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I’ve only been meaning to write this review for about two months now. Better late than never, right?
I had the opportunity to be on the launch team of a fellow hope*writer, Meredith McDaniel. She is a licensed professional counselor who felt led to write this book, in want + plenty, which is based on her own story, the Israelites as they were leaving Egypt and wandering for forty years, and the stories of some of her clients mixed together to create different view points.
The forward was written by the lovely Emily P. Freeman. Anything Emily endorses I am willing to check out, and I am so thankful I did. The experience of not only getting to read the book but be on the launch team and see some behind the scenes work of promoting the book was so fun and it made me feel a deeper connection with the author instead of just reading the book. I could read it and hear it in her voice and that can make all the difference.
Since I pre-ordered the book I was able to access pre-order bonuses, which included a narrative journal for the questions asked throughout the chapters of the book and it included a place to write your answers. It was pretty, like the whole book is in general. You can see a picture of the front above, but you can’t feel the texture of the book and see the loveliness between the pages. It’s an aesthetically pleasing book that includes quotes throughout the book in a beautiful turquoisey blue color to highlight them.
Another thing I love about the book is that at the end of each section she includes a song that goes along with the chapter and helped her get through writing it. There are song wonderful song suggestions, and even a playlist on Spotify containing all the song included, plus one bonus song that was also a pre-order bonus but is now available for everyone to listen to.
But we aren’t here to talk about the way the book looks and feels in our hands, we are here to talk about the way the words move us and call us to dig deeper.
This book is designed to help you wake up and see what you have been missing as you go through your life. We are all searching for something, and whether we realize it or not, what we are searching for is God. We fail to recognize Him in each facet of our lives. Meredith calls us to look behind us to remember our past so we can see where we have been hurt and need to heal, but also so we can see where Jesus was as we worked through our struggles.
“Sometimes we have to look back before we can move forward and find healing.”Meredith McDaniel, in want + plenty pg. 25
She points out to us that even when we felt or feel like we’re alone, we aren’t. Sometimes the darkest periods of our lives are where we can see God most clearly – if only we will open our eyes to see it. We often don’t look for God in those times and we can’t see the big picture at once because we are in the middle of it, so she encourages us to look back and remember so we can be healed and move forward.
A big theme of in want + plenty is looking for the Manna in our lives. The ways God provides for us in the hard times, or reminds us of His love in the good times. As He provided manna for the Israelites for as long as they were wandering, He never left them be in want. Yes, perhaps they didn’t necessarily want to eat the same thing for years on end, but God provided for them no matter what. He does the same for us. That random text from a friend checking in on you, the devotion that fits perfectly with what you’re going through, your significant other bringing home your favorite food…anything positive can be considered manna and a gift from God if we keep that mindset.
There is so much more in the book, but I don’t want to spoil it for you, just give you a teaser. I will say one more thing about my love for the book, and that is her explanation why the Israelites had to wander for forty years. It wasn’t just because they wouldn’t stop complaining and God was punishing them, it was also because they had a lot to learn. They kept setting their sights on what they didn’t have and when things got tricky, they reverted back to wanting to be “comfortable” in Egypt where at least they got fed (but they were also slaves), instead of looking toward what was to come: a land flowing with milk and honey and freedom.
“The plans we carefully curate are not always what we might need or even most desire.”Meredith McDaniel, in want + plenty pg. 131
How often do we settle for less than what God has in store for us? If we got everything we wanted, we would miss out on everything God plans for us. We forget to trust that He sees the big picture and isn’t making decisions based on what we know and see at this moment in time.
When we take the time to consider all the things we have, all God has blessed us with, and notice how He has never let us down, we will realize we can always find traces of His work in our lives if only we look for it. We look for it in the desert while we are in want, and we look for it in the promised land when there is plenty.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review. I hope you will consider finding in want + plenty and reading it for yourself!
Until we meet again!