Flannels & Pearls

3 Must Read Books

I have recently read 3 wonderful books. I loved them so much! I’d like to share a brief review of each book and encourage you to consider adding these uplifting books to your own library.

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Girl, Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis

I devoured this book in a couple of hours. The author is a working mom, who is actively growing a business. Rachel’s husband was in the movie industry when she wrote the book (he has since resigned to help her grow her business). Rachel’s book is a look at how to embrace chaos, continue to shoot for your dreams, and knowing when and how to slow down and enjoy life and love. Rachel gets incredibly real in this book, as she talks candidly about faith, bladder control issues, suicide of a loved one, being a spouse, sex, dreams, talent, creativity, juggling mom-hood, building a career, and the list goes on…The theme throughout all of these topics/issues is how dearly we are loved by our Creator. Rachel provides encouragement to be the best version of us we can be. Even, as we embrace chaos. At the end of each chapter, she lists a few “things that helped me…,” where she touches on the key points from the chapter and offers strategies that have helped her. I highlighted most of her book. It has been my favorite read so far this year. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded of the simple things. To know we aren’t alone. And know that God absolutely wants us to flourish in this life He gave us. Get this book. Keep your own copy. And then buy your daughters and friends their own copies. It’s just that good.

Present over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist

This book may have helped change the course of my life. I “happened” to be reading it during a very rough time. So, it was timely for me. Again, I devoured this faith-based book, especially after the first half, where Shauna really drives home her points. The first part of the book, the author discusses how her perfectionistic drive led to physical and emotional illnesses. She had to force herself to slow down, cut back, and start saying no. In the process, she realized how important it is to soak in nature. This is a central theme in my own life, as I crave time in nature. In the second half of her book, Shauna writes about playing, creating, and connecting. “People, individual people, matter more to me than ever. I’m giving more focused time to the people I love than I ever have:  eye to eye, uninterrupted, deeply connected. But People—as in What People Think, that nameless, faceless swamp of opinions—has less to say to me now than it ever has. And the freedom in that is astounding.” Shauna nails it on the head with this quote, “For a while, I placed my marriage, my family, and my soul on the altar of productivity, of hustle, of competency and efficiency. I can’t adequately express the regret I feel for having done that, or the gratitude I feel for pulling them back down off the altar before it was too late.” I hope this book finds itself in the hands of those who need it. I know I did. It is a real reminder of how important it is to slow down and focus on those we love, while taking time to dream, play, and create.

Uninvited, Lysa TerKeurst

Lysa wastes no time setting up this book. She digs deep into the topic of rejection, using her own childhood as an example. Her writing style is instructional. She provides many scriptural references throughout the book, in fact that last section of the book, she uses scriptures to help readers pray through specific issues. Incredibly encouraging, her theme is how to live life loved, while faced with human rejection, how to slow down, spend time with Jesus, so we can soak in His great love for us. “But the One who stills us, quiets us, wipes away our exhaustion, and whispers: ‘It’s not about you becoming anything. You soul was made to simply be with Me. And the more you are with Me, the more you will stop fearing what the world might take from you. With Me you are free to be you. The real you. The you honesty called to at the very beginning of this journey. The you whose core is in alignment with My truth. The you who doesn’t fear imperfections or rejections, because grace has covered those in the loveliest of ways.’”  Uninvited is a book you want to keep for yourself and treat it more as a work book/reference book during times where you’re battling new wounds or healing the old wounds. I will be coming back to this time and time again, to remind myself of key ideas I highlighted, as I work through some of my own hurts. This is a must have for both men and women who have dealt with rejection and/or those who want to live loved. And who doesn’t want that?