I recently had the opportunity to review an advanced copy of "For the Love" by Jen Hatmaker. I have heard of Jen Hatmaker many times in the past, through friends and other blogs that I read and have heard nothing but wonderful things about her and her writing; but, until now had never personally read any of her writings.
"For the Love" comes out today (August 18) as luck would have it. I received my advance copy from Book Look Bloggers and chose it after hearing others who had advance copies go on and on about how good it was. the subtitle for the book is "Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards" and I don't know about you all, but that kind of struck a chord with me.
The book was a really easy read and I absolutely loved it. It is probably one of the best faith based books I have ever read. It took me a total of about five days to read it and that included a few days when I didn't even read at all. Y'all, this book made me laugh on several occasions and made me cry a time or two as well. This book really resonated with me. Jen Hatmaker speaks my language which is truth with a side of sarcasm and I love it!
The book is divided into four sections which are: "Your Very Own Self", "All These People Who Live In Your House", "Friends, Neighbors, Strangers, and Enemies", and "Church, Church People, Not Church People, and God". In each and every one of these sections, I found a piece of me. I could relate to almost everything that she wrote. I think the main exception was the section on the people who live with you because let's face it, I live with a dog and have never had my own people. Still, I valued what she had to say and took it to heart should the Lord decide to one day bless me with me own people - it was all good advice.
There's not much scripture in this book. So, if you're looking for a book that has a lot of scripture in it, this one is not for you. Yes, this book is the opinion of one Jen Hatmaker, but I'll be surprised if most of you don't agree with what she has to say. I think if I had to sum it up, I would say this book is about loving people and treating them with honesty and respect and getting real about church and Jesus. Another way of putting it is that it's about not putting Jesus in a box, but showing Him to others in our actions and the way we love - giving grace to those around us just like God gave grace to us. The book emphasizes not feeling guilty about not being able to do it all because nobody can. It's about not living up to the world's impossible standards and being okay with it. It's about building meaningful loving relationships at home and with friends based on the love of Jesus which means that these are relationships that will last!
Y'all, I simply cannot recommend this book enough. I really loved it. Maybe it's because of the stage I'm at in my life, maybe it's because there were a lot of things in this book I needed to hear, or maybe it's because things I've felt for years needed validating. Whatever the reason, I think this is a book I will come back to and read time and again because there is so much truth and love in it and I hope you see that too.