Friday, October 30, 2009

How Did God Create The World? ~ Friday Funnies

Spoken by wise kids! Enjoy your Friday and don't forget to check out a trust experiment on ARK!

Friday Funnies is sponsored each week by Kim at Homesteader's Heart!

Book Review - The Call of Zulina

About the Book:

(Eugene, Oregon) – An arranged marriage, a runaway bride, and an ugly family heritage of brutal and inhumane slavery operations leave no room for a fairytale story. Grace Winslow, daughter of an English sea captain and African princess, finds herself in a horrific position of betrothal. Doomed to marry an obnoxious white man, whom she does not love, Grace runs away to escape the slavery she’s been surrounded by all her life. Instead, her journey from home brings her face-to-face with issues of extreme slavery, abuse and human trafficking. In the end she discovers slavery is more than just chains and finds grace that exceeds a name given to her by her parents.

Written by Kay Marshall Strom, The Call of Zulina links historical slavery issues with the modern-day crisis tainting many countries. On the heels of important legislature regarding human trafficking, Strom tackles the subject boldly as she sheds light on the practices and techniques used by angry slave traders. Seen as an advocate for those who have no voice, Strom finds words to communicate the message of history to today’s readers. While this book shines the light on an uncomfortable subject, the message of hope, freedom, and justice prevail and eternal truths discovered.

About the Author:

Author Kay Marshall Strom has two great loves: writing and helping others achieve their own writing potential. Kay has written thirty-six published books, numerous magazine articles, and two screenplays. While mostly a nonfiction writer, the first book of her historical novel trilogy Grace in Africa has met with acclaim. Kay speaks at seminars, retreats, writers’ conferences, and special events throughout the country and around the world. She is in wide demand as an instructor and keynote speaker at major writing conferences. She also enjoys speaking aboard cruise ships in exchange for exotic cruise destinations.

Blog Tour Interview:

1. How did you come up with the storyline of The Call of Zulina?

While in West Africa working on another project, I toured an old slave fortress and was struck dumb by a set of baby manacles bolted to the wall. The characters of Lingongo and Joseph Winslow, Grace's parents, are modeled after real people who ran a slave business in Africa in the 1700s. I "met" them when I was researching Once Blind: The Life of John Newton, a biography of the slaver turned preacher and abolitionists, author of Amazing Grace. The more I thought about them, the more I wondered, "If they'd had a daughter, who would she be? Where would her loyalties lie?"

2. What inspired you to write a book so entrenched with uncomfortable issues?

I used to think that non-fiction was the meat and potatoes of writing and fiction was the chocolate mousse dessert... fun, but not of much value. But I've come to understand that truths can be revealed through fiction just as powerfully as through non-fiction. Sometimes, more so! The fact is, for so long we have tried to look away and pretend that this horrible chapter in history never happened. But it did, and we still feel the effects today. Moreover, the roots of slavery--hunger for power and money, fear and diminishment of people unlike ourselves, and humanity's endless ability to rationalize evil actions--abound today. The time seemed right.

3. How haveyour travels around the world equipped you for writing such a historical novel?

People ask me where my passion for issues such as modern day slavery come from. To a large degree it is from the things I have seen and heard on my numerous trips to India, African countries, Cambodia, Nepal, Indonesia, and other places around the world.

4. Tell us a personal story regarding modern day slavery.

A most pervasive type of slavery is what is known as bonded servitude, where entire poor families are bound into virtual slavery--sometimes for generations--because of a small debt. This is especially common in India. I visited a village in central India where the women had been freed from bondage and set up with a micro loan that allowed them to raise a small herd of dairy cows. They worked so hard and saved every rupee. When they had enough saved, they persuaded a young teacher to come and start a school for their children. Then they used further profits to make low interest loans to others in the area so they could start their own businesses, too--a little bank. I sat in a circle with the five women who made up the "board of directors." Only one could read and write. I asked, "How will the next generation be different because of what you have done?" They said, "No more will be like us. When people look us, they see nothing. But when they look at our children, they see real human beings with value."

From invisible slaves to human beings... all in one generation!

5. Grace, the lead character in The Call of Zulina, forsakes all to escape the slavery of her parents and an arranged marriage.How common is this scenerio today in other countries?

Horrifyingly common. Slavery today takes many forms. According to UNICEF's more conservative count, there are about 12 million people living as slaves today--three times as many as in the days of the African slave trade. As for child arranged marriages, I have talked to girls "enslaved" to husbands in many countries. Examples include a girl in Nepal married at 9 to a middle-aged man, one in India married at 11, a 13-year-old in Egypt married to a man older than her father. I've seen it in Africa, Eastern Europe... so many places!

6. What about in America, are there slavery and trafficking issues here?

Unfortunately, there are. The U.S. State Department estimates between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the Untied States each year, although it concedes that the real number is actually far higher. And it's not just states like New York and California that are affected, either. According to the U.S. Justice Department's head of the new human trafficking unit, there is now at least one case of trafficking in every state.

7. You've had 36 books published, and more written and contracted for future release. How has this one impacted your own life?

Some books report, some tell stories. This book has torn my heart.

8. Briefly tell us about the next two books in this Grace in Africa trilogy.

In Book 2, Grace watches her reconstructed life smashed by slavers and revenge, and she is forcibly taken to London. There she faces a new kind of tyranny and another fight for freedom... and for her husband, who is enslaved in America.

Book 3 is set in the new United States of America, in the heart of the slavery. It is a story of slavery at it's worst and redemption at its best.

What Can Concerned Citizens Do to Raise Awareness?

  • Find out all you can about Modern Day Slavery: then watch for chances to pass on what you have learned.
  • Write to your elected officials: Petition them to place a high priority on enforcing anti-slavery laws and to put pressure on countries that tolerate forced labor or human trafficking.
  • Buy Fair Trade products: Fair trade provides a sustainable model of international trade based on economic justice. To find out more, see .
  • Support organizations that are in a position to make a difference. When you find an one that is doing a good job on the front lines, contribute to their cause so they can continue on.
  • Be willing to step into the gap. If you suspect someone is being held against his or her will, call the Department of Justice hotline: 1-888-428-7581. Or you can call 911.

Grand Prize Giveaway!!!

Kay Marshall Strom is giving the following books to one fortunate commenter from The Call of Zulina blog tour. The prize package includes several of Kay's books:

  • Seeking Christ: A Christian Woman's Guide to Personal Wholeness & Spiritual Maturity
  • John Newton:The Angry Sailor
  • Making Friends with Your Mother
  • Making Friends with Your Father

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday ~ October 29, 2009

Another week of some many blessings to take a moment and reflect back on. If you want to participate in Thankful Thursday with Sonya at Truth 4 the Journey, click on her blog name and come join in the blessings and gratitude.

1. I am thankful for all the encouraging comments I received from all of you during the last three days of answering your questions. I hope I have not offended anyone with any of my answers. It's my life in a proverbial nutshell of the last three days. You can always ask me anything as I tend to live my life like an open book lately. I have nothing to hide.

2. I am thankful for a husband who works so hard for his family and then comes home and helps out even more, whether it is assisting with dinner, picking kids up from school activities in the evenings or just reading with our youngest, he always has the time.

