2017

The importance of the Rest Note.

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“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
― John LubbockThe Use Of Life

 

Rest… No not sleep. Rest. I have slept many times and woken up more tired than when I went to bed because I am someone who is super guilty of not doing things that energise me and grow me as a person. I am very good at completing the task. I complete tasks so well that tasks can begin to complete me and when I actually stop I have no idea how to answer “Hey! What do you enjoy  doing in your spare time?” Firstly what is spare time and secondly… I will get back to you on that one.

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I absolutely love writing and love reading but I do not do this everyday … Why? Well there are other things I need to do.

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”
― Stephen R. Covey

Dancers have a count in their dancing to ensure they keep the beat and don’t fumble around.. but here we are not going from 1,2,3,4 but from 123456789 and fumbling around and having more bags under our eyes than Prada has ever made. We will put our self in the trenches of dissatisfaction if we do not focus on the war of achieving, growing and being true to ourselves. Being true to ourselves has more to do than thinking we are nice people and this are our morals but it also has to do with who are we really? what makes us happy? what do we enjoy doing and are we taking care of ourselves. People become s sick that doctors put them on bed rest. Yes,bed rest. Not an endurance race to push themselves further. No rest.

I have developed something very interesting this year and yes it is self diagnosed but I have developed some sort of anxiety. I am good at getting things done that when “the reward for hard work is more hardwork” appears I accept it and just run from task to task in leaps and bounds that when soemone asks me something about my work I get on high defense mode and if I am not busy enough I sit and think about all the things I need to do and I can feel my heart beating out of my chest into my throat and then I shut down and create more lists… lists on lists. Goodness I could create a to do list for my to do list.

 

I have owned the plot twists that came my way this year  but I have fallen short in the regard that I disregard the moment to enjoy the bigger  picture but when the bigger picture comes around I am too busy thinking about how it is all supposed to play out that I miss that too.

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You need to sit and analyse where you want to go and how you actually want to feel when you get there. Make time for the important things – We are told to rest in God and not to be so exhausted that we cannot even finish our Bible reading for the day. If we ever become too busy for God then we are more busy than God ever intended us to be. Love others as you love yourself but being too busy to love yourself will result in you not loving others correctly either.

I once again have no quick or easy way to rest and to feel on fire instead of a heap of ash that you crave sleep for many many years but all I can say is praise God, praise Him again and breath.

Rest isn’t easy and I know for many people saying no isn’t an easy task and for me asking for help is even more daunting because I may be 5.4 but I can do this. YAAAS. Haha just joking but rest means saying no to the person who wants you to stay up until 3 again because they refuse to take your advice, it means declining that party because you have had a busy week, it means telling yourself to stop thinking in a certain way and imagining scenarios that haven’t even happened yet and probably never will. You do not need to escape from your life but you do need to know how to put rest in there and prioritise things like praying, reading your Bible, having 10 minutes of absolute silence because you are overwhelmed. It is about speaking to your soul and to forge ahead. Rest. Realise Even Superheroes Tire. Saving the world is hard work but resting doesn’t mean you never saved the world it is just about regaining your strength and mind. Rest isn’t an escape from life but enjoying it.

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Put your feet up, watch Friends again or eat that bowl of popcorn without looking at your emails. Get up and finally run the run you promised yourself you’d run. Do the things you have been putting on the back burner and in the midst of it all – rejoice.

“Rest and be thankful.” ― William Wordsworth

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2017

Oh she’s a fighter.

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Okay so I let people in and I’ve forgiven but now what.

There comes a time in your life when you have to be more than your struggle and you have to be more than your testimony. I’ve forgiven my dad , I’ve taken ownership of my life and I’ve surrendered to God but who am I when I am not sharing this story? What fuels me if this is not the drive? Where am I heading if not out of my struggle?

Here I stand bewildered. Not in wilderness but feeling like a wilderness. These are the thoughts and challenges I faced up until last year. I couldn’t share my story and say oh no I was insecure and I’m learning how to be confident in myself because I was confident in myself but something strange that came along once I overcame and shared my story came overthinking.

