“I am so old. My whole body hurts. I have suffered much,” her eyes shine with joy as she speaks, “oh, I am suffering. But whatever He wants. Whatever God wants!” And she laughs and she laughs.

We sit in our circle in the dust of a slum and we share our hearts and our prayers. Jja Ja Maria, who looks to be a hundred years old and reaches no higher than my shoulders, is the last to share.

Her life, it has been hard. She is in Jinja because she had to flee from the war in the North that tore apart her life and her family. Her son was shot last week by a soldier on the border of Uganda and Sudan and frail, little Jja Ja had made the 13 hour bus ride in the stifling heat and watched as they had lowered her last living child into the ground. The journey had taken almost a week and when she came back she found her grandchildren sick and even though her whole body ached from travel she still took them to the clinic and continued bending over her work so that she could make enough money to put food on the table. Now she is back and we are happy to embrace her and ask about her journey and ask how we can pray for her.

“What ever He wants,” she chuckles.

I look at the joy that is spilling out of her wrinkled face and I repeat the words that she has spoken in my head and that doesn’t make sense. She is hurt and she is suffering and she is laughing about it and sparkling with beauty and radiating Joy.

That doesn’t make sense. Not to me. Not yet.

But she already knows what I am just learning. That even this, it is from Him. Even this, it is Holy ground. This thing that I label suffering, it is really Joy.

“Does disaster come to a city unless the Lord has planned it?” Amos 3:6

I live with these human eyes, and with these human eyes of mine I label. I label one thing as good and one thing as bad. I label moments as blessing or burden. And I forget that all this labeling, it is not my right, not my place, not mine to do. To declare what is a gift in my life and what is a curse is to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, to sit in the garden full of abundance and beauty and choose the forbidden. The knowledge of good and evil, that was never intended for me. Could I, like Jja Ja Maria just quit my labeling and say, “Whatever God wants. Whatever HE wants!”

Because God IS. “I AM.” He tells Moses and still today He IS. And if every good and perfect gift is from above, and a Good and Beautiful God can create only good and beauty then these moments that I choose to label as loss and suffering, they are really good and beautiful, perfect gifts?

“See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; it is I who put to death and I who give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal.” Deuteronomy 32:29

Suffering, pain, loss, shame – all these things I have blamed on a broken world, Satan even. But can’t a broken world and even Satan only give what God allows? Suffering, pain loss and shame are only these things because I label them as such. Because I, a sinner, choose to eat from the tree, choose to turn away from nail-scarred hands and ignore the grace and miss the gift. He is beautiful and everything He creates is beautiful and if I choose to label it suffering I am choosing to miss the beauty that is freely offered me.

On Friday I got a call from Jane’s birth mom that she had gotten her leg stuck in the chain of a bicycle. Five hours later I walked into a hospital room where she lay sedated, her heel bleeding and her tendon exposed, but untouched. The nurse saw my appalled, grief twisted face and shook her head. “God is good,” she whispered. “God’s grace…She could have lost that foot.”

“God’s grace,” I thought, and I wondered what if she had? What if the tendon had been ripped clean through and she never were to walk again? What of when she was ripped from my life and left with a woman who doesn’t even care to supervise her and so she lays here hurt and bleeding and so far, far away from me?

What if God’s grace is not when He saves us, but that He saved us.

“Surely, just as I have intended, so it has happened and just as I have planned so it will stand.” Isaiah 14:24

Just as He intended. Even this, planned by God.

And if this is what He intended (and it is), then that means that every moment – the moment when my daughter’s tiny fingers were pried from around my neck, the moment in that hospital room, the moments when I hold babies and watch as they breathe their last and their mothers crumple to the floor and the moment when a dear grandmother hears that her son has been shot, and the moments when the laundry piles over my head and the children bicker and hurts from their past make them do the unspeakable and I don’t even know how to parent – every moment is His grace, a gift. Could I look and say, “whatever He wants, this is my gift for today.”

God, who is Good and who is Beauty, and who saved us, even me undeserving, He can only give grace.

And I have a choice. I can let those wounded hands pull me close and I can choose to see the grace in this moment or I can again label, choosing to ignore the gift.

I see it deep in Jja Ja’s eyes, she knows. Even this suffering, He did this. He did this, not because He doesn’t know the ache – He does. He did this, a gift to me.

For the good of me. For the good of her. For the good of us, those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. For the good of all this world and the glory that is His.

