Kristin Billerbeck

Kristin Billerbeck is a fourth-generation Californian and has a BA in Journalism & Mass Communications from San Jose State University. She has been on the CBA bestseller's list, is a two-time winner of the ACFW Lit of the year, and is currently nominated for a Christy for The Trophy Wives Club. Kristin has appeared on the "Today Show" and appeared in World Magazine, The New York Times, The Atlanta Journal Constitution and USA Today. She lives in her beloved Silicon Valley and has four children with her engineer husband.

Ask Ashley

Ashley's Advice On Living Right

Dear Ashley,

How do I know if I'm living right? Should I buy that next handbag? Or give the money to the homeless?

Distressed in DC

Ashley: So you know I have a Prada handbag, right? So maybe I’m not the best person to answer this question, but I’m going to take a stab at it. As Christians, I think we’re all called to different places in life. Not all of us are meant to be in the mission fields of say…Calcutta. And I have to thank God for that, because I’d never make it. Which I’m afraid to even say for fear He’ll want me to go!

God recognizes our sensibilities. Oh sure, He’ll break our proud hearts, but that doesn’t mean He’ll take us away from our calling. While He may not care about our happiness, He does care about our joy. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10 TNIV).

I’ve known some poor people who were actually proud that they had nothing, and I’ve known wealthy people who gave in public for all to see. Neither one is from God. Not in the biblical, I-want-to live-for-Jesus way. The important thing to remember is God doesn’t care about stuff. He cares about His people and the question to ask is how does He want to use me for His Kingdom? (And can I serve Him with a great handbag at my side?)

If you’re doing His will for your life, you’re following your calling—be it in Silicon Valley, Philadelphia, or Small Town, USA. Ultimately, I don’t think God cares if you buy a great handbag. I think He cares about your motive—why you want a great handbag. Do you love it? Do you appreciate the fine, supple leather and gorgeous details? Or do you want to impress the girls at work, or feel some kind of worth in having such a purse?

We could deny ourselves more and move to the middle of nowhere and use a garbage sack for a purse, but the fact is, some of us are called to the Silicon Valley and some of us are called to New York City—and just try to get face time or respect in one of those places with a cheap purse. I like to follow the scripture – Ashley’s paraphrased version, “Be all things to all people so that you may win some.” That’s all I’m saying.
The Trophy Wives Club, Christy Finalist: Lit Category
Back to Life, Avon Inspire, September 2008
Beneath the Surface, Tyndale House Publishers, Fall 2009

She's Out Of Control