Finding Holy in the Suburbs: Living Faithfully in the Land of Too Much by Ashley Hales
Suburban life—including tract homes, strip malls, commuter culture—shapes our desires.
More than half of Americans live in the suburbs. Ashley Hales writes that for many Christians, however: "The suburbs are ignored ('Your place doesn't matter, we're all going to heaven anyway'), denigrated and demeaned ('You're selfish if you live in a suburb; you only care about your own safety and advancement'), or seen as a cop-out from a faithful Christian life ('If you really loved God, you'd move to Africa or work in an impoverished area'). In everything from books to Hollywood jokes, the suburbs aren't supposed to be good for our souls."
Finding Holy in the Suburbs considers what it looks like to live a full Christian life in the suburbs. Suburbs reflect our good, God-given desire for a place to call home. And suburbs also reflect our own brokenness. This book is an invitation to look deeply into your soul as a suburbanite and discover what it means to live holy there.
Paperback: 192 pages
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashley Hales is a writer, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother to four. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and she lives in the southern California suburbs helping her husband plant a church, Resurrection Orange County. Her writing has been featured in Books & Culture, Think Christian, (in)courage, The Well, the Englewood Review of Books, and at The Mudroom.
"Ashley is the rare sort of writer, imaginative yet concrete, prophetic yet gentle. She only cuts where she can bring healing. She brings just this sort of writing to Finding Holy in the Suburbs. And whether you're a suburban dweller, city slicker, or rural resident, this book has a powerful word to say about place and belonging."
—Seth Haines, author of Coming Clean: A Story of Faith
"For all of us, the Christian life must be embodied and lived in a given place. Even for those of us (like me) who have never lived in the suburbs, Ashley Hales's examination of her own location and context help us explore how we are formed by our own concrete community and geography. Her honest struggles with the false promises of consumerism, busyness, worship of safety, and other idols of our day will resonate with many, including us city dwellers. This book isn't just about the suburbs; it is about a woman who finds herself in a place she would not have chosen and seeks to learn what the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus bring to bear on her own home, neighborhood, time, money, parenting, friendships, and life in this moment in history. With warmth, humor, and wisdom, she helps her readers—in their own lives and context—to do the same."
— Tish Harrison Warren, priest in the Anglican Church of North America, author of Liturgy of the Ordinary