Imperfect People

Imperfect People in love with a perfect God

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Imperfect People - Imperfect People in love with a perfect God

He makes all things new

Spring is officially here in my neck of the woods and I am down right bubbling over with excitement about it.  The days are longer, the weather is beautiful and my mood is instantly lifted just by stepping outside.

I think it is no coincidence that Jesus Rose in the spring.  This time of year God is making ALL things new.  All creation from dormant plants, hibernating bears, butterflies, and bumblebees all come out of hiding and are infused with new life.

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When Jesus died and was buried, it seemed hopeless.  Now he gives hope to millions.  He who was dead now brings us eternal life.  

Just like the butterfly emerges from their former selves.  We too can have new life.  Whatever you want to leave behind, Jesus promises you can be made brand new Revelation 21:5  2Corinthians 5:17

all things new

In every season God is in the business of making all things new.

He used a kid (David) to kill a Giant, a runaway fugitive with a speech impediment (Moses) to free his people from Egypt, a prostitute (Rahab) to carry the lineage of Christ, and a baby born king with parents that were just regular people to change the course of history.

I think sometimes we think our past is “too bad” or “too ugly”  But then I remember…..Ummmm…he OVERCAME DEATH.  There is nothing He cannot overcome.

The same God that transformed the biblical heroes also transformed me and so many others even today.  It is this time of year more than any other I am reminded at how HUGE this is.

Father thank you for making ALL THINGS new.  And having all creation remind us of this miracle every spring.

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Media Minimization March week 1 what I have learned so far

Our first true test of this whole media minimization came quickly.  The second day of March was on a Saturday.  It was the first Saturday in ages we had NOTHING planed.

Not a birthday party, baby shower, or a single thing on the agenda.  It was FREEZING outside and we are sticking to 7 hours TOTAL of any screen time at all per WEEK.  (click here for why)

Sooooo what’s a family to do?

We got creative.  We went swimming under the dome at the local park, we did puzzles and went for ice cream after dinner.

I was worried the kids would rebel against the whole idea but they kind of like it.  The great thing about kids is their ability to go with the flow.  When the screen time is up, it’s up.  And it’s time to get creative.

For me, I have had a hard time justifying what is “work” and legitimate internet time and what isn’t.  So the rule obeyer in me (she’s very small but still there) decided to give up instagram and any status updates (facebook or twitter) for the month as well.  Those are much more of a sacrifice for me (I miss you instagram) but in sacrifice we grow BIG time.

You know how many people have missed my updates?  Let me count…..Hmmm…..ZERO.  Not only can I live without social media, it can also get along just fine without me.  

Bryan is limiting TV and other media as well.  We have MANY more conversations in the evening without computers or TV’s to compete with.  This whole experiment is way more tolerable together.  We hold each other accountable too.

But it’s not all happy puzzle time and ice cream either .  Media is not all bad.  Here are the cons I have experienced:

1) Status updates are kinda handy.  Anybody know how to fix a fridge?  And if you had to pick one would you choose a trampoline or swing set for your backyard?
(updates I have wanted to post lately)

2) I don’t take near as many pictures.  I never realized it but I was taking pictures mostly for social media purposes.  Please humor me and tell me how cute this little collage is of Ava at the mall the other day.  She was dancing in front of the mirror.

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At the end of the day this teeny tiny, hardly mentionable “sacrifice” helps remind me of the millions of people who have so much less than me.

Everyday, several times a day, when I stop myself from thumbing through my phone, I am reminded of HOW MUCH we have.  We are blessed beyond measure.  If limiting media can help remind me to enjoy the HERE and now, be present, and become less distracted…then I am all for it.

Life lessons and temper tantrums

It was bed time and I was trying to get two little girls dressed for bed.  Ava, our spit fire 3 year old, was determined to wear her tinker bell nightgown this particular evening.  Which is all fine and good except that tinker bell night gown is sleeveless and it was 30 degrees outside.

She stammered her foot down with all the passion of a 3 year old that needs some sleep and yelled, “I WANT TINKER-BELL!” Then proceeded to cry as she threw her self on the floor.

