Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith by Sarah Bessey

Description by Mallory Ellington

We are all raised a certain way, our guardians teaching us various truths and beliefs along the way. If you are like me you kind of just roll with these teachings as a child, I mean why would you question the authority figure in your life?

But then there is a point when we all start to ask the hard questions of what we have been taught. We all reach a point when we begin to sort through what we want to believe, how we want to align our lives.  Sarah Bessey gives us space for that in this book.

I will be honest, this book is in regards to the Christian faith. Sarah invites us on a journey to unpack the hard questions with her as she develops her theology.

She talks about Jesus, about community, about justice, and so much more. With every turn of the page I found myself saying “me too” all the more. Sarah asked all the same questions I had asked of my church.

The reasons she left the church? The same reasons that made me want to go running for the hills.

The reasons she was drawn back to the church? Pretty similar to me.

She lays it all out there for us to see. She does it so that we can sigh and say “me too.” Because Sarah gets it; she has been there and wants to guide us through some of the mess of unpacking our bitterness and angry questions. Sarah allows us to bring our hurts, our misconceptions, our skepticism, and so much more to the table. She shows us that she brought it all as well.

I think the act of wrestling with our beliefs, with our faith, is easier when we have seen someone who has gone before us do the same and come out the other side. It is like they are steps past the finish line yelling at us, “me too, so you can do it!” They are there to encourage, to help guide. Sarah was that for me in a lot of ways. Her “me too” has given me space to continue to ask questions and continue to grow.

I look at her story in front of me and think, “If she can do it, so can I.” And isn’t that something we all kind of want? We want proof that we can survive the tricky bits of life. I want to know that I will be okay, even as I wrestle with my faith.

Out of Sorts was that little reminder that I’ll be okay, that there are other people who truly have “been there and done that.”

So even if this book isn’t for you, know that as you continue on your journey there are people who have gone before you, people who understand. I think that is a big takeaway we all need, that we’re going to be okay. That other people have done the hard things and made it, therefore we can too.

 Mallory Ellington

Mallory Ellington

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst

Description by: Mallory Ellington

The title drew me in and the tag line sold me. Univited. Less than. Left out. Lonely. I never knew I could identify with a book title, but I did and I knew I had to read it. And I am grateful I did. Lysa is real, she tells it like it is, but is also real about her own life. She invites the reader into her mess and insecurities. We hear about her struggle with her body, her relationships, and her navigating careers. Lysa proves to the reader that she has been there and done that, especially when it comes to rejection. The core of the book is how Lysa looks rejection in the face to say, “you can’t define me, you can’t shape me anymore.”  More importantly, she takes us on the journey with her. She is clear that this book is just as much for her as it is for us and that she is far from done battling her own demons. But Lysa invites (yes, we’re invited!) to join in the fight with her. At this point I do want to say that Lysa seems to be writing more for women, it is indicated by the language she uses and not necessarily the snippet given on the back. But she is trying to write from her own perspective and pain, which lends the book to being more for women at times. Lysa bases her fight against rejection in her Christian faith. She draws truth from the Bible to apply to her life, the lives of her friends, and the readers’ lives. She writes prayers for the reader to pray through, to help peel away layers of pain and hurt that seem too tender to touch. In all of this Lysa wants us to ask ourselves questions, to find our own root of rejection and pain, to name it and say that it can no longer have power over us. She does not want us to live in pain or constant fear of rejection. She is inviting us into a better life and all she asks is that you accept the invitation as you are because who you are is enough. 

Stop Walking on Eggshells by Paul Mason and Randi Kreger

In honor of World Mental Health day, We want to introduce you to a fantastic book is an incredible resource for the friends and family of those with Borderline Personality Disorder.

But first, let us explain what BPD is: "Borderline personality disorder is a mental health condition that impacts the way you think and feel about yourself and others, causing problems functioning in everyday life. It includes a pattern of unstable and intense relationships, distorted self-image, extreme emotions, and impulsiveness" (Mayo Clinic 2015). BPD is also often paired with an extreme fear of abandonment that results in impulsive actions that can lead to pushing others away.

We believe that the better we understand disorders like BPD, the better we can take care of both ourselves and our loved ones that live with it. This book shares personal experiences with BPD and teachers the reader to make sense of it all, stand up for themselves, and defuse conflicts in a healthy and effective way.

If you or someone you know lives with BPD, or if you simply want to know more about it, this could be a great resource for you. We encourage everyone to check it out and order a copy for yourself here

Boundaries: When to Say Yes and How to Say No

By: Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Do you ever feel called to love on the people in your life, but then find yourself in too deep and wishing you could take a step back? Do the relationships in your life leave you feeling burnt out and exhausted? Do you feel like more often than not you end up carrying the weight of the emotions of the people around you? Are you having trouble finding the line between being loving and setting limits? If any of these things sound familiar, we have a great resource for you!

In Boundaries: When to Say Yes and How to Say No, Henry Cloud and John Townsend give us practical tips and guidelines on how to have healthy functioning relationships. This book is a great resource on how to better love others while still protecting yourself. After all, we love others best when we create the time and space to tend to ourselves. 

Grab a copy for yourself here! You will not be disappointed.