This book immediately appealed to me as even the title seemed to capture the life phase I find myself in. I've moved multiple times and often talk about walking with God as the Great Adventure. It has been. And yet, I yearn to be settled and to find God as much in the ordinary adventure as in the extraordinary.This book was a fun, personal account of a couple that seemed to be facing that same struggle, on a much larger scale, after returning from exciting work overseas to an "ordinary" suburban lifestyle in the US. They provide some stories that offer practical guidance for making the ordinary amazing and hit home with some spiritual truths along the way about marriage and children. I appreciated the action steps and potential amazing things list at the end of each chapter, encouraging readers to live abundantly in the present. I also appreciated the reminder that we can settle down without settling for less than God's best. I highly recommend it, especially for other recovering commitment-phobes.
How do we live faithfully? Adam and Chrissy, from the beginning of their lives together, even before they were together, wrestle with this question. I love that they wrestle with it and then live out what they decide and find these amazing days. Chrissy in an early chapter gives the description of what seems to be their life pattern: Listen. Believe. Go. See Christ there. Repeat.
I love their honesty as well. This "living out faithfulness" is hard and they are honest about the struggles, fears, and tears that go along with it. But the stories they tell are remarkable and joyful.
The book is a great inspiration to live life fully. I look forward to their continuing story and to what their story will inspire in the rest of us.
This book is very inspirational and has a lot of ideas for making a impact on your world, especially if you are struggling with living in the monotony that is suburban United States. The book is semi-autobiographical of Christine & Adam Jeske and they alternate which of them writes chapters. They make many compelling arguments for making changes from how we typically go about our lives as Americans. They can sometimes be a little extreme in their views, but it's nothing too crazy. Although, it does seem pretentious when Adam writes of how often "God talks to him" personally. Apparently God talks to him on a regular basis, going so far as to help Adam make major life decisions, even guiding him as to the specific date Adam should buy airline tickets. Whatever, it's still a good book.
great book! I live abroad and about to get married and really enjoyed this book! I found it realistic about life and they were both honest about struggles and high points. A must read for anyone itching to go abroad or for those abroad that need encouragement to get through a difficult situation or encouragement about going back to the USA after years abroad.
I read this book at a point in my life where I constantly was going back and forth between excitement for the "future" and worry that my great plans and ideas would never come to fruition. Adam and Chrissy write a compelling argument for living out an "Ordinary Adventure" whether you live in Madison or Mozambique and share how they are doing just that. Reading this book allowed me to take a deep breath and choose the live out the adventure in the ordinary here and now and also gave me a great excitement for the future.
Adam and Chrissy pepper the book with humorous and compelling stories about their time abroad and the realities of living after that. This book is a quick read that will be sure to change the lens through which you see the world.
This Ordinary Adventure by Christine and Adam Jeske.
Settling down without settling down.
Purchase from IVP or Amazon.com.
Watch the authors discuss their work on Vimeo.com.
How does this book relate to you? How does reading the story of a couple who lives "outside of the ordinary" and does crazy things for years upon years on end, how does this story relate to you? How does a year struggling with diarrhea while tilling gardens in Africa, then transitioning to life in the States (with all its glitz and glamour) relate to you or I?
Put simply - and what appears to be the thesis of the testimony recorded in these pages - God is in it all. God is in and over every scribble of every story ever, ever written. If I can be a little personal, our society loves to look at the macro and overlook the micro work that God is doing in our lives. We love to overlook the details, how God sustains us from month to month (or, how about from moment to moment?). I'm getting preachy and am slowly inching away from the details of the actual book ... Sorry!
This text tells the story of friends who become a couple, and in turn, become a family. The stories that they tell are continually intertwined with what they learn about God through it all. Which gets to the point of the book, and the point of our lives, that is summated by Eugene Peterson and also concludes Jeske's book:
Our stories are interesting, but they are not the point. The point is Christ and His glorification. (paraphrased)
It is to this end that Christine and Adam write and it is to this end that they live. Their testimony should be a lived example for each and every one of us.
