Restless: Because You Were Made for More by Jennie Allen is a fun push to believe that God made you with specific gifts and talents you should embrace and grow, rather than shrink away from. The book is a mix of personal sharing by the author, suggested exercises, and vision casting for the larger things you life might be about. I was a bit skeptical at first, as I’m not sure we women need another vague exhortation to “become your best you!” But this book is much more than that, primarily because Jennie Allen is such a fun writer. In several places I found myself wishing she’d continue the through-line of different stories she shared (really, I want her to write a memoir!) But her larger point is a good one, too, especially where she challenges readers not to shrink back from our gifts and talents just because it can feel awkward to stretch ourselves in this way (or because other people don’t always like it when we stretch!)
Here’s one of my favorite passages, from page 104:
“What are you just flat-out great at? I mean, don’t go all spiritual on me. Are you a great storyteller, or are you funny, or are you a musician or great at math or problem solving or listening or running? Or are you good with your hands, like all Pinterest crafty? I don’t like you if you are that good at that kind of stuff, but I get that you can’t help it. My sister and my mom are brilliant party hosts and chefs and homemakers and designers. I fight jealousy and inadequacy as I stir powdered pink lemonade in a plastic yellow pitcher for my kind of hostessing, but whatever.
For just a moment, compare yourself to no one else and lay down every picture of what you think it looks like to be gifted for God. Think about what you love and what you are great at. If you are a believer in Jesus, this may be how God’s Spirit has gifted you to build up his church.”
Good stuff, no? And I’ll confess, when I read it the first time I thought, “Wait…what’s wrong with powdered pink lemonade?” Might be why I like it :)
If you’re looking for a way to sort out your next steps forward, Restless will serve you well.
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.