Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Book Review: Creating Calm In The Center Of Crazy

Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy: Making Room for Your Soul in an Overcrowded LifeAuthor: Nicole Johnson
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Zondervan

Are you working harder than ever but feel like you’re accomplishing less?

Does your morning routine make chickens running around headless look sane?

Is your deepest sense of calm found in the bathroom with the door locked?

Do you check social media more than five times per day? Per hour?

Author, speaker, and actor Nicole Johnson knows what it’s like to feel as if you’re drowning in crazy. When she couldn’t catch her breath or stay awake long enough to talk with her husband, let alone God, she sought to find new ways of “being” in her life. Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy is a voice of possibility and peace for women seeking to find a calm spiritual center in a crazy, runaway world. As a wife and mom of young children herself, Nicole recognized that life had become out of control. And, with the help of a crisis, she started her journey to create the very calm she was craving.

Nicole’s voice is authentic, humorous, and practical, and at the same time deeply spiritual and real. She brings rich storytelling together with her desire to find calm, and in the process discovers a deeper faith. Her personal story grounds the book as she abandons mere tips and tricks (and the empty promises of time saving apps), to explore new practices—like creating a room of her own, setting technology boundaries, rediscovering the spiritual disciplines of quiet and still (they’re not bad words)—and then extending those practices to provide a safer, stronger refuge for calm to dwell.

Nicole’s journey is shared with relatable stories, insightful help, and practical ideas that explore the inner life of a recovering crazy busy woman finding her way to calm and a deeper relationship with God.

I am something. I came into this world as a deeply loved child of God. I was designed with a purpose and for a purpose. I have great worth and value that is mine to accept or reject. I do not have to prove this, I do not have to earn this or even maintain this; my work is to trust this with my whole heart and live from this place of trust.

One thing I discovered during that time is that when the mind can’t make sense of something important, it is very reluctant to let it go.

We can come to know more about God than we have ever dared to believe if we gave God the opportunity to respond to us. This would deepen our knowledge and our faith, but to do this we must be still.

Nicole Johnson’s voice is like that of a best friend – reassuring, calming, and so relatable. I flew through this book, marked it up with hundreds of tabs, and enjoyed my time listening to the advice that she had to give. This book was new for me, but I have made a “mid-year resolution”, yes, I made this a thing, to try and read more non-fiction and self-help books. If this book is any indication of the types of self-help books on the market, then I think I will have no problem fulfilling this resolution. Nicole’s pacing is wonderful and she takes you through different parts of the struggle to find calm and tune out crazy. What I loved most about this book was that Nicole shared bits and pieces of her life in order to illustrate how she was battling crazy and in turn striving to find calm in the midst of chaos and heartbreak.

I must have tagged over one hundred places in this book where I felt that I could relate to what Nicole was saying or she said something very inspirational and I wanted to mark it to come back to later. Her writing is so soothing and it feels just like you are enveloped in a meaningful conversation with a very good friend. She talks about her flaws and where she falls short, which allowed me to realize that no one is perfect and if others can rise from failure and heartbreak, then I can too.  This is a book based around her relationship with God as well, and when she started to talk about God’s hand in our journey, this is when I really found myself speed reading. It was so inspirational and uplifting and just what I needed for a quiet summer afternoon!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Zondervan in exchange for my honest review***

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