When you know you’re fearfully and wonderfully made

“For you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my mothers womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, in your book were written every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet their were none of them.”

Psalm 139:13-16

Embarrassing story alert. These verses could be interpreted in many different ways, but this was mine.

When I was in middle school, I wasn’t exactly a prime option for the boys when school dances rolled around. I’d wait for someone to ask me to be their date to the dance, but it never did happen. A lot of my friends would get asked, and I’d just be the weird, awkward, spastic friend that would tag along. In our school gym where the dances were held, I’d try dancing by myself and dance with friends, but when Jesse McCartney’s Beautiful Soul came on, I just stood on the sidelines and watched all my cuter friends dance with all the cute boys. I was so so angry I didn’t get picked by anyone, so wanna know what middle school Catie would do at those awkward middle school dances?

Does anyone recall the circle in the middle of a basketball gym? Well, I stood in that, deemed it MY circle to dance in ALONE, and no one else was invited. SO anyone who moved into my circle, I’d simply shove them out of it. Like, yea how does that feel!?

Y’all, I would physically PUSH people away from me… as if that was getting them back. I’m not kididng. And my friends would just look at me like “WHAT ARE YOU DOING….” If this isn’t affirmation for how completely weird I was in school, I’m not sure what else will convince you. Every school dance, this would happen. Every. School. Dance. I felt like a freak show, and that there must be something wrong with me. My tender pre teen heart crumbled into a thousand pieces when I felt ugly or weird when a boy didn’t wanna dance with me.

When I wasn’t picked, I rebelled and pushed people away. Which is exactly what some of us still do as adults. In some form or another.

I want to emphasize the wordage used in the verses we studied this week, because it’s not on accident.

you formed me /  you knitted me together / I am wonderfully and fearfully made / wonderful are your works / my frame was not hidden from you / when I was being made / intricately woven

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if we lived as if we believed these things? I bet we’d be more loving, more compassionate, and a little more tenderhearted towards others. I bet if we truly know who God is, we would live like we truly know who we are.

I bet middle school Catie would’ve let people into her circle had she known she was actually beautifully created and wanted all along. Because when we know that, when we know the one who has intricately woven us together, we let rejection just roll away like water in a drain. We are less likely to judge others, we’re less likely to be hypercritical, and we’re less likely to push people away.

God has called us to live in the freedom of being known by him, by being His children and LOVING His children. He calls us to an intimate relationship with Him because when we know our maker, we know who we are. When we study His word, we study His character. And when we study His character, we get to see His goodness and how wonderful He is to such undeserving souls.

Know that you were created, that He picked you and intricately designed you. Watch how that transforms your relationships with others when you get to freely love because you are freely loved.

And that’s it. I hope this was somewhat helpful to you!

Up next. Let’s study the Book of Philippians together! It’s a short book, but has a lot of really good nuggets of truth. It’s also a really great starter book for those of you who aren’t super familiar with scripture and want something easier to understand. It’s one of my fav’s. So let’s do Chapter 1, verses 1-6. Here they are!

“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 1:1-6

Okay, now go open your bible and highlight and journal and pray or whatever you feel like doing! I’m excited about this new journey, and can’t wait to dive in with you!

Love,

Catie

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Let’s study the Bible together. No seriously, let’s do it.

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

So you may think to yourself, “I’m not the girl who sits and reads her bible everyday, but I do love God.” 

You may go to church on Sundays and hangout with Christian people and do churchy stuff, but your Bible just sits on your dresser and collects dust.

You may enjoy going out from time to time, maybe getting a little tipsy and think, “God will forgive me. It’s okay.” But go to church the next morning because you feel bad.

You may just go through the motions of what a Christian is supposed to look like.

You may just be anyone at any age and any life stage that has a desire to read more scripture and to know God more, but haven’t quite figured out how to navigate that desire.

You might even be wondering how and where to freaking start with the “studying scripture” thing because it’s so intimidating and you’re afraid of doing it wrong.

But still, you have the desire to read your bible. You just don’t really know how to read it. 

So you just don’t. And as each day passes, more dust collects on the most sacred book in history.

Well, what if I told you I was the girl who struggles with fully studying scripture and sometimes I even go without opening my bible for way too long and only go back to it out of guilt or fear. What if I told you I know exactly how it feels to be intimidated and worried that I’m not doing this whole studying scripture thing right. And that I’m failing because of it.

