How could this happen to me?

I had been injured before. I had played through the pain. But this was unlike anything else.

It’s the start of the season and I was in my element. Enjoying every minute of being back on the court. That was until the third set of our first home match on September 8th, 2015. I get thrown in the game and I am as anxious as can be. I finally get set the ball. I jump in the air ready to kill it. I make contact. and I land back on the ground.

All I will ever remember from that day is the intense popping I felt in my knee as my foot made contact with the ground. One. Two. Three pops and all I can think to do is fall backwards and scream in complete agony.

“You’re going to need your ACL repaired. You will be out for the rest of the season.”

Words I never expected to hear. Me? Needing knee surgery? But I have never had knee problems like that!

One excruciating surgery later and I am finding a new home at the physical therapists office. And I hated every minute of it. I hated the pain. I hated the crutches. I hated the scar that now covered the length of my knee on my right leg. I hated the fact that this happened to me. How could this happen to me? 

I sat at home and felt sorry for myself. And I cried. I cried out to God asking Him why He let this happen to me? And then I cried out to Him even more when I felt like He wasn’t answering me. I was angry.

I would get letters and get well soon cards with warm wishes for a “speedy recovery” and to “trust in God’s plan” but I couldn’t understand why I should trust His plan when He couldn’t even tell me why this happened in the first place?! This continued for months as I went to and from physical therapy, sat at home, watched TV, and shouted at God for letting this happen to me when things had been going so well!

I finally stopped yelling and I started grumbling. And then my grumbles turned into half-hearted prayers asking Him to take my pain away.

And then it clicked. He wanted my attention. But I had to stop running away from Him. His goal wasn’t to push me away. It was to pull me closer to Him so He could show me just how much I really needed Him. And I did..but not until Fall of last year.

I had still been having issues with my knee, had gone in for a second procedure, was still going to physical therapy, and had yet to find relief for my pain over a year later. Until one day I broke down. As tears streamed from my eyes, prayers poured out from my heart asking for God’s help. Asking for Him to heal me. Telling Him how much I needed Him.

I finally took my focus off of my pain and put it on Him. The one thing He was wanting me to do all along.

God doesn’t want us to focus on the things of this world…they are fleeting. But His kingdom is forever! Just like Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, when we focus on Him our spirit is being renewed each day even though we are growing older on the outside. We will go through trials but they are only momentary and have nothing on the eternal glory that is waiting for us! We simply have to stop focusing on ourselves and what is going with us in this world and put our focus back on God.

Now, I’m not saying that you should stop showing up to work or quit doing your homework assignments, but the emphasis we place on the newest iPhone or the cutest clothes or even the struggles that we have should be far less than the emphasis we place on God and His Kingdom. If we shift our focus, He will give us the strength to get through our troubles and He will provide our every need like Christ says in Matthew 6:33 “But first seek his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”..

I hope that my story was an encouragement for you and that you continue to seek God and His Kingdom no matter what season you may be in. Place your focus on Him and watch how your life transforms.. I would love to hear from you and how God used a difficult time in your life to pull you back to Him so make sure to leave a comment below! And don’t forget to subscribe so that you don’t miss another post!

Until next time..

Kat

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My Self-Care Tips

We all have a million and one things going on and it only feels as if the days are getting shorter and shorter, and our lists are growing longer and longer.

We have to keep our body, mind, and spirit healthy in order to get done what we need to get done..if not we will go crazy. Making time for yourself is extremely important and we should strive to engage in some form of self-care at least once a week. If we don’t take the time to care for ourselves, our self-love takes a toll.. Yes, you read that correctly.. Self-love people! You need to love yourself. Why? because you are a blessing and a gift from God! what other reason do you need? If God loves you, then you should love you!

Sooo..with all that being said, here are a few my fave self-care tips and tricks!

