A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
by Ann Voskamp
This is a departure for me from my normal fiction reading. I use to read a lot of non-fiction, but somewhere along the way moved away from it. But this book seemed to be popping up everywhere I turned so I had to get it. And let me tell you, this book is a life changer! I have 3/4 of it underlined, tiny corners of pages turned down to say this page has something very important on it and finally, index cards with the things that really jumped out at me written on them. I will never part with this book. It is one I will read again and again and I have never read a book twice.
Written by Ann Voskamp, a Canadian pig farmers wife, home schooling mother of 6 and a woman of very deep faith. She has a very distinctive writing style, almost lyrical and she makes me weep. She is brutally honest with us! She shares her deepest hurts, family tragedies and her struggles with depression, agoraphobia, cutting, incredible fear and her struggle with learning to trust and love God.
Ann questions everything. She sees so much tragedy and sorrow in her life and she keeps asking how can a good and loving God let this happen to good honest people? Go with her on her journey and see what she discovers. It may change your life.
Do you want to know how to live life to the fullest now, right now, in the middle of all the mess and sorrow? Then I challenge you to read this book. Meet this incredibly authentic woman who will let you see it all and help you see the beautiful in the ugly. Even if you are not a person of faith I believe you can learn much from Ann and who knows you might even find yourself falling in love with God!
I give this 5 out 5 stars
Quotes from the book:
'Do I believe in a God who rouses Himself just now and then to spill a bit of benevolence on hemorrhaging humanity?'
'And how should anything be amiss? I can see her name on that stone, five letters of my little sister named 'loved one,' and I won't shield God from my anguish by claiming He's not involved in the ache of this world and Satan prowls but he's a lion on a leash and the God who governs all can be shouted at when I bruise, and I can cry and I can howl and He embraces the David-hearts who pound hard on His heart with their grief and I can moan deep that He did this - and He did.'
'All God makes is good. Can it be that, that which seems to oppose the will of God actually is used of Him to accomplish the will of God?That which seems evil only seems so because of perspective, the way the eyes see the shadows. Above the clouds, light never stops shining.'
'I move closer, hoping my words might revive. "Feel thanks and it's absolutely impossible to feel angry. We can only experience one emotion at a time. And we get to choose - which emotion do we want to feel?
'Expectations kill relationships. And I've known expectations as a disease, silent killer heaping her burdens on the shoulders of a relationship until a soul bursts a pulmonary and dies. Expectations kill relationships - especially with God. And that's what a child doesn't have: this whole edifice of expectation. Without expectations, what can topple the surprising wonder of the moment?'
'Pride, mine - that beast that pulls on the mask of anger - this is what snaps this hand shut, crushes joy.'
Check out Ann's Blog. She takes the most beautiful pictures!