With no training wheels.

Earlier this week I was hanging out with my neice and we were talking about bike riding.  She dramatically exclaimed that she WOULD NEVER ride her bike without training wheels.  She is my mini me so no one should be surprised that this was dramatically stated.  But as she made the statement I knew there had to be more going on and so I asked why she said that.

“Because it’s scary.  I need someone to always be holding on because it is just too scary.”

And with those words my heart broke.  I remember those times, the fear and the life that those fears stole from me.  I also know that fear still tries to steal life from me.

“Did you know that Auntie gets scared sometimes too?”

“You are?”

“I am.  Do you know what Auntie does when she is scared?”  Auntie prays because even when I am scared God is with me.  I don’t have to wonder or question if He is always there because He is.  And so even when we are scared we can ask God to help us and thank Him for being with us.”

There was so much more I wanted to say and to share but I prayed with her, hugged her and watched renewed joy come into her face.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”    2 Timothy 1:7 

What caught me about this exchange was how I can see areas of my life where my reaction is the exact same as my neice.  I want the training wheels of life to stay on and I want others to be with me holding the bike balanced so I don’t fall and get hurt.  I’m afraid to fall, to fail and to get a little cut up.  But it is in the being willing to fall and to fail that I find out that I can do what God has called me to do…. because He is with me and has given me all I need.

He is with me as I wobble to get started and start down the street.  

He is with me to pick me up when I fall and brush me off.  

And He is with me to celebrate as I go further and faster with every try.

And so, as I prayed with my neice and encouraged her to continue trying to ride without her training wheels I was also speaking to myself.

Keep trying even if it means falling and getting a little cut up.  

Keep going forward even when it means getting a little dirtier than I had intended.  

For God is with me and He has given me His Spirit, of power and love and self-discipline.

Where do you need to risk and begin riding without training wheels?


Deep Cries Out to Deep.


Deep calls to deep… this was a devotion that I wrote a year ago and as with most devotions, it still speaks to me.

We have all been there, when the depths of who we are are steeped in pain and despair.  Sometimes the pain is actually growth, painful and time consuming periods of growth.  Other times that pain and despair is God’s prompting for surrender.  Surrender to the healing that can only be found in Him.  Regardless of what the pain and despair seem to be, It feels as though whatever is going on will never end, will never let up.

It is in this spot that we often forget who God is and what He has done. We forget that our God is steadfast, that His love looks beyond the moment into eternity, that He can and does the impossible daily.

God’s love is hard to understand because it is a love that has all understanding.  Our vision is clouded and minimal in distance but His not only encompasses all there is but sees in all of time.  He has all of us and all of eternity within the scope of His love.

And it is in light of that love and in those moment of pain and despair that  deep calls out to deep.  The deepest part of who we are calls out to the deepest of His love.  Where the roar of His life and love can drown out any other sound.  It is here that His grace and love pour over us and where, if we allow it, His mercy can wash the dirt away.

As deep calls out to deep, His mighty waters drench my soul, His great love allows me to surrender my plans to His and trust.

For even though the storms of life rage, my God calms the waters with a word and stills the raging sea with the soles of His feet.  

Will we surrender in the waters and allow them to wash over us?
Will we allow our deepest parts to cry out to Him?
Will we allow Him to remind us of who He is and who we are in Him?

Sabbath: Trust. Rest. Be. Create.

This post is a post that I started well over two years ago.  I was exhausted.  I worked full time serving the churches and pastor’s of our district and then I was also the youth pastor at my own church.  If you looked at my planner you would see that I was scheduled from one event to another.  There was not much room for breathing.  But then God spoke and did some amazing things.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

That scripture has always been on my heart, for as long as I can remember.  It has been a phrase that has spoken to my heart of who God is.  Probably partially because I’m a bit of an overachiever.  I go, go, go until I can’t go any longer.  I work and work and work for God but when it comes to the sitting, waiting and listening part well… let’s just say I don’t gravitate to that easily.

Sometimes I get so caught up in doing something for God that I lose sight of knowing God.  To know someone you have to spend time with them which is lost when you are go, go go.  The idea of being still to know that He is God spoke something to me that I didn’t realize until the last few days…

When I’m still I don’t just get to know God more but I know that He is God because when I am still, it means He must be working instead of me.  When I am still then it shows His glory not my own.

