Good Reads: Church of the Small Things

Sometimes the biggest things God does start out in the smallest most ordinary acts of daily faithfulness. The things we do so often and with so little fanfare that we don’t even think about them anymore. We can spend so much time wondering and worrying if we’re fulfilling God’s primary will for our lives. Yet, ultimately God’s will isn’t about the things we achieve it’s about the people we become. Life is more about how He uses us to make a difference to the people who cross our paths even when we’re just going about our normal sometimes boring lives.

The rhythm of intaking more books, more words of life and Truth is high on my list for this year of abundance. Though my days may be short on hours to read, they’re full of hours to listen. So with a renewed Audible membership and a growing “wish list” it was time to put traction to this goal.

In my true indecisive fashion, I agonized over which read to choose for January. Gracious did God lead me well when He brought me back to Church of the Small Things by Melanie Shankle. I laughed and cried and laugh-cried my way through each chapter.

I highly recommend the audio version of this book. Melanie’s Southern soul pours out even more so through each chapter as she narrates Church of the Small Things. For this Southern gal this brought this message deeper into my heart where it will really take root.

I spent a lot of years striving toward, seeking out and counting down to the big moments of life - the milestone moments. What God taught me in my last decade though is it really is those small, almost mundane, moments woven together that create the foundation of life.

“When we start to pay attention we start to realize life is full of small wonders that can make all the difference in a day, hour or lifetime. And those small moments are no less holy than the big ones. In fact, maybe they are more holy because it is the million little pieces of our lives that really shape the people we become.”

This book was the perfect starting point for posturing my heart to reclaim abundance in the midst of the mundane.

I walk into this year of abundance with the eyes of my heart enlightened by Melanie’s words. Melanie takes you by the hand through story and scripture to walk you faithfully into the depths of understanding God’s will for your joy in the midst of small things.

"God’s primary will for our lives isn’t about a particular job or circumstance, it’s not about the city we live in or whether we’re married or single, We are in God’s will when we wake up with a willingness to go wherever He leads that day, to seek Him in the ordinary and to love and influence the people around us and sometimes that can look a whole lot like packing a lunch.”

Can we all agree our culture, especially among women, says we have to do it all, be it all and have a perfect social media feed while doing so? Melanie pushes us past all expectations and gives us permission to sit in the glorious ordinary of the everyday life. After all, as Melanie notes: “The church of small things is where God does His best work. The church of small things is where the majority of us live every single day.”

I’m a girl who realized around age 26 she’d spent the better half of her twenties striving to meet the expectations of others. While those expectations were good things in the grand scheme of things they weren’t necessarily God’s will for my life. It wasn’t until this revelation that I fully surrendered my expectations and life plans to God. Wouldn’t you know, it was after that step of surrender God revealed to me just how magical my life already was right where He had me.

“The true joy of life is found in the everyday. It’s the moments that don’t necessarily take our breath away at the time that often become the ones that matter most. When we look back on our days we realize such moments are the very threads that make up the tapestry of a life. Taken together these seemingly ordinary threads of joy, sadness, conflict and laughter make something extraordinary. With every small thread God is carefully and thoughtfully weaving a masterpiece.”

Melanie poses this challenge: “What if we made it a habit to embrace and celebrate the small?... Life in its messy, magical, mundane and marvelous glory.”

This is it, friends. The overarching mission in this year of abundance.

“A life isn’t made from one thing, one big moment, one huge success. It’s created moment by moment often with pieces that don’t look like anything beautiful on their own but are the very fabric of who God meant for us to become as we pack lunches, raise kids, love our neighbors and simply be who He created us to be. Nothing more, nothing less.”

The world will begin to whisper lies into your heart if you’re a woman pursuing abundance through a simple life. The enemy will come after your joy with the lies of not enough. Enter Melanie with a truth that stomps out those lies: “A simple life that revolves around loving your family doesn’t equate to a small life.” She goes on “...every moment in what some might consider a small life was a moment painted with great love.”

Our God is a backwards God; and upside-down Kingdom kind of God. And in His Kingdom simple, seemingly small or ordinary, are just the daily acts of obedience done in great love are just was we’ve been commissioned to do with our lives.

“His idea of big is so different from ours. A God who promises us that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without him knowing is a God who values even the smallest things.”

This book is for you if you’re looking for a little (a lot of) laughter, a shift in perspective and the opportunity to understand God’s delight in the church of small things.

“My prayer is that I will use every bit of every small thing You’ve put in my path to point back to your great love and faithfulness.”


I adore this intro to the book plus you'll understand why I loved hearing Melanie narrate this book.

You can purchase Church of the Small Things anywhere books are sold, but if you're expecting a birthday or Christmas gift from me this year you can expect to receive this book.