I'm Not Crazy; I'm a Christian

The Enemy Within

We’ve all probably heard the expression, “I’m my own worst enemy”. I’ve used it numerous times. In my case, it describes my tendency toward procrastination and self-sabotage. I don’t typically need any outside interference to block me from pursuing or achieving something. I’ve got that covered all by myself.

There’s a delicate balance we must find within ourselves. Some are far too critical of their shortcomings. Others are bloated with hubris and blind to their flaws. Some (like me) overthink everything: decisions, conversations, menu options at the diner! Others seem to run on autopilot. Some assume the blame or responsibility for any and everything. Others haven’t held themselves accountable in decades. We should always be kind to ourselves. As I’ve written before, we’re stuck with us for the duration. We’ve got to make this one relationship work, especially if we hope to have any healthy ones outside of it. This would seem to require a perfect blend of tough love and a firm hand mixed with compassion and a warm hug. It’s not easy. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve seen lately is to train your self-talk to sound more like what you’d say to someone you care about: a family member, friend or loved one. I like that idea and am trying to implement it in my daily life. It’s hard to deprogram myself from being so negative and critical, but I’m working on it.

Being from the faith-based community, we use the term the enemy to describe the devil or Satan. Over the years, I’ve noticed some people spend a lot of energy on him. As soon as they encounter any opposition or problem, they immediately default to, “It’s the devil. It’s the enemy. Yup, he’s not happy with what I’m trying to do.” They take whatever hiccup has occurred as a negative confirmation. Whatever they’re attempting is now most definitely from God. The enemy is scared of how effective it will be which is why he’s pulling stunts to try and stop it.

Though I believe the enemy is no fan of anyone who follows the Lord and he does try to distract, interrupt or destroy, as I grow older in the faith I’m less inclined to give him credit for much. If I believe God is sovereign (and I do), He is already aware of any foolishness the enemy is attempting. He knows about it and is allowing it.

No one can take God by surprise.

It’s all part of the whole omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent thing. He knows and sees all, from beginning to end. He is permitting the trial or the negative situation to occur. The focus for the believer should be on why He is. Don’t get me wrong. God isn’t orchestrating disease, despair or any terrible event. That’s still the enemy’s forte. What God does is let the circumstances unfold. He’ll use all things for the good of those who serve Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28 reference).

Sometimes difficulties are used to help build our faith. Think about it. It doesn’t take much faith to believe in a loving God when your world is running smoothly. But throw some curveballs in: an illness, a loss of relationship or a job, and so forth. Will your love for Him increase or decrease? Will you run toward or away from Him?

You may want to read the book of Job in the Old Testament. It’s the story of a man who had everything, lost everything and what happened next. It’s an interesting illustration. You may feel better about whatever you’re going through once you see what Job endured.

Some harvests have a bitter crop.

I encourage you to do a search on reaping and sowing in the Bible. There are a decent amount of verses on it. A similar worldly concept is karma. The biblical truth is we will eventually reap what we’ve sown. This can either bring comfort or act as a warning depending on what seeds we are currently spreading. If we want to reap a peaceful life, we need to sow peace. This requires being more of a peacemaker than a troublemaker. When I was younger, I definitely struggled with this. I always wanted peace, but I was the first one to stir things up if I felt so inclined. This doesn’t mean you should be a doormat and not speak truth, but it must always be delivered in a loving way.

The bottom line is what you are constantly putting out into the world and those around you will eventually return to you. I know this to be true because as I’ve sown negative attitudes or unkindness, it has come back my way. By the same token, as I’ve sown love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness, I’ve reaped all of that as well.

God is merciful, so we don’t always suffer the negative consequence for something we did. Thank you, Lord! But there are times He knows we won’t learn the lesson unless we experience the fallout. And so we reap a bitter crop. Hopefully, we learn and change our ways in that area so it’s not an annual spiritual harvest of tears.

Did you know you can partner with the enemy?

No one wants to think about this, especially if you love God. No way are you doing anything to help the enemy. But we may, unknowingly. If we are in a weak moment, or if we don’t stop and pray before moving forward, we can get sucked into something which seems good on the surface, but we later learn is not. I’ll freely admit I’ve been taken in by the enemy coming disguised as an angel of light (that’s straight Bible, look it up).

The thing about Jesus is He lived on earth as a human. He was tempted in all the same ways we are, but He never succumbed to those temptations. Can we say the same? I know I can’t. As we begin to compromise or settle we can find ourselves aligned with the enemy. If he can get us off track or distracted in even the smallest way at first, he’s got a foothold. And, sadly, he’ll keep chipping away at us until that foothold becomes a stronghold. Left to our own devices, we can fall apart quickly.


You know I brought the receipts. (Any and all bible verses, unless otherwise indicated, are from biblegateway.com NIV.)

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

God always has an escape route. It just might not be a pretty path lined with flowers. Obviously, it’s better to not get off track in the first place, but it’s such a blessing to know He’s there even if we do.

So is it the enemy or is it you?

I would say each one of us needs to ask this question in any given situation. If it’s a sudden attack of something, it may be difficult to separate and get alone with God right away to discover the answer. But when you have a moment, get with Him and ask the questions, “What is my lesson here, Lord? What would you have me do? Is there anything I can do to fix or change it? Was there something I did or am doing that’s causing or contributing to it?” And when all else fails and you have no words because it’s just too hard, try saying this:

Help me, Lord. I love you and I need you.

