When the Storm Rushes In

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Its been quiet on the home front over here. I don’t know if its called writers block or a growing period, but the silence is not silence at all. My mind has been racing a million miles a minute, but expression of words will not come out. Until now that is.

Ive sat down at this computer several times over the last week thinking… “ok God, what do you want from me? How will you use me to day to lift others, encourage them & show them the light in darkness?”

Its one of those things where you want to share the joy, the good news of freedom, but when you are experiencing depression yourself, you often wonder, how can I help others when I myself don’t have it figured out.

This is where the cliche “take up your cross daily” comes in!  No seriously! The secret isn’t to have it figured out. The secret isn’t defeating depression or finding happiness that lasts a life time. It is waking up each and every single morning choosing Joy, choosing Gods way instead of the ways of the world. It is waking up each morning and taking up your cross (a death instrument symbolizing freedom) & pressing forward, trusting that God is in control. Trusting Gods word Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Knowing that God will walk with you through every storm and every victory.

Just over the last 7 days, many of my depression symptoms have started to creep back in. OH THE QUESTIONS… Am I good enough? Should I just give up? Is it worth it? When will this storm end? And then self deteriorating statements… I’m not smart enough. I can’t do this. I don’t want to get out of bed.

This thing called depression creeps in like a shadow at dusk. You don’t ask for it. You don’t know its coming. Just one day you wake up and BAM… Your brain functions flips like a switch. You sleep in a little more and a little more each day. You let small obstacles defeat you. You don’t want to hangout with your friends or even be out side. Then you begin to think you aren’t enough. That you will never be enough & that your efforts are worthless.

THESE ARE ALL LIES OF THE DECEIVER!!!! Satan, I commend you to leave in the name of Jesus Christ the messiah, the son of God! 

Step 1 to taking up your cross… call out satan’s lies & defeat them with the word of God!!

Guys! Jesus set the example!! He showed us how to defeat!

Matthew 4:1-11 “ Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil.  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written:  [Defeating satan with Gods word!!]  ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down.

For it is written: (Satan trying to use Gods word out of context)

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 15:57

“In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Rom. 8:37

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” 1 Pet. 5:8-9

“Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair. Why aren’t we protected from satan’s attack? Doesn’t God care about us?

The truth is, WE ARE PROTECTED! God loves us so much, he gave us an entire book teaching us how to defeat satan. He has given us AMPLE amounts of information on HOW to rebuke satan. God loves us so much, He is with us even when we don’t know how to fight.

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Counter every lie satan has ever told you with truth:

When your past begins to haunt you : I am a new creature in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

You are useless : It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)

You’re not good enough : I can do all things through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:13)

You’ll never measure up : I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ for good works. (Ephesians 2:10)

Google “satan’s lies & Gods truth” for more scriptures to help you defeat the lies that are pressing in on you!

As I lay in bed this morning, about to WAY over sleep, I had to remind myself that I am good enough. That I was not put on this earth to just take up space and die. God made me specifically me for a SPECIFIC purpose. Just like God made YOU specifically YOU for a purpose. Your purpose may be drastically different from mine and that is WAY OKAY! God needs all of his people in different corners of this earth to share his love and joy! We can’t all be in the same place with the same mission at the same time ❤ that wouldn’t make sense.


This is me showing up to help encourage through the darkness. This is me taking up my cross & letting our savior’s light shine. This is me showing you, that WE cannot do it alone. We need God’s grace. We need our savior to make a way for us. This is me opening my eyes! Remembering that I need to pick up my cross daily. Not just one and done. DAILY!

Never forget to smile ❤ you are worth it!

-Mauri Katherine

Usually More Is Said Than Done

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My VERY FIRST blog name was “You’re Killin’ Me Smile” tagged “When all is said & done, usually more is said than done.”

This stemmed from my journey through life searching for my Joy. I went through a series of horrific events that put me in a very deep and dark place. Long story short, I found out my boyfriend of a year and a half was cheating on me & lied to me about almost everything under the sun. While I was trying to sort that situation out, I was bit by a dog that broke my Ulna in several places which put me out of a job. I was helpless, potentially in $20,000 worth of  hospital bill debt & had no place to go. Psstt… Gods Grace SAVED ME FROM IT ALL! (Ill share that story another day). I lived on my own with many, MANY BILLS to pay. Until this moment I was independent and rarely needed to ask anyone for help. So, not only was my heart broken in pieces, I was in serious financial shambles & almost 100% helpless.