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Every single thing I did , everything people did to me I thought about. I became fueled with this need to be prepared for whatever could happen because I couldn’t be prepared for my dad not being there and I couldn’t be prepared for my bullying. I could be prepared for tests so that made me happy because if I failed when I was prepared I knew I did the best I could do. I could prepare for speeches. But I couldn’t prepare for how people perceived me and I couldn’t prepare for the heartbreak and rejection to come.

I guess you could call the next part of my story – the after shock or PTSD (Post Testimony Stress Drive. )

I forgave, I let my walls down, focused on how being a woman was something I should be proud of and I accepted the body I was given and who I was. But how am I supposed to prepare for the plot twist? For the next mean word? For the “I love you but I’m out of here” the unexplained ending of friendships. The abandonment and the people pointing “ you have daddy issues”. How? How ? How? Overthinking ruled my life and I had to find a way to solve every possible thing that could happen to me. Whether it meant I simply didn’t let people In too close or I appear as if I am opening my heart and soul but honey you only know what I want you to know. I seem vulnerable but this a mere facade.

I became a pro at seeming un-phased and I thrived on “ look I barely have emotions “. It was a controlled situation and it made sense to me. My desire for control , my desire for being prepared , my desire for knowing … oh boy they took over. Being a Christian and wanting to be all knowing and all prepared will really mess with your brain. Being Christian is about not being able to see but still believing.

I wouldn’t put myself into situations where I thought it would result in me not knowing what to say or what to do. I became socially awkward because “hello what’s your name?” Would be the start but who knows what they could ask next. I’d be terrified of phone calls because texting was easier for me because I could control what I said and which direction the conversation would go. I had time to think I had time to process. This whole spontaneous way of living life freaked me out.

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Hello I’m Katelyn and I suffered from post testimony stress drive. Which basically means I have overcome the initial issue but there’s a new level of stress that I need to yet again overcome.

It’s a strange thing to overcome and stumble upon another battle. Like cool I just won this fight and now I must fight again? No thank you this is exhausting. I am just going to simmer in these thoughts for a while and hope no one asks what’s going on in my mind.

 

That was me – now hello I’m Katelyn and I suffer from being unapologetically me and I cry when things make me happy or when things upset me – I vocalize my thoughts and feelings and I’m surrendered to what God wants from me and I love every human in my life in a way I never have before.

How did I get here? Well it’s simple and not simple at the same time. I had to make conscious decisions that I do not need to put the stress of figuring the plan out on myself and to trust in an all knowing God. How did I stop thinking? I haven’t figured this out 100% but I think maybe 40% of the time whereas before I would think myself into a flat panic 85% of the time if not more. My vision for the year was to “ live loved” and that is how I learned how to navigate this next battle. I approach people with the thought that they won’t hate me and if there’s an awkward silence let me just look at it as a silence instead of awkward.

The approach needs to change and one has to make conscious decisions and yes you have to fight a battle more than once to win it sometimes. I still fight the overthinking battle but instead of sitting in this constant frustration I have learnt how to ask for clarity and not fear looking “too much”.

So my lovely humans – seize the day, live loved, be you unapologetically and let God lead and follow His plan it is so much less stressful.

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2017

Stand up straight.

F133E688-9C74-412F-9FF0-DA8DD0CBBAD3Feelings, emotions, tears, anger and things were spread across the floor. Words, screams and empty looks galore. I sat there begging myself to stop feeling but in the begging I only began to feel more and more…

I have wrestled with writing this blog post for years because I believed writing about the story must mean you aren’t over the story but writing this now I realise I am actually okay. So hello let me welcome you into my deepest thoughts and feelings and I must please just ask you to leave no coffee stains on my table top.

I grew up without a dad. He did not really leave he was just simply not there and this is something I came to terms with before I was even born because having a mom and not a dad made sense in my brain because that is all I ever knew until someone told me that because I am who I am my dad left. That sentence embedded itself into my DNA and left my world absolutely shattered. The words that came after that left me even more numb and begging the person to stop telling me these things… I was called ugly,stupid, worthless and abandoned. I had statistics of how growing up in a single parents household would just set me up for failure. My world was rocked and my heart was aching.

The years following on from that statement just led to me hating who I was more and more. I could find things to hate about me everyday. Oh you didn’t get that right? You are so stupid. The bullies left the playground but their words became echoes and screams in my head and I no longer needed others to throw words at me because I was more than capable at being my biggest enemy. I no longer needed people to tell me how awful I was because I was more than capable at telling myself how much of a failure I was. Self-harm does not always have a razor pressed against your skin with blood pouring out… Self-harm can also be when your cutting happens internally and because no one can ask you did your cat scratch your arm?

I had to learn how to forgive those who wronged me and then I had to learn how to forgive myself.  Sure the forgiveness wasn’t easy but I managed to forgive my dad and the bullies but forgiving myself was the next huge mission… Girl you tried to kill yourself? How much can you really hate yourself to get to that point? I locked myself into a castle that was protected by so many dragons that I alone was stuck in the highest room seeing all the happiness around me but all I could feel was coldness. If  I stay in this room I won’t feel anymore pain. Blocking yourself off from sadness blocks you away from happiness too. The mind is a powerful thing and fighting with the wilderness of the mind is probably one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do.

How could the one person who was meant to love you leave you ? That is something I struggled with and came to terms with that everyone left but I was still stuck on the thought of how could those who love  you leave?  Wilderness. I became a wilderness. An uncultivated, uninhabited and inhospitable region. I pushed people away and I become a pro at running away from things that seemed like they might hurt me. I preferred pushing away happiness and feeling sadness because I was in control of that feeling. It took me a while to realise that I could choose joy and that I am actually in control of how I feel.

Without God I would not be writing this blog post and I would be dead. God wanted me as His daughter alone and I realise now that I had to go through that to appreciate love more and to understand that no one is perfect but my body still saw love as a threat. I did not let anyone close to me and did not see the point of having great friendships because everyone leaves in the end BUT I forgave myself. I saw the beauty of loving people so unashamedly… I understood that feeling happiness so deeply was worth whatever pain may come. The prayers you pray in the wilderness come to fruition in the promise land. God did not give me a sense of happiness, peace and comfort in the wilderness I created for myself until I stepped out of the wilderness and into His promises. I overcame my self-hate and hate towards my dad in 2013 and life improved so much sense then.

 

Until heart break and overthinking knocked on my door when I had enough courage to love someone without running away. I saw myself slipping into my old ways and walking back into the wilderness where I begged God to take me because the heartache became too much and I sat back and was astounded at how the challenge that previously took me into my wilderness came in a different form this time and I was so easily led back into the wilderness…

 

 

I guess you can say that your overcoming will be tested again and again.

 

Any recovering addict will tell you that you aren’t just clean from your addiction but it is a daily decision to overcome again and again and to remain clean. I am addicted to overthinking and addicted to thinking that I am better off on my own. But this is a trap and whether your addiction is relationships, love, cutting, hatred, bitterness, drugs, alcohol or whatever it is a daily overcoming. It is not a clean break. Its a daily walk and a daily decision… Your prayers in the desert need to continue in the promise land. The stance of your prayers may change but the enemy knows where to attack and aim and if you leave that area unguarded.

I am not saying you need to be negative and think that you will slip into your old ways again. No. All I am saying is that if you are set free from the wilderness but you keep the same attitude in the promise land you will never be set free from the wilderness stance and the wilderness hunger for more. The thirst you had in the wilderness will remain and no matter how many wells are around you wont drink from it because you still living in the sense of unanswered prayers and the sense that you haven’t gotten far at all. The prayer from the wilderness may change when in the promise land but the prayer changes from asking to thanking but the requests stay the same and your thoughts become bigger.

 

I have felt the addiction to run very recently but I needed to remind myself that I am not the ten year old little girl who was abandoned, bullied and wanted to die but I am the nineteen year old woman who is chosen, resorted and loved.

