well it’s been awhile

Two years ago I was about to get married- tomorrow is actually our 2nd anniversary. Considering I’m pretty private, anti-facebook posting and really most social media blasts other than instragram (since it’s way more private), it’s kind of surprising that I want to blog about this. But God has given me some words that I want to share, and could possibly encourage someone other than me.

I’ve said so many times that I didn’t plan on getting married at such a young age. I know to most people, 24 is not young to get married- BUT it is. For all you 20 something year olds out there complaining about being an old maid, give it about 50 years. God is in control. And honestly I feel that way about having kids. I do want to be a mom, I desire to have a family, but for some reason it has never been this DEEP DEEP DOWN desire that overwhelms me and drives every decision. Bobby and I talk about having 2 kids, tops. We talk about it in spurts, sometimes not at all.  We totally respect people who want large families, but we don’t feel that calling (at least now, who knows about the future).

But all of this reminds me of how I felt when I met Bobby and we began dating. I knew I liked him, and then I knew I loved him, but I was still not sold on the marriage thing. I spent about 4 months back in 2009 searching out reasons and wisdom from people I respected, praying a lot, and I read Sacred Marriage. The premise of the book was about our holiness more than our happiness. It totally clicked for me. Bobby and I talk a lot about having a marriage that brings people into the kingdom, that makes people love God more, and shows His grace and power. When I think about having a family, being a mom and having my own kids (not just kids I babysit or am an aunt to)- I question why. I’m the kind of person who needs to know why for doing anything, because if I feel I am being told what to do I will need to know WHY or else I will do the opposite. It’s in the cynical nature I inherited from my dad.

So lately, we have been praying a lot about having kids. Why would Bobby and I want to give up our time, our fun, our independence, our lives? Why would we want to do ANYthing that involves raising a kid when people complain about it all the time and tell us to wait as long as possible? In several instances, like when I was walking around Sea Isle Park, or in the drive through at Wendy’s with Bobby, the Lord spoke clearly to me about it. He gave me the whys: to advance to kingdom. To help make His name known. A way to reach out to people we otherwise might not be able to. To disciple and send out. Don’t worry, this is not a pregnancy announcement (because that will most likely never be announced on the internet!!)- but just an insight to where we are. We aren’t even trying right now, because we found it SO important to pray through the decision and to understand each our hearts. We love walking with our friends and family through their decisions, births, new homes, engagements, weddings, etc, and I want to be honest with how our process looks. We aren’t people who got married because it’s just what you do, we did because we intentionally wanted to seek out how our relationship can advance the kingdom. We won’t have a baby or adopt a child because it’s what married people do- it’s because we love Jesus, and if He calls us to something we will do it.

Now two years into our marriage, Bobby and I have been facing a lot of unexpected conversations, decisions, and evaluations. We coasted a lot our first year of marriage, fought more in our second, and are in this incredible season right now of intentionally working to serve the other. We’re far from perfect, but one thing in life I am SO thankful for is that I married a man who talks. Bobby will talk through anything with me. He never walks away, leaves, or gives up. He is the purest example of the gospel to me in his forgiveness of my unkind words, the way he serves me and searches for ways to make me happy, gives up his space, time and independence, and has graciously allowed me into his world. What is so crazy is how different we are- even my counselor said she was surprised we ended up together based on how different we are. But it excites me knowing that while we are crazy different with things we want to do in life, whatever happens will be an even greater testimony of God’ power, our ultimate goal in life.

Best of all, Bobby let me buy this little sucker that we are both in love with, Gonzalo (or Gonzie, the Gonze, Gonzo, Gonzer, etc.):

photo-16  photo-15photo-14

wordy words

143059725632899141_CKe8cluW_cAs tradition with my friends, we always come up with a word to describe the year. Typically at the end of the year we reflect on the past year and come up with a word for the next. Usually it’s something we can sense the Lord is preparing us for, something He wants us to focus on, or just what we feel like the year will be. For the sake of context…

2009: I don’t remember what my word for 2009 was- it might have been love or something gooey like that because I fell madly in love with my main man, or something like two-faced because I had a loss of a dream, but the birth of a new one…I don’t know. But I came up with the word for 2010- patience. I knew 2010 would bring hopefully engagement and a new job, but I didn’t know when. That was fun.

2010: The year DEFINITELY was a year of patience. So by the end of this year my insanity had set in deep, and I was more into thinking about what other people thought of me, so I decided my word for 2011 would be intentional, since that sounded cool and thoughtful. Whatever.

2011: Intentional it was not. I changed it to hard. I decided 2012’s word would be stability: no new nothing. Literally.

