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Stand All the Way Up: Stories of Staying In It When You Want to Burn It All Down

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Whenever you face the hard stuff—the pieces and parts of life that keep you up at night, relentlessly reminding you that the “simple and easy” path is somehow a turn you’ve missed along the way —is your first instinct to try to make it all simply go away? You might wonder if it’s possible to just ignore it, or, better yet, to burn it all down.

During a particularly difficult stretch in her own life, Sophie learned that the Lord, through His Word and His people, has already provided all that we need to get up, straighten up, and stand all the way up. 

This book is a collection of stories full of humor, sass, and spiritual insight, revealing our God who teaches you to stand up for yourself, stand up for the people you love, stand up for the people who can’t, and stand up for the Kingdom.

224 pages, Paperback

Published June 16, 2020

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About the author

Sophie Hudson

11 books331 followers
Sophie Hudson loves to laugh more than just about anything. She began writing her blog, BooMama.net, in November 2005, and much to her surprise, she's stuck with it. Sophie hopes that through her stories, women find encouragement and hope in the everyday, joy-filled moments of life. A graduate of Mississippi State University, Sophie loves cheering like crazy at college football games and watching entire seasons of TV shows in record time. Sophie lives with her husband and son in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 142 reviews
Profile Image for Cori.
813 reviews138 followers
September 21, 2020
Thank you to Netgalley and B&H Publishing Group for the Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All opinions and views are my own.

Prior to Stand All The Way Up I have never read a book by Sophie Hudson. This woman is funny and authentic. I can't say anything particularly lightning-boltish-from-the-sky-raining-fresh-theology occured here, but it read like a coffee date with an encouraging friend. And if that's the vibe you're looking for, this is a good book. While my biggest complaint is that the organization was occasionally caddywampus (e.g. going from a moving chapter on her mother's death to a chunk of advice on what should be in your closet), some of that is likely to be expected because of the informal writing style. I wish I had understood the flow of the book a little more or what the over-arching goal of the book was. That said, she's witty, original, logical, and has a practical heart for Jesus. Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"God intervenes to keep me from choosing my greatness over His greatness.

Don't be afraid of doing the thing in front of you.

Like Moses, you have a staff. I mean, not a literal one, probably, though if you're into shepherding then consider this sentence a virtual high five. But you for sure have a God-given something that enables you to lead and serve and help God's people. Maybe it's accounting or teaching or organizing or cooking or compassion or gentleness or patience or singing or whatever. You have a staff.

I pulled out my journal and began to list all the ways my anger had been blinding me. To be clear, many of the things that poured out on the page were legitimate issues to be upset over. It's not wrong to care deeply about what's going on in the world because 1) some of it is heartbreaking 2) some of it is legitimately horrible. I'm good with not being okay with all that stuff. However, when those issues create anger that is eating us up from the insides out, we are compromised. We can't be agents of change when we're too busy fuming and screaming and ranting and railing.

And as I've processed and prayed through and confessed my anger, I've realized something: I really don't want to burn it all down. I want holy fire to fall."

I'd rate this book a G.
Profile Image for Lauren Denton.
Author 7 books1,894 followers
August 9, 2020
This is another one I've loved during this time of chaos. It's made me laugh (a lot) and cry and nod my head vigorously and underline and highlight and take pictures of bits of text to send to friends. It's so honest and raw but coated in grace and kindness and wit. Thank the Lord for Sophie Hudson.
Profile Image for book_withquotes.
1,001 reviews68 followers
August 15, 2021
In her recent book, writer Sophie Hudson presents everything to the table- the general mishmash. While doing this, Hudson utilizes her unique mind, backtalks, and a statement to bring a delightful gift for the readers. The author’s composing style is so amazing. She can cause the readers to feel like they are probably the closest companion and they have met after a long time to catch up.
She is confronting fifty and with that comes time for some contemplative and profound otherworldly investigation to handle where she has been, the place where she is, and what the future resembles- all while managing the one-of-a-kind difficulties in the present society. The book has 13 chapters along with the introduction and epilogue.

