Life experience has taught me that spiritual growth happens in the ordinary moments of real life. That’s why I was so eager to read Glenna Marshall’s latest book, Everyday Faithfulness.
We romanticize faithfulness. Inspired by stories of “heroes of the faith”, we envision ourselves standing strong as we persevere in the face of adversity and opposition. But are we faithful in the mundane, the routine, the commonality of the day-to-day? Are we faithful when life doesn’t look like we expected it to?
What is Everyday Faithfulness?
Everyday faithfulness is about perseverance. Glenna says, “Faithfulness to Christ isn’t a one-time decision… (page 22).” It’s a daily, lifelong pursuit. It involves ongoing submission to what pleases God, killing our own sin, fighting apathy, and practicing spiritual disciplines.
Those spiritual disciplines are vital to the ordinary perseverance Glenna talks about in her book. Throughout all 159 pages, she encourages us in diligent Bible reading, prayer, and continual investment in the Body of Christ.
“If we fasten ourselves to Christ when life is a sinking ship, then we learn to treasure him as our anchor (Glenna Marshall, Everyday Faithfulness, page 28).”
Faithfulness must be fed, practiced, intentionally pursued. It doesn’t happen by default or automatically.
How to Be Faithful When…
But what does that look like practically speaking? How can you be faithful when you:
- suffer, or
What does faithfulness look like when:
- your hands are full, or
- your heart is cold, or
- you’re just not disciplined?
In Everyday Faithfulness, Glenna Marshall addresses all of these situations with grace and humility. It’s clear she’s been there, and she shares what she’s learned both through living it and absorbing the truth of God’s Word on the subject.
Take this quote, for example:
“My laziness revealed a refusal to submit to God’s design for spiritual growth… I wanted instant gains for minimal efforts. I didn’t want to put down slow-growing roots; I wanted to be a chia pet (Glenna Marshall, Everyday Faithfulness, page 41).”
The Beauty of Ordinary Faithfulness in a Demanding World
The tagline for Everyday Faithfulness is “The Beauty of Ordinary Faithfulness in a Demanding World”. One of the things I love most about this book is the stories at the end of each chapter of real women who exemplified this ordinary faithfulness.
Each woman Glenna writes about is someone you’ve probably never heard of. They’re all women Glenna knows personally. Behind the scenes, little known, quietly persevering through the same kind of experiences you and I face every day, these women truly are beautiful and inspiring.
Perhaps the best result of these stories is that we get to see what everyday faithfulness looks like in real life. It’s not just a theory; it can happen, it is possible, and these women are the proof.
What I Love About “Everyday Faithfulness”
Besides the glimpse into the lives of real faithful women and Glenna’s humble authenticity, there’s more I love about this book.
Bible & Body
Glenna Marshall speaks my language. Her passion for God’s Word mirrors my own and few things excite me more than another woman urging other women to get into the Bible. On every page, I felt my heart cheering her on as she cheered us on to a deeper love of and commitment to God’s Word.
Investment in the Body of Christ is emphasized over and over again, but not in a guilt-trip kind of way. Glenna’s had her own brushes with church hurt. She gets the natural resistance to the kind of fellowship she exhorts us to pursue, but she presents a contagious enthusiasm for the family of God.
The spiritual disciplines are tied to the benefit of the Body. As Glenna points out, “Real fruit can’t grow on a loosely-anchored vine (page 41)”, and that fruit is for the benefit of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Grace-Filled & Jesus-Focused
The purpose of faithfulness is to know Jesus, and Glenna makes that clear from start to finish. Everyday Faithfulness is no checklist of spiritual to-dos or “shoulds” that bury an already struggling soul in shame. It’s full of grace and the truth about who we are in Jesus Christ.
“Though we employ the tools he’s given us to remain faithful to him, it is God’s faithfulness that upholds our own (Glenna Marshall, Everyday Faithfulness, page 149).”
Favorite Quotes from “Everyday Faithfulness”
This book should come with a fresh highlighter. By the end of chapter 1, I had colored so much of the text, I wondered if there was any point. I might as well just mark the whole book as worth another read!
In preparing this post, I paged through Everyday Faithfulness and reread everything I’d highlighted. There are so many favorite quotes I’d love to share with you, but I’d rather you read the whole book yourself. In the meantime, here are a few highlights to whet your appetite:
“Are we seeking the Lord in his word to be loved by him or because we already are?” (Glenna Marshall, Everyday Faithfulness, page 40)
“Survival mode for the weary Christian is not hibernation from Christ but perseverance in Christ.” (Glenna Marshall, Everyday Faithfulness, page 52)
“All I accomplish in my haste to answer my own prayers is the sin of unbelief.” (Glenna Marshall, Everyday Faithfulness, page 69)
“The gritty place between pain and glory is where perseverance gets to do its best work… Suffering looks different when we can see far enough to glimpse the glory of the coming kingdom… Our best life as believers begins later… suffering can produce more than just survival when the Christian keeps the end in mind.” (Glenna Marshall, Everyday Faithfulness, page 100)
“Stagnant faith that’s struggling but pressing on anyway is still faith (Glenna Marshall, Everyday Faithfulness, page 117).”
Discover Everyday Faithfulness with Glenna Marshall
Glenna Marshall was featured in our Women Wielding The Word series back in 2019. She was already encouraging us to be disciplined in the daily spiritual battle by taking up the sword of the Spirit – the Word of God. Read that post here.
You can read about Everyday Faithfulness here. It can be found at many book retailers, including Amazon.
Find Glenna Marshall, read more of her excellent writing, and enjoy her music online: