Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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Adios, Atlanta

The time has come! Seven new wonderful friends and I are leaving for Nicaragua this weekend! If you missed my first post, click here to learn what this trip is all about and why I’m going. A big thank you to everyone who supported me financially and made this trip possible. We have worked hard to prepare a VBS curriculum for kids in the area as well as put together 120 hygiene kits for those kids (with a wash cloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, a comb, and cup). These, and so many things we take for granted having readily available will be a huge gift for the kids we come into contact with. We will also be helping with some home improvement projects in the area.

I’m so excited for this experience – personally and for us as a group – and prayers this week are appreciated (especially for no volcano eruptions or tropical storms 😉 ). I’ll do a post or two when I get back, but while we are there I will be keeping our trip blog up-to-date. Visit the site and follow it if you want daily updates and pics! Can’t wait to share stories and [lots of] pictures! Adios!

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Nicaragua

If you know me personally, you probably know that I have been lucky enough to have done several international service trips in the past 10 years to Guatemala (3 trips) and Haiti (1 trip). Those trips were unforgettable and gave me a chance to not only experience other cultures and grow personally, but to see first-hand both the struggles and strengths of other cultures and people.

Over the past few years, Buckhead Church (a campus of North Point Ministries) has become a very important place to me. I volunteer in the children’s ministry as well as on the Singles Volunteer Team. I have also built wonderful relationships through two different small groups over the years. And this year, I decided to apply for a Global X trip.

June 18-25 this year, I will join 12 others to Nicaragua to serve the people there. I am excited for the relationships that can come out of an experience like this, both within our group and abroad. I am also excited for what we, as a group, can do with the people of Nicaragua, both physically and relationally. We will work with HOI, a nondenominational, nonprofit Christian organization headquartered in Tucker, GA, in Finca el Peten, Nicaragua. Our team will have the opportunity to help with construction projects as well as work with children at VBS.

This trip cannot happen, however, without the support of you, my wonderful and supportive friends and family. I am asked to raise $2,250 and I am asking you for any support you can offer – $5, $20, $100 – no amount is too small or too large, and it’s tax deductible! If you cannot support me financially I totally understand, but do ask for your thoughts and prayers in preparing for this trip.
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Thank you in advance for your support (and for those have already donated) and I can’t wait to share my experience with you later this year!

If you would like to write a check, please contact me for details.

Peace and love,
Katy


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New Christmas Songs

Buckhead Church does some pretty great openers – some funny, all entertaining – and last weekend was no exception. They wrote some new Christmas songs to appeal to some new groups. It never hurts to mix things up a bit, right? There are 3 (not full songs) – and the last one is by far the best. Hope everyone is having a joyful, non-stressful holiday season!


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Volunteer

#10 on my 30 before 30 list (about 2 months to go on that…) is an important to me. I’ve always enjoyed volunteering and giving some time to the community/various organizations, but I’ve mostly just done random projects. Jumping in on Community Bucket events when I can and random events through church. I also organize service projects for my alumni chapter every 4-6 weeks with various organizations. But I wanted to focus on one thing to devote some regular time and challenge myself to commit. A weekly or even bi-weekly commitment is no joke. It may sound easy, but once you get started it can be a struggle to keep it up.

I’ll admit that my first attempt was a fail. Well, ok maybe ‘fail’ is a strong word, as I did commit regular time to the local Ronald McDonald House helping on a weeknight for a few months. But life got in the way and it was too easy to ‘take a break’. They are, by the way, a great organization to volunteer with – times are flexible, they have lots of different needs to help with (group and individual), and you can manage it all online. We still do group dinners throughout the year, but the individual commitment was harder to keep.

I was sitting in church one Sunday reading the bulletin and there was a blurb about the need for one-on-one buddies in the kids program. I had definitely been struggling with the desire to get more involved at church but knew that it would be a significant commitment. Sundays were for sleeping in a little later to attend the 11 o’clock service or driving back from a football weekend in Nashville or early bike rides before the paths were crowded. But it just felt like a great fit. I had been a one-on-one camp counselor and missed working with kids. I knew leading/teaching a whole group wasn’t necessarily my gift, but one-on-one with a kid within a group sounded pretty awesome. And I had no idea that was even an option!

So I emailed the director and a group of us showed up one morning to observe UpStreet and learn more about being a buddy. UpStreet is what many know as Sunday School, but SO much better. Although I was pretty involved in church growing up, Sunday School was nothing like UpStreet. It is so well run and fun. There are small groups for relationship building and deeper chats and large group for fun worship and lessons. So in November I started hanging out with a Kindergarten small group and have not regretted it since. It has been an amazing experience. These kids are funny and crazy and honest and sweet. I’m a one-on-one buddy but also get to know the other kids and can step in to help lead when needed. It’s the best deal possible! And we just moved up to first grade, so getting to watch these kids grow up, even in just one year is pretty cool! Now I can only hope to make a difference to even just one of these kiddos ha.

I’d say deciding to volunteer with UpStreet was the best decision of my past year and I’d encourage everyone to consider what your skills are and where you could be helpful in your own community – whatever you consider your ‘community’ to be – in your city/neighborhood, church, alumni group, or something you’re passionate about. You may just get more out of it than those you are helping/working with.

