Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lets Hear it for the Boy! Lets Give the Boy a Hand!!!!

Standing Up for Men in a World Where Society Doesn't

"22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh.”

Ephesians 5:22-31

Is it just me, or are you sick of guys getting constantly brow beat by our society? I'm no expert on social affairs, but seriously, you'd have to be blind not to see the obvious demeaning attitude our society has taken towards men. Media is chalk full of men bashing, 'women empowering', and gender confusing propaganda. Why is it that almost every sitcom on tv has a stupid, fat, gross or uncaring male figure? But of course, the women in previous said sitcom are beautiful, powerful, caring, nurturing, giving and overall good role models. Its not the fact that women are portrayed in a empowering light, its that women are lifted up while men are shoved down into the ground. Media shows men as the problem, and women as the cure. Men are the butt of society’s jokes. Since when did it become ok to bully men? If we treated gay people, children or African Americans like we treat men, heads would roll. Yet somehow we've made it okay to berate an entire sex. The male gender has been bent, mistreated and misrepresented for all long as I can remember. We have the Edward Cullen characters who although may be good with the ladies, are brooding, sickly lowlifes who almost barf when they smell a pretty girl. There are the Jersey Shore guido’s who drink, womanize, cheat and fight to display their ‘manhood’. There’s the classic "King of Queens" man who burps and mis-communicates his way into 'loveable' antics, which really, in the end, makes him look stupid and his wife the smart hero. How about the Michael Scotts who are so clueless and sexually perverse that everything they say and do destroys everything in their path. Or the 'Every Man' who is so sex-crazed he cant control his eyes, hands or umm...pants.

Tell me, what happened to the Mr. Darcy- who though flawed and broken, can admit his wrongs, asks forgiveness and bends his pride to be the man? Where are the Mr. Ingalls who cares for his family, and works hard to not only provide food and shelter, but teach his children right from wrong? Where is the man who stands for what’s right, fights to protect the weak and loves his wife, children and friends with a passion that spurs him to selflessness? We women want our men to be our knight, yet everywhere we turn, men are portrayed as anything but a knight in shining armor. Is society right? Do those men no longer exist?

When my husband and I were first dating, we both read a book called "God's Gift to Women; Discovering the Lost Greatness in Masculinity” by Eric Ludy. Although the title seems a little narcissistic, the idea is that God created men to be the heroic, loving and selfless leaders- what every women wants their man to be. Eric talked about how men are designed to be a reflection of Christ, and used the term "Warrior-Poet" as an ongoing theme to define Christ-like manhood. Eric recounted a quote from the movie ‘Braveheart’ where William Wallace in a narrative said "In the year of our Lord 1314, patriots of Scotland, starving and outnumbered, charged the fields of Bannockburn. They fought like warrior poets. They fought like Scotsmen. And won their freedom.'' The term "Warrior-Poet" is a simple way to remember what men we're made for- a Warrior protects serves, guides, and leads. A Poet freely expresses love and gently cares for those around him. God's plan is not for men to be cowards who shrink back, slobs who melt into a world of video games and football, or overbearing jerks who throw their weight around in order to rule their home. God created men to be a direct reflection of Christ. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..." (Ephesians 5:25) A Warrior-Poet understands that meekness is strength under control. He freely serves by leading and giving himself for the good and welfare of those around him.

Christ is a perfect example of a "Warrior-Poet". He paved the way with strength, justice and mercy. He sacrificed everything so those he loves (you and me) could have life. He was God incarnate, and had all power, yet he didn’t throw it around just to prove a point. When he could have condemned, he forgave. He deserved to have his feet washed- yet he washed the feet of others. He had perfect meekness- strength under control. His love for us is perfect. Everything he did, from his first breath, to his last, was a love letter for his Bride, the church. Just as Christ leads the church with a tender, yet firm hand, so are men to lead their families, churches, workplaces, and society. " For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church..."(Ephesians 5:23) Christ is the perfect example of what men are meant to be...and what men CAN be.