It all started several months ago as I sat in my review at work and they asked one simple question, “How would you like Monday’s off?”  It was like a breath of fresh air!

I had noticed myself becoming increasingly more tired and run down because most weeks I didn’t really get a day to rest and relax.  Monday through Friday I was working in the office and then on the weekends I was preparing and attending to church and youth group things.  I was exhausted both physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I was drained and there were moments where it seemed like I wouldn’t be able to pour out because there was less and less within.

Well I am exhausted no longer. 

Although I no longer work at this job and I no longer have a specific day of Sabbath I can speak that what God spoke to me in this period has stayed with me today.

I look back and I see that God was moving on my behalf, 
even in ways that I could not see.

Shortly after this time I found out that the office would be closing and I entered a time of intense emotional wrestling.  Without God moving on my behalf I’m not sure how I would have made it through.


I now make time to stop and just be with God.  

I now make time to know God and be known by Him.  

I now make time to be still so that His glory may be shown.  

I now make time so that what I do could be out of a peace that only comes from His presence.

Be still.  Know that He is God.  Be still.  Know Him and be known by Him.  Be still. Be.

To Whom do I Please?

I’ve written before about the characteristics of the youngest child but recently there has been one characteristic that has been rearing it’s ugly head…

People pleasing.

I often forget that this is something that plagues me but it is there.  The desire to calm the storms within relationships, for all to be happy and joyful.  Saying yes in situations when really I want to say no because it’s what others want.  Seeking advice and attempting to do EVERYTHING that has been said to me.   Wanting people to like me and to understand me.  This goes beyond just the normal making everyone happy but I want people to approve of me.

It’s actually pretty exhausting.  Over the last few years I’ve gotten a little better.  I’ve learned to say no but still love and care for people.  I’ve learned how to truly deal with conflict in a way that creates more peace after the initial storm.  I’ve learned that no matter what you do there will always be people that disapprove.  I’ve learned that following Jesus means that there will always be people who disagree.  I’ve learned a lot about following Jesus and not the voices of man.

Or at least I thought I had.  Then all hell broke lose in my life.

I learned my job had an expiration date.
I stepped down from my ministry position.
I left my church.
My heart broke.

And often during this whole process I couldn’t figure out which way was up and which way was down.  I didn’t know who I was called to or what was next.  One moment I thought this town and the next another.  I took advice from any wise, Jesus loving person I knew.  And in the process I accepted the wisdom of man over the voice of the Lord.

You see, when I first learned that our office was changing and that I would need to figure out what was next I spent A LOT of time on my face before God.  I cried a lot but I also listened a lot.  This led to stepping down as youth pastor and leaving a church that I loved for a whole lot of unknown.  And while God was speaking all those things He also spoke another, one that was a remnant of a word He had already spoken to me.  Early on in my time here in the NE the Lord told me that His provision for me was not contingent upon how hard I worked and that in actuality my efforts to try to make more money would never lead to having enough.  Instead, if I worked hard on what HE told me to put my hands to and ONLY what He told me to put my hands to then His provision would ALWAYS be enough.  Fast forward to early this summer, as confusion and chaos reigned in my life, Jesus quietly whispered, “What I have for you next won’t be found in a job application, you won’t get there through searching and applying.  What I have for you next I will bring about.”

As crazy as it sounds, I believed God.  Why?  Because He had always provided for me and because almost EVERY job I’ve ever had came through relationship not through my efforts.  I believed that God would provide… BUT just as I was listening to God I was seeking the wisdom of those who had walked with Him much longer than I had.  And the general consensus?  The logical thing to do and what any wise person told me to do was apply.  Don’t worry or fret but apply and see what doors God had opened.

I knew what God had said BUT it couldn’t hurt to at least apply, right!? At least then I was doing my due diligence.  The problem though is that when we add our own “BUT clause” to the Word of God we end up not doing what God says.

