For the Love! And a Little Fun…

Way back in March, five whole months ago I applied to be on the launch team for Jen Hatmaker’s new book, and somehow I made it into the 10% who actually made it onto the team. I’m sure it was through no charisma or anything that I did or am, just pure happenstance – or could it have been providence? Well, I don’t know, but let me tell you that this experience – being on a team with about 500 other people who are passionate about Jesus and love people to death – has been amazing! This group has lived out in real time the entire message of Jen’s new book, For the Love.

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The subtitle really puts it well: “Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards.” I think we’ve all experienced feeling like we’re not enough and that no matter how hard we try, there is something somewhere that we’ve failed at or not met someone’s expectations, be it other people’s or even our own expectations. Yes really, sometimes we’re the ones putting unreasonable expectations on ourselves. And Jen wants you to know that you can take yourself and others “off the hook.” She goes on to explain that

“maybe we can lay down our fear and criticism, self-directed and otherwise. Maybe if we let ourselves off the hook, we can let others off too… We don’t have to be saviors and critics for each other; we’re probably better as loved people beside each other. We aren’t good gods, but we can be good humans.”

Jen is superb at telling the truth with grace, and that’s exactly what she does in this book. She is so gracious with her words, so encouraging and uplifting, that when she hits you upside the head with something that’s a real thing in your own life, you can take it. Because you know she loves everyone with her whole heart – even the difficult ones, for the Love! – and she’ll give you the truth, but she’ll be gentle in the process. And this is something I want to learn from her. She does this so well, and all I can figure is that Jesus is so big in her life that she has learned from Him how to do this really well, so probably I need more of Jesus. Anyway, this is the insight she has about truth-telling: “When you tell me the truth about yourself, I no longer hide from you. Your vulnerability makes a path for my own.” And this, “We are watching the light win truth by truth, and when enough bright places are created, the dark has nowhere else to hide.”

“Show up. Be seen. Tell the truth. Be free.

She tells her truth in this book and invites us to tell ours. Together, we can be free.

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In the mix are messages to our children, to our marriages, to the church, to women, and to Christians. And her Thank-You Notes, oh goodness, you do not want to miss those. In true Jen Hatmaker fashion, this book will have you rolling with laughter one minute and crying the next. To me, that is one of the marks of a terrific book and she does it every.single.time.

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Jen invites us into something sacred, something holy. She is practically prophetic in her closing words when she calls forth the image-bearer in all of us as she sees what is and can be: “I see you, cheering each other on and calling forth the best in one another, and it slays me. This is the stuff. This is what we were made for. This is how to live well. If we prefer each other as Jesus told us to, there is nothing our community… cannot handle. …we strengthen each other to love our families and neighbors and cities and world. We point each other to God and call out our blessedness. It is so incredibly powerful.” And this, this is exactly what Jen has done with this book. She does this and shows us what is possible.

And this awesome community that is the launch team, has lived out this book in the most beautiful ways ever, giving me hope and a longing that this can be lived out in our real-life communities all around the world, wherever we are, with our people. We all long for this – maybe we need to quit waiting around for it to happen and be the catalyst in creating it right where we are with the people God has put in front of us.

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And now for some fun – who wants a free book? You COULD go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble or anywhere this awesome book is sold and order one, BUT if you’d like a chance at winning one, leave a comment down below, here on the blog, and you’ll be entered to win one of two copies I’d like to give to two of you amazing people who so faithfully read my sporadic and disjointed words.

So leave a comment, and tell us about someone who has encouraged you, cheered you on, and lifted you up on your journey. Honor those people in your life here, and then do it for someone else. Pass it on!!! Together, we can keep this ball rolling until it gets so big it overtakes our communities and our world. I will draw two names tonight, August 18, 2015 at 11 pm EST, because I want to get these out to you tomorrow. I can’t wait for you guys to start reading this book and sharing your highlights with us, so get your name in quick.

All the best!

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20 thoughts on “For the Love! And a Little Fun…

  1. I have had so many times that people have encouraged me…. in times of intense discouragement, I’ll have someone bring me a surprise meal. When I’m weary beyond words, my husband will just hold me, listen to me ramble, and let me rest. In a moment of feeling inadequate as a mother, I had a prefect stranger come up to me and tell me I have beautiful children and that I’m a great mom! These are all small things but exactly what I needed at the time. God uses all of us, no matter how small to keep humanity and hope alive!

