Vitamins + Cookies

Kayren-Tine Comic Strip 02.18.2021

This one needs no introduction…just share in the comments if you’ve ever reasoned using a pattern like this before! LOL 

It’s like starting the day off riding the indoor bike because it’s too rainy to walk outside, and then advancing to a healthy breakfast…only to end up with ice cream at bedtime (for example…so I’ve been told…by someone else – ha ha!). Almost cancels out the positive effect of the exercise, eh?

Sometimes we try to justify our nonsense when we truly know better. How many times do we get caught up in foolishness, only to find ourselves at the feet of a loving Savior who is ready to forgive us once again? Oh, what grace, love, and mercy! 

May we extend the same to others…(and ourselves, too)…

“10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
(John 8:10-11)

© Copyright 2021 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Home Cookin’ in Quarantine

Kayren-Tine Comic Strip 02.11.2021

When I wrote about An Ounce of Prevention 10 months ago, I didn’t imagine that the act of baking could be so hazardous to my hips! LOL 

Nevertheless, as quarantine continues (and many more homemade lemon-glazed sour cream pound cakes later than I care to admit), I find myself challenged to increase my physical activity and decrease my caloric intake…how about you? Apparently, creating domestic culinary adventures (1. Without leaving my home, PLUS 2. Keeping a minimum of 2 sticks of butter on hand – in the vegetable drawer, no less…for SHAME! <gasp!>) can become a cumulative experience. Who knew?! Oh, I knew… 

I’m thankful to have a couple of neighbors who literally keep me “on my toes” – texting me regularly to make sure I lace up my tennis shoes a few times a week and hit the pavement for some cardio. Accountability counts…stay encouraged and stay connected, my friends – we have MUCH to be grateful for! Love is all around – and not just in the Valentine’s season…call someone today and make their day. You just might save them from that extra bite of pound cake they were wrestling with…or they may offer to share with you!

“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
(Proverbs 17:17)

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
(Proverbs 18:24)

© Copyright 2021 by Kayren J. Cathcart

I’m Having a Moment Here!

Blobs Kayren-Tine Comic Strip 2-3-2021

We ALL have emotional moments; don’t think you’re the only one!

Having a support system makes all the difference in the world – during tough times and during great times. In the midst of ongoing quarantine, I encourage you to find your tribe. Never before has it been so important to maintain meaningful connections with other humans. I recently joined several amazing virtual groups (come along if you’d like! organizing group here, inspirational book club here, and authors’ network here) that admittedly, if I weren’t stuck at home (er, I mean, having the divine destiny to be with my family pretty much 24/7), I likely would not have reached out to connect with in person. 

Nevertheless, I am already benefitting from exposure to new people with different (or surprisingly similar) mindsets, backgrounds, and experiences. Each group has uniquely challenged me to try new opportunities and to say “yes” to unexpected possibilities.

So today, I embraced a chance to create via a different medium. Instead of limiting myself to writing with words, I tried my hand at expressing my thoughts through a “Kayren-Tine in Quarantine” comic strip (thanks, Canva!). I’m sure there was some subconscious influence from the fantastic Toastmasters webinar (The Humor Workshop – check it out!) I attended today. 

Whaddya think? Please share your thoughts on my first comic strip (since a high school assignment LOL) in the comments section, and tell me how you’re handling those pop-up “emotional moments” of extended quarantine. It’s nice to know someone’s listening, isn’t it? 

Blessings to you,
Kayren

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
(Proverbs 17:22)

“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;”
(Ecclesiastes 3:4)

“Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.”
(Luke 6:21)

© Copyright 2021 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Late in the Midnight Hour…

PP Late in the Midnight Hour

…God’s gonna turn it around…if ya know the song, then sing along!

Even after putting 2 potential slots for an outdoors walk on my calendar, it still didn’t happen amidst 5 back-to-back conference calls – ugh, talk about a sedentary day! As I wearily powered down my laptop at 11:30pm, I repented in my heart for not getting my physical exercise in for the day and silently made an “air promise” to get it in tomorrow. As I approached the shower, I realized, “I have absolutely NO excuse not to do SOMETHING for my physical well-being today!” 

