Showing posts from 2015

The New to Come

Here we are, on the last day of the year.

We'll pull apart party poppers (say that three times fast), drink sparkling grape juice, make resolutions we sort of intend to keep, and make a big deal out of everything because "it's the first of this year!" And then there are those people who are always like, "remember last year, when..." and then go on to describe something that happened five minutes ago (okay I confess that person is me).
I hope you had a good year, even if was a hard one. In some ways, I think the hard years are the best years. They're the ones that help us grow, that make us better. 
For me, this has been a long year. On the outside, they don't look too different. but everything feels so different than they did twelve months ago.
I'm ready for this year to be over. It's kind of like Christmas. It's great and wonderful, but only for a limited amount of time. If Christmas lasted any longer than it does, it wouldn't be as…

Waiting for Joy

|| O come o come Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appears ||
A nation in exile.
A nation in exile again and again and again.
A nation waiting.
And waiting.
And waiting.
A nation losing hope.
Until hope appears.
I love Christmas. I love the entire season, as it eases in from the beginning of November, growing up until Boxing Day. To me, it really is the most wonderful time of the year.

I love the music and the traditions and the cheesy Hallmark movies. Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of the shopping. I like being at home, or at parties with my friends, looking at Christmas lights inside and out, listening to Michael Bublé and drinking hot chocolate. It's just so wonderful and lovely and joyful.

Because that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

It started with a promise of hope glimmering in the darkness.

That glimmer rose and fell. Hope seemed to come and go to the nation of Israel. God's chosen p…

An Expectation of Hope

|| "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring." Proverbs 27:1 ||
Nothing this year went how I expected it to.

For instance, I did not expect "man buns" to become a big thing (unfortunately they did). Or for people to demand that I watch them do a stupid dance move (I'm proud to say that I have never whipped or "nae naed"). Or for people to demand to know what my shoes are (that was probably the most annoying thing). Or any of the other weird things that have happened this year.

But more seriously, there was a lot of disappointment. In different ways, with different things. That's not to say there weren't great things that happened, because great things did happen. Like, I got a cat and went to NITOC. But not so great things happened too.

Maybe it's just me, but I always have these unspoken expectations at the beginning of each year. At New Years, at my birthday, at the beginning of the school year. I expect all…

The Gospel Actually is Good News

If you've ever spent time in a Sunday School classroom, you know that 'the gospel' means 'the good news.' And obviously the Gospel (Jesus coming to save the people of the world from their sins so they can live with God forever) is good news. So what's the big deal? What's the point of this blog post?

If you've ever spent time in the Youtube comments section ... you know that some people take "sharing the gospel" as "reminding someone that they're a horrible person who deserves to go to h-e-double hockey sticks" without giving these people any hope.
At the same time, we see Christians who are like "yah do whatever you want Jesus loves you he just wants you to be happy" and neglect to actually remind them that there is a big problem with just doing what you want.

So many modern day Christians have fallen into the trap of one of these two ideas:
1. You're All Sinners Who're Going to Hell Heck
This isn't necessa…

I'm Thankful and Stuff

Ah, Thanksgiving. The day of food, football, and awkward family relations. There's turkey and potatoes and getting hit in the face with a football, and wishing you hadn't eaten as much as you did. Plus, you can get Christmas shopping done on this wonderful day, because now Black Friday starts Thursday evening.

Honestly, I'm not a big fan of Thanksgiving. I don't like watching football or most of the traditional food eaten on this day. But my least favorite part of Thanksgiving is the day after.

I don't think there's anything wrong with going out and getting a great deal on Christmas gifts for the people you love. That's great. Go shop on Black Friday at whatever time you want to. That's not what I don't like. But I've noticed this thing that happens around Thanksgiving.

For about four weeks, starting November 1, everyone becomes really grateful for everything. Grateful for family, and food, and friends, and football. I'm all for gratitude. B…

Paintball, Popularity, and Perfectionism

|| "'For we are God's masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.'(Ephesians 2:10) Our English word poem comes from the same Greek word (for masterpiece)." -Emily Freeman, A Million Little Ways ||
Getting shot in the thumb is not a fun experience.

Not even if it's just paintball.

When I went to the paintball place with my friends from speech and debate, not prepared to play. But when I got there, after a little bit of convincing and the gathering of funds, I ended up playing.

And I discovered that paintball is not my thing.