  2. I have a small group of friends who as a group/individually allow me to talk out loud. To process out loud. Sometimes it makes sense, more often it might not. They don’t show shock (usually) and often times ask questions to dig deeper. I love and appreciate those friends and conversations more than I can ever tell. We leave feeling like we are enough, we don’t have to fit a mold and our ideas and thoughts matter. The feeling of who I am is more important than what I am.
    This is the friend I want to be to others.
    (fun giveaway Rosanna 🙂

  3. My dad has always been a great encouragement to me. When I was little he battled with alcoholism and over the years has taught me that the grace of God can cover anything. He has also been a big support this last year as I have been trying to simplify my life more and seek more ways to do Gods calling. This is not always easy in a world that thinks you need to always have the best or strive to be the best to be considered successful. I am learning that no matter my size, talent, or bank account I will always be enough for my heavenly father. (So glad you have been writing again Rosanna 🙂

  4. Hmm not sure where to start. I think the person that helped me along the most in my journey was my dear mentor Sandra. She is full of spunk, not afraid to lay it all on the line and tell you how it is, and at the same time offering every bit of advice she has to offer. Not only is she over twice my age, but she resembles my late grandmother in looks and temperament. She picked me up and carries me through the ugliest and most painful time in my life and was my champion. I am forever grateful to her for refusing to give up on me. She knows all my ugly and still loves me and i hope to pass that on to someone

  5. One of the most recent encouragements I can think of was when my brother-in-law and his wife, Joanne, stayed at our house the other weekend. She spoke words of life to me that weekend, especially just before they left for home. I’d like to speak words of life to others like that.

    I’m intrigued by the giveaway. I’ve never read anything by Jen Hatmaker! (I know, I know!)

    • so many people have encouraged me on my journey! My best friends have listened to me and connected with me thru the good times and bad I’m sure sometimes they got tired of my whining and yet kept on encouraging me and also our church ladies during our sundayschool hour are so open and honest and we can share our hearts !

  6. I am blessed with many wonderful friends who have inspired and encouraged me, but someone I would like to mention here is my mom! I have struggled with my health and sometimes don’t know what to do or try next. My mom lets me know she is praying for me, not once, but throughout the entire day. Prayer is huge for me, and to know someone else intercedes for me helps keep me fighting because With God all things are possible!

  7. My mom and my sister have encouraged me lots as well as lots of others in different seasons of life! Would love to win!

  8. Pick me! Pick me! LOL!

    Actually, YOU, Rosanna, have been a giver of life and an encourager to me in the very recent past. You give me courage to keep on going as a woman. Not only in my role as wife and mom, but as a woman. You help me realize I, as a female, am able to make a difference in the world. I’m excited to read your name in the back of the book! 😀 Love you!

  9. Am I too late to enter?! I have some dear friends who have been there and listened and encouraged and have been a safe place for me to be real!!! 😉 And get this, they are from “the best small group ever” (yes, you included Rosanna)!

  10. My friend Joy is a constant source of inspiration to me by the gracious way she lives out her faith, while staunchly supporting me in whatever current dilemma I face.

  11. Would love to win! My friends & family have been an encouragement to me. Even people I don’t know have spoken words of encouragement, which just amazes me.

  12. You have encouraged me prob more then you realize 🙂 I also have a few ladies that let me be myself n speak from the heart and aren’t shocked by what comes out sometimes and are always there to encourage me:)!

  13. so when i read this post this morning half of this blog post was cut out incluiding the part to share how someone has encouraged me. The best way people have encouraged me was by lifting me up in prayer so many times, during illness, nursing school, job difficulties, and every day life. there is no better way to lift someone up!
    ps. don’t enter my name twice. cuz i commented twice.

  14. And the winners are – Lafonda and Rachel. Congrats! Thank you to everyone who commented today. You are all such dear friends to me and I would have loved to give each one of you a copy of this special book!

  15. Such a blessing to read the blog!! There’s been many times I’ve been down in the dumps. Where I had my sister encourage me ! And through courtship how my my ( husband) now encouraged me to go to God ! Can’t wait to read the book!

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