So I marched to the closet, threw on some workout clothes, laced up my tennis shoes, refilled my water bottle, and headed over to vigorously attack the stationary bike that my wonderfully visionary hubby procured months ago to facilitate perpetual pandemic home workouts. Not sure why I thought I might wake my children, but the cackling I heard from their respective rooms confirmed that they are truly teenagers. Armed with my earbuds and favorite playlist, I purposed to do at least 20 minutes…and I surpassed that goal. Honestly, as someone who’s done MULTIPLE weight loss programs over the years, I admit I’m often hesitant to set goals (let alone share them) – so this is kinda a big deal for me. Celebrate my glamorous midnight sweaty = healthy glow look with me! LOL

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Inspired and invigorated, I thought about posting this “later” – but later usually doesn’t come when competing with (and crowded out by) all the other items on our to-do lists, right? So I’m doing my cool down/stretch as I write. Now I’ve earned my shower (and burned off a couple of cookies that may have found their way across my lips in the past 24 hours…gotta pay to play, right?) ha ha… 

In 2021, I’m deliberately and intentionally choosing OBEDIENCE – one decision at a time.  What’s your testimony in this freshness of this new year, full of unlimited possibilities? What imprisoning bands will be loosed by your prayers, praises, and obedience? I invite you to share in the comments below…

“25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.”

(Acts 16:25-26)

© Copyright 2021 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Momming is a Verb: Reflections and Epiphanies

PP Momming verb fireworks

In case you didn’t realize it, “mom” is a verb – an action word as well as a noun. Hence, momming is something I do because mom is who and what I am.

I turned 45 this week 🥳 (and I’ve been gratefully celebrating my birthday/Christmas/20th Wedding Anniversary for the past month). So consider this a disclaimer for (and fair warning of) the wistful ramblings that will likely ensue for the next several months as the slow dawning of my firstborn son reaching legal adulthood and my baby girl turning Sweet 16 settles in and becomes my reality and clichéic “new norm.” (yup, I just made that word up because it fits…new year, new me! LOL)

As a mom of a teen who is “coming into her own,” I’m watching my exquisite daughter try out her new wings. Oh, I KNOW she can and will fly – but does she? Not yet…but she will. How do I know? Because I’m here to make sure it happens – armed with tissues, hugs, lip gloss, and great-smelling lotions and shower gels – and whatever else I need to add to my arsenal (since these precious critters don’t come with a manual or a template) – by adjusting her perspective skewed by society, social media, and other potentially toxic environments to see the grace of God at work in and through her.

Geez, this is momentous…am I ready? Only God knows – and I continue to rely on HIS wisdom, strength, and  guidance for this next leg of the journey called motherhood. I’m also glad there are footprints for me to follow since I’m not the first mom to tread this path…blessings to all who’ve answered the call to the work and joy of motherhood!

“25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”

(Proverbs 31:25-26, 29-30)

© Copyright 2021 by Kayren J. Cathcart

New Year, Fresh Start!

PP Pink gift box

Well, I’m certainly grateful to see 2021 – with me in it! I’m looking forward to new EVERYTHING: possibilities, opportunities, friendships, learnings – you name it, I’m pretty much trying to be open to it.

Perhaps it’s the maturity inherent in my birthday approaching in a few days, but I think I’m FINALLY embracing change more than I fear it. This is HUGE!

A fresh start is a gift that cannot be wrapped, but one that commands respect and deserves full appreciation and utilization. May each of us put the gift of this new year to use wisely…

Praying blessings and God’s perfect will be done in your life this year,

Kayren 🙂

p.s. My http://www.PaperPolisher.com website got a refresh over the holidays – I’d love for you to take a peek and share a comment on my fresh start…and feel free to share any fresh start YOU’RE excited about, too! Let’s support each other as we make this our best year yet…  

“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”

(Revelation 21:5)

© Copyright 2021 by Kayren J. Cathcart

TT: Taking Inventory, Measuring Growth (12/24/2016)

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Wow – it’s the last Throwback Thursday of 2020 and the New Year is so close we can almost taste it! Thanks for waltzing down Memory Lane as I shared December posts from previous years. Praying blessings for you and yours, Kayren on 12/31/2020

Taking Inventory, Measuring Growth

What a full year it’s been; I have MUCH to be thankful for – and I’m sure you do, too! The “Watch Me Grow” chart with the giraffe comes to mind – you know, the one where a parent measures how tall their child is growing every so often? It felt like God kept His spiritual measuring stick handy for me in 2016, but thinking back over the year, I wouldn’t change a thing. Every step of the journey was preparation for what is yet to come.

