Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Falling Free - Rescued From the Life I Always Wanted

So, here's a post I've been meaning to write for weeks. My post-holiday brain is processing it as IMPOSSIBLE. Problem is, my October brain basically sang the same tune and I didn't have crack bark or heart-pummeling Christmas hymns to blame back then.

But it's a new year, the house has cleared out, there's a fluffy coating of snow outside my window, and Emmanuel is just as with us as he was last month. It feels like the right time to launch my best, most epic freak-out.

Dearly beloveds, the "book" I've been talking about for the past year, with all of its "air quotes" undertones and its elusive, intangible, radness, is officially REAL.

It has a title, a swoony green cover, and my name on the front. (Not to mention the name of a little friend of mine OH MY WORD!)

Falling Free is my story of losing the exact life I'd been taught to want, the one I thought I had mostly achieved through my own chutzpah, pluck, and maybe a little God-enhanced luck.

It's my story of realizing how quietly yet catastrophically I'd flipped the Gospel in order to continue living in the pretty place of security and comfort I'd created for myself, where I didn't really live as though I needed Jesus in the details of my life, but was happy to have him all the same.

Falling Free: Rescued From the Life I Always Wanted is the very drumbeat of my soul, that in God's eternal kingdom where down is actually up, His more for us often looks like less.

I sat and wrote it all down, the pain, the relief, the rescue and the freedom. I pleaded for the courage to tell the truth about finding the life I was created for in the rubble of the one that had kindly been dismantled, beam by beam. It turns out, we weren't made to want what the world craves.

This is my back-alley redemption story,  and we continue to grow and fail. We over-complicate and default to pride. We commit the most cringe-worthy faux pas in the history of ever while standing in our kitchen trying so hard (too hard!) to "love" our neighbor. (< spoiler alert) But when we run hard toward the pain around us, we discover more of the foolish love of God, who owed us none of these unexpected gifts, but gave them anyway.

I believe in the sunniest place of my heart that this is a story each of us shares, whether we recognize it or not. Maybe we aren't as smart or capable as we think. Maybe rather than climbing and gaining and battening down the hatches, we should simply let go and tumble down to where life comes close to careening off the rails.

Imperfectly written, soaked in prayer like the hundreds of Earl Grey tea bags that fueled this work, my truest hope is that these words will glorify Him alone, and that somehow, you will be pointed toward the beauty of surrendering for his glory. The nearness to Christ in low places is so worth the fall.

{Me, hard-core editing in bed, with poor posture and a sick, sad little Siley the week before Christmas.}

And now I will type the weirdest sentence of my life so far: You can pre-order your copy of Falling Free: Rescued From the Life I Always Wanted on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBooks. You don't pay until it's released (Sept. 2016) and sometimes pre-orders arrive a bit early. As my friend Emily says, "It's like giving your future self a gift!"

I'll be putting together a monthly insider-scoop email, complete with fun surprises (as in, some REALLLLLLLY cool stuff) and things I might feel more comfortable sharing within the circle of trust with My Truest People. (Coming from the girl who publicly extols Taco Bell in the face of organic kale "desserts" sprinkled with chia seeds, the implications of this should be both clear and noteworthy.)

To subscribe (you can choose to receive just my Super Scoop email or the email and my blog posts directly in your inbox) just type in your email address, click "Subscribe" (here in this post or on my sidebar) and Voila! We're official homies for life.

I've said it a million times and I'll go hoarse repeating myself: I owe so much of the grace along this journey to you, my faithful reader-friends. You cannot know how much I value you - your wisdom, your encouragement, your weirdness.

Thank you so much. I know this book is meant to please an audience of One, but I won't hate it at all if you love it a little, too.

Much love and bottomless salsa forever,
Shannan



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62 comments:

  1. wonderful! congrats! :) So proud of you! How does it feel to be here? Airy, light, and on-top-of-the-world? Or more like an adoption where you work really hard only to arrive & feel like the arrival was a little anti-climatic & you're not sure what to do with the new normal?

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  2. I'm so excited for you! I've been wanting you to write a book since way back at the days on the farm and now it's finally happened! I can't wait to read your words in September! And if you want to come do a book signing in Idaho, I wouldn't hate it ;)

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  3. THRILLED for you, and pre-ordering now. Thank you for sharing your words so bravely and honestly, Shannan. It's been life-changing and life-giving for me to read.

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  4. Yeeeeessssss! Cannot wait to read it. Thanks for being courageous and always challenging the rest of us weirdos with your beautiful, honest, and hilarious words.

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  5. So happy for you! And your forward?! Eek! Can't wait to read it all, my friend.

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  6. I texted you... but it's been awhile and not sure if I have your correct digits... SO! I'm sharing here too... I'm so proud of you. And no, I couldn't be your mother, but still. You were born for this book writing gig. God is good and I can't wait to partake in reading your book-bound words to point me all the more to His goodness. xo! Congratulations lady!!!

