Now, I know what you're thinking.
You know that I sometimes take issue with the word "amazing" and the way it is overly used these days. I will admit that I was slightly hesitant to read this book based on the title alone. However, I did like the subtitle: "Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be" and I also liked the cover of the book. Very clean and classy looking.
The book was a surprisingly pleasant and easy read. Gerth quickly encourages the reader to treat this book as a heart-to-heart conversation--similar to one you might have with a friend over a cup of coffee. In the first paragraph of the Introduction (p.11) she states: "You don't have to do more, be more, have more." With that simple statement she gives us permission to remove the responsibility that we all tend to carry from our shoulders. I know I tend to carry the weight of my regular tasks and work--and then I pile on the weight of expectations. Expectations I have of my self, expectations I have for others, and expectations I am certain you (and everyone else) are probably putting on me at this very moment. The expectation to perform, the expectation to be right, the expectation to be exactly what everyone else thinks I should be--rather than taking ahold of the person I was created to be.
I wasn't created to be the status quo.
I wasn't created to be just like her or him or them.
I wasn't created to make you happy.
This book also provides good study questions and information. It could easily be used for small groups or book clubs. The questions are thought-provoking and the quizzes are very user-friendly. I love that Gerth includes these options for the reader.
I also like the straight-forward way she tends to break everything down with easy classification quizzes. She identifies different emotional and personality types and how we might react to certain life situations. I often look at my other friends and wonder why I fail to handle things with the same grace and dignity. How things tend to roll off their backs, or why they seem to know exactly the right thing to say at exactly the right time. I must remind myself that I am uniquely created to handle things in a certain way. I will never be able to control the flood of tears that always creeps out of my face. If you have a sad situation, I will cry with you. If you are mistreated, I will be angry with you. I will never be able to control that part of me--call it the artist, call it the estrogen--I've decided to just start calling it the Amandas.
Because He made me this way.
And I don't need to wish His creation was something else.
I am already amazing because He is amazing.
I've been very purposeful the past few weeks about ignoring the voices in my head. The ones that tell me that I'm not enough or that so-and-so has so much more together in her life.
I am not her.
I will never be her.
And He loves me just as much as He loves her.
I was uniquely created in His image.
And when I recognize and praise Him for that simple statement, it is incredibly freeing.
One might even go as far to say that it's. . . amazing.
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