Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Me Project

When I first saw the title of this book, I thought, "no way! I am not reviewing a book with that title." It sounds like something Victoria Osteen would write, Your Best Life now kind of stuff. No thank you.

The more I read about it, the more interested I got. I read snippets about how my passions and dreams don't have to wait until my kids are grown to begin taking baby steps toward those things. I wanted to see what she said about that. Practical and realistic steps to take in achieving the things that God has uniquely created you to do. Okay, let's dig in!

You see, if you are anything like me, as a wife to a busy husband and mother to three very little and very needy children, I don't have much time to think about myself. It is very limited. And to be honest, when I do, I admit that often I feel guilty. I have talked to other moms who feel the same. I'm not saying all the time, but many times I will leave to go to a girl's night out or to go to Starbucks to be by myself and read and there is a sense of guilt and a warning within me not to be gone too long. The kids need me. Allen needs me. The guilt can hang over me and keep me from being "all there." Like I said, not all the time, but sometimes. So I was excited to read a book about me. Just being honest here...

As I went into reading this book, I was excited because for the first time in many years, I feel like I am in a season where I actually do have a little extra time and energy now that I am not nursing or pregnant, and not kept up at night with a baby to tend to. I actually have nap times to work with. This season may be short-lived...I should make the most of it!

She starts by making the point that your passions and dreams don't have to wait until your kids are grown and out of the house. You can start now, even if it's just baby steps toward that dream. Obviously not to the detriment of your children or your husband and keeping the home, but even if it's just one hour one day a week you set aside toward a particular goal, that's more than you were doing! And keeping up with writing, photography, culinary skills, whatever it is for you, will keep your mind sharper to the task and always learning rather than diminishing in that area for 18+ years.

Obviously the Lord has uniquely created all moms and wives for that special role and to make that their primary area of service, but the author doesn't quite explain the great value in those things as I wished she would have. I would hate for any mom or wife to read this and think that the greatest value wasn't found in that but in another area of their life! What a loss that would be if they gave up several nights a week with their family to invest in a hobby instead of investing in the little lives that God has entrusted to them! Nonetheless, her main emphasis is that besides the priceless role of being a wife or mom, what has God uniquely created you for, what is He impressing on your heart?

She mentions writing down goals for what you would want your next 50 years to look like and I immediately thought of the parable of the talents and God asking me what I had done with my time here. I want all that I do and work toward to be storing up treasures in heaven. That may sound selfish, but Jesus says to do it! I want to stockpile those treasures! So I am evaluating my goals with that stipulation. How can I honor God with this goal?

I thought of a few things that I could do in 21 days (shorter projects/goals) and then some more long-term goals. The book is intensely practical, laying out each day of your progress and helpful hints for each day. I didn't do all of them, but if I had, it would have been a good kickstart. The shorter goal that I chose wouldn't have required a lot of the ideas that she put forth. I am looking forward to finishing the shorter goal that I am tackling and future goals, asking the Lord to either affirm them or diminish them within me.

One of my favorite quotes from the book:

" The thing that is really hard, and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself." -Anna Quindren-

All in all, I liked the book. Would I need to use it again to put together a goal or project? Probably not. Is it anything new that I didn't already know? Not too much falls into that category. But I will give it this: if you have a particular goal in mind and you are disciplined to go through the book and the actions steps each day, it would be a good self-discipline to getting the goal accomplished instead of just seeing it on your to-do list. So, I would recommend it in that regard.

If you haven't read Just Do Something, I would highly recommend this book as a primer to whatever goal you are looking to accomplish. It is the biblical outline of making decisions without "dreams, open doors, random bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky, etc." If you have trouble sticking with it or being encouraged that you have a gift or unique goal that you could use to glorify God, pick up The Me Project as well. Or leave a comment and maybe you will win the book in our giveaway!

In the coming days I will be blogging about my 21-day goal, what it entailed and the results of it! Stay tuned!

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  1. Good review! I will say, though, that I don't at all agree that my greatest value is found in being a wife and a mother. My value is found in living out God's unique calling on my life faithfully and for His glory. I do, of course, agree with you that giving up time with your family to spend in "me" pursuits is probably not the way to go. I should of course serve my husband and my children in a way that gives glory to God, but I am not limited to that or defined by that.

    I actually just read a really encouraging book that I really recommend called "Parenting Is Your Highest Calling: And Eight Other Myths That Trap Us in Worry and Guilt" by Leslie Leyland Fields. I thought she did a wonderful job of using stories of parents in the Bible to put things back into perspective.

    I'm not trying to be argumentative, and I'm probably taking some of what you are saying out of context. I have a personal belief that our society inflates children to an artificial level of importance, and defining myself in terms of my value to my children easily leads to that.

    Ok, I'll shut up now :)

  2. Great point, Megan. I concur. There is great value in being a wife and mother, but the greatest value is found in being a child of God and our standing with Him. There is such a balance to keep in that area. Many women pour their hearts, souls and minds into being the best wife and mom they could be and make that into an idol. Others pour their lives into finding value in other things outside the home. Recognizing that our value is found in our inheritance in Christ, and then letting our actions flow from that will keep other things (husband, kids, success, security) from becoming idols in our lives.

    Thanks for you wonderful comment. I will check into that book!


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