3. I am thankful that my husband never complains about crumbs in the bed. So many relationships fall apart over little things but since we both snack at night sometimes, we are both OK with that. My ex would throw fits over the smallest crumb. No eating in bed for him.

4. I am thankful that our cooler weather made for mornings of hot chocolate, coffee or tea. Last night we attended our daughters high school Harvest festival to support their fundraising efforts and boy was it cold. The booth that probably made the most money was the hot chocolate stand and the funnel cake. The local police were also there to make sure to educate parents on safe Halloween practices. He was really nice too!

5. I am thankful my oldest daughter attended her homecoming this week before the temperatures began falling into the 30's. She had a great time and I have included two pictures of her with her date Andrew.

Caitlyn's Homecoming 2009

Caitlyn and Andrew Homecoming 2009

Stop by and visit the ARK for a great love story you won't want to miss!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Final Conclusion - Part 3

Real snow on pine cones from last February here in California

Today marks the final conclusion of my interview questions that you were all so wonderful to share with me. It's been great fun and none of the questions have been too difficult for me to answer. The only thing was considering my readership I wondered if I was being way too honest, but then again, I want you to know the real me.

The person I have become based on everything I have been through, quite literally the good, the bad, and the ugly! I wouldn't have changed anything because God took me through those times to bring me right where I am today. These storms and circumstances are to roughen out those sharp corners and hard areas that needed a Master's touch. God's touch in my life. I hope you enjoy the conclusion of life with Kat.

Joyce has left a new comment, "Hi Kat...Do you speak in public?"

Only on the telephone or at home. I would love the opportunity so if anyone wants to hear me speak, you have my email address!

Teach somewhere?

I have taught at my corporate job at AT&T for the last 5 years. I conducted all our Human Resources and Employee Training classes. It was the best job I have ever had. I loved watching people learn and become better people in the process!

Have anything published or are hoping to? You have a wonderful way of telling stories and illustrating truths so just curious...or nosy, depending on your point of view : )

I am currently working on a book idea called the Gallery and have a few chapters posted on my blog. You can view them here.

If you could see three cities you've never seen before where would you go?

Jerusalem, Egypt, and Scotland!

Laurie has left a new comment, "Alright sis, How do you stay out of the muligrubs? "

Since you are referring to grumpiness that is easy. I hate being in a bad mood, so I listen to praise and worship music after giving it up to God. It’s really hard to stay in a bad mood when you are singing songs to God!

What do you do when you get really mad? (And, what makes you really mad?)

People who take advantage of you. I pray for them and for me. For me not to let them get to me and for God to help them be a better person.
What advice do you have for a new home schooling mom?

Ask lots of questions from moms who home school. We love to share anything you need help with. I have a lot of moms that home school. The best piece of advice is to remember why you chose to home school. There will be days when you question why you ever thought about doing it, remember why you chose to and stand firm in that.

Loren from The Magoos News left this comment, "What fun this will be!!! hmmm lets see ~ How many kids did you want to have before you had your first one?"

I realistically wanted a huge family. I would say 4 minimum but 6 max.

How do you experience the Lord most? ie; during prayer, during praise and worship etc.

During praise and worship the most. I can almost picture God just sitting on the edge of His throne, looking down lovingly and smiling. How much better can it be. Also on the moments of my life when I am particularly sad, I feel God’s comforting arms telling me I am not alone. To cast my burdens on Him and rest!

Describe what your best day would be like?

Being with my hubby on the deck in my header, sitting by the fire overlooking a river while it is snowing outside. Not sure how long the fire would last but there is something about the silence when it’s snowing. It’s peaceful beyond anything I can describe.
Where do you want to retire?

This is super easy. In the Pacific Northwest, nestled among the towering, dark pine trees, in a log cabin overlooking a river. You can tell I have put a lot of thought into this one.

Saleslady371 has left a new comment, "Hi, Kat, You are one courageous gal..can't wait to read your answers!!!"
1. Have you set any goals within the next year that you want to tell us about?

I want to see my oldest daughter graduate from high school and make our move towards living in the Pacific Northwest close to that dream retirement home while my youngest finishes school up either at home or public. Her choice. I would love to be more active in the ministry perhaps publicly speaking or having my book published and working on the next one!
2. What is the most important ingredient for you in your friendships with other women?

Trust and Honesty! I will always give you 100% of both and they are critical for me. Sometimes you just need that blunt honesty but I have to be able to trust that you aren’t going to use it against me either. So I guess loyalty would be key as well. I have had so many fair weather friends. Here today and gone for tomorrow. There part in my life was very small but God saw the need to put them there.

3. Do you have an embarrassing moment that makes you laugh?

Yes, I was trying to hard to make a first impression on a guy I wanted to notice me and I was sitting in my best friends truck, and was feeling sick to my stomach. When I was going to get sick, my friend told me to do it out the window of her truck and not inside. Well I explained I couldn’t because he might see, so I opened my sweater and hurled my cookies in that. He never saw and my friend took me home right away so I could dump my sweater in the wash. The things we women will do for a guy. Never worked out with that guy anyway.

Heidi at 2Thinks wanted to know,"Did I once read on your blog that you quit your paying job to minister full time through your blog? Or did I dream that? I've thought about it a few different times and wondered if I read it correctly. Anyway, if you did quit your day job to minister to others through your blog- can you tell us how that is working out so far for you? It is working very well for those who read your blog.

I didn’t quit my job but since I was having a difficult time finding one, I found blogging was a way to express what I was going through in those difficult times. Right now however, I love that God is picking and choosing just how I should be spending my time with two kids in school and both very active in their social lives. Doesn’t leave room for me to go back to work just yet. If God opens that door, I would be the first to walk right on through however.

christy rose has left a new comment, "Oh my goodness Kat! You asked for it and you got it! Well you have got a lot of blogging material for awhile now!:) My question is this: I read your blog almost daily. I love you! And when I can't get by to visit you for some reason, I try to back up and read everything that I missed. Also, do you attend church regularly? If so, where and why did you choose that local body to be your home?

I do attend church as often as we can which is always on Sundays and I love our Wednesday nights as well because it so much more intimate. The high school and junior high groups have their own youth groups that minister to them, so it’s time that Steve and I can spend learning together alone. I have always loved Calvary church and it’s been a starting point for me in my walk with God. So once we moved here, we located one not too far away, attended one service.

It took a while for Steve and I to get use to an older pastor preaching but we were being fed and our kids loved their youth groups. Plus they had friends of theirs going from their schools so it made good sense to keep us all there. We attend Calvary Church of the High Desert!
Audrey at COUNTRY MOM asks, "Kat, Did you always know growing up that you wanted to be a wife and Mom?"

Audrey, oh absolutely! I was completely sold out on the fairy tale aspect and wanted to be completely committed to someone as a wife and mom.

Do you think you will ever have more children?

Steve and I agreed after my last pregnancy where we lost one twin, Kailee was the surviving twin, that due to how hard it was on my body at 35, we were done. We have two that complete our family and now we are looking forward to sharing this stage of their life with them and what lies ahead for us two in the future!

If you could live anywhere where would it be?

In Scotland. Something about living on an island where it’s so green and it appears the people are easier going than here in the States. If I were to choose here it would be Washington or Oregon hands down!

Your favorite book?

This Present Darkness – Fiction
The Bible – Non Fiction

Children names and ages?

