Saturday, January 23, 2010

Phone Number to Host

Please read my previous post regarding why I am posting this message.

If you would like to be on a list of a possible host to host orphans from Haiti please call DCFS at
312.814.6800 or 312.793.6800.

Praise God for your willingness!

Thank you,

Friday, January 22, 2010

Haitian Orphans Arriving in Chicago

Hello there. So I didn't feel like it was the place to post this on our "joint" blog - seeing as how Ty is in a meeting at the moment and I received an urgent message today!

I received a message from a friend at church - our Compassion and Justice Ministry Director - and she let me know that there are 75 orphans from Haiti arriving tonight who need temporary hosts. Praise God that in, what I can only imagine was a few short hours, they found homes.

However, the need still exists. More orphans will be arriving this week and they will need warm homes to stay in as well. I'll find out more details if your interested. Basically the next step is being placed on a host list for those orphans that come in.

Pray on it and let me know.


Monday, January 18, 2010

New Blog ... Again

Bet you think I would never come back huh? Me either!

Well, Tyson and I have neglected our new blog for quite some time. So, we thought we might update you on these to go check out the new site! We finally posted a blog, put up some wedding pictures, and some day I'll actually post reception picture, etc.


Thank you for keeping in touch and following along as God does reveals Himself and His plan in our life.

Lots of love,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A New Blog - A New Chapter

Well... this is quite the turning of a page for me. Tyson and I have started a new blog. Crazy as it may seem my current URL will sit on the internets as a record of past learning as one individual.

God has, is and will do so much in my life. I am thankful for the past 3 1/2 years with this blog. Starting in Africa and continuing on in Indy and then onto Chicago. God is good indeed and it has been a blessing to walk this road, through this blog, with you.

I am marrying Tyson Aschliman on November 14, 2009. That is the blessed day. And seeing as though we'll be learning, living and growing together we thought a blog together would be a good start to this "new chapter" in our lives together. Or rather the first "official" chapter as Mr and Mrs.

God has been teaching me a lot about identity, and finding my identity in God and not my singlehood, career or my "woman equality" kick. God is God no matter my marital status, job status, motherhood status - I am His kid and valued. This is simply a new chapter in my life. A good transition. And something God prepared me to do. I have been humbled to realize that in my singlehood, trying so hard to be content, I ended up finding pride instead of contentment in some ways. So now, I'm back tracking. I'm finding it ok to say "yes- my singlehood was awesome. God did so much and I totally enjoyed it. And now its a new chapter in my life, where God is the same God and is continuing to teach me. And the difference is in this chapter I won't be in an apartment by myself but a house with a guy named Tyson and a boy named TJ. And God has deemed this good."

Hopefully this makes sense. I'm so excited about the upcoming marriage and adoption. And as I close up this blog I just wanted to tell you a little bit about what I have learned about being single and now what I'm learning about being in relationship. Ah man... one thing I know, lessons on God and godliness will never end. But I intend to keep on learning, absorbing, being humbled, and falling to my knees before the throne of grace time and time again.

So please, as I close up this singlness chapter of my life move on with me to the "Katie and Tyson" chapter. Visit our blog ( starting with our engagement story, and look for our seperate posts. I promise, I'll let him write.

With love, thanksgiving, and humilty...


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Alas... a blog

And as usual... these blogs get delayed. The blog below was written a month ago and another section was written about 3 weeks ago. The total blog was edited again recently. I share that friends because you are reading the blog of a scatter-brained gal who desperately desires to share truth and walk in the light. So, even though these particular words were written a while back, these lessons are ever present and continue to refresh and restore my heart back to the Lord. Enjoy the inner-workings of my crazy heart.
Hey there blog. Gosh its been a while. I'm writing because I feel like I need my heart to speak but it doesn't have words. So... I will just start writing and see what it says.

Today I was brought, once again, to that humble place of recognition that God is God and I am not. That might sound silly, like "right Kate... He has never changed." But this recognition is not because I have tried to control my own life (although tempted and perhaps given in at times). Recognizing God for who God is, or as much as I can fathom today, has entirely to do with the fact that I need Him. Desperately.

Chicago has been good. Trying but good. God is teaching me a lot about being in relationship. Not only with Tyson, but friends and family long distance, co-workers and specifically Him.

A friend had asked a few weeks ago if I had blogged lately. I had but truthfully it was lacking this awe inspiring, life changing truth I feel like I had come to realize (through the power of the Holy Spirit) in the past. What had changed? What made my words come out softer?

The answer was clear. Time with Him.


