Who is this girl staring back at me?

Friday, September 20

A few days before we left for Nepal,
I was alone in our apartment amidst a packing furry.
The room was bare except for a wooden trunk with a circular mirror propped up against it.
I grabbed my lunch and sat down in front of the mirror.
And then I just stared at myself.
I looked back at that person staring at me in the mirror, and wondered “who am I?”.

Who am i?

As much as that statement seems like the foundation for a cheesy hallmark movie,
It accosted me, shaking my shoulders till I just blinked back at myself in a dazed haze.
It was like I was looking at myself for the first time, wondering what I was made of.
can anyone say identity crisis? 

I mean, I guess I could have described myself by the thin layer on top…
Hazel eyes, brown hair, scar on my forehead.
But to stop there didn’t feel right. I wasn’t brown hair. I wasn’t my scars. 
I wasn’t my eyes, no matter how much they burned a hole in that mirror.
Yes, those were a part of me, but it wasn’t me.

So I continued, reaching further.
I am a daughter, a sister, a wife.
Yes, but these positions were not the essence of Katie.
Neither were any credentials, which rang so shallow when I began to name them. 
Goodness gracious, had our culture so emphasized my “doing” that somehow I took it for my “being?”

My fear and insecurities surfaced.
In fact they scared me as they rose to the top, dripping with lies.
I fought the painful memories.
I studied my reaction.
No, no, I finally declared, while these may have shaped me, 
they had no place in my very being, my very soul.

That left me puzzled.
Lord, I cried, who is this person in this body?
What am I? Who am I?

And then it came, small and strong and tender.

Katie, you are a gift.

A gift?
I recoiled, almost embarrassed.
Why, how narcissistic that I would think I was a gift to God or to others.
I almost looked in the mirror to see if anyone else had seen my conversation with God.
The coast was clear.

“Katie, you are a gift to me,
and I delight in you.
live as though you are a gift.
To me, and to others. “

And there it was.
So simple and lovely,
To good to be true.

And when we choose to live as a gift,
Our blooming tendrils creep their radiant ways around others,
Fertilizing a garden that gives others the space to grow and be gifts to the world around them.

Being a gift means presenting yourself to others in a selfless way.
It means offering your spirit as a bouquet of roses that freshens a room.
That says “today I’m here for YOU to serve you”.
Living as a gift to others makes us better friends, siblings, daughters, and lovers.

As a gift I will be opened, because that’s what people do with gifts, they open them.
 As a gift, I will be vulnerable and share my life with others. 
As a gift, I will be called upon for the joys of life, 
but I will also be used as a tissue to wipe away tears or a blanket to comfort in times of need. 
And sometimes, as a gift, I will be used and taken advantage of. 
But the point of being a gift is to be given. 
To bless.

A gift isn't a gift if it's never fully given away to someone.
And I want to give myself away to others.
In love, in warmth, in welcomeness and in kindness.
at the end of the day, I want to look back and tell Kevin that I gave myself away to others.
that I invited our neighbors over for tea and cookies.
that I spent my day writing a manual for the aftercare home that would benefit the girls.
that I just sat and listened to a friend who shared her heartbreak.
that I took a homeless couple out for a meal,
or that I made Kevin's favorite dinner.
everyday, I want to be a gift,
because i'm realizing that's who God made me to be.
it's in our dna to give ourselves away

it is better to give, than to receive. 
and that includes giving ourselves, right?

Jesus was a gift, the best gift to the world.
He lived present to everyone around him,
He gifted his healing powers, and his divine touch.
He poured out his blood, even when people took advantage of him.

But in the end, his gift healed us all. It still heals us.

So today I’ll bury the lies that say I’m
A burden
A failure
My accomplishments
My past
Or my body

And I’ll root deep in the truth that says
I’m loved
I’m accepted
I’m adopted
I’m valued
I’m an image bearer of the king

And that I’m a gift to God and to others. 
and so are you:) 

ohhhhh darlin, let's be gifts today, okay? 
happy weekend! 
love Katie 


  1. Katie, finally I have to say something:
    You are so right!
    Jesus is the best gift to me and the rest of the world!
    Thank you for reminding me that I am a gift too!


    from the lake house (in Austria)

  2. Beautiful post!
    Katie, you are a blessing and beautiful person!

  3. Oh my goodness, I love this post so much! This makes me want to live so much more consciously of this fact: we are all gifts. So unique and wonderful in our essence.

    Katie, you never cease to be such an amazing vessel to understanding God's character.

  4. Katie, friend, your words are a gift. I've still been chewing on your forgiveness post and now I have a whole new thing to ponder. Thank you for your bravery and vulnerability. Jesus is using you in mighty ways!

