“What have you been up to lately?”
I’ve been getting this question a lot. So I thought the blog might be a good space to answer that, and share some fresh vision for the journey ahead.
First, I’m going to tell you a little story.
A story about the time that I asked God for a “calm year.”
And he laughed…and laughed…and laughed.
2017 was a year of big change for me.
I put in my resignation at my steady job of a dozen years, stepping out on nothing other than a knowing that God was moving me forward into something new.
I spent three uncertain months waiting for God to reveal the next step, as I counted down the days to my last paycheck.
In usual fashion, God came through. I take that back—in usual fashion, He more than came through.
With just four days remaining I got a call. The call. A position that met every one of my expressed needs that I had prayed for months.
As incredible as the transition was, it was, nonetheless, change. Change that took an enormous amount of adjustment… and courage.
So when fall turned to winter and I got this feeling that more change was on the horizon, I pleaded. Don’t let it be so. Just give us one calm year.
I prayed it, even though I already knew the answer.
I prayed it, even through… I didn’t really even want it.
Why? Because I’ve realized that I cannot pray for God to do the miraculous in my life without expecting a few waves.
And oh, how I want all that God has for me.
Two job changes in one year seemed too much to bear, but the answer became clear. This time Craig stepped out, on a different word, but the same faithfulness of a loving Father.
The waves came. The boat rocked. And, honestly, it looked as though we would go down.
He knew what He was doing.
In the words of the psalmist, “He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:19)
What we have experienced since has been nothing short of miraculous.
Not only is Craig getting to do what he loves (AV installs), but he’s getting to travel the globe, at times, to do it. (P.S. You can follow him and all his hilarious adventure posts here.)
So if you’ve ever wondered what Craig was doing in Canada, or doing on a plane again, just know that it is all thanks to the goodness of God. He has provided opportunity above and beyond what we could have ever imagined.
We are braver. We are stronger. And we are more certain than ever about the good things God has in store for our family.
So, with all of this great change has come a whole lot of adjusting. And grieving. And learning.
So the short answer to "What have you been up to?" is just that.
As for the kids. Well, they’re growing like weeds. At times I am completely in awe of the amazing individuals they are becoming (other times I am completely tired and pulling out my hair. Because, mom life.)
We had a SUPER FUN seizing the summer-- spent a few weeks at camp, lived at the lake, and ate WAY too much free Racetrac frozen yogurt.
Many of you know our ongoing challenges with our oldest son’s special needs. I feel like I’ve spent the past two years being “Mama bear”, advocating for him.
In the spring I was disheartened at a new diagnosis—ADHD. But we've made some adjustments, and my kind-hearted, creative, smart Avery is off to a great start, in 4th grade. (HOW?)
Mr. Emory James, the steady child, is a near clone of his Daddy (in personality, anyway). He's intelligent, witty and sweet, and keeps us rolling in laughter, and always out of tape thanks to his constant “innovations”.
Now for the biggest update… the Princess started Pre-K this month! That means this mama has 6.5 hours of ALONE TIME to work for the first time in a decade. Bethany loves school, and doesn’t understand why there have to be weekends. She is our outdoor-playing, dancing, singing fashionista who seemingly never runs out of energy. Bless me.
Well, mostly I have the incredible privilege of writing for Amplio Recruiting, an awesome business that connects refugees to living-wage jobs at companies in Atlanta, Houston, Dallas and Raleigh.
I get to tell the stories of the beautiful, resilient individuals who make up the refugee community.
I get to tell the story of the compassionate companies leading the way in hiring them.
And I get to work with some of the most incredible, passionate people who are advocating for refugee success.
Honestly, y’all, every day I feel more and more humbled that God saw it fit to put me in the middle of one of the largest crises (and hotly debated issues) of our time.
If you believe Jesus was serious when He commanded us to love our neighbor—even if they don’t look like us, speak like us, or believe like us—then I’d love for you to give Amplio Recruiting a follow on Facebook and Instagram. New stories go up weekly, and some of them are just unbelievable.
I should probably mention (announce) they’ve commissioned me to write a book about the strong case for hiring refugees. A book. I cannot tell you how (nervously) excited I am about this opportunity!
So stay tuned—things are about to get interesting.
Outside of work projects, I had the honor of speaking at two separate events this year. Yes, I know what you’re thinking—she speaks? Yes, she speaks!
As many times as I tried to argue with God that my hands did a lot better at communicating than my mouth, I couldn’t shake the undeniable call.
This was my second year of speaking at Princess Camp at Camp Gideon. It’s always a privilege to be back at the place where God met me and changed me, grew me and empowered me.
The theme for the year was “Brave”, and in an act of bravery, we pulled back the curtains to reveal hidden areas of shame in our lives, and learned how to resist the lies of the enemy.
A couple of weeks ago I was invited to speak at an event put on by my dear friend Anne B. Say. If you don’t know Anne, you should. She is an encourager and a catapult for the Kingdom, propelling people into their God-given callings. I spoke on “nurturing your God-given dream” to a handful of women who were so engaged and so encouraging.
With Miss. Bethany being at school, now, I have some space to write again (outside of work). And I’ve been thinking a lot about what that will look like.
This past year I’ve learned a lot of things.
Mostly, I’ve learned that I cannot put my calling in a box. I’m a communicator and a teacher, but that’s not always going to look the same.
Sometimes I write to raise awareness about causes.
Sometimes I write children's story books.
Sometimes I write website content.
Sometimes I write to inspire and encourage.
God is a creative God, and He desires for us to be creative people.
He is teaching me to be brave this year. And part of being brave is stepping out of my comfortable box.
In the past, I’ve blogged devotions and meditations on scripture, but it’s, for the most part, been shallow and safe.
I’ve lived too long in fear.
Fear of failure.
Fear of what other people might think of me.
Fear of disappointing God.
But I’m busting the box, y’all.
In the coming months, you will still see devotions, sometimes, yes. But you may also read about our experience with ADHD, or tips on time management, or my biggest parent fails, or… whatever.
(Oh, and you can be sure you’ll see reviews on the latest books I’m reading.)
Whatever that looks like, my prayer is that the honest and prayerful sharing of my life would be an encouragement to you, at whatever stage you are at.
That it would drive you into a deeper trust in God, and knowledge of His Word.
That it would bring hope and light to the dark and challenging areas of your life.
That it would provoke you to think differently and live brave.
And that you would know that you are loved and worthy just as you are.
So that’s my update, and that’s what you can expect in the months ahead. While this year has been a year of great change, and great loss, I know that the best is ahead of us…
And I’m glad you’re on the journey with me.
A little about me...
Hi, I'm Katie!
Wife to Craig, mom of three, author, writer, Jesus-follower, Bible teacher, and coffee enthusiast.
Follow me as I follow Christ and share my heart throughout the journey.
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