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If the scandalous title of this post is just catching your attention, you are joining in the middle of a discussion about the way women think about the word “fat”. I’d recommend hitting up my previous post if you haven’t read it yet.

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9 months pregnant with Solomon Isaac.

It’s amazing how many people describe pregnancy with words like “fat”, “big”, “huge”. Towards the end of pregnancy I couldn’t believe how many people would say, “Wow, Kate, I can’t believe how HUGE you are getting.” It’s amazing to me how growing a human being inside of my 5’3″ body could even have a fat connotation. And I’m not just blaming other people here, seeing the scales increase and clothes stop fitting while I was pregnant wasn’t easy. It was very tempting every day to “go there” in my head.

Let me be honest about something. The scariest thing about seeing that little “+” mark on my pregnancy test last March was how having a baby was absolutely going to change my body. I’ve had some wins and losses with the Lord in my mind with the “fat” mindset and comparison, but becoming pregnant was the first time I had to make the decision to give up complete control, to lay down the rights to my own body.

Nineteen years in the world of competitive sports formed my perception of my body, not to mention the media and just being a woman! I’ve spent the majority of my life in a gym. I’ve been a competitive athlete in gymnastics and track. I’ve done dance and kickboxing. I’ve coached competitive gymnastics, track, and cross country. All of these things are fun and good, but it taught me that my body was for me. I’ve always had control. There have been times in my life where I’ve been healthy and balanced with that control. There have been times in my life where I’ve been extreme, and I’ve used that control to get a feeling of security, to feel good about myself, and to numb fear. Ultimately, whether I was being healthy or unhealthy one thing remained true, my body has always been something I used for my own glory. And that’s where what I believed about my body (with healthy or unhealthy actions) was wrong.

Every growing day of being pregnant felt like a day I lost more control as my body was molded into something completely abnormal than what was normal for me. I’m sure most girls feel this way. The pinnacle was the process of laboring- seeing my pregnant tummy, feeling the intense squeezing of each contraction, and knowing that my body was forcing the exit of the little boy I had carried for nine months.

People say that giving birth is a miracle. The moment Solomon was born was one of the most amazing spiritual experiences of my life. I didn’t tell Solomon’s lungs or brain to form, but my Creator God had used my humble body to create and call a living person into existence. And I had absolutely no control over any of it. I could take no credit. I could only be humbled and overwhelmed at the beautiful thing God had done through my body.

As Solomon took his first few breathes of life, I was reminded of our gospel. How it tells of one who literally gave up his body so that we can have new life.

He had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not (Isaiah 53:2b-3).

He actually knows how it feels to have your body be out of your control. He knows it better than I ever could. My body was never designed for my own glory. It was designed only to tell the story of His glory.

Solomon Isaac in his daddy’s arms just a few hours old.

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Solomon on Mexican food night!

I have been recently mourning my massive hiatus from the blogging world. Fear not friends, it has not gone without missing you. Nor has it happened because I’ve lost my zeal or passion for…well, all those things I love writing about (i.e. Jesus, femininity, my passion for certain cultural hot topics…). 

 

Mainly I’ve been figuring out my new life as a mom and pastor’s wife, waiting on the postpartum hormone fog to lift, and doing a little traveling along the way. This blog serves as a connection point from me to you, but it also is sort of a release valve for me. Usually I sit down pretty excited, passionate, or steamed about something and get it all out. Well, that’s not really possible with a 5 month old that is….you heard it right, ALREADY TRYING TO CRAWL and rolling where he wants to go.

 

So I’m beginning to write in baby steps, just a little at a time. I’m cracking open my noggin’ just a little. Not expecting perfection or that I will be able to write everything I want in longer than 40 second increments. (I have stopped 4 times writing this to tend to Solomon and taken a break to rock him into his afternoon nap…I’m not joking!)

 

While there are a lot of issues on my mind to write about, they will have to wait because it feels wrong to not take the time to highlight some recent events. Please allow me to catch you up to speed on some big and small moments of late.

 

 

– Saw my brother, Ike, graduate from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. His commencement speaker was Mitt Romney, who I listened to while stroller-pacing the place to get Solomon to sleep. Congrats to him! He’s moving to Las Vegas next week to be a part of a church plant. I couldn’t be prouder of him!

 

 

– Spent time with my beautiful sister in Ohio. I got to watch her ride her horse that she has trained herself. She is an excellent rider, and I’ve made plans to watch her ride in at the Quarter Horse Congress this October.

