I haven’t done a True Beauty post in a while, I know. Somehow the time just slipped through my fingers and I didn’t realize that I’d let this fun series go to the wayside. However, I am glad to say that it’s back in action. And who better to start up again with than Karen Marie Cummings? Karen and I have been friends since middle school, and she is truly the reason why I am a follower of Christ today. She is the kind of girl who is comfortable in her own skin, loves to laugh, and doesn’t mind tagging along as a third wheel if necessary. As you read, you will see that she is both honest and insanely witty. I kid you not, I laughed out loud as I read through every word of her responses! I am so thankful for her calming presence and positive influence in my life, and that now you all get to know a bit more about her and see what makes her the beauty that she is…
What is your greatest passion in life? How do you live it out?
I have been asking myself this question for years, always expecting the answer to solve everything once I finally know what it is. So of course I have no solid answer. That being said, I have always been drawn to doing things that build myself and others up together. Any interaction that leaves both parties better than they were—I like that. Laughter, a good compliment, a long-needed conversation, or a helping hand at work. All of these things make me feel alive, so I guess that’s where my greatest passion is. Great—life solved.
What woman inspires you?
This question puzzled me for the entire drive from San Diego to Los Angeles one day—how do I choose just one inspiring woman? The world has always been blessed by so many strong, dazzling, inspiring, and truly groovy women. Therefore, I’ve decided to choose them all—every inspiring part of each woman that I admire. So here goes—I am inspired to be a woman with:
- The chutzpah of Annie Oakley
- The gracious class of Laura Bush
- The nurturing spirit of Mama Bisiqua (a woman I met in Uganda who mothered 10 young orphans)
- The comedic timing of Amy Pohler
- The feminine strength of my Grandma Helen
- The resolve of Rosa Parks
- The athletic ability of the 1996 USA Women’s Gymnastics team (if you were a 10 year old girl in 1996 you know who I’m talking about)
How does what you do for a living fit in with your passions and what you feel is your calling?
Hmm…that question is kind of a killer. I could parade around and tweak my job to sound impressive, but the bottom line is that I work a non-flashy receptionist/catering job at a country club. An ego-booster it is not, but enjoyable it is. That little spark I described earlier from building others up and making connections—I get to fulfill that every day. I once worked in an office with only five people in it, and I almost suffocated. Starting this job and jumping into thousands of conversations, putting on weddings, hosting trivia night, and chatting with 88-year-old gentlemen is like an oxygen-tank-sized breath of fresh air. I am thankful every day that I get to interact with my co-workers, the friendly club members, and the clients that we serve. An elderly lady seriously praised me for almost five minutes for “speaking so clearly into the microphone.” Honestly, where else do you get job satisfaction like that?
When do you feel most alive?
I feel most alive when I’m laughing. Hands down. Do you ever laugh so joyfully that it actually feels like you are breathing in? Like you are getting more filled and lighter at the same time? A good laugh is like perfectly cooked squash—sweet, nourishing, warm, and good to your belly. If I had to choose between never laughing again and having a never-ending 80′s perm…I would go straight to Walgreens for some L.A. Looks gel.
What do you think is the most challenging thing about following Jesus as a 20-something girl?
At least for me, the biggest challenge is probably finding a community of other 20-something girls following Jesus. The safety of my home church is 10 hours away, and the ease of college-based bible studies are gone. This presents so many new opportunities to meed rad women of Jesus, but the process is just much different than it was in the past. I’m learning to grow and reach in this area, and I encourage any other 20-somethings that are doing this to just go for it. Lean on the words of a wise Jedi: “Do or do not, there is no try.”
What do you think is the most rewarding thing about following Jesus as a 20-something girl?
The most rewarding part is how many years we get to follow our Lord! Think about it, some women don’t learn about Jesus until late in life, and we 20-somethings get to see him through every stage in our lives. His faithfulness through every decade, every trial, and every relationship will be our living testimony. I can’t wait to look back in 40 years at pictures of my wedding and know that Jesus was there. Plus, this is the age where great decisions are made, great movements are started, and great energy is waiting to be used. I love that I can do all that for Him who calls me friend.