I interrupt your regularly scheduled bat programming (parts 3 & 4 really are coming, I promise!) to bring you this important message:
This quote is from Jen Hatmaker’s book – released today! – For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards. Months ago, I and 499 of my now-closest friends but then-strangers were selected to be part of Jen’s launch team. Our job was to read an advanced copy and get buzz going for the book. What actually happened was that we read the advanced copy and became family.
These women (and four men – hi #bandoffour!) joined a closed Facebook group that quickly turned into a community. It turned into the Church with a capital C. We grieve and celebrate with one another; give and seek advice about everything from international moves to online dating to child-rearing to chronic illnesses; pray for marriages, children, car repairs, new schools, adoptions, things in the deepest parts of our souls. We span the spectra of political views, theology, parenting techniques, television tastes (although we universally agree that Friday Night Lights and Gilmore Girls are the best), and live all over the world. And the reason for all of it is Jen. Not Jen herself, per se, but Jen’s heart for creating community and extending grace. What she’s written in For the Love is a push toward living Truth in our everyday lives.
It’s a push toward Jesus. Not to Christianity, but to Jesus: who ate at tables with sinners, lifted up the broken, wept with his friends, and helped the very least obtain the very greatest gift of all: grace.
It’s a push toward wholeness. Not to unbrokenness, but to healing: using humor, honesty, and home-cooking to wrap us all up together with all of our cracks and scars into one lovely hot mess.
It’s a push toward liberty. Not to liberalism, but to freedom: to understanding what is essential and letting go of what ultimately doesn’t matter, for ourselves as individuals, for others, and for all of us as we live in community.
I encourage you, if this sounds interesting at all to you, go buy the book*! It discusses why parents should start ignoring Pinterest, why leggings aren’t pants, the importance of coffee in everyday living, and a plethora of other things that will make you laugh until you snort and/or pee yourself. (Go to the bathroom before you start reading.) It challenges the Christian church to rethink their views on young people, missions, and so many other things.
I’ll be doing a few more posts over the coming weeks about the community that I’ve found as a result of this book, and I hope you’ll join me.
Here’s my official endorsement print-screened from the book site (sorry, Jen) – you can read all the endorsements, which are all from regular people and not celebrities or anything like that, at http://forthelovebook.com/endorsements. And as I’ve said several times on Facebook, if you buy this book thinking you’ll like it or learn from it, and you don’t: I will buy it from you. Money-back guarantee! At the very least, you should love seeing my name in print in the acknowledgments. Right?
*This is an Amazon Affiliate link, which means that at no additional cost to you, I get like two cents or something for referring you. FYI and WHOO for free money!