Until next time: stay happy, stay healthy, stay in the know. And let’s work a little harder on being in good standing with the person whose reflection we see in the mirror each day, even if she does have toothpaste on her chin…again.

Look forward to hearing from you,



What Elephant? There’s No Elephant.

I begin this article with a confession. I have been butchering a common expression for most of my adult life. The correct phrase is to “ignore the elephant in the room”. As I’m sure you know, it means there’s some obvious uncomfortable or difficult subject everyone is aware of, but no one discusses. The elephant symbolizes that thing. Imagine an elephant in your living room. There wouldn’t be much, if any, room to move. It would be quite awkward. There’d be no way to disguise the fact you have a large animal in your room. Yet in this example, you pretend you don’t see it. In fact, everyone in the room acts as if there is no elephant despite seeing it with their own eyes, being squashed by it, and probably smelling it as well. And do not get me started on the gymnastic skills it would take to avoid its droppings.

One day I decided to start describing the elephant in greater detail. Don’t ask me why; I don’t know. I began referring to it as a big purple or pink elephant. Recently, I started calling it a white elephant. Yes, you read that right. I had now combined a holiday party game with an old adage. The funny part was as I would call it a white elephant something within me would pause and think that doesn’t sound right. But did I stop and fact check myself? Nope! I only learned of my silly mashup as I was preparing to write this piece. Better late than never, I suppose. But I digress.

How many elephants are in this room?

We’re just coming off the holidays where we probably spent an unusual amount of time with family and friends. The Christmas season is a wonderful time to make and cherish memories. It can also be a time of elephant stampedes. In my case, I sometimes thought Santa should just give his reindeer a break and saddle up the herd barreling through our home.

I may have mentioned this before, but I’ve never been a good liar. I can craft an elaborate, fictitious story, but I do not have a poker face and I’m just not good at lying. A lie never exists in a vacuum. It usually has friends. Perhaps I just found it all too complicated to keep track of, so I abstained. Sadly, my choice doomed me to a life without membership in my local Secrets and Lies Society.

I frequently struggle with ignoring the elephant in the room. This hasn’t always made me the favorite child or guest at parties and gatherings. How about you?

Do you see the elephant?

It’s not as if I charge into the room screaming, “Ladies and gentlemen! Step right up and see the elephant!” I’m slightly more subtle than that, I hope. I’m just usually unable to keep my mouth shut once that same elephant begins trampling everyone.

Confronting issues isn’t easy, but ignoring them doesn’t often help either.

Think about it. An elephant isn’t birthed fully grown, is it? It’s a decent size, but nowhere near it’s adult height or girth. I believe the same can be true with many issues or problems we choose to ignore. Most don’t start out quite so huge. But our continuing to dismiss them feeds them and they grow and grow until one day they’re taking up so much space it’s hard to be in the same room with them anymore.

Do we let the elephant take over the room or show it the door?

There have been many times I’ve wanted to kick that elephant to the curb. Problem was I needed backup to get that behemoth to go. Without at least one other person in the room as tired of the elephant’s antics as I was, it would stay and get even cozier. Sadly, it was me who often ended up leaving the room.

Don’t feed the elephants.

I’m certainly not suggesting going to any event primed for a fight or some kind of dramatic altercation. But being honest when there are offenses, hurts, or issues as they arise can go a long way. I understand this tactic may only work with people who hear you when you speak. There may be some who will misinterpret your heart and intentions. For me, it’s become a risk worth taking. If I care enough about the relationship then I owe it to myself and the other person to share. Keeping in mind the biblical verse of how love covers a multitude of sins (go look it up), I need to decide what to address and what to let go.

This isn’t the same thing as ignoring the elephant. In the case of letting it go, I’ve made a decision to not allow that minor offense or hurt to fester and become anything greater or more significant. I chose to forgive the person and keep it moving. If I cannot seem to get past it, despite time and prayer, then I may need to speak with the other person. This would be done quietly, privately, in confidence, and in love. I won’t come at them in an attacking or accusatory posture. This just puts them on the defensive. I want us to discuss the matter and come to a peaceful conclusion, if possible. I don’t want to add to the hurt. It’s always important to consider what your desired outcome is before you engage. This isn’t a guarantee you’ll get what you want, but I believe when you’re intentional, prayerful and dealing with someone with similar regard for you, it is possible. The conversation may be uncomfortable. It may get worse before it gets better. But one thing is for certain, if the problem isn’t addressed early, it’s highly unlikely to get better at all.

These are not easy practices to adopt, particularly if you’re accustomed to pretending nothing is wrong. But I believe we don’t do ourselves any good and may cause harm by not living honestly. I can only speak from my own experiences. There are some elephants who consumed too much of my time and relationships. I can’t get them back. But I can learn and not repeat the decisions of yesterday which allowed the elephants to thrive. Elephants are beautiful, majestic creatures, but they belong in the wild, not on your sofa.

Until next time: stay happy, stay healthy, stay in the know.

Look forward to hearing from you,


2022: How Did You Do?

Hey y’all. Please check out this promo spot for my latest video up on my Rumble channels. (Links are below. It’s all free and all for you.)

