About the Author

Wife to a thickly bearded man. Mama to a gregarious little girl and a baby boy just learning to smile. And best of all, Beloved of the Sweet Savior.

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  1. Thanks for sharing your beautiful small life. God placed love in families. Grow where you are planted.

  2. Thanks! I needed to hear this. Many days I feel as there should be something “bigger” that God wants me to do but I realize He wants me to live my small life with His great love!

    • I’m so glad it encouraged you! I love how you put it – “with His great love”. 🙂

  3. This really spoke to me. I gave up what once was my dream job to put my family first, and sometimes I get sad and wonder if I made the right choice, because my life feels so small and ordinary now. Thank you for reminding me what’s important.

    • I’m so thankful it did! I’m praying right now you get to see something spectacularly beautiful in the ordinary today. 🙂

  4. Thank you for this! I am currently struggling with this exact notion-that my life reach is small and feeling insignificant. Thank you for this encouragement!

  5. Hi Katlyn. I really enjoyed your post. I’ve been meditating on that Scripture recently from Psalm 16 because my heart also longs for more, and sometimes it feels like it will never come. Sometimes I get discouraged and tempted to feel sorry for myself, feeling like I have no portion at all. But I am clinging to Papa’s truth and asking Him to help me remember that HE is my Portion and He is the best of all. Even the best of everything that I think of as “the bigger thing” is, in reality, smaller and far less significant than my inheritance of HIM. Hard to remember, sometimes, but He is helping me. I hear He doesn’t like idols? 😉 And if I value that bigger thing that I want more than I value Him Whom I actually have, an idol is exactly what it becomes.

    • MMM… love that thought, that even the best that I can come up with is far less significant than Him. It’s good for my heart. 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  6. I loved reading this tonight, at the end of a long day of cleaning up messes and with my sticky, apricot-jam-filled kitchen still waiting to be scrubbed… a short break to dip in for some encouragement, and I loved this post, Katlyn. This from someone who IS living on the other side of the world: most days my life feels small too, since I’m a stay-at-home mom like you… it’s not that much different really, whether you live in Central Asia or Colorado: potty-training, meal-making, cleaning and folding laundry have to happen every day no matter where you are… It’s how and why and WHO I do them for that matters, I’m discovering, above all – and that’s what makes my life “big”. Today it sure feels mundane, though! Thanks for your encouragement, and the lovely musing on Psalm 16 – so soothing for my soul.

    • Ha, I hadn’t ever thought of that, that it’s the same the world over. 🙂 I love that thought, that it’s how and why and Who we do it for that matters… thank you for sharing!

  7. Katlyn, I think you and the boy and girl in the photos would look beautiful in China—but not as beautiful as you are right there, by the lake and the aspens and pine trees God kept intact in 2012, when the fire burned all around but not through the camp.

    The first time I drove my boys to Eagle Lake, there on the dirt road even before we got to the parking lot, I was overwhelmed to tears. As those pirates started running our way and yelling “Arrrrrgh!” I thought, “I know these people are going to love my kids.” It was so obvious, almost tangible, that everyone there was intentional about loving them, showing genuine interest in them, and making them feel like the priceless treasures God made them. Many thanks.

    How fun to see these photos. Your kids look great. 🙂

  8. I’ve seen this theme of small lives lived purposefully surfacing on a few favorite blogs. So glad you’re reiterating it too! Grateful that you’re loving well in each moment you’re given. 🙂 Love the story of camp.

  9. Kaitlin, thank you so much for your post. I really needed to hear this today. God has blessed me far beyond what I could every imagine. My heart gets restless and I think there is more to do. I know He’ll show me when it’s time.

    Your words were such a comfort to me. Thank you again.

  10. Your post reminds me of what someone once shared with me. She and her husband were brought up so differently when it comes to “serving.” Her mother was always involved in church work and often even invited people over for Sunday dinner. She said she actually felt left out and neglected. Her husband’s mother believed her service was with the children God gifted her with. She sometimes got static for not doing more “serving” in the church, but she believed her serving field first of all was with her family. I know your heart yearns to serve in China, and it’s difficult to have to give up a dream. Who knows? Maybe someday it will still happen. But God’s way are higher than our ways, and what you are doing with your children is a beautiful and big service in His eyes. We just have to bloom wherever He plants us. Yes! You can love big and bold and beautiful! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing this, Katlyn. There are times when I am discouraged because of the limitations due to chronic illness, but you have encouraged me today. Yes, the Lord has assigned us our portion and our cup!

    • Thank you so much for this encouragement, Trudy! What a sweet illustration of what motherhood and serving are supposed to look like… it’s good for my heart to hear. 🙂

  11. Katlyn, thank you for sharing that sweet piece of your heart! It was a beautifully written reminder to me of what God calls us to. I love you friend

    Jenn

  12. I have been a stay-at-home mom for many years and we have not had a ‘vacation’ in over 13 years. My parents live across the ocean and in their declining years. All of my siblings have been to visit them. Not me. I can afford nothing. My fridge gets empty before the next cheque. And I have tried to get a job that will still enable me to be there for my boys. God has not opened any doors and it may very well be that I can’t handle it as I have suffered depression and have limitations as to what I can handle. Some days my despair runs deep as guilt pours over me from myself and those around me.
    But your post today reminds me to do what I can right now. Love well.
    Well said.

  13. Kaitlyn, thank you for sharing your heart and life with so many! I am blessed to be one of the ones who has been touched by your life. I am blessed again by your heart of submission to the boundary lines The Lord has set for you and it was just sweet to read and see pics of your sweet family!! Thank you for being one who loved boldly in my life!!