So... I wrote that section, and when I came to the realization that I needed time with Him, I put down the lap top and began to pray. Here is the newer section written over July 4th weekend.


God is in the business of making beauty from ashes. And I have found myself to be in humble acceptance of that beauty.

To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

This past weekend a few friends of mine came in from Indiana and from Georgia. It has been a blast. Last night the whole group stayed at Tyson's. As friends get to hang out with Tyson and TJ, questions abound regarding life and follow up conversations are had with me.

"So Katie... what is it like?" "How has it been?" "How are you doing?" "How are they doing?" There are usually questions regarding the redemption and restoration that continues to take place in Tyson's life. Anyway, as Tyson converses with my friends he'll end up talking about life in Indy, life here, and just in general we find ourselves talking about his house with Leslie in Fishers, times when TJ was little, and even end up discussing the battles with cancer. (Leslie's and Sarah's)

Tyson put TJ down for his nap today and went to sleep with him. My friend just left for a cousin's to say hi for a bit. And I found myself in the basement, looking at a blank sheet of paper knowing it was time to pour out my heart to God. I began to release my heart to God in questions, thanksgiving and wonderment. As of late my heart is taking in the "lessons" of God, has almost felt paralyzed; not from fear just from shock at His hand and how it has moved and is moving.

In tears I began to ask..."How am I here?" "God... how can my heart ache so much for the pain that everyone went through in Leslie's going to heaven and yet stand here and be so thankful for the life you are giving me?" And the answer I heard was "I MAKE BEAUTY FROM ASHES".

A good reminder and yet not answering my question directly, but shifting the focus to Him. The glory of His Name. And ultimately God's story. Stay with me as I unveil my heart in its fragile state.

Friends, I cannot describe the compassion and sadness and the gut-wrenching pain I felt when Leslie died, and the ache I still feel every time I see her face in TJ's, hear stories of her from Anna, see her family and talk to Tyson about the hard times and the good. My heart aches for the pain that God is bringing them through and has brought them through. I am certainly in an odd position. So often I wonder how I am here, and yet...I able to rejoice in the healing that is now taking place. Surely the healing will continue, but just as sure as the tears are that fall from my eyes, there is hope in today. I just can't believe that God would have it so that I might be a part of the beauty from the ashes of cancer.

What is crazy, or rather not so crazy, is that Tyson and TJ are also apart of the beauty from my ashes. So often I discount the struggle I've been through, the sin that is within me, and the hope He has given me. All the stuff that has brought hurt in my life, including my own sin, is a part of those ashes that have formed the broken mess, the ashes, I find myself to have. But, when we see the soot on our knees, and smell the remnants of the fire, we must remember that God is in the business of making beauty from ashes.

Hardship, sin, pain and suffering are a part of this man-centric life on earth. But when lived for God there is something else to be had. There is hope to find. A lightness to feel. And a joy to live into. As my heart continues to ache for friends with cancer, 5 year old girls with brain tumors, a boyfriend who lost his beautiful wife and an incredible 3 year old who lost his mommy, I choose to go back to God and I remember the truth of WHO He is.

He takes my sin and washes it clean. He takes my tears and puts them in a bottle. He takes death and conquers it. He takes sickness and heals it. He takes the lost and finds them. He takes the hopeless and restores them. He takes my pride and He humbles it. He takes my ashes and He makes them beautiful.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.

To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins,
repairing cities destroyed long ago.
They will revive them,
though they have been deserted for many generations.

So although I do not feel like I should be able to participate in such a beautiful redemption story, I am humbled truly that I am God's at all. For I know that the good work God has begun on earth, He will see it to completion...and use me when necessary. :)


Well, that about sums up what I've been learning. Thankfully God gave me sweet time with Him and although my stubbornness almost didn't take the time this morning, finally I stopped, listened and worshiped. Truly the lesson this morning for me was "It is about Me. Don't lose your focus in yourself, your life.... I will take care of those details. I am Alpha and Omega. I am the Redeemer..." Anyway, you get the point. God continues to refine me and remake me on this journey. And looking at today, I stand to tell you friends, it is a joy to be His!

Joyfully humbled today,

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wind blowing home

Hi friends. I have accidentally neglected you. That was unintentional. Because of my accidental neglect I would ask as you read this post, to just hang with me as my fingers work out the crossroads of thoughts in my head.

Well, when I said the winds were blowing they did indeed blow. I ended up settling in by Friday May 8th. I guess settled isn't the right word but rather present. I am still settling into the life I have found myself living.