 

The posture needs to change or else the deliverance is null and void.

 

 

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2017

Spring? Is that you?

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It is said there are flowers that bloom only once in a hundred years. Why should there not be some that bloom once in a thousand, in ten thousand years? Perhaps we never know about them simply because this “once in a thousand years” has come today.
(Yevgeny Zamyatin)

Spring has come and some trees are still bare. There’s not one leaf, not one fruit, not one flower… Just dryness. What happens when spring comes but I’m not blossoming? Come on now I’m on a deadline. I have to be in full bloom by the age of 25. Or I have to have a boyfriend because what the actual heck is wrong with me if I don’t? All my friends have boyfriends. I don’t think trees look at the trees next to them and judge themselves wondering oh my actual word why don’t I have apples? Honey you’re not an apple tree that’s why you don’t have apples.

I am guilty of putting pressures on myself and deadlines that fit in my mind set of life. “Get all A’s” “Get a full bursary” “Get a degree by 21” “Get a license” “Buy a car” “Get a boyfriend” “Buy a house” “Get engaged” “Get married ” “have two kids by 35”. I used to put my entire life on a time line. I had a five year plan. Heck I had every second planned. The pressure of continuous planning is that when winds come to sway your branches you get upset because the plan didn’t include the wind. The set back. The drama. The break up. The tears. The plan only includes what we want to happen… It doesn’t include the reality and misfortunes of life. We get so frustrated with ourselves and when someone comes along and breaks our heart we get upset because it wasn’t part of the plan and it was unexpected… We put our internal pressures onto the external and try and force all the trees to grow in this way. Not every tree bears fruit in the same season… We were all planted at different times and some need to establish roots before they can bear fruit and provide shade and shelter. Is the tree dead? No. The tree is in full swing and it’s important that the tree has a good root system so it can withstand future storms.

 

 

So… Now the fact that we aren’t currently blossoming and that we feel like we are in a whirlwind of storms… Well you see pruning is important to a tree – when we hold onto the dead and give no space for the new. We hold onto that thing that happened to us and put it into every pain we have because letting go feels like we are saying that we are okay that that bit of our life is gone and let’s be honest if you loved your friend or boyfriend or girlfriend so dearly just letting go isn’t the simplest task? We refuse to let go because then we are accepting and moving ahead and eventually the chapter closes and we start writing a new one and “rather the hurt we know than the one to come” right? No no. Prune. Cut those dead things because this encourages growth. “How will cutting things off me make me grow?” Well you see pruning is actually beneficial to a tree because it helps it grow in the way it was supposed to grow. The hurts and pains are all important to our growth but holding onto our rotten fruit just brings flies and who wants flies?…

 

You don’t need to be blossoming and thriving right now. You can take your time. Do your pruning and take yourself to the true vine… The ultimate Gardener. God will prune you and develop you and bring the sweetest fruit out of you. Don’t put a deadline on yourself. Take the pressures away and R E S T in Him and trust him.

No it’s not easy. It hurts. Telling yourself that everything is a okay isn’t easy when you keep seeing the blossoms around you and you look at your feet and all you see is dead leaves… But the wilderness is a sign of the promise land coming. Be easy on yourself but be strict at the same time. You’re growing so allow yourself the time to grow but encourage growth and not setbacks. Trees don’t pick up dead leaves because they know there’s no life. They let it blow away in the wind… Let the hurts, distractions and worries blow away in the wind of resting in Him.

You don’t have to remind a flower when its time to bloom is near; it has been preparing for it all of its life.
(Matshona Dhliwayo)

Prepare yourself.

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2017

just a bunch of no sense.

 

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The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense. – Tom Clancy-

Coming up with a plan and goal for your life or year immediately shows where you’ll be attacked and challenged.