The fields were incredibly muddy, and I was wearing my good converse and jeans (remember, I did not come prepared to play). I walked through the mud (and by 'walk' I mean tried not to sink down into the pit), my breath fogging my mask, trying not to accidentally shoot myself in the foot, and wishing someone had put me on camera duty instead.

First round I got shot in the leg, …

Your Body is Not Your Worth

|| "The Lord will be your confidence and keep your foot from being snared." -Proverbs 3:26 ||
Demi Lovato makes me sad.

Not because she went through rehab, or writes sad songs, or because the end of Princess Protection Program is emotional (though it is my favorite Disney Channel movie). Demi Lovato was on the cover of "Cosmopolitan" magazine in September. What did she have to say to those criticizing how sexual the cover image was?

"I feel incredibly empowered and the most beautiful I have ever felt on this magazine."

Demi just came out with a song called "Confident."

I hate it.

I don't hate Demi, don't get me wrong. But her song isn't about confidence. I don't think she even knows what confidence isn't. That's not her fault. Almost no one these days knows what confidence is. It's a word that's thrown around a lot, and there are a lot of definitions, but for now I'm going to talk about the definition mainstre…

Seen and Heard

I stared at the sky. This was one of the few, maybe the only time of year I could see the night so clearly. Even with the bright lights around the field, the stars glowed, more and more appearing as I kept watching. The stars came after I walked down the edge of the lake, watching the last of the day's sunlight reflected on the water and wondering at God's creation.

I thought of the girls in my small group, and the rest of the girls in our youth group. I thought of the girls who I wished were there. I thought of the hearts of the people I know, their words, their faces, their lives. I thought of my own life, the things I've been through. In the moments of the sunset, the light of the stars, the wonder of the magnificent, I wondered why.

Why did God step down, leaving behind the robes of majesty, the worship of angels, and the glory of Heaven, to touch our sickness, heal our disease, redeem our lives? Every sinful heart offered salvation. Every good girl given grace. Every…

The One Thing I'd Tell Her

The high school girls small group more than doubled when last year's eighth graders moved into ninth grade.

I didn't know how going from three or four girls each week to 8-9 would go. Would we have to start over the book we'd been working through during the summer? How would the new girls and older girls get along?

That first night we sat down, all squished together on the sofas that have been in the youth room for as long as I can remember. About five of the new ninth grade girls squeezed together on a couch made to hold three people. I've known most of them for two or so years, but some are brand new to the youth group. I make sure to remember all their names though. Names are important.

We start off with an ice-breaker. Age, school, favorite book, kind of shampoo. A few times, I want to get on my soapbox and rant about how they really ought to read more books, but I hold back. I probably shouldn't traumatize the newbies on the first night.

Once the fun parts are …

September is Over, October is Here

I was up until one the other night, so there was a moment when I looked down at the clock before going to bed and saw this:

This small box in the bottom right corner of my laptop screen was the biggest relief. Not that September was the worst thing ever, but there was so much going on the whole month and, unlike most months, it did not go by fast.

But it's over now, and I can look back and say I did productive things! September is one of the busiest months of the year for me, and October is one of my favorite months, so I'm going to share what I learned in September and what I'm looking forward to in October (spoiler alert: it's not Halloween).

What I learned 1. I work better with a deadlineIf I absolutely have to get something--a speech, a novel, a blog post--done by a specific time, I will get it done. Loose deadlines leads to procrastination and scrolling Pinterest and watching Once Upon A Time reruns. And then when I realize I should probably do the thing I should&#…

I Love Ice-Cream Until I Hate It

When I see ice-cream in the freezer, I get really excited. I probably forgot it was there, and after a day of  school, writing, debate and speech, it looks exceptionally lovely. All sweet and creamy and cold and sometime have cookie dough, and that's even better.
But after a second, the excitement fades. I don't mind going through the trouble of washing a bowl, getting a spoon, and thawing the ice-cream. That's all worth it for the sweetness and general loveliness. But other concerns cross my mind.
I probably shouldn't have any ice-cream, especially after everything else I ate today.
I mean, my hips are big enough already.
And have you seen the way my thighs get all wide when I sit down?
Or the way my legs jiggle so grossly when I run?
Or ... anything else.
Regardless, I find some excuse--I won't have any tomorrow, or I'm going to play Frisbee tomorrow, or whatever--and scoop the ice-cream into the bowl. I pull my laptop up and edit my novel, taking a few bite…

Start Here.