So looking back on 2012, it was stable in some ways. I switched from 4th grade ESL to 1st grade, which was a huge difference but still a blast (love my kiddos with my whole heart). But nothing on the outside was happening and I struggled with anger about it. I wanted life to be exciting, adventurous, and I wanted to do big things for the Lord. One weekend in particular was rough…I called Bobby, hysterical, and proceeded to unleash years of frustration about how I wasn’t the person I thought I would be, and I was disappointed in myself. I still feel bad about that, because nothing is his fault, but I sometimes look back on that pivotal decision to give up A-land and stay in Memphis. But it was clearly the Lord who literally sat me down and had a conversation with me about it back in 2009- it wasn’t my own thoughts. He knew before it all began.

The more I’ve thought about it, I’ve seen that it’s not always other people I’m trying to impress- I’ve been wanting to impress 22 year old Katie. I used to be a lot more critical in thinking life had to be a certain way to be pleasing to the Lord. Nobody taught me that…I just thought my ideas were better.

This year two very important people in my life gave me a word- roots. And it just so happened that they gave it to me independently of each other at two different times. Then the Lord brought me to this:

“Thus says the Lord: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust IS the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17: 5-8

Thank you Jesus for friends who speak your truth to me, who fight for YOUR glory in the lives of your people. Another friend reminded me that if this year has been about showing Christ’s love to ONE person…it is still worth it. It may not look grand and impressive to some on the outside, but it is worthy in the Lord’s eyes. He is in control, and I trust that.

2013’s word is center. It might sound hokey, but I have this renewed sense of desperate need to keep Christ center of my life, to every day take time to speak that truth to myself, and to also remind myself who I am. Let the roots be deep and may I be genuine, with Christ as the center of everything.

Sidenote: Bobby’s word for 2012 was patience. His word for 2013 is growth.


A good friend lovingly pointed out to me a couple of weeks ago the sin of pride in my life. Normally I would have been annoyed, but it rang so deep and true that I realized I can’t continue living in my prideful, independent and stubborn bubble forever. The Lord has been revealing Himself to me in such incredible ways that I have to share…

1) My character isn’t as lovely as I would like to think. I complain A LOT. And I’m really negative and critical. My issues are trials, here to strengthen me, teach me steadfastness and character. (James 1:2-4) I don’t pray for humility, but simply “self-forgetfulness” (thanks Tim Keller).

2) When I don’t ask for things in faith, I am “double-minded” and “unstable.” Hear that?! UNSTABLE. Thanks James for the clear calling out and conviction. (James 1: 5-8)

3) I compare myself to other people a lot. It’s a fact I try to hide, but let’s be honest here, I do it. I get jealous and frustrated when I think I deserve things that I don’t have. But I am tempted by my desires (James 1:14-15), not by God. When I compare myself or my life to others, I’m not living in gratefulness or really even true community with the Lord. I am to keep myself unrestrained from the world (James 1:27)- and THAT is true religion. I could go on and on about this…

4) Life is not about being happy. It’s about my sanctification. Of course the Lord wants us to be happy, but filtered through Him- we delight ourselves in Him, He gives us desires, then He hands them to us. I’ve seen over and over that God wants to give us good things but not always in our timing. Honestly, I did NOT want to get married until I was in my 30s. I had stuff to do, places to go…but God wanted to give me that gift sooner than I wanted. I wanted a job last summer…God decided to give it to me in His perfect timing in the fall. He teaches during the waiting (or the non-waiting), and the goal is to think “How is this making me holy, more like Jesus?”

5) I was processing with my friend Suzanne last week about some of this. She pointed out that all of this is simply life- we have the Spirit in us, yet we are flesh. Therefore we will ALWAYS have a battle waging war in us. As sad and hard as that sounds, it somewhat frees me to know God is the winner and all I need to do is actively trust and believe Him.

Basically James chapter 1 has rocked my world. I could elaborate (and for some people I did!), and I am so thankful that I can take the pressure of being perfect, making everyone happy, and trying to keep up with the world OFF.


My sister resurrected her long ignored blog, which has reminded me that I should probably return here. Last I wrote was the beginning of school and getting used to cheesy first grade cheer. And who knew- I’ve changed my tune! I’m loving and embracing things I laughed at mere weeks ago. I thought I loved adults; then I thought middle school; then 4th; but now, I am loving these little itties that freely give hugs and can barely sit still because they are excited about EVERYTHING.

