on being called...and give-a-way winners!!

Friday, March 29

It's funny how the same reason I came to this neighborhood is also the same reason pulling me out of it.

Abba's calling.  

And by calling I don't mean God called me on the phone, or mailed me a card with specific instructions, or instagramed where I should go next. 
{Lord, if only!}

people ask me all the time, "how in the world did you feel called to move into that neighborhood?" 
{because let's face it, cockroaches and gangs and graffiti aren't the answer to that question!}
And to that I say, it all starts with posture. 
 posturing our hearts so that scripture guides us.
with an attitude that says "flat out, I want what God wants"
and when I did that, 
and I read all the hundreds of verses on the poor, the oppressed, the immigrant, 
and God's great plea for us to live in solidarity with the broken,
two things occurred:
1) I felt a bit looney toons for so overlooking God's massive heart for the poor, and 
2) Figured if it was THAT important to God, then it should probably be important to me. 

and out of that posture came the building realization that I should do something, but I didn't have the slightest clue what that meant. I mean really, christians in america aren't super great at knowing how to take the phrase "love thy neighbor" literally. 

like what, do I furiously whip up some cookies and deliver them next door with a card?
have a potluck? 
volunteer one day a week at a community center? 
come on, I wanted there to be fine print in the bible on what it looked like 
to really, genuinely love the oppressed. 

so that left me with a bit of a dilemma. 
Do I risk my comfortable life, in obedience to God, to live in a way that is congruent with scripture? 
in a neighborhood that is foreign despite being in my own country?

I'm talking risk here people! 

The risk to honestly and intimately look eye to eye with the Father and just open your hands and say 
"here I am, send me. anywhere". 

The risk to surrender your heart and say
  "YOUR dreams are bigger than mine"

The risk to ultimately believe and shout 
"Not my will, but YOURS be done"

that's what it takes to live a God-adventure, a healthy dose of paradoxal living. 

but do you know what else i've found?
those risk statements seem to always follow major brokenness. 
I'll be candid {since most the time i'm lying to you. just kidding!}
only when I have been ripped and tattered raw, 
do I really hold my life loose and esteem HIS plans more. 

it's when we have nothing to lose, that we risk.
when we genuinely open those palms wide and heavenward.  

I hate that place, but I love that place. 
It's the place where calling happens. 
where our reality changes and turns and moves, 
because we let God ransom the clay of our lives to mold and use for something bigger. 
and better. 
something that twinkles the lights of the kingdom. 
a life that radiates a palpable message that screams "what i'm doing matters. for ever and ever" 

and here's the truth,
when I let God be all gettin' up in my bizness,
He brought me here, to a neighborhood of incredible people that taught me more about community that I had ever learned. 
{and this past monday night they were the ones surrounding Kev and I. 
60 of our neighbors prayed and partied and sent us off!} 

and in that place of being
postured in scripture,
  risking the unknown,
broken and bruised,

HE called me. 
into a life of 
and purpose,
and adventure,
and craziness,
and meaning. 

a life that was counter culture, 
but heaven ordained. 

and guess what. 
This calling business, it never stops. 

So now on Sunday, Easter Sunday, Kevin and I are stepping into a new calling in Asia. 
and while it's crazy WHOA intimidating,
we leave with the knowledge that we have been called. 
And there is so much peace in that! 

So dearest readers,
go and posture your heart in scripture
and risk the unknown
 and embrace brokenness,
because it might just lead you to abundance in the kingdom of god. 

love Katie 

ps- Thank you So much for entering the give-a-way! The following people have won a t-shirt.  
Megan Brown
Tiffany Miller
Nikole Macgregor
Kaity Best
Rachel G
If you've won, please email me ASAP with the shirt style and size you want, so I can get it to you before we leave on Sunday! 

Secondly, just for today, i'm offering a special price of $7 for these t-shirts. If you are interested...email me your name, address, size and style you want! I will get them to you before I leave:)

Happy weekend:) 

love is spilling friends...a give-a-way

Monday, March 25

Yesterday showered sunshine raw and genuine and beautiful upon Kevin and I. 
for starters i swear it was 85 degrees.
i wore shorts and a tank top. in march. um...hello SPRING! 

two sweet friends came over for breakfast, and we talked and shared and laughed and were real. 
genuine conversation about a God that heals and mends and binds broken wounds. 
{i'm pretty sure happy dancing was involved}

at church our pastor called Kevin and I up front to pray for us while our life group laid hands on us.
It was so powerful to have a church body lean into what God has for us, 
and tangibly support our journey. 
Honestly, I felt the body of believers BE the church as they surrounded us. 
After church our life group grabbed food and took it to the park where we basked in the rays and gobbled down pizza and took goodbye pictures. 

