> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Book Review: Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley
Friday, November 4, 2016

Book Review: Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book from Thomas Nelson, free of charge, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it, and all opinions are my own

And now for a book that we ALL need to read before the holiday season...

grace not perfection cover


Have you been told you can have it all, only to end up exhausted and occasionally out of sorts with the people you love? Are you ready for a new way of seeing your time? Learn to live a little more simply. Hold yourself and those you love to a more life-giving standard in Grace Not Perfection,and allow that grace to seep into your days, your family, and your heart.

Ideas include:
  • List Making 101—tips to create effective to-do lists and get through them one step at a time
  • Simplify your life by simplifying the three major areas: your space, your time, and your mind
  • Strategies to center your day around an intentionally slower rhythm of life 
As a busy wife, new mother, business owner, and designer, Emily Ley came to a point when she suddenly realized she couldn’t do it all. She needed to simplify her life, organize her days, and prioritize the priorities. She decided to hold herself to a standard of grace rather than perfection. This mantra led to the creation of her bestselling Simplified Planner®, a favorite among busy women everywhere—from mamas to executives and everywhere in between.

Grace, Not Perfection takes this message from a daily planner to an inspirational book that encourages women to simplify and prioritize. Designed with Emily Ley’s signature aesthetic, this book gives women tangible ways to simplify their lives to give space to what matters most. With a focus on faith, Emily reminds readers that God abundantly pours out grace on us—and that surely we can extend grace to ourselves.

grace not perfection sample 1


Grace is a topic we've discussed MANY MANY times on this blog!

It's also something that our pastors have spoken to the past year, in just about every sermon. It seems we've forgotten about grace and what it truly means. Add in the conveniences and epiderma of modern life and suddenly we feel like we are living in a fishbowl (sometimes of our own making (guilty!), sometimes not), and that grace is not something to think about., Yet these are the times we need it the most.

Emily takes on these preconceived notions that we've told ourselves, been told, or had thrust upon us, and says. "Wait, take a step BACK. Who says you have to be like everyone else?

grace not perfection sample 2

That is a key notion in today's modern world of social media that we forget- when we male something that doesn't come out like the one shown on Pinterest, do we need to lambast the effort? Or should we celebrate that we tried, our design is unique to us, and hey, if you like it, who cares? Now take that ten fold- trying to keep up with the neighbors, giving your kids what their friends are receiving, or even just trying to do too much in a search for perfection, that truly only belongs to one person- God. You see, it can't be done!
What we SHOULD strive for is what makes us happy and content-your kid may not care that the cupcakes don;t look magazine photo ready- she just cares that you took the time to MAKE THEM. That you set aside the laundry and answering emails, and made cupcakes for her to share with her classmates.It really is THAT simple. The grace is in the time and caring, not in the perfection. Did you make the cupcakes WITH her? You were making memories and maybe setting a tradition in place- that re the things to cherish. She won't remember they didn't look like a picture, she'll remember the time you spent together, the fun and the togetherness. THAT is God's grace.

grace not perfection sample 3

In this book, Emily offers so many small tips, but ultimately, they are huge. They set you free from PERFECTION. They allow you to rethink (by using her action and thinking pages, like the one above), to set in motion the changes YOU need, to let go of that perfection and LIVE. It's not easy, I know, I've been there. I thought I had let go of that, but when we started homeschooling, it reared back up- wanting to make sure Miss Grace was level with other kids, that our plan was astoundingly great, that she could so just as much at home at school. But that's not the point of home schooling. So as she unschooled, to school, I also had to remind myself to not get caught up in the 'perfect;' game, but to step back and see what SHE needed and set our curriculum around her needs and likes. My using the ideas in the book, to simplify and find the joy, we have a plan in place that might not work for anyone else, but for us it is. And what I have seen in 2 weeks is a kid who has destressed and also isn't seeking perfect anymore. She doesn't HAVE to get an A, or have her picture perfect. She is enjoying the PROCESS, of learning and finding her creative spirit. THAT is God's grace in action!

So as you see, the book isn't just about how YOU can seek grace, it's about how it can domino to your family, and create changes for everyone. And those changes can have some pretty great results! 

This is the perfect book for giving to expectant mothers especially- to remind them to not get on the merry go round of perfection, but instead to take their own path. It's also a great gift for besties, who may need to be reminded of the same! We can't recommend it enough- read it before the holiday season starts in ernest- it might just be what truly makes the season bright for you! So check out the free preview of the book, and take the challenge this weekend- let go of perfection, and seek grace!

grace not perfection sample 4

About the Author:

Emily Ley is Founder and Creative Director of Emily Ley Paper & Gifts. She is also the creator of the bestselling Simplified Planner—a daily agenda for what matters most. Raised in Pensacola, Florida (home of the most beautiful beaches you ever did see), Emily graduated from the University of West Florida with degrees in English, creative writing, and public administration and then went on to become the executive director of the city ballet. From there, she worked in nonprofit management and public relations before launching her brand in 2008. Following the success found at its online home, EmilyLey.com, the Emily Ley brand quickly grew to be carried in over 500 retail outlets across the United States and around the world. Emily has been recognized with numerous awards, including Best New Product—Desktop (for the 2015 Simplified Planner®) at the National Stationery Show as well as Top 10 Designers to Watch in 2015 by Stationery Trends Magazine. Now as a businesswoman, wife, and mama to three, Emily enjoys Friday pizza parties on the living room floor, strong cappuccinos with her college-crush-turned-husband, and making memories to savor for a lifetime with her twins and preschooler. Check out her website for more info!

1 comment:

  1. I would love to read this! Sounds like something that I would really enjoy! :)


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