And I know in that moment, I can choose to label the ripped open heel and the ripped open family or I can choose to count it as a gift, God’s grace. And the beauty is not in the circumstance or the label but the fact that in His graciousness He is here with me anyway, regardless of the circumstance or the way I choose to view it. The grace of being near to Him in trial, as long as I can chose to see it, is certainly the greatest grace of all.

This is what Jja Ja knows and this is what I am learning. God’s grace is not blessing, earthly reassure, our security or even the security of our children. God’s grace is not that all is “well” and right in my eyes. God’s grace is not when He saves us but that He saved us.

Here I am face to face with Jesus in the dirt and all I have to do is choose to see, accept the grace offered freely. His compassion and His mercy, this Grace, it never fails. Each moment each breath, is a gift simply and only because I get to spend it with Him.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

Whatever He wants. And I am thankful.

** Ps. I am reading this FABULOUS book that is healing my heart and helping me to see more clearly. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. If you don’t have a copy, you should get one, TODAY and prepare for your view of life to be forever altered – for the better.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06064874982149340182 dorothy

    Thank you for investing the time to write this Katie – it was the word I needed to hear and my heart echoes. Whatever Lord….whatever you will.

  • http://www.laurenmarais.blogspot.com Lauren

    Katie, thank you for sharing this, for being open. I label things, but now, after reading this, I see how futile my labeling is! Who am I to judge anything? All is good, all is grace! Thank you… Oh and I SO have to get this book, I've heard an uncountable amount of appreciation and admiration for it!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04927322781397047841 CathyMA

    I am praying that Jane will be well and bounce back like only a kid can do. Have a wonderful day Katie.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06101132263339427001 Southern Gal

    The whole time I was reading this I was thinking "Ann's book". You have stated the truth so beautifully here. God's grace. All is God's grace.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17793604475629395024 Laine

    oh boy. How I want to have in my heart that total surrender that Jja Ja has…Katie thank you for writing these words and for reminding me of hard things. We pray for you everyday….

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10368681502854711388 Dana

    what a blessing you've been to me this morning. i feel like i've just been to church! my earthly perspective needed and always need a shift. thank you for sharing. blessing to you today and always.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00487893990781399211 Katie

    I could tell you had been reading that book…just by your language and all of it. It rubs off, doesn't it?God bless you, from one Katie learning God to another, an ocean away. I know you don't often have time or ability to read these comments…so I'm going to trust that you don't mind if I repost this? I'll give full credit and link it…but it goes with what what I'm working to say and share on my own blog. If you DO read this and would rather I don't, let me know and I'll take it down.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04469675348469779204 Sarah Jones

    Wow. These blogs and what God is doing in your life never ceases to amaze me. You are such an encouragement and example. Thank you. Praise Him!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14223796055324601465 Sarah

    It is a beautiful book, I just finished reading it as well…God wildly loves us and I thank you for wildly loving Him back…in the laundry, in mothering, in sharing the love of Christ…blessings,a sister in Oklahoma

  • http://www.wisefamilyliving.com Taylor@WiseFamilyLiving

    Thank you for your words. I found out about six weeks ago that my baby is deaf. ANd it was so hard, because she was 11 months old and we had no idea. But the Lord will bring good out of everything, if we let Him, if we trust Him. That is what I am learning. He uses what seems bad for good, and the good He brings will be perfect, perfect for where we are and who He is making us to be as HIs children. It is beautiful and the Lord is so good.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01676100157816141678 Jennifer

    This is so beautiful. I have often wondered the cause of suffering. How great a paradox that we can have the most joy in the midst of the biggest trial, tradgedy, or anything that causes us pain. He is faithful, and I am so glad. He is a mystery. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17253303288242135440 Mama D.’s Dozen

    Another BEAUTIFUL post! Thanks for sharing.LaurelPS: Just have to share … we are adding to our family, in a MIRACULOUS way. God has chosen to allow me to have one more baby. I'm 49, and have totally thought that my baby days were over. All of our friends are shocked (and possibly disgusted) by the thought, but we are REJOICING. This was certainly not in our plan … but we so love to see God's plan unfold for our lives. :)

  • http://breathedeeply.org/ breathedeeply.org

    That was absolutely, painfully, poignantly, deeply, convictingly, powerfully BEAUTIFUL!! Thank you for touching my life this morning, for sharing the words on your heart with the world — a world that needs to hear, to see, to experience life in this way — grateful, thankful, willing — "whatever God wants, whatever He wants!" — so we won't miss the blessing, the gift, the holy God in our presence.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03083507031558792136 David

