We are adopting a baby girl from Ethiopia!!
I won’t be posting on this blog, for now. If you would like to follow our journey please go to:
Would love your prayers and support!!
We are adopting a baby girl from Ethiopia!!
I won’t be posting on this blog, for now. If you would like to follow our journey please go to:
Would love your prayers and support!!
I’m working on my doula bio a little tonight… here’s what I think will be my final draft.
Hi! My name is Kate Groeneman. I am a happy mama to my son Liam, and an adoring wife to my husband, Dustin. I was inspired to become a doula from my own birth experience. The natural birth I had planned suddenly took an unexpected turn and I found myself with an emergency C Section. Without the constant encouragement, strength, and care of my doula I would’ve been lost and discouraged. She was there to guide me and my husband, whisper encouragement to me, and hold my hand to let me know everything was going to be ok. It changed my life. My desire is to provide that same service of love to you and your partner before, during and after your birth. Guiding you to the top of the mountain and celebrating with you when you see your precious baby for the first time!
Each birth is unique. It is your own special story, and I would love to help you write your story.
Hope it expresses my heart without being too cheesy or salesman-y. At least it is accurate to what they’ll be getting- little credentials, big heart.
O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
So what is with this Pinterest having to “accept” you business? Instead of me choosing to join their little website, I have to put in my information and hope they allow me in? Seriously, who are they going to reject? And why? Did you quickly scan my Facebook profile to make sure I was hipster enough? It only took about 10 seconds and I got the email that I was accepted, but I swear for a few of those seconds I thought there was some committee mulling over my profile pictures and quotes rubbing their chins and saying “Hhmmm, I guess we could let her join”. I don’t know what pushed them over the edge, but I’m betting it was my recent post on how I wished I was going to the Band of Horses show last week.
Well thank gawd I was cool enough for their approval cause now, I’ll admit, I’m a Pinterest love slave.
(I was asked to guest post on my friend’s blog and so I thought I’d just post it here as well. Enjoy!)
My favorite DIY project this summer was this flower halo. I loved wearing it with loose curls and fun summer dress. Follow these steps and you can join me in feeling oh so pretty.
What you will need:
-large silk flower
-green floral tape
-2 pieces of 16 or 18 gauge green floral cloth wire
-a piece of 4”x4” green felt
-a glue gun
-a pair of wire cutters
-a pair of scissors
You’ll start by cutting 2 circles from the piece of felt at approximately 2” in diameter. Form the wires of your halo by molding and bending each piece into a half circle. Lay the two half circles opposite of each other to create a single circle, laying it over the top of your head to check the fit. Wrap floral tape over 2 sections of overlapping wire at 11 o’clock and 3 o’clock. Trim any overlapping pieces with the wire cutters.
Using the wire cutters, cut the stem off the flower making sure the back is flat. Glue one of the felt circles to the back of the flower. Lay the 3 o’clock section of the halo on the backside of the flower. Sandwich the halo between the flower and the second felt circle with plenty of glue. As your pressing the two felt circles together, pull the halo up on it’s side, making it stand perpendicular to the back of the flower. Insert glue into any openings, making sure the two felt circles are sealed together.
Ta-Da! Now you have a beautiful flower halo. Be creative and experiment with other possibilities. You can wrap flowers around half or all of the halo, you can use the felt to glue flowers onto bobby pins or black elastic bands to use as a headband instead of halo.
Idea credit: http://www.honestlywtf.com/
Becoming a Stay-At-Home-Mom did not come easily to me.
Last year I heard God ask me if I could have anything what would it be. If I could live any way I wanted what would it look like? And in a moment of fasting-induced clarity I replied: to be home with Liam. I was a Jr. High youth pastor which had been a dream inside my heart for years. It was all I really wanted or knew to want. I worked so hard to find myself in that position, and there I was finally doing the very thing I had longed for, and pretty good at it too, I might add, but I wasn’t satisfied. I found myself frustrated by church politics, demanding schedules, a dirty house, and never enough money or time. And somewhere in the clutter there was precious Liam. When he finally got time with me it was the last piece of the pie, all mushy and crumbly. The tired, impatient, distracted piece.
