Only the brave! Pacing yourself

So yesterday when I originally got told that everyone was in meetings until the afternoon I panicked a bit. But then it hit me – I am here to connect and spend time with people but I’m also an introvert, which means I need to recharge my batteries in a quiet environment and have some time on my own. So I was able to have a quiet morning in my PJs, have breakfast and watch some TV, which was really nice. I then decided as people were busy until mid afternoon to go to the cinema to catch a film (The Americans loved me saying this because it was so ‘English’ the way I said it, and without using the word ‘movie’)

Then came the challenge of getting myself there. In England I would just walk from my house to the train station or catch a bus and go to a local cinema but it’s not as easy here unless you drive. I knew I had to get a cab or an Uber and whilst that may seem simple for some, when you are abroad and being careful on how much you use your phone it’s more challenging. Also, because Uber was something new for me, I didn’t know how to do it. Poor Ali got several stressed calls and then when I finally booked it, was worried about how to tip because I didn’t have any small change, and because I didn’t know was expected. I have never used Uber on my own before and was anxious about getting in the car of a stranger. All this might sound silly, but I find it challenging as I am someone who likes to know what is going on. But just like in every other detail of this trip, God had gone before me, and I had a lovely chatty driver, called Dennis, who put me at my ease, and literally talked at me the entire time, so I was able to just smile and nod and make the odd comment until I got to the cinema!

IMG-20180321-WA0000.jpgIMG-20180321-WA0001.jpgThe cinema prices made my day! Going to the cinema in the evenings or at the weekend in London can be very expensive. So when I got a ticket, and refillable popcorn and drink for just $12 I was amazed! You know that great feeling when you feel you have got a right bargain!

I was slightly taken aback that the popcorn was butter-flavoured. I think the server thought I was crazy – I was looking at the topping with incredulity and he couldn’t believe I didn’t know it was just melted butter! What on earth is it doing on popcorn! Where’s the sweet popcorn? I had to resort to putting my chocolate peanut M and Ms on for my sugar rush.


I saw a film that will probably not be shown at cinemas in England, called ‘I can only imagine’. It’s a Christian song that I love and have sung for years and the film was about the writer of the song and his life. I sobbed a lot of the way through it seeing his relationship with his abusive father, who finally came to know the Lord and the beautiful story of redemption God made in their lives. The song was written after his dad passed away and spoke of imagining the beauty of heaven and meeting the Lord. It was a beautiful movie.


I then had a session of co-songwriting and for those of you who know me you, you know song writing is my language and the thing that truly makes my heart sing. Over the last year, whilst being on Worship School, I have been learning more about the beauty of co-writing – working with people whose strengths complement mine. It’s been great to have another pair of eyes and ears to take a song from mediocrity to really strong and moving. Writing melodies is one of my areas of strength and I love creating these, but sometimes my lyrics are just okay. I have been so blessed to write with people who are gifted at developing lyrics and we have wrestled out the best lines and rhymes together and worked out the best fit for the song. We don’t settle for the obvious, but rather challenge people to think about the words that are being sung or that they are singing. I found this process really helpful with some of the congregational songs I have been trying to write.

It’s taken me a long time to get to this place. For years, my insecurities made this type of cooperation hard, and add to that my difficulties in really connecting with others. As I have been working on these fears I have found the real beauty that comes in a secure identity and in overcoming challenges. For years I opted to work alone to avoid rejection and being misunderstood because it felt much safer, however it robbed me of the beauty of working with others. God is now restoring this to me and I am so grateful at how He can redeem things, and how he is teaching me the beauty and necessity of connecting, and being in relationship.

In the afternoon I was part of what they call ‘family dinner’ where about six families all came together. All the children played together and the adults shared ideas, conversations and jokes. It was really lovely to be a part of it, although it was pretty overwhelming for me suddenly being with so many people, a lot of noise and only a few familiar faces. I felt myself retreat a few times but I am learning it is okay to take a few moments and then go back. I managed to take myself back into the conversations and noise even though most of me was wanting to run and hide somewhere quiet. I knew that I was only there for a few hours and so I really tried hard to be part of it. I was very pleased though when one of my friends asked if I would like to cuddle her baby. He was such a cutie and I am so much more comfortable talking baby speak in that sort of busy environment. We had a great time and I was grateful for a way I could still be engaged but on a level that I was able to connect on at that moment.

I am learning to cover myself with grace – pretty much everything I am doing this week is way out of my comfort zone and the main thing is that I have got to a point that I am willing to tackle the challenges and run away and hide. I am willing and I am training, and through God’s grace I’ll continue to overcome hurdles and receive the richness and beauty in deeper connections.

