Before we jump into the book club chat today, I want to extend a very special invitation. If you’re on my VIP list, you’ve already heard about this…it’s launch team time! That’s right – with help from my amazing friend Lindsey, we are putting together a group of readerly friends who love the message of “Holy Hustle” and want to help us spread the word.
What’s a launch team?
You’ll spend about 8 weeks in a private Facebook group with a community of amazing new friends helping me share the message of “Holy Hustle” in whatever way works best for YOU. Want to shout about the book on your socials? Go for it! Want to gather 20 women in your real life for a book club and Bible study? YAY! Want to tell your local women’s conference/event/retreat person about the book and encourage her to buy a copy for every lady who attends? WINNING!
What’s in it for you?
You’ll be one of the first to read “Holy Hustle” – before it comes out in June! Every launch team member will receive a PDF copy of the book, and we’ll have about 100 physical copies that we’ll be randomly giving away throughout our time together. You’ll also get direct access to me, insider looks at what it takes to launch a book, a fantastic community of new friends, and probably some bonus freebies or extra giveaways along the way, because I can’t help myself.
How do you sign up?
Easy! Just go to http://bit.ly/HolyHustleLaunchTeamApplication and complete the form before April 22nd. If you have any other questions for me, feel free to reach out!
On with the book club chat!
Ok so obviously I’ve been really terrible with the whole Facebook live stuff. I think I had one scheduled for this week, but you guys! I’ll be recording the audio book for “Holy Hustle” today and Thursday, so even if I have a voice left, this introvert will be super out of words. If I can manage to pop on this week for a quick book club check-in/recap I will, but don’t add it to your calendars or count on it or anything. We only have two chapters left after this week, which seems hard to believe. We should do this again sometime 😉 All that to say, chat in the comments here or on social media with me! Tell me your thoughts, answer the discussion questions (even if you haven’t read the book you can still answer those), and let me know you’re still out there.
The lie: I can’t tell the truth
The takeaways: Oh man. I don’t want to take away from any of this heartbreaking story by saying this, but honestly? I was hoping for a different reveal. I feel like we already heard a lot of this throughout the other chapters. I admit I felt all the feelings for them as she shared – I was excited and frustrated and angry and hopeful – but I wonder if I would have connected with this topic differently had she shared something we hadn’t heard before. As I thought about the “lie” on its own, it made me think about how often we feel the need to put up a mask so everyone thinks we’re doing ok, when in reality, most of us are a mess in one way or another. There are times with my work that I’m afraid to be honest that I don’t know how to do something, or that I’m struggling, because my past tells me that when I can’t do the job perfectly with a 100% happy attitude and am best friends with all my co-workers, I’m shown the door. I loved how Dave reminded Rachel that their dream didn’t go away just because things got hard, and those hard time redefined her faith and strengthened their relationship.
The discussion questions: What mask do you wear, and why do you feel like you can’t tell the truth? What would happen if you did?
The lie: I am defined by my weight
The takeaways: Man. This one resonated with me more than I expected. I’ll take off one of those masks and share that I’ve been struggling with my weight for the last year or so, and it’s been hard. Food has been a source of comfort, a reward, something I felt entitled to for me for a very long time, and breaking that habit has been more challenging than I expected. There is such freedom in what Rachel shared, “Who you are today is incredible. You have so many wonderful qualities to offer the world, and they are uniquely yours. I believe your creator delights in the intricacies of you, and he is filled with joy when you live out your potential.” Eating a bunch of junk food is not living out my potential. Being healthy and strong, with the energy I need to be the mom Madi needs and the wife Matt needs? That feels sustainable. Fitting into a size 4 pant because I think that’s what everyone expects of me? That hasn’t been working so well.
The discussion questions: Have you ever – for this reason or others – edited your social media feeds to control what you see and read? What difference would it make in how you think about yourself, your potential, or your calling if you unfollowed the people who make you jealous, frustrated, or defensive?
The lie: I need a drink
The takeaways: I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of women who resonate deeply with this chapter, and I applaud Rachel for being so honest about this particular struggle she faced. I don’t have a similar experience, but I can appreciate her reminder that we need to find healthier ways to handle stress. Counseling is amazing. Working out (especially if I can lift weights) is helpful. Watching a reality show makes my brain happy. Going on adventures with my family gives me energy. Finding those things that help us avoid the easy way out make us stronger in the long run. One thing I was a little confused about was her list of things we need: food, water, shelter, healthy relationships….apparently if we add anything else, it’s a crutch. Um. What about faith? I need Jesus in my life just as much, if not more, than any of those other things. I don’t want to be strong enough to walk on my own – I want to be strong enough to lean on Jesus so He can direct my steps.
The discussion questions: What hard season have you walked through that made you stronger because you didn’t try to escape from it? What encouragement would you give yourself 10, 20, 30 years ago knowing what you know today?
Next time: read chapters 19 & 20
Janelle Allen says
I had the same thought about chapter 16 – she’s already talked about this struggle. Also, I had a hard time weeding through her story (which was basically the whole chapter) to find out what she wasn’t telling the truth about. I guess it was her not being honest (with herself? with others?) about her feelings throughout the process. But that got lost on me more than once.
I think I “lie” or am not fully honest all the time about day-to-day struggles and general shortcomings of motherhood. Part of it is that I lie to myself. If I admit it out loud, then I have to face it/deal with it. Whatever “it” is. As for telling half-truths or not being totally honest in conversation with others, that usually falls into the category of “We don’t have two hours to have a good heart-to-heart talk about this.” Often when I am with a friend, time is short or there are too many distractions around [read: kids] to really get into any nitty-gritty. Maybe that’s on me and I need to be purposeful in scheduling more one-on-one time with close friends so that I have the opportunity to open up and be real and honest.
I appreciated Rachel sharing her struggle with her weight in chapter 17. It’s always comforting to know “I’m not the only one.” Also, I am once again reminded to be thankful that I don’t live in a place like L.A. where life is wrapped up in physical appearance and materialism. I wouldn’t survive one week there. I’ve struggled over the years with eating right and being concerned with weight and body shape, though I don’t think to the extent that Rachel has experienced. At the end of the day, I am a girl who loves food. I want to be happy and I want to eat what I enjoy (within reason!) I try my best to eat healthy. I am a mama who has birthed two babies. At this stage of my life, I know I will not ever look “perfect” but I have a husband who makes it super obvious that he still finds me very attractive. And really, that’s the only affirmation I need.
I have, over the past few years, filtered out my FB newsfeed and who I follow on instagram, trying to focus more on God and a Christian world-view and less on a secular world-view. It has absolutely made a difference.
Chapter 18 – once again, totally with you on questioning her list of things we need. I’m disappointed in her lack of pointing the book towards God and faith. We aren’t going to get too far in this life if we’re in the driver’s seat. Jesus, take the wheel!
I think the encouragement I would give my younger self might be just that — you don’t always have to be in charge. Sit back and relax and enjoy the ride! God is in control and He is working out some amazing things for your life! Don’t spend so much time worrying.