Monday, April 14, 2014

Mended: Thoughts on Fear, Love, and Leaps of Faith (Giveaway!)

A few weeks ago an author named Anna White contacted me about reading, reviewing, and offering a give-away on Chasing Roots for her new book, Mended: Thoughts of Fear, Love, and Leaps of Faith. I hesitated at first, but when White explained to me the premise of Mended I committed to all three.

As the book begins, White writes of attending a conference on Transformation through Adversity, at which one presenter spoke about Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repair.

“When beautiful things are broken, the cracks can’t be vanished. The breaks are there, and there’s no hiding them. Instead each of those breaks, each chip, is filled with gold resin, smoothed down, and made whole again. The broken thing is made even more beautiful.”

Haven’t we all been there, battered and broken and seemingly beyond repair? Haven’t we all tried to hide our struggles from those around us? I certainly have, which is why I wanted to read Mended.
Hiding it pretty well, right? This picture was taken on what should have been
a wonderful day - we were celebrating my brother- and sister-in-law's marriage -
but I couldn't enjoy even a moment of it because of the intense pain I felt inside. 
I enjoyed White’s style of writing. She recounts experiences, tells stories, writes letters, and thinks through her feelings using her fingers, keyboard, and computer screen. She alternates between the good and the bad, the ups and the downs. She gifts her faith a place of honor in her writing, but does not allow it to overpower messages of human strength, courage, and resilience.

Throughout Mended, White transitions between sharing her experiences, stories, and letters and offering related inspirational quotations, a pattern that keeps the reader engaged and generally moving forward. My only critique is that at times, the flow of the book stumbles slightly, primarily because the original content is presented to readers without a clear chronological or thematic order.

White’s story is not so much that of a journey through darkness to the cliché “light at the end of the tunnel”. Instead, she writes through the downward spirals, and through the upward swings, and through the stagnant periods I often refer to as “treading water”. Mended does not end neatly wrapped in pretty packaging and adorned with a matching bow; in fact, when I reached the end of the book I found myself worried about her – worried that she hadn’t yet found enough happiness for me to walk away and let her go. Mended does end peacefully however, conveying the all-important message that although we are not perfect – just like life, we are purposefully messy and complicated – we are beautiful, worthy, and exactly where we are meant to be.

Today, thanks to Anna White, a Chasing Roots reader will win a free digital copy of Mended! To enter, leave a comment here or on my Facebook page underneath the link to this post or email me at erin@chasingroots.com. In your comment or email, tell me either 1) your favorite inspirational quote or 2) a word or phrase that lifts your spirits when you feel broken. 

The deadline to enter is 11:59pm CST on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

3 comments:

  1. These are lyrics, but they always make me feel a little better... And I know things now, many valuable things, that I hadn't known before. Do not put your faith in a cape and a hood. They will not protect you the way that they should. And take extra care with strangers, even flowers have their dangers. And though scary is exciting, nice is different than good. Now I know, don't be scared. Granny is right just be prepared. Isn't nice to know a lot...and a little bit not.

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  2. Philippians 4:7

    And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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