Much love and blessings from Atlanta,

Only the brave! Inviting in

IMG-20180320-WA0005.jpgI am really enjoying the beautiful blossoms that are out already, on my visit here. Passing the pinks and the purples always puts a smile on my face – I do enjoy the seasons. I will admit that I am slightly intimidated by how big everything is here, and how much space there is. It is very different from home as here everyone has to drive everywhere. I am used to seeing people walking around so that is been a bit strange. And yesterday I definitely got to a point where I was feeling a bit homesick. Going away and experiencing different things is good, but it always makes me so grateful for my home.

So yesterday I did need to remind myself why I was here. As I started to retreat within my shell and hide in my music and writing. I remembered that I had come to connect, to have conversations and to spend time with people. There are times when I find it really hard to feel, and I have learnt that at those times, likes yesterday, I have to just keep speaking truth over myself, to choose to walk in God’s promises even if I’m struggling.


I ended up having some really lovely times with some of the leaders from the Worship School and their families. I got to hang out with my amazing tutor, Taylor, which was so fun and she took me to shop at Target, which I was told I had to do! I was especially excited as I managed to get some Thomas trains for my son at half the price they are are in England – was it so sad that I squealed with excitement at the bargains!

I had a moment of panic when I went to a build-your-own pie/pizza place with my friend, Megan, and was overwhelmed by the choices. The kind server noticed my panicked look and helped me out – customer service in America is somewhat more friendly and attentive than some places I have been to! Ordering can be stressful for people, like me, who find too much choice overwhelming and confusing.


IMG-20180320-WA0003.jpgI brought bagels and peanut butter – when in Rome! I have also tried peanut butter and chocolate pie, which was actually pretty good. Something that really struck me yesterday is that on Worship School we have been learning all about discipleship, and how it means inviting people into your home and into your life and being willing to show them who you are at all times, not just the version you might want people to see. I felt this when I was doing grocery shopping, and curtain shopping with Megan, and helping her cook dinner. It’s a real privilege to ‘do life’ with people where I am the guest – are we willing to be host for those around us?

To be authentic with people means showing how you do life not just in the good moments or the big moments but in the every day, the mundane, and the challenging. When we convey an image to others that things are always good because we only let them see those times, what message are we really sending out? I have discovered the importance of vulnerability over the last few years. I try in this blog to be open about about the struggles, the triumphs, the challenges and the smooth sailing. It’s good to model how to overcome hurdles, and how to use our strengths to bless others, and even more so in our journeys of faith – showing what it looks like when we are clinging on with one small finger, and when we are making great strides. As a mum, I want to learn to model a healthy life balance and not just hide my struggles because I think I need to be a strong, super mum all the time. It’s okay to show to our children when we are sad that they can learn how to process that type of emotion, but this is still a work in progress, but such an important one.

With love and prayers from Atlanta,


Only the brave! Not living in comparison:

Have you ever been in a place of living in comparison? It’s almost like a compulsion, you can’t help but compare everything in your mind. It’s easy to get bitter or jealous of what someone else have, or you can become proud of what you have. There have been times in my life when I can recognise these two extremes and I can testify that it is not a healthy place to live in.

I found it was vital to get to a place of security and peace in my identity, and to be at peace and content where I was and with what I had. Paul speaks clearly about this in Philippians 4 v12: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

My journey didn’t just happen overnight and there are times where I have to remind myself of this, and walk in this truth. When I focus on the many blessings God has given me I feel such joy in my heart and that enables me to be able to rejoice with others in the ways they have been blessed. Also it helps ensure that I do not hoard my blessings, but use them to bless others.

So I am glad I am in this place for this visit! The homes here are absolutely beautiful and large, and I feel like I’m in one of the movies I watch! However, I can delight in this and still delight in my precious home and all that God has blessed me with. I am learning to worship wherever I am and to be able to cherry pick the things that inspire me, encourage me and might be something worth bringing back home.

I am hoping to learn from the churches and ministries I visit and the people I spend time with. I am hoping that this will help me develop and grow both as a person and in my ministry. I don’t have to try and be a carbon copy of anyone else but be willing to see things and take things back that will help growth.

gracechurchYesterday I attended Grace Church, Snellville, arriving at 7.30am. It was my first time at church in America and I was looking forward to seeing something different and I couldn’t quite get over the size. I am used to lots of people at a Christian conference, but I go to a church of about 130 people, whereas this Church had about 650 adults at each service, as well as a High School Service and Kids Ministries! I walked in and there were service producers and camera team – it was very different!