Kat Controversy: https://rumble.com/v22nnpo-2022-how-did-you-do.html

Kat and Andee Far From Normal: https://rumble.com/v22nif4-2022-how-did-you-do.html

As we get ready to usher in a brand new year, it’s the best time to look back over the current one and take stock.

Many may want to leave 2022 in the dust. Buh bye!! But sometimes we need to look back (briefly) to assess what worked (or didn’t).

In this video, I review resolutions past and present and gives some encouragement to everyone as we get ready to welcome 2023.  I hope you’ll go check it out.

Until next time, stay happy, stay healthy, stay in the know.





The Greatest Gift

Hey all! Please check out this promo for my special holiday video I just put up on my Rumble channel. As you may or may not know, I’m not always able to post full form videos here due to memory constraints (with the site, not with me…well, maybe it’s a little bit me). Anywho, I invite you to check out the full video for free on either of my two channels on Rumble. Links are below:

Kat Controversy: https://rumble.com/v21mvpe-the-greatest-gift.html

Kat and Andee Far From Normal: https://rumble.com/v21mvue-the-greatest-gift.html

Wishing you all Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and a bright and glorious New Year!

– Kat

I Want To Be Merry Again

My last name is Merrigan. Legend has it that when our ancestors lived in Ireland people referred to them as a merry gang. Over time it evolved into Merrigan. Not sure if any of that is true, but it does make for a good story. One of my dear friends, since hearing this tale, says she wants to be merry again whenever she wants to see me.

As the holiday season is upon us, I desire to be merry again. I remember how much I loved this time of year as a child. All the twinkling lights brightening up chilly winter evenings, every store having fun displays and decorations, the terrific holiday movies, and let’s not forget about the toys. I don’t know about you, but I always had one special item. Each year I was certain if I didn’t get it I might literally die. I was a bit dramatic. The point is there was always a sense of hope, wonder, excitement and anticipation.

But then I grew up. The holidays became more about making lists and checking them twice or thrice, budgeting for extra gifts I now was obliged to purchase because someone decided at the last minute we were going to exchange. But we agreed not do to so at Thanksgiving! Ho. Ho. Ho. Have a holly, jolly.

My birthday is in early November. I find it odd whenever I see someone’s house fully decorated on or before that day. Truth is I think I might secretly envy them. Try though I may, I’m always late. I can’t seem to bring myself to start on Thanksgiving weekend, so before you know it, it’s December 21 and all I’ve got is a wreath on the door.

My place often has boxes scattered about filled with all the ornaments I am definitely putting up today. Yet these same boxes are there to greet (mock and torment) me the next morning. The funny thing is I love when my home is decorated. I’d have lights and a tree up all year long. And there have been a few times when I didn’t quite finish taking everything down until February or March. Haven’t you ever heard of a Valentine’s Day tree or a St. Patrick’s Day stocking? What’s the problem?

The reason my decorations may linger is because I can’t simply box them up and store them. I have very specific placements for each item. To the casual observer, it may seem a little obsessive. But come next year there is no greater feeling than knowing exactly where everything is. The old saying goes there’s a place for everything and everything in its place. I agree, yet the place where most of my things end up is in their neatly organized boxes, stacked along a wall in my living room.

The struggle is real. Between shopping, beautifying, visiting, cooking, and baking, it can be a bit much. We get so busy doing we forget to be in the moment and enjoy the season. This brings me back to the beginning of this article. I want to be merry again. How about you? What if we disconnected from some of the obligations and stresses? What if we chose instead to enjoy time with friends and loved ones? What if we focused more on family traditions and less on commercial extravaganzas? What if this season we didn’t schedule our lives right down to the last minute from November 23 through January 1? What if we baked some cookies, made some hot chocolate, got in the car and drove around looking at all the decorated homes? Sure there’s a very good chance there’ll be crumbs, and I’m almost certain to scald myself when I inevitably spill my cup, but still. And, yes, I realize if we’re getting in the car to drive around our neighborhood it demands at least some neighbors have their acts together and have their homes fully adorned. I never said it was a flawless plan, but it’s a start.

I guess what I’m suggesting is spending more time creating little memories. There’s such a build-up to the holidays, followed by a letdown when it’s all over. As you survey the wreckage of paper and boxes or perhaps after you’ve served the coffee and desserts, there’s a twinge of sadness that begins to creep into your heart. It’s almost over. It flew by again. Next year it’ll be different. Next year we’ll start earlier. Next year we’ll make more time. Next year…

Guess what. This is last year’s next year.

What are you doing differently? As for me, I’m choosing to be merry again. I’m focusing more on the people I love and making memories over anything else. If I play my cards right, I just might be able to parlay quality time into a home decorating party. Kill two birds with one stone. But not two turtle doves because that would be wrong.

Until next time: stay happy, stay healthy, stay in the know.

Look forward to hearing from you,





Tis The Season To Overindulge

It’s that time of year when we all eat, drink and spend more than usual. It’s this weird kind of sanctioned excess we’ve all agreed upon in society. Think about it. At no other time of year can you say, “I just spent $700 at xyz store” and the person you’re speaking with won’t bat an eye. In fact, they might even be impressed at the bargains you got.

The same rule can apply with regards to food consumption. Few (if any) people are noticing how that’s your third heaping helping of everything and you’ve already got your eye on dessert.

