Find Peace in the Midst of the Messy (Michele Cushatt’s Undone book review & giveaway)

More often than not, life doesn’t roll the way we expect.

Yet some of us (yes, I’m guilty), try to force it to conform to our belief of how it should be. We try to control the inner workings and the outcomes.

We wear ourselves out by trying to reconcile our idea of what should be to the reality of what is.

We foolishly think we can improve upon God’s plan for our story, failing to trust that He has a hand in the good and bad of our days.

We believe God is sovereign and capable, just maybe not in the middle of our mess.

We believe God is sovereign and capable, just maybe not in the middle of our mess. Click To Tweet


That reliance on ourselves to “handle it” prevents us from experiencing God’s daily grace and inevitably leads to fear as things seemingly spiral out of control.

As Author Michele Cushatt puts it in her new memoir, she turned “God into Santa Claus, a childish fantasy and a work of fiction. I still believed in him. I just didn’t believe him. I didn’t count on him to be the powerful, rescuing, interested God in the middle of my crisis. Mine was a belief that looked good on paper, but didn’t work itself out in reality. And flimsy belief gives birth to fear, not courage.”

Michele’s not the only one who has viewed God as that jolly bearded man. How many of us do the same?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of trusting God for our salvation but trusting ourselves to get us through each day. Eventually, though, we get to the end of ourselves.

Undone, the Book 

Undone, Michele Cushatt

Michele’s timeless book, takes us on a 2-year journey where she comes to that end. Where she eventually discovers that complicated can be beautiful, joy can replace fear, and the unexpected is really an invitation for adventure.

Her memoir chronicles a journey through cancer as well as unexpected turns in motherhood and marriage. Yet, this book is not just about the author.

Michele’s story is our own. A story of unexpected twists and turns in a messy life and the faithfulness of a sovereign and loving God.

In all honesty, the events in Undone at times feel disjointed as references to cancer surgeries and doctor calls pop in to set up the next scene. The jumping around in time left me a bit confused. How many cancer diagnoses? Where did the littles fit in the timeline?

But then again, I guess that is often how real life seems.

Michele Cushatt’s memoir is vulnerable, captivating, relevant, and inspiring. I found myself nodding along as she described yet another scene of being undone.

Find Peace

Not just a book on surviving cancer or the messiness of parenting, Undone is a treasury of experiences that all point to one eventual realization, there is beauty and peace to be found not in conquering this difficult and messy life, but in the midst of it.

A gifted writer, Michele led me into her story and showed me how it applied to mine. Her thoughts and revelations matched what I’ve felt but didn’t have the words to express. The lessons she has learned through her unexpectedly messy life, although gleaned while walking a vastly different path, still somehow parallel each of ours.

She writes raw and honest, with profound insights.

“Somewhere in my thirty-nine years, my love affair with this life had eclipsed my anticipation of the next. Living had become my idol, more the object of my worship than the Lifegiver himself….To think only of heaven is to miss out on the gift of life. And to dwell on this life is to miss out on the grandeur–and anticipation–of what is yet to come.”

Throughout this journey with Michele, I rejoiced in her break-throughs and wept in her struggles.

And coming out the other end of the book, I found my spirit emboldened to embrace this adventure God has planned for me. Not in a naive, whatever-will-be-will-be way, but in a real, vulnerable, let-go-and-trust-the-Almighty-Provider one.

Undone has ignited in me a desire to allow myself to experience life, not control it. To allow myself to enjoy the adventure God’s leading me on. To trust Him with both my forever and my now.

To invite God in to “show me [His] glory.”

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Reflections: Where in the messiness of your life is God showing you His glory?

Michele Cushatt's memoir is vulnerable, captivating, relevant, and inspiring. #Undonebook Click To Tweet

I highly recommend Michele’s book to anyone who wants to find peace in their journey and I’d love to give one away. Follow the Rafflecopter to be entered to win. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click the photo or link to purchase your own copy:

Undone, Michele Cushatt Undone: A Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life By Michele Cushatt

I’m excited to continue recording blessings this year. Since beginning over 3 years ago, I’ve counted more than 3,500 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! So here we go in 2015: #3681–3701, read my entire list by clicking here.

  • Friends that are stepping in when needed; Comfort of chicken noodle soup; Service providers who help out with Rachel when I need a break
  • *Box of tissues: the greatest invention of all according to my youngest son (who has a cold); *Receiving a lovely birthday necklace from my oldest son; *When I vented some frustration over a computer issue, Rachel pulled a cross out of her toys and held it out to me–she knows what matters most
  • Rachel’s accomplishment of stringing together a sentence on her communication device–of course we had to play; Sun glinting off treetop ice; Singing “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less” in church tonight
  • *Attracting birds with our suet feeder; *Night out with my man; *Full moon illuminating snow-covered fields
  • *Bent toothbrush to fit in little mouths; *Late lunch with a Chicago friend; *Safe travels getting Zachary home from college for a week
  • *Great jazz performance by Joey’s middle school band; *Long hike to see mama eagle incubating her eggs; *Full moon, brilliant through the trees
  • Smiles on the faces of so many Special Olympians; Amazing young lady helping Rach at Special Olympics; Sound of laughter as the boys hang out with friends

*affiliate links are found in this post

**I was given an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Undone in exchange for an honest review.

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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

2 comments on “Find Peace in the Midst of the Messy (Michele Cushatt’s Undone book review & giveaway)
  1. Jodie says:

    Love seeing hearts that enjoy the same things! Especially good things!!!!

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