So you're probably saying right now, well that’s nice, but the men in my life don’t act that way. Well, I hear you. It is a man’s ultimate responsibility to live his life according to the standards God has put in place. No women can force them into it. Yet, we as women have the great opportunity to encourage men to greatness. We as women can flex our God-given role of helper, and spur the men in our lives to Warrior-Poet status. By bashing, humiliating and deflating our men, we're stripping away every ounce of will they have to become the men God created them to be. Just as a child can be bullied and beaten into a reclusive shell, men can be beaten into society’s stereotypical mold. If we stop the constant nagging maybe our men would finally have a chance to show us and the world the amazing leaders and lovers they can be.

Society is wrong. Dead wrong. Men are not the stock character who always mess everything up while being a jerk, low life or miserable sot. Yes, there are men out there who are all of those things, and probably worse. There will always be bad eggs. Yet, the men I know; my husband, my Dad, my brother-in-laws, my pastors and my friends, are not. And I promise you ladies, most of the men in your life are not either. They may be a work in progress, but God designed them to be more then what society tells them they are. I think it’s our job as women to lift our men up and make sure they know we believe in them. We need to be their cheerleaders. We can’t fall into the pitfall of bashing the men in our lives. We have to spur them onto greatness- by responding and respecting them like God designed us as women to do.

So, men, don’t be the stereotype. Choose to be the Warrior-Poet. Be the man God created you to be. And women, maybe its time to stop being such feminists. We (I’m talking to myself here!) forget that God created both men and women for equal, yet different roles. Allow your man to be who God created him to be- the servant-leader of your home. Build them up. How can we expect our men to be something that we constantly tell them they aren’t?

For further reading on how God designed men and their roles in society, family and church please read "God's Gift to Women: Discovering the Lost Greatness of Masculinity" by Eric Ludy

Also concider seeing the movie Courageous which deals with godly manhood. Here is a song inspired by the movie.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hair, Baking and Crafts galore!

Hi guys! Its been forever since I last posted. I'm realizing that I'm not as faithful of a blogger as I used to be. I think its because I'm lazy, but I'd like to use work and other general business as an excuse :-)
Ive got a photo heavy post here, so get ready! We'll start with the biggest subject- my hair. Not that my hair is big, like afro big, but its a big topic. Since April I've been itching to cut my hair. I go through this vicious cycle every few years, where I'll grow my hair out just to cut it all off. The last time I drastically cut my hair was in 2008. I cut it from mid back up into a super short pixie cut.

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

After looking at the old pictures (above) of me with the ubber short hair, I decided I didnt like it. At all. Why didnt someone tell me I looked like a lesbian? Ugh. I digress. Anyways, this time around I decided I wanted to stay on the longer side of the pixie spectrum. Here is before:

Here is after:

Hopefully I dont look like a lesbian! If I do, please tell me now so I can grow it out! Ha.
Besides the hair craziness, I've been crafting and baking a lot. I know its just a big phase, but I figure I'll take full advantage of it while I can!
On the baking end, I've been all over the place. I've made everything from Apple Pie Bars, to French Silk Pie, Coconut Macaroons to Coconut Poke Cake. I forgot to photograph all my ventures, but here are a few.
Peanut Butter and Jelly cookies (gluten free)

Coconut Macaroons (gluten free)

Apple Pie Bars
With crafting, I've been trying a whole assortment of things. I'm mainly working on headbands (feathers and felt/cloth flowers). I'm also practicing my sewing a little bit and making plushies. I dont have a sewing machine, so I'm doing everything by hand. Hence the horribly crookied lines! Oh well, its all fun to make!
Felt flower barrett

Feather headband

Feather headband

Fabric flower headband

Felt flower headband

Felt flower barrett

Felt kitty magnets (my baby Hank and Lady bird!)
Lastly, some plushies I made for my niece and nephew. Their slightly scary, but ay, my niece and nephew are not old enough to care!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Artsy Fartsy

I'm in a super creative mood lately. Maybe its the spring weather thats getting me inspired, or maybe its just the never end cycle I go through of creativity and boredom. Either way, I'm in the mood to get my hands into some projects. I have a million stories running through my mind begging to be written, my hands are aching to get into a intense art project (maybe trying my hand at pencil portraits), and I'm actually getting the itch to pick back up photography!

