I’ve lived long enough and through enough to tell you my pain goes deeper and wider than any of the scars on my body. The unseen scars, I believe, hurt the worst.
Every day, I feel braver and closer to sharing my story with you.
But I’m not yet.
Katherine Wolf is beyond brave enough; so let’s meet her.
As 22 year old, fresh newlyweds, Katherine & her husband, Jay, were living in LA. Jay was pursuing a law degree. Katherine was modeling. Sounds pretty great, right? The couple had a son.
But just 6 months later, Katherine suffered a massive brain stem stroke. She shouldn’t be here. But she is. And Katherine is very much alive. Her story didn’t end because life exploded and left her in a wheel chair with facial paralysis and more. Her faith wasn’t lost in the midst either. Neither was her joy lost.
But how? Katherine clings to God and reaches out to teach you and me how to suffer strong.
Sufferstrong. Makes me cry and makes me stand a little more upright.
Katherine and her family live in hope and have made more room for God than bitterness (which is probably what I would have chosen).
“God always comes alongside us to comfort us in every suffering so that we can come alongside those who are in any painful trial.” 2 Corinthians 1:4
Let the same God who made you, the ocean, the night sky come alongside you and help you through the hurt. But you have to let Him know what’s on your heart and sit with Him a bit too.
“I will give you the treasures of darkness.” Isaiah 45:3
There are treasures to be found. It’s not easy work but if I can do it, you can too. Just because you’ve given up on God doesn’t mean He’s given up on you. Just because you don’t hear Him doesn’t mean God isn’t trying to get your attention, to sit beside you and hold you close. Hope is a scary thing. I get it. But for today, I will be praying for you to reach for it. Reach for hope and believe there is more waiting for you.
“Life defines us.
Suffering redefines us.
Hope refines us."
****You can follow Katherine and Jay on social media @hopeheals, read their books, listen to their podcast and support or attend their camp (see how much MORE there is!!!): Find links to it all on their website hopeheals
Interviewer: Blocking out the noise, you don’t listen to the good or the bad. Is there something or someone that keeps you humble that’s in your life?
The Lord. The Lord. You know I give him all His praise, the glory, the honor because without Him I could have been doing anything. Its crazy… I be thinking about it, talking to Him throughout the day like ‘Man, I appreciate you. I thank you… Gotta keep it going and let the Lord know he’s number one.
Lamar says he doesn’t listen to the good or the bad he says he just keeps thanking God for it all. Does Lamar know Colossians 2:7 “Let your roots grow down into him and let your lives be built in him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” I don’t know if he does but he is living it and speaking it.
“Talking to Him throughout the day…” Blocking out the noise of the world to move step by step with a grateful heart to the God who gave you everything – THAT is a champions way to live.
If you’ve been reading this blog then I HOPE you are learning God’s dream for you, His promises to you and His love in you. You are a light and you are made for more.
Consider this a holy huddle in the locker room. Let’s get pumped. You know what to do.
Get out there and be a light with a big, grateful heart. (Ephesians 5:8-9)
“Gotta keep it going and let the Lord he’s number one.”
Change is a funny thing. Some people love it, thrive on it even.
Others resent it, needing the stability in same-ness. Where do you stand?
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
I fall in the “can we stay here a little longer??” category. So, this particular verse anchors me.
In a house with 7 humans and a dog; change is happening moment by moment. Still, I can be brave for the next change because Jesus is ALWAYS with me. This particular devotional (“100 days to Brave” by Annie F. Downs) is a great reminder. Here’s Day 52…
You have HOMEWORK (Brave homework): Write a prayer to God, thanking Him that He does not change.
Christmas is in one week. Will something be different for you in 7 days? Yes. I pray it will be. You are brave and you are not alone.
“Let the seasons change, and let your heart change with them.”
There’s still time to buy “100 Days to Brave” for Christmas. I’ve done this devotional on my own, gifted it to friends and read through all 100 days with a group of some pretty fantastic middle schoolers! Here’s the link 100 Days to Brave
I see walking into Leah’s brand new kitchen. I don’t know what makes me happier, the rich smell of warm chocolate or watching three generations of women all in a circle fussing over the “Chocolate Chip Pie.” Here’s the recipe: try it and you’ll see what all the fuss is about.
Leah was my friend first. Then her daughter, Anna, and I became friends. I love Marleah (momma to Leah and grandmother to Anna) because how can you not? The gift of Leah and Anna in my life wrapped in a chocolate chip pie… they’re one of the sweetest of my life’s gifts. That God would love me enough to give me friends like mine feels extravagant.
Next, the Chili Sauce. What do you see?
I feel hospitality and family all in that Heinz bottle. The other day, Criste posted a picture of 3 ingredient Cocktail Meatballs that remind her of her mom. Criste is the queen of cozy and loves her people fiercely. This simple recipe reminds me of her heart.
Carrots – you see where we’re going right?
A few years ago, my sister Angela shared a recipe from her mother-in-law called, “Harvest Soup.” I haven’t stopped making it or sharing it. It tastes as honest and direct as the recipe. It reminds me of the honest and direct love of my sister. Here’s the recipe (we’ve adapted for our lactose free fam.)
God is all around you.
He is constantly inviting you to see Him and know His love for you. Sometimes that invitation looks like chocolate chips, carrots and a jar of Heinz Chili Sauce.
Look, smell, feel, hear and listen your way to God today.
Psalm 34:8 puts the invitation out there: Taste and see the goodness of the Lord. See! The invitation has been waiting for you for ages.
This Holiday season as your senses are on overload; I encourage you to say yes to God’s extravagant invitation for you.
The “Messiah” – written by George Frideric Handel in 1741.
The “Messiah” is 259 pages long. Handel wrote it (259 pages of original music) in just 24 days. Anyone else catch that coincidence? 24 days to compose a piece that fits just right in the timeframe for Advent.
The elaborate composition puts the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus to music.
Fast forward to 2016, when a dad/Financial Adviser/lacrosse coach, Hillery Schanck was feeling an ache in his soul after the holidays. That emptiness led to a search which led to the “Messiah.” But, there was no Messiah Advent devotional. So, Schanck set out to write one himself.
The Messiah Advent Project is a WOW team effort between Schanck, Koehler Books Publishing, Symphonicity and the Sandler Center Foundation to bring scripture and music together as we step closer to our Savior’s birth.
There are 11 days to Christmas. And, I don’t know about you but I can feel a buzz in the air. Every day, I’m dodging head-on collisions on the road and in the grocery store. Everyone is rushing to check off the list.
You can’t just click on the link without a little background. You need context when reading the Bible. And how does one get context? Google works. Do some homework before reading scripture and you’ll find:
The book of Nehemiah is a rally cry to keep believing, to stay the course.
In the reading from Nehemiah 8:1-10, we’ll hear about Ezra. He was a scribe – Ezra literally copied the Bible by hand. This shows us he was devoted to God and to Gods word. Yes? Yes.
Now let’s read but look for who gathers to hear the word, for how long they listen(!), for what happens after…