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Grace, Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,428 Ratings  ·  252 Reviews
I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.

As a busy wife, new mother, business owner, and designer, Emily Ley came to a point when she suddenly realized she couldn’t do it all. She needed to simplify her life, organize her days, and prioritize the priorities. She decided to hold herself to a standard of grace rather than perfection. This mantra led to th
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Thomas Nelson
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Rating details
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Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
I actually feel a little bad rating this book as just "OK," because the author seems so sweet, loving, kind, and grounded in her priorities. I think that for people in the right demographic, this book might scratch them just where they itch, and really resonate. That demographic would include as many of the following traits as possible:

mom of very young children
financially comfortable or well-off
a big fan of blogs

I daresay that the fewer of these things describe a person, t
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This not only is a great inspirational and motivational read, it would make the perfect gift!

As a lover of the Simplified Planner, I decided that I had to pick this up. First, admittedly, it's incredibly aesthetically pleasing in both the outward appearance to the inner quality of the pages, the photographs, and overall content. If I was one to have "coffee table books", this would be a perfect one.

In this nonfiction, self-help-esque book, Emily Ley writes from her own personal journey as well
Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it
I really, really, wanted to like this book given that I like planners, bought one of Emily Ley’s planners, and that we graduated from the same Alma Mater. However, within the first couple of chapters Ms. Ley seemed a little entitled and privileged, not an ideal person to write a self-help book. Rather, I became incredibly annoyed, and felt like this woman should not have access to Pinterest…like serious how many time does she have to mention something being “pinterest-perfect”. Therefore, this b ...more
Sara M. Abudahab
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is self-help book about the importance of letting go, saying no and enjoying the moment. Also it is a religious self-help book. (I didn't know that when I got this from NetGalley but I didn't mind).

In this book Emily Ley simply tell us what she learnt from being a wife, a mother and an owner of a small business. It was all nice but I couldn't connect with her, most of her advises are to new young mothers like herself, so I think the title was a bit misleading.

I liked how honest and transpar
Dec 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
I was given an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

Each time I thought the text was going somewhere, it tended to fall flat with Emily letting us know she has things under control, but here are some tips we might want to try. She offered tidbits like making lists for chores and taking out the trash each morning, but virtually nothing practical on how to release the strongholds of perfectionism and allow ourselves grace when these things don't get done. I also found the contradiction of
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book - in its encouraging words and crisp layout. It is a mix of memoir, inspiration, and practical self-help written for moms, though I think women who don't have children could appreciate it as well. It certainly spoke to me. Grace not perfection. I love that. I need to put signs that say that everywhere I look.

I give it 4.5 stars. At times I felt like the author was trying to sell me one of her (admittedly beautiful!) planners. But maybe I'm being overly critical and that
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Cannot express enough how much I loved this book! It is such a treasure, it's beautiful but the wisdom within its pages are such a gift. This is a book I'll refer back to so many times in this season of life. Ladies you need this book in your life! If you only read one book this year make it this one!!
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
How can you not love a book that comes with it's own ribbon book mark? The attention to detail in this book is exquisite. This book's focus is for women with busy lives which include careers, motherhood, relationships and the thought that everything should be done perfectly. I'm not there anymore yet I still thought this book holds great value. A woven thread throughout is her belief system in a God who truly wants you to live life gracefully. She writes honestly and helps all of us to know life ...more
Rachel Dawson
Sep 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-rad-reads
I snagged this one before its release date thanks to all the books we get delivered at work, and I plowed through it one evening after the kiddos I was watching went to sleep. If you're an Emily Ley fan, a mama, someone who has a dream that you're hustling after while trying to find a balance in life, you'll love this one. It didn't really resonate much with me overall, but it sounded exactly like Emily (I follow her on social media and read her posts a lot) and was really a fun book, super femi ...more
Diane Estrella
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a lovely book that would be perfect for yourself or to give as a gift. The pictures included of the author and her home and family are beautifully done and add sweetness to the wonderful words inside. I like that there are questions for the reader to answer and go deeper into their own lives with. There are many Scripture verses and bullet points as well that really hit home for the reader. I had not heard of Emily Ley before but her simple wisdom is encouraging