I woke up to our dog Gus sitting on our bed, anxiously waiting for me to wake up to feed him breakfast. Reece was out of town and I’m sure that Gus had managed to sneak onto the bed after I had groggily walked back from the early morning nursing session with Madison. I looked at the clock – 5:30. He normally eats at 5, so I knew I couldn’t stall for much longer. Slowly, I rolled out of bed, grabbed both of the girls’ monitors, and made my way downstairs. Gus has already bolted past me and was doing a little dance by the back door.
Open the door. Let him back in. Pick up the food bowl. Fill the bowl. Set it back down. Prep the coffee maker. Sit down at the table. Breathe.
Both of the girls were moving in their beds, far too early. We had a very late night the night before. They were missing their dad and I was a little rusty in my solo parenting bedtime routine. All of us were battling colds, which meant sleep was so imperative, but often difficult to come by.
I glanced over at the advance copy of Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan’s new book, Wild and Free. The book was delivered a few days ago but between snotty noses, sweet potato purees and toddler tantrums, I had not even touched it.
This is hardly wild and free, I thought.
Paige and I have been following Jess and Hayley for a while now. They are both brilliant writers, businesswomen, and creatives. If you follow them on social media, you’ll be blessed with honest and thoughtful ponderings about their Christian faith, motherhood, and friendship. A few months back they announced that they were writing a book together and my heart did a little flip. I just knew that it was going to be awesome. When they asked for applicants to be part of their book launch team, I filled out that application so fast I was worried I had forgotten to include my email address. Thank goodness I had. We’re honored to have been selected as one of the blogs to help promote their new book.
Since that tough morning last week, I’ve had the opportunity to read the first few chapters and have been completely blown away by what I have read so far. Truthfully, I just couldn’t wait to start talking about it. I would love to share some thoughts with you.
That scenario I described above? Those same feelings are echoed in literally the first two paragraphs of the book. Learning that someone who I look up to, whose words inspire me daily, has felt the same way that I did just last week? It was like a wave of relief and warmth washed over me. There is something very powerful in knowing you are not the only one going through tough times.
Perhaps you have felt the same way? Maybe you feel like you are getting stuck in your routine, restricted by the expectations you’ve placed on yourself? Or the expectations of others? Perhaps you are feeling limited by your current situation, financial or emotional. Have you ever felt like you are meant for something more, that there is something greater that you are meant to do, but you are ignoring (or trying to ignore) that feeling?
What I love even more is that throughout the book, both Jess and Hayley are so open and honest about their lives and where they feel they have shortcomings. They find a way to relate themselves and their message to literally every type of woman. That revelation hit me this morning, actually. They wrote Wild and Free for every woman and have done a beautiful job of opening up the book so everyone and anyone can relate. This isn’t for an exclusive group of people, or a small percentage of our population. What a wonderful feeling, to be included. Am I right? In a world where women have the tendency to judge each other, guard against each other, hesitate in loving one another because of our own insecurities, Jess and Hayley’s message welcomes us all with open arms. I can literally see them saying, “Come join us! Be part of our sisterhood!”
I also feel I should mention that while the whole premise of the book is to grow more wild and free in our relationship with God and His plan for us, I don’t feel you need to be super set in your faith to read this book. What I mean by that book is applicable to you whether you read the Bible on a daily basis or if you’ve heard of God and are open to Him but haven’t really taken it much further than that. Just know that when I saw the book is for everyone, it really is for everyone. :)
If you have related to anything I have said so far, I can honestly say that you will benefit from reading Wild and Free. Even though I am only a few chapters in, both Jess and Hayley’s words have moved something deep within my heart. Within just a couple of chapters they have hit on some pretty heavy topics and feelings that I guarantee every woman can identify with.
The book itself has a very refreshing layout. The ladies switch off writing chapters which keeps the perspective fresh. I love that at the end of each chapter there is a prayer and a response from the other author (whoever didn’t write the full chapter). It has a very conversational flow to it; however, you can tell that a lot of thought has been put into the words written. In other words, you won’t feel like you’re reading a really long blog post. Instead, you will feel like you’re sitting in a room listening to both women trade off as they present their thoughts, ideas and convictions.
If the title of the book has you worried or a little unsure, I feel the words from Jennie Allen (who penned the Foreward), will calm your fears: “…I believe this wild and free faith is growing in us. It isn’t wild in rebellion, it is wild in obedience and it isn’t free to do whatever we want, it is free to do whatever He calls us to do.”
Wild and Free will be released on May 3rd; however, Jess and Hayley are offering some pretty incredible pre-order gifts if you purchase multiple books in advance of the release date:
You’ll be able to find the book in a few different outlets, but *spoiler alert* if you head on over to Amazon you’ll be able to snag a copy of the book for a sale price of $10 (rather than the full price of $16.99). That is a STEAL. It’s literally the equivalent of two lattes, going out to lunch during the work day, or the extra amount of goodies you end up buying at Target. Okay, who am I kidding, I normally end up with $30 of extra goodies from Target. But, you know what I mean. :)
I think it is part of our womanly nature to crave community, to talk about our thoughts and our feelings. Every time I pick up this book and read something that moves me (which is every other paragraph, let’s be honest), I find myself wishing I had a friend I could share it with. This gave me an idea! I would love to host a book club meet-up once the book is released. I’ve been taking notes as I am reading Wild and Free and will create a little group guide/journal to accompany us as we go through the book. This will help facilitate the discussion once we all get together to share what moved us.
One thing I love about our Cocobee blog is that we have readers all over the country! In order to include everyone interested, the meet-up will be online (in a private Facebook group). I envision having discussion and prompts over a course of several days, so we’re not trying to find a time to meet for everyone because, hello busy schedules.
Are you feeling called to participate? We would absolutely love to have you. Depending on the number of ladies wanting to get involved, we can take advantage of the pre-order gifts being offered!! All I ask is that you be willing to purchase the book ($10, people, so easy), read it (obvs) and be open to talking about it. Fill out the form below and we’ll make this happen! In the “Message” section, just let us know if you’ve already pre-ordered the book or if you need to do so. We can coordinate one large book order if enough ladies are interested in ordering it.
I’m so excited to continue reading Wild and Free and explore more deeply the ways that I can grow my relationship in the Lord. You all know that what I learn I’ll also share here, so stay tuned for frequent check-ins.
Before we found out we had been selected for the book launch team, I had actually already pre-ordered the book on Amazon! And so, when we get a little closer to the release date, we’ll do a little giveaway so one lucky reader can win my copy!
Praying for you all this week. As usual, feel free to leave comments below or shoot us an email if you ever want to chat! We’d love to hear from you.
P.S. Interested in learning more about the Wild and Free book? You can check out the official website HERE.