Growth, Change, and all the Uncomfortable Things

What do you know about growth? How about change? Does it affect you as much as it does me or do you welcome a change from the norm? For me, change can be scary. The unknown is like a deep, dark hole that I just wish would flip a switch and see what all lies ahead. Then, I’ve heard it said as well, that if we knew what really lay ahead, that you wouldn’t have the strength to do it and……..well, would we really want to??

Think about a seed. Happy, contented to just be a seed. Nothing hurts, nothing is wrong. Then one day, it’s thrown in the dark, and covered with dirt and water is poured over him, making him soaking wet. The sun beats down on the dirt, warming him just a little but still the cool, damp earth is making his whole situation very uncomfortable. He begins to suffocate, and he feels the life drain out of him. He is dying, and yet, no one hears his cries for help. If they do, they don’t seem to care. Then one sunny, clear day he begins to feel the sunshine in a new sort of way, and as he looks around for just a second, he begins to realize how far he has come. From 4 inches below the ground to new life springing up above–closer to the sunshine and closer to the gentle rain.  He didn’t realize it. He didn’t realize that he was growing. All he could think about was the dying process it felt like he was going through.

A few weeks ago, I passed the 2 year anniversary of the beginning of my health problems. The morning still replays in my mind. Even though I was passed out, and very confused, there are still some very vivid pictures that come to mind. (There’s a lump in my throat as I sit here writing about it) Had I known all that I would go through and the changes that would come into my life because of this, I may have very well sunk into a deep depression unwilling to open myself up to anyone. Had I known the many headaches/migraines (literally) I would have in the next couple years, the time spent laying still in the MRI machine, (still can’t believe I held still for that long!) the many needles stuck in my arm (when up to 20 years old, I had never had a needle stuck in me that I can remember), the nasty stuff I’ve had to take, the many pills to remember to take (and at the right times, as well), knowing that they were going to try to make me pass out to do more tests….Had I known all of this was going to happen, I would have run in the complete opposite direction.

You know, as humans, we do have a blessing in disguise. We can only face one day at a time. Sure, we make plans and we desire for those plans to come to pass. But, in the end, God holds the master plan book and He will decide when and if those plans come to pass.

These past 2 years have been filled with many things I never thought I could handle. Many times I have wondered why God has chosen me to go through this….Why couldn’t He have chosen someone else who is stronger than me? Why would He chose me, the introvert, who doesn’t like to open up about the ‘real things’ going on in her life? Why didn’t He choose someone who was more mature in their growth than I am? Someone who seems to always have it all together??

I look back over these 2 years, and I realize that I have changed. There are things that are different about me. I open up to people and tell them when they ask me how I’m doing. I have a deeper respect for Drs. when before they were someone I didn’t need, and they just were ‘out there’. I realize that life is not an independent thing. You need friends, family, and most importantly, God. (I still forget this, but by God’s grace, I will keep learning) I’m very sensitive to what my body is doing. Any weird, odd thing that happens, is like a warning flag to me, and I wonder if it’s time for another episode or warning me that it will happen soon. I’m very much mindful of the noises I make upstairs in my bedroom. Most often when I drop something, or bump the wall, or the door, or something similar, I hold my breath, waiting to hear if mom or dad yells up to me to see if I’m ok. It also works the other way too, when there’s lack of noise when there usually is, they check on me. I try to let mom know if I’ll be sleeping in so she knows to expect noises at a later time. I go to bed earlier. This is a big one. I could stay up late for days back in the ‘good ole days’ 🙂 Now, I usually try to be in bed by anywhere from 9-10 as long as I’m home for the evening. I want to let people know what to do if it were to happen in their presence. I used to be silent about it, not telling anyone, because for some reason, in my mind, if I didn’t talk about it, it’s less likely to happen. 🙂 chuckle, chuckle. I try to live my life more on the focus on one day at a time–especially lately. It’s been a little over 9 weeks since the last one, and so the last few weeks have been, get up, go to work, come home, do things, and quick get to bed before it happens. 🙂 I realize that God has given me 9 weeks of health, and I try to thank Him for each ‘healthy’ day He gives me, while preparing me that it might not last forever. I am more aware of what an encouraging word does to someone. There have been times through these past 2 years when someone has reached out to me and told me they’re thinking of me, or they’ll be praying for me. So, I have been learning and trying to practice (notice the ‘have been’ and ‘trying to’–It’s not completely attained yet either) to take action when I’m prompted to encourage someone. When I see or hear of someone who’s down, and I’m prompted to encourage them, and I don’t, is that not robbing God (and me) of a blessing?

