Monday, May 23

25 Acts of Kindness

I was so depressed about this year's birthday for multiple reasons. However as I was wallowing in self-pity of this next year, I realized that instead of being so full of self and complaining that I should take the focus off me and serve others in this time. What better way to get over yourself by serving others? So throughout the month of May I have decided to partake in acts of kindness in honor of my birthday. So here I wanted to highlight a few of the things I did during my birthday month to share the love, take the view off of myself, and be a blessing to others: 

1. United Way Ben & Jerry's donation
While partaking of a sweet treat, the United Way was running a campaign so I was able to donate to a great cause while enjoying a guilty pleasure

2. Bought lunch for a needy college couple
also known as my brother and his girlfriend. They both just started working in Charlotte together and have little to no money. While I was in town for a work conference, I stopped by and treated them to lunch!

3. Donate books to Boys & Girls Club
I have tons of books that I've already read and needed to clean space on my bookshelf, so I packed them up and brought them to the Boys & Girls Club in my town

4. Leave a water/Gatorade for Mailman

5. Pick up trash on a walk

6. Encouraging cards for someone who needs it

7. Create a homeless bag for Church Under the Bridge
At my church we all came together and helped stuff bags for homeless people in our community. There is a great organization called Church Under the Bridge which serves homeless people in the area with basic necessities and the Word of God. Check it out here 

8. Give a book to someone
As I was cleaning out my bookcases, I felt like God wanted me to give this particular book to a girl I've met at church a few times. So I put a little note and a cute bookmark in it and gave it to her the next week at church. I hope it bless's her like it has blessed me.

9. A gift to a friend just because
I met one of my best friends for drinks and appetizers one night and just packaged a little gift bag for her, just because. Sometimes its nice to get a gift simply because!

10. Letter to a sick kid
I found a website where you can write letters to children in hospitals to brighten up their day!

11. Buy flowers for someone just because

12. Donated Rice for foreign countries

This is a super cool website that donates rice (one of the main sources of food in many improverished countries) to villages just because you answer questions! It's like the ultimate trivia game: you answer questions and people get food to eat. Pretty cool.   

13. Donate old glasses to people who would otherwise not be able to have glasses 

14. Donate old cell phones to veterans through local store

15. Baby Gifts for a Mom in Need
I became aware of an old friend who was in a tight spot and expecting a baby...with nothing to bring the baby home. Along with a few other friends, we chipped in and stocked up mommy and bay for a good few months. Babies are a blessing afterall!

16. Buy someone's coffee behind you.
Ran through Starbucks today and covered the car behind me and left a note! Pass along the smiles.

17. Donated toothpaste to Mary's House 
Mary's House is a local home for women who are recovering from substance abuse with small children. They had a need for toothpaste while I was at the grocery store, so I grabbed an extra tube! 

18. Donate clothes to needy (Goodwill or another shop)

19. Compassion International Ministry 

About a year ago I started to sponsor a little girl in Tanzania named "Sara". She is six-years-old and lives with her grandmother and mother in a village that is largely agricultural. This month I decided to send her a few extra sweet things including an extra gift and some pictures and a letter from me to her! Want to learn more about sponsoring a child, go here: Compassion

20. Post in notes in a bathroom. Posted some encouraging notes on a bathroom in a local store like "You are beautiful" "You are valued" "You look fabulous!"

21. "Take what you need" 
Printed off a sheet and posted it in local Starbucks. Take what you need: patience, love, joy with Bible verses attached to each slip of paper!

22. Leave some love behind
I thought I'd leave a little love for a sweet coworker on Friday night (after he left) so he can have a smile first thing on Monday morning (: I covered his computers in sticky notes with encouraging notes

Thursday, May 19

The Faith Journal: Romans 10:17

I'm starting this new project called the Faith Journal. I want to dissect a verse about faith and really study what it's saying and what it means and how to believe it. Worshiping to awesome Hillsong United songs, joining Bible Study, and doing daily devotionals is great and wonderful but I feel like there's something more. I want to have a greater faith in the Lord and I think that begins by getting back to the basics: reading and studying His word.

Today I want to look at Romans 10:17 in different translations and then delve into what God is trying to tell us in this passage. Links in the chapter for you to find more resources

Romans 10:17 (ASV) So belief [cometh] of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17 (BBE) So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17 (CEB) So, faith comes from listening, but it's listening by means of Christ's message.
Romans 10:17 (CJB) So trust comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through a word proclaimed about the Messiah.
Romans 10:17 (ESV) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17 (KJV) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10:17 (MSG) The point is, Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ's Word is preached, there's nothing to listen to.
Romans 10:17 (NIV) Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Romans 10:17 (NLT) So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

I've struggled with this concept of "hearing" God. I don't hear an audible voice, so how can I 'hear' God? When you're going through a tough situation and you silently say a little prayer, does a voice come over the radio and instruct you which path to take? Maybe it does. I know for me personally, that lightning-bolt-in-your-face moment doesn't happen. Does that mean God is silent and I'm forgotten? 
Romans 10:17 reminds me that I can't expect to be spoken to if I'm not listening to the right station. How can I expect to hear my favorite country song when I'm listening to the smooth jazz station? I've got to be in the Word. The Word is God's amplifier to us. He speaks through the words in the Bible. When you're sitting at your ropes end and not sure what to do, it's that small voice in your head that gives you peace or direction. Those songs on the radio that hit you like a bullet even when you've heard it 1,000 times. Those moments are God speaking to you and giving you a sense that He is there, He cares, and He is listening. We've just got to be open to receive it. Just like you can't expect to do well in school without studying, we've got to take time to study what God says to reap the benefits.
So faith comes from hearing, so lets read and hear what God has to say today. 

Wednesday, May 18

Fighting the Enemy

The enemy is not after your money or your stuff. He wants your mind. Your attitude. Your heart. Your faith. Your peace. Understand that you're not being attacked over the tangible things in your life. The enemy is fighting you over the things can't see.

Tuesday, May 10

Gluten Free Travel Tips

The Traveling Cupcake's Five Gluten Free Travel Tips

1. Pre-make homemade trail mix with GF Friendly components.
I have snack-size baggies of cashews, pistachios, almonds, golden raisins, chocolate chips and cranberries ready to go for travel trips.

2. Make your own dinner ahead of time.
I'm a huge proponent of meal prepping, so on the weekends I spend time cooking up easy meals that I can reheat (or eat cold). Meals in airports are expensive and most of the time can't be certified GF so I usually bring a Tupperware for my dinner: chicken with rice and veggies, leftover steak and mushrooms and asparagus, or always a hearty salad. For dressings for that salad pick up one of these handy to-go dressing containers for your quart-size liquid carry on!

3. Wine is gluten free.
Just saying. A long layover and cancelled flight...usually you can find a wine bar or restaurant to sip on a nice glass of Malbec or Pinot. Eat that with your tail mix and you'll be set.

4. Yelp or Find Me Gluten Free app.
I have two go-to apps when I'm on the road looking for GF food and restaurant: Yelp! and Find Me Gluten Free. Both apps allow you to search the location/area you'll be in + narrow it down by price, hours of operation, style of food etc. Best off, both the apps are free!

5. Breakfast on the road.
Being gluten free and on-the-go at breakfast is challenging. When you think of breakfast on-the-run it's stuffed between two biscuits, croissants, bagels etc. and gull of gluten! Usually when I get to a new town I try to find a local grocery store or market and pick up some simple things I can keep with me for breakfast. I will stop and grab bananas, dried fruit, turkey jerky, and if I have a place to keep it chilled than some yogurt or fresh sliced fruit. Simple, cheap and healthy options that will leave you full and satisfied. 

Sunday, May 1

Tone It Up Week One

I just finished week one of this 8-week journey with "Tone It Up" and I am pretty excited about it so far. If you haven't heard of Tone It Up check out the fabulous Karena & Katrina here

So I've been an avid Crossfit junkie for three years but after some recent soul searching I realized that I need to take a step back and pursue some other fitness options. My best friend did Tone It Up last year before her wedding and she looked g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s; so when we heard that K&K were releasing Beach Babe 4, we joined the team! PS: You can buy the Beach Babe 4 or you can do the free workouts they suggest in its place, both are great.

There is a daily workout plus usually some accessory work and all of it is done in 20-50 minutes depending on the day. So let me be honest here- I'm in my final week of Crossfit where I lift daily, so when I saw the weights used for the TIU workouts were 4-10lbs. I thought it would be easy. I was wrong. Horribly wrong. I've been using 8lb weights and I've been absolutely dying!! It just goes to show that different kind of workouts work-out different muscles in your body. Overall I've loved the workouts and they've kicked my booty (especially the beach booty workouts, ha).

Workouts are one thing but honestly where I fall short is food. I love food and it makes or breaks you in the gym that's for sure. This week I killed it with the food plan and I feel so much better it's kind of stupid. I even texted my friend and told her I think I have abs coming in (which I don't, but I just feel that less-bloated! ha). So here is a quick compilation of what I ate during week 1: 

M1: Scarmbled eggs + 1/2 Banana
M2: Strawberries + Protein Banana Muffin
M3: Turkey burger (crumbled) + grapes + cucumber wedges + bed of greens + sweet potato chips
M4: No time
M5: Pork tenderloin + oven roasted veggies

