Spiritual

Grief.

It’s a funny thing, y’all. One moment, you think you’re fine…the next, you’re crying in a bowling alley parking lot because you found out 12 hours before that your world/your sphere/your people (and, even more, the world of your parent/aunt/uncle) has totally changed and you can’t “push through” anymore. Who knows where it will hit. Or if you’ll be able to pause the floodgates once it does. For me, it certainly came in waves. And I’m sure it will continue that way.

Roy Walter Crews, Junior. My daddy’s dad. Papa. There are so many things I could say, but I wouldn’t know how or where to start. So I’ll let these pictures do the talking. The smiling face below is how I’ll remember him — and how thankful I am that I have these pictures and that he was able to be present for one of the most important days of my life (among the many others growing up).

0370Katie and Garrett_W0368Katie and Garrett_W

This picture (above) was on his refrigerator when I walked into the house Sunday night. Cue the tears.

0372Katie and Garrett_W

He leaves behind quite a special family, if I do say so myself. We couldn’t be more blessed for the time we had, the life he lived, and the family he built — and to know he’s back with Mimi. None of that makes it any easier, but it does provide a slight bit of peace. I’ve had some tough moments in my life. But, few (if any) tougher than leaving my family this past Tuesday — each handling it differently, in our own way, but leaning on each other as we pulled out of the driveway knowing that someone was always just a phone call away for support.

For anyone currently going through some sort of grieving process, anyone who has been through it before, and those who will in the future…my prayers are with you. Know that you can always find support here. Thank you to those who have been that support for me and my family — and those still in Oxford, squeeze my people tight when you see ’em. Y’all mean so much to us. Your love won’t soon be forgotten.

Spiritual

Daddy.

I’m a day late, and I’ll always be a dollar (or millions) short of being able to accurately depict how special he is. But, here’s a try.

Let me tell you a conversation (shortened here) I had with Garrett when talking about buying a recliner a few weeks ago…

Me: Where do you think I sat in the den at my parent’s house?

Garrett: Jimmy’s recliner. But where’d you go when he came home?

Me: Uhhhh, in Daddy’s lap, in his recliner, duh.

G: 😂😂😂

Me: And I still sit there now. Even though I’m too old and too big…. Except, actually, now there’s usually at least 1 of 4 little loves in my spot. And it makes me kind of sad…

See photo evidence below — Daddy’s lap has been my fave spot for a loooooooong time.

Me sleeping in Daddy’s lap, circa 1992/93/94ish.
There is no place I’ve felt safer. No hug that has ever made me feel better and given me the ability to let go and cry like his. Old habits die hard, and it’s still bittersweet sometimes thinking about how that relationship changes after getting married. You’re the best person to watch Jeopardy with, my favorite person to watch certain shows or movies with and see who can guess what’s happening first, the best sounding board to bounce things off of, and the smartest person I know. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being there. Thanks for teaching us everything you know. 


December 12, 2015. 

Our dance at my wedding is one of my favorite memories. The song could not have fit more perfectly, and I’ll forever hold that moment in my heart. And I’ll forever look at you the same way, as if you hung the moon, ’cause you certainly did in my eyes. You’re still the king of the world, and I’ll always be your little girl.

“Spinning around on the tops of his feet.

Smiles of an angel could not be so sweet.

Wide blue eyes, and piggy-tails swirl.

She’s her daddy’s girl.

Dance me! Dance me around ’til my feet don’t ever touch down.

There’s nothin’ better than bein’ your girl.

And if I am your princess, then Daddy, you are the king of the world!”

Spiritual

Root Canal. Manchester. And Lifetime Fitness.

So, friends. Tomorrow’s the day. I have to have a root canal. And I’ve been dreading it. Worried about how it’s going to go, upset about the cost, frustrated that I even have to do it, thankful that I could schedule it on my husband’s day off so he could take me/take care of me afterward.

Then, I woke up this morning to news of another bombing, more people dead, more CHILDREN dead. For what? It doesn’t make sense, none of it does. While I’m worrying about a root canal (by all accounts, a relatively “normal” procedure), there are parents who still don’t know where their children are or if they’re alive. And not that someone else’s problems/situation minimizes another person’s, because we’re all different and put into different situations, but it certainly puts things into perspective. Y’all, pray for this world. Pray for the victims. Pray for the families.

Now, back to physical health (I’ve been away from this on here for a bit!). We joined Lifetime Fitness a week ago. The one closest to our house is HUGE and has so much more than I could’ve imagined. The stairmill (as shown here, http://www.fitdir.com/stairmaster-sm5-stepmill-5-with-d-1-console.html) has been the greatest and worst find there. My new member onboarding session with one of their personal trainers was super helpful in getting acclimated to their facility and programs offered. They do measurements and help you plan a workout specifically for your goals. Let me tell you…there is work to be done. But, we’ve started. So, anyone in the area who goes to Lifetime and needs a buddy to workout with, I’m your girl!

So, in conclusion, pray for me, folks. I’m certainly needing it!

Spiritual

Garden City.

By John Mark Comer.

“His [Jesus’] way is about living a seamless, integrated life, where the polarization between the sacred and the secular is gone, and all of our life is full immersion in what Jesus called the kingdom of God.” — pg 25

Do you ever feel like your work doesn’t matter? Or wonder if God cares about the work you do? Feel like you lead two lives — your “regular” life (your work, friendships, relationships) and then your “God life” (i.e., the time you spend at church, reading the Word, mission trips, etc)? Feel like you rest but still find yourself feeling burnt out and exhausted?

