be brave: amanda

Sunday, February 24

Recently my lovely friend Amanda asked what inspires me.
without hesitating, I said "brave people"
people who follow their dreams. 
who just go for it,
and dream big. 

those are the people and the stories that bring me to tears,
because despite the odds,
they are so so brave and courageous. 

Amanda is one of those people. 
last year she and her dad had the brave idea to open up a skincare store,
with products that are natural and free of any chemicals or harmful substances. 
it's called Taylor Stone. 

as someone who tries to live clean and green, 
i've been so so thankful for amanda and her honest genuine products. 

not only are the products great, but the heart behind the store and concept blow me away. 
amanda wrote the most inspiring manifesto. so inspiring in fact, that it's taped to my bathroom wall. 

because i need to hear it. and so do you.  
see it here. 

 {is she not just the cutest thing ever?}
                i wanted you to get to know Amanda's heart even more, so I asked her the following...

tell me who you are in a nutshell:
wife, food lover, writer, photo taker, explorer, Jesus follower (More on my blog ;) 

what is the heartbeat behind Taylor Stone, and how did you start? 
Taylor Stone is the brain child of my dad but the birth of my imagination. I came on to help my dad give the company it's story, it's look and feel, it's reason for people to love it. I wrote a statement of sorts, encouraging women to value themselves and describing beauty not as what you look like but who you are. The beauty industry is shallow, so many skincare and makeup companies promote this image of perfection that is unattainable. And in my opinion, unattractive. At Taylor Stone we don't sell face wash to make you "flawless" and we don't sell foundation so you can "cover up. " It's simple: a good face wash is going to help your skin be healthy, and makeup, well, I like to think of makeup as paint and your face is the canvas- so create! The problem comes when we believe these things make us beautiful- that's the lie- we are already beautiful! We were designed to be beautiful creations and all unique! To wrap it up, I see Taylor Stone as a movement more than a company.

in what way did stepping out to start Taylor Stone take courage? 
I really didn't know what I was signing on for when I agreed to help my dad with Taylor Stone. Back then it was just us in the back of our house hammering out ideas. I had no idea what it took to start a business, let alone, grow and run one. It takes tremendous courage to follow your dreams. So often we let roadblocks stop us and when opposition comes, we give up. It takes courage not to quit on yourself. To believe past the doubts and fear, that you can do this. It took me a long time to recognize that if there isnt opposition, I must not be doing anything worthwhile. Opposition and Success go hand in hand. There will be plenty of people telling you not to follow your dreams, so don't join them. Be kind to yourself and understand nothing great is built over night. It takes time. Grueling, back breaking, time but the hope is that someday it won't be so hard and you won't need to work so hard at it. Someday it will just Be.

thank you beautiful amanda:) 

so follow your dreams this week dears ones! 
and don't forget to get to know amanda more on her blog,
{you can also read a little interview she did with me} 

love Katie 

love is deeper still.

Friday, February 22

Kevin and I leave for Asia on April 1st, and that fact alone is blowing my mind. 
It has seemed exotic, adventurous, and a tad bit romantic to think that we are moving together as a young couple to a foreign country to do something good and bold and kind.

But tonight.
tonight the sobering fact of evil faced us head on, and I wept. 
my soul spilled tears,
and mostly heavy. 
the weight of something unbelievably evil. 

nefarious, in fact. 

my good friend Isaac, who works in an aftercare home for girls rescued out of sex-trafficking in Cambodia, recommended that we watch the documentary called "Nefarious" in an attempt to help prepare ourselves for the work we will be doing in Nepal. 

"prepare"might not be the most useful adjective to describe the effect this film had on me. 
maybe more liked "wrecked". 
yes, it wrecked me. 

kevin and nate and i just sat still when the movie ended. 
in the dark. as the credits rolled. 

my mind a screen, replaying the image of hell. 

but for as deeply evil as the most heinous act in the film,
what struck me raw,
to the core,

was that's Abba's LOVE was the hero. 

Corrie Ten Boom said,

"There is no pit so deep, that God's love is not deeper still.”

when all that was perverted and abused and twisted and dark transpired,
it was only,


the deep agape,

the love without condition or any condemnation,

that saved these women. 

that shone LIGHT. 

every women who testified of such torture,
ended their story full of redemption in a Savior that loved them with an
stream of agape. 

and I fell at HIS feet as
Kevin and Nate and I
all prayed,
thanking him for the bright lights of His love,
that can bring our hearts out of despair in a way that no drug or 10 step process ever could. 

the note of Christ's LOVE is where we landed. 
yes there is evil, but that is NOT the end. 
evil does not win. 

God wins.
love wins. 

I do not know how our time in Asia will go.
I am not sure exactly what we will be doing. 
I have no idea how my feeble self will withstand the tales of torture.

But one thing I know is this,
my God,
my Redeemer,
He is LOVE. 

and where there is LOVE,
there is no fear. 

so i want to be brave with my life,
and carry HIS love with me as we move and minister and live
in Asia. 

thank you all for praying and standing with us as we prepare. 
we are humbled. 

and please please please watch the film Nefarious. 
you can see the trailer here. 

{and don't say i didn't warn you. it will wreck you.}

but in bravery,
be ever wrecked for the kingdom,
swimming in His love. 

love Katie 

travel log: big sur

Tuesday, February 19

this past weekend Kev and I went to Big Sur 
with his brother Nate and Nate's girlfriend Jenna. 
although i've been before, I still find myself in a pocket of magic,
 absolutely, utterly, completely amazed as we drive along the coast,
our car ascending higher and higher up the cliff,
with sheer magnificence below us
in the form of turquoise waters, sandy beaches, cyprus trees, and waterfalls cascading onto the beach. 

we laughed a lot,
and let the wind whip our hair.
we stopped for lunch at one of the vista points,
and chewed and stared at the naked beauty below us,
raw and rugged and beautiful. 
it took my breath away.

randomly, we also saw elephant seals mating.
which as a side-note, is about as awkward as it sounds.
as in, I probably don't need to ever see it again. 

we also stopped in Carmel-by-the-sea, which is {in my humble opinion}
one of the cutest towns along the coast. 
we drank coffee, and visited the candy cottage, and snapped pictures. 

this morning I sat in the sun on my porch and thanked Abba for his sweet blessings. 
thankful that i can run free and wild through His beautiful creation. 

i'm learning more and more about being in a moment. 
all there. 
and claiming my heart content. 

to thank God that i'm alive in this moment. 

this weekend was refreshing to me. 
a chance to remember that I can breath DEEP into the wells of gratitude,
claiming each moment as a precious gift of my father. 

hope your day is full of freedom and centering and a thankful heart:) 

love Katie 

a valentines day picnic

Thursday, February 14

today was simple and beautiful. 
kevin surprised me with joy-filled sticky notes all over the house. 
he took me on a picnic to the park. 
we rode our bikes because it was beautiful out, 
and he bought all my favorites snacks...
"inner peas" from Trader Joe's {amazing!}. 

we hugged neighbors,
and chased geese at the lake,
and laughed to the wind,
and thanked Abba for his good gifts,
and held hands like lovers do. 

and danced in the sun. 
because we are in love. 

hope your day was equally as bright and cheery and full of love. 
love Katie 
{twirling, because what's a swishy dress without twirling?}
{our love bikes at sunset}