  14. Oh Katlyn, what great prose, made my eyes water. Being a wife and a mom and an inspiration to so many at Eagle Lake can make you lose site of yourself, and then all the hopes and dreams vanishing and denied can be frustrating, but we find comfort in what we have and satisfaction with accomplishments and you have so so many! I always thought spending all the time you have at Eagle Lake was an ideal way to live, the grass is always greener!!! And I am a little glad you aren’t a teacher in China…..but how exciting!!

  15. This just made me so happy. Growing up together at camp was such a unique experience that really only our families and the Engles could understand. So sweet to see it come full circle and your little ones get the same thing. Camp kids 4 lyfe. <3 glad to see you're doing well 🙂

  16. Oh, how this speaks to me right now! I have been struggling and fighting with frustration and anger over my current lot. Thank you for the fresh perspective.

  17. Wow, God is so faithful to get “me” a message that I need to hear!!! He used you! Keep up the writing, your words are making a difference. I have been a stay at home mom and wife for 29 years , my daughter turns 29 on July 6. {3 boys also 16 to 23 years} This was never my plan….I am so thankful that God is in control and not me!!! I am truly blessed, but still have moments of doubting my value! I am human, hahaha!! Your words hit the spot, thanks for sharing. Thank you

  18. “These lines are pleasant, this inheritance is beautiful. I am Beloved, and I can love well.” Oh how I love this as a Grandmother of 11 precious ones. I have lived large, and now i want to live right here, focusing on my beloved’s and i love how you put this. thank you.

  19. Katlyn, thanks for sharing. Just a thought for you from another camp family. Our oldest son graduated from college this year, he just got married and moved to Salt Lake City where he starts his career with the top investment bank in the world – Goldman Sachs. Our daughter is a senior at Butler U. majoring in Dance performance – she wants to dance professionally some place in the world (she’s working this summer in LA for a national ballet company). This past Tuesday we dropped off our third child, and second son, at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD – he is now officially a Midshipman and a Plebe. When he is completed with his studies he’ll be commissioned as a Naval officier and stationed somewhere in the world. All this from a camp family in little old Evart, MI. So trust me when I tell you, one day your world will seem big (sometimes bigger than you may have wished). But when it does remember you’ve helped fulfilled one of the original callings God gave people – be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth.

    God Bless,
    Michael

  20. Thanks for this reminder! As a stay at home mom, I often feel restless for more instead of remaining content with my current portion.

  21. Dear Sisters,

    Don’t regret this time spent with your children! Think of this…our health care has allowed us to have such a longer life span than most underdeveloped countries in the world. This means that we have the time (&grace!) to raise the next generation for Christ AND have time left to work for HIM in the mission field or wherever He places us after our children are independent. Plus, we WANT to be a wonderful blessing as grandparents! Praise God for putting that desire to serve Him in our hearts!

    Yours in Christ,
    A Sister on the cusp of 2nd Service

  22. My word for the year is small, and this post perfectly speaks to what I am learning this year. And it was it much needed reminder for me. Thank you!!

  23. Thanks Katlyn. You have been a huge encouragement to me in my 2 summers at Eagle Lake. As one drawing near to marriage, I am struggling with the grand adventure in my heart and desire for big things, while life is often so full of “little” things. Thanks for the Scripture recommendation; I’ll go read Psalm 16 now. 🙂 God bless you as you’re finishing up first session and daily working such an important role to the Lord.

    • Thanks, Joelle! It was so good to see you today – what a fun surprise! Let’s catch up soon…I’m going to FB you right now before I forget! 🙂

  24. Thank you for writing this. It’s so true and so encouraging for where I am right now too!

  25. Sweet Katlyn, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. I so resonate with your meditations on pleasant boundaries. I’ve only been a stay at home mom for 6 weeks now but I’ve struggled with my thought life – becoming boring or worthless or unloveable myself. Thank you for the encouragement to love and serve well where I am! And I’m pretty sure you’re an amazing “camp wife!!!” I pray this summer be full of joy for you and yours! – Miranda

    • Thanks, Lovely Lady! You are wonderful. 🙂 Call if you ever just want to talk or need to commiserate!

  26. This is beautiful! You’ve helped me see my “sour spots” and rethink how grateful I should be. I’m so glad you posted this! I’m going to share it now. Thank you!!!

  27. Love this reminder! Even as a single, twenty year old young woman, things have felt pretty small for me lately and I tend to resent that. I am slowly learning to thank God for where He has me now.

  28. This post is very, very good. I remember the days, staying home with our 4 little ones…loving every minute and yet wondering if this was enough. Now, years later, I’m staying home with our oldest child. He is 28 years old and he has Down Syndrome. I take life at a slower pace because of him. I find joy in little things like lunch at Chick-Fil-A or getting a cookie at Target. I sometimes answer the same questions over and over and over.

    “LORD, You have assigned me my portion and my cup…”

    Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

  29. Kaitlyn,
    I used to sit behind you and Gretchen McQueeney in church. I’m grateful for God’s good hand on you both.

  30. Katlyn,

    I, too, feel like my life is small. I work at a university, attend church weekly and do normal day to day activities. No big adventure here. 🙂 But I know that part of my job now is to assist my aging dad. I visit once a week or so and call about 1-2 more times to check on him and his health. Also get him to most of his doctor’s appointments. Showing him the care and love he needs.

    Another job I have is to love my husband and care for him. I need to support him and shower him with the love he deserves.

    While doing that I also love on and care for my church friends. I pray daily and visit them when I can.

    You see you can have a huge impact on people’s lives while there at camp or wherever God has planted you!

    Blessings 🙂

  31. This is beautiful, thank you for posting. I’m definitely memorizing these verses. Thank you for the encouragement!