Wednesday, March 27, 2019

In the Non-Fiction Corner: Holy As You Are

In the Non-Fiction Corner With Lauren

In the book “Holy As You Are” by Christie Gardiner, the author explores what it means to have a holy life, shows how other people have accomplished this, and gives real life advice on what we can do to feel like we are enough. Her chapters include habits to form to make your life holier, the importance of ministering, having questions (although I believe you can have very few questions about our religion and still be an avid reader) and letting go of the noise and the judgments that clog up our lives from feeling the Spirit. The most eye-opening part of the book for me was Gardiner’s section on excuses. She went through many excuses we have for not doing more, or not leading a holy life. We often say we are too busy. We all have careers, families, callings, we may be too old or too young, but we all have holy ministries to fulfill. The Lord gave us these ministries, even though he knew the limitations we face. This really made me ponder what I can do to give more to The Lord in my everyday life.

In the first few pages, the author spends a couple of paragraphs talking about how she is inadequate to write this book. Do not let this deter you from reading it, as it almost did for me. She has a fun personality and a few really good points in the book. At one point, though, the author is listing some of the things she could struggle with, from family and friends, to what she says is the “biggest villain of all: cultural expectations heaped on Latter-day women.” I felt uncomfortable with this phrasing because, for me, as I am sure it is for the author, being a Latter-saint woman is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Call the biggest villain comparison, or self-doubt, or even Satan himself, but even within the “culture” of the Church I believe that it is our greatest blessing in every way, shape, and form. It is also hard to feel holy as I read about all the women in the author’s life who are seemingly perfect. As a teacher, I will never have the funds to go on five humanitarian trips a year or have a pool in my backyard to teach children with disabilities to swim. While I am grateful for these examples and the good that is in the world, it’s extremely difficult to read lists of people who are always going to be doing more than me and still consider my life “holy as it is.”

I appreciate the author sharing her personal experience and making her book relatable to everyone. I love how much research she put in, especially her use of Church History and current issues facing the church. Her goal was to turn people toward Christ and His Atonement, and I think it does exactly that.

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You can get your copy here

Here is the back copy:

When referenced in the scriptures, the word holy means to “set apart for a sacred purpose.” It is a description all women who seek to follow Christ want to embody—but the struggle between the ideal of a holy life and reality can seem far apart. In Holy As You Are, best-selling author Christie Gardiner seeks to close the gap reminding women of the holy attributes they already possess and how they can accomplish extraordinary ordinary things that will forever change the landscape and heart-scape of their worlds.

With a wealth of spiritual guidance and upbeat wisdom that doesn’t shy away from difficult topics, this inspired volume challenges readers to look at their tragedies and triumphs and everything in between as sacred opportunities to choose holiness. What if ordinary is extraordinary? What if you are Holy As You Are?

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