#FamilyFriday in Jersey | Karen Katulka

I met Karen on my first trip to Israel 6 years ago (I can't believe it's been that long!). Our fearless leader, Chris Katulka, for the first 2 and half weeks kept telling us about how amazing his wife of 8 months was. He would tell us she was hilarious, super sweet, and had the best heart. Our little group was nervous about meeting her because either Chris was right and this woman is really intimidating, or Chris is still in the honeymoon phase and she's no where near as awesome as he thinks. Well, when she finally arrived in Israel and it turned out Chris was wrong, very wrong. Karen was so much more amazing than he described! 

Karen has the best sense of humor (I mean seriously, talk show host funny), her heart is so full of love for the Lord and for his creation, and is ready to jump in and serve wherever there is a need. Today, six years later, they have beautiful family - their daughter Olive and twin sons Cohen and Preston. I can't believe what Karen is able to accomplish in a day. For our very first guest on the blog, she couldn't have been more perfect. Once you're done reading through our interview, go check out her blog. She is truly one of the most transparent and honest people I know. Hit her up with some questions of your own in the comments!

What are the first 5 things you do in the morning? 

I wake up, I take a shower, I take a few sips of coffee, I squeeze in a few minutes of reading Scripture and I pray that I will have the strength to get through the day. 

What is it that you can't go a day without doing?

Besides drinking coffee and eating? Kissing my kiddos 100 times each. 

If you could have coffee with anyone in history, who would that be and what would you want to talk about? 

I would want to have coffee with Ruth from the Bible and just listen. What was it like for her to have lost her husband? To have remained so loyal and faithful in her life after his death, her patience and willingness to be bold and humble at the same time. And to be completely honest, I’d like to hear more about what life was like without iphones and the Internet. :)

What is your perfect pizza?

One that I didn’t have to make! My favorite is a thin crust delicious Italian sausage and green pepper pizza. Yum!

Tell us a little bit about your family! 

I am married to a man I respect greatly. Chris is charming, kind and hardworking. We have three children, Olive who is 4, and twin boys, Cohen and Preston who are 2.5 years old! We love to go on walks to the park together, get frozen yogurt and snuggle as much as we can!

Tell us a funny story that happened recently! 

We recently moved to South Jersey and took our first family trip to the Jersey Shore. We didn’t know the seagulls were ruthless! As we sat on the sand eating lunch, a seagull plunged out of nowhere and knocked Preston’s sandwich out of his hand and proceeded to eat it right in front of him! Preston was not amused. 

A funny "kids say the darnedest things" moment?

I asked Olive to go across the street with me to look at a kid bed a neighbor was selling. She said, “no thanks, mom.” I insisted she come with me and she said, “No, Mom. I think you need some alone time.” :)

What is your greatest struggle when it comes to living out Deuteronomy 6:6-7? 

Having patience when I’m tired and remembering the big picture of parenting. These precious lives are a gift to me and Chris. It is our honor and privilege to raise them, but it is difficult to keep that perspective when kids are screaming and yelling and paint is flying and food is being smooshed into sofas. 

Tell us about a way in which you feel you did an amazing job at living it out.

We remember on a daily basis that Christ is King in our lives and our home. Chris and I pray with the kids, read Bible stories and are open about our faith with our children. I wouldn’t say this was amazing, it’s just life for us. The only time I feel I’m doing an “awesome job” is when my actions and reactions are congruent with the words we tell our children we believe. I told our neighbor the other day that we were Christians and would pray for him however he needed us to. I said this to him in front of our kids so perhaps this showed them our faith also lives outside the confines of our home. 

What is one thing that you aspire to with the Deuteronomy 6:6-7 command? 

I aspire to keep God’s commands on my heart. I can’t teach them to my children when I sit, stand, rise or change diapers if it’s not really in my heart. I aspire to keep God’s precious Words on my heart always and in my mind. 

What was one way that your parents knocked it out of the park raising you in this principle? 

My parents were dedicated to taking us to church every single Sunday. I don’t remember missing a Sunday unless something was “off.” They raised us with the values of eating dinner as a family together every night and praying a blessing over the meal every night. I realize now that that was an amazing feat. We all ate together and prayed together on a daily basis. Very cool!

How would you want to encourage other families trying to live out these commands everyday? 

Just slow down where you can. Don’t push it so hard that you are forcing something that isn’t real. Find time for your own selves to seek the Lord and listen to His word and work in your life. That is what you are passing down. A true faith, not a forced one. 

How many diapers have you gone through today?

One million.