Just like we can accumulate clutter in our house/vehicle, our inner life can have clutter too. We are too busy, running on empty. Maybe even thinking if this is what life is supposed to be about. It doesn't have to be like that. Simplify by Bill Hybels will show you a different way of living. He will show you how to declutter your inner being.
Do you want to experience peace, feel more connected to God, feeling refreshed? This book will show you "ten practices to unclutter your soul." There are ten chapters: From Exhausted to Energized; From Over scheduled to Organized; From Overwhelmed to In Control; From Restless to Fulfilled; From Wounded to Whole; From Anxious to Peaceful; From Isolated to Connected; From Drifting to Focused; From Stuck to Moving On; From Meaningless to Satisfied. There are also two appendixes about choosing your life verse and a life verse catalog.
Mr. Hybels shares many examples from his own life to bring the topics mentioned in each chapter closer to home. He also shares examples from the Bible. After each chapter there are action steps for you to take to help you put it into practice into your own life.
In the first chapter it talks about running on empty and finding ways of filling your bucket. He asks what fills you up or energizes you? Make time to do activities that will do just that. We need to fill our buckets back up if we want to have energy to give to others. I see that with being a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. If I don't make time to do something that I like to replenish myself, I become cranky and not too happy. My energy level is down. But once I spend time alone doing something that I like, then I feel like I'm able to give to my kids and husband without feeling drained. At the end of the chapter there are two action steps. The first is to identify how full your bucket is. The second one is to make a custom replenishment plan. He tells you to not worry about how you will fit that in, just make the list. Changes will be made by taking small steps. Do not delay.
I received this complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in return for my honest review.
Simplify. The book showed up on my doorstep as I was surrounded by boxes and junk, packing for our interstate move. Simplify. It sat on our counter amidst the crazy schedule of our last month, the goings and comings, "last" dinners with friends, celebratory meals with coworkers, tearful farewells. Simplify. It travelled with me as I begrudgingly left my children behind and flew to an earthly paradise with my husband who attended conference seminars while I read and explored. Simplify. It lingered on my nightstand through all those first lonely, emotional nights in our new home.
I think this book took me the longest to read of practically any book I've read recently. And it's not because it was not good or applicable. It's because it was. A little too much. From time management to friendships, God gave me this book in His perfect timing to gently whisper to me and constantly remind me of what I need to do: Simplify.
In his book, Bill Hybel focuses upon ten aspects of a person's life, and how we can simplify and declutter these areas, leading to a richer, fulfilled life with our family, coworkers, friends and most importantly, God. By becoming more discriminate with our lives, we are able to better fulfill God's calling for us, rather than sacrificing the intangibles for the non-essentials that will deplete us. Each chapter ends with "Action Steps" to give you ideas and help you accomplish the chapter's objective. At the end are two appendices dealing with seeking out a life verse (as a supplement to one of the chapters of the book). The book is filled with practical, applicable tips and one-liners that got me thinking...
How would I spend my time if I truly believed and lived as if God were in charge of it?
Knowing that simple decisions have generational legacies, what investment of my time am I taking with my husband, my children and those I love?
Am I living my life in light of this, with the knowledge that I will one day stand before God for the actions taken in this life?
Are my excuses really just the surface of underlying character issues that need to be dealt with?
Am I living my life as though God's current provision for me is not enough? Am I joyfully living within this provision?
Am I so filled with the grace and love of God that I am not easily provoked when the minor irritations of life beset me? Are they first world problems? Am I in need of a reality check? Am I prioritizing people over convenience?
Am I fearful and deceived, or am I allowing Christ to reign fully within me, his hand steadying me as I walk on the waters of life?
Am I thinking in terms of the years for this present life, or in the immensity of the eternal?
What is God wanting to teach me in my current season of life? Is Christ enough for me?
So I read and reread it's chapters. Underlining. Jotting notes and prayers in the margins. Starring sections. Silencing myself from the voices of the world, listening for the whispers of God amidst my tears. No my life still isn't perfect. No, I still have a long way to go before it's bare-bones and only for Jesus. Yes, I've heard some of this information and advice before, but this book helped to keep things in the forefront of my mind. Yes, I will probably mess up again, and need reminders like what this book offers. But I'm on the right course for this race. And for that I'm thankful.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest, personal review.
