Friday, October 06, 2017

Church of the Small Things

I am thrilled to review and recommend Melanie Shankle's latest book, Church of the Small Things (not an affiliate link, but takes you to the autographed edition at Barnes and Noble).

Church of the Small Things is a wonderful, lovely, encouraging, and thought-provoking collection of essays about the little things in life. And not just the little things, or that we should be grateful for those little things--although that is certainly true. But it's more about how we notice and remember the people in our lives. We sometimes remember them in big ways, but more often we remember them by the little things in their lives, and the little ways they made us feel special. Or the little things they said or did that made them uniquely themselves. 

I tend to read and then want to immediately apply what I have learned in my own life. What this book has done for me is make me more aware of what I may or may not be doing to help others see God. I am a teacher, and there are days I love my job, and days I don't. I often feel as if I fail in every way possible that a person can fail God. But I am reminded in little ways every day that what we say and do matters a great deal, and God can use everything I experience to shape me and help me grow and serve Him better. All I have to do is look and see. Listen and obey and be aware.

The most poignant story for me was in the chapter about her grandparents. It made me remember so many things about my own grandparents, and how wonderful it was to know them in my life. I lost a grandmother about a year ago, and this chapter made me tear up as I was filled with memories of her and my grandfather who passed 20 years ago, and how we were able to celebrate them this past summer together as a family.

In some ways this book reminded me of Emily P. Freeman's book Simply Tuesday. But it is distinctly Melanie and not Emily. And if you know anything about these ladies, you know they are definitely their own women, with their own voices on the page. 

Mostly, though, this book is a poignant reminder to be awake to the little things in our lives.

For more information about the book and its author, please go to the website for the book here: Church of the Small Things

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