My Top 3 Budgeting Tips

Has budgeting never worked for you?

It never worked for me.

It felt like I was in handcuffs, and unable to enjoy life as I was living it.

I’m not one of those people that wants to scrimp my pennies away until retirement . . . I want to live big now, enjoy life now, and schedule mini retirements and experiences into my life while I’m still healthy enough to enjoy them!

So, Elisha’s and my main goal has been growing our income, instead of saving our income.

Until now.

With budgeting, you can have your cake and eat it too!

We just needed a couple of perspecive shifts and ONE really awesome tool. Ready?

Saying “No” to Something is Saying “Yes” to Something Better

When you say “no” to that coffee, that $5 pizza for easy dinner, that extra tank top at Target, you’ve gotta be saying “yes” to something that makes it worth it!

Budgeting isn’t going to work if all you are doing is going around like a monk denying yourself any worldly pleasure.

DON’T say, “no, no, no.” Say “yes” to that family ski vacation! Say “yes” to that $500 spa in Maui (Elisha’s and my personal weakness). Shout “yes!” to an extravagant anniversary this year!

The little dollars flow through our hands so easily, but they stack up! Those little, tiny, dollars turn into big memories and experiences that you say, “no” to by NOT being on a budget.

By reigning in our spending on groceries, coffee, eating out, and extra trivial expenses for only a couple months, Elisha and I have said yes to a 17 day vacation in Southern California this January!

Make your “Yes” something that makes it easy to say “no.”

When We Don’t Budget, We Don’t Get The Full Joy of Spending

Think budgeting takes the fun out of spending? Think again.

A LOT is possible on a little income if we siphon the full joy of spending every dollar.

That new car, the fun vacations, the bigger house . . . they are the result of $5 here and $2 there being tucked away.

Or, we can spend thoughtlessly on a $4.47 freezer meal, a $15 trip to Panda Express, or a extra gadget that is going to collect dust.

We don’t register optimal joy from spending, when we don’t even register we are spending.

Having a place for every dollar, makes every dollar so much more meaningful! 

Do Not Budget Monthly 

Okay, here’s the tip I promised you. It’s simple, but will turn your budgeting life upside down!

When Elisha and I budgeted monthly, we’d use up our “eating out money” the first week and a half! After all, it was in the budget! Then, on our road trip to his parents’ later that month, we had to go over budget because I HAD TO EAT at Chipotle . . . or dinner burned . . . or we were already over budget anyway . . .

Same with groceries.

I’d spend $180 my first week of the month, only to discover I somehow ran out of groceries  a week and a half from the end of the month!

Whoops. Guess I was overspending again.

Enter: Budgeting Weekly 

This will change your budgeting life, or I don’t know what will.

Take your current monthly grocery budget, (say ours is $300) and divide it by Four. That is your new weekly budget!

Now, when I go to the grocery store, I only have $75 to spend that week. But if we run out of eggs, who cares? There’s only two days left of the week anyways!

Same with eating out. We can wait a couple days to eat out again. It’s much harder to wait for weeks at a time!

You can do without anything for a couple days . . .

I now love budgeting, and hope that you’ll love it too!

What are some of your favorite budgeting tips?

 

My Quick, Easy Meal Planning Method

Here’s the deal. I’ve tried meal planning . . . a lot. A lot of different methods, a lot of different ways, and you know what? They were all-consuming, complicated, and I never stuck with them for more than a day. It felt like a full-time job!!!

Until now.

Some of the big reasons this whole meal planning thing works is it:

  • Eliminates Waste
  • Saves Time
  • Saves Money
  • Keeps you from asking the question, “what do I want to eat tonight?” when you’re already starving
  • Simplifies Your life

This keeps me from letting zucchini and two tupperware of mysterious leftovers rot in the fridge because I forgot they existed. It keeps me from doubling up on parmesan cheese at the grocery store and forgetting mozzarella. It keeps me from slaughtering my food budget by running to the store half way into dinner because somehow we don’t have $20 worth of ingredients, and it’s really good at helping me remember to thaw out meat the night before so I’m not blow drying it in the afternoon. (I’ve never actually tried blowdrying my meat . . . but it sounds like it might work).

