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Kisses from Katie – Book Quotes

Stacey Tuttle on July 29, 2014 - 7:55 pm in Book Quotes, Books

Kisses from Katie is the astounding and inspiring, real-life story of Tennessee native, Katie Davis who, as a senior in high school, discovered she had a passion for Uganda that could not be ignored.  Leaving her home, her comfort, her friends, family, boyfriend, college and her “future” far behind, she traveled to Uganda where she works as teacher, aid worker, non-profit founder/CEO, and mother to her 14 legally adopted daughters and the community around her. 

People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another.  And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world:  They hold the unshakeable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters.  They get excited over one smile.  They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound.  They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes.  Over time, though, the small changes add up.  Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world.  (loc.55[1] – Beth Clark, introduction)

[People who want to make a difference] don’t do anything to call attention to themselves, they simply pay attention to the everyday needs of others, even if it’s only one person.  (loc.62 – Beth Clark, introduction)

I never meant to be a mother.  I mean, I guess I did; not right now, though.  Not before I was married.  Not when I was nineteen.  Not to so, so many little people.  Thankfully, God’s plans do not seem to be affected much by my own. (loc. 142)

As I read and learned more and more of what Jesus said, I liked the lifestyle I saw around me less and less. (loc. 152)

Slowly but surely I began to realize the truth:  I had loved and admired and worshipped Jesus without doing what He said.  (loc. 154)

I wanted to actually do what Jesus said to do.  So I quit my life.  (loc. 158)

I had seen what life was about and I could not pretend I didn’t know.  So I quit my life again, and for good this time.  I quit college; I quit cute designer clothes and my little yellow convertible; I quit my boyfriend.  I no longer have all the things the world says are important.  I do not have a retirement fund; I do not even have electricity some days.  But I have everything I know is important.  I have a joy and a peace that are unimaginable and can come only from a place better than this earth.  I cannot fathom being happier.  Jesus wrecked my life, shattered it to pieces, and put it back together more beautifully.  (loc. 160)

In fall of 2007, I wrote, “Sometimes working in a Third World country makes me feel like I am emptying the ocean with an eyedropper.”  Today, it often still feels that way.  I have learned to be okay with this feeling because I have learned that I will not change the world.  Jesus will do that.  I can, however, change the world for one person.  I can change the world for fourteen little girls and for four hundred schoolchildren and for a sick and dying grandmother and for a malnourished, neglected, abused five-year-old. And if one person sees the love of Christ in me, it is worth every minute.  In fact, it is worth spending my life for. (loc. 165)

Matthew 10:28 tells us not to fear things that can destroy the body but things that can destroy the soul. …  I am living in the midst of the uncertainty and risk, amid things that can and do bring physical destruction, because I am running from things that can destroy my soul:  complacency, comfort, and ignorance.  I am much more terrified of living a comfortable life in a self-serving society and failing to follow Jesus than I am of any illness or tragedy.  (loc. 175)

As I “delight myself in the Lord” by doing what He asks of me and by saying yes to the needs He places in front of me, He is changing the desires of my heart and aligning them with the desires of His.  As I go with Him to the hard places, He changes them into the most joyful places I could imagine.  (loc. 191)

It may take place in a foreign land or it may take place in your backyard, but I believe that we were each created to change the world for someone. To serve someone.  To love someone the way Christ first loved us, to spread His light.  (loc. 195)

I was forever ruined for comfort, convenience, and luxury, preferring instead challenge, sacrifice, and risking everything to do something I believed in.  (p4)

I was blown away by the greatness of our Lord, by the fact that God in all His mighty plans had cared enough for this child, had cared enough for me, to put us together in that moment.  (p11)

God reminded me again that day that I have one purpose, in Uganda and in life, and that is to love.  I could ask for no greater assignment.  (p11)

Why me?  Why would God choose me to do this?  But as I think through my life, I see how blessed and loved I have been.  I think it is only normal that God would ask, even require, me to share this love with others who may not know it.  Luke 12:48 says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”  And I have been given so much.  (p11)

I’m not here to eliminate poverty, to eradicate disease, to put a stop to people abandoning babies.  I’m just here to love.  (p14)

I’ve had people ask me why I think Africa is so impoverished, but these children are not poor.  I, as a person who grew up wealthy, am.  I put value in things.  These children, having no things, put value in God.  I put my trust in relationships; these children, having already seen relationships fail, put their trust in the Lord.  This nation is blessed beyond any place, any people I have ever encountered.  God has not forgotten them.  In fact, I believe He has loved them just a little bit extra.  (p25)