Caitlyn – 16
Kailee – 10 pronounced Kay Lee!
They are both with Steve and I!

How did you pick the name of your blog and what made you decide to start a blog?

God inspired me in a dream one night to get up, create a blog and He came up with the name. I guess it’s what I do each morning with Jesus in my prayers so I decided it would make a great name for a blog since it was the purpose I was doing with my writing with each and every one of you in my posts. I started blogging as a way for me to look back on my life and see God’s hand in my everyday life. It would inspire me to look back at dark days and see in my own words my advice on how I was getting through them. It kinda evolved from there to whatever God puts on my heart each day!

Do you have any nicknames?

Kat, Kit Kat
Is Kat short for something?

It’s short for Kathleen but people used to shorten it to Kathy. I hated that name because it sounded so stereotypical cheer leaderish. I shortened it to Kat but when I meet people for the first time I use Kathleen because everytime I say "Kat" then respond with, "Oh hi Pat!" Then I have to correct them.

What is your favorite food?

My hubbies steak and lime tacos. That man can really cook a mean marinated steak!

What have you enjoyed most about blogging? Least?

Reading the comments on how something I have written has impacted you in some way good or bad. Since I feel everything I write is inspired by God, I like to see how that has impacted any of you. I love comments.

What I like the least is when I can’t post each day.

Life happens sometimes but I am learning that I don’t have to post every single day. God finds a way when He has something He needs me to say, He makes that window happen for me, otherwise, He is giving me more peace about it now because before I felt like I was letting people down that were followers and there wasn’t something there for them to read. God’s been reminding me it’s about Him and not about me!
What are you most proud of?

My salvation and the fact that everyone in my immediate family is also saved. If anything were to happen to them, I know I would see them again. That everything in life that happens to you good or bad, happens for a reason. It makes you stronger, it encourages your faith, it provides you with hope, brings you to you knees in prayer and shows just what you are made of when it comes to your spiritual character. You know, can you walk the walk you are called to, or will you give up when storms come?
Do you still have contact with your ex?

Only when I need to speak with him. Caitlyn knows enough through growing up with both of us to know where we both stand in relation to one another. If it weren’t for Caitlyn, I wouldn’t have any contact with him. We have made our resolution at this time to work together for Caitlyn’s benefit but only when absolutely necessary.

Lidj from Crown of Beauty posted this final question for me, What is the greatest lesson you learned from your previous marriage that has helped you tremendously in your relationship with Steve?"

Wow that is a complete wrap up of my life all within one really great question. I learned that not all people are the same. People change as they get older. You can't enter into a marriage thinking that you can fix or change the other person. You may try to manipulate or force this change, but the one thing I have realized is that it doesn't stay. They eventually go right back to their old habits. Unless a person is willing to change on their own, nothing you personally can do can make them change. Expecting that someone will change is a really bad expectation to enter a marriage with. Time will always change people depending on the storms and trials of life in general but it would be a huge mistake thinking marriage will change someone for the better. They need to be all that you would want before marrying them.

Since I married my first husband at 21, I honestly thought marriage would tame his wild ways. It didn't. Then I thought having a kid would change him since he was so great with everyone's else kids but it didn't. He remained the same person through 10 years of being married to him. To this day, he still remains the same in his ways. For him, life hasn't really changed that side of him.

Moving forward in my relationship with Steve, I knew for at least 3 years before he asked me to marry him that he was everything I needed, not necessarily wanted. There were some things I compromised on but it was worth it all. He isn't a big planner and not very romantic. Those were huge on my initial list, but he was grounded, not wild and had pretty much wanted a stable relationship to build a lifetime on. He wanted a friend to do things with as his wife, not as something he would get together with his friends and do. He was completely devoted to his wife, kids and making his marriage work no matter what. Romance is fleeting anyway. It doesn't last and since I love romance, I can pretty much make that happen when I need it. Because he has been my best friend first, we still remain true best friends even in our marriage in addition to the role of husband and wife and as parents.

Life has taught me some amazing lessons and I am completely thankful for each and every situation I have had to face. I thank each and every one of you for these wonderful questions and I try to live my life these days like an open book. I have nothing to hide. Everything I have been through has made me who I am today!

So there you have it, my life in a proverbial nutshell at least. I hope you enjoyed it and it truly was lots of fun. You all came up with some really terrific questions. Don't forget to visit my other blogging adventure with ARK for God which is Acts of Random Kindness for God and sharing how doing the smallest things for people can teach us how to live like Jesus wanted us to. Simply click here to follow me there too!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Story Continues ~ Part 2

Whew! I just finished answering all the last minute questions that came in last night and found that I have to stretch this out one more day after this post otherwise, most of you would fall asleep before getting through it all. So here the story begins with the next set of questions.

Mari has left a new comment, "Looks like you're going to be busy answering questions! I wondering what you can tell me about your childhood."

I grew up in Southern California my whole life and still live here to this day. My parents had both served in the military; Navy to be exact and divorced when I was 7. We came home from Christmas vacation with family on the East Coast to find that my father had moved out. The funny thing was I wasn’t sad, but more happy because I knew I wouldn’t have to go to bed at night in fear of listening to my parents argue anymore and that my mom would be happy again. I had one younger brother growing up, Mike who is 2 years younger than me.

My mom later had another child when I was 13 who became my little sister, Ann Marie. I love her to death even though we aren’t 100% related. My mom and Ann Marie’s dad lived together until my sister graduated from high school. They never married but he was a great father figure for me in my life. My mom and dad’s divorce was brutal and they still fought long after they divorced. It’s probably one of the reasons I don’t talk to my dad to this day.

I'm also wondering at what age you were saved and when did prayer become an important part of your life.

I grew up in my childhood as a Catholic and went through all the religious stuff Catholics do. I never attended school just the church classes. When I was 21 I met a guy that trained me at my job as a driver and he was a Born Again Christian. I liked his lifestyle and the happiness he displayed. He invited me to his church youth group one night. During that service, I saw that church was meant to be about a relationship with God not a script that you follow in church with a priest. I confessed my sins to God that night and completely felt a change in my life.

It wasn’t until many years later of going back and forth with God that it finally stuck. I tried to maintain that relationship with Him going through my divorce. I felt if I had enough faith in God, He would make it work out. Turned out that the very same person who led me to God would be the very person to use this relationship with God to hurt me and make me question it all. Yes, I married that person at 21 and divorced him 10 years later. He moved on and began a relationship with someone else while we were married. So leaving him wasn’t difficult because I believed Gods convenant was broken at that point and I could move on. Little did I know how difficult it would be for me to be a single mom alone in the world.

Thankfully because my own mom was a single mom early on in my childhood, I watched and learned so much from her. I never once thought I would need this knowledge later on in my life. Thankfully I did, because it taught me so much. One how to do without as a parent so your child can have the things they need such as clothes, medical care, toys or time to be a kid. It was super important for me because with one child at that time, and being a child of divorce, I understood what worked and what didn’t. I knew involving the child in anything pertaining to custody or on-going divorce issues were conversations to be held in private with my Ex.

I also did everything for her happiness because I understood how difficult it was for her to lose her parents and life, as she had known it. She would also be missing one of us. So it was important for me to keep her childhood as stable as possible. It wasn’t always easy because it takes two for any agreement to work successfully but for almost 6 of those years, I held my tongue when it came to her happiness. Sometimes that meant I didn’t get a weekend or holiday I wanted, but the most important thing was to not let her see how much it hurt me. I dealt with that after she left. I cried a lot during those painful years.