Anyway, that paragraph took an entirely different turn than I expected, and I need to get back on topic. 🙂 Growth, and change are sometimes things that just seem to be too much. ‘I’ll never be as spiritually mature as she is.’ ‘I’d never be able to go through what she is with such a positive attitude.’ ‘I just don’t think I could do it.’ ‘I’ll never love to serve people like they do.’ ‘I just can’t go through another day hurting like this.’

Friends, do me a favor and look at the beginning of each of those sentences.

They all start with ‘ I ‘. We hurt ourselves so much by turning the focus on ourselves instead of focusing on the One who can help us with all that we need. Like I’ve heard being said recently and I don’t remember the exact wording but to the extent of–“Sometimes, you are growing, and you don’t realize it until you look back a little farther.” I’m 22 years old. Back when I was younger, I never figured I’d still be struggling with some of the things I am right now. I guess I don’t know what I was really expecting…maybe a Super-Christian or something?? It’s laughable now, because I’m realizing and trying to remember there is always a higher point that I can strive to reach. We will never be able to say, that we’ve reached the top level of Christianity. It just doesn’t work that way.

So yes, change can be unpleasant. Growth sometimes is painful. But take a look at any beautiful flower, vegetable, fruit….something had to die before it got to be that beautiful. The something that has to die is you, me, our selfish plans and thoughts. Only then, can God create something that is beautiful for the world to enjoy.

If you’ve stuck it out to end–I give you a high five. This post was basically a lot of thoughts rolling together, and it just didn’t seem to flow as smoothly as some. Anyone who knows me well, knows that depending what mood I’m in, you never know what will come out of my mouth. 🙂

I started out the year 2018 giving myself 2 challenges. One was to take a picture every day. (I tried this one last year, and failed miserably!! Maybe if you all keep me accountable, I may actually finish this year. 🙂 Find the pictures here. And #2 was to write something every day. This is a big one for me, but so far it’s been pretty fun. I found a whole year of daily writing prompts, questions, etc., and while I wasn’t going to share on here for awhile, I’m in the mood, so if you’re interested, you can find it here.


In Memory of Mahlon Eash, Jr.

Life took a crazy sudden turn again. Sentences spoken in passing now are precious last words. Moments that were the daily norm, now can only be called memories. No words can be spoken that will ease the pain. Nothing can be given that eases the ache. Along with this fresh hurt and pain comes all the past memories of going through this before. A feeling of deja vu infiltrates within us as we all deal with the shock and grief in our own way. Some bury the feelings deep, never letting anyone know they’re even there. Some continue on but with a hint of fixated sorrow on their face. Some grieve by solitude. Solitude that gives you a chance to cry without anyone seeing. Solitude that gives you a chance to try to sort your feelings out and yet, somehow, they still feel like a jumbled mess. Some cling to each other, letting tears flow, and just craving that one thing that is still stable in their lives, a family member, a friend, someone who has always been there and you know is a constant. And, just when you think all the tears have been cried, somehow, a few more squeak out and run down your cheek. Some work it off–staying busy is the key and keeping active numbs the pain–if only for a little while.

