Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Recommended Read: The Unfurling

I read a lot.

That's a huge understatement, but I don't know how else to put it in a way that you will actually understand how much I love to read and how often I fit it into every bit of time that I can. It can be a problem for me. I have to limit myself -- even when it comes to the Bible. Seriously. I can get caught up in too much reading and learning and not enough doing

With that said, it's about time that I started recommending some books on here. They will mostly be nonfiction, because I tend to read the same fiction ones over and over. :)

Today's recommendation is by an author whom I actually know in real life. How cool is that? We met for the first time in person at the Influence Conference and she was everything I thought she'd be (in the best way). I'm talking about the beautiful Annie Wiltse, author of the blog what she saw and her new e-book, The Unfurling.

This book is a refreshing, beautifully written collection of essays that pointed me to Jesus in a variety of ways. From talking about fear in the midst of mission trips to discussing dating relationships and purity, Annie approaches a spread of relatable topics with a lovely mix of wisdom and grace.

I'll share with you a few quotes, but to get the full effect you obviously have to read the whole thing, which is a steal for the price she's asking. :)

First of all I loved what she lays out for her readers in her intro:

"I say 'maybe' a lot in this book, because I’m learning, because these are 
lessons on the life lived open, not absolute determinations I arbitrarily pulled 
from space and time. And my hope, my desperate, raw prayer, is that my 
heart lain open here will give you the grace to breathe and the courage to 
chase Him anew."

This next quote really hit home for me as I've been thinking about authenticity a lot lately. 

"I’m finding that out about myself, too, that I can be as quirky as I like, 
as long as I don’t compromise myself or what I believe in."

She expounds more on this idea which was one of my favorite parts of the book for sure. And then this declaration of what she believes, well just wow:

"I believe in a God whose every quality goes beyond our understanding, 
whose love, grace, and mercy I do not deserve, whose anger and judgment I 
fear, who gave His life for my sake and who wants nothing less than the 
willing surrender of my own if I choose to follow Him."

If I could insert the raise-the-roof emoji right here I absolutely would. AAAAMEN!

Annie addresses some fears of hers, but instead of making her look afraid it absolutely shows how very BRAVE she is. 

"I praise God through tears as I lay down the fear of being single forever. 
It’s a fight to sing the words but I mean them with broken authenticity."

I loved her thoughts on marriage, relationships, singleness, and purity. We had excellent discussion about all of this at the conference so I was QUITE pleased that she talked about it in this book. 

I think that one of the quotes that best sums up the idea of The Unfurling is this next one:

"What if possibility is camouflaged in the mundane, secreted in the pockets of 
time we think are wasted? Or maybe the ones we never notice at all?"

Yes. Yes. And yes. This is so hard to learn, but Annie lets us in on her journey to surrender to Christ and how she is boldly serving Him in the most seemingly mundane activities. Don't we all feel like this at times? I mean she talks about living the gospel on a sales floor, in the midst of angry customers. Yeah.

I could go on and on, but I don't want to quote the whole thing! Annie is an inspiration and I am so glad to have read her book. The Unfurling truly was a breath of fresh air. Like I said, it is a steal and can be bought and read right this very second here on her website. :)

Look for more book recommendations to come! There may be affiliate links in here someday, but that day is not today. Annie gave me the book but I am in no way receiving compensation for talking about it. All opinions (as always) are my own! 


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