My problem is I just cant decide what to do- and because of this I'm wasting precious time thinking about what I could do, instead of just doing it. I've always had a problem with that. I'm a classic overthinker. I think, rethink, re-rethink and then think again. And, by the time I've made my mind up, its to late and the moment has passed. I think I might have ADD, OCD or some other acronym mental aliment. I wish I could focus all my energy on something worth while instead of wasting time

I've been working hard to become more focused at home with chores. And, its going fairly well. I dont think it will ever become natural for me, but making a habit to have a 'tidy' and 'orderly' home is important enough to invest my energy into. Now maybe I need to turn some of my efforts to focusing on cultivating my creativity. Just like God is a God of order, God is a God of creativity. His glory is displayed when we create things that uplift His name. I think thats why we has humans are so draw to beauty- and to recreating that beauty. Whether we consciously know it or not, we are drawn to splendor of the King. Its our choice to use that longing to draw ourselves closer to the Creator himself, or to the darkness in the world.

Welp, we'll see how this creativity itch goes. Maybe it will pan out into something I can post about later on. Maybe not.... Hopefully I can just do something. Instead of sitting here dreaming about it. Ugh. FOCUS KATIE!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Have Your Way...

Waiting is so hard. And, it seems like I've been waiting for God's hand to move in a certain situation forever. Every time there is a step forward, then it falls two steps backwards. Its so draining to look at a part of your life, or in some cases, your whole life, and only see unanswered prayers and broken dreams. It feels so hopeless. This past weekend all the pain, heartache and strife I'd been holding over the situation came to a head, and I got to the point where I began doubting God's promises and whether He would come through. I've desperately wanted resolution for so long , and when I looked at what had been accomplished in the past years and I only saw digression. I just wanted there to be a quick fix, an answer, anything to begin resolution so I could experience some peace and rest.

The whole weekend I lamented over the situation. I allowed myself to wallow in the heartache and pain to the point where I couldn’t even be around people, let allow go to church, worship and pray. I felt my heart quickly running to bitterness and anger over everything, and I started looking at myself as the victim and everyone else as the abuser. I doubted that God would ever move in the situation, and I began to wonder if I'd have to live my whole life with this hurt and pain.

God is so good though. He's always so gentle and loving to remind me of his promises and great love for me. He let me wallow in my pity just to show me how wrong I was. I had to experience the bad to really see the good for what it really was. On Tuesday afternoon while I was at work still wallowing in my pity, the song "Have Your Way" came across my iPod. I couldn’t help but begin to weep over the truth in the song. Every single line in the song was like it was written exactly for my situation. It truly was the cry of my heart, but instead of it turning to anger and bitterness towards God for not doing what I wanted him to, it surrendered to God and worshiped him anyways. I had to adopt the prayer "I'll stop searching for the answers, and I'll stop praying for an escape. I'll trust you God with where I am, and believe that you will have your way..." I had to let go of my anger and doubt and turn my heart to surrender and the knowledge that no matter what, God is God and I am not. He is good, and I can trust him.

This isn’t going to conclude with a happy ending saying "God answered all my prayers and now everything is ok!". That just isn’t the truth. The pain and heartache is still there, and the wounds are still deep. But, the incredible thing is that no matter what, God is here with me, and he WILL fulfill his promises. He will have his way, and its my choice to stand firm in his promises and believe that he will work all things together for my good and his glory.

Even if my dreams die, and even if I don’t survive, I WILL worship him with all my life....

Have Your Way- Britt Nicole

Feels like I`ve been here forever,

Why can`t you just intervene?

Do you see the tears keep falling?

And I`m falling apart at the seams.

But you never said the road would be easy,

But you said that you would never leave.

And you never promised that this life wasn`t hard,

But you promised you`d take care of me.

So I`ll stop searching for the answers,

I`ll stop praying for an escape,

And I`ll trust you,God, with where I am,

And believe that you will have your way.

Just have your way.

Just have your way.

When my friends and my family have left me,

And I feel so ashamed and so cold.

