You will get a copy early.
You will squeeze in reading a book by a deadline, which always approaches faster than you thought, resulting in speed reading at levels you also never thought.
At some point in the reading process, with life in all its crazy, you will be tempted to just read enough of the book to give a strong word about it because you got the gist.
Here’s even more of the scoop.
Sometimes you endorse a book for a friend because you love that friend and believe in their heart. And sometimes you endorse books because they are awesome in a literary way and the beautiful words seep deep.
And then sometimes books come along, you are asked to endorse them, and you know from page one it is a book you have desperately been needing your whole life, so much it surprises you.
Mind you: Anne and I are friends. I already knew she could write. When the request for the endorsement came in I said yes without thinking, without knowing really what the book was about because I know Anne and I knew, it would be my kind of book, regardless.
And then, something happened. I started reading and didn’t want to put it down. Suddenly, reading for endorsement purposes flew out the window. Other deadlines didn’t matter.
This was a book I needed and didn’t even know it…a book about community…something as a fierce independent + former church wounded Anne needed to talk me through — give language to my struggle.
There’s much I could say about this book: that Anne is super honest: that she tells great, true stories in her signature style of sharing hard things that are important. But I think you should just read it for yourself.
The truth is, my Day 3 pick was an easy one. Because life is not meant to be lived solo, most of us don’t know how to do community very well, and every person needs to learn from someone who has traveled through it all and come out the better side.
I’ve included below a thing of brilliance from Anne’s book – something that put words to my actions that I couldn’t figure out myself for most of my life.
Friends, Lean on Me is a gem. Trust me, you want to win it.
So 1) leave me a comment telling me what scares you/excites you about community, 2) share in your social media circles, and 3) come back on Monday, December 8 to see if you win.
From Lean on Me by Anne Marie Miller
I think there are four quadrants of relationships. A healthy person has people in each. The four are:
Not vulnerable and not committed. These relationships are more acquaintances than friends. Perhaps a casual meeting in a grocery line. You likely won’t (and shouldn’t) open up about your deepest struggles with the woman at the cash register or count on her to help you through your trials. It’s okay to have these relationships, but if they are your only relationships, that’s a good indicator you need to intentionally pursue some vulnerable and consistent friends.
Vulnerable and not committed. Those who are vulnerable and not committed are people who have no problem opening up about their life and their struggles. This is an admirable trait to have, but it is one that needs to be used with discretion. The people in this group, although they can share freely, are not committed to anyone. Though they may be aware of how they can grow, they don’t let anyone in to help them.
Committed and not vulnerable. When someone is committed but not vulnerable, they have made a step to be in a group or have some kind of consistent relationships in their lives. However, they won’t share anything below the surface. In my experience, a lot of people who go to church fall in this category. They’re committed to serving and to showing up, but letting people in is difficult for them. It’s tough being vulnerable.
Committed and vulnerable. Out of the four groups, those who have committed and vulnerable friendships are generally in the healthiest relationally. They are open about the realities of life with a consistent group of people. Because of the trust built by being committed, the ability to be vulnerable is easier. People in this category can celebrate the good things in life, mourn the losses, and help carry each other as they grow closer to God and to each other. These are the vital relationships every person needs in place.