The worst part came when my Ex moved 3000 miles away to the East Coast and demanded his custody rights, which were 100%. He throw court papers in my face whenever I hesitated about letting her go, but in the end, I remembered the story of the mother in the Bible who when faced with having her daughter cut in half, relented and let her daughter go. I wanted to become like that mom. So for 5 years, I dealt with my oldest daughter living in Rhode Island while we remained in California. I had several thoughts about packing it all up and moving closer but our jobs and family lives were established here. So I saw my daughter only during the summer and then sent her away during the school years. I couldn’t afford to send her home during Christmas because my Ex refused to pay airfare because it was my desire to see her and not his. Do you know how hard it is to spend $1000.00 during the holidays on roundtrip airfare for two? At the time, Steve or her dad would fly with her because of the September 11th issues; I didn’t want her to fly alone. So I had to pay for two tickets each time I wanted her home.

It was only in the last 3 years that her father finally relented and let Caitlyn have a say so in where she wanted to live. All those years of waiting finally paid off. At 13, she finally came home to stay here. She now visits the East Coast during the summers. Her family doesn’t want her during the Christmas holidays because it’s too expensive.

Parsley added this comment, "Here are a couple of fun questions: What's your favorite sweet thing to eat?"

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are by far my most favorites. Although anything with chocolate the darker the better is always welcome.

If you could be any creature other than a human, what would you be and why?

I would have to say a dolphin. They have this whole wide world of ocean just waiting to be explored and they are never alone. They are always with friends and family and their life just seems full of fun!

Christina at LuvinThisLife wanted to know, "What is one of your favorite "ah-ha!" moments in regards to your Faith?"

I would have to say watching God come through when we were thinking we were going to lose everything. I held onto the scriptures in Matthew about not fearing the loss of anything. I saw those scriptures come alive to me during those very hard years. We had let our mortgage slide almost 3 months behind because it was the only way our mortgage company would work with us, little did we know it was the biggest lie your creditors will tell you. It not only hurts your credit but now they are less willing to work with you and instead of reducing the payments, they actually go higher!

What is one of your favorite memories from your blogging world?

I think when I finally made it to 20 followers. I kept saying if at least 20 people find what I have to write about interesting, then I will be happy. Now at 138, after dedicating this blog to God’s will, I can see just how much glory goes to Him.

Carol wanted to know "If you could go anywhere, where would it be?"

My first choice is easy. I want to visit the Holy Lands. I want to see the city where Jesus was born, and walk the paths of His ministry. I want to completely immerse myself in Biblical History and just close my eyes and imagine what it would be like back in the days of Jesus.

My next choices are as follows:
England and Scotland because there is so much history there. I am such a history nut now and hated it in high school. There is something about visiting a place where you don’t need to learn the language and can still fit in. I love the simple ways of life compared to the rat race most of us find ourselves living in. I also long to visit Italy and see the canals. Just full of romance. I also want to visit a Buddhist monastery in the Himalayans and see how peaceful life can be when you remove all the earthly things from our life and get back to basics. I want to hike to the top of Mount Everest and ride a camel and explore the ancient pyramids in Egypt.

What is your favorite verse? (tough one, I know)

Nope this was was easy, as it became the verse for my new header. Proverbs 11:25 “He who refreshes will himself be refreshed. I feel it means if I encourage someone and make their day just that much better by something I say, then it instantly gives back to me and encourages me.

How long have you been homeschooling?

I have been homeschooling for almost 5 years now and love it. I love knowing what my kids are learning and helping them become better students. In the process I am learning as well. I don’t think you can ever learn too much. I love learning more now than when I was a student and seeing your kids just get it, WOW it makes your time worth while. Now I can honestly say with my youngest, I have taught her how to read, to do complex math problems and learn about history, science and art and love it! Really love it!

Martha added this, "Yay, I love to be the reporter interviewing my favorite bloggers! Okay okay, this is a good one and I really would love to hear the answer if it's not too personal:

"Is there a certain area that you have struggled with throughout your life? Do you still struggle with it to this day and what are the tools that you use to help overcome it?"

Staying committed to living the way Jesus would want us all to live each and every day. Some days are more difficult than others. Those days when nothing goes right. I am thankful to walk by grace and seek forgiveness so many times throughout those days. Starting my day lately with prayer just me and Jesus having a chat has made huge impacts on how I can maintain my emotions most days. Those times where I used to snap, I stop, offer up a prayer and wait to calm down before I react. This has helped so much! In addition, I get inspired by so many of your posts sharing God’s insight. Some days just stopping by a blog is like God speaking personally to you. That is why I love following so many of you. You inspire, teach and motivate me to become a better wife, mom and Christian!

Darcie asked, "When did God first reveal himself to you, and how?"

I honestly think God first revealed himself to me during my childhood. In all those Catholic services, I kept thinking there has to be more to God than this. Many years later when I married my first husband, Wayde, he was the one to introduce me to the God I now know and love. I found God at a youth group in my early 20’s but didn’t really stick to it until recently when I married Steve. That is when I saw how a marriage with God at the center is supposed to be and how easy it is to love one another when God is in your heart!

Rosel wanted to know "Is there any particular/favorite spot in your house where you pray?"

My bedroom and shower since it is the first place I am when I wake up. I love being outside in my garden reading God’s word and just listening to the sounds of His world inspire me, like the songs of our birds outside, the chirping of the hummingbirds, the soft flitters of the butterflies and the fragrant smells of the flowers outside.

Do you play any musical instrument?

Does whistling count? I can play a few songs on the piano and would love to become an accomplished pianist! Perhaps one day I will take the lessons and just do it! Life goal!

Are you involved in a particular ministry at your church?

Not in the church…but I am starting a Moms In Touch group at my home in which we pray for our kids and their schools. Other than that, just my blog and that group. I am hoping to get more involved in the women’s Bible Study however. I could always use help in that area.!

TCKK has left a new comment "I'm new to your blog too. Here are some just for fun questions. Do you have pets and if so what are their names?"

Yes, I have three cats. A 3-year-old named Moo, and two brand new 3-month-old kittens, one male named Tosh and one female named Bella.

Have you ever been to Disney World (my favorite place to vacation)?

No but I have always wanted to go. We just need to get to Florida with money and time to spare.

Who is your favorite fiction author?

Frank Peretti! I love all his books! He is what kept me inspired in Christian books!

What is your favorite movie?

The Holiday and now Twilight! I am a huge sucker for romance movies!

LV wanted to know"Is that a current picture you have on your blog?"

It was from about 6 months ago on a good hair day!

Do you ever wish you could go back in time?

Just to be a fly on the wall but not to change anything in my past. I would love to have been a witness to the life of Jesus. Just to sit at one of His sermons I believe would have been life changing for me.

Greg at Greg's General Store wanted to know the following: 1. Has God always been important in your life or like many of us was there a time when you strayed?

I try to stay on the right path now, but in the past, I have strayed like all sheep! Yet for whatever reasons I always come running back to God. Nothing satisfies in this life like a life when you are walking with God at your side. NOTHING!