This is why so many people don’t stick to their new years resolutions because it becomes difficult or seems mundane and there’s yet another thing we didn’t have enough guts to follow through with. It’s just who we are as humans. So when I had the vision of “Seize and Live Loved” stirred in my heart I knew the attack would come and that I’d feel tired and that I’d become exhausted emotionally

I don’t mind physical challenges or pushing through because it’s logical and I can see it so I can find a way to change it but emotional challenges knock me hard to the core. I can over think overthinking and overthink my overthinking. I can go into a downward spiral that can result in me breaking my own spirit and own heart. Scary right? A few weeks ago I posted about the fear of being happy. And let me tell you I was extremely happy when I wrote it. Happy to the point of having a bounce in my step and a smile on my face every moment. Nothing could bring me down. Needless to say that once I decided to sit in the comfort of happiness my warm blanket was ripped away from me and the couch began to be the station of thoughts beginning to swirl all around.

I struggle to live with the idea of me deserving something just for me being me. It doesn’t make sense so when something happens it must be because I did something to deserve it. Like there was some work and physical action that resulted in what is happening. “Just because” gifts don’t make sense to me. And “just because” blessings make even less sense to me. Like I know like I know God loves me and blesses us but I used to be stuck in the thought that if I do this God will do this. Oh silly me God is way bigger than my comprehension. The point of the story is that once I began embracing everything around me and allowing myself to be happy and accepting and not doubting all these ” just because” things the pulling and snugging came.

It happened gradually and then the rug was pulled out from out from under me and that’s when I knew I had to fight with everything within me not to go into a spiral of doubt and a spiral of trying to blame myself. The blame has to go somewhere right? There isn’t anyone else to blame? No other situation to blame so I’ll blame myself. Logical. Concise. There’s a plan. I like plans.

If you’re reading this and nodding your head I’m about to rock both our boats. Self blame does not bring earthly resolution. Self blame does not bring comfort, sense or closure. Self blame however shakes your identity, shakes your purpose and results in you becoming brittle. Brittle bones break and if you dare suck the calcium and magnesium from your bones anymore you are doing more than just self blame you are self harming. It’s a dangerous game to play. You need to take a stand and decide on a valid action plan such as – prayer, God’s word and capturing those thoughts before they suck Joy from your life. Happiness is a fleeting emotion but Joy is an atmosphere. And that means it needs to be created and cultivated.

 

I don’t have an easy ” here’s how to not overthink in 5 steps ” but all I can say is that you have to decide. Take a stand and don’t allow the thoughts to spiral and swirl and wrap you in its tornado of bitterness, anger or sadness. Go towards the flood of love, acceptance and joy. The natural disaster of tornado overthinking is bad but the natural disaster of God’s flooding love and acceptance is restoring.

 

” Whenever I say your name- let the devil know not today.” – Hillsong

“You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” – John 13:7

We weren’t made to understand everything God says or does but we were called to be obedient and trusting. If it was about seeing it wouldn’t be faith it would be called walking and trusting in your own human ability.

 

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2017

Cherophobia

IMG_5553“And there it was. Happiness just a shot away from me but here I was overthinking it to the point of being miserable.”

My writing is mostly fuelled off of experience and how I managed to deal with what was given to me and lately I have been… happy. Genuinely happy. However, I have not been enjoying this happiness. I have been figuring out how this will all leave me. How I did not deserve this or that maybe this is too good to be true. No not in a I walk around with a cloud of darkness over my head but if happiness was a couch I was merely sitting on the edge getting ready to be asked to leave my seat.

I did not rest in the comfort of happiness. Still struggle with that. I realised that I view breakthrough or joy as something that will be ripped from me and be yet another challenge I must face. But when the couch of happiness is in your face you really cannot keep ignoring it not allow anyone to sit on it in fear that it will be taken away. The what ifs will ultimately be the death of some of us. Changing your view on happiness is important. I know I have been guilty of not enjoying a breakthrough, good times and utter joy because if I did not enjoy happiness as much surely I wouldn’t be in the same amount of pain when sadness comes? I know right how sad are my thoughts sometimes.

 

I am here just to say that we should not have a fear of happiness and that we should jump onto that couch and cuddle right in it with a pillow of laughter, a blanket of love and be dressed in clothes filled with affirmation. Happiness should not be a guilty pleasure but it should be enjoyed. Fully. Happiness isn’t something that will stop coming around and while it is here I think we should be grabbing it with both hands.

