the ambitions we have will become the stories we live

Wednesday, October 23

"the ambitions we have will become the stories we live. 
If you want to know what a person's story is about, 
just ask them what they want. 
If we don't want anything, we are living boring stories,
and if we want a roomba vaccum cleaner we are living stupid stories.
If it won't work in a story, it won't work in life."
- donald miller

Moving back from Nepal makes me think a lot about the ambitions in my life. 
I mean, when you move to a foreign country to work with girls 
who have been sexually abused and hurt in the most evil of ways, 
your ambition-meter kind of sky rockets because staring evil in the face will do that to you.
your ambitions become so wrapped up around the crux of 
fighting off the bad guys {i.e: kicking butt and taking names} 
and seeing the precious ones rescued, restored and healed. 
It's not too hard to hunker down and have some real focus. 

But every time I move back to the US, 
that amition meter seems to think it's on vacation, and it starts to relax. 
It become rather vague. 
And I suppose vague ambition is really just like atrophy...
the muscle is there but you sure as heck aign't using it for any purpose
other than shoving crap into your mind and body. 

Because let's face the music peeps...
living in the US can be a real cake walk if you want it to be. 
I mean, we have froyo on every corner, and tivo to literally occupy every waking hour if we wanted it to. 
I think it's easy to just live in a bubble and forget about a higher ambition.

but the ambitions we have become the stories we live. 
and living in Nepal was an epic part of my story. 

and what I'm wrestling with now, is praying into ambition for my world in California. 
because who says it has to be different? 

can't my story be just as sweet and epic and deep,
moving back to my home in California? 
I think the answer is yes

Kev and I feel ever more confident that the only life for us is one living among the poor. 
Because wether you live in California or Nepal, they are there. 
And our ambition is to open our home and just love the crap out of people. 
and say with our actions "you are loved and welcomed here"

Miller says 
"A story is based upon what people think is important, 
so when we live a story, we are telling the people around us what we think is important" 

I don't ever want to wake up one day and realize that my life reflects
 that I think tv and range rovers and weekly manicures are important.

I'd really rather have someone watch my life and have no question that my story was about loving people and loving God. 

i've got a long way to go...
so i'd better giddy up. 

So here's to a season of finding my ambition as clear as can be, 
and living a story where the important things win:) 

Happy Wednesday,


  1. Very inspiring I must say. And you're so right about forgetting the higher ambition. But one thing that I learned so far, it's good to have ambitions, but it's also good to breathe once in a while, to just relax, and who says weekly manicures makes you superficial? I think if you're too caught up in your ambitions, they will wear you out quickly. I personally have personal ambitions, and sometimes I feel like maybe what I have now is enough, you, know, and screw those ambitions. Then I think about what will happen if I really accomplish those goals, how it might change the world even in the smallest scale, and that motivates me more.
    Zia from

  2. I hope you inspire others as much as you inspire me :) you're onto do greater things than ever before. xo

  3. i really fear this when i move back to the states eventually. like you said, it can be so easy to get right back into the swing of things and completely forget what you're passionate about or living with a purpose because hey, froyo and tivo sounds pretty dang good…and easy. i hope we both continue to live with a purpose and never let that passion die out : )

  4. " I don't ever want to wake up one day and realize that my life reflects
    that I think tv and range rovers and weekly manicures are important."
    I love this! I don't want a life story filled with these small non-eternal things, either. I know what God has given Angel and I a passion and talents now we're working on rearranging our lives and living faithfully towards that ambition, not just sitting around and doing nothing until we actually get the visa we need!

  5. i love reading your posts - mainly because of how your heart shines through! this is such a true & encouraging post. you're exactly in the US can be a cake walk if we allow it takes intentionality to focus on the important things when society throws a million unimportant things at us each second. thank you for this reminder!

  6. Katie, thank you for sharing this important reminder. I totally agree about finding it hard to focus on serving here in the States. While I don't have an experience like Nepal, I have been on three mission trips to serve through my church. I always come home and feel a bit empty. It's hard not to be overtaken by selfishness again.

    Reading your post makes me want to quit my job and move to Peru. But that may be an easy way out too. Maybe my story is to find ways to serve here, right where I am, even if it's hard, and I'm distracted.

  7. Katie, this is a beautiful post! I've been struggling to find my ambitions.

  8. Incredibly encouraging words Katie! Your story is inspiring not just me, but many others as well =)

  9. i think your life is allowed to ebb and flow. you were immersed in your story in Nepal and now you are catching your breath before the next story, it doesn't mean you lack ambition. even in this down time, your blog posts continue to inspire me and I am sure many others. you are a very special lady, with many special stories!

  10. beautiful, inpsiring, thought provoking! <3 <# <#

  11. stumbled upon your blog the other week and i cant help but note that your posts are so inspriational!
    they really make me think about the way that I am living and what should be important. thank you :)

  12. You always hit that spot with me. I have been wrestling with my ambitions and your words were the push I needed to delve deeper into prayer with what is important to me, God, and what needs to be important. You are wonderful!