It’s super hard for me to stick to any kind of plan, so if this works for me, I’m sure you’ll kill it.

Here’s my FOUR EASY steps to meal planning for the week WHILE maintaining flexibility.

1. Write Down What Your Week Looks Like

Not the whole week, just your evenings.

For instance, if basketball practice at 5:30, you aren’t going to want your kids eating a la’ gourmet in the back of your mini van. When Elisha and I lead our weekly conference call for our business builders, I know I’m going to want to make something filling and quick. If friends are coming over for dinner, I know to not plan Fettucini because they’re allergic to dairy and gluten, and goodness knows I’m not even planning dinner Friday night because I’m going on a hot date . . .  catch my drift?

This is a BIGGIE.

Thirty seconds of jotting down your week sets you up for big time success.

2.  Write Down What You Need To Use That Week From Your Fridge, Freezer, and Pantry

Notice I said, “write down.”

This is an easy step to skip, but it’s crucial if you want to keep food from going bad. It also gets you creative with meal-ideas! Win-Win.

Case in point: This week I had Greek Pitas, Feta cheese, Spaghetti Sauce, Arugula, and Potatoes that were all going to spoil within the next 7 days. I rarely cook with these ingredients . . . and meals including them would be far from my mind. 

3. Brainstorm Meals

Now that you have your guidelines for planning your meals, brainstorm meal ideas! I write down whatever sounds good, easy, etc.

Then, I go on www.allrecipes.com if I need to use a certain ingredient and don’t have a recipe I like. Just type, “swiss cheese” in the search bar, and tons of recipes containing swiss cheese will come up!

Life saver. 

Here’s an example of my meal planning sheet and grocery list.
Writing down what’s in my fridge, and my meal brainstorming! 🙂

4. Pair Meals with Dates

Almost done!! Now, pair your meal ideas with the dates that work best. (I schedule lunches and dinners because Elisha is home for both. If he wasn’t, I’d only schedule dinners, and make Tuna, or bean burritos every day. 😉 

For example, I always put my most time-consuming meals on Monday night, because cooking still sounds fun on Monday. I shop Monday morning, so I schedule an easy lunch. 

We go to two potluck’s on Sunday, so I grab a pizza for those, or schedule leftovers. (Yes! It’s a great idea to schedule a couple left-over meals into your week!) On Saturday, I’m usually sick of cooking, so I’ll schedule a crock pot roast. I also check to make sure we aren’t having pasta two nights in a row, etc. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I go through my week, I mark down items I run out of in the lower box. 🙂

 

I like to add my grocery budget amount so I don’t forget!

Weekly Meal Planning PDF’S 

 

I write down my shopping list as I go, and the day after I meal plan, Sunday Night, I go shopping. 

Here’s the cool part. You now have 10+ meals that you have ALL the ingredients for, and you can make on the spot!!! You can be flexible! I never have had a week yet where we stuck to the exact plan.

If we have left-overs on Tuesday instead of Wednesday, I now have Wednesday’s lunch I can prep whenever it sounds good. 🙂 I mix and match all the time, but now:

I have no waste!

I only shop once a week! (Total win if you budget.) 

I never have to think of what to make. (The hardest part for me.) 

I have a creative rotation of meals. 

The list goes on. 

And seriously, it only takes me 15-20 minutes every Sunday night!

I included the printable PDF’s I made to keep myself organized. I like to tape them in a cupboard in my kitchen, or on the fridge. 🙂 

Feel free to download and print!

The Kathryn Joy

If You Don’t Want Brokenness, Why Are You Watching “The Bachelor?”

I am going to admit something deeply embarrassing I have only admitted to my husband. 

I have watched hours of The Bachelor. 

Now, depending who you are, you might be thinking, “Good grief, Katie. Are you kidding me?” Or you may be thinking, “So . . . what’s the big deal,” and I’m going to answer you both. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I first became aware of The Bachelor’s existence two years ago, during a particularly low point in Elisha’s and my dating relationship. We were long-distance, a month out from marriage, and both feeling acutely unfulfilled and detached. Like every girl, I craved romance, and it seemed like we were discussing one disagreement after another.

For a bit of perspective, I’ve never had a TV in the home, and although I knew reality TV existed, I knew very little of it. At 21 years old, I suddenly woke up to the fact that “The Bachelor,” “Lauren and Ben,” and “Jojo” conflict was plastered everywhere I turned. 