It seems like an easy decision to step down and be home, looking at it that way. In reality it was a terribly hard decision. I had invested every part of myself, my identity, in being a pastor. It was all I knew at that point. Who was I if I wasn’t working? What am I going to do all day long? Where would I find my significance? I’m not much of a cook, I don’t knit, and I go stir crazy being in one place too long. It was a process of releasing what I thought I was entitled to (being a pastor with a title, position, paycheck, ect.) and opening my heart to being Mommy: a thankless job that receives very little recognition and no pay. I felt totally lost there for a few months. I knew that my last day on staff was coming and I was really defensive about my decision, which came from insecurity. I didn’t like being behind the scenes in my house all day. I like being on stage, with lights and a microphone. I like feeling heard and having a place of importance in people’s lives. For good reasons, but also selfish reasons. Even though it was my choice to step down I felt like something had been robbed from me. I was racked with guilt for the kids that depended on me. I was resentful at giving up something I loved and had raised. I was prideful thinking no one could replace me or Dustin as pastors. There was a point where I changed my mind and actually re-considered. God had grace on me and stopped me from making that bad decision.
I never felt adequate when I was home with Liam. I was always tired, impatient, wishing the day would go faster and counting the minutes until Dustin would be home and I could be free. I still feel that way sometimes but not nearly as strong. But here is what I discovered- I was 10x more impatient and anxious at home when I was working part time than I am now that I am home full time, and I think it’s because I wasn’t designed to do both. It was too much for me and I felt it most when I was at home. Work seemed like an escape but actually it was the reason I felt like I even needed to escape, if that makes sense.
Now each day I wake up with no obligations except what I have committed to on my own. I have a new schedule each week where I get out of the house as much as possible. I volunteer in the nursery or for different events that I want to support. I lead a small group of girls, creating an outlet for teaching and discipleship that I like to have, and I keep our house clean, do the laundry and go to the store. Things that use to stress me out but are simple now, making life happier for everyone in our home. I am always thinking- Wow, look at all the time I have! I can schedule all the fun things I want. I don’t *have* to do anything! I choose anything I want to do. It’s awesome!!
Obviously I was not one of those women who dreamed of just being home with babies since she was a little girl. I just never had that. But here I am, living it every day. God moved mountains to make it happen for us. Well, actually, he just moved us. By faith we believed that if this was the new normal God was calling us to He would have to make it happen. So we packed boxes, signed a lease and discovered that God’s priority is Liam. Not me. Not Dustin. Just Liam. And that is totally, 100% OK with us. He is our priority too. God loved Liam enough to change his working-Mother’s heart to be a stay at home mom, to make the sacrifice of something that she loved, to give his Daddy a brand new job that means being able to move closer to the church that he will be raised in, and loved in. All this for Liam. Little 3 ft. Liam. I learned that when I give up the things that I gripped with possession I was given everything I never knew I wanted. I have everything but possess nothing.
Oh and guess what else I discovered on the way: I can be called to things and not have a “job”. I am now a birth doula, a recovery sponsor, a nursery volunteer, an intercessor, a Jr. High leader, a much better cook and I will even be learning how to knit this month!
I miss sleepovers.
I’m in the very center of summer. Hot days, stormy evenings then the clearing of the clouds to reveal a sky full of stars. I use to lay outside for hours on summer nights locating every passing satellite and giggling in delight with each shooting star. Everything is different now that I am old(er), married, a mom and always so dang tired. Only a few years ago every little thing felt important and poignant. So alive. I would read Sabrina Ward Harrison and my heart would wrench with her words. Sentences like: “We all ache. We all have growing pains and wonder if we are okay and enough and loved.” would make my heart race. I don’t wonder about growing pains anymore, I don’t think about “me” and who I’ll be and what I’ll become. I don’t get butterflies…like ever. I’d like to say I still get butterflies when I hold hands with my husband, it sounds so poetic and is an ideal and I use to think that was the test of true love over time. It’s naive. And I don’t. I don’t base my love for him on that and I am thankful he doesn’t either.