    Wow! What a different and amazing way to look at life. Thanks for sharing what you are learning so that others (like me) can learn from it to.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10407083772810629764 susanne

    beautiful post. thank you for writing it, and for helping my heart open up a bit more to the mystery of God's grace."God’s grace is not when He saves us but that He saved us."a beautiful, perfect reminder.i am reading One Thousand Gifts also, and could see little reflections of it in your post.this is my first visit here, but it won't be my last.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13600148899348868100 Betsy Markman

    "And I forget that all this labeling, it is not my right, not my place, not mine to do."This whole paragraph is so powerful, and it is an expansion of what the Spirit recently spoke into my heart.As usual, I was fearfully appraising my circumstances, tracking every detail to its inevitable disastrous conclusion, and casting aside hope based on what I saw before me. And the Spirit spoke in His powerful, cleansing way, "Stop assuming you know what this is." But I had not seen the connection to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This casts the whole Genesis account in a new light.Could it be that Adam and Eve were not merely hoping to have the power to know good and evil, but actually were acting upon the presumption of such power? It certainly seems that way.May God help us to leave everything in His hands and trust Him as He commands, and as He deserves!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18234324593027826036 Sandee

    ah yes, Katie…ah yes…I could see the echo of Ann's words, of God's heart in yours. I am reading/being transfigured through reading/ this book too and God is good. All is grace and how amazing is that? Not that we get just one day, but that he gives us two!Blessings dear sister.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13756303228669475402 Lori

    Katie, God willing I will be with you during a mission trip with VO in July. I, too, am reading One Thousand Gifts, a book I had not heard of until a friend place it in my hands. Praying your heart will be strengthened, encouraged and healed through His grace which is sufficient for each day. Blessings to you in Christ, Lori

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08815909849996753531 Giann

    wow. amazing….thanks for the reminder and new insight! You are in my prayers!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13131982153497045326 Whitney and Daniel Bunker

    I do not know you and you do not know me, but I thank you for this post. It is just what I need to hear in a time of great suffering in my life…I am learning to count it all joy…God bless your obedience to the Lord. Whitneyhttp://citywithoutorphans.blogspot.com/p/who-we-are.html

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13378041486640184358 Melanie

    this is one of the best things I've ever read. Thank you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13589698549708645809 Cindy

    I am going to start calling you "Pastor Katie", because that was one heck of a good sermon. Seriously. I have had a couple of girls ask me some hard questions recently…questions I haven't known how to answer. I am going to pass this along to them. This post beautifully answers one of the most difficult questions we humans ask: why suffering? Thank you for sharing the insights that He is giving you. And that book is going on my to-read list. xoxo

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00964777996915540725 Lauren & Ryan

    Katie – I read your blog & pray for you & your girls often but have never left a comment. I wanted to let you know that God used this message from you to speak DIRECTLY to my heart this morning. It was exactly what I needed to hear in a difficult time. I hope you won't mind if I quote you on my blog :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13956650423876005282 Alicia Beth

    I'm reading that VERY same book right now ! That's cool :) I love your writing.Thanks for taking time to share with us !

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13956650423876005282 Alicia Beth

    I'm reading that VERY book right now too !! So cool. I'm actually a part of Bloom Book Club that is discussing it. AND,Ann is leading the discussion.What a gift to not only be able to read the book but hear the author discuss it too !Katie,your heart and your writing skills inspire me. Thank you for taking the time to share with us.I know you must be very busy so we appreciate you keeping in touch when you can.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13189203032782891549 punkinmama

    Tears. So what I needed to read. Still don't know how to fully process it. Will read it again and again and ponder so I don't forget the hard truths written here.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04687339205571651753 Jenn Nahrstadt

    preach it, sister! in fact, you have been even before you started reading ann's book.glad to know you're getting a chance to read this, as i've thought of you as i've been reading it. blessings, sister!

  • Megan D

    Katie – As a chaplain, I spend time with the seriously ill and the dying, and I consider it my joy and privilege. When I try and explain my love for this work to people, words often fail me. I feel like your theology – which is at once so personal and scriptural – sums up this kind of work/love perfectly. I'm always in awe of the love and insight you are both giving and receiving. You and your girls are in my prayers. Keep up the amazingness, sister!

