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Church of the Small Things: The Million Little Pieces That Make Up a Life

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  2,203 ratings  ·  311 reviews
Is my ordinary, everyday life actually significant? Is it okay to be fulfilled by the simple acts of raising kids, working in an office, and cooking chicken for dinner?

It’s been said, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.” The pressure of that can be staggering as we spend our days looking for that b
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Zondervan
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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,203 ratings  ·  311 reviews

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Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it
My friends rave about Melanie, but this book was my introduction to her writing. I heard her on a podcast and loved what she had to say, so I was excited to read her book. And now that I’ve read it, I’m...confused. Maybe it’s because I’m not in my mid-forties raising a teenager, obsessed with dogs, and buying Lululemon leggings by the dozen, but I related to almost nothing. I know this book was to glorify the small things in life (and I’m all about that), but she literally wrote an entire chapte ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars, rounded up.

Melanie Spankle is such an entertaining storyteller. I’m not the biggest fan of nonfiction in general or memoirs in particular, but she has a way of spinning a tale that makes me laugh and think. This book was her thoughts on a variety of different aspects of her life, from childhood to marriage to parenthood to friendship and spirituality.

I was entertained, but it honestly didn’t feel very original. I know there’s nothing new under the sun, but I felt like
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what an amazing book. I've never read any of Melanie's books before. I'm so glad I was chosen to receive an advanced copy. (Thanks Julie for entering me!!!) I got tears in my eyes and I also laughed OUTLOUD! Melanie is beyond witty and humorous! Being a fitness instructor had me rolling on the floor reading Chapter 13!! It's such an easy-read but yet says soooo much. Thanks Melanie for reminding me about how important all the SMALL things we do, truly do matter. I can't wait to read your ot ...more
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I suspect it might be a personal rule of Melanie Shankle's to never use an exclamation point. And this is what I love about her! (See what I did there?) And because of that, with every book and blogpost she writes, I feel like I am having a conversation with a dry-witted friend who happens to make me laugh out loud.(see Chapter 5 - "Here is my promise to you. I will NEVER try to be the best wife.")

I was happy to be chosen to receive an advance copy of this book, and it is my favorite of Melanie
Rebecca Jo
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. Someone who has stories that involve Xanadu & roller skating, & hair & style from the 80's & references of TV shoes & music from the same time I grew up? Yep... I love Melanie. One of those people that I know I'd be best friends with.
The book is just filled with each chapter being little stories of her life & they have subtle little life lessons in all of them. I'm all about books like this. They are easy to read - touch the heart, make me cr
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
What can I say y’all – I’m a big fan of Melanie Shankle. I mean, we both love Jesus, books, tacos and have a soft spot for Texas. That’s a bond Internet. Her blog and her podcast (with Boo Mama) are some of my favorite things. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried (emphasis on the laughing). Seriously, the podcast cracks me up, even when the topics are not my normal interest (I mean, her love of Teddy’s Organic Rosehip Seed Oil convinced me to purchase my first non cooking oil ever in my life). But that’s ...more
Chris Mara
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
“The true joy of life is found in the every day.”

Nowadays we are all moving too fast and have many distractions in our lives that we forget to reflect on the small everyday accomplishments. Yet they are so very important. It’s the true basis of who we are.

This little handbook is written in a light hearted style, so it will definitely resonate with the young and middle age crowd who get caught up in the roller coaster of life. It takes a lot (as I remember from my younger days) to occasionally
Alice Teets
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: won
I received this book from the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I love this book. I promise you I am not just saying that because I got it for free. I think the author and I could be friends if we both could get past our introvert tendencies and actually make and keep plans. Her stories resonate with me, make me laugh, and make me think. She opens her life and invites you in. I feel like you could look in her medicine cabinet, and she wouldn't even complain.

