Only A Man & More Than A Man

Solutions, answers, and words seem to fall short in bringing comfort like presence can. There’s nothing like knowing you’re not alone in a struggle to bring a bit of rest to a soul in turmoil.

I think that Phillip Seymour Hoffman had a way of relating to the human soul through his characters and it brought some comfort and hope to those watching. He was able to address topics and struggles that are often “unmentionable” in a realistic way; becoming a source of relief for many.

Famous people die everyday and so I’ve wondered why I and so many others wept over PSH’s death.
I think it’s because more than a man died that day. In his life, in his characters, and in his relatable presence we found hope. And we lost a little hope when he gave up on it.

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My Personal Tips To Happier Holidays.

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1. Choose to breathe clean air.

Stop filling your clean oxygen with artificial fragrances which are known neurotoxins.
What do you get when you fill a closed up and cozy home with scented candles, glade plug-ins, air fresheners, holiday lotions, cologne, perfume and more?
You get headaches, depression, anxiety, exhaustion,etc.
That stuff can mess with your brain. So, if you want a happier holiday season, opt out of indoor air pollution and opt in for clean oxygen.

2. Chill.
I recently asked a group of women their favorite parts of the holiday season and their worst.
Everyone of them mentioned the insanity that surrounds the obligations of the hectic season.
Realize that although you are presented with a million and 1 activities over the next month, you do not have to take part in all of them.
If it is rest, peace, and quiet that you long for this season, start some new holiday traditions. You are an adult. You do not have to participate in a circus unless you so choose to.
Opt out of insanity that has little purpose and opt in for peace.

3. Expectations
I’m disappointed with Christmas.
I’m disappointed that the holidays are a time to focus on getting as much in as possible; food, gifts, shopping time, family time, traveling, etc.
It’s like we’re stuck in a pin ball machine and we come out fat, exhausted, and broke at the end of it all. The worst part is we fill our time with parties and festivities and are no more connected with one another than before. What would happen if we made and ate food that was good and enjoyed it thoroughly. What if we gave fewer and more meaningful gifts? What if we slowed down and listened instead of being like pin balls in conversation?
Opt out of quantity and opt in for quality.

4. Quiet
I think about some of my favorite moments of Christmas throughout the years:
-Sitting in front of the lit Christmas tree all alone while listening to Bing Crosby sing O Holy Night.
-Searching for a Christmas tree on Grandpa’s land and finding a ‘Charlie Brown’ tree.
-Holding a candle and singing Silent Night with everyone in church.
-When Grandpa filled our stockings with peanuts and an orange and explained that is what he used to get for Christmas.
-When Mom and I anonymously shopped for and delivered gifts to some friends.
-The time my dad gave each of kids a handwritten letter as a gift.

There were many years I felt incredibly depressed around Christmas. And so I began a personal tradition. Before participating in the main day of holiday activity, I force myself to be still. To be quiet and to ask God to show me even one reason He would come to this earth. I want to understand it a little more this year than last year. And then I open the Christmas story and I read it. And then I go downstairs.

Opt out of chaos. Opt in for stillness.
Finally:
It is ok to recognize  that some things are not right about the way we celebrate the holidays.  I believe that anything worth caring about is worth challenging and tweaking.
But…we don’t have to throw out the baby with the bath water.
Love and enjoy all the good things and just do your best to avoid the stupid stuff.
Cheers!

 

 

 

O Sweet Grace

It was exactly a week ago, when Scott Troyer released his newest music video of O Sweet Grace.

8 years ago, I was there when he penned the song. He says I helped him to write it, but I remember it more like this: I would verbalize lengthy thoughts and he would fluidly regurgitate the thoughts into concise and poetic lines. I’m good at rambling and he has a gift. 😉

Since then, we’ve played the song hundreds of times. On occasion I’ve felt every word of the song with great weight. Other times I’ve wished to feel it more.

I’m fantastic at making up excuses for my shortcomings: other people, my health, my lack of education, or anything else I can come up with. When I can place blame on “other things” for my mistakes, I somehow believe that I’ll seem to others as being strong and an “overcomer” when in reality I have just refused to take responsibility for myself. No one gets grace without taking responsibility. Grace is not a controlled substance that I can hide in my pocket for just the right time. It’s more like a dunk tank.

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6 Questions

 

For the poor:

When you scoff at a wealthy person’s possession ask yourself, “would I keep it if someone gave it to me as a gift? ”

I expect wealthy people to give a large percentage of their earnings to help others. Since I live in the USA, I am among the wealthiest in the world. Do I give a large percentage of my earnings to help others?

For the wealthy:

When I give money to a homeless person, am I willing to spend time talking with them or do I just throw cash at them to appease my need to be a good person?

When I hire someone to do yard work for me and I want a “good deal” do I pay cheaply or do I consider what the job is actually worth? Am I fair? Do I pay the worker what I would want to be paid?

