Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday is Book Day

                                              Source: via Katie on Pinterest

Idols of the Heart
Chapter 8: Longing After God
In this chapter, the source of our desires is discussed.
Everyone has desires and longings, but where did they come from?
When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them desires.
But after the fall of man, these turned into sinful desires.
We all have desires. Some are God-given and others are from the flesh.
Even after we have been set free from sin, we still desire after things MORE than we desire God.
It's not wrong to desire after things, we just have to make sure the desires are good and that they take their rightful place AFTER God.

1) What would it be to desire after God alone? (see Psalm 42: 1-2, 143:6, Isaiah 26:8-9, Luke 9:23-25)
A: God is our life. Everything about us will scream that we are His. Nothing else should matter except Him. He needs to always be our main focus in everything we do.

2) God's joy rests in fellowship with Himself and with His people. How does this change your view of God?
A: Our God isn't a far off God. We can have a personal relationship with Him, a joyful one. He is always with us and takes delight in His children. What a wonderful thing to rejoice in!!!

3) What does John 8:44 say about the source of ungodly desires?
A: We were in bondage to sin and Satan. Even if we have been freed from sin, it still remains within us and tempts us with sinful desires.

4) Prayerfully question yourself. What do you desire and long for? IS this a holy desire that's in the right place? Is it a holy desire that's too important to you? Does Jesus occupy the first place in this desire? In other words, are you willing to give it up for Him?
A: I desire for the approval of other people. In a way, it can be a good thing if you desire other people to see Christ in you. BUT, more often than not, this is a very selfish desire of mine. It's hard for me to rest in the approval of God, and it's something I need to rip out and give to God.

5) Is there anything on the previous list that you aren't willing to sacrifice to God? Can you see how this desire may function as a god for you?
A: If I'm thinking about it more than God, than it's a god I've made for myself. Constantly changing who I am to suit other people rather than being who I'm called to be in Christ.

Happy Monday everyone!!
Long after Him.
He will satisfy you.

Katie :)

song of the week: newsboys - Dance

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Let It ALL Out"

                                               Source: via Katie on Pinterest

Hello to all my devoted blog readers!! :D
I'm sorry this has been such a silent place lately.
Work has been tying me up, and hopefully this week will allow me to be a better blogger.

I heard this song for the first time this week and the lyrics just absolutely blew me away.
They really hold a special meaning for me.
The song is "Let It All Out" by Relient K.
God has us go through hard times for a reason.
Through those hard times, God wants us to "Let It ALL Out" to Him.
Cry out to Him.
He will hold you.
He has a reason.
I'll post the lyrics here so you can read them and meditate on them.
(and of course I'll post the song too.)

Let it all out
Get it all out
Rip it out remove it
Don't be alarmed
When the wound begins to bleed

Cause we're so scared to find out
What this life's all about
So scared we're going to lose it
Not knowing all along
That's exactly what we need

And today I will trust you with the confidence
Of a man who's never known defeat
But tomorrow, upon hearing what I did
I will stare at you in disbelief
Oh, inconsistent me
Crying out for consistency

And you said I know that this will hurt
But if I don't break your heart then things will just get worse
If the burden seems too much to bear
The end will justify the pain it took to get us there

And I'll let it be known
At times I have shown
Signs of all my weakness
But somewhere in me
There is strength

And you promise me
That you believe
In time I will defeat this
Cause somewhere in me
There is strength

And today I will trust you with the confidence
Of a man who's never known defeat
And I'll try my best to just forget
That that man isn't me

Reach out to me
Make my heart brand new
Every beat will be for you
For you

And I know you know
You touched my life
When you touched my heavy heart and made it light

Katie :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Check It Out!

                                                             Source: None via Katie on Pinterest

That little dance that Snoopy is doing kind of looked like the dance I do when something SUPER exciting happens!!
Well, I have two very exciting announcements to make!!!
The first is that I got my CollegePlus! welcome package in the mail today!!!
I was still am SO excited that it's here!
Although I must say, the part I'm most excited about is the t-shirt. :P (me and my obsession for clothes!)
The other is that one of my dear friends started a blog!! :D :D
You can find it here.
Make sure you give her some blog world love!!
Well, that's about it.

Praying for my friends who are going through some tough stuff right now!!!

