Ok, I really need to get with it. I have not been a very good book club host. When I had Izzy, I said that having a baby is a good excuse for everything for that first year. I'm holding to that with baby number two. I know that there are lots of women out there who blog for income and have babies and weave their own clothing out of recycled dryer lint or something else industrious, but I am not such a woman.
Anyways, I said that we would be reading through "Orphanology" this month, but it's been a hard read. I think it's just so much to digest that my brian doesn't want to work that hard. So, I want to tell you about another book that I've found myself in the middle of. It is also heartbreaking and eye-opening, but it is also a girl's real life story, and hard to put down.
The name of the book is "Kisses from Katie" and it's a book about a girl who graduated from high school and went to spend a year in Uganda.
Now, several years later, she has 14 adopted daughters, a school sponsorship program, and a feeding ministry to one of the slums outside of her city.
I almost put the book down after the first chapter, convinced that it would do nothing but make me dissatisfied with my own life. The author makes Uganda sound so wonderful and so terrible, makes the need sound so great that only a heartless individual would not jump on the next flight to go sit in the dirt and love on some orphans.
She does come on very strong with her convictions about sharing with the poor and how disturbing she finds it that so many live in excess while so many others do not have their basic needs met. It can definitely make a reader walk away feeling condemned.
However, I do not feel that this is the message to be taken away from this book. Katie repeatedly talks about how she loves to come to the end of a day so very poured out, filthy and exhausted. She doesn't have anything or anyone to rely on except for God, and he sustains her every time.
She wakes up each morning unsure of how they'll get through the day, not only financially with her nonprofit organization, Amazina, but also just simply carrying out the basic tasks she needs to do in order to take care of her family (which consists of her and her 14 adopted daughters) with what little she has to work with. Washing, cooking, cleaning, loving.
Doesn't that last (perhaps a little grammatically incorrect) sentence sound a little familiar? I know that God isn't asking me to jump on the next plane to Uganda (maybe someday, but not right now), but he is asking me to be a broken and poured out offering. This includes doing some not-so-glorious tasks as folding laundry and changing diapers, or helping out a neighbor or even some not-so-lovely strangers that cross my path. For my family, that means taking on the huge and overwhelming task of pursuing adoption.
I read books like this and my heart burns to do more. In fact, I had just put the book down and started praying what is becoming a familiar prayer for me:
"God, just show me how I can do more, love more, anything to love on and help those who so need it."
In the midst of my begging God to show me how to do this, Korban awoke and began to cry. It was as if God was saying, "Start with who's in front of you. Pour yourself out for your children, your husband, and those around you. They so need it."
So, if you choose to read this book, don't get caught up in how un-heroic your task might feel to you, realize that we are all called to put ourselves into a situation where we must be poured out completely, rely on Him only, and love until it hurts. The job of parenting definitely fits this bill.
For some of us, that is in Uganda. For others, that is in our own home, neighborhood and workplace. Each of us is responsible to do what we are called to do and not deny it.
This book has inspired me to seek to serve and love until it hurts and I just don't think I can do anymore, and let God come in and fill in where I lack.
Where is God leading your to pour yourself out? Are you listening and watching? My prayer for you today is that you will have eyes open and arms ready for whomever God puts in your path.