Selecting my favorite read in 2022 is similar to picking my favorite pet, child (although I only have one), or friend. They all have a very special place in my heart. But, this year, I want to highlight a certain book that caught me off-guard and continues to play in the back of my head.
This year, I set an intention of enough. The past few years (aka decades) have been a frenzy of more for me. The desire to be more and want more and live a big, bold, beautiful life. To call my shot and go after it, regardless of the cost. Sometimes that works. Other times, not so much. I’ll never regret those years. It is because of that hustle and grind I am where I am today.
A few years back, I realized this continuous quest for more left me living a life out of alignment. It was a slow build but dad dying was definitely the wake-up call I needed. I’ve spent the past few years scaling back, realigning my priorities, and mastering the art of saying no. I’ve even learned to ask for the occasional help.
The end result – a life that is perhaps a bit smaller but much more manageable. A space where I’m still pursuing goals, but am a bit more content with the day-to-day mundaneness that is life. Typing this, it sounds blissful. Living it is tough at times, though.
Society is quick to judge the ordinary.
What’s new? What’s next?
Enter Kate Bowler. Her take on the prosperity gospel and our quest for effortless perfection, only to leave us feeling less than, is my love language. She captures on paper the insecurities and frustrations I live out daily in an attempt to live a big, bold, beautiful life that is rooted in routine.
I included her memoirs in my favorite books of 2022. The book that really moved me, though, is something I normally wouldn’t have picked up. It is called Good Enough. 40ish devotionals for a life of imperfection. Kate Bowler had me hooked on the opening page:
“If you check your social media feed, the debate has been settled. Yes, you can be perfect. Other people are living beautiful, joyful, effortless lives. In fact, it’s embarrassing that you haven’t joined their ranks already… We are living under the weight of the Perfectibility Paradigm.”Good Enough, Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie
The book is framed around faith. Forty modern day parables of sorts, along with a blessing that Bowler feels we all need, and a simple act or nudge of encouragement on how to take action towards living an imperfect life. The themes cover things all women struggle with – time, identity, perfectionism, grief, disappointment, becoming, belonging, feeling like an outsider. You name it, Kate covers it with wit, grace and humor.
As someone who struggles with faith, this book allowed me to dabble with some bigger questions around a higher power and our purpose on this planet, without feeling I needed to actually come up with answers. It provides space to think about faith in an imperfect, still figuring it out way, versus an all-or-nothing, why don’t you just believe already.
I love a well-written and well-researched book. One that makes me stop and think, all the better. Bowler’s book checks these boxes, while also encouraging me to revisit a tender topic that’s been on my mind for decades.
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