Later, Kevin and I rode our beach cruisers over to his parents house. We watched basketball (i'm kind of a die hard March Madness fan!), and then Kev's family and a few friends came over to our house where Kev and I cooked up our last meal at our little abode. 

Late into the night we laughed.
The phrase "i'm going to miss you" played on repeat. 

but the bottom line was, 
when i closed the night,
i literally felt clothed in LOVE. 
a radiating agape garment draped heavy over my heart. 
and joy and happiness were mine to savor,
i hugged tight not wanting the day to end. 

To be known and loved is so powerful. There is absolutely nothing like it. 

and so because of this LOVE,
i want to extend even more to you my dearest readers and share a give-a-way for you:) 

I am giving away 5 Africa Hope Shirts to you dear readers!! 
yes, f-i-v-e! 

You can read more about how I started Africa Hope here 
(I did an Africa series, part I, II, III)

The only thing you need to do to enter the give-a-way is this:
1) Be a follower of Hope Engaged
2) Leave a comment, including what shirt you like best:) 
{You can see all the shirts below}

That's it! Nothing too hard! 

Have a WONDERFUL Monday dear friends...my last Monday in the USA for 5 months! (wow!!)

love Katie 

women's shirts:




men's shirts:


you are enough

Tuesday, March 19

A few weeks ago I read something so inspiring and beautiful I wanted to share it with you. 
I have been meditating on it all week, reading it and rereading it because it lifted my soul. 
When my sweet lovely sister Lena came to visit me for a week, 
we giggled and laughed our way through a fun photo shoot in the park 
and I thought i'd pair them both together for you on this Tuesday! 
The following words are taken from an article called "You are Enough"
from a blog called Darling Magazine. 
We must choose grace. 
We must choose to take it easy on one another,
 and to be kind to other women.
We must choose to believe that we have something to offer this world 
that no one else can.
You have something inside of you 
that is so unique and so good.
Next time you are tempted to compare yourself to someone else, 
look deep inside of yourself. 
Explore and find out what it is that makes you different, 
what it is that makes you feel special and beautiful and whole.
Draw upon it whenever you are feeling like you aren’t enough.
Let it shine and glow though you.
Take hold of whatever it is you find and don’t ever let it go.
If you are a painter, paint. 
If you are a writer, write. 
If you are a lover, love.
Don’t worry about whether or not someone else can do it better than you. 
No one else can be you, and you were created in the image of a perfect creator.
Don’t allow comparison to rob you of 
your uniqueness, 
your imagination, 
your light and 
your joy.

isn't that so so good? 
when I read it I seriously let out a sigh of relief, 
thankful that even if someone can do something better than me, 
only I can do it the way God created me to do it! 

that we are shaped and molded after the Creator to do what only we can do? 
to love and serve and GO where only HE has called us? 

I think in the end, this quote embodies being brave. 
To step into the treasures Abba has given us, 
instead of comparing and wanting what others have. 

we are unique and fully loved. 
and that is grace
flowing down from our loving Father. 

happy tuesday dearest friends! 
love katie 

a little mad men themed birthday party

Wednesday, March 13

 this past weekend was my birthday, and I felt absolutely covered in love. my family drove down from northern california to be with me, and I was serenaded with breakfast in bed by pretty off-key rendition of happy birthday {it's tradition!}. we went to the farmers market and ate fish tacos, and the sun was shining, which I considered my birthday present from God:) 

later that night, we glammed up for our mad-men inspired birthday party! My dear from Chels and I are birthday twins, so we went retro this year and took everyone back to 1960's. To say I love dress up themed parties is a bit of an understatement. 
I ADORE them! 

we found plastic martini glasses so we could feel like the real deal, and chels found candy cigarettes online to pass out as party favors. the best part was EVERYONE got really into it, and the costumes were amazing!

I made a little game where I printed out about 15 famous people from 1960 and made everyone guess who was who. We also played a very heated game of battle of the sexes (which we considered fitting since gender roles in 1960 were a bit stereotypical, haha!) 

I love it when everyone I love comes together for a good time. And the best part was, I got to wear my grandma's vintage green suit from the 1960's. I was legit people! haha

thanks for all your sweet birthday wishes...made my day!!! love you guys! 
love Katie 

and as a disclaimer, the lighting was a bit, umm...yellow. Let's just pretend that's what photos in 1960 looked like, mmmkay? 

praise Jesus for friends and family who make us feel so special:)