The author opens up on issues in her day-to-day existence that we as a whole face now and again, and it was so reviving to have somebody articulate what so many of us feel or have gone through. The starting of the book was so funny, I was laughing so hard, however, this book can make the readers emotional as well as we move further into the story. The writer welcomed me into quite possibly the most legit and crude pieces of her life and I can’t envision how hard this book probably has been to compose.

The author cleverly strolls us through how to stand tall in the midst of difficulty. This book is an astounding one to pursue where the readers get a chance to giggle and need some consolation for confronting difficult situations with elegance. Through 170 pages of stories, counsel, and support, we figure out how to discover strength from God to hold up. This book will support and inspire the readers a lot and will give them a ray of hope and freshness in their dark days. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Richard Propes.
Author 1 book71 followers
May 2, 2020
Sophie Hudson understands.

She understands what its like to sit at the hospital for days on end as a loved one prayerfully breathes into their final moments of life.

She understands what it's like to live in a body that can act more than a little unpredictably and the awkward combination of shame and determination that one feels when this occurs.

She understands shame. She understands what it's like to live in a body that embarrasses you and that causes you to isolate from others including those you love the most.

She understands the difficulty in finding friends and building community and being vulnerable because vulnerability has come with a price in the past.

Sophie gets it. Sophie gets it and she stands up in it and she stays in even when she wants to burn it all down.

Creator of the "BooMama.net" blog in 2005, Sophie Hudson has subsequently written such books as "A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet," "Giddy Up, Eunice," "Home is Where My People Are," and others. She's a lifelong educator and co-host of The Big Boo Cast and someone whose laugh you can practically hear even as you're reading her writing.

"Stand All the Way Up: Stories of Staying In It When You Want to Burn It All Down" is Hudson's latest book and it finds the author once again in good heart and good humor. Due for release on June 16th from B&H Books, a LifeWay imprint, "Stand All the Way Up" is written with Hudson's trademark southern sass meets down home goodness. Hudson loves the Lord and isn't afraid to say it and writes with a wonderful weaving together of humor, heart, aching vulnerability, spiritual insight, and a humility that is sometimes woefully absent from many of today's faith-based writers.

"Stand All the Way Up" is an engaging and entertaining collection of stories revealing a God who teaches you to stand up for yourself, stand up for the people you love, stand up for the people who can't and, perhaps most of all, stand up for the Kingdom of God. As someone who doesn't have feet, all that standing up wore me out.

As is nearly always true for collections of stories, some stories will resonate more than others and some will feel nearly irrelevant alongside some of Hudson's more substantial and even more humorous stories of life past and present. There is one moment, in particular, of confusion as Sophie poignantly shares the journey of losing someone she loves, yet in almost the immediately following stories seems to reference the person as if they're still alive.

Help. Confusion.

However, these are minor quibbles.

No, really. "Stand All the Way Up" is an engaging, insightful, and incredibly real collection of stories targeted primarily at women and girls yet easily accessible to anyone who appreciates sassy, spiritually grounded writing and a willingness to stand up and hold in during the darkest and most mundane days of the faith journey.

I read a quote recently by Christian author Lysa TerKeurst that said "We can be divided by issues and opinions… or we can be united by our tears and our love for Jesus." Hudson lives into this belief in "Stand All the Way Up" and she does so deliberately and with tremendous compassion. She gracefully declines the rabbit holes of conflict in favor of seeking common ground and kinship with one another. She recognizes that social media has become a cesspool of conflict and division and, humor and heart firmly intact, gently yet undeniably admonishes those who contribute to those unnecessary divisions and avoidable conflicts.

In other words, with "Stand All the Way Up" Sophie Hudson stands up and keeps loving, loving, loving to the best of her ability.

A resident of Birmingham, Alabama where she lies with her husband and teenage son, Sophie Hudson shares her life and her faith journey in "Stand All the Way Up: Stories of Staying In It When You Want to Burn It All Down" with openness, honesty, an abundance of humor, and a a desire to give all of it to God.