2. Tell us when and how you were baptized.

I was going to do this last year but missed out. As a Catholic, I was baptized as a baby, but now I want to do it as a public testimony of my faith. Our church only does it during the summer in the lake. I wish they did it all year long! So I wait!

3. Do you ever get negative comments on your blog and if so, how do you handle them.

Thankfully no. If they were too harsh or negative I would delete them off my blog and then if necessary I would email the person who left a comment to see what I did or if I offended them in anyway. Sometimes people do it for attention and nothing positive ever really comes from it anyway so why get your readers involved.

4. What do you think about all this 2012 world ending stuff?

I think people will be disappointed when 2012 comes and goes and now they won’t have anything else to look to. The Mayan calendar will have run out, Nostradamos prophecies are unreliable so I guess they will either come up with something new or follow the only person whose prophecies have all come true and that is Jesus Christ. Either way if it is the end of the world, I know where I will be. Front row in heaven watching it all unfold!

The conclusion of this three day interview will conclude tomorrow. I hope you join me. I have saved all your questions so I plan on answering them all unless I have already answered them previously! Hope to see you tomorrow. Same Kat time, same Kat channel!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Getting to Know More About Kat

Last week I gave an open invitation to anyone to post questions for me with nothing being off limits and so many of you responded. I thought I would answer some of them for you today!

Divine Mrs D wanted to know:

What is the biggest miracle that has happened in your life?

This is easy for me. It would have to be last year, when Steve first went out in disability then was laid off. I tried in vain several times to find work in this economy. All we had to live on were Steve’s checks. We still had a mortgage, and all the monthly bills. We held fast to the verses in Matthew about God providing our needs. We couldn’t borrow any money from family and I remember one time we actually asked our neighbors for money to help get us through with food til next check came. It was so humbling for us. If we look back and add up our expenses versus income, it doesn’t add up. We were able to keep our home, never ran short on anything and God took care of our daily needs.

...and what's your favorite memory as a child?

I would have to say since my parents divorced when I was 7, my mom was forced to work two jobs to make ends meet. So many days and weekends it was just my younger brother, Mike and I to ourselves. We would invent all kinds of things to keep ourselves busy for days. Our favorite was taking a spare piece of paneling down from the garage and creating a city streets on the backside. We would take all my brothers Hot Wheels, divide them up and play in our pretend city for days. We used old boxes and containers and turned those into shopping malls, stores, schools and homes.

He & Me + 3 wanted to know....

But how did you and Steve meet?

I was asked to manage a service department in Rowland Heights, CA at LA Cellular because no one wanted to take that store on. When I agreed to do it, I was given a detailed description of the obstacles I was bound to face. One of them was a troublemaker named Steve who liked to be confrontation and was known to get in fights outside of work. I figured if I could turn this service center around, it would make me look good. I was still married at the time to my first husband.

Upon walking into the service center I met Steve, with a black eye no less. Even though I was married already, I knew there was more to this person than what I had heard. I set up to use him to make our service center better and in the process make a name for himself not as a troublemaker but a problem solver. Little did I know that within a month of that meeting, my marriage would dissolve. Over the next 6 months, Steve became a friend to me, being a single mom know there were times I struggled. He was always there. He signed my lease on my apartment because my credit was horrible. He never asked for anything. We became best friends over the next two years and he was my saving grace in the darkest time in my life.

After receiving my divorce papers I resolved to end my life because I truly felt abandoned and left all alone. I couldn’t see things right in front of me, my child custody rights were robbed from me by an ex who felt I would flee and take his daughter away. So I prayed to God that day that if anyone called me I would stop this attempt on my life. After two hours of waiting and taking pills each hour that I waited, Steve called. That day forever changed the rest of my life.

We spent the next year getting to know one another and eventually he asked me to move in. Within 3 months, he proposed and the rest is history. We will have been married for 12 years this February 9th and have been best friends for 15.

Where do you all like to take family vacations?

Our favorite place has been at the Squaw Peak Hilton Resort in Arizona during our summer. The rates are less than $100.00 a night and includes great accomodations and a water park on the property. The food at the restaurant is more than affordable and everyone gets what they love.

What is your favorite hobby?

Right now, I would have to say reading. I can’t get enough. The more books I read, the more I feel alive and more in tune with who I am and what God wants me to be. I can get through really good books in a matter of hours.

Andrea wanted to know:

Well, I think I have been here since the beginning....and I have come to know you as an awesome friend and prayer warrior. I am privileged to have you in my life.

Where were you born?

I was born in Fullerton, California. I have lived in Southern California my whole life. I grew up in Huntington Beach for about 6 years and then moved to Santa Ana until I graduated high school.

What is the craziest/wildest thing you have ever done?

I did say nothing was off limits. This was before my salvation days! When I was living my rebellious teenage years in high school, I joined a truck club my boyfriend and his friends created called Limited Edition. One weekend, we went to a three day truck run, where it is like a huge campout with all kinds of other truck clubs and you drink and party the whole weekend. I was prone to drinking Southern Comfort straight at that time and thought is was cool to act like one of the guys. So I drank a lot that night, marinaded my steak in it, and subsequently passed out that night. I woke up on the ground the next morning sick as a dog. For the next three days I had the worst hangover and I vowed to never drink again nor get drunk either. I pretty much lived up to that vow.

How has GOD really outdone HIMSELF in your life?

He has enabled me through so many situations in my life and brought me to the place where I am now. I can honestly look back and see how He was with me every step of the way even when I wasn’t with Him. Each circumstance in my life, He knew the people I would need and the challenges I would face to bring me through them. Looking back I think God had it right the whole time. I can only hope to do His will each day in my life and enter into His gates to hear the words, "Well Done Good and Faithful servant".

Jenn at Still Learning wanted to know:

Do you teach in church? You seem so knowledgeable!

Nope but perhaps that is the direction God would like for me to go in next. I was a corporate trainer for 10 years at AT&T and loved every day I went to work. I was making differences in peoples lives and that is something that no amount of money could ever pay you for.

What is the greatest lesson that God specifically taught you?

Trust him always. He will never let you down and you will become a better and stronger person as the result of going through His fire.

I will do the second part tomorrow and it's still not too late to leave my any additional questions. I took the weekend off from blogging because we have so much stuff to do to prepare for the upcoming holidays. I really missed all of you.....thanks for noticing. If you have a question just leave it in my comments. You all have some really great questions!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Deepest Trash Can ~ Friday Funnies

In making Friday's the highlight of our week, I am joining with Kim at Homesteader's Heart for Friday Funnies. Enjoy the fun!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday ~ October 22, 2009

The best part of today is making a difference in the life of someone. Sonya does that every Thursday with her Thankful Thursday posts on Truth 4 The Journey. Please join us and celebrate the good things in our lives.

1. I am thankful for God's faithfulness this week to work on helping me be a better wife, mom and friend. He is really moving things for me and helping me to see things in a whole new light, curb my tongue and seeing people from His point of view. This week marks a whole new me! One that I am proud of and one I hope He is proud of.

2. I am thankful that God returned my hubby, Steve, as promised with very little delay. His work went smoothly and he received a huge compliment from the client he went out and worked with. He was even able to do a Act of Random Kindness for one of the employee he hired.