The other day I was thinking about how one day Liam may ask for a trampoline. How he will ask for a little buddy to spend the night and they will sheepishly hint at how cool it would be if Mom would let them sleep out on the tramp. Dustin and I will hedge a bit, let the anticipation really build, then finally give in and say “Yes, but you have to be quiet out there”. How I’ll find him and his little friend asleep in his room the next morning because the sprinklers accidentally turned on and soaked their sleeping bags. He will feel all the wonders of the “sleepover”. The in-your-belly excitement of knowing your friend is coming and you are going to experience the deepest joys and the hardest laughs. You’ll feel as if there is nothing more important than that moment in the middle of the night when you are still awake and can’t believe how late it is. The feeling of wandering around in the darkness of the house like it’s a foreign land, feeling slightly scared.
When I was eighteen all I wanted were moments. Sincere, deep moments. Moments with people. Moments alone. Moments with best friends and with boyfriends. I wanted to stand on mountaintops, make mix CD’s, sing at the top of my lungs and feel everything, every vibrant and glorious thing. I had the highest highs and the deepest lows and it was beautiful. And I knew it was. That was the best part. I was finally aware of these Moments. They had happened all my life, but I was finally old enough to appreciate them, nurture them and desire them. That’s why when I think of summer nights I feel a tinge of pain in my heart for what use to be. Who I use to be. I ache for the hammock at midnight or the lake at Clement Park. I miss sleeping bags and secrets. I miss having a summer anthem and wondering which boy will be the one. I miss being young, I guess. Wow, that is sad. Today my husband turns thirty. I can’t believe I am married to a man who is thirty. Either he is a pervert or I am old and unfortunately I think it’s the latter.
So tonight in honor of not wondering who the love of my life will be and seeing before my eyes my very own perfect son, I will be laying on a mountain of blankets staring at satellites and having a sleep over with my best friend. Maybe I’ll even share some secrets.
Happy birthday my love.
The entrance into the Kingdom is through the panging pains of repentance crashing into a man’s respectable goodness; then the Holy Ghost, Who produces these agonies, begins the formation of the Son of God in the life. The new life will manifest itself in conscious repentance and unconscious holiness, never the other way about. The bedrock of Christianity is repentance. Strictly speaking, a man cannot repent when he chooses; repentance is a gift of God. The old Puritans used to pray for the gift of tears. If ever you cease to know the virtue of repentance, you are in darkness. Examine yourself and see if you have forgotten how to be sorry.
— Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, December 7th devotional
As I was reading from John Piper’s “A Hunger For God” today I learned something new and just so amazing.
After Jesus was baptized He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to begin forty days of fasting. This we are all pretty familiar with. Did you know that when Satan came to tempt Jesus He quoted verses that all came from Deuteronomy?
“Man shall not live by bread alone.” Deut. 8:3
“You shall not tempt the Lord Your God.” Deut. 6:16
“You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” Deut. 6:13
Why is this significant? Let’s look closer. Here is Jesus led by the Spirit into the wilderness- into the wilderness-and in order to fight the temptations of Satan, Jesus quotes these passages all from Deuteronomy, all of which are spoken to Moses to the Israelite about their time in the wilderness.
Here is a helpful way that John Piper teaches it in the book comparing Deuteronomy 8:2-3 to Jesus’ time in the wilderness:
You shall remember all the ways which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness (as Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness) these forty years (Jesus was there forty days) that He might humble you, testing you (as Jesus was tested) to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. And He humbled you and let you be hungry (as Jesus was hungry by fasting) and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord (just as Jesus says to Satan).