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Can you picture this scene? She is adamant that the tinker bell night gown is what she “needed” that night.  She thought she knew what was best.

As her mother, I try not to bust out laughing at the drama scene.  I wait until she is done, then explain why a long sleeve night gown is a better choice.  If she is still locked in on the tinker bell, I can let her get her way and freeze all night long, or hold her down kicking and screaming while I put on a warm pajamas.

I wonder how often our heavenly father sees the same scene in my life.  I am headstrong and SURE I want one thing, but God always knows better.

Sometimes he lets my bull headed opinions win out and I am stuck with the unpleasant consequences.

But sometimes, as a loving father, he puts up with my kicking and screaming, my impractical arguments and immature reasons.  He “dresses me warmly” even when I am too stubborn to realize it is what I need.

Sometimes I realize his good decision and sometimes I don’t, but I am learning more and more His ways are higher than my ways.  I just have to have a little faith.

Has this been a familiar scene in your life?  What have your children taught you about our Heavenly father?

Imperfect Marriage

“And they lived….Happily Ever After”

Well thanks Disney and romantic comedies.  That makes a cute story and all but there are an AGGLOMERATION of details we are missing here.

In real life:  He forgets to take out the trash and she doesn’t always shave her legs.    When you are covered with spit up and diaper rash cream you don’t feel very sexy.   And, I hate to break it to you, but you both fart too.

Culture, movies, advertisements, magazines, and comparison to others can do a pretty convincing job in telling you marriage is supposed to be blissfully perfect and if not,  you should call it quits, plus you “deserve” to be happy right?

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The truth is this:

Perfect marriage is as unrealistic as Cinderella and the prince.  Perfect ended in the garden.  We ALL have arguments, real life temptations, money strains, and unexpected stressors.

When it comes to deserving to be happy:

The King of the world who “deserved” the finest palace with a 100 servants at his feet was born in a dark cold MANGER with animals and dirt all around.
As an adult, He took the pain that he did not “deserve” in a cruel and awful punishment that He could have walked away from in an instant.
He voluntarily placed the comforts of heaven, His rank, and all he “deserved” to the side, because of love. 

In light of this I think overlooking a few annoying habits and thinking of ourselves a little less, and our spouse a little more gets much easier.

YOU are the only one in control of your happiness.

All this being said, marriage can absolutely be “blissful and happily ever after” It just looks different than it does in movies.

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times — always with the same person.” ― Mignon McLaughlin

As the days and years pass, we change, we grow, and we are not the same people we were on our wedding day.  As Steve Perry says in “Faithfully,” my all time favorite 80’s song, “I get the joy of rediscovering you.”

We must never stop dating and learning the about what is exciting in each others lives.  Discovering your mate in their new roles as they change from newly wed to married with young children.  In new jobs, with new hobbies and new experiences we always have something new to discuss.

Bryan and I are as imperfect as any couple.  We just decided not to be committed to ” the marriage” because we could get another “the marriage” we are committed to each other.

Growing old together is not always glamours.  It’s about real life, and real people learning how to put their selfishness aside to love UNCONDITIONALLY.  Not because they always deserve it, but because that is they way Jesus loves us, when we do not deserve it.

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Whoever can be trusted with very little…

Hello my name is Katie Bu….oh wait is that a butterfly???

This is my typical, terribly distracted, self.  Yesterday I found my phone on the top shelf of our kids closet (where I was organizing).  And I have so many tabs open on my browser I can hardly read the titles.

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I just got a text, where was I?? Oh yes…

I feel God has been teaching me something lately.  This beautifully simple and ridiculously profound word….FOCUS.

I am the girl who read kisses from katie and was convinced I wanted to move to Africa and adopt 14 kids.  Bessie inspires me to adopt, Chrissy inspires me to move, and the Kebrdle’s inspire me to sell everything I have.

And in the midst of my “holy whining” (can we say oxymoron)  about how I wish I was doing more, God brought me to a very good point.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
Luke 16:10

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We have two young girls.  Am I sensitive to how God wants me to parent them?   I have a wonderful husband, have I told him lately how much I appreciate him?  I lead a college girls small group, have I invested enough into these amazing young women to illustrate God’s love for them?