In retrospect, God has kept my family through one transition after another, and I am grateful. One of the most significant adjustments was the mid-year 180⁰ career change of my spouse. Prior to that, God sustained us during a stint when my hardworking hubby endured a 3rd Shift role with valiant strength and dogged determination that ministered volumes to our family and friends alike. Both children are in middle school and are successfully navigating those potentially turbulent waters with the God’s grace, parental patience, and the Holy Spirit’s guidance and protection. Were things perfect in my family this year? By no means – but I am a witness that consistently-applied discipline DOES indeed bring forth the peaceable fruit of righteousness! 🙂

I’ve put a renewed focus on my personal role within the ministry of marriage as we celebrated our “Sweet 16 Wedding Anniversary” for an entire month. As I committed to make my 40th year on the planet fabulous every day (and it has a wonderful celebration filled with glitter, laughter, tears, and joy!), I learned that a sign of true maturity is to admit the things I don’t know (and to be okay with it) – this was a liberating epiphany (especially since I consider myself to be a planner extraordinaire)! I’ve learned to embrace where I am at this specific point in time instead of allowing dissatisfaction to propel me to attempt to achieve some unrealistic and elusive goal that was never mine to begin with.

We’ve mended bridges with family members and friends, realizing that time really does heal all wounds, even though it doesn’t change the past. I’ve learned to extend forgiveness proportional to the amount of times I need to ask for it.

I’ve diligently worked on holding my tongue so I don’t respond before thinking (as much…trust me, this is progress for someone with my DNA – LOL). I’m doing this not through clenched and gritted teeth to “finally take that vow of silence I’ve been threatening forever” (but been woefully unable to make good on – it’s in the genes; what can I say?!). Now, this refined behavior comes from a primary desire to please God and to allow the fruit of the Spirit to be manifested in every facet of my life.

Sometimes we can’t see how much we’ve grown because it’s like waiting for a flower to bloom 5 minutes after we dropped the seed into the dirt – or more accurately, it’s like watching paint dry. We’re too close to the action to be able to fully absorb the progress. Yet, by stepping back with objective observation through a time lapse lens, we notice the flower unfurl, the seed begin to sprout and bring forth abundance, and our personal growth and development come forth according to God’s Word. I encourage you to take inventory of your own growth over this past year – you may be surprised to see that, though you’re not where you intend to be, you’ve far surpassed your starting point…and this, my friend, is indeed praiseworthy!

Join me in looking ahead to a new year full of promise and potential with joyful anticipation…God’s best is yet to come!

“20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.
21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
25 The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”
(Lamentations 3:20-26)

 © Copyright 2016 by Kayren J. Cathcart

TTT: Back to Basics: Sufficiency, Satiety, and Satisfaction (12/30/2014)

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It’s the last Terrific Thankful Tuesday of 2020! Hope you enjoyed reflecting with gratitude and revving up for 2021…Blessings to you, Kayren on 12/29/2020

Back to Basics: Sufficiency, Satiety, and Satisfaction

satiety – the quality or state of being fed or gratified to or beyond capacity; the revulsion or disgust caused by overindulgence or excess

Do we really believe that God is big enough to supply all of our needs, fulfill us, and satisfy us? Do we rest in the fact that He is able to provide for us spiritually, emotionally, financially, and physically – in an all-encompassing way? If so, we have a strange way of walking by faith in the fact that what we currently have is a-plenty. When we’re honest with ourselves, we can admit that we often see inconsistencies in ourselves before others do.

In today’s American culture, I’m not sure how much “revulsion or disgust” we have for overindulgence or excess. On the contrary, we’re infatuated and obsessed with obtaining “more.” If we watch a 30-minute TV program, we’re tempted by the offer to “binge watch” the entire season of episodes with one effortless download. No consideration of wasting an entire day (or more!) of productivity when we can have a glut of what we just tasted…it’s within easy reach. We want everything better, faster, in greater quantities – and we want it NOW. Even infomercials that offer us “the next big trinket” hook us with the promise of something EVEN BETTER than the fantabulous deal we’re already salivating over, baiting us with the nauseatingly predictable “but wait – there’s MORE…we’ll double your order for FREE if you call within the next 8 minutes!” And you know when they suggest that you give the extra one away as a gift, most of us end up with it sitting in a drawer, under a cabinet, or on a shelf collecting dust for months (or years). Even though we can only use one item at a time, we want more…because we’re never grateful enough to be satisfied with what we already have.