 

– Spent my first Mother’s Day with my mom. I couldn’t have asked for a better Mother’s Day gift.

 

 

– Solomon has had a lot of recent first…first plane ride, first solid foods, and for the first time he pooped on the floor in the living room. I love being a mom of a little boy!

 

– I’ve been amazed by my husband. He’s such a hardworking, confident, Godly man. Watching God use him to love, build, and strength our church has made me love and respect that man more than I ever imagined. I’m so proud to be his best friend. There’s no person in the world that I respect more.

– David and I were recently assessed and inducted into the Acts 29 network. It was a great process for us, and we are proud that our church is now part of such a wonderful network of churches.

 

-Solomon got to meet his great grandma, Deanie, for the first time!

 

-I was honored to speak at our church’s annual women’s luncheon. It was a blast!

 

-Our church has been participating in a program called Porterbrook. It’s a leadership development/practical theological training course. And it is kicking my butt and changing my life. I highly recommend it to any and all.

 

-Oh and did I mention how much fun being a momma is?!

 

Until we meet again, enjoy our family pictures taken by my brother!

KR

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Set in our ways. A common phrase that describes the way we all do life. We have these strands of life, these paths that we follow, and they navigate our lives. Whether you realize it or not, we all live our lives for a set of rewards that we desire. Our quest for these rewards keep us constantly visiting these same paths or ways of doing things. We keep doing the same things because they work for us. But we keep revisiting the same paths because they never work for very long.

We commonly blow off these paths to others. We downplay how important these rituals are to us with a “that’s just the way I do things” statement. When confronted or questioned about they way we are, we usually say, “You just don’t understand.” Then continue down these crooked, well-worn paths we know so well.

Today I’m confronted by the reality that these paths are sin. When I feel rejected, and I long for safety, and I walk down the path of anxious control, I’m trading the eternal love found in worshipping Christ for my quick-fix self-worship path. So easily I set my eyes on things that do not last. So often I center my life around my self instead of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 3:5-8 ESV
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your flesh[a]
and refreshment[b] to your bones.

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.”

“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” Helen H. Lemmel 1922

Sometimes the right way is the most uncomfortable. Repentance is in turning and walking a different way.

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My sweet Solomon at 10 weeks old.

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David and I are frequent costumers of Hastings Entertainment. Hastings is a locally owned, Amarillo-based, “Blockbuster” like company. They rent and sell movies, as well as books, music, and a variety of other random items. Because we don’t have a television or the Internet, we have found it very convenient to rent movies from Hastings to watch on our laptop.

Last week, David and I were scouring the store looking for some obscure movie that we were in the mood to watch. I was going through the aisles quickly reading titles, when I stumbled into some titles that didn’t make sense to me. (I should have stopped there). I picked up one of the DVDs to look at the front cover, and the racy picture made it all make sense. (I won’t describe the picture, but it was vulgar)

Still confused I back up to take a look and realized that an additional section had been squeeze on the normal aisle, ironically next to the rental “kids and family” section. I further investigated to find that another section just like it had been added to the “buy” aisle as well. Now I don’t know how long Hastings in Canyon, Texas, has been renting and selling pornography, but I venture to bet it hasn’t been very long (seeing as how I rent movies from there at least once a week).

Two young men were working the check out counter that day. I bet now they wish they would have seen me coming, because I don’t have a problem asking uncomfortable questions. I asked how long they have been renting and selling pornography. I was answered by them looking at one another uncomfortably, a shrug of the shoulder, and uncomfortable laughter as I walked away.

Here’s the deal. Hastings is a local Amarillo business. If the fact that pornography has been added to their stores and placed accessible for anyone to browse through bothers you, as much as it bothers me, we truly have an opportunity to affect culture. This is OUR culture and not some global “walmart” business.

Sunday, May 15, I wrote a complaint to Hastings. They promptly responded on the 17th, but there response didn’t address anything that I had brought up. The good thing about this is that my complaint was heard. The bad thing about this is that I’m one person, and too small to make a difference. You can help. Together we can really be heard.

If you feel like I feel about this, here’s what I’m asking you to do.
1. Write a complaint.
2. Post it on a complaint website that I found connected to Hastings. Here’s the Link!
3. Make sure you save your post.
4. Copy that same complaint, and email it to Customer Service at Hastings.
service@gohastings.com
5. If you would like your complaint to be made known to the president of Hastings:

John Marmaduke, President & CEO
Hastings Entertainment, Inc.
PO Box 35350
Amarillo, TX. 79120-5350

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I have also attached my complaint letter, if you would like to read it.