Our body craves normality. When normal is ripped away, we yearn to fill it with something that seems even halfway right. And yet, every forced laugh at some stupid punny joke brings up a shred of guilt because of what someone else is going through. But laughter is also healing, and you begin to wonder what is even proper and decent in this time? Every hour you spend at work reminds you of all that might never get done. You begin to realize that you never want to live with regrets, because…….What if??

Slowly, but surely, you begin to find your place. Slowly, but surely, life seems to return to a halfway decent place. Nothing will ever be the same, nothing will ever seem to go the way it was before, some days you may wonder if you can even go on. Days will come when we celebrate, and we gather together as a family, but, only with a missing piece. Each person you know adds a piece to this puzzle called life, and when the piece is missing, the picture just isn’t quite right.

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Mahlon Eash Jr. (Jr. as I knew him), you had a determination in you that took you far in life. As a young boy, you were one of the smaller ones in stature, but as stated by one of your brothers, what you lacked in size, you made up for in determination.

You had a goofy side about you, a sense of humor. Cracking jokes and wanting to make people laugh.

You loved your family so much. You were SO proud of them all. Your grandchildren were the apple of your eye, and you would do most anything for your family. One memory I have— was often (or what seemed often 🙂 ), while going about my duties, I’d see your truck at the Martinsburg Dairy Isle, eating lunch with Erma. Those, I’m sure, are special times for her, and memories that will not soon be forgotten. Not every man would want to spend all his work hours working with his wife, but you did, and those are precious moments that will never be regretted!

You had a legacy that you wanted to pass on to your family. The business that had been in the Eash family for years and years….you took it upon yourself to keep it up and running, and you were proud to bear the name of Foundations Plus. That legacy of hard work and determination can be passed on through your family. Yes, there will be hard days, and there will be moments of discouragement. But you taught them to be strong, they WILL get through it.

So, yes, you will be missed. Days will not always be easy. Grief may come and go. But, know your family is strong. And on days it seems to them that they can’t keep going, they can be lifted up on the wings of prayer.


December Busyness

Ok, really, this could’ve been named 2017 Summer and Fall busyness, but nah, I’ll leave it the way it is. 🙂 This will be a random conglomeration of pictures with some random details. You’re brave if you follow along, and if you make it to the end, you have an amazing resilient brain that can keep up with the most random ramblings. 🙂


I had another niece born to me. Well, to our family, but she’s still mine 🙂 Kari Rebecca surprised us all when she entered this world almost 2 weeks early. I’m not complaining! 😀


One day this summer/fall, we got a lot of rain. Our small creek flooded. By the end of the day, it was down to a more normal size again. We didn’t float away. The End.

Who knew you could change the look of a wallet this much. It’s not perfect, and I don’t claim to be a perfectionist, or a DIY-er, but the updated version suits me SO. MUCH. BETTER!!


Pills, pills, pills. Find more of the updated health journey here. If I’d never have to see another one of these orange bottles, it would be pretty amazing! 🙂 Seriously, though, you’d think they could at least get some ‘pleasing to the eye’ colors!


One day, we baked lots of cookies. Well, I kinda held the baby and drove to and from the office to take care of random office things that people needed, with just a slight hand in the cookie dough. The others did great, though, don’t you think!? 🙂


If you’ve never had an ice cream party, I highly encourage you to get a group of besties together and dig in!! I won’t tell you how much was left by the time we were done.


Did you know guys can do dishes too? This was apparently not supposed to be posted online…oopsies! 🙂 I like starting most new traditions, but especially if they’re this kind! (Who knows if it’ll last?)


Unfortunately, there was one girl missing when I took these pictures. Sunday school for a year with them is____________ (I’ll let you fill in the blank)




and just (mostly) happy!


Just look at the expressions on this girl! She was in the midst of intently saying something, and I wish I could remember what it was!! 🙂


It’s been a year that Grandma left this earth. I’m so glad I have this beautiful handiwork of hers in my room. It’s amazing and took a skill I don’t think I have!


Our youth had an ugly Christmas sweater party. The pictures say a lot. A lot more than I could! 🙂


My office I work in got moved. New location is great! Nothing fell apart, and I still have a building to do work in. Thumbs up!

