Small Things with Great Love: Adventures in Loving Your Neighbor


2012 Midwest Publishing Association Crystal Book Award honorable mention!

Margot Starbuck is back with as much passion and energy as ever. In thirty brief chapters, she invites you to choose the adventure that fits who you are in authentically loving those around you.

Yes, she knows: just the thought of adding something more to your life sounds exhausting. But here's the fantastic truth she's discovered in her own journey: "We don't have to add...

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Small Things with Great Love: Adventures in Loving Your Neighbor

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2012 Midwest Publishing Association Crystal Book Award honorable mention!

Margot Starbuck is back with as much passion and energy as ever. In thirty brief chapters, she invites you to choose the adventure that fits who you are in authentically loving those around you.

Yes, she knows: just the thought of adding something more to your life sounds exhausting. But here's the fantastic truth she's discovered in her own journey: "We don't have to add lots more overwhelming activity to what we've already got going. The regular stuff of our lives—the commute to work and the potlucks and home improvement projects and errands and play dates—are the exact places in which we express and experience God's love for a world in need."

With a list of resources, a study guide and a six-week "Adventure Challenge," as well as plenty of stories and hilarity from Margot's own life, Small Things with Great Love will open your eyes to the people around you and the huge impact you can have on them through small acts of love.

"Small things happen when I learn the name of my daughter's school bus driver," Margot writes. "Small things happen when I listen to the dreams of a woman who lives in a group home on my block. Small things happen when I risk crossing a language barrier even though I look really stupid doing it."

And small things add up to big adventures and surprises, for you and others. The biggest surprise of all might be how powerfully God can use you, right in the midst of your walking-the-dog, paying-the-bills, doing-laundry life, when you're living out his love. Do the first small thing by opening these pages—and let the adventure begin!

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Editorial Reviews

Tracey Bianchi
"With unparalleled humor, honesty and grace Margot lays out the truth, that most of us care but are often too busy to know what to do. . . . She is absolutely spot on, the little things add up so very big. Packed with wisdom and insight from a brilliant writer, this book will not guilt you into action. Rather, you will come to find out that each day our lives add up to a million ways to make a difference. . . . As an activist and author who has tried desperately to forge this conversation I'm giddy to know that Margot has absolutely succeeded! I highly recommend this read to anyone who ever comes in contact with another human being. . . ."
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
"Dorothy Day said, 'Don't call me a saint; I don't want to be dismissed so easily.' Small Things with Great Love is an invitation to look Jesus head-on and ask what it means for your life if he really meant all that stuff he said—not just for saints, but for you. It's an important question. And you can be grateful that someone as funny and gracious as Margot Starbuck is asking it."
Shane Claiborne
"Margot Starbuck is fun, creative and sassy. She reminds us to dream big and live small. And her words will dare you to connect your gifts to the brokenness of this world and do something beautiful for God. This book reminds us that God is preparing each of us for something really, really . . . small—and it's small things done with great love that move the world."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830838172
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 11/23/2011
  • Pages: 242
  • Sales rank: 251,037
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Margot Starbuck is a writer and speaker who cares deeply about what it means to follow Jesus in the sneakers, pumps or Doc Martens in which we find ourselves. She is passionate about communicating God's great love for the world--inextricably bound to God's love for individuals--in print and in speech.

Margot studied art at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. At the beach and in dorm rooms, she began to notice the bind in which women find themselves today, specifically as they're pinched by the culture's insistence on the value of appearances. She was further equipped to process these issues theologically at Princeton Seminary. Today, Margot continues to be energized by the kingdom reality of God's big plan for our bodies which have been called good.

Her first book, The Girl in the Orange Dress, describes the way she came to know that the God who "so loved the world" cared deeply for her. Her second book, Unsqueezed, is about that inextricable love setting people free to be agents of the new kingdom Jesus ushered in.

When she's not writing books, Margot pops up online in places like Relevant, Kyria and New Christian Voices. Though disheartened by much of Christian culture's silent insistence on keeping up appearances--namely, by simply doing it--Margot is regularly inspired by those countercultural heroes and communities who are exercising different practices. (For a sane perspective on body image, she recommends TrueCampaign, an organization partnering with Food for the Hungry to transfer resources from personal self-improvement to global survival.)

Right now, Margot is writing a lot about what it looks like for normal-ish folks to exercise love and justice in our cars, at the grocery store and in our neighborhoods. When audiences invite her to speak about how we can live with less stress, or spend more time with God, or grow in our faith, she still often seems to end up right there where the recycled rubber meets the road.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Tony Campolo
Preface: Navigating This Adventure Book
Introduction: My Reluctance About Following Super-Jesus
1. The Plan: Biggest Loser Wins
2. Bible: Everyone Knows the Bible Is About Spiritual Things . . .
3. Awareness: How I'm So Easily Overwhelmed by NPR
4. Our Own: Final Flight Instructions
5. Stranger: Why Jesus Crossed the Road and Why We Do
6. Extroverts: Promise Not to Brag
7. Introverts: If There's One Thing I Hate, It's a Party
8. Men: The Drum Major Instinct
9. Women: Salvaging a Holy Train Wreck
10. Young: Chillin' with the Justice League
11. Middle: When You're Well-Networked
12. Old: Goodbye La-Z-Boy, Hello World
13. School: Rule One Is "Love the Ones You're With"
14. Work: Because It's About So Much More Than a Paycheck
15. Home: Hospitality That Has Nothing to Do with Martha Stewart
16. Urban: You Have Hit the Jackpot!
17. Rural: Families Knowing Families
18. Suburbs: What Mr. McFeely Doesn't Know About Joe Poverty
19. Single: Weird Kingdom Math
20. Marriage: Oscar, Felix and Jesus
21. Caregiving: When a World in Need Poops on Your Pot
22. Parenting: When a Little Child Leads, Get Out of the Way
23. Family Values: Some of My Favorite American Idols
24. Mindfulness: Yet One More Inconvenient Truth
25. Spend Less: The Veritable Hazards of Cutie Foods
26. Spend More: Not Nearly as Bananas as It First Seems
27. Give: Beyond Fat Wallets
28. Impact: Bus Justice, Bake Sales and Big Dreams
29. Influence: Roping Others into Kingdom Shenanigans
30. Transformation: Implementing Some Holy Tweaking
The Adventure Challenge
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