Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ignore the OR, figure out the AND

My tour of this summer's BUMPER CROP of great new books continues! Today I'll share with you another novel that not only had me up late into the night laughing and turning pages to see what would happen, it also prompted me to break out my pen and underline some seriously brilliant life advice.

Stacey Ballis' OFF THE MENU has everything I love in a novel: entertainment + inspiration.  When you put that together with a dog named Dumpling (*squee*) and a behind-the-scenes look at life at the Food Network, you have a winning read.

First I'll share my favorite piece of advice from the book, and then I'll tell you about how you can win lunch with Stacey.  (Wisdom first, then food!)

In one scene, Alana, the main character, is trying to decide between two options.  Both have pros and cons (you know, the way things work in life) and there really isn't much for her to grab onto to make an obvious decision.  As she talks over this either/or dilemma with one of her more audacious friends, the friend asks her, "Why are you so focused on or?  Why not and?"

It's an interesting question.  Sometimes life throws us a bunch of things at once.  They feel mutually exclusive based on what we think we can handle - how much additional pressure we believe our lives can withstand.  And yet this scene confirmed something I've suspected for awhile: that God designed certain areas of our lives for AND, not OR. We're built to be stretchy.

Don't get me wrong: some things require a OR.  I'm all for one spouse, for example :)  But other areas of life -- how many people we can help, how fully we can share our gifts and talents, how many businesses we can start or ideas we can chase down and bring to fruition -- sometimes the challenge is to get over our conviction that we have to choose.  As Alana's friend tells her, "You have to figure out how to have BOTH.  You have to ignore the OR and figure out the AND."

It's something to think about, right?

Okay, now let's talk lunch.  Stacey is running an incredibly cool contest...if you preorder her book & contact her with receipt info, you'll be entered to win lunch with her AND (see what I did there?) her best friend, Jen Lancaster (author of JENERATION X, the book I loved all over last week) in the city of your choice - they will come to you, you can go to Chicago, or you can all rendez-vous at some other destination (might I suggestion BOSTON?!?).  I cannot imagine a funner afternoon than this, and the book is well worth the investment.

Here's to a day of AND!

1 comment:

Lori Kissell said...

Good piece of advice, can't wait to get that digital copy of the book delivered. Life does indeed have more than one boolean operator.