Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Book Review: Refresh

Refresh: Embracing a Grace-Paced Life in a World of Endless Demands. Shona and David Murray. 2017. Crossway. 208 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: I was a crumpled heap.

Premise/plot: Refresh is a companion book to Reset. Reset was a book for men using a metaphor of a garage. Refresh is a book for women using a metaphor of a gym. The Murrays invite readers to "Refresh Gym" which features ten stations. The goal is to guide and teach women how to live better, how to have a grace-paced life. What is a grace-paced life? "It's a pace of life that's constantly refreshed by five wells of divine grace: 1) motivating well of grace, 2) moderating well of grace, 3) multiplying well of grace, 4) releasing well of grace, 5) receiving well of grace. The ten stations are: reality check, replay, rest, re-create, relax, rethink, reduce, refuel, relate, and resurrection.

Like Reset, the book focuses on the whole life--eating and drinking, sleeping, exercising, working, worshipping, relaxing, parenting, etc. In Refresh, Shona tells her own story--or stories of depression, anxiety, and burnout. Shona is a homeschooling mom of five, and, before she was stay-at-home, she was a doctor.

My thoughts: I thought I had trouble relating to Reset because it was written for men, but honestly I didn't have much better luck relating to Refresh the one written for women. This isn't unusual for me. Most books "for women" seek to be super-practical and go beyond the spiritual and theological. Most books for women tend to be about how to be a wife, how to be a mother, how to be a godly wife and godly mother and do all these godly things in and about your godly home. Most books assume that if you're not in that stage yet--it's just a matter of time until you'll need to know.

That being said, there are chapters that are applicable to anyone and everyone. For example, the chapter on sleep! The chapter on sleep was my favorite in Reset. But I think my favorite chapter in Refresh might be Relax. In this chapter, they address the DIGITAL DELUGE. These pages are very passionate. Here's how it begins, "Digital technology is killing us. It's killing our souls and our bodies. It's killing our marriages, families, and friendships. It's killing our listening skills and speaking abilities. It's killing face-to-face communications and interfamily relationships. It's killing our minds, especially our ability to focus and concentrate. It's killing communication with God as it usurps communication with him first thing in the morning and last thing at night...." She is JUST getting started.

Another interesting chapter was Refuel. She discusses how there are fillers and drainers in our lives, and it's important to know what fills us and what drains us.

Favorite quote:
Every Christian wants to know God more; few Christians fight for the silence required to know him. 
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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