Karen Stott » | Sharing my mess, my hope & my journey cultivating an Intentional Home

God is such a creative God.  He

God is such a creative God. He’s so big. And infinite. And worthy. And He’s showing me right now what it means to ASK. To SEEK. And to believe for big things. Honestly, I’m not really comfortable in that space. I’m much more comfortable in the small and mundane. I can believe God there. Nothing huge. Nothing stretching. Just small faith. And if I’m bare bones honest… Sometimes even small faith is hard for me in these last few years. But all that seems to be changing. Not that my faith is better than it was before, but that God is pressing me to believe bigger things. And that is scary. I don’t know how I feel about it really. I know He’s a God of big things. But these past few years have taken a toll on my faith. And in the end.. It’s been really hard for me to believe that He will answer big things for ME. I can believe for others… But Me is an entirely different story. *Today two verses keep ringing in my head. Ask and it shall be given unto you…and Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can asks or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. And they are challenging the icky doubting parts of my core. They are truth. And I am wrestling with them still. God is speaking to my heart about a REALLY big dream. A modern day Red Sea in my head. But to Him… It’s as simple as turning His ear and pointing His finger. If He wants it done.. It WILL be done. And today I find myself saying … Lord. “I do believe, but help me to overcome my unbelief.” Praying that He opens doors He wants open. And closes ones He wants shut. And that He gives us the discernment and wisdom to navigate them all. And praying the same for you today as well.

"And don

“And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is Gods place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there.”1 Corinthians 7:17 | message

This. Right here. This scripture is rolling around in my gut like a freight train. As a dreamer and visionary I have so much trouble with the right now. It feels like an anchor to my wings as I just want to take off and chase every dream that dances through my heart. Yet God works here. He’s in all the things. All the moments. All the day in day out choices I am making as I try and steward this season with every breath.

 

He knows that whatever is coming needs the footing that I am laying today. That every victory and every defeat and every triumph and broken heart forms a firm brick that will someday be the foundation to my story and support to my feet. He knows that what He’s wanting to unlock needs the relationships, the prayers, the quiet, and the fight of today to pave the way in my heart.

And so tonight I rest. I rest in knowing He’s got this. And that I am where I am with the people I’m with right now for a divine adventure. And my savior is reaching out His hand whispering…

Stop looking all around you… Stop wanting everything else… Just look to me… Come with me… Let’s run together… I have immeasurably more than all you can ask or imagine. Take my hand.

As the mom of a pre-teen girl I’m always on the lookout for encouraging and uplifting tools that can draw her heart to her creator.  The beauty of believing does just that.  In elementary language and relatable stories, the authors at faithGirlz did an incredible job of captivating the hearts of young ladies.  I gave this to my daughter a few weeks ago and was surprised when she brought it to me today and had read every single day since she got it.  Now that says something!  Thank you faithGirlz for giving my daughter something to get her in God’s word every day and prompting her to ponder His ways and how He helps her in the everyday.  It’s an answered prayer!

Here are my daughters thoughts which I think speak way more than mine…

When you read this devotional it feels like God is speaking to you in a special way.

I like that when they try to explain something to you  the make up little stories so you can understand what there trying to say.

Everything you read about in this devotional is about the hard times you are going through and how God can help through those hard times.

I think this devotional helps through any situation.

I like this devotional allot. I recommend this devotional to all girls 8 and older.

I hope you love this devotional as much as I do.

Ava – Age 9

So…. I may have covered the table in white wrapping paper so we can write some fun things next to everyone’s place settings. Only rule…. Dont peek under your own turkey … But then go around the table and write 3 things you’re thankful for about each person under their name. Plus there is now a jar full of markers in the middle of the table in case we feel doodley. I think tonight is going to be extra fun. Happy Thanksgiving friends!

This girl. This story. Wow.  I didn

As you may know I’ve been doing a bit more reading and I’m thoroughly enjoying myself.  I’m committed to read at least one but hopefully two books a month and I’m doing pretty good to stay on track.  My November book was Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet by Sara Hagerty and I loved it SO much I just had to tell you all about it.

This girl. This story. Wow. I didn’t know much of Sara’s story except that she was a friend of a friend.  So I ordered the book and dove in. It didn’t take long for the tears to come and for me to feel God drawing me in. Intertwining unexpected bits of my story with hers. In all the best ways. And I knew God was whispering to my heart. See, it’s worth it. I’ve got you. I’m in the waiting too.

