I know I’m not the only woman who struggles with living the life right in front of me. Often I live looking forward to the day when things will be “normal” again – whatever that means. I think, “if I can just get through these next few weeks, then things will get better.” And yet, I’m missing out on the life that I have right now.
Life is messy. It feels like I can never keep up. And I so desperately want to live my life well.
These are just a few of the reasons why the title of this book caught my attention. I had to know if this Alexandra Kuykendall had found the answers to the question I’ve been asking myself. How can I live my life well?
I used to believe that I was the only woman who struggled with my identity as a wife and mother. Since my marriage, I’ve wanted to embrace the new role I’d been given – homemaker. But part of me has always wanted more.
When I read the description of this book, I knew I had to read and review it.
Emily was telling my story.
Stop trying to be perfect.
Stop it right now!
I’ve lived my life trying to be perfect – always doing the right thing, anticipating what others want me to be and do before they can ask. Let me tell you, it is exhausting and very wrong. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He loves us as we are – even the messy parts.
We believe those things in principle, but practice is harder. After all, how can God not expect the best from us? How can He not want us to do everything in our power to be the very best person and Christian we can be?
Life if busy! We, as women, jump from one activity to another. We run, run, run – always caring for those around us, solving their problems, and keeping the world running. But at the end of the day, it’s easy to realize we’ve done nothing for ourselves.
I’m often guilty of this very thing. I neglect the interests and activities that make me unique, and focus on always doing for others. While there is nothing wrong with doing for others – in fact, it is very right to take care of our families, work hard for our employers, and minister to those around us. But if we don’t spend time recharging our creative batteries, we will find that our lives are flat and unfulfilled.
But how can busy women like us make time for those fun extras?
I love books that encourage and inspire. Sitting down with The Beauty of Grace, edited by Dawn Camp, is like sitting down with a group of close friends. The women in this book are so open and raw in the way they share their hearts with us readers.
Several entries touched me in a profound way. I identified with the woman scared of losing her child after dealing with infertility. I cried with the woman who didn’t even have $2 to pay for bananas. I felt like I was with these women in the intimate moments discovering God’s work in their lives.
In reading their stories, I was forced to slow down and think about my story. How is God revealing Himself to me right now? Do I see him in the everyday moments while my son plays with his toys or asks me to read him the story of David and Goliath for the seventeenth time today? Do I have heart-to-heart times with my Savior while up to my elbows in soap suds?