“Jesus! Mama, baby Jesus! I want to see! I want to see Jesus!,” shrieks my littlest darling.

How can I refuse? I lift her, for what seems like the hundredth time this morning, to the manger scene on the living room bookshelf. She gazes in wonder, oohs and ahs, gingerlyfingering the cornhusk baby in his twig and banana fiber trough.

“Jesus, Mama,” she whispers.

And so, the nativity scene that once was packed away each year after Christmas remains on the bookshelf still, because my darling baby, in all her wondrous excitement reminds me daily of who I want to be, the kind of life I want to live.

A wide-eyed, expectant child, gazing in wonder on a beautiful Savior.

In the middle of a broken, sin-crushed world, my soul cries out, “I want to see! I want to see Jesus!”

I want to see Jesus.

My darling Karimojong sister Maria, who is battling severe, gripping alcoholism, and her sweet baby are living with us still. People wonder, even gasp, that I would let her join us at our table. Isn’t she a poor example? Why would I subject my girls to that?

I want to see Jesus.

Newborn baby Noah snuggles to my chest as his mother lays dying in a hospital bed. He cried through the night and I feed him and kiss his pink toes and pray over his little life. Why do I do it? Don’t I have my hands full enough already?

I want to see Jesus.

Zulaika, her severely malnourished baby and her 8 year old daughter move into our home while we teach Zulaika how to care for her children and find her a job so she can continue to do so. They have lice. They do not bathe. Fear creeps up the back of my throat and I wonder, what if all my children get sick? But we have taken in sick people before, and each time He hedges us in protection. People ask, do I feel that I am being responsible?

I want to see Jesus.

Jane and her birth mom spend the weekend in our guest room. I figure if I cannot parent this my daughter, the least I can do is teach her mother about our Savior, invest time in their lives, pray over them while we love them. My heart breaks in two as her high pitched, breathy giggle once more fills my home and the pain threatens to paralyze me, but I won’t let it.

I want to see Jesus.

Strangers eat at our table, bathe in our showers, sleep in our beds, share our everything. And I fleetingly wonder if it wouldn’t be better for my girls if I maintained some semblance of normal, but He shows me that HIS definition of family is not at all limited by my own.

I want to see Jesus.

I want to see Jesus and if I don’t step out, how can He come in? If I don’t give all of myself, my home, even my family, how will He be magnified?

Do I want my children to be safe? Absolutely. Do I want them to have a “normal” family dinner sometimes and be healthy and not be subject to the rage of an alcoholic or the hurt of friends dying and siblings leaving? Of course. But more than that I want to take a cue from my baby girl.

I want to whisper to them excitedly each morning, “Look, Jesus.”

I want them to see Jesus. In my life. In my actions. Lifted High. Magnified. In our neighbors, no matter how sick or dirty. In our home.

I want the best for my children, I do. And I believe with all my heart what is best is for them to have a mother – a crazy mother even – wide-eyed in wonder, recklessly chasing after her Savior.

More of Him. We want to see Jesus.

130 thoughts on “

  1. Katie, I so feel you. My sweet three year old was obsessed with the baby Jesus of the nativity this year. She didn't care about Santa, or the presents, but she looked every morning to see if the Christmas lights were still on in the neighborhood homes and she looked for the Baby Jesus at the gate of Christian Brother's University. She was sad when they took it down. Be encouraged dear friend, there is no semblance of normal when you are surrendered to the will and calling of Christ. I praise Him for your willing heart and for the home he's provided so that you can use this resource for his glory. Love on, pour on, you will NEVER regret these moments…trust me! Much love my fellow “single mom by choice”. You encourage me greatly.


  2. oh my goodness you speak my heart in words i couldn't find. praying because my heart cries out i want to see Jesus and to have them see Jesus and to be His hands and feet. thank you for sharing and for your obedience and for your heart.


  3. Thanks Katie,
    You're an encouragement to us.
    I started a fundraiser on CROWDRISE for Amazima Ministries just in case there are folks there who haven't heard the story.
    Bless you, friend.


  4. The Lord is helping all who read this post have a glimpse of what it means to be abandoned to our mighty God in all things . . . it's not always safe or makes common sense . . . but then neither did the life of Jesus. We see Jesus. Glory to His precious name! 🙂


  5. katie! i LOVE this post because it is jesus' way to further open up my eyes and my heart to His love and how it works its way out into the lives of others. i wish you were a neighbor so i could ask you the myriad of questions that come to mind and learn from seeing you live out this life in pursuit of this awesome God who has saved us. but alas, Jesus will instruct me and walk me through this foggy road until I come out into the spacious place He has called me. I bless you in Jesus' name, with new strength, new wisdom, new joy, and new power today. Though I don't know you in the flesh–by God's spirit, I rejoice for how He's used you to lead me closer to Him! With love, Lolly


  6. Once again, I am moved to tears. How profound! Thank you, Katie….for helping me to better see Jesus. And, Lord, may I see Jesus again and again in my own life!