I have had weekends booked with fun activities for the past month and they will continue on for a while. Mom and Dad came the first weekend I was officially here. (played at the zoo, ate great food, etc.) Then we headed to the lake for Umbaugh family vacation over Memorial day weekend. Following that weekend (just 2 days ago) I had my first official "friend" visit. I am starting to feel "local".

This past weekend took the train from Naperville into the city. On our search for Michigan Avenue we ran into a family friend of mine from Indy. We were casually walking down Michigan and I just looked to my left and said "shut up". She followed it with "I have seen you more in the last three weeks than I have in a year and you live here now." God's blessings of making me feel comfortable in a sea of unfamiliar faces. After an exhaustively fun day of zero purchases for me (except for coffee and food) Saturday night we found a great local Chinese restaurant which I will continue to get take-out from. That is always a necessity wherever you live.

Sunday I got to see another friend from Indy who was here for her cousins wedding! We got to find a cute little restaurant in Batavia, sat outside, and enjoyed catching up on the last month or so of our lives. So this weekend was filled with comforts from home and old friends.

Life is interesting as it takes this new turn. I think about where this blog started... obviously Kenya; and where it is currently. I never would have imagined 3 years ago I would end up where I am. But that is the beauty of life. The beauty of following an unpredictable, larger-than-life, God. He isn't always comfortable. As Mr. Beaver said in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:

"Safe? … Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he is good. He’s the King, I tell you.”’

These days I am filled with joy and thankfulness for this next step. There is no denying that there were frequent thoughts that I would never find "love". And I was right in a sense. I didn't find it. God is my "cupid". (as we say) There are days where I wonder "am I really here... did you call me to this man, this boy, this place?" and God's gentle voice of peace sings over me reminding me "Yes Katie you are; and I brought you here". Praise God. There are hard days when I am reminded that I am not "home" anymore or rather that Indy is no longer "home". Perhaps its redefining what home means. Not a place but a people. Not a house but God. God is my home and wherever we go I am home. I just happen to be residing in Aurora, IL.

As alluded to there are days that are hard. As previously stated we had Umbaugh family vacation over memorial day weekend. Sadly, Lydia and Bob couldn't join us due to exciting craziness in their lives. The rest of us headed down to Lake Cumberland and stayed in a house. We had an awesome time fishing, swimming, eating and playing games. The boys learned how to gut a catfish while Laura and Anna cut Will's hair. On Tuesday morning as Tyson and I drove away from the house and my family, and I was once again reminded "home" is being redefined for me. (with tears of course) I just miss them... but this is good my friends.

I won't give you all the juicy details but for an update... Tyson and I are doing well. We are learning a lot and totally enjoying the 15 minute drive between us. It no longer limits us to weekends but dinners and breakfasts and lunches are options. Its a crazy new blessing that we are very thankful for. For the other Aschliman boy...God is doing a lot with my relationship with TJ. I attribute it to God and His miraculous ways. I love him and his love for me seems to grow as well. Check out Tyson's blog.

So, to change gears a bit here, Sunday at church we talked about how great, huge and powerful our God is. He is a God who makes other gods bow down to Him. Ronn used the same quote from Mr. Beaver that I used. That is OUR GOD! He is worthy of praise ... when we praise Him and when we don't. It never changes WHO He is or His holiness and especially His character.

We were reminded that often in our "comfort" of our relationships with God (however long those relationships have been) we forget just WHO our God is! Truly we will never know the fullness of who our God is but we have eternity to figure it out.

Onto the the issue of "comfort". As I was talking with my friend Saturday on the train, comfort is not always a good thing. I've noticed that often in my life I seek the next phase of life and then finally its like my will just "gives up" or FINALLY surrenders to the Lord's. It is then that life is changed and the comfort I had fallen into gets switched up. (hence the wind blowing)

When the winds blow, when life changes, it doesn't change God, His goodness, His love, His sacrifice, or His holiness. But what it does change is my perspective, my heart, my mind... and (Lord willing) by surrendering I am changed. By whom? The Almighty Hand of God. How beautiful is that? It just hit me as I am writing this. He didn't just form me in my mother's womb. But He is forming me now into who He desires me to be on our wedding day. When the bride, His church, will be reunited with Him.

So these winds that blow, these life changes however hard they may seem, even how joyful they may be, the winds are blowing me home. Heaven forbid, though, that I not enjoy the wind... or even the times that it settles for a bit.

With a joyful heart,


ps- keep your prayers up. life is not always "hunky-dory" as my mom would say. But it is good and with fear and trembling I thank my God for it and will enjoy the good gifts He is giving me.

I am a happy girl.

Tyson and Me on the boat after a beautiful rainy afternoon…

My mom and TJ at the zoo when they came to visit

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The wind is blowing...

