A major focus at ETCH is that we want to do life together. Jesus did not intend for us to live in isolation, but rather to share in each other’s joys and struggles — to encourage each other and walk each step with people who can pick us up when we fall.
Because of this, over the next few weeks we are going to hear from some of our readers who live all over the country. They are going to share their hearts with us (1 Thessalonians 2:8). We pray it will encourage you to see that we all fall short (Romans 3:23). We all need Jesus and we are all a work of heart (Philippians 1:6).
Meet our first Work of Heart, Katherine. She is a preschool teacher and on-line fitness coach. She’s married to a Sgt. with the KCPD. And has two kids (Kendra, 8; Joe, 5). Hear her heart and how God is working in her life.
Lately it has been on my heart to follow God’s will. I’m starting my 2nd year as a mostly at-home mom. The switch was made due to complications from a car wreck that happened in September 2011. I had 4 surgeries in 2 years, countless physical therapy sessions and ultimately made the decision that working full-time was not in the best interest of our family. I have about 70% use of my right hand (functional use), but also battle nerve pain that is aggravated by too much fine motor use (i.e. typing, folding socks ). During that time my husband and I fought through some heavy spiritual battle with our marriage while I grieved over the accident, it’s consequences, and how we dealt poorly with each other during those difficult times. The main things that I remember of that time are darkness, crying, and lashing out at those who meant the most to me..my husband and my children. I finally had a doctor say to me that he had healed me to the best of his ability for my body. It was now up to me to work on my mind. He was the first to suggest counseling and to be honest it was a God-sent message. My husband and I dug in. We figured out how to communicate through all the pain and harsh words and the result was the decision to become a stay-at-home mom.
Through a Christian counselor (Karen Mees), I found the value of self care so that I in turn could take care of those around me. The first thing that I incorporated into my life was a daily quiet time followed by a work out. Those two priorities are what keep the depression at bay and have eliminated the use of medicine to deal with my depression. That is not to say I don’t advocate the use of medicine when needed, I just felt for myself I wanted to know if I could learn coping strategies without that. I have learned how to self care by giving myself rest when needed, relieving stress through fitness, and minimizing nerve pain through the nutrition that I put in my body. I say all this to go back to the original question. What is on my heart? To completely rely on God because I frequently feel the need to take care of everything by myself…without listening to his will…and occasionally ignoring it You know, when you know exactly what he is asking/telling you to do and you fight it tooth and nail! I know that my family is my priority, but it is a daily struggle for my actions to show that they are my priority. Children..and husbands…equate love with time. I am constantly trying to balance out my interests with spending genuine time with my family, interacting with them…instead of just cleaning and vacuuming while they are in the same room. Or, you know, stopping my Facebook scroll while they are sitting beside me, ha!
My biggest struggle is relying on myself and thinking that I can do it all by myself. Yikes, the word “self” was mentioned twice and there were only 13 words!
I have seen God work recently through my interactions with my children and husband. I have recently put my phone and computer away during 4 pm-8pm. Because I am able to focus on them, I find that I yell less often, have more authentic conversations, and just love them more deeply when I am spending time with them.
On a regular basis, I pray about being the woman that God calls me to be. I also feel a very strong desire to share with others what God has shared with me. I went on missions to Thailand last June and have a renewed fire to tell the world about the message of salvation. That it is ok to have trouble, God promises that we will have it, but it will be overcome. We are not living for this earthly life — we are here to bring others to eternal life. I want to be authentic and vocal in all avenues of my life (social media, work, friends, family, etc). I also pray a lot about my online business. It is crazy for me to define myself as a business owner, my husband and I have a love/hate relationship with my hobby…or wait is it my business??? However, that is the vehicle that I have chosen to use to share with others about the pit I was once in and how I overcame it through Jesus. I work hard to share that with others because I know there are many more women who feel all those feelings I dealt with for 2 very long years. It breaks my heart that they may be sitting in their house or crying tears on their way to a job they despise because they don’t know what else to do. I want to share that there can be another way…if God wills it…
I long for God to change my ability to deliver quick and cutting words. At times they can be funny — but they occasionally can tear down those that I care about. I long to get rid of my quick temper and tongue.
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord