Creating a Life Free From Chaos

My 7 Favorite Moments in Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love (Book Review)

Confession: I adore Jen Hatmaker. I wish I lived in Austin so I could run to her house and beg to be in her supper club because we would soooo be BFFs. So obviously I was excited when her new book, For the Love, was finally released. I bought the hardback immediately, but couldn’t turn down the opportunity to grab the Kindle version from BookLook Bloggers to review. If you haven’t read the book, please run to Amazon right now and grab it, because seriously, it’s that awesome. Let’s take a look at my seven favorite moments from For the Love.

  1. In the book’s first essay, Worst Beam Ever, Jen discusses how the entire notion of balancing work and family is flawed, and that we need to learn to say no to things not in our skill set and go forward living our own lives and doing our own things in the season we find ourselves right now. I was nodding in agreement the whole way through, but she really convicted me with this tidbit right at the end: “But maybe…if we stop fearing a no will end the world, if we pare our lives down to what is beautiful, essential, life-giving, if we refuse to guilt one another for different choices, and if we celebrate the decent accomplishments of Ordinary Good Hard Life, then we’ll discover there wasn’t a beam in the first place, that God’s kingdom never required a balancing act, and Jesus was in that foam fun pit all along.” Imagine that — what if we don’t have to “balance” work and family and fun and health? What if we just need to learn to let go of the activities and obligations that aren’t serving us in this season of our lives? How amazingly simple would that make life, to follow through with where our gifts lay and jettison or outsource the rest?
  2. In the essay Run Your Race, Jen discusses how we as women tend to downplay some of our finest gifts by thinking they’re throwaway qualities that don’t matter and may even hinder us in pursuing our goals. She mentions that she even felt for a long time that her humor was something to be minimized, and she considered it to be a liability as a pastor’s wife. Can you imagine Jen without her humor? I love her for her humor and her gift for lightening even the most serious discussions with some well-timed fun mixed in with the convicting heart-to-heart. Jen says this: “God created an entire package…Nothing is wasted: not a characteristic, preference, experience, tragedy, quirk, nothing. It is all you and it is all purposed and it can all be used for great and glorious good.” Of course, because God doesn’t make mistakes and isn’t wasteful. Why would we ever think we have to downplay our gifts to succeed? He gave us those gifts for a reason. We need to use them.
  3. In the essay Tell the Truth, Jen convicted me with an entire essay on a subject I’d been struggling with lately. I touched on it briefly in my post, What is Modern Simplicity? It’s that unsettling argument you have with yourself about how to present yourself in the best light while also being real and authentic with those you serve. It’s a tough battle to face, wanting to publicly be on top of your game while privately struggling with your own flaws. Jen had this to say, and I’ll be posting this one right on my office wall: “When I present a fabricated version of myself — the self who knows all, is ever certain, always steps strong — we all lose, because I cannot keep up with that lie and neither can you.” Has she been spying on me? Convicted. Then she quoted Scott Stratten, author of Unmarketing: “Don’t try to win over the haters, you’re not the jackass whisperer.”  I will be posting that one right on the computer monitor.
  4. Lest you think this is some big deep book (it is) completely serious and without humor (it’s so not), I need to spotlight Jen’s Thank You Notes. Every single one of Jen’s Thank You Notes tickled me to tears, but I have to give special mention to the notes to Daylight and Rearview Mirror, Netflix, Yoga Pants, Looming Book Deadline, and Texting. I won’t spoil you by giving away the details, but trust me, you don’t want to miss these sections.
  5. The essay on Jen’s Supper Club has made me see what I’ve been missing out on by being a hermit. I’m actually considering starting a supper club for the slim chance of duplicating her amazing group. In the meantime, I’ll have to settle for trying out some of the delicious-sounding recipes she included in the book. Because yum. I love how even in the middle of the recipe, she’s cheering me on as if she know’s I’ll give up if the recipe sounds too hard (seriously, I think she has spies). I see a Beef Bourguignon and Chocolate Cake in my future.
  6. In On Women, Jen gives us a nice little quotable that I really want to paste on a scenic background image and plaster all over Facebook: “This really is your one wild and precious life. You matter so much. You are writing a good story for your children. Your community and your church need you, your neighbors and family need you, God adores you and Jesus is obsessed with you.” That’s a message every woman needs to hear, daily.
  7. I may have to write my own version of the essay Dear Kids. I was bawling by the end of it. One of my favorite things about Jen is how she loves her kids — honestly, passionately but not necessarily reverently. They’re kids after all! They are our hearts outside our bodies, but they certainly don’t walk on water, and I love that Jen embraces that so fully with her family. It’s how I feel about my own boys, but it’s not always a sentiment shared by other moms publicly. Let them be little, let them make mistakes, but always be near enough to point them back in the right direction while loving them with all your heart.

Have you read For the Love? Share your favorite moments in the comments below!


I review for BookLook Bloggers

I received a copy of this e-book for review purposes through BookLook Bloggers. This fair and honest review contains my own opinions and do not reflect the views of the author, publisher or any other third-party. I have received no other compensation for this review. This is disclosed in accordance with FTC guidelines.

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