I also love the c
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5/4 stars

While the book was a fast read, it wasn't the best I've read from Shankle. She wrote each chapter almost as a stand alone vignette (the million little pieces). Lots of laugh out loud stories, especially if you were a product of the 70s and 80s. The chapter wrap up lists may have been my favorite because they were so relatable
Lauren DuPrez
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Church of The Small Things is the latest book from blogger and author Melanie Shankle. I've read two out of three of Shankle's previous books (Sparkly Green Earrings and The Antelope in the Living Room) and have found them to be delightful, hilarious and very relatable. Like her other books, Church of the Small Things is autobiographical and unlike her other books, it largely contains more of her personal life philosophy, which is from whence she derives the title of the book.

Philosophically, Ch
Maddie Dumas
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I laughed and I cried- sometimes all at once. I highly recommend the audio book.
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Baloney sandwiches on white bread with Miracle Whip (with chips crushed in between), Aussie Sprunch Spray, Olivia Newton John’s Let’s Get Physical, perms, and much was like she was writing about me growing up as a kid! I laughed so hard and related to most of this book...the author is also a mother to one daughter (only child) so when she talked about her experiences as a mother, I felt like I was sitting down with an old friend.

This was a super quick read filled with humor an
Julie McComas
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Pick up this book! Seriously, I felt like I was spending time with a good friend listening (or reading) her stories about everyday life. The simple acts, she calls them, of life are actually significant. I love reading a book where the author doesn't try to sugar coat things, and Melanie certainly doesn't sugar coat things. I felt like I could really relate to everything in the Small Things I Wish I'd Known in High School chapter since I am approximately, if not, the same age as Melanie. One of ...more
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I thought this book was just ok - I listened to Melanie on Jen Hatmaker's podcast, and was interested. Her style was similar to Jen's - where it just feels like you are having a conversation with a friend, however I didn't find her quite as relatable, or quite as funny or inspiring. It left me feeling like - why did I just read this story about a person I don't know and what it's like at her grandma's house, and how her dad is special to her, etc. I think the concept of the book is great - it's ...more
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is another book destined for my special keeper shelf beside Melanie's previous three books. I love to read Mel's stories. I laugh till I cry and there's usually at least one moment or more that just make me cry in her books and "Church of the Small Things" was no exception. This book has plenty of laugh out loud moments, the chapter on exercise and Perry's desire to to be certified to shoot out of a helicopter made me laugh so much that I read them to my husband who also got a huge kick out ...more
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this inspiring memoir. It's not about a life of huge accomplishments, but a reminder that life is made up of little moments. Some are moments where we show up and do what needs to be done and others are moments where we just need to be still and appreciate the precious time we have with each other. We aren't in competition with each other for a share of God's love; it exists in infinite quantities and he graces us with it abundantly just because it makes Him happy to give it.
I v
Tammy McKeever
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book a great deal. The author has a delightful and delightfully snarky sense of humor. I greatly enjoyed her reflection on her family’s life and how they traversed it emotionally. I think it may be because I listened to it on audiobook, but it didn’t feel so much a book as it did a collection of stories. I enjoyed them as I mentioned but I have now gotten a hard-copy and may find a greater sense of continuity. Nonetheless I would recommend this uplifting book and author and ...more
Melissa Henderson
Each and every moment of life can have profound effect on us and on others. In this book, the author shares experiences that made me laugh and made me cry. I also saw myself in many of the situations she shares about. I kept saying, "Me, too, me, too!" This is a fantastic book of personal stories which remind us the little things in life are often more important than the big things. Great book to give as a gift. I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher and this is my personal ...more
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it
So, this was not my favorite book by Melanie. She does really well with story telling - which I think was missing from this book. Since she didn’t have a narrative arc that she was telling from Chapter 1 to Chapter 27, a lot of chapters seemed to ramble. This was also the first book of hers where our generational gap showed - I simply couldn’t relate to a lot of what she wrote about in the first 1/3 of book - I wasn’t alive for it! That being said, there were still some touching and funny moment ...more
Erica Fleeman
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Melanie Shankle's gift for making you laugh then cry while reading the same page is the reason I keep reading her books! I started writing LOL every time her humor made me laugh throughout the book and there is an LOL on almost every page! Amidst her hilarious stories, the spiritual insights had a way of hitting me right in the heart. #runourownrace #shinewhereyoucan #hairproductscount #mercythengrace #saynotobangs #beigewall #neonposter #showup #wherenotwhy #nowalls #stopmeasuring #somanyLOLs # ...more
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Our lives are full of those “big moments” filled with either joy, sadness or anything in between. Reading this book inspires me to see God’s plan in the small day to day activities in my life. It encourages me to ask what is good for His kingdom today in those seemingly small insignificant movements of my day. This allows me to see the “big moments” as “abundantly more that I could have ever hoped for” .
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The stories of the 70's and 80's that Melanie uses bring me back to my childhood. Her reminder to live out your own story and not someone else's story by constantly living in th world of comparison is timely and much needed. Her humor and story telling ability is top notch. I can't wait for her next project. Everyone should read this book. I have read aloud her other books to my husband as we are road tripping, he wants to plan a road trip just so he can listen to this book!
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book because Melanie and I were obviously separated at birth given we had the EXACT same childhood. I literally laughed out loud in public while reading this but since I survived the same decades as the author, I had zero shame. Most importantly, I needed the message to appreciate the small things and to not get lost looking for the big moments. Great read for me!
Loraine Nunley
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable read. What a lovely sense of humor this author has. I found myself laughing out loud while I read it. There was also a very touching chapter that had me tearing up. Overall I thought this was a good way to remind us that God uses the little things to work in our lives just like He uses the big ones.
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was honored to be chosen to receive an ARC copy of Melanie's newest book. I have thoroughly enjoyed her other 3 memoirs and knew this one would be no different. I laughed (like real LOL), I cried and I resonated with something from each chapter. I love the way she weaves in scriptures with thoughtful insights and her own hysterical wit and charm. Great read once again!
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite book by Melanie Shankle. She did an amazing job of reminding me to see the value in the small things. There is so much significance in our NORMAL; in our everyday monotonous tasks. These little things build big things. Melanie's writing was a perfect combo of hilarious with some hard hitting truths.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
If you graduated high school in the 80’s, this is a must-read. Melanie hilariously reminds us of all things 80’s, while gently prompting us to value the small things in life. I listened to the audiobook, but I would recommend reading the book itself because the witty remarks lost some of their punch in the audio.
Deborah Flora
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If you love easy-to-read with a large side of humor all mixed and held together by inspiration and lessons from life, you'll like Melanie Shankle's books and words.