Profile Image for Kristen.
465 reviews84 followers
July 7, 2020
Reading this book is like a conversation with a dear friend. Sophie is a consummate storyteller and honest guide, full of wisdom and hilarious hot takes. I laughed, I cried and I stopped to think. Even though warmth and intimacy exudes from the pages, you'll be encouraged to put down the book and engage your real-life friends and community. I was encouraged to extend grace, to stand up when needed and to look at my own junk with honesty. What a great book for the year of our Lord 2020.
November 26, 2020
Prior to "Stand All The Way Up" I hadn't had the privilege to read any books written by Sophie Hudson.

This book was a great introduction to her work as it was both witty and heartfelt.
It is one of those books that feels like a coffee chat with a dear friend and I really appreciated that aspect of it.

I think the below quote from the book is one of my favorites and sums up the message of it:
"We can't be agents of change when we're too busy fuming and screaming and ranting and railing. And as I've processed and prayed through and confessed my anger, I've realized something: I really don't want to burn it all down. I want holy fire to fall."

Definitely enjoyed this read and recommend it!

***Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the digital ARC of this book. All views and opinions expressed in this review are my own.***
Profile Image for MacKenzie.
94 reviews95 followers
June 29, 2020
All the stars!!! I listened to the audiobook, which I had been checking audible for every single day since the release of the book and snapped it up just as soon as it released. Jesus knee this would be the book we would need right now and He gave Sophie Hudson the hilarious and heartfelt and stirring words! It was just so, so good!! A must read/listen!
June 30, 2020
The chapter on body image was vulnerable and powerful. The chapter on her mother's passing was the kind of writing that made me fall in love with Sophie's writing in her first book.
Profile Image for Noel.
320 reviews
October 2, 2021
I didn’t know how much I needed this book. I laughed and cried and came out trusting Jesus better. I 🧡 Sophie Hudson
Profile Image for Carrie ReadingtoKnow.
383 reviews23 followers
January 12, 2021
I laughed SO HARD at the beginning of this book. This was my first introduction to Sophie Hudson and oh. my. does she ever know how to tell a story. I literally could not breathe I was laughing so hard. Tears were streaming down my face within those first few chapters. I liked Hudson immediately.

But I'm still giving this book two stars because I have no idea what this book was ultimately about.

At first, I thought it was about going with the flow of life, taking your knocks, but standing back up and finding the joy.

By the middle of the book I thought maybe it was just about laughter. I thought perhaps she's a comedian and so the point of the book was to tell funny stories (again, she does this well!) and see how often she could make the reader chuckle (answer: a lot). She sort of channels Erma Bombeck and I am all in on paying that big of a compliment.

At the end of the book it was all about her view of the nation's then-current (this book was published in 2020) and now-outgoing president and her anger towards humanity, politics and the problems she feels exist within the church. But that was only the last two-to-three chapters. Up until then I didn't know what was coming or where we were going. But since I didn't know that was where we were going, I can't say I much appreciated being led there. I'm a pretty astute reader and I'm always looking for the purpose and the message of a book. To not have found it by the final chapters was a bit of an irritation to me, except thinking that if its best point was laughter I absolutely couldn't complain about that!

This book, however, felt all over the map. I laughed but I disagreed with her way of addressing her audience on the whole. Obviously it was thought worthwhile to give a go at editing this book and putting into print. I'm not entirely sure I agree that either were done very well. It felt like a move on the part of B&H publisher to get a "relevant" book title out under the guise of giggles DURING 2020. It felt like it was someone's idea of a good move to "suit the times" and so it was hastily put together with little thought given to detail. I think B&H Publishing Group wants me to know where they stand politically and now I do.

Oh, I appreciated the laughs. But they weren't the ultimate takeaway. It felt like being taken to one of those pyramid scheme parties where they don't tell you why you are there at first. Instead they spend their time making you feel all warm and cozy only to wallop you with an agenda at a Crucial Moment, right before you're going to eat dessert. And let's face it...no one appreciates being invited in to one of those parties.
Profile Image for Lauren Kornegay (fortwords).
281 reviews10 followers
July 7, 2020
Stand All The Way Up • Sophie Hudson
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5)

“I really don’t want to burn it all down. I want holy fire to fall.”
Thumbs Up:
Witty and funny writing! Great examples in her stories, and good, gospel centered reflections.

👎🏻Thumbs Down:
I have nothing bad to say. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It made me laugh and think and it really hit home.

