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MY LIFE AS I LIVE IT

I'm a single mom with two great kids living near Dallas, Texas. This is my life; day to day things that are probably only important to me. This is my record of my ups, my downs and the road that I've taken along the way. For whatever reason YOU'RE here, I hope you find something you can enjoy and/or relate to. God bless.

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Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Bumper Sticker

A lot of years ago, when I first moved to Texas, I pretty much came empty handed. I'd rented an efficiency apartment in Dallas, sight unseen, while I was in Indianapolis from a leasing firm. As I've written about before, I came to Texas in a small Subaru with two cats, a large dog, a few clothes, a lamp, a pillow and an outdoor chaise lounge chair to sleep on. My car was packed with this. When I showed up at my apartment in Texas, I had $13.00 in my pocket...which promptly went for bug spray.
I came to Texas because God told me to. Hey, I tried to argue, reason, I even backed out once, but this Guy just doesn't give in. So, there I was flat smack in the of middle of Dallas knowing no one, with whatever change I had after buying bug spray. The first job I applied for was a couple of streets behind me at a popular restaurant/bar and I was hired. They trained me for bartending for about an hour and set me off on my own. I had about 6 years bartending experience. From the first day there, I was making great tips, so I never really had to worry about money. Which had been my main concern, though I'd been lead to 'fear not', I was still a 'baby' Christian. Anyone familiar with that term?
Just a bit of history for those who don't know me. I was raised with never having attended a church. I was agnostic on my most spiritual days, atheist the rest. I came to God on my own without being in a church and I'd never studied the Bible. So, after becoming a Christian, finding a church (though I never met anyone in it...always the shy bystander) and studying the Bible on my own (usually with a beer in hand)...I was lead to Dallas. How I was lead, let's make that another story.
So there I was in Dallas, working as many hours as I could, meeting a lot of people, partying nearly every hour I wasn't working. I remember feeling so torn on the inside. The working and party girl...that's who'd I'd been all my life. However, it wasn't who I was becoming before I moved to Dallas, and I could feel with certainty that it wasn't who I was called to Dallas to be.
I decided I needed to find a church. I didn't see many churches, and the church I'd been going to in Indianapolis was a spirit filled church. (If you don't know what that is, again...another story, another time) I looked in the yellow pages, I looked in the paper...how do you choose? The thing here is, I am a shy person. So, this was hard for me. I prayed and asked God to lead me to the church He wanted me to be in.
One day, driving to work, I was behind a car that had a bumper sticker with the call numbers of a radio station. It didn't say what kind of station it was, but I felt that feeling that was becoming familiar to me. I wrote the numbers down, found it on my radio and of course, it was a Christian radio station. Was there any doubt? I listened to it for a few days, it played the contemporary Christian rock music that I liked. I called the radio station and told them I was new to Dallas and asked if they could give me the name of any spirit filled churches in my area. The one they referred me to was in Farmers Branch, about 20 miles away, called Word of Faith.
I started taking Sunday lunches off at work and attending the church.
After a few months, I'd not met any people at church, hadn't made any friends there (so shy), but they announced the new semester of their bible college was beginning soon. That familiar feeling thumped around in my stomach. I didn't want to go to bible college. I'd have to take days off from work, it was an extra 40 miles of driving five days a week. I didn't want to. But God is pushy with me. So, I enrolled and began bible college. I have to admit it, I loved it. I met some people, loved the instructors and all my classes.
At work, many of my daytime regulars would ask me why I wasn't there. I caught a lot of flack from them about going to bible college and bartending. I didn't understand the problem. I began to do a word study on alcohol and drinking. Took me about three days with my nose in a concordance translating, but I decided it wasn't a good witness for me to be bartending at that time. Immediately, I felt a peace come over me and I knew that it was the right decision.
The next morning I went in to work and turned in my two week notice. This was sad, because I'd made some friends there, dated a lot of the waiters and other staff... That night I went to a Wednesday night service with some of my buddies from school. This is the night that I've written about before. While I was sitting with my friends, I turned around in my seat and asked the stranger sitting behind me if he'd like to join us for coffee after the service. My friends were surprised, yeah...me too. That stranger was Mark. Mark and I were married two weeks later. It turns out that he was also going to the bible college and had seen me on the first day. He told me later that the first day he saw me he knew he wanted to marry me.

There are so many paths that cross our way each and every day. We decide which one to take, sometimes we have no idea that one path might be more important than the other. I fought tooth and nail not to come to Texas, just the way I fought tooth and nail against God for 26 years. I've learned that my way isn't the only way. One hard lesson for someone as stubborn as I am. I've learned the louder my voice is, the less I can hear Gods voice. The stronger my will is the harder it is for me to bend to Gods will. I've learned to be quiet and to listen...and to trust what I know is true. Mark and I have been married now for 21 years. We have two great teenage boys. We have had our hard times and we've been blessed.
I'm grateful every day for following what I knew to be true, that feeling I've learned to pay attention to and to follow through with. Just as I'm glad about the path that one person in Dallas took over 20 years ago to put that Christian radio stations bumper sticker on the back of their car. Would I had found the Word of Faith Church, the bible college and Mark without it? I don't know. Do you?