Then, please, STOP what you are doing and go get this book. It is so good, so thought provoking, and so worthwhile. I finished about a week or so ago and am still processing through it. John Mark Comer offers to much to think about — form his own words, to scripture he pairs it with, to quotations and thoughts from other people. And, at least for me, it truly made me stop and think about what I was doing, the attitude I was carrying to work every day, the way I rest, and how all of this fits into the life Christ wants for us. 

I mean, y’all. It blew my mind. I had never thought about work or rest or life the way he brought it to life. It takes us back to Genesis, Adam and Eve, and the Garden of Eden. Tells of our creation to rule over the Earth, to build a city. The importance of the Sabbath — a day of total rest, comprised only of things that bring worship and praise and give you life (not like our typical Saturday or Sunday which is spent filled with laundry, grocery shopping, “taking care” of things). We even get into Revelations and what happens when Christ returns. Are we doing work that builds the world into the Garden City that God always intended? Are we preparing ourselves through work and rest to be a part of His Garden City? 

I seriously can’t give enough words to the way this book has opened my mind, changed the way I think about work and rest, and the other opportunities it’s provided for more learning on these subjects throug the references. If you have ever, at any point, had questions about what it means to work in a Godly way, how to rest in a way that leaves you replenished, or even the basics of what God thinks about work and rest, this book is for you. 

If you need a copy, you’re welcome to borrow my copy (highlighted and written in as it is!), or you can find it on amazon.com, at your local book store (I would guess), or your local library (I would guess).

*consider this my first real book review. I’m a HUGE reader, so you’ll continue to find these here, interspersed with the rest of my posts, as I read something that I absolutely can’t help but share.

Spiritual

House Hunting and Hope Reins.

Y’all. My husband and I are in the process of buying a house (house hunting currently…not nearly as fun as HGTV makes it seem!). It is rough. The magnitude of this decision is so overwhelming if I think about it too much. Where? What? Renovate or move in ready? Yard? Subdivision? And what about the moment you think you know exactly what you want, have the spreadsheet with everything listed out, and then you see a house that is nothing like it but you love it anyway?

So, I stop. I put realtor.com down. And I pray, remembering: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). Immediately I start to feel calm, to feel peace, and to know that it will all work out as planned — and in a way that will be greater than I could have ever imagined.

Switching gears. Last Friday, I was lucky enough that a friend on Facebook shared a news story about an organization called Hope Reins (http://www.hopereinsnc.org/  — while my goal was to give the best, most correct information in this post, please check out their website for more info and details!). They are an incredible organization that uses (mostly) rescued horses to provide equine therpay to children ages 5-18 who have suffered some nature of trauma or grief in their life. Their services are completely free to families. They proved “listeners” for the parents/guardians while the child is in their session, and “play pals” for siblings to offer fun and games during their siblings’ session times. The horses are, for the most part, rescued from abuse and therefore give the children something they can relate to and talk to with complete freedom, complete safety. 

They were holding a fundraiser on Saturday morning called “Hoofin’ It for Hope” — a one mile hike around their ranch, learning about a few of the chilidrens’ stories, and learning about volunteer opportunities and what they do. I felt in my bones I had to be there. Thankfully, my Aunt Pat (who is, truly, the best aunt in the world), was kind enough to spend her Saturday morning there with me on incredibly short notice. I was so thankful to not have to go alone. It was amazing. The work they do is amazing. And it is exactly what I want to be a part of. 

If you are looking for an organization that holds God at the center, serves children and families, saves animals, or any combination of these things — this is one worth your donation or your time. I’m planning to spend this Saturday morning (4/29) there, helping out and going through the process to become a volunteer, and if it’s something that sounds like it would interest you, I’d love to have you join me!! Reach out and let me know! 

Be happy, friends. Find your thing. When you see something that you can’t stop thinking about, that you feel deep down in your bones is right, go for it — no matter if it’s a volunteer opportunity, new career, family opportunity, whatever! You can never be wrong when you’re following God’s calling for you (more posts on this to come!). 

 

Spiritual

Speak Life and Truth.

A woman who is wild for God knows the eternal power in her words and uses them carefully and passionately with those around her.” — Jess Connolly, Wild and Free, pg 137.

I love this. The words we use hold incredible power and we need to use them wisely. Truth be told, this is something I have always had to work on — not always what I say, but how I say it. It’s amazing how I can find the perfect thing to say that can build someone up so much they feel like they’re floating or cut some one down so far they feel buried underground. I’ve worked so hard to be mindful of this and really focus on building others up. 

My mom started teaching us this at a really young age — that the tongue is the most powerful muscle in your body, because once something is said, it can’t ever be unsaid. Forgiven, sure. Forgotten? Not really. Think about it. Do you remember every time (or even half the times) you fell and scraped a knee, or were hit by a sibling or friend, or every time you were grounded? Probably not. But, I bet you can recall just what your friend said in middle school that constantly caused you to question your place in the friendship, or the words a parent/sibling used that made you worry about your weight or appearance, or the words YOU used that hurt someone else (or whatever the examples may be for you). 

Your words matter. Today, I’m using mine to encourage an 8-year-old at soccer practice and to breathe perseverance into a husband who has one month left in a hard semester on top of new responsibilities at work. 

How are you using your words to build others up and breathe life into this world?