I'm not who I was.
I believe it was about 4 years ago that I initially stumbled upon Rachel Anne Ridge’s blog. I’m really terrible at remembering dates and I couldn’t tell you exactly how I got there in the first place. However, whether it was the true beginning of our online blogging “relationship” or not, there is a particular scene that I do remember:
I was sitting at my computer desk, trapped inside a playpen gate so as to protect all things electronic from my littlest creepy crawler. The Rev had recently accepted a new ministry position in a new town. Although there were plenty of “nice folks”, I had yet to let my guard down enough to form any truly meaningful friendships and I had not yet acclimated to the “lay of the land”. We were living in an outdated 1960’s rental home. It was a blessing: the biggest house we had ever lived in to date and ultimately it sparked a warmth in my heart for more things vintage (thanks in part to Rachel’s lessons in “love what you have”). But initially the oldness and quirks that I couldn’t do anything with overwhelmed me a bit. I was exhausted from motherhood, undiagnosed neruological issues, and life. Not unhappy, just worn out. And lonely. I was never exactly a stellar housekeeper to begin with, and it was the small things that seemed impossible to accomplish that would tip me over the edge of frustration.
Enter Home Sanctuary. As it was at the time, Rachel’s blog was set up with daily “small things”: little tasks to accomplish that didn’t take a lot of time but made a big difference. If I could get her small thing done, I felt as though I wasn’t a complete failure in the department of house-wifery. Bonus: we earned points! The points would mean little to me in my present walk of life, but where I was then, they were perfect motivation. I’m of the check-list variety, and assigning a quantifiable value to my “little things” helped me to realize that they were indeed worth something. That I was worth something. I’d never really thought of my home as a sanctuary before, but Rachel helped me to change that. She helped me to begin the ongoing process of transforming my home, not into a place of perfection, but a place of belonging. A place of worship. A place of refuge. A place that helps me to breathe in delight and gratitude rather than a place that suffocates me with all of its lacking (or my lacking).
Thus began my journey with Rachel Anne Ridge and a blogging community that has introduced me to some great resources, friends and prayer-warriors across the country. And thus also began my adoration of Flash: the donkey who would teach us so many important lessons (and provide comic relief) along the way.
You can imagine my delight when Rachel announced that she would be writing a book with Flash at the center stage. (Of course in his mind, Flash is always the center of attention.) I was already familiar with some of God’s workings through donkeys, and this donkey in particular. I could not wait to get my nose on that fresh-book smell and for my eyes to experience more of God’s heart- through Rachael’s heart- through Flash. I am honored to have been graced with a sneak-peek before its release, and have not been disappointed. J has even immersed herself in the book, and my 9-year-old may soon pass me up in my almost-done-ness. I have heard many proclamations of “I like Flash. He’s interesting”, recently. J likes to tell me about her favorite parts and why so-and-so should have done such-and-such… but I’ll let you read it yourself to learn about the so’s and the such’s.
is absolutely delightful. This book is an easy read. It’s not the mindless kind of “easy”, but meaningful, sip some sweet tea on the porch rocking chair in a cool country breeze, refreshing kind of easy. The words are thoughtful and fruitful. Page after page has tugged at my heart-strings (and sometimes my tear ducts), but it has done so in such a way that has filled me up with hope. There are many specific ways in which I personally identify with Rachel’s story. With Flash’s story. But the thing is, I know it’s not just me. It’s humanity. Rachel’s vulnerability welcomes you into the truth of “you’re not alone in this”, even when it feels as though you are. She invites you to see, really experience, how God creates beautiful things out of the dust… even when we’ve been as stubborn as a donkey.
Flash’s book releases on May 1st, but you can pre-order it now!
1. Comment on this blog post (1 entry)
2. Follow @flashthedonkey or @rachelanneridge on Twitter, and tag me @theNewBec in a comment (so I will see it and give you credit). (up to 2 entries)
3. Take a pic of your best donkey smile and hashtag #flashthedonkey on instagram. (also tag me @thenewb3c for credit..make sure you spell it correctly… it’s different than my Twitter handle). I’ll give this 2 entries because it involves a degree of public humiliation, and that’s worth bonus points in my book. 🙂
This contest will close on Saturday, April 25th.
Have fun, and good luck!
“That’ll do, donkey”. It’s like the silver-screen version of “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”