Sunday, February 28, 2016

Book Review: For the Love by Jen Hatmaker

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Many of you know that I've been working for almost 2 months on painting a gigantic mural in the preschool department at our church. (I'll have a post/video on the whole process coming up soon!) The mural was a long, hard process and it encompassed many long days of work. During that time, I often listened to music, but I found my favorite way of passing the time was by listening to audiobooks via Audible. (New to Audible? Try it for free!)

Most recently I finished Jen Hatmaker's For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards {aff link} . OK. First of all, let's just talk for a minute about how hilarious she is! The book is narrated by Jen herself, so all the emotion and humor come through while she reads it. The book is filled with spiritual inspiration as well as practical advice, lots of humor, and even a few recipes.

One of the points she makes that really hits home to me is her emphasis on community. We're created to be communal and one of the biggest battles we fight in our "keeping up with the Jones'" society is loneliness. Instead of being real with each other, we're often trying to impress everyone around us, but that's not real life! We all are struggling in our own ways. I'm 100% guilty of feeling lonely, yet I'm not ever letting anyone in. Maybe it's just my introvert personality or just my conditioned distrustful nature, but I know fear of vulnerability is a very real battle of mine, and I've been prayerfully working hard to overcome it. One thing Jen says in the book that just was a lightbulb moment for me is this: “Instead of waiting for community, provide it, and you’ll end up with it anyway.” 

For the Love by Jen Hatmaker Book Review at #bookreview #forthelove

Basically she's saying if you're craving community, create your own! Invite people over. Make some burgers and chat. It's as easy as that, you just have to be willing that take that first step. 

Listen, I couldn't have heard this message at a better time. It was a total God thing! I had recently attended a IF:Local, an extension of the IF:Gathering conference by Jennie Allen, and came away with the clear sense that God wanted me to open up my heart and my home, a.k.a. my safe places, to others. That's even what I wrote on my domino at the end of the conference. [If you are totally clueless as to what I'm referring to when I talk about the IF:Local/IF:Gathering conference, look it up. You'll love it!] Jen also talks about how we're all afraid of vulnerability, but if you take the risk and be open, that creates the safe environment for others to be open with you, and that's how true, lasting, deep friendships are made. Yes! This is exactly what I need!

She also talks about extending grace, not only to others but to ourselves. Learn that to live our best life, we have to not only walk in our calling but also know when to say, "No." Realize we can't do it all, so we need to make wise decisions so we can give our best. I can so relate to this. Again, I'll call myself a recovering people pleaser, so this is a message is perfect for me. She says, “We need to quit trying to be awesome and instead be wise.” Yes! This is so true!

There are many more great messages wrapped up in this book as well as lots of good laughs, and I can say I highly recommend if you're looking for a great read filled with humor as well as practicality that also points you to Jesus. I'll definitely be looking into more of her books, as I enjoyed this one so much.

I hope you enjoyed this review. Until next time,

Linking up at: A Bloggy Brunch


  1. Great post!! I love the idea of community and if you can't find one make one!

  2. You wrote a great review. You made me want to read the book and have folks over.
    Great job!
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  3. I love the idea of providing community instead of waiting for it. I feel like I've done that several different times in my life and it really helps! Thanks for linking up this week. :)