Hey sweet friends!
This is such a big day! I cannot believe what I’m about to get to share with you — I’m so, so excited!
So — I don’t know if you’ve heard yet, but I just released two new books! Are you ready for the official titles? (I feel like I need a drum roll here!)
The Lipstick Gospel Devotional: 90 Days Of Saying Yes To A God Who Is Anything But Boring
The Lipstick Gospel Prayer Journal: How to Talk to God like He’s Your Best Friend
These books mean so much to me, and I cannot WAIT to share them with you! So for the next few weeks, I wanted to share a few of the devotionals with you — that way you can get a little taste of what they’re all about! (I’ll tell you more about the two books at the very bottom of the post, so make sure to scroll to the end!)
But now, without further ado, here’s a sneak peek from The Lipstick Gospel Devotional… How To Fall In Love With Reading The Bible:
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” – Joshua 1:8
When I first became a Christian, I was totally intimidated by the Bible. I picked up a free one at church, and it sat on my nightstand making me feel a little extra holy, but I never quite opened it to start to read.
The first time I ever actually read it was on my first mission trip to Costa Rica. They told us to bring one, so I did, and that first morning they gave us an hour to read and spend time with God. I had no idea where to start.
I whispered to my best friend, Michelle, who was sitting across the room, “Where do I start? I have no idea what I’m doing!”
“Start in Matthew,” she whispered back. “There’s a table of contents. You’ll find it there.” I fumbled until I found it, but the words read like gibberish. I closed it and took a deep breath, opting to journal instead.
The Bible is intimidating for a lot of reasons, but one of the main ones is its size. It’s a massive book, a gigantic book. If you were assigned that book in school you’d groan, and whine, and reach immediately for the CliffsNotes version — is that just me?
It’s full of names we don’t know how to pronounce, details that are hard to remember, and stories and lessons that are hard to relate to and make sense of and even harder to put into practice.
Not only that, but at least to me, reading the Bible didn’t sound fun. It sounded like the opposite actually, like the kind of thing you know you have to do but dread — like going to the gym, or getting an oil change, or eating a salad. But just a few months into my life as a Christian, I read a book, a passage specifically, that changed everything for me.
I don’t know if you have ever read the book Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller but, if you haven’t, you should! There’s a section in which Don is talking to a friend of his who is telling him about when she first became a Christian. This is how she describes it:
“We would eat chocolates and smoke cigarettes and read the Bible, which is the only way to do it, if you ask me. Don, the Bible is so good with chocolate. I always thought the Bible was more of a salad thing, you know, but it isn’t. It is a chocolate thing.”
I read that paragraph, and read it again. I skipped right over the cigarettes part, but my eyes stopped at the last sentence. “I always thought the Bible was more of a salad thing, you know, but it isn’t. It’s a chocolate thing.”
She had me. That’s exactly what I had always thought about the Bible. It was a salad thing, a “have to” instead of a “get to” — like folding your laundry or eating your vegetables. But she suggested that I might have gotten it all wrong, that there might be another side to the Bible I’d never experienced before.
All along, I’d known that the Bible was full of things I should know. When people explained things to me from it, they were helpful, and relevant, and insightful, and I wanted to be able to find those things for myself. Not only that, but I knew that if you wanted to get to know someone better, and that someone had written a book, you should probably read it. I wanted to get to know God better, and so I knew I should probably read His book.
I decided I wanted to give this Bible thing another try — this time looking for the chocolate in it — so that’s exactly what I did.
Later that night, I put on my favorite album, turned on the twinkle lights above my bed, found the golden bar of Toblerone I’d been saving for such a time as this, and put on my favorite over-sized yoga pants. I climbed into my bed, opened my Bible, and began to read, popping a triangle of Toblerone in my mouth every few pages.
“The Bible isn’t a salad book; it’s a chocolate book.” — she was right!
I started in Matthew again, and read right through. I looked for the richness, the relationship, the lessons I could apply to my life, for places where God shows us who He is, for times when He shows us how much He loves us. And as I did, the Bible started to open up to me, to come alive beginning that day, and more and more the more I read.
