Saturday, May 2, 2020

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

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 lives 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.

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