  5. Yes, lets! Lately I've been thinking a lot about the concept of serving, everyday, everywhere we go. That was a big part of my childhood--the way my Mom raised us was to look for ways to serve others at every opportunity. As I've grown up and been out on my own, I noticed that I got a little lazy and lax in that respect, but now I'm pursuing service with a renewed vigor. We're blessed to be a blessing--we're given gifts and talents to use them for others--and I don't want to waste what I've been given.

  6. "Goodness gracious, had our culture so emphasized my “doing” that somehow I took it for my “being?”
    wow....... i mean ....wow.
    & "Being a gift means presenting yourself to others in a selfless way.
    It means offering your spirit as a bouquet of roses that freshens a room.
    That says “today I’m here for YOU to serve you”.
    Living as a gift to others makes us better friends, siblings, daughters, and lovers."

    katie...way to speak to my soul today. - i REALLY needed to read this, so thank you for following God's prompting and posting it. <3 thank you, thank you, thank you.
    now it's time for me to choose to be a gift as well.

  7. I love this post! I'm going to start thinking about everyone as gifts, even the people I don't get along with.

  8. such truth! this morning I focused my devotion on how blessed I am and how I want to be a blessing (or gift) to others. I loved this, thanks for sharing!

  9. You rock, Katie. Seriously.

    Your words are such a haven from the untruths that we tell ourselves.
    You really are a wonderful, beautiful gift. Much love!

  10. This is beautiful, Katie. Beautiful words and a beautiful spirit of being present in the world and in other people's lives.

  11. Katie - this was so beautifully written and well said! You are right, we are gifts, but such a challenging thing to remember at times - a beautiful reminder! XO

  12. You are SO beautiful. I love this post so so so very much. The truth of God is just so... amazing. Thank you for sharing!

  13. oh my goodness, thanks. :) About to post a new post on my blog as well. but here's the updates so far:

    so yes, thank you!

  14. you are such a precious gift and this post is beautiful.

    so blessed by your friendship!

  15. Your words are a gift to all of us too! Thanks Katie! You are gorgeous. :)

  16. What an unexpected and gracious answer to your question! God is SO FULL OF SURPRISES! Love it, and love you!

  17. Ahh, this is SO good, Katie! LOVE IT! What a great freedom to be released from the burden of finding our own identity in the things the world wants to label us with, whether past failures, whether we get the esteemed promotion, or how many zeros are on our paycheck. Instead, our worth and identity are found in Jesus and being who God created us to be. We've been given SO much through the greatest Gift of all, and now we can gift people by showing this great Gift, Jesus, through the way we serve and love.

    You ARE A GIFT, Katie!

  18. you are so beautiful inside and out friend! this is such a wonderful post and something that EVERYONE needs to hear at one point or another!

  19. You're amazing! I needed this reminder as well, thank you

  20. This post was absolutely beautiful! And it's true, we are a gift!
    xo TJ

  21. Thank you for this! I am a gift :-) At my church we are currently on the topic of inner healing and confronting ungodly belief systems like 'I'm not good enough' or 'Im too dumb, stupid, etc' , everything that stops us from being "a gift".

  22. Your words this week have been a gift that I'm still working to unwrap fully, but I just wanted to say thank you. My soul is trying to accept your truths, but there are a lot of lies that need to be cleaned out first! I always look forward to your entries; thanks for sharing your life with all of us :)

  23. This was such a wonderful and heartfelt post. You should make this into a childrens book so that they can read about being gifts to god and to the world.

  24. I love this! You are a gift to all around you and I believe it is because we are all daughters of God, if we realize that and our potential then we want to give, as he would, to all around us! Love your blog!

  25. so beautiful :) you are a gift! we are all gifts and you're so right, we need to live like that!

  26. Amazing post! Thank you for sharing your heart and what God is teaching you!

  27. Oh I really love this. Beautiful post, Katie. We are all such special gifts and we need to be reminded of it. :)

  28. Teary eyes and shivers up my spine - God is speaking through you Katie and directly to me and I'm sure to others. xx

  29. Your words are a precious gift. Thank you for being so open in this space and encouraging those around you with them!

  30. I'm just getting around to catching up on blogs. Girl. This made me tear up. So beautiful and so true and such a deep reminder that we all need so often. So often when I read what you write I'm just "amening" the whole time. I have been thinking these very thoughts recently and the Lord has been working. So precious to me to see Him working in you in the same way. He is so sweet, gentle and good.

  31. you are a gift! :) even reading about your life the past few days has been a gift.


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