Monday, December 26, 2016

What do you cling to when it all goes wrong? Why She Reads Truth

I am SO glad we were able to make the Advent season rich and full of soul preparation and a reminder of the full gospel story- beginning of the world to Nativity scene and all the hard waiting in between-because we definitely needed the hope of what Christmas was really and truly about come Christmas morning. I have some precious memories of this Advent season with my boys that I will be so thankful to look back on for years to come: Making candles with friends, lighting our special candles for devotional times at night and our extra special night of the Shepherd's Meal and journey to follow "the Star." We baked cookies, and cuddled up on the couch with piles of Christmas picture books and followed God's Big Story from creation to Jesus with our Jesse Tree readings. We thoroughly relished the countdown to Christmas and it really felt like one for the books-until those last few days leading right up to the Big Day and suddenly Mama is covered in a mutant looking case of Poison Oak and the Biggest Boy is coughing up a storm and all the sudden has his last set of molars popping through his gums and where did all the peaceful Magic go?! We soldiered thru, sure that all would be made well by Christmas, only to have Christmas Eve roll around and we're all about to pack in the car and head to the traditional Christmas Eve service, but wait, the baby is burning up and not ready to go anywhere. So Mama stays home and rocks a sick toddler to sleep and everybody else comes home from festivities with family only to have the Middle Boy sobbing from sickness and hot to the touch. It was a not so silent or calm night with little boys tossing and turning and no sleep to go around until well past 4 am. At this point, Christmas morning church service is out the window as well and maybe we can get thru some gifts before collapsing back into bed for a bit? Let's just say it was so not my picture perfect, ideal Christmas morning and not too long ago that would have left me so depressed, marring the whole Christmas season in my mind. After putting so much intentional time and effort into making the season the best it could be- focused on what was true and gleaning all we could from this joyous time of the year, to have that one special day out of the year go so horribly out of plan would have definitely got to me. But this year, because I did focus in on what was true about Christmas, it was ok, I knew I was ok. All the circumstances could go crazily wrong and Christmas was still Christ's birthday and that was worth celebrating and making the most of in whatever fashion we could and we did! It was a good day- a messy, tired, no-photo-proof-it-even-happened kinda day- but we were surrounded by family and blessed to give gifts and eat amazing food and most of all, remember we had Emmanuel-God with us.

As much as I should have known all this truth all along, I can't say I have been the best about actually living it out as reality in my life- really truly living like I believe and know God has it all in control, no matter what happens around me. I have tried over the last few years to really soak my life in scriptures so it does become so much more of my natural response and I have to say one resource I have found amazing helpful in bible study is She Reads Truth. This company and community has been such a blessing to me and several of my close friends; they offer beautifully designed bible study books filled with rich truths that always lead you straight back to scripture. I have done several of their studies, including their Advent study last year with a group of friends, and always feel enriched because of them. I was so excited to hear that they had a book coming out, named after the company and the real life stories of the two cofounders, Rachael Meyers and Amanda Bible Williams. She Reads Truth: Holding Tight to Permanent in a World That's Passing Away is truly a breath of fresh air in women's christian living books; I have read so many books in this category they really start to feel like repeats but not this book. 

Rachael and Amanda alternately write the chapters, weaving together a narrative of their own personal journeys with the Lord and how She Reads Truth came to be. But rather than take us through their actual business success story they focus on the more relevant topic of how their lives brought them to truly be a She who Reads Truth. Amanda shares her painful walk through losing her father to cancer and how she learned that "The promises themselves were true, and we held on tight. But there immutability was inseparable from the Promise Maker."  She read truth to find Jesus, the Perfect and the Permanent. Rachael vulnerably tells of having to say goodbye much, much to early to her precious baby.  How she asks her Father to take this cup from her, but that isn't his answer. "The cup didn't pass from us. The only way out was onward, drinking deeply. Honoring our daughter and her Maker with our grief for a life lost. Not my will, but Yours be done.They were the safest, most dangerous words we had ever spoken."  Rachael found comfort in reading scripture to know that Christ himself had asked the Father for relief from suffering but chose to trust God's ultimate plan.

I may not be able to relate to every situation and feeling that Amanda and Rachael share, but they bare their hearts in such a way that I can glean much wisdom from their experiences. I could find ties to my own struggles with anxiety and striving after being a "good girl" out of my own strength. This book was so beneficial to me- edifying and challenging, encouraging and always pointing back to Christ. There is so much I loved enough to highlight and too many quotes I could share.  These women said just what I (and I think it's safe to say every She) needs to hear- The Permanent is there for you. Whatever this temporary life has looked like, and whatever signs are waiting on the road on the road ahead, God and His Truth will always be true. You cannot change the Truth. You cannot earn it or lose it or escape it. But you can hold on to it, knowing that it holds you."

"She is Me.
She is You. 
She wants faith, hope and love. 
She wants help and healing.
She wants to hear and be heard, to see and be seen.
She wants things set right."
So, She Reads Truth.

In light of how much I love and want to recommend this book, I wanted to let you all know that is offering a free one week bible study (starting today) made of selections from this amazing book. Go check it out!

Thanks to B&H Publishing for providing a copy of this book to review. 

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