(virtual) Book Club Chat...TODAY!

(see also this intro post to this month's book club selection)

When I first started reading Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty, I thought I was pre-reading it for my best friend. Struggling with infertility, a stroke, and a slew of other difficult things in her life, she wanted so badly to remember there is sweetness in life. And I wanted that for her desperately.

A few chapters into voraciously taking in every word, I realized that no. This book may be for her...but it's most certainly for me, too.

I'd love to hear some of your takeaways! But first I'm going to share some of my favorite lines. I'm reading from my Kindle and it doesn't show page numbers the same way as a paper book. Because of that, I'm just including the chapter. Sorry if this confuses!

They approached their days with a confidence that God had something for them — not just one big something but lots of little somethings.
— chapter 4

Sara's eyes were opened when she saw some friends live and walk as if they knew God was good to them, though their circumstances may have shown the opposite. Isn't that just it so often? We believe God is good...but when our lives go awry, we think, "well, maybe He's not good to me."

I love that at the end of every chapter, Sara includes a slew of of Bible Verses to continue our pursuit of understanding how to see God as good and faithful and redeeming and exciting...even when things look less than rosy. Cling to His promises, because remember He is the Word, therefore these promises He shares within it's pages are part of His character.

For chapter four, a few of the verses shared for delving deeper are (she shares many more):

Romans 8:1  |  John 4:13-14  | 1 Corinthians 2:9  | Proverbs 3:5-6

All those young adult years when I had patterned my life to squelch creativity had also squelched the God of the creative.
— chapter 5

Ahhhhhh! I so do this! Even today there are times I somehow think I need to conform into some version that isn't completely myself. Why do we do this?! It takes all creativity away from our Creator in heaven! (If this is an area you feel Christ is wanting you to work on, another friend wrote a book on this very topic. Bandersnatch. Order it on Amazon, you won't regret it!)

In chapter five, Sara shares when she could "no longer deny God's extravagance", seeing a side of God she'd never known. She says, "I knew I didn't deserve this. I didn't feel I could be trusted with it."

He wanted to show me Himself as the Father who gives gifts to His children.

The scenario wasn’t setting me up for materialism; it was deconstructing my misconception of Him as a tightfisted Father, someone who is concerned only with getting my life “right.”

God was spoiling me...
— Chapter 5

Several of Sara's verses listed for Continued Pursuit:

John 13:34-35  |  1 John 4:7  | John 15:9, 12  | Psalm 139:15

The book just goes on and on with amazing glimpses of Christ and His goodness and faithfulness. Sara, who refers to herself as "barren" would eventually become a mama of five: four through African adoption (going out of the birth-order like we did!) and another...when her womb was opened.

Why would He put this desire deep within my core only to ask me to relinquish it? Wy invite me to travel a road with a dead end?
— Chapter 6

Eventually Sara received confirmation from God as if to say, 

Prepare. Wait. It will be a long gestation, but you will give birth. your conception lies in another’s birth.
— Chapter 8

Isn't that it sometimes? The long gestation of a dream (whether being an actual child or some other calling) is so frustrating to us. But it is often for a time of preparation. A time of character-building.

Abraham was told of Isaac's birth 25 years before his actual birth. Twenty-five-years! Can you even imagine? Like us, Abraham wasn't prepared for the fruition of God's promise at the time is was given.

Life is like that.

There is growth in the wilderness.

I’m learning to behold something other than myself.
Because you become what you behold.
— Chapter 12

I have so many more sections highlighted!! But I want to hear from YOU! What things did Christ impress upon your hearts as you read this beautiful book??

Take Joy,