Saturday, August 13, 2016

Book Review: Brave Enough

Hi, all! Today I am reviewing a book by Nicole Unice, Brave Enough.

Brave Enough is a book about courage. Or, rather, having just enough courage to be yourself, to follow God and do what He asks of you. Not brave like the heroes in the movies, but brave enough.

The book reminds me of the song "Brave" by Moriah Peters, where she says "I know I'm no superwoman/But impossible is possible with You." It's all about the fact that, while we're not always brave and confident by ourselves, with God we can be a little brave and do somewhat small, yet daunting, tasks and work our way up to being just a little braver, then a little more, and a little more...

I'm not an exceptionally outgoing person, so this book was encouraging since the author doesn't have a "Become Super Brave In 10 Days Or Less" approach. It's just a simple calling to not be afraid to be a little brave. The book is full of real-life stories from the author and her friends, which she uses to emphasize certain truths about bravery and trusting God. And at the end of the book, there are pages full of Bible verses about courage. I like that verses are also spread throughout the book, and she explains how each verse can draw us closer to being brave enough.

The one "problem" I had with the book was that the chapters seemed a bit long. While a very good read, I had trouble reading an entire chapter in one sitting.

What I took away from Brave Enough is that there is no such thing as a perfect life, that I can't do everything by myself, and that bravery can be quiet and a little - just enough - bravery is sometimes all you need.

(I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.)

Monday, August 1, 2016


There’s absolutely no reason for being rushed along with the rush.
Everybody should be free to go very slow.
~ Robert Frost

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if people went about life in a slower manner. I'm pretty slow when it comes to some things anyway. Mealtimes, for instance. I've nearly always been the last person to finish eating because I'm slower than everyone else (There's a really funny joke about that: Doctors say that if you eat slowly, you eat less - You certainly will if you're in a large family.), and when I used to wash dishes during table chores, I'd spend at least 30 minutes longer than the next person, because I'd stare out the window (seriously, windows above sinks were created for the sole purpose to make you feel cooped up washing dishes, and stand there pondering everything that is) and also make sure the dishes were spotless. Doing laundry is only fun when I fold it. I have time to think, folding things - towels are my favorite because they are symmetrical, and therefore easier to fold the neatest. And folding seems to take at least 10 minutes for me (That might not seem long, but I feel very slow when I'm folding, and I see dust on the window sill, and I remember that I didn't dust it the week before, so I search for a paper towel, and I dust it, then I see a sock from who knows how long ago, so I put it in the dirty laundry, and then I start folding again...).

I go about things slower (but, admittedly, not always methodical) than most people. I'm usually the last one out the door on Sunday morning, because I left my shoes somewhere, or I had to find a pencil for my notebook for taking notes. I think and think and think some days on what to wear...a week in advance. When I put my clothes away, I color-, and type-code them. My closet is ordered like this: long-sleeved outfits, patterned skirts, solid-colored skirts, jeans, capris, gray shirts, blue shirts, purple shirts, pink shirts, white and tie-dye shirts, orange and red shirts, and TeenPact blazers and skirts. I've ordered my closet since I was 11 years old. Occasionally I'll find that someone has put away, say, one of my blue shirts in with the white shirts, and I'll put it back with the blue shirts. No big deal, but I like having sections in my closet.

I focus on details rather than the big picture. I watched a trailer for a movie recently, and I noticed little details that another person might have missed. I like seeing a painting from a distance, then pulling in and seeing all the dots or swathes of paint. I do magic eye puzzles because it's all about patience and slowly blurring everything until the picture comes into view. I stare out the window on road trips just in case I see a deer, or a change in the colors of a sunset. When I mow, I look for wild strawberries growing in the yard. 

I like the feeling of slow most days. Slow is calm. Slow is inviting. Slow is knowing that everything will wait for you. Slow is peaceful. I wonder what it would be like if slow was accepted in society. If the rush wasn't so important. If a focused, peaceful slow was the norm. If we cherished the moments that disappear so quickly.

What's the hurry?