Book #59: Refresh

My husband got me Refresh: Embracing a Grace-Paced Life in a World of Endless Demands by Shona and David Murray after he read the companion book, Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture by David Murray, one written for women and one for men. The premise of each is that we are all filling our days and time up with more than we can handle just heading for an inevitable breakdown. The Murrays take a look at the causes of burnout and exhaustion and specific, practical ways to slow down the pace of life. I appreciate that they not only look at the spiritual aspect of burnout, but physical, emotional, and mental as well, rooting their work in much Scripture and scientific research. The main idea I took from the book is that, as humans, we must realize we are finite and limited; we are not able to do any and every thing that others – or even ourselves – might expect of us. We must have our priorities in order, but we also need to have grace with ourselves, recognizing that it’s ok if we have to say no to some commitments or if our to-do list isn’t finished. We need to take care of ourselves spiritually and physically. And sometimes we just need to take a nap. If you feel caught up in a whirlwind of busyness and are afraid you can see breakdown on the horizon, this is a very helpful and practical book. I also appreciate the companion book, which is the same material but tweaked a bit for men. I found it helpful for Ben and I to have read them both so we had a common frame of reference to discuss the material. My favorite quote:

The key is to grasp that pacing ourselves is biblical, whereas living the fast, frantic life is not. It takes faith to believe that and to follow through with it. To live it is in fact a dying to self – a dying to our self-will, our self-sufficiency, and our self-image.”

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