Wow, long time, not talk, right?!
I am SO, so sorry for neglecting this space. I have talked about starting back up my blog for a long time. I have even drafted posts about my return to blogging. But, for some reason, I just haven't felt like the time has been right to press "publish" yet.
I am coming at you today in hopes of a long overdue blog chat, but also to share something pretty awesome that I feel like you need in your life.
Church of the Small Things.
What's that? Well, if you follow me on social media, you may already know that I have been hocking this new book by one of my favorite authors, Melanie Shankle, for a couple of months now.
The book just released last week, so now you can all get your hands on it too!
Instead of dragging you all through a chapter by chapter review of the book, which I tend to find kind of boring, I thought I would share with you what this book has meant to me.
First off, it might be kind of fun to explain to you how I got hooked on Melanie! :)
It was about the middle of 2015 when I stumbled upon the Big Boo Cast podcast. The Big Boo Cast is a podcast where you basically eavesdrop on a telephone call between two bloggers, Sophie Hudson and Melanie Shankle. They are two women who both live in the South and are big lovers of being wives and mamas, along with football, cheese plates, anti-aging products, their hilarious dogs, a good mascara, and their faith.
I was going through a pretty trying time in my personal life, and somehow listening to this podcast brought me a whole lot of comfort. It brings me back to the days where I would sit gabbing on the phone with one of my girlfriends for hours upon hours on end. Do you miss that as much as I do??
Anyway, after listening to a ton of the podcasts, I read through every single one of these ladies' books. So, when I found out Melanie was releasing a new book, I was totally in!
Little did I know, this book would speak to me in so many unexpected ways.
As a new mother (yes, I have a son now - he is 15 months! - more on that later), a wife, and a full time attorney, I have often felt pretty overwhelmed. Grateful as heck, but SO overwhelmed. I am someone who has been striving to achieve at everything for a very long time. I feel like I have always been looking forward to the next challenge, how I can reach that goal, and how quickly I can get there.
But, for once in my life, I have truly felt stretched so thin. I have felt like there are not enough hours in the day. I have felt like I am racing to do this thing, then that thing, and all at the same time, I have felt like I am MISSING everything!
I often ask myself, shouldn't I be able to handle this all with grace like everyone else seems to be doing? So what if I have a full time job, isn't that the norm for women now? People have babies, then they have ANOTHER baby, then they buy a bigger house, then they get that promotion, and they do this all while never uttering a complaint or breaking a sweat.
That whole inner monologue has made me feel a lot of times that I am just not ENOUGH. That if I do not do ALL OF THE THINGS or if I can't achieve ALL OF THE THINGS then I am not going to be enough.
This book, people, stopped me in my tracks.
Literally in the Introduction of the book, Melanie says: "We can spend so much time wondering and worrying if we're fulfilling God's primary will for our lives. Yet, ultimately, God's will isn't about the things we achieve; it's about the people we become. Life is more about how He use us to make a difference to the people who cross our paths, even while we are just going about our normal, sometimes boring, lives. He is a God who used twelve men to change an entire world. He is a God who clearly finds value where we tend to look and see nothing special. God's primary will for our lives isn't about a particular job or circumstance. It's not about the city we live in or whether we're married or single. We are in God's will when we wake up with a willingness to go wherever he leads the day, to seek him in the ordinary, and to love and influence the people around us. Sometimes that can look a whole lot like packing a lunch."
I mean, wow. I so needed to read that when I did, and I really need to just read it over, and over, and over again.
Melanie goes on, "...and so we decide that maybe it's the next big moment that will finally make us truly happy. Meanwhile, we are ignoring the fact that we woke up that morning with air in our lungs, had a cup of coffee, and laughed on the phone with a friend."
This book taught me so much about gratitude. About slowing down. About self worth. About the happiness that can and should be felt by being present and taking a look around myself in the quiet times.
It's the sip of a warm cup of coffee first thing in the morning. It's the way my little boy is bobbing up and down with the biggest smile on his face at 5:45 a.m. when I give up on him going back to sleep. It's a good, long afternoon nap. It's a sincere hug from your significant other or spouse when you needed it the most. It's windows open on a crisp, fall day. It's when your favorite song comes on the radio. It's a warm chocolate chip cookie. It's catching that beautiful sunrise and realizing the blessing it is just to have been gifted another day to wake up and put our feet on the ground.
To get check out Melanie's blog and get the book, go HERE. I am confident that this book will lift you up like it did me. It will encourage you to bloom where you are planted. It will have you reminiscing about your childhood, your precious memories with your grandparents, and the hilarity of things like auto-correct and why it is NEVER a good time to get bangs.
Something to talk about: what small thing is blessing you today?? If you've read the book, tell me how much you love it??
I hope to be back soon to spend some more time with all of you!
Have a fantastic Monday!