We also tend to overschedule during the holidays. The month of December gets booked up quickly with family and friend gatherings, work parties, and other festive occasions. Before we know it, it’s January 1st and the only thing lean and trim is our wallet.

Stop the sleigh. I want to get off!

After the holidays, we spend the next several months (or perhaps the whole new year) trying to get ourselves back on track. We start saving money again, hoping to pay down those large credit card bills. We vow to eat healthier and exercise more. We may scale back on going out, etc.

Truth is we can spend 11 months paying for just 1 month of excess.

Why do we do that to ourselves each and every year? Are there ways to enjoy the holidays and have fun without becoming completely undone?

It’s much harder to stay on a budget and keep balanced when you have small children. I remember when my niece was little she couldn’t wait for the Toys-R-Us catalog to arrive. (This was pre-online shopping, or as I like to call it the good old days.) She would devour it whole, circling all the items she wanted. I often thought it’d be easier for her to just highlight what she didn’t want. It would have taken less time. She’d return the book (now covered in circles and stars and must have notations) and then we’d all use it as a reference guide for shopping. The beautiful part about my niece was she was always grateful. Whatever present she got, she appreciated. She was also eternally optimistic. She firmly believed one day she’d wake up and find the entire contents of the store under her tree. She’s a grown woman now with a great husband and two lovely daughters, but she’s still waiting. God bless her.

For those of us without young children, we should be able to be a bit more disciplined. But we’re not. As I mentioned earlier, it’s this sanctioned excess or collective conscious, hive-like mentality. Must. Buy. Lots. Of. Presents. Must. Go. To. Every. Party. Must. Eat. All. The. Food.

There are certain items I only bake for the holidays because if I made them more than once per year, we might all end up in diabetic comas. My nephew nicknamed one dessert crack candy. It’s actually cracker candy, but I get why he started calling it that. You can’t eat just one piece. Ugh.

I suppose I could stop baking some of the goodies, but they’ve become part of our family traditions. And perhaps therein lies part of the problem. So much of what we’re doing is geared toward traditions and building memories. What would the holidays look like or be without (insert your example of excess here)?

OK, so maybe we can’t eliminate, but can we moderate?

My mother loved the phrase “everything in moderation”. I would tweak it slightly because everything is far too broad a category and leaves room for trouble. But I agree with the general sentiment.

A little planning and preparation may spare you some pain and frustration.

“Honey, I love celebrating Christmas! I love all the food, the sweets, the Christmas tree and the presents, but our bank account hates Christmas!”

If you’re like me, you’ve had weight issues for as long as you can remember. Regardless of whatever diet plan or program I was on, they all shared a common theme: plan and prepare. My Dad used to laugh at my sister-in-law and me as we’d sit around the table doing complicated math equations to determine how we could have one (or two) cocktails without going over our allotted intake for the day while ensuring those drinks weren’t the only things we ingested.

Having a plan or a strategy didn’t always work out. Sometimes we threw the playbook out the window and just indulged. But more often than not, we were able to have fun without completely ruining our progress. We felt so much better on those days.

Mindfulness may help reduce recklessness.

Simply taking time to acknowledge the potential for overindulgence in any situation is half the battle. Before you start shopping or go to the party or have that meal, think about it. What do I mean? For me, it’s imagining if I just eat whatever I want. I might feel fine (probably not). But I will definitely wake up the next day and not feel great. In the harsh light of morning, my decision to eat 17 Swedish meatballs the night before might not look the same. (Fun fact: I actually did this when I was a kid at my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary party. What can I say? Mom’s meatballs were amazing! But I digress.) My point is taking a few minutes in advance to consider if it’s worth it or not can be beneficial.

A classic example is food shopping when you’re hungry. This is something we should not do. Why? Maybe it’s because our cart fills up much more quickly when our stomach is leading the way. Next thing you know, you’ve spent $60 more than you wanted to spend. You were mindlessly shopping, driven by your hunger pangs.

My parents were big believers in making shopping lists whether for food stores, the mall, wherever. I often wish I emulated their structure more. It was never too rigid, but it did give boundaries and kept you focused. I have a tendency to wander up and down aisles. This is not an efficient strategy and often causes me to spend more than I intended. The worst part is I frequently leave the store without getting an essential item but with a dozen impulse buys in its place. Double ugh.

Think but don’t overthink.

Is this as much of a challenge for you as it is for me? I tend to overindulge in the thinking department, regardless of the reason or season. The struggle is real. I’m not suggesting going overboard and obsessing about all the possible what ifs. I’m merely suggesting a little advanced thought and preparation can help. Set a budget and do your best to stay within it. Set a limit of how much or how many of whatever.

Give yourself some grace and mercy if you still overindulge.

If you overdo it in an area, forgive yourself. Try not to repeat it again the next day, but don’t waste time beating yourself up over it. It happened. Forgive and move on. Learn from it and try not to duplicate the mistake. Let it be a one-time slip-up rather than a complete throwing in the towel moment.

You can do this! And because I can never leave you without receipts, check out the verse below. (Unless otherwise indicated, all verses are from biblegateway.com NIV, emphasis added.)

May he (the Lord) give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. (Psalm 20:4)

Perhaps this year Santa won’t be the only one with a list and we’ll all be on the Nice side. Well, at least you guys still have a chance.

