Spiritual Misfit
I decided to admit once and for all that I didn’t know what I was doing, what I thought, what I believed, even sometimes if I truly believed. I would tell the truth: I wasn’t like them; I didn’t fit in. I wasn’t a proper Christian. I didn’t have it all together like they did. Why not, I figured? What in the world did I have to lose?_____ After twenty years of unbelief, estranged from her childhood faith and ultimately from God, Michelle DeRusha unexpectedly found herself wrestling hard with questions of spirituality— and deeply frustrated by the lack of clear answers.  Until she realized that the questions themselves paved a way for faith. “Declaring my unbelief,” writes DeRusha, “was the first step; declaring my unbelief allowed me to begin to seek authentically.” Spiritual Misfit chronicles one woman’s journey toward an understanding that belief and doubt can coexist. This poignant and startlingly candid memoir reveals how being honest about our questions, our fears, and our discomfort with black-and-white definitions of faith can move us toward an authentic and a deepening relationship with God.

Spiritual Misfit Details

TitleSpiritual Misfit
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 15th, 2014
PublisherConvergent Books
ISBN-139781601425324
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Christian, Religion, Nonfiction, Spirituality, Christianity

Spiritual Misfit Review

  • Anna Whiston-Donaldson
    January 1, 1970
    This book hit upon situations I could relate to, even though our faith journeys have been different. I love how this book affirms that it's okay to doubt! My biggest takeaway from this real, down to earth, book was asking myself, "WHY NOT?" Why not believe? Loved it! This book is gentle, funny, and approachable, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to friends who are wondering what the big deal about Jesus is.
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  • Jen Ferguson
    January 1, 1970
    When I read this passage from Michelle DeRusha's new memoir, Spiritual Misfits, I identified with her so much. She writes:"When I thought about it, these lake-water images struck me as the perfect metaphor for my tentative floundering toward belief. In matters of spirituality I often assumed that if only I knew for sure, if I firmly grasped the answers to all the questions if I saw clearly how it would all turn out, then I would be okay. I thought if I could see under the surface of that murky w When I read this passage from Michelle DeRusha's new memoir, Spiritual Misfits, I identified with her so much. She writes:"When I thought about it, these lake-water images struck me as the perfect metaphor for my tentative floundering toward belief. In matters of spirituality I often assumed that if only I knew for sure, if I firmly grasped the answers to all the questions if I saw clearly how it would all turn out, then I would be okay. I thought if I could see under the surface of that murky water, glimpse what was hidden beneath, my faith would finally be secure, rock solid and steady. On the other hand, my memory of yet another lake experience left me wondering if even that kind of clarity would satisfy." (page 91)In the end, Michelle realizes just as the murky water was scary, so too, was the water that was so crystal clear she could see absolutely everything. To see both nothing and everything are ends of a spectrum -- the black and the white. And where I think God wants us to live is in the gray, where our lives are punctuated with light that sheds clarity exactly at the moment we need it.Michelle's whole memoir is testament to this. She doesn't have a Saul/Paul moment of conversion. Hers is step by step, moving from doubt to faith. She lets you in on her own analytical mind, showing us how she regularly clung to her logic as a three year old clings to her favorite lovey. But we also see God gently prying her fingers off, one by one, eventually setting free the lovey, clasping each finger fully onto His, the very definition of love.And isn't this how faith works? Whether you've been a Christian forever or you are still entertaining the idea that He might be real, there are still worldly ways and worldly things onto which we cling because we just need to know. The fear of the unknown, we think, is too much to bear.It's by living that we trust, by giving Him opportunities to work in our lives, opening our eyes to seeing His involvement, to feeling His touch. It's there. If only we allow ourselves the time and space to see it. Michelle's life is testament to this.It's a beautiful, funny, poignant, wrestling life where, no matter what your journey, you will find some common ground on which you can grow.
