Tuesday, April 5, 2016


I love books - particularly the way they tend to arrive in my life at exactly the right time. I've been quietly relishing (and benefiting from) Leeana Tankersley's book Breathing Room for the past year (although I don't think I've really written an exact post just about it), so when Brazen came to me, I was excited to dig in.

There's been a voice rising up inside of me for awhile; I think it started with adventure as my word of the year, and it's nearly ready to speak out. Brazen has helped with that. Leeana starts by talking about your "created center" - "the part of your being where God Himself put His hands in the wet concrete of your existence and said, 'You are formed in My image,' and 'It is good.'" With journaling and art prompts at the end of each chapter, she lead me through deeply ingrained misconceptions to the truths on the other side, and that has been exceptionally beneficial in this season of transitioning from an apartment to a house.

Then, after getting me all excited inside, she covered the grace-and-truth of living out the discoveries made during my explorations - silencing negative inner (and outer) dialogue, realizing that an apology should be reserved for admitting that I've done something wrong (that being the case, I severely over-apologize), and making lists of things that I love. That's helped me with everything from what I decide to pack and what to donate, to how I approach relationships.

And finally, she goes into wooing and encouraging "the you that's been hiding" into being its own brazen (that is, without shame), beautiful self - creating our own space and practices (you know I'm all about that), embracing the "holy tussle" that lets us know we're on the right track, and realizing what we already have.

Introverted activist that I am (yes, I can be both and at the same time - thanks, Leeana!), I adore books like this. Anything that makes me prod my too-comfortable soul, armed with a pen and a blank notebook, seeking not only information but also change. Since I devoured it the first time, I'd like to reread it, slowly savoring each chapter, taking my time with the journaling exercises, and pursuing the art prompts - maybe going through it with someone, so we can share our inner dialogues and en-courage each other.

Because I love sharing things that I love (and I definitely love this book!), I'm giving away a copy this week - just leave a comment telling me why you'd like to read this book and I'll randomly select a winner next Tuesday. {If you can't wait to find out if you've won, or if you'd like to buy a copy or two as gifts, head here!}
Editing to add: congratulations to Trish!

2554. A quiet rainy morning
2555. Brooklyn rushing outside to play with chalk as soon as the sun came out
2556. Only needing a few groceries
2557. Mum coming for the weekend since Adam was gone (especially appreciated since one little on recycled their breakfast all over my shirt)
2558. Tobin patiently playing with Legos for a long time, undistracted
2559. Sitting up late, drinking tea and talking
2560. Everyone waking up noticeably better
2561. The market vendor who said, "I just gotta say, I'm really likin' your style right now"
2562. Creative seating for a parking lot picnic (Tobin in his carseat, I sat in the trunk, Mum leaned, and Brooklyn sat in the wagon)
2563. Not waking up before sunrise
2564. An afternoon of lettering, journaling, and reading
2565. Adam home from Drill before dinner (a very rare occurrence)
2566. Sharing a pretty popsicle from Le Pops with Brooklyn and Tobin
2567. An abundance of pretty notecards to choose from
2568. Staying up talking and playing Risk with Adam


Trish King said...

Sarah Jo I would love to go through a book like that. I am trying to learn to journal about what I an learning as I live my faith. I have to say that you are my inspiration for doing this. I sometimes get overwhelmed by all the words and ideas swirling around in my head. I kind of feel like my headspace is as cluttered as my living space. I need so badly to express the things I feel passionately about but just don't know where to begin. I think I need a mentor to help me move forward. You have been a source of great inspiration for me. Thank you!!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Sarah Jo, I happened upon your post. I just read a post Leanna Tankersley wrote for Ann Voskamp's site, and it spoke deeply to my heart. Our budget is tight, but I was thinking, this might be the one book I need to buy this year. Her words spoke to a place in my heart that has dealt with shame for years. Not that I was abused, but the shame that came from lies I believed for years and years. I would love to win this book, because I'm thinking her words, plus the journaling and art opportunities would probably help me grow into the brazen woman God has created me to be.

Jen @ Growing in Faith said...

I find it too easy to let my fears overcome me, and I know I hide away parts of me because I am afraid to let them out. Why? I've no clue. That's just how it is. Perhaps Brazen is a book I need to read.

Also...chalk-covered Tobin is maybe my favorite picture of the week! :D