Godliness with contentment is great gain (I Timothy 6:6), but are we ever really content with what we have? Or are we subconsciously striving for “the next thing” instead of valuing our present state? My church’s theme for the past year has been “Looking Unto Jesus to Maximize and Strengthen What We Have.” If we thoughtfully and thoroughly count our blessings, we must realize and conclude that we need to take better stewardship to be effective with what we already have before we receive an additional drop of anything. Before lusting after that new pair of shoes/boots/outfit/purse/jewelry/home décor item, evaluate what we’re doing with the pile of similar items currently occupying our closet or running out of our drawers. I was particularly convicted when I acknowledged that before we’d finished our plenteous Thanksgiving meal leftovers, I was already wondering what we’d have for our Christmas feast. And yes, that type of overindulgence and excess will be taking me straight to the gym next week…and for MANY weeks to come…

As we reflect on the entirety of 2014 rapidly coming to a close, my prayer is that 2015 will be a year in which we fully and wholeheartedly embrace what God has for us – and appreciate it – no matter how it looks. In spite of whatever warped, perverted messages or misrepresentations advertisers and marketers attempt to bombard us with, may we receive the truth in our hearts that Jesus is the only One Who can satisfy, fulfill, and complete us.

“1 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
(Psalm 103:1-5)

 © Copyright 2014 by Kayren J. Cathcart

TT: O Christmas Tree: A Matter of Perspective (12/13/2009)

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It’s Throwback Thursday! Reflecting with gratitude and revving up for 2021…Blessings to you as we celebrate the season of the birth of our Precious Savior, Kayren on 12/24/2020

O Christmas Tree: A Matter of Perspective

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I’m looking at the most exquisite Christmas tree ever – not because it’s elaborate, expensive, or customized, because it’s none of those things.  The reason is because it’s an expression of our family’s love, togetherness, and building our own traditions.  Personally, I could do without the tree (since I believe Christmas is birthed in our hearts 24/7, not just during this season), but I was vetoed 3-1, so we have a tree and some lights.  I even broke down and spent $1 on some red and green gel clings that I enthusiastically added to the sliding glass door in the kitchen.  Cheery.  When I tried to peel them off the plastic transfer sheet, I realized why they were only $1…grrrr!  But it’s for the children, right?

Back to the tree.  To me, it first appeared unplanned, un-color coordinated, and not monochromatic (what can I say? I love simple white lights).  Yet, to my 4 and 6 year-old munchkins beaming with pride that their decorations have completed this year’s tree, it’s nothing short of a masterpiece.  It is colorful, bearing the imprint, insignia, fingerprint, and signature of each of their unique personalities expressed through original ornaments made at school.  My husband even added my daughter’s Rudolph (complete with sparkly red puffball nose) to the tree, which is twice the size of all the other ornaments (including the star).  Now I don’t recall why we didn’t have a star last year, but the one my hubby found and nestled among the top branches was a great crowning glory.  As he snores away, I’m enjoying his handiwork with a smile of admiration.  And I reminisce with fond memories of my own first handmade ornament – a spectacular popsicle stick glitter glue-covered Star of David…I’ll bet my mom still has it…somewhere.

On second thought, I think our tree is perfect – just like they do.  🙂

© Copyright 2009 by Kayren J. Cathcart

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

(Isaiah 9:6)

TTT: Demolition Cometh: Make Room for Progress (12/10/2009)

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It’s Terrific Thankful Tuesday! Reflecting with gratitude and revving up for 2021…Blessings to you, Kayren on 12/22/2020

Demolition Cometh: Make Room for Progress

Have you ever noticed how unattentive you really are?  This week, I got a good reminder.

There used to be a Subway restaurant across the street from the train station I wait at twice a day, five times a week.  I didn’t realize the Subway had moved or otherwise gone out of business until two days ago when I became painfully aware that a significant portion of the strip mall was missing, occupied instead by a wrecking machine.  “Wow,” I thought to myself.  “When did all of this happen?!  I pass this site twice a day and had no clue it was gonna be knocked down.”  Perhaps the land would be deemed more valuable without the structure currently standing on it, but it was a decision that had been made previously by the “powers that be;” I’m sure they had to obtain permits and permissions, and finally, I was witnessing the execution of a plan.  And it was going quickly.  It seemed so…destructive.  And final.  But I suppose that’s what’s necessary before progress takes place.  Out with the old and in with the new…

What negative habits and restrictive thought patterns need to get torn down from your 2009 mindset before you leap into 2010?  Don’t try to do “historic preservation” on something that would be better off demolished.  After all, progress cometh…if you allow it.  Let God do a new thing in you – starting today.  Start right now.

© Copyright 2009 by Kayren J. Cathcart

“And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old.”

(Luke 5:36)