Do you find it hard to see God in the little things? Is it hard to imagine that God invites you to follow him no matter what season you find yourself in? Choosing Real: An Invitation To Celebrate When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned is a non-fiction book written by Bekah Jane Pogue which takes us through unplanned circumstances while illuminating the celebratory moments where God is ever present.
In pain, transition, loneliness, tension, and restlessness, Pogue reminds her readers they can connect real life situations to a life of faith.
Pogue uses conversational language dipped in humor to reveal to her readers that Choosing Real is exactly where God is. In choosing to see that God is in every moment, including the passing of her father, the party that didn’t go as planned, the reality of friendships, the everyday marriage moments, and the ebbs and flows of motherhood, the reader is relieved to know… Oh! She gets it. I’m not the only one.
When the reader chooses to embrace the reality of our present moments, she is Choosing Real when she chooses to see God in that reality.
Choosing Real opens as an invitation, an RSVP if you will, to join Jesus in a faith walk whether the reader knows what that looks like or not. It is a faith invitation. Invitations to follow Jesus never cease and meet us right where we are. Will you choose to trust?
An invitation is by far the most beautiful expression of love and grace.
Often, we feel our life will be a grand banquet decorated perfectly with gold confetti, the finest wine, pristine flute glasses, and a perfect amount of guests. What we don’t realize and what Pogue describes is our grand banquet is sometimes just a cozy dinner for two. She relates this to the parable in Luke 14 where the master instructs the servant to gather everyone off the streets because no one in position of power came to the banquet. The people from the “streets and alleys” would be far more grateful for the banquet.
This is how the spirit makes Himself real in our loneliness. He invites, and similar to those guests, how we respond affects how much we get to enjoy the taste of God’s great banquet.
Poque takes this perfection complex we place upon ourselves as she touches on our need for social media and validation. How we respond to social media triggers is indicative of our reflection of what we believe of our faith walk. If our validation comes through likes and comments and not from the one who created stillness, and love, and peace, we must unplug to find the true authenticity of relationship building. She even gives us a recipe for “Life Changing Chocolate Cake.” Super yum!
One of my favorite parts of the book was when she and her family threw a Thanksgiving in May. How amazing to give God a grand thanks on a day that is not reserved in November. It inclined me to explore the same for my family. It would also free us up to visit everyone else on Thanksgiving, and not have to worry about putting on a big production.
I believe something sacred happens when we utter gratitude as a group, especially for the areas that aren’t exactly easy or thanksgiving worthy.
“If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart spirit.” – Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude
I was especially grateful when Pogue walked me through tasting, smelling, seeing, feeling God in the small things. Her book led up to this grand revelation. I was surprised to know that her father had passed and Choosing Real was birthed from that. How could anyone manage? Because God met Pogue in her off season to reveal to her how He was ever present as long as she was a willing participant.
We want to feel Mount Everest faith, but sometimes, real faith is in the plain soil, the dirt – the real life stuff. This is where God grows us and our faith.
Like Pogue, I too feel compelled to dream big. If there is a felt need, I immediately begin exploring avenues to put on earth-shaking conferences, writing workshops for my community, revival tents and barbecues in my backyard. What I need to see is that God is never more glorious than when I pick up the phone and call a friend I haven’t spoken to in ages to invite her and her family over for dinner.
Because this party isn’t about taking credit for the details that do stick to our plan, but enjoying the moments that don’t.
From the back cover: True intimacy with the Creator stars here. Just the two of you.
*Thank you to Stephanie Alton at the Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc. for allowing me to review this book and for providing a book for the giveaway this month.
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Winner will be drawn March 11, 2017 and announced on FB and YouTube.