Church of the Small Things: The Million Little Pieces That Make Up a Life (B&N Exclusive Signed Book)

Church of the Small Things: The Million Little Pieces That Make Up a Life (B&N Exclusive Signed Book)

Hardcover(Signed Edition)

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This Barnes and Noble exclusive edition is autographed by the author and features an exclusive list of the author’s favorite small things plus bullet journaling pages in the back.

Is my ordinary, everyday life actually significant? Is it okay to be fulfilled by the simple acts of raising kids, working in an office, and cooking chicken for dinner?

It’s been said, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.” The pressure of that can be staggering as we spend our days looking for that big thing that promises to take our breath away. Meanwhile, we lose sight of the small significance of fully living with every breath we take.

Melanie Shankle, New York Times bestselling author and writer at The Big Mama Blog tackles these questions head on in her fourth book, Church of the Small Things. Easygoing and relatable, she speaks directly to the heart of women of all ages who are longing to find significance and meaning in the normal, sometimes mundane world of driving carpool to soccer practice, attending class on their college campus, cooking meals for their family, or taking care of a sick loved one.

The million little pieces that make a life aren’t necessarily glamorous or far-reaching. But God uses some of the smallest, most ordinary acts of faithfulness—and sometimes they look a whole lot like packing lunch. 

Through humorous stories told in her signature style, full of Frito pie, best friends, the love of her Me-Ma and Pa-Pa, the unexpected grace that comes when we quit trying to measure up, and a little of the best TV has to offer, Melanie helps women embrace what it means to live a simple, yet incredibly meaningful life and how to find all the beauty and laughter that lies right beneath the surface of every moment.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310629320
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Edition description: Signed Edition
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 183,372
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Melanie Shankle writes regularly at The Big Mama blog and is the New York Times bestselling author of three previous books, including Nobody’s Cuter than You.

Melanie is a graduate of Texas A&M and loves writing, shopping at Target, checking to see what’s on sale at Anthropologie, and trying to find the lighter side in every situation. Most of all, she loves being the mother of Caroline, the wife of Perry, and the official herder of two wild dogs named Piper and Mabel. The five of them live in San Antonio, Texas.

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Church of the Small Things: The Million Little Pieces That Make Up a Life 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
LoraineN More than 1 year ago
This was an enjoyable read. What a lovely sense of humor this author has. I found myself laughing out loud while I read it. There was also a very touching chapter that had me tearing up. Overall I thought this was a good way to remind us that God uses the little things to work in our lives just like He uses the big ones.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved both the Book and the Bible Study!!! Melanie has such an amazing gift from God for writing! The Bible Study helped me see that God has a plan for me that can be doing something dynamic or in the simple everyday occurrences of my life. He will put me where He wants me, doing exactly what He has planned for me. And I couldn't put the book down! It had me laughing at her subtle humor in parts and crying in others. Most of all I love her heart for God. Melanie Shankle has just become my favorite author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I tried to like this book, I just can't, it's boring. I skipped ahead a few chapters, I'm done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Church of the Small Things is just as perfect as Melanie’s first 3 books, although I think I cried more reading this one! I love her conversational tone because it makes Melanie seem like a dear friend I’ve known for years (which I would love to happen in real life!). Church of the Small Things shows us that life isn’t all BIG gestures, BIG moments, BIG accomplishments. The best parts of life are in the everyday, routine things we do to show others we care about them and love them. I highly recommend Church of the Small Things!
polkadottyplace More than 1 year ago
This was my first time reading a Melanie Shankle book after hearing lots of praise for her work. The title and fun cover sucked me in and I had really high hopes for learning about lots of little things to do that would add up to a great life. However, I found the book to be disappointing. It was a quick read, but there weren't many points of the book that stand out to me. She glosses over stepping out of your comfort zone, opening your eyes to the people you encounter every day and being a good friend. There were tons of real life stories, real life moments and things that made you laugh. I was just missing the meat of the book. Shankle seems like a fun and funny mom. I would have liked for her to go into more details about all the little things you could do in life to help others, connect with people and build a great life for your family. The last half of book was more on topic and had some good take aways on focusing on the small, every day moments of your life. I just wish there would have been more of a connection to the title earlier in the book. Overall, I wouldn't recommend reading this book.
booksandbeverages More than 1 year ago
What can I say y’all – I’m a big fan of Melanie Shankle. I mean, we both love Jesus, books, tacos and have a soft spot for Texas. That’s a bond Internet. Her blog and her podcast (with Boo Mama) are some of my favorite things. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried (emphasis on the laughing). Seriously, the podcast cracks me up, even when the topics are not my normal interest (I mean, her love of Teddy’s Organic Rosehip Seed Oil convinced me to purchase my first non cooking oil ever in my life). But that’s what I love about story – God uses everyone’s story to impact others. Her latest, The Church of Small Things, is seriously for anyone! “But true success and prosperity comes when you are right where God wants you to be, doing what He has called you to do.” Shankle has such a talent of drawing you in as a reader. Even if it’s a topic you don’t think you need – I’m telling y’all, she’s able to keep you interested (Example #234: I loved her books on marriage and motherhood). The overarching theme of Shankle’s latest is much needed. This idea of “church of the small things” is a beautiful reminder that God’s beauty, grace and love aren’t only found in the big moments and things in life. They are in the little pieces – whether those pieces cause you to cry from laughter or cry from hurt. The little pieces seem so simple, yet, all come together to create something beautiful. I think you’ll be inspired and hopeful in your own story after reading more of Shankle’s story, so if you’re looking for a perfect Fall read (or a gift for someone), be sure to consider Church of the Small Things. Also, C.S. Lewis and Tolkien are quoted, so yep. Have you had a chance to read any of Melanie’s books? Originally posted at
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Church of the Small Things" is a timely read for women of any age. Melanie reminds us not to miss the small moments that make up life because we're searching for the next "big thing." Melanie also helps us to see the Holy Spirit so often works in those small moments. Her wit is charming and her truths are encouraging. Highly recommend this book for all women!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Melanie Shankle’s newest book, Church of the Small Things, has all the answers to life’s big mysteries. Melanie’s perspective on how the small things of everyday life add up to create an exceptional life. She uses true stories woven with humor and her belief in Jesus to illustrate how we can find beauty and wonder in simple everyday events. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will want to call your mama, your sister, your Granny, and your best friend while you read this book. I can’t recommend it enough. Here are a few of the great philosophic questions Melanie takes on: Bangs, White Couches, Ant Farms, Pets, Grandparents, Sisters, and Autocorrect.
RachelQuigs More than 1 year ago
First off, I am a regular reader of Melanie’s blog: And when a new blog post lands in my inbox I always click over and read. I also own all of her other books so I was sure I would enjoy this newest one as well and I was not disappointed. In this newest book, Church of the Small Things, I love what Melanie has to share about the seemingly small insignificant day-to-day things in our lives have a bigger impact on us and others than we sometimes realize. I love how Melanie tells stories of her childhood, family events and how growing up in small ways has a big impact on who she is today. Those stories cause us to think about our own lives and how important the small things are in our lives. Sometimes we can think like Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail, “I live a small life.” But in reality, our day-to-day coming and going impacts us and others in bigger ways than we imagine. I love how Melanie reminds us to focus on the small things of our everyday life. It’s in the small everyday faithful living that we see the large impact of God’s grace in our lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I devoured every story in Melanie Shankle's new book, Church of the Small Things. The introduction alone captured me. Quotes like: “When we start to pay attention, we realize life is full of small wonders that make all the difference in a day, an hour, or a lifetime.” “With every small thread, God is carefully and thoughtfully weaving a masterpiece.” “These are the stories that, on the surface, may seem like nothing big; some are silly and some less so, but they are all about the little moments that together leave a legacy and light the way to show us what really matters.” All that profound wisdom was in the first fifteen pages! She went on to share stories about growing up, influential relationships, parenting fails, and pursuing dreams. It was impossible to read without personally relating to each story and hopeless to not belly laugh in one sentence and ugly cry in the next. Buy it today, along with her other books, Green Sparkly Earrings, The Antelope in the Living Room, and Nobody’s Cuter Than You.
Teadrinker More than 1 year ago