How was your summer/fall/winter 2017? Anything exciting happen? Share a picture and keep your favorite memories alive!



How the Las Vegas Tragedy Affects Me

Dear God, our hearts are wondering. They are wondering ‘why’? Why could this happen? How could You let it happen? You are Sovereign. You could’ve stopped it. And yet, through it all, we know that You. Are. Sovereign. That means so much more than just all powerful. Father, that means that through it all, you have an all-knowing mind, and even above that, you have an all-wise plan. Today doesn’t even seem real. It seems like something like this should only happen in the movies. I mean, 50+ people killed and 500+ wounded and many probably fighting for their life. But, as much as this saddens and shocks us, I can’t imagine how much more it saddens and shocks You. It doesn’t shock You with surprise like it does us. Nothing takes You by surprise. Rather, it shocks and saddens You because of all the effort and love you have put into creating each and every life. You created with love, formed every inch of those 550 victims. More than that, you even formed with caring love, the one who decided to make the sad decision to harm these innocent people. Jesus, I believe You are saddened and shocked, not by the surprise of the unknown, but because of how Your love got thrown back in Your face. How, when it seemed as if this world couldn’t get more wicked than it is, this happens. Father, we’ve all been betrayed by people, and it hurts, but never have we poured that much love into someone’s life, only to have it rejected so harshly.

The reactions of people will be mixed, but I wonder if they will even think of You. People will wonder how a God who claims to love, who claims to be merciful, how He can even allow it to happen. I don’t profess to even begin to understand how big and huge your character is, and why You allow this or that to happen, but I do know this…..In this tragedy in Las Vegas, You are there. In the middle of the devastation with the hurricanes, earthquakes, and flooding in the many different places,

You. Are. There.

If people truly seek You, they will find You. They will find You in the hospital room, through the Dr.’s sympathetic and caring touch. They will find You present with the efficient capabilities of the medics and emergency personnel, never knowing the whispered prayers that are breathed over them. They will find You in the middle of the night, when it seems all they can do  is sob with pain–there is where they’ll find You. They will find You while being lifted up in prayer by the whole family of God. They will find You while in the middle of the turmoil inside their hearts, while working at their seemingly endless job, when they will feel that they just can’t do this one more day, but silently, You are giving them strength.


They can see You with each new sunrise and sunset You give them. They can feel Your presence in the soft breezes that blow. They can find You in the center of a flower–where else could that intense beauty lead them? Their nurse on duty, that quiet, almost ‘too shy’ one…Do they realize that this morning’s Bible study with fellow Christian nurses is making her pause for only a second before she timidly asks, “Do you know my Jesus?” The hurting and confused children, the fatherless and motherless. You are there in the ones holding them close, cuddling them, hoping they can give these little ones just a tiny feeling of safety.

God, You are there.


But, You are also here, with us, the ones who are supposedly ‘unaffected’ by these tragedies. We feel slightly sheltered and safe, and yet our heart aches for those who are ‘out there’. That ache is You speaking to us. The tears that come to our eyes when hearing of the devastation, that’s You, reminding us to pray. That lump in our throat is just a way to shut our mouths from all the cliche sayings, and instead take the time to whisper a prayer to our heavenly Father. You are also here in our freedom to come and go. That freedom is a gift from You to us, to allow us to share Your Good News. When day in and day out, I reject that gift or use it all selfishly for myself, I wonder if that’s just as much shock and sadness to You as the tragedy of Las Vegas. You are here with us, in the middle of our everyday life, waiting, watching with eagerness to see how soon we’ll see You revealing Yourself to us, and when we don’t take notice, I’m wonder if that rejection is just like being thrown in Your face as well.

Father, I wonder how the nation of the U.S. would become if we could all just open our eyes to You. I wonder, if we could actually, truly recognize You in all the places You are, how would that make a difference in our nation?

