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Once upon a nightstand, there was Mess and there was Moxie.

Jen Hatmaker was already a well-known and well-loved leader when she sparkled her way in to my life with her witty sermons that gave you the ability to both laugh and cry in the same breath. Since my first encounter with Jen, I’ve loved each of her new book releases and circled back for her earlier offerings. I'm delighted to share her latest book, Of Mess and Moxie did not disappoint!

Jen begins this particular essay-filled missive with a look back at many “used to be” versions of herself and encourages us that we, too, need not be stagnant in our personhood. She then goes on to prove up her hypothesis with a look back at growing-up Jen, young mom Jen, girlfriend Jen, and even wounded, tired Jen. The life that she allows us into is not perfect, nor is it promised to be so. She talks of her family, of her faith, and the evolution of each.

Of Mess and Moxie is titled as such to remind Jen's readers it is totally acceptable to be both, even simultaneously. We can acknowledge our messes - no need to put on a pinterest-pinned facade, but we also can (and should) proudly stroll about life with moxie, ready to take on the world and love the heck out of it. She even shows us her chapters and in her life.

Her essays always fascinate me as they build from one to the next, and yet, can also pull out individually with ease. She also offers “bonus” content in her newer books and I cannot help but love these reader-interaction pieces, typically fostered on Facebook and massaged for optimal impact. I can’t conclude my review without gleefully noting the author shares one-liners and recipes with equal abandon. This alone should encourage you to drive down to the Target for the book and a little retail therapy.

Of Mess and Moxie is frothy at times, fearless throughout, and fabulous to share with family and friends. If you loved Jen in Interrupted and Seven, this latest piece may feel a bit lighter at first glance, but I recommend you look a bit deeper into her words and into her heart...she is still just as intentional and just as dedicated to a love she can’t deny. She just takes herself a bit less serious to allow for more of the actual loving to overflow. As a fan of all the Jen’s, this one seems the most like a gal I’d sit on a porch beside and utter, “bless!” together.

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