A book review of Melanie Shankle's book (New York Times Bestselling Author
Church of the Small Things: the Million Little Pieces that Make up a Life.
Caution: Do not read this book on a train.
I love train travel. It's relaxing, filled with many distraction-free hours where I can work quietly, plan, unwind, and read. So, I'd come prepared and I worked solidly for a couple of hours. But when the meal trolley rumbled down the aisle and thoughts and flavours of lunch filled the carriage, I decided to stop work and take a break.. maybe read a bit. Mmm... bad decision.
I'd read that the book I'd chosen, 'The Church of the Small Things- the Million Little Pieces that Make up a Life,' overflowed with Melanie Shankle's dry but warm humour. It sounded the perfect choice for my lunch break.
(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ... though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
I really enjoyed the introduction while I munched on my Greek salad. I read Melanie's perspective of the faithfulness of the mother who packed a lunch of five loaves and two fish for her boy one day in Galilee.
" I bet she didn't wring her hands over whether or not that lunch might matter in the larger scheme of God's plans and wish she could do something on a larger stage in front of an audience of people cheering her on, as she tucked that fish and those loaves into a basket, and she definitely didn't do an Instagram story about it. The bottom line is, she didn't do the glamorous thing; she did the faithful thing.'
I settled back, opened my orange juice, and decided I'd extend my lunch break a little and read some more. I started on chapter two.
But here's where I ran into difficulty because yes, it's funny. And the humour creeps in quietly, innocently, almost out of the blue, which is why I found myself holding my nose to keep in the laughter. After all, on a train, you can't exactly roll around on the floor laughing. (I was so glad I didn't have anyone sitting next to me, either. )
But this book is so much more than just entertaining recollections of life, though it is that. Rather, it highlights lessons learned and truths gleaned in the small but important pieces that make up life.
' ... life has a way of teaching you as you go, that it's usually not the big moments that make up a life as much as it is the small ones.'
Melanie discusses: family life and women today, life as a mixture of sad and sweet, trusting God in the big and small things, faithfulness in small things, God's care about even the smallest details of our lives and so much more...
'God's will isn't about the things we achieve; it's about the people we become. Life is more about how He uses us to make a difference to the people who cross our paths, even while we are just going about our normal, sometimes boring, lives.'
The Church of the Small Things: the million little pieces that make up a life by Melanie Shankle
So... should you read it? I think you'd be crazy if you didn't. It's one of those books that, the more you read, the more you'll enjoy it. It's filled with family reflections and memories, and lessons learned and reminders of the importance of the small, ordinary acts of daily faithfulness. These are the important things, these are the legacy we leave our family and friends... and everything presented is coloured with the lightness of laughter and humour.
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself. If I don't love it, and don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.