Have you ever read a book that GOT YOU from the moment you opened it;
One that spoke to your heart, soul, and brain all at the same time?
I don't read a lot of fiction these days.
 I used to read it all the time and soak it up but then I realized it just created worlds in which I longed to be a part of, worlds that are not realistic, worlds that can make me miserable by comparing myself to FICTIONAL characters.
Every now and again I'll stroll casually into a fiction book.
Sometimes they grab my attention and hold on.
Sometimes they bore me to tears and leave me begging to read Leviticus instead.
But mostly, like a Nicholas Sparks drama, they're predictable.

Enter into my world of Non-Fiction, auto-biographies, and biographies and "Christian Living" aka christian self help. HAH.

And stroll with me through a random Christian Book Store (not Lifeway, not that there's anything wrong with Lifeway, it's just they do have a select catalog of books on the shelves! Nothing too "out of the norm" or "thought provoking", or "mainstream christianese" allowed. Nothing that ruffles the feathers...) rabbit trail aside, we're strolling through books I haven't seen before. Ones deemed unsuitable by the heads of companies and by the Amazon "books similar to these" people. Books that have been waiting for someone to not judge them based on their covers, because let me be honest, after working in design for a hot second, I do judge books based on design. However if the content on the back is well executed and the person in the picture doesn't look like they are going to kill me or stare at me from any angle, or have a truly fake smile, I'll crack open the book and glance inside.

I cracked approximately 3 books today. I picked up well over a dozen. First, the book Bestie was reading. Because well, she's my Bestie and if it's good enough for her, well my brain might like it too.
My brain thought and thought and thought and eventually it went back on the shelf. I grabbed a few more and gently put them down again. Bad pretense. Jagged page edges ( I have a thing against pages that aren't all the same size, I cannot read the book unless it's digital because then I don't know). Brilliant design, not so brilliant book. and right as I was about to turn away and return to the Bestie book, I spot a gem. A little book by an author I've never heard of, a design that I didn't even notice (!!!), and a publishing group I've never heard of, but am casually now interest in. Author: Bonnie Gray. She sounds like a normal, typical, everybody's best friend kinda name. And I crack it open. I read a few lines and immediately walked to check out. This book was waiting for me.

I pay for it. Grab a highlighter and go next door to happy nails or whatever the heck they're calling it these days. I randomly pick an aqua blue that looks like pool water and walk to the massagey chair contraption. I roll up my jeans (just because it's 80 doesn't mean everyone wears shorts!),  slide off my rainbow flops, and plunge my feet into the water. I glance around at the patrons surrounding me and start the massage chair. Or so I thought.

The book is cracked open. It has me hooked, addicted, and co-dependent and I only just read the foreword.  Great. I turn to the cover, foreword by Jon Acuff. No wonder! He's the author of Stuff Christians Like and I'm like, a Christian and all...
So I enter into this chapter one while some lady takes off my pink polish and one too many layers of skin on the bottom of my foot with a massage rock and some oil. And then I pause. My chair isn't massaging. So, I turn it on and it's on bottom. Someone before me had their butt massaged. (ew! Why is that even an option?!) .  I immediately turn that portion off and enjoy the chair massage and my new favorite book. Yellow this yellow that. Yellow all the book. My highlighter almost causes my phone to go plunging into pedicure water. I text bestie the amazing discovery of a book that knows me so well already.  She tells me to enjoy my pedi, she'll text later. Well FINE,  back to my book I plunge. Yellow yellow yellow YELLOW. ew. I look up just in time to see pool water being painted on my toes. It's not the most unfortunate color I've chosen, but it's not the best either.

I left with pool water colored toes, a book that left me at unanswerable questions, and 33 pages devoured in the time of an average pedicure. I strolled through the rest of the afternoon carrying said book and even read it while enjoying some frozen yogurt. We are friends.
Now if only I can answer these questions, which means plunging into my soul and past for the answers....