I am learning to look carefully and see the different ways people interact, the different ways people engage with God and worship, and not falling into the trap of needing to recreate what might only be appropriate in one country or place. I find this analysis so interesting and I am learning to look deeper and see people’s hearts.

I have been so blessed by people’s hospitality and friendliness, and how much they love my English accent. I got a cuddle with a very cute baby and the parents were adamant that I speak to him so that he would pick up my accent. Someone joked that they wanted me to record my recitation of the alphabet!

Yesterday afternoon it was so warm after a lovely lunch with friends and we ended up having ice cream in the hot sun! As my family and friends at home are back in snow I was definitely enjoying the warm and feeling a tad smug!

I am learning a lot on this trip, both about myself, other people, and more about God’s incredible faithfulness. Sending love and prayers to you all.

God bless,


Only the brave! God knows best

Each day when I pick up Dom from school, he likes to get of his buggy and lie in our driveway. I’m not entirely sure why, but he does. When it’s dry I’m happy for him to do that, but when it’s pouring with rain I don’t let him and have to pick him up screaming and carry him inside. He shouts and lashes out and even tries to open the hastily-locked fronted door. All he can think of is that I’m shutting the door on him and not allowing him to do something, when the truth is I am looking out for him, and what is best.

That’s how it can be with God – you want the door open, but push it and it stays firmly shut. You rush to another door and it’s locked, and you feel like shouting about the injustice of it all. It’s so unfair, why is God so mean? I imagine God has perfected his parental look of loving but knowing what’s best as the child is lashing out.

That is how it felt when I was trying to plan what I was doing the first full day of this trip. I had tried again and again to find something to do on the Saturday with other people, but everyone was busy and I felt panicked. I was coming to a different country with the purpose to connect and was going to have to sit by myself on day 1, it made me anxious.

I pleased so say that God has, yet again, gone ahead and I have been utterly blessed by my incredible and generous hosts. They have welcomed me into their home, spent time with me, and ended up taking me around an amazing farmer’s market and then out for some lunch before I crashed out with jet lag. I then had a nice evening watching golf and Downton Abbey!

When I thought I needed to be busy and visiting lots of people God knew what was best and provided. There is nothing wrong with my attempts to be prepared with an itinerary, but rather than being eaten up with frustration I should have trusted that God knows what He is doing.

I don’t deal with not knowing what is going to happen very well and so this week is rather out of my comfort zone as I am very much going along with what others are doing. I am learning to build up these weaker muscles so that when I don’t have a nice neat schedule, and no idea of what is expected of me I don’t crumble to pieces! Embracing and understanding my weaknesses means that they can be turned into opportunities.

I am someone who has spent many years retreating and hiding from busy-ness and people, and on this trip I have already been so blessed by conversations and spending time, just being, with others. I find it so hard to sit down and relax – I am always on the go, but I am trying and willing to learn, willing to grow in my relationships and that means pushing through the pain barrier.

God is so good and tender and He truly knows best.

God bless,



Only the brave! The journey begins

Have you ever done one of those crazy trust exercises where you are blind-folded and expected to fall backwards and be caught by the person behind you? When it came to taking that leap of faith I remember putting my foot out in self-preservation several times before taking a deep breath in and falling back. There is that moment when you have taken the leap and are falling back of slight panic, but then you feel the safe and solid arms behind you, and you can breathe a sigh of relief.  Your trust has paid off.

Well that is how I felt yesterday when I set off. Even in the hours running up I was asking myself why I was doing this. my self-preservation was kicking in. It would have been safer to stay at home, but if you say, like me, that you trust God, that trust needs to be put into action. So I metaphorically shut my eyes and fell back.

God was so faithful and throughout my entire journey there was a the beauty of God being in every detail and in every moment.

I love to feel safe, and for a long time I mistakenly thought this meant being safe in my four walls, or in what was familiar.  Yesterday I experienced that beautiful feeling of peace and safety even though I was well out of my comfort zone. I trusted that God had gone before me and that meant choosing not to stress about the details.

Being aware of your weaknesses is actually a strength. So instead of going into a situation in which I knew I would struggle and break down, I wised up. I was able to put in healthy boundaries and the right support.


London Heathrow Airport have a brilliant team for flyers with hidden disabilities. I was met by a lovely and hilarious assistant who helped me through security and then I was the taken to a quiet lounge where I could avoid the busy-ness and sensory overload of the airport. At just the right time I was then met by another team member who stayed with me until I boarded the plane at the beginning. This meant I was able to be settled before the mad rush of people. These small things made such a difference and helped me avoid the stress and panic that I often feel in busy and loud environments.