I’m talking to you, girl. I’m talking to the Luke warm Sunday morning church going Saturday night bar going never truly felt connected to the Holy Spirit girl who just claims to be a Christian because it feels good girl but doesn’t really understand what it means to “walk in the light” girl. 

I was you once. But then I was saved (HALLELUJAH) and scripture changed my world and taught me how to chase after truth and joy that only Jesus can provide. 

So basically, what I want to do is this:

I want to provide a verse (or two or three) each week. And during that week, I want us to dive into them. I’m being so serious because I feel like I’m not the only one who needs help with studying AND UNDERSTANDING scripture. I know I’m not the only one that needs a kick in the butt when it comes to consistently being in the word. Because sometimes we need help with taking the first step, and for those of you who rarely open your bible, I want to help guide you into this process. 

Because it can be intimidating and stressful. I get it. I TOTALLY DO.

So would you join me? We could be a team. I want us to know the Lord, and I want our lifestyle to show it, to allow God to shine through us like crazy. My heart is in this all the way, like, we are all on equal playing ground here. I’ll be studying the same exact scripture, and we could even exchange notes and thoughts and opinions and struggles with eachother. We could support eachother and encourage eachother and LOVE EACHOTHER through this. 

So if you’re willing to take this on with me, I’m going to post these weekly. And I’ll share my EVERYTHING with you on what I learned or doubted or loved. 

Let’s grow in our relationship with the one who created us. God is so good, y’all, and He is worthy of being known. Here is our scripture for the week!

“For you eformed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in ithe depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your jbook were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:13-16

I read this at a friends funeral awhile back, and I’m not sure why, but God put it on my heart to share with you again.

So now, don’t just read the words that I typed, go to your bible and open it. Read the words from His word, and take notes and highlight and journal and truly truly truly study it. I’ll have my notes and thoughts next week! 

-Catie

When you feel super average

Ladies, this is for you. I’m all up in my feelings.

Have you ever felt like everyone else has more friends than you, and that must make you pretty average? Or maybe you’re not athletic, or a pageant queen, or you struggle with your weight. Maybe you are ditzy and have never been deemed the smart girl. Maybe you’re short or awkwardly tall, maybe you were never homecoming court or prom queen. Maybe you feel like you’re just not that good at anything, and you’re still trying to find your place in the whole scheme of things. Maybe you feel like you’re in last place for the popularity contest. Maybe you don’t have a boyfriend and feel ugly, maybe you’re married and feel inadequate. Maybe you’re a single mom and feel like you’re not worth the effort.

Because whatever you may feel like you’re not, I want to remind you of who you are.

You are a daughter of the one true king.

Can we all rest in that peace? I would love to stop worrying about everything I’m not, and focus on who I am. This was going to be a longer post, but it’s midnight and I think I’d rather share scripture than my own words at this point. I wanted to gather a few verse that help remind me who I am because I tend to forget sometimes. Maybe you do too, so I pray this is encouraging to you. Especially on hard Monday mornings.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” 1 John 3:1

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

You are His, and you are loved.

Choose that truth today over the lie that’s screaming for your attention.

-Catie Sas

 

 

 

 

Dear Forge 2016,

God moved this weekend. In the hearts of His children and through the lyrics of the songs we sang. I discovered a new worship song that makes me bawl like a baby, made new friends who appreciate my awkwardness, and forgot my mascara and powder brush at home so guess who had to be makeup free all weekend. Who packs their powder, eyeshadow, and bronzer, but not the brushes? Me.

Our team color was orange, but we rocked that shade of pumpkin with lots of forced enthusiasm and pride. I also learned for the 468th time that Christine is way more majestic than me. Notice item 486 below.

Anyways. This weekend was truly DA BEST EVER. Young adult retreats for the win every time. Enjoy some phhhhotos!

Dear Forge 2016,

Thanks for the memories. You were good to me. 

The weekend we’ve been waiting for

Fun fact: The weekend after we were deemed debt free, I got two speeding tickets. On the same day. In the same hour. 

Anyways… 

Fredericksburg was perfect. We have literally been dreaming about this weekend long celebration for months. MONTHS. We were able to breathe, and sink into this new chapter. With wine, pretty views, and clothing that didn’t look like sweat pants. I also curled my hair like a nice wife who tries to care about her looks. I don’t think I could’ve anticipated a more relaxing experience, seriously. (Except for the time a wasp flew up my dress and stung me like a freaking demon bug) 

When I say this is what we needed, I truly mean we needed this weekend. 

