Thomas Nelson (April 3, 2012) 197 pages
I have mixed feelings about this book! I'm almost hesitant to post my thoughts on it, because I'm going to be very vague about certain things.
It took me a little while to get into it. I've been trying various different reading schedules to see what works best for me. My Bible reading time is best for me right before I go to bed. (Bible study is best late afternoon). I tried reading a chapter of this book after my Bible reading, but I finally realized that just wasn't working. When I brought it downstairs and read at leisure, it was amazing how much difference it made. Environment is HUGELY important with reading! :)
I think this quote sums up the whole point of Anything pretty well.
"Now I was wrecked. At some point I started crying, hard. My heart was broken. Every god I had built and stroked and justified fell onto the bathroom floor that night with my tears. The life I was building was crushing before me. I grieved. I grieved the moment on my parents' bed when I had cared more about their opinion than God's quiet voice in me. I grieved the curtains I had pined for. I grieved the control I had given to everyone around me by caring so much about their opinions of me. I grieved the life I had built around a plastic god and a pretend heaven that had only seemed slightly possible. I grieved a life that was spent on myself, the excess I had justified while others suffered. I grieved sitting back and controlling my image rather than pouring out my life and gifts for his name's sake. I grieved that my mind had been spent solving my own simple problems rather than giving my life away for the few years I am here. .......And in that moment what had never occurred to me made perfect sense. So much sense that I was willing...desperately willing...to do anything." (page 77-78)
There's a great deal of things that the author and I disagree about concerning Biblical teaching. There's some things that I can't say are un-Biblical, but they still caused suspicions on my part. I'm going to be vague here, though, because on some issues, it would be plain rude for me to comment specifically. On other issues, I have to be honest, and say that I want to study deeper before even bringing up something that controversial on my blog. Because of this, I've debated whether to even post this. I know! That doesn't help at all! More than anything, I'm putting this book on your radar, I guess. ;P
If you'd like to read their exact beliefs, just go HERE. If you agree with them(the author and her husband), then I can't imagine you being disappointed with the book!
Reading Anything has really opened my mind, though! While I don't agree with all of Jennie's theology, I did still walk away with TONS of thoughts whirling through my brain. It's made me re-think how I use my time. It's made me realize that I need to put my talents to use. She makes it clear that not everyone's "anything" is going to be big like adopting a baby, or moving to Africa, or selling ALL of your belongings and giving it to the poor. It's still easy to get in a mindset that nothing I've done has been good enough, because I haven't adopted or moved to another country. It's scary to think about letting completely go, though, and it really puts all the little "gods" in my life into perspective. The lessons that I took away are worth reading this book, even if I didn't agree with everything that was said.
"The very thought of doing anything demands everything. We have to face out fears. If we believe he is real, if we believe he has an eternal heart, we have to face the fact that a God like that may mess with our temporary comfort and fictional scrapbooks." (page 53)
Jennie's family is simply beautiful! Her journey was amazing to read, and I learned a great deal. If you enjoy books that encourage you to do SOMETHING....anything....then definitely give this one a try. Just in case you couldn't tell, I really did enjoy reading Anything!
*I was provided a review copy through Shelton Interactive in exchange for my honest opinion.