🤓For readers WHO:
-enjoy essay style writing
-like Christian memoir/personal growth

👉🏼This is what’s WHAT:
Sophie tells funny stories about her life in essay format, while discussing how she’s learning from it and leaning on Jesus when things are hard/confusing/frustrating.

⏳WHEN I read this book:
It gave me so many giggles but also pointed me to reflect on how I respond to hard things in my own life.

🚨WHERE you should watch out:
No triggers here!

📍WHY you should read this one:
A great book to give you lighthearted reflection on life, especially when there are hard things going on in the world.

📚HOW I read it:
Ebook via netgalley

Profile Image for Ruth Hoehler.
56 reviews1 follower
July 1, 2020
I have read almost all of Sophie’s books & I am just a fan of hers. From her raisins’ in Mississippi, to her now living in Alabama, she speaks my language. This book had many of her hilarious stories & anecdotes, but it also had some great spiritual truths in it too. Namely: the epilogue! Not the funniest, but hands-down the best part of the book! (So glad I read it! Ha) The chapter about her mama was just beautiful & heart-wrenching. Her message in the last chapter that specifically speaks to the issue of racism & injustice is so timely. There’s no way she could have known at the time of writing it, the state our country would be in at the release of this book. I love following Sophie through her books, social media & podcast, as it truly has been just a breath of fresh air & a step away from all of life’s crazy for me lately. If you need a good laugh, a warm hug, & a firm pat on the back to stand up for what you believe in, this is a great book.
Profile Image for Caitlin Waits.
66 reviews3 followers
June 28, 2020
Ultimately, I found this book hopeful and encouraging, especially during our difficult time of pandemic and racial tensions. Hudson’s (honestly, I feel like calling the author Sophie after finishing this book!) voice is warm and fun, like your favorite aunt, as she recounts her life stories and brings in what God taught her without being overly pedantic or didactic.

It did take me a sustained reading session to really get into the book, and I’m sure some is from being a generation younger than Hudson (I’m musing on turning 30, not 50). The first quarter feels a bit like a non-sequitur and some stories took a while to get to a really short point; the wallet story really did not pull me in, nor did discussions on always needing to be on time. However, Hudson really built up to the meaty stories and lessons, weaving familiar Bible verses and passages into her life experiences to create beautiful pictures of relying on God through life-changing loss and through silly embarrassing moments, of standing by your convictions and opinions unapologetically, of investing in friendships after children, and just the hopeful, all-embracing presence of God through all of life’s moments. I also really enjoyed the tirade against capsule closets (as well as suggestions for what one really needs to have on hand, fashion-wise) as well as the discussion of how to be a good mom and a full-time worker-- I’m also a teacher, with a new baby at home, and this section was really affirming and life-giving for me.

In all, I came to really love Hudson and her voice, her insight and her humor, through Stand All the Way Up. While the stories within were not as bombastic as the title suggested, the resonated with wisdom, kindness, and love. I’m going to grab Hudson’s earlier books now and settle in with a cup a tea for a good “chat” with a wonderful mentor a la Titus 2: 3-4 “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children.” Hudson is the real deal. Thank you for this book!
Profile Image for Morgan Murphy.
11 reviews
June 15, 2021
This book reads more like a blog and the audiobook sounds more like a podcast. There are many encouraging stories from Sophie’s life. She tells her stories in a way that you want to finish them, but I wish there was more. It was such a quick read that when I found myself really invested, it was was coming to a close.
Profile Image for Tina.
596 reviews12 followers
September 18, 2020
Sophie feels like an old friend and after listening to her and Melanie on their podcast, it just seems natural to have her in my ears narrating her book. She feels like a good friend and I appreciate her humor, her willingness to write about her faith, and the way she is so relatable.
Profile Image for Lynn Trollope.
124 reviews2 followers
August 30, 2020
Prefect for my soul

