My friend, Dawn Camp released a beautiful new book a few days ago. Have you seen it? Have you heard of it? Do you already have a copy?
Dawn’s book, The Beauty of Grace, soared to the very tip top (as in, #1) of Amazon’s list of new devotionals! If you know Dawn, you know she is an excellent photographer. In her book, she has combined her stunning images with words from a selection of really incredible writers, including Ann Voskamp, Lisa-Jo Baker, Holley Gerth, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Margaret Feinberg, and, well, the list is so wonderful, you should click here to read it in its entirety.
As luck would have it, Dawn invited me to contribute to her beautiful new book about grace. Yay!
The book released a little bit earlier than Dawn expected and, on that particular day, H and I happened to be in the local bookstore. Every now and then, when I’m feeling overwhelmed by the book writing process, I go to the bookstore to see the books my friends have written and published and promoted and lived to tell about. Seeing books there on the shelves in an actual bookstore, with the names of people I actually know on the covers, makes me feel a little bit more (even if just for a moment) as if I can do it, too.
Well, on this particular day, there was Dawn’s book! Not only a book written and published and promoted by someone I actually know, but also a book with my name and my words in it! Ha! I picked up a copy of The Beauty of Grace and flipped through the pages, halfway believing neither my words nor my name had actually made it into the book. Perhaps it was all a dream? But, no! There it was! My words. My name. My bio, right there with all the rest.
I carried that book around the store with me for a few minutes before running into the woman who happened to be working there. “Are you finding everything you need?” she asked me.
“I am,” I answered. “In fact,” I said, and why I did this, I will never know, but I did. I opened that book and I said to that woman, “do you see this name?” I was pointing to my bio.
“Uh-huh,” she said as she looked over my shoulder at someone or something else.”
“That’s me,” I told her, triumphantly.
“Huh,” the lady said to me with all the enthusiasm she clearly could muster before she moved on to her next task.
Touchè, I thought to myself. The irony, of course, is that the piece I contributed to Dawn’s beautiful book is all about keeping the right perspective with regard to the work we do for God. It’s about making sure we keep our focus on God instead of the likes and cheers and approval of people as we go about the writing and parenting and cooking and organizing and spearheading and creating and working of each ordinary day.
So, I mustered up some grace for that woman in the bookstore who really could have cared less about my part in Dawn’s beautiful book. And, I also extended grace to me for thinking I needed the approval of a woman in a bookstore at the end of a long, cold day. Grace is gritty stuff, but it is beautiful and brilliant, too.
That’s what Dawn’s book is about. Grace. It’s beautiful, and I believe you’ll be blessed if you read it. Not because I wrote a few of the words that are in it, but because the grace of God is exactly what you and I both need, in every moment of our ordinary days.
Some questions for you: You know how you buy a car, and suddenly you notice all the other cars of that make and model on the road? That’s the way it’s been lately for me with grace: I’ve got grace on my mind. Maybe it’s because this year’s theme for JumpingTandem: The Retreat, is grace. I love the way the planning for this year’s event is coming together — very low key and beautiful. What is God pulling together in your life these days? What one thing keeps popping to the forefront of your mind? What do you think is the significance of that one thing?