  • Carlymama8

    I was so happy to see your new post on your blog today! You see, I came across your blog in a round about way about a week ago and had to read it from beginning to end (although it took me 3 days)! You are an inspiration to me and I love how you share the love of Christ with everything that you do, in caring for others, living and blogging. You have been in my prayers every day since I found you! May we all allow God to show up on our lives daily….God Bless all of your endeavors.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04660911988343624527 The WEB We Make

    Inspiring. Your words seem as though God is writing them to me, as selfish as that may be.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13963931911436397173 Enjoy Country Living

    Thank you for your post. It is so what I needed just now. What a blessing to read this now, at this time in my life. I am losing my sight and really don't know how to handle that. I will get the book and read it. I only pray I have your posts to look forward to all of my life. You are more of an inspiration to me than you will ever know. Praying for you , your family, JaJa and Jane. Many Blessings to you all. Hugs!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14378058508016240527 Susan A

    Thank you for sharing, Katie. I read your post yesterday and I couldn't leave a comment because it's something that I needed to ponder. Yes, He created evil:Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Sometimes it is hard for us to understand, because we read this:1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. How can Love create evil? Such things are too hard for our minds to comprehend. Unspeakable evil things happen, is this from Him?? I can understand Him permitting evil things to happen (like what happened with Job)… but Him creating evil? Well, it's true, that He created Satan, He created death and hell…but at the same time, we see His love for us when He gave His only begotten Son so that we may not perish, but have eternal life with Him.Sometimes… when it gets too hard to understand and we are grieving, the only solution is to be like Job:Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. We will trust Him no matter what, but we can always talk with Him, ask Him why did it happen? like Job… it is ok to discuss it over with Him, see, He blessed Job in the end. Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Pro 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. While He created evil, He commands us to depart from evil. We have no part in it. This we agree with Him and obey Him.You might like my recent post in my blog, I talked about death and dying, how Yeshua our Lord, He had the power to lay down his life, and the power to take it up again… death hath no power over Him whatsoever.Thanking Him for His Son, our only way, our only Door.

  • http://www.calledtoloveafrica.blogspot.com Nicole

    "Isn't it glorious to know that no matter how unjust something may be, even when it seems to have come from satan himself, by the time it reaches us it is God's will for us and will ultimately work to our good?" -Streams in the DesertI love this quote, and it has sparked many long conversations with God. The only way I can understand grace and His overwhelming goodness despite suffering is to not understand, but rather except that His thoughts are higher than mine.Thank you for your post.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12005695519129502934 Sharon

    Wow! Profoundly said… and perfectly timed!I had a hard day today. On the way home I kept wanting to say, "It was not a very good day"…. but the knowing in my head wouldn't let myself say it. With each thought another overrode it, "This is the day that the LORD has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it." And your words were my thinking, how can I "label" it "not good"… when it's the Lord's that made it?Also… another scripture followed my thinking right along behind the first verse, "Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" (Ps 139:16). This day, too, Lord? Yes, dear child, this one too!Each one serving its purpose. Each doing as He had meant it. Each as He planned. Each one "good"… when our Lord's hand is upon it.Thanks for your words today, Katie! I so very much needed to hear them.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11936526114414690611 Chris

    Katie, I have heard about you from a friend and I am blown away. You have such wisdom, compassion and most of all a heart burning for Jesus. You have that which I long for. I can't wait to read more. I feel like I have felt the Lord speak more in a few of your blog posts than through my prayer time this morning. I pray you will be blessed as you are sharing your life with others, for I know we are certainly blessed. Thank you for reminding me that hard times can be a gift and to find Jesus in it all, for He IS there. Grace to you.Arica in TX

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17946903135252874458 “Are These Kids All Yours?”

    Thank you- Whatever HE WANTS! Please Lord change my heart to see that in your everyday.

  • http://www.onedaycloserblog.com Amy {One Day Closer}

    I thought you might have been reading Ann's book! (grin)We continue to pray for you!

  • Bridget S.

    Katie, what a wonderful post. I have just happened upon your blog more recently and I am deeply moved by your words and your life. As I was reading your post, I thought some of the ideas corresponded with a book that I am currently reading, One Thousand Gifts…how surprised I was at the end to find that you are reading it! What a great book. Surely, it will change many lives. Anyways, thank you for sharing your life with us, it moves many to get out of their comfort zone and help other people in their lives. You truly are a messenger of God, spreading His joy and compassion throughout all you do. God Bless!Bridget

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16404674696272732669 Rachelle

    As always Katie, you touch my heart. You may know of the meetings happening in Ethiopia soon….I am feeling sorry for myself as a waiting adoptive mom. This brings light to what I need to be learning now. Thanks so very much. I wish I was a close friend of yours. You have many but I view you as such a precious gift to my life. Thank you.Love, Rachelle

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01805326425263399657 tricia!

    you are amazing! what you do is wonderful and a miracle. i have been looking for a new mission trip to go on…. i was in south africa for 6 months and loved it. if you ever need any help… contact me: triciaharnish@gmail.comyou are an inspiration.