  1. Face masks: who doesn’t love a good face mask? Hop in your car, head on over to Target, Ulta, Sephora (or Wal-Mart if you’re about that life) and check out the amazing face masks that are waiting for you! I prefer mud masks because they help with removing impurities (no, not sin; just the nasty junk that floats around in the air and gets stuck in your pores). Here is the one that I use by SheaMoisture.
  2. Mani/Pedi: so if face masks aren’t your thing, then I’m sure you will enjoy getting your hands and feet loved on. I love going to get my nails done, and on days where I feel like really spoiling myself I will throw in a pedicure too! (even though this doesn’t happen as often as I would like, I am a college student so ya know #ballinonabudget) But even when I can’t go to the nail salon, I try to show my feet some love at home since they are what helps to carry and move us around – all day, everyday! So go pick out a cute polish (or not – sorry guys!) and grab that pumice stone, your feet deserve it!
  3. Unplug: in the world of social media, sometimes we can get a little carried away with checking our insta feeds, updating our snap stories every 5 mintues, and making sure that we respond to all those Facebook comments. (random: remember MySpace? ahhh, memories) Sometimes we just need to put down the phone, grab a good book, and be immersed in a good story! If you’re reading any good books lately, leave me a comment below! The only reading I have been doing is for class, which is less than thrilling..
  4. Get your binge on: no, please do not go binge eating. I am talking about a Netflix binge people! While this may not be the best way to self-care, sometimes we need to just let go and watch a couple (or 5) episodes of our favorite TV show! Right now I am trying to finish the last season of Vampire Diaries (shouts out to Netflix for releasing it just a few days after me complaining that you didn’t have it yet, you are the real deal!).. Sometimes, when I am feeling really ambitious I will binge watch while face masking and giving myself a mani/pedi! Talk about true self-love right there…
  5. Quiet time: this is, ultimately, the most important thing you can do for yourself. Just set aside 15 minutes, find a quiet spot, grab your bible, a notepad, and a pen and just spend a little time with God. Why not spend your self-care time with the one who loves you most?! This is something that I am challenging myself to do more because when we start to feel overwhelmed and stressed out, the things of God are the first to go.. I am sooo guilty of this! So instead of pushing Him away, draw closer to Him and see where He takes you.. and if you’re one of those artistically gifted people then go buy a journaling Bible and let your creativity pour out onto those pages!

I hope you found some of these tips helpful! I would love to hear how you show yourself some love  so leave a comment below! Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss another post!

but most importantly, don’t forget to be the light

Kat

Rolling Around in My Own Self-Pity

I’ll admit..when things aren’t going the way that I had planned or life feels as if it is falling apart, I shut down. Instead of automatically reaching out to my Heavenly Father, I give into the temptation of feeling sorry for myself.

“It’s all messed up”, “I will never get it right”, “I suck”, etc…

Phrases that leave my mouth a little to frequently. But it gets worse. Not only do I shut down and feel sorry for myself, but I shut out those who are trying to help me realize that everything will be okay. 

When I get into the deep, deep trenches of my own self-pity, this is when I begin to believe the lies of satan. He tells me that I didn’t deserve to get that job, that I am unworthy of happiness, that my friends are better off without me. I start to believe him and these lies start playing in a loop in my head. Repeating over and over until I have successfully avoided everyone trying to tell me otherwise.

It’s funny how one thing going wrong can spur a week of “nothing ever goes my way”. Your mind becomes so focused on what is wrong that you can no longer see what is right. Constantly complaining about what you don’t have instead of looking at what you do have (see my previous post here). My mindset becomes so distorted that I start blaming myself for things that I have zero control over!

Do you find yourself feeling this way? Like nothing ever works out in your favor? Do you believe the lies that satan is telling you? If you are, then stop. I know it’s easier said than done, but we have to stop feeling sorry for ourselves. What good has it done us? I can tell you personally, it has only made my situations worse.

If you start to feel sorry for yourself, ask yourself “was this something I had control over?”. Last week I had an exam for one of my classes that I felt I had truly prepared myself for and was confident that it would be a cake walk. Went into class, got the exam and instantly started to beat myself up because I had already identified about 5 questions that I was unsure of. I tried to calm down my anxiety so that I could focus on the exam and I did the best that I could with the knowledge that I had. I did the BEST that I could.

