when trusting is too hard.

sometimes life doesn’t feel fair. or right. or how we plan. sometimes you don’t blog on the fifth day of a 31 day challenge because you just feel tired, and all the good words seem dried up.

and then morning dawns new, after short night’s sleep, and you’re reminded. just trust.

when the going get’s tough, and the tough won’t get going, just trust.

and even when you do not feel like you’ve got it in you.

you have to trust.

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-and finally He said to me, “My grace is enough to cover and sustain you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” So ask me about my thorn, inquire about my weaknesses, and I will gladly go on and on—I would rather stake my claim in these and have the power of the Anointed One at home within me. I am at peace and even take pleasure in any weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and afflictions for the sake of the Anointed because when I am at my weakest, He makes me strong.-

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 {The Voice}

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marriage.

marriage

This afternoon and evening were spent celebrating two wonderful people becoming one. Joshua Tucker, one of Brent’s closest friends and longtime roommate married the girl of his dreams, and it was so sweet. Josh & Kelly are relaxed, laid back, and love their family and friends, all of which was evident in this beautiful wedding.

Today took me back a year, to when Brent & I said we do. In the moments leading up to our big day, I was slightly overwhelmed, busy arguing with my fiancee over (in retrospect) nothing, and expending all of my energy trying not to be stressed.

If only I knew where the future would lead us. How in just one tiny year so much could change. How we would face bigger decisions, more intense fights, the most challenging moments, and a deep love that only two people so committed could feel.

Looking up at my husband in the wedding party brought tears to my eyes. He beamed back at me and my heart felt so full.

This year has not been easy. I was naive to think that marriage would be.

But the Lord has carried me to places that I never could have dreamed, and He continues to, with Brent by my side.13_Katie&Brent_1542

this city.

I have been known to proclaim, very loudly, enthusiastically, and on more than one occasion,

OH I JUST LOVE THIS PLACE! LET’S LIVE HERE!”

Seriously. These words come out of my mouth wayyy to often. And probably more than I actually mean 🙂 Strolling through Central Park on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Exploring the ins and outs of Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia. At pretty much every beach i’ve ever been to. Believe it or not the only trips where I probably haven’t exclaimed this proclamation have been overseas, when I dealt with horrible bouts of incurable homesickness.

But on most days, I love to explore new places. There is something in my heart that practically bursts at the discovery of a hole-in-the-wall book shop, or a homey cafe.

However there is something about Lancaster. About the crisp, cool nights of Fall- filled with pumpkin fields and apple orchards. About the chilly Winter season- bringing fresh, icy air and the smell of wood piles burning. About Spring- magestic cherry blossom trees spotting the countryside. And of course Summer- those warm, muggy nights made of  flashing fireflys and fresh dairy ice cream.

Living in the city has been different for me. I grew up in a location I thought was the perfect mix between suburban and rural. Backroads to run on, but not too far from Target.

However, I have grown to love the city- and what each season brings.

Winter, with it’s sleek and sparkling trees creating a bright wonderland. Spring, with the hustle and bustle of a city alive again. Summer, with it’s sweet evenings at the creamery, or sprawled out on a blanket in Musser Park. And Fall- a chill in the air that calls for blankets and sweaters…and trips downtown for hot apple cider.

Today was one of those days…when my eyes were reopened to what was in front of me. As much as I dream of the future, of a sweet old farmhouse with character, and a backyard made of wildflowers, I am cherishing today. Of love and of laughter over hot drinks. Of market mornings, and restful afternoons, and strangers becoming friends.

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community.

there’s something so cozy about nearest & dearest. I’m definitely a words girl, and that phrase brings warmth to my heart. as I thought of different areas in my life that I hold in close regard, I felt community continuously coming to my mind.

community. something I love and long to live out. doing life with those closest to us. openness and heart sharing that creates strong relationships. the beauty of going deep, being real, and loving through it.

for me, the defining moment when I came to realize how beautiful community demonstrated truly is, was during the loss of our sweet little one.

it brings tears to my eyes when I think of the love that Brent and I felt. I envision the arms of the Father, holding me tight. And within those arms a warm and cozy blanket, soft and comforting. this is community.

 bouquets of radiant wildflowers.

fresh pumpkin cookies.

lovingly chosen gifts tucked between the doors.

handwritten notes and caring messages.

the warmth of a hug, the tears of a friend, the love of our families.

through the community that surrounds us, I have now experienced the Lord revealing Himself through His people. I can identify with the importance of carrying the Father’s heart.

if there is beauty from what sometimes feels like ashes, it is that I have found and experienced the deepest sense of community, and the greatest wave of love I have ever felt.

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things nearest & dearest

31 days: a writing challenge.

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The idea started with one of my favorite writers and bloggers, the nester. 31 days of blogging, one topic, and a new post each day. The goal: challenge your writing, grasp each moment, and for me- to go deep in your heart. Yesterday my friend Heather told me about this challenge she was planning to join, along with thousands of women across the country who will be linking in to write31days. The concept is a mix between networking and inspiration, a push for growth in writers.

Strange as it may sound, I wrestled with the idea. Do I have enough to write about? Do people even want to read what I have to write? What topic should I choose? And if anyone stumbles across my blog it’s really not that cute… I would settle on something, weigh it back in forth in my mind, then go to the drawing board again. I knew I wanted to share about real life and push myself to go deep, creating a place of intimacy in sharing my heart. The image that kept coming back to my mind was you and me, around my kitchen table in our cozy fall sweaters, cups of steaming hot coffee in hand, sharing our hearts. My dream is for people to know I get it, to feel my love for them. I want to share what’s closest to me in hopes that maybe you can relate. Not only the places I go and the things I do, but the lessons I’m learning in the process.

So envision this as my daily coffee date, sharing things nearest & dearest to my heart.

I’ll see you tomorrow,

xo Katie