FOCUS

Instead of whining about all I’m NOT doing, I am CHOOSING to FOCUS on all that God is doing through me.

And instead of thinking I would be better if was doing more, I have decided to CHOOSE to FOCUS and invest to let God be GREAT at what I am already doing.

I must be faithful first in the small things.  

Who knows what the future holds, but today, my ministry is where my feet are.  

Interview with a “regular” missionary

Do you ever think of missionaries as, like, AMAZING Christians? That they are somehow on a different level than the rest of us? I think they are out saving the world and I am just simply trying to not cuss when I stub my toe.

Well Today, I have the privilege of sharing an interview from friends that are very near and dear to my heart. We have known each other since before either of us were married. Names will be changed for security reasons.  

“Sarah” is the kinda friend I consider like a sister. I have called her 100 times for advice and she even cleaned my house when I was in the hospital during the birth of our youngest daughter.

Our husbands watch football together and we consider them some of our closest friends. Now, in a matter of days they are moving half a world away to share with people who have never heard the name Jesus.

It is amazing to watch friends as close as these, friends I know as real, goofy, playful and perfectly imperfect put feet to their faith as they become missionaries.

Enjoy this “interview” of sorts as you meet some new friends. I hope you see the authentic and REAL people through the screen and leave encouraged by the incredible work God can do in everyday people!

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1. Tell me how it came about that you were going to be missionaries?

For about 3 years we felt like God was calling us to missions, but we never felt like we were equipped or even ready. We had no specific place, and felt inadequate to the task. I mean, missionaries are like “super Christians”, and we are not. We both had somewhat shady pasts too, and certainly that wasn’t called for either, right?

In the end, it came down to a few things that convinced us. First, we realized that if we didn’t go, who would? There are over a billion people who need Jesus with no access to the gospel. Why shouldn’t we go if we are committed to loving people and seeing Jesus love change lives.

Second, we were afraid. Fear comes in all shapes and sizes and for us, the fear of the unknown, fear of what it would look like, and fear of things like kids’ schooling, etc. Our God is not a God of fear (Romans 8:15) and so we are blessed to be loved by Him so much that he calls us sons/daughters. Finally, it was through the obedience of others in sharing their story.

A couple we heard speak came to talk about their serving. They had kids our age, they were our age, and weren’t perfect Christians either. They just had a heart to serve and love on people. We realized that this wasn’t a specific call for some people, it is a call for all people.

Living a life for Christ is about sharing the gospel each and every day, wherever we find ourselves. We may happen to find ourselves 12,000 miles away, but we are called to the same purpose as anyone living here in the states. Not only is that empowering, but encouraging to know that we are all missionaries. We also picked up a copy of the book Radical by David Platt. Don’t read it if you aren’t ready, but 2 pages into the book, with tears streaming down my face, I realized that I had run from fear long enough. It was time to give that which Christ gave for me – everything.

2. What has this looked like in your day to day life, selling your house, quitting your job, telling your parents etc.?

The selling everything part is amazing. Freeing in every sense of the word. You just don’t realize how caught up you get in the stuff until you don’t have it anymore. It’s not easy, but knowing that your life is about something more than just the American dream is a very encouraging.

Whether or not you sell everything or just become that much more generous, a life without “stuff”, is a life more available to be filled by Him. One thing that we felt like God was impressing on us about our house, jobs, etc. was that even if we go and decide this isn’t for us, it’s still just “stuff” and they make more of it every day. We can always get more stuff, but the feeling of missing something amazing that God has for us, we can’t get that back. We can’t recreate that or take back the years we could have been serving Him.

It’s also a huge leap of faith, and that’s not easy either. Trusting God with your entire life is a little disconcerting, especially when you have no idea of what His plan is. However, when an artist is painting a canvas, the brush strokes may seem random to the viewer, but to the artist, each one has a specific purpose. It’s not clear at first, but God is painting a masterpiece with our lives too. All He asks is that we trust Hm to give us just what we need when we need it.

