I never read Kisses from Katie. I knew her general story from a friend who loved it, but I didn’t get around to checking it out myself. I’ll admit to being a little skeptical. How could a 23-year-old adopt 13 kids and actually function well as a mother? Perhaps this skepticism is one reason that Daring to Hope was so powerful. Because this book wasn’t written in the wake of new beginnings and ministry when one might argue she was still in the “honeymoon phase”. It was written 10 years later.
So at this point, there is no wishful dreaming or naive ambition or rose-colored mission. Katie has experienced REAL life with 13 kids and endured REAL tragedy in ministry, and her story can serve us all.
I am usually not one for flowery language. I find it pretentious at worst, or bothersome at best. But Katie often utilized what I might consider “flowery language”, yet delivered it in such a way that I found it beautiful and honest, rather than distracting and exaggerative.
Katie’s writing is compellingly raw. To be perfectly honest, I think “raw” is one of the most overused words among female readers and writers today. Any overly emotive book is celebrated as “raw”. Countless writers use “being raw” as an excuse to complain against God, take sin lightly, and wallow in self-pity. But this was the good kind of “raw”– the kind that depicts serious struggle but doesn’t sensationalize it. The kind that discloses temptation, weaknesses, and sin, but doesn’t minimize or justify it. The kind that admits to wrestling with God, but does so in the search to know Him more deeply, not to conform Him into her desired image. This is the kind of “raw” we really need.
I also felt personally challenged by her (and her daughters’) example of hospitality. It would have been easy for Katie to effectively check out of missional outreach because she already “did her part” when she adopted 13 children. But instead, they pursue a lifestyle that seeks out the lonely, the outcast, and the sick. It stirred me to hear how this radically hospitable lifestyle, while bringing much pain when loved ones were lost, also brought much healing, especially in the lives of her daughters.
All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone. It is challenging, encouraging, and inspiring. This is not just because Katie’s story is remarkable (which, let’s be honest, it is), but because her writing constantly points back to our compassionate, sustaining, and faithful heavenly Father–the One wholly worthy of all our hope.