Do you live for something? Or do you feel like you're just waiting to find your purpose? Many of us feel restless, but that might not be a bad thing. When our restlessness awakens our longing to be woven into God's story, it can launch us into living the life of purpose God designed for us. In Restless , Bible study teacher and bestselling author Jennie Allen will help you discover a practical plan to identify the loose threads of your life and how to weave them together for God's glory and purpose. Jennie uses the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis to explain how his suffering, gifts, story, and relationships fit into the greater tapestry of God's narrative—and how our story can do the same. In this book you will: What would happen if you spent the rest of your life running without reservation after His purposes for you? To dive deeper into the Restless message and further explore Threads, look for the Restless Study Guide and Video Study from HarperChristian Resources.
Jennie Allen is a passionate leader and visionary following God's call to inspire women to encounter the invisible God. With a Master's in Biblical Studies from DTS, Jennie is the author of two Bible studies, Stuck, a CBA best-seller, and Chase, and the ECPA "New Author of the Year" winner of Anything and Restless, which also includes a DVD-based study. The founder of IF: Gathering, Jennie, and her husband Zac, have four children.
I appreciate a book written on the topic of calling, and I like that this one invites introspection and self-evaluation, but unfortunately Restless belongs to the growing population of Christian-chick-self-help books: not well-written, loosely focused on Scripture, and theologically watered down. Perhaps I'm not the intended audience for this book. I wanted more protein and less fluff. Also, having led a group of women studying this book, I should add that the structure of the book is awkward, in that there's a lot of chapters of introduction before she gets to the real meat of things. There seems to be this emergence of regular gals penning books of spiritual encouragement, which is a good thing, but I would prefer books on these topics (spiritual direction, motherhood, etc.) from the hands of writers with real craftsmanship and art.
DISCLAIMER: I didn't know this book was intended for women until after I started reading it; I thought it was just a regular Christian devotional book.
Now, for my review: This volume had some excellent thoughts that I will start applying to my daily life; like she says, I've been feeling restless for quite a while, and had a lingering feeling like I could be doing more...so, now, I will!
A beautifully written book that calls all women to serve their God fully. Jennie's rich and candid prose makes it feel as if you are having a conversation with an old friend over coffee. And when she spoke of the look of longing she saw in other women's eyes I recognized her words to be true. I would recommend this to my girlfriends. Useful for those who have had any major life challenges or who are just "getting through their days". Although I didn't agree theologically with the entirity of it I found it a challenging read and the exercises very useful. An excellent book for the start of a new year that will greatly impact how I live for God!
Jennie Allen’s interactive book (not a Biblestudy–I’m not sure why it’s billed that way) Restless: Because You Were Made for More has some helpful points about considering whether your vague restless feeling is God calling you to a bigger purpose and seeking Him more deeply.
I appreciated that Allen led off with an admission that our culture, even church culture, encourages an often obsessive amount of self-focus. She is up front about how a lot of times we just need to get over ourselves and get started obeying God’s word.
The majority of the book then walks the reader through how the various threads of your life may point to God’s purpose for you. This may be helpful for some readers, but to be honest I thought it was a little too surface in some areas and a little too opaque in others.
It’s not that the book wasn’t worthwhile at all–I did get some good reminders and insights–but overall it felt a little light to me. If you’re really interested in digging into this sort of thing, I’d recommend Lara Casey’s book Make It Happen instead.
Cannot even say how much I loved this book -- the theme, the encouragement, the challenges, the dares, etc. What's it about? From the back of the book, it "explores practical ways to identify the threads of your life and how to intentionally weave them together." This book guides you in ways to do that in such a practical, encouraging, and challenging ways.
And I loved the author's writing style. Listen to just this sentence, "Some of us have decorated our prison walls so beautifully that we have altogether forgotten we are sitting in a cell, wasting our lives." Beautiful. And tragically true.
The author, a Bible teacher and fellow struggler, offers concrete ways to begin to lay it all out there--your dreams, your passions, your gifts, your talents, you personality--and see what threads are pointing you to your God-calling. Again, beautiful. And so and beautifully and authentically done.
The general message was good but I felt like some of it was problematic. As a black woman, I was bothered by the author's need to keep mentioning Africa as if it was a country and also as if it was at times, something bad.
The very same day that I picked up a copy of Jennie Allen’s Anything on the bargain rack at my local Christian bookstore, I had the opportunity to review her new book Restless. And while I have not yet read Anything, I found myself unable to put down Restless.
A book about dreams, calling, purpose, and bringing Glory to God, Restless touched my soul and gave me wings.
Through sharing her own personal life experiences, the stories of some of the people closest to her, and the Biblical account of the life of Joseph, Jennie encourages readers to take off the masks, face their fears, and embrace who God created us to be.
Using the analogy of “threads”, Restless helps you through the journey of identifying your own gifts and passions, and how the darkest, most painful moments of our lives are often the moments God uses to shape us most.