Until next time: stay happy, stay healthy, stay in the know.

Look forward to hearing from you,



It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year?

When we’re kids the holidays can be a magical time. We’re excited for presents and all the festivities. Everywhere we go we see decorations and lights. We may be in Christmas plays or other holiday-themed concerts and such.

I looked forward to and was so thrilled to watch all the specials on television. I loved helping my Mom bake holiday treats. Our house smelled of a glorious mix of pine, sugar cookies, and Vick’s VapoRub. (One or more of us invariably had a cold almost every Christmas.)

I remember coming down the stairs Christmas morning and being greeted by the Star of Bethlehem itself (my Dad’s 8 mm movie camera light). God bless Pops. He tried so hard to not blind his precious wife and kids. He’d aim the light toward the ceiling, but the ceiling was white so it just bounced back and amplified the brightness. I was recently looking over some of those old home movies. They’re bittersweet now since both my parents have passed. But it’s fun to go back and visit those days of innocence and sheer fun.

Things can change a great deal when we get older. The holidays can go from being a time we look forward to all year to a time we dread. Visions of sugar plums no longer dance in our head. We’re stressed out, anxious, sad and depressed.

What happened? When did we go from being holly jolly to melancholy?

In my case, one year not that long ago, I just got tired of it all. Don’t get me wrong. As a Christian, I’m beyond grateful for the greatest Gift ever given. I want to celebrate Jesus’s birthday. I’d just prefer to celebrate it in a quiet way.

Having young children around does help get you into the spirit. Seeing their big eyes sparkle and their laughter fill the air can definitely perk you up. But it’s only temporary. Eventually, you may find yourself feeling low or disinterested in partaking in all the hoopla. And don’t get me started on the day after Christmas.

There’s such a build-up to Christmas day and it’s over so quickly. As an adult I would always get a bit sad on December 26. This lull would typically last until…well…spring. But for the past few years I’ve not been able to really connect with the merriment of the holiday season at all.

I could blame it on how commercialized it all has become. I could say how it went from being about a baby lying in a manger to a 50% sale on the latest electronics. I could ask Linus to explain for everyone what Christmas is all about. (If you know you know.) But it’s more than that.

The holidays can be a very difficult time. We’re facing a lot of pressure to have fun and be of good cheer. We can start to feel as if there must be something wrong with us if we’re not having fun or feeling happy. We can feel isolated, like we’re the only one who isn’t enjoying the season. We can feel ashamed because of how terrible we feel.

Loneliness can definitely increase during the holidays. Folks are focused on their own families. They may forget about the neighbor who is alone or the single friend who has nowhere to go. Everyone sort of assumes the people they know have somewhere to be and are doing OK. I’ve been guilty of this unintentional neglect myself. I’m caught up in my own business; I don’t take time to consider those who may not have anyone around for them. By the same token, you can have somewhere to be and still feel ill at ease.

You can be with wonderful people and still feel lonely.

I know this is true because I’ve experienced it firsthand. I’ve been with friends or family and I feel awful. It’s not necessarily due to someone saying or doing anything wrong or hurtful. I’m just sad. Sometimes I can’t even pinpoint what’s causing my mood.

Some of my best acting performances were never on the stage or screen.

In the past I would suck it up and forge ahead. Later that night when I was alone I would cry. I don’t want to do that anymore. And you shouldn’t want to or have to either.

Recognize your feelings. Don’t be ashamed or try to hide them from yourself.

I’ve learned my emotions are like zombies. Just when you think you’ve got them good and buried six feet underground, bam! Out comes the hand from the grave to grab you. (If you’ve ever seen the movie Carrie, or a lot of horror movies come to think of it, you get the reference.) My point is we do ourselves no good by denying and suppressing our feelings.

I’m not suggesting we express every feeling at any given moment we’re experiencing them. But in quiet moments, we need to be honest with ourselves. If we’re supposed to go to someone’s house for a holiday party and we’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, we need to pause and try to find out why. We shouldn’t just ignore it and go out of obligation.

I can’t count how many times I went somewhere because I felt I had to and then regretted it. Suffice it to say it was many more times than when I went begrudgingly and had a marvelous time.

You need to take care of yourself. You’re the only relationship you’re guaranteed to have for your lifetime.

As I’ve written before, I understand there is a lot of guilt and pressure this time of year. But once we are adults we do have some control over how we invest our time and energy. When my parents were alive, I would defer to them. I tried my best to honor them. I spent many an afternoon or evening feeling uncomfortable, but I was there for them not me.

I don’t have to do that anymore. I can choose what’s best for me now. How about you? I’m not suggesting becoming a selfish, self-centered jerk. You should always consider others, of course. But don’t forget to factor you into the equation.

You matter as much as anybody else.

You know how I can write that with absolute confidence? Check this out. (Unless otherwise indicated, all bible verses are from biblegateway.com, NIV, emphasis added.)

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

You knew I wasn’t coming without bringing receipts. God loved you so much He sent His Son Jesus so you might spend eternity with Him in paradise. I’m fairly certain there isn’t any deal on any website or store that can beat a Gift like this one. If God loves you that much, maybe you should show yourself a bit of love this season too.

