Good morning, folks! It’s time for another book review – this one the first of three nonfiction books that I’ve been reading. It’s so good to be back to sharing books with y’all and I hope you enjoy. 😉
FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:
ABOUT THE BOOK
Exhale is for the woman who is suffocating under the pressures of being all things to all people. The pressure of filling every unfilled spot at church, home, and work. The pressure of trying to do it all right, make decisions that benefit everyone else, and keep everyone happy.
Rather than adding more to your to-do list, in this book Amy Carroll and Cheri Gregory show you how to lose who you’re not, love who you are, and live your one life well.
This isn’t a time management book filled with how-to lists and calendar tools. Rather, it walks you through a process that releases you from the things that have created unbearable pressure. Then you’ll be free to start investing your life in ways that fulfill the desires of your heart, benefit your people, and bring glory to God.
WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK
Overall I’d say I’m good at telling people no. But, that only applies to people who I feel ‘equal’ to – my peers, etc… When it comes to my bosses, managers, or pretty much anyone in a position of authority, I have an overwhelming desire to do any and everything I can to please them.
Thankfully I work with a great team who actually cares about me and looks out for my best interests, but I figured I should probably start curbing my management-pleasing-side now. After all, it’s Jesus I want to please most of all, not just my boss. (Although I’m convinced that if I’m pleasing Jesus, then the right boss will be pretty happy with me, too.)
WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK
I read this book over about a three week period of time, which considering how short it is means I crawled through it. But, it felt like one of those books that’s supposed to be nibbled at instead of gulping down. That way, I was able to process what I was reading, let it sink in, and figure out what I needed to apply to my life.
The two authors switch back and forth, each writing one chapter at a time. The varying personalities and points of view helped make the book well-balanced and made me feel like it could apply to a lot more people than if it would have had a single author. They also did a fantastic job of bouncing off of each other and building on what the other had written, versus being redundant and/or contradictory. It was clear that they planned the book well and the flow was surprisingly smooth for having more than one author.
As with all books, there were several things I didn’t agree with, and there were a few times that I thought I’d give the book a lower rating, but as I continued reading I was really impressed with the things I learned.
It’s hard for me to read a book that talks about loving ourselves because I feel like that terminology is way over-used and generally not glorifying to God. In this book though, I felt like they had a balanced view of the matter. They talk about how God made each one of us for a specific purpose, and we need to be content with who God has created us to be, instead of trying to become someone else in order to please people. That is a concept I can totally stand behind.
I could relate fairly well to one of the authors and had a few lightbulb moments while reading her chapters. For instance, she talked about how she consistently (starting in school) would subconsciously look for the “most important person in the room” and then try to please them. This meant she was always trying to please teachers, bosses, etc… When I read that it made me laugh – not because I could relate to it, but because it was the first time I realized that not everyone felt that way. Because, as I mentioned earlier, pleasing people in mangament – aka the “most important person in the room” – is my default setting. Realizing that a mindset or behavior isn’t necessarily normal helps me to then stop and think through it and figure out why I do it and pray about if it’s something I need to stop doing.
This book is great for moments like that. Like it says on the back cover blurb, the book was written to help ladies realize who they are in God, and learn what things in life they need to lose in order to live their one life well.
There were a few things in this book – mostly wording, etc… – that I didn’t really like, but when I took it as a whole, considering the overall message I’ve come to the conclusion that I really do agree with most of what the book is saying, just not exactly the way in which it says some of the things.
Also, the tips on how to breathe deeply in this book are seriously good.
I’m giving Exhale 4 out of 5 stars. This book is a great way to stop, check where you’re heading, what you’re subconsciously believing, and get your life back on track for what God created you for.