Church of the Small Things by Melanie Shankle from The Big Mama Blog tackles the question we women all ask, "Is my ordinary, everyday life actually significant?" I know right now it is hard to imagine my less than glamorous life as having any significance, but Shankle shares how God actually does care and He uses the ordinary in my life for good things. In Church of the Small Things, Shankle shares her life stories with a sense of humor to remind us all that we can find meaning in the mundane and ordinary moments may truly be the most special moments when all is said and done. At the end of several chapters, Shankle has fun lists that are darn near worth the price of the book alone: Things I Wish I'd Known about God When I Was Younger, Things That Keep Me Up at Night, and Things I Wish I'd Known When I Became a Mom, and more. I'll be honest, Shankle is close to my age. I totally get her humor and her stories that include some childhood reminiscing that I can so relate to. Her and her husband also parent one child. I parent one child. There is so much that she shares that I can relate to that I found Church of the Small Things to be a fast read and total pleasure to devour. But I don't think you have to relate quite as well as I do to Shankle to enjoy this book. She has a warm and witty style, but this book isn't all fluff. The shares some sharp spiritual insights that will have you reflecting God's work in your own life. I recommend this book to women of all ages. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this book, Melanie Shankle argues that small acts of faithfulness can have life-changing impacts on others, and she utilizes stories of people who have influenced her, such as her grandparents and her father, to support this idea. In particular, as a woman in today's society, I found this extremely encouraging. In a world of social media comparison, it was refreshing to be reminded that God cares about the smallest, most ordinary parts of my life, and that He can use them for His glory as well. This was the second book of Shankle's that I have read. (The other one was The Antelope in the Living Room, which I would also recommend!) Church of the Small Things was a bit more serious, which I appreciated, but it was also hilarious. If you're looking for a book that will encourage you spiritually, make you laugh out loud, AND give you a good cry, this is it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Church of the Small Things does not disappoint. Chapters such as Forty Is Not the New Thirty, How Walmart and a Frito Pie Made All the Difference, and Autocorrect Is the Devil left me howling with laughter and tender with nostalgia. These chapters showed me that Melanie Shankle is a modern day Erma Bombeck with a little bit of sass and a better sense of style.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you LOVE Big Mama's blog, you will LOVE this book. It is full of fun stories, Truth, and the kinds of things you might relate to. I LOVE how she ties together friends, life, dogs, God, family.., etc. It is one that you can read one chapter at a time, and think..... hmmmm.. and then pick it up and be so ready for the next chapter. LOVE it and highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the way Mel writes. I have heard so many people say that it feels like she is sitting on the couch next to you when reading her books, her blog or listening to her BooMama podcast. It's true! I would know because I had the privilege of actually doing just that when we were roommates at Texas A&M! She is a storyteller and this book will hit you in all the right places and couldn't have come at a better time or on a better day! This is just what we all need right now!
ADelightfulGlow More than 1 year ago
If you love easy-to-read with a large side of humor all mixed and held together by inspiration and lessons from life, you'll like Melanie Shankle's books and words. Her books are some of my absolute favorites. She makes me laugh and I'm all about laughter in life. Her words also help me to reflect on all the good things in life and give gratitude for each and every day.
DRu12 More than 1 year ago
When small is big. Having read all of the author's books, I jumped at the chance to join her street team. I received an early version of the book and dug in deep. (I was only asked to be honest and spread the word) I can honestly say this is one of my favorite reads this year. Each chapter gives the reader a glimpse in the life of the author -- the hilarious, joyful, and at times sad seasons of her life. And with each season, she artfully intertwines what she has learn about herself and about God's constant presence. Shankle weaves God into the chapters without coming across preachy. Some chapters are just downright fun. Others, challenging thoughts occur such as how I can make a difference in my ordinary life. I'm already compiling a list of who to gift a copy. In other words, I highly recommend!
MiaTheReader More than 1 year ago
Funny, moving, insightful...this is my favorite Shankle book so far! It was full of wisdom about being faithful and living fully present in the small moments of life, and it also made me laugh, which is always a plus. It solidified in my mind that more often than not, its the ordinary faithfulness, the staying instead of going and the hidden jobs that have no platform, that make a persons character.
MelissaGH More than 1 year ago
Each and every moment of life can have profound effect on us and on others. In this book, the author shares experiences that made me laugh and made me cry. I also saw myself in many of the situations she shares about. I kept saying, "Me, too, me, too!" This is a fantastic book of personal stories which remind us the little things in life are often more important than the big things. Great book to give as a gift. I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher and this is my personal honest opinion.
Flippin4This More than 1 year ago
I’ve read two of Melanie Shankle’s previously books Sparkly Green Earrings and The Antelope in the Living Room and enjoyed them. Melanie is a Christian, but her theology is a little more liberal than mine.* After reading the book, and enjoying it, I will tell you what the book is and is not. First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed the introduction and the story that she used from the Bible. I too had considered this story and the characters in much the same way that she did. This book is about the small things that we do every day that receive no fanfare, no praise, no earthly recognition, but are what doing God’s will is all about. As a stay-at-home mom who has struggled with the feelings of “not doing enough”, I could completely relate to what she was saying. I can appreciate that we need to be seeing the small moments of everyday life as really the most important and memorable moments and that it is in these moments that God teaches us about what really matters. This book is not an evangelical, sharing-the-Gospel type of book that the title of the book might suggest. This book reads like her other books and many of the posts on her blog. This book is a collection of stories about her life, the people in her life, and the moments that have shaped who she is today. Melanie writes as if she is sitting in the same room, talking to you. Her writing is lively, and I took turns laughing out loud and crying as I read it. I started reading this book when I was on vacation, and it was a perfect vacation read. Although she does make some deeper points, most of her stories and reflections are very light-hearted. This book came at a great time in my own life when I needed to hear someone share honestly about how life hasn’t always turned out like she thought it would. As a woman close to the same age as Melanie, I could relate to MANY of the stories and experiences she shared in regards to the people, places, songs, brands, and hairdos of the 90s, especially being from a small town in Texas myself. This book gave me warm feelings of nostalgia, allowed me to cry tears of honest regret, and reminded me that I have been left a legacy and will leave a legacy of my own. In her very candid way, she shares these stories that highlight her family, her friends, her mistakes, her hurt, and her regrets, but also the joy she has found in both the expected and unexpected places. I most enjoyed the last two chapters of the book but wish that she had placed those chapters at the beginning. Those were the chapters that most spoke of God and how He was challenging her and changing her. I do wish that she would share the Gospel more openly in the book since she’s writing to a big audience and has such an influence. Overall, I will say that I enjoyed this book and was sad when it was over because when I was reading it, I felt like I was interacting with an old friend. Cherish the moments and the people around you, share your stories with your children, love people and show them that you love them, and remember that you are where you are because God has placed you there. *It bothers me when Christian authors use curse words in their writing and also reference alcohol use. The language is mild, but she does make several references to drinking wine and other alcoholic beverages. **I received a digital copy of this book because I was on the book launch team. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.