There is no randomness in the Christian life. God works everything to the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28), always. Even when it hurts, even when we can’t understand why, God is there, creating something beautiful, for our good, and His Glory.
Overall, I found Restless to be a Biblically-sound and enriching book, that encouraged me to run whole-heartedly after God. I would give the book an “A”.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 .
Another great witty, honest, challenging book/bible study! If you are wondering what your purpose on earth is, why you are living where you are or have to deal with the people you do, this book is for you. If you are in need of affirmation that your mission field IS where you are called, this book is for you. If you are simply searching for the tools on how to seek deeper relationship with God or people, this book is for you. Allen challenges her readers to ask the question, "what happens now that I've surrendered?"
What I love most about this book is the way that each chapter allows room for the reader to think and meditate, processing their personal journey of why God has placed them on the path they are on. Allen talks about celebrating the things that bring us joy, and helps us realize that God finds joy in our talents. There is also a great parallel from the story of Joseph to our own. All in all, great book and writing style! Excited to read her other books!
For those who love Jesus but are struggling to figure out what He is “calling” you to do, read this! Jennie Allen does a great job of easily and descriptively telling you how to lay down your life before your eyes and examine how all the things, big and small, can point to where God wants you to be !
For me, this book started out good. I loved how she quoted many of my favorite authors and because of that I thought this book was going to go deeper than it actually did. I liked how she talked about the threads of our life stories being used for a purpose, that nothing is wasted. I didn't like how she made it seem that you needed to start a non-profit, adopt from Africa, become an author or do some other "big" thing with those threads. Sure, some people do need to do those things and fear is holding them back, but not everyone. We can be made to feel guilty that we aren't "dreaming big" with God and may step out and do something we were never made to do and be left jaded and wounded, wondering where God is. To be fair, she did say that some were called to be stay at home moms, but it seemed implied to me that if that's all you are doing you may be missing something. Another thing that bothered me was that it seemed as if she were trying to appear hip and cool at times, referencing binge watching Netflix and the show 30 Rock. For someone who said she has completely surrendered her life to the Lord I don't see how watching a raunchy show like 30 Rock fits into that.
This book lives on the shelf with Helpful Gamechanging spiritual reads. I can't think of the last book that was *this* practical and inspiring. My middle name is Restless, so the theme especially spoke to me. I participated in the online chats with Jennie Allen and Jamie Ivey which drove home how needed this message of encouraging women to live in the fullness of their Christ-given callings is. The text itself is well-written but very simple. I gave this book 5 stars because of the reader response portion of the book. It offers such great context and utility to the lessons in this book and I literally marked up just about every page. The response sections are not like dorky workbook. Think: small opportunities to write down thoughts, ideas in a way that feels purposeful and ignites action. I would recommend this book to any woman who is trying to discern her spiritual gifts and how to use them.
Restless is the perfect adjective for how I've been feeling this year. I loved this book. It gave me just the nudge I needed to find direction and take 20 seconds of courage and do something. At one point she says maybe I need to quit worrying about my motivations and just use the gifts I've been given...so applicable to where I was. I'm not sure how this would work as a group study, but for a personal study that I took my time getting through, it was amazing. I'd encourage you to really do the journaling and ask yourself the questions. I learned so much about myself in the process.
Through scripture and journaling, Jennie Allen invites you to untangle the threads of your life and discover God's purpose for you.
This is the book you pick up when you feel--as the title suggests--restless. For me, personally, my call feels insignificant in the face of mission fields and church plants, so these words were timely and the soul-searching got me asking lots of questions and helped me discover themes and passions I didn't realize I had.
I owned this book nearly a year before I read it. All in God's timing, right? But the minute I began, it was a game-changer. I had been "sitting in God's waiting room" for over a year. This book helped me literally map-out where He was leading me, and what my new ministry would be.
If you're looking for direction.....read - and pray through - this book. God will speak when it's time. Maybe this is your time! :)
The first third or so, I didn't quite understand. Plus, I cheated cos I just wanted to read & not do the journal assignments. By the end, I was with her, so I'll read it again, slow, do the assignments, & MAYBE the last one where you show it all to a dear one & let that person tell you what she sees.
Fantastic book on listening to the story God is writing through your story. It's beautifully written, challenging, and honest (yes, cheesy on occasion). It's aimed at women, but it's applicable for men, as well. Definitely worth engaging.
Restless describes so many of us, in a variety of ways. We try to balance the various parts of our lives but at the same time, we question ourselves. I believe that most women reach a point when they wonder if they are living their best life and making the difference that they were designed to make. At the same time, when we give ourselves time to dream, we feel guilty or lack confidence to move forward.
“This is a book about facing the God of the universe and answering to him about the life and resources he gives us while we are here. And because I think we all want that moment to go well, this is a book about discovering ourselves and getting over ourselves all at the same time.”