It’s as simple as that, if you do all that you can in your power and you give whatever situation it is your absolute best, then stop believing the lies telling you that you didn’t! When I pity myself, I fail to stop and simply talk to God about what it is that I am going through. He wants to hear from us! He wants us to call on Him! But He also wants us to stop pushing away those who are trying to help us.

NEWS FLASH: God uses those who are close to us to help encourage us! So instead of pushing away that friend who is trying to tell you that it will be okay and they are proud of you for the hard work that you did put in, listen to what they have to say and let them pray for you! You will feel so much better doing this instead of feeling sorry for yourself!

But also know that I am praying for you, that you may be able to change your mindset and kick the lies of satan to the curb! I know it isn’t easy, and this something that I struggle with too but it is nice to know that you have someone you can struggle with. Know that we can overcome these feelings of sorrow and self pity, and we will come out even stronger!

I challenge you, if you find yourself in a self-pity party, stop for a moment and be thankful for what has worked out in your favor, and realize what you do have is far greater than what you don’t.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”

Don’t forget to comment, like, and subscribe so that you don’t miss any of my future posts! And if this has been an inspiration to you, please share it – you never know who might be in need! 🙂

XOXO,

Kat

Leaving My Comfort Zone

Have you ever been afraid to step out and do something you typically wouldn’t do? I have been like that multiple times. A sense of sheer fear that I would be judged, ridiculed, mocked, you name it. But then, one message changed my heart.

“…the Lord is with you, mighty warrior” {Judges 6:12}

In Judges 6, the Israelites are calling out to God to rescue them from Midianites. An angel of the Lord came down to Gideon where he was working to hide crops from the Midianites so that his people might have something to eat. The angel approached him and said those very words “…the Lord is with you, mighty warrior” {Judges 6:12}.

Gideon went on to question this message he has just received, stating that if God was really with them, then why was this happening? The Lord then tells Gideon to go and save Israel! So Gideon is like what? Do you not see how weak my people are? There is no possible way we could save Israel! I mean, I can’t really blame Gideon because I would be a little shaken up myself if God just up and told me to go save the country! Why would he trust me, of all people, with that task? The mere thought of that is uncomfortable…But the Lord reassures Gideon that he will be with him and they will accomplish what they are setting out to do together.

This message is so powerful to me and I try to reference it whenever I feel like I am being pulled out of my comfort zone to do something that I know I should be doing. It reminds me that the Lord will call on us to do certain things for Him, but we have to trust and believe that He won’t just call on us and then leave us! Because just like He was with Gideon, He will do the same for us: he will be with us and we will accomplish it together. It doesn’t get much more powerful than that!

If you look at Joshua 1:9, it says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go“. We have to be able to step out in confidence knowing that God has our backs at all times. I will be honest and say that I have struggled with reaching out to others and inviting them to church or simply asking them if they know of Jesus Christ. I clam up and fear that they will get upset or offended. But I am continuing to get better at this because I know that this is something I should be doing as a child of God. We are supposed to encourage others and bring them to know Christ! And now when I go to speak to someone, I know that God is still with me and He will give me the words to say.

I took a huge step out of my comfort zone in starting this blog. I have never been a fan of writing and I didn’t know if anyone would actually read it. Even though it has been challenging, God has been with me every step of the way and this is something that I have to remind myself of when I feel discouraged or I don’t know what I am supposed to say. God is meeting me where I am to help me get to where I need to be. And He will do the same for you!

I hope that you were able to find encouragement in this post and if you did, please make sure to like, comment, and subscribe to my blog so that you get notified about my future posts..

As you continue on with the rest of your week, continue to remind yourself that God is right there with you every step of the way! And as always, continue to be the light 

XOXO,

Kat

Getting a Fresh Start

We wait for a new year, new birthday, new month, heck we even wait until “tomorrow” to start fresh, but why not just do what we are supposed to do from the beginning?