Although our struggles stemmed from different sources, I felt a familiarity in the pain.  Waiting is hard.  No matter what it’s for.  When God promises something… or you feel like He’s calling you in a direction, the natural bend is for instant fulfillment.  Especially in our current society.   It’s natural to feel like it should just all happen A-Z just like you have mapped out in your pretty imagination. Right?  But that’s not how it works.  God’s stories aren’t our stories, and Sara helps us navigate between the present and the promises by sharing pages from hers.  She invites us into her darkness, to sit with her, feel with her, and then gently guides us back to seeing God’s masterpiece being woven through it all.  And how His glory can shine even brighter from the darkness.

This book has brought me a renewed sense of hope that I desperately needed in this time and even though I don’t know Sara personally.  I felt less alone after reading her words.  And if you’ve ever been in a dark, lonely, waiting season, there’s no better medicine than feeling like someone else out there understands.

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Today I decided that it was time to stop letting dreams silently die in my heart.  Today is my day to go on record.  There are things that have been bottled up inside my soul for longer than I can even remember.  Things that you see or think or feel when you are 8… 12… 18… 33… and they don’t go away.  They just keep circling.  It’s almost as if they are beautiful fireflies dancing around your head just waiting for you to catch them.  And they won’t go away until you hold them close, and place them in a jar for their light to shine brighter.

So I’m owning it today.  And for a brief moment in time I’m going against the very nature of what women were created to do… confuse things.  If that comment offends you.. go somewhere else.  Because let’s face it.  Women are confusing.   And I am one of them.. and so are you.. so let’s just praise the Lord.. right arm…left arm…

Anyway… Today I’m getting it out there.  In black and white.  Where there is no guessing my meaning.  There is no room for guessing or doubt or misinterpretation.  Because here it is.  Tried and true.  Plain as day.  My heart….

And ultimately my Prayer….

God please work.  Please move.  Please complete the good work you have started in our family.  Please don’t delay… let everything here be my prayer to you.  And change my heart if these don’t line up with your will.   Move Jesus.  Please.  My heart is heavy and needs you to move… 

I am a dreamer. A builder.  A connector of hearts for what is true.  I adore village living.  Where everyone is in everyone’s business and we all take on the roles of helping raise each others kids.  In a non creepy definitely not polygamy way of course.   I live for family dinners… rooms full of people and farm to table dining.  I dream of patio lights… large gardens… chickens at my feet and hanging laundry on a line in the sun.  I have already decorated an old barn in my head as a meeting space and we gather there often for music or dancing or painting or paint ball for that matter.  We live.  Fully alive… for a cause greater than ourselves.  We believe in cultivating the individual gifts of our children and not forcing them to conform to our preconceived notions of who they are and what they are supposed to do.  We yield it to God and trust that He will build them up in HIS.  PERFECT.  WAY.

Outside there is a shell of a house with no walls or ceiling but under it streams an endless farm table with seating for 40.  And chandeliers hang from it and light the way for laughing and dreaming and crying and community.  Real community.  The kind that doesn’t run when mess happens but joins together stronger.. and tighter.   The oak trees adoring the property make it their purpose to support the greatest tree house known to man and the white columned porch faces the west overlooking the water.  We make it a habit to pause long enough to sit there and oftentimes our friends do too… even if we don’t know they are there.  Because our home is theirs.  And we love it that way.

Somewhere on the property there is a guest house.  For people like us.  Who’ve experienced trauma in some way and are just trying to find their way again.  People who’ve been lied to and hurt and betrayed and are just trying to find who God really is again.  The God beneath all of the lies people have said about Him.  Who need quiet… and love… and family to give their legs the strength to hold them up again.

And maybe they come for a weekend or maybe a few months.. but we can love on them… and stand by them…. and basically be to them what we’ve needed someone else to be for us these past few years.  Because I truly believe that our pain is our ministry.  And our cries teach us how to respond to the cries of others.   And when you realize that you’ve lived in a religious cult for 6 years the pain and confusion is paralyzing… when you’re finally out and you can look back and see beyond the fog the feelings of isolation sting like frostbite.  And sometimes you wonder if things will ever, ever feel normal again.  If joy will ever be something you can feel in your bones again.  And it is.  With time.  And love… and over the top doses of both.   And I want our family to be that for someone.

I dream of worship nights and coffee shops and a space for us to work alongside each other pressing us further into God.. and deeper into the gifts He’s woven into our souls.  I dream of a great tapestry of what “the body of Christ” truly means in the everyday nothings that make up our lives.