God did a number on me that year. He managed to pick me up from pure depression to a light that shines, even in the dark.

My blog title perfectly depicted where I was in that moment of time. My outlet? Blogging. So, when I decided to purchase my own domain & do this thing for real, I couldn’t help but keep those very important aspects which describe me perfectly =) <– THIS is why I sign each blog posts with “Keep on smiling!” (Or something of that sort).

No matter what life throws your way NEVER let anyone or anything steal your joy! It was a long and slow journey finding my joy again. I let someone who didn’t deserve even small part of me, steal every ounce of joy I had & if I had any joy left after that… I let my circumstance steal the rest of it.

I was able to share this story more deeply in my previous blog, and will soon share it with you all as well.

HOWEVER, God showed me the blessing in the shamble. One of the most miraculous moments in my life was finding my Joy through the promises of Jesus Christ! I HATED the word promise! All my life I was led to believe that a promise was just a word. An empty word. People always made huge promises to me, with little to no action behind it. So the tag stuck, “When all is said and done, usually more is said than done”… but in creating MauriKatherine.com I knew there was more to it that just that. I used that tag line because through my blog, I wanted to share WHY God was the exception. That with all of the empty promises we have been left with here on earth, Gods promises are never changing, applicable TODAY & that God ALWAYS keeps his promises. I want to encourage women who have been left in the dark like I was. I want to show them that there IS ANOTHER WAY. There IS life again!

So now my tag, along with the new beginning of MauriKatherine.com, reads “When all is said and done, usually more is said than done. I am changing that!

My mission is to change that stereotype… I know I cannot change the empty promises of the world, but I can share the divine promises of God & how His grace saved me from a world of darkness! Through HIM YOU CAN FIND FREEDOM TOO!

So, when all is said and done, SMILE!! You are worth it!!!

With love,

Mauri Katherine

HELLO

Welcome to Me

Hello & Welcome,

Many of you do not know me. Many of you have stumbled upon my blog because of a silly tag, or a very real tag I used recently. I first wanted to say welcome!! I am ecstatic that you stopped by & have taken time out of your day to listen to what I have to say about life! Its a tough world out there guys! Im glad to have YOU by my side =)

So welcome! Here is my corny introduction to help you get to know me a little better.

15 interesting facts about me:

  1. I have worked almost every job under the sun! (and I’m only 27 😉 ) Cashier @ Joann Fabrics, Waitress @ two different sports bars, Bartender, Hair Salon Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Dance Instructor, Cosmetologist, Clerk @ a Music Store, Account Manager @ a Music Store, Website Builder, Event Planner, Music Hall Coordinator, Hostess & Now Dance Studio Owner. (There you go… 15 facts about me… my jobs) LOL jk.

    ^That looks like insanity, but truly I normally have 2 or 3 jobs at once. My longest standing being a dance instructor of 9 years which lead to my current occupation (Lord willing my final occupation as Dance Studio Owner of 2 years).

