Sunday, February 19, 2017

Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey off the Beaten Path by Erin Loecher (book review)

Slow. That almost seems like a curse word in today's world. You ask a friend how they are and their answer is inevitably "busy." And I am, too. We have cub scout meetings, small group, Bible studies, playdates, laundry, supper. Our ancestors were busy also (laundry, cooking, butchering, farming, mending and sewing, quilting...everything took so much longer), but that word seems to be a badge of honor...or a badge of martyrdom (??). It's something we say almost with a tinge of pride (aren't you proud of how not idle I am? how productive we are?) when I don't think "busy" has ever been the ideal. We could have loads of free time and down time with all of our modern conveniences but it seems like we just naturally (selfishly, perhaps) fill that time with "busy."

It's exhausting, isn't it?

image via amazon.com

Erin Loecher is an hgtv.com reality show star and blogger and author of "Chasing Slow." She found herself caught up in the busy (hers accompanied by panic attacks). "Chasing Slow" is her journey to finding a balance between a perfect online self and her real in-real-life self, between productivity and living life with eyes wide open, from wondering if there was more to life to knowing a real true God.

This book is so beautiful and full of lovely writing and photographs. What I find even better is that it spoke real truth, God truth, to my heart. Loecher seems to have many of the insecurities that plague me and my friends: doubt, self-worth, enough. I've tried to be enough in so many areas of life: mom, wife, blogger, Christian, friend, storytime lady, homemaker, teaching parent, college student, daughter. What I've found in each of these is that I have little control over so much in each area that I can very easily come up feeling like I'm failing and drowning.

"The reality of mountain climbing is that if the stars are your goal, you'll be scaling forever."

I am not enough on my own. I am enough through Christ.

"Chasing Slow" has allowed me to open my eyes to this reality. To really soak it in and believe it. Be still in it. Dwell in Him.

"God, teach me what it means to forgo the riches of this life. Change me. I am spent." 
Amen.

She even touches on the world that Pinterest has turned upside down. Allowing us to see so much has made us feel unworthy. I have wonderful boards on Pinterest but this is after a time of deleting my account because of the time-waster it was (spending my life looking for more and more and more but not living) and how it made me feel (I can't do most of those things or afford the others). I have very specific boards for very specific items (birthday themes and quilting patterns), but I am very careful to pin only what I'll use and delete what I won't. Because "who could have known that more would make us feel less?" I don't think the creators of Pinterest had this in mind when they beta tested this site: it's wonderful in theory.

I'll leave you with this thought from the book. I think it sums it up nicely.

"But the answer is not to lower the expectations we have created. The answer, I believe, is to live up to the expectations we have been created for." 
image via Design for Mankind

Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. All opinions are my own and may vary from others'.

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