There will be chickens.. and goats.. and an English Mastiff named James.  Because that seems dignified and strong.  And it’s my favorite book in the Bible.

We will smile again.

And laugh.

And maybe dance in the kitchen for reals.  Not just to bandaid the heartache for as long as Taylor can shake it off.

And we will hold hands.

And we will feel the goosies in our whole body when we kiss.

And we will feel Alive.

And Free.

And Purposeful.

And at Peace…

 

Please Jesus… show up today.  Tomorrow… and every day after.  Move in our lives.  Move in my heart.  And if these fireflies swirling around my head aren’t your dreams for my life.  Change my heart.  Clean it.  Heal it.  “Heal my heart and make it clean.  Open up my eyes to the things unseen.  Show me how to love like you have loved me.  Break my heart for what breaks yours…. everything I am for your Kingdoms cause.  As I walk from earth into eternity.”

 

If you, like me, have things swirling in your head.  Dreams you don’t want to say outloud but won’t go away.  If you’ve been unclear… or people keep asking you what you really want… give yourself this gift.  And today… Go. On. Record.  Make a mark in the sand that today you are believing for these things.  That you know God has put things on your heart on purpose.  For a purpose.  And most likely they are greater than you.  But today.. you are going to own it.  And believe for it.  And pray for it.  And watch God move.  And in one year…. let’s all agree to come back and visit this post.. and see what God has done.

If you want to join me in this…. post your blog link below.. or share your thoughts/post on Instagram and hashtag #goonrecord Let’s commit to pray for each other.. and our hearts.. and our God dreams… and be the body of Christ for each other.

xoxox,

Karen



  • Kristin Ungerecht - You. Love you and your heart. And this dream of yours. I believe He will answer your prayer, friend. Powerfully and wildly and beyond what you’re asking or imagining. Because that’s what He does. Cheering for you and so thankful you’re willing to share your heart like this! <3

  • Melissa Pepin - gosh…this….THIS. You have described a portion of Heaven Karen Stott. You have described a place of healing and hope and love and family and community…and it made my heart race just seeing the words on paper. A land of no pretensions and expectations put on each other by the world and people who do NOT have our best interest in mind/heart. A world where love and prosperity rest in helping one another know that Jesus brings grace and patience and peace…and we have that in Him. A world that is filled to the brim with soft melodies, warm sunny days, and sweet tea. A really beautiful, happy, amazing place…and I pray Come Jesus Come…and I know He will deliver this place to you. <3

  • Erin Westermeyer - I seriously love this. I was tearing up at the thought of your precious dreams. And nodding along and saying, yes, I GET it. Oh, so many good things in store for you. Beyond belief. Thanks for being so real and transparent. <3

  • Amber Housley - you are so wonderful. I can’t wait to see you next week. hugs! xo

  • Lindsay Shugerman - Somehow, a woman I never met and hadn’t even heard of until I followed a series of links on Instagram (starting from Royers in Round Top, TX) just described my lifetime dream almost word for word. I am stunned. And delighted! And inspired. I am not the only one! What a gift you just gave me but reminding of that! Thank you ♥

"In my mind I

“In my mind I’m going to Carolina.”

 

I grew up with a crazy mix of James Taylor, Elvis Presley and Randy Travis… but lately this song keeps swirling around in my head.  And it feels like home.  I don’t exactly know what that means but my heart has been circling about it.  And praying lots.

I keep coming back to this truth.  God has made me to love on people with my home and how we do this thing called family. It’s in my bones.  And when my home is filled with smiling faces.. or crying ones.. my heart is happy and my soul is at peace.   In my heart of hearts that picture in my head includes a white columned porch like this one. I’ve dreamed of it for as long as I can remember…. and they don’t make white columned homes where I’m from.  So in my opinion that has to be divine inspiration.

This is what I saw when I began the intentional home project a few months back and I can’t wait to see what God does with this seed thought He’s placed inside. This one is still underground. Getting the nutrition and strength it needs to break the surface, but I know it’s there. For a reason. And God will bring it forth in His perfect time. Thankful for sweet friends that remind me to hang in there. And who send me amazing encouraging voxers telling me to keep walking because Gods not finished with our story. And He’s not finished with yours either.

So here’s to big dreams.  White columns.  And not giving up.

I can’t wait to come back and read this post a year from now and see what God does.