I "met" Ashleigh several months ago through a mutual friend on Facebook and immediately knew I liked her. Even though we have never met in person, I have found so much that I admire about her: she was homeschooled as a child, she now homeschools her 4 children, she's a writer, and she is as sweet as can be. When she contacted me about reading and reviewing her new book Team Us: Marriage Together, I jumped at the opportunity!
Ashleigh's book is amazing. I have reviewed several marriage books in the past year, and they were all outstanding, but there is something different about Ashleigh's delivery and perspective that made it hard for me to put it down!
First off, Ashleigh's husband Ted interjects in a unique and humorous way throughout the book, so it's interesting to get a two-sided perspective on their marriage and its ups and downs. Ashleigh is well-read and she is able to effortlessly interject concepts from classic literature, but I especially enjoyed when she wove modern-day cult classics into her writing. It's not everyday that you can seamlessly slip in lines from The Princess Bride in reference to the challenges of marriage. But Ashleigh did it--and did it well!
Another aspect of this book that drew me in was how Ashleigh opened up about herself and allowed me to get to know her better. She was vulnerable and real. I could totally relate to her as she shared some of the heartaches she and Ted faced with loss, separation, struggles and cross-country moves.
If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know I am no stranger to marriage struggles. I am a two-time divorcee, so I would be an expert at telling you what not to do. Reading Team Us: Marriage Together was so encouraging because Ashleigh and Ted are still deep in the trenches of a fairly young marriage, raising small children, and navigating this crazy thing called commitment. I am a billboard representation of giving up,offering criticism, and demanding things be done my way. Ashleigh beautifully paints the picture of marriage the way Christ intends it: with grace and love at the center.
In addition to hearing from Ashleigh and Ted, I really enjoyed the other real-life scenarios presented by friends of the author. I found myself shaking my head and laughing out loud at some of the tongue-in-cheek stories and wiping away a tear at others. Team Us: Marriage Together is real stuff! This isn't the run-of-the-mill, seasoned married veteran looking back on their marriage after kids are grown (which is still invaluable insight), rather these are two people, knee-deep on the front-lines of the precarious balance of marriage and parenthood, trying to make sense of it all and honor each other the way Christ honors the church.
Marriage is frustrating, tough, grueling, arduous, back-breaking work at times. But it is also enormously rewarding, fulfilling, and a beautiful picture of the way Christ loves us. Ashleigh beautifully expresses that in her book.
After finishing Team Us: Marriage Together, I felt like I knew Ashleigh even better. I felt like she is someone who gets it and who I could easily sit cross-legged across from on a comfy couch at Starbucks, chatting about marriage and all its splendor and madness. And even though the book does not shy away from sharing Ashleigh and Ted's struggles and triumphs in boldness, it was a huge source of encouragement for me in my own marriage.
I recommend this book for anyone: Single, considering marriage, not considering marriage, newly married, empty-nester, etc.
There is something in it for everyone.
And, excitedly, I have the opportunity for one of you to win a copy!
Contest begins today, June 2, 2014 and ends at 12:00 A.M. June 10, 2014. Must be 18 or older to enter. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Winner will be selected and notified via email. Winner will have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be selected.
*I was provided an advanced-copy PDF version of Team Us: Marriage Toegther by Ashleigh Slater in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.