For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker released today. I have already read it three times and know there will be a fourth reading very soon (I like it so much I want others to read it too so I am co-leading a group study of it in a few weeks at my church. I am sooo excited!). I cannot wait to hear what others think. In the meantime, I'll share a little of my experience with the book..
The first chapter, "Worst Beam Ever" is sooo amazing! After reading it, the phrase "Off the beam!" is now permanently in my vocabulary. I have felt freedom from striving for perfection and been released to just be me. This chapter talks about not concerning ourselves with doing it all but to decide what is most important to us in this season, what is necessary for ourselves and families, what adds value to our lives, and say "no" to the extras that steal our time and our joy. After reading it, I immediately implemented it by choosing not to have party favors at my child's upcoming birthday party. It's a small thing, but it was one less thing to have to think about or spend time on. I doubt anyone missed them either.
Here's a quote from the chapter:
Here's a quote from the chapter:
We combine the best of everything we see, every woman we admire in every genre, and conclude: I should be all of that. It is certifiably insane. The only thing worse than this unattainable standard is the guilt that follows when perfection proves impossible. p.3
I could probably summarize each chapter for you but that would ruin your experience. Let's just say that there are many wonderful chapters that contain wisdom and freedom to be who God created you to be.
There are also some chapters that provide a type of comic relief (but still have truth in them). There are some titled "Thank You Notes" similar to Jimmy Fallon's segment on The Tonight Show. One of my favorites:
Thank you, Maxi Dresses, for helping me appear dressed up, as though I really made an effort, but making me feel as if I'm wearing a nightgown out in public. You are basically crotchless yoga pants, and I salute you. p.50
As if that were not enough from this amazing book (which I describe to others as being like potpourri - a little bit of everything), there are also some recipes to help sharpen your skills and invite other people over to grow relationships. I made the Beef Bourguignon which was delicious and very rich. I also made the Pad Thai and agree with Jen wholeheartedly that fish sauce stinks when cooked and permeates the entire house, but it did help create another oh-so-tasty dish. My family actually did share both of these meals with friends and had a great time!
This book really does have a little bit of everything. It offers encouragement, truth in love, humor, sympathy, wisdom, fashion advice, parenting comfort and frank talk about real issues. It is a book you could read once a year (or more frequently) and find things to apply to grow in your spiritual and personal relationships. I highly recommend this book and would love to hear your thoughts after you've read it. For the love, just go buy it already!
You're still reading? Well, I have news for you! I'm giving away a copy of this awesome book to one reader! All you have to do is comment below and tell me if you're familiar with Jen Hatmaker and, if so, how (have you read a previous book, seen her on HGTV, follow her blog?). I would also appreciate it if you'd let me know how you found this post. You can enter until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday the 20th. I'll announce the winner on Friday, August 21st. (If you can't post a comment for some reason, please send me an email at mybyrdlife @ gmail dot com). Thanks!
***The winner of the book (chosen randomly by my 2yo) is "John, Elizabeth, and Grace"! Congratulations! I will get the book to you shortly.***