As Is: Unearthing Commonplace Glory

If you listen to our podcast, you’ve heard Brad and I often say, “It is what it is.” Although we don’t always get the life we want, or circumstances to unfold the way we desire, we can find grace a plenty to live in the reality of life that unfolds around us. We are at our healthiest when we are embracing him in the midst of life as it really is, not trying to get him to make everything the way we want it.

As Is: Unearthing Common Place Glory is a new book by a first-time author, Krista Finch. I actually saw this book a year and a half ago while it was still in production. I was taken at the time with Krista’s refreshing insights about embracing life simply as it unfolds and seeing God’s fingerprints and his grace in the most common arenas of life.

I wrote this little blurb for her book back then: “As Is: Unearthing Commonplace Glory offers the marvelous freedom to stop trying to control the events we cannot control and instead respond to God’s magnificent grace as it unfolds in our daily circumstances. With her humorous wit and fresh insights Krista Finch opens a door to the practicality of living by grace that will inspire your own journey and leave you hungering for more of God.” After seeing the final product, I’ll stand by that.

A few days ago my copy of the book arrived. I spent some time with it last night and was wonderfully refreshed and reminded to look for God in the common moments of life. This book is not deep theology trying to challenge your failed paradigms, nor is it filled with laugh-out-loud stories. I couldn’t applaud everything she’s concluded, but I love the journey she is on and a lot of what she’s learned.

This is a book of insightful observations and thoughts much as you’d experience in a relaxed walk with your best friend where your heart is re-focused on the things that truly matter. It is a wonderfully refreshing read, like a cool breeze that suddenly washes over you on an otherwise hot and stale day. Here is a woman who knows what it is not to have life fulfilled on her terms, and has learned how to embrace the reality of life in the deep love and presence of a loving Father.

To whet your appetite, here’s a sample of the journey she invites you to share with her:

We miss something remarkable when happiness is our pursuit. because happiness is a brief vapor at her very best. What’s more, there is something beautiful about getting what you get, something lovely in teh mess, something divine in the ordinary. And the something is grace.

Grace to smile in sickness, to dance in death, to carwheel in chaos, to trike a pose, thou all around us and inside us crumbles. Grace to understand that this isn’t the way things are supposed to be, at least not forever. But it’s the way things are now and here. Grace to believe there is plenty of grace for all of it. All we have to do is receive it; live, that is. Life, as is.

And if we’ll take what life gives, grace will find us—in all her fierceness and splendor, dressed in chain mail and armor, ready to pin a sprig of lilac on our collars. But she only comes to those of us who find ourselves in the places where brokenness and rejoicing coexist. Places where bitter death tolls harmonize with strains of celebration. Places where broken bones dance to the trumpet’s blast…”

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12 Comments
  1. Andy June 16, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Speaking of books, I wanted to toss out a suggestion of a book to look at (knowing you may only have time for a glimpse, if that).

    The title is: Friendship at the Margins (Chris Heuertz and Christine Pohl).

    It’s a book about “mission” and “compassion” through the lens of friendship/love. What really impressed me was the degree to which the authors (and the group Word Made Flesh) have attempted to re-imagine mission and compassion in a way that is relational and flowing from the heart and love of our Father.

    Last time I checked in, if I remember well, you were reflecting on intentionality with regard to loving others and living out the Kingdom (what we’ve called “mission” or “ministry,” but those words may be loaded with too many meanings now). Please correct me as needed. I think you’ll also relate to this book particularly because of your connections in Africa.

    I’m moving from Japan to Cambodia next month with my family, and we’re continuing to work out what it means to “live loved and loving others” as people called to be located overseas, crossing cultures, and “at the margins.” This book isn’t perfect (it is more nearly perfect if you skip chapter two), but it was a breath of fresh air and very practical for me. I think it would be worth reading for many people, regardless of whether they’re being led “to the margins” or not.

    I’ll post a review on my own blog (photosensibility.com) within the next 24 hours, so please check it out for some quotes if you’d like.

