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The Story of With: A Better Way to Live, Love, & Create Kindle Edition
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Reading this was more confirmation for this little ole' bohemian gal that I may not always fit in the world of the experts but I belong in the world of my God and His people. As a young person I surely would have identified with Mia. As an older lady I relate more to Iona. I suspect it would be hard to tell our clothes closets apart.
Thanks Allen for a wonderful read, many lessons through original and delightful imagery I found addictive. And thanks most of all that I am affirmed to continue on a road I had already begun to discover With God. I feel refreshed, renewed and once again alive in my art forms. Now that friends, is good writing; and that is good story. Don't miss this adventure. What a blessing.
Laura L. Padgett, MA
Award-Winning Author of "Mama's Ring" the story of forgiveness and reconciliation despite the fall of death's curtain
Author, "Dolores, Like the River" Westbow Press 2013
Contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul "Think Possible" and "Merry Christmas 2015"
Contributor to Xulon Press "Letters to America Short Story Anthology" 2015
My copy of this book is now riddled with highlighted passages. Here are some gems from the first third of the book that resonated with me. Maybe they'll resonate with you, too...
"I believe [God] gives each of us a particular calling so He can then spend time with us on that unique playground. This is a way for you and God to get to know each other better as you create together."
"[L]et go of your preconceived notions of what is possible and ask God about His dreams for you."
"[L]et go of the belief that our current reality is the only reality."
"[W]e're often more comfortable deciding next steps based on our evaluation of options from a well-reasoned pros and cons list. What if we instead pursued what the world calls impossible? God often draws us into places that lead to the end of our understanding."
From the highest-paid CEO to the mother laying on the floor spending quality time with her baby, we are ALL creative beings, whether we've created a riveting flow chart or a new way to play peek-a-boo. Now, through Allen's blend of non-fiction and story, we get the opportunity to see our daily lives--the seeming mundane--as a way of interacting WITH our Creator, tapping into His resources and imagination to produce something the world said was impossible. Not that producing something is the point. Doing life with the Creator is the point, but creators...create, even if some of those things aren't to be shared beyond just the two of you. But isn't creating something with the Creator of the universe better than anything you could come up with on your own?
If you're frustrated with life, disillusioned with how the world claims we should do life, tired of the busyness with no tangible results, creatively blocked, or just feeling like there should be something MORE, then I recommend you pick up your own copy of this book. You can't help but come away with something applicable for your life today. :)
The allegory is easy to read and Arnold provides some explanation at the end of each chapter that adds clarity. It all comes together beautifully at the end when Arnold outlines the 4 Vials that Mia in the allegory collected: Be Expectant, Awakened Heart, Know Your Identity and Do it Together. Walking through each day conscious of these 4 elements has really opened my eyes to approaching life from a completely new and fresh perspective. Yes, I'm not in charge, God is which is wonderfully freeing.
"Stay with God" (Psalm 27:14a) - Yes, indeed. Pursuing Him and running with Him on His adventure is really the most exciting life to live. This excellent book provides a guide map to how to catch Jesus' slipstream and join Him on His quest.
I can't recommend this enough. Just buy it. You'll want to read it again and again.
I noticed many reviews talk about the correlation of this read and the awakening of creativity and writing, and while I fully agree; for me it drew a beautiful picture of simply awakening to a deep connection with our Father in order to fully discover all that was placed within us from the beginning and the choice to persevere though difficulties in order to become fully alive in EVERY capacity of life. In order to discover this place of fulness, we must choose to posture ourselves in such a way to receive the gifts that are available with God.
I love every aspect of not only the content, but also the unique combination of fiction and non fiction. It keeps the reader engaged in a relaxed flow of both external story and an internal story. This book has solidified many things within my heart. I highly recommend it!