Katie :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday is Book Day

                                                           Source: Uploaded by user via Katie on Pinterest

It's book day again :)
Sorry this hasn't been very consistent so far!!!
I promise I'll try and do better.

Idols of the Heart
Chapter 7: Thinking About Your God
In this chapter, it talks about how our mind is basically what controls our affections and our will to make decisions.
We have to be so very careful about what we feed our minds, because it will come out in what we do and say.
The more we know about God, the more likely to choose Him and put down our absurd idolatry.
Honestly, people, God IS the only One who can make us happy. The more we dwell on that, the less we'll choose something above Him.

1) Why is it important for you to have a correct understanding of God?
A: If we have a correct understanding of God, our minds will be less apt to create a god to suit us. It will be harder for our hearts to try and tell us something false about God the more we know and understand about Him.

2) How does God inform you about His nature? What particular characteristics of His do you especially rejoice in?
A: Through His word and also through different circumstances in our lives. A characteristic that is very special to me is that He is our rest and our peace. (Matthew 11: 25-30, Psalm 55:22)

3) How would you explain the role of idolatry in modern man to a sixth grader?
A: As people who constantly offend and dishonor God, we always search to find happiness in things other than God whether we know it or not. Our hearts are always tricking us to think that God sin't who will make us truly happy.

4) Identify any areas where you have expectations that function as gods. Think about your imaginations during the day. How do you see yourself?
A: I think for me, I seek after the approval of other people. I always worry about if people like me or not. It's selfish. I should be dwelling on God and making sure that He is pleased with who I am.

Katie :)

song of the week: Hawk Nelson - Let's Dance

Sunday, October 23, 2011

To You Who Are Heavy Laden....

                                                             Source: None via Katie on Pinterest

I have so much I feel I need to share.
This life is hard.
Many things attack us, and as Christians it seems even more rough and relentless.
Satan would do anything to see our faith falter and fail.
And a lot of times we're just tempted to give up.
So many time I've just wanted to scream out, "GOD, WHY IS THIS SO HARD?!"
When I think I'm finally out of the dark, it comes back and hits me harder than I thought possible.
It's never the same either.
The devil has many devices by which he likes to destroy our strength.
He's not weak...he knows what'll get us down.
He whispers in our ear that we can't do this.
We're never going to get out.
We might as well give up on ourselves and God.
There's no hope and no escape.
We have God on our side.
We can say with confidence, "Satan, get AWAY from me! Jesus has cleansed me and is on MY side. You are defeated and I have victory in Jesus Christ!"
Even when we feel weak and small, God is made greater through that!
Through our wimpiness, God gets glory.
When we feel as though we can't go on another day, God opens His arms wide and invites us to rest in Him.
In Matthew 11:25-30, Jesus says...
 At that time Jesus declared, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Jesus WANTS us to run to Him.
He's the only One who can give us true comfort in this world.
He's the small, gentle whisper in the chaos, just saying, "Come to ME. I will give you rest."

Tenth Avenue North is one of my favorite bands of all time.
They're songs speak such truth; something that is sorely lacking in our culture nowadays. 
This is probably my second favorite song by them.
It's such a simple song, but it speaks volumes.
Enjoy and know that there will be hard times in this life, but Jesus is our peace and our joy.

Katie :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

V.I.D. - Very Important Dates

                                                    Source: via Katie on Pinterest

It's hard to believe October is less than two week from being over!!!
School is in full swing and lots of things are going on!!
I figured I might let y'all know what kinds of exciting things are coming up in the upcoming months. :D

October 19: I found out who my CollegePlus! coach is!

October 31: It's family doesn't go all out or anything, but it's cute to see my little siblings all decked out in adorable costumes! (and who doesn't love all the chocolate you get, anyhow?!)

November 11: My CollegePlus! start date!!!!

November 13: My twin brothers' 15th birthday.

November 24: Thanksgiving...basically just an excuse to stuff ourselves like there's no tomorrow. (oh and be thankful :D)

November 27: My 18th birthday..oh my. I'll be ancient!!

December 1: My family will get out all of our Christmas decorations!!!!

December 25: Christmas :) it'll be Meddie's first Christmas in America, so this one will be extra special...

