Total Pageviews

Monday, December 12, 2016

Guest Blogger For West Ridge Community Church

I had the opportunity to be the guest blogger at West Ridge last week. Sharing the article below. Thanks!

A Giving Heart

  Posted on   by  

In my late 20’s I was in Industrial Sales.  I was out driving through Chicago with another salesperson, Michael, and on the side of the road there was a man asking for money.  Michael immediately rolled down his window, in a not so great part of Chicago, and handed the guy $5 and said “God Bless you”.
Now, the cynical part of me immediately had questions.  “Why would you roll your window down in this neighborhood?” And, “How do you know he won’t use that money for drugs or alcohol?”
What Michael said to me changed the way I have thought about giving from that moment on.  He said, “It is not my place to question why they need the money.  It is only my job to give it when I am called to.”
I believe that the devil wants us to question, doubt and think a way out of giving to others.  But, if we are listening and God tells me to give, I do my best to block everything else out and just give.  It is not up to me how they use the money, but it is up to me to listen to God when he is talking to me.  And guess what?  He talks all year, not just at Christmas.
2 Corinthians states in 9:7 that, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
So, decide in your heart that you will not question, but that when you are called, or nudged, that you will just cheerfully give and let God do the rest. You will find greater joy in giving freely then questioning what you have been called to do.
Blessings~ Katie Van Gheem

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Why Does Bad Stuff Happen to Good People?

http://westridgechurch.com/blog/why-does-bad-stuff-happen-to-good-people/




Hello.  I was guest blogger this week at West Ridge Community Church.  I am sharing the link above, and the post here.  Also thought I would share this cute picture of Josh and Ella :-)

Blessings~Katie


Why Does Bad Stuff Happen to Good People?

  Posted on   by   
20120817_092344_IMG_1402-2
I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked this question, and have even asked it myself.  My daughter, my perfect four year old daughter who’s only sin was probably taking one of her brothers toys, was diagnosed with cancer when she was four years old. Four years old.  At that point can we even determine if she was a “good” person yet? She was just a child- my child.
I found myself being asked by both my Christian and non-Christian friends more than once- If there is a God, how could He let this bad thing happen?  How can you believe that God exists if he can allow your child to go through such pain? It was hard to answer because I felt like what they were asking me ran deeper than “Why did your kid get cancer?”.  They were asking if I still believed in a God that would let this terrible thing happen to my child.
My first answers were definitely more in the “I don’t know” category, because really- I didn’t know how to answer that question. I have read plenty of scripture and books on why bad things happen during my Christian life, but now this was a bad thing happening right in my family. As time passed, I knew that the family it was happening too wasn’t just my immediate family, but my entire church family too. I do not believe God “let” my child get cancer.  But, what I do believe is that He surrounded us with a huge church family that, prayed for us, brought us meals, and surrounded us with love.  I believe that God put the right people and doctors in our path to keep our child healthy, safe and alive.  I believe that God prepared us for this difficult time before it ever happened.  I believe that God surrounded us with love and carried us when we could not move anymore.  I believe God showed us the joy in the situation instead of allowing our judgment to be clouded with doubt, fear and despair.
I believe that God gave us the strength to keep moving forward in His love, and not be held back by this bad thing.  Will I ever really understand why Ella had cancer? No.  Is it the last “bad” thing that will happen in our lives? No.  Was it the first? No. Was God there for us? Yes.  Did he surround us with love? Yes. Did he carry us through when we were not able to do it on our own? Definitely.  God didn’t let my child get cancer.  He kept her alive in spite of cancer.  In spite of the evil one calling our names. His love turned this bad thing into proof that He loves us and will carry us forward during the good stuff and the bad stuff.
~ Katie Van Gheem
20121028_084553_IMG_4544

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Guest Blogger

Hi!
I had the opportunity to be a guest Blogger again.  If you interested in reading, you can follow here:
West Ridge Community Church

Blessings~ Katie

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Death and Life

My step-dad died today.  He was 60 years old and died from smoking and drinking.  He was an alcoholic.  He drank heavily my entire life, but he was a happy drunk, so no one really thought of him as having a "drinking problem".  He also started smoking when he was 16 and even when he had a tracheotomy, he kept smoking.

He has systematically pushed away every family member for the past 20 years.  His only friends were people he knew from the bar he hung out at. He lived pay check to paycheck in a small dingy apartment.  He had no pets.  He even asked for his kids not to be called when he was at the end.  The one friend that was left asked someone to reach out to me. I went to the ICU last night to find him completely sedated and on a ventilator.  He was "extremely agitated" according to the nurses so they had to bid his wrists and sedate him in an attempt to let his body rest and heal.

When I looked at him, there was no love left, only pity.  I felt sorry for him.  Can you imagine what it would be like to be at the end of your life and have no one. This was completely his choice. He chose smoking and drinking over everyone else in his life.  He chose not to be in contact with his kids.  His marriages failed. His life was, from my view, so empty.

Don't let this happen.  I want to scream this at everyone  Do not end up like this man.  Show the people around you that you care for them and love them.  Use your actions to show people they are important.  Do not choose the things of this world over the gifts God has generously given to you.  Don't be a fool like this man was and toss aside people who want to care about you.  Don't end up on your death bed alone.

~Katie

Thursday, August 25, 2016

6 years ago today....

I don't know why this year, it has bothered me more than others, but it has.

Six years ago today, I was at Costco when my phone rang and I didn't pick it up. I saw that it was Ella's doctor.  We were not expecting results for 3 days.  I knew it wasn't good and I didn't want to get this call while I was standing in the middle of a big box store. I got out of the store, and minutes later Steve was telling me what I already knew- Ella had cancer.

I know all the things to be grateful for. I'm staring at her right now and she is just smiling. But, some days are just harder than others, and today is one of those days. Steve came home to a torn apart and half painted office tonight.  That was my therapy today, and my way to not think about the pain my daughter went through, our family went through.

Tonight, I just pray for the others and their families going through this right now. Cancer sucks.

Blessings~Katie

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Self Control with a side of Oreo

I had the opportunity to be a guest blogger this week. Take a peek if you have the chance!



Blessings~Katie



Self Control with a side of Oreo

Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day-Mental Camera

I love photography.  I love taking pictures that mean something when you look at them.  They tell a story or inspire a feeling.  Some things I just can't get a picture of that expresses how I feel.  These are the times I wish my Mental Camera was as good as my Cannon 5D.

Last night, I sat with friends and family to watched the fireworks.  Okay- I did not watch much of the fireworks.  I was taking the time to sneak peak at each of my friends and my family.  I admired how my husband was called over to "snuggle" with Ella and Avery on the blankies.  Josh was wrapped up mummy style in a blanket on a chair next to me.  Friends sitting by their spouses, admiring the show. Kids, way bigger than they were a few short years ago, now sitting in their own chairs, too old for the blankets, and watching the beautiful display. My mental camera was taking a million shots. Admiring how we have all grown and changed over the years and how we have supported each other. Remembering how they held my hand at church the weekend after I found out Ella had cancer, supported each other through deaths, births, loss of jobs, gain of jobs and laughter.  Lots of laughter.
Best I could do !
My mental camera is cool, because there are emotional attached to those images. Most people would look at this image and think of a bunch of people watching fireworks.  I just see love.

Happy 4th of July!!!
Blessings~Katie