But for some reason, it’s been hard lately. I don’t know how else to elaborate other than it’s just been a personally rough, dry and difficult several weeks for me. When I feel like this, I tend to hide from everything- friends, family, and especially the Lord. Even though my head knows the truth, my heart hides in shame and guilt, like He’s annoyed that that I cry almost everyday and that I watch hours upon hours of TV to forget and cope. A friend encouraged me to embrace the Word by simply reading through Psalms. And I did.

“Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.

You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.”
Psalm 32: 6-7

How sweet that the Lord know my heart so well that when my natural inclination is to hide from the world that He has directed me to hide in HIM. I don’t have to hide under my covers watching Netflix on my phone ignoring phone calls and texts (sorry), but I can hide in Him in the middle of a crazy day, in the middle of a party or driving in my car.

This weekend my college friends had a “pixie” (our version of a friend reunion) to celebrate our friends Brittney and Caleb’s baby (coming soon in just a few weeks!) Weekends like this are bittersweet: sweet because we’re together, bitter because Diana wasn’t there and because I miss more than anything living in community with these girls. I forget how foundational they are to my spiritual life- they were there when my faith was tested and truly built up. It’s hard to think about God sometimes without thinking about them, because they were physically there for so many major moments. These friends taught me to how to fight in the spirit for truth and to run after knowing Jesus better every day.

Weekends like this remind me of how deep the Lord’s love is: time with my husband, praying with my friends, spending short but meaningful time with my in-laws, hearing truth from our friend Greyson’s message today at his Tupelo church, and the deep rest I find in knowing I can literally HIDE myself in God’s arms.

and here we go

When i got my job last year, I started at the end of September. Do you realize how brilliant that actually was, and how the Lord truly was sparing me? OH MY GOSH i was not prepared for this year and the craziness it is. Truthfully, i love working and being with the kids is priceless. However. This week has been running around finding our kids, seeing who is in what classroom, how long they have to see us, getting permission forms, figuring out who needs to be tested, finding scores, and working out the schedule…a lot of running around. And let me say this- the first week of school coinciding with the last week of a graduate summer course- NOT ideal. But I made it. DONE.

This year i moved to 1st grade, which is good and bad. I love older kid content better, but I definitely love the hugs I am already getting from my soon-to-be kids. The good part is I am team teaching with a great teacher- and then surprise- we have so many ESL kids our numbers require us to have NINE esl teachers- so we got another teacher with us. Out of control. It will work out best for the kids so we can still bring in 15ish kids (we have about 80ish to see) and we can break up into small groups for centers.

There is the small factor of the classroom. We are out in the wasp/yellow jacket infested portables, crammed with two teachers who have been teaching for years, all their crap, and me, the one who has a low tolerance for cheesy teacher decor. BUT I have come a long way from last year when I was confused and annoyed by the colors and decor. And thankfully the two teachers I am working with are incredibly flexible, upbeat, open to new ideas, and willing to work with each other.

So I should probably let you in on some things from Portable 301…

20120810-225947.jpgWe began the week with no AC. Therefore we missed out a few days to set up the room.

20120810-230005.jpgThis sweet lil’ poster is hung up so it’s the first thing you see when you walk in. BAM. Does that not just make ya wanna SMILE?! (or puke)


20120810-230033.jpgThe mess of the board. Blah


Tanya tried to put this poster up. Stacy (the main teacher I team-teach with whose portable we all moved into) was nice about it, but I quickly vetoed this.


Tanya’s messy corner- this is what happens when you teach for 16 years- YOU ACCUMULATE



So….this was Tanya’s old Classroom Rules with the bucktooth apple…


This is Stacy’s with the children and her see no/hear no/speak no evil monkeys


And here’s what we actually ended up using…(default since their writing didn’t come off on theirs)- the simplistic, minimalist version I made.


And here is my poor attempt at making some form of conduct. I put the whole thing together, then realized WAIT, we have 80 kids…let’s hope they don’t all jump on S the same day. And ignore that the lessons are crooked and it’s just a mess. Perfectionist I am not.


I popped over to the reading corner to give the visual of what we hope our kids end up loving to do. And we hope they all have this excited of an expression when they read.


And when all else fails- CAFETERIA PIZZA RULES. It’s gonna be a great year


a new one is added every year…

This blog post has been a year long process in the making. I started it last year, didn’t finish, then figured I would wait until the next year for an even better post. Good thing I waited because there’s an AWWW moment at the end (at least in my opinion. People cried over this, just saying.)

Meredith Pace…many words describe her: fearless, Jesus-loving, kind-hearted, compassionate, wise, lover of books, smart, strategic, and a heart friend to many. Every year her birthday party ends up being a sweet time of friends getting together to celebrate her life and to also have a really fun, mid-summer party. This blog post is dedicated to her and to some of my favorite memories of living in Memphis.