Pornography Rent and Sale

To Whom It May Concern:
My husband and I are frequent customers of the Hastings in Canyon, Texas. We buy and rent movies bi-weekly. A visit to Hastings each week has become a part of our weekly routine.

Recently, while searching for a particular movie, I suddenly found myself in the middle of your pornography rental section. I was taken back by the titles, pictures on the front covers, and by the fact that I had never before seen this section in your store. After a few minutes of investigation, I found that your store has also begun selling pornography as well.

I asked a store clerk how long you have been renting and selling pornography in your store. The young man shrugged his shoulders and nervously laughed as I walked away.

There are a lot of reasons that I am disturbed by this reason development.

1. The pornography section is mixed in with all the other sections. Fully accessible for any person of any age to thumb through while browsing your movie selections.

2. I realize your “Blockbuster” type industry is a struggling one in the day and age of Netflix and the internet. I’m disappointed that instead of your company becoming more innovative and competitive, you have chosen the route of “more sex sells.” Not only is this outdated, it truly hurts your reputation as a local and trusted company in the Amarillo area.

3. As a woman, I am personally offended. Pornography is not only offensive to me, but degrading to my gender and our sexuality. Women can choose to not be exposed to this kind of degradation with online pornography, by choosing to not watch it or download it. But when we are forced to be surrounded by it in a place that we frequent and shop, I find that particular business to responsible for it. It is discrimination and the abuse of our gender. Ultimately, by doing this you have ruined the trust you have built as a local business.

If you continue to carry pornography, I will be left with no other choice than to not come to your store any longer.

Thank you for your consideration,

Kate

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This is such an important issue for Amarillo and the surrounding area. If you intend to do this, please do it promptly. Together we can be heard on this issue! Thanks!
KR

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The bus lowered us into the ground a little at a time. It rocked over potholes and piles of trash. Slowly we sunk into the cloud of burning trash. The trash swallowed us up, and my heart sank.

We passed cows, goats, men, women, and children picking through the rubbish for something to salvage. Our bus snaked through piles of smoldering garbage that towered high above our bus. The aisles were lined with shanties where the families lived.

My chest felt tight. Something inside of me wanted to jump out of the bus and run back up the hill. It was a burial ground for every object under the sun. I wondered if this place was hell.

Romans 8:38-39
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

(The memory verse we prepared for the first day of VBS at Oasis De Esperanza)

photo by Natalie Balderson...my sweet friend 🙂

The following morning our bus took us to Oasis de Esperenza in a neighborhood bordering the dump ground. When the guarded gate opened for us to enter the yard, it was hard to believe I was at a school. Smiling faces pressed against the windows of our bus. I was nearly carried off the bus by several hundred small children hugging, kissing, and hanging from my every limb.

Many of the children had stories of hunger, abuse, and slavery. I heard stories of kidnapping. I heard stories of children being sold for less than I pay for my Starbucks coffee every day. But I’ve never seen such happy children. It was hard to believe that these children lived in the shanties at the dump ground. My week with North putting on a VBS for the children at Oasis de Esperenza was like being in Heaven. The children were full of joy, their eyes full of life, and their hearts full of love.



washing all 500 children's hair!

Pastor Wayne and Elaine MacGouirk once lived in Amarillo, Texas like me. They worked at and attended my church, Trinity Fellowship Church. They used to travel to the dump grounds in Managua, Nicaragua to see those precious children. They saw the children living and working in the dump, they heard the stories, and they saw the death.

Five years ago Pastor Wayne and Elaine started a feeding program and school for the children of Managua. They left their family and comfortable lives, and moved to Nicaragua. Through their ministry a generation of children are being fed and educated that would otherwise not, but that is not why they are there. Pastor Wayne and Elaine want to see these children pass from death unto life.

John 5:24
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my (Jesus) word and believes him who sent me (Jesus) has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

They brought the children the message of Jesus Christ. Jesus, the One who left His throne in Heaven to come to this place of sin, pain, and death. The One who willingly sacrificed His life. He carried all of our sin, shame, and pain. He came not as a tyrant God to shake His finger at the world, but He humbly took our punishment and pain. Jesus experienced horrific death, so that through faith in Him we can have joy, peace, hope, and relationship with Him. Jesus came to give us life.

He is now shining in the eyes of those precious children. They are better because of food and education. But they have a new life because of Jesus Christ.

Video David took of the kids worshipping and dancing to Jesus! Click HERE
Pictures from our trip! Click HERE!

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