Reading and understanding the Bible is a lifelong process. It’s an almost magical book where it never gets old; every time you open it, it teaches you something new. I didn’t just magically understand it overnight, but I did start to discover that it’s so much more than first meets the eye.
It’s a love story, an epic adventure, an eternal battle of good versus evil. It’s a guide to life that makes way more sense than anything I’ve ever found in a magazine or the self-help aisle. It’s full of stories of people just like you and me — messy people, imperfect people — and how God used them (and wants to use us!) to do miraculous, beautiful, life-changing things in His world. And that day, with the twinkle lights sparkling overhead and the Toblerone melting in my mouth, I started to see that for the very first time.
Later that year, I started the very first small group I’ve ever led. It was a small group of 27 (not small at all, now that I think about it) sorority girls — messy, honest, amazing women. We would gather in this cozy room above the church on oversized couches every Sunday afternoon. We’d talk about God, and life, and where the two meet, and how to connect with God in real, authentic, and helpful ways.
But on our first day, before we got started with anything else, I wanted to set the tone for where we were going. I wanted them to know what was in store for them. So they walked in to find a stack of Bibles and a huge bowl of chocolates.
“The Bible isn’t a salad book,” I told them, “It’s a chocolate book.” Then, we began to read.
Carve out some time today (even if it’s just a few minutes) to read the Bible in a whole new way. Curl up in something cozy, turn on something twinkly and bright, get your favorite chocolate, and read a passage of the Bible. If you need a place to start, begin by reading the book of Mark, and don’t forget to look for the chocolate in it as you do. I promise you it’s there. If you’re looking for a great Bible Study, check out Seamless by Angie Smith, or anything by Beth Moore. They’ve helped me understand the Bible so much better, and I know they will for you too!
Guys! That’s it! We did it! You have officially seen just a little sneak peek of The Lipstick Gospel Devotional, and there is SO much more to come.
But before we go, I wanted to just include the descriptions of both The Lipstick Gospel Devotional and The Lipstick Gospel Prayer Journal so you can hear what they’re all about…
The Lipstick Gospel Devotional: 90 Days Of Saying Yes To A God Who Is Anything But Boring
Several months ago, I was speaking at a sorority event and, when I got off the stage, one of the girls came up to me with a question. “I want this,” she told me, “I’ve been a Christian all my life, but my relationship with God just isn’t as rich and colorful as the one you described. I want to know God better, to trust Him, and to see Him do amazing things in my life. But I have no idea how to get there. What do I do next?”
This devotional is my very best answer to her question: 90 days of small steps toward a fuller relationship with God, with our lives, and with ourselves.
The Lipstick Gospel Devotional is about God and our relationships with Him, and how to find Him in our everyday lives. It’s about rest, and celebration, and learning to love ourselves. It’s about travel, and whimsy, and toes in the sand, about the transformative power of best friends, and a really great chocolate croissant. It’s a reminder that there’s never anything too broken for God to heal or redeem, and a dare to say yes to the plan He has for our lives.
The Lipstick Gospel Prayer Journal: How To Talk To God Like He’s Your Best Friend
The thing I’ve always found to be true about relationships is that the more time we spend together, and the more we open up to each other, the closer we feel. This is true in all of our relationships, and it’s true with God too.
Whether you’ve known Him all your life, or are getting to know Him for the very first time, this 90-day prayer journal is a practical way of going deeper in your relationship with God. The daily prompts will help you to curl up and spend time with Him — telling Him about your life, your hopes, your dreams, and your fears — the things you find to be lovely, and hard, and really really funny.
More than ever before, we’re getting to know the God who created the heavens and the earth, the God who is big and sweeping and powerful and majestic. But we’re also getting to know the God who wants to become our very best friend. He’s become mine, and I know He wants to become yours too.
Both books are now available in my shop, SMayWilsonShop.com, and if you haven’t picked up a copy of The Lipstick Gospel yet, you can find it there too!