God did not make too many people and not enough resources to go around.  Because we were living in His world, there had to be a solution.  (p31)

I am Peter.  I mess up.  I make mistakes, I am far from perfect, and God will use me.  God will establish great things through me.  (p39)

I would like to say my ministry was born out of a carefully thought-out plan.  These things simply aren’t true, though.  I was walking through life one moment at a time, blown away by what God could do through me if I simply said yes.  (p43)

All I knew was that if the Lord had given me a house it couldn’t be just for me.  I knew that whatever I did, I was to use this house for the glory of my God.  (p65)

Disease is certainly not a sin.  And poverty is not a sin; it is a condition, a circumstance that allows God’s work to be displayed.  (p70)

Adoption is a redemptive response to tragedy that happens in this broken world.  And every single day, it is worth it, because adoption is God’s heart.  (p72)

Armed with this new sense of who He is and who I was as His servant, I continued trying to give myself away in every circumstance.  I wanted to god God’s work, let Him display Himself through my life, and change my world as much as possible every single day. Most days, that didn’t include anything other people would find impressive.  It simply meant being faithful to the people and the responsibilities God had given me.  (p72)

For me, fund-raising has always been about more than simply raising money, it’s a means of raising awareness, and in the process hopefully changing people’s hearts.   (p82)

We wanted to teach them of Jesus who died for them, for all of us.  I didn’t believe it was possible to tell a child about the love of Christ without simultaneously showing her that love by feeding her, clothing her, inviting her in.  If a child has never known what love is, how can we expect him to accept the love of his Savior until we first make that love tangible?  (p84)

I wanted to share with them [friends in America] the truth that many of us seemed to have overlooked—that God wanted us to care for the poor, not just care about them, but to truly take care of them, and many of us were not doing so.  God told us to love our neighbors as ourselves, but so many of our neighbors were starving to death while our tables were filled with abundance.  (p85)

I hadn’t realized what a transformation had taken place while I had been in Uganda, the spiritual richness I had experienced in material poverty and the spiritual poverty I felt now in a land of material wealth. (p85)

I was like that velveteen rabbit.  When I first went to Uganda, I felt sparkling and beautiful, as a teenage girl from Brentwood “should” be.  But now I spent my days without makeup, getting my hands dirty and doing hard but meaningful work.  I was tattered and worn out.  The beautiful, dirty people who populated my life had loved all the polish and propriety right off me. 
I’d been hurt and scarred and banged around a bit in the past year, but God was using all those things to help me become real.  (p85)

It is possible for children to live!  And yet they are dying by the thousands.  While we sit here full and content, everything we ever need right within our reach.  (p87)

Frederick Beuchner writes, “The place God calls us to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”  (p88)

I know I cannot walk into a village and tell a child that Jesus loves her. She cannot comprehend that because, chances are, she has never been loved.  I have to feed her, clothe her, care for her, and love her unconditionally as I tell her that I love her.  Once she can understand and see my love, I can begin to tell her about Savior who loves her even more.  (p89)

The truth is that the 143 million orphaned children and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases and the 8.5 million who work as child slaves, prostitutes, or under other horrific conditions and the 2.3 million who lives with HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children.  And though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 billion people on this earth proclaim to be Christians.
The truth is that if only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left.  (p91)

What if I catch this disease?  What kind of parent am I if I have brought these children willingly into my home and all seven of my girls get scabies?  That frightening thought fled quickly as I remembered that Jesus touched lepers and Jesus gave me my assignment in Uganda.  He gave me hands that can rub healing balm on children’s wounds.  I was simply blessed to be able to use them.  (p96)

I was always quick to open my home, but a few days after realizing how sick our new friends were or being criticized by other “good” parents, fear would sneak in and I would wonder if I was truly being irresponsible. 
The answer always came quickly and simply, “I sent My Son,” the Father would breathe into my spirit.  “Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake…”  (p97)

When I imagine God creating each one of us and planting a purpose deep in our hearts, I never imagine that purpose being mediocrity.  (p99)

I only gave him enough money for his ride home (probably less than the equivalent of fifty cents).  But Jesus gave him hope that night.  And he remembered.  He didn’t just remember my face; he remembered my name.  He prayed for me.  He prayed for my safety and for the opportunity to see me again.  I blessed him just one cold night, and he blessed me every day after that for an entire year [by praying for me daily].  (p102)

