August’s Book To Live By

Did you ever have a childhood dream come true?

Was the path getting there smooth or filled with frustration, fear, and doubt. Did you ever want to give up?

I am inspired when women have a dream, especially when they’re young and find a way to fulfill it. I recently read a book by a woman who got to see a lifelong dream unroll before her, even as she had to defeat waves of worry and dread.

I am pleased to announce that our August Book To Live By is:

She Made Me Laugh: Mother Teresa and the Call to Holiness by Stephanie Emmons (*paid link).


As a sixth grader, Stephanie saw a film featuring Mother Teresa among the poor, ill, and dying in India. She instantly felt a pull to the work and a desire to visit India and meet Mother Teresa. Over the years, she volunteered in a hospital, a program for children with terminal diseases, and homeless shelters in her hometown of Ottawa.

Then, in her mid-20s, out of the blue, she received an opportunity to accompany another young woman who shared her dream on a six-week trip to India.

The two young women found their way to Calcutta and the “old, plain, tired-looking, grey concrete, low-rise building” that was the home of the international headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity.

To their surprise and delight, they were soon welcomed by an impish Mother Teresa herself. Stephanie’s admiration only grew as she found the “living saint” to be “simple, funny, intense. And perfectly ordinary.”

With humility, Stephanie writes of her unease and frustrations as she was at first overwhelmed by the heat, overcrowding, smells, noise, filth, and despair until she was able to see through to the kindnesses, beauty, and unexpected friendships.

Beyond her experiences in India, Stephanie also shares the shock and disquiet she felt years later when she learned that Mother Teresa had spent decades in great spiritual pain, even doubting the existence of God.

As a detailed travel journal and spiritual reflection, She Made Me Laugh is refreshing in reminding us that, even when our prayers are answered, it can take patience and courage to appreciate the gift.

To your dreams coming true,

With love,

Debbie Signature

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