Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Unstoppable (Book Review)

Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic is a powerful set of memoirs written to inspire. The author's genuineness, honesty, and vulnerability give readers a window into Nick's life while also providing a comfort and a hope for their own lives--in the midst of whatever struggle or challenge they may be facing.

The beauty of this book is that it appeals to all people. The anecdotes and truths in his writing, both from experiences in his own life and experiences shared with him through the lenses of people he has known, are incredibly diverse. He addresses issues from self-harm, depression, and suicide attempts to anxiety, addiction, fear of never finding love, and trust issues. He addresses issues from broken families, domestic violence, and bullying to doubts and lack of direction. And he addresses medical conditions and disabilities that, in the past, have been viewed as debilitating. Nick shows people how disabilities aren't taking away from the person; they are giving the person new and different abilities. It's empowering and enlightening for all, regardless of ability.

Not only that, but it's a great reminder that we are loved and treasured by a God who is bigger than any mountain we will face. As the old Veggie Tales song goes, "God is bigger than the boogeyman." We are of value and God will never leave us behind. He will protect us and provide for us, and see us through the pain and the fear.

My recommendation when reading this book is to view it as a challenge. Understand that this book will give you hope and motivation to do something great--that is, something greater than yourself. When Nick Vujicic acknowledged that God wanted to do something big--something meaningful and powerful--through the abilities with which God graced him, he listened. He followed God's lead. He didn't take "no" for an answer. He went where God called and He trusted God for provision along the way. That's something that we don't typically do--regardless of our medical or mental status. We aren't a people of risk-taking when it means that we have to offer a load of faith in order to get a miracle. But God wants to see our faith in action.

After all, we are His people and we are called to do His work, so why aren't we doing it? He gave us each a purpose. Nick stated it perfectly: "Nothing will bring you down faster than living without a purpose or losing track of whatever you are most passionate about: the gift that gives you joy and makes your life meaningful" and "You are custom-made for your purpose, just as I am for mine."

Let's allow God to make us all unstoppable.

If you would like to read chapter one of Unstoppable, please click here.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Talitha, cumi

To the little girl who avoids the mirror in the morning but clings to the scale at night…
To the little girl who fears the clothing racks and the dressing rooms because she just can’t find that “right” fit…
To the little girl who cries herself to sleep because she’ll never look like those stars on the cover of CosmoGirl or Teen People…
And to the little girl who still hides in the heart of every grown woman…

Talitha, cumi – little girl, arise.

Little girl, arise.

Rise above the toxicity of the thin ideal; of the idea that there’s only one definition of beauty and that you have to look a certain way - be a certain way - to be beautiful, accepted, or worthy.
You already are beautiful, accepted, and worthy.

Rise above the exhaustion that the thin ideal brings - the physical and emotional draining that comes with always trying to attain an unrealistic, falsified, and photoshopped image of perfection.
Instead, let your energy be consumed by your passions and the things that provide joy and excitement.

Rise above the competition with other girls and the pull toward self-deprecating statements. Rise above the pressure to conform to the standard ways of suppressing the positive and amplifying the negative.
Instead, stand in front of a mirror and remind yourself that you are beautifully and wonderfully made - and you don’t have to fit a mold to be that way. Then, remind the rest of the world. Be confident. Resist conformation and be different simply by loving yourself.

Rise above the tendency to bankrupt your wallet by buying the latest fashion and the newest diet trend and the tendency to bankrupt your mind by buying the lies that society tells you.
Instead, bankrupt others of negativity and fill them with positivity. Fill your body - your whole body - with love and happiness and then let it overflow into others.

You are valuable, you are precious, and you are unique…because you are YOU…and nobody else can be YOU for you. So don’t waste time trying to be someone else’s "you."

I know society tells you that we have to live for other people. We’re taught at a young age that it’s normal to hate our bodies and to always strive for this idol of “perfection,” but this thin ideal is anything but perfect and anything but ideal. When you aim at “gaining” that particular body, you run the risk of losing everything else. So don’t live for other people. Live for yourself and for your God.

Every day, praise the Lord for your differences. Thank Him for the subtle things that make you special, for they also make your beautiful.

And when you struggle and you’re just not sure what to do, just remember one concept: talitha, cumi. Little girl, arise.

Inspired by Mark 5:41 (ESV):
Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”