We often say “Oh yeah I’m gonna start being nicer tomorrow” or “I’m gonna start praying next Monday, this week is just going too be rough so I don’t really have the time” or my personal favorite, and one that I find myself saying too often “I have so much that I have to do so something has to go, I will just find time another day to read my Bible because that can wait“…

Well we say “tomorrow”, “next week”, “next month”, “some random Tuesday in July” but when that time rolls around, we continue the cycle of excuses… soon enough, these excuses begin to take over our lives and we no longer realize what we are doing..it’s normal for us to say these things and not really think about the consequences.

So here’s the deal.

Regardless of the fact that it’s a new day, month, year, etc. life goes on. However, each day is a gift and we must make the most of that day. Each new day is an opportunity to be better than the day before. We have to be diligent in what we do and continuously give thanks and praise to our Heavenly Father! Each day should be a mission to seek His face and follow His word.

In Ecclesiastes 11:5-6 it says that we can’t understand the works of God and that many things are left unknown, but even in that unknown we shouldn’t stop working. We need to continue sowing our seed and “let not your hands be idle” because we don’t know which seed will bring forth success or not.

To me, this means that even if we are unsure of what the future may hold, we should:

  1. Trust in the Lord to provide for us and lead us in the right direction
  2. Continue to work in preparation of what may be ahead of us by doing what we have been taught from the word of God

So why are we waiting until tomorrow to see what God has in store for us or, if you are pessimistic, what disaster may be coming your way. Instead prepare yourself by doing what is right and good based on the word of God, and strengthening yourself through reading his word and staying in communication with him (yes, I mean praying).

For example, I am about to graduate in a couple of months and I don’t know what the Lord has in store for me right after graduation. There is a lot of unknown in this situation, but I am preparing myself for what may happen. I can’t just wait around for God to give me a job; He is a very practical God. So, I am applying to jobs and going to interviews, all while still trusting that He will place me in the job that is the best fit for me.

In Proverbs 28:19-20 it states “He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty. A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished”.

We need to be working our “land” and remember that “The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied” {Proverbs 13:4}. We also need to stay faithful to God who is good and will, in due time, bless us abundantly.

So the next time you think “I will start looking for a new job tomorrow” or “I will start my bible study next week”, ask yourself “why wait until tomorrow to start what you could today”. Something that really struck me in a sermon one Sunday was “the Word is action oriented, therefore we must live “miracle”, not expect “miracle” to happen”, so don’t wait to just be handed that new job or wait until your time is right but actively sow your seed and pursue God!

I hope that you found this inspiring and you will begin to actively pursue God and His will for you. It isn’t easy, trust me I know, but it is well worth the reward. Please comment below something that you have found to be continuously pushing back until “next ” whenever, and let me know how you plan on changing that..

Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe to my blog so that you don’t miss any of my future posts!

As always,

be the light

 

Finding Motivation On an “Off” Day

We all have those days where we want to say “please don’t make me adult today”. We just simply can’t fathom the thought of getting out of bed to tackle that daunting to-do list. It’s normal for us to feel like this occasionally. We are human, not super human. However, it’s when we give into those feelings of “I literally just can’t” that we start to have a problem. When we give into those feelings, we allow ourselves to forget one simple fact: today was never promised.

Yeah, that’s right. I went there.

Simply stated in Proverbs 27:1 “do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth”. So instead of giving into the temptation of “I don’ feel like adulting” and saying that it can wait until tomorrow, seek motivation to live for the day that God has blessed you with. We all know Psalm 118:24 which says “this is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it”. Trust me, I will be the first to attest to the fact that despite having the ability to recite that verse, I don’t always show my gratitude for each day that I am given. I am to consumed with how I feel, that I ignore the fact that I am given each day, and each day I am supposed to be living for the Lord.

So on those days where your motivation is lacking, I ask that before giving into to that temptation you stop to remember that each day is a gift and you should be using that gift to be an encouragement to someone else. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite ways to find motivation when its presence is severely lacking.