I recommend this book to anyone who thinks they're the center of the universe. You aren't, God is. If you want to hear the story of two people who understand that, and live that way, pick up this book. A beautiful story.
Back cover (see also ivpress.com) reads:
They started out living the dream. They promised themselves and each other that every day would be an amazing day. They even stuck that phrase--"Amazing Days"--on their refrigerator, like Martin Luther pounding his conviction into a door and launching the next great era of the church. "Ready or not," they told the world, "here we come."
They traveled the planet, doing missions and community development work in Latin America, China, Africa. Then they went back home--to the land of shopping malls and manicured lawns. And they wondered what had become of their amazing days.
In This Ordinary Adventure Adam and Christine Jeske mine their experience, from riding motorcycles in Africa to dicing celery in Wisconsin, in search of a God who is always present and who is charging every moment with potential. Read along and you'll see your life--your ruts and routines, your frustrations and exhilarations--through different eyes, maybe for the first time. You'll discover the amazing things God is doing in the shadows of even the most ordinary day.
1. Dented Dishwashers: Becoming Ordinary
2. The Last Hurrah: Leaving Adventures Behind
3. Faith Muscles: Getting Moving
4. Thorns and Thistles: Work
5. The Cool Table: Identity
6. All I Got for Christmas Was Malaria: Suffering
7. Washing Machine Guilt: Money
8. The Honeymoon Never Ends: Marriage
9. Baby Slaves: Parenting
10. The Revolution: Community
11. Putting on Underwear: Fear
12. Dragonfly Resurrections: Choosing
Epilogue: La Celebración
Appendix: Reader's Guide/ Discussion Questions
Connect and Share
It's been summarized as what follows...
Provides a new perspective on discipleship in everyday life Written by a Christian couple who have lived many adventures throughout the world and settled down in suburban America
**This book was provided free from IVP with my promise to provide my friends with a summary and review of the book!
One could describe the Jeske's book as a travelogue of their spiritual adventures. They weave their story into a narrative of sucking the marrow of life and seeing God in unexpected places--from malaria to common spiders' webs. Every thematic chapter includes not only statements of transformative insight but also the stories of where--and more importantly, from whom--they were learned. We are introduced to a wise, banana-stealing widow, a couple of crazy African motorcyclists, genocide survivors, and more. But the most amazing thing about this cast is that we are shown to all be ordinary--and amazing. By example they provide substantial food for thought in how words like "success," "amazing," and "life" are to be defined. The Jeske's have given us an invitation to come wrestle with life alongside of them and see all that can await in the amazing mundane.
My wife and I sometime find ourselves reminiscing about those days 15 or so ago where we lived a "radical" life. We liked that how we lived our life was different than our peers and society at large. We appreciated that we got mentored in our marriage by spending a summer in a garbage village. It's easy to compare those days to today where we wonder whether our lives look much different than our neighbors'.
So when I picked up the Jeskes' book--This Ordinary Adventure--I immediately felt a connection with their reflections about life. They tell stories of life on the mission field and how that had taught them to life life to its fullest. Adam and Chrissy are wonderful story tellers. While it's worth the price of the book to just read about life in places like Nicaragua or South Africa, the stories tell a larger story of how the couple (and their young children), did not buy into the generic American dream and by doing so, they found a much richer life than they could have ever imagined.
What I liked about this book is that Adam and Chrissy are not prescribing that readers follow the same path they took, but that people see the adventures in life. For Christians, our life with God is exciting and invites us to daily adventures. Adam and Chrissy believe that. They believe that not only when they were overseas but even in the comforts of the US.
This Ordinary Adventure is a fun read that has challenged me to reimagine my life to be surprised by Jesus, to enjoy all that he has given me, and to be faithful the gifts he has given me. Rather than compare my life to those 'radical' days back then, Adam and Chrissy have invited me to experience the good life now.