It’s in the Details

Its in the details

When I’m uncomfortable I talk… too much.  Sharing personal life details with complete strangers in a desperate reach to fill that awkward silence.  There is nothing more tortuous than walking away from a conversation knowing I did it again. Being a good listener is on my 2016 goals list. It’s something that’s very important to me. I’m great with people I know; I can handle the silence, but a stranger’s silence leaves me feeling like I don’t know where they stand. So I fill it to the brim with noise, leaving my brain no time to wonder what they think.

I’m telling you all of this because I experienced a lot of it over the weekend. I went to the Wild and Free Launch weekend in Charleston, SC.  It was a wonderful and fun weekend, filled to the brim with activity and exploring the most beautiful city. My husband and son + Brittany and her family, from Brittany Anderson Photography joined me. I would leave the crew to attend book launch events solo. Let me tell you: walking into a room with 20+ ladies is nothing short of intimidating. But, this is my summer of YES! So to hell with the anxiety. I’ve been jumping in with both feet and have no intention of stopping.

I had an expectation for how the weekend would go and what my Wild and Free moment from the weekend would look like. In my experience, we have such high expectations for events like this. Let me tell you, it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be….

There was no pivotal conversation or great big moment full of life change. I made new acquaintances, but no life long connections at the events.  In fact, I’m sure at one point, I left a sweet girl from the area wanting to run, as I was once again filling the silence with too much one-sided conversion (( I give myself grace))

On the ride home, replaying the weekend, I found that though I didn’t have a big moment on the trip that Jesus’s hand was so overwhelming present, that it hit me in the face he was gracefully and softly there. “He is more in control than we could ever perceive, and he is wildly in love with you and concerned with the details of your life,” Wild and Free By Hayley Morgan and Jess Connolly.

He took this weekend and tore down walls of anxiety, provided amazing motherhood memories, built bridges in my marriage and graced me with the chance to build a friendship with a wonderful family from my hometown.

My Wild and Free moment happened on the drive home. It happened writing this post, realizing I can trust him with the details. I can trust that he is a Good Father and though my ideas of the details can be far different from what he allows to unfold, they are no less as great and magical as I imagined.

 

Are you wild & free?

We’ve got some big plans! Stick with us till the end of the post to find out what they are. We shared last week that we were two of the lucky ladies picked to be on the Wild and Free Book launch team. We are over the moon to have the opportunity to support + work with the lovely ladies, Jess Connolly & Hayley Morgan. They do so much to share The Word with women all over the world, encouraging and equipping them to have influence right where they are. To say we look up to these ladies would be an understatement.

The Wild Revival Instagram

Wild and Free is more than a book, it’s an anthem for our generation. This book was written for  women who feel like too much, and not enough. Women who are holding back, who have forgotten they were born Wild and Free in Christ. You can check out the book trailer here!

Wild and Free Book
We are only a few chapters in, but wanted to share a few of the words that are leaving us saying YES!

“You love and accept Christ, but you aren’t sure exactly  who you’re supposed to be as a daughter of God and what your part is in the Kingdom.”

“Our eyes dart from habitat to habitat, wondering what is wrong with us and looking for ways we can become more like the perfect woman, whoever she is.”

“He is the one who calls us to be wild- walking in who God created us to be. And he is the one who calls us to be free- resting in what Jesus has done for us.”

“His authoritative mission in our lives has never been to break our spirits; it’s geared to set them free to give Him as much glory as possible.”

“I see women waiting on others to intercede and teach them the Word rather than seeking first the kingdom themselves.”

“We’ve misplaced the truth that He loves us more than the lilies, which He clothes in splendor. His love and presence is no longer what spices our life and makes our world sweet. So we gather, we buy, we collect, we curate, we wish-list and we make Pinterest boards.”

So much truth in these first few pages. More to come as we dive in over the coming days and weeks! Make sure to follow our Instagram leading up to the May 3rd book release for more of our favorite quotes from Wild and Free.

Wild and Free Book

So, for our BIG plans! The coolest part about being on the Wild and Free launch team is that we get to bring some really great opportunities to you ladies! We have a few questions below to gauge interest and would love to hear your feedback.

First, the BIG question! If Jess Connolly & Hayley Morgan would bring the Wild and Free book tour to North Central, WV would you attend the event? Campfire Commission Style ————> encouragement, praise + worship and fellowship led by these ladies. We must have 100 commitments + a venue to make this to happen.

What an amazing way to kick off our summer gatherings! We would love to bring something like this to our state, please participate in this survey. Make sure you share with friends, churches, small groups and anyone you feel would want to come! They don’t need to live in WV to attend. We will do our best to keep the cost to a minimum.  Let’s put WV on the list ladies!