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  • Dawn
    January 1, 1970
    Have you been a Christian long enough to know the Sunday school answer? Everyone knows Jesus is the answer and everything else is wrong. Everyone, that is, except Michelle DeRusha. This girl says what no respectable Christian would about her faith in her spiritual memoir. She is brave enough to say all the things we Christians have thought then promptly dismissed as inappropriate. Michelle stares her uneasy, fragile faith in the eye. With an equally scant measure of defiance pitted against her p Have you been a Christian long enough to know the Sunday school answer? Everyone knows Jesus is the answer and everything else is wrong. Everyone, that is, except Michelle DeRusha. This girl says what no respectable Christian would about her faith in her spiritual memoir. She is brave enough to say all the things we Christians have thought then promptly dismissed as inappropriate. Michelle stares her uneasy, fragile faith in the eye. With an equally scant measure of defiance pitted against her paltry faith, Michelle plods on in her awkward and jolting relationship to God. She's determined to hammer out her Christianity no matter what it looks like, even if she misses and hits her thumb — or worse, God's — in the process. Her story is both funny and heartfelt, and you might find your own feeble faith in her journey, give or take a few details. This is an uncensored look at what true faith looks like in the raw, yet offers hope and grace to all who struggle with their faith or yearn to have some.
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  • Kelle
    January 1, 1970
    I was fortunate to get a pre-read of "Spiritual Misfit" which will become available April 15, 2014. If you have ever questioned whether you are the only person who doesn't know know how to "do it right" when it comes to Christianity, this book is for you. Michelle has a gift for sharing real life, whether it's one of the beautiful moments or whether is one of the very raw, not-so-pretty moments. If you want a taste of her style, go read a few of her blog entries at http://michellederusha.com/, a I was fortunate to get a pre-read of "Spiritual Misfit" which will become available April 15, 2014. If you have ever questioned whether you are the only person who doesn't know know how to "do it right" when it comes to Christianity, this book is for you. Michelle has a gift for sharing real life, whether it's one of the beautiful moments or whether is one of the very raw, not-so-pretty moments. If you want a taste of her style, go read a few of her blog entries at http://michellederusha.com/, and then pre-order this book. You will not be disappointed. :)
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  • Kimberly Coyle
    January 1, 1970
    Tender, funny, and above all well crafted. I loved following Michelle's journey, so different from my own, but with the same end result. Michelle gives us a living, breathing portrait of what it means to love God and know we are loved by Him too. Written from one spiritual misfit to another, it's impossible not to find a bit of yourself in these pages, regardless of your personal history. My favorite take-away? Keep asking questions. Start with "Why not?"
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  • Krysten
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this book - it went fast and was fun and self-effacing without being as woo-woo as someone like Anne Lamott (whom I also like but whatever). I related to DeRusha's experience with Catholicism and how her parents never gave her the option not to attend church; I feel like every other story of growing up Christian out there goes like "I stopped going to church at age 12 when I stopped believing" like ok A) you TOLD your parents you stopped believing and B) they just LET you stop going??? I I liked this book - it went fast and was fun and self-effacing without being as woo-woo as someone like Anne Lamott (whom I also like but whatever). I related to DeRusha's experience with Catholicism and how her parents never gave her the option not to attend church; I feel like every other story of growing up Christian out there goes like "I stopped going to church at age 12 when I stopped believing" like ok A) you TOLD your parents you stopped believing and B) they just LET you stop going??? I won't delve into the specifics of my experience except to say that it was not. like. that. so it was kind of a relief that DeRusha's childhood was at least somewhat similar.most of the quotes used within the text were from C.S. Lewis and Kathleen Norris, and I could've used a break from some of that. not a huge deal.the thing I ACTUALLY had a problem with was how DeRusha recounted several instances in which she did charity work and wrote about the people who met her actions with overt gratitude. I fucking. hate that shit. most of the people you serve are *not* going to thank you and praise you and weep at your feet and smile and laugh and stroke your cheek and act like you saved them because you served them a fucking bowl of soup or something. they are not there to inspire you. tell me the bigger story, about how as Oscar Wilde said, the best amongst the poor are never grateful, and how you still pulled something out of your heart to serve, and how maybe you got nothing out of it, and how it was actually really fucking uninspiring, and how you kept going, because it was the right thing to do, and not because it felt good.