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New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating

I posted in the fall about Andy Stanley’s sermon series on Love, Sex, & Dating. Now, years after the sermon, there is a book! I mentioned Singles Series at Buckhead Church – the most recent being Dateable – and Andy was the speaker for Part 3. Andy kicked off 2015 with the release of the book version of The New Rules for Love, Sex, & Dating and was kind enough to give everyone (we’re talking 2,000+ people) a copy of the book at Singles Series!

The premise is the same as the sermon, with two main messages to keep in mind:

  1. meeting the “right” person will not make everything better or ok
  2. strive to become the person the person you’re looking for is looking for

 

Read #2 a few times. Read it slowly. Got it, now?

You can’t expect someone else to “fix” you or fix certain things in your life – just because there’s another person involved doesn’t mean those problems go away – and actually, adding another person in the mix will make it even more complicated. Andy gives a lot of examples. He gives good reasons for his suggestions and guidelines for relationships. And no, it’s never “because the Bible says so” or “because that what Christians do.” He gives logical, often psychologically-based reasoning and arguments on navigating relationships. And yes, sex is a big part of it – but not the only part of it. There are so many things that go into a successful relationship. And I’m not going to lie, the world of relationships and marriage is a little daunting when you have a 50% divorce rate breathing down your back.

But if you’re confident in who you are and who you’re looking for, then the person you are looking for will be the person who is looking for you and everyone will live happily ever after! Well, yes, that’s a little strong – and that’s my own digression, not Andy’s. It WAS funny to hear him, at Singles Series, praising online dating. If you’ve read my blog for a little while, you’ll know online dating hasn’t really been my cup of tea (parts 1, 2, or 3) – but I agree that if you’re going to have a list you might as well be able to see the other person’s list – it does take some guess work out of it.

Anyway – I could go down all kinds of rabbit holes with this topic, but I enjoyed the book. It did seem to get a little repetitive towards the end, but it’s not very long and it’s an easy read. If you’re single read it. Whether you’re a Christian or not I think you should read it. At least hear what he has to say and consider it. Enjoy!

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Let’s All Be Brave

We recently had Singles Series at Buckhead Church and they invited Annie Downs to speak. She was energetic, hilarious, and very well-spoken. The series was called Dateable and I highly recommend watching all 3 parts (Annie’s is Part 2). Annie’s talk focused on living life well – living for today – not living your life waiting on certain things to happen and watching other things pass you by.

I enjoyed her talk so much I ordered her book the next day: Let’s All be Brave. Living Life with Everything you Have and finished it in about a week. I have a confession: part of the reason I fell in love with this book and feel such a connection to this woman is what we have in common. We both grew up in metro-Atlanta and we both lived part of our lives in Nashville – I moved there to attend Vanderbilt and stayed 4 additional years and Annie currently lives there. She constantly talks about Nashville: the coffee shops where she wrote chapters, her favorite restaurants, the Vanderbilt baseball players she knows by volunteering with college students at a local church. We also have very similar tastes in music, including a number of Nashville artists. But apart from our “connection”, I enjoyed the message of her book and she is a strong, inspiring woman.

Annie’s book is made up of stories of her life, and the lives of others in her life, when they have learned to be brave – and being brave looks different for different people in different situations. Sometimes it’s brave to say yes. Sometimes it’s brave to say no. And it’s always brave to take the path that God has laid out for you, whether it’s what you expected/wanted or not. You may not always choose the right path, but that’s ok – no one gets it right every time. For me, being brave right now simply looks like living each day to the fullest, loving those around me, and not worrying about the future. I am focusing on each day and the joys that each one brings. I know, I know – corny times ten – but it really is crazy how much better I feel when I just focus on the things that make me happy and enjoy life. Duh – right? But I tend to get anxious about the future and that’s just silly because it’s completely out of my control.

I highly recommend this book. If you’re single, in a relationship, or married. If you’re lost in life or feel like you’re in the exact right place. If you’re hoping for something or you’re content. Wherever you are, you can probably take something away from this book that will help you live a more courageous life and live life to the fullest.

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Love, Sex, & Dating

When I moved to Atlanta and asked people for church recommendations I heard one answer over and over: Buckhead Church. I started attending 2 years ago and may never leave. Andy Stanley is a great speaker – he preaches on a level that you can understand, can relate to, and get something out of (at least most the time; you’re unrealistic if you expect to get life-changing information out of every single message).

And just like people kept telling me to go to Buckhead Church, I have continuously heard people mention and talk about Andy’s Love, Sex, & Dating series. I finally watched it recently and now understand why people latch onto this series. The fact that Andy would do a series focusing on such a specific population of the church – singles and non-married people – simply shows how important he believes it is. He talks about the things a lot of people, especially churches, don’t want to talk about.

Here’s my challenge to you: watch the whole series. If you’re a Christian or not: watch the whole series. If you’re a male or female: watch the whole series. If you’re not dating right now: watch the whole series. If you aren’t ready to get married but even think you might want to some day: watch the whole series. If you start it and are hating it: finish the whole series. I bet you can take away at least one piece of useful information or that you’ll hear something that will at least make you think.

Buckhead Church series

Buckhead Church series