 

” He fills my life with good things so that I stay young and strong like an eagle.” -Psalm 103:5

 

Take your happiness back into your own hands. Silence the thoughts and celebrate once again. You know that you want to. That relationship you have been so scared of because you fear you aren’t good enough? Sit on the couch of happiness because you are good enough and you deserve love. That trip you have been terrified to take? Sit on the couch of happiness because you deserve to explore. That smile you have been scared of smiling? Sit on the couch of happiness and show us those pearly whites.

 

Cherophobia: The fear of gaiety, happiness, joyfulness or rejoicing.

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2017, Uncategorized

Isolated inclusion.

 

The wilderness is not a place of fear or a place of failure. The wilderness is a place where you see trees that have been uprooted by the wind because their roots weren’t deep enough and where you see other trees standing the test of time. The wilderness is a place of finding your “enough”, your happiness and enjoying the journey of discovery in the maze you find yourself in.

 

I found myself at a crossroad. The one road led to a place that made complete sense to me. A place where I could logically make sense of where to go to next. The other was the wilderness. Where I did not know that if I took the next step would it be safe or would I be falling into a hole and twisting my ankle? Constant anxiety and fear because none of it made sense to me and I could not explain it to anybody else. I have answers for days. If I don’t have an answer I could make you think I had the answer. When I found myself at the crossroad- I went the logical paved out road. Went to University and did a degree I was passionate about. Met incredible people but something within me did not feel right and half way into my first year I came towards an off ramp that led to the wilderness I did not want to go on at the beginning of the year. I stepped into possibly one of my scariest decisions. I put my studies on pause and stepped into working at a church I have been attending and serving at for the past 10 years. Nothing made sense, I was filled with anxiety and needed to know what the next step was at all times.

I promise this blog post has a point to it.

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I have never felt so much isolation from people I stood with firmly until I made this decision. The wilderness, unfortunately, has narrow paths and involves a lot of walking and not being sure. I personally am not a fan of hiking in nature so I cannot blame people who did not want to hike this new journey with me. I looked at all this isolation from people who did not understand why I made this decision and felt as if their rejection meant that I made the wrong choice. I felt like I should go back to the logical because did I really know if this was what I was called to? But if I took my eyes off of the isolation. I felt so much inclusion at the same time. Love, support, and hard work. God puts you in a place that does not make any sense but in that place, you find so much love. you love yourself differently and you love others more. Hiking is not a thing you should really do alone and when I began inviting people onto my walk instead of shutting them out- when I tripped there was someone to help me up. Tripping still hurts even if someone helps you up but having someone there in the journey makes the journey so much more rewarding. The best conversations probably happen in the wilderness and you hear things so much clearer. I am not saying God is screaming into my ears “go hear next” but you know He is there. Every step and He sees.

 

I am not saying drop out of varsity and start working at your church. I am saying that you should find the happiness in yourself. Things that sit right with your soul and forge towards that with everything you have. You know what you are supposed to be doing- You know the wilderness you ran away from but walking by sight will make logical sense but walking by faith helps your soul see things so much clearer. Believe me, if you told me that I would be working with kids even just one year ago I probably would have laughed and brushed you off but now that I work with kids every single Sunday I have become a gentler me.

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We so often disregard what God can do in our life simply because what God often wants to do with us makes us feel uncomfortable and doesn’t really suit our schedule. The wilderness is where there is limited communication but clear communication at the same time.

 

“It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B.
It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.”
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

 

He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber…. The LORD watches over you—the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121:3, 5-8)

The wilderness looks different to everyone and if you did the brave step of just jumping and trusting that the plan unravels on the way down- You are not crazy. You need to stop listening to the doubters and listen to a different voice.

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So embrace your wilderness experience as it is part of your growth.

“God knows things we don’t. We can trust His perspective instead of our own understanding.- Lysa TerKeurst

 

 

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