For the one who desires to be honest, but are afraid others won't accept your brokenness
For the one who has heard the word grace a thousand times, but don't know what it really means
For the one who wishes she were confident, but can't figure out how
For the guy raised learning Sunday School answers, but feels like he doesn't know anything
For the girl who wants to make a difference, but feels too small to be noticed
For the "cool kid" who knows how to be liked, but is crushed when they aren't
For the teenager who has something to say, but fears no one will listen
For the good girl who is breaking inside, and the good boy who won't show his struggles
For anyone who wants to be brave, but doesn't know where to start
I'm writing for you.
I'm afraid of honesty, but I know the risk is worth the reward. The only reason I know what grace is, is because I need it every day. I try to be confident, but I'm still learning how.
Bravery isn'…

Follow Your Heart (And Other Things Christians Should Do)

"Psh, that's ridiculous." I thought while watching Pocahontas for the millionth time. The whole spinning compass and magic flower wind was a little out there for my fourteen-year-old sensibilities. "You're not supposed to follow your heart. Haven't you ever heard Jeremiah 17:9?"

||"The heartis deceitful above all thingsand beyond cure. Who can understand it?" -Jeremiah 17:9||
Clearly, you should not follow your heart. It is deceitful (above all things!!!) and super wicked (like, even more than the musical), and incurable and just generally horrid. If you do follow your heart, you'll end up miserable and cold and alone. No one can ever conquer the heart, so you should probably just ignore it when it tells you about that thing you're passionate about, or that crazy idea you've had for years.
So you take this seemingly sound advice, and you leave behind those crazy things your heart keeps telling you to do. After all, no one would list…

Where I'm Standing

||"You are your own definition of beautiful." -Taylor Swift||
It seems like almost every Christian blogger is obsessed with coffee. Maybe it's just me, but between "About Me" pages and Twitter descriptions, the phrase "coffee-lover" is everywhere. It's not just bloggers. It's other teenagers in general. It's on t-shirts and Pinterest boards and giftcards because you couldn't think of something personal to get someone.

I don't drink coffee. I don't like coffee. I just don't.
I'm not a mother (obviously). I don't blog about raising children. I'm only sixteen.
Only sixteen.
I have a hard time finding blogs written by other Christian teenagers. When I'm looking at Twitter accounts it's always like, "Christian blogger, mother of like 5 amazing kids I lost track because I have enough love for 20 of them." I've never even changed a diaper.
I find a lot of blogs written by college students. Those a…

What I Learned in July

Ah, July. The month of Independence Day parties, illegal fireworks, swimming, speech and debate camps, and wishing I had my license. This month went by really fast, but I did learn (or re-learn) a few things in its 31 days.

1. Calendars are more fun when they're pretty
I got a new weekly/monthly planner the other day, and if it weren't for the lovely green and blue cover, I probably wouldn't ever use it. But since it does have a lovely green and blue cover (and interior), planning things months ahead may become a little more common.
2. Journaling actually helps
No, I don't write in meticulous detail about everything I did that day. That would be boring. But I do write how I feel about things, which keeps me from imploding. When you write, it doesn't have to be extensively descriptive. Just get your thoughts down and you'll feel better.
3. Panic doesn't help
But I still panic. And it doesn't help. Don't panic. It just stresses you out and makes every…

Living Confidently

||"Believe in yourself!" -The lamest confidence quote that is supposed to make all your insecurities go away. (how???)||

My debate partner got me socks for Christmas and I love them.
They're not normal, solid colors. They aren't no-shows. They are knee-high, purple and green/black and purple striped glories. And I wear them with my suits.

Don't freak out. I don't wear them into speech or debate rounds. That would be a little far. But I do walk into tournaments, totally professional from hair to knees. Pencil skirt, hairspray, blazer, blouse. And, of course, knee-high bright green socks.

I don't wear the socks to get compliments or attention. I wear them because they're awesome, and wearing them with my professional tournament attire is a beautiful summation of my personality.

