February 2018 – Behind the Book Series
I’m sure I am the millionth person saying this today, but how is it February already? I feel like January absolutely flew by, even though I’ve heard a lot of people saying it felt like the longest month of their life. Just goes to show how quickly the years go by once you become an adult….
Last month I decided to talk more about books. I don’t want to repeat myself and bore you, so you can go read about why in this post, but the main reason is because I felt like I was reading so much good material and then just forgetting about it. I wanted to hold myself a little bit more accountable for the non-fiction material I read and actually put it to use in my life. I love reading fiction just for fun and to get out of my head, so I’m not necessarily talking about those kind of books (at least not right now).
In January I focused on Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown. To be honest, I loved the book, but feel like I forgot about it for most of the month. Sure, I remembered it on Mondays when I would write about it, but other than that I didn’t give it too much thought. I had a lot of other things on my mind in January, so I’m hoping I have better success in February.
For this month I have chosen to dive into Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker. My mom gifted me Jen’s book last year, and I read it in about two days. Since then, I have started listening to her weekly podcast and really love the take she has on life, community, love, and relationships. Her book is a collection of short essays about anything and everything, ranging from exercise to parenting to Netflix and everything in between. Some parts of it literally made me laugh out loud. I would absolutely describe it as a feel-good book that makes you realize that you are doing better than you think you are in this life.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book (and I really had to narrow this down):
“This life is not a race or a contest, there is enough abundance to go around, your seat at the table is secure, and you have incredible gifts to offer.”
So often I find myself doing just that – rushing through life, because I can’t simply sit and appreciate what I have right now. Sometimes I get this skewed mindset that if I don’t do something right this very second, I will never have the chance to again.
“We already have what we need. It is all inside, so waiting around for our circumstances to deliver our expected life is a waste of energy.”
I fall victim to this quite often, too. Thinking that if I just sit and wait patiently and behave that what I want will be delivered right to my doorstep with a pretty bow on top. It’s easy to forget that hard work is important when we want our dreams to just simply come true. By tapping inside ourselves, we have the power to give ourselves what we have been sitting around and waiting for.
“Something doesn’t have to be bad to be over.”
Oh man. This is a big one. Especially with people. I have a very hard time letting go of friends and acquaintances that aren’t bad for me, but that don’t bring anything positive to my life either. I feel this duty to please everybody I come in contact with, but I am slowly learning that is so not necessary. I am so content with my family and a few, very close good friends, so why do I feel the need to include random people that don’t serve me in my social circle? Or why do I feel the need to continue a friendship I have had for years, but neither of us prioritizes anymore? It is okay to grow apart from people – some relationships happen in seasons.
“What does love look like in the ordinary connection between two human people? Usually it means prioritizing someone’s dignity, belovedness, and experience over being right or pointing out errors.”
A great reminder for me. Love is selfless and fun and exciting and should be treated as such. I feel so lucky to be in a happy relationship, but it is always a good thing to be reminded of what a special thing it is to truly love someone.
“Worry less about getting recognized and more about becoming good at what you do. Take yourself seriously. Take your art seriously. You are both worth this.”
This is the biggest one for me, especially when thinking about writing this blog, my Instagram account, etc. I love to write and take/post pictures, but oftentimes I am too embarrassed and shy to. I am trying to remind myself daily that I have nothing to hide, and if I want to share these things I need to go all in. It is so hard to be vulnerable in a space like this, but it is important to me, so I want to prioritize it this month (and probably forever).
So what is the point of all this? For me, it is to bring my attention back to the five ideas above that really stuck out to me from Jen’s book. They are important to me and for me, and I know I will benefit from implementing them into my daily life. If her ideas strike any sort of chord inside of you, I would highly recommend getting her book off Amazon. You won’t regret it!
February is a month centered around love, and I see love as the common denominator of the quotes I pulled from her book. Learning how to love yourself enough to decide what is good and bad for you, loving others, and loving what you do. It’s not selfish to want love or make it a priority – it can change everything. I am a big believer in that you can’t properly love or take care of others until you do it for yourself, so my hope is with the month of February, this book, and these quotes, I am able to cultivate that for myself.
What do you think about the quotes from her book? Does this sound like something you would be interested in reading? If no, why not?