I've mentioned my dear friends, Ben and Shauna Pilgreen, on this blog before. Since junior high, they have been huge parts of my life as Ben was my youth minister and Shauna the most incredible life-sharing youth minister's wife, mentor, and present day friend that I could ask for. When they lived in Tuscaloosa while Ben was a youth minister at Calvary, they almost had me convinced to attend the University of Alabama. That is how much I love them.
Shauna has completed a dream by co-authoring a book with Courtney Bullard [who I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting] entitled The Same Page: Living Your Happily Ever After which is now available for purchase! It is an absolute honor to be asked to participate in their blog tour - quite possibly the most exciting thing I've ever done with this blog of ours!
I didn't expect that being able to tangibly hold a piece of my Shauna's wisdom would be such an emotional experience. Knowing her, I can vouch for the fact that her loving and sensitive spirit leap from the pages beginning with acknowledgments and a forward. I will cherish this as we are soon to be living on completely opposite coasts!
The story of The Same Page is a medieval fairytale with lessons much more important and real than "everyone gets a good-looking' prince in the end." You walk through a couple of days with both a mother and a daughter - Adela and Ysabel - on both sides of the story. I mean this literally - you read one story, flip the book over and read the other side. I'm in love with this creative, thought-provoking and dimension-adding publishing style. Though it is a quick read, it seemed as though I felt every cobblestone underfoot as both characters emotionally unearth the reasons behind Ysabel's feelings of being misunderstood and search for identity along with Adela's loving concern for her daughter and feelings of forgotten dreams. No matter what your current role is in life - mother, daughter, friend - I have no doubt that you will relate to one or both of these characters.
Among many, one of the struggles that stood out to me that is highlighted in this book is comparison and dislike of who one is. On both sides of the story, you experience several minutes of their stream of consciousness which is laden with hatred for what they look like, who they have become and what their lives have turned out to be. What is incredibly important to know about this book is that these moments stand in stark contrast with King El-Roi's words which are taken directly from Holy scripture. He is there, just as He has the power to in our own lives, reminding the women that they are seen, that they are loved, that they are of great worth.
I hope that you will join Adela and Ysabel on their journey of reconciliation all the while discovering their true happily ever after. I know that I, after reading this book, will reflect their learned efforts of listening rather than just hearing. I will see this ability as a privilege for those deep relationships that the Lord has entrusted me with. And I will be reminded that my God is a God who sees and who knows my happily ever after.
Be sure to visit The Same Page Book website. Ordering is available on the website, through Amazon, or at Barnes and Noble.