That one time I was in the right place.

Last week my sister and I met my mom and brother in Orlando for a little vacay. On our first night there we decided to try out T-Rex Cafe in Downtown Disney. I am a fan of the Landry’s family of restaurants (Rainforest Cafe, Chart House, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Claim Jumper, etc, etc) because of the ambiance, food and hospitality.

The restaurant was beautiful and – not surprisingly – elaborately decorated.

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Shortly after putting in our order with our server, there was a loud noise and a lot of commotion. I looked up to see this:

FishTank_zps77ff0809

Crazy, right?

Y’all, water was gushing out of this tank. What do you even do in this situation?
Take pictures and video, right?

{Click here to watch the video.}

 I posted the picture on Twitter and the video on Instagram and then we set out to find another, drier and less hectic restaurant for dinner.

A few hours later requests for usage from local media began to trickle in.
You want to use my video on your 11:00pm broadcast? No problem. Here you go.
I did a phone interview with the Orlando Sentinel, exchanged emails with a few other local reporters, unplugged and went to sleep.

When I woke up the next morning, there were texts, tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram comments letting me know how rampantly the video and picture had spread.
Fox News, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, The Huffington Post, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, The Daily Mail.

I did a phone interview with Yahoo News and turned down a couple of on-camera interviews.
Friends from Brazil and Australia let me know that it had also made its way there.

My twitter account got 42,000 views last week.

Y’all that is just crazy!

Let me also insert here that I don’t think I did anything spectacular. The attention and congratulations from friends quickly got embarrassing. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and then I tweeted about it. It is so intriguing to me how media has been influenced by social media.

So tell me, has anything crazy ever happened to you on a vacation?

The Banana Tree

“…Holding on to our memories help us become deeper individuals with a better sense of who we are and how we choose to live our lives.” — Ron Clark

This weekend I passed a yard sale in the subdivision next to mine. I’m on the market for an entryway table and from a distance I saw that they had some furniture, so I decided to stop. They didn’t have any tables but they did have a rolling bar cart that caught my eye as well as a banana tree. 

My dad,who passed away a few years ago, always had a huge garden. It was his pride and joy.One summer on our annual beach trip he bought a banana tree and brought it home in the car with us. He nurtured that thing like a child. We lived in Tennessee so every winter he dug it up, potted it and gave it a new home in our den. Every spring he drug it outside and re-planted it, usually – much to my chagrin – demanding my assistance. He became the go-to person in our neighborhood for people who wanted their own banana trees.

I asked the yard sellers how much they wanted for their tree, thinking what a nice way that would be to honor my dad. When they said that $20, I was really close to telling them how my dad gave away dozens of banana offshoots for free over the years but I held my tongue and handed over the money. 

Once I paid for it, I discovered that neither the banana tree nor the cart would fit into my car. Not wanting to give up on either and not being offered any help from the sellers, I devised a solution: load the banana tree onto the top of the cart and push it to my house on foot. I had to go down a particularly busy street and it was pretty hot and the load was heavy but I endured, strengthened by the thought that my dad would have had such a nice laugh about that sight.

*This post was originally posted in August 2011 on my previous blog.*

Pursuit of Intentionality

A phrase has been floating around my head for a while.

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Be intentional. 
Not because I am so wonderful and pious
but exactly the opposite.
This phrase was born out of a season of falling short.
I will confess:
my default mode is laziness.
I waste a lot of time.
I love to do stuff and make things and spend time with people
but I also love television,
thinking about making things {Pinterest}
and sleeping late.
In my mind
laziness is essentially the equivalent of a lack of thankfulness.
If I was truly – I mean really truly – thankful
wouldn’t I spend more time utilizing my gifts and resources?
Thankfully grace abounds. 
I know that Jesus is more concerned with
what I can learn from past mistakes
and how all do things differently in the future
than he is interested in chastising me for past failures.
That’s his nature.
That truth is both totally reassuring and absolutely humbling.
So as I go forth in a pursuit of intentionality
-in my work, in my relationships, in my hobbies-
I trust that this will be me on the path to becoming my best self.
And that’s what we’re all called to, right?
Not a second rate version of someone else
but the very best me that I can be.

