Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 26

Peace on Earth
Goodwill to Men

the Cooks

to be ever awed

Thursday, December 13

Before Kevin and I even started dating, the very mention of his name gave me butterflies. When I knew I was going to see him, adrenaline pumped heavy in my veins, a perpetual smile akin to a melody danced musical notes upon my face.

there was this awe about him. he was quite mysterious. beautiful at that. I didn't fully understand him nor know how to fully compose myself in his presence. his secrets made me long to know more of him. 

I wondered at who he was, the suspense leaving me wanting more and more of his heart. 

Yesterday Kevin surprised me at my office. The minute that door opened and darling husband put foot to the threshold, the wonder and butterflies and dancing musical notes rushed over my frame, and all I wanted to do was scream JOY and run into his arms, and hold tight, for LOVE was at the door. 

Love is Awe. 
and it awakens us to be FULLY alive, flesh and bones blood pumping ALIVE. 

so much more is this true of our SAVIOR. 

JI Packer writes "The life of true holiness is rooted in the soil of awed adoration. It does not grow elsewhere." 


is that my heart for the Lord? 
am I knock-down-wonder-struck at his beauty? 
at his grace? 
at his LOVE? 
thankful for what he GIVES? 

Ann Voskamp, in the 6th Chapter of 1,000 Gifts writes this: 
"I was lost but know I am found again, Jesus, and I know what I want:
 to see deeply, 
to thank deeply, 
to feel joy deeply." 

"Don't I give God most glory when I am fully alive?"

One night at dusk Kevin and I ran free and wild into the etheral blue waters of kuta beach in Bali, warm and sweet washed over us. 

we dove and kicked, and held each other in awe of where we stood. we laughed with balinese children, and played and played as though we were 5 again. we stood wonder struck when the waves crashed hard on our bodies, arms, feet, legs flailing round as we struggled again earth's current, salt water lapping down faces. 

so i am tempted to believe that the only way to truly LIVE ALIVE is to swim joyfully amidst surges of life, and be ever awed and inspired by the journey. To be children dangerously playing in water, but to only see the AWE of the creator written upon the waves. 

much love and AWE to you today, 
love Katie 

travel log: hania, the island of crete, greece

Monday, December 10

polly and i went to the island of crete because 
a) we both really wanted to go to greece
b) ryanair only flew to two greek islands from dusseldorf, crete and rhoads. the rhoads tickets were all sold out..... 

so we bought a ticket to Hania knowing next to nothing about the island. which i recommend if going to greece, i just don't think you can go wrong! 

hania was seriously MORE than i ever expected. it was adorably quaint. our favorite memories were of getting lost in the old town, finding cheap and delicious food {hello gyros and greek salad!}, stumbling upon markets and sampling fresh feta, and sitting by the harbor playing cards until after midnight. 

i felt as though we were in a movie. {and side note, evidently kirsten dunst and viggo mortenson were in hania a week before we arrived filming the upcoming movie The Two Faces of January, which I can't wait to see!} 

honestly, polly and i loved every little nook and cranny of Hania, and couldn't recommend it more. 

and since it's monday, i've posted an excess of pictures because i'm too lazy to pare it down to make your work day more enjoyable!! 

love Katie 
 {the view out of our hostel window off our balcony!}
 {our hostel was right behind this lovely church}

what's your story, morning glory? {thankful thursday}

Thursday, December 6

{never mind my flatty flat flat hat hair while in england!}

still pluggin through Ann Voskamps 1000 gifts. 
and by plugging i really mean chug-a-luggin. 
this book is meeeaaaatttttyyyyy stuff! 

so meaty in fact that this chapter hit me like a freight train. 

any guesses on the nature of this chapter?



i hate that word, and even further I hate suffering. 
i hate to suffer
and i hate that others suffer. 

and as a side note it brings me back to high school, and let's be honest... 

ok, now that we've got that out of the way, back to regular scheduled programing. 

suffering brings about
the perpetual "why"
which lingers on unanswered. 
fingers pointing at God. 
giving him my puppy dog eyes and wondering how he can watch me cry another day
and not DO something {or at least what I want him to do!}
those are the memories i long to forget. 
and it makes me think God's not really fair. 
hmmfffff, i mutter under my breathe! 

suffering is a part of my story. 
{as much as i can pretend high school didn't happen. sadly, it did}
it will always be a part of my story. 
as much as i want to block out those nasty times, 
the good Lord has woven them into my life. 
so why? 

here is what is beginning to redeem suffering. 

well, jesus, for starters. 
he's the redeemer. 

but the idea that life is a movement from darkness to morning glory. 
from the beginning of time, the Lord spoke order into chaos,
light into darkness. 

it's a movement. 
as in something happens to produce something else. 
and in this case something is suffering
and grace is what's produced. 

Ann says 
"the ugly can be beautiful. the dark can give birth to life; suffering can deliver grace" 

"suffering nourishes grace" 

Like a surgeon cutting open a wound in order to best repair it,
"God chooses to cut into my ungrateful heart to make me whole" 

"all is grace only because all can transfigure" 

amen! hallelujah! 
did ya'll hear that?!?

