Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Brazen by Leeana Tankersley

Don't tell Leeana, but I do not feel brazen. At all.


In fact, it's the subtitle of the book Brazen that reached out and grabbed me: "The Courage to Find the You That's Been Hiding." Yes. YES. That's me.

I've been a fan of Leeana Tankersley for a while now. In fact, I just realized  I wrote about her first book, Found Art, as a part of a blog tour six years ago. Then we worked together over at Wives of Faith for several years, she as columnist, me as (grateful) editor.

You can imagine how excited I was to hear about this book. I signed up for the tour as fast as I could, and the book arrived just as I was finishing Looking for Lovely, feeling a bit tender. I wish I could say this book soothed my heart, but it has continued to prod at the tender places instead. (This is how the Lord works on me--over and over and over again with the same message till I get the point.)

So what is the point? That I need to learn more about how to be and to listen, rather than do and accomplish. At least, that's where I am at the moment.

Brazen explores the idea of being brazen: without shame, without artifice, being honest and open and real and vulnerable before God, and learning how to recognize "soul bullies," those inner voices that are not of God but to which we listen. The prose is, as always, poetic and lovely, gentle but firm.

I'm still working my way through the book at this writing, because Leeana's book is so rich and full of wisdom, it's impossible to read quickly (or without a pen or highlighter in hand!).

Each chapter has a "reflection and expression" prompt that I'm responding to in my journal. It also has a "brazen board" suggestion for artists; Leeana describes it as a "storyboard for your soul" (I'm not doing that just yet).

I think reading this book right on the heels of the Lovely book was actually good. I believe these books are twins, in a way: sisters from different mothers, challenging and comforting, encouraging and pointing straight to Jesus.

I'll keep reading, and you go get a copy, okay?

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Disclaimer

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and help in promoting the book. No affiliate links are included here. The photo used in this post is my own.

Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs

Annie F. Downs is probably one of the most conversational writers I've ever read. Internal monologue? Check. Questions? Check. Answers? Sometimes in the form of more questions. Check.

Enter her latest book, Looking for Lovely: Collecting the Moments that Matter.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Hernandez @mdez

Looking for Lovely sounded like a great book for me. Collecting moments? Yes. Loveliness everywhere? Yes, please. I'm still in awe that not only did my copy of the book come in an envelope complete with party confetti, it's signed by the author!


It's like a party!

And then I started reading. And it was hard.

I'm not sure why this book was such a difficult read for me. Is it because so much of it touched the tender parts of my heart? Because I completely related to the self-loathing and pain and "broken crazy" Annie Downs describes?

Yes. Yes, I think, to all of the above and more.


 It has become even harder for me in recent years to believe in the deepest parts of me that I am truly worthy of the love of God - of the sacrifice of Christ - of the calling of the Holy Spirit. Years of rejection and self-doubt have caused me to brush off compliments and think it's all for you and none for me. I am not awesome. I am not worthy. Yet, the Word of God says otherwise, doesn't it? Yes, ma'am, it does.

Hence, my struggle.

Enter Downs and her lovely teal and confetti-sprinkled book that begins with pain and talking about quitting and beauty and something she calls "broken crazy" - a phrase that is just general enough of a descriptor to be completely identifiable - and you have a perfect storm of Pattie tears.

Music and painting nails and nature walks and traveling around the world. These are the lovely things. These are moments for Annie; may we find our moments too.




I recommend this book to women, mostly, but to anyone looking for lovely in the pain and brokenness of life. For it is in the brokenness that light shines through - and stained glass can be formed from pieces - and mosaics can be designed from shards - and our perfectly imperfect selves can allow the light of Jesus to shine through and be glorified.


This book is a lovely follow-up to Emily P. Freeman's Simply Tuesday from last year. Where Emily's book is about finding beauty in the ordinary, Annie's book is more about finding beauty in our painful situations.


Annie's own prayer for her book is found here.

To learn more about the book you can go to the book's website here.
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Disclaimer:

No affiliate links are included. I was given an advance reader copy from the author and her publisher in exchange for my honest review and promotion of the book. Except for the first photo, all other photos are my own.

Review: The Dinner List

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle My rating: 4 of 5 stars I heard about this novel last month. It sounded great, because who hasn't m...