Her books are some of my absolute favorites. She makes me laugh and I'm all about laughter in life. Her words also help me to reflect on all the good things in life and give gratitude for each and every day.
Pam Wildes
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think this may be Melanie's best book ever. It touched on so many aspects of life that I am going through right now in my life. I love her ability to go from spiritual to laughing to crying sometimes in the same paragraph. You are going to want to read this book. I cannot wait to get my hands on the study guide for this as a bible study!
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Beautiful and funny in parts. Well-written. It just wasn’t for me . . . and I didn’t fully realize it until I was about halfway through and committed — plus, I spent the money to buy it so I might as well finish!
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Melanie Shankle is a graduate of Texas A&M and lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, Perry, and daughter, Caroline. Melanie began blogging in July 2006 when she started her blog, Big Mama. She’s also a regular contributor to The Pioneer Woman blog. Her first book, Sparkly Green Earrings, came out in February 2013 and debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list. Her second book, The A ...more
“...true success and prosperity comes when you are right where God wants you to be, doing what He wants you to do.” 2 likes
“What if we lived as though we truly believed God has given us a life without walls, that he has plans for us that go beyond anything we can measure or imagine and promises to be the glory in our midst? I believe God wants to make our city—our lives—so big that walls can’t contain it. His 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. He wants us to have peace and contentment that won’t require us to put up walls of protection and spend our lives afraid of being vulnerable and real as we stop compulsively trying to measure the width and depth of our lives. He will be our protection. He will be the wall of fire all around. He will be the glory in our midst and whisper to us that our lives, no matter how small they may seem to us, are enough because he is enough.” 0 likes
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