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  • Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not really in the intended audience for this memoir. I was drawn in, first by the title, and then by the first chapter, where Michelle DeRusha captures her experience with sin and the confessional in the Catholic church, an experience that was compellingly told and similar to my own early religious training. But after the first chapter, the writing often seems self-consciously engaged in a form of humor I don't connect with well, and sometimes the book seems over-written, over-explained, the I'm not really in the intended audience for this memoir. I was drawn in, first by the title, and then by the first chapter, where Michelle DeRusha captures her experience with sin and the confessional in the Catholic church, an experience that was compellingly told and similar to my own early religious training. But after the first chapter, the writing often seems self-consciously engaged in a form of humor I don't connect with well, and sometimes the book seems over-written, over-explained, the humor exaggerated. I almost stopped reading it several times, only to be brought back by some compelling spiritual insight or experience that is described well. I give this three stars knowing I'm not really in the audience for this one. But I can see how many others might find this a delightful and enlightening read. DeRusha has certainly cited some wonderful writers here who helped her in her spiritual journey, and she has with insight shaped some compelling experiences. I love her idea of pointing the Hubble telescope at a region where there seems to be nothing there, only to begin to notice distant galaxies there in the small dark space--as a metaphor for seeing how God works in our lives. At the same time that the ending is over summarized and explained, I share her feeling of being a misfit.
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  • Sheila Lagrand
    January 1, 1970
    Many spiritual memoirs seem to be "sanitized" before publication. Our faithful Christian protagonist is victim, survivor, walking faithfully and leaning entirely on God. Right?The only problem with such an approach is that I can't relate to such a cleaned-up presentation of walking with Jesus. It's hard. It's tricky. We stumble. In a spiritual sense, we all have spinach in our teeth now and then.Michelle is not afraid to smile big and wide, spiritual "spinach" and all. You need this book. Order Many spiritual memoirs seem to be "sanitized" before publication. Our faithful Christian protagonist is victim, survivor, walking faithfully and leaning entirely on God. Right?The only problem with such an approach is that I can't relate to such a cleaned-up presentation of walking with Jesus. It's hard. It's tricky. We stumble. In a spiritual sense, we all have spinach in our teeth now and then.Michelle is not afraid to smile big and wide, spiritual "spinach" and all. You need this book. Order it. Now.Really.
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  • Karin Fendick
    January 1, 1970
    How many of us find ourselves naked before our Lord, trembling just a bit, scratching our heads, mumbling "I believe Lord, help my unbelief?"In this close to the bone memoir Michelle shares with brave openness her doubts, fears and growing reliance on a Lord Who asks us to believe what we can not always see.Some pages left me giggling, others are stained by tears of recognition.This is a must read for anyone who wants to know themselves and their Lord in a deeper way.
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  • Wendy Miller
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve never encountered a book with such an insightful blend of humor and poignancy. I’ve been waiting to read DeRusha’s work in print for years. SPIRITUAL MISFIT exceeded my expectations. By tackling probing questions like can doubt and faith coexist, DeRusha writes a necessary book with a brave and witty voice that is sure to engage many wrestling and “misfit” souls.I’ve been enthusiastically recommending SPIRITUAL MISFIT to friends and family. I’m eager to read more from DeRusha!
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  • Liralen
    January 1, 1970
    I was thinking the other day (ruminating on Blind Courage) that I'm really not a fan of memoirs-as-testimony (you know—How I Found Jesus). But I'm reminded here that it's more complex than that: I'm not a big fan of memoirs with a beat-you-over-the-head-with-a-cross message (How I Found Jesus and How I Know He's Right for You, Too), but I'm a sucker for memoirs that wrestle with the question of faith.This is in the latter camp: DeRusha's journey of turning away from the Catholic church at a youn I was thinking the other day (ruminating on Blind Courage) that I'm really not a fan of memoirs-as-testimony (you know—How I Found Jesus). But I'm reminded here that it's more complex than that: I'm not a big fan of memoirs with a beat-you-over-the-head-with-a-cross message (How I Found Jesus and How I Know He's Right for You, Too), but I'm a sucker for memoirs that wrestle with the question of faith.This is in the latter camp: DeRusha's journey of turning away from the Catholic church at a young age, avoiding faith of all sorts for a long while, and then slowly battling her way into a new understanding of Christianity.One thing that continues to frustrate me with this sort of memoir is the idea that religion = god. As DeRusha works to figure out how to feel comfortable in Christianity, I never really see her ask 'why believe what the Bible says?' or 'what does the/this church believe, and what do I believe?' or 'what about other religions?' It's only near the very end that I understand why Lutheranism feels like a good fit to her:Lutheranism's familiarity appealed to me. Many of the prayers were similar or even identical to those I had recited as a Catholic, and even the service unfolded in the same format. I fell into the rhythm of church without too much apprehension, going through the motions as I had done decades prior. ... The familiarity of the liturgy enticed me in the beginning, but it was the radical embrace of grace and love, the embrace of Jesus, really, that inspired me to stay. (175)Generally...I appreciate the dissection and the humour here. A couple of nice moments:One time, before inviting Pastor Sara for dinner, we practiced saying grace with the boys for seven nights and had it down pretty well. The night of the dinner, as we bowed our heads and folded our hands, Noah blurted, "Oh! We're saying a prayer! Mommy forgets to do that. A lot." This was, in fact, a profound understatement (although I'm not sure why I was the sole parent taking the hit)."That happens to everyone once in a while," Pastor Sara acknowledged generously, clearly seeing through our transparent eleventh-hour attempt to introduce prayer into the mealtime ritual. (128)I rattled off a list of lost privileges rivaling a day at Guantánamo Bay—"No books! No snacks! No story! No snuggling! No prayers!" (Yes, I took away prayers.) Then I dropped each boy howling and sniveling into his respective bed. And burst into tears myself. (132)