Circled on His Calendar

Here is another throwback post for you.
The following is a post from October 2011,
part of a series that I did called
“Seeking God Through the Struggle.”
That series was born out of a really difficult season
that I was going through in my personal life.
Reading it again brought tears to my eyes because
I am now on the other side of the struggle.
Just like I claimed {and hoped and prayed!},
He brought healing.
And I trust that He will do it
again and again
over and over in my life
and in yours.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
In the midst of a struggle it sometimes feels like the hurt will never end.
The enemy wants to do whatever he can to convince us that it’s true.
“This is forever. The hurt you feel today will be with you always. It will never go away.”
That is an all-out lie.
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever!
Psalm 130:11 – 12, New Living Translation
The NIV replaces the word mourning with wailing.
What powerful imagery;
tears of grief replaced by so much joy that you have to dance!
Recently my friend Jenilee sent me the following text:
Don’t worry Katie –
This season of life and pain WILL be over eventually –
God has the date circled on His calendar.
{Thank you, Jesus, for Godly friends who speak truth into my life!}
Okay so maybe God doesn’t have an actual fridge calendar but He does see the future!
He knows what is coming and He knows when this season will come to a close!
Recently, Bloom Again by Charlie Hall came on my Pandora.
I really appreciate and can relate to these lyrics.
Crying seems to hurt me
But it’s alright to cry
You have been so strong now
Your tears return to wine
And life seems so brittle
Landing upside down
It seems to make us fragile
And bares upon us now
Oh, the leaves are falling
Winter is now here
The spring is coming
And you can bloom again
The beauty of the ash of love
When you emerge
You are more beautiful
Bloom again
Some storms leave the beauty
Some storms leave the thorns
Compassion pours from heaven
Mercy every dawn
Somewhere in this whirlwind
Somewhere in this crowd
Hold up to His heartbeat
And push away the sounds
Oh, the leaves are falling
And winter is now here
The spring is coming
And you can bloom again
The beauty of the ash of love
When you emerge
You are more beautiful
And may be I should say your name
And may be I should say your name out loud
May be I should say your name
May be I should say your name out loud
The beauty of the ash of love
When I emerge
I am more beautiful
You will bloom again.

Trust Him; He’s bringing the healing.

When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.

Twelve years a slave.

I do want to bring over some posts from my former blog.
The following is a post from November 2011,
part of a series that I did called
“Seeking God Through the Struggle.”
That series was born out of a really difficult season
that I was going through in my personal life.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The Bible tells us three times about a woman.

{Matthew 9, Mark 5, and Luke 8}

We don’t know much about her but we do know that she was sick.

She had been bleeding for twelve years.

She was a social outcast.

Not only was she considered unclean

but so was anyone who touched her.

She couldn’t participate in rituals or worship in the temple.

On top of all that she was poor!

{Source: Leviticus 15: 25-27}

She had spent all of her money in search of healing.

She had been to so many doctors.

I’m sure that each time she heard about a new doctor

hope would spring up inside of her…

only to have her hopes smashed by her continued bleeding.

We aren’t told that she was in a lot of physical pain

but, let’s be honest, a period that lasts for 12 years?

I will go out on a limb and make the claim that she was in physical pain too.

Achy, tired, probably irritable.

All the time.

Without relief.

One day Jesus came to her town.

People jammed into the streets to catch a glimpse of him.

This woman was no exception.

She believed that Jesus was the Healer that they had been waiting for.

Not just a

“I’ve tried everything, I might as well try this.” belief.

Oh no.

She knew that if she could just touch the edge of his robe

then she could be healed!

And do you know –

He did heal her! As soon as she touched Him, she was healed.

But not “just” did He heal her but He knew her!

As soon as she touched Him, He knew it.

In the midst of so many people all pressed up against Him,

He knew her. 

Here’s where fear entered:

She was unclean and she had touched Jesus.

Her mind was probably spinning.

Would she be ridiculed?

Would she be thrown in jail?

No.

Jesus called her forward,

He called her daughter

and said that her faith had healed her.

Wow.

That that would be true of our faith.

That even though things seem hopeless…

even though we have exhausted every option…

even though we are alone and broke

that we trust Jesus to heal us

no matter what.

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

Matthew 21:22

Un Nouveau Départ

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I have always loved new years, clean slates, fresh starts, blank calendars, unblemished journals.

I’ve been blogging for over five years but I decided that it was time for a new venture so here we are.

My previous blog was also called Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Journey

but the meaning is totally different for me now.

Recently I have becoming hyper-aware of the fact that I am not taking enough risks

and I am wasting a lot of time.

So here’s to making the most of the time I’ve got

while I’ve got it.

 

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” 

-Helen Keller, The Open Door