January: (not sure about the exact date) Google Buzz will be officially shut down. This is quite sad because Buzz is where it's happenin'!!! (if you're in CP! that is)

January 1: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

January 8: My brother Nathan turns 9!!

January 26-30: CP! gathering in California. This is what my paychecks are currently going towards. I want to go REALLY bad!

Besides these very exciting events that are coming up, I have school, work, three Bible studies, time for my family, etc.
It's crazy busy, but I love it! :)
I'm sure you all are super busy as well.
Make sure time for God is always a priority...(I'm preaching this to myself as well)
Have a great weekend!
(to all my Sioux City readers, I'm working 5-10 tomorrow at Gap. Come visit me!!)

Katie :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blog Love :D

                                                              Source: via Katie on Pinterest

Some of my very good friends (two are siblings of mine :D) have started blogs recently.
You should definitely check them out!!!!
Follow them if you feel so inclined...

My twin brothers started Two Twinkies in a Ding-Dong World yesterday. They're pretty hilarious, so don't miss out!

My little sis Kaylee Bugg uses her creative skills to post on Dingy, But Loved.

In Meant to Shine For Him, SarahSis shares the adventures of her crazy awesome life!

Katie :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Puppy

Let me introduce you to the cutest puppy on the face of this planet.
Well, technically he's not a puppy anymore, but I like to call him that anyway! :D
He can be naughty, but I can NEVER stay mad at him for more than about five minutes.
He eats Kleenex and barks at nothing just to make sure that it stays nothing.
His vocabulary consists of about five words.
My mom and I spoil him rotten.
He's gotten pretty fat over these past years.
He loves people and is quite the social butterfly!
He has millions of nicknames. (I'll show you a few in some pictures)
No dog could be loved more than my puppy is.
His name is Cody and he's the only family dog I've ever known.
I just love him to death!!!

 Here he is barking at nothing. 
When he does that, he gets called either a dingleberry or Doofenschmirtz. 
(only if you've seen Phineas and Ferb would that make sense)

 When his fur is especially thick and fluffy like this,
we either call him Fluffy or Chubby.

 And when he's being plain adorable, 
he gets called Baby Cakes.

This one is probably one of my most favorites!
When he gets his hair cut really short (like he will tomorrow),
he looks like a girl and we call him Nancy. ;)

I love you, Cody!!!!

Katie :)
(no book again this week...sorry I've been behind!!!)

song of the week: Relient K - For the Band

Saturday, October 15, 2011

You Are More

This video made me cry the first time I watched it.
The lyrics to this song are SOO powerful.
No matter who you are, no matter where you've come from, if Christ has saved you, you are a new creation.
Praise God that He has rescued us from darkness!!!!

Katie :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Iron Sharpening Iron

Everytime I look at this picture, I just can't help but smile!!!
I have been so blessed to be part of the world of CollegePlus!
The people are just amazing.
They are the kind of people who are AWESOME to be around and great examples of Christ.
Working in a totally secular environment has made me appreciate these people that much more.
Thank you, God, for giving me such amazing Christ-followers as friends.
May we all continue to grow in our knowledge of you and in our strengthening and encouraging of one another.
Love you all!!!!!

Katie :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

God is Good, God is Big

I mentioned in my last post that my mom was in the hospital this last week.
I had decided to save the details for another post because I knew it would be LOONG!!
There is much I wish to say, but am at a loss in how many details I should share.

Let me just start with saying that about a month ago, my family came out of a very dark time.
It was probably the worst time my family has ever gone through.
Even though it was a time of growing and refining, we were very happy to be at the end of the tunnel.
We were ready for whatever God had for us next, but we didn't want it to necessarily be a painful or hard thing.
We were ready to SERVE not SUFFER.
We had just done gone through suffering.
It was time to move on.

Well....last Sunday, I had my week all planned out how I wanted it to go.
Some of my dear friends from CollegePlus! (the online college program that I HIGHLY recommend!) were coming into town and staying with the Reynolds.
I knew which days I wanted to see them and how long I would stay. (such a selfish little girl, I know! :P)
They were coming Tuesday and leaving Friday morning.

