How clever is the title for this blog post? Pretty catchy, huh? I thought so. In all seriousness, though, I just love to read. And some books are definitely worth sharing with others. Hence, my inspiration for this week’s post.
The book I’m writing about today makes the cut for one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. It’s that kind of humor where you catch yourself laughing out loud and blurting out expressions such as, “YES! So true!” The author, Jen Hatmaker, writes the book in such a way that you think she is literally sitting next to you with a glass of Chardonnay saying, “Listen. Hun. This is how it is.”
As it turns out, the treadmill is not only good for increasing your heart rate. It’s also one of my favorite places to read. So, when I recently worked out at the local YMCA while reading Jen's book, you can only imagine the looks I got from the people around me when I busted out a loud, “HA.” I really wanted to turn and read them the part of the book that caused me to make this (and possibly other) unusual sound(s) of joy mid-workout. I mean, we all know that laughter is best shared with others. That said, the more rational side of my brain told me to remain normal and not engage in such outbursts!
While this book brings lots “ha ha” moments, it also brings those “ah ha” moments. This is an excellent combination.
When I first started reading the book, I wasn’t sure I was going to actually finish it. There was a chapter about yoga pants and youth fashion. I now realize the point Jen was trying to make, but it confused me at first. Honestly, I was so close to texting my friend, who provides me with most of my reading material, and saying, “Have you read For the Love? I am not sure how much I like it.”
Yes, this book does talk a lot about “mom things.” But that wasn’t the reason I wanted to stop reading. I am a teacher after all, and I can relate to any kid topic in a story since I share my office each day with 23 of them. Reflecting back, however, I can now say that even if you don’t have kids or are no where close to having them, this is still a great book for you to read. If you have kids, you will laugh even harder.
So, anyway, I was about to put the book down and call it a loss. But, I had about 12 minutes left in my workout and had unknowingly fought for a machine with a TV that didn’t carry Bravo! (oh, the horror)! So, what do I do? Keep reading.
I am so glad I did.
It was the very next chapter that hooked me. I first started reading this book while in the midst of my biggest “NO battle” regarding my hopes and dreams for the future. “NO, you don’t have time for that.” “NO, that will never be you.” “NO, this isn’t going to work.” I was feeling defeated and confused. I was reaching the “I’m about to quit” stage that we all have entered at some point in our lives.
Yet, in those last 12 minutes, I read this:
Gosh, we were just born to to do stuff, weren’t we? God truly built gifts into our lives. Everyone is good at something…. God created an entire package. It all counts. There are no throw away qualities…How many trot out that tired cliché – "I’m waiting for God to open a door" – and He is all, "I love you, but get going, pumpkin, because usually chasing the dream in your heart looks surprisingly like work. Don’t just stand there, bust a move." (God often sounds like Young MC).
Sometimes a little tiny sign from God that we are moving in the right direction is all we need – a small push towards that next step. Reading those pages gave me the strength I needed to defeat the NO battle and push forward. It also caused me to complete the book and be truly sad when it ended. Thank the good Lord that I had those 12 minutes left.
What are your gifts? Have you ever stopped to think about that? Where can they take you?
I hope that whatever it is that you are running towards, you are doing so knowing that God is running right next to you. I need that reminder everyday. As Jen says, “We were made to run. RUN. I’m grinning at you. We all are.”
And For the Love, give this book a try.