 

Book Tour_ Wild and Free

 

Second- if we would hold a book club, sharing a few FREE copies of Wild and Free, would you join in on the fun? We can host the book club via periscope, locally in person or both! Either way we would give out a few free books to the first ladies to register.

 

Pre-order gifts

 

If you are interested in participating in the pre-launch, Jess + Haley have put together some really wonderful launch deals. Check them out here and let us know if you pre-order a copy in the comments below!

We are really excited and hope you join us on this Wild and Free ride! Don’t forget to take our Wild and Free survey. 

Bittersweet | Book Review



 

 

“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. 
And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.”

 


Earlier this summer, we finally got around to checking out the author Shauna Niequist. We had been wanting to read her books for a while, starting with her book, Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace and Learning the Hard Way.  In Bittersweet, Niequist shares a collection of short essays reflecting on her life’s most challenging seasons. She intricately weaves together stories of the highs
and lows of her life, with a constant theme of hope and the importance of being deeply rooted in r
elationships with those around her. 
The connections to friends, who became family, kept her grounded in faith during times of disappointment and loss. Her stories of friendship, family, and food remind us of what matters most. In this book, Shauna addresses many challenges women face, ranging from job loss, motherhood, infertility, marriage/family and challenges in her walk with God.
 
Her ability to tell a story is amazing; the way she paints you a picture with words leaves you looking forward to what she will say next. The ways she finds God in the midst of change and heartbreak is so easy to connect with. Her joys and struggles are, in one way or another, part every woman’s story. Whether we’re experiencing something similar to her firsthand, or using her words to support a
sister during her time of hardship– we can all relate to that. These were key elements that left us saying “YES!” after every chapter.
 



Her reflections throughout Bittersweet are vulnerable
and honest; leaving you feeling like she is telling you her story face-to-face, over coffee or at a dinner table. Niequist gives you the permission and motivation to tell your story: both the beautiful + the broken parts, and she tells us THAT is where the presence of God is felt. 
Connecting with an author is important….we kinda feel like we know her personally and we love that about her!


 If you go looking for a book on spiritual growth, you will surely find a lot them! Often times, we find that many of the books in this category are full of facts and knowledge and “if you want this kind of life, then you should do this, this AND this.”  While how-to books can be great, sometimes you just need real life. That’s what we personally feel Shauna gave to us as readers.  
While reading Bittersweet, we both had stories that we connected with in our own way, some more than others.  Jointly though, we both reflected back on times we found hope during seasons of uncertainty, just as Niequist shares.  And like her, we feel that the moments centered around a
table with friends and good food is magical. When you sit down, forget about the time, your obligations, your worries and you can just be… Laughing, crying and
loving on people in all their raw and honest moments. 
Her words were like an affirmation to our desire to create a space where women could come together to develop authentic relationships.  
We really enjoyed reading this book together, and the discussions that followed. When we finished it, we immediately started reading another book of hers entitled: Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around The Table with Recipes, and we’re already sucked into it!  
 
A few our our favorite quotes from Bittersweet are shared below, although it was very difficult to narrow down our faves!: 
 
Amanda’s favorites:
“Looking back now I can see that it was more than anything a failure to believe in the story of who God is and what he is doing in this world. Instead of living that story—one of sacrifice and purpose and character—I began to live a much smaller story, and that story was only about me. I wanted an answer, a timeline, and a map. I didn’t want to have to trust God or anything I couldn’t see. I didn’t want to wait or follow. I wanted my old life back, and even while I read the mystics and the prophets, even while I prayed fervently, even while I sat in church and begged for God to direct my life, those things didn’t have a chance to transform me, because under those actions and intentions was a rocky layer of faithlessness, fear, and selfishness.”
 
“Left to our own devices, we sometimes choose the most locked up, dark versions of the story, but what a good friend does is turn on the lights, open the window, and remind us that there are a whole lot of ways to tell the same story.”

Marrissa’s favorites:
“The idea of bittersweet is changing the way I live, unraveling and re-weaving the way I understand life. Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a moment of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich even when it contains a splinter of sadness… It’s the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands. Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful.”
 
“Everybody has a home team: It’s the people you call when you get a flat tire or when something terrible happens. It’s the people who, near or far, know everything that’s wrong with you and love you anyways. These are the ones who tell you their secrets, who get themselves a glass of water without asking when they’re at your house. These are the people who cry when you cry. These are your people, your middle-of-the-night, no-matter-what people.”
 
We hope all of you will grab a copy of this book and really take time to savor it like we did. Even if you only read a chapter a day, we feel there is much to be learned from Shauna Niequists’ words and life experiences. We don’t want to give too much away because we really want you to read it, BUT… the fact that her story didn’t end with her getting everything she wanted will leave you feeling hopeful, like something beautiful can and will come out of your story, too. 
 
Let us know what you think about Bittersweet  after you’ve read it!
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