This book identifies ten key areas to explore if you feel that you are stretched too thin in your daily life or there's not enough of you to go around. Each area gets a dedicated chapter, some personal stories from Hybels' life and experience and ends with some action steps to help you further explore the ideas presented in the chapter and possible ways you can apply them to your life.
I found this book to be surprisingly helpful, given that on more days than not I am lucky not to feel "Overscheduled. Exhausted. Overwhelmed." as presented on the dust jacket. With that said, Hybels advice on looking into your life with some specific things in mind really struck a chord with me. One of the final chapters titled "From Stuck to Moving On, welcoming new season in your life" was especially poignant for me. As my children grow I find myself constantly reassessing my relationships with them and how our family functions to help them hone the skills they need in each season of their life. What they needed when they were 4 is different from what they need at 7. As Hybel writes, "With the frenetic pace of our culture, the decibel level in our heads makes it very hard to hear God's quiet whispers." So true! So grab this book, read it, slowly simplify your life, and listen for His whispers along the way!
Thank you to Tyndale for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
The title of the book Simplify caught my attention. Knowing Bill Hybels writing and speaking from previous experiences, I was curious to see what the practices are that he advocates to simplify life.
I've often encountered in my own life, and in the lives of others, an ongoing sense that were just juggling life waiting for something to drop and life to fall apart. Being pulled in multiple directions we realize were not as flexible as we thought and are left wondering how can I simplify life to make it easier! Bill Hybel attempts to lead the reader on a journey that examines how they live their life and make the choices they make in order to simplify the life they are living. Through a series of chapters Hybels challenges each reader to examine everything from our energy levels and our anxiety to our scheduling and our families. Each chapter engages on a theme connected to simplifying our life and evaluating ourselves. The end of each chapter holds action steps that the reader can reflect on and use to examine themselves and apply what theyve read.
There are three things that stood out to me as I read this book, and Ill follow those things with a warning. First, Hybels is working to root his teaching in scripture. He models throughout the book the belief that the Word of God holds truth that we are to live by. His principles in this book are rooted in scripture, while still being accessible to any reader. While not everyone may agree with the Bible, the framework that Hybels presents is consistent in its source and is rooted in something deeper than the latest thought Bill Hybels had.
The second thing that stood out was the personal nature of the writing. In the midst of sharing ideas on simplifying, the reader cant help but get a sense that this book is deeply personal for Bill Hybels. He is opening himself up and making himself vulnerable so we can understand that this journey he is leading us on is not just academic. The stories he shares are at times humorous, but also meaningful. Throughout the book there is reference to his wife. The value he holds for his wife is evident throughout the text and lends credibility to what hes writing.
The third thing I wish to highlight is that Simplify moves beyond quick help to examine the roots of the issues. Hybels examines our cultures view and how it leads us to where our status quo maybe, and also leads us to examine our own lives. There is no quick fix present in this book. Simplifying is clearly hard work, and changing patterns and habits in our life is not something done overnight. Hybels does justice to that reality and recognizes that change takes time.
This leads us to the warning I mentioned. If you want to benefit from this book, read it slowly. Read one chapter, reflect on it, reflect on yourself, and follow through on the action steps provided at the end of each chapter. Simply reading chapter after chapter will not yield the results this book suggests are possible. Id encourage any reader genuinely attracted to the title Simplify to take their time and maximize the benefit it can have in their life.
For full disclosure, Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are freely my own and reflect my honest evaluation of the book.
"Simplify" by Bill Hybels is a good title for anyone wanting to, as the title suggests, simplify life. Indeed, as life becomes more complicated, it's imperative we proactively seek ways to simplify things, resulting in a better relationship with God and other people.
The book is around 280 pages and consists of 10 chapters, covering a variety of topics such as:
1. Moving from being overscheduled to being organized.
2. Going from being restless to being fulfilled.
3. From drifting to being focused.
And other topics. Among the point Hybels covers include:
1. 5 beliefs of financial reconciliation.
2. How an enjoyable job brings simplicity to your life.
3. Following God's career path for you will simplify your life.
4. 3 categories of offenses and suggestions for dealing with them.
5. God wants us to live free from fear. Suggestions for overcoming fear.
6. 7 types of people to be careful of forming a friendship with.
7. 3 levels of friendship and suggestions for pruning and expanding your relationships.
A good read for anyone wanting to seek and experience God's presence as you act to simplify and find more meaning to life.