The people pleaser inside of me wanted to follow the advice that was given.  I wanted people to look at me and see God providing, but I was concerned that they would think I was crazy.  Because when you loose your job and don’t seek another one you are one of two things, lazy or crazy.  I didn’t want to be SEEN as either.  I allowed what people would think about me to overrule what Jesus was saying to me.

And so for months I applied to jobs and for months I felt crazy instead.  I had no peace but instead continual frustration as I tried to figure out what God wanted me to do.  I hated applying and nothing seemed right, yet I kept going because that was the “smart” thing to do.  Surely God would open one of these doors, it would only make sense and then maybe we would all understand why I had to leave…. I just wanted it all to make sense, to me and to them.

Well thankfully God is patient and gracious.  He knows our heart even if we screw up being obedient.  Jesus knew my heart wasn’t to disobey.  Jesus also knew that I needed a lesson in who I was living my life to please.

And so here I stand, my job expires on December 31st but I’ve stopped applying for jobs.  I stepped down from my ministry position and left a church before I knew where God was talking me.  I know that people don’t understand.  It doesn’t make sense.  People talk and wonder.  Hearts are hurt and motives are brought into question.  Am I going to move because of a guy?  Was I always waiting to leave?  Why did I step down really and what was going on?  Why would God tell me to step down but not where I would be going?  Did I have a “better” offer?

I still wish I could give all the answers, that they would make sense and make it hurt less.  But the truth is that I can’t.  All I can say is that God is bigger than our plans, is bigger than what we see to understand.  Slowly the pieces are falling into place but there is still so much of His vision left to see.  But there is one thing that I am certain of today… I must always be seeking to please God above all others.  Gaining wisdom from others is great unless it means laying aside the Wisdom that is Jesus Christ.

“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please people?  If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of God…” Galatians 1:10

What about yourself?  What has God asked you to do without telling you why?

Do you struggle with trying to live up to the ideals of others?  Do you live under how other people
will see you or do you seek to please God only?

Are you a people pleaser?  How do you walk the thin line that is loving
people, caring for them but following Jesus regardless?

My High Flying Adventure

Since I was 16 years old I have wanted to go skydiving.  Whenever this would come up people would chuckle. Why?  Because I am incredibly scared of heights.  Try to get me on a ladder, forget it!  But for some reason, for years this has been a dream.

Last week was my 2 year anniversary of my greatest adventure so far.  My anniversary of God creating within me a spirit of adventure and joy and peace.  For most of my life I was filled with anxiety and worry and fear.  Over the past year God has been challenging those very things and replacing them with strength, courage and delight. Some of you may remember that last year I took a Trapeze class because God told me to.  God wanted to teach me that although I may be afraid at moments, those fears should not dictate what I do and do not do in my life.

Well do to this growth and new found love of adventure I snatched up a Groupon to go skydiving and this past Saturday I went on my own and did it. Skydiving was the most amazing experience I have had thus far in my life.  There was no fear but only joy and extreme delight.  We jumped at 2 miles above the earth.  The air was rushing past as we free fell from the plane and my only thought was how awe-filled those very moments were.  The rush of the air.  The beauty of the earth below me and the ability to experience such delight was beyond comprehension.

I giggled and giggled and giggled some more.

And then when the parachute was opened and we were gliding through the air – to be able to take in the beauty of creation.  From Cape Cod all the way to Boston with all the trees, lakes, houses and streams in between was breathtaking.

I wish that I could aptly explain what those moments did to me.  It freed me.  It refreshed me.  It energized me.  And it hooked me.

NEVER again will I let fear hold me back.  Why?  Because if I had let fear stop me from sky diving I would have allowed the enemy to steal the joy and delight that I felt.  He would have stolen a part of my identity.  But, in trusting God and facing my fear, I was released and empowered and refreshed.

I haven’t felt this at peace in a while and I can’t help but wonder if it has something to do with another aspect of who I was created to be, being released.  Sitting here and remembering not just the experience but what God was breathing into me in those moments brings me to tears.  Tears of joy and delight and love.  To know that God created those types of moments for each of us at creation when He said, “it is good.”  Oh how that breathes refreshing straight into my soul.

If you have a dream that seems impossible due to fear, insecurity or lies spoken to you – don’t let that stop you.  Choose the truth of God and be released to be who you are.