Tuesday morning came around and I was sitting at the kitchen table doing my math.
Every morning, my mom sits in her room and has devotions with my three youngest siblings.
Right after that was done, my mom asked me to come in and get her some ibuprofen.
She complained of having a weird cramp in her right hip.
I won't get into TOO much detail, but before I knew it, she was taking multiple pills to try and get the pain to subside.

She started crying and trying to get a hold of my dad.
He wasn't answering due to being away from his office and his phone.
It started to get really scary...

Pretty soon, she let me call the doctor (she hadn't wanted me to before just in case she was just being a wimp and it was nothing serious)
Needless to say, the nurse was NOT helpful.
She was very unconcerned, even with the sounds of my mom's painful, pleading cries in the background.

FINALLY, we got a hold of my dad.
My mom sobbed out to him what the problem was.
He said she needed to get the emergency room NOW!!!!!!!!!

I was given the task of driving my mom to the hospital.
That was the fastest I've driven or ever intend to drive!
When I got to the hospital, I had to drop her off to go find a parking spot in those stupidly set up hospital parking lots. :P

I got inside and registered her with a very grumpy nurse.
Pretty soon, my dad and my mom's best friend arrived.

The doctor came and said he was pretty sure it was kidney stones.
The nurse started pumping morphine into my mom.
They said the pain should start going away within a few minutes.
For a little while we believed them.
But then the pain spiked even worse than what it was when it had started.

They ran several tests and a catscan.
The end result showed it was NOT kidney stones but a tumor.
They originally said it was two tumors located in her ovary.
She needed to have surgery right away.

Needless to say, this KIND OF threw a wrench in my plans to see my CP! peeps :P
But God is good to His children. (even when they don't necessarily deserve it >.<)
Mrs. Reynolds so kindly offered to have us stay with them while my mom was in the hospital.
UH YES?!?! :D :D
We actually ended up staying with them for like two and half days which was twice what I had planned.
Thank you, God!

But back to my mom...
She had surgery, and they found a tumor the size of an elongated softball in her ovary.
The part that had made it so painful was that her ovary had twisted SEVEN TIMES!
This had caused cut off of blood flow. ouch!
My mom was a trooper though.
She was in the hospital all day Wednesday and came home Thursday in time for Meddie's birthday.
Our church family was simply amazing during all this.
We couldn't have been more blessed!

Even though a lot of good came out of this, we still wonder,
"Why did this have to happen now?
We just came out of so much.
Did we really have to have one more thing on our plate?"

Then Sunday morning rolled around.
God really knows what He's doing.
In Sunday school, we watched a video on God's creation in space.
It was incredible!
God is SO BIG!
How can we NOT marvel at His creation and His majesty?
How can we possibly doubt Him?
He is so big.
The main message our pastor preached on was about suffering.
God has 1000's of reasons why He has us go through hard times.
And if we question Him or try to lean on our own understanding, we are fools.

So this is what God has taught me this week.
He is good. He is big.
(there's no book this week because not only was I a little tied up, but Anna was also sick. God's timing is great!)

Trust God.

Katie :)

song of the week: Beethoven - Fifth Symphony

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to my favorite little sister!!

Yesterday was my little sister's 5th birthday :D
We had a great day celebrating her VERY first birthday in America.
It was an extremely memorable day filled with things that Meddie had never experienced before.
(you can go here to see one of those firsts)

Here are some pictures of her small birthday party we had last night.

 These cupcakes were made by my very dear friend Kaylee (from the blog henn house happenings)

 What five year old wouldn't love these balloons?! 

 Accessories fit for a princess!!

 She was SOO giggly and happy when she saw her little princess set-up


 She's opening up princess attire in this picture. 
That was pretty much the ongoing theme for the night.

Happy Birthday to my dear precious little sister.
I'm so glad you now have a forever family who will be here to celebrate your birthday with you for the rest of you life.
I love you, Meddie Grace!!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while!
My mom was in the hospital this week after having emergency surgery.
I'll post about it soon.
Although, there's lots of posting that I need to catch up on.
So many stories to tell....
Please keep my family in your prayers :)

Katie :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday is Book Day

Starting today, I'm going to be posting about a book study that I'm doing with my dear friend Anna Nix.
We have the discussions on Tuesdays.
I read it on Mondays and will now post a brief summary of the chapter and the questions.
Then you get to read through my attempts at answering them >.<

Idols of the Heart
Chapter 6: Knowing the Heart
In this chapter, Elyse Fitzpatrick talks about our hearts and the many different functions they have.
She then goes on to talk about how it applies to obeying the first commandment.
The three different parts are:
1) the mind: thoughts, beliefs, understanding, memory, judgment, discernment, the conscience
2) the affections: longings, desires, feelings, imaginations, emotions
3) the will: chooses and determines actions
These three "sections" of our hearts work together to obtain what we think is our highest good.
As we learn more and more about our Savior, these decisions become more Christ-centered.

