Monday, July 20, 2015

Let's Bust a Recap : For the Love

Update: Since the release of this book, Jen Hatmaker and her husband Brandon, who are both influential in the Christian community, have publicly defended homosexual marriage and have stated they believe a homosexual relationship can be holy before God. I fundamentally disagree with this and because of our difference on this issue, I can no longer in good conscience recommend her books. I still think For the Love is a good book, but I would hate for someone to be led astray from truth by the Hatmakers because I recommended a book that Jen Hatmaker wrote. 

So there you have it. Have you been dying all weekend to know what book kept me up all night? It's called For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker

Before we get started on the recap, I have a few confessions to make. First, I totally ordered this book on a whim Thursday. I was blog-surfing, and I somehow ended up on Jen Hatmaker's blog (it happens every once in a while since she is a fellow adoptive mom) and all of a sudden I was signed up to be her e-mail friend and had pre-ordered a copy of her newest book. I'm not sure how it all happened, but it did. She sucked me in with all the freebies I'd get for pre-ordering. 

If it hasn't been released yet, and I only pre-ordered it, how did I end up reading it, you ask? Well, that's a great question and it brings me to my second confession: I read the entire book on my phone. I always said I'd never be one to read a book on a device. And I still feel that way which is why I'm conflicted about telling you this. But as you all know, we recently became iPhone people, and one of the freebies for pre-ordering was that you got a PDF download of the book immediately for your reading enjoyment. Well, I figured out how to download it on my phone and started to skim it just for fun and approximately 12 hours later (after breaking for a few hours to go on a dinner-date with my Dad who is the best in the whole entire world, and spending some quality time with Cody when he got home from work because I'm a wife and that's important), I had read the entire thing. I just couldn't stop. I'm pretty sure I will now go blind prematurely for squinting at that tiny screen for so many hours, but oh well, I'm fine.

Now, let's talk about the book itself. I first heard of Jen Hatmaker a couple years ago when a friend gave me the book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and told me I had to read it. So I read it and it was okay, but it wasn't my new favorite book or anything. Jen Hatmaker is an engaging writer and she is hilarious, but I wasn't a diehard fan after my reading of 7. 

Well, on Thursday as I was reading her blog and realized the premise of this new book was extending grace to each other, I figured I'd give her another try. 

I was not disappointed.

Y'all, I could not put this one down. Chapters like "On Turning Forty", "Fashion Concerns", and "Thank You Notes" had me laughing hysterically. Out loud. Seriously. I may have inadvertently woken Cody up in the middle of the night because the entire bed was shaking because of my uncontrollable laughter. (It's cool, he doesn't even remember. He sleeps hard, you guys.)

And then other chapters like "Worst Beam Ever", "On Calling and Haitian Moms", "Marriage: Have Fun and Stuff", and "Poverty Tourism" had me nodding in agreement and even shedding some tears because it was just too relatable. Jen takes you on this whirlwind ride writing about the deep, hard things and then on the very next page, the most ridiculous, laugh-out-loud funny things. 

I don't necessarily agree with every single thing Jen Hatmaker says, but ultimately, this book was a homerun. Like if I was grading it, I'd give it a 98%. She hits topics on marriage, parenting, missions, church, fashion, and getting older. When my hard copy comes, I am fully willing to pass it around among all my girlfriends, because you should totally read this book. So if you want to borrow it, holla at me. 

To wrap this up, I'll share a few quotes that hit me square between the eyes:

"If it isn't also true for a poor single Christian mom in Haiti, it isn't true. Theology is either true everywhere or it isn't true anywhere." (can I get an "Amen!"?!)

"Married tongues should be shredded with the amount of ugly words bitten back." (probably my favorite line from the whole book)

"Our children can press extremely hard on the gospel and it will hold." (talking about how our kids need to feel safe asking us the hard questions without us getting all defensive and snappy with them)

"Online life is no substitute for practiced, physical presence, and it will never replace someone looking you in the eye, padding around your kitchen in bare feet, making you take a blind taste test on various olives, walking in your front door without knocking." (yes, yes, yes)

"You can't pour antidote into poison forever and expect it to transform into something safe, something healthy. In some cases, poison is poison, and the only sane response is to quit drinking it." (on choosing our friends wisely and dealing with difficult people)

"If folks don't recognize God is good by watching His people, then we have tragically derailed." (we're supposed to love one another and build each other up!)

I loved it, and the promo video was right: this book is for every woman. 


  1. I'll read it! What she said in the first quote about theology; I was just talking about something similar to Jon yesterday!

    1. Ok! As soon as my mom is done with it, I will pass it on to you. I think the official release date is August 18th. =)

  2. Replies
    1. Right? Reagan, I'm thinking about e-mailing you some of the quotes from the funny chapters because you. would. die. She is hilarious.

  3. I like her. I'm about to read "Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity" by her. It will be my first Hatmaker read. But, I have to finish "The Best Yes" by Lisa Terkeurst first. :)

    Would love to be put on the list to borrow, but I may buy it

    1. P.S. Have you heard of Jennie Allen? I want her book named, "Anything". She is an adoptive mom from Ethiopia as well!

    2. Well, if you don't end up buying it, you can definitely borrow it! I have heard of Jennie Allen. I haven't read any of her books, but I've read several of her blog posts. She seems really sweet. =)