My curiosity was peaked, and I YouTubed searched, “who did Ben end up with?” 

This led me to watching clips from the last scene. And I HAD to know why they heck Jojo though SHE was the one. 

The more clips I watched, the more concerned I became that this was not what I should be watching. But curiosity has done more than kill a cat, and one rabbit trail led to another. Hours later, my YouTube trail led me to the fantasy suits, and that’s where I drew the line. 

Girls. I’m like you.

I love a good romance, fancy dresses, and a twisty plot . . . more than anything, it KILLS me to not know what is going on (why I now do not start any form of “show.” I’ll be clicking on “next episode” faster than the button can pop up).

BUT . . . 

I’m also like you, in that, soap opera dramas–glorifying sin and neutralizing our consciences:

Slowly hurt our relationships,

Inhibit our relationship with our Creator, 

Cripple our judgement,

And fill our minds with the World.

I’m saddened to see women I know and love closely following the current Bachelorette. Not because I don’t understand WHY.

Truth**(Even though I’m disgusted by the show, I had to ask Elisha to lock down my instagram and youtube so I could purge from that overwhelming curiosity of who was the next bachelorette, and who she picked, and, and, and . . .) 

I’m not judging. 

I’m challenging. 

Do you want a relationship built on the fragile threads of lust, sex, and physical attraction? Do you want the short-lived results of this show in your current relationship? Do you want to preserve (or reclaim) physical intimacy for your spouse and him alone? Or do you want to treat what God created as pure, and Holy, and precious, as a cheap base pleasure equated to “test-driving a car.” 

We are a product of how we fill our minds.

Now, am I saying if you watch The Bachelor you have a “less-than” relationship? Of course not. I know there are fantastic marriages out there that watch these shows together. I’m also not saying if you don’t watch this show your relationship will automatically be a bed of roses. (See what I did there?)

I just know little decisions can have big implications. And Christ lays some pretty strong advice out in the scripture.

God’s word says to take, “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” He says to focus on what is, “true, honest, just, PURE, LOVELY, of good report, full of VIRTUE and PRAISE.”

   There is no excuse for glorifying sin. There is no excuse for watching sin be glorified.

After my Bachelor benge, I felt insecure around Elisha. I felt I needed new make-up, extensions, tanner skin. I felt I needed to show more of my “assets” and be more flirtatious. 

I didn’t spend much time in the Word, because I was looking up articles on “after the final rose” before I went to bed. 

I became dissatisfied with my current relationship. It wasn’t kisses in airplanes, and giggles on the beach. It was, “why don’t you agree with me about ____?” and “I’m sorry you felt disrespected when I said ____.” 

Here’s the ironic part! What makes for a lasting marriage with kisses in airplanes and giggles on the beach? 

The hard conversations. 

The disagreements and resolutions.

The fun, the friendship, the forgiveness. 

NOT the sex before vows, the scandals that make headlines, or the kisses before the ring. 

We don’t need a boob job, a sunset in Fuji, or 20 other girls fighting for the same man to have romance in our lives. 

If we want passion in purity, peace, security, and a long-lasting marriage, let’s not fill our minds with brokenness, sin, insecurity, and short-lived relationships. 

Christ calls us to be holy. So let us dwell on holiness.