  • http://www.coffeeandaview.blogspot.com Lisa

    Yes! One Thousands Gifts has impacted my life as well, and the whole time I was reading your blog entry I kept thinking how Beautiful thankfulness is!!! Blessings to you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03609730666428629663 Emily

    "Whatever God wants. Whatever HE wants" -Thank you for this reminder Katie!!! Thank you!!!In Christ, Emily W.ps. -I'm looking into Ann's book already :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01807872140833617317 Jenn

    Absolutely beautiful. Thank you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02573101654608979076 “Lolli”

    Beautiful Katie, Words alone cannot express how this post blessed me at such a needed time…time of difficulty in parenting for me!!! You, my sweet friend, are the next Mother Teresa! You amaze me!!! The night you were in our home, talking of the children in the school needing sponsoring, I was amazed then at the obedience you exemplified to follow Jesus all the way, at the selfless spirit you exude and at your joy on the journey! Love you and praying for you often!Lisa Syler

  • Anonymous

    This is exactly what I needed. Thank you, God, for giving these words to Katie. May God bless you Katie, for listening to Him.

  • Anonymous

    Katie, What God has given you to do is a Glorious thing. Those children need you just as much as you need them. The experiences you have been given are incredible and truly a gift form the Lord. Thank you for touching my spirit today with your words! May God be with you :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03369285371492147462 B

    Katie,Thank for such a wonderful post and such a great reminder of God's grace.Reading Ann's book too, such a great and convicting read.

  • http://friendtoyourself.com/ friendtoyourself.com

    really lovely post and site. thanks for sharing this part of your and their stories w us. keep on.

  • Lolly

    Thank you, Katie. This post blessed me more than any that have come before it – and that's saying a lot. Your blog is a continued encouragement and inspiration to me to serve my Master – love my Husband – run to my Saviour – no matter what is going on around me or how I feel. I thank God for what He has done and is doing in you and through you. May He continue to hold you up and give you strength when there is no more in your body and mind.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12834960590726285772 viv

    Katie, thanks for your Godly insight. God is using you mightily. I am so guilty of labeling, but now have a different insight. :Praise Him. His Word through you is stretching to Australia. Love you

  • Gina in Spain

    Katie, I have to say that since finding your blog and reading, I am changed. I am not necessarily a religious person, but that doesn´t matter – your strength, your vision, your work..it is an example to all of us of how life under any religion should be lived.I sent in my $300 to sponsor a child last week. It is the LEAST I can do, seeing all you are doing.Please update us on Jane.Hugs and blessing….

  • Anonymous

    God gave this to me from you today on March 7th, my baby Isaac's birthday. He was born without kidneys and lived an hour. This is such a good reminder. There was pain. I am human. But the blessings, the grace, the love of my Savior that I would have missed if I had not given my baby back to the Lord. He gives and takes away, and I will CHOOSE to say Blessed be the name of the Lord! Thank you, Katie!Tracey

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10273649662893115653 Josh

    Joseph is another great example of this principle in action, "You meant it for evil, but GOD meant it for good." Katie, might I add one little qualifier though? "God's grace is not [ONLY] blessing [for THAT IS His Grace too!],[NOT ONLY OUR] earthly treasure, [NOT ONLY] our security or even the security of our children. God's grace is not that all is "well" and right in my eyes. God's grace is not [ONLY--for surely that TOO IS God's marvelous and awesome grace!] WHEN he saved us, but THAT He saved us." It is ALL, ALL His wonderous and matchless grace. You are so right about God's grace NOT being what is "well and right in MY eyes"!!! or how I so mistakenly define it. Thank you for this, sharing what GOD is teaching you. Judi

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09613161123898131043 LoLo

    Thank you!…

  • Anonymous

    wow. that was amazing revelation. Right to the center to my heart. Thank you. Thank you so very much

  • http://www.naningoi.blogspot.com Pua

    This is my first time reading your blog, and it is so obvious that you sit at the feet of Jesus, so obvious that you practice being still and Knowing that He is God. I praise God for your faith and your ministry. Keep gazing at His face. I'll be praying for you and this ministry

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18124894626273484839 Sincerely Mama

