For the past couple of summers, I’ve been getting together with a group of young moms for book club. We agree on a book by a contemporary Christian author and spend most Wednesday nights discussing sections of the book around a table outside our favorite local coffee shop.
This past spring when Women Are Scary was suggested, I was not familiar with Melanie Dale but I was intrigued by the title (because, well…they can be) and the premise of the book. In it, Melanie compares “momlationships” to dating, complete with analogies of rounding the bases. I fell in love with her writing style.
Melanie’s sarcasm is totally relatable for me; I grew up surrounded by it and it might be one of my love languages. And yet, she has a kindness about her that draws you in close and makes you want to spend time with her words. (And her, but there’s only so much of her to go around, so we can be thankful she wrote this stuff down!)
When I learned she had written another book, I managed to worm my way right into the inner circle of awesomeness that is her launch team.
I’ve been privileged to settle into It’s Not Fair over the past few weeks. While our stories are radically different in detail, we share the inevitable reality that life has not been fair to us. And if we stopped there, the book would be nothing more than a reminder that some seasons of life just blow and we are not alone in our angst.
Melanie is authentic; she shares her journey through infertility and adoption with candor. She said herself that she can’t solve your stuff, so if you’re looking for a self-help book, move along…nothing to see here.
But if you are looking for someone to “sit next to you in your stuff” (or if you want to learn how to be a BOSS at sitting next to someone in their stuff) this is a must read.
Have you ever wanted to help but didn’t know how? There is an entire section titled “100 Things You Can Do to Help” but while you are at it, be sure to check out “Things You Should Say If You Want a Good Face Punch”. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there.
Are you wallowing in the middle of something unimaginable right now? You will want to speed read over to the chapter on coping mechanisms but take your time because there is some really good stuff before you get there, some validation and empathy and I bet you could use that right about now.
I have a list of favorite quotes. I laughed and I cried; I folded corners on pages so I wouldn’t lose them and I highlighted with fury. I drew smiley faces and sad faces and mad faces and I might have created some emojis of my very own. I felt validated and understood. Did you hear that? Validated. Understood. Seriously. Life. Changing.
Here are some of my personal favorites that:
- “The words inside are like family. They’re raw and awkward and offensive and loving and encouraging and hopeful.” – (regarding the Bible)
- “Safe people can let you lead the conversation and talk about what you need to talk about, not what they need to know.”
- “Sometimes we need to stop trying to make each other feel better and just be together. Just join our friends in their ashes and sit quietly by their side.”
- “Find the grace-bearers in your life. These are the people with whom you can be disgusting and they offer you grace and forgiveness.”
- “But we need each other. We don’t need hordes of people, but we need a few to tether us to reality and remind us why our altered life might still be worth living.”
I loved all of it, including the rudimentary stick figure drawings and the chapter of recipes, because, well…food.
At the conclusion she didn’t wrap it all up with a nice bow and suggest we follow her step by step program to heal all of our pain and live happily ever after.
Rather, we display our scars, and when we pass each other and notice them, see the beauty in them, we nod. Solidarity.
It’s not fair; we know it and we own it. For ourselves, yes, and for each other.
Wouldn’t you love to read this book? I suggest you run on over to one of the sites below and preorder it today! And if you comment below, right here on the blog page, I will enter you in a random drawing for a copy of the book! That’s right…I’m going to give a copy to one of my readers. I am so excited to bless you with this, but go ahead and order one, because you will want to give a copy to a friend!
By his grace, because Life’s not fair,
The contest is closed. Congratulations Miranda!
Thanks to everyone who participated! Now, order yourself a copy – you won’t regret it!
Pre-Order It’s Not Fair Today
FREE “Sur-Thrival Kit: Coping Strategies Activity Book” and “It’s Not Fair Discussion Guide” with pre-order. Just email your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive recipes, coloring sheets, group discussion questions, and Mel’s undying gratitude.