A lot of us, if we're honest, are afraid. We hold our dreams close to our chest. But our passions have a purpose--they were engineered for God's greater plan and he intends for us to use them for his glory and purposes.
In "Restless," Bible teacher and fellow struggler Jennie Allen explores practical ways to identify the threads of your life and how to intentionally weave them together. She explains how your gifts, passions, places, and relationships aren't random; they're deliberate and meaningful. And your suffering--it's possible it has produced the very thing you want to give back to the world.
Using the story of Joseph, the dreamer, Jennie explains how his suffering, gifts, relationships--all of the threads of his life--fit into the greater story of God and how our stories can do the same. What would happen if God got bigger than your fear and insecurity, and you spent the rest of your life running without reservation after his purposes for you? You were created for more. (From Restless by Jennie Allen)
I first heard about Jennie's new book Restless on Twitter. I read a quick synopsis and then entered to win an advanced readers copy. I won! And then I set it aside and didn't pick it up in time to review it before it launched. It's not really a read quick and then write a review about type book.
You have to be ready to dig in, create the time and space to process and follow through on the project and I wanted to give it my full attention.
My friend and I started reading it together and then meeting together to go over the different "assignments". It has been so so good.
Restless is all about finding out what has made you who you are, what your strengths and natural gifts are, what you are passionate about and how the suffering you have endured shape your life and your calling. It's not a "here is what you should do with your life book". It's a book that walks you through your big stuff, helps you see the threads and connections and helps you figure out really what your "sweet spot" is.
It's been amazing to see why I felt the way I did in the greatest memories of my life. It's also been more painful than I expected to walk through the moments of suffering in my life. It's been good to lay it out before trusted friends and my husband and ask "What do you see? What patterns or connections do you notice? Am I serving best where I should be given my gift set?"
I met with one friend last night, super late at a lounge. Yep, a lounge. It has this great funky ambiance and it was quiet. We had a couch to ourselves and I laid out my whole life on butcher paper before her. She saw some things I hadn't seen before. Some connections and tendencies and frankly gave meaning to some stuff that I hadn't been able to put words to. It was so so good.
I am 30 years old, but I haven't arrived. I am still learning about God. I'm still learning what audacious grace and extravagant mercy look like. I'm still learning what makes me tick, what makes me excited, where I am made to serve. I don't ever want to feel comfortable and settle in someplace because it's easy or safe. I want to be in the will of God, doing exactly what He has created me to do even if it makes me uncomfortable.
This isn't about "well, I'm a Mom and that's my focus and calling". Absolutely, but you aren't just a Mom. There is far more there than that, and you don't have to choose one over the other.
I so encourage you (my lady friends) to grab Jennie's book. Read it. Walk through the process and meet with a trusted friend who knows you well, who can call out the stuff you maybe don't see and find out what makes you the way you are, and where you are called to plug in. It may be what you are doing now, or it may completely surprise you. Either way, don't wait.
If you are local and want to walk through this book with me...shoot me an email
“ do not do great things; God does great things through surrendered people.”
* I received an AR copy to read and review from a giveaway- all opinions are my own and completely honest*