When you are open and honest about your struggles, with the right people, we are enabling them to help us, and to cover us with their strengths.  For years I would hide my struggles and really let my husband, Ali see them. The poor guy got the brunt! By being open yesterday, I found out more about how kind and loving people can be.

One of the things that I had been really nervous about was getting off the plane at Atlanta. That airport doesn’t have the same support system in place as Heathrow, so I prayed., “Please Lord, would you put the right person next to me, who can help me”.

Wow! God delivered! When the lady sat next to me saw the stewardess checking up on me, she asked why, and so I told.  She declared herself to be the perfect person to sit next to as her son has ASD and she knew all about the struggles and sensory difficulties.  She told me not to worry about the other end and that she would make sure I got through immigration and find my taxi driver. She did!

When I did hit sensory overload and started to panic she knew what to do. She got the stewardess to help me, and I was given some space in one of the galleys, some water and a chance to calm down. I was overwhelmed and blessed by peoples kindness, support, and friendliness and how I was welcomed with open arms.

I talked in my the introduction to this blog series about my struggles with the unknown, surprises, and sensory overload. For many years this has limited me, stripped me of my joy and my ability to just be and to do things otherwise I wouldn’t have done.  Yesterday, I really experienced that beautiful moment of facing my struggles and overcoming them.  This wasn’t because of who I am, but because of God’s grace and goodness.

Yes it was challenging and there were times where it was physically difficult. I had to persevere, but there was that incredible feeling of joy of what I had overcome. Something that seemed impossible was made possible with God.

Only the brave! Introduction: Leap of faith

So in a few weeks time I am going to a Christian holiday called Spring Harvest, and this year’s theme is called ‘Only the brave!’.  So it seemed appropriate to use it for the title of my mini-series of blogs that I will be doing over the next few days.  Sometimes God asks us to do something that means taking a massive leap out of our comfort zone and walking by faith and not by sight. Let’s say this sums up what I will be doing this next ten days. 

At the beginning of the year a friend had a word for me that God was asking me to do something that was (in her words) ‘peeing my pants scary’ but he wanted me to do it.  I laughed when I heard that but it summed up perfectly as I felt God was asking me to go to Atlanta, Georgia to visit the 10,000 Fathers Worship School on which I have been a student for the last 14 months. Not only is it a big deal because of the challenges of the journey but also because of the challenges I have in connecting with people. 

I genuinely love spending time with people, but due to my ASD and sensory issues I sometimes find it very hard to read other people and process what they are saying. In the same way, what makes perfect sense in my head leaves others scratching theirs. With my sensory issues I sometimes find it hard to be in busy and noisy environments and end up battling with sensory overload and scuttling off to find quiet even if it means hiding in a cupboard! For many years I have felt lonely and alienated because of the challenges to connect and the challenges to be around lots of people in busy environments. 

The last time I went to America I had a camera firmly fixed to my face for pretty much the entirety of the trip. I was safe behind the lens and taking photos meant it was a place to be able to hide in plain view.   

This time I feel God is sending me there to learn more about truly connecting, learning more about community and how to work in harmony. Something I have been inspired by with the Worship School is their hospitality – welcome, friendships, relationships and their heart of discipleship. For someone who has always struggled with these it feels a bit like being on a mission: Mission Connection!  

For some, flying to America by themselves, staying with people they have never met, not having a clear idea of the itinerary, and where your meals will be coming from would seem like a brilliant adventure and something to revel in, but for it seems a bit terrifying just to get through the flight.  I will have to contend with the smells, the sounds, the mass of people, confined space, people brushing past me with their cases. Alongside all of that is the unpredictability of a nine-hour journey, what meal might I be served and will I be sitting next to someone nice? 

I am someone who usually goes to the same places on holiday – I like the predictable and also to have a clear plan and know what is expected of me.  There has been a part of me wanting to break out and see more, but I have been trapped by these fears and the many things that can overwhelm me. Why on earth would I put myself through something like this? 

I have learnt that when God asks you to do something, it is best to do it! I believe He’s a kind and loving God and would not ask me to do something that was going to cause me harm. He wants to stretch me and bring me out of my comfort zone and He has been so patient and loving in the way He has been preparing me for this. It is not something that has just happened. 

I can honestly say if this trip had been suggested last year I would have run screaming for the hills. Through this last year as I have had come to terms with being on the autistic spectrum and having sensory needs. This has shed light and understanding over the challenges I have had to face over the years. God has been bringing freedom and wholeness step by step. I now have noise reducers that help me hear things at a normal level and not my default setting which is thirty decibels too loud. Also, now that I wear light-sensitive glasses I am not getting the bombardment of light that causes such pain to my eyes.   