I’ve decided to do my best to acknowledge and, if possible, identify the cause of my feelings. I’m also giving myself permission to participate (or not) in any holiday festivities as I choose. I will not dwell and wallow and completely shut myself off from the people I love. But if I need to take a day or two (or maybe more) to recharge and process, I’m going to do that. In the end it’s best for me and my relationships with them. And if I find I still can’t handle it or it’s just still too much, I won’t feel ashamed. I’ll ask for help either from my loved ones or a professional, if necessary.

In any case, the best gift I’m giving me this year is: honesty and authenticity. How about you?

Until next time: stay happy, stay healthy, stay in the know.

Look forward to hearing from you,



Thank Full

What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?

Erma Bombeck

In my humble opinion, Erma Bombeck is a literary icon. She (along with James Thurber, C.S. Lewis and others) was instrumental in developing my love and passion for the written word. I chose a quote from her to start this piece as a humble tribute and to set the tone.

Thanksgiving is here. When I was a child, Christmas was my favorite holiday. But as an adult, I prefer Thanksgiving. (Sidebar: Clearly, the reason for the season is honoring the birth of Jesus. Christmas will always take the gold medal because of that, but all the commercialization and junk that’s been tied to the day is what I can do without.) The main reason I enjoy Thanksgiving more is because it offers an opportunity to be with the ones we love without all the stress and pressure of buying and exchanging presents and all the other hectic holiday hoopla. This is not to say Thanksgiving can’t come with its own brand of drama. You’re just not spending as much money for it and there’s no gift wrapping involved.

The best part about Thanksgiving: being around the people you know and love. The worst part about Thanksgiving: being around the people you know and love.

I was always surprised each year as we’d gather how everything would be going well, until… There was never one specific person who would start the disagreement or loud debate, but there was almost always a disagreement or loud debate. On those rare occasions that were incident free, we’d all sit around after dessert, nursing our stuffed bellies, and savor the silence.

When you’re with people you’ve grown up with or have known for a long time, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s also potentially a hotbed of conflict. These are the people who know you (or at least think they do) very well. They’ve probably seen you at your best and at your worst. You would expect this would be the setting where you could feel most at ease and comfortable.

Sometimes we feel most uncomfortable where we should feel most at home.

It can be a mix of emotions. You’re excited to be together. You love everyone. But there can also be this underlying tension. Will so-and-so grab you-know-who and go off somewhere without you? Will what’s-his-face make you the target for all his jokes which are just thinly veiled insults and criticisms? Will what’s-her-name drink too much again and start telling everyone off one by one? Happy Thanksgiving!

When we gather around the table, how can we make sure no knives are drawn other than to carve the turkey?

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I am Kat Controversy. If there is a proven track record of drama at certain tables, then don’t take a seat. I know it’s not easy. There is a lot of guilt and obligation this time of year. But if you believe there is a greater than 50% chance the dinner will go sideways, don’t go!

As adults we have the right to decide where and how we spend our time.

You may be saying, “But I host every year, I don’t have a choice” or “If I don’t go, I’ll never hear the end of it.” This may all be true. But what is truer still is that tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. I’m not suggesting blowing people off for no reason. But you have to assess how it’ll be for your mental health first. Sure, you can go and do the right thing but if you leave feeling angry, disgusted, disappointed or sad, was it worth it?

Healthy boundaries are necessary, but not everyone is going to respect them.

I’m sure I’ve written about this subject before. The past couple of years have really been a time of learning and growing for me in this area. My days of people-pleasing are slowly fading away. And I’ve got to be honest, I’ve never felt better. Do I still get pangs of guilt or anxiety from time to time? Of course, I do. But they disappear far more quickly than the regret and hurt I’d take home with me after spending time in a situation I never wanted to be in in the first place.

I’ve come to terms with knowing certain people have an issue with me or think of me in a negative way. That’s their business. I’m accountable to God at the end of each day. If I feel convicted not guilted to be somewhere, then I’ll probably go. If I don’t feel the conviction of the Lord, you won’t see my face at that table.

If you’re in a situation where you can’t get out of going, you still have options. You can set a specific time to get there and a specific time to leave. Nothing says you have to be there all day. If the day is going well, feel free to stay and enjoy yourself. But if you feel the tide shifting or Aunt Bea is opening up that third bottle of wine and it’s only 2 p.m., get out! Get out and don’t look back!

My prayer is you’ll be, as the title says, thank full. May the day remind you to be full of thanks no matter what. I understand there will be days and times when it’ll be hard to give thanks. On those days, in those moments, give thanks for a God who loves you and is able to carry you through any difficult situation.

I’ve had many days over the last couple of years where my thank full was very thank less. But I am always comforted as I talk to God (which is all prayer is: conversation) about how I’m feeling and what I’m facing. I read the Bible and rediscover my hope in His love letter to us all.

Never take my word for it. You know I brought receipts. (Unless otherwise indicated, all bible verses are from biblegateway.com NIV, emphasis added.)

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34)

Dear reader, I truly hope you’ll be able to enjoy the holiday with peace, joy, love and stuffing, lots of stuffing.

Until next time: stay happy, stay healthy, stay in the know.

Look forward to hearing from you,



Timing Is Everything, So What Time Is It?

I was in the right place at the right time.

We’ve probably all heard or used that expression at least once. We use it to describe when everything seems to align and work out in our favor in a given situation. We can’t explain how it all came together, but we’re sure grateful it did.

But how often are we in the right place at the right time?