Learning with you,
The Kathryn Joy

An Open Letter To The Girl Who Is Too Scared To Write

Dear Girl who is too scared to write,

You may be glowing with confidence, or you may be openly shy, but regardless, I know what you fear.
You fear when you put your thoughts and words to paper, hoping to encourage, hoping to bless,
Fellow women, will shake their heads at your pride, your insolence, your insensitivity. 
When you tell of your struggles, your triumphs, some will whisper you try to make yourself look perfect. 
When you bare your heart, tears dripping onto your keyboard, some you still offend. 
Your attempts at humor, will be misunderstood. 
Your attempts at authenticity dismissed as making yourself look better than you are. 
Your photos on media called misrepresentations.
This is the truth. 
Part of the truth. 
Some will read and delight in your openness, your freedom. 
Some will relate with your struggles and allow their own burdens to lift.
Many will understand, and be blessed, at your attempts to bless and be understood. 
Some women will never be the same because you chose to write.
You will hear rumors that some read a different meaning into your words,
But that is not enough to stop your heart from caring and your eyes from seeing.
Sometimes you won’t be able to explain your intentions–apologize for your clumsiness. 
Reiterate what you tried to say.
But that fear shouldn’t stop you from taking the risk.
The truth is, anytime someone takes action they accidentally make some disagree. 
Such is life.
You try to please the masses, but the select will scorn at your surfacey message.
You open the depths of your heart, but risk your audience nervously retreating, or boldly attacking the raw, the real, the story you didn’t think could possibly have any outcome but peace. 
Your words matter. 
Your words will change lives and impact souls. 
Be brave and write, dear girl. The world, however daunting, should hear what you have to say.
Don’t do away with sensitivity and tact and graciousness,
But know the reader’s understanding is colored by the glasses through which they read.
You can never hope to anticipate every pain-point, every childhood sensitivity, every emotional trigger.
So write in love.
And accept that the disagreeing few, are worth the joy of many.

~ From a Fellow Girl, Who Has Been Too Scared To Write  

The Birth Story: From the Father’s Perspective

Katie and I had just started with our practical preparation for the arrival of our first child.

We were less than 3 weeks away from our due-date. Katie cleaned and organized our spare bedroom on Monday, cleaned the bathrooms on Tuesday, and organized the kitchen on Wednesday. We had plans to shop for supplies on Thursday and Friday. 

We should have done the shopping on Wednesday. 

Our friends, Brook and Kent, were kind enough to bring us dinner on Wednesday night. We ate late, then stayed up even later having great conversations with them. Katie and I were both exhausted when we finally hit the pillows around 11:45. I had been reading for about 15 minutes when Katie jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom. She called me in to inform me that her water just broke. I wanted to believe her, but thought for sure she was mistaken because we hadn’t even done our supply shopping yet.

She wasn’t mistaken. Her water had indeed broken.

Game on. 

Although I had never been present for any other birth in the history of my life, I responded like a seasoned veteran. Poised and confident. Naive and fearless. Unassuming and innocent…

Katie wasn’t having any contractions so we decided to get some sleep. While I slept, Katie started to have contractions. According to Katie the contractions were mild and manageable for the first 4 hours.

That’s what I would have said, too. Mild and manageable.

At 5 A.M. the contractions increased in intensity and frequency. I can attest to this. They were so dramatic they even woke me up. I quickly arose from my slumber and sent a quick text to our mid-wife  to let her know that Katie was well underway in her labor. She asked if we wanted her there ASAP. I asked her to wait for a couple of hours because I didn’t want her to infringe upon one of the last dates Katie and I would be having for a while. 

Things were just starting to heat up. 

The mid-wife, along with her assistant, arrived at 7AM. They checked Katie’s dilation to find that she was at a 7.5.

That number meant nothing to me. Was it a scale of 1-100? Was the number supposed to get smaller like a count-down to lift-off? Was this number a reflection of my performance as a husband? I didn’t ask. I had gotten this far in life living by the term “fake it ’til you make it” and I wasn’t about to change. 

About the time the midwives showed up, Katie began to experience dramatic agony. The midwives seemed to disappear as soon as they showed up. They later told me that I was doing such a good job as Katie’s coach and support that they didn’t want to disrupt our rhythm. I was flattered by the comment but made it clear that I did not hire them to serve me with flattering speech. (But it was nice, and our midwives were awesome.)

The next two hours were intense.

Katie went from sweating like a pig to shivering like a shiverer every 3 minutes. She was a champ. She resisted the urge to fight her contractions. She let her body do what it was created to do in this scenario. She stayed relaxed even though she was experiencing greater pain than ever before.

Then my world got wacky. 

It was almost 9AM.

Katie called for the midwife and said she felt like the baby was pounding on the door. In reality our baby was about to blow a hole through the door. I refer to it as “the door” so as to make this story appropriate for all ages. I know what it’s really called. 

Katie leaned back on the bed. I didn’t want to look but I knew I needed to. I saw my baby’s head!

“Oh my word!” I exclaimed. “It’s coming, Katie!” 

Katie pushed.