And, if you want to skydive?  Do it.  Run, don’t walk and experience something that only God could have created.  Oh, and if you want… feel free to pay for me to jump again ;)

Until next time… enjoy these pictures!













Now go, make adventures of your own! <3

God Whispers: How a still small voice can change everything.

One of my favorite passages can be found in 1 Kings 19.  It is the story of Elijah being in the presence of God and hearing His voice.

“And he said, ‘Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.’  And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire and after the fire a still small voice.  And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entrance of the cave.  And, behold, there came a voice unto him that said, ‘What are you doing here Elijah?’

I’m going to go bible student on you for a second because you have to understand what was so profound about this series of events:

In the Ancient Near East they had a lot of thoughts about gods.  They actually had a lot of gods, period.  But in their thoughts about gods they thought that the events that happened to/on the earth such as wind, earthquakes, fire, etc. happened it was one of their gods expressing their satisfaction or dissatisfaction.  If something happened to your family it was thought that the gods were unhappy with you.  And so the people would worship and offer sacrifices to these gods in order to appease their anger and thus so nothing would happen to their families.  Well, God wasn’t like the gods that the Ancient Near East knew, everything that was practiced and thought about these gods was contrary to the God that the Israelites worshiped.

And thus, God revealed himself in a still small voice.

God wanted Elijah to understand that He wasn’t found where the culture and understanding of the people would assume that He was to be found, but instead that our God, a God of relationship who speaks to His people, was found in the least likely place.  I love that, probably because I’m a talker myself.  To me words and language are so personal.  They allow you to tell your story, to express who you are but they also allow you to know other people and to be brought into the world that you can’t see.

Well the point of this blog wasn’t to talk about Elijah, although tempting but instead it is to talk about the “still small voice” the whisper of God.  Have you ever heard a whisper from God?  I think sometimes it comes about as a thought that we know we would never have thought of by ourselves.  Sometimes it is a gut feeling that fills you from the very depth of your being, it tells you what you are to do, say and feel.  Often times it comes as we are reading the bible, because “hello!” that is the word of God!  Sometimes it comes to us from other people, because well God loves relationships so He uses our relationships to bring about His words.  And sometimes He speaks.

I’ve been asked by quite a few people about what I mean when I say that God spoke to me and honestly sometimes I can’t tell.  Sometimes I can’t tell if it was a voice or a thought, all I know is that He spoke to me.  This isn’t a head kind of know though, this is a very core of my being kind of know.  Have you ever had that kind of know.  That being said I do know one time in the past couple of months were a heard God audibly and it caused me to stop in my tracks.

I like to go on adventures.  They are my absolute favorite.  Probably because I’m so curious about the world.  I want to see and experience everything that is around me.  So often I will be going along and I’ll see something that sparks my interest, a store, lake, etc. so I’ll stop and check it out.  This is a completely normal experience for me.  The 4th of July I spent by myself in Boston on the Esplanade with thousands of other people.  It was awesome and something I still need to write about but, that really is not a normal thing for a single 20 something to do.

Anyways… a few months ago I was driving home in the evening at about 7:30ish in the evening and I passed the start of a trail that I had noticed a couple of times before.  Every time I passed it my interest was piqued, so in Kaitlin fashion I pulled in.  Now it did not cross my mind that it was 7:30 PM and at any moment it was going to get dark.  Nor did it cross my mind that there were NO other cars around.  No one knew where I was or what I was doing.  All I thought was hmmm I wonder where that goes, I’m sure it’s beautiful!!  So I read the sign and started down the tree covered trail.

I had walked possibly 10 steps when God spoke.  “STOP!  Turn around, get back into your car and come back when you are with someone else.”  The word stop was spoken with force but the rest was an urgent, soft whisper.  And I didn’t think twice.  I turned right around, walked out of the trail, got into my car and drove home.

And as I drove home I realized what could have happened to me.  That I am a single girl of 23.  No one knew where I was and no one was expecting me at any particular time.  I could have been walking into a dangerous situation but I will never know.  What I do know is that the still small voice of the Lord spoke and I responded. 

And I think that’s the point.  God speaks.  His still small voice is still very active today.  And if we are willing to respond it will change everything. The question is, Are we listening?

