a place to live. Knowing no one, the pastor of my home church suggested I live with one of his best friends and his family, The Cooks.

 Well, it turns out that the Cooks had a son who was exactly my same age, Kevin. Kevin had just returned from living in Europe, and was currently also living at the Cooks house. 
 I moved into the Cooks house. 
 Kevin lived at the Cooks house. 

 And what do you know. We fall in love. 
 You can read the longer story here. 

 So now I have a man that loves Jesus. 
 God specifically answered 2 of my 3 desires. 

 While I was living at the Cooks house {before dating Kevin} 
I remember being a little uncomfortable in the suburbs. 
 It wasn't that I didn't know them. Heck, I grew up in a suburb. 
 It was just as though I felt God convicting and asking me "katie, how is it that you serve the poor when you travel, but you don't even know the poor at home?". 
cough, cough, awkward silence.

 I had to think about that one for a minute. 
 God kept opening my eyes to the hundreds of scriptures where he talks about loving, serving, caring for the poor. 
 How can I love the poor if I don't know them? 

 So I cried out that God would show me where to go. 
 Well, in Orange County it's a bit hard to find the poor...but they are there amidst the glitz and glam of the beaches and disneyland. 

 At church one Sunday a man came and shared about the amazing ways God was moving in a low-income neighborhood. 
 I immediately stalked him after the service, and he told me to fill out a volunteer application online. 
 In my mind, I dreamed that maybe when I had been volunteering there for a while, I could possibly move into the neighborhood. Big dream. 

 When I went in for my volunteer interview, a girl came up to me that worked in the neighborhood. I didn't even know her, but the first thing out of her mouth was "Are you looking for housing? We have a spot in the girls house if you are interested". 
WHAT? She caught me off gaurd. How did she know? 

 Two weeks later I moved into this neighborhood filled with color and immigrants, and food trucks, and spanish. 
 And I fell in love with a community. 
 And they have changed me. 

 So now I have a vibrant community. 
 God has answered all 3 specific prayer requests. 

 This all happened over 4 years ago, 
 ut what I learned in that season was how tender and loving our God is to our most deepest desires. 
 Pray Specifically.
 Ask Boldly, 

 Dream Big! 

 And now we have a new journey coming our way! 
 Kevin and I were recently asked to move to Asia for 5 months this year to help partner with an aftercare home for girls rescued from sex-slavery. 
 We are excited, nervous, overwhelmed, and overjoyed. 
 But we know this, God is BIG and LOVING and powerful, and will continue to guide us on this journey!! 

 can't wait to meet you all, please stop by and say hello! 
 Blessings on YOUR journey! 

 love Katie

Isn't sweet Katie just precious! 
You can keep up with her journey here:

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Monday, 8 April 2013

Unexpected Love.

This isn't my normal kind of post. I generally share things I am learning in my walk with the Lord to encourage here. But often many of the places I find encouragement, are through good books. So when I found an opportunity to review books to share with you guys, obviously I couldn't resist =) 

The book I reviewed this month was Unexpected Love by Julie Zine Coleman. 
I won't tell you that it was the kind of book that changed my whole outlook on life. It didn't leave a huge lasting impression on me. However I did like the different chapters focusing on various women in the bible and how the Lord related to each of them.
I particularly loved the biblical accuracy and scripture used throughout by the author. You can tell each of the different characters have been well researched and care has been taken when interpreting scripture.
I loved that about this book. 

The different chapter focuses also made it an easy book to pick up and then put down again.
But equally made it hard to read through quickly as I would read about one woman,
then put the book down and forget about it. No ongoing story to draw me in.
So it was a very slow read for me. I do prefer fiction in general as I am drawn in by the characters.
But as far as non-fiction books go, it did have some good points. 

I would recommend it as a lighter read through scripture and clear insight into the relationship between God and women in general.

Any of you guys read it? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Are you more into fiction or non-fiction?

Much Love!

I review for BookSneeze®

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Monday, 1 April 2013

Mocha Club: Purpose Project Launch!!

The Goal: Raise $750 for orphan projects ongoing in Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe 
(This will provide care for 3 orphans for a year) 
My Project:  Once the money is raised, I will be running a 5K race aiming to beat my high school record of 26mins. 
(I have started training!)

I have been SO excited to share some news with you guys.
This month (April), I am partnering with the Mocha Club to raise money for their orphan care projects as part of a Purpose Project. I'm SO excited you guys!! 

The past year or so, the Lord has really been giving me a passion for Africa and orphans (specifically in Africa) and have just felt stirred by Him to partner with the Mocha Club to raise money for their orphan care projects.

I shared on a friend's blog here how the Lord worked out details for me to head to Africa after high school which was so not a plan I had for myself. 
Read more here and here.
I had not figured out why He had me there until recently, when I felt my heart stirred again for East Africa and orphans. 

So when I heard about the Mocha Club and their purpose projects, I felt a nudge to participate and do something to raise money for something that I am passionate about. Something that would touch the lives of others. 
A way to work together to provide for the least among us. To make a difference.
To be obedient to God's calling.  

How can You help?

If you want to partner with me financially, you can find a link to donate securely through the Mocha Club website directly here

Better still, you can be in prayer for this project and the ongoing orphan projects being run by the Mocha Club that the Lord would continue to be at work in the lives of the children.

I would also love it if you would share about this project through social media! 
Please tweet or post to fb so that others who have a heart for Africa and Orphan care may hear about this project!  

Verses related to the project:

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,you were doing it to me!’
Matthew 25:40

'She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.'
Proverbs 31:20  

'Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.'
James 1:27

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