Following the Leader

Following the Leader

Here’s the thing about following God: you don’t know where He will take you.

I remember a particularly sunny day in kindergarten when my teacher decided that we should play “follow the leader.” My teacher, wearing a hula hoop as a sash that reminded me of suffragette Winnifred Banks, marched us up the stairs, out the door, and under the big tree.  As five-year-olds, we didn’t know where our teacher would take us, but we weren’t worried.  We knew that our loving leader would never put us in harm’s way.

On Tuesday night (New Year’s Eve, 3 days ago), as I reflected on 2019, I realized that following God through life is a lot like following my kindergarten teacher around the school.  When we surrender our lives to Him, we do not know where He will take us or how we will get there; all we know is that He will use every experience to sanctify us because that is His will (I Thess. 4:3a; I say more about that here).  We don’t know the joy, the hardship, the blessing, or the pain that we will experience along the way.  Like children following a trustworthy teacher, we follow our Lord blindly. (Ironically, this was also the lesson in My Utmost for His Highest on Wednesday, January 1, but that’s off topic….).

Last February, I heard about some ministry needs at a Christian school in Spain, and I began praying about how God could use me.  As I continued to pray and follow Him through 2019, I felt the growing desire to teach in Spain.  A few months ago, I completed the application process, and I committed to teach for 2 years.

I am telling you all of this for two reasons: (1) I want to look back on this post throughout 2020 and remember that following God is uncertain, but it is safe, and (2) I needed to close this blog with a good post.

I am not saying that I will never blog @ kats9lifes again, but I don’t plan to keep up with this blog for much longer.  I have started a new blog where I plan to share all about my ministry in Spain.  I hope to see you there!

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Simple Joy Saturday #57

Simple Joy Saturday #57

In 2019, I am posting a roundup of “simple joys” on the last Saturday of every month. Feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments!

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Enjoyable Reads

1.  One of the best stories that I read for my British and American short fiction class was “An Appointment with Love.” My classmates engaged in a friendly debate about whether this story was realistic.  If you have an opinion, please share.

2. I finished the Mr. Lemoncello’s Library series this month (I started the series in June), and I cannot overstate how much I love these books.  I convinced the children’s literature professor at my alma mater to give the books a chance, and she read two of them within a week.  If you find even the slightest enjoyment in reading children’s literature, you have to read this series.

3. Do you remember Stephanie Meyer?  Yes, I mean the same Stephanie Meyer that started the nationwide obsession with vampires in 2008.  This month, I discovered a book that she published in 2016 titled The Chemist, and it is so good!  No vampires or werewolves are involved.

4. I usually only share 3 stories/books, but here is a bonus treasure:  Kate DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale.  

As I said in July, I am still making steady progress on my reading from the 100 Books Bucket List, but nothing is worth recommending.  Honestly, I wonder how some of these books made the list.

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Peanut Butter S’more Sandwich Cookies

Peanut Butter S’more Sandwich Cookies

PB Lover month

“They were almond cookies, although they could have been made of spinach and shoes for all I cared. I ate eleven of them, right in a row. It is rude to take the last cookie.”

– Lemony Snicket

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Simple Joy Saturday #44

Simple Joy Saturday #44

On Saturdays, I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week.  These posts may grow or change as time passes.  Please feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments section!

simple joy saturday logo from kats9lifes

It’s been a while since I shared my weekly joys, not because my life has lacked joy but because my life has lacked time.

October 13-19, 2018

1. Electricity

Hurricane Michael stole the electricity at my apartment on Thursday, October 11 at 5:00pm.  After watching the Duke Energy website all day at work on Friday, I decided to stay with my parents until electricity was restored.  I finally regained power on Sunday after 4:00 pm.

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Simple Joy Saturday #40

Simple Joy Saturday #40

On Saturdays, I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week.  These posts may grow or change as time passes.  Please feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments section!

simple joy saturday logo from kats9lifes

Oh, Man…I have become so inconsistent with these posts…

August 11-17, 2018

1. After a 13 month hiatus, The Oatmeal Artist re-entered the blogging world.

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Simple Joy Saturday #29

Simple Joy Saturday #29

Every Saturday I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week.  These posts may grow or change as time passes.  Please feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments section!

simple joy saturday logo from kats9lifes

March 24 – 30, 2018

1. A new season of Monk (kind of)

Although this season was released in 2006-2007, and I have seen all the episodes, I am now the owner of season five on DVD.  I see a lot of Scrabble and Monk in my future.

Monk Season five DVD with Scrabble board

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Simple Joy Saturday #27

Simple Joy Saturday #27

Every Saturday I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week.  These posts may grow or change as time passes.  Please feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments section!

simple joy saturday logo from kats9lifes

March 10-16, 2018

1. Longer days and more sunlight!

May we never lose the blessing that is Daylight Savings Time!

2. The overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.

(both the actual love of God, and the chorus of this song.  Check out the lyrics!)

Oh! The overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God.

Oh! It chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine.

I couldn’t earn it. I don’t deserve it! Still, You give Yourself away.

Oh! The overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God.

3. This cartoon that Brother shared on Facebook.

And the top comment that he added is true.  Our last name actually means “sheep” in German.

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