i've seen too much freedom to live any other way.

Thursday, November 21

 the big question since we got home has been where to live. 
to rent? to buy? to stay with Kev's parents? 
oh my stars! how does anyone make these grown up decisions so easily? waahhhh!!! 

it's a question that at times has 
reduced me to tears, 
made me a stalking freak on zillow.com, 
and has forced me to get on my knees and pray to the only one who knows the perfect house for us! 

and in this whole process of figuring out where to live,
i've realized that the deeper question Kevin and I have really been asking ourselves 
is how we want to live. 

and what we've come up with is that we want to live
with purpose. 

On all accounts it would be easy to just slip right into a cozy little house
and allow the world to revolve around us.
Some people might even pat us on the back and say things like "after living in Nepal, you deserve this peace and quiet".
And we might actually believe that. 

So Kevin and I talk about it.
A lot of late night chats have ensued as we lay in bed.
Conversation that generally follows this pattern:
Katie: babe, where do you want to live? 
Kev: in the "neighborhood"….you?
Katie: ya, me too. 

that neighborhood where we saw God moving,
felt the love of Christ from our neighbors,
and carried each others burdens.

that neighborhood where we saw poverty
but where we experienced people pull together in a communal spirit
like nothing we had never experienced before.

that neighborhood where kids and friend stopped by our house each day,
because community was more important than personal space.

yeah, that's the neighborhood we can't shake...

just last week I got a call from a friend who lives in the neighborhood…

B: can we use your in-laws pool for a baptism?
me: ya…when?
B: um…tonight. Miguel (*not his real name) is recommitting his life to Christ
and wants to get baptized, like now. 
me: yes, absolutely. 

So a group of guys came over that night to Kev's parents house (not to far from the neighborhood). 
Miguel shared why he wanted Christ to be his everything. 
And then they said those words…
"death to sin"
and 
"alive in Christ". 

and I sat there with tears streaming down my face
as I witnessed these boys from this rough place,
embracing Miguel in these manly hugs, tattoo on tattoo.
Speaking words of life over him.
Replacing the lies with truth everlasting,
and I thought why? why would I ever choose to live somewhere else
when I get to witness the living God right here in this place?
Watching one boy, precious in the eyes of God, give his life to the Creator. 

a few days later, another boy from our neighborhood wrote this on his FB status…
When I started high school I was a F student now I'm in the honor roll and with As and Bs getting 100% on my test funny how god helps you. 

 Ummm…can we talk about why this is such an epic statement? 
Welp, because Jesus CHANGES LIVES. 
straight up…from and F to an A. 

And I can choose to position myself in a place where God can use me for his everlasting work,
or I can choose to position myself in a place that goes no where, forever. 

no matter how tempting the most gorgeous areas in Southern California may be, 
God's invitation to love and be loved by our neighbors is in our DNA. 
It's in our DNA because IT IS HIS DNA. 
And if HE lives in us, then we are carriers of this important mission. 
To share the gospel, to live the gospel, to bring the hope of Christ to all around us. 

I've seen too much freedom to live any other way. 
The neighborhood is for us through and through.

23 comments :

  1. I'm dying over these beautiful stained glass windows! Is this a home you lived in/are living in?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, yours and Kevin's hearts are so full of Christ-like compassion. You live a life that echoes His grace over and over. I don't know if I could do it. I often look at my little apartment as "my space" but my heart really wants it to be a place of comfort for other girls. I wish it was bigger where I could be more hospitable, but for now, coffee dates are a blessing. May God continue to lead you both as you prayerfully consider moving back into the neighborhood. I moved 5 different times in 2 years while in grad school and each time, I asked God to lead me to the right place to live . . . and He was so faithful to lead me to the right places for the right seasons of life. He is just SO good and knows all we need, including where we should call Home.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "It's in our DNA because it is His DNA." Love that! And I love your heart. So excited to see what the Lord does in and through y'all!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your heart for God and for the poor is inspiring. I love your focus on the "how" to live and that it drives your decision of "where" to live.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is such a beautiful post. You're so amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "In our DNA because it's in His DNA" - love this. Thanks for sharing your heart :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. <3 This made me cry... Seriously. You have such a beautiful heart!

    ReplyDelete
  8. this. entire. post....amazing.
    in tears.
    humbled.
    encouraged.
    challenged.
    all beautiful things God did to my heart while reading this.
    thank you. <3

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's so good to be able to know when you're HOME.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That is so wonderful. God is definitely using you two to change lives!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This entire post is amazing! You guys have such great hearts, it's been so inspiring to watch. (or read I guess?) Praying that God reveals his plan to you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. So beautiful - I admire yours and Kevin's courage and trust in the Lord to go where others would shrink from. Where are these photos from? Beautiful! xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. well obviously you know where you should live ;) that neighborhood! the Lord has placed it on your heart for a reason!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your passion and matched service for community is truly inspiring Katie =) Praying God leads you and Kevin where you can both capitalize on this very thing He's gifted you both with for His namesake!

    ReplyDelete
  15. your heart is simply beautiful friend. praying as y'all continue to be His hands and feet in "the neighborhood" & to everyone you meet! love ya lady

    ReplyDelete
  16. Katie....I love that you posted this! We have been having a lot of the same discussion at our house. We've been really talking and praying about what kind of life we want to live and where our next chapter begins. It's an inspiration to hear that faith is carrying you through!

    ReplyDelete
  17. and this is why i love you. your passion, bravery and realness are inspiring! can't wait to watch at god continues to use you sweet friend. xox

    ReplyDelete
  18. you two are amazing! you have to go where God calls you.

    ReplyDelete
  19. "Speaking words of life over him.
    Replacing the lies with truth everlasting..."

    YES! Oh friend, I can see why your heart longs to be there and minister in that neighborhood! I love this post! It's so important to live with purpose.

    ReplyDelete
  20. :) this neighborhood sounds very familiar to me. we even know a miguel who is now grown up and runs the afterschool program!! we've moved and had a hard time settling in california.. and plan to move again.. hopefully back to atlanta.. and closer to the neighborhood. haha how crazy would it be if we had two parallel lives in diff sides of the country!

    ReplyDelete
  21. those are beautiful words. death to sin and alive in christ. indeed! he is a new creation, the old is gone, the new has come. (2 cor. 5:17). how blessed you are to have been able to witness and aid in the baptism of another brother in the family of Christ.

    may you continuously be attracted to the things of God, no matter how difficult the road may take you (even if its far into 'da hood...) may you constantly cling to Him when things are rough and know that walking with Him is far more glorious than the temporary comfort that the world offers.

    ReplyDelete

I LOVE hearing from you friend:) Your comment will make my day!