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  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    Definitely some lessons here I can learn as someone who struggles with doubt in similar ways herself.I do agree with other reviews on the 3/5 rating, as she is a bit repetitive and could condense things down a bit, but I also agree that her book made me giggle a few times with her witty way of telling stories. It was entertaining, though the repetition caused me to take a while on this book. On the mainly positive end, hearing her story of redemption in the midst of doubt really encouraged me th Definitely some lessons here I can learn as someone who struggles with doubt in similar ways herself.I do agree with other reviews on the 3/5 rating, as she is a bit repetitive and could condense things down a bit, but I also agree that her book made me giggle a few times with her witty way of telling stories. It was entertaining, though the repetition caused me to take a while on this book. On the mainly positive end, hearing her story of redemption in the midst of doubt really encouraged me that God is faithful even when I struggle to believe what He says is true and even when I am a fumbling "misfit." It really helps to know you're not alone when you read this book and to know someone has learned and is learning the same things I am under God.Overall, a pretty good read, if not a little tedious to get through. But quite encouraging and funny. :)
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  • Laura Hiebenthal
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book for the author's pure honesty and her humor. I found myself truly laughing out loud at some of the stories from her life. Best of all, those stories are relatable. Sometimes it's easy to think everyone is walking around with a rock-solid faith, while you are secretly questioning your own faith. The author was expecting her faith to arrive in a lightning-bolt moment but instead it came in many small moments over time.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    I love everything about this book. She is so genuine. And I think EVERYONE can relate with having doubt in their Christian journey. Sometimes we just have to CHOOSE to have faith. I'm so glad she had the courage to be honest with herself and others and to share her story with the world. She's someone I would want to be friends with.
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  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    One of the best books I have ever read. Could easily be MY memoir. I saw myself on every page. Definitely need to own a copy!!
  • Joanne Viola
    January 1, 1970
    I recently had the opportunity to read “Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith” by Michelle DeRusha. I have been waiting for today – her release day!!! – to share about this book. I have been so blessed in reading her blog posts for the last year that when the chance to read her book became available, I jumped at it.Recently I was asked this question … What are the top three reasons I would recommend this book? Here are my reasons:#3 – This book will make you laugh! Seriously, the woman has I recently had the opportunity to read “Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith” by Michelle DeRusha. I have been waiting for today – her release day!!! – to share about this book. I have been so blessed in reading her blog posts for the last year that when the chance to read her book became available, I jumped at it.Recently I was asked this question … What are the top three reasons I would recommend this book? Here are my reasons:#3 – This book will make you laugh! Seriously, the woman has the funniest sense of humor. She describes situations and emotions which will not only make you laugh with her but you will laugh at yourself because you will see reflections of yourself in her stories. Michelle makes you realize, there are so many experiences in life which are common to us all. And funny as they are, these experiences still point us to God, revealing Him in ways which make Him all the more tangible in our lives.#2 – This book will make you cry!! Michelle shares with a transparency which will touch your heart. She lets you into places most of us hold close to ourselves to reveal her own personal struggles. We come to see God has been at work in each of our lives through all things. She shares her skepticism, her shortcomings, and her fragile faith. And the #1 reason!!! – This book will surely grow your faith and relationship with God. Throughout each page, we discover our search to belong, to fit in, leads us to the profound truth which is this – we have been loved all along. We come to grips with the fact that this journey of faith – well – it is just that … our journey. For each of us, it will look different. And yet it will look similar. Michelle’s memoir and journey is transparent, honest and authentic. We all have doubts and questions at various times throughout our lives. I have come to realize these are the very catalysts which God uses to grow us in our faith. He moves us deeper into our awareness of Himself and Who He is. We come to see facets of faith which may have remained hidden had we not questioned. These times become the means by which as Michelle explains, “…we learn how to seek God every day, in ordinary life, and to learn how to shape my life to reflect him.” (page 208)After all, that is truly the goal – to be transformed so that we reflect Him and our lives bring Him glory.