With the understanding that I process the world very differently and need help processing certain things it has meant I have approached this trip with wisdom.  I have had to swallow my pride and be open that I will need help. It means I have been contacting airlines and airports and asking for help.  I have made sure I have a taxi all booked for when I arrive and someone to help me get to the right place. By being aware of my weaknesses I have been able to put in healthy boundaries and the right support – it means that something that seemed so impossible before is now not only possible but actually happening! Previously it would have left me crippled with anxiety and fear, but I now feel confident in through Gods strength. 

Many years I lived in a state of fear dominated by two words – what if. This mentality limited so much of what I could do, but God has been challenging this. I could live in a state of ‘what if the plane is cancelled, or delayed? What if there is a terrible accident? What if they don’t accept my visa? What if I can’t cope and get sick? What if? What if? What if?  Living in this constant negativity is not much fun – it’s debilitating and stops you from living and walking in the freedom that God has designed.   

What would happen if I turned the what ifs around? What if I let go of my fear and let God take control? What if I trust that He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me?  What if I believe that he is bigger than it all?  What if I believe He has gone ahead of me and prepared the way?  Turning the what ifs around like this transforms an anxious, stressed mess on the floor to a person at peace and full of hope and expectation. I am not doing it in my strength or my understanding but trusting that God will lead and guide me. 

I’m taking a leap of faith, knowing that if He asks me to leap he will catch me! 

I’m inviting you to ‘come along’ with me as I take this leap of faith, and as I battle a plethora of hurdles and start to live not as limited but as an overcomer.  I will be blogging daily and I pray these would encourage you and remind you that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 

Many blessings, 


Wishing you a blessed 2018!


Hey guys,

Happy new year, I wanted to share my latest blog from cross rhythms which I pray blesses and encourages you as we start this new year,

Many blessings,


‘Tis the season

Christmas is just a few days away and last-minute preparations are underway. Christmas music is playing in every shop you step in and Christmas films dominate television.

In one of the films I was watching a family end up having a huge amount of unfortunate things happen to them on a crazy Christmas evening. There are numerous trips to the hospital, broken bones, towed cars, getting stranded in a snow storm, being held up at gun point and being trapped in a burning building. Of course, everything is alright in the end. One of the characters is lying in a hospital bed recovering from smoke inhalation when suddenly “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” starts playing on the radio and she goes crazy but manages to laugh once she has let out all her frustration.

The reality is Christmas is not always the most wonderful time of the year.  This resonated for me this week when I was singing Christmas songs at a local event. Something kept jarring and left me feeling uncomfortable. There are so many flippant phrases in these songs: “soon all your troubles will be out of sight”, “mistletoe and turkey make the season bright”, and “it’s the most wonderful time of year”.  The more I sang these songs, the more and more it felt like giving false hope and continuing the illusion that something magical happens at Christmas and all your troubles just take a hike and everything will be fine.

In so many Christmas films, Santa grants a magical wish and suddenly things work out, but that isn’t real life.  In reality some people are struggling, lonely, sick, or afraid at Christmas.  Their circumstances don’t change just because we have put the trees and lights up. For some it actually makes things worse with financial strains adding to their list of concerns.

One of my favourite melodies is ‘Have yourself a merry little Christmas’ but singing these words to dear people, some of whom I know are going through so much, left me empty and feeling rather heartless.  So I decided to write some alternative lyrics – lyrics that talk about real hope and the truth of Christmas.  I believe the reason for the season is celebrating that God sent his one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth. He came as a little baby, was born in a stable and laid in a feeding trough.  He grew up to live, die and rise again to save us and forgive us for our sins, and restore our relationship with God. He came to give us peace, hope, strength and joy.  He is our provider, restorer, king and friend.  This is the true hope and message of Christmas, and one that lasts past Christmas Day.  So I want to leave you with these lyrics which I pray will bless and encourage you.

If you are struggling, alone, or afraid, I pray that you would know God’s amazing blessing, provision, love, and peace in your hearts.

Many blessings,


Have yourself a blessed little Christmas,
May you know God’s peace,
In his strength and love you’ll find your strivings cease,

Have yourself a blessed little Christmas,
May you know Gods joy,
He brought love and freedom through this baby boy

Let us join as the angels sing,
Praises to the king of love,
The son of God, who has to come us,
To restore our broken hearts,

As we walk through mountains and the valleys,
Through his love sustained
In his gracious love he’ll take our fears away,
So have yourself a blessed little Christmas now,
Yes have yourself a blessed little Christmas now,

lyrics (c) 2017 Kat Mills