This was so timely. I read it in less then two days. I think I can tackle next week with my head held high.
Profile Image for Eve Nicholson.
Author 2 books10 followers
January 1, 2022
Thank you, Sophie. I needed this. I needed to end 2021 with this. Thank you!
Profile Image for Lydia Goddard.
237 reviews1 follower
July 27, 2021
Listened on audible. Not my favorite. I remember really loving her book A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet, but this one was just eh
Profile Image for Susan Allred.
Author 14 books12 followers
September 13, 2021
This was not the book I expected to be. But that's okay. Turns out I really enjoyed it, and it was exactly what I needed to hear this week! She had fun stories, a little bit of TMI (which means I love her even more!), sprinkled in with religious thoughts and ideas. The story was all about spreading love and kindness, not only to others, but to ourselves. And we definitely need more books and people that spread that message to the world!
Profile Image for Amy Langmaack.
400 reviews8 followers
August 27, 2020
This collection of stories was put together to remind the reader that they can get through the hard stuff. In this series of essays Hudson put together, she shares candidly about the hard things she has endured in the last few years. It’s enough to knock a person over. And yet, Hudson is coming out of that season with her spunk and humor intact.

In comical stories, sarcasm and real moments of pain, Hudson reminds us that through it all it is God who sustains us. Through His Word and His people he has placed around us, God will provide us with what we need to get through.

My Thoughts
In all honesty, I am probably not the target audience for this book. I requested to review it upon the recommendation of someone else. And while I found the stories engaging and could sympathize with Hudson as she shared about her experience with her mom dying, this probably wasn’t a book I would have chosen for myself.

Stand All the Way Up is full of humor and “sass” as Hudson and her publisher call it. While I can appreciate a well-placed joke, I don’t enjoy books that have sarcasm running throughout the story. However, if humor is your thing, then this book is probably right up your ally!

Hudson is an encouraging author. And her story will definitely help someone who is struggling in the midst of all the things that already feel hard.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review is my own, honest opinion.
70 reviews1 follower
July 9, 2020
I love Sophie Hudson and I loved Stand All the Way Up!! Sophie writes just like she talks, and if you've ever heard her speak you know she is hilarious!! This life is filled with many difficulties. Difficulties that sometimes would just be easier to ignore. With her unique, humorous voice, Hudson encourages us to instead stand up for ourselves, for the ones we love, for those who can't stand up for themselves and for the Kingdom. Stand All the Way Up is such a timely read for the current circumstances of our world. Highly recommend!!
Thank you Netgalley for the free early digital copy!
Profile Image for Shannon.
159 reviews4 followers
December 21, 2020
I've spent much of 2020 feeling a little (sometimes a lot) isolated and confused by the Church (capital C) I have always loved. In my burnout and loneliness, I've had moments of wanting to stand and fight, moments of wanting to run away, and moments of wanting to sit in a corner with my fingers in my ears. Throughout this year, God has been faithful to whisper in my ear the encouragement I've needed at just the right time, and this book was one of His loudest whispers to me. Sophie Hudson gets it. With laugh-out-loud humor, gentle grace, and courageous wisdom, she offers a path for those who find themselves standing in upside-down territory, unsure how to find a path forward. When I finished it, I seriously had to just sit in a quiet room for a while and absorb what I'd read, and even shed a few tears. But not sad tears--the relieved, healing kind that you wipe off your face before you take a deep breath and find yourself refreshed and ready to get back to the path.
Profile Image for Jordan Higginbotham.
83 reviews3 followers
June 26, 2021
I don’t know. It just wasn’t my cup or tea. It seemed a little scattered and disorganized. I really couldn’t relate to a lot of the stories and such as a 20-something year old.
Profile Image for Kristine L..
319 reviews19 followers
July 27, 2020
Move over, Erma Bombeck. There’s a new queen on the humor scene. Her name is Sophie Hudson. And although she may not be new to you, she was to me. Ditto her hilarious, excruciatingly insightful Stand All the Way Up: Stories of Staying in it When you Want to Burn it All Down.

Talk about a breath of fresh air.

Anyone who opens a book with monkeys invading an open air lodge in Kenya and stealing Cajun-flavored Pistachios has me hooked. Ditto an author who candidly admit she’s “having issues” with birthdays where a “nine” rolls over into a zero, and her “stand-offish relationship” with fifty.

I hear ya, sista.

Indeed, this uplifting, inspiring collection of insights, observations and hilarious life episodes seen through a biblical lens will warm your heart and then some. I’m willing to go out on a limb here: if you give Stand All the Way Up your full attention and read with an open, listening heart, you may not be the same person on the final page as you were on the first.

