Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

Move Over, Erma: There’s a New Queen on the Scene

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Stand All the Way Up: Stories of Staying in it When You Want to Burn it All Down (B&H Publishing, 2020)

By Sophie Hudson

Christian Life/Self-Confidence/Faith/Humor

Move over, Erma Bombeck. There’s a new queen on the humor scene. Her name is Sophie Hudson. And although she may not be new to you, she was to me. Ditto her hilarious, excruciatingly insightful Stand All the Way Up: Stories of Staying in it When you Want to Burn it All Down.

Talk about a breath of fresh air.

Hooked

Anyone who opens a book with monkeys invading an open air lodge in Kenya and stealing Cajun-flavored Pistachios has me hooked. Ditto an author who candidly admits she’s “having issues” with birthdays where a “nine” rolls over into a zero, and her “stand-offish relationship” with fifty.

I hear ya, sista.

Indeed, this uplifting, inspiring collection of insights, observations and hilarious life episodes seen through a biblical lens will warm your heart and then some. I’m willing to go out on a limb here: if you give Stand All the Way Up your full attention and read with an open, listening heart, you may not be the same person on the final page as you were on the first.

So there’s that.

Style and Structure

Told with a twinkle, chapters are lithe and supple. They’re also bite-sized and easy to digest. Each chapter glides seamlessly into the next. Chapters can also be read as stand-alones, if you want to pause and ruminate a bit before taking another bite. All are generously seasoned with dry wit and humor as well as a hefty dose of keen spiritual insights. (Chapter 9, Putting My Foot Down, is especially good. Just sayin’.)

So. If you’ve ever wanted to punch being late in the face, dip into a bowl of Chipotle guacamole, struggled with luggage or carry-ons, or wondered about the fine art of over-explaining and a host of other Real Issues and Questions, this book is for you. A brief sampling:

  • Perils of people-pleasing
  • Confronting manipulators– how and why
  • How to stop playing go along to get along
  • Boundaries
  • Why disagreeing with someone doesn’t make them your enemy
  • Encouragement
  • Aging parents
  • The “ministry of fried chicken”
  • Camp cooking in an un-air-conditioned kitchen. In summer.
  • Truth
  • Grief
  • “Spirited fellowship”
  • The ministry of presence
  • How to stand strong and long
  • “Pinch and zoom”
  • Women’s magazines
  • Capsule wardrobes and cold shoulder tops

Witty, clever, and eminently engaging, Stand All the Way Up addresses all this and more in a way that’s natural and authentic. Along the way, Hudson deftly tucks in gentle reminders of God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness through thirteen breezy, chatty chapters plus an Epilogue.

Standing

Kindly note that by “stand all the way up,” the author isn’t promoting or advocating belligerent, bellicose, mutton-headed nincompoopitis or a terminal case of screaming meemee shilling with a self-centric chaser. No. Thankfully, the author neatly sidesteps that common pitfall.

Instead, she gently leads readers through candid observations and lessons in standing up:

  • Through grief and struggle
  • Through things God calls you to keep doing.
  • For what’s right.
  • For yourself.
  • For others.

Without being preachy, Hudson uses examples from her own life to show how to stand all the way up in the face of adversity, knowing that a loving, faithful God has your back. And your front. And everything else.

Cuz when you stand up, God shows up.

You’re welcome at the gate, ya’ll. So I’d dive right in ‘fize you. You’ll love it!

4.5

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