But not for long. I saw the whole head come out and turned quickly to tell Katie the news. As soon as I was able to turn back, the entire human body of our child had slid through the door like a wet fish. I broke down crying. Katie was sobbing tears of joy. The angelic and ever so helpful midwife skillfully placed our child on Katie’s breast. It wasn’t until a stream of urine was seen shooting straight up into the air that I realized the gender.

WE HAD A BOY!!! Leon Tucker Voetberg.

Katie and I laid there in compete bliss. This was indeed the best date ever!

 

Elisha Peter Voetberg 

5 Things I Learned Being Pregnant

It seems like just yesterday I was blinking my eyes rapidly and hyperventilating at the glowing digital “yes” staring back at me. Yet, here I am, 8 1/2 months pregnant, strangely attached to the bowling ball bump that makes it difficult to bend over without passing out. Nothing seems more natural than getting little kicks and jabs in what used to be my quiet stomach, and each new change doesn’t surprise me anymore.

Although I personally witnessed my mother being pregnant 10 times, it seemed like everything was new territory when I began my own journey to motherhood. Here’s five things I learned being pregnant.

1. Morning Sickness is a Joke

I don’t know who came up with term “morning” sickness, but they were a true optimist. For me, sickness was strongest whenever I was tired, which was often all day during my first trimester.

(I didn’t figure this out until around 12 weeks, and kept trying to live like I wasn’t using all my energy to create a life).

If nothing was staying down, lemonade and Taco Bell bean burritos were my best bet. Sorry, child.

2. People Will Comment A LOT on Your Body

“You’ve changed so much.”

“You don’t look pregnant from behind.”

“How much weight have you gained?”

“You don’t look fat . . . you just look husky.” (From a particularly good friend.)

More than ever, people are going to be giving their opinion on your changing body. You’ll find nothing is off limits. I didn’t mind at all . . . because obviously it was on the forefront of my mind! However, be forewarned. For some reason your pregnancy makes people comfortable sharing the weirdest TMI about their own bodies and births.

When someone told me I looked good, it meant more than I ever thought it could. Even if they were lying. I didn’t care.

The best time to lie is telling a pregnant lady she looks good.

3. You May Have a WAY Different Experience Than Your Mother

I assumed I would get varicose veins because my mother and both grandmothers struggled with them. However, I didn’t worry at all about stretch marks, because, after all, they’re mainly genetic, right?

Mother’s skin is flawless.

Well, while I still don’t have any purple veins streaking up my legs, I do have scars resembling claw marks on my body.

My mother didn’t throw up during pregnancy . . . I lost 10 pounds my first trimester from lack of “food retention.” Mother had trouble sleeping . . . I’m two weeks from D-day and still sleep like a rock. While our pregnancies do have some similarities, my pregnancy has not been just like my Mother’s.

Just know, you don’t know, until you experience pregnancy for yourself.

4. A Supportive Husband Is Underrated

Elisha loving me through this radical journey has allowed me to love myself. I cannot imagine undergoing this journey without him.

5. Anything Stretchy or Baggy is Automatically “Maternity”

Most of my maternity clothes are XS dresses that highlight my maternal curves, or XL garments in the women’s department. While I do have some staples like maternity jeans, and a few shirts, big sweaters paired with tight tank tops, or tube dresses did the trick.

Poorly proportioned “regular” clothes fit my growing bump perfectly.

Closing thoughts.

I look at pictures of myself just 8 months ago and think, “there was a time when I didn’t have this bump? There were days when I could jump when I played volleyball? I actually fit my feet into those heels?” 

The time of “just Elisha and Katie” is drawing to a close, but I couldn’t be more thankful for God’s timing.

I never imagined how pregnancy would humble me, give me a sense of vision for motherhood, force me to rely on the Lord’s strength, or knit Elisha and my lives together.

Now, to bring this child safely earth-side . . . 

What are some things you discovered during pregnancy?

The Kathryn Joy

 

 

 

What a Perfectionist Can Learn From a Bald 4-Year-Old Girl

I wasn’t a particularly bad kid.

I mean, I snuck under the bed and opened all my birthday presents before the party, I convinced my sisters they were adopted, and I got punished ten times one night for doing the same thing, but that was no reason for my own body to turn against me.