48 Comments:

Blogger Casually Me said...

Ok, you might be crazier than I am. No wonder we get along so. Remember that whole he works in mysterious ways thing? You have that one figured out. (A great story that would be a great movie, but I'm not sure how many would believe the story about you and your husband...too cool) I met up with a great aunt of mine, a couple of years before she died. She was living in a Nun's old folks home on the grounds of a college that died in Kalamazoo, MI. She had been a nun for 70 years or so by the time she died. Well she was a very educated woman, having earned three or 4 Master's degrees along with teaching High School and University for most of her adult life. She could have been anything she wanted to be in life. She chose being a nun. When I saw her she was living in an old dorm room with just a few things in it. This was what she had, as far as material things, from her whole life. I have never seen a person happier, nor could I have understood it less, (at the time anyway.) She was driven to the Nun world, and most days I won't even walk to hear God. Just amazing.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous jclover said...

Your body is a temple. With that being said, God would never call you into Texas to bartend. That is not very Christian of you at all. God would not call someone to have them destroy their bodies with chemicals that will poison the temple that God created for you.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Definitely a case for 'all things happen for a reason.'

Nice post!

3:59 PM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

Yes! Baby Christian---we first start with the milk, and then graduate to 'whole foods'---meaning to mature in our faith. I love that term.

Things are lined up in God's will. He does everything according to His plan.

What are we gonna do with this Jclover guy? (hehehehee) I'm SOOOO evil!!!! I need repentance! LAWD HELP ME NOW!

Love you!!! xxoo!!!!!!!! Great post!!!

4:03 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

casually me ~ two peas in a pod, you and I. LOL, I always wanted a brother.

jc ~ darlin, God didn't call me to Texas to bartend, He just called me to Texas. I chose to bartend. We have free will, but He did put me on a path that showed me I shouldn't be bartending, and I quit. I would remind you, friend, that faith without love is nothing. Like a bell that can't ring, it's useless. I can't help but wonder by your comments you've been leaving today, if you're familiar with 'walking in love'. I'd suggest you study that scripture for awhile. Regardless, I do love you and I'm thankful for you. Peace.

Mike ~ Sometimes it just takes a while to see the big picture, sometimes we get too hung up on all the little pieces of the picture.

deb ~ girl, you know I love you too. We do the exactly what we're told to do, we love and pray for him/her... Hugs babe. And...it's Francis

4:20 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I totally missed the jclover comment. I am so tired of the high and mighty religious types who feel their interpretation of the bible, religion, right and wrong is the only answer. People who live in glass houses shouldn't cast stones.

I've got your back kathi....lol)

4:22 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

mike ~ and you know what? I trust you with it, too. :)

4:22 PM  
Blogger Stacy-Deanne said...

Another great post, Kat. Yep, we must follow the path in our hearts. That is how I feel about writing. I don't know how I got to the point of being a writer, all I know is that one day I woke up feeling like this was what I had to do. The more I do it, the more I love it. It is a part of me and I don't question anything about it. I believe in fate and I know that this was my destiny.

About bartending, LOL! I thought of being a bartender because it seemed so fun to me. You know how shy I am, so I thought bartending would force me to be outgoing. I changed my mind when someone told me about how much the men flirt with women bartenders. I like to be flirted with at times (what woman doesn't want to feel attractive?) but I've heard real horror stories from lady bartenders. One lady said men would follow her home. Another one said one man started stalking her. I know those are isolated cases but I don't know if being around a bunch of drunken, pawing men would have been right for a girl like me. But you're tough, Kat. LOL! I can imagine you scaring the heck out of the men. LOL!

4:50 PM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

It's Francis! I knew it! Woo hoo!







Now what do I win????

4:56 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

stacy d ~ Isn't it hard to convince people you're shy sometimes? No one ever believes me, but I am. I started tending bar part time at 21, came to Christ at 26... A lot of years there. I had some of those experiences you mentioned... But hon, I'd hitchhiked most of the country too...little scares me and I've learned to take care of myself. But trust me, I've put myself in plenty of really stupid situations that I'm just amazed I got out of. But by the grace of God...ya know?

4:57 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

deb ~ you did not! The closest you came was Francine...not even close. But, I'll give you a prize if you want. :)

4:59 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I want a prize!!...Seriously...if for nothing else because Deb's been picking on me today

*snickers*

5:14 PM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

Oh stop your whining ya big baby! Mikey's feeling priTTy today! (haha!!!)

6:17 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

See!?!....How can I not deserve a prize now?

6:22 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

I leave for a couple of hours and y'all behave like children...now stop it and each go to a different corner. You're BOTH in time out!

6:41 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Well...at least I feel a lil better now...assuming neither one of us is getting a prize....lol

6:51 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

lmao...make her stop mom!!!

7:01 PM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

Mom's being cheap. We guess her middle name --- and then she sends us to our room. Oooooh Mikey, maybe that's not such a bad idea. *wink*








Wait. I'm gay, right? I forget sometimes.

