Today, Kate shares with us thoughts on the difference between believing and being, intentionality and decluttering your life, and what truly defines you.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” Esther 4:14
I am currently reading through this chapter of Esther and there are so many depths and layers to this rather story-like book. Often in life, we may find ourselves in rather overwhelming circumstances. We so often forget we were created by a God who is greater than all of that.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: This has been a season of really decluttering my life. I think we have to do this constantly as believers, don’t we? Not just in the physical means (health and wellness), but spiritual as well. Is this relationship weighing on my soul? Is it toxic and should I keep it? Am I truly being empathetic and reflecting Christ in this moment, and not just appearing to be? In the end, what or who am I living for? Above all else, I must put God first, until my last dying breath.
Profession: I am an army rotc cadet, currently getting my B.A. of music. I am also a writer and composer, which I hope to do while serving in the armed forces part-time. Film scoring in particular has been a great joy and influence in this life of mine. All in God’s timing, though.
A one sentence bio of yourself: Hey, hello, I’m Kate Nicole, a Christ follower, coffee enthusiast, daughter, best friend, adventurer, and a seeker of truth + beauty wherever it is to be found.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? When I was 18, I was just not really in a great place all around. I wasn’t really raised in the church, but my mother was a Christian and had a great deal of influence in that area. I believed in God, without a doubt. But there’s a difference between believing, and being. Being with God, every step of the way. I had nearly starved myself to death following an abusive relationship, and was at an all around struggle to truly find who I was and my purpose here. So, I did what anyone would do. I left the country. I lived as a missionary in Nepal and China, and lived out of a backpack for 4 months. It would take a lifetime to describe every detail of that journey. But through that? I realized I didn’t even need to ‘find’ God at all. He was always waiting right there for me.
“I realized I didn’t even need to ‘find’ God at all. He was always waiting right there for me.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Intentionality. Whether it be time, people, work. Being there, where I am at, wherever I am at. Reading a few chapters of my Bible every night (I love the She Reads Truth studies!). I would also say community, as we are not meant to do this whole life thing alone (no matter how much I tell myself I can).
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Outlander series (I very much related to the heroine of these novels. That you don’t need to sacrifice your femininity to be a strong woman. That you can be in the army, or run a business, and be strong, independent, while also being a wife or a mother. You can be kind and tough. You can be gentle and fierce. Your strength, bravery, leadership, and talent is not in competition with your femininity. (Things that people so often see as contradictory).
I’ve also been reading through the journals of Lilias Trotter, an extraordinary painter who gave up her career to be a missionary in North Africa.
Top three essentials: My Bible, cookie dough or sangrias (honestly, who can choose?), and the oceans or the mountains (let’s just say I’m an indecisive person).
How did God speak to you recently? Hmm, in a variety of ways, I think! Before the start of the summer I tore my hamstring during an army field training exercise. Due to this fact, I wasn’t able to go to Fort Knox to get further training, and really through the start of those months of physical therapy and one doctor apt. after another, I was angry at God. But now I can see that through that, I learned to be patient with things I was too blind to understand. Some truly incredible doors opened to my being on medical leave.
Never think you can fool God by thinking you know better. Circumstances will go to show that in the kindest and loveliest of ways, we are way more insignificant than we give ourselves credit for, and He is way more significant than we may even see.
“Never think you can fool God by thinking you know better.”
Hobby: I am currently writing music for a film that has a lot of relatable themes – perseverance, love, courage. Projects like that I guess you could count as hobby/work. When I’m not writing I’m usually outside with my husky when the weather permits, curling up on the couch with a good book, or doing a bit of watercolor or calligraphy.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
I. Mentors, counselors, community, and just real people. I can’t express this enough. Surround yourself with people who just love, and you will begin to find yourself doing the same.
II. Taking time during the day, based on your schedule, to simply breathe. reflect. prayerfully let go, and thoughtfully give.
III. Positive self talk and reflection (journaling is great for this! or even having a prayer journal).
Have grace with yourself but push yourself to be better, every single day.
Favorite person in scripture? Oh gosh, (aside from Jesus of course) I know I’ve already mentioned her once and this changes a lot but Esther currently. In the desert and uncertainty of it all, she learned to trust in the One who held her. And the One who holds us will carry us through.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That God is kind. That He doesn’t require you to be perfect. All He asks is for you to show up. He is a God of grace and a love far deeper than a simple word, and above all else, no matter what you have done or will do, He gave his life for yours.
Favorite season? Winter has always been my favorite. My roommates used to call me Elsa because I’d always turn the [temp] to 50 in the middle of the night, so it’s definitely a climate I thrive in. But other seasons may include anything BBC related, because it’s one step closer to moving anywhere more beautiful than Texas (i.e. destined to live in the English country-side).
Favorite holiday? I am going to be stereotypical here and say Christmas, because it is the birthday of Jesus. Another reason I love this season is that it’s almost like no matter how troubling life gets, everyone stops in that moment to make sure joy happens. What if we were to live our whole lives like that? Plus, who doesn’t love the smell of gingerbread lattes and midnights strolls down a snowy street, listening to the carolers and
the lights and – ok, i’m going to stop now.
“No matter how troubling life gets, everyone stops in that moment to make sure joy happens. What if we were to live our whole lives like that?”
A dream you have? My enneagram type is a peacemaker, so the narcissist in me instantly wants to go for something like ‘world peace’ or ‘better politics’. But I’ll settle for bringing kindness and love into people’s lives in small tangible ways. Baking bread for neighbors, and hosting troubled women or kids. Reaching people through my music, and making them truly and deeply feel. To know they are not alone.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Oh goodness. Perhaps work ethic? None of my family members have a lazy bone in their body, which usually comes back to bite me if I’m constantly going and not taking time to rest. But if anything I want my kids in the future to know that their work ethic does not define them. Only God does.
“Their work ethic does not define them. Only God does.”
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? “Where are all of my dogs?” (only half kidding). But on a more serious note, I’ll probably be so stunned, so in awe, to even get out a single word, let alone question.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Part of the reason I joined the military was to give me some street credit as far as things I’d like to be involved in later on; stopping sex trafficking, being an advocate for female rights (and really all human rights, I’m not a man-hater), social justice, and so forth. So I guess encouraging people that there are always ways to get involved in this, and it all starts in their homes, their communities.
“There are always ways to get involved in this, and it all starts in their homes, their communities.”
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? It usually starts with PT around 5:45 (0545 if we’re being proper), and then I’ll head back home – have a little bit of coffee time and prayer and meditation – light some candles and sit and soak up the morning light because I’m a romantic at heart. Then, classes or piano practice!
What is on your nightstand? My glasses, some teardrop earrings, a bouquet of eucalyptus and florals this sweet flower shop lady gave me for free, my Bible, and some loose manuscript paper.
Define Christianity in a sentence: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For more Kate:
Until next time, keep witnessing!
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