What Does it Mean to Be Fishers of Men?

     When Jesus called out to Simon (Peter) and his brother, Andrew, he told them He would make them ‘fishers of men.’ This is a much-quoted verse and I think it’s one worth delving into. 

     I see so many “Christians” today spewing out words that are, technically, in the Bible, but the context in which they’re quoted is completely off-based and often downright hateful. And it’s all in the name of God (or so they say.) But here’s the thing: God called us to be FISHERS of men, not men-repellers. 

    How are we to “lure” people to Christ when we are scaring them off with our words? 

It’s interesting to me that Jesus used fishing as a metaphor for getting people saved. Let’s take it step-by-step. 

Matthew 4:19 says, 

And He said to them “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.

So how exactly does fishing work? 

Well, you go quietly to where you want to fish, so as not to scare them off. Then, you bait the hook and cast it. Finally, they bite and you hook them. 

And how does this apply to winning the lost? 

Gently, now. 

Just like you can’t scare a fish into a boat, you cannot scare people into salvation. The “Repent or go to hell.” speech just doesn’t work because they don’t understand the sacrifice of Christ. Is it true that if we don’t accept Jesus we will not live with Him in Heaven? Yes. But we have to show them His love if we want people to embrace that. 

You’d never yell, “Cannonball!” And jump into the water where you’re fishing, because it would scare off the fish.  Likewise, you can’t simply threaten a person with Hell and expect them to embrace God. 

Offer what they’ve been searching for. 

For fish, it’s bait. They swim around in search of food, so we offer them worms. The unsaved are searching for grace. They’re searching for unconditional love. They’re seeking acceptance. And they’ll ask for it in the most unloveable ways. They don’t know that what they’re really searching for is Christ. But you do. Show Him to them. 

Tell them what He did on the cross. Show them what he has done in your life. Speak honestly and from the heart. Speak from experience. Show them what the Bible says about His saving Grace IN SPITE of ANYTHING they’ve ever done or said or been. 

Hook them. 

Are they ready to experience these things? God wants SO badly to give them the grace, mercy, RELATIONSHIP, and unconditional love they need. In fact, He already has, 2000 years ago on a cross. All they need to do is accept it. Tell them. 

Afterward, don’t just leave them on their own. Pray with them. Pray for them. Check in on them. Don’t leave your “fish” lying out of water. He needs fellowship. He needs guidance. He needs help. Lead them to the living water and show them how to stay in the word and never go thirsty again. 

God used fishing as a metaphor for a reason. 

Embrace it. 

Love to my loves, 

Cate


What does the Bible Say About Being a Wife and Mother?

Keep your home organized. Have babies, but not more than is socially acceptable. Be independent. Rely on your husband. Put your husband in his place. Build him up constantly. Don’t spank your kids-it’s abuse. Spare the rod, spoil the child. You’re too fat. No, you’re too skinny.

WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

It’s no wonder being a woman is so dang hard. When we look at everything society tells us to do, it’s just impossible.

But, guess what…. Society sucks. Yep. I said it. I’m a rebel. Just kidding… Sort of.

Did you know that EVERYTHING we need to know about being a woman, wife, and mama is in this handy, dandy little guide book called the Bible?

For real. Check this out:

 

On Homemaking:

Proverbs 24:3-4 says, “A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense. Through knowledge, its rooms are filled with riches and valuables.”

  • We can gain this knowledge and wisdom through reading the Word.
  • This also is supported by Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Proverbs 31:27 “She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. ”

  •  Some would tell you this means your house must always be spotless. That isn’t accurate. It says not to be lazy. It doesn’t say never take a rest. If we find a routine that works well with our own family’s schedules, we can watch our household and take care of it. Work a routine that works for YOU. What works for Perfect Peggy down the road probably won’t work for your family.

On Wife-ing:

Proverbs 31:10 “A wife of noble character who can find? She is more precious than rubies.”

  • Noble- Showing high moral principles; of excellent or superior quality
  • We are to be of “noble character.” What does that mean? It means be a lady. Show some class. Be loving. How do we do that? We seek God. Remember Matthew 6:33?

