What's On My Nightstand (False Spring Edition)

Last week it was almost 80-degrees in the mountains of East Tennessee. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed having a posy of daffodils on my desk (freshly cut from our very own yard), and my windows open, and the glorious sunshine... but it's only February, and I have lived here long enough to know that it can't last, so it's all a bit of a tease. That being said, I enjoyed spending some time outside in the sunshine, book in hand, and soaking it all in before the cold returned.

Although I still have my stack of ongoing books, I was sidetracked last week by the "new" book from the author of Kisses From Katie, Katie Davis Majors. Yes, she married. Yes, she now has a biological son in addition to her 13 adopted daughters. Yes, she still lives in Uganda. Yes, she's still inspirational.

Katie's first book was one of the many things that God used to soften us to the calling of adoption that He placed on our hearts in November 2012. It took me about 3 days to read Kisses From Katie in March 2013, and I cried the whole way through it. I even recall pounding my fists on the couch cushions and telling God, "NO. I do NOT want to adopt!" Obviously His plan was different than mine!

Much has changes since Katie wrote her first book and I told God no. While the Hubs and I walked the path of adopting 5 siblings, Katie continued to serve with her family in Uganda. She nursed women through the final stages of AIDS, she loved on babies, she provided wound care, she fell in love, married, and added a son to their overflowing household. And though our storylines are so very different, the same God we serve was busy teaching us a very similar lesson: He is enough.

While she sat on the floor of her Ugandan bathroom and poured out her anguish to God, I stood in the bathroom of our Costa Rican rental condo and cried in anger over what God had asked us to do. While she argued with God over the loss of life and the "no" answer to her fervent prayers, I argued with God over His plan for our lives. Both knowing full well that God was still in control, we still questioned and fought and pushed back when we didn't understand - and in the end we realized that it was all a part of the process of surrendering control because in the end, He was enough.

Katie scribbled post-it notes with why she could give thanks and put them all over the walls of her kitchen. I made mental "thankful for" lists while I was driving school runs each day. She clung to passages in 1 Kings, Isaiah, and Habakkuk, while I held onto Exodus 14:14 and Matthew 14:28-31. In Uganda and in East Tennessee, God was working on His children to surrender - totally - to His will, and to trust Him in everything, the good, the bad, and the unforeseen. He was challenging us, changing us, and reminding us, once again, that He would always be enough, for whatever the day held. 

Katie's new book, Daring to Hope: Finding God's Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful, was released in October 2017, but I would not have been ready to read it then. With each month that passes, things continue to change, little people continue to grow, and I continue to surrender a little bit more to this call of God on my life. February 2018 was the perfect time to read this book (for me), and I was able to have those C.S. Lewis moments of, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one."

Although I loved Kisses from Katie (because of the perfect timing of it in my life), I appreciated Daring to Hope even more - possibly because of the (once again) perfect timing of it, but more because as Jesus has grown me in the last 17 months, I no longer see her as super-spiritual, but I recognize that even though the details are different, her story could be my own. I can finally see how God works in each one of us in such unique and beautiful ways, leading us towards Him and away from our old broken selfish ways of doing things - whether that's a change in your definition of ministry, or the plans you had for your life. His desire for each of us - no matter how He gets us to that point - is to utterly surrender to Him, and to know that no matter what He calls us to do (rescue orphans, write books, help with homework, make dinner), He will be enough.

What are YOU Reading?

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