“We need to welcome our brokenness, but also our belovedness. This is the brazen path.” – p111
Brazen, by Leeana Tankersley, is kind of like a really great sermon The kind that starts off gentle and kind and quiet and then it grows in intensity and volume as it goes until the end when the pastor is passionately proclaiming truth, the people are amen-ing, there are roars of applause and cheers as the whole room feels this kind of kinship. Like we’ve all just grown together, like something is different now, like we’ve all just moved a step forward towards the holy and the good. Covering topics as huge as self-image issues and giving ourselves grace and topics as small and hilarious as how we often deny even as basic of a need as needing to pee, this gem of a book will sooth your weary heart and inspire your very soul.
I had never heard of Leeana Tankersley before this book arrived on my doorstep and I feel a bit deprived about that. Her voice is confident but kind, gentle but firm, inspired but a little irreverent at times (in such a good way). There is nothing about this book that is anything but loving and helpful. I was so very blessed by it.
The subtitle of the book is “the courage to find the you that’s been hiding”, and I believe that’s exactly what the author sets out to inspire. The book is organized into three parts: Receive (your identity), Reclaim (your voice) and Recover (your soul). The chapters are very short (just a few pages for most) and the writing style makes them easy to read. I read a lot of this book at stop lights, in drive thru’s, while waiting in line and in doctor’s offices. However, since there are so many wonderful things to take in and digest throughout, I believe it’s actually better read in small doses over a longer period of time. Each chapter has a “Reflection and Expression” section and gives ideas/suggestions for creating your own “Brazen” board. I read the book so quickly (a few weeks) that I skipped the Brazen board – but as the book went on I wished that I hadn’t. I love the questions, thoughts and reflections provided at the end of each chapter and they are a great way to really take in the beauty presented in the pages of this mighty work.
Often I read books that could have covered their subject matter in fewer words. Rarely do I read a book in which every word was used so carefully and strategically that I don’t believe even one should have been left out (a testament to not only a great author, but also a fantastic editor).
If there is any part of you that feels that you are not living freely, wholly, confidently, comfortably within your own skin, and with the whole and complete love and grace of God – you need to read this book. It will speak to all the parts of you that feel that you are somehow not enough and it will help you remember that you are not only enough, but you are created and loved by God and you have a part to play in this world that is real and significant and beautiful.
Here are some of my favorite quotables from this book:
“Hiding can look like a thousand different postures and performances, but one of the most egregious is swallowing down our own God-breathed strength.” – p104
“…my lovability is not contingent on how well I execute the logistics of life. …I am never more loved than in the moment of my failings, my faltering, my humanity. I’m never more loved than the moment when it all falls apart.” – p88
“When shame is my lens, my eyes are unreliable.” – p67
“Life doesn’t demand our presence. It asks. And we decide whether or not we will tolerate the beauty we’re currently standing on.” – p59
“I wonder if grace is actually in the reduction of things, a gentle or not-so-gentle returning to the bottom line. Who we are. Who God is. How we are loved. An uncovered nakedness. Grace is the reminder that the Creator and his creation are enough: our Created Center is gold.” – p192
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Baker Books Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.