So there’s that.

Told with a twinkle, chapters are lithe and supple. They’re also bite-sized and easy to digest. Each chapter glides seamlessly into the next. Chapters can also be read as stand-alones, if you want to pause and ruminate a bit before taking another bite. All are generously seasoned with dry wit and humor as well as a hefty dos e of keen spiritual insights. (Chapter 9, Putting My Foot Down, is especially good. Just sayin’.)

So. If you’ve ever wanted to punch being late in the face, dip into a bowl of Chipotle guacamole, struggled with luggage or carry-ons, or wondered about the fine art of over-explaining and a host of other Real Issues and Questions, this book is for you.

A brief sampling:

- Perils of people-pleasing
- Confronting manipulators – how and why
- How to stop playing go along to get along
- Boundaries
- Disagreeing with someone doesn’t make them your enemy
- Encouragement
- Aging parents
- The “ministry of fried chicken”
- Camp cooking in an un-air-conditioned kitchen. In summer.
- Truth
- Grief
- “Spirited fellowship”
- The ministry of presence
- How to stand strong and long
- “Pinch and zoom?
- Women’s magazines
- Capsule wardrobes and cold shoulder tops

Witty, clever, and eminently engaging, Stand All the Way Up addresses all this and more in a way that’s natural and authentic. Along the way, Hudson deftly tucks in gentle reminders of God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness through thirteen breezy, chatty chapters plus an Epilogue.
Kindly note that by “stand all the way up,” the author isn’t promoting or advocating belligerent, bellicose, mutton-headed nincompoopitis or a terminal case of screaming meemee shilling with a self-centric chaser. No. Thankfully, the author neatly sidesteps that common pitfall.

Instead, she gently leads readers through candid observations and lessons in standing up:

- Through grief and struggle
- Through things God calls you to keep doing.
- For what’s right.
- For yourself.
- For others.

Without being preachy, Hudson uses examples from her own life to show how to stand all the way up in the face of adversity, knowing that a loving, faithful God has your back. And your front. And everything else.

Cuz when you stand up, God shows up.

You’re welcome at the gate, ya’ll. So I’d dive right in ‘fize you. You’ll love it!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,363 reviews
September 21, 2020
Sophie Hudson definitely knows how to tell a story! And she does so with humor and sass. For the most part, I enjoyed reading this collection of stories that reminded me to stand up - that's a concept I sometimes struggle with because it's often easier and way more comfortable for me to sit down.
Some of the stories are personal and rambled with more detail than I needed or wanted to know. This is a personal feeling -I would have probably felt differently if I had heard of the author before I picked up the book.
I chose to read this book because of the title, and it certainly delivers. BooMama shares her frustrations and emotions about getting older, losing her mama, needing community, and balancing work-life-dreams. And she always ties the frustration into what God has shown her about His truths and how she can continue to stand up in the midst of the frustration.

I appreciated the author's honesty and humor. Here are some of my favorite quotes/insights:
What does it look like to stand? To stand in my own life. To stand for the unheard or unsee. To stand for the generation behind me. To stand for the cause of Christ. To stand all the way up.
I am welcome at the gate.
These are the days. This is the time the Lord has ordained for me to live and love and give Him glory.
In tough times of frustration, anger, fear, grief, etc.-something beautiful will surprise you. Something beautiful will be the grace of God when you're in a tough stretch. On the day when you expect it the least but need it the most, that beauty will move you a little futher forward. And it will be enough. So keep showing up. Keep standing up. (And wait for the Lord! Look for Him!)
When we know the Lord has called us and directed us in a specific way-stand there. That is holy ground.
Our job is to tell the truth, to bless God, and to refuse to be swayed by the fear of man.
Her mama kept prayer journals, and this legacy allowed the children to feel closer and encouraged and taught by their precious mother. I want to leave the same legacy for my children, and that's what my journaling is about - me and Jesus working through an issue.
Middle age - no nonsense with things we disagree with, don't want to do, etc.
We can disagree, and we can love each other.
Choose to love one another more than we love our perceived rightness.
The power of living low - Jesus could have insisted on being exalted, on receiving adulation, but He chose to serve. To love. To minister. To bend down.
Profile Image for Lisa G. Hudson.
579 reviews26 followers
May 24, 2020

