Thursday, August 3, 2017
ANYWAY. This new book by Jen Hatmaker, called OF MESS AND MOXIE, is officially releasing Tuesday, August 8!!!!! If you preorder from now until AUGUST 7 (Hello! It's already in a lot of bookstores!!!!!), you can get great freebies - check out the book's website by clicking on this clause! :D (And there's NEW NEWS at the end of this blog post about something else fun you can get in on MONDAY!!!)
This book is another great series of essays, more than a chapter book - each chapter is another essay. It's easy to read, and ranges from hysterically funny to grab-a-tissue levels. :)
Here's a fun video where Jen shares a bit from this brand-new book! :)
And I'm going to give you some of my favorite quotes from it, too; I can't do long sections because legalese, but you'll get a taste of more of the book (assuming you watched Jen's video, that is... :D )
This is from "It's Just Paint":
Dear one, may I say something? It is not shallow or empty or frivolous to create a beautiful space to live in. It's not silly, not vainglorious, not a waste of time and energy. It doesn't make you superficial nor slide you down the godly scale. We spend the majority of our hours in our homes with our people. Creating beauty and nurture under your roof with colors that soothe, art that inspires, furniture that invites, and textures that thrill is a wonderful use of your small space on the planet.
I do not mean this in a trite, cliche' we in the slightest: how could we imagine that a God who created wildflowers and waterfalls and pine trees and hummingbirds and warm sand and mountain ranges and tulips thinks beauty is nonsense? He made a gorgeous, over-the-top earth wild with colors and textures and breathtaking landscapes. And He loved it. He said it was good, so good. He made it for our pleasure as a testament to His character. He created a sensual, aesthetic, jaw-dropping world and asked us to enjoy it. If God decided to make his whole earth pretty, we can choose to make our little homes pretty without tension, guilt, or shame.
Here's some from "Sanctuary":
He told of his [her father-in-law, Bob] small church in Tennessee where he and his buddies were surrounded by deacons, pressed in on all sides, and terrified into receiving salvation during a church service. Strong-willed and resistant to spiritual bullying, Bob alone refused to "walk the aisle." The pastor threw his hands up and proclaimed, "Well, I've done all I can do with this one. I guess he's going to hell." Bob walked out that door and never looked back.
It was the last time he went to church regularly - more than sixty years ago.
Who could blame him?
Sometimes the one place we should all be most welcomed is the very place we are most rejected; the house of healing becomes the inflicter of pain. Much like any betrayal, the more considerable the source, the harder the loss. No one can wound us more than those supposed to nurture: our parents, our spouses, out churches. The chasm between expectation and reality is particularly grim in supposed safe places.
I don't know about you, but I've found this to be more truthful than I wanted it to be. I might have become another person who left the organized church (NEVER Jesus!), if it had been up to me. But GOD...!
This last excerpt is from my favorite essay, simply called "Fangirl":
Four years ago or so, one of the questions [at their Supper Club] was this:
Would you rather be rich or famous?
The answers were absolutely hilarious, and along with half of SC, I said, "Famous." I know. Gross. In my defense, my reasoning was that our life was happy as is, and money wasn't that motivating, so I defaulted to fame, which seemed harmless, intangible, almost like a fake paradigm with no real effect. I guess I pick famous! Tra la la.
Girls, forget that noise. I've since had a small taste of that, and it is the oddest, most bizarre alternate universe ever. Being low-grade Christian famous is straight-up crazy. I only occupy a very minor corner of this zip code, enough to know what I'm talking about but not enough to make me a weirdo. I am regularly confused by my life.
The whole book is filled with Jen's talking to us like she would if we were sitting on her porch, drinking iced tea. Breaths of fresh air, giggles, and tears - I PROMISE you'll find something in this book that you will relate to. :)
Now, then, the news I mentioned at the beginning of this post. The following is straight from Jen's communication with the launch team (edited a little bit):
Monday at 8:00pm CT, I am doing a live stream from my backyard as the Day Before Launch Big Deal. Rachel Hollis and Jessica Honneger will be my special guests, and I invited the women from my church. I'll be doing live readings and taking questions from the internet and doing some giveaways. It will stream live on my page for around 45 minutes, and you can direct people to it.
You DEFINITELY won't want to miss it! It gets a YES, PLEASE from me!
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
This book. Wow. Most books I read that are nonfiction are books I think, "Wow. I needed to hear that!" and then put into my lending library. This one is different.
Esther talks about how we've lost the knowledge of how lamenting brings us closer to God, and allows us to know Him truthfully. She starts out talking about "coping mechanisms" versus true lament, and it truly startled me; we always hear about coping mechanisms being GOOD things, right? Esther challenged that in me; I put the book down after the first chapter, to digest what she had to say, and to sift through the Scripture (which she uses with each and every point she makes!!!!) to figure out what belief was true and Godly. Then I picked the book back up.
I finished it this morning. There's a LOT to chew on in here. And it's not going on my shelf right away. God and I have a lot more to work through together. There are things in my past I haven't lamented that I need to. And I'm lamenting for our world, and our country, for the pain and division. I'm asking, "How long, God?" And I'm finding that He wants to meet me in that pain, to give me comfort. He's teaching me a new thing, and is using Esther's vulnerability and own journey to do it.
On one of the last few pages of her book, Esther writes the following - and the ring of truth was a clarion call to me:
Suffering has the ability to transform us into compassionate people. Without suffering, it would be far too easy to become entitled, stuck-up, self-centered people. We can choose to cling to a "fine" and comfortable life, but it will compromise authentic relationships with God and others. We can accompany people on their journeys only as far as we are willing to go ourselves."
I recommend this book. I recommend it to people of ANY age - especially if you're hungry for community but don't know what's holding you back. If you've EVER been told to "suck it up", you NEED this book. If you want to help others, read it. If something's been holding you back in sharing your own story, read it.
Read this book. :)
Edited to add: It's less than $10 on Amazon, y'all - and you can get it by Thursday if you're a Prime member! https://www.amazon.com/No-More-Faking-Fine-Pretending/dp/0310344751/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484074646&sr=8-1&keywords=esther+fleece+no+more+faking+fine