A few months ago as I was beginning to redesign and re-focus my site (away from Hugs & Punches and toward my name, Teresa Swanstrom Anderson), I sent out a Survey to see what ya'll were loving and what you thought was 'meh.
I was surprised and excited that you wanted me to start up our Virtual Book Club again!
So here we are, April's Virtual Book Club book...
In the age of fingertip access to answers and a limitless supply of ambitions, where do we find the God who was birthed in dirt and straw? Sara Hagerty found him when life stopped working for her. She found him when she was a young adult mired in spiritual busyness and when she was a new bride with doubts about whether her fledgling marriage would survive. She found him alone in the night as she cradled her longing for babies who did not come. She found him as she kissed the faces of children on another continent who had lived years without a mommy’s touch.
In Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet, Hagerty masterfully draws from the narrative of her life to craft a mosaic of a God who leans into broken stories. Here readers see a God who is present in every changing circumstance. Most significantly, they see a God who is present in every unchanging circumstance as well.
Whatever lost expectations readers are facing―in family, career, singleness, or marriage―Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet will bring them closer to a God who longs for them to know him more. What does it look like to know God’s nearness when life breaks? What does it mean to receive his life when earthly life remains barren? How can God turn the bitterness of unmet desire into new flavors of joy?
With exquisite storytelling and reflection, Hagerty brings readers back to hope, back to healing, back to a place that God is holding for them alone―a place where the unseen is more real than what the eye can perceive. A place where every bitter thing is sweet.
You guys, this book is AMAZING.
Please, please read it. Even if it's not this month, you just simply must.
Stuffed within the beautifully written pages, are stories of...
Lost expectations, unfulfilled dreams, heartache, marriage, infertility, international adoption, and a heart for ministry being more than a calling with required busyness.
And finding....and then re-finding joy, understanding and loving God as Father, taking to heart that God does not abandon but instead, He sometimes redirects, refines, and refocuses dreams and passions.
This just scratches the surface.
I can't wait to get together virtually and chat with you about how God grew us and spoke to our hearts through it.
Friday, April 29th...
will be the day we chat in the comments section of that day's post. If you need a reminder how our Virtual Book Club works, simply click here! xo
And if you're a bit of a highlighter and note-taker in the margins of books like I am, do NOT get the e-book like I made the mistake in purchasing. I highlighted so much, it's crazy.
I needed real paper pages to doodle and write all over as my heart broke open and then God came alongside to mend!
When I first began reading it, I thought how badly I wanted my best friend to read it. But as I got further and further into it's polished yet heart-wrenchingly raw pages, I realized NO. This book is for me.
With nourishment like the quote highlighted in the photo above, I have a feeling it might be for you, too.
PS I reached out to Sara while reading her book and she is LOVELY. We are actually both speaking at a conference in Georgia next month so I'm exited to spend time with her and will hopefully have more take-aways to share with you during our Chat on April 29th!