Thursday, December 4, 2014

Breathing Room by Leeana Tankersley

Leeana Tankersley, like so many of us, began to feel overwhelmed by life. And like so many of us, she assumed she was struggling not because life is inherently difficult but because she was personally failing in some way. She knows firsthand what it is to bully yourself, to put yourself down for not being able to keep it all together, to compare yourself to others and find yourself lacking. But she's also discovered that all of the hurt and hostility and pain only add up to a life of holding your breath. What if we could exhale and let go? 
Breathing Room is her beautiful release of self-condemnation, her discovery of the rest that comes when we give ourselves some space to breathe. She draws readers in through shared experiences of perfectionism, jealousy, and striving and shows them how to let go, how to be radically on their own team, and how to experience the broad grace that Christ has offered all of us.

Anyone who has been trying to do it all, who has been putting on a strong front and yet secretly struggling, will find in Breathing Room both a trusted friend and a generous Savior.

Available at the following places

About the Author:

Leeana Miller Tankersley  is the author of Found Art: Discovering Beauty in Foreign Places (Zondervan 2009) and the forthcoming Breathing Room:Letting Go So You Can Fully Live (Revell 2014).
Leeana holds English degrees from Liberty University and West Virginia University. She is married to Steve Tankersley, an active duty Navy SEAL, and they are currently stationed in San Diego, California, with their three kids Luke (5), Lane (5), and Elle (2).
Follow Leeana at 
I confess: I am someone who gets overwhelmed. Life is big and wide and breathtaking, and I don’t always know how to find my way through it all.

I believe: I am a gypsy at heart. Deep down inside me a freedom-seeker is wildly ready for breath and life and creating. I think your inner gypsy is alive, too.

I write: To remind us all that we’re in it together (you’re not alone!), that we need God and each other, and that the overwhelming days will not have the last word.

I love: Chips and salsa forever. Hot pink bougainvillea. Faux fur. Big hoop earrings. Being home. My tribe.

I received this book courtesy of TBCN in exchange for my honest opinion.

My thoughts:
I chose this book because I too, at times feel a struggle to breathe. Life seems to smother me with all the endless to do's and expectations to fill. I was eager to read someone else's perspective and ideas on how to deal with this smothering feeling. 

Leeana freely shares her struggles with feeling overwhelmed, depression, having trouble coping, and how she got help. She shares the coping methods she tried and "fixing it" methods, all of which are solutions but not necessarily healing. I love this quote: "Fixing is a solution, healing is a process." Leeann as a military wife, living overseas, with two small children, or pregnant, often struggled just to get through a day. I can so relate!

This book to me is about being honest with myself (yourself) about my need for something/someone greater than myself to help me cope and get through life. It's about reality of life - the hard stuff. It's also about giving myself permission to just be me - shortcomings and all. Its about seeking help and healing. Its about finding friends you can be honest with about what you are going through. Although Leeann does make mention of God in her book, she also references various other methods of coping and provides minimum Scriptures for the readers benefit. Personally, I feel coping methods are helpful and necessary but am reminded that healing is about a Savior, a God, who is your creator, your healer, and knows exactly what you need.

I sit with myself as I would a friend instead of an enemy. I remind myself I'm not alone. I don't have to prove I'm worth something. I don't have to work to keep up with everyone's expectations of me. I don't have to live in order to avoid disappointing everyone who knows me. That's just crazy-making soul-stealing. This kind of activity leaves us all exhausted, strung out, frantic for a fix.  
I don't have to punish the less pleasing parts of me. In fact, quite the opposite. I have to turn toward the less-than-pleasing parts of me, that annoying little shadow, with the most counter-intuitive gesture. Radical grace; radical care. 
I cannot deprive, punish, squeeze, or bully myself into feeling good enough. There aren't enough Bad Pants (you'll have to read the book to get that) in the world to fill the void. There is only enough Christ.

Although I enjoyed reading it, it does not necessarily reflect all of my Christian beliefs. I think it leans more towards a "positive thinking" way of coping rather than really pointing a person to God and the Bible for healing.

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