    Love and Blessing to you, dear Katie!


  7. Katie, I like so many others, have just found your blog and have read through the entire, amazing story this past week. I have already familiar with David Platt (both his book and podcasts). I too long to see Jesus and long for people to see him in me and yet I often fall so short. I do not know where to begin, but feel God calling me to just start walking. My passion is marriages and while I want to start seeing and letting God use me to help meet the needs of the orphans and widows right here around me, I also feel we need to do something radical in the area of marriage and family, so I press on.
    Your words are an inspiration for me and I 'm sure there are many posts I will return to. I can't wait to see your book.
    You, your ministry, and your beautiful family, will continually be in my prayers and I ask that I will also be in yours.
    His in service, Kelly J.


  8. Every time I tell someone else about your blog, I remind them to bring tissues with them. I need them again as I sit and read your life here in black and white. Thank you for answering the calling He has placed on your life.


  9. This Sunday's homily was about emptying myself to make room for God so that eventually he can take over. You are an example of that Katie. with prayers from Minnesota.


  10. Katie, just one more lil soul you have chnaged here, thru your story and work…

    I have sent in my sponsorship today….After seeing all you do, how could I not?



  11. Oh, wow. Thank you for helping me to refocus today. It's so easy for me to get distracted by the world. You are a shining example of a life totally devoted to Christ. I pray God pours out His blessings on you and your daughters!


  12. You don't know me, but God is really using you in my life. You are such an inspiration and someone who i am so inspired by. I know you are living your life out for God's glory and it truly shows! Keep up all of your hardwork and continue pressing on and living for Him! Your blog really blesses me and the people around me! God is using you in ways you dont even know with people who you have and probably will never meet!
    Thank you for your obedience. It is very humbling and convicting!!

    Your sister in Christ.


  13. thank you SO much for this, i desperately needed a reminder of what love is, its not an emotion but rather our acts of caring and kindness that is love and expresses gods love as it is, no boundaries, just plain and simple. love is caring and showing you care, not just saying those simple words that anyone can say.
    thank you.


  14. thank you SO much for this, i desperately needed a reminder of what love is, its not an emotion but rather our acts of caring and kindness that is love and expresses gods love as it is, no boundaries, just plain and simple. love is caring and showing you care, not just saying those simple words that anyone can say.
    thank you.


  15. I love your life, your passion, and your blog. I lead people to your blog and tell them to come prepared to weep. You inspire me, give me perspective for my own crazy life, and you always amaze me with your amazing life. Jesus is truly your savior and it is a blessing to be a part of that journey through prayer. Blessings–dianne


  16. I too want to see Jesus. That can mean our lives and priorities are questioned. Through it all, I pray others see Jesus too. You are a blessing and an encouragement, Katie. We all see Jesus in your family. Thank you!


  17. i'm so excited! i've finally gotten caught up to 2011 🙂

    first off – i just have to say – our nativity scene has been on our front room table for 3 Christmases straight (and the whole time in between)

    It started off that I had forgotten to put it away that first year, and then everyone commented on it – and so I thought – why put it away??? Just because Christmas is over – why should I put it away??
    And so now it is a reminder – a constant presence in our home!

    I would love to say that I have the heart of your sweet baby girl and always run to it to “see Jesus” and be reminded of exactly Who He is, day in and day out. But honestly, I do not.

    I want to though! I want to see Jesus – so I will actively seek Jesus 🙂

    We have been in the process of becoming foster/adoptive parents for the past year and a half and we are finally finished and waiting for the call 🙂

    I'm excited that the LORD will be filling our home with love-deprived children in addition to the three we already have.

    Your life is a beautiful testimony of God's love being shared shared and shared! Thank you for not only doing what you're doing – but being vocal about it – being vulnerable about it – and being passionate about it! love you so much katie!


  18. My tears are overflowing. I wish that your heart could feel what mine does right now. I thank God for what He is doing through you. I thank God for your obedience. I thank God for all of those that I will see in heaven because of you. I thank God for the example that you are to me and so many others. The little girl in me thanks God for blessing those girls with such an amazing Mom. I thank God that you were the one that told me that I am one of His favorites. I want to see Jesus too…


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