When I thought about Mary [Jesus’ mother], I decided not to strive to be a perfect mother but to simply endeavor to be like she was—completely unprepared but ready to take the child God handed to her.  Mary’s faith was courageous and her obedience was complete.  She submitted to God, regardless of the cost or the consequences.  She submitted, even if it meant losing her reputation and the man she loved.  Or even her life.  (p109)

About her time in the US:  I “miss” Jesus.  He hasn’t disappeared, of course, but I feel so far from Him because my life is actually functioning with out Him.  But “functioning,” I mean that if I am sick, I go to the drugstore or to the doctor.  If I am hungry, I got the grocery store….  I keep forgetting to aks God first to heal me, to fill me, to guide me, to rejoice with me.  I have to set aside “time to pray” in the morning and at night instead of being in constant communication with Him.  In Uganda, because I was so physically “poor,” I was completely dependent on God and spiritually as wealthy as ever.  (p121-122)

I had become so concerned about how I would continue to provide for the children that I forgot I wasn’t even the one who was supposed to do it.  I’d been so busy working to raise money that I forgot to ask God for it.

All I had to do was look at what happened the previous year.  Had God ever failed to provide exactly what was needed?  No.  Why, then, would I ever believe He would fail to provide now, even though I was living in America?  (p126)

At times, while I was attending college in the United States, I wished I were still living in the hungry, needy circumstances in which I lived in Uganda.  Sometimes I felt it was easier to cling to Jesus in that state of having nothing than it was to cling to Him while surrounded by the abundance of America.  Although I was not physically hungry or in need, my soul was thirstier than ever.  (p132)

As much as I reveled in my life, ministry, and motherhood in a village in Uganda, I also had moments when I wanted to live near my family and marry my high school boyfriend.  I didn’t want to give up everything I’d grown to love in Uganda; I wanted that—with a few American blessings added to it.  But the reality is, no one can serve two masters.  To follow Jesus, we have to make choices.  Sometimes, making those choices is anguish.  (p133)

I can miss the will of God.  The rich young ruler certainly did.  He didn’t fall dead, as Ananias and Sapphira did; and maybe he went on to live a great life, but it wasn’t the life he could have lived had he said yes to what Jesus was asking of him.  (p134)

When have you ever read a story of God’s great work that made a lot of sense, a story that didn’t seem a little over the top, a little impossible?  Not often.  Radical, extraordinary love just doesn’t make sense in a fallen world; that doesn’t mean it can’t happen… it is the very nature of God.  (p152)

Here is the thing:  I want big things from God.  We want big things from God and then think it’s strange when He asks us to build an ark, or feed five thousand or march around a building for seven days with seven priests blowing trumpets made from ram’s horns….  I serve the God who used Moses, a murderer, to part the Red Sea, a God who let Peter, who would deny Him, walk on water.  A God who looks at me, in all my fallen weakness and says, “You can do the impossible.”  (p153)

The degree of my selfishness hit me like a rock.  How in the world could I dream of a bigger house when people around me live in such need?  (p176)

There are still moments when I believe I should be able to relax and do nothing some afternoons, instead of taking care of one more sick person.  There are moments when I think that because I have worked hard all day, I deserve to be able to sit down and eat my food instead of answering the door for one more person who needs help. 
The truth is that these thoughts are not at all scriptural.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that I deserve a reward here on earth.  Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.”  It does not end in, “and after this hard work you deserve a long hot bath and some ‘me time.’”  It does end with, “since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”  (p176)

In reply to her Dad, wondering how she heard her daughter’s voice in the crowd, “I know when it’s mine.”  (p178)

Esau and Jacob meet for the first time in a long time.  As Jacob approaches Esau, with his many children following close behind, Esau asks, “And who are these with you?”
Jacob replies:  “These are the children that the Lord saw fit to bless me with.” (p179)

Do not forget in the darkness what you have been promised in the light. (p206)

We aren’t really called to save the world, not even to save one person; Jesus does that.  We are just called to love with abandon.  We are called to enter into our neighbors’ sufferings and love them right there.  (p214)

The bath time struggle never is about the bath at all.  It is about obedience.  Grace is three years old and she simply does not want to obey.  She thinks she should be the one to decide whether she gets in the tub or not.  … I shudder to think what I could have missed in life because of my disobedience.  I am so thankful that God in His grace does not allow me to win.  Because usually, the fight is not really about what He is asking me to do.  It is not about the bathtub.  It is about me, trying to figure out just how much control I have over my little life. …So God picks me up, exhausted from struggling, and plops me in the center of His will for my life.  And then a funny things happens.  AS I kick and scream and struggle, I remember: I like being in the center of God’s will for my life.  God’s plan is usually pretty great.  (p226-227)

