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A book you need to read

December 9, 2011

This book came out at the beginning of October and I feel so blessed to have stumbled across it! I hope you will believe me when I say you need to read it. Be prepared though, it will change you. And challenge you. I am pretty sure only the hardest of people could read it and walk away unchanged. Unconvicted. Unmoved.

Missions has been on my heart a lot lately and I have been praying about what God wants me to do about it. So reading this book was so exciting and challenging. And at the end I was ready to book a plane ticket to Uganda to go check out Katie’s exciting work. (Of course it doesn’t take much to make me want to buy a plane ticket, for anywhere, but…) I had actually heard about her a few years ago, and had seen her blog and the jewelry that her ministry sells, but had completely forgotten about her until I read this book.

This book was on my mind as I did a car research panel/study this past Saturday. I had just finished up reading the book so it was fresh on my mind as I drove out to Santa Fe Springs. As the six of us sat there, along with 3 car designers, and discussed things such as what lines we liked on a car, and what made a car look “sleek,” while the conversation and exchange was exciting and interesting, I still couldn’t help but think, as we sit here discussing just what makes a car look “cool” and what headlights we find appealing, there are people on the other side of the world who in their wildest dreams couldn’t even imagine owning a car, regardless of what it looks like. And most of us in America can’t imagine buying a car that we weren’t impressed with, or that hasn’t “wowed” us. Our worlds couldn’t be more drastically different.

There are millions of people in this world who don’t know where their next meal will come from, and my fridge is so full I can’t fit another thing inside of it. It tends to make you feel guilty. I don’t think guilt is the right emotion though. It’s not wrong that we have been blessed. But I do think that we have been blessed so that we can bless others. God says that of whom much is given, much will be required. And I think that because God has blessed us so abundantly, that we should give with abandon. We should be constantly aware of the fact that we have been incredibly blessed. And the really cool thing is that the more you give, the happier and more blessed you feel! I think everyone should take the opportunity to go visit a third world country at least once. It will change you. Even just spending a few weeks in such a country will open your eyes to the excess we have in America. All of our basic needs are more than met. If you find yourself thinking that you haven’t been blessed, or you are discontented with what life has given you, go visit another country where life isn’t so easy and modern conveniences simply don’t exist. I think you will have a hard time ever feeling un-blessed again. I am so, so thankful for the opportunities I have had to visit third world countries. It really, really changes you and makes you more thankful for all that you have.

This book was such an encouragement to me. It’s always so exciting to see teens and other young people who are sold out for Christ and who don’t settle for status quo in their lives. Status quo is so easy to accept in our American culture, and often our ‘Christian lives’ seem so shallow when really examined in light of Scripture. Katie says on her blog, and it is written on the back cover of the book,

Sometimes I want to spend hours talking with my best friends about boy and fashion and school and life. I want to go to the gym; I want my hair to look nice; I want to be allowed to wear jeans. I want to be a normal young woman living in America, sometimes. But I want other things more. All the time. I want to be spiritually and emotionally filled every day…I want to be challenged endlessly. I want to be taught by those I teach, and I want to share God’s love with people who otherwise might not know it…I want to follow the calling God has placed on my heart. I want to give my life away, to serve the Lord with each breath. At the end of the day, no matter how hard,  I want to be right here in Uganda.”

She has such a beautiful way of writing that makes the book hard to put down, and yet there are times where you have to, just to think and to pray and really examine your own life. When I finished the book, I felt like I had lost a friend, and yet at the same time gained a friend. Someone who I will probably never meet this side of eternity and yet who I will get to spend eternity with, praising God together. Seriously, I can’t wait. I know it’s probably selfish, since there are many who have not yet accepted Christ, but I still can’t help but wish it was today.

Every time a missions trip comes to an end, and we have to say goodbye and head home, I am sad. I always just want to stay. I don’t want to go back to my routine 9-5 job where truth be told I am not  making much of a difference in anything. I want to stay right in the middle of the awesomeness that God is doing around the world. It’s hard for me to accept that this is where God wants me right now. That the things He is letting me be a part of right here are what He wants me to to do. Reading a book like this didn’t help. =) But I know that God will show me His will in His time, and I just need to be content and focus on serving Him where I am – even if it doesn’t feel like much. When I stop and consider my life and all God has done for me and all the blessings He has showered continuously upon me, I feel overwhelmed. I don’t deserve any of it. And yet He loves me enough to give it to me anyways. I want to spend the rest of my life giving back to Him. He saved me and I owe Him everything.

Sorry for rambling so much, there is soooo much more I could say, but all the thoughts are jumbled in my brain and I have rambled long enough anyways…just go find this book at your local library, or on Amazon and check it out. And be prepared to be convicted and challenged and changed, and overwhelmed with gratitude at just how blessed you really are!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2011 11:29 am

    Beautiful post Jen, thanks for sharing! Sounds like a great book.

  2. jenmarie33 permalink*
    December 12, 2011 10:19 am

    Thanks, it is a good book!

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