3. I am thankful for being a friend to those I have never met. I have cried with you, prayed with you and talked to you via blog postings, emails and over the phone. I thank God for each of you everyday.

4. I am thankful for dedicating this blog to God for His purpose and His will. It's design is to encourage, motivate, and inspire you all! I feel His power each and every day. May God bless you everyday you stop by here and feel His word reaching out to you! I hope it changes your day.

5. I am thankful for finding some teachers in our children's school that will work with us to help our children succeed. Teachers who really care beyond their paychecks. These are people that should be paid well beyond their salary. They are making a difference in the lives of our kids.

If you want to join in, click on the link at the top and be a part of something bigger and better. By the way, if you haven't heard, my newest blog is called Acts of Random Kindness for God. It's about us making small differences in the lives of people around you each and everyday through simple changes. I hope you decide to come over and participate. You can even be a guest blogger for the day. Just let me know. We'd love to have your input!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What Do You Want To Know?

I've began my blogging back in January as a way to journal the works of God in my life. Looking back I can see just how much he has worked in it every day. Some days more than others that is for sure. I've grown to love so many of you in various ways! I've gotten to know so much about you as well and have seen how God is working in your lives as well.

I am going to dedicate next week to knowing all there is to know about me. It's your turn to interview me. No question is off limits and I would be so honored to share even more about myself with all of you. So in lieu of comments, please post as many questions as you would like to know the answers to. Depending on how many questions you ask, I will put those together in a post or two and hopefully I don't scare you off.

Looking forward to seeing what kinds of questions you all come up with and having fun answering them all.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

If God Loves Us, Why Does He Allow Bad Things to Happen?

This was a post of mine from February but with so many people hurting, I felt a calling to repost this for all of you. ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

“Dear God….”
Why do you allow people to die before they should?

Someone died before his or her time. Don’t we assume that we have a timetable slated when we are supposed to live a full life, like into our older years like 70’s or 80’s? When does the Bible say that? It doesn’t. It states that there is “a time to be born and a time to die”. (Ecclesiastes 3:2) God is in charge of that. We don’t have a say about when we get to be born or when we get to die, but we have everything to do with the time in between and how we choose to live it. Psalm 90:12. “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” means to make the most of our time. Don’t take any of your loved ones for granted. Don’t put off telling someone in your life just how much they mean to you, because no one knows how much time you have left. You don’t have a guarantee on how much time you have left.

There is a book that tells you about “The Things You Must Do Before You Die”, with some of the examples such as going to the academy awards, or running with the Bulls? Running with the bulls? Isn’t that a way to die? Did you know that the author of this book died at the age of 47 after hitting his head after a fall in his home, and he only completed half of the things in his book. The goal isn’t to do all these things but to glorify God. Sure it’s ok to do some of things but they shouldn’t be our life’s focus.
God will give you a peace that passes all understand not give you an understanding.

Don’t worry about it, pray about it and he will give you enough strength to get you through it day by day.

Psalms 61: Here my cry of God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

No one ever said that you would live a trouble-free life in this world.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Bad things happen to Christians as well, problems with our families, dying in unexpected accidents, getting cancer. No one is guaranteed a problem-free life.

Why is it that the words trial and problems occur in the same sentence. Why doesn’t God remove my problems if He loves me? Because God loves you, it’s your definition of how He should show that love that is our mistake and what we think good means in our life. No pain, no suffering, no death, a problem free life with the sun shining and birds singing. Doesn’t that sound appealing?

John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Our definition of good is what benefits us in the here and now and not in the by and by. We are interested in what will benefit us temporarily while God is interested in our eternal benefit.

We are interested in what will make us happy, while God is interested in what will make us holy.

He doesn’t always remove suffering because it makes us stronger and keeps us closer to Him. We can also be used in our situations to glorify Him and bring others to Him through our problems.

Why does God allow it?

1. Adversity levels us and keeps us humble. Prosperity has a tendency to make us proud. We don’t need God when things are going smoothly, the bills are paid, we have a great job, family life is incredible and there is money in the bank. Hopefully however, when adversity comes, we turn to God and see what really matters. It is during times of prosperity we will forget God. When tragedy and adversity hits, we pray and pray a lot.

2. Adversity teaches us eternal truths we would not learn on our own. Our basic objective is to avoid pain at all costs. We want to be comfortable. We want to look good, but we don’t want to sweat, we don’t want the muscle aches and pain, but pain reminds us of a deeper need. Hunger pains, birth pains, back pains, you get it.

God teaches us lessons in those pain filled valleys we wouldn’t have learned on the mountaintops of our life. Things we need to know, things we need to share while we are passing through this life into our eternal one.

3. God allows us to go through these adversities so we will have compassion for others in pain. Never minimalize someone’s pain, but reach out for him or her.
Success builds walls but failures build bridges. When things are going well for you, you got that promotion, you kids got all A’s again, you just bought a new house, paid off all your debt, and you’re sharing that with someone whose life isn’t going well. They are losing their home, they don’t have enough money to put groceries in their home, and their kids are failing in school, it puts up a wall between you and them.

But what happens when a friend comes to you and tells you that they need prayer, that they were just diagnosed with cancer. You care and you want to help them. You should. When we go through adversity, we can help others.

2 Corinthians 1: 4-5 “ who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”

It was only through the death of Stephen that the worst Christian killer, Saul of Tarsus, was brought to God and became Paul. So sometimes good comes from adversity and tragedy. We just need to look for it and seek God every minute of every day.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Homecoming or Home Coming?

Monday is here already before I am ready for it to begin. Seems like yesterday that Steve arrived home, tired, fatigued but yet glad to be home. If you like people watching, sitting at the airport for about 30 minutes while you wait is a great way to see all kinds of people. My daughter just loves the way an airport smells. I never noticed it before but she is right. It does smell good. Clean and open, full of possibilities to adventure anywhere these wonderful planes can take you. It's so fun imagining where they are going, vacation or just home, work or traveling to save the world from yet another injustice somewhere.

You see the tear filled good byes of a family seeing their father off to the military. Those are always the most painful for me. Will they see one another again? How long will he be gone? Is this his first trip? You feel like you wandered into a private moment, yet you can't peel your eyes away.

You can watch families unite and see grandparents hug their grandchildren just waiting to pull them from their strollers and cover their little faces with kisses. You watch the proud parents standing still and just smiling from ear to ear. It's been way too long.

Any time spent away from someone you love and care about is too long. Tear-filled goodbyes are the hardest on both people, the one leaving and the one staying behind. Will they see one another again? How long this time? Is this the first trip? Is this the last?

It gives you a sense of appreciation when you finally see what love results do in your life. You have someone at home waiting for you. You have someone at the other end of the line when you call home, just waiting to hear your voice! You have someone waiting with tears in their eyes when you walk down the stairs into the airport and welcome them home. Home, besides love, their is no better word!

Just like our eternal home, once we have breathed our last, our heavenly Father, will stretch out His arms, kneel down and welcome us home!

Welcome home Steve, we truly missed you being here and are so glad that you are home!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blog Award of the Week ~ Mich

Here it is another ending to a beautiful weekend. Did I mention Steve is home? He came home on Friday for all those that have been praying for us. What a difference his presence makes in our home. Yeah, Praise God for amazing husbands.

