So I know the golden rule of reading books is to “not judge a book by its cover”. But can we talk about how cute this book is? I loved everything about the design of this book, especially the font choices!
As for the content, I loved diving (This is the last nautical pun I will use here, promise.) into her story about her journey with her very premature daughter, Scarlette through countless nights in the NICU and beyond. I was able to really step foot into her journey as I am mentored by a mom with a very similar story. As I read about the difficulties of eye surgery and the extended hours of skin to skin contact, I remembered praying my friend Jessica and her baby Noelle through the same journey.
“Because sometimes community isn’t a grand gesture. Sometimes community is the simple act of filling an empty seat.” -Kayla Aimee, Anchored, page 91
Kayla’s subtitle is “finding hope in the unexpected”. I was drawn to this title first of all, because my friend Jessica recently shared about her journey with Noelle and titled it “the blessed whatever” about choosing joy in whatever circumstances life hands you. And secondly because, I’ve been learning and praying a good deal recently about the role of expectations and what we do with the space between what we expected and what God provides. This space where so much doubt and anger and frustration is created. I went into this book looking for an exposition on the answers that Kayla found in this sanctifying journey. Instead, I simply found her story.
But how profound a story is.
“We leave our mark on this world no matter how small our stories seem.” -Kayla Aimee, Anchored, page 89
And I think that this is something we miss in our world of TED talks and blogs and BuzzFeed articles. We have unlimited media and messages coming our way and too few stories. I closed the back cover of Anchored with less underlined sentences of tweetable quotes than any nonfiction I’ve picked up in a long time (except for textbooks for class, that is). Instead, I closed the back cover of this book refreshed by the rawness of Kayla’s story. I drove back to school from Thanksgiving break today with space for God to be able to make connections from Kayla’s story to my own.
Kayla’s story is beautiful and I pray Scarlette grows up to be half as funny, beautiful, and brave as her mama.