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September 14, 2016

surprise within a surprise!!



Surprise DB and JL!!!

So our friend Priscilla came to me and John Luke a week or 2 ago and said she really wanted to throw her new husband, Dan, (one of our closest friends and also boss from last year) a surprise party for his 25th birthday and asked if we could have it at our house. Well of course!!!

We were all three so excited and started throwing out ideas right away! We leave for tour the Live Original tour this week so she wanted to do it before we left. We started a guest list and it was all of our closest friends...John Luke and Dan pretty much run around with the same group! I was thinking that I wish John Luke would be able to celebrate his 21st birthday with all his friends up here at Liberty, but we would be on the road. So I thought, "maybe this could be a surprise for JL where he thinks the party is just for Dan but turns out to be for him also." (I don't know if this has been done before, but I thought it could be fun!) So I asked Priscilla what she thought and she loved the idea. So then we went forward with the surprise within the surprise. 

So the day of the party Priscilla and I, along with a lot of help from friends, were scrambling around to get everything ready while John Luke was out bowling with Dan. I called JL and told him I *cooked dinner* and it would be ready at 7. 
(Let me just add, the location finder on the iPhone has never come more in handy than last night!)
We all ran and hid behind the house with our popper. Finally they walked up!!


























 The evening was filled with pizza, flowers, s'mores, dancing, cheer wine, cookie cake, golden balloons and lots of fun and good company. We have been blessed with absolutely incredible friendships up here and are so grateful for each and every one of them. 

Happy 25th Dan and happy early 21st John Luke!!



balloons: here
lights: similar here
plates: here and here
my romper: here
tassels: compliments of rachel and lori















4

September 6, 2016

"...but I will be with you."



Yesterday I had the honor and privilege of giving my testimony to the all-girls evangelism class at my school. It is about 400 girls and they are primarily freshman. And I am not sure why but I was SO nervous about it! It wasn't my first time speaking, it wasn't my first time in front of a large group of people, and normally I do not get nervous! But maybe it was the fact I was at my own school in front of my own people, even though I didn't actually know any of the students. Regardless of what made me so nervous, I was.

When my dear professor asked me to do it I immediately said yes because I felt God pushing me to it. But afterwards I was like, "What did I just get myself into?!?"

The night before I was really asking God to take my fear away. I thought, "Who in the Bible was also afraid to speak?" Right away Moses came to mind. So I flipped my Bible opened to Exodus 3 where God appears to Moses in a burning bush and tells him to go and speak to Pharaoh. Moses' immediate response is, "But who I am...?!?" And God comes right back at Him with, "But I will be with you..."

Wow.

It was like God was speaking directly to me. But in my head it was spoken as more of a question. 

"But, Mary Kate, I will be with you?"

Like He didn't understand why I would even doubt Him.

And you know what? He doesn't understand.

This was something I learned last year and my friend Rachel brought it up in Bible study last week:

"God will never, EVER, understand us not trusting Him."

Now He does understand that we go through hard times...

Hebrews 4:15 says "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-- yet he did not sin."

Jesus gets what we are going through. He knows that we live in a fallen world and understands that we are going through hard things and we are facing trials and we are tempted by things, but He will never say, "Oh I know it's scary and I know its hard, so I totally get it if you don't want to trust me on this one!!" 

No, He doesn't understand because He knows He is bigger, stronger, mightier than that thing we are facing.

God is with us. He is ALWAYS with us. 

This summer I read a book called, "Fervent" (incredible, change-your-life kinda book, by Priscilla Shirer...everyone go get it today) and it changed my whole prayer life. Used to my prayers would be like "God please be with me as I do this" or "God, please be with ______ as they go through that hard time." But the truth of the matter is, God is always with us...we don't have to ask Him. So now my prayers are "God, please help me to keep in constant focus the truth and reality that You are always with me", or "God, help them to realize that you are always right by their side and have already fitted them with everything they need to fight off the blows of the enemy."

Earlier this week I posted on my Instagram about going out on a limb. I started to realize the only thing that was holding me back from things was fear. I had to take a look at myself and see what my fears were rooted in...

Was I afraid of what people would think?
Was I afraid of failing?
Did I think I was just inadequate?

But everything starts to change when we shift our focus on God and say to Him, "I know You are with me and I have nothing to be afraid of."

Psalm 27:1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; whom shall I be afraid?"






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August 2, 2016

Africa? Nope, Delhi.



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July 26, 2016

Week in Africa

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June 18, 2016

pagosa: part 2


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June 13, 2016

pagosa: part 1




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April 19, 2016

hiding the word in your heart

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April 2, 2016

KJ Swimmers Giveaway



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March 28, 2016

Spring Break in Israel

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