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The Waiting Place: Learning to Appreciate Life's Little Delays Paperback – June 6, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 139 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eileen Button is a weekly columnist for The Flint Journal. Her commentaries have also appeared in multiple online and print publications, including Newsweek and Christianity Today. In addition, Eileen is an adjunct professor of Communication.  She lives with her family in a town where she is often stuck in a waiting place, such as a doctors' office, athletic field, school auditorium, and carpool loop.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849946255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849946257
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #836,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By George Waters on May 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Eileen Button is part preacher's wife, part English professor and part newspaper columnist, living in the suburbs of Michigan. The essays in her first book, "The Waiting Place," gently ask us to redefine the way we think of waiting; waiting for the mail, for children to grow up, for a sign from God. Throughout, she reminds us that, as John Lennon sang, life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

Waiting is not down time or lost time or wasted time; it's life. Whether she is describing her youthful longing for her father's approval while on a fishing trip, or her affection for her husband-to-be's clavicles, or her love of her grandmother's weathered but beautiful hands, Button's soulful prose illuminates her Christian faith with simple, often funny stories. ("Note to self: Next time you tape undergarments to your chest, use duct tape instead of masking tape").

As the wife of a preacher, she has a unique vantage point from which to view her local congregation ("...the divorced and dying. Grumpy and grateful. They have been blessed beyond measure; they have survived astonishing loss. They come because they always have. They come because they never have").

There are humorous observations ("We know the verse that reads 'The first will be last, and the last first,' but we race each other to the front of the potluck line and never notice the irony"). There are also glimpses into the more difficult side of a preacher's life; the seven-day-a-week demands of his congregation, the psychological stress of easing other people's burdens, burnout.
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This is what I do impulsively when I think to myself as I'm reading "so-and-so NEEDS to read this book. I needed to read this book." What could be better to say than this book meets a need? But not in the way that air or emergency surgery meets a need, this is more like beef roast after church. It's warm, filling, and the scents bring up memories of your own childhood, or grandma's house, or a bittersweet time when you didn't have enough. It invites you to trust, but not lightly. Nope, not lightly. Trust proven through pain, awkwardness and humor, longing, laughter, and hope, it's all here.

I'm neither an expert reviewer nor reader, but in one phrase, it's "Bombeck meets Buechner" :)
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The Waiting Place, Eileen Button's incredible debut, is a book written for "those who wake up one day and find themselves repeatedly sighing and thinking, `this is so not the life I dreamed of living.'" In otherwords, nearly everyone.

No one who has these thoughts is alone; however, they are the thoughts we don't like to admit having- the ones that fester within us and make us bitter and resentful. While we wait for the next part of our lives (which will surely be better than whatever we're living now), we miss out on what the present has to offer. With humor and honesty, Eileen lets us have a glimpse into the waiting places she has lived in. Whether waiting for her grandmother to take her next turn in Scrabble, waiting for an important letter to arrive in the mail, or waiting for her newborn baby to either live or die, Eileen ultimately reconciles herself to waiting, and not only to waiting, but to learning how to "live life deliberately" while caught up in the waiting place.

Chock full of humorous, beautiful, and often heartbreaking stories, The Waiting Place is a book that will never get dusty on your bookshelf; you will read it again and again.
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I really enjoyed The Waiting Place. I found myself so absorbed in the book I could not put it down! I don't often say that. I bought the book for my wife as a gift and started reading it myself before I wrapped it up. It was so engaging it did not get gift wrapped until the last minute. Some stories made you laugh, some made you cry, but they all made you think at a deeper level about life and why we are really here. It encouraged me to make the most of my time. You don't have to unplug your brain while you find yourself waiting. Waiting is part of the plan... Don't miss it!
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m the publisher, "A collection of essays describing the beauty and humor that can be found in what often feels like a most useless state--The Waiting Place.
We all spend precious time just waiting. We wait in traffic, grocery store lines, and carpool circles. We wait to grow up, for true love, and for our children to be born. We even wait to die. But amazing things can happen if we open our eyes in The Waiting Place and peer into its dusty corners. Sometimes relationships are built, faith is discovered, dreams are (slowly) realized, and our hearts are expanded."

This book was amazing. It was beautifully written and poignant. Each chapter could stand on it's own but yet they all weave together. I savored each chapter and was blessed. I have been in "the waiting place" recently and reading this book was as a balm for my soul. I felt as if I could begin to see what beauty could be found in the waiting places I've been.

I plan to buy this book for some of my friends and family. I am so glad that I got to review this book. I cannot say enough good things about it. Read it. You won't regret it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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