Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wild and Free by Jess Connolly & Hayley Morgan (book review)

"A hope filled anthem for the woman who feels she is both too much and never enough" was enough to catch my attention (and a hearty thumbs up from Jennie Allen helped) to jump at the chance to read "Wild and Free" by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan. Who hasn't ever felt like they were too much and also not enough? I raise my hand real high in answer to this one.

image via Amazon.com
I really love how this book is crafted. Connolly will write a chapter, followed by a prayer, and a response from Morgan. Then Morgan will write a chapter, followed by a prayer, and a response from Connolly. However, I will admit, it took me several days (week?) to really get into this book. I don't know exactly what it is, but it felt like drudgery. Truly.

And then, I cannot tell you what happened, but then it didn't feel like that. I kept reading and finding jewels. These pearls of wisdom. I could get through the book faster the more I got into it. And I want to share some of those things I learned or liked in the book.

Morgan wrote, "I believed I should be small because quiet and small girls are the most loved." I have believe the same for far too long! I am not small nor quiet - I talk, too much most often, but I believe God made me to be a talker, an over-sharer. I need to embrace that identity and, of course, work on the things about my identity that are not of Him but don't destroy or look down upon who He made. He didn't make a mistake. She went on to explain that meekness doesn't mean quiet and small but rather "a harnessing of God-given strength." I'd like that.

Along those same lines, Connolly later wrote:
"When we critique ourselves or discount ourselves, we are doing the very opposite of worship. When we pinch our thighs in disgust, when we shake our heads at how awkward we feel, when we stand in the mirror and look on in frustration, when we look to the right or the left and assume that everything would be better if we just had that one person's life, gift, beauty, talent, family, or home, we are not in agreement with our Father, who has made us, appointed us, and called it all good.
We are flat-out telling God He is wrong."

Deep breath, sister. I've done it too. But all hope is not lost - "When our eyes are on God and His goodness, we can rightly worship. When our eyes are on ourselves, we see only our own insufficiencies." Point those eyes to Him.

One more. "That word in Genesis used by the Creator to describe all that He'd made, including us? Tob. It means so many wonderful things: 'good, better, best.' But it also means 'at ease.' ... Our Savior paid the ultimate price so we could live the way we were intended to - underneath the banner of the gospel, at ease. ... You can stop running, stop striving, stop hoping that one day you'll be the better or best version of yourself. You can walk away from comparison, throw shame in the trash, and stop skipping around worrying whose toes you step on. Because of Jesus, we don't have to try so hard."

Isn't that the best breath of fresh air ever?! Trying is so hard. And I get so tired from it. And so I will live "Wild and Free" and understand that doesn't mean what the world may think, but it means living in freedom with a Wild God.

Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. All opinions are my own. Others' may differ from mine.

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