Telling people, especially our families, inevitably brings up questions about the kids and safety or other issues like organized activities, culture shift and even friends. This is hard, too, but one thing we decided early on was that the best thing we could do for our families, friends, and even our kids was to show them that above all, God desires obedience. We hope that in following Him we will show a life lived for His glory and one that points people towards Him.

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Photo by HB documentary

3. What are you most excited about on your missionary journey?

We love people, period. We have been praying for a genuine love for the people we’ll be serving in Asia, and God is rewarding that. We cannot wait to love on the people and share with them God’s amazing story.

All along we have looked at this is just another adventure, another destination — for the journey IS the destination! This is just another adventure and knowing that our kids will see some things and have experiences that almost no one else could ever have is a cool thought too. They’ll have a love for culture and people far beyond what we feel they could get here, so we’re excited to see how they do.

Finally, we can’t wait to see God glorified through our amazing team and the nationals we’ll be working with. Earlier this year I had the privilege of serving in Zambia and on the first day I experienced just a small piece of every nation and tribe praising God (see Revelation 7:9-10). You can’t imagine how awesome it is when God’s name is being praised among the peoples and this is the hope we have for each day of our journey.

4. What words of encouragement would you have for people who are interested in missions but think they are under qualified, not “spiritual enough” or just to intimidated to take that leap?

First, to quote the old cliche: God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called. When he called Matthew to a life of service, Matthew was sitting at a tax collector’s booth. Jesus didn’t tell him to clean up his life, then follow. Rather, He asked him to follow. He did, and the rest is history.

God is simply looking for willing servants, ready to make a radical sacrifice, but sharing in an eternal reward. If you are thinking about missions, even if you are thinking it might be for you, I’d ask that you begin to pray for God to break down the walls of fear and doubt, replace them with love and encouragement, and be willing to be obedient.

It requires no special qualifications, just that you love others and love God.

Won’t you join us in this mission? Won’t you join us in serving? It won’t be easy, but the rewards far outweigh the sacrifice.

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Photo by HB documentary

To follow their family on their journey please check out their blog and don’’t forget to subscribe!

2013…my one word

My one word for 2013 was a no brainer this year.

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I’m still totally inspired by the life changing book, One thousand gifts.
Noticing ways to give thanks instead of ways to complain is a total game changer.

When our kitchen is a total mess and the crazy white girl inside of me wants to come out, I am reminded, at least we have a kitchen, with food and dishes to make such a mess.

When I think we don’t have enough money, I am reminded: If you make $33,500 a year, you are among the richest 5% in the world. (source)

When I’m tired from a long day, I am reminded of the blessing of an able body and mind.

During the mist of this realization, days after the school shooting in Connecticut I posted this to Facebook:

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The kids are coloring each other with marker and their bedroom looks like the closet threw up. But before they drive me nuts I think of all the mamas in newtown that would do anything to have their kids drive them nuts today. #perspective #newtown

I am no thankful expert but learning little by little, I have more blessings than 10 people put together.

There are things to be thankful for and complain about in everyday, it just depends on what we are looking for.

What are you thankful for today?

Do you have a “one word” for 2013?

This will change your life

What if I told you that you could be the happiest person on earth, starting today. You don’t need a 10 step process, a lecture series, or even large sums of money. It’s something you can start right away, it requires nothing more than a shift in focus. Allow me to explain:

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I’m reading One thousand gifts by Ann Voskamp. It is a VERY inspiring book. The author has walked through her fair share of hardships. When her sister died when they were both children, she saw tragedy crumble their family’s faith. As an adult, she became a humble farmers wife with six little ones. Life felt chaotic and mundane. Lies of fear and inadequacy filled her head. Most of us can relate.

Christ promised the abundant life to his followers, so why do many days I feel frustrated and overwhelmed?

Ann studied the scriptures and something kept coming out repeatedly….THANKFULNESS

And a lack of thankfulness when something goes astray.

In the very beginning, in the garden, Adam and Eve had all they ever wanted. Life was perfect, yet they were discontent. They thought they needed more.