Jesus, I know I can’t change the nation–only You can do that, BUT I can allow You to change me, and then maybe the change in me will light a spark in someone else’s life. Also, I can pray. We forget the power of prayer, but prayer has such a healing benefit, and our nation is so broken, in desperate need of the healing only You can give.

Help our nation to willingly open our eyes to be able to see You wherever You are. Open our hearts to the change that only You can give.

God, please heal this land!!






Tiny Treasures

The other day, week, or sometime in the past month or two, I cleaned my room. It was the good, “curiosity satisfying, going through old papers and stacks of things” cleaning. Ok, so maybe I’m the only one who lets it get that bad, but either way, I found something I had written back in my school teaching days, and I thought I’d share it on here, along with some changes/add-ons to make it sound better. Follow along if you dare! 🙂

“With a heavy sigh, I sank in my chair wishing with all my might for more dedicated students. Another failed quiz here, more studying of spelling words there. You see, today was a rough day. One particular student had to be worked with continuously on keeping the work up to total ability and had to be prodded so laziness didn’t become habitual.

This student was one I pushed hard, especially today. I made this one find all the answers, write and correct them all, and then study again to make sure he/she grasped the concepts. This student was the one who sighed (loudly), but was taught to obey, and, knowing I was the authority at school, went and ‘did’.

Recess came and went, and I was discouraged. Discouraged with the day, with the student, with everything that went wrong that day. If I were completely honest, I would say I was discouraged with myself. Was I too harsh? Am I expecting too much or not enough? What is a way I could have handled it better? How can I prepare myself if and when it happens again?

Story-time was soon upon us, and I soon became lost in the story as I read it aloud. After story, the student I’d treated so ‘harshly’ came up to my desk, and with a sweet smile said, ‘This is for you, Katie’, shyly laying a note on my desk. Listening as the numerous, unrecognizable misspelled words were explained, (still need to work on that spelling!) it settled in what was happening. I was humbled. Oh, to have the resiliency of a child. The note was simple, but it’s meaning was clear. ‘Katie, you’re a good teacher, and you make us happy and you give us prizes and you give us candy and you’re a good teacher and you give crafts for us, and you give us ideas and you’re perfect.’ (run-on sentences, too 🙂 )

My worst fears were unfounded. I hadn’t estranged this student. If anything, it built our relationship stronger. At dismissal, she/he asked, ‘Did you like the note?’ And in all honesty, I could say, ‘Yes, I liked it!!’, when in truth, my heart was overflowing with love!

You see, God has given me 13 ‘tiny treasures’ to teach and instruct in more than knowledge of Math, English, and Reading. He gave me them to teach important life lessons. That day, I believe I learned more than they did. That day, one of my tiny treasures gave of themselves in complete honesty a part of who they are. This tiny treasure, a child and a note, puts a smile on my face, as I think about the time God said, ‘Katie let me teach you a thing or two about Tiny Treasures’.”

God still gives us Tiny Treasures daily. Are our eyes open to them? (And, yes, I still have a picture of that note) 🙂



Hard Work and Moving On

Last Saturday was the day. The day all the hard work came together and actually happened. The day that was a turning point for the Eash family. The day that was filled with probably some of the most mixed emotions ever.

It was the day when history as we’ve known it, and ‘the way it’s always been’ ended. It was the day that new beginnings began. It was a day filled with excitement and uncertainty. A day that, when it was all over, a sigh of relief could be heard throughout the small town of Martinsburg.

It was a day full of memories. Memories of Grandpa and Grandma and the life they had created for their family. It was a day of recollecting. Recollecting on days gone past. Days of cleaning flower-beds, crashing the golf-cart into stuff, playing with Grandma’s many dolls, and the many meals and gatherings we’ve had together on the farm.


