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The Story of With: A Better Way to Live, Love, & Create Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
If this sounds familiar ... If you're feeling overwhelmed ... If you want to create, but you're afraid it won't be good enough ... If your life is so broken, you don't think anything good will ever come from it again ... you need to read this book.
Mia, the main character, is trying to find her way to the place she needs to go in her life. One station along her route is a perfect kitchen filled with pleasant and skilled chefs. Some of them take her under their wings and help her. She has always wanted to be a chef. She’s a great cook, but she has always cooked exactly by recipes.
A chef in charge of helping her encourages her to choose seven ingredients and create a dish. As he and the others in her group assist her, he asks a question. What if other people don’t like your dish?
She said she’d toss it out and start over. She’d try a new recipe. But he’d already explained to her that recipes are merely other people’s creations. I digress a moment. The author had already shown that Mia and the chefs were following the recognized methods of cooking. They weren’t breaking the established rules; instead, the established rules and the kind chef gave her the freedom to use the skill of cooking to create her own dish.
Back to the question—
“Do not change for the critic! We are responsible to create with the Creator and then serve it to the hungry. If others don’t like it, that doesn’t invalidate the dish.” (quoted from The Story of With) He went on to explain that “we cook to satisfy body and soul rather than on order.”
I love the next thing he said. “If someone prefers another dish, let them learn to cook that rather than simply critique what another has been called to do.”
Chains fell from Mia’s heart...and from mine.
Both enlightening and empowering, Allen's cleverly crafted allegory will expose the root of your unfulfillment and calm your restless heart by inspiring you to let go of the weight of your expectations, relinquish the burden of your efforts, and experience so much more. Read this book!
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
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.
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