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  • Patricia
    January 1, 1970
    Spiritual Misfit by Michelle DeRushaMichelle DeRusha was raised in church but she didn’t believe what she heard there. She married a man who did believe. She went to church with him most of the time or at least some of the time. For a while that was okay with her. She didn’t need God in her life, forspiritualmisfit twenty years that is what she thought. Then she and her husband and small son moved from their home in Massachusetts to Nebraska where she had no friends or extended family. Now she b Spiritual Misfit by Michelle DeRushaMichelle DeRusha was raised in church but she didn’t believe what she heard there. She married a man who did believe. She went to church with him most of the time or at least some of the time. For a while that was okay with her. She didn’t need God in her life, forspiritualmisfit twenty years that is what she thought. Then she and her husband and small son moved from their home in Massachusetts to Nebraska where she had no friends or extended family. Now she began to question God, if He existed, what was He all about and why was He so important?She would look at other people at church and know that she wasn’t like them, she didn’t fit in, she didn’t belong. That was when she began asking herself why and did it matter? She was more attentive in church, bought a bible, went to bible study, and small group. She spent a lot of time frustrated with the answers of other people and the way they seemed so sure they were right. The answers to her questions were unclear and often confusing.She continued on her journey and came to faith, her faith. Faith in God who she knows is real. She believes and doubts and journeys on knowing it is okay to doubt. There are few black and white answers and she is sometimes uncomfortable in her faith.She knows that doesn’t change God but it does change her when she honestly seeks Him.This book may be surprising to some in its honesty and candor. DeRusha writes clearly with humor, and without apology for who she is, which to this reader was refreshing. This would be a good book for someone who struggles with doubts or someone who doesn’t understand a friend or family member who has doubts.Blogging for Books provided this book to mefree of charge in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Joe Pote
    January 1, 1970
    I found Michelle's telling of her faith journey to be both riveting and inspiring. Her engaging writing style kept me eager to read the next chapter. Both her overall story and the many smaller stories are inspiring and encouraging.Not since my first reading of Brennan Manning's "Ragamuffin Gospel," several years ago, have I highlighted so many quotable paragraphs, or had so many poignant passages bring tears to my eyes.On the surface, Michelle's story and mine would appear to be polar opposites I found Michelle's telling of her faith journey to be both riveting and inspiring. Her engaging writing style kept me eager to read the next chapter. Both her overall story and the many smaller stories are inspiring and encouraging.Not since my first reading of Brennan Manning's "Ragamuffin Gospel," several years ago, have I highlighted so many quotable paragraphs, or had so many poignant passages bring tears to my eyes.On the surface, Michelle's story and mine would appear to be polar opposites. Unlike Michelle, I was raised in a faith-centered evangelical Christian home, with a strong foundation in biblical study and a firm grasp of God's love.Yet, on so many points, Michelle describes a journey familiar to all true believers who have lived enough to experience the realization that this life is a lot messier than we realized in our youth and that God's grace is much higher, deeper and broader than we will ever understand.Like Michelle, I have learned that faith is more about living with unanswered questions than about knowing all the answers...that it requires letting go of control more than controlling...that in this life there will always be much more of God and His word that I don't understand than that I do understand. And, yet, somehow, in all those questions, fears, sorrows, and doubts, we come to know God much more personally than we ever would have by refusing to question the teachings of our youth.If you haven't read this book, buy a copy now...and an extra for a friend...and prepare to be humbled by God's amazing grace.Joe PoteAuthor of "So You are a Believer who has been through Divorce"
