Grace, Not Perfection
By: Emily Ley
This is a beautiful book in many ways. Not only because of the attention to detail in the gold print font on the cover, or with its own blue ribbon bookmark inside, but this book is so beautifully written. The first few chapters were very personal to be able to open up with a little back story about her. I was in tears in the first chapter because while my story isn’t quite the same as Ms. Ley’s, I could certainly relate to some topics that my husband and I have dealt with over the past few years. While we are not blessed with children yet, this book starts out like a book that would be more intended for mothers. However, the further on you read, this book could be meant for any woman: the career minded, the stay-at-home wife/mother, singles, those in relationships, etc.
I really enjoyed how personal she made this book. She writes in the introduction, “Let’s pretend we’re having coffee at your local coffee shop. I’ll share my journey with you and give some tactical tips along the way. But this book isn’t just about me. This book is about you – the deepest, most sincere desires of your heart.” As I read on, I can honestly say the way she writes really makes you feel like you are having a heart-to-heart conversation with her. There are even places in the book where you can pause and write down your thoughts to make it even more relatable. All throughout this book I had either tears, laughter or I was pausing to say “wow” in agreement.
So a little about Grace Not Perfection, Emily Ley is writing to Christian woman who are simply overwhelmed in trying to keep up with a “Pinterest/Instagram perfect” kind of world. Her book lines up perfectly with what we tell our readers here on Brewing Wisdom. It’s all about taking time in your day to slow down and not rush and make quick decisions. Make time for God and make time for those little moments that are so important. Those little moments will go by so quickly if we are rushing life just to get things done or to keep up with the world or what is popular on social media.
One of the big things I appreciated in her book was all of the simple and crisp images. I think with these images, it adds a great touch to the advice she gives to her readers. When you look at each image, every one of them is so simple and clean. Throughout her book she goes in great detail giving her readers tidbits on how to make your life way more simplified. By doing this, you’re not hung up on trying to do it all at once while trying to put on a mask to make others think you have a perfect life.
I think what really drew me into this book was how I agree with nearly everything she speaks about in regards to how to run a home and keep organized by establishing healthy routines and being prepared and planning ahead by using a planner. This reduces so much of your stress and worry and when you have a routine and start to plan ahead by using a planner or a meal plan, there are far fewer sudden surprises that can affect you and your family. I can deeply relate to what she writes in chapter two,
“Personally I enjoy a tidy home. I find happiness in the calmness and confidence knowing I’m prepared for the week ahead on a Sunday evening. Lunches are made. The fridge is stocked. Laundry is folded and put away. Our schedules are synced, and we’re ready for a good Monday. Granted, not every Sunday ends that way. But when one does, I feel like I have space to breathe, to enjoy the small stuff, and to spend my week doing what my family loves.”
In chapter two she writes about how life became overwhelming to the point where it had affected her own health. Whenever circumstances came up in her family she slipped into “captain mode”, thinking she alone could save the day and steer the ship. With exhausting fertility treatments, their dog losing his battle to cancer, her husband’s father passing away and her work becoming busier than ever she tried to take on everything with her own two hands. She skipped meals, lost sleep and worked very hard and all this soon caught up with her.
She writes how in Galations 5:13-14 ” You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” She wrote this passage to explain how we are to love others as we love, nurture, and care for ourselves but lately she wouldn’t want to love others like she had been herself lately because it wouldn’t have done them any good. She ends this chapter with a very important point that “you can’t draw water from an empty well. And when we are empty, we’re good for no one.”
This book ties into what we talk about and emphasize here at Brewing Wisdom. This book is filled with wisdom that Ms. Emily Ley brings forth eloquently and simply to her readers. I love the fact that she intertwines everything she does and centers it around God. The highlight of this book for me is found in chapter 14 ‘Cultivate Contentment’. I love what she has to say in this chapter because Jason and I have found this way of living to not only bring joy, but simplicity when days seem to run together. Emily writes
“By simplifying our lives, we’re making space for what matters – to hear God more clearly, to give more wholeheartedly, and to place our energy in people and hearts rather than in things. Ultimately, simplifying allows us to slow down enough to savor this life.”
Her entire book has wonderful tips and ideas on how to keep your life simple and offers numerous ways to organize. I must say her tips are spot on because we have seen a huge difference in our married life. When you follow the way God says to keep your life in his word, life just seems to have purpose and there is meaning. There will be bad days and there will be good days, but keeping yourself content keeps you focused on what really matters. The only and ultimate place to find biblical wisdom is from the Word of God itself. When we follow His Word and we study it, meditate on it and pray over it, God reveals to us what is important and how to live a content and satisfying life. I was so excited to see a book published that covers the importance of living contentedly and living with grace. This book is highly recommended by us and it goes under our list of good reads!
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