  2. I play the piano, acoustic guitar & ukulele. (Vlog coming soon 😉 )
  3. I was recently married on July 7th, 2017 to the love of my life ❤
  4. I am an animal lover and aspiring VEGAN =0 (oh yes! I said the forbidden word… VEGAN!) Something you will soon learn about me, I do not classify myself in any particular category as far as FOOD goes, but  I thoroughly enjoy a plant based diet… I’ll elaborate eventually ;P
  5. Pets?!?! I currently have 2 cats (One 2 year old long hair / one 7 year old short hair) and my very best friend Jude the Labradoodle <— you will get to know him very well the longer you follow! Umm.. he’s ADORABLE!
  6. I come from a very VERY large family! With both of my parents being divorced and re-married I have siblings out the wazoo 😉 haha but man I love each and every one of them! I have 1 biological sister & 2 biological brothers. I also have 3 step-sisters & 2 step brothers, a sister-in-law & other step siblings I have not met yet (things get spaced out as you become an adult!) but basically we are the scattered Brady bunch!
  7. My favorite activity on planet earth (other than dancing) is writing ❤ oh man I love to write. I have a very “SMALL” notebook addiction (I hope you felt the irony there.) I discovered as an adult that my notebook addiction came from this burning desire inside of me to write. There is no, I mean NO greater feeling than buying a fresh new notebook with clean blank pages =0 (you can call me a werido now… or you can relate… and then we need to be best friends! )
  8. The beach is my escape… this is sad because I live in the middle of no where eastern Pennsylvania. So rock on mountain life!
  9. I hate pickles & mustard. If it touches my plate… IM DONE. Oh.. & Gluten – Free. My body has thanked me.
  10. I am strangely overly compassionate…. Hints my vegan aspiration. I believe this is a gift, not a curse.
  11. I secretly collect gift bags, gift wrap & tissue paper =D Unexpected birthday party today? I got you covered!
  12. My relationship with Jesus has transformed my life from the deepest darkest hole to a bright and shining personality like the summertime sun (at the beach of course!)
  13. I sing randomly about my actions through out the day. For example: As I am stirring the spaghetti… “IM STIRRING SPAGHETTIIIIIII OHH IM STIRRING SPAGHETTI!!!”. My husband secretly loves it as he tells me to “Stop singing about every single thing I do.” hehe.
  14. I just moved out of a house I lived in for 8 years (20 -27 years old) in to this beautiful spacious house my husband & I will be living in together as our fist home ❤ —coming soon to “soul food”… how to find joy in stressful days.
  15. I am NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT a morning person.

The end.

& don’t forget to keep smiling,

Mauri

Create In Me

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This is an entry from my journal that I wrote 12 months ago. I finally made reconciliation with an old friend who I loved dearly. A wrong assumption lead us apart, BOTH of us had different ideas of what was going on & NEITHER of us reached out to restore what was broken. I capitalize those words because I was also at fault. I let a friendship that I so deeply cared about slip away because of a very minor detail. 

The entry:

Silence because of others sin, if not careful, can turn into sin of your own. Humm…

Sometimes all I want to do is be awkward, hold grudges and decide where forgiveness should and shouldn’t be given. Control is my middle name.

I’ve realized during my “adult years” that I’ll always be awkward, but grudges hold your feet in the ground as unforgiveness beats you over the head.

-I am not perfect by ANY means! I have screwed up in the past & will probably screw up again. I am human! I pray that God gives me the grace to ask for forgiveness when I do screw up & acknowledge that I was wrong!  but…

Sometimes I catch myself apologizing for things I didn’t do to keep peace. Sometimes I realize that people are making false speculations about me and I say nothing. I just let their minds wonder. Not to be mean, but because I let the falsehood of a rotten rumor harden my heart and my only defense is silence.

And then I’m like wow… Poor me?!?! NO!

I’ve also come to realize that I’ve never once deserved forgiveness for myself! I, born sinner, am constantly making mistakes. My silence has caused a lot of heartbreak over the years with family and friends alike. Rumors unsettled. Miscommunications pushing people further and further away. Feelings hurt over an assumption.

Have you ever been here? Let something go for too long because you were so upset that a rumor spread ? OR someone else made a wrong assumption that hurt your feelings? THEN you allowed yourself to be paralyzed by it instead of confronting the issue?

I am on my knees in the dirt surrendering to God to take control of my life daily. My dirty, undeserving hands, lifted to the sky. My heart screaming for release. Although I don’t deserve forgiveness, God sacrificed his only son to give me freedom from myself. ME , in my weakest, deepest, darkest hour, freedom. Not just me, but you and to all who believe, trust and follow Christ.

Create in me a clean heart, oh Lord -psalm 51:10

This is they cry of my heart today ❤

I am enough

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At the end of the day I often wonder, could I have done more?

Did I do enough to help my students? Did I do enough to search for my lost cat? Could I have done more? Could I have worked harder? Could I have reached out to more people? Could I have made a better relationship with my family? With my friends? Could I have said more? Been more? Seen more?

