And It Was Beautiful: Celebrating Life in the Midst of the Long Good-Bye (David C Cook, March 2016)
“I was here. I saw beauty. I embraced it.” -Kara Tippetts
How do you live out extravagant love in the everyday moments? How do you celebrate grace when your life turns out differently than the one you dreamed?
Kara Tippetts discovered how to find joy in the small moments of life. She learned how to hold tight to hope even while battling intense physical and emotional pain. And she lived out the truth that God can redeem any story.
In her final book, Kara offers gentle reflections on living and dying well. She invites us to cultivate soft hearts even when we face great disappointment. Her ideas for living are hard-won, wrestled with in the crucible of family, illness, and faith. And her constant reminder is that whether we are in the midst of dark days or mundane moments Jesus is always there, life is surprisingly beautiful, and God is forever good.
How do you live well when the living you’re living isn’t the living you expected?
I first learned of Kara Tippetts from my cousin Jenni who mentioned Kara’s book The Hardest Peace & how she had found encouragement from it during her own chronic illness. And then I was given the privilege of reviewing Just Show Up which Kara wrote with her friend Jill Lynn Buteyn. (You can read my review here.) Now, we are given another gift, another book containing Kara’s honest, heartfelt thoughts on life – and death – and the moments in between.
And It Was Beautiful is a compilation of Kara’s writings, most of them collected from her blog Mundane Faithfulness. It is arranged into three complete acts, the fourth act containing only a beautiful poem written by another author and one final post from Kara. As the David C. Cook Editorial Team reminds us in the book’s introduction, “Kara is living her fourth act now in the presence of the One who kept her on this earth, and keeps her still, now in His loving arms.”
Oh, my. I needed to hear some of the things Kara says in this book. For instance, “When I first found out I was sick, I begged people to pray that I would be kind in my sickness. I don’t believe illness gives you a pass to be unkind.” Oooo I winced a little at that one. How many times have I decided that my chronic pain excuses snapping at my husband or complaining at my husband or rolling my eyes at my husband? (Yeah… you can say it… my poor husband.) And yet, lest you think she was too good to be true, Kara also admits to wanting to tell herself to shut up when she says things like, “Hard is grace too… There is peace for the day – find it.” Or how about the honesty and vulnerability of – “I just don’t want to be sick anymore.” But this – THIS – is what will stay with me long after I’ve put this book down and moved on to the next: “It means when my story doesn’t follow the script I had hoped for, I can still walk in faith, knowing my life, my moments, and even my pain are not mistakes. I can magnify the LORD who does not look upon my story with indifference.” I’m thinking about having that framed <3
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Bottom Line: And It Was Beautiful is a quick read but wow – there’s a lot packed in that small space! Her voice, her writing style, make you feel as though you’ve been friends for years. Her love for her family, for her friends, for her Jesus is so evident in each poignant vignette, and her journey with cancer – and the gift of grace through it all – will engage all of your emotions. While at first you may think that a book like this would be depressing, it is anything but a downer. Yes, you will ugly-cry. But you will also smile and laugh and be overwhelmingly reminded of the goodness of God and His faithfulness. Kara’s testimony is raw at times, witty at others, but always always beautiful.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
My Rating: 5 stars / A must-read!
Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1QVAvgz
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