In early March, I was blessed to be participating as a blogger at the Behold Conference in Peoria, Illinois. While I was there, I met a delightful woman who, it just so happened, had a personality that made me want to read her book. She had just penned an article that week that grabbed my attention, and meeting her made me pick up her book right away, despite a review shelf that's begging to be emptied soon.

How had I never heard of Emily Stimpson before?

Stimpson's book, The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years: The Nuts and Bolts of Staying Sane and Happy While Waiting for Mr. Right, is absolutely wonderful.

Before you discount this book as something that doesn't apply to you, let me tell you something that still shocks me: I marked pages and highlighted passages from this book.

This book is full of wisdom and insight that applies to all of us, whether we're married with three kids or single into our 50s.

It's hard, in the midst of my busy life, full as it is of diapers and kids and dilemmas of the 5:00 witching hour variety, to see beyond the fence to those ladies who long for my chaos. It's difficult, from my perch on the table, pulling a child off the chandelier, to relate to the quiet my life used to have in it.

In other words, it's easy to just surround myself with like-minded people.

That doesn't do any of us any good, not really.

I am still a bit amazed that I put down a novel I was reading so that I could continue and finish this book. It wasn't a bad novel, mind you. I just enjoyed Stimpson's writing and was so interested in what she had to say next.

Sometimes, she reminds us, being single isn't a choice we're happy with. Sometimes, she nudges, singles need friends, too, and an invitation to be part of the craziness that constitutes life in the throes of family life.

I'm grateful for the glimpse she so candidly shared, and I plan to share this book with many of my friends.

Want a copy of The Catholic Girl's Survival Guide?

Leave a comment here by Friday, April 20 and you could be selected to win it!

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Copyright 2012 Sarah Reinhard