God uses suffering to transfigure our lives into streams of flowing grace. 
more graceful living.
more graceful hearts. 

and then i'm ok with that. 
it makes me happy that my life can transfigure.
can change into something more beautiful. 
and gives me hope and reason that my wounds were not in vain. 

but really, i should have known all along that our Abba does nothing in vain. 
he has a purpose. 
to think otherwise is folly. 

he knows. 
and newsflash....
he knows everything.
{forget that "elf on the shelf" business, God's the real deal!}
every tear, every wound, every pain. 
and he's got this. 

and as he spoke LIGHT to the world to form it
so he takes the ugly and broken and dark places of our soul,
and fashions them into something quite stunning. 
and by stunning i mean grace.

because aren't graceful people the most beautiful? 
well worth the suffering? 
i think so:) 

happy Thursday dear ones! 
love Katie 

and ps- just for laughs i tottaaaaallllyyyyy wish you could see me right now. it's midnight, i'm in a bathroom stuffing my face with pepitos, and sitting in a chair in front of my fake first place thats blasting heat even though it's not cold outside at all! i'm quite the scene! ha! 

time is life, and a new beginning for me

Thursday, November 29


i think about it a lot. 
how much time is filled and brimming busy with chaos
that i forget to
enjoy and 

it's like we're all running around in madness trying to stuff as many activities into our calendar,
and then we are so drained of energy that the busyness is not enjoyable but just distressing. 

Ann Voskamp says 
"hurry always makes us hurt...hurry empties our souls." 

so yes. I think a lot about this. which is why I had this epiphany last year that I wanted to be Amish, and it was my goal. 
but guess what? 
I didn't raise any barns and I didn't make any Amish friendship bread or wear a bonnet. 

but slowly, ever slowly, i made changes to soak in time. 
Kev and I made a vow that our home would be filled with relationships. 
we got rid of tv, iphones, ipads
because we wanted all attention on our guests, not on a distraction. 

so as I read chapter 4 of "1000 Gifts" by Ann Voskamp, I was steadily reminded that time is life. She says

"They say time is money, but that' not true. 
Time is life.
and if i want the fullest life, i need to find fullest time" 

this past year I was overcome with a yearning, almost aching
to be more present. 
especially in my neighborhood. 

I had kids texting me all the time to hang out, and as our busy scheduled filled,
i constantly was trying to cram small spaces to deepen my relationships with these precious kids. 

clearly, very cleary
i felt Abba calling me to consider leaving my job at Empowering Lives International. 
leave? i love my job.
I get to mobilize people here in the US about what God is doing in Africa! 
I get to hear stories of transformation daily! 

but then it became so evident. 
as i looked out into the wounds and pain of my neighborhood
i saw that the gospel must take root, alive and active. 
the good news that FREEDOM is available for all. 
that Abba calls his people out of darkness and into light.

it hit me like a ton of bricks that I wouldn't be true to my calling if I didn't step out to be a messenger of this 

and not just to share it once and run away,
 but to live it alongside these friends i love. 
because discipleship isn't just a one time deal.

it's TIME. 
it's daily walking,
and battling together. 

so friends, i quit my job. 
as of december 31st, i will not longer have a desk job
but a love job. 

as in i get to love as jesus loved, 
and roamed 
and told stories 
and cried
and struggled
and celebrated when those who were lost became found. 

i'm not sure if kev and i will have enough money. 
but i'm realizing this. 

time isn't money. 
time is life.
and the only way to live it is soaked in thankfulness 
when i am thank-full
i am time-full. 

pray for me dearest friends.
i'm scared
and pretty unqualified,
but when we are called to create time for others,
we are called in the right direction. 
i am sure of it. 
because jesus was. 

enjoy your weekend! 
love Katie 

life. group. {as in people i walk with}

Wednesday, November 28

the day kevin and I returned from our honeymoon
we were greeted with 2 homecoming gifts:

1) a flooded home 
2) a small indonesian man that wanted to say with us for 2 months 

let's just say i cried a wee bit. 
{that is a story for another time!} 

we also came home to a community that had virtually moved away. 
living in southern california has its advantages, but one disadvantage is that it is a very transient place. 
people come and go like nobody's business. 

so kev and i felt a tad friendless when we were first married. 
i seriously stalked married people at church, like it was my job. 
ring? CHECK! 
gotta get to KNOW them. 
a little pathetic, i know. 

in light of realizing that being a stalker wasn't going to cut it, 
 kev and i got on our knees and began to pray. 
for a group of people that we could 

and not just meet once a week and never see each other, but like live, and breathe, and talk, and WALK through everything with. the messiness. the JOY. the heartache. the celebration.

and the mission. 

we prayed for people with hearts that broke for 
the poor. 
the forgotten. 
the marginalized. 

and over a year later, we're living in IT. 
we never advertised our group, God just brought everyone of us together by word of mouth. 
and it's freaking awesome. 

we are called by God to live in community. 
community is a place that SHINES bright the love of Christ. 
like a taste of heaven, now. 

people can actively and tangibly see Christ's love
through people,
when they are living breathing LOVE to each other. 

in John 13:35 it says...
"This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

isn't it beautiful that our love for one another is a powerful witness to the Gospel? 
and truly, I feel so blessed to be a part of a community that does love one another. 
and deeply. 

as I was scrolling through some recent pictures, I realized that almost everything I was doing in my "life" involved someone from this group. That every inch of my life was lived with one of these precious people. 

so here are a few life moments with this crazy group that God has gifted me with. 
{at the grand opening of James and Amanda's new store}
{girl pile on our kitchen floor at life group} 
{watching the dance performance that Meki's student's put on}
 {attending an essential oils workshop at Amanda's store!}
{us wifey's cheering the boys on at their basketball game!}
{thanksgiving! after we raided the closet at the beach house, of course}
 {Hillary came to join us Cooks for Thanksgiving! LOVE HER} 
{brotherly love} 
{this man is in my life group forever and amen} 

praying sweet community surrounds you today:) 
and if you don't have a community, pray for it! 
i guarantee you praying is a lot more effective than stalking! 

love Katie