I wanted to highlight another amazing blogger who has blessed me both in the blogging world and in personal emails back and forth. I am hoping to encourage those of you that aren't following her to please do so after reading more about her. Her name is Mich, pronounced just like it sounds and her blog is named after her. Makes it easy. She is the wife of a pastor, mom and great friend to so many in the blogging world. The thing I love about Mich is her honesty when things in her life are not going so smoothly. She shows us that we all stumble and fall, but we also pick ourselves right back up again and keep on going.

I hope you find the same things in her blog that drew me to become part of her family and that you join her today as well. Here is some things you may not know about her.

1. Tell us how long you've been blogging and why?

I started blogging about a year now. My sister had started a blog and decided I needed one too. She thought it would be a great way for our family to keep up with each other. Neither one of us realized how much it would change our lives. We have met some fantastic new friends, all of which provide unlimited support and encouragement, as well as lots of laughs.

I also have found blogging to be a "healing" process for me. It gave me a "voice." As a minister's child and now as a minister's wife, I have always felt the limitations of what I could say, but I have always been able to write what I feel. The blog gives me an outlet to voice my feelings, celebrate my joys, vent my frustrations and keep things REAL in my life. I am amazed everyday that people actually follow my blog and read my posts.

2. What did you always dream being when you grew up and why?

I have always loved to be creative. I fell in love with art when I was in high school and was actually in the art club. My friends were all in drama, but I have horrible stage fright, so I joined the Art Club. My dad is a pretty awesome artist, so I was always encouraged to draw and create. My favorite project in school was making the car for our high school production of Grease. Great fun!

However, when I left for college, I had a reality check. I realized after a few art classes, that I wasn't as good as I thought I was and changed my major. However, still today, I love art and to be creative. I scrapbook, help my kids with school projects and come up with super fun craft projects for my kindergarten Sunday School class at church. Just the other day, my daughter told me I should have been an elementary art teacher, for I was having way too much fun decorating my door at work, for Halloween. I had made spiders out of my babies' hands which were too precious.

3. When did you become a Christian? How did your life change?

I was at church camp, as a child, when I asked Jesus into my heart for the first time. I believe it was real, but unfortunately sometimes very young children are not discipled like they need to be. I was left with a lot of questions and doubt, afraid to ask because I was the minister's daughter/missionary kid, who was expected to just know...

Anyway, when I was in college, I rededicated my life and surrendered my life to God's calling. I never desired a life in ministry, outside volunteering at church, but God changed my heart. I met a great guy, with a passion for Jesus and young people. I strive now to daily follow the Lord's will for my life. I am so thankful for His GRACE.

4. Describe the most memorable Valentine you ever received and who sent it to you?

I think it would have to be the first Valentine's Day, with my husband. We were just dating, but he sent me a teddy bear and balloons. I remember being giddy over having a guy who actually loved me, just the way I was. Since that day, for years, my hubby would give me a bear as a gift. It is kind of sappy, but when you are young and in love, you love it.(Still do.) What is funny, is that when we were first married, back when the "country" look was big, my kitchen had a country blue and teddy bear theme. I even had bear canisters. What was I thinking?! I'm laughing as I type this, although I have to admit, there is a small part of me that is sad that the teddy bears have been replaced.

5. Describe your grandparents. What did you enjoy most about them?

I am one of those lucky girls who was blessed with wonderful grandparents and many of them. My Dad's parents were divorced and remarried when he was young, so growing up, I had a step grandpa and two uncles, who may not have been blood related, but were mine nevertheless. I use to boast about having three set of grandparents, when I was a kid.

My mom grew up in the country, so there were plenty of great memories, running around the farm with the cousins. Hanging laundry on the line, mud pies, climbing peach trees, horses, being chased by turkeys, fresh honey from the hive...all great memories of farm life. My Granny was the treasure hunter of the family and taught me how to shop the flea markets and garage sales. My Grandpa could fix the best gravy...

My dad grew up in town, and his mom was the lady who liked to shop, go places and was not afraid of a little adventure. She made sure I was spoiled and never bored. She was the one that taught me how to drive when my parents didn't have the patience and she also talked my dad into letting me go on my first date, since it was two weeks before my sixteenth birthday.

Unfortunately, all of my grandparents have passed on. But I have a peace in knowing that they all knew the Lord, as well as having the blessing of some great memories of time spent with them.

6. What did you enjoy doing most as a child? Did you prefer doing it alone or with someone else?

This was a hard question for me. Simply because, while I was a child, I didn't think I really enjoyed that time in my life, but now as an adult, looking back, I'm thankful for it. I was on the mission field for a while. I remember the fear, the homesickness, the loneliness and everything else that went with it, yet looking back I am so thankful of the adventure I was blessed with. I was able to see wonderful things, be a part of some incredible experiences and live an adventure, that many kids dream of. My daughter has a passion for Asia and would love to visit. My son saw an old picture of me the other day and was jealous because I was on an elephant. So traveling around with my family would be at the top of my list for sure.

However, as for my hobbies as a child, I would have to say reading, writing and drawing. I have always loved to read. Books would let my imagination soar and I loved it. My dad often teases me, because while we were on the mission field, if I was bored and had read all my books more than once, I would grab the encyclopedias and read about places I wanted to go and royal families around the world, making up my own stories. I was a dreamer.

7. What two people have made the greatest spiritual impact on your life? What made them so significant to you?

I would have to say my parents. I have had two living examples, my whole life, of what it means to give up everything and follow Christ. Their lives have always been woven in ministry of some kind.

They also taught me at a very young age what true strength and great faith really is. I had a brother who died suddenly when I was five. He was only one and had developed bacterial meningitis's. Thirty four years ago there was little hope for that kind of thing. My mom and dad could have carried a lot of anger through the years over his medical care and God's timing, but they didn't. My dad even preached his funeral. My mom used her situation to help others. I learned at a very young age what it meant to rely totally on the Lord and to do things that one can only do with a strength that comes from God.

My parents are retired now, but are still serving. They are awesome examples and I am so thankful that my children have special relationships with each of them too.

8. What childhood memory comes to mind when you think of winter? What made it so special?

I don't have many "winter" memories, due to my travels as a child overseas, but the few I have stand out in my mind because of that. When I was real young, around second grade, I remember my dad getting out and building snowmen with me and the other kids on the street. But, my dad, being the creative man he is, wouldn't build just any snowman. He would build cartoon characters. I have a picture of my friends and I standing in front of Snoopy dressed as a cowboy. He would also get food coloring and color the characters. I remember being so proud at how "cool" he was,as I stood in front of this giant Snoopy wearing "blue" jeans.

9. Tell me 4 things that you would never leave behind on a trip and explain why?

I thought this would be an easy question and then realized I think I need more than four things, but I will try...

My contacts. I am blind and can't see without them, plus I HATE the feel of my glasses sitting on my nose. One of my greatest fears, is being blind. The Lord will have to help me when I have to give the contacts up one day.

My blow dryer. I have the kind of hair that DOES NOT air dry pretty. On the naturally curly side, it doesn't have enough curl to lay right, without help. I wear it straight these days and can only achieve that with a hairdryer first and then a touch up with the flatiron. Not pretty first thing in the morning.I try hard not to scare little children.

My pillow. Whether going to camp, my parent's house or on vacation, the pillow goes with me.