For the Christian:
Do I truly trust that God and His love transforms lives or do I believe that my form of Christianity transforms lives?

Was I drawn to Jesus through condemnation? Why then do I believe that pointing out someone’s obvious sin will cause them to repent?

Friends In Unexpected Places

This week I saw the new Katy Perry movie. She seemed genuine. She has purpose. I like her creativity. I do hope I can meet her someday.

This week I’m dog sitting. On the second day of taking care of the dog, he decided to test my authority. I woke up to 2 puddles and a pile. He stole my shoe, my book cover, and began to eat a rug. Also, he’s the first dog I’ve ever been tackled by. He wrapped his front paws around my legs and held on with a wrestling hold. It took all of my strength to get him off  me. The family will be home in a few days and he’s finally calming down. We’re almost friends. Almost.

The next door neighbor is a 79-year-old man from Greece. He has a foot injury and can’t drive so I took him grocery shopping a few mornings ago. We had a grand time. We even stopped for a cup of coffee. Since that day he calls everyday to let me know when the mailman comes. “Hallo Darling. The mailman is here. Ok, hava good day. Just be careful sweet heart.”  I think tomorrow he’s treating me to lunch in appreciation for the trip to the grocery store.

Vegas Baby!

Hello to all of you from glowing Las Vegas! I just landed & am ready for 4 days of fun, with amazing people at Arbonne’s GTC!
This year, in addition to amazing seminars, tasty food, & great conversations, Arbonne has added a vocal competition that I have the privilege to sing in.

Saturday night, 5 finalists will be competing against one another in front of 10,000 people.
I’ve been practicing my song and am really excited to sing it! ( I can’t wait to let you hear the song I’ve chosen!)

For the first portion of the competition I sang a song by Jonny Lang called ‘Anything’s Possible’.
My good friends Chris Whonsetler ,Scott Troyer & Lynn Graber helped record this video and I can’t wait to work with all of them again on future projects!

Thank you to all of my Arbonne family who voted for me!

Thank you so much to all of my friends and family who have encouraged and helped in this process!

Well, my cab is here to bring me to the hotel but keep watching for updates here on my website, on Twitter, & on Facebook.
See you soon!

Lots of love,
Katie

Every Time I See A Pink Coat I’ll Think Of You

O Sweet baby

What have they done to you

Why do your eyes bolt around in fear

 

I don’t see caution

I see terror

Too much for such a young girl

 

I hated to walk away

I even walked back

To pray for you

Pray over you

That God would send His angels to protect you

 

 

 

Downstairs, Past the Food Court, To the Left

It was so surreal

I was in a hurry

Running through crowds of happy people

My train was leaving in just 8 minutes

Having downed an Argo Tea

And anticipating an hour ride

I thought I’d go real quick

I heard a woman

A cleaning woman complaining

About “young girls these days”

“Why do they have to do this?

Now I have to clean it up.”

Another woman said

“The girl gave no warning

It was a surprise

She couldn’t help herself

Or get to the toilet quick enough”

I came out of the stall

Curiosity turned my neck to peek around the corner

To see a young girl lying on the floor in a pool of vomit.

She was covered

She was lying in front of the seat

With one hand holding herself up

I started walking toward her

Calculating how I could go without

 part of my outfit

And then

I assumed that one of the voices

Was a friend of hers

Who would help her

Buy her a t-shirt

Bring her home

I thought of the train

Leaving so soon, in 4 minutes

My brother waiting for me

in Grand Central Station

And then I left

Hoping that my assumptions were true

That she would be off of the floor in no time

On her way home

But I can’t stop

Thinking of the story of the good Samaritan

And I’ve decided that I won’t assume/ won’t guess again

I’ll confirm.

Out Of My Mind

 

I looked through my window

Caught a glimpse of a hollywood scene

They told me to ignore it

Mind my own business

But I can’t seem to get that look in her eyes out of my mind.

Her story is breaking hearts

All over the world

But to turn the key

To unlock her cage

Is too uncomfortable

Far too inconvenient

And so we walk away

 Every night

She sees new scenery

Still always the same thing

On a screen

In a cab

On a stage

For a hired party

But we ignore for now

Don’t bother to inquire

Live numb for the moment

It’s just entertainment

But I can’t seem to get that look in her eyes out of my mind.

 Pick her up in your arms

Bring her to safety

Treat her like your daughter

Clothe her naked body

Walnuts

I bought walnuts, knowing how healthy they are…

They are high in Omega 3’s, good for your heart, skin, hair, brain and even helpful in preventing cancer. So it astonished me when I turned the package over only to find…

BHT!!!!!!

“BHT and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) are being investigated for their ability to damage genetic material. In addition, research has shown that these compounds can rupture and damage red blood cells as well as stimulate symptoms of chemical sensitivity.”

A personal reminder to read labels.

I’ll take the fresher walnuts; without the BHT.