Are you for Real?

Book Review of "Choosing Real" and Giveaway

It’s not very often I make a new friend without ever laying eyes on them, but my new friend Bekah Pogue, who wrote Choosing Real, is a gem and it was hard not to like her from the moment we met online. She had received a copy of my book to review, and sent me a heartfelt, detailed email after reading it that revealed to me just how “real” she is.

She wrote, “Where was this book when I needed it almost 4 years ago when my dad died? I could not agree with your heart or the desire to invite people into practical ways to come alongside and love those in grief, loss, whatever. As I’m reading your words, I find myself saying out loud, “yes. totally. Me too.”  Ok, then.  Instant friends, indeed.

But just because Bekah liked my book, doesn’t mean I would like hers.  But there was something about her spirit that made me want to order her book online right away.  And then when I was at my local Barnes and Noble looking for Alongside, I saw her book on the TOP PICKS IN CHRISTIAN LIFE shelf!  So cool! 

{Choosing Real, second shelf, far left, gorgeous gold polka dots on cover!}

I’ve learned that some books can end up on popular book shelves like this even if they’re not worthy of it…but Choosing Real is worthy!  Bekah’s personal, intimate style of writing makes you feel like you’re in her kitchen eating Miss Layered Chocolate Cake, possibly dancing, and awaiting some of her famous “Soul Sweets” in the form of Mana’s Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipes for both included in book, AMEN!) Oh, then there’d be tea, because my new friend Bekah wishes she was born British, which is also a bonus.  And she was an event planner and loves to throw parties (#same) so, there’s that.

Now that you can imagine you are in the kitchen with my new friend, Bekah, (soon to be yours) take a look into her heart where she writes this awesomeness in Chapter 12, Turning Outward:

‘Giving of ourselves in the wake of grief is perhaps the next closest spiritual act to touching God Himself. We are made bitter or better because of our circumstances. When we make a decision to use our pain by taking the focus off ourselves and placing it with passionate perspective on another, faith is planted deeply in the fertile soil of knowing loss. When this selfless behavior becomes a habit, blooms are plucked from the strong branches and given away as bouquets to thankful souls. How can we use the gifts we are given right where we are to be Jesus’ hands and feet to those who need care the most?’

Miss Bekah Pogue and I are soul sisters in this, too.  Her heart is for others.  Her heart is to love them well in their grief.  Her heart is to cook for them!  Bake for them!  Cherish them!  And she wants you to do the same.  She wants you to use your gifts to love others—whatever they are. In other words, come alongside.

She goes on to write, “He (God) doesn’t ask us to give so others will make us feel better, but as an invitation to choose to walk alongside a hurting soul.  Perhaps compassionate pain is where healing begins.”

Yes.  Indeed.  A beautiful place to be.

There are many other fabulous parts of this book, but I want you to be surprised as you open its pages and see for yourself inside the real story of our new friend, Bekah.  She is the REAL DEAL.  She talks about hard topics like parenting in a social media world (#realisthenewperfect) being thankful as a way of life, using GODsense to experience His creation, and how God can use our greatest pains and detours to draw us to a beautiful dependence on Him.

So now that you want to read it, here’s the fun: I’m giving away a FREE COPY of this fabulous book!  


Question: Why do you want to win this book or how you struggle with being real in today’s world? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

{Winner will be selected randomly from the commenters on Tuesday, March 28.}

Click here to purchase a copy of Bekah Pogue’s, Choosing Real.

Sarah Beckman inspires people from the stage and on the page. She is the bestselling author of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial, which is filled with practical tools to love people well in the rough patches of life. Sarah speaks to audiences across the country on topics such as loving your neighbor, sharing your faith, safeguarding your marriage and digging up your talents.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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3 thoughts on “Are you for Real?

  1. I remember going over to Deborah’s house after John died, and she made me feel comfortable. Also during her illness she had this innate sense of grace that was welcoming and other focused. It was just a natural part of who she was. I struggle during hardship or pain to remain other focused, and not turn inward and have it be all about me, subtley wanting affirmation and attention. As a Christ follower I know there are branches here’re that need to be cut off or heavily pruned at the very least! I would love to read the insights in this book.