    I’d love to get some coffee of barbecue again with you someday (but I take my meat WITH sauce ;).

  2. Andy June 16, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Coffee OR barbecue… Coffee OF barbecue doesn’t sound so good.

  3. Andy June 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Speaking of books, I wanted to toss out a suggestion of a book to look at (knowing you may only have time for a glimpse, if that).

    The title is: Friendship at the Margins (Chris Heuertz and Christine Pohl).

    It’s a book about “mission” and “compassion” through the lens of friendship/love. What really impressed me was the degree to which the authors (and the group Word Made Flesh) have attempted to re-imagine mission and compassion in a way that is relational and flowing from the heart and love of our Father.

    Last time I checked in, if I remember well, you were reflecting on intentionality with regard to loving others and living out the Kingdom (what we’ve called “mission” or “ministry,” but those words may be loaded with too many meanings now). Please correct me as needed. I think you’ll also relate to this book particularly because of your connections in Africa.

    I’m moving from Japan to Cambodia next month with my family, and we’re continuing to work out what it means to “live loved and loving others” as people called to be located overseas, crossing cultures, and “at the margins.” This book isn’t perfect (it is more nearly perfect if you skip chapter two), but it was a breath of fresh air and very practical for me. I think it would be worth reading for many people, regardless of whether they’re being led “to the margins” or not.

    I’ll post a review on my own blog (photosensibility.com) within the next 24 hours, so please check it out for some quotes if you’d like.

    I’d love to get some coffee of barbecue again with you someday (but I take my meat WITH sauce ;).

  4. Andy June 16, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Coffee OR barbecue… Coffee OF barbecue doesn’t sound so good.

  5. Monica Keith June 18, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Wayne,
    Is the book really $33.00?

  6. Monica Keith June 18, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Wayne,
    Is the book really $33.00?

  7. Wayne June 18, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Hi Monica. I don’t know what Amazon is doing there… The book is $12.95 at the author’s website:

    http://kristafinch.com/store/

  8. Wayne June 18, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Hi Monica. I don’t know what Amazon is doing there… The book is $12.95 at the author’s website:

    http://kristafinch.com/store/

  9. Jason Barmer June 20, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Amazon should be back in stock within the next few days with the normal price of $12.95. Looks like one of their associate resellers has it on there for $33.00 for some strange reason.

    For now, you can order at http://kristafinch.com/store.

    Thanks, Wayne for the review.

    Jason Barmer
    Swerve Press

  10. Jason Barmer June 20, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Amazon should be back in stock within the next few days with the normal price of $12.95. Looks like one of their associate resellers has it on there for $33.00 for some strange reason.

    For now, you can order at http://kristafinch.com/store.

    Thanks, Wayne for the review.

    Jason Barmer
    Swerve Press

  11. Mark Flint July 17, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    It’s awesome to find grace to smile in the middle of adversity, Amen to that, and thank God for it … but at the same time we need to avoid a fatalistic attitude. Jesus overcame sin and we don’t have to accept it, so we don’t have to accept any evil that Jesus redeemed us from. I don’t mean all trouble is avoidable, in fact we are guaranteed it. But the trouble we are guaranteed is persecution, not for example, sickness and poverty. If we just accept these things are part of whatever life brings us, then that’s what we will expect. And what we expect has a nack of coming to us. The easiest way to receive a knock out punch is just drop your defense. Having an expectation of evil is like dropping your defense.

  12. Mark Flint July 17, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    It’s awesome to find grace to smile in the middle of adversity, Amen to that, and thank God for it … but at the same time we need to avoid a fatalistic attitude. Jesus overcame sin and we don’t have to accept it, so we don’t have to accept any evil that Jesus redeemed us from. I don’t mean all trouble is avoidable, in fact we are guaranteed it. But the trouble we are guaranteed is persecution, not for example, sickness and poverty. If we just accept these things are part of whatever life brings us, then that’s what we will expect. And what we expect has a nack of coming to us. The easiest way to receive a knock out punch is just drop your defense. Having an expectation of evil is like dropping your defense.

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