July 12th…

Year 1: 24th birthday

Mere, Cass, Bobby, Karen and I ate amazing Indian food and went to the Matt Kearney concert. This was also when Mere informed me when she learned that his name was pronounced “carny”, like a carny, it made her feel weird since apparently she feels weird about the carnies. This photo also symbolizes why you will most likely never see me in a pattern (solids or stripes all the way!). This photo also documents Bobby’s first time of eating Indian food. I officially began falling in love with him at this point. Thanks Meredith.

Year 2: 25th birthday

This birthday was so special because…Brad, Amy, and Sarah made appearances! Plus, this was the first ever friend gathering with Brad, since he had just gotten off the plane from Central Asia. He easily fit in to the group and Bobby was happy to have another guy. We played Who Knows Meredith Best (a consistently popular party game). We learned Meredith’s favorite cereal is not Smackums, she doesn’t only eat organic, she always washes dishes before goes to bed, and I’m pretty sure I won.

Year 3: 26th birthday

This year…WE GOT SETH!! Seth is a perfect fit in so many ways, and we couldn’t be happier to have him and his bow-tie loving self. And clearly Mere loved being surrounded by these men. This year we all acted out our favorite Meredith moment, most of which included our road trip memories with her to D.C. or Indiana. This is the event I learned I CANNOT BAKE. Don’t ask me to bake. Don’t even let me volunteer. This offense was repeated for Karen and Sarah’s birthday gathering, and I’ve officially learned my lesson.

Year 4: 27th birthday

Let me preface that this year might appear that there was not one added, but people taken away…

BUT NO!! We did gain a new one…BABY LUCRETIA!!!

It’s horrible quality, but my phone is displaying a picture of Amy and her bump that’s heading our way in October (!!) She texts us pictures every month (instead of posting on FB), so we had to include it. This year we had our last dinner party at Mere’s McLean apartment, because she bought a house! The Angelus house with its perfect porch has some incredible times ahead.

In conclusion, thank you Meredith for having fantastic birthdays and being an example of a solid friend to us.
And thanks friends for slowly bringing new members of the family. Love you all!


When people ask what’s new and what’s going on with me or with Bobby I never know exactly what to say. If you’re asking if anything external is new, then there’s nothing. We’re having a really fun summer, excited for an incredibly busy, travel-filled, wedding and baby birth kind of fall. If you’re asking what’s going on with my heart, there’s too much to say right then so I’ll probably get awkward since I don’t always know how to transition from casual to deep fast and easy.

But there HAS been so much going on in my heart the past few months that has given me a different type of hunger for the Lord. Awhile ago I was looking at my friend Sarah’s bookshelf and a book literally jumped out, saying “READ ME NOW.” I obeyed, and have been blown away by simple truths communicated from a very humble writer. It’s been so timely for when I fear we’ve turned into boring people that don’t do anything. I’ve always been heavily involved in some type of ministry work, but have taken many steps back once I realized the hamster-wheel effect I was suffering from. Good works don’t save me, NOR should they be what makes people like me. If you know me really well, I struggle a lot with people pleasing and wanting people to like me.It’s taken years of undoing to be okay with myself, apart from what ministry/good stuff I do, just me in all my quirky, awkward, and corny ways.

There’s so much talk about doing service work in certain places, reaching out to certain kinds of people and basically I get the feeling that people believe some work is just better than others. Bobby and I have felt over and over that God gave us our jobs for specific purposes, not just to make money, but to love on people, be intentional, and let the Lord teach us what He wants (not just what we want Him to teach us). We’ve sensed the Lord halting us whenever we try new endeavors, because we constantly hear Him telling us to dig deep where we are. While the outside is not glamorous or as seemingly ministry focused as other jobs or relationships, it’s not about what people think. We are both so grateful for our jobs, relationships, and life situation now, because we’ve had countless opportunities to share God’s love…in the ways He has clearly laid out for us. It’s not about what people think. Obedience and trust are our callings.

The book I’ve been reading is Ruthless Truth by Brennan Manning. Some of his words have brought me to huge sobbing tears in the mornings, knowing it’s okay to rest and trust Jesus when it doesn’t look as “radical” as I think it should.

“The way of trust is a movement into obscurity, into the undefined, into ambiguity, not into some predetermined, clearly deleneated plan for the future…The reality of naked trust is the life of a pilgrim who leaves what is nailed down, obvious and secure, and walks into the unknown without any rational explanation to justify the decision or guarantee the future.”

“We are, each and every one of us, insignificant people whom God has called and graced to use in a significant way.”