  1. Read your Bible. The bible is filled with motivation. Take a notepad, a pen, and your Bible and go find a quiet space in your house with good lighting and just enjoy some one on one time with God. If your Bible has a subject index in the back then look up the versus under motivation, read them, write them down, and rehearse them. If it doesn’t have a subject index then google Bible versus for motivation and pick a few that pop up, open your Bible to them, write them down, and rehearse them. If you hear those words over and over again, your mind will be transformed and your energy levels will rise. You just have to trust in the power of God!
  2. Stop complaining. Complaining about not feeling like going to work, doing your homework, cleaning the kitchen, etc. will make you even less energetic than you already are. So save your energy and stop complaining.
  3. WorkoutI have found that if I workout, even if it’s for 15 minutes, I start to feel slightly re-energized. This creates a domino effect: I get energy from working out which allows me to tackle one thing on my to-do list, and then being able to tackle that one thing keeps me motivated to start on the next thing, and so on.
  4. One thing. Sometimes if my to-do list is on the large side, I will pick only one thing to do for that day depending on the amount of time I have available. So if I have an extra 30 minutes in between classes then I will pick something on the smaller side, but on days where I have an extra 2 hours then I will pick one of my bigger tasks. This helps to make it a little less daunting.
  5. Listen to musicWhile I have absolutely no rhythm whatsoever, I will turn on some music and just start dancing. Praise and worship can revitalize the soul, so turn on your favorite Pandora station or iTunes playlist and dance your way to new found motivation.

I would love to know what your favorite tips are for finding motivation on those days you literally just can’t! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe so you don’t miss any of my future blog posts!

Until next time,

XOXO

“I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken” {Psalm 16:8}

Oh No She Didn’t…

Judgement. We have all made one on someone else, and we have felt the judgement of others. But why do we do this?

I am quick to judge, but even quicker to say “don’t judge me”. If we don’t like the harsh glare of others when we walk into the room followed by the comment “would you look at her“, then why are we doing the same thing to other people?

In Romans 14:10-13 it asks why we judge our brothers (or sisters) and look down upon them, especially since one day we will all stand before God and give an account of ourselves before Him? It goes on to say that because of this we should stop passing judgement on others but instead “make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way” {v. 13}.

Essentially, Paul is telling us that we should stop hindering our brothers and sisters but help them instead. Say whaattt? You want me to actually help someone? Nooooo…

Yes. that’s exactly what we should be doing. If you read in the next chapter {Romans 15:1} the first verse tells us that we should not be living to please ourselves but to help those who are weaker than us! The second verse tells us to “please his neighbor for his good, to build him up”. So you mean to tell me, that instead of laughing at the dorky kid who dropped all of their books in the hallway I should help them pick them up and give them a word of encouragement so that they might have a better day?! Stop it…you’re joking right?

No. that is exactly what we should be doing! We should build each other up instead of tearing each other down. Now, I’m not saying that we should pay for someone’s meal if we only have $5.oo to our name or lift some heavy boxes for someone if we have a bad back. Let’s not be ridiculous. But we all have the ability to lift up another person in our own unique way based on the Word of God.

Trust me, I know that it is easy to get caught up in chit chatting with your friends about that one girl who had lipstick all over her teeth. But instead of indulging in that not-so-nice conversation, correct that behavior of your friends and do something that could lift that person up instead. This is something that I have to consistently work on because we get pulled into earthly tendencies, but part of being a Christian is being able to recognize what’s right versus what’s wrong and live accordingly. I have reverted back to an old saying multiple times to stop myself from making a judgmental comment – “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”!

If that doesn’t help you much, then remember this verse the next time you want to pass judgement: “reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” {Proverbs 12:18}. Who wouldn’t want to heal with their words? I know that if I am having a bad day and someone says something nice to me or texts me an inspirational quote, my whole demeanor can change! No one likes to be kicked while they are down!

So to help jump start this movement of leaving judgment behind and building up our brothers and sisters, I have come up with a list of 5 things you could do to encourage someone else:

  1. Pass out inspirational quotes or bible verses to people you see
  2. Pay it forward at a coffee shop by paying for someone else’s coffee
  3. Give a compliment to someone about their outfit
  4. Smile! (it’s contagious)
  5. Let someone know that you are keeping them in your prayers

I hope that we can all take something from this post and be a light unto others! Let me know in the comments some of your favorite ways to encourage those around you…

Until next time,

XOXO