    Sweet Lord.Thank you, Katie.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12315978066027368369 jeanne

    You couldn't know how much I needed to hear that today….I need that eye-gate to look at things through. Thank you….bless you, I love you, you are my sister, not just a sister-in-Christ. I will get that book you suggested and be forever changed as I am when I read the scriptures. It is alive and active. It is active in you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15217691532324268886 Megan Kroeger

    I am not one to leave comments on blogs but I am just blown away. I am a young missionary in South Africa and have found your blog so comforting and encouraging over the past year that I've been reading it. You're perspective on things and the way you struggle through what the Lord is teaching you is beautiful. It is a battle to learn these things on more than just a head level but to really let them sink into our hearts and change the way we do life. I've shared this specific post with many people already and am still reading it over and over myself. There is so much truth in here that I was left speechless for the first few days. Thank you for sharing your heart and what God is teaching you. He has used you to speak the words I needed to hear in these moments. He is overwhelming me with His presence and truth as I struggle through living this out. Thank you for being a part of this journey I'm on through your blog. Keep up all the hard work that you are doing. It is making a difference for your children and for many around the world.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16850927060426216852 David and Marianne

    Isaiah 43:1-7"I am with you!"

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12658567053619590014 Sara

    I am reading that book as well, and truly, it is lifechanging!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17128630543142707074 Sherry

    Hey Katie, I don't know if you will get around to reading this, but I have no idea who you our but somehow came across your blog link on a tumblr page and it caught my eye, as i have been to Uganda and wow to see this blog is incredible! God bless you and your family, looks like He already has :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13038150233270643685 Chance Faulkner

    thanks for the Post. encouraging and great reminder. praying for ya!!!

  • tisa

    wow…i desperately needed these words today. i am so guilty of labeling, but i've never connected that to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. such an amazing insight! i, too, am reading ann's book…but hadn't started my gratitude list until just now…your post just became gift #1 on my list. thank you!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00036483736387332634 Sue

    Katie,You have blessed me with this post. I read A Holy Experience blog by Ann and I am reading her book. I am 56 and I am trying to wrap my brain around this whole new way of thinking. Reading this post shed a little more light on it for me. I pray Jane heals quickly. I thank God for young women like you and Ann – teaching an older woman like me so much. God bless you and your daughters.

  • Anonymous

    This left a real impact on me. Thank you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06240696987027358314 Flower Patch Farmgirl

    This is sacred truth.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05894195740943207190 kimtetz

    Katie, I too have read Ann's Book. She is doing a tour with my dear friends Nicole Witt and Christa Wells. You are an inspiration and encourager of the truth of God the almighty. I am one of your prayer warriors.Kim Tetzlaff

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05894195740943207190 kimtetz

    Katie,I always am inspired to read your Blogg. Thank you for sharing. I too have read Ann's book One Thousand Gifts. You are a blessing. Would I do What ever??? Lord??Kim Tetzlaff

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14417564858613501645 Elysa

    I really needed this today. I've been sick this week and have struggled with more sickness than I usually have in a whole year in the last 3 months. I've found myself really feeling sorry for myself and even struggling with depression as a result. This post was very convicting. I'm sharing it on my blog and will be thinking on it and praying about it today.Thank you and praying for you,Elysa Mac

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14417564858613501645 Elysa

    I really needed this today as I've been sick a good bit lately and really struggling emotionally. I'm thinking on this , praying about it, and sharing it on my blog.Praying for you,Elysa Mac in Mississippi

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11402132893353358700 Rebekah

    I'm looking forward to reading this book – it is sitting in my home. I was thinking about this book as I read your post then saw your note at the end. My family is no stranger to this grief and joy -I pray His presence will be real in your life.

  • Anonymous

    Oh thank you, THANK YOU, for writing this. God surely has used you to minister to me. May God richly bless you (I believe He already is…) :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11968118919720596650 Melinda

    Thank you… God is using you in my heart.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02997226479260809639 Katherine Hodges

    Where can I find the verse you mention in Deuteronomy 32:29? It's not there.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02997226479260809639 Katherine Hodges

    Where can I find the verse you mention in Deuteronomy 32:29? It's not there.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00570992549443199154 Joyful Le

    Agree and Amen! LORD, help us – because we see with faulty, sinful, human, selfish, spoiled, evil, rotten eyes. We long for your sight, LORD. We trust You, help us to trust You even more. We love you, help us to love you even more. Give us faith that looks beyond the moment and towards Your good and perfect plan.