Sunday, April 21, 2013

Renewed by Lucille Zimmerman

About the Book:

Women increasingly find themselves pulled in many directions, striving to balance the needs of others with the need to nurture themselves. This pull is often exhausting and, sometimes, can lead to resentment or burn-out. So how do we manage our work and family and faith and ministry lives if we aren’t able to take care of ourselves as we also take care of others?

Renewed helps women understand the need to put themselves on “the list.” Through practical ideas and relatable anecdotes, readers can better understand their strengths and their passions—and address some of the underlying struggles or hurts that make them want to keep busy or minister to others to the detriment of themselves.

Renewed can help nurture those areas of women’s lives to use them better for work, family, and service. It gives readers permission to examine where they spend their energy and time, and learn to set limits and listen to “that inner voice.”

My Thoughts:

As a Christian woman I sometimes find it hard to find the line between taking care of myself and being selfless.  However, one thing I know to be true: you cannot love your neighbor as yourself if you don't love yourself.  Evidence of loving yourself is found in what Lucille calls self care.

"Renewed" lives up to the title...the book is packed with reasons for making sure we are renewed and with ideas on how to make renewal happen.  Each chapter focuses on an area of life, such as forgiveness, connection with others, or intentional play.  Lucille discusses our need for renewal in each particular area and makes some suggestions that are helpful without leaving us feeling as if we've just added to our 'to do' lists.

Her chapter on being renewed through play really struck a chord with me.  I started thinking about how, even though I'm usually tired by the end of it, a day spent with my grandson leaves me feeling so refreshed.  He's about to turn four, and just the other day we went 'camping' in Nana's living room.

We 'fished', we 'walked' by the 'lake', we made s'mores over our 'campfire', and we took a 'nap'...all in the span of a half hour and with the help of Legos (and a healthy imagination).

I had a smile on my face the rest of the day!

I'm glad I had "Renewed" to get me thinking and thanking God for play.

Another chapter that hit home was the chapter on finding a place to grieve.  When my mom passed away I lost my best friend as well as my mother.  But I hit the ground running, working with my siblings on settling her estate and dividing keepsakes, keeping it together even in the midst of a previously booked conference for my pastor husband, just days after the funeral.

Looking back, I can't remember really taking the time to grieve the loss and talk about the pain.  I was there for my kids when they cried and needed to talk...but I can't remember really letting it all out.  A leak would spring up now and then, but I never really had time to 'let go'...and now I feel just numb.  I struggle to even call up good memories...the events of 'those days' just push their way in and I can't let myself go there.

I wish I'd had "Renewed" eight years ago.  I'm just now letting myself grieve, and it's hard...oh, so hard.

Lucille also discusses renewal through counseling, through sharing our secrets, through solitude and through exercise.  And yes, exercise was probably my least favorite chapter.  I was born sedentary; if I don't get over it, I will die sedentary.

After reading "Renewed", I think I have some changes to make.  Pray for me...

In all, Lucille covers fourteen different areas and does so with humor, wisdom and conversational language.  She's also transparent, sharing her own journey to being renewed and staying renewed.

I loved everything about the book, from the title to the cover design to the content...but I especially loved the subtitle: finding your inner happy in an overwhelmed world.  Yup.  My world just seems to packed to the brim with life and stuff and desires and demands and want to's and have to's and....

I need to be reminded to renew.  I'm so glad Lucille reminded me.  This is a book I will read again, selecting chapters as needed and keeping it on my 'go to' shelf.

I received a copy of "Renewed" from Abingdon Press in exchange for an honest review.  This might be the best book on caring for yourself you'll ever read (next to the Bible, that is).  Just reading the book will leave you refreshed and encouraged.

"Renewed" is highly recommended, and is available in bookstores and online today.

Happy Reading!



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