Blogging for Books: Love Without Limits

love-without-limits

It’s a miracle that this blog post is being written.

For the past three months I’ve struggled to get through this book for various reasons.

First being the fact that it was the last semester of my undergrad career. Between student teaching, planning a missions trip, and “running a home” (I actually laugh internally when people bring this point up, but that’s for another blog post), I didn’t really want to sit down and read another book. I just wanted to watch Seinfeld.

The second reason was that for the majority of the book, I didn’t enjoy it. Caleb even suggested skimming, but I just couldn’t do it. I had to push through. That turned into three long months of slowly reading, and re-reading chapters because I often lost my place. But this morning, I made myself a glass of iced coffee and finally finished it.

Nick Vujicic and his wife Kanae wrote this book together outlining their relationship from start to finish, with the goal of encouraging readers to “love without limits.” Nick himself was born without limbs, and is a motivational speaker; speaking out against bullying, and sharing his own story of tackling the obstacles of living with a disability. He mentioned many times throughout the book of his struggle with the fear of never finding someone who truly loved and accepted him despite his outward physical flaws. Nick is the director of Life Without Limbs, and has been featured and interviewed on many major media sites.

On a personal level, it was difficult to read because the writing was a bit cheesy. Not only that, but because I am already married and have technically “found the one,” I couldn’t relate to the chapters where they encouraged single readers to “keep the faith” in their journey to find love. The chapters where he talks about abstinence and their commitment to waiting to become intimate until marriage made me happy that Caleb and I were able to keep that same commitment, but really glad that we’re finally married. 😉

In the end, Kanae shared her thoughts on motherhood, and the struggles that they faced together during the first year of parenthood. As someone who hopes to be a mother one day, I was grateful for her honesty, and the ways they were able to overcome the distance that came between them due to the stresses of a newborn, and Nick’s hectic travel schedule. Sometimes I feel like evangelists, and individuals like Nick who are constantly in the Christian spotlight, often shy away from sharing their struggles. The last few chapters were the most real and honest, as opposed to the more cliche chapters that came before.

Overall, I don’t know if I would necessarily recommend this book, but would encourage others to learn more about Nick’s story and everything he stands for. His life is an inspiration, and is a great reminder that God can use us and work through us despite our outward (and inward) flaws.

(I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.)

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Blogging for Books Review: Portlandia Edition

AO RIVER!

In honor of the newest season of Portlandia airing TONIGHT AT 10 PM on IFC (I am so ready for some Candice & Toni sketches), I finally wrote my second Blogging for Books review!

This time around, I wanted to try a cook book. The semester was coming to an end, and I really didn’t have time to sit down and read an entire book. That’s when I discovered the single best thing on the entire Blogging for Books website: The Portlandia Cook Book: Cook Like a Local.

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While I haven’t had a chance to try any of the recipes, this book has been so much fun to simply look at. Aesthetically, it is absolutely beautiful; fans of the show (like me) will love how each page incorporates a different character, and ties their quirky personalities in with every recipe. My personal favorite was the recipe for Garmin’s Crispy Pork Riblets (he’s a little guy!). There’s also a Guide To Picking a Table At a Restaurant by Kath & Dave, which has been super helpful, and is absolutely hilarious & perfect in every way.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetAlthough this cook book is chock-full of great Portlandia references, I will say that overall, the cookbook was slightly overwhelming. I didn’t know where to start because there was so much to look at. Every time I started seriously considering a recipe to make, I was really distracted by everything else going on. However, I would recommend any fans of the show to GO BUY A COPY RIGHT NOW, and soak it all in.

(Disclaimer: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review)

Blogging for Books Review: “The Happiness of Pursuit”

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A few months ago, I discovered Blogging for Books, a program created by a publishing group that sends people free books in return for an honest review. As soon as I heard about the program, I knew I had to sign up.

For my first book, I chose The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau. The premise of the book is about finding happiness and fulfillment through the pursuit of adventure, specifically a meaningful quest. Chris had completed a quest of his own, visiting every country in the world before the age of 35, and through this book, he shares stories of his personal adventures as well as stories from others that journeyed through life-altering expeditions.

I chose this book for two reasons:

1. I wanted to know how he went about visiting a multitude of countries, how much it cost, and what he did when his quest came to an end.

2. I wanted to criticize it from a Christian perspective.

To be honest, before I even read the first page, I had a book review written up in my mind. As a Christian, I can say that I find my purpose in Christ, and that true happiness is found in following His will for my life. I was prepared to fight Chris on every point he attempted to make. I mean, how much purpose can one find if the point behind the quest has no connection to Christ?

But then I read the book.

While I had to put the book down multiple times to cater to school work, I was inspired every time I read a chapter. I read about the woman who went on a journey to break the world record of seeing the most birds in history, the story of the man who stopped talking for seventeen years, and countless others that decided to do something radical to bring meaning to their mundane existences.

To my surprise, I also found this book to be very practical. Chris offers lessons he’s learned along the way, as well as wisdom he’s gained from other men and women.

As I came to the end of The Happiness of Pursuit, I appreciated each story that was represented throughout each chapter, but at the same time, still came back to the conclusion that there is no real purpose in life without Christ. Most of the individuals I read about came to the end of their quests and didn’t know where to go next, or how to find purpose in other venues. They had placed so much time and effort into their adventures, often resulting in failed marriages and friendships, yet at the end of the road, they still had to find something just as exhilarating to maintain their sense of worth.

Overall, I appreciated the book and the insight it gave me into pursuing some of the bigger dreams I have, but at the same time, it made me thankful for my relationship with God, and the purpose and identity I have in Him.

(I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review)

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For anyone wondering …. I would definitely recommend trying out Blogging for Books! Even if you don’t have a blog, or if your blog is small with only a few followers (like mine), you are eligible to receive books in return for a review.

Go check it out!