I invited my husband to see the faith-based indie film, War Room last week. This drama demonstrating the power of prayer fought its way to the number two spot at the box office after receiving negative reviews from movie critics. I chose to listen to a few close friends who loved the film and highly recommended that Derrick and I see it.
War Room definitely impacted us as well as the trailers we viewed of several Christian films being released this year. Actually, we had a couple “God” encounters that evening as well. In the theater lobby, we met a woman, Stacy who has a ministry for married couples in her home. She was accompanied by an entourage of teenage girls, including her own daughter. They actually sat right next to us during the film and responded favorably to its message. We engaged in a spirit-filled conversation and before we parted, the woman spoke “unity” into our marriage.
We then drove to a quaint italian restaurant in our neighborhood for dinner. As we sat on the outdoor patio, I struck up a conversation with a gentleman who sat down at an adjacent table. To our amazement, he mentioned that he owns a bike shop called “Go Green” in the Burbank area. Being an avid cyclist and spin instructor, Derrick lit up when he revealed this tasty tidbit! They talked about frequented bike routes, trails, and everything under the sun related to biking. Of course, I praised the film and suggested he watch it and then spread the word as well.
It was an anointed evening for the both of us! We have agreed to pray together more often after being woken to the realization that it will greatly impact our marriage and create a stronger relationship with God and each other. Now that the film has climbed to the #1 spot, I pray this will become the new direction for our nation.
The most common response I hear from others when I tell them I enjoy working with children who have special needs is, “Wow! You must have the patience of a saint!” I admit that I do have patience when it comes to teaching those young minds and am proud of their progress throughout each school year. It’s not surprising that my favorite pastime growing up was playing “school” and I was always the teacher. I coerced my younger sister, Lyn to be my student in our makeshift classroom (a desk in the laundry room of our childhood home).
In other areas of my life, I don’t regard myself as an overly patient person. When I pray to God asking Him for guidance or an answer to a question, it can be painful to wait for a response from the Holy Spirit. Especially when my heart is hurting and it seems as if the inner turmoil will continue unless I make an attempt to heal the situation on my own. Opening my Bible and reading verses about the truth of God’s love can sustain me in these moments and keep me from making a move in the wrong direction. It’s also a huge blessing to have prayer partners who can intercede for me and lead me to meditating on certain scriptures.
I am so thankful for my relationship with my Father in heaven and the prayer warriors in my life. I don’t understand how anyone can rely on their own understanding in this crazy world.
Every morning I start the day by thanking God for my healthy body, my marriage, and numerous blessings. That is how I prepare myself for another day of life in this chaotic world. Also taking a few quiet moments during the day to reflect on my life and express my gratitude allows me to remain joyful and positive. It is also a wonderful way to commune with my Father and keep my eyes focused on Him.
Above all, I am eternally grateful to Jesus for making the ultimate sacrifice and dying on the cross for me. What are you grateful for in your own life?
I believe that one day I will have the opportunity to ask God specific questions that I have pondered throughout my life. When in prayer, it seems natural to call out to my Father when I cannot understand or accept a certain situation. While I trust in Him completely, it would be a great comfort to know the answers to these questions:
1. After my mom was diagnosed with ALS, she believed and proclaimed many times that you would heal her from this disease. She passed away six months later. Why didn’t you restore her to perfect health?
2. Why are innocent babies born with leukemia or life-threatening diseases? Is it to strengthen the faith of those closest to them?
3. “Bad things happen to good people” seems to be true in our society. Why is it that the righteous ones leave this earth sooner than mean-spirited people? My theory is that unkind people have more lessons to learn about loving others and they require more time here.
Thank you, Father for surpassing all understanding and loving me as I am!
When we are little children, time seems to stand still and move at a slow pace. We count the days until our next birthday in anticipation of hitting those significant numbers of 18, 21, 30, etc. As we mature, time seems to fly faster and faster and we wish that it could slow down to better enjoy those precious moments. Every Monday morning that I wake up it seems that I blink and it’s already Friday! This seems to be generally true for most of us. The exception for me is when I am suffering from emotional or physical pain. I find myself praying for those days to move at a quicker pace and would choose to place them on fast-forward if that was an option. Then I would not have to endure those uncomfortable and painstaking challenges even though I know they cause me to transform into a stronger woman.
One year ago I underwent surgery to repair a labral tear in my hip caused by one of my students with special needs who intentionally shoved me in my back. The months of physical therapy were not pleasant; although I did bring a lot of laughs to the staff at the rehabilitation center. I always try to make the best out of any situation and have remained active by taking restorative yoga classes.
Tonight I am delighted to report that I took my husband Derrick’s spin class for one entire hour without any pain! This is an important day and more exciting to me than my birthday this month! I am so thankful to God for healing me from this injury and to my incredible husband for giving me continued love and support as we just celebrated our 9 year anniversary! Hallelujah to both achievements!