Collossians 3:18 “Wives, submit to your husbands as is fitting to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.”

  • I think this is one of the greatest disconnects between our society and the Bible. We are to SUBMIT to our husbands. That means that we don’t try to lead the family. We are not equipped for the job of protector and provider. Trust your husband to make the right decisions for your family. Give him your input. Discuss the situation as equals (you are, after all, equal in this marriage.) Then realize and trust his final decision. Knowing that you respect him enough to allow him and trust him to lead your family will immeasurably build him up.
  • I have a SUPER big personality. Submission doesn’t come easily to me- bossiness does. I’m a leader-never have been a follower. But, ladies, we have to know that submission is NOT weakness. It’s strength. It’s trust. It’s allowing God’s perfect will to work in your family. It’s trusting the calling God has placed on your husband to lead your family.
  •  (Some mamas are thrust into this position and are the sole provider and protector of the family. To you, mamas, you will never know how much I admire and pray for you. I can’t imagine how hard it is for you. But know, God has a man who will love you and your babies as Christ loves the church. Dance with God, and He will let the right man cut in.)

On Parenting:

Titus 2:7 says, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity and dignity…”

  • What do we want our children to be? We need to be it. What do we want them to say? We need to say it. What do we want them to believe? We need to believe it.

Proverbs 22:15 “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.”

  • This verse says discipline will drive away a lack of good sense.
  • We are called to discipline our children. We are called to teach them how to be functioning, God-fearing adults.
  • Again, Matthew 6:33 comes into play. Seek God on this. He will show you how to effectively teach and discipline your babies.
  • I cannot suggest or recommend this book enough: Go buy The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman.

 

DISCLAIMER: I’m not saying to hit your kid with a big rod. That’s not what the Bible is saying either. Breathe.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of scriptures for women. These are just some of my favorite to remind me of who I am in Christ. The Bible leads us and guides us in how to be the women God has called us to be. Society tells us the exact opposite of that.

Ladies, all I’m saying is while Pinterest has some great resources, measure EVERYTHING against the Word of God and what the Bible says. God will show you how to live out His calling on your life.

 

Love to my loves,
Cate

 

 

5 Tips For Mamas Who Aren’t Morning People

Hi. I’m Cate. And I Hate Mornings. 

(HIII, CATE!)

Seriously, if I get less than eight hours of sleep, it’s not cute. I wake up wanting to throat punch anyone I see. Then, I want to roll back over and go to sleep.

If I don’t start my mornings with coffee and Jesus, things get real ugly real quick. And how exactly does that work for me with a 4-year-old and a 19-month-old? Well, it doesn’t. It royally stinks. I ended up having to REALLY ask God how in the world I was supposed to spend time in prayer and my family still like me.

Here are a few small things that helped me not hate mornings so much.

1.) Be Realistic. 

If you’re used to getting up at 6am, don’t try to get up at 4. That’s a huge adjustment. Start with 30 mins. If you need more time, work your way up. 

2.) Use cute coffee mugs. 

Sounds ridiculous, right?? But it’s not. If I know I’m going to put my favorite coffee or tea in a cute coffee mug (I collect them for this reason!), it gives me a little something to look forward to. 

3.) Do Bible Study DURING breakfast instead of getting up early. 

I do my Bible Study over breakfast while they’re distracted by food. I get about 30 mins of kids strapped down and quiet. And they get to see Mommy spending time with Jesus. Win-win. 

4.) Turn on worship music. 

It just gets me going. I’m a musical girl. My girls and I end up happy and singing to Jesus rather than fussy and grumping around. I don’t know how it works. It just does. 

5.) Learn to go with the punches. 

We are mamas, not robots. The kids aren’t always going to cooperate. Sometimes, Bible Study has to wait until nap time. Sometimes the worship music is just added noise on top of screaming tiny humans. It’s not always going to go our way. (Which stinks for us control freaks!) 
You can do it, mamas! 


Love to my loves,

Cate

 

 

 

5 Parenting Rules I’ve Broken…And Why I Don’t Regret It

Parenting Experts… Am I Right?

