Kara Elizabeth McAfee on Living in the Sunshine

I really cannot say enough good about this beautiful girl. I love her to pieces. I met her when I was 15. She came on a mission trip to Australia, and ever since I have found her a constant source of encouragement and support.

Kara is one of those people of whom you can think no evil. Though we are separated by distance, she helps me to grow and take courage in my Christian walk as I hold up the precious light of her example to my life.

The secret to her happiness, tireless efforts for the cause of Christ, and sweet disposition? Kara truly lives out her belief that “this life is not about this life.”

If you do not already know her, let me introduce you to a truly beautiful woman, and share with you what she has to say on how she continues to live in the sunshine:

For those who do not know you, please introduce your wonderful self!

Hey, I’m Kara McAfee, I live in Blue Springs, MO, and I’m 22. I moved here from living in GA with my family 2 ½ years ago to take care of two little kiddos who had just lost their mother to cancer. I was their full-time nanny for 2 years, homeschooling them and doing their housecleaning and shopping.

I got to play “Mom” during that time. It was the most rewarding time in my life—sharing the gospel every single day, all day long with eager little souls. But it was also the most emotional and hard time as well. They won my heart from the first day, and it was hard to remember that they were not truly mine. I have learned how I want to be as a parent, how I don’t want to be, and also that I will never get it all right.

It’s been a blessing to have so much time to learn how kids grow, and to be under a good Christian man. Their dad is a tennis coach at a country club, and their family are members of Chipman Road Church of Christ, where I also am a member. He asked me to make sure that we did Bible time every day. We have never skipped, and it has made us a tight-knit three-some, I can tell you!

Being so busy, how do you make time for your personal prayer and study life?

It is busy in my life, always running from one place to another, but my family did Bible time together every day, and I have found it impossible to have a truly good day without taking time to study. Sometimes I listen to and sing worship songs while driving in the car, sometimes I listen to the books of the Bible on CD. I go to several Bible studies every month, and often there is homework to do. This helps me a lot because I hate to not get something done—so if I was told to do something, I will. Including Bible work. I read through Proverbs every month, and I also read Philippians monthly.

I pray out loud while driving, when I’m running, and I even write them down sometimes. I have found often that when I have decided to take a certain time to pray as I drive, that songs pop into my head or I want to turn on music—that is why I pray out loud, because I pay attention if I stop speaking or if I get distracted.
As funny as it might sound, I do a lot of mental rewarding or punishing, even you might say. If I’ve gotten behind in something I need to do—a job or studying, I don’t let myself read/be on the computer/watch a TV show/fill in anything I might want to do until I have caught back up. It works well for me with blocking time and getting done what is important.

You are always so happy and positive! How do you maintain your positive outlook?

I am often called a very happy person, and that is so nice and encouraging to me. It is not hard to be happy when I have such incredible Christian friends who help me every day to focus on what is right and good, it’s not hard to be happy when I have such a wonderful Father in Heaven who gives me everything I need and so much more. It’s not hard to be happy when you get to spend your every day with the two sweet kiddos who you love the most of everyone. But, it is hard to be happy when you see so much sin around you, it is hard to be happy when you see children who are not being taught the Word. It is hard to happy when you lose someone who is not a Christian.

I try to look for the bright side, not allowing any day to be a “bad day”—I always make myself find 3 good things about that day instead of writing it off as ALL bad. It was still a day given to us from God.

It helps me to be active when I’m upset or stressed. I love to clean house anyway, but especially when I need to get some energy out, I love to clean. It also helps me to ride my bike or walk or run.

What are your favourite scriptures, and why?

Proverbs 3:5, 6; 1 Peter 1:16; Philippians 1:3-6 and Philippians 4:13. These scriptures are some of my favorites because they are so real life- so encouraging and so pushing me on to be focused on Jesus. In my crazy business, though, I do have to tell myself often, ‘Be still and know that I am GOD’ (Psalm 46:10)

Though you are young, you have been involved in many different works of the church, both in the United States and overseas. What are some of the blessings that have come from your mission trips and working with different congregations?

It has been such a blessing to be able to travel the world some in these early years of my life and see that the church is the same everywhere. One of the things I learned first was simply how important each and every soul is in God’s sight–I am not more important than anyone.

It just overwhelms me when I think of all the blessings that have been given to me in such a short time. I have been blessed so much: I was brought up in a Christian home, and I was able to spend so many weeks overseas with wonderful Christians, teaching me how to spread the Word. I have been in strong congregations and been made to work.

How do you find peace amid the business and stresses of life?

I know that this life isn’t about this life, but it’s about the next. I am so far from perfect, but with Jesus, I know that I can do whatever comes my way. A friend says, “Everything will be ok in the end. If it isn’t ok, it isn’t the end.” … In the end, we’ll have Heaven if we’re faithful. So, I can be happy, I can keep fighting for right, and I can have peace.

You can read more of what Kara has to say on her blog, “Live in the Sunshine.”

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