Happily Whole

Living well from the inside out


I am well in my soul....not always, but that's when I know I'm really living well;  when I'm Living well from the Inside Out.

It's here where I really live, where I breathe and believe in so much more than what I see. It's my soul's workshop filled with what I've come through, me in this moment and hints of where I'm headed in heart and soul.

A journal, really. The kind where I take ALL God's given me, form words and then give them away in little morsels from the seat of my soul to slowly sink into yours. It's the place I tinker and toy with life lessons, sharing hopes of peace and purpose. It's what I wish to wrap up as a gift for two girls who fill my heart with gratitude and gumption to live well each day! 

I’ll be blessed to share a word once in a while that resonates with you! Now, pull up a chair and rest with me…..

The Key to Arriving at any Living Well Destination Quickly: Slow Down

July 20, 2014, written by katie
Me...just Journaling

My Dad has always told me to slow down. I probably sped up at times simply to establish my independence…okay, or to aggravate him! He’d urge us to relax as he watched Kevin and me bustling about sometimes crashing or complaining but more often gleeful and giggling in our dance of married life.

Dad’s advice didn’t faze our ways. We were content in constant movement!

Unfortunately Flawed or Wonderfully Made?

June 15, 2014, written by katie
Contemplating at Fountain

When the questions come fast and furious and I see her wheels spinning, I know we’re in for a fretful evening. She’s not unlike most of us when worry sets in and we’re sent into a frenzy. Except she’s six.

Somehow my dear, sweet six year old possesses the mind of someone much older. Her wonderful kindergarten teacher emailed me early last year to tell me she, unfortunately, has a mind much too mature for her age. Others express awe at her insatiable curiosity and desire for understanding.

My Little Miami Mess

May 19, 2014, written by katie
Miami Hotel at Blogher Food Conference

Have you ever self-inflicted an emotional mess by calling your own credibility into question? Maybe you’ve wondered what business you have doing what just a moment ago felt like such a good fit?

For me, sometimes that’s mothering or minding the matters of my home.

The Fresh Imperfection of Motherhood

May 9, 2014, written by katie
Sugarpop Mother's Day Photo

It feels free and fresh! It’s liberating and youth-reviving. Each year when I’m first able to open the windows, air out the winter-worn house and hear the spring breeze blowing through my screens, I smell that certain fresh air scent and it sinks right into my soul, soothing it. I hear the birds singing their ‘how are you’s?’ alongside lawnmowers manicuring neighbor’s lawns and I long for this feeling to last.

From Brokenness to Blessing

April 14, 2014, written by katie
Bread and Wine

On the night He was betrayed He broke bread and gave thanks. (ref. 1 Corinthians 11:23)


I just let that sink right into my soul for my mind cannot grasp it.  It lifts me up in awe and wonder at how I might carry on in His earthly example if He so selflessly gave gratitude out of betrayal. Jesus offered Himself up. He turned betrayal into blessing.

Is it possible, for me, I mean? How do I give thanks in the wake of betrayal, belittlement or brokenness? How in this humble human life can I transform grief into gratitude?

From Struggle to Strawberry Salad

March 23, 2014, written by katie
Strawberry Beet Salad with Homemade Balsamic

Right in the midst of life's messes, when nothing goes my way, I have a choice. I can sit and sip on my own personal cup of self-pity. Or, I can look for the lesson.

As in so many of my life lessons I share here on Happily Whole, I recently saw my food failures as a metaphor for this very morsel of meaning... The lesson a recent recipe pointed out to me is so poignant , I wanted to share it here, too, for everyone to read. The recipe is a Member's recipe...but here's how it all started: 

Reliving the Last Days

March 3, 2014, written by katie
We chose a canoe to display at the funeral to honor Kevin's life.

I’m in the midst of the season when I relive the last moments of a life I no longer live, one that offered me the greatest grief yet the most unconditional earthly love I’ve ever known. A life with a man who I loyally loved and cherished and who passionately loved me back, even to a fault.  This past life of mine continues to bless me beyond measure. But now, during this season in early March, details of the last days weigh heavy in my heart.

Cancer. Culprit and Catalyst

February 25, 2014, written by katie
Just the start of working through the mess Cancer left


Seems like a perfect time and place to unmask the culprit, Cancer.

Cancer:  An uninvited, unwelcome visitor showing up unannounced, creating chaos (sometimes catastrophe) and leaving his messy remains for everyone else to repair. Cancer, a culprit of chaos.

For my family, he reared his ugly head in April 2010. He swiftly and devastatingly revealed himself, quickly multiplying his muscle, building himself up and tearing us down all in a matter of months.

Work for Soul Rest

February 20, 2014, written by katie
Words to read and write to live close to Chirst

Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Work more to realize real rest. Give MORE effort to experience LESS stress. But that’s exactly what Hebrews 4:11 says, ‘Let us, therefore, make every EFFORT to enter that rest...’

My single-mommy heart desires it, the restfulness God promises if I make every effort. But how can I attain it when I’m out of energy to put forth any extra effort in an already overfilled day?!

Embracing Tough Truths

February 14, 2014, written by katie
Only after crawling can a butterfly fly

Be still, my soul. For the mere thought of it causes quakes inside.

Would I be what or who I am today had I not lost my Beloved? Would I be just what I’m meant to be now without what happened then?

What has death done to me?

I ask with insides quaking and this strange, ironically welcomed heart aching. Greater quaking alongside a gratuitous quieting of my soul shaking. The quiet is God’s hands over my human hopes stilling my soul’s shaking.


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