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.
Pick up this book! Seriously, I felt like I was spending time with a good friend listening (or reading) her stories about everyday life. The simple acts, she calls them, of life are actually significant. I love reading a book where the author doesn’t try to sugar coat things, and Melanie certainly doesn’t sugar coat things. I felt like I could really relate to everything in the Small Things I Wish I’d Known in High School chapter since I am approximately, if not, the same age as Melanie. One of the small things is “Tucking your jeans into your socks just makes you look like an ice cream cone. An ice cream cone with a big, crispy perm on top.” Oh good grief, I think I have photos of myself impersonating an ice cream cone!
There are so many funny things in this book. If you don’t laugh reading the Bangs, Bangs You’re Dead chapter then you might need to check your pulse!
What is great about this book is that every woman will be able to relate to something. Church of the Small Things is written like a memoir, and Melanie shares memories from childhood to present day. There are memories with her grandparents, sister, dogs, friends and family. This is why I feel like every woman will be able to relate to this book in some form or fashion.
The small things sometimes turn out to be bigger than we thought, and they are significant. You’ll find this lovely, reflective, funny memoir hard to finish. Why? Because it is so lovely you won’t want it to end. After reading this I have determined to pay attention to the small things a little more. I hope you will get this book, read it, and learn to look for the small things too.