I have some catching up to do.

At the beginning of the year I set a goal to read 16 books and blog about each. The general idea was 16 new books, but I failed at that as soon as I picked up an Anne of Green Gables book. And when I found The Help in a Fijian secondhand store for three dollars? Well, I couldn’t just leave it all lonely on the shelf. It had to come with me.

“See, Kayla?” whispered Jesus, jolting me to five years prior.

Around the time of my 18th birthday, my dad came home from a YWAM speaking trip and handed The Help to me. He didn’t know I had been watching its movie trailer on repeat. He just knew that it was about a nanny and a writer, and my full-time job at the time was looking after a three-year-old. He knew that I loved writing, and got my nose stuck in a book regularly. So he bought for me at the airport, and I just about melted.

I forgot how I sat cross-legged on the floor of the living room, buttoning Amy’s doll with one hand and turning pages with the other. I forgot how I couldn’t wait for that moment in a hot Kona afternoon when she feel asleep and the book was all mine. I forgot how I cried because I knew what it was like to take care of someone else’s child every day. I forgot how I longed to write something that made a difference, just like Skeeter.

Because I loved the book so much, I loaned it to a friend– but in between us both travelling, it never made it back to me. There was always this sense of loss when I thought about it. Not that I couldn’t get another copy, but because I had lost the copy that my dad bought for me.

The day after my 23rd birthday, I was in Lautoka, Fiji with the DTS outreach team I’m leading. And there it was. On the shelf. I’d seen copies of it countless times, but this was different. Jesus had been singing restoration, restoration, this whole season as DTS staff. This was just another verse in that song. 

And I found this yet again:

When you’re not making mimeographs or fixing your boss’ coffee, look around, investigate, and write. Don’t waste your time on the obvious things. Write about what disturbs you, particularly if it bothers no one else (p. 71).

I flopped on my bed, kept reading long after our lights were out. I woke up this morning, and finished it, with tears in my eyes once more. I proceeded to write a blog post about how much I loved America, because it disturbs me when everything I read on Facebook seems to denounce our home country. I wrote, because I remembered how much I love to write.

And that’s why I’m going to keep going with #20books2016, even though it’s already November.

I keep getting reminded of who God created me to be. 

Place Read: Lautoka, Fiji; Tauranga and Ruatoria, New Zealand
Source: Secondhand store, Lautoka, Fiji.
Date: 22 Oct-12 Nov 2016
Version/Edition: Penguin, 2009. Victoria, Australia.

Photo: Living room floor, Amy’s house, 2011.