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    An enjoyable and relatable story of what it's like to be a rational-minded, skeptical faith seeker. DeRusha grew up with the kind of Catholic faith that was practiced rigorously and never discussed, and she gradually fell away from belief as she became an adult. But she hid her doubts for years, and it took admitting them out loud to make her reconsider whether there was something worthwhile about faith after all.Not every aspect of this book clicked for me — there was an abundant use of similes An enjoyable and relatable story of what it's like to be a rational-minded, skeptical faith seeker. DeRusha grew up with the kind of Catholic faith that was practiced rigorously and never discussed, and she gradually fell away from belief as she became an adult. But she hid her doubts for years, and it took admitting them out loud to make her reconsider whether there was something worthwhile about faith after all.Not every aspect of this book clicked for me — there was an abundant use of similes, and sometimes DeRusha took a roundabout way of making a point in order to tell some story that wasn't necessarily related to her faith journey. But by and large I resonated with her experiences and especially with her thought processes about faith, God, prayer, and the like. Unlike many Christian books, she doesn't offer bland platitudes; instead, she provides concrete examples or detailed explanations for each conclusion she reaches along the way. She doesn't have any earth-shaking conversion experience. She figures out that the best she can do is to make a choice to continue seeking faith, which sounds like a weak conclusion but is actually a pretty honest description of where I'd imagine many Christians are.For anyone on the spectrum from hardcore-believer to skeptic-but-open, but especially for the many of us in between, I recommend picking up this book.
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  • Sherry
    January 1, 1970
    This book was thoroughly written. If you don't have the patience for laborious, detailed back stories, this probably isn't the book for you. The wordage, the stories told, the humor of the book make this a generalized Christian book for women. Not to say that means it's bad, just not male friendly. After struggling through the first 100 pages (which probably could have been condensed to 20 pages), I really enjoyed the journey the author took to find her belief in God. Her struggles through every This book was thoroughly written. If you don't have the patience for laborious, detailed back stories, this probably isn't the book for you. The wordage, the stories told, the humor of the book make this a generalized Christian book for women. Not to say that means it's bad, just not male friendly. After struggling through the first 100 pages (which probably could have been condensed to 20 pages), I really enjoyed the journey the author took to find her belief in God. Her struggles through every day things - rude people at the grocery store or picture perfect playground moms - are things that we have all felt. Where do these things fit into God's plan for us? How does He use these things to mold us into Christians? The answers aren't in this book. This is the answer DeRusha provides, an answer that is probably a proclamation of every Doubting Thomas."I've come to realize the opposite should be true: I should not have it all figured out. And if I think I do, I should take that as a red flag because it probably means I have crafted a God of my own design, a God whom I can control. Living the questions and relinquishing control is so much more challenging than fashioning a God who is entirely fathomable and comprehensible. But living the questions is also more real - a truer, more honest approach to discovering and nurturing a relationship with God." (page 216)
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  • Kari
    January 1, 1970
    I read Michelle DeRusha’s blog a few times many years ago when it was called Nebraska Graceful. I remember enjoying her sense of humor and her way of looking at the world, so when I saw that I could request a copy of her book, I was excited to do so. Michelle grew up in the Catholic church but did not consider herself a person of faith. After some conversations and experiences at church with her family, she decided to be more open to spiritual ideas and began to see God moving in unexpected plac I read Michelle DeRusha’s blog a few times many years ago when it was called Nebraska Graceful. I remember enjoying her sense of humor and her way of looking at the world, so when I saw that I could request a copy of her book, I was excited to do so. Michelle grew up in the Catholic church but did not consider herself a person of faith. After some conversations and experiences at church with her family, she decided to be more open to spiritual ideas and began to see God moving in unexpected places. This is her story of faith and doubt and not fitting in. One of the things I liked about her blog bugged me a little bit while I was reading the book – she is great at finding the humor in situations and is careful to make herself the butt of the joke and to protect her family. After a few chapters, I began to wish we had had more information on the people around her to balance out her portrayal of herself as a bit of a grumpy goof. The book quotes a lot of authors I have read (especially Kathleen Norris) and there were times I felt that she was not adding a lot to those quotes. Still, I would recommend this for people who have struggled as outsiders in their faith, especially those who converted as adults.