It was a day we could feel the support and love through the community. A day that made us (or maybe it was just me) realize we had NO IDEA how many people would show up for the turning of a new era. It was a day of catching up with family and friends. In my mind’s view, I can still see Grandpa and how tickled pink he would’ve been to see all his friends show up for this. I can see how he would’ve been proudly showing off his tractors and toys for all to see. They really were his pride and joy, and there was not much he liked better than spending a day in the field sitting proudly on his ‘green machines.’ And I can see Grandma making sure everyone has enough food and is satisfied, making sure every detail goes exactly as she planned, while we just smile and wonder if she’ll ever calm down. 🙂


It was a day filled with pride. Pride to be a part of this family. Pride to be able to carry on the legacy that Grandpa and Grandma Eash started. Pride to be able to have an ‘Eash Family Farm’ shirt in our possession. Yes, you can label us as ‘one of those’, but until you’ve been in that situation yourself, don’t judge! 🙂



It was also a day that was exhausting!! I wonder how many grown-ups wished they could take a nap in the middle of it all! 🙂


It was a day of laughter, stress, inward tears, and the over-powering sense of reality. For so long, this day was talked about and planned. Now, it’s finally happening!!


Cousin time… How many more can the golf cart hold? 🙂


All-in-all, it was a day to remember. Not only the day itself, but the memories that came flooding back as we reminisced throughout the whole ordeal. Cleaning out the house, the shops, the barns, made for lots of good stories, I’m sure.

To all you siblings….Make your mom and dad proud. Continue the legacy they started so long ago. The Eash’s are known for their hard-working and ‘go-get-em’ attitude. Keep it alive. Don’t let this turning of a page in your book be the last of the ‘Eash Family Chronicles’.  Continue it well with your children and grandchildren. Keep Christ first and live to make them proud!


Your hard work paid off! Great job, you all!

*All photos (except the last one, I’m not sure where/who it came from) used with permission and credited to TyNicolePhotography. Head on over to her blog  and check out her work!


Field Trips and Things

When you take a field trip with kids, you wind up with a lot of fun, adventure, and random, fleeting moments of questioning whether your sanity will remain with you through to the end of the day.

This week, I had the delightful privilege of going along to Kentucky to the Ark Encounter with our school. Vanessa and I were given this group of girls into our charge and I can’t tell you how many times I counted…1-2-3-4-5-6-7, to make sure the heads were all there.


Well-behaved to be sure, and old enough to kinda take care of themselves, we waded through the waves of the 156,659,123,678,257 people. Seriously, for the introvert like me, the crowds were exhausting!! It. Was. Overwhelming. We talked to one staff member who told us their record day they had about 9,000 people. Yeah, see what I mean? That’s why by the end of the day, I looked slightly bewildered and exhausted (or maybe even on the verge of going crazy)


We walked and walked…..Over 6 football fields we were told, we took cool selfies, we had funny moments, we saw some pretty awesome things, we touched a scaly reptile, we traveled long distances and lived to tell about it, we corralled 40+ kids through a pizza buffet, we entered the gift shop, and most walked out with nothing!, we drank some fresh lemonade, and the pictures can tell the rest…….Enjoy!



Crazy Girls…


Do we look tired?? Cause I definitely was!! 🙂


Resting and eating food after going through the Ark



Bus rides can make us crazy…


See what I mean?? 🙂




He honestly wasn’t as grumpy as he looks 🙂


Petting a skink is seriously going to be one of the coolest/weirdest things you will ever experience!!


All-in-all, it was a very fun and enjoyable experience. From the moments of stomach-ache (thankfully, no throwing up!), to the giggles of a small one who told me the hand sanitizer fell in the bus bathroom toilet. (umm, yeah, not much I’m gonna do about that!), to the constant noise and chatter of little ones needing this or that. Filling our faces with pizza and then playing in the arcade game room afterward. Being ‘oh, so borrrreeeddd’ on the trip, and playing games with your friends. These are the moments we treasure and these are the memories we make. I’m so glad for the moments like this that I can share with these kiddos…I miss them more than I ever dreamed! (this got suddenly sentimental). A great day indeed!