All Things (K)New

© jb katke

Have you noticed the change?

No perhaps not. You have not been aware of the tan walls in my writing room, they are blue now.

The change makes me feel like the outdoors has entered in bringing fresh air inside. It renews the spirit, making me anticipate impactful words coming out of my keyboard.

Why can’t I feel that specialness every day? Each one is unique and cannot be repeated. No doubt, it is because of so much ordinary going on.

There is work to be done, schedules to keep, appointments made, and obligations. The list is endless. Too many ‘to-dos’ drown out the extraordinary moments. If you are like me, I make mental notes but then forget to remember them.

I have similar moments when in church. Not everyone would be in agreement with me. A relative once told me, “I can’t go to church when I see so many hypocrites there.”

Duly noted. But rather than point fingers, I see folks like me, that screw up from time-to-time. Bloopers happen.

Hypocrites are aware of their words and actions. Whereas a Jesus follower can forget their humanness. Letting poor company plant a bad seed in the mind, allowing it to ooze into the heart where it eventually spills out of the mouth. It benefits no one.

It happens to the best of us. That is why church-going is priceless. I need a reminder that Jesus sees me for who I really am. He knows I’m gonna screw up once in a while. That is the reason behind his death on a cross. To forgive.

It’s all about redeeming and making new. His forgiveness brings fresh air into a life. The spirit is renewed and feels energized to make each day count for something. The change happens inside, but is visible outside.

Balloon Daze

20200612_195001       © jb katke

Hot air balloons drift through my mind. Three of them floated over our home recently.

The thought of being carried by the wind, and the birds eye view, entice me. Maybe it’s the sheer size of them, or being so colorful. Whatever it is, I love them.

Whenever I see one anymore it reminds me of the time I pierced my sons’ eardrums. Poor Jamie. Several years ago we were chatting on the telephone. Having a cordless phone gave me the freedom to walk around the house.

I casually strolled into the office and opened the window blinds.

(Humor me. Hold both your hands close to your face, but not touching. Can’t see too much can you?)

When I opened those blinds all I could see were massive stripes.

“Oh my gosh!”

A hot air balloon landed in our front yard. It was a bit of a miracle because of the two large oak trees on both sides of the house. The balloon filled the entire gap.

If I hadn’t opened those blinds I would have missed the whole scene. And Jamie might have his full hearing today!

Blinds shield too much sun and offer privacy at night. Blinders on horses keep them from being distracted.

But what about the blinders we wear on a regular basis that keep us from seeing reality, the big picture? We may have less compassion for others and potentially lose an opportunity to make a difference in life.

If Edison hadn’t acknowledged the need for light, we would still be in the dark after sunset. If a person hadn’t wanted to cross a body of water, rafts and boats wouldn’t have come to be. Pioneers felt there must be a better way to travel, hence trains. You get the idea.

Need I even mention counselors and therapists to aid in both mental and physical capacities? Churches offer hope in hard times, plant seeds of trust and strengthen all the time. IF we approach them with an open heart.

Ugghhh…sounds too much like welcoming change! It is, for the better.




Happy New Year!



© of JB Katke


The New Year is upon us…ready or not

.As a rule I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.  Why set myself up for disappointment? Unless it’s reasonable. Like promising myself I absolutely will not eat artichoke heart or sushi. That I can pull off. It isn’t my intent to hurt anyone’s feelings if you like them. It’s just far be it from me to take your pleasure away.

I’m hoping this year will be different though. Recently my doctor has been casually mentioning some weight loss for me. Easy to say, hard to do. For me anyway. You may know the verse that says little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice? I am here to tell you years of that stuff turns into Velcro that adheres to waist and hips. I am living proof.

But it’s not just weight I’d like to change. There is exercise (that should actually be a four letter word). Stressing my body is not pleasurable. Some people like it which boggles my mind. Just thinking about it wears me out.

Writing too. Does that surprise you? While I have never been at a loss for words, writing doesn’t come naturally to me. Its work. Blogging exposes me and that’s not comfortable. I’m an introvert. Likewise being with a group of people wears me out as well. My husband doesn’t agree, just because I’m able to carry on a conversation.

All that being said, here’s what I’m hoping for in 2020. I’d like to see Jesus better. I’m well aware he is with me all the time. He knows what is going on in my life. But I feel a little like our relationship is lopsided. He blesses me, but do I give him enough credit?

Here’s my plan, and I expect you to hold me accountable. I feel the need to be quiet as I meditate on his presence more often. It takes time and discipline. But he has made himself known to me on several occasions and it was an amazing experience. I want more of that.

Seeing more clearly in 2020 is wordplay I know, but this might be well worth the effort.