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    Michelle DeRusha writes with wit and passion in her spiritual memoir, a journey that begins in religion, into an extended period of doubt, and finally into an uneasy faith. Her writing is engaging and vulnerable. I think nearly every Christian will be able to relate to some part of her uneasy journey through doubt and questions, whether or not we ever admit to it in public.This is not a book about theology or answers to spiritual questions. Rather it is more like someone coming alongside you in Michelle DeRusha writes with wit and passion in her spiritual memoir, a journey that begins in religion, into an extended period of doubt, and finally into an uneasy faith. Her writing is engaging and vulnerable. I think nearly every Christian will be able to relate to some part of her uneasy journey through doubt and questions, whether or not we ever admit to it in public.This is not a book about theology or answers to spiritual questions. Rather it is more like someone coming alongside you in your own journey, letting you know that "I've been there, too, and I got through it." It is about stories to give encouragement when our own spiritual journey seems to have gone awry of expectations, when we seem to be lacking progress, when we feel like we are missing the Spirit-filled walk with Christ.The journey of Christian faith is not all easy answers and quick fixes to the problems of life. It meanders and takes unexpected turns. It is filled with difficulties and disappointments. We have to learn to let go and live a life of trusting in God. For all who travel the path, this book can provide needed encouragement.
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  • Sarah Paschall
    January 1, 1970
    Foremost, DeRusha's writing style is excellent. She is clever, informed, and refreshingly candid about her experience with faith and faith followers. I would recommend this book based on style alone.The content, too, was excellent. DeRusha, with an up-tempo pace, walks the reader through her journey and answers how she came to know God. Her humor-filled, yet serious, stories are fascinating, especially, for anyone who has really grappled--and wrestled--with not only the existence of God, but als Foremost, DeRusha's writing style is excellent. She is clever, informed, and refreshingly candid about her experience with faith and faith followers. I would recommend this book based on style alone.The content, too, was excellent. DeRusha, with an up-tempo pace, walks the reader through her journey and answers how she came to know God. Her humor-filled, yet serious, stories are fascinating, especially, for anyone who has really grappled--and wrestled--with not only the existence of God, but also the reality of a personal relationship with him. My main critique is that there is not a clear presentation of the Gospel message. Although brimming with spiritual truths and heavy topics, I see oversight in neglecting (even in the appendix of notes section) to lay out the Gospel message for readers, especially those who are likely to pick up and read a book entitled "Spiritual Misfit." Still a very worthy read.
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  • Kimberly Simpson
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book. It touched my heart and made me laugh out loud. Great memoir !favorite passage... "I began to realize, as Ignatius Loyola once said, that anything I turned in the direction of God was prayer. It took me a long time but I finally began to understand that I didn't need to impress God with perfect words, fully articulated thoughts, and catchy phrases. God didn't need me to come to him as someone else. He didn't need me to dress up my prayers in poetry or lace them with special, s I loved this book. It touched my heart and made me laugh out loud. Great memoir !favorite passage... "I began to realize, as Ignatius Loyola once said, that anything I turned in the direction of God was prayer. It took me a long time but I finally began to understand that I didn't need to impress God with perfect words, fully articulated thoughts, and catchy phrases. God didn't need me to come to him as someone else. He didn't need me to dress up my prayers in poetry or lace them with special, sacred words. He wanted me, the rambling, bumbling, awkward me. The misfit me. Mumbling and chanting, begging and pleading, thanksgiving and praise, petition, song, gesture, breath and even wordless attention- all were ways to turn in the direction of God. All were prayers"
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  • Susan Stilwell
    January 1, 1970
    Few memoirs have made me laugh like Spiritual Misfit. Michelle DeRusha’s brave honesty will have you looking at your own uneasy faith and perhaps even voicing a few shaky feelings to God.Michelle deftly walks you through her tenuous faith journey. From her Catholic upbringing to her personal doubts to the warming of her heart, she testifies to a God Who loved her completely and pursued her passionately. Spiritual Misfit is a perfect selection for a book club and is sure to invite a lively discus Few memoirs have made me laugh like Spiritual Misfit. Michelle DeRusha’s brave honesty will have you looking at your own uneasy faith and perhaps even voicing a few shaky feelings to God.Michelle deftly walks you through her tenuous faith journey. From her Catholic upbringing to her personal doubts to the warming of her heart, she testifies to a God Who loved her completely and pursued her passionately. Spiritual Misfit is a perfect selection for a book club and is sure to invite a lively discussion. Her experience is unique, but her ponderings are universal. Michelle writes in such a way that everyone can connect with her and may even breathe a sigh of relief that they’re not alone in their questions about God.