I’m pretty sure anyone who has written a book claiming to be a “parenting expert” doesn’t actually have children. I mean, really. What are they even talking about. Each kid is different. Even those who grow up in the same house with the same parents have vastly different personalities and need different guidance and direction as they grow. You should line up myself and my siblings. We are nothing alike at all. There is no “one size fits all” approach to parenting.

I had all these aspirations before I was a mom. I wasn’t EVER going to let my kid scream in public. I’d never bottlefeed. They were going to sleep in their own beds and life was going to be rosy.

(Insert hysterical, maniacal, sleep-deprived laughter here.)

Here are 10 of the parenting rules I’ve broken:

 

1.) Don’t Co-sleep.

Ha. Bite me. When Addie Grace was born, I was 19. And used to sleeping. A lot. Throw in a tiny, screaming human and it wasn’t cute. I tried to get her to sleep in her own bed. She wasn’t having it. And I wasn’t having five trips a night to a different room to feed her. So, she ended up in our room, and eventually, our bed. By eventually, I mean she was 11 weeks old when I had had enough. And this awesome little human slept in our bed until she was two and I was pregnant with her sister. Co-sleeping was the BEST decision I made with this kid. In yo face, parenting experts.

2.) Don’t spank.

I’ll be brief, here. My girls will be obedient. My girls will be respectful. My girls will be functioning adults. And she will be all these things because she will be disciplined. She will be Godly, she will be caring, she will be graceful. She will be all these things because she is LOVED and BUILT UP.  My girls will be ladies. And if someone wants to stand in the way of that, I’ll whip them, too. (Insert winky face here. Don’t be so serious.) My kids are AWESOME.

3.)  Never yell at your kids.

If you’re a mom who claims to have NEVER yelled, I’m a mom who claims to not believe you. Now, I try DESPERATELY not to yell. I know (just as everyone else does) that our littles are watching and learning from everything we do. I build myself up in the Word of God most days before the girls are up or soon thereafter. Sometimes, especially when I’m stressed, it all comes pouring out and they NEVER deserve it. But, I’m a real person. And tiny humans can get a little overwhelming. As much as I try, I break this rule more often than I’d like to admit.

4.) Let them have choices.

Ok. I understand the idea behind this. I do. If you give them two options, (carrots or fruit, red skirt or jeans) it helps teach them decision-making skills. But, here’s the thing: as adults, they don’t always get a choice. If I have the time, I definitely let them have options. It’s incredibly important to teach them that. If I don’t and I tell them to wear the red skirt, that’s it. The mom has spoken. I’m all for decisions and options. I’m also for my kids learning how to do what they are told and understanding they won’t always have an option.

5.) Don’t force them to eat what you fix.

Au, contraire. If I cook dinner for them, they shall eat it. I’m not making dinner for some and PB&Js for others. Not. Going. To. Happen. Do I fix things I know they dislike? No. Or if I do, I don’t make them eat it. But I am not a short-order cook. I don’t ask my littles, “Do you want green beans on your plate?” No. I put them on the plate and that’s dinner. I’ve done this since birth and my kids will eat anything but green olives or celery. Brussels sprouts? Bring it on. Sushi? Great. This morning for breakfast, they ate sliced mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and bananas. THEY ASKED FOR IT.

Side note: I also teach my kids this: If someone is kind enough to fix food and feed you, even if you don’t like it, say “Thank you.” and graciously eat at least some of it. They cared enough to feed you. You can care enough to be gracious. I DO NOT ASK THEM TO LIE AND SAY HEY LIKE IT. But I do ask them to have manners.

 

What parenting rules do you not follow?

 

Love to my loves,

Cate

 

 

 

To the Mama Who Thinks She is Failing


The Baby’s been up all night and you can’t figure out what’s wrong. The toddler is going ninety-to-nothing a dos having a hard time doing what she’s told. The dishes are overtaking the kitchen. Everyone’s wearing their last pair of clean underwear.

You open Facebook just to get away for a whole two seconds and the first thing you see is THAT MOM who has it all together telling you to “find joy” in the midst of it all.

And at that moment, you couldn’t feel more alone. 

Mama, I see you. I feel you. I AM you. 

