This profound little book encourages us to set aside our limited expectations, and to fall in line with God’s. Human beings like organization, structures, plans; God grows people. We ask for a budget; God offers us love. If you are aiming at relationship rather than performance, how do you measure effectiveness? How do you write a mission statement, yet allow God space to act out His plan rather than yours? What does Divine Order look like? Faith in God involves risk, and the possibility that God will do something entirely new. Starting with the seven days of creation, Danielle considers how God’s world resembles A Beautiful Mess – vibrant, full of colour and pulsating with life, but not about propositions. The Christian life is organic, not prescribed. We were not created to work, but to be fruitful. We need to be willing to put ourselves in a position where only God can do what needs to be done, and to have the humility to let God show us what that is..
I have a beer app on my phone where I rate all the different craft beers I've tasted. Sometimes I rate the beers as objectively as possible, based on how well they stand up to what they say they are and how they compare to other beers of the same style. Other times I rate the beers completely subjectively; did I like the beer and how much did I like it, that's it. I am giving this book 5 stars and it is completely subjective. This book and its subject matter landed on me at the exact right moment in time and spoke to me exactly where I am in life. It would be an exercise in futility to attempt to critique the author's story telling, source citing, organization, etc., because quite frankly, it doesn't matter to me right now. So if you find the title or synopsis compelling, read it.
What a pity that there is no dutch translated publication of this book. It deserves a wider Dutch public. Strickland has become one of my favourites among inspirational speakers and this is the first book of her that I have read. And I am stunned. Danielle has the gift of explaining the Bible in new ways. You have to read this book when .... your life is a mess and you are constantly fighting against it.... you think you can never overcome your sorrows ..... when you can't find rest in your life ..... when you think at the one hand, life could be simple but at the other hand it all turns out te be complex. There are a lot of questions in this book to rethink it again and again. I think it can be used in study-groups when there is the opportunity to engage personally. It is also usefull in counselling or coaching.
I read this book a few years ago, after hearing Danielle speak at a conference, and just took to it again recently. I love the realness and the simplicity of this book but at the same time making you really dig deep into yourself. I like that there are questions at the end of each chapter to help you navigate through your beautiful mess.
Not a scholarly read (in fact she makes one very good point about freedom from slavery, but bases it on when Genesis was written, and I think she is mistaken)-- but the main idea, that we are continually participating in God's recreation of ourselves, our lives, community and world...and it's messy...is strongly, compellingly made. A lovely little book with excellent questions (deeper than most) for reflection at each chapter's end.
What a tremendous way to start the new year! Strickland presents this unique, spiritual, motivational approach to not only dealing with "chaos" in one's life, but expecting and welcoming it as it brings about positive change, creation, and beauty, all of which only happens through a chaotic beginning and eventual reshaping of the chaos.
This was exactly what I needed at this point in my life and I am so happy I gave A Beautiful Mess a chance to motivate me for the new year.