The more I strive to live in the center of God’s will, the more He asks me to give up, the more uncomfortable I become.  He teaches me, over and over again, that He does know best. The “bathtub,” the uncomfortable places, they get only more difficult, but I am learning to remember, before I even get there, that eventually this will be what is best for me, and more important, what is best for His glory.  (p227)

Did I believe that Jesus was serious?  Did I believe what He said was true?  The answer was yes.  I believe He was serious when He said to love my neighbor as myself, and I believe He meant this even when my neighbor was not tiny and cute and cuddly.  I believe when He said to love my neighbor as myself, He really meant to care for others as I would care for my family or myself, and I would never let my family or myself live in such conditions…  The only reasons I could think of not to move her in with us were completely selfish.  (p240)

While the girls and I were willing to have Jja Ja Grace move in with us and thereby “love our neighbor,” I discovered that there is only one thing that feels better:  empowering people to help their own neighbors.  (p243)

Courage is not about knowing the path.  IT is about taking the first step.  It is about Peter getting out of the boat, stepping out onto the water with compete faith that Jesus will not let him drown.  (p247)

I believe there is only one truly courageous thing we can do with our lives: to love unconditionally.  Absolutely, with all of ourselves, so much that it hurts and then more.  (p251)

Joy costs pain, but the pain is worth it.  After all, the murder had to take place before the resurrection.  (p252)

He has used the hard place to increase my sense of urgency and to align my desires with His.  I realize that it was there that He was closest to me, even in the times when I didn’t see Him.  I realize that the hard places are good because it is there that I gained more wisdom, and though with wisdom comes sorrow, on the other side of sorrow is joy.  And a funny thing happens when I realize this:  I want to go to the hard place again.  Again and again and again.  (p252)

”Surely just as I have intended so it has happened and just as I have planned so it will stand,” He says in Isaiah 14:24.  My good God gives only good things: He planned this and He will use this.  In Him, even sorrow is Joy.  (p256)

I think that while no part of me wants to be in this place of losing Jane, not at all, this is where I asked to be:  closer and closer to His heart.  He knows this pain.  (p258)

Suffering.  Rejoicing.  Squalor.  Beauty.  Love.  Pain.  These are the things that surround me, and all of them are from Him.  (p258)

I was not to leave this life unstained or unscarred.  Even Jesus kept His scars after the resurrection.  (p258)

About the story of Peter getting his tax money out of the mouth of a fish:  He loves to love us.  He delights in surprising us.  The funniest thing about this story to me is that Jesus could have just handed Peter the money.  This is the Son of the Living God we are talking about.  He could have made it appear out of thin air.  He could have just pulled it out of His pocket and paid it Himself.
But Jesus wanted to come through bigger than that for Peter.  I believe that He delighted in Peter so much that He wanted to put this element of surprise and hilarity in his day. …“Surprise, I am right here.  Surprise, it is just as I said it would be.  Surprise, I am exactly enough, everything you need, all over again.”  (p264)

Maybe I am not surprised when He heals.  He says that He can.  But I am always surprised that He loves me enough to allow me to be a part of it.  (p264)

I prayed and He could have pulled the answer right out of His pocket.  But He didn’t, because He loves me too much and His way is better.  (p264)

In that moment in the backyard, God did not forget to rescue us.  He just needed to rescue someone else with us. (p264)

I fill up on Jesus first, serve my children and run our household second, and then meet all the other needs that are thrown my way.  My children are awesome ministry partners and love to serve alongside me.  (Interview with Katie Davis, post script.)

In my life, there is no separation between job, ministry, or home life—everyone is family and everything is done for Jesus, all the time.  (Interview with Katie Davis, post script.)

Each morning as we wake up, our goal is simply to be available:  to one another, to the sick who come needing medicine, to the homeless man on the sidewalk, to the short-term missionary seeking community in a new place…just available to share the love of Jesus  with whoever God puts in front of us.  (Interview with Katie Davis, post script.)

There are no droughts when we drink from a well that never runs dry.  (Interview with Katie Davis, post script.)

 

[1] Note: location notations apply to kindle app, not actual page numbers.  I give page numbers when my app began to note both page and location…starting with page 4.  Additionally, towards the end of the book, the app continually said it was page 264, though I’m convinced that is not correct.  Therefore, take references with a grain of salt and consider the context as they are recorded in contextual order.

 

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