When all you want to do is quit and no one seems to care, finding joy is like finding a needle in a haystack.

God sees you. HE SEES YOU! 

He sees you doing your best. He sees you doing what he CALLED you to do. He sees you putting forth your best effort and he sees you feeling like a failure.

What you can’t see right now is Him. You can’t see Him wrapping His arms around you. You can’t see Him telling you how PLEASED He is of you. You can’t see Him wishing you could hear past what society tells you you have to be and hear what HE tells you you already are. 

Mama, I’m going to tell you something: STOP!!!

You’re exhausted. You feel hopeless. Let the dishes sit. Let the laundry lie. Plop yourself down on the couch, put a movie on to occupy the toddler, and do what society never tells you to do: REST. 

AND READ THIS: Psalm 46:1,5- emphasis mine.

God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble…..GOD IS IN THE MIDST OF HER; she SHALL NOT BE MOVED; God will help her right early [at the dawn of the morning].

It says God is your refuge. If you read the whole chapter, it states that though mountains will fall and seas will rage, GOD is within YOU. YOU WILL NOT FAIL. 

Mama, be still and know that HE is God.

And He has you. He loves you. He SEES you.

You are not failing. You can’t. Because you are HIS. 

Love to my loves,

Cate

A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

4 Things I Learned in 2015

  

To say this year has been rough would be a greatest understatement. In 2015, I have faced many things I never imagined I would have to deal with. By far, not the worst things I can imagine, but they certainly have tested things: my faith, my marriage, my relationships. The things that belong in my life have survived and become stronger. In the past year, my eyes have been opened to so many things.

Here are 5 things I learned in 2015:

1.) More money doesn’t matter to me.

Sure, more money can make some things easier. It can buy you some things you’ve always wanted to own. It keeps food on the table. It pays the bills. You know what it doesn’t do? It doesn’t build relationships. It doesn’t listen when you need to talk. It doesn’t build up your husband or comfort your kids. It really doesn’t even matter. Sure, it puts more things in your closet or your driveway, but those things can’t truly fulfill you. Only God can do that.

2.) My husband is the most important person I have.

Okay. So I kind of already knew this, but I was DEFINITELY reminded of it this year. We have an amazing relationship. He has been my best friend since day one. He’s the one person I know will stand by me and support me no matter what. If there is a problem, we talk about it and get past it. We don’t have screaming matches or throw around the D word. We fix what’s broken. But, this year, things seemed to break left and right. And you know what? It was hard. Really hard. But we made it out stronger than ever. And I was reminded just how much we rely on each other. And just how much we need each other. And just how much he loves me. And just how much I love him. Seriously. I adore this amazing man.

 

3.) I have to choose which relationships are beneficial for myself.

People are always in and out of our lives. We meet people daily. Sometimes, they stay a while. Sometimes, they don’t. Sometimes, the ones you think will always be here for you aren’t there. And sometimes, that’s okay. God will put people in your life for a season when you need them. And sometimes, you will try to hold on to people who you need to let go. This year, there were a few relationships of which I let go. Some, I didn’t want to let go. They just walked out or didn’t make me a priority and I decided not to pursue it. With others, I decided that I wouldn’t continue to let those people have so much control over me. This year, I learned that it’s okay and BETTER to choose my relationships instead of letting them happen to me.

 

4.) GOD IS FAITHFUL.

I’ve known this, so again, it’s really another reminder. Not so much a reminder as a … well, this is the first year I’ve really understood His faithfulness. And by this year, I mean this week. Something we were REALLY counting on and REALLY needed to happen fell through. And we were totally unprepared. And whereas in the past, I have freaked out and desperately tried to figure it out on my own, this time, (after my disbelief and a brief period of “Holy crap. What now?”) I feel complete peace in knowing God will show up. He is Faithful. He will do what He says He will. And right this second, I’m okay with not knowing His plan. And I think He has been preparing me all year and building my faith for this. And I’m so grateful. I am so excited now to see what He has in store for next year.

I’m so glad 2015 is over.

And I’m SO excited for what 2016 will bring!

What did you learn this year?

Love to my loves,

Cate