So obviously there are too many similarities in these two stories to think it is coincidence. But what does it mean?
It means “that God is now, with the incarnation of His Son, preparing to deliver his people-the new Isreal-from the Egyptian bondage of sin into the Promised Land of forgiveness and righteousness and eternal life.” Wow. Incredible.
I hope this makes your heart pound a bit the way it does for me. I see significance in pressing in through fasting when I find myself in a wilderness place. I see that it is through the test of fasting that my heart is revealed and my need for a Savior becomes so evident. I see that Jesus, in order to triumph, looked back on the promises of God and dug deep inside of Himself to stand on faith that above all His deepest appetite was for God and His will alone. I find strength and encouragement to know that the Israelites were tested, and even more so, Jesus was tested and in my testing I will triumph through my hunger for God over this world and what it has to tempt me with.
I would rather sit and feast at Your table, O God, then indulge in all the richest foods the world could bring me. Awaken in me an appetite for You so great that my hunger for You is insatiable and the more I eat the more hungry I get.
“The weakness of hunger which leads to death brings forth the goodness and power of God who wills life. Here there is no extortion, no magic attempt to force God’s will. We merely look with confidence upon our Heavenly Father and through our fasting say gently in our hearts, ‘Father, without You I will die; come to my assistance, make haste to help me.’”-Joseph Wimmer
I have officially completed 7 of 60 days from the Lord’s Table. One week’s worth of insight and a new standards being set in my heart and life.
I was telling my friend Marissa about the program and my excitement for the physical and spiritual challenge it presents, to which she responded “that’s just so you, Kate”. I never realized it before, but I guess it is. When a certain note strikes a chord in my heart I enjoy rising to the challenge and desire the change that I see I am in need of.
The course encourages you to read John Piper’s A Hunger For God as you work your way through. I just started it today and am blown away. Totally shattered. And all I read was the preface and introduction. Srsly.
When I think back on my most intimate and special times with Jesus it usually includes a beautiful, outdoors setting. An early morning and a journal. A sunrise at the top of a mountain, a hummingbird’s company, a picnic bench near some black and white cows on a English countryside. A starry night and a sleeping bag. All these memories are so precious to me. So sweet, just simple. I was in love with Jesus and felt Him so near. I wanted to share every moment with Him, like a best friend or a lover. All these moments are so wonderful, so poignant to me and they are so very, very long ago. The truth is I haven’t experienced a coffee date on a summer evening with Jesus in years. I miss it. I am homesick for those moments again. I live off these old memories of the best times I ever had with my Best Friend.
In the past years in moments of worship or quiet times I find myself feeling an unsatisfying distance between God and I. Knowing we use to be closer. I remind Him of the “lilies of the field” or the “fields of gold” where we walked. I ask Him to find me that way again. Pursue me again, Lord. My heart aches for the romance that use to be. I realized today that He has heard those prayers deep from my heart and has opened a door to those beautiful places once again. Except instead of jumping on a plane to England or hiking back up to Inspiration Point He is asking for something deeper, something that will require sacrifice.
The title of the Introduction I read today in Piper’s book was this- “A Homesickness for God”. I read those words and like a little shotgun in my heart I felt it strike me. This is exactly the yearning for the past that I have been feeling. Homesick. Homesick for the past. Homesick for beauty. Homesick for poetic love worth journaling about. I am homesick for Jesus.
God is all his grace and passion for our relationship has led me to this point of education on fasting. I am discovering that He understands my genuine longing for our romance again and just like a lovesick boyfriend He has provided the train ticket to come and be with Him. The ticket will require sacrifice from me. It means a willingness to let go of all the things that so easily cover over my deepest needs. The quick fix of food to comfort my insecurities and uncertainties. Fasting requires me to surrender the cotton candy in order to be filled with the Bread of Life. A lasting and healthy choice.
It is with fasting that I am able to turn to Him and say, “This much, O God, I want You.”