Tuesday, August 18, 2015

"for the love" by jen hatmaker

Let me start by saying that this review is going to be unlike most of my other reviews because the subject has impacted me so personally. Last March, I was chosen to be on a 500-member launch team for Jen Hatmaker's For the Love, which released today. I honestly have no idea why, out of the 5000 applicants, I was one of the 500 chosen. I wasn't a Jen Hatmaker super fan. Sure, I knew she was funny, and I liked her HGTV show, and I read her blog on a semi-regular basis, but I'd never read any of her books. I have no idea what I put in my application ... but I'm convinced that God gave me the necessary words because He knew I needed the community I'd find on this team and the freedom I'd find in the message contained in Jen's book.

Best-selling author Jen Hatmaker is convinced life can be lovely and fun and courageous and kind. She knows how the squeeze of this life can make us competitive and judgmental, how we can lose love for others and then for ourselves. She reveals how to:
  • Break free of guilt and shame by dismantling the unattainable Pinterest life.
  • Learn to engage our culture’s controversial issues with a grace-first approach.
  • Be liberated to love and release the burden of always being right. 
  • Identify the tools you already have to develop real-life, all-in, know-my-junk-but-love-me-anyway friendships.
  • Escape our impossible standards for parenting and marriage by accepting the standard of “mostly good.”
  • Laugh your butt off.
In this raucous ride to freedom for modern women, Jen Hatmaker bares the refreshing wisdom, wry humor, no-nonsense faith, liberating insight, and fearless honesty that have made her beloved by women worldwide.

Rather than speak about the whole book (which, by the way, is fantastic—you should read it!), I'm going to focus on the part that—I'm not kidding—changed my life.

First of all, check out my endorsement for the book (which wasn't selected for print but shows up on the endorsement page of the book's website), and then I'll expound: 
You often hear people say, “This book will change your life!” I usually scoff at such endorsements; after all, how often does a book actually stick with you after you’ve turned the final page? Well, it didn’t take even ten pages for “For the Love” to change my life. Jen’s words about figuring out which things in your life are necessary and which can be set aside were so freeing and, yes, life changing. I’ll be chanting “off the beam” for the rest of my days.
~ Becky; Blogger, Editor, Cat Wrangler, Hallmark Movie Lover, Latte Enthusiast. Central City, NE
The first chapter of the book is called "Worst Beam Ever." In it, Jen (and I must call her "Jen"—I feel like we're friends now!) talks about how we women have a tendency to try to do everything and do it well—because we feel we must—and that's completely ridiculous.

I journaled my way through the beginning of the book (then life happened, and I just read ...), and this is the very first thing I wrote: I knew Jen "got me" when I read this: "We need to quit trying to be awesome and instead be wise."
Graphic: Brianna George
Be wise. That's something I'm slowly learning as I deal with Hashimoto's and its impact on my daily life, so this message is quite timely. As I kept reading, Jen's words continued to ring true. "You have permission to examine all the tricks and decide what should stay. What parts do you love? What are you good at? What brings you life?" Wow. Just wow.

Graphic: Jenny Garwood
I found this whole chapter so freeing! I ended up having several conversations with close friends about what should and should not be on my beam, and I'm making appropriate changes.

Church choir? Off the beam.
Focusing on health? On the beam.
Speech? On the beam for one more year, and then it's off.

Here's my big takeaway from this chapter: I need to stop feeling pressure to do just because I'm single and childless. I still need to take care of myself, especially now when my health is iffy. It's OK to say no, and it's OK to take things off my beam.

So that's why I said what I said in my endorsement. I'm absolutely not kidding when I say that this book was life changing for me ... and it might be for you, too. At the very least, you'll be left with much to consider. And you'll probably laugh quite a bit, too! (With gems like this, how can you not?)
Graphic: Tricia Klein
Seriously, read this book. While I don't have a copy to give away, several bloggers are giving away one or more copies. You can see posts on the official blog linkup and enter giveaways here. 5 stars.

See what others are saying.
Buy the book.
Visit the website.

Jen Hatmaker is a mom to five children, a pastor’s wife, sought-after speaker, best-selling author and star of the popular series My Big Family Renovation on HGTV.  She is best known for her books 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity. For more information, visit JenHatmaker.com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. So now I am kicking myself for not preordering, because I am absolutely going to buy this book!

  2. i need to add this to my list of books to read!

    1. You definitely should! It's so good and so, so funny!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...