“Shannon Martin’s Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted” will be welcomed by some who are excited to know more about the author and leave others wondering if the overall message of the book lacked a strong enough story line.
Those that know of Shannon Martin from her blog, “Shannon Martin Writes” already know and like her. On that blog she describes herself as a “speaker and writer who found her voice in the country and her story in the city. She and her jail-chaplain husband, Cory, have four funny children who came to them across oceans and rivers. They live as grateful neighbors in Goshen, Indiana.”
You can see how likable she is from her blog and you have to admire a writer who puts herself, and her own family, right out there as part of her story. Her message is a positive one of Christianity and a woman who seems to care and try hard to do what she feels Jesus would want her to do. She sees the community as her mission field and found that moving closer to a real cross section of humanity with open neighborhood gave her new opportunities to serve and be served.
Her experiences are real life examples and as she ties them to scripture over and over in the book you are left uplifted but also feeling clearly how much, we all fall short in rising to her example. Some may be critical of that, but I don’t think her past readers who have already gotten to know her will.
Martin’s starts the story in a perfect little farmhouse on six acres of land in rural Indiana. Both she and her husband lost their jobs and had to downsize which resulted in moving to town into a small diverse neighborhood. She was infertile so they adopted four kids including a 19-year-old who had been in jail.
Their life changes with the move and with the help of the guidance scriptures she faces her problems and becomes a better person. It was interesting how tightly she embraced the scriptures but on the other hand had little concern for the differences in the teachings in the churches she encountered. Her message was that the real gospel was in the social connections, service and lingering with each other. She told us that the smokers hanging around out back talking as friends was part of the real gospel.
The book is a little hard to stay with all the way through because of the heavy gospel message that brings some guilt with it and maybe not enough plot. Even so it is well worth the time to read this good book.
“Living small is not about having less, but being less-- less respected in the eyes of the world, less successful, less wealthy, less esteemed, less you. Less me. And more Jesus. Here, in this abundance of less, where more of us is stripped away, we'll uncover the person we were made to be, the one created in the image of a God who sank holy feet in to our human mess.”
“I was never meant to save a soul, and no one was purposed as a project. We were meant to be comrades, mutually passing around whatever we have to offer.”