We're in business people - the Bittersweet Giveaway has officially kicked off today - hooray! The prize is sweet and simple: A signed (by Shauna) copy of "Bittersweet" AND an amazing 8-piece box of handmade Jessica Foster Confections.
This post has 3 sections - please read each section thoroughly before proceeding to the next section.
Section 1: Bittersweet Review
Bittersweet is a brilliantly penned, painfully beautiful glimpse into Shauna Niequist’s personal journey through a bittersweet season of life. I purposely slowed down to read this book, taking time to savor the words on the page, willing myself to remember the poignant moments she shares with great candor, at times laugh-out-loud humor, and surprising vulnerability. I appreciate her willingness to share personal experiences, both bitter and sweet and the way she masterfully weaves in faith, hope and grace for the moment and for the season. I’m not sure why Shauna’s writing resonates so deeply within me - by the end of the book (which ended too soon) I felt like I had been on a sacred pilgrimage alongside Shauna, through the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows, the bitter and the sweet, and I felt her words, metaphors, and stories resonate with my own life experiences deeply and personally, leaving me with new truths to ponder and new grace to live in. If I had to choose a favorite chapter, it would be an entirely new chapter made up of favorite quotes from every chapter!
Section 2: Bittersweet Excerpt - just one more tiny little taste!
From the chapter titled Love Song For Fall. "...Fall is harvest, when we're getting all the good stuff that someone took the time to plant many months ago. Someone planted it, and now we benefit from it. And that's how it is when we make art. We struggle and push and plant seeds deep underground, and it doesn't look like much for a while. But then someone comes along and listens to your song or sees your painting or reads your poem, and they feel alive again, like the world is fresh and bursting, just like harvest. Plant something today that will feed someone many months or many years from now. Plant something today, because you've feasted on someone else's carefully planted seeds, seeds that bloomed into nourishment and kept you alive and wide-eyed. Use what you have, use what the world gives you. Use the first day of fall: bright flame before winter's deadness; harvest; orange, gold, amber; cool nights and the smell of fire. Our tree-lined streets are set ablaze, our kitchens filled with the smells of nostalgia: apples bubbling into sauce, roasting squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, cider, warmth itself. The leaves as they spark into wild color just before they die are the world's oldest performance art, and everything we see is celebrating one last violently hued hurrah before the black and white and silence of winter. Fall is begging for us to dance and sing and write with just the same drama and blaze..."
Section 3: Bittersweet Giveaway - pay attention, here come the details!
a) Answer the following question by leaving a comment on this blog or on Facebook: "What is one thing you believe you can "plant" or create or do or be? It can be something you're not currently doing but secretly dream of doing one day. The one thing that makes you come alive and "spark into wild color." If you can't think of anything, just say Zumba. We'll all understand!
b) Feel free to Twitter about this giveaway - if you do, DM me and I'll make sure your name goes in 2 more times (@berryman)
c) Last comment will be accepted at 9:00PM PST on August 23. I will announce the winner on August 24. "Bittersweet" and Jessica Foster Confections will be mailed to the winner!
d) The not-so-fine-print: I did not purchase the copy of "Bittersweet" to be given away - it is being provided by Zondervan for this giveaway in exchange for my unbiased review of the book. However, I love Jessica Foster Confections and will be providing that portion of the giveaway!