I have been excited about this book since last fall when I first heard about it because I have major girl crushes on both Jess and Hayley. These amazing women are the co-founders of The Influence Network, a networking group for Christian women. But what got me REALLY excited about Wild and Free is the subtitle, "A hope-filled anthem for the woman who feels that she is both too much and never enough."
Wow! I am that woman! I'm a dreamer and I like to dream BIG dreams. I'm boisterous and opinionated. I'm over-the-top. I'm "too much." But I constantly mess up. Things don't turn out Pinterest-perfect. I don't get the right load of laundry washed. I don't keep house the way my grandmothers did. I'm not as knowledgeable in the word as that other woman. I don't have a handle on my temper. I'm "never enough."
Sound like you?
In the book, Jess and Hayley alternate chapters with Jess handling the Wild and Hayley handling the Free, which I definitely think works well. So, what does wild and free mean for today's Christian woman? Here is The Anthem of Wild and Free:
The world may tell us we're too much and never enough.
But we can walk wildly in who God created us to be and rest freely in the work Jesus did for us.
We do not have to be confined or conformed by cultural expectations.
We are unchained from our past and unafraid of our future.
We choose compassion over comparison.
We love without condition, without reserve.
Our eyes are on God; we hold nothing back; we run fast and strong; we do not hide our light.
We aren't wild and free for our sake alone; rather we sing life, hope, and truth over the world with abandon--just as our God sings over us.
We are wild and free.
And we are poised to do mighty things, in Christ alone.
Again, wow! Don't you want to be a wild and free woman after reading that?! I do!
Jess and Hayley both share a lot of personal experiences in the book which I find so helpful. It's freeing just to know that we aren't alone in struggles. These amazing women of God struggle with some of the same things that I do, so maybe there's hope! But the book isn't just experience. These ladies dive into scripture giving reference to verses and variations on the different meanings of the Greek and Hebrew. There were times when I felt they were over my head with their knowledge, but it just made me crave a deeper understanding myself.
I have two quotes from the book that I want to share with you that really resonated with me because I was in the midst of creating Full & Simple.
"We're fearful to step outside the line that culture has drawn for us, determined not to say or do the wrong thing, until ultimately we feel as if we're doing very little or saying anything of importance."
Stepping outside of the cultural lines or straddling between two seemingly opposite ideas is what Full & Simple is all about, embracing AND, so I love that the book is Wild AND Free (emphasis mine) and that they bring attention to the fact that the world does not want us to be able to step outside that neat little box.
"Essentially the more I surrounded myself with women who were passionate leaders and worshipers of God, the more I realized they lived incredibly simple lives. [...] We'll never have enough things to start our 'capsule' life as long as we don't go back to the root of the issue and reclaim our identity as wild women. Wild women have enough today--right now--because they have Him."
YES! I was so uplifted when I read this. It made my burning desire for Simple 2016 make sense. I will admit that recently I haven't felt that connection with the Lord that I have had in the past. I have felt like I'm going through the motions a lot of the time. But this overwhelming NEED for simplicity makes so much sense if I realize that its all of this extra "stuff" that is part of what is getting in the way of that close, intimate relationship.
And, you guys, that was all just from the first chapter! This book is THAT GOOD from the first chapter and it just gets better. These ladies cover topics like our forgiveness, the characteristics of a wild woman, tolerance within our community, and how to build each other up. Wild and Free is a must-read for Christian women in our generation. In a world of Miley Cyrus, we need to reclaim what freedom and wildness is actually about. It is about being free because our sins are covered. It is about not being confined by or conformed to this world.
I'm planning on leading a small group at my church through the book this fall. If you are a local lady and you're interested, comment below or get in touch with me on the contact page. If you aren't local and are interested in leading your own group of Wild and Free women, check out the FREE leader materials available here.
Disclaimer: I received this book free as part of the Wild and Free launch team. The review and opinions of the book are my own. This post also contains affiliate links, which means that if you use a link to purchase an item, I will receive compensation to help keep the blog running. Thank you!
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