Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wild in the Hollow: Book Review & Giveaway!

Today's book is Wild in the Hollow, oh friends, you are going to LOVE this memoir...
"We're searching for home-a place of acceptance, a place of fulfillment, and a place of identity. At the basest level, we suspect that home is the place where we'll find our fit, where we'll finally be free."
Wild in the Hollow is a must read. If you have a past of mistakes, Amber's words will open your eyes to see that broken can be made beautiful.

She has such a beautiful poetic style to her, similar to Ann Voskamp but easier to read, in my opinion.

I inhaled this book as soon as I started on page one. I may have gotten slightly (ok greatly) irritated every time I had to put it down.

I have a feeling Wild in the Hollow is going to touch a nerve with a large audience of people.
(And I was right, it's sitting on #1 on Amazon in the Biography section.)

I was first introduced to Amber's words through (in)courage, a website with many talented writers. But Amber's style really resonated with me and it wasn't long before I was subscribing to her blog. She has a particular way of catching details and describing them just how you are thinking them in your head.

I didn't know much of her back story until I read Wild in the Hollow, and maybe now that I think about it, there was more than one reason I was attracted to her words. Along with a certain deepness to her writing she openly writes her working-out between faith and life. I like people who acknowledge they don't have it all together and admit the struggle between faith, life, and church.

The details of our stories may not be the same but we spent a great amount of our lives looking for something...God, and didn't realize it.

In the name of freedom we reach our own demise...

Growing up I always believed in Jesus. Always attended church with my family on Sunday mornings. Read my Bible some, but wasn't sure how it could be applied to my life (don't ever give your child a KJV Bible if you expect them to read and understand a word in it!).

Searching for my own love and acceptance in the world I dated a boy who knew hate better than love.

I was a teenage girl who wanted to live out the words of those hokey country songs you hear on the radio about being young, wild, and free.

By the time I was 21, I was pregnant (out-of-wedlock) with my on-again-off-again second boyfriend.

Yup...wild and free wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

Scared and only knowing we wanted our daughter to have a family, we married...

Do you love me now, church? Do you accept me?
"I made a mistake when I came into church. I walked in newly transformed, with a diamond on my finger, and I asked them, "Will you love me now?" If I change the way I dress, calm down some, use your language, and learn to defend the faith well, if I accept the parades of the church and all the fancy fireworks, will you love me then?"
"...The church was so tidy and clean, so aware of how it looked, that I kept my focus on what to wear and how to sound when I sang...The way I understood it, no one suffered in this church, except maybe from physical sickness. No one talked about brokenness or the poor unless it was to mention how someone else wasn't doing well: so sad."
What has hurt me the most in my spiritual walk are churches where brokenness was looked upon as spiritual weakness.

We are all broken and have pasts, though the details differ we all fall short.

Amber's words challenged me to be more settled into who I am and to be proud of where I've been and who I've become.

I may stumble my way to Heaven's gate, messing up and getting it all wrong along the way but I'll get there.

Our put-togetherness may impress people, but our brokenness will connect with them.

Amber's story reminds us in our deepest darkest pains there is redemption and hope because of our God. 

Linking with: Coffee for your Heart and #TellHisStory

I received a copy of Amber's book in exchange for my honest review.
Guess what?! You can win a copy of Amber's book! Leave me a comment and I'll use random. org to choose a winner. Winner announced on Monday 8/17.

Amber Haines is a woman haunted by God. Like Eve in the Garden, she craved the fruit that she thought would lead her to freedom. But the whispers of temptation led her instead down a devastating path toward isolation, dissatisfaction, and life-altering choices. In her most broken moment, Amber met God waiting for her in the fallout, freely offering her grace and life.

This is a story of the God who makes himself known in broken places. In prose that is at once lyrical and utterly honest, a brave new voice takes readers on a windswept journey down the path of brokenness to healing, satisfaction, and true intimacy with God. Amber calls readers to dispense with the pretty bows we use to dress up our stories and instead trust God to take our untidy, unfinished lives and make them free, authentic, and whole. Anyone who struggles with doubt or holds secrets, anyone who feels marginalized or like she is missing something, will find in Amber a sister and an inviting voice back home, into the heart of God.

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