It has been cloudy for the past few days with the slightest chance of rain in the forecast. I counted three tiny raindrops falling from the sky this afternoon and have been praying for more to follow. Our state is entering into its fourth year of drought and all residents must conserve water. Most recently, a local park in Sherman Oaks broke ground for several new synthetic soccer and baseball fields. I cannot imagine living without that awesome aroma of fresh cut grass! This is a photo I took of some colorful flowering succulents planted by my husband this year in our side yard.
Not only is there a serious drought in California, this Spring has been a dry season when it comes to miracles and revelations in my own life. It has been a turbulent month filled with constant prayer for several friends of mine who are battling cancer and another with a debilitating neurological disease. It’s interesting how your priorities shift when someone close to you is enduring tests and procedures that will reveal whether they will live to a ripe old age … or not. I am reminded that our bodies are fragile and am thankful to be close to God.
I send healing prayers and blessings out to every precious child of God!
As each month passes, it becomes clearer why God transferred me to this new school. We have a core Christian group of staff members who meet on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays at lunchtime for a Bible study. We share our personal struggles, triumphs, pray for one another, and sing uplifting songs. One of the more proactive members pushed through a “Follow Jesus” program to be available for students to attend on campus on Thursdays.
Recently, one of the Physical Education teachers who has taught at the middle school for 30+ years revealed that her father was in the hospital suffering from congestive heart failure. Many of her co-workers prayed for God to comfort the entire family. Her dad passed away a few days later peacefully with his family around him. The following morning she shared this news with me and a student, Freddy when she saw us in the hallway. We both hugged her and expressed our condolences. I asked Freddy if he’d like to make a beautiful card for her to show our support and love.
This young man created an artistic pop-up card (pictured) and presented it to this woman grieving for the loss of her father. There were over fifty people who signed the heartfelt card. She was so overwhelmed with emotion when he handed it to her. It was such a genuine expression of love and compassion. I know it meant the world to her as it lifted her spirit up and gave her a sense of peace.
It is already the second month of 2015 and I’ve waited over an entire month to write this blog. Over the Christmas break from school, my first international student arrived from China. Michael arrived in early January and I met him on his first day of school at the high school counselor’s office. As his Coordinator, I can rest assured because his current host family, the Alonzo’s, are simply wonderful and he is adjusting well to our culture. We all attended a fundraising event on his first Saturday evening here that featured Nick Vujicic as the main speaker. Most of us are familiar with this incredible man who was born in Australia without limbs and was called at an early age to preach the Gospel and share his heartfelt testimony with the rest of the world.
Since that night, a transformation has already occurred in this young man’s life. He has requested to stay after school to attend chapel as well as expressing an interest in attending a men’s Life Group; an organization within the Alonzo family’s church. It is obvious that God has arranged for this young man to travel thousands of miles to California to be surrounded by people who demonstrate the love of God.
Our Father is so magnificent and omnipotent! When we surrender to Him and pray that His perfect will be done, He will move mountains on our behalf.
When I laid down to sleep tonight, I realized this Christmas has been the most peaceful season of my life! I shared this revelation with my husband and then closed my eyes. Thoughts and memories filtered quickly through my brain and this creative flow stirred me to get out of bed and write them down. I have remained so calm throughout these final days before Christmas silently observing all of the hustle and bustle around me. I’ve no desire to rush out and shop for presents or address Christmas cards as I typically do. As I recall this past year, I have an overwhelming sense of peace about where I am in life and the world around me.
I cannot believe it’s been eight years since the passing of my mom and dad. I feel the spirit of my mom with me even more this Christmas; as I wrap myself in the quilt she knitted just for me or hang the ornaments from my childhood on the tree. My mother’s sister (Aunt Margie) called me earlier this evening to chat and wish me a “Merry Christmas”. This warmed my heart as we reminisced and shared stories about my beautiful momma. In the past few years, I have made an effort to reacquaint myself with long lost cousins and family members to bring restoration. God has also filled my life with a husband who loves me unconditionally and incredible friends who provide a sense of security in this crazy world. Their love and acceptance fill that empty place in my heart until that glorious day when I reunite with my loved ones in heaven.
I am so thankful to Jesus and celebrate his birth this season. Peace on earth to you all!
On the eve of Thanksgiving, I am getting dressed to go to church. It is an unseasonably warm evening in Los Angeles accented with a lovely crescent moon in the sky. I realize how thankful and blessed my life is amidst all the chaos and turmoil going on in our world. My peace comes from knowing my Father is omnipotent and loving. I repeatedly surrender to Him and then find myself worrying about daily life, and make another futile attempt to take the reins again. Then I wake up to the Holy Spirit nudging me to let it all go and release it to my most faithful friend, confidante, and everlasting Father. My soul will always praise Him and be thankful for giving me breath!
Sending out love and restoration to everyone this season, Cat Hatchett