In Restless, Jennie Allen helps us identify the parts of life that make us come alive and the ones that hold us back. She starts with the story of Joseph, his tale of being sold into slavery and his eventual rise to power. Then she helps you walk through your own story. You’ll come to love the yellow and gray pages in the book where the reader gets to dive into herself. What memories bring you joy and which bring you pain? There is power in both. What are your gifts? Where do you have influence every day? Who are the people in your life and what are your passions?
Then she helps you weave all of these parts together, and she has you share them with someone close to you. Sharing gives accountability but moreover it allows someone else to take a fresh look at the things that are so close to you and help identify the connections that you might miss. I read this book while on vacation and then had my husband read over my thoughts. Immediately he noticed connections. It was freeing to share with someone else, especially someone committed to helping me.
In the end, I loved that this book helped me piece together my life into a cohesive story that I can use.
Bite-sized Reviews Who's it for: It's for the woman who is longing for more and wondering how their gifts, passions and experiences can be used to serve God and love those around them.
What's it about: Explores practical ways to identify the threads of your life and how they could help point you to the purpose and plans God has for you. If you are after a book about discovering your calling, this is a good choice.
What I liked: I love an inspirational book, based on Truth and extremely practical. Jennie Allen manages to include all of these in this book. The reflection questions at the end of each chapter were sometimes confronting but always made me think and helped give me clarity about my purpose and vision.
What I didn't like: As someone who is multi-passionate, and has dozens of ideas before lunch, it didn't give me as much clarity as what I was hoping for. Whilst I loved Jennie's desire for women to achieve the God-given things He has called them to, I felt like it belittled the small things I am currently doing.
A quote I liked: "Maybe I have a responsibility to quit being afraid of my motives and start using the gifts and passions God has put in me."
My take-away: Keep dreaming and seeking God. Pay attention to the threads in your life and how God may want to use them.
My Rating: 2 Sparklers: Great, I'll bring it up at least once in our conversation
I deeply appreciate how real Jennie is about pursuing purpose in the everyday, where you are, with the people in your life and gifts you already have. She challenges the reader to set aside fear and insecurities, and embrace big dreams. Chasing big dreams doesn't necessarily mean abandoning everything you've ever had, but instead using your past and your present to build a future of serving God.
I particularly identify with Jennie's testimony of how she's not called to be a homemaker alone, but also to be someone who teaches and ministers outside the home. She emphasizes how each person has their own calling, and how each is unique and no one should overshadow another. She also points out that the people who surround you are your best encouragers. Jennie includes a letter from her husband and how he is simultaneously humbled by and proud of his wife for all she does for the Kingdom. That's my desire - to have a partnership with my future spouse, to have encouragers around me, to love my city, and to fully utilize my gifts (this is scary for me and many, many others! God help us shed our fear!).
Stand-out notes from the book: + Purpose isn't about what you do, but why you do it + It's not about the size of your work but following through on how you're being led + Know yourself, your personality, your giftings, and your environment to work out your faith + Stop trying to find fulfillment in whatever work you have + Stop clinging to false humility where you limit yourself to doing small things because doing big things seems like you're being full of yourself! + All the Scriptural references! + All the testimonies! + Bonus points for the journaling prompts!
You are complete as a human being created by God. This is not about being married, having children, or being single. This is about your #Restlessness.
Restlessness is in knowing God made you for greater (to do Great things for God) and you're not there yet. How are you designed to make God's name great (rather than your own name)?
You long to give the world what you did not receive. What do you find yourself sharing with the world? As you think back, what part of that did you lack as a child or as a teen?
It's usually AFTER we've taken the leap into the unknown, that we know for sure that we are honoring God's Will for us. Leap anyway. Pray. Leap. Surround yourself with people who speak into your life for God, not for personal gain.
God does great things through surrendered people.
Be restless. Pray. Trust God. Surrender. Pray. Leap. Trust God.
As always, this was another nudge and push to move away from my comfort zone. Similar to the beginning of Anything, this one closed with a challenge to live like I believe there is more than I'm currently experiencing. It's okay to imagine a different experience and to feel a bit restless today - that's God.
Being restless is not an excuse for poor or average work in the "wait" bc God expects great work that reflects His character wherever we are (i.e. Joseph). However, decorating a prison cell and being satisfied is not acceptable.
Positive thinking. Good mojo. Whatever you want to call it, this is my thing. I love being reminded how AWESOME God is and how much leverage He gives me to live for Him the way He has created me to live - to run the race that is only mine to run.
The star rating is probably more reflective of my life season not corresponding with this book than it is with the book itself. Usually if I give a book 3 stars or less, I wouldn’t give it or recommend to anyone else. However, two wonderfully spiritually mature friends of mine lived this and recommended it. I also thought of a young lady who I will be passing it on to as it helps women look deeper to what God may be calling them to. Some chapters reminded me of our serve/ministry class at church where you look at your past, your passions, your gifting, etc to direct you in where to minister. So much if this was not new to me and my hands in life and ministry are appropriately full (okay maybe a bit fuller than they should be) so this book was a struggle for me to get thru. Wrong season. Anyway, the last few chapters were more enjoyable to me than the first.