M1: Egg cups (with peppers, mushrooms, spinach and ground turkey) + stawberries + booty call shot
M2: Raspberries and Greek yogurt + protein banana muffin
M3: Bed of lettuce and argulua with leftover pork tenderloin + cranberries + raspberries and grapes with balsamic and blue corn chips
M4: Larabar + cutie
M5: Zoodles with grilled chicken in homemade pesto

M1: Veggie and Turky egg cup (peppers, mushrooms, spinach and turkey) with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and raspberries
M2: Banana and two banana protein muffins (oops, too much banana)
M3: GF wrap with grilled chicken, lettuce, mayo/mustard + grapes + mango
M4: Starbucks Acai tea lemonade with 1/2 the sweetner
M5: Avocado balsamic chicken + steamed peas 

M1: 2 Egg cups (veggies + turkey) and 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and raspberries
M2: 1/2 banana + protein banana muffin + grapes
M3: Leftover balsamic avocado chicken + sweet potato chips
M4: Veggies with hummus and stawberries
M5: Tilapia + small sweet potato + green beans

M1: Homemade oatmeal with maple syrup and raisins + Green smothie
M2: Banana protein muffins
M3: GF wrap with ham, spinach, cheese, mayo-mustard mix + stawberries
M4: No time
M5: Homemade chicken tikki masla over rice 

M1: Greek yogurt with fresh berries + Turkey Veggie Egg Cup
M2: Banana Protein Muffin
M3: Pesto shrimp + mango + strawberries + tropical smoothie
M4: No time
M5: Chicken pad thai (my 'splurge' meal)

M1: Scrambled eggs + 1 piece of GF toast and peanut butter + strawberries
M2: Larabar
M3: Tuna on a rice cake and cheese + argugula salad with grapes and sunflower seeds + pineapple
M4: (not pictured) trail mix with peanuts, raisins, almonds and M&Ms (technically not 'compliant')
M5: burger on bed of arugula, pineapple, goat cheese and balsamic +  sweet potato fries + watermelon

Today (Sunday) I am going to meal prep for the week ahead which includes washing and cutting veggies to be roasted later this week or dipped in hummus, washing and cutting fresh fruit, mixing any dressings or dips I'm going to use, dicing and slicing chicken and making turkey burger patties, making homemade paleo granola and portioning out yogurt and cottage cheese for the week. Looking forward to week two and feeling even better. If you're looking for a new lifestyle to refresh your whole body, mind and soul join with me!!!

Goal for the week: Do all of the workout videos + look for a "goal" trip to take with my best friend when we complete this 8-weeks.

Half Way There: Peru 2016

I can't believe it- I'm over 50% towards my financial goal to go on my mission trip to Peru! Wow. Thank you, seriously, every single one of you who has prayed or financially supported this call to go serve the people in Peru. God is so good and I'm blown away by the support. Thank You!!! 

I have $845 left to raise. That number is nothing to sneeze at but I know that God has lead my heart to go on this mission for Him, so I know He will miraculously work out the funding.

In case you didn't get a chance to read my previous blog post, this summer I will be traveling to Arequpia, Peru to serve with an organization called AIM (Alpha International Missions). For a week I will be able to share the Gospel and pour out love on children and moms in this area while helping support the medical camp in the area.  

As I prepare for this wonderful opportunity God has placed in my lap, I'd love your support in both prayer and financial support if you feel lead.

If you're able to make a gift for this trip:
1. Go to Daystar's online giving website here(you can donate as a 'guest')
2. Click on "downtown campus"
3. Go down to the allocation of "Missions Directed- Unasigned"
4. Include message at the bottom and put "Katlin Peru Mission Fund" in the message box
5. Click continue and fill out the rest of the form with your information

THANK YOU for your prayers and financial gifts. I believe that He will provide the remaining $800+ for this trip and I'm just blown away by your willingness to support global missions. If you have any questions about giving or Peru, leave a comment or email me at!


This year marks a milestone for me: I'm officially a quarter-of-a-century years old. Now while to some of you this is probably no big deal, this has been a daunting birthday for me. It has loomed in the not-so-distant future but now I am here. Laugh as you will but it was always a scary number to me. Maybe it's because as a kid twenty-five seemed soooo 'old' and adultish, or maybe because as it got closer to the date, the more I realize that the life my twelve-year-old self imagined and the life I'm living are drastically different. 

However different doesn't necessarily mean bad. At twenty-five I work a job I love that allows me to jet-set on a monthly basis, have been blessed to travel the world for fun,  in the middle of my Masters degree, and pursuing the Lords call to go into the mission field. As I prepare my heart for missions I just felt like God wanted me to take the focus on "me" and focus on serving others. 

Galatians 5:13 "You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love".
So for the next month my focus is on others: serving others, loving others, and being a kind heart and shining light to show others that it's not about me or you- it's about love. Welcome to #TheGalatiansProject