  13. I volunteered briefly with sexually enslaved and trafficked individuals, and others at risk, in Cambodia a couple years ago. It's heartbreaking. Those involved can feel so hopeless; those who've come out of it can feel judged or tainted somehow. Yet there are so many inspiring stories of women who find escape and find hope and love and community. Sexual abuse, and even trafficking, aren't limited to Southeast Asia, though. While other aspects of living in a poorer country may compound the risk or the living conditions, sexual slavery and trafficking occur right here in the united states as well. The statistics may surprise you, if you haven't already looked into them. I would love to find ways of getting involved in efforts to prevent trafficking at home and abroad. Perhaps that's something that would interest you as well? I know what you mean, though, about seeming to lose that sense of purpose or urgency once back in the States. I'm guilty of that myself.

  14. So true! It's always a let down coming home from something so amazing and so purpose filled, but you are right. It can be just as deep where you are now!

  15. Love this post! I've been thinking a lot lately about my life goals verses what I COULD be doing with my life if I werent so selfish.

    I really want to travel overseas BUT how could that kind of money be better spent if I didn't put it towards myself. It's hard to decide where to give and where to keep a little for yourself because having your own life experiences is so important in life and I think traveling is one of those things that has such a huge impact on your life in such a small amount of time. Thinking about getting involved with Habitat for Humanity, maybe doing a mission trip overseas instead of a volunterring overseas like I wanted (even volunteering with the CCS overseas costs thousands of dollars for only a couple of weeks.)

    How do you and your husband decide which opportunities to go after and what things in your personal lives are and aren't worth sacrificing for that "greater good" goal?

  16. Beautiful post and photos, Katie! Love God and people, perfectly said. I think I need to spend some time reflecting on my story this week ;) xo

  17. Girl, you are such an inspiration! Thank you for reminding me to think beyond my too-easy North American life!

  18. Amen! Love Donald Miller, and those quotes are dead on!

  19. Love this! So true, we need to stop being comfortable and start living life boldly, loving people and taking risk! You do such a good job of that and you encourage me to do this!! Love you, friend!

  20. Love this! So true, we need to stop being comfortable and start living life boldly, loving people and taking risk! You do such a good job of that and you encourage me to do this!! Love you, friend!

  21. Your community, others-centered heart is very inspiring. It is easy to forget such genuine purposes here in America. But I sense that is changing in Christian communities and I see an abundance of people beginning to reach out and live lives poured out like Christ. I desire for direction in this area for myself, too.

  22. That sure makes me realize how unimportant those manicures really are.... Where has my ambition gone?.... Thanks for the wake up call, this is just what i needed.

  23. i LOOOOVE this katie!! it's so so easy to settle here. but so rewarding when we don't.


  24. Such a great reminder and super encouraging as I'm finishing up grad school and trying to balance the whole ambition thing. You are awesome, chick! :)

  25. So inspiring and such a great reminder as I'm finishing up grad school and trying to completely trust God with this next chapter of my story. Love the wisdom you share with us! You are awesome, chick! :)

  26. Such a great reminder Katie! And I love that book -it's been awhile, I should really re-read it. I can't wait to see what God all has in store for you now back in California!

  27. I really wish that ambition was easier to see in the states. while i was with ywam, purpose was so easy to see and live out! and when i moved back i felt the same way.. why does living it out have to be different.. but it is. you have to be so much more aware! and you're right it's too easy living in CA. i think as long as you have a good community, it will be easier to live that out, but it's a battle for sure.

  28. Oh Katie.... You give me hope for orange county! I grew up there but left for college and vowed never to move back. All my Christian friends certainly love God, but love their "stuff" seemingly as much. And when they've come to visit me (I now live in a large city) they're usually bothered by the poor, the homeless, etc. I'm thankful for hearts like yours in the States and planting Jesus love wherever it is needed.... Even when it's not comfortable or easy. Xoxo

    1. Ahhh thank you so much for your message! What's your email girl? We should meet up if you are ever in Orange County!!! Love Katie

  29. seriously, you two are ones of those people with the biggest heart and kindness i've ever known. you're right. it's just too easy to forget the bigger ambition when we can find and have such an easy comfort. starbucks in every corner, froyo, stores, internet access, hot shower. but this, this is a good reminder, that we still can share such comfort, kindness and love.

  30. I just found your blog last week and am totally with you here. There are times when I want to leave NYC and live in an "easier" place with more conveniences, but at the same time I can't shake the thing inside of me to be part of the hands and feet of Jesus in communities that are hurting and to not settle for less. Where we live right now is hard and we don't live in convenience in a lot of ways, but it also keeps me aware of the fact that this is a reality for people out there and a big part of our job is to be light in dark places. Thanks for sharing this.

  31. This. It's soooo easy to let the desire to live out love for the Lord slumber. It's a struggle for me a lot of times. It's so much easier for me to say 'I'm going to go serve in an orphanage in Ecuador' and then go do it than to go downtown and "fit in" a couple hours a week serving in park outreaches in poor communities. My challenge to myself in the coming season is to "live generously" - to give with my time, talents, feelings and finances in ways that are truly generous... to stretch myself to really serve and give and be love with my life because Love redeemed me first. Anyway. Excited for you and your husband in this next phase! xoxo


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