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5 Stars Out Of 5
Digging Deeper into The Threads of You
June 20, 2014
Listen, I have grown weary of reading books about searching for your purpose. Frankly because I don't believe "purpose" is what you're intended to search for, but that's another rant for another day. Anyone who knows me knows that I enjoy Jennie Allen's books, mainly because her style of writing is approachable, fun, and has an element of breath-of-fresh-air whimsy to it.
Restless was no different and was an appropriate read at a time in my life when I felt (and still feel)_well_restless. Jennie's intent for this book is to give the reader tools to dig deeper into his or her personal story, unwinding the threads that lead to the divine and set apart purpose God has prepared well in advance. Jennie seemed to discern the potential danger in laying out a one size fits all formula to "finding your purpose" and encourages readers against that mindset. This is not a formula, but is a healthy exercise for those who have a burning curiosity about the more for which they are made. Even in this search for personal purpose and the highlights of our own stories, Jennie stresses the most important thing that is often absent from many "find your purpose" reads: that really this isn't about any of us. Jennie balances this personal search with the ultimate reminder that this is about God, about His glory, and about His ultimate agenda.
I've never made it fully through any of Jennie Allen's writings without crying tears of affirmation, confirmation, or enlightenment at least once. The book is approachable, easy to read and digest, yet full of enough depth to whet the appetite of the lost in search for more.
The publisher provided me with a free complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review. I was not required to post a positive review and my opinions are my own.
I was first introduced to Jennie Allen last year when I read her first book "Anything". The book changed me in so many ways and was just so eye opening to me. So, when I was presented with the opportunity from the publisher to review her most recent book "Restless", I was so excited because I knew that it would be great. I was definitely not disappointed. Jennie discusses the life of Joseph to show how all of the situations of our lives work together to make us who we are and to equip us for what He has called us to do. She talks about how God used every season of his life to make him a man who would save many lives, and how we should view our lives through the lens of the Gospel and how we can point others to Christ. She discusses the different "threads" of our lives such as our: gifts, passions, places, relationships, and sufferings work together to form us and shape us into a person that God can use to bring glory to Himself. I love how she has so much insight into why we hold back from what God has called us to do and how our passions point to what God has for us in this life. There is also a Bible study and DVD available to go along with this study, and Jennie is currently hosting an online book club to discuss the book. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that is wanting to do something big in their lives, or feels like they are stuck.
We all long to have lives that matter. We have all felt the ache to do something that matters. But far too often fears, anxieties, sin, people etc. hold us back from pursuing those things that matter... from seeking out the things that matter. Or we simply just don't know where to start and our solution to that problem is to just not start at all (I know this because I've lived this many times).
In her new book, Restless, Jennie Allen presses women all over the world to seek out their God, to find the gifts He's given them, and use them to glorify His name and reach their bigger goals, dreams, and ultimately their purpose.
Restless is filled with stories of women who are wrestling, struggling to reach their bigger dreams, the ones they know God has given them and they just don't know how to get there or where it ultimately leads. Restless is also filled with stories of women who are still seeking out their purposes, dreams, and desires that God has placed within them and has for them. They are still struggling and still searching.
Somewhere in there is you and me. Somewhere in there is the story of how you're beginning the search or in the midst of it. Maybe you need some direction, some guidance. I think this book would be a good place to look. Not because Jennie has all the answers (I think she'd be the first to tell you she doesn't), but because she helps to point us to the God who does.
I read Jennie's first book Anything not too long ago and was completely blessed by it (also, I think it sounds really good when you say that you read the author's first book when writing a review for their second one ;) ). That's why I got Restless when I saw it was up for review. I was not disappointed by it and I don't think you will be either.
If you need guidance or direction about where and how you should go about taking the next step God wants you to take, pick up this book. It is filled with love, grace, wisdom, and honesty.
"To know that we do not measure up and that we don't have to because of Jesus, because of grace, means that life gets a whole lot more fun." - p. 184
Note: I received a free copy of this book for the exchange of a review.
After reading (and loving) Jennie's first book, Anything, I couldn't wait to start Restless. It does not disappoint. The first half of the book encourages women to dream of what Jesus might do with their lives, to throw off the sin that hinders, to run the race to bring glory to God. It is a call to women to get over ourselves, quit fearing other people, and to change our focus to whether we are pleasing God. The second part of the book is very interactive and it allows women to dig in and work with God in reflection on your own life and the Word. Through reading and journaling, you identify the "threads" of your life - the things that make up the who, what, when and where of your life - acknowledging that all of those threads are not accidents but are in the overarching plan of a Sovereign God. Jennie helps women see that we were each created to have a unique part of God's story - God's story of redeeming a broken world that is desperately in need of Him. And, she does a fabulous job of helping us to acknowledge why we might be afraid or pull back from dreaming of being a part of that story. Jennie has done a great job (again) with pointing women to Jesus and the beauty of a life surrendered to His purposes.
Whew!!! Hands down one of the best books I've EVER read. This was my first Jennie Allen book and it definitely will not be my last. This book covered way more than I thought it would be about and I am so glad I stuck through it beyond the first few chapters.
This is a VERY interactive book. Jennie Allen encourages you to journal your way through the book or use the book itself. I wrote in the margins and on the journal pages. I love that it really made me think and really consider that what I fear failure in doing is just exactly what I am called to do.