When we talk about confidence, the conversation is all too frequently reduced to positive self-talk and smiling more often. But saying "I am beautiful," or "I can …

Living Gracefully

||"Cease striving and know that I am God." -Psalm 46:10||

One of my friends from youth group is a ballet dancer. Every year, from early September to late November, is Nutcracker Season. At the busiest part of this season, she's in the dance studio seven days a week. She and the other dancers practice hours each day, memorizing each dance, learning to move to the music with every limb in place, a smile on their face.
Oh how I admire ballet dancers.
Thanksgiving weekend, they perform. And it's beautiful. The dresses and sets are nice and all, but the real beauty comes from the dancers. The movements are smooth, practiced to perfection. The months of practice come together in one fantastic show. These girls have learned exactly when and where to move in time to the music.
Sometimes I live my life the same way.
Don't get me wrong. I have about as much coordination as a baby elephant. Ballet is not soon to be listed among my list of talents (which currently includes …

Living Honestly

||"I'm a mess and so are you; we've built walls nobody can get through. Yeah, it may be hard but the best thing we could ever do ... Ever do ..."||
(If We're Honest by Francesca Battistelli)

I sit across the table from him while the others listen to another generic pop song. We started out discussing a debate ballot, but the conversation has gradually reached a different point. Though my friend already knew some of the story, even more than most people, I knew I needed to share the whole story.

For the past seven months, I'd been keeping my friends at an arms length away. After losing a friendship the summer before, I didn't want to get hurt like that again. But that night, in mid February in a hotel in Missouri, I chose to trust again.

Honest is one of the bravest things we can be.

We have this instinct that tells us we have to be perfect and happy all the time, or at least look that way. So we build a wall to keep our friends out, and they do the sa…

The Thing About "the List"

If you are a teenage girl who has ever read a relationship related book or blog post by a Christian woman, you've heard of "the List."

The List, if you don't know, is the concept of making a list of qualities you look for in future husband (I don't know if there are guy books/blogs out there that encourage the dudes to do this for future wives, but I guess that's a possibility). It's well-intentioned, and in the right circumstances, it can be beneficial.

Typically, the List starts off with one of the various ways of saying the 'obvious':

1. Must be a die-hard Christian
There are a thousand ways to say it, but that's the basic idea. This obviously isn't a bad thing to want/need. There's nothing wrong, with wanting to date and marry a Christian. In fact, you should date and marry a Christian. But all too frequently we end up with this unclear idea of what a Christian is.
And so teenage (and even preteen) girls start writing this list, put…

Say the Next Yes

Normally when people think about being brave, images of sky diving and roller coasters are what appear. Or maybe you think of people going on missions trips to third world countries. We think of big, bold choices and actions.

But bravery isn't always big.
The seed of starting a blog was planted in my head when I was twelve. I told my youth leader Sarah that I wanted to be a writer, and she mentioned blogging to me. A couple of years later, I started Kitkats and Impromptu, which focused primarily on speech and debate life. It was a small decision, one that I second guessed more than I should have. I started the blog for fun, mostly so I could ramble about speech and debate to people who would relate. It's still really fun. I get to draw stick figures on paint and write about something I love.
Occasionally, I would write about more serious stuff. Those posts rarely got as many views as my funny posts or my parodies. But I still wrote them.
However, they felt out of place. Having…

What I Learned in June

When I was thinking about what I learned this month, I realized just how many things have happened to me in the last four or so weeks. I've grown a lot, and been in situations I've never experienced before. Here's what I learned in one of longest months I've been through.

1. Swing dancing is seriously amazing
My friend had her 16th birthday party at a dance hall in a sketchy part of Fort Worth, and when I saw the place for the first time I was like "what the heck did Kat get me into?" But once I got inside and started learning how to actually swing dance, I learned I'd been missing out on something amazing for years. If you get the chance, you should grab a few friends and go out dancing!

2. I am ridiculously sentimental
I cleaned out from under my bed this month, and I realized that I keep way too many things. I honestly don't care about the crafts I made in VBS when I was ten, but I still had all the little cardboard baskets and picture frames and h…

A Little Bit Brave

For the last few months, I've felt God calling me to start a blog.

But I was afraid.

Up until a couple of months ago, I didn't see any girls close to my age doing things like starting blogs about living for God. I knew teenagers with writing blogs, and I saw a lot of blogs written by women in their twenties, but in my heart I knew that I needed to write to other teenagers about living from a love for God.

Yesterday, I got to reading some of Annie Downs' writing. Her book Let's All Be Brave is technically supposed to be for adults, but I still read the free excerpt because I love Annie's writing.

That little excerpt is all I've read of the book, but even that touched that space in my heart that keeps trying to push me forward, into unknown, uncertain places. And I listened.

Sunday morning at church, the sermon was given by a woman, something I was super excited about. Then she, Holly Wagner, started preaching about bravery. Again, that space in my heart whispere…