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