I’m much more likely to feel as if I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time. You miss out on the last of something at a store or restaurant. You get stuck in traffic even though you left early. The list can be endless.

It’s frustrating when we feel ready for something: a new job, home, etc. and it’s just not happening. We’re not being idle, sitting around doing nothing. We’re being active. We’re submitting resumes or filling out applications, for example. We’re qualified; we’re prepared. But still nothing’s moving forward.

My favorite time is now o’clock.

Patience is not my strongest quality. When I’m ready to make a move (which doesn’t usually happen quickly or often), I want to make that move right away. I figure if I’m ready then it must be time. Wrong.

Just because we may be ready, doesn’t mean our situation is.

I’ve been trying to relocate for over a year. True story. I had several personal and professional situations that put a temporary hold on this move. I was recently released from the last of these obligations. I, naturally, believed my new home would show up in my search the next day and I’d be moved in before Thanksgiving. (Spoiler alert: as of this writing, this seems highly unlikely, but I do believe in miracles, so…)

Gratefully, I have some wonderful friends who help ground me. One of these lovely ladies pointed out the very real possibility that just because I believe I’m ready, doesn’t mean the location is. There are always a lot of components, variables and moving parts involved that should be considered. This is where faith and trust in God needs to arise.

If I believe in a God in heaven who loves me and desires to bless me, then I need to trust Him. In my case it shouldn’t be a challenge. I have a lifetime of personal evidence of how He helped me find my homes and my jobs. I would do my part and then believe He had the matter well in hand. Sure I’d get a bit nervous the longer I had to wait, but He did and has always come through.

Why do I still engage in this game of feeling I know the right time for anything?

It does seem rather silly if you think about it. We only see what we can see, our small microcosm of any situation. We can’t see all sides and all factors. It’s rather presumptuous of us to think we can dictate the timing of things.

Sometimes we’re in such a hurry we may risk getting the right thing at the wrong time. Has this ever happened to you? Let’s use the example of a new car. We’ve wanted one and now we feel ready. We’ve even budgeted for it. We’re good (we think), so we buy the car. Three months later we’re let go from our job and are now having difficulty making our monthly payment. Right thing. Wrong time. We can’t beat ourselves up. We thought the timing was right. But we may have gotten ahead of ourselves and the timing of God.

Does God have a time?

The Creator of the entire universe doesn’t exist within our mortal constraints of time. He did, however, invent it. He is not governed by its limitations as we are. He operates with us in it, but He is always transcendent and above it. (That’s a heavy metaphysical knowledge drop right there.)

You know I always bring my receipts. (Unless otherwise specified, all Bible verses are from biblegateway.com NIV, emphasis added.)

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

You may have heard this verse before. God is a God of order. There is a specific time for everything.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8)

Oh this verse! It gets to me always. But we need this gentle reminder. He’s not like us. We’re to grow in His love and become more like Him, not the other way around. When I’m checking my watch and wondering, “When God? When?” I need to sit back and remember He knows more than me about every situation.

For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Does God have a time? Yes. Sometimes it’s now. Other times it’s later. I’m embracing the now time of His favor. How about you? See, if we believe His favor is upon us, then we can perhaps rest a bit more during the waiting.

So, how do we start to align our perspective with His? Check this out:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Peter 5:6)

There it is once again: humility. How much better could life be if we would submit more to God’s authority in our lives? But how do we begin? Check this out:

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. (Psalm 130:5)

As difficult as it may be, and though I keep reminding God of how ready I am, I must wait on Him. I know the difference between went and sent. When you’re sent it means God prepared the way for you. It was the right thing in His perfect timing. But if you went, you didn’t go at His direction. You went out of your own reasoning and rationale. It’s not as secure a footing. You are subject to greater trials and struggles because you’re not the Creator and couldn’t possibly foresee the obstacles that might lie ahead. Staying in His Word keeps you in the proper mindset.

I suppose it always comes back to these two things: trust and believe. We must trust He loves us and is genuinely working all things together for our good. We must believe He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all we could ask or even hope for.

What time is it?

It’s time to trust and believe in the Lord above. He’s got it all worked out. Stay diligent. Stay prepared. Stay in a posture of faith and hope.

Until next time: stay happy, stay healthy, stay in the know.

Look forward to hearing from you,



When Cutting Ties Cuts Deep

Until recently, I never gave much thought to how we use the terms cutting someone off or severing ties with a person. But as I was deciding this week’s blog topic, it struck me. Perhaps we use those terms because they help describe the emotional pain getting someone out of your life can generate.

When I hear the word sever I immediately envision some hellacious scene in a slasher film when random teenager #27 is strapped to a gurney as the killer sharpens his blade on a whetstone in preparation to slice off each and every limb of said teenager. (I realize that was a rather graphic description. I’m as troubled by how quickly I came up with it as you are. Trust me. But I digress.)

Deciding you need to end a relationship, connection or situationship with a person is hard. Something brought you two together. You may have had good times, made some great memories. But you’ve measured the relationship and its good is grossly outweighed by the bad. There are more tears of sadness than of laughter. Butterflies of anticipation have been replaced with pangs of anxiety. Drifting off to sleep reflecting on a great night has now become lying awake in bed, tossing and turning, as you dissect the latest argument. It’s time to walk away and not look back.