What if we lived in a PURPOSEFUL way ACKNOWLEDING all of the many blessings around us?


Voskamp does just that, she started a journal of “1,000 gifts” journaling all the small and large blessings she saw around her everyday. It is truly life changing when you take the time to notice all of the gifts you never even noticed before.

I started this experiment myself just yesterday. With a 3 and 4 year old in tow we traveled to preschool with a mission, to notice all of the things of which we are thankful.

The short 15 min drive changed my whole outlook on the day. Here is what I discovered:

1) I am thankful for a car. There are many people who don’t have this luxury.

2) Roads for the car to travel. Smooth roads are a blessing. Just ask our friends in JInja.

3) With two little ones in the back they were thankful for everything that was their favorite color. My favorite color is red, just then two red trucks passed, one of the drivers was wearing a red hat. Something I certainly would have never noticed before.

4)As we got close to preschool I noticed the water tower downtown. I am so thankful for clean drnking water. And the thoughtless miracle that it flows freely from 5 faucets in our home (plus hoses outside!)

5) As we entered preschool the scrolling marque read, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”

1 Thessalonians 5:17-19

I walked away from preschool with a smile you couldn’t shake off. With a simple perspective shift I now realize I am overflowing with gifts and blessings everyday.



The one thing that I have learned is that it is extremely difficult to be discontent when I am actively thankful. –Gracefull mama

“Today, when stress mounts, I pray to dismount it with gratitude. I can only feel one feeling at a time, and I choose to give thanks at all times. Fight feeling with feeling!”- Ann Voskamp

The idea of the book is to change our perspective. There is soooo much to be thankful for that we never even notice, unless we put on a new pair of eyes. It is a practice, something I will have to discover and grow in everyday. Gratitude is contagious. And I am so thankful for this book to help open my eyes to all of my many blessings!

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What are you thankful for today?

Headstones Don’t read job titles

Today I have the pleasure of introducing a guest blogger, my new “perfectly imperfect friend.” She writes over at, A perfect Girls’ quest for perfection. I hope you enjoy her post!

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English: Headstone on the path View over the headstones in the Howff towards Meadow side direction. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unless you are the President or the Pope your headstone won’t show your career. I’ve never seen one that says “Great Administrative Assistant” or “Best Manager”. Your legacy is defined by the memories you make and the lives you touch, not your salary or your status. Here are my top five rules to achieving satisfying work/life balance:

Set boundaries. Let’s be honest, you can’t really be all things to all people. I had to set boundaries with work, family and friends. Unless there’s a hot project I have a cutoff time for work. I have boundaries for personal obligations as well. Instead of working twelve-hour days while trying to take care of home, exercise, volunteer, and spend time with family and friends, I had to create a schedule…and stick to it!

Prioritize. Know that there are days when work and life won’t balance. It’s ok. At the end of the day knowing what it takes to make you happy and making that a priority will make you a much happier person. I found mine in #3.

Disconnect. Being able to check out, if only for a brief time, is most relaxing. Everyday at 4pm I walk outside the office for about 15 minutes. I usually go alone and leave the BlackBerry on the desk. I’m sure the world can survive without me for 15 minutes. When I return I feel so relaxed and rejuvenated. The day goes faster and I have that boost of energy to carry out my personal responsibilities.

“No” is an acceptable answer. Oftentimes we will accept any and all requests knowing there aren’t enough hours in the day to fulfill all of them. Declining a request doesn’t make you a bad person. Sometimes you have to look out for you and make no apologies for it.

Do what makes you happy. Figure out what makes you happy and fulfilled and do it as often as possible. I enjoy catching up with my friends. The great part about that is my friends are athletic like me so not only do we get to hang out, but we also try some new workout craze. I look forward to it and it keeps me going until our next outing.

We all have to establish the rules that work best for our lifestyle. Though my rules don’t always work in perfect harmony, they are always the driving force in my daily decisions. I challenge you to set five goals to live by for your work/life balance.



To connect with Jasmine you can check her out on her blog. thanks Jasmine!