Well friends, it seems that my technical issues have passed, for the time being. While I'm still mourning the loss of all your lovely comments from the past year and a half, I'm very excited that this new commenting system will make it much easier to leave comments!
Now, onto today's post. InCourage sent me this brand new book to read and review:
About the Book
In "You're Already Amazing," Holley Gerth seeks to encourage and equip Christian women to embrace who God made them, and discover how they can best live out His purpose for their lives. Each chapter is packed with practical self-assessments, checklists, and graphs to help you determine your strengths, skills, the who and how your skills enable you to serve, your approach to emotions, your emotional style, determining "safe people" in our lives, your social strengths, and so much more. Holley blends scriptural encouragement with practical application in every chapter.
What I liked
First of all, this book is beautiful. The cover design, page design, font choices, layouts, everything is beautifully detailed.
I LOVE self-assessment quizzes, whether it's determining which Disney princess I am or categorizing my personality traits, so I enjoyed the five minute assessment sections scattered throughout the chapters. Being able to stop and apply each section was very helpful. Also, these assessments weren't the popular spiritual gift tests that I'd taken before; they were definitely unique.
When reading the "How Do I Connect?" chapter, I felt like I was discovering the missing puzzle pieces that made sense of how I respond to different people and social situations. The chapter, "Who's With Me?" brought to light some of the reasons I struggle with making and maintaining friendships. Chapter 3 illuminated some of the lies I've long believed about myself, but the exercise of writing them out and then actually writing out the scripture to counter them was powerful. Chapter 4 encouraged me to stop stressing out so much about certain areas of my life, and realize that just like God took the Israelites on a 40 year detour, He has a reason for keeping me "encamped."
I think chapter 10, "Is It Okay to Take Care of Myself?" will hit home with many women. Here's a quote I highlighted in the book:
When you give to a charity or another organization, it's a good choice. But it's still a withdrawal from your bank account. If you endlessly gave without replacing those funds, you'd end up banrupt. You wouldn't be able to to give to the charity any longer or cover the needs in your life. That's a lot like how our hearts work too. Even Jesus took time away to be renewed. It's not selfish to make a deposit in your emotional bank account. It's an investment that you'll be able to use to bless someone later.
I also appreciated the "Do What You Can Plan" idea from chapter 9. Instead of feeling like we need to work out an hour every day, Holley encourages doing what you can every day, even if some days it's only 10 minutes. Exercise is just one example of how creating a "Do What You Can Plan" could work.
What I Didn't Like So MuchThe title. It sounds very self-esteem focused and self-help-y. But in the book, Holley makes it clear that we're not amazing in and of ourselves:
We're amazing not because of who we are but because of who lives within us (pg. 127).
You're already amazing because God made you, formed you , and lives within you. You're amazing because you belong to him, because he has a plan for your life, because with him there's nothing you can't do (pg. 192).I think the title could put off some people, and that's unfortunate. I wish the subtitle said something like, "You're Already Amazing- But It's Not You, It's Him," or something to that effect.
In chapter 8, Holley talks about the law and grace. Her overall points are good, but I felt like she took some liberties by claiming that the expectations we feel are the same as the OT law. And when she decided to study scripture to see what God required of her, "I pulled out my journal again, ready for a long list, But a quick look at my concordance and trip over to Micah 6:8 stunned me with it's simplicity: "The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." Period. End of story. No long list of rules. No endless expectations. It's all there in one verse. And it's all about relationships."
Well, while using a concordance to search for the exact phrase "what God requires of you" will take you to one verse, Micah 6:8, that's really not very accurate. While it's nice to say that the Old Testament is full of laws, and now we're not under the old law but under grace so all we have to do is love, there are actually a lot of commands in the New Testament. Yes, there are still rules. And it is a pretty long list, somewhere between 613 and 1,500, depending on who you quote. It's true that many of those commands deal with relationships and HOW to love others, but nevertheless, God definitely still holds his people to a standard.
Want to find out more? Read the reviews over at the incourage deals page.
And just so you know, the book is on sale for $9.00 (regularly $13.99) from DaySpring. While you're there, check out the rest of Holley's collection. As added incentive: 25% off Holley Gerth Collection with code HOLLEYG25!
I received this book free of charge, and my opinion is my own. This post contains affiliate links: for more information see the disclosure at the bottom of this site.
Have you ever wondered how your strengths, skills, personality, and passions could work together for a specific purpose? What has God used in your life to teach you about the way He made you? I'd love to read your story in the comments!