My Bible. My parents gave it to me in 1992. It is my favorite. I have notes written in the margins, verses underlined and pages marked. I had misplaced it in the house the other day and cried. I was so scared I had left it somewhere. It is one of my prize possessions.

10. What family customs or traditions would you like to pass on to your children and grandchildren. Why are they important to you?

We don't really have true traditions or customs. Never living in one spot for too long growing up, you learn to go with the flow sometimes. However, family is very important to us. We never take it for granted. That would be what I pass down to my kids. Many vacation opportunities were given up, in order to visit grandparents. Lots of miles would be driven to see family. Since my time with my grandparents and my hubby's grandparents is over, I cherish the time spent with our parents and think the time our kids spend with them is so very precious. Holidays are special. We always celebrate. We may not always get together on the actual holiday, but we always get together. I hear of people that are not close to their families and I want to cry for them. My family is my support system. We are all very close. My hubby comes from a very close family too.

Thanks for thinking I am interesting enough for an interview. I am still in awe over the friendships God has graced me with via the internet. Hope I gave you the type of answers you were looking for. If you feel I need to change anything or you would like to ask a different question just let me know.

Thanks for joining me in this beautiful intimate look at Mich and what makes her so wonderful and blessed. Won’t you join me and hope on over to her blog Mich and let her know what you thought of her interview. You will find such friendship and love there!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday Morning Cartoons Part 2

Since so many of you listed some of your favorites last week, I thought I would try and locate a few of them to showcase each Saturday. For those of you that love a good version of Sylvester and Tweety, enjoy!

Have a happy Saturday!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Newest Halloween Centerpiece ~ Friday Funnies

This is our newest addition to our family, Bella. She loves to sleep in the basket on our kitchen table that is supposed to be a centerpiece. Go figure why she likes to nestle all in the pinecones and branches but it's her spot.

As you can see this is her trying to get comfortable before settling into sleep! Nighty night Bella. Yes, we named her after the movie Twilight! Happy Friday, everyone! Make it fun and enjoyable! Please join the rest of us at Kim's Homesteader's Heart, and while you there, enter in her awesome giveaway too!

Don't forget to stop by Ark for God and read about Silver Linings and join up today to make a difference.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday ~ October 15, 2009

Have you heard the great news? It's Thankful Thursday again at Truth 4 The Journey with Sonya! It's the best thing about today and if you want to jump in and participate, please join us by clicking on her link above. We are growing by leaps and bounds each Thursday! All you have to do is list 5 things that you are thankful for and list them and link up!

1. I am thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who paid the ultimate price for me and took my sins upon himself that only by believing in Him, we shall not die when we breathe our last but have life everlasting eternally in Heaven. Salvation....Don't leave this life without it!

2. I am thankful for my husband, Steven, who works so hard to provide for our family in the midst of this terrible economy even if it means being away from his family, he will do it. He's not happy about it but will make that sacrifice. We love him for all he does to lead our family!

3. I am thankful for Loren at The Magoos News who has the most wonderfully uplifting spirit when you talk to her over the phone. She has been a saving grace for me in the midst of having my hubby gone. She is walking with me on my own spiritual path to be a great mom and wife to my family. I love you Loren! Can't wait to spend an eternity with you and your family!

4. I am thankful for all your prayers on Monday. What would have been a gloomy, sad, and blue Monday, was filled with peace that passes all understanding as prayers for me and my family was storming heavens throne. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your well wishes. I am eternally grateful and joyous beyond measure.

5. I am thankful for blogging. If it wasn't for keeping up with all of your great posts, I would have a lot of free time on my hands. Just trying to post, comment on each new blog I am reading, and responding to emails and phone calls has made this time pass quickly. Praise God. 1 more day and my beloved comes home! You have all made it possible.

With so many things to be thankful for, share some of them with us and join Sonya at Thankful Thursdays. Your life will never be the same.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What to Do When Things Don't Go Our Way!

What to Do in Critical Moments of Tough Times
Matthew 26:36-46

36Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."

39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

42He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."

43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"

I loved this study I just completed on Sunday. It is about dealing about what to do when things don't go your way.

It's how we handle things that demonstrate who we are and what we are made of. Its what we do in times when we must make a decision in the face of difficulty will lead us to our own gardens of Gethsemane, will it be my will or God's will?

Life is full of those decisions and opportunities through our life. Do we get a divorce or ride out the storm and stay committed to God and our marriage? Should I take this job that requires me to travel so much and pays more or keep a lower paying job closer to home?

In the above scripture we find that Jesus repeats His request in prayer to God three times. This is rarely ever done anywhere else in the Bible.

Here are the three steps we much do when faced with a decision in a critical or tough time.

1. Involve Seeking the Will of God ~ Jesus prayed for the same thing three times and only one thing remained on His mind, the will of God. His supreme concern for his entire life was always about the will of God. "For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me." ~ John 6:38 NIV

The will of God was never forced on Jesus. Let's compare the two gardens of the Bible, the Garden of Eden and the Garden of Gethsemane.

Garden of Eden

Adam and Eve were the occupants.
They ruined life for all of us here on Earth from the way God intended it to be.
They were broken in their relationship from God.
They hid from Him.
The sword was shown to keep them from returning to Eden.
Their decision was made by using their own will and sin came upon the world.
Not thy will but by my will.

Garden of Gethsemane

By Jesus being in the Garden of Gethsemane, He healed us.
Our relationship with God was restored.
Jesus bared His soul in this Garden.
The sword was put away when Peter cut the ear off the guard. Jesus told him to put it away.
Jesus showed us it was not His will that was being done but God's will.

Our plan and purpose should be that we are seeking, finding and doing the will of God everyday.

How can you know the will of God?

Spend some time with God, read His word daily and pray. He will reveal it to you. The closer you are to God the more you will understand His will for you.

2. Doing the Will of God ~ Some times we can struggle with this. Jesus did. He was taking all the sins of man on him.

You know what you should do but you don't want to do it. This is what we all face. This is where the struggle lies. Your stress is nothing compared to what Jesus faced that night in the Garden. There has never been a greater suffering than that which takes you to the brink of death. His sweat become blood. There is a medical condition known for this called hemotrodosis, which is when stress is so bad due to tremendous stress and anxiety that the capillaries below the surface of the skin break. Our heart rate and blood pressure go through the roof.

So what was Jesus so stressed out about? A cup. What is that cup? It is the wrath of God that would be poured out on Jesus as punishment from his father. He is facing the judgment from God for something that He didn't do. He only knew of God's love up to that point.

So the cost for doing God's will ~ Jesus understands more than you know. When we are struggling, begging God not to allow us to go through it, and it's not always easy to do Gods will. If it were easy, everyone would be willing to do it. Jesus was willing to go to Hell if it meant He couldn't save us, but because he knew that it would mean saving all of us so we could have an eternal home in heaven, He did God's will. The war was won at the cross but the battle was taking place in the Garden.

3. Surrender to the Will of God ~ Jesus calls God, My Father or Abba, which means Daddy or Poppa in Arabic. The only place Jesus prays to His father like a child would.

The thing to remember that if we defy God's will, the cost will be too great for you! You have to looks at the cost versus benefits of doing God's will. Benefits = approval of God. Cost = Saved us from living forever in Hell based on our sinful life. I think that the cost will always be worth it in the end. Who would ever chose otherwise?