1) How does the story of Rahab encourage you? (this story was shared at the beginning of the chapter to show Rahab's change of heart)
A: God can take you out of your past. No matter WHAT! You can have the most horrendous background and yet be used for great things.

2) What does the story of Moses prove about God's ability to work in our hearts?
A: Without the work of Christ, Moses would've been living in Pharaoh's palace for the rest of his life. He never would've experienced God's love in his life.

3) From your studies, how would you define the heart? How has your perception changed?
A: The heart is quite the mastermind. It can be our best friend and worst enemy. We need to guard our hearts and let Jesus reveal to us what it is that our little hearts are TRULY desiring.

4) Jeremiah taught that the heart was "deceitful" and "wicked." What does this mean?
A: Our heart is constantly playing games with us. Even if we really do want to follow what God says, our hearts can lead us to do the total opposite. But because it's sneaky, we follow blindly and willingly.

5) Can you think of a specific time when you were convinced that a certain course was right only to find out that later you were mistaken? How can something like that happen?
A: I won't name anything specific, but it CAN happen. I've experienced it many many times! Sadly, it's our fallen nature. Pray for God's grace to help you in all these areas. (i know i need it!)

6) What does the truth that God is the Heart Knower mean to you? How does it comfort you?
A: God knows me better than ANYONE else. He knows what's best for me and will make sure that it's what I get. (whether I think it's best or not)

Seek after God.

Katie :)

song of the week: newsboys - Beautiful Sound (below the radar mix)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Can You Say CRAZY TOWN?!?!

Yesterday was my very first REAL day of work. (like no training or anything)
I work at Gap Outlet as a sales associate.
My last day of training, I had worked in the fitting room for a couple of hours by myself.
It had been on a Monday, therefore it wasn't very busy. :P

I come into work and clock in. (OH! and did i mention that i get to wear a super cool walkie-talkie headset AND the fitting room key around my arm?! you don't get any cooler than that >.<)
One of my managers was standing right there and asked me if I WANTED to work that day.
(they were trying to find someone to cut their hours)
I thought about it briefly and ALMOST wimped out and said yes.
(the store was jam packed!!)
But I was strong and said that I would work.

my manger went over some things I would be doing that day.
They included a co-worker explaining what my role in the fitting room would look like that day.
I was the "party person"
If any one needs another size or if clothes need to be put back, I have to get my "runner" to do it.

I had no idea who my runner would be when I got started.
She comes in and I find out she's a lady who's maybe early 40's.
oh dear....

I was confident in being able to get my job done.
I did pretty well until I spoke into my walkie-talkie headset and to my horror realized it was broken!!!
My manager came and told me just to wear it without the headset part.
I could talk into it, but no one could talk to me.

I was feeling rather frazzled, but kind of enjoying myself too.
People kept pouring in.
They would come in with 20 or more items. (you can only take in eight at a time)
I would have to take all the ones they didn't want for the moment and hang it somewhere in the teeny fitting for them to swap out later.

Each time someone comes in, I have to take ALL their items, count how many they have, open the door for them, offer them a GapCard, ask them their name, and tell them I can grab them other sizes at any time. (it's quite a mouthful and by the end of the day, I couldn't spit the words out anymore :P)

Needless to say, by the end of the day,
It made me wonder if everyone in this world is as sloppy as the people who shop at Gap.
I would go into a fitting room after they came out and find clothes EVERYWHERE!
I mean, they would be crumpled under the benches, wound around the hooks, and hung over the doors.
I ask you:
*end rant*

That was first day of work. :D
Unfortunately, I had to come home to see my beloved Huskers lose to Wisconsin :(

I hope you all enjoyed this little window into my life.

Katie :)