Enjoy the Silence

10.22.2014

This is what happiness looks like. My kids. Sleeping. 


This quiet that invades my house is goodness. I can hear the ticking of the clocks and the quiet whirl of the ceiling fan. The sun shines through the window and makes the piles of clothes on my kitchen table look almost inviting. 

I love these moments. I never really appreciated silence until I had kids. I used to think that silence was boring and was always looking for more entertainment, more conversation. 

It's not hard to find in a world as fast paced and noisy as ours. Radios, music, television. You can't even walk down the aisle at Walmart without TV advertisements suddenly jolting you out of focused concentration. 

However, I've learned in my short years of motherhood, that there is truly beauty in the silence.

These past few weeks during our move we were without internet. It was mostly an inconvenience. One of us would have to go out at least once a day to find WiFi. From banking, to blogging, to friends, email, Bible study helps and the source of all information ever (Google), our whole lives are online. 

At least that's what I thought. 

But once I adjusted myself to the idea of being offline, I really started to appreciate being unplugged. I focused my time and attention on all the myriad of things I had to do here (and there was plenty!). I was never bored, but I had plenty of time for the little things that sometimes get forgotten. 

Things like tea parties, hide and seek, and really good books.

My kids are used to this type of unplugged silence. They live here in the moment, never wondering about what someone else is doing on the internet. And while they would love a little "iPad time," I think they genuinely prefer to simply run and jump and play. All of us together. 

Over the past few weeks I've gotten to enjoy that simplicity. I was reminded that I don't have to be plugged in to be productive. There is so much work and learning here to do at home with these little ones. I don't need Pinterest to be creative, and I don't need to post a picture on Instagram for something to be fun. 

I can be happy here with these little people, in our own little world of stuffed animals and Dinosaur Train, without all the noise and distraction of the world. 

And now that we have internet again? Well, I'll enjoy that too. There is no harm in a little noise sometimes, as long as we remember to stop every now and then to enjoy the silence. 



Memorizing James: Learning the Art of Biblical Meditation

10.20.2014


I often write about the difficulties and challenges I face as a mom of three little ones. Some are unique to me and my family (like the time my kids locked me out of the house while I was chasing chickens in our backyard). However, I think most of what I write about, the stuff that really matters, is the kind of stuff we can all relate to in one way or another. That's why this topic is so important to me. Because I think as some point we all struggle making time for Bible Study. 

That's been me for the best 6 months or so. In fact if I'm honest with you, my Bible reading plan fizzled out sometime in March (when I birthed my third human being and become 17x times busier). 

It wasn't just a lack of time, but also a lack of focus and motivation. I started to feel like I would read and read and never really get anywhere. I usually do my Bible Study while the kids are napping which means the time I have varies greatly day-to-day, and it never fails that just as I start to really get into a passage someone wakes up crying ending my time in the Word and leaving me just wanting more. 

I was frustrated, and I felt guilty about spending so much time reading and never really feeling connected. 

Then my husband had this idea a few months ago to memorize the book of James together. Yes. The WHOLE book. We've memorized scripture verses together in the past, but this project was much bigger than any we'd undertaken before. 

I was reluctant and honeslty didn't think I'd ever actually finish. If I didn't have time to really read my Bible, how would I have time to memorize it? 

But I followed him. I committed myself to working on a couple new verses everyday. I said what I knew aloud to myself in the shower. I practiced during the day caring for my kids. My husband and I quizzed each other to pass the time on long car trips. 

The focus of my devotional time went from just reading and studying scripture to meditating on it, and I loved it! 

As I returned to the same passage day after day, week after week, I found that I was learning more and connecting to the text far more than I ever did when I was constantly reading. Instead of skimming the surface and moving on, I found myself repeatedly returning to a well that never runs dry. It is still amazing that even after having memorized the entire book over a month ago, I'm still learning new things about the text. 

The big picture and the small details all become clearer as I spend more time meditating on the verses in context. It's not just about memorizing but internalizing the lessons.  The time of intense focus on one passage of scripture has pulled me so much deeper into my understanding of scripture and breathed new life into my relationship with God.

It took us a month to memorize the entire book. It was fast, but I was motivated! And when I was officially done with James (I'll never really be done. I love it!), I instantly started devoring other books of scripture. With the Book of James always playing in the background of my mind, I saw the writings of Peter and Paul with new eyes and new understanding and new questions! 

As a busy mom of little ones, my life is unpredictable, and the time I have to be still and quiet, Bible open in my lap is hit or miss somedays. But now I never miss that precious time I spend in the Word. I repeat those chapters I know slowly in my head while I do laundry, drive, or make dinner and I meditate on them as I think about ways they apply to my life and my salvation. 

And the number of chapters I know is still growing! As I write this I have my Bible open to 1 Peter 2, stealing a second glance at my verses for today before heading off to make lunch. My hands may be busy and my kitchen full of chaos, but my heart and my mind belong to Jesus. 

Have you ever memorized a book of the Bible? Which book? How did it change the way you view scripture and Bible study.

Moving, Unpacking, and Finding a New Normal

10.15.2014



Hey there! My name is Katherine and I blog here. 

What? You don't remmeber me? Well, that's probably because I've been MIA for the last...ummm...five weeks. 

If you get my newsletters (which you should!) then you know that my husband recently accepted a job at a new church which required my family to pack up and move across the state to North Arkansas. We knew about the change for a while in advance, but the actual packing and moving part kind of caught me off gaurd. One weekend we were looking for a rent house and four days later we were pulling out of our drive way in a U-Haul. 

We unloaded our stuff here. 


It's a charming little house in a residential neighbor where every other house pretty much looks exactly the same. Except all the other house have ten million hanging plants and fancy front porch decorations. I put a little pink wagon and an ice chest on our porch. Cute, right? 

Really though, I couldn't be happier with our rent house or the neighborhood. It's only a few minutes from the church, the library, McDonald's, Subway, and my parents house, which is just about everywhere I could ever want to go. 

Except Walmart. Our house really isn't far from Walmart in distance but getting there requires you to take the road less traveled and thus hard to find when you are out driving by yourself. I'm not going to tell you how many times I've gotten turned around trying to get there. It's ridiculous. 

I know finding my way around a new city will just take time and practice, which is why I've made it a priority to visit Walmart almost every day since we moved in. Take that back. Yesterday I went to Walgreens just to spice things up. 

When we were packing, I threw a ton of stuff away like an old mop and outdated ketchup, but instead of making a list and replacing those things all in one trip, I'm choosing to go get them one at a time as I have need. It's not the most convienent method, but it's working for us. I do look forward to getting my feet back under me. Meal planning, housekeeping, budgeting, I'm gonna get right on that! Next week. 

My family is adjusting to our new home well. Sometime in the next few weeks I'll give you a virtual tour, and show you all the things I love about our house, but for now I'll just show you one of my favorite features. 


My washer and dryer are in the garage! It's actually not as inconvenient as it may seem. The door to the garage is right off of the kitchen and easy to access, but I love that I can just toss my dirty clothes outside and leave them there! 

Remember that old adage, "Out of sight, out of mind." It applies here. In our old house, the washer and dryer and ALL the dirty clothes were in my kitchen, under my feet, and constantly in my way. 

But here in the new house? What dirty clothes?!?!

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