How do you hear from God?  Do you think that you hear from God?

Have you ever experienced anything like I did, where after the fact you realize that
God could have been preventing something from happening?


This morning in worship one word popped into my mind: reliant.

Reliant – adjective

1. having or showing dependance

2. confident; trustful

We as human beings are reliant. No matter how whole of a human being, no matter how happy or independent the truth is that you were created to be reliant.

We are either reliant on the world. We look to other people to make us happy. We look for others to provide for us both emotionally and physically. We look for acceptance, status, etc. from other people or things. I would say that most of the time this falls under the first definition of reliant because we are dependent upon someone/something.

Or we are reliant on the Lord. Looking to the Lord to provide everything that we need: correction, joy, peace, provision, happiness. And this has everything to do with the second definition that being reliant upon the Lord has to do with being confident in Him and trusting His goodness.

When we are not confident in the Lord and we don’t trust that He will provide and that He has the very best for us then we automatically are dependent upon other people and/or other things. And when we are dependent on people and things then we are unable to be reliant upon the Lord.

The Lord gave us free will and that free will means that we must choose whether we will be reliant upon God or the world.

The word today is reliant. We are reliant. I am reliant. But the question and the choice is are you going to be reliant on the world or are you going to be reliant on the Lord.

Catch Hands

For the past year God has been teaching me about fear.  I have lived the majority of my life up until this point living under some sort of fear and allowing that fear to make my decisions for me.  As a child this meant that I wouldn’t let anyone throw me around or twirl me about.  I hate heights and roller coasters.  As the years went on it meant not trying out for different things because I was scared I would fail.  It meant shying away from singing in front of people because what if I couldn’t sing… this was actually reinforced when a boy in 8th grade told me I couldn’t sing. Before moving to New Hampshire the Lord began by asking me if I would trust Him in moving out here.  I could have arrived and hated living here, could have hated my job and could have failed miserably.  I had never been to New Hampshire and I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting myself into.  But God asked me to trust Him so I moved.  And ever since that moment He has been asking me to take charge of my fear.  I have realized that fear will always be apart of my life but what matters is not allowing the fear to dictate my life.  Choosing to take control of my fear really means choosing to trust God where He has brought me and in the situations that He places me.

One of God’s challenges to me with fear led to an adventure that I went on almost a month ago.  On Groupon there was a deal for a TSNY Trapeze class at Beantown (Reading, MA).  When I originally saw the Groupon I thought, “Ha! I would never do that!  I’m scared to death of heights!”  Right after that thought crossed my mind, God told me (in my interpretations of Him,) “Well then, my dear Kaitlin, you must do it!”  So… I bought the Groupon and for a good 4+ months held onto the paper.  But about two months ago I decided that I was just going to take the plunge and schedule a class.  So I did and this is that story…..

I hate heights.  I mean they terrify me.  I hate standing ladders for that reason.  And getting off said ladders…. don’t get me started.  So when I bought the Groupon I knew that it was going to test me but I thought after the initial time it would wear off being scary and maybe I would fall in love.  So I got up on a Saturday morning, spent the morning bumming around the house and then set off for Reading, MA which is about an hour from my house.

149242_10200331727007552_333145686_n Continue reading “Catch Hands”

Sitting in my car and Going Absolutely Nowhere…

My car wouldn’t start this morning.

When I got home last night it was running just fine.  But this morning I got in… turned the key… and NOTHING.  Not a single solitary sound.  I might have actually hit my hand upon the dashboard in frustration.  If I cussed.. that would hav ebeen the moment it came out but since I don’t cuss I yelled instead, “No! Not this morning!  God, please!?!”  But no luck.  It wouldn’t start.  And then the tears came.  Because… I needed to be somewhere.  Because… It was overwhelming.  Because… I didn’t even know what was wrong.  Because…. it made me feel inadequate.

Well in the midst of my day filled with tears and car problems God talked to me about two things that I need to learn.  And well…He chose to use my car to teach them to me.

