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Hello there! It has been quite some time since I've put up a blog post, and to be completely honest, life has been simply crazy. I am so excited to be sharing a book with you that I recently finished. I came across this book and was drawn to it because it was cute and because I love the phrase "grace, not perfection." I fully believe that it is important to hold ourselves to a standard of grace rather than perfection, although I fail at this nearly every day (especially being the perfectionist that I am).
This book, as you may have guessed, is called Grace Not Perfection and it was written by Emily Ley. First of all, the cover is gorgeous. You're totally not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but if you're into things that are aesthetically pleasing as most humans are, you'll probably love this one. It's pink with a beautiful gold accent shade on the bottom and in the text. The back of the book states: "I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection" which again is something we all should try to remember and practice. But, enough about what the book looks like. Let's get into what I thought of it!
The book begins by discussing the fact that society consistently slaps it in our faces that we are not good enough and that we will never be enough or be able to do enough. This is completely the truth, and I like that Emily addresses this right away. Most people who pick up this book are probably feeling like they're running around like a chicken with its head cut off, and they need someone to tell them that their feelings of inadequacy are very real. But, they also need to be told that they don't have to stay there. Emily continues to do that throughout the book.
I don't want to give too much of the book away, so I'm going to touch on just a few things and then give my overall thoughts on the topic of grace itself (relating to the book). I love how Emily wrote about her own real-life experiences in which she felt the exact same way that many of us feel: inadequate, running all over the place and never taking a break, exhausted, etc. It's nice to read someone's real-life examples instead of them just stating "I have been there before" because it makes it seem like they actually know how you feel. On the flip side, she talks a lot about women who are mothers. I am not a mother yet (I'm a dog mom, does that count?), so some of these things didn't necessarily apply to me. I am a very busy individual and always have been so I still found the information valuable, but when it came to diaper changes, feedings, and piles of kids clothes to wash, I couldn't relate. I say this not to veer you away from the book, but just so you are aware before you decide to read it. I honestly didn't know that she would discuss that as much as she did.
Emily also has little sections within the book where you can write down your thoughts on a particular topic. Some of these sections are more like a journal and meant for you to just write down what ever you are thinking, and others function more as a checklist for you to write things down and then do an exercise of crossing various things off for what ever reason she gives. I found this to be really helpful because it actually forced you to engage more with the material and with yourself. A lot of us read books like this and leave the book feeling inspired and ready to make changes, but we have no idea where to start and we end up feeling overwhelmed and then nothing changes. I think that having mini exercises to do throughout really helps to break the material up. You could even read this book over a certain period of time and focus on each little exercise before reading on.
To be honest, I think that the American society has become so caught up in busy-ness that we have forgotten what is truly important. Emily's book really discusses the importance of slowing down and just letting things go sometimes (or a lot of the time). She talks a lot about how we can try to do it all, but we will never be able to do it all well. It's important to pick out what is most important to you in your own life and to abide by those things. We all have to work in some way, and we all have other responsibilities as well. However, there are certain things that can be let go of every single day (such as the laundry, the dishes, or maybe even just 15 minutes of sleep so that we can have some alone time). I think it's important to figure out what these things are in your own life so that you can live a life that makes you happy and not society. I applaud Emily for writing a book trying to tackle this issue because busy-ness is so prevalent in the American society. It is extremely difficult to combat this when it's constantly being shoved down your throat. However, I also don't think that this is what God wants for us. That is another part that I love about this book: Emily brings God into almost every aspect of it. She shares messages that God has placed on her heart as well as various Bible verses. I don't feel that God wants us to live a life wrapped up in busy-ness. If we did, we'd be missing out on all the joy that He has for us. Life comes with many hardships and we are even taught that fact in the Bible. However, there is also great joy. We simply cannot experience it if we are wrapped up in the busy-ness of a schedule, the routine of laundry and cleaning, and the exhaustion that comes from not taking care of ourselves. Life is meant to be lived with those who are near and dear to our hearts. The little moments that happen with those people are intertwined in all the crazy, but I think it would be so amazing if we could make those moments shine brighter than the others. After all, that's what having grace with ourselves and others can do for us.
Thank you so much for reading, I truly appreciate it. :)