Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy; my heart shouted yes before I’d even finished reading the blog post. Yes, sign me up to be on the launch team for the book: Undone, A Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life.
I’ve been following Michele Cushatt’s blog for about two years. She had me at hello because I love her writing style. Reading her blog is like meeting a friend you haven’t seen for a while and catching up on life. Michele writes straight from the heart; no pretense, no preaching, no fluff.
When I first began following her blog, she did a giveaway for a cookbook (We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook). I ended up winning and she sent me not only the book, but also batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies, made from her grandmother’s secret recipe. Homemade chocolate chip cookies. I couldn’t get over it; who does that? Despite having never met her, that sealed the deal for me: we were (Internet) friends for life.
Lucky for me I was chosen to participate on the launch team and it’s been such fun so far. In doing so I received an advanced copy of her book Undone. I’m an avid reader and knew I’d like it. What I didn’t know what just how much.
Undone tells the story of Michele’s life and how she has navigated through it with her faith. With wit and wisdom Michele recounts stories of divorce, remarriage, parenting, cancer and the adoption of three little ones later in life. I can’t write like she does, so no matter what I say here, I wouldn’t be able to convey how well written and entertaining the book is. What I can tell you is that I found myself reading it nonstop.
I read it in the carpool line, at the orthodontist’s office, while stirring the soup I was making for dinner. I read it until I was done, and now I’m hoping she’ll write a sequel. I have to know:
Will the cancer return again, or is it finally gone for good?
How are the littles doing? Are they finally getting settled in school? Are the walls now marker-free?
How about the older set, what are the boys up to now?
Like I said, I feel like we are friends. I want to catch up.
As mentioned I can’t write as well as Michele, but I can share a few lines I loved from her book.
“Preschoolers are cute and precious and cheek-pinching adorable when they belong to someone else. They’re life-suckers when you have one foot in middle age and live with three of them.”
(on blending families): “Some days I thought it would kill me. Other days I’d hoped it would.”
(on being a mother): “It’s choosing to love when you’d rather run away. Being a mother is becoming an expert at saying, “I’m sorry,” “I forgive you,” and “I love you,” as many times as necessary.”
On Faith and Hardship:
“And flimsy belief gives birth to fear, not courage…I could either hang on to fear or hold on to my faith. But I could not hang on to both.”
“Faith is choosing the anchor of your focus.”
“Cancer, as heinous and evil as it was, had delivered an unexpected gift. It taught us how to live…Cancer–in both its presence and absence–had taught me the immeasurable value of today.”
“The idealistic side of me wanted to be a hero. The realistic side of me wanted to take a nap.”
“But sometimes messy is the necessary beginning to the makings of extraordinary.”
“To think only of heaven is to miss out on the gift of life. And to dwell on this life is to miss out on the granduer-and anticipation-of what is yet to come.”
“Just as a writer must embrace a rough draft as the necessary means to a book’s successful end, I had to learn how to embrace my life’s process.”
“Life, in all its shocking unpredictability is to be lived up close, personal…But…it’s value can’t be measured from the same proximity…Instead, to make peace with a life, to see it as art, requires a stepping back.”
For me, the biggest takeaway from this book is the message that life doesn’t always turn out as we expect, but we should embrace the (messy) journey. God isn’t done with us yet. If we allow him to, if we invite him in, God can take the messy, regrettable, beautiful and heart-wrenching moments of our lives and write a story much more delightful than we could ever imagine. Wow, just wow.
Undone is set to release on March 10th. Get a free, beautiful print download when you order @michelecushatt ‘s book #UNDONE here http://undonebook.com/get-your-free-download/