It all started with a Facebook post. My friend had shared that her friend, Erin Odem, The Humbled Homemaker, had a new book coming out in a few months and was looking for people to join her launch team. If you don’t know, a book launch team is a group of individuals that agree to read the book and help promote the book prior to publication. The goal is to build interest in the book so when it finally hits the shelves of Amazon, Barnes and Noble and the like, people want to buy it. Better yet, they have pre-ordered the book! It is a big deal launch a book and I’ve heard that it is much like having a baby. Although, having never birthed a book I can’t compare the two.
Back to that Facebook post. I was intrigued by the tagline of the author, The Humbled Homemaker, and I was equally intrigued by the title of the book, More than Just Making It Help for the Heart of the Financially Frustrated I checked out the link in the post, applied for the launch team, and was accepted. I have been on other book launch teams and have even coordinated a few book launches myself. I knew what was expected of me. Members of the team are added to a private Facebook group where the author, launch team coordinator, and members share information, thoughts about the book, etc. This team was no different than the others.
Except, for me, it was vastly different. This team and this book began a heart work in me that I did not expect.
I am a frugal person who loves shopping in thrift stores and looking for a way to stretch money. This book would have ideas for budgeting and stretching a buck. And it does have some of that.
But it has SO. MUCH. MORE.
This book is a memoir of Erin and her family’s journey into and out of poverty. Erin and her husband had college educations. Erin grew up in upper middle-class America. She and her siblings went to private school. She graduated from college debt free. But the economic downturn created financial stress of gargantuan proportions for Erin and her husband.
She found herself standing in line for government assistance and hoping no one saw her.
On page 21 Erin writes, “I said I loved the poor, but I really just pitied them. I never got to know them or their stories. I made assumptions. I never stopped to wonder how they got there or gave a thought to how the cycle of poverty could be stopped.”
She learned how it felt when she walked the path of poverty with them.
Life for Erin did not turn out like she had envisioned. But God used the time in poverty to change her. She and her husband didn’t have a spending problem, they had an income problem. And they struggled.
She writes on page 45 “How you will overcome this struggle may be part of His refinement of your character, as it has been for me.”
For me, this book has changed the way I view people with less than me or that are on government assistance. Erin writes this on page 168, “I can’t count the number of times someone has mentioned seeing a person use food stamps to buy steaks or birthday cake, which seems luxurious and unnecessary for those the country has deemed as living below the poverty level. Couldn’t they make the stamps stretch further if they used them just for the basics? There is no doubt they could, but what if you happened to be at the grocery store with that person before a big celebration (like a birthday)? What if he or she just secured a job and decided to celebrate with a steak dinner? Are the poor not entitled to memorialize life’s victories and milestones as much as the rich.”
On page 177 Erin writes, “I was blinded to the world of the have-nots until I became one.” I am often blinded to others. This book helped open my eyes. I am not a “have-not.” I have never been one. But my privileged and abundant life had blinded me. I wasn’t thinking about how those with less might be feeling. We cannot assume that everyone on government assistance is lazy and not trying. Erin and her family simply did not make enough money to get by without assistance.
I would encourage you to read this book.
Maybe your eyes are already open. Maybe the heart work has already begun in you. If not, this book might open your eyes to those less fortunate like it did for me. If you are struggling financially, it may help you see God’s provisions in ways you did not expect.
I have preordered several copies and I am giving away three of them here. If you would like to win a copy, subscribe to my blog and leave a comment letting me know and share why you want to read the book. If you are already a subscriber, leave a comment letting me know you would like to win a copy and let me know why. The giveaway ends at midnight Friday, September 1, 2017.
You can pre-order Erin’s book on Amazon or the More Than Just Making It website. If you pre-order it (anywhere), you can receive bonus gifts worth over $200.00, just go to the website and submit your information.
#MoreThanJustMakingIt a book worth reading.
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