The wind is blowing. Changes are coming and indeed have come. As I looked out the window driving home from Chicago last Sunday morning, the sun was just peeking over the horizon. It was incredible. The previous day I signed a lease for an apartment in Aurora, IL. My heart weighed back and forth as I knew I was embarking upon God's adventure for me, but there were also small pockets of fleshly fear as I make a big life change. His sweet voice reminded me of scripture I've been praying for months now...

When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You,
"Your face, O LORD, I shall seek."

In regards the the wind blowing? Well, God swung a door open (perhaps it was His wind) at Martopia in St.Charles (west-suburban Chicago) and I am walking through it. MediaSauce knows of my departure and this Friday is my last day at an office I've come to know very well, a business I've learned in, and a people I've come to know as some of my best friends. Life is a series of whirlwinds and if we're only paying attention we can see God's hand. I promise you, when I stop and watch the sunrise, when I soak in all that He is doing in this "whirlwind", I can attest it is indeed God's hand that is moving and it is more than ok by me.

The word I continue to use on my aim status is "bittersweet". Bridgette, my roommie, tells me that there is no "bittersweet" in Italian. She speaks fluently in Italian and that happens to be her favorite word. So when she lived in Italy she always struggled not being able to accurately describe "bittersweet" moments of life. It would seem these moments are all around me; not just in my life but in the lives of many.

Last Saturday I signed a lease for an apartment in Aurora, IL. It is close to my new job (starting May 11th) and even closer to Tyson and TJ. I'm psyched. Of course the transition is bittersweet as I let go of commitments here, groups I've joined, and say a temporary "see you later" to my friends and family. This Sunday I will pack a trailer and drive up to my new home.

How consistent the story goes with me... I ask and I ask and I ask. Just waiting for God's answer about the next phase of life's journey. Then when He does make the path clear, swings open those somewhat scary doors, I'm like "WHOA GOD. I'm not ready!" "Knock and the door will be opened. Seek and you shall find." I have sought His face and He has answered. Alas, He is faithful and knows when I am ready. He knew that it wasn't time to leave for California last September. He knew that it wasn't time for me to go to Kenya in 2005 but rather in 2006. His plan is GOOD, PLEASING, and PERFECT; not only to HIM... but because His best for me is better than my best for me, His plan is indeed good, pleasing and perfect for me too.

Bittersweet.... this week has been a series of events, saying goodbye, enjoying "last meals" with friends and co-workers, preparing for the mini-marathon in Indy (or wishing I could), packing things here and there, and wrapping up at work. Then my heart shattered on Monday around 2pm.

The McCrackens posted a blog that still brings tears to my eyes at the mention of it. Susie McCracken has now flown home to Jesus. She rests in the company of the angels, my sister, and most importantly the Almighty God... her papa. Her father. She is no longer in pain. But as she is basking in the glory of the Lord, there are family and friends left aching, and it is with those that I ache. Bittersweet is best described knowing someone so deeply, seeing the hurt so intensely, saying goodbye until you reunite in Heaven, knowing that because they are away from you in Heaven they are happier, healthier, and made whole.

Please be praying for them as they walk through these days, weeks, months, and years. Realizing that it won't feel normal, but they will be able to adjust to a "new normal" as dad affectionately calls it.

And so the war continues to rage. The winds of life swirl about me. I am moving to be with Tyson. Can you believe it? God has brought me him; without any help from me. As more and more people find out about this miraculous relationship I continue to say "yeah... its full of redemption, restoration, and God's hand." And so it is again with me moving. A miracle.

Please pray for us. As God gave us Psalm 55 & Zeph 3:17.... we rest in the fact that God is our defender. With a waging war against a relationship that desires to please and glorify God we find ourselves at odds with each other for no (really) good reason.

The war is evident and it never ends. My heart is heavy for the body of Christ today in thinking of war, disease, and sickness. A friend of mine from Common Ground, about my age, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. My heart is aching for her as she was preparing to serve Christ over seas. She is a gift with incredible vision and passion, and certainly this will not squelch this but as she says it is simply a "detour".

The Strands
are faithful in updating us on how they are doing. I am so encouraged by this family, Laurie & Greg's marriage, and the family's faith. Please continue to pray for them.

And yet... in the midst of all that is going on our God is good. He is sovereign. And indeed He is hope. I remembered that, watching that sunrise at 6am. My heart was able to rest amidst the blowing winds of life and I will continue to remain in this...

When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You,
"Your face, O LORD, I shall seek."

ps- we need someone to fill my spot in an awesome house in Broadripple (Indianapolis). Let me know if you know anyone! :)