In her latest book STAND ALL THE WAY UP: Stories of Staying In It When You Want to Burn It All Down author Sophie Hudson (no relation) brings it all to the table - the good, the bad and the ugly. In doing so, Hudson uses her signature wit, sass and wisdom to bring a beautiful blessing for readers. Hudson’s writing style is so remarkable. She has the ability to make readers feel as though they are one of her best friends and they have met at their favorite Coffee Shop just to catch up. Her writing also reminds me of reading a letter from a dear and treasured friend. In both situations, I feel blessed for the investment of her time.

She is facing fifty and with that comes time for some introspective and deep spiritual study to process where she has been, where she is and what the future looks like - all while dealing with the unique challenges in today’s society. The book is 13 Chapters long plus an Introduction and an Epilogue.

I am particularly challenged by Hudson’s take on this:

“In Luke 8:22, Jesus got in a boat with His disciples and uttered a simple command: ‘Let us go across to the other side of the lake’ (esv).

I realize that if any of us are trapped on a boat in the middle of a storm, we may have to use other gifts in that crisis because we won’t be able to command the waves to stop. But as we lead in our normal, everyday lives—as we steward whatever influence the Lord has given us in the places we live and work and love—what are we doing to calm the storms? To take care of people? To bring order to chaos and peace to confusion? To challenge people in loving ways (Jesus even asked the disciples ‘Why are you afraid, you of little faith?’) and ultimately provide ‘great calm’? Because the One who does this? This is the Jesus of the Gospels.

Here is what we must ask ourselves: Am I willing to be an agent of calm in the chaos, or would I rather stir the waters? In short, am I willing to lead like Jesus? Am I willing to follow someone who leads like Jesus?”

Excellent points to ponder and a challenge for all! I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by B&H Books & NetGalley. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.
Profile Image for Gretchen Garrison.
Author 4 books17 followers
June 16, 2020
Before I finished this book, I had only listened to Sophie Hudson's books. I must say that her style of writing is enjoyable either way. (I do think I will have to listen to this one eventually though because I LOVE her accent and voice!) While I still have 3 1/2 years until I turn 50, I can so relate to the different situations that Sophie wrote about.. (Okay, fine, we are in the same stage of life!) While this book has been finished for a few months in anticipation of its release, to me based on the current headlines, it felt like she just finished it yesterday.

Who will enjoy this book ...
-Women who are in the middle stages of parenting with kids at home. Those of us raising teenagers need to someone to understand. Sophie is that person.
-Those who want to ponder issues like racism, work-life balance, spiritual growth, God's calling and how to cultivate community.
-Those who want to apply Scripture to everyday life.
-Those who need to laugh more because Sophie is stinkin' funny.

Who may not enjoy this book
-Anyone who hates any sort of reference to pop culture. They are sporadic. They are infrequent. But they are there. Personally I think her mentions are great.
-Anyone who strongly dislikes Mississippi State. She's a fan. (I promise - this is not a football book. It really is about personal growth. But I know that some people take their fandom seriously.)
-Any manly men who are not in touch with their feelings and who the idea of any sort of introspection might make them feel nauseous. Again - I am not sure that is the author's goal. But if you don't like to think about your emotions at all, this might not be the book for you.
-Anyone who is opposed to God doing a work in your heart or your life. If you read this book, you will be affected. If you want to stay stagnant, this is not the title for you.

Thank you, Sophie Hudson, for writing words that God uses to draw me closer to Him and for doing it in such a way that I am smiling all the way. Well, mostly smiling - perhaps I did share a tear or two of conviction.. This is a highly recommended book. Thank you to B & H Book and NetGalley for allowing me to preview this book. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Marie.
168 reviews4 followers
August 17, 2020
My favorite reads are those that motivate, encourage, and make me more aware of
what is happening in this crazy world. Not self help so much as books that say 'I've been where you've been and this is how 'we' dealt with it. We? Never alone, always with God and the great people He placed in our lives for the purpose of coming alongside.