In my younger years it was easier to end things. Social media didn’t exist. (Yes, I am that old.) As long as you weren’t involved with someone who went to your same school or had the same friends, you could make a relatively clean break of it. (There we go again with the quasi-violent imagery. What is the deal?)

If you were involved with a co-worker, that was a bit trickier. I usually tried my best to avoid such entanglements. (And by usually, I mean I only did it 3-5 times over the course of my working life, so that’s something?)

But these are different times. Social media is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you can see what someone is up to on a daily basis. On the other hand, you can see what someone is up to on a daily basis.

In my youth, I’d have to get in a car and drive somewhere to check out what my ex was doing. Nowadays, depending on his level of engagement on the platform, I can know with just a click or a swipe. This seems like a potentially harmful and certainly emotionally draining proposition. My inner stalker can have free, unfettered access into the life of someone who’s no longer a part of my story. I can see how happy he is (because only the best moments make it to their page). If he posts a lot, I can feel as if we’re still friends or something. It becomes harder to let go when you’re still tied to them through an app on your phone. The question then becomes:

Do you block or mute someone when you two have parted ways?

I don’t know about you, but I think blocking someone is only warranted if the person is being hurtful or if the breakup was particularly ugly. The mute option is more my speed. You have the ability to view their content, but rather than having it pop up and assault your emotions at any given moment, you must actively go to their page to see it. It requires my inner stalker to do a bit more cyber legwork. And, quite frankly, she’s not usually that motivated.

If I’ve grown accustomed to texting them or viewing their content daily, it’s a bit challenging in the beginning. I have to wean myself from the dopamine hit I’m used to getting. It takes a while and there is an element of withdrawal in the process, but with a lot of prayer and time, it gets easier.

What happens when someone blocks you in real life?

It’s one thing to limit exposure or attention through screens and apps. What happens when you still have to physically be around the person and they’ve chosen to ignore you? You’re in a room together and they can’t even look at you. You’ve become invisible to them.

How do you handle when someone deliberately ignores you?

There’s one kind of hurt when someone doesn’t answer a text or stops commenting and liking your posts. But it’s a whole different kind of pain to be around someone who once meant the world to you and now treats you as if you’re not even there.

Which is worse: arguing with someone or being ignored by them?

Let me start by stating both are pretty awful. Both can be hurtful and upsetting. The potential upside to an argument, however, is you two may be able to come to a consensus at some point. There is the possibility for reconciliation or at least a meeting of the minds: agree to disagree.

But when someone decides to ignore you…

At least when I’m arguing with someone, I feel both of us still care or are invested to some degree. But when someone walks past you without acknowledging you, when you smile at them and they look away, that hurts. It can hurt so much.

You can feel so small, so insignificant. On some level you realize it’s a choice the other person is making and probably has little or nothing to do with you. It may just be their way of avoiding a difficult conversation or some kind of self-preservation technique. But that is little comfort, isn’t it?

This is the person you let in to your inner courts, if you will. This is the one you let your guard down for, felt safe enough to be vulnerable with, shared intimate details of your past with, and now they’re acting as if you’re a leper.

If you’re anything like me, in addition to feeling so sad, you also feel humiliated. Most people aren’t aware of what’s going on between you two because, contrary to popular belief, many are too busy with their own stuff to notice you at all. But in your mind, you feel like an absolute fool. You want to confront, say something, end this awkward, silent prison term you’re serving, but you can’t. You’re too afraid of how much worse it might get if you do speak up. Will they turn around and gaslight you? Portray you as the crazy ex? Will everyone look at you like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction cooking up a pot of fresh rabbit stew? “I won’t be ignored, Dan!”

You’ve been convicted and sentenced but you don’t even know what crime you committed.

As I mentioned earlier, when someone chooses the ignoring path, it usually has little to do with you. This may be their only coping mechanism or a strategy they’ve employed for years. You may not be the first (or last) person to experience this behavior. But your rational mind isn’t running the show in that moment. It is all raw emotions. There’s anger, hurt, disgust, regret and many more.

To be set free, you’ll need to forgive.

Believe me, I’m not thrilled about this either. But I know that it’s only through forgiving the other person, whether they ask for it or not, that we get set free. If we hold on to that pain, if we keep being angry for how they treated us, how they disrespected us; we can’t carry on. We’ll get stuck. We can’t sever the connection and move forward. We’ve given them a kind of power they don’t deserve to affect us. We’ve also blocked our own forgiveness.

But don’t take my word for it. You know I brought receipts. (Unless otherwise specified, all bible verses are from biblegateway.com NIV, emphasis added)

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37)


For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)

Forgive as you are forgiven. I will not say this is an easy thing to do. It isn’t. The pain you feel is real and legitimate. It’s incredibly unkind to ignore another human being, particularly someone who was once important to you. As the recipient of such treatment, it fills your mind with doubt about the validity of the entire relationship. It can break you down.

Don’t let it.

God loves you. Just because that person doesn’t see your worth does not mean you’re worthless. Honor yourself by forgiving the one who ignored you. Recognize their behavior as an immature, selfish act. Thank the Lord He showed you the character of that person.

Cut ties. It may not be pretty, but there’s more to life than this moment. And take comfort in knowing you are not random teenager #27.

Until next time: stay happy, stay healthy, stay in the know.

Look forward to hearing from you,