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  7. Yay! I think (think?) I'm already signed up for everything... do I need to do it again here?

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    1. okay nevermind the magical computer already knew that

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  8. I think I may cry!! I'm so excited for you.

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  9. BEST DAY EVER!!! At least until the book arrives. We are all cheering so loudly and I personally can't wait to make sure every single person I know reads this book :) CONGRATS! Chips and salsa xoxoxoxoxoxoxo


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  10. Shannan I'm so excited for you and with you! Can't wait to read this!

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  11. I'm so excited about your book! Creeper alert--I had a dream about you about a week ago. I ran into you and your daughter at the mall and I chased you down and I called you "flower patch farm girl" instead of Shannan. You were SUPER nice and friendly and I was the ultimate fan girl. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to your book!

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    1. I loved this! I can't say that this hasn't happened to me before... ;) FAN GIRLS FO LIFE!

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  12. YaY! The moment I heard you had a book deal- I was all I WILL preorder that book in a hot second! Excuse the fangirling but you are hands down my fave writer! Cheers to Falling Free!

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  13. I pre-ordered it! I am so proud of you!!! I can't wait to read it...... SOOOOO PROUD OF YOU!

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  14. I'm pre-ordering it a-tuday. I'm only a little bit angry that we have to wait until September to read it.

    (I'M SO EXCITED!!!)

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  15. I couldn't be more excited for you! You have worked so hard! So proud of you, friend!

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  16. I really would prefer to read it today, but I guess September will have to do. Congrats!

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  17. Congratulations Shannan!! I can't wait to read. I've been reading your blog for 6 1/2 years and I remember the exact moment I thought to myself, "she will write a book one day." Your words were so beautifully woven I just knew!! :) I love the journey God has chosen for you and am forever grateful you are sharing it with us. :) I love that green cover. It is swoony. ;) And the forward by JEN HATMAKER!! Just wow! :D

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  18. i couldn't be more proud of you. i pre-ordered. because i am making sure everyone i know reads this book. :) green cover and all.

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  19. Congrats on the book! The cover looks awesome and is titled in such a way that if I didn't know you'd written it, but saw it in the store, I'd be really interested.

    Thanks for always sharing yourself and inspiring me to continue as well! :)

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  20. Congratulations, Shannan!!! I'm so excited about your book! I have followed your blog for years because I love your writing. And guess what? I'm a librarian at a public library in NJ and I order our religion books. And I get to order yours. Which I plan to do!

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  21. This has been a long road indeed. But.......YOU DID IT!!!!!!! That is you, and your family did it. I know it took everyone, including Howard. Now on to Book #2!!!!
    You amaze me Shan. And words cannot begin to tell you how proud we are of you.

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  22. "This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it." Those were the words that came to mind as soon as I read this post. :) I've subscribed and pre-ordered! I can't wait!

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  23. Congratulations Shannan! I couldn't be any happier for you and I'm so excited to read! You don't know what you and your blog and your writing have done for me...suffice to say you have been a blessing! Mary Beth

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  24. Wooooohooooooo! Just pre-ordered! Insert all the excited emojis!

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  25. Just pre-ordered it and can't wait to receive it. I'm sure I will forget I ordered it and be shocked when it arrives in the mail later this year. So glad for you and also very thankful for all you share on your blog. I can't wait to read your book!

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  26. I just pre-ordered! You always challenge me to think outside of my comfortable life; thank you.

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  27. How exciting Shannan!! So happy for you and can't wait for my copy!!

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  28. Pre-ordered and so ding dang excited for you!!

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  29. Oh my gracious... The title.
    It just hit me like a ton of bricks.
    All the wrestling I've been having this past year. In this one sentence. I cannot wait to dig into your book. Mike and I will both devour it, I'm sure... Just like all the other book recommendations you've shared. So happy for you!! Rejoicing with you! Oh, God is using you! I'm so thankful you've shared your story. You don't know how much it's meant to me!! ❤️❤️❤️

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  30. So happy for you! I will be pre-ordering most definitely. All that pouring out and yet He is ever faithful to fill you again and again. Prayers as you enter the next step of your book birthing process.

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  31. Yay!! I'm so excited about this. Thanks for being faithful to share what God is doing in your life.You're constantly spurring me on to love and good deeds :)

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  32. how cool is THIS!!!! the book is supposed to ship the day before my 50th birthday. talk about a GIFT TO MYSELF! girl, i'm so proud of you and we don't really even know each other, unless you count those few hours at Catalyst Lab a few years' back. this is God at work and you being obedient. happy happy happy for you today!

