All That It Takes is a sequel to All That Really Matters by Nicole Deese. Val Locklier had been Molly McKenzie’s virtual assistant in the first book. As Molly’s business expanded, she invited Val to move from Alaska to Spokane for a full-time job.
Moving was a big leap for Val. Not only was she extremely cautious by nature, but she had her ten-year-old son, Tucker, to think about. Leaving the support system of her parents was hard. But she felt it was time to spread her wings.
Molly settled Val in the upstairs apartment her brother rents out. He’s out of the country and left Molly in charge. He usually rents to single guys, but Molly doesn’t think he’ll mind renting to Val. They had met a few months before.
As Val settles in, an opportunity for an elite film mentorship unexpectedly opens up. Val wants to expand in that area, but all her insecurities arise to talk her out of taking a chance.
Molly’s brother, Miles, is unhappily on his way home from Mexico. He is the outreach pastor, but the new senior pastor has cut down on outreach and travel–while setting up things like a gourmet coffee bar. Miles grew up with Pastor Curtis, but never felt Curtis adequately filled his pastor-father’s shoes. People seemed so much more earnest in Mexico, focused on the right things. Disillusioned, he thinks maybe he’ll resign his position and seek an opportunity there. He calls his missionary father to keep an eye out for a position.
When Miles arrives home, he finds two surprises. Val and Tucker now live above him. And Pastor Curtis reassigned Miles to the family resource center, a side ministry that is on its last legs.
Miles feels like he is set up to fail, just marking time until Pastor Curtis closes this ministry as well. But he begins to clean things up, gets to know the one or two people still on staff, and learns about what the facility does. Val agrees to take pictures and help him spiff up the web site, but is unexpectedly pulled into the needs of a young woman who visits the center.
As Val and Miles become more attracted, Val is not sure whether her reservations are her old insecurities or a warning sign not to get involved. “Pastor Miles McKenzie was an adventurer by nature, a traveler of exotic places and an extroverted humanitarian who never seemed to sit still for longer than a minute. And while he’d been nothing but kind to Tucker and me during our brief encounters at the fundraising event we attended last fall and again during Molly and Silas’s wedding this March, I was certain that other than his sister, the two of us had little in common” (p. 12). Val is a single mom certainly not looking for adventure.
As Miles seeks his own will for his future, he finds that God might be leading a different way, and he just might have been wrong about a couple of things.
Some of the quotes that stood out to me:
Give me an essay to write anytime. Or a ten-page paper, for that matter, on any number of subjects that I could research and put into my own words. But don’t ask me to think on the spot. Don’t ask me to provide meaningful answers that determine my future without adequate time to prepare (p. 67, Kindle version).
Every story is original not because of the plot . . . but because each storyteller behind the pen or camera or canvas has an original perspective (p. 107).
You might not be able to make sense of God’s plan or timing, but I can promise you that He isn’t confused (p. 126).
In the midst of trials, it’s tempting to confuse release with relief. But make no mistake, they are not interchangeable. One is long-lasting, the other fleeting (p. 126).
Sometimes all that it takes is one person being willing to step out in love for the betterment of another to change the trajectory of an entire life (p. 270).
I’d much rather my life be defined by a thousand little moments of faithfulness than by one big moment of fame (p. 389).
When I started this book, at first I missed the “sparkle” of Molly’s personality from the previous book. She’s in this story, but as a side character. Val and Miles are quieter people. But as I got to know them, I really enjoyed their story.