When I was getting ready this morning… when the day was still butterflies and rainbows not storm clouds and spilt milk… I was in the bathroom doing my hair and makeup thinking about how God is worthy to be praised.  This thought lead me to think about how we praise Him… we praise Him for what He has given us and what He has done.  But then it hit me… those things are temporary.  Just look at Job… Job was blameless before the Lord and yet, practically anything and everything that could happen to a person the Lord ALLOWED to happen.  So, what God gives to us and what He does for us can be taken away quickly.  Instead of thanking God for what He has done, we should be praising Him for who He is because that will never change.  If the Lord has provided a home, food, money, etc.  then we should praise Him as the One who provides.  If we have been saved by His grace and brought into right relationships with Him then He is the God who saves, the God who reconciles and the God who redeems.  He should be praised as our Creator… the King of King and the Lord of Lords…. You see?  Instead of praising God for what we have…. although it is important to be thankful and realize how blessed we are with those things…. we should really be praising Him daily for who He is.

Well… it was after I was thinking about this that I went out to my car and it wouldn’t start.  After taking a few moments to freak out in the car, then calling work and AAA it hit me.  God had told me how I was to take this day.  Instead of being thankful that I had a car and praising God for providing me with that car…. or for praising God for my job and thus the money that came out of that….. I was to praise God for being my provider and trust Him in that.

Well… you would think that that would be a big enough lesson for me right?!? WRONG. God was not done.

I kind of instigated this second lesson…. I mean I did ask God so….. It was probably the fact that I kept crying all day that lead me to ask Him.  I mean hello, tt’s a car problem… yea it sucks… but really, GET OVER IT KAITLIN!  But… I just couldn’t.  The amount it was going to take to fix it and the number of things wrong kept going up.  Well okay the truth is I was hoping it was a minor problem, hopefully only one thing wrong.  Nope.  Both my starter and my ignition. Ugh.  Not what I wanted to hear and definitly NOT the price I was hoping for.  So well… I cried multiple times.  This morning when it happened, on the phone with my dad after I found out how much and then again on my way home.  So finally, I thought… okay God, why do I keep crying and why can’t I just let this go.  You see… I KNOW that He is taking care of me because He is my Provider.  He has taken care of practically everything from the moment I said yes to coming to New England.  So I was pretty certain that wasn’t it.

Well… when you ask God to show you something about yourself He is more than willing to oblige.  So in the car (not my car, since mine is out of commission, my boss let me borrow hers today) on my way home after work…. while I was crying, yet again… the Lord showed me that my trouble wasn’t in trusting that He would provide but it was that He was using others to provide for me.  I have this problem with feeling like a burden to others.  I don’t want to create hardship for other people and so it is hard for me to accept help.  But since I’m an intern that means that I don’t make a whole lot of money, mind you it’s not a measly amount either, but the Lord has been using others to provide for me.  And it has been hard every step of the wayWell… the Lord wants me to allow Him to provide through other people.  And I’m truly trying but… it’s a constant struggle for me.

But this wasn’t the only thing that I learned in the car today.  The Lord brought to mind my blog post about Noah the other day.  Since God is a God of relationship, He enables us and wants us to partner with Him in ministry.  And over the past few weeks I have been very thankful that the Lord has given me the opportunity to be in ministry because that is what ministry truly is… God allowing us to partner with Him to reach others.  Well… God kinda threw that back in my face today.  He said, “What you have been so thankful over the past week is the very opportunity that I am giving to other people in your case.  When you fight against Me providing for you through others you fight against Me allowing others to partner with Me in ministry.  Stop being so self-centered that you are stuck on how hard it is for you, and realize what I am able to do in them because of it.”

Well. That pretty much shut me up because how could I be soo thankful about something and yet squash that some opportunity for others? 

Today was a pretty hard day.  It was full of emotions and disappointments and bad surprise.  But.. there was much good and much to be thankful for.  God is my Ever Patient Teacher.  He is my Provider.  and thankfully… He gets through my stubbornness and emotions to speak to me in the midst.

So even though I sat in my car and ended up going nowhere… the Lord is bringing me somewhere!

Where in your own life are you fighting God to let others do something you are so thankful about?

How do you hear most from the Lord?  Is it a time during the day?  In the midst of trial or joy?

Take a moment to be thankful and to praise God not just for what He has done and given to you but for who He is!

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