Remind me that you take broken things

And turn them into beautiful.

So I`ll stop searching for the answers,

I`ll stop praying for an escape,

And I`ll trust you, God, with where I am,

And believe that you`ll have your way.

Just have your way.

Just have your way.

Even if my dreams have died,

And even if I don`t survive,

I`ll still worship you with all my life.

My life.

And I`ll stop searching for the answers,

I`ll stop praying for an escape,

And iIll trust you, God, with where I am,

And believe that you will have your way.

Just have your way.

Just have your way.

I know you will.

I won`t forget.

You love me.

Have your way.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Goals, Resolutions and the New Year

"The common begin- but it's the uncommon who finish" ~ Donna Otto

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. The thought of them makes me think of people joining a gym and only working out once, or purposing to read more and only getting half way through a book. So, I’m usually not one to really make them- or at least make the cliché ones. There have been years in the past that I’ve made resolutions, and, just like the rest of America, I rarely follow through with them. It’s almost like we’re predestined to fail by the culture we live in. We’re told skinny is beautiful, and then bombarded with hamburger and pizza ads. We’re told that its important to be educated and highly intelligent, but then celebrities like Snookie, who are praised for being stupid and brazen, are the ‘it’ girls in media. The whole culture is a prime example of the “Do as I say, not as I do” mentality. And, it sets us up for failure. It’s only the truly focused, determined and motivated that accomplishes their goals, and maintains them year in and year out.

I don’t want to be causality to cultures double-minded ways. I don’t want to endlessly yo-yo from resolution to resolution- hoping and praying that I’ll be able to somehow ‘stick with it’, only to fail a week later. I don’t want to wallow in the guilt of failing and beat myself up for not accomplishing the goal. So, this year I’ve decided to make a goal to finish my goals. I don’t mean goals like going to the gym more often, I mean life changing goals that my motivation is more then societies peer pressure. I’m not making goals that aren’t doable, or setting myself up for failure by having unreal expectations. I’m taking it slow and easy. I’m making daily choices that will directly get me one step closer to accomplishing the goal I’ve set before me. Will there be days I fail? Yes. But, the beauty of it is that I can pick back up right where I left off. No harm done. No unnecessary guilt. The point is to reach the finish line, not to reach it in record time or in perfect performance.

So I suppose this year my ‘resolution’ is to become more disciplined and to persevere. This time next year I might not be able to say that I did something extraordinary or that I 100% completed every goal I have for myself. I'll pick new goals up through out the year, and some goals I'll drop due to them being unrealistic or unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. But, if I can say that I persevered and disciplined myself to daily make the choice to move forward, then that’s a success in my book!

Monday, January 17, 2011

For Darci....

I have a dear friend who is pregnant. The poor thing has been ready to pop for weeks, and yet, the baby hasnt come. Sunday morning she thought it was gonna happen- contractions where coming heavy and quick, and she was praying that it would be the day! But, it wasnt. In fact, she still hasnt had the baby. It must be miserable to feel that way- waiting with expectancy, but feeling like its an eternity for this new beautiful baby to enter the world.

I've never been pregnant, and dont plan on being for quite so time. My husband and I have a few years before we walk down that road. The thought of bringing a life into this world and caring, protecting and giving my life up for it just doesnt seen quite right, yet. Someday it will, and when it does I'll be the happiest mother-to-be there ever was. But for now I'm content pouring my love and life into other things.

Today, however, pregnant is the only way I know how to describe how I feel- spiritually speaking of course :-) As I've been thinking about my friend, I realized that pregnancy isnt just a temporary physical state a women is in when she's with child. No, you can be pregnant with a great many things. Pregnant with hope, pregnant with regret, pregnant with stress, pregnant with ideas. The Bible says in James 1:15 we can even be pregnant spiritually with sin- "Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." All of those things- spiritual and emotional, are conceived, grown and birthed through our spirits just like a baby is in its mothers womb.