Sophie Hudson's (Stand All The Way Up) writing style is straight forward, say it like it is, and downright funny.

Here are a few concepts that are covered in this book.

Quit faking it! You are who you are, what you are, and God loves you just that way.

Whenever it's OK with God then it's OK with me.

Being prepared in all situations (Yes, life WILL throw curveballs.) is a nod of respect to yourself and those around you.

I don't have to keep everyone happy in every situation.  I can choose to react my way simply because I want to.

When God clearly tells you what He wants, do it!  Stand firm on your decision to obey!

God can, will, and does, make a way in every circumstance.

Personal is ALL about personal comfort. Once again, quit trying to be someone or something other than yourself.

Strong relationships and fellowship in the local church matter. Pursue them. If the groups of the church are so tight they don't have room for you then create your own or find another church.

When my life is all about what I can do for you, IT MATTERS!

Pretending is lying. Be who you really are, not what you think you should be.

I truly hope this motivates you to read Stand All The Way Up by Sophie Hudson. It's worth your time and will definitely cause you to think in some new ways.

Blessings to you and yours!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, TN.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Profile Image for Ioana.
302 reviews2 followers
May 3, 2020
I'd missed Sophie story-telling. And make no mistake, this is a collection of stories from the south, told in a southern way. If you've read her previous books, read her blog, and/ or listen to her podcast with Melanie Shakle than I am sure you'll like this book, too.

Sophie is one of those Internet people I wish I knew in real life and I'd also like her to be my friend/ mentor because she's wise, but in a totally relatable and down to earth kind of way.

The book is divided into 13 chapters, each one sharing stories relevant to an idea she presents in that chapter. The second part of the chapter is where she makes her point and she makes it relevant to her readership. I like this sort of nonfiction writing, especially since the ideas are relatable, despite the age difference between me and the author.

However, one thing that fell flat for me were all those details and digressions. Of course details are the sauce of a story, and her story-telling skills are on point, but at some points I felt that the focus was too much on the anecdotes (plus, they were too long sometimes), and too little on the substantial part. I wish she had written more on the deeper aspects because she makes Scripture passages so relevant and easy to understand for the day-to-day life.

Having read her first three books, I can see how her writing has become better. This book is funny, yes, I have laughed out loud a few times, to my surprise, but also honest, deep, and mature. I love it when an author I've been reading from the very beginning becomes more settled into their craft. This is the case with Sophie Hudson in this new book, a book I recommend for fans of Christian nonfiction and lovers of family stories; you'll laugh, and then take something to heart and think about it.

I can't wait for her next book!

I received a free book copy from the publisher via Net Galley. All thoughts expressed here are my own.
Profile Image for Monica H (TeaandBooks).
660 reviews47 followers
September 10, 2020
Stand All the Way Up by Sophie Hudson is a collection of essays, or stories if you will, that reveal what God was saying to Sophie as she was going through a hard stretch in her life. I think this is a book that many of us could relate to this year as many of us have gone through a hard stretch of some sort or another.

In Stand All the Way Up, Hudson shares stories from being a mid-life woman. She shares about how difficult it was to walk with her siblings and her family through her mother's passing from this life into the next. She shares struggles she had with her weight and body changes as a mid-life woman. She shares her struggles with anger at things going on around her in society today. While those topics were a little heavier, she shares them with her trademark humor and wit. She also shares some lighter topics in some chapters such as what she thinks should be a mid-life woman's capsule wardrobe. Throughout the book, she also relates many of her stories to stories in the Scriptures and what God has been teaching her in the midst of it all.

I chose to read Stand All the Way Up because I needed something lighter to read. However, I didn't find her to be as funny as I expected. However, I did find her stories to be insightful and I found her to be easy to relate to. I liked her conversational style. I liked how honest and straightforward she was with me as the reader. I just felt like in some of her struggles I could see some of mine. I enjoyed Stand All the Way Up more and more as I got further into the book. At first, I did feel a little ho hum but then it just kept gaining momentum for me. I would recommend it to any mid-life woman wanting to read a book from another Christian woman who is easy to relate to and has likely experienced at least a few of the same things as you have.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions within this review are my own.
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