Saturday, May 21, 2016

"Loving My Actual Life" Book Review

As a stay-at-home mom/homeschooling mom, sometimes its hard to love my actual life.  I get bogged down in the minutia, overwhelmed by the huge "to-do" list.  So when I saw Alexandra Kuykendall's book, "Loving My Actual Life: An Experiment In Relishing What's Right In Front Of Me," I knew I had to read it.

Now, just to be clear, this isn't really a "how to" book.  You aren't going to find page after page of "how to love your life.  This is more of a journal of the author's nine month experiment.  If you've read Jen Hatmaker's book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, this book follows a similar pattern.  Mrs. Kuykendall realized what she needed was not a different life, but a way to love the life God had given her.  She broke her experiment up into 9 months: quiet, mornings, dates, health, adventure, home, creativity, meals, and passions.  Each month she tackled a new area - trying to focus her attention on how to get more - and give more - out of that area of her life.

What I liked about this book:
1.) Its very readable. - Mrs. Kyukendall has a very easy, readable tone.  Its not a deep theological discourse.  (Although deep theological discourse is wonderful, sometimes a mom needs a book that's easy to understand.  Especially when reading time includes breaks to change diapers, break up arguments, and wipe dirty noses.)
2.) The chapters are broken up into daily segments. - Just like Jen Hatmaker's "7," Kuykendall gives you daily "entries" into how the experiment is going.  I find books like this refreshing for me, as a busy, easily distracted mom.  During the day, I rarely get to sit down and read an entire chapter uninterrupted.  And at night, after the kids are in bed, I'm often too exhausted to read.  But the daily entries in this book are often just a couple of paragraphs!  That makes finishing the entire thought much more doable!
3.) Its the author's personal experience. - As I mentioned before, this book isn't really a "self-help how-to."  Mrs. Kuykendall is very forthcoming with the fact that, what worked for her may not work for you.  But watching her go through this experiment, try different things, succeed at some and fail at others, is encouraging!

I received a copy of this book, free of charge, from Baker Books, in exchange for my honest review.

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