Book Reviews

The Church of Small Things by Melanie Shankle | Book Review

(ICYMI: I switched blogs! I combined my blogs for this new writing and blogging chapter. You can find out all the details here).

What can I say y’all? I’m a big fan of Melanie Shankle. I mean, we both love Jesus, books, tacos and have a soft spot for Texas. That’s a bond Internet. Her blog and her podcast (with Boo Mama) are some of my favorite things. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried (emphasis on the laughing). Seriously, the podcast cracks me up (I mean, her love of Teddy’s Organic Rosehip Seed Oil convinced me to purchase my first non cooking oil ever in my life). But that’s what I love about story – God uses everyone’s story to impact others.

Her latest, The Church of Small Things, is seriously for anyone!

Is my ordinary, everyday life actually significant? Is it okay to be fulfilled by the simple acts of raising kids, working in an office, and cooking chicken for dinner?

It’s been said, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.” The pressure of that can be staggering as we spend our days looking for that big thing that promises to take our breath away. Meanwhile, we lose sight of the small significance of fully living with every breath we take.

Melanie Shankle, New York Times bestselling author and writer at The Big Mama Blog tackles these questions head on in her fourth book, Church of the Small Things. Easygoing and relatable, she speaks directly to the heart of women of all ages who are longing to find significance and meaning in the normal, sometimes mundane world of driving carpool to soccer practice, attending class on their college campus, cooking meals for their family, or taking care of a sick loved one.

The million little pieces that make a life aren’t necessarily glamorous or far-reaching. But God uses some of the smallest, most ordinary acts of faithfulness—and sometimes they look a whole lot like packing lunch.

Through humorous stories told in her signature style, full of Frito pie, best friends, the love of her Me-Ma and Pa-Pa, the unexpected grace that comes when we quit trying to measure up, and a little of the best TV has to offer, Melanie helps women embrace what it means to live a simple, yet incredibly meaningful life and how to find all the beauty and laughter that lies right beneath the surface of every moment.

“But true success and prosperity comes when you are right where God wants you to be, doing what He has called you to do.”

Shankle has such a talent of drawing you in as a reader. Even if it’s a topic you don’t think you need – I’m telling y’all, she’s able to keep you interested (Example #234: I loved her books on marriage and motherhood). The overarching theme of Shankle’s latest is much needed. This idea of “church of the small things” is a beautiful reminder that God’s beauty, grace and love aren’t only found in the big moments and things in life. They are in the little pieces – whether those pieces cause you to cry from laughter or cry from hurt. The little pieces seem so simple, yet, all come together to create something beautiful.

I think you’ll be inspired and hopeful in your own story after reading more of Shankle’s story, so if you’re looking for a perfect Fall read (or a gift for someone), be sure to consider Church of the Small Things.

Also, C.S. Lewis and Tolkien are quoted, so yep.

Have you had a chance to read any of Melanie’s books? 

(Thank you to Zondervan for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.)

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | CBD | Goodreads

Advertisements
Author Interviews

4 Questions With New York Times Bestseller Melanie Shankle

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

We need to all stop, collaborate and listen. Really friends, because the wonderful and hilarious Melanie Shankle of The Big Mama blog is on Books and Beverages today!!

I kinda want to pass out people.

I’ve followed her blog for a while now and I can’t even tell you how many times I laugh (and sometimes cry). She has two books you need to read as well. Her latest The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life just came out last week, an awesome and real life story of all things marriage. Y’all, I’m not even close to getting married or having children and I can’t wait to read this book! Enough from me, let’s dive right into 4 Questions!

Melanie Shankle writes daily on her blog, Big Mama. She is a graduate of Texas A&M and loves writing, shopping at Target, checking to see what’s on sale at Anthropologie, and trying to find the funny in every situation.

Most of all, she loves being the mother of Caroline and the wife of her husband, Perry. The three of them live in San Antonio, Texas.

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
Writing books and having them published as real live books that are for sale is something I never could have imagined five years ago. It was always a dream, but not something I ever thought would actually happen. The whole thing still seems so surreal.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
This is tricky because I believe that all our life experiences, both good and bad, work together to make us into the person God created us to be. And so I look back on a lot of dumb things and maybe wish I had been smarter, yet know that it was a life lesson I needed to learn.

All that being said, I wish I had known earlier in life that the only way to find real security is in Jesus Christ. It would have saved me a lot of heartache.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
Without a doubt it was the day my daughter Caroline was born. That moment of holding her for the first time is forever etched in my mind. It was just pure joy and has to be the closest thing to heaven here on earth.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
That nothing compares to the love of Jesus Christ. We live in a world that is constantly searching for answers and chasing after all these things we are told will make us happy. But the truth is that God is the only thing that will bring us peace.

Thank you so much Melanie!! I can’t say enough what a joy it is to host you on the blog!! Now everyone, please stop what you’re doing, find her on the internet and follow all of them.

Connect with Melanie! Blog | Facebook | Twitter