Friday, April 7, 2017

Book Review: Brave is the new Beautiful by Lee Wolfe Blum

Brave is the New Beautiful by Lee Wolfe Blum arrived in my mailbox on an ordinary Monday morning. I had seen it earlier, popping up around the corners of my Instagram feed and I was super interested - the cover is beautiful and the title draws you right in - but I wasn't exactly sure what the book was going to be about. Brave was my word of the year both last year and the year before so I knew I needed it, whatever it was. So I curled up in my reading corner of the couch and started reading and I read it in between homeschooling my boys, and I read it for a bit before my big girls got home from school, and I read a bit more before I started on dinner and I read a little bit more after my boys went to bed and I read a bit more after my husband went to bed until at 1am on Tuesday morning I had read Brave is the New Beautiful cover to cover.

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This book is a collection of stories of extraordinary bravery - stories of women who have suffered and lost, battled and been broken but through it all, one way or another, they chose to be brave. To speak up instead of hide in silence, to love instead of wilt in despair, to hope when hope grew dim. These are not stories tied up with pretty bows and happy endings. These are the raw and real stories of women who have lost their children and been abused, suffered through cancer and through a crisis of identity, women who have come out with their faith in-tact, maybe a bit shaky, but still there.

The point of all of these stories is that beauty isn't about a number on a scale, or a size on the tag. Beauty isn't found in following the latest trends or fad diets. Beauty isn't even about what we manage to squeeze into our little squares on the internet. Beauty comes from within and true beauty is found when we choose love over fear, in all of it's many forms. Beauty is when we bravely choose to be ourselves.


"So many of these women didn't see themselves as brave or beautiful... along the sidelines of the headline news are inspiring tales of bravery hidden in the mundane details of women's everyday lives - women who make the decision to get up every morning and keep putting one foot in front of the other, doing what is good and right despite the crises and turmoil and dilemmas life tosses at them. These are women steadily making the decision to step out of the boat to walk on the water. Women choosing to take off their masks and live their most authentic life." 

Intertwined between these stories of bravery in the middle of life's epic storms there is a quieter story, the story of Lee's own choices to be brave. Honestly - her story was my favorite part of the book. Her meditations on bravery in the middle of her ordinary struggles powerfully resonated with me and as she shared about her struggle with comparing herself to others, her fight against the pull to prove her worth, and her struggle to mask her own awkwardness and neediness, even from God I saw myself more clearly. Oh there are so many places that I have underlined with stars and hearts and exclamation points in the margins.  I was trying to pick a quote to share here and there were just too many to choose from. So go get yourself a copy or oder one here - and you'll know what I mean.

I received a copy of this book for review. Links in this post are affiliate links. Thanks for supporting my blog!

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