Keep it Small. Keep it Simple. {Church of the Small Things Book Review}


“Sometimes the biggest things God does start out in the small, most ordinary acts of daily faithfulness.”

—Melanie Shankle, “Church of the Small Things”

Some weeks I limp to Friday. I live in the land of days that can feel so small with these repetitious daily tasks that go like this: wake, kids, work, eat, more kids, sleep. On repeat. I felt somewhat unprepared for the hamster wheel of life that makes years feel like a blink but days feel like an eternity. This stage with kids is past the newborn trenches yet without the strains of raising adolescents. My little people still need 100% of my time, attention and focus every. single. day. So, I freely admit that I can struggle to find joy sometimes. I can be too easily overwhelmed and distracted by the small things that I miss the big things.

But our days are made up of the small things.

It’s those small choices and those small moments that add up to a life.

Pretty much every chapter and story in Melanie Shankle’s new book, “Church of the Small Things” left me thinking, “Yes! Finally some is writing about the small simple things that God uses every single day.”  In our world everything has to be bigger, better, louder, prettier, or worthy of being posted that gosh, some days my head is spinning. But my reality and world—and I suspect for most—is actually quite small. In fact, most of my life happens in front of just a handful of people or behind the doors of my house. 

Melanie reminds me that those small things matter just as much to the Lord and that my fulfillment should be through Him. When reading her book, I felt inspired to see the beauty of faithfulness in the mundane things: the making lunches, waiting in the carpool line, helping with homework, working a job, making dinner, taking kids to the doctor, doing laundry, and the list goes on. Her memoir is an insight into her world and childhood that feels relatable no matter your stage of life. She writes, “His [God’s] idea of big is so different from ours. A God who promises us that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without him knowing is a God who values even the smallest things. The church of small things is where God does his best work…[it’s] where the majority of us live every single day.”

So seriously. Buy this book. You’ll thank you me. And you just might realize that you’re not the only one who has a “bangs gone wrong” story. Or secretly wishes you could be friends with Duchess Kate. Or has been to slow to realize that pinning exercise workouts on Pintrest doesn’t count as working out. Her conversational style warmed my heart making me feel like we are lifelong friends sitting over a cup of coffee. And Melanie is just really really funny. I am not funny at all, so nothing makes me happier than giggling out loud while reading a book. Consider yourself warned about reading it in public. 

In a world saturated with celebrating “big things,” it’s refreshing to hear from someone who celebrates the small things that make up a life and encourages you to do the same.

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Laura is originally from Houston, TX and graduated from Baylor with a B.A. in History. Although she never thought that Waco would be her permanent home, Laura has been surprised the blessing of living in Waco since 2009. Laura obtained her Master’s Degree in Education and has taught at both public schools as well as at McLennan Community College. Currently, she works full-time as an Academic Advisor in the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University. Laura and her husband Kary have three children ages nine and under. Laura’s favorite things in life are spending time with her kids, watching movies with her husband, planning ahead in her planner, reading most anything, journaling with Jesus and drinking coffee before the sun rises. You can find her on instagram @lauralalani