Falling Free
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Thomas Nelson / 2016 / Paperback
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Falling Free

Thomas Nelson / 2016 / Paperback

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Product Description

Martin and her family enjoyed their comfortable lifestyle. Then the bottom fell out. Suddenly they were living on a shoestring while her husband worked in prison ministry. Chronicling their journey from a me-centric to a less-is-more existence, she challenges you to rethink assumptions about faith and the "good life"---and be open to God's upside-down best. 240 pages, softcover from Nelson.

Noteworthy: This author is one of a special group of women who writes for (in)courage, the popular online friendship community. Every day they take turns pulling up a chair to share their stories of what Jesus looks like in their every day, gloriously ordinary, and often messy lives.

If you read the (in)courage blog online, then you'll be sure to enjoy this title.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.40 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0718077466
ISBN-13: 9780718077464

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Publisher's Description

"Shannan’s story feels at once familiar and spectacular, ordinary and exceptional. You will discover that at the same time her words make you squirm, you will wish you lived next door to her. You will want her wisdom and you will want her pickles." —Jen Hatmaker (from the foreword)

Shannan Martin had the perfect life: a cute farmhouse on six rambling acres, a loving husband, three adorable kids, money, friends, a close-knit church—a safe, happy existence.

But when the bottom dropped out through a series of shocking changes and ordinary inconveniences, the Martins followed God’s call to something radically different: a small house on the other side of the urban tracks, a shoestring income, a challenged public school, and the harshness of a county jail (where her husband is now chaplain). And yet the family’s plunge from "safety" was the best thing that could have happened to them.  

Falling Free charts their pilgrimage from the self-focused wisdom of the world to the topsy-turvy life of God’s more being found in less. Martin’s practical, sweetly subversive book invites us to rethink assumptions about faith and the good life, push past insecurity and fear, and look beyond comfortable, middle-class Christianity toward a deeper, richer, and ultimately more fulfilling life.

Author Bio

Shannan Martin, known for her popular blog Shannan Martin Writes, is a speaker and writer who found her voice in the country and her story in the city. She and her jail-chaplain husband, Cory, have four funny children who came to them across oceans and rivers. They enjoy neighborhood life in Goshen, Indiana, a place they fall more in love with every year.

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  1. HeidiMarie
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Falling Free
    December 19, 2016
    HeidiMarie
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Shannan Martin and her family lived in this amazing farm house out in the country. It was idyllic and rustic, and pretty much perfect for that farm girl lifestyle she always wanted. However, after a few pretty big changes in her life, she and her husband felt like God was pushing them out of their rural home and into the city. In this falling from their snug place of security, they found freedom.

    Now, they make less money, they have less space, and their lives are extremely hectic, but they are happier than ever. You know how God says to love your neighbor? Well it seems that is made a lot easier when you have lots of neighbors really close by. This book talks so much about generosity, and what it really means to be truly generous. It's the difference between caring about and caring for. She reminds us that God's "more" often looks like less.

    I really loved reading this book. Shannan Martin is absolutely hilarious, first of all. I was honestly laughing out loud so much while reading. Her tone is just so funny and friendly, which makes reading so much more fun. Also, I'm more likely to get something out of a book when the author writes like they're talking to a friend, rather than lecturing me.

    Most importantly, one of the things that I take into consideration in a non-fiction book, particularly a book about spiritual growth, is whether or not it has made an impact on me. Am I thinking about the book days later? Do I think back to the book when making decisions or actions? The answer here is YES. I cannot stop thinking about the way I treat others. I'm a nice person, and I think I'm generous, but now I am seeing all kinds of ways in which I haven't been, and ways in which I could be.

    I gave this book 4/5 stars, and I definitely recommend it to everyone!!! I think the message is so important, and the book itself is so enjoyable.

    *I received a copy of this book from the publisher via BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.
  2. Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    The Freedom is in the Falling
    December 15, 2016
    Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Because Im a planner, I carry a planner, but the truth is that my planner carries me. All pristine and un-besmirched, the 2017 edition holds out the promise of glorious accomplishment and blessed organization in a life that often feels like spinning plates and chaos management. Shannan Martin started her marriage and motherhood in much the same way. Plan-the-work-and-work-the-plan as a way of life had secured for her and her husband their dream farm with a cute little family and a life that had all the trappings of security. In a journey that began with the hunch that God might be leading them to move literally outside their comfort zone, the Martins said good-bye to predictability and hello to an address that had always seemed to them like the wrong side of the tracks.

    Memoir meets manifesto in Falling Free, for Shannan not only shares her story, but also describes the safety she found in risk and the stunning realization that when we say, God is all I need, we may be asked to make good on those words. The Martins income plummeted to make space for ministry in a life that became centered around a community that included a struggling public school and a circle of friends who had done jail time, who struggled with addictions, and who continually battled poverty.