And when it’s all said and done, I have to trust that I did everything in my power to live my life the way God asked me to, and that has to be enough.

I have found a way to close my eyes in peace knowing that I did my best. That God knows my best & my best will fulfill His purpose for my life. Our God is not a God of circumstance. He is not limited by our worldly limitations! And hallelujah for that!!!

#iamenough

OH the judgement!

Here is my encouragement for you today ❤

Some people will choose to judge you NO MATTER WHAT!

Your hair is too long, too blonde, too short. You wear too much makeup, you don’t put it on right, you don’t wear enough. Your body is shaped weird, you’re too skinny, too fat, too muscular. You’re too compassionate, you’re not compassionate enough. You’re too pretty, too intimidating, too ugly, too shy, too outgoing.

NO MATTER WHAT some people will not like you.

And that’s okay! For every one person who has an issue with who God made you to be… there are 5 more who love and adore you just as you are!!! 5 more who will stand by your side and do life with you. 5 more who don’t focus on the negative but lift you up! Love you ❤️

Be confident. Love yourself. Life is hard guys! God made each of us different for a REASON!! #bekind #lifeishard #compassion #grace #love

Love where you are! Wait? You can do that?

love yourself

I shared this with the women in my squat challenge group this past week and I felt like the impact was worth sharing with you all as well.
—–

I want to be sure to tell you… I am on my own journey as well. I had a chance to sit and chat with my friend Bethany the other day & were able to come to the conclusion that loving yourself is a “take up your cross daily” kind of thing. People who “love themselves as they are” don’t conquer it one day and are cured for life. They wake up every day, and CHOOSE love. –> yes friends, it sounds crazy but we have a choice. 

—–
You gotta tell yourself you’re awesome. Dispel satans lies about who you are through Gods word, and LOVE who God made you to be!
——-
Here is my motivation for you today:
As you begin your new life style, remember health and fitness is a life time journey. You will have ups and downs and all arounds. Lol. Fall in love with who you are right now! Otherwise, when the change you want to see finally happens, you will still only see flaw. Don’t get your self in the mind trap of “if only _________ then I would be happy”. It is a spiral into a never ending hole of not being satisfied with who God designed you to be.
——
With that being said, have fun on your journey, learn something new about yourself, Give it your best shot and don’t give up!
——-
I love you guys! Smile 😁 you’re worth it!

Life Should Be Different

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One of my favorite places to be is right here in my recliner with this sweet boy in my lap. I love to sit here at the end of the day and reflect. I don’t even mind that he’s a “wanna be lap dog” at SEVEN years old! His puppy snuggles are the best!!!

You know, I always imagined life being a little different at 27 years old. I always thought I would be married with a few kids in a larger house by now. Here I am, a fur mom, sitting in my tiny quite house praising God for all the opportunities He has placed in my path to help & serve my community. God had different plans for me and I’m okay with that!

I am now engaged to the man of my dreams, building an empire for kids of many generations to escape to and find their passion through dance. There was no moment before now that I would have been ready for these blessings. You can’t base your life off of a standard set by the world.

I didn’t always have my life aligned properly. I had a few toxic relationships in the past, and I let my values suffer because of convenience. I traveled through years of depression that I didn’t fully understand how to handle. I may not have been the best role model in my younger years. I didn’t understand the importance of proper nutrition or how to take care of my body & I KNOW I would not have appreciated the humble, gracious, leader Jesse is until the exact moment that God placed him in my life!

So, as I sit here in my recliner, I think of all the years I spent declaring how life “SHOULD” be. Im sure that God is just up there laughing at us when we do that. I hear teenagers, and friends of mine in their early twenties saying things to me about “just wanting to know who their future husband is already”. I know that no matter what I say to them, they will never truly understand, until that man walks into their life.  Or when they say to me “I wish I knew what I was going to be when I got older” — I’ve learned so much over the past 15 years of my life. BUT the most important lesson that I’ve learned is that its not really about the destination, its about who you become along the way. Be Patient with yourself. God has to mold and shape you into this “mature” being, before you will be ready for the blessing. Otherwise you may miss it completely.

Jeremiah 29:11 “11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”