Wednesday, January 27, 2016

For the Love - Jen Hatmaker

For the Love
Title: For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards
Author: Jen Hatmaker
Publication Date: 8/18/15
Pages: 224
Genre: FaithNonfiction
How I Found It: It's a new 2015 release
Date Completed: 1/6/15

Summary: Funny and thoughtful, Hatmaker peers into life as a modern, Christian woman. She shares her contagious sense of humor along with some of her more poignant thoughts on faith, family, and friendship.

What I Thought: I have heard such great things about Hatmaker's writing. I have eyes on a few of her other books as well. This one, her most recent release, happened to make it into my hands first, though.

Unlike the the heavier work of Rachel Held Evans or even Sarah Bessey at points, Hatmaker's memoir is fun. Her sense of humor and love of life is evident on every page. Clearly this is a woman who doesn't take herself too seriously. Also evident, though, is her passion for people.

The book jumps, awkwardly at times, between humor (she includes a few chapters of Jimmy Fallon style Thank You Notes), personal anecdotes, and theological insights from her own faith journey. At first, this back and forth seemed abrupt and all over the place to me. As I continued through the book, though, I realized how the flow so accurately represented real conversation. It's not often that a conversation with a girlfriend stays on one topic without bouncing here and there and circling around. Hatmaker's natural tone, humor, and accessibility made the book feel like talking to a friend about life and our experiences with it. By the end of the book, I was sold on her unique voice and approach.

As with conversation, you have to be more in tune to catch the nuggets of wisdom she throws out. It's not every sentence, or even every chapter. Still, she has some great, wise thoughts on everything from faith to family to friends. I loved her perspective and her funny, self-deprecating manner. It made the book so enjoyable. I definitely recommend it, especially if you are looking for a light, but still thoughtful read. Be ready to laugh and to feel as though you've just spent a wonderfully long evening with a dear friend. 

Quotes I Loved:
  • "The same industry [that sells lies about beauty] believes real life is also too hard for us.... Most notably, the food business. I mean, apparently we cannot possibly cook like every generation before us in history. ...We should stop listening to this nonsense. Women have nurtured their families with good, real food since creation. It simply isn't true that cooking is beyond our capacity. To feed the machine, advertisers use buzzwords like quick and easy, no-fuss, ready in minutes, heat and serve. But do we even want those qualities around our tables? When did chopping onions and peeling carrots become so abhorrent? Isn't that how women have fed their people all along? With stuff that came from the actual earth?"
  • "We are such a blessed generation. We don't have to choose between gentleness and authority, a tension fought in secular feminism. We can have both. We get the victories of past generations, plus the hope of ours. We can provide hospitality and declare the Word of God, nurture our households and embrace our gifts, set the table of communion and the table of theology."
Rating: ★★★★☆
Will I Re-Read: Possibly

A Reduced Review: You may as well be sitting around a food-laden table with Hatmaker, sharing stories, jokes, and philosophies in the most naturally flowing conversation among friends.

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