Are you still with me? I know book clubs usually sound REALLY fun at the beginning, and by about…oh…this point, life has happened and we fall behind. It’s not too late to jump back in or catch up. Even if you’re not loving this book, I want to hear from you! Tell me what you disagree with, what you would change, what you WISH Rachel would have included.
Oh and let’s do a giveaway, ok? Just because I’m grateful you’re here. Get through today’s post and find the instructions for the giveaway at the bottom!
The lie: I’m going to marry Matt Damon
The takeaways: This chapter caused an epiphany for me. As Rachel went on and on about the different HUGE dreams she had for herself, I realized that one of the reasons I probably haven’t achieved a few things I’ve wished for is because I have never, ever created that kind of a detailed dream for myself and believed that I could achieve it. I never dreamed about my wedding day when I was little, and I honestly couldn’t even imagine life after 21 because I didn’t know how to steer that ship. As soon as the waters got rough, or something challenged my “dream,” I gave up. I let those dreams drown. Even the vision board I created once just became wallpaper on my book shelf that I eventually threw in the trash. Which, I’m realizing, meant my self-esteem went in the trash with it. I want to consider myself worthy of holding on to a big, God-sized dream, no matter how many years it takes. Although it probably won’t have anything to do with Matt Damon, a $1,000 purse, or a house in Hawaii. Although MAN I would love to join Rachel and her husband for their new couples event in Austin. Maybe that’s a dream I can work toward, one day.
The discussion questions: How have you learned to navigate stormy seas that threaten your dreams? What dream have you seen come true years after you first set your sights on it?
The lie: I’m a terrible writer
The takeaways: Can I admit that this is maybe my favorite chapter of the whole book? Probably because I relate the most to this lie, and her advice is incredibly timely. As “Holy Hustle” inches closer to being released into the world, and the story God has given me will be seen by other women, I’m nervous. Part of this whole publishing thing means that, in order to ever be considered for a second book, this first one has to do well. Probably better than “well.” Of course I want everyone who reads it to love it, and I want my publisher and my editor and my agent and my husband to all be proud of me – but in the two years it’s taken for me to start writing the book and the time it will be in your hands, I’ve often wondered if I’m really any good at this. I’ve had to grapple with the “what if no one like it?” question a lot as I’ve waited for June 5th, and I have to keep reminding myself of one thing: I write for an audience of One. I write because God has asked me to use this gift He’s given me, and He hasn’t asked me to stop yet. I write because it’s how my brain processes life and love and friendship and what God is teaching me. And I write because I can’t NOT do it. Whether or not I ever get a chance to write another book, I can at least look at this one and know that I was obedient to do what God was asking me to do.
The discussion questions: What is it in your life that you consider a creative act of worship? What is that one thing you can’t NOT do?
The lie: I will never get past this
The takeaways: Oh gals. What a heartbreaking chapter. I wanted to reach through the pages and give Rachel a hug. No one should ever have to experience that kind of trauma, but I know that so many of us have had one of those “I’ll never get past this” moments, too. Mine came with the miscarriage of our first pregnancy at a point when I thought we should have been getting ready to tell everyone our good news. It wasn’t until I sat in my counselors office years later and she asked me to share all the “loss” I’d experienced in my life that I realized all I’d come through. I wish I’d had this chapter then, especially the part where Rachel says “I am still here because I didn’t allow the hard time to make me weak; I willed it to make me strong.” I needed that line when I was fired, when I was gossiped about, when I was asked to resign, when I found myself without community, when I received all the rejections. I may not have handled all of those circumstances with grace and wisdom, but hey. I’m still here.
The discussion questions: How has a traumatic experience or loss from your past been used by God to help someone else? What advice would you give someone else who is experience the same thing you went through?
Next week: Read Chapters 16-18
Complete the easy peasy giveaway widget to be entered to win a complete set of my “Holy Hustle” prints! These will be available for purchase at my book launch party, but I want YOU to have a chance to win a bundle early. xoxo
Lisa A Torres says
Probably the reason that I’m behind is that these chapters were a bit hard for me. So I listened to them over and over again. With Chapter 13, my issue is that I so want to be that person that is constantly has their goals in front of them and wakes up every day saying what needs to happen today to get closer to my goal. Her visualization and mapping out what she wanted is admirable. At the same time though, I do set goals and achieve them but it’s a mix of diligence and a whole lot of spontaneity which may result in me taking longer in achieving some of my goals. Her sharing did encourage me to identify areas in my planning and implementation that can be strengthened. Loved her stories about Matt Damon and the end result–hilarious!
Chapter 14–I think that the one thing that I can’t NOT do is stop teaching. It’s exciting for me to come alongside someone–my son, a mentee, others–and help them to find their way. That process of facilitation is an act of worship for me because it’s a responsibility and an honor to be allowed in that space of trust. The excitement of witnessing those Aha moments and having the student then become the teacher to others is priceless.
Chapter 15–Many are afraid or hesitant to share their loss. It’s too painful or they worry about how it will be received. There is fear of rejection. Even in the church, this exists and the myth of everything is fine thrives. I’ve had the opportunity to share the battle with codependency and rage in a safe environment with women I did not know. It scared me but God gave me the opportunity to do so and it led to others saying “wow, you too??” and we could freely share with plus learn from each other. It created a strong bond where we could pray for and encourage each other. My advice would be to find those 1 or 2 people that you could trust and open up. That led to me seeking help from Celebrate Recovery and Redemption (bible study). The more we close ourselves off, the longer and harder it is to heal. Lastly and most importantly, even if you don’t feel like it, pray even if it is one word “Jesus” or one line “I need you to get me through this…” He hears each prayer and is faithful to answer. Looking back, I can see His hand restoring me.
Sorry for the delay in responding–my sister-in-law lost her fight with cancer and passed away. We were away from the funeral and when I came back got hit with the flu 🙁 Winning the giveaway though perked me up!! Super excited!!
Janelle Allen says
Alright, so Chapters 13 and 14 weren’t really for me. I enjoyed reading them and hearing more of her personal story, but since I’m not a goal-driven person, chapter 13 didn’t click with me at all. I am one hundred percent the type of person that, if something stands in my way, I quit. I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember. And I’ve never felt bad about that. I’ve never wanted to change. Maybe I’ve just never wanted anything badly enough to persevere and chase after it. Maybe my parents “let me” quit too many times instead of pushing me and making me finish something that I started. I can’t say what it is exactly that has shaped me into a quitter and the opposite of a dream-chaser. But I CAN say that I’m happy with my life right now and what I HAVE accomplished.
I think the biggest part of my life that I consider an act of worship is art and music. Creating beauty in both of those areas. It can range from singing to photography to drawing to hand-lettering to just listening to music… it comes in many forms for me, but it always boils down to art and music.
Chapter 15 was sad to read and think about. I’ve never had anyone closer than a grandparent pass away. I cannot imagine how I would react/feel if I had to go through something as traumatic as Rachel went through. As I was reading this chapter, I tried to recall a traumatic experience in my life. I can’t decide whether it’s a blessing or really terrible that I don’t think I’ve ever gone through something life-altering. I’ve had plenty of awful things happen throughout my life, but none that I feel compare to Rachel’s story.
I love watching you confidently live and serve and worship right where God has you. It inspires me!
Janelle Allen says
I am still with you! But somehow, this past week got away from me and I am still on Chapter 14! I was ahead for so long… oh wait. I know what it was. I got hit hard with the sinus stuff this past week! Anyway, I will be catching up on my reading and will pop back in to discuss. 🙂