Title: Good Enough: 40ish Devotionals for a Life of Imperfection by Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie
Book Beginnings Quote:
(PREFACE) If you check your social media feed, the debate has been settled. Yes, you ca be perfect. Other people are living beautiful, joyful, effortless lives. In fact, it's embarrassing that you haven't joined their ranks.
(FOR THE EXILES) There is a saint for almost everything. Fishermen. Hairdressers. Carpenters. Ecologists. Schoolgirls. Lost articles. Housewives. And an obscure Italian teenager who stands in for all those who feel excluded. Saint Rose was born in thirteenth-century Italy and her astonishing career as a saint began at age three when she raised her aunt from the dead.Summary: So often devotional books are just another book which ends up inadvertently making you feel worse about yourself because you can't even make yourself complete the whole book on the schedule it proposes, let alone read all the scriptures, pray all the prayers, become more pious or holy. Good Enough is written gently and with humor. It grants permission to all those who need to hear that there are some things you can fix -- and some things you can't. And it is okay that life isn't always better. It encourages readers to read those devotions that speak to them in their circumstances now and skip over those that don't. It encourages readers to pause and reflect, to do what is possible for the day. Each short devotion is accompanied by either a related prayer or a blessing and a "Good Enough Step", which is some small thing that can be done that day which may be helpful or meaningful.
Review: My mother gave me Good Enough in late March. It is considered a Lenten devotional. Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter. Each year Christians are asked to spend these 40 days doing things or avoiding things in order to prepare one's heart for Easter morning. My mother's church encouraged reading Good Enough this year and both she and my sister had found it so helpful and meaningful, they wanted others in the family to read it, too. Then tragedy struck our family when my cousin's daughter's husband, a Sheriff's Deputy, was killed in the line of duty. It was when the family gathered for the service and the meal that preceded it, that Mom passed out the books to everyone. I was busy being hostess and didn't really hear what she said about the book but found, days after everyone left, that it was just exactly what I needed -- a kind and gentle devotional that reminded me of God's love and his presence even in light of terrible circumstances. The twelfth devotion was on grief. It could have been written for our family. The chapter, 'For the Exiles' (Friday56) was directed to those of us who often feel excluded or underappreciated. Another chapter talks about how it is okay to be mediocre at doing certain things. There was an overarching theme throughout the book that no one is perfect and we can make ourselves very sick if we try.
Though Good Enough was especially written with Lent in mind, only one of the devotions specifically mentioned Easter, so it could easily be read any time of year or over and over again which is what I plan to do. It is easily the best devotional guide I have ever read and it came along at just the right moment to provide some needed salve to soothe what ailed me -- deep grief.