    It is no understatement to say that Falling Free challenged some of the assumptions and guiding principles of this homeschooling mum who can just barely see the smoke from her neighbors chimney. Reading about Shannans rescue from the life she always wanted allowed me to consider some fairly uncomfortable concepts:

    God reserves the right to do the unexpected and to move His people in unlikely directions. He is unpredictable and has not settled down since Old Testament times.

    True family transcends DNA and mirrors the welcome that God extends in the gospel.

    Its hard to pine for heaven when you already believe youre there. For North American Christians, our stuff is a serious obstacle to living an authentic Christian life.

    Our most valuable offering to those in need is our good standing. One of the greatest needs of the poor is a future: a way to secure employment, stability, and a permanent address.

    Missional living makes for missional parenting and produces missional kids. If God calls a believer to ministry in an area with failing schools, He is asking her to trust Him with her childrens education.

    It was delightful to read about Shannan and her family bonding with their newly adopted community around plates of pasta and garlic bread (often well-done). She testifies to the efficacy of the unfancy dinner table and to this stunning truth:

    If community is the heartbeat of the gospel, hospitality is the hand that opens the door and waves it in.

    Falling Free unpacks the biblical image of Jesus moving into the neighborhood by first inviting readers to picture someone on the lowest rung of their social ladder a homeless, meth-addict, for instance. Shannan first nails the pity and lack of respect that I would feel toward her and then suggests that my trading lives with that addict would not even begin to approach the utter humiliation of the incarnation. Embracing my own smallness is more than a matter of having less. It is about being less, like Jesus, when He took the form of a servant and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross less, last, and ordinary.

    In a culture that encourages all of us precious believing snowflakes to shop for our perfect church that meets our needs, Shannan reminds her readers that the Kingdom of God is full of surprises. God may ask us to sink our roots deep into a community that wounds us and exacts a deep cost to our souls while satisfying nothing on our personal wish list. This is Jesus invitation, made explicit in the Beatitudes, but inexplicable to my preferred business plan thats built around blessed are the sensible and those who serve dinner on time.

    Not everyone will be called to join the Martin family in the weightless free fall, but the principles that guided their choices and the insights they gained in the process are choreography for my own choices and priorities in this world where I am called to dance the love and the life of Christ.

    //

    This book was provided by Thomas Nelson through the BookLookBloggers program in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  3. Jasmine Ryan
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Shannan Shines a Provocative Light through the Lens of Her Own Beautiful Story
    October 31, 2016
    Jasmine Ryan
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Falling Free is a book unlike any other. This book will did not leave me feeling wiser, fuller, happier, or clearer, as one might expect. Rather, it is as if her words give me permission to to accept and act on deep truth suppressed inside me. Falling Free began to unravel my tightly-wound doctrine and shatter my comfortable, middle-class bubble in the best way possible. The best part is, Shannan doesnt tell you what to believe: she simply shines provocative light through the lens of her own story. Much of this book left me squirming in my chair, because her assessment of her own heart is so revealing of mine. And while she does address her reaction to the conviction, her humor and humility remind us that we are all still falling, rather than floating to lofty, unattainable perfection. Whether you find yourself decidedly comfortable but actually empty, clinging to freedom for dear life, or already friendly with rock bottom, this book will change the way you view Jesus, His people, and the world.
  4. KimberWimber
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted
    September 21, 2016
    KimberWimber
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Falling Free is a beautiful book: encouraging in the best of ways (you'll wish you lived next door to Shannan and shared life over a bowl of chips & salsa) and challenging as well. You'll feel a call to dive deep into what it really means to show up & be present in the lives around us. You'll see a clearer picture of what it looks like to truly love your neighbor as yourself. You'll get an up-close and personal look at what it's like to disregard the American Dream, even when you're deep in the midst of it. Shannan Martin is a witty, relatable, tell-it-to-you-straight writer (but without an ounce of condemnation), and I highly recommend this book to any and everyone.
  5. avghousewife
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Worth the Read!
    September 20, 2016
    avghousewife
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I remember reading Shannan's blog for the first time and loved hearing about bits of her city life and what God was doing through her in it. I couldn't wait to get my hands on the full story, when this book came out.

    I enjoyed reading the whole story and as I read seeing things in my life that compared to what she was going through. The depth of some of her thought processes and life lived out are still kind of running through the mill of my mind. I am wondering how I am going to live them out or how God might use these tidbits in my life. I appreciate how she has made me rethink about what church, family, forgiveness, love, and the life God has for me should look like. I am looking at life from a different perspective now and wondering how my middle class traditions have affected the way I live and how God really wants me to change, because of this book. Thank you Shannan for your obedience to God and sharing your story with us! I received this book for free as a part of her launch team in exchange for an honest review.
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