Tuesday, December 27, 2011


As I am sure many of you know, Chance and I just moved to a new apartment near White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas. We absolutely love our new place.. especially the location.. and the move went off without a hitch [thanks to Amy & Mark Strauss!] Chance and I have been praying for our neighbors since we got here; for intentionality in our conversations, that we would be kind, love them, and hopefully get to know them better. As we were moving in on Friday, a kindly woman walked by and stopped outside her door just a few away from ours. She was a petite, little lady with auburn hair. I said a hearty hello to her and she responded in like, then commented on the Texas A&M cooler that we were carting inside, hoping that we were the Aggies fan! (I told her later that in fact that was our sweet friend who is the Aggie fan). On Monday, I made Chance's favorite meal: minestrone soup with bacon & a bunch of veggies (recipe below) and since the recipe always make a huge pot, we have leftovers for days. I had read a week or so ago a great blog post by Samantha Krieger on samanthakrieger.com about living a Missional Marriage. One suggestion was to make a meal & double the recipe, giving the other half away. So since we had this huge pot of minestrone I thought to myself: DEAR SWEET LADY DOWN THE HALL!

I took my tupperware and knocked on her wreath-adorned door and was welcomed in by Miss Hazel Wolinsky (sp?). For the next hour and a half, I learned that this lovely lady was 87 years old, still drives her car to the grocery store, lives by herself after her husband of 64 years passed away and has 2 kids and 4 grandchildren. Our conversation was full of details about both of our lives and I was thrilled to be able to share this special evening with this dear woman. She was so excited when I told her that Chance attends DTS (Dallas Theological Seminary) and said that her and Leon (her late husband) had a special tie to the school. Many seminary couples had helped them take care of Leon in the last few years of his life, and her son also attended the seminary in the 70's. We talked about family, cooking for husbands, the Bible, conservatism, San Francisco, and Episcopalianism. It was a great conversation and when I got home I was thoroughly delighted! Chance reminded me that God calls us to good works, and that He has prepared them for us before time so that we would walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).

I hope that through our new living experience we are able to not only be blessed by our new surroundings but bless others in return.

An Ambition of Mine

Today, I would like to share with you all one desire of my heart: an idea that has been taking root for quite some time. Over the years [especially in high school] I have struggled with eating/identity issues. This is no secret to friends and family, and I very grateful that I have had the support of so many from time to time - especially my husband, though he might not always understand. As women and girls, we tend to struggle with our physical appearance way more often than those of the opposite sex. I have seen this played out in my own life in multiple ways: 1) the struggle for control with healthy eating habits, 2) excessive exercise and 3) binge eating and depression. By the grace of God, about 3 years ago, I was brought to a point in my life where I knew that these "odd behaviors" were taking a serious toll on my spiritual life and relationship with Christ. I was becoming consumed with my outward appearance and trying to seek to take control through eating and exercise - all to no avail. I still felt out of control and depressed and defeated. In January 2009, I began a new semester of school and began re-thinking the issues of self-control and body image through a biblical perspective. I began to search for Christian resources that could contribute to positive and godly patterns of thinking so that my behavior would follow. I had little success in my search, but had a number of dear friends who gave me their helpful tips formulated through their struggles [see Resource page - coming soon].

The struggle for change begins always in the heart of person, that was one of the major things that I learned and am still learning. Just over a year ago, I stumbled across a wonderful blog called girltalkhome.com & while typing in random things to their search box - including Eating issues, disorders, problems, etc. I found an interview with an author/writer named Elyse Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick wrote a book called "Love to Eat, Hate to Eat" (the title perfectly defines the battle in my opinion) which I immediately purchased. Last fall I read that book, which is the first Christian book that gets to the root of the issue of eating--the sinful, distorted desires of the heart. I gleaned much from this book and have recommended it to many friends and friends-of-friends. It has profited me much and I hope that it might do the same for you.

So, my heart's desire: to formulate an on-going resource page & blog dedicated to the issue of eating/identity struggles/food matters that is Christological and bibliocentric. Basically, a legitimate Christian resource for girls & women that incorporates biblcial truth as the foundation for helping with all sorts of eating issues. I have already asked one dear friend to contribute to the page (and she is a much better write than myself). I would love, love, LOVE to hear your comments, concerns, questions and suggestions. Please feel free to comment below this post or e-mail me at kathryn.m.sumner@gmail.com . Facebook messages are welcome too :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

To Know Him

"And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." -John 17:3

Friday, December 16, 2011


There have been many times in my life (i.e. the last 4 years) that I have looked back in retrospect at certain periods of time (or 'seasons' as we Christians called them) and have envied myself for the amounts of spiritual growth I have done. How silly is that? To envy oneself? But why on earth would I feel this way if I were in fact, in that retrospective moment, I were growing in Christ myself? The answer I believe lies in the fact that we tend to stray.

The Lord is our Shepherd, and in Him, 'we shall not want' (lit. "be lacking") but so often we get distracted. We become consumed with life's obligations and we stray further from our Shepherd. This doesn't happen overnight, it happens in moments throughout days that turn into months, that turn into those 'seasons'. We find that we have not yearned for the Lord as we should have, nor relied on Him as we ought and need to. Our condition is a stray sheep in need of return.

Back in Florida, a college pastor of ours preached through the entirety of the Bible - one book at a time each Sunday morning until he was finished - Malachi was one of my favorites. I remember he labeled Malachi as a book about spiritual apathy. A particular verse that has somehow always struck me is Malachi 3:7 which says, "From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have no kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. But you say, 'How shall we return?'" The book of Malachi specifically discusses the Israelites neglect of the Law and how the foreign influences were becoming a dominating part of their culture - from intermarrying to divorce. The condition of the nation was just not good, even the priests were neglecting their duties in favor of foreign practices - which is one reason why the prophet addressed the priests harshly in chapter 1. This verse is telling us that God is different than the his ow laxidasical chosen people - and He is different from us. We continually stray, but God has mercy on us for if we return to Him, He will indeed return to us. Malachi 3:6 says, "For, I the LORD, do not change..." And surely He does not.

The prophet Isaiah addresses the nation of Israel in a similar manner, and this verse I just love: “I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like a mist; return to me for I have redeemed you.” (Isaiah 44:22) Not only are the people told that their sins are forgiven, but God gives them a reason in their return to Him - "for I have redeemed you". I was talking with a friend the other day, another seminary wife, who mentioned that she sometimes feels that before she can go to the Lord she has to clean herself up on the outside - I empathized with that feeling. The amazing thing is that we don't have to try to make ourselves look good because our status has already been changed: if you are in Christ, God has redeemed you and therefore you can return to Him even if you have strayed, because trust me, you will stray again.

Lastly, in one of my favorite epistles, 1 Peter, the apostle gives us a great hope, “For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”  (1 Peter 2:25) Christ is the Chief Shepherd, the One who watches out for all of His sheep, and the Overseer of our souls.

Returning to God can and should be just that joyous.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Merry Christmas!

This year I decided that I should probably do some Christmas cards, since I didn't do them last year and it was our first Christmas as a married couple -- oops. Chance and I have had spectacular holidays together since we've been dating, first in Michigan, then in Florida, now this year in Dallas! I must say that although it will be sad to not be with family on Christmas, I am so thankful to God for my husband: he is my best friend, the love of my life, my companion, and "covenant-lover" (thank you 'A Severe Mercy'). One of our most shared activities is laughing at and/or with each other. Due to the fact that we do not have cable OR internet in our apartment, we have none other than each other to entertain us. This results in random dance parties, practical jokes, and play fighting. Chance is a one-of-a-kind and I love him dearly, with every ounce of capacity to love another human being. Thank you Lord for my sweety!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

i can't think of a title..

Quite the heading for my first post huh? Well, I really never thought that I would actually start writing a blog but the internet makes it so easy .. thanks a lot Google. I am at work right now, after a day of booking reservations, creating a brunch menu, and stamping/addressing Christmas cards - I am ready for a nap! When I get home the husband will be off at school and I will come home to a quiet house that is about to be packed up and moved.

In the midst of the difficulties of life, it is easy to become a complainer or a grumbler. I could put on my pouty face and moan "Why me?" or "Why us?" I could do that and be completely justified.. except for one tiny complication: I possess the Spirit of God. And because I possess the Spirit of God, I do not have to respond to life's difficulties in the typical manner. In fact, I am commanded not to. Instead, I am commanded to respond, "Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust." (1 Peter 2:18) Why I am called to do this? "For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly." (2:19) And who am I to emulate in doing this? I need someone to show me how! "For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps." (2:20) Ah ha. So I can indeed suffer differently because Christ himself suffered for me leaving me an example, so that I might follow in his footsteps.

So although Chance and I have to pack up and move our belongings for the 2nd time this year, and although it is Christmas, we will rejoice because we get to taste a teeny tiny bit of what Christ endured for our sake. Now that is cause for Merry Christmas!