**09.06.13 Update: The winner (selected by a random number generator and verified by a third party) is #11! Congratulations, Blair! Check your email for details. 🙂 For everyone else who entered, thank you so much for your interest and for leaving a comment. You can find the book here!**
“The chaos of the previous days faded away, and the quiet pressed in, and so did Jesus. I guess that’s what happens when we leave behind all of our extras to venture out into the big, wild, chaotic world. We find the One who made it, who made us.” (p. 93)
Over the past couple of years, I’ve had to empty my proverbial suitcase and pack lighter at least a few times:
as I left seminary two years ago to enter into God’s better plan (which I may finally be catching a small glimpse of)…
as I moved to a new place this summer and had to literally get rid of some things…
as I learn to let go of the need for some preconceived notion of safety/security in order to take a few risks, walk some ledges, and even jump over a few waterfalls (you’ll have to read the book for that tie-in)…
I’m sure many of you can relate with such transitions that require letting go of certain things that characterize one season to enter into another. Sometimes this letting go is by choice. Other times, not so much.
So as Allison Vesterfelt (Ally) pulled me into her journey from the very beginning of Packing Light through telling her stories from a 50 state road trip with her friend, Sharaya, I suspected there would be some helpful lessons to listen in on.
The title is based on the parable of the rich young ruler (found in Matthew 19, Mark 10, and Luke 18), which becomes a significant theme throughout the entire book. Ally will have you identifying with this young man in all sorts of [sometimes slightly uncomfortable and convicting] ways!
“In its simplest sense, I felt like this is what happens when we let go of things. We step out of our own reality and into God’s. We realize the world is much bigger than we expected and that we are much smaller, and we start to see what a miracle it is that we get to be a part of it.” (p. 103)
It’s a fairly quick read thanks to the well written story, but it also makes you think. In a good way. It’s one of those books that although it doesn’t demand a response (after all, Ally acknowledges up front that this is her story…), it gives a sort of invitation to engage.
Ally doesn’t just give you all the answers or a checklist of advice when it comes to packing light in life, but she’s willing to honestly wrestle through the questions with you.
Reading this book is like sitting down and having a great conversation with a friend. A conversation that encourages you to let go of things and to lean into Jesus Christ … even in the moments when there are more questions than answers. And a conversation that you will walk away from dreaming some dreams of your own while resting more in the fullness and freedom of Christ!
“I wish I could have known then what I know now – we already have the reward. It’s days that are full and alive and hearts that are content and at rest in Him. All we have to do is let go of all our things so we can grab on to it.” (p. 173)
To enter for a chance to win a copy of Packing Light, all you have to do is leave a comment below (just be sure you leave a valid email address, so I can get in touch with you if you win!). You can tell me why you would like to read this book, what you’re packing light these days, your favorite flavor of ice cream, or just say hi.
You can comment until midnight on Thursday (September 5, 2013) and the winner will be chosen randomly and announced/contacted on Friday (September 6, 2013).
*by the way: while I did receive a free copy of this book to review, these are just my honest thoughts on what makes its message worth sharing.*