For years and years I've had a growing desire, a burden in my heart for great things. Those things I wont share here, for they are still young and tender and not ready to face the world. But, just as a mother nurtures the growing baby in her womb, I've felt the Holy Spirit nurturing these dreams in me. There has been the hope and excitement of the dreams being conceived in my spirit, the growing pains as God has stretched and molded me, and the expectancy waiting for those dreams to come to fruition. There are so many days I'm so anxious. I just want to see all these dreams come bursting forth! I want to see how they'll look and play out in my life. But, its then I'm reminded those dreams are not yet developed. No matter what the idea, it needs to grow and mature in me, for if it comes out to early it will not be everything it could have been. The conception and birth of something within us spiritual can play out in so many different ways, and wont be the same every time. Unlike the birth of a child, who we know will come in 9 months gustation, we never know when the birth of a spiritual concept will come. God is the author of our hopes and dreams- and he has everything planed. It will come, in his perfect timing.

So, today I'm praying for my friend- that she'll deliver this baby soon! And, I'm praying for my own "spiritual baby"- that dream that continues to grow inside of me. Not for it to come soon, but for it to come in God's perfect timing, because then and only then will it be exactly all its suppose to be.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Sometimes you love something so much, it hurts...

I never really fully understood that concept until I started dating my husband. As corny as it sounds, for the first time, I felt what it meant to really love someone so much that you ache for them. I remember one night while we were still engaged, he had eaten dinner with my family and was getting ready to go home. Something came over me and the thought of "what
if this is the last time I ever see him?" rushed over me. As I hugged him
good-bye, I felt myself memorizing every aspect of him, because I didnt want to forget, if, God forbid, I'd never get to hug him again. In the darkness of that night, I ran my fingers over his face so somehow by braille I'd learn every curve of his face, dug my head deep into his shirt so I could commit his smell to memory, hugged him tight so I could remember the feeling of being in his arms, and kissed him with more love and sincerity then I had in a long time. After he left, I went to bed with so much heart ache. Not because I was going to loss him, but because I loved him so much I couldnt stand the thought of facing a day without him. I was truly lovesick for him, in both the joy and beauty of love found and the grief and ache of love if it where lost.

That moment came and went, and of course, I dont live my life with that sort of clinching heart ache that keeps me in a state of turmoil. But, ever once in a while, I'm reminded of what it would be like to loose someone I love dearly, and I'm once again overcome by that same pain I learned so many years ago. When I experience heart ache like that, I cant help but wonder if thats how God feels for us- when we're far from him. If we experience even a fraction of the love here on earth that God feels for us, how much more then does he yearn and ache for us when we're apart from him?

Its such a big 'trend' in the Christian world to talk about God's love for us, and at times, that truth can overlap other much needed theology in our worship services, sermons and books. As a result, its easy to overlook his love because its thrown at us until it becomes the 'norm'. I've found myself being hardened, and even impartial to the truth of God's love, because its become common place to hear it time and time again. Its then I have to stop and sometimes look at things through a different angle.

Often times view the love of God like the love of a Father (which is so true, and a beautiful analogy), but not being a parent myself, its hard for me to sometimes grasp that. Putting on a different pair of spiritual glasses and looking at it a different way helps me see God's love in a whole new light. If I can see His love for me like that of a forlorn lover, one that yearns, cries and is deeply lovesick for me, then would my heart be so hard? I know just a microscopic portion of pain and heartache in loving my husband, how much more does God love and ache for me? His love is so much bigger, broader, deeper and truer then any love that comes from my heart or anyones heart here on this earth. How His heart must ache for those that are lost, and for us who know him, but are far away. How many times have I ignored him? There have been countless days when I've not even acknowledged his presence! How it must grieve his heart, for his beloved- the one he yearns for so deeply- to neglect him!
After seeing that faint glimpse of the tremendous love He has for us, how can my heart not be melted? His love is so deep... "...For love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away" Song of Songs 8:6b-7a. His love is more then I can ever imagine. If I can comprehend just a taste of it, then maybe a glimmer of the lovesickness He feels for me will overwhelm my heart for Him, and I'll chase after him harder then I ever have before.

How He Loves
By John Mark McMillian

Verse 1:
He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

Yeah, He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves.

Verse 2:
We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…