At first, I thought it was a bad habit, like biting my nails or sucking my thumb. Mama put this nasty stuff called “Don’t” on my fingers to stop the urge, but I soon developed a taste for the bitter acid and wanted more.

I assumed other kid’s moms said, “don’t pull your hair out tonight, honey,” when they put them to bed. But I knew I was the only girl cool enough in my sphere to have their hair buzzed completely off at 4-years-old.

Doctor appointments were regular, but Daddy made them seem like fun trips. He also made having a buzz feel like the coolest haircut ever. Mama would tie big bows around my head, and tell me I had beautiful eyelashes . . . but I knew something was wrong, because at night I could see tears trickle down her cheeks as she rubbed my head to sleep.

Perfectionism.

That evil trait was taking me down.

My socks had to be folded just right or I would scream, my food couldn’t touch on my plate, I had to do everything right, every time. Even at the young age of four, I have clear memories of stressing about my fellow flower girls throwing their petals the right way at my Aunt’s wedding.

I found a way to stress about everything. Do you?

Perfectionism can steal your joy at any age.

Sure, I only was perfectionistic about petty, little, things, like my socks . . . but at 4 years old, that’s a big deal! You might think you have bigger problems, problems that are worth getting perfectly right.

But don’t let perfectionism make your hair fall out. Seriously.

That video, that photography edit, that resume . . . do your best. But you aren’t perfect, and chances are, your “best” isn’t either. So why stress about something unattainable?

Our mirages of perfection are constantly drifting away from us, causing clouds of stress, fatigue, and worry.

So, I have two practical rules I live by now:

  1. Cast your cares on the Lord, for “His yoke is easy, and his burden is light.”
  2. Live life by the 80/20 rule

May we learn from a 4-year-old, and may all your hairs stay firmly rooted in your head,

The Kathryn Joy

 

Pregnancy, Pain, And My Perfect Husband

“You’re beautiful,” he whispered.

Stretch marks race across my tightening skin, my wedding ring is in a drawer due to involuntary swelling fingers, and those extra 25 pounds have begun to give my face that “gathering-nuts-to-prepare-for-winter” look.

Eight months into marriage and 34 weeks pregnant, my winter-white body is a long ways from the tanned, whitened, waxed, and toned woman Elisha said “I do” to.

Yet every single day of our marriage, he has told me I’m beautiful. 

Every. Single. Day.

Those hot summer afternoons with my lean body brown in a swimsuit, that early first trimester when I struggled with bloating and scarring acne, or these final weeks of feeling like a beached whale . . .

“You’re hott,” he winks.

Pretty. Sexy. Beautiful.  

As a girl that relied more on her genes than she realized, I’ve struggled coming to grips with things I simply can’t control in pregnancy. I’ve fought the hard reality that regardless of how I eat, or workout, or try, in some ways my body will do whatever the heck it wants.

And he’s been there the whole time. Loving me. Cherishing me. Making me feel beautiful.

The beauty and trial of marriage is that you can’t hide yourself. No make-up, no tactful clothing, no smoke and mirrors to hide the flaws.

And yet my striking husband, still chooses to tell me every day that somehow, to him, I am beautiful.

To me, his opinion is all that matters. 

Because of Elisha’s unconditional love, it’s easy for me to believe there’s a God that loves me wholly and deeply despite my imperfections. My husband is an example of Christ’s ability to look at our hearts instead of judging outside appearances. 

May we all choose to see the beauty,

The Kathryn Joy 

 

Remember the Romance of Life

Sometimes we get caught up in the rubble of life.

Business, statistics, facts, budgets, to-do lists, charts, metrics, calendars . . .

At least, I do.

Even I–idealist, dreamer, and  hopeless romantic–sometimes I forget to see the poetry in these lives we live. I see hard lines, and black and white, but forget there’s soft pinks and bright greens and hazy heliotrope sunsets.

God wants us to take time to delight in the romance of life.

In the Bible there’s Leviticus–those tedious genealogies mixed with temple-building data–there’s Revelation–moments of all hell breaking lose, tragedy and triumph–and Proverbs, for the day-in-and-day-out duties.

But take a closer look.

