Monday, February 28, 2011

Just the Girls

     There was a four-year period in my life where it was just us girls. My mother and my two sisters who are 8 and 5 years older than me.  I remember some of these years. Somethings with fondness, others I would rather that I could cast in the sea to never remember again.
     I love my mother and my sisters. I really didn’t have a horrible childhood. I just had some crapy things happen that I never dealt with.  For the most part I was a happy child and found joy and laughter amidst sorrow and strife.
     Actually, I didn’t have sisters - I just had three moms!  My mother was busy working or going to school after my father’s death.  In the times when she was absence, mothering became the responsibility of my sisters.  I never knew were the lines were.  When were we just sisters playing? When were they in authority and I had to listen and obey?  I got the belt coming from three different directions - and I didn’t take it standing silently that’s for sure. The more I kicked and screamed, the more I got. Oh if I had only learned at an early age to stand silent!
    There were benefits to having three moms though. I never had to worry if someone was looking out for me or protecting me. I never felt scared or unsafe.  If I fell and got hurt (or had my big toenail ripped off in a post office door and then again in the riding lawnmower) I had more than one pair of hands tending to my needs.
     My prayer has become that as I am standing silent before the LORD He would flood my thoughts with the good memories. That I would dwell on  “...whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable...” Phil. 4:8  That I would have those wonderful childhood memories of sisterhood.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


     Last week my sweet friend, Katie went home to be with our LORD.  I rejoice that she is no longer in pain and that she is dancing with Jesus.  I grieve for her husband and two children who must now walk through this earthly life without her.  My heart is tender toward children who loose a parent.  I am sure it always will be.  God has performed surgery on my heart time after time that it’s impossible for the scars to not be tender to the touch.  
     The past several weeks I BEGGED and pleaded to our Father to spare her earthly life for the sake of her children.  He spoke to my soul, "I took care of you and I can take care of them. I numbered Katie’s days. My ways are so much greater and wiser that your ways."
     A sweet pastor friend sent me a note encouraging me that it was ok to be sad, it’s ok to grieve.  So today, one week from when Katie left her earthly body, I cry. I cry for the friend that I lost. For the wife that Scott lost. For the mother that Daniel and Bethany lost.  
Today I am sad - and that is ok.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Normal or Abnormal?

     Until recently I would have told you I had an abnormal childhood.  I have come to realize that what we grew up thinking was normal, really is the abnormal.  So, I’ll shout it - I’M NORMAL.  Although I am not sure I am proud of that!  :-)
     I am the youngest, the ‘little brat’ in our family.  The ‘Kathy stop, Kathy don’t, Kathy go away, Kathy no’ child.  I was ( an extremely active, loud, obnoxious child.  Never really feeling like I fit in with my family.  I know that I was and am loved, but never really felt like they wanted me around; rather preferred that I stayed out of the way. They never really got their wish - I made sure I was seen and heard!  
     On the outside I was loud and happy, on the inside not so much.  My father passing away when I was 5 had a lot to do with that.  I didn’t know how I was suppose to feel or act about the sadness I felt, so I just let the sadness stay inside while forcing the happy girl out.  I became pretty good at pretending.  
     An equal reason for my inward sadness happened just a few months after the death of my father. Until this moment only John and about 10 other people knew what I am about to share.  One night at a sleep over with family friends, an older girl took me in a closed closet to show me 'what mommies and daddies do to make babies’.  When I was 11 a similar incident happened. A few years later, at 16, an inappropriate touch of an extended family person occurred.   I kept all of that locked inside of me for years.  Always wanting to vomit every time I thought of those days.  Never wanting to tell anyone for fear that they would confirm what I felt - that I was nothing more than a dirty little brat.  
     God has spoken to my soul for so long, “I fearfully and wonderfully made you; you are my work and you are wonderful.”  
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14 NIV
Unfortunately, for many years, I not only stood silent but deaf as well to the truth that I am not a dirty brat, but a wonderful creation of The Most Wonderful Creator! 
     Today I am standing silent but not deaf. Soaking in the warm of the truth that He does not see me as a dirty brat - He sees me as His redeemed child full of His purity and grace!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Beginning

     I was not suppose to have been born. I know that I was always - before the foundations of the earth - planned to be born by God.  By my parents I was not planned. I was the ‘surprise’ child. I did not know the following story until a few years ago.
     My father was taken the emergency room in pain.  The doctors informed he and my mother that surgery was needed and it would leave him infertile.  
     “Do you want a few weeks to try for another child?”  
     My parents looked at one another. In agreement that they were totally happy with their two daughters, my older sisters 7 and 4, they told the doctor, “No, we are happy with our family. Go ahead and do the surgery.”
     Two weeks later as my dad lay in bed still recovering from surgery my mom told him, “I’m pregnant.”  I was born 8 months later. They had not planned me, but God had.  
     Since they already had two girls, my dad desperately wanted a boy.  Therefore, the only name they had picked out was a boy’s name.  One story about my father that has been passed down since I can remember is the first moment he held me.
     “I couldn’t love you more if you were ten boys.”  
     This is a priceless memory to me since 5 years later I was to loose my father to a car accident. 
     It took them three days to name me, one of the many running jokes in our family about ’the baby’ of the clan.  Before leaving the hospital I was given the name, Kathy Ann.  God has been using the meaning of my name in the recent past to provide healing to my spirit - confirming to my soul that I am his daughter. My parents did not plan my name based on the meaning, but God did.

    Kathy, pure one.
    Ann, full of grace.
     He says to me, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.”  But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 1:4-8 ESV
     So I press forward, living the missionary life I have been called to with my husband and children. In our weakness, with His strength, doing all we can to proclaim the purity and grace that our Father provides to His children. And all the while standing silent hearing my Heavenly Father whisper to my soul,
     “My daughter whom I formed and knitted together with My own hands, you are pure and full of My grace!"