7:01 PM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

I want my prize.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Pssst....kathi....Deb ratted you out....but you didn't hear that from me.


And hey....how did I respond to Deb's comment...then mine got inserted in front of hers....that's too weird!

7:03 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

Okay, so do spill sweet 'mickey'...how did my darling deb rat me out? Oh wow, let me count the ways possible.

8:03 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

And deb...for the last time, you DID NOT GUESS MY MIDDLE NAME!!!

8:05 PM  
Blogger Nabeel said...

what exactly do you mean when you say, "I came to Texas because God told me to"?

You worked hard when you moved to Texas .. and I think it paid off .. and you've made so many decisions in your life that I have yet to make.

you have a happy life now with a husband and two loving kids .. and more importantly you've found peace .. all thanks to ... that bumber sticker? hmmm .. well .. see we Muslims belive that everything that has happened or yet to happen is written. In your life, you were bound to see that bumper sticker .. who knows what would have happened if you were to be one car behind that day .. but you couldn't have been because it was not written (not to happen) ..

9:55 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

nabeel ~ I'll make tht another post sometime soon.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Georgiapeach said...

That's beautiful that your relationship with God grew at your church and you were also able to find your husband their as well. I learning Kathi. I was taking notes.

Thank you for sharing. :).

12:56 AM  
Blogger Georgiapeach said...

I am learning Kathi.

12:57 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

gp ~ thanks darlin. You're so sweet, I hope you know how much I appreciate you. One of the things I wanted to express, was how I developed a relationship without the church, before I'd ever stepped foot in a church. I'll tell my story another time, but I've learned that my fellowship with God is as personal as between myself and my best friend, more so because there isn't ever any fear of what He'll think of me... The church is a place of fellowship with like believers (hopefully), but your relationship with God is deeply personal and unique...and everywhere you go 24/7, if you'll let it be.

6:12 AM  
Anonymous blackops said...

You had obviously reached a time in your life where the Almighty needed you to become an active participant in the game of life and not just a spectator, sometimes its a life changing event that bring us there, sometimes its just solid upbringing, for whatever reason is, you're there. You even got a husband and two great kids out of the deal.

6:56 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

blackops ~ yup, no complaining here.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Wenchy said...

Just a hello from me, to you.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Katy said...

Thank God that you put your pigheadedness to good use and left for Texas no matter how hard it was to do. No matter how many people told you not to go, it was crazy to go,you went anyway.
God was obviously in a very humorus mood the day that he brought us together.
I look back to this day and say to myself "What the heck was Kathi doing working in a school kitchen?" Everything in the place grossed you out. I mean you don't like meat you don't like touching food really of any kind. You don't like germs , bugs (just a few)or children.
I don't ever remember having a job that should have been awful and not mind going everyday. We really had a lot of fun at that job.
I still to this day are amazed that you have a husband that works all day and then comes home and you ask him whats for dinner?
It's just not fair.
Yes God got a kick out of watching you in that kitchen, but His real reason was because he wanted us to meet.

11:27 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

wenchy ~ hello back

katy ~ so...you should write a post for me about our working together that year and the antics that pursued. That would be fun for ME to read. :) DO IT...DO IT...DO IT!!!

11:30 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

katy ~ you know, there really wasn't any reason to bring up Mark and the cooking thing...kinda makes me sound bad. LOL

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Katy said...

Honey God obviously had more important things in mind for you than cooking. LIKE WRITING!!!!
You could write a few stories too from the hair net days.

11:59 AM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

Hello Kath.

3:26 PM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

Hahahaha!




Oh I am so evil. It just spews right outa' me.


I was CLOSE to your middle name...but you decided no cigar. I see how you are.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Pssst....Deb was always the spoiled one right?

3:40 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

kathi....er...."mom"....don't listen to anything SHE tells you today....she's being a meanie head.

4:50 PM  
Blogger mr_g said...

All I know is sometimes you have to listen to that little voice inside...be it God, your conscience or whatever it is, when it feels right, you need to trust your instincts. Glad you found your path and have enjoyed staying on it! That's often the biggest challenge!

5:35 PM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

Bite me Mike.

6:52 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

CHILDREN!! Don't make me stop this blog and come after you two!

mr g ~ Wow, how nice to hear from you!! Thanks so much. I'm on my way to visit you NOW.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

See Deb...I told you she would threaten to stop the car....er blog to punish us....lol

10:07 PM  
Blogger Wenchy said...

Hey, thank you for the comment on my HNT. Nope, Furzl doesn't take the pictures - self photography has become a hobby! :)

7:12 AM  
Blogger Shawn said...

that's a great testimony. It almost inspires me to be more god centered. I'm so happy that you have so much peace and joy in your life - that always springs off the pages you write.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Timmy said...

Believe it or not, I listen to a lot of 89.7 'Power' FM out of Dallas...their DJs are so much less annoying than secular station DJs (always trying to be 'edgy')...less threesome jokes, more music...

1:47 PM  
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