Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Brazen {Review}

Brazen: The Courage to Find the You That's Been Hiding
Brazen by Leeana Tankersley
Visit the Author's Website HERE
Publisher: Revell
Publishing Date: April 5, 2015
There are so many moments in life when we choose to silence our intuition, abandon our own voice, and play small because we wonder, deep down: "Do I know who I really am? Is who I really am enough?" It's courageous work to learn to live from our essential identity--loved, worthy, whole. But what if God is calling us to shamelessly recover the woman he created us to be? What if God is urging us to be--for the first time in our lives--brazen? 
The word "brazen" means "without shame." Leeana Tankersley wants women to be just that--to unapologetically move from shame- and fear-based living toward lives that are based on love and belonging. With moving personal stories and spot-on observations of the longings we all experience--to know we are loved, to feel comfortable in our own skin, to be heard--Tankersley calls women to honor that voice deep down inside of them rather than bowing to outside influences that push them to become someone they're not. Gritty and overflowing with grace, Brazen will set women free to be truly themselves in a world bent on molding them in its image.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Buy a copy today

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed Leeana's "Breathing Room" about a year and a half ago. I remember liking it so much that I added it to my Reread list for 2016. And with a title like "Brazen: The Courage to Find the You That's Been Hiding" I knew I needed to pick up this one as well. As a new mom of two young kiddos, I certainly don't know where or who my inner self is anymore. 

Tankersley has such a poetic way of writing. The reader can completely tell who she is as a person and an artist through the way she writes. She is artistic, deep and unashamed -- brazen. I love that we get such a clear example of 'brazen', of what we could also do if we choose freedom and braziness. 

Unfortunately, some of the author's poetic writing made it hard for me to follow along. Tankersley takes a lot of 'small' moments and finds the profound. Example: Chapter 25 is about laundry but also about God rescuing us. And while I appreciate that, I found it means that Tankersley doesn't always spell out her points. I couldn't always understand what I was supposed to be taking away from each chapter. In the example of chapter 25, I am not entirely sure the point was God rescuing us or finding beauty in dark places. I suppose both are great takeaways, but it sure left me more confused  than inspired. 

There were a few chapters that really resounded with me however. Some profound truths, that honestly shouldn't be that profound, they should be obvious.
I look up frivolous in the dictionary and find the definitions that seem to be saying something to me: "silly, trifling, empty, worthless, broken, crumbled, of little weight or importance, so clearly insufficient."
And then I hear this question: "Leeana, do you feel that you are frivolous?" And I wonder if this is the question all along. (pg 92-93)
Each chapter ends with a 'Reflection & Expression' section. The questions and prompts here really helped me explore a smidge of my creative side. Tankersley also asks us to create a Brazen Board, visual artwork that helps the reader creatively work through the chapters. An example would be "Add an image of lightness" or "Add an image that represents choosing you". My creative side, and time, is too strapped down still that I didn't do this part, but I can see a lot of readers really engaging with such a fun idea.

Overall, I can't say that I completely connected with this book as much as I would have hoped. I struggled to relate to Tankersley's writing and poetic soul. However, I do hope that one day I can be in a better place and perhaps give this one another read. I did grab two major takeaways that I hope to continue exploring in my journal, and for that alone I am thankful. If you are a reader who loves the profound in the simple everyday, poetic, creative souls and are looking to find your strong inner woman, "Brazen" may be for you. 4 stars. 

PS Don't miss out on these free coloring pages! Find them HERE

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