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Oh, y'all. It was less than a year ago that I became one of #the4500 ...but it seems like a lifetime ago! The women that joined forces to support the launch of Jen Hatmaker's new book, For the Love, took my heart by storm. I have friends from all over the nation world that love Jesus and love the authenticity that Jen writes about. When you combine those 2 loves, something magical happens. Jesus said to love God and love people, and #the4500 is so clearly living it out: ministries have been born, chains have been broken, and a sisterhood has been formed in the truest sense. It is so beautiful that I'm tearing up as I think about the events that led up to it all. God is good, y'all. Don't ever doubt that.
But what about the book?
The book that started this big love fest launches TODAY!
So, though I've mentioned it 87 bazillion times, here is the official review of For the Love!
The BlurbBest selling author, Jen Hatmaker, calls us to be authentic, share our junk, and love one another fiercely with grace and abandon.
My Two CentsI read this book months ago. And then I reread it. My time is precious and highly coveted. For me to reread should tell you that I loved it...I got something out of it. Hatmaker doesn't let the reader get far before stating, "Can I tell you my dream for this little book? I hope you close the last page and breathe an enormous sign of relief...I hope you look with fresh, renewed eyes at all your people--the one you married, those ones you birthed, the ones on your street and in your church and at your work and around the world--and you are released to love them as though it is your job." Small dream, huh?! But that is what this book dares you to do. It dares and empowers.
This is where our little group, #the4500, excels: in loving one another. We are just as jacked up as the rest of humanity, but we have taken Jen's message (which is Jesus' message) and applied it. We have chosen to share our junk and we have chosen to love. Love is not a feeling. Love is a choice. We are choosing love.
There is one section of the book that just flat out slays me. Jen addresses how warped our first world mentality is in relation to faith. God is either true or He isn't. You either believe Him or you don't. Or, as she puts it, "If it isn't also true for a poor single Christian mom in Haiti, it isn't true...Theology is either true everywhere or it isn't true anywhere." This just cuts to the heart of things, doesn't it? I'm not going to quote every other page of the book (though I have underlined and dog-eared at least that often!), but please read this book because there is just a huge amount of truth between the pages.
There is a ton of deep and meaningful content that sucker-punches you--there is also a lot of tomfoolery that makes you laugh out loud! Case in point: thank you notes.
Here's a sampling of my faves:
Thank you, Instagram Filters, for you have helped me put out many works of photographic fiction that make me appear younger, tanner, and thinner than I actually am. Natural lighting may be my nemesis, but Lo-Fi is my BFF. LYLAS.
Thank you, Netflix, for the fifteen seconds between episodes to decide if I'm going to do anything with my life today. The answer is inevitably no, but nobody can say you didn't give me the option.
Thank you, Texting, for ensuring that, if executed well, I'll never have to talk on the phone again in my life. This is like a stay of execution for introverts. I'd also like to take this time to thank Emoji's, for helping me express my innermost feelings via cats, crying cats, devil cats, and women dressed up as cats. You really "get" me. However, I would take a lovesick cat over talking words every day of the week. (Fist bump!)
In short, this book is filled with solid theology and much hilarity. If you haven't already, buy this bad boy. AND it's good for your figure--you will laugh like a hyena...and that's the best ab workout ever.