Hidden within those pages are the Psalms–filled with music, and pondering and poetry. There’s moments of anguish, and moments of exultation, but all are filled with raw emotion and art . . . the romance of life.

Looking closer still, there’s Song of Solomon. Again, it’s hues of rosy desire, and restful meadows. Peace, and passion, and purity.

Pure poetry.

Yes, the duties need to be done, the facts need to be focused on, and life needs to be lived. But don’t forget to grasp those moments of poetry in life.

He created it for your enjoyment.

Even in the most daily doldrums and busiest seasons, there is romance.

Find it. Savor it.

The Kathryn Joy

 

Chipped, Cracked, & Broken: A Song

Chipped, Cracked and Broken.

So, I don’t share many of my songs, but when I discovered this rough and vulnerable voice memo from last year, I felt nostalgic about when I was still living at home. 

**Forgive the glitches, okay? It’s from the heart, and sometimes the heart isn’t in tune . . . 

At that time, my family was going around and around the mulberry bush regarding the remodel for our house. Rebuild, add a kitchen, move the house,  build the Taj Mahale . . . the list goes on.

Meanwhile, while we were in “waiting” mode, our couch, carpet, and other household items have fallen in major disrepair. However, us kids were perfectly happy in our odd humpty-dumpty log cabin.

I was listening to our parents walk through the house with designers and architects, and my mother laughed:

“The counter is chipped, the oven is chipped, the plates are cracked . . . we need help!”

Daddy tagged on with a laugh, “Things are going to break, that’s just the way it’s going to be.”

Instantly, I began to see the tattered carpet, our dented van, and my rough and tumble kid-zone home with new eyes.

My living space was chipped, cracked, broken and beautiful. 

I love nice things. Daddy and Mother have given me a love of quality and pride in ownership, and I’m happy we renovated our home. But at the same time, kids are going to “mess stuff up.” They’re going to crack the expensive countertop and (if they’re like me) burn a whole in that lush carpet with the iron. They’re going to press their curious noses to the window panes and smudge their grubby fingers along the walls. You can clean (and clean we did) but no matter how hard we try, our surroundings aren’t going to be perfect . . . not perfect, but precious.

I wouldn’t trade my siblings for the world and I’m thankful my parents understand what really matters in life.

Yes, they invested into making our home beautiful, but they were somehow miraculously understanding when a sweet sister drove into their car with a quad, and a dear brother broke our window.

Let’s invest eternally in relationships! I cannot wait to teach my own little baby the value of people, not things. 

Let us remember what really matters.

Chipped Cracked and Broken 

I go over to the neighbors,
Their cars are new and clean,
There’s no dents in the bumper,
No peanut butter jelly squished in the back seat.
The windows are clear and sparkling,
The carpet’s not stained and torn.
The couch isn’t threadbare, the porch is organized,
Then I remember the love in my family’s eyes.

CHORUS:
Where the dishes are cracked and chipped, from lots and lots of use,

Muds tracked on the carpet, from little boy’s little shoes.
Laundry’s piling over, the electric heater broke,
These years will pass by all too fast, Chipped, Cracked and Broken’s where it’s at.

Daddy can’t to find his tools again,
They’ve been used to build a new fort,
Mama’s new necklace is missing,
’cause sister’s gone out with the boy next door.
Somebody broke the mower,
The keys got locked in the car.
Milk spilled on the floor,
Baby colored on the wall,
This house is a home to 13 people after all.

CHORUS:
Where the dishes are cracked and chipped, from lots and lots of use,

Muds tracked on the carpet, from little boy’s little shoes.
Laundry’s piling over, the electric heater broke,
These years will pass by all too fast, Chipped, Cracked and Broken’s where it’s at.

Other people’s flower beds aren’t dug up by treasure huntin’ kids,
Other people’s books, aren’t re-read and read and read, ’till their tattered and ripped,
But other people’s houses, don’t have the fun we do,
So I’ll take this mess, thank the Good Lord above,
That in the end we know that all that really matters is love.

CHORUS:
Where the dishes are cracked and chipped, from lots and lots of use,

Muds tracked on the carpet, from little boy’s little shoes.
Laundry’s piling over, the electric heater broke,
These years will pass by all too fast, Chipped, Cracked and Broken’s where it’s at.


The Kathryn Joy