"Kisses from Katie" by Katie J. Davis
Katie J. Davis is a young woman with a passion to make a difference in the world. This former senior class president and homecoming queen left home at eighteen for a short missions trip to Uganda. From that experience grew an overwhelming desire to do something more personal and more sacrificial than just giving up her Christmas vacation for Africa. Today Katie lives in Uganda, where she is the adoptive mother of fourteen little girls, some with special needs, and the head of Amazima, a ministry that reaches hundreds of other children in Africa. Katie is originally from Nashville, Tennessee, where her parents and brother live. She has been named Beliefnet's 2011 Most Inspirational Person of the Year.
If there is one book to read this year, one book to read right now, it's this book. Truly the most inspirational book I have ever read! It is also the reason I have been evaluating my own life and my faith in Christ.
This woman left all that she knew, all that was safe, all that was comfortable, to go. To go and serve, to go and live, to go and experience Christ and His fullness of grace. It seems so simple "go and love".
I mean there are times when I don't want to hug the students I work with because they haven't bathed in awhile or they have lice, and she's bathing children who have open wounds and HIV. Or at the end of the day when I'm tired and see the phone ring. I don't want to answer because I know the conversation will be long and emotionally exhausting. She has people knocking on her door about to die and she still serves them.
It has led me to ask questions like:
-Where can I say no to comfort, to say yes to Christ?
-Who are the people in my community that would be considered "unlovable"?
-Who am I not loving the way Christ would want me to?
-How can I be faithful to love and serve the people that the LORD has allowed me to interact with daily?
-Am I being wasteful with my time, talent, and tresure or faithful?
-How can I live on less to give away more?
This is one of the reasons I started thinking about the issue of stewardship (managing my time, talent, and treasure). Am I being faithful with all that God has given me?
Many times in this book, Katie shared how much of her life/day was interrupted by people and their needs. She was tired and exhausted and still served. She filled up on Christ and did this by the power of the Holy Spirit. How much of my life is spent tired and exhausted? Do I still serve? Do I view "interruptions" as an opportunity to serve?
What are the talents, gifts, and passions God has given me? Am I using the gifts God has given me to glorify Him?
This is the area I am evaluating the most. We are consumed with materialism, more things, new stuff, etc. How much food do we really NEED? New clothes, new things, more stuff . . . is it really necessary? Where can I live on less to give away more?
What changes do I need to make in my life to love God and His people more?
The reality is not all of us will move to Africa to serve the least of these . . . and God doesn't want us to. He wants us to be faithful right where He has us. Loving people, serving people, and proclaiming Christ.
I am seeking His power daily to do just that! And thanking Him for books like these that challenge and inspire me!