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  33. more cheers here!
    so awesome..
    gonna have chips n salsa for dinner in your honor!!!! ☺️

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  34. So proud of you. Honestly feel giddy that you shared the beautiful cover. Your story needed to be told. Thank you, thank you. I'm STILL sending up arrow prayers throughout this process because that's what friends do. Even cyber ones.

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  35. SO exciting...excited to read it soon:)

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  36. so freaking pumped for THIS BOOK to be in my hands!!!!! SO very excited for YOU. gosh just so excited!! the cover, the title, the everything, BRING IT!!! the world is ready sister!!

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  37. Good work friend! I can't wait to read it, and even this blog post blessed my socks off.
    I'm so thankful you are using your gift for weaving words, along with the testimony of your life experiences to draw others close to Him. I sure appreciate you!

    Bottomless salsa back,
    ~Analene

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  38. I have been following you on your blog for several years.....I don't comment often, but oh how happy I am to read your book.
    I can't wait. I will definitely pre-order. Thank you for all your posts......they truly make me think deeper and a lot of times smile.
    Much love!!

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  39. Officially pre-ordered! So excited to read your book. Yours is still my favorite blog to read and I am happy every time a new post pops up in my feed. So glad you are willing to share your story.

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  40. Huh, think my other comment got lost in the interwebs. I've just pre-ordered 5 copies, for our bookclub, officially our October book selection (they'll just have to agree). Ha. So thrilled for you and for me, cause I get to read it!

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  41. Congratulations! I've read your blog gor several years. Enjoying your walk/run/stroll in your life.��
    Thank you for being brave and bold and writing your story.
    We all have a story, thank you for sharing yours beteeen the covers...beautiful green.
    More salsa and chips o! And taco bell for you (and me too).

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  42. Congratulations! I've read your blog gor several years. Enjoying your walk/run/stroll in your life.��
    Thank you for being brave and bold and writing your story.
    We all have a story, thank you for sharing yours beteeen the covers...beautiful green.
    More salsa and chips o! And taco bell for you (and me too).

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  43. Congratulations Shannan. I've been reading your blog for a couple of years now and I love it. I have been waiting for you to share the cover of your book. Love it! All the best. Looking forward to many more.

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  44. Preordered. Duh. And I will totally be stuffing my face with Cheezits when I read it!! Much glory to Jesus and love to you friend!

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  45. Pre-ordered? Check! I remember when you wrote about wrestling with some comments people were making when you considered moving. "Don't you want them to go to GOOD schools?" "Is that neighborhood safe?" Things like that from well-meaning people. I can't say if it was a good choice (though I'm guessing the book will do that) but I can tell you that from reading about your experiences I am a better person for living vicariously near the home with windows a size too big where the train crossing has been closed for way too long. Congratulations on the book release date!

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  46. I've been singing Tom Petty since I read this post yesterday and mixed up your title when searching for it on Amazon...hahaha

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    1. PS
      Already the #1 New Release in the Christian Spiritual Growth section!!!

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  47. I wrote down the book release date in my pocket calendar. Yes, I'm that excited about your book coming out. For several years now I've been tacking on a, "she should write a book", note when reposting your blog posts! Congrats to you, Shannan!

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  48. Congratulations, Shannon. I've been following you for years and years and couldn't be more pleased for you. I pre-ordered. Can't wait.

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  49. Are you doing a launch team?! And if so...how can we get in on that because 1. September is way too far away and 2. Your book is going to change the world and I want to be a part of it!

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  50. Can't wait to read this book!!! Strong work, lady, you did it!!

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  51. I am so excited for you!! My world got smaller when my husband's Aunt Jan (Clark) told me that you are her niece. So we are kind of related by marriage which means we really must meet up after things settle down. So happy for you! xo

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  52. Girl. So dang proud of you. Just SO DANG proud...

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  53. I've been a reader for years and cannot wait to get this in my hands. It is the first thing I have EVER preordered!

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  54. I second the comment above me! I have been reading your blog since you posted a "how do I do Ruby's hair" type question years ago. I am so excited to read this, you are always encouraging & inspirational. Way to go!!

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  55. I tried to sign up for the newsletter (I already receive blog posts) and it tells me I'm already subscribed. And I can't wait for your book!!!!

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    1. Yes, I need to make an announcement! I'm still figuring out these kinks. If you go to the bottom of one of the emails that you get from me, it should have a link that says "Manage Preferences". Click there and it should let you add the newsletter. If you have trouble, just email me!

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  56. I'm sitting here in the wee hours of Sunday morning reminded of how encouraging your words are. In ways you cannot even imagine. I can't stop being excited for this book to reach the world. And I've just been waiting for, like, forever.

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  57. Oh my word, Shannan! This gives me so much joy to watch this unfolding. Congratulations, and I KNOW lives will change because of these words you've put down in that pretty green book!!

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