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  • Kelly Greer
    January 1, 1970
    Hilarious affirmation of your faith journey!No matter where you find yourself on the faith journey, you are sure to find yourself on the pages of this book. Michelle talks about the doubts and curiosities we all experience as we grapple to get our little arms around a big God and all that he offers us. As I read Spiritual Misfit, I nodded my head in agreement and paused to reflect on my own coming to faith over and over again. She left me with a deeper sense that God really loves me just the way Hilarious affirmation of your faith journey!No matter where you find yourself on the faith journey, you are sure to find yourself on the pages of this book. Michelle talks about the doubts and curiosities we all experience as we grapple to get our little arms around a big God and all that he offers us. As I read Spiritual Misfit, I nodded my head in agreement and paused to reflect on my own coming to faith over and over again. She left me with a deeper sense that God really loves me just the way I am, right where I am, questions and all. Michelle's gift of telling it like it is will crack you up. out loud. no matter where you are. So be warned - reading in a public library might not be the best idea. You are gonna love this one!
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  • Christine Hiester
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully written and so genuine, almost to a fault. I found myself relating to Michelle and her faith wrangling , remembering my own forays into doubt and insecurity and "otherness". I often responded to her stories with an ache, wanting so much for her to have those mystical experiences she desired. I love the way she redeemed her experiences, seeing them for the God-glimpses they were, even if they were seen with different eyes than her neighbors. Truly, we all have our own journey and have Beautifully written and so genuine, almost to a fault. I found myself relating to Michelle and her faith wrangling , remembering my own forays into doubt and insecurity and "otherness". I often responded to her stories with an ache, wanting so much for her to have those mystical experiences she desired. I love the way she redeemed her experiences, seeing them for the God-glimpses they were, even if they were seen with different eyes than her neighbors. Truly, we all have our own journey and have only the responsibility to respond with what we have been given. In that is the true grace of the Spirit.
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  • Meg
    January 1, 1970
    This is a beautifully written book about one humble woman's journey to embrace the unease of faith and appreciate the beauty that accompanies it. Michelle deftly spins the tale of her life, providing clear footholds along her climb to a better place; a climb that is circuitous and slippery but no less worth the ultimate destination. I dogeared several pages (maybe a couple dozen) and even had my hubby read several parts (readers will recognize "Mof, I love you," Dairy Queen, and Cheez-Its). I am This is a beautifully written book about one humble woman's journey to embrace the unease of faith and appreciate the beauty that accompanies it. Michelle deftly spins the tale of her life, providing clear footholds along her climb to a better place; a climb that is circuitous and slippery but no less worth the ultimate destination. I dogeared several pages (maybe a couple dozen) and even had my hubby read several parts (readers will recognize "Mof, I love you," Dairy Queen, and Cheez-Its). I am privileged to know Michelle through book club but I have such a greater appreciation for her as a person having read this personal, touching memoir of hers. Thank you for your story, Michelle!
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    The best part of this spiritual memoir is the way the author reveals her rough edges, her sharp corners and abrasive parts. You wish as a Christian that there is a sweetness and light resolution, where it all gets smoothed away in some spiritual revelation or immersion in prayer or worship or something. But it doesn't. I think that will be something that's hard for non-Lutherans to appreciate about deRuscha's journey. She remains as fully a sinner as she ever was even as she accepts she can be o The best part of this spiritual memoir is the way the author reveals her rough edges, her sharp corners and abrasive parts. You wish as a Christian that there is a sweetness and light resolution, where it all gets smoothed away in some spiritual revelation or immersion in prayer or worship or something. But it doesn't. I think that will be something that's hard for non-Lutherans to appreciate about deRuscha's journey. She remains as fully a sinner as she ever was even as she accepts she can be one of the saints.
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  • tonia peckover
    January 1, 1970
    Honest, relatable, well-written. Michelle DeRusha doesn't write so much about the extreme highs and lows of faith as about the kinds of questions and roadblocks that plague many of us. She's so transparent about her feelings and her reactions to her life that she becomes instantly accessible. I especially appreciated the ending of this book. There is no spiritual high, no happy "ending." There's just a feeling of hope, and a knowing that the journey towards faith is still continuing. Refreshing.
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