We stayed at the most charming bed and breakfast, Corner Cottage in their Blue Moon Hideaway suite, and it was in the heart of downtown. The breakfast was drool worthy, no lie. It’s also so nice having your food cooked and brought to you on a plate. Eating out at restaurants is the coolest. 

But here are a few pictures (well, a lot actually) of us being happy and relaxed in a super cute town celebrating a super awesome occasion. #studentloanscansuckit 
We walked around like adorable little tourists holding hands and laughing til our stomachs hurt because we were finally able to fall into the stress free “no more debt until we have a mortgage” pool. Here’s to us and fun things!


Y’all, we’re debt free!

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5

In the very beginnings of our relationship, we thought we’d discussed every important detail appropriate for the stage we were in. We discussed family, where we went to school, hometowns, and favorite things to do. Ya know, the typical boring things about each other. Obviously we enjoyed each other enough to keep things going and to continue this whole dating thing.

There were a few things that needed to be kept secret until the right time, but we’d get there eventually. Time would allow us to get to know each other fully, I mean, at least to know if spending the rest of our lives together would be.. well, a thing. So we keep going and dating and having fun and blah blah blah, the dating oozy boozy lovey dovey stuff that kindles in the beginnings of our dating relationships. But while at lunch together probably 2-3 months in, Ryan asked me a question I’d never answered or even shared. This question then took a turn for the worst.

He asked me if I had debt.

I answered with a simple yes, assuming he did too because in my head, everyone in the world had debt. To me, debt was just debt. You pay it month by month until it’s gone and it’s not something to cry or worry over. It’s not something that changes your life. Or at least that’s what naive little Catie thought. So I asked him the same question.

“No, I don’t have debt. How much do you have?”

“….well I have my student loans, and obviously paying off my car but everyone does that.”

His eyes got a little big… and then when I told him how much they got even bigger.

As the conversation went on, I was starting to get defensive. As if he was less likely to like me as much because now he knows the truth. Now he knows how much debt I have and deciding whether or not to marry me, he’d have to take these things into consideration.

I’m not saying my debt turned him off to the idea of being with me, I’m saying marrying into debt like he did is HARD. He made a decision to see that big number, and swallow it wholeheartedly. But he’ll be the first to say it stressed him out, and I can’t blame him. Coming from no debt EVER to marrying into loads of debt brings lots of life change. Plenty of tension and emotional fights arose because of the guilt I felt giving him this debt, and because of the stress he felt receiving this debt.

I mean, God saw our debt to him and paid it in full. Ryan didn’t turn his face and walk away from me just like Jesus didn’t walk away and give up on us. Ryan chose to take on this debt and carry this burden with me just as Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world and paid a debt we could never pay. (I had to throw that in there, now back to the convo!)

Long story short, I left the restaurant in tears because I was so scared Ryan wouldn’t want to be with me anymore. I was afraid that big number was too much for him. But he stayed, and when we got married and joined bank accounts, I trusted him to make any cuts we needed to ensure we’d be debt free ASAP. Trust me, when he said no more shopping I might’ve cringed a little.

We made a goal of paying it off by July 12th (my birthday), and after draining almost all of Ryan’s savings to knock a big chunk of it out, we decided we would only spend money on food if it were at the grocery store or unique situations where we had to. We didn’t go out on dates and we didn’t have fun money. Our dates the last 7 months have been at home on our couch with a store-bought “make it yourself” pizza and Criminal Minds. Sometimes we’d land on a gift card somewhere, so that was a major treat. We’d even have to discuss whether or not going to coffee with someone was allowed because that 5$ may add up.

Things got pretty difficult and stressful at times, but WE MADE IT and met our goal a few days early! Paying off debt is such a God glorifying experience. As Christians, we are called to be good stewards of what God provides for us. And I’m so thankful Ryan chose me to do that with! I’m incredibly undeserving of this mans sacrificial love for me. Next month we get to celebrate by going to Fredricksburg for a weekend, so if anyone knows of a great place to stay or a winery to try, holla atcha girl! We’ll catch up on all those hot dates we never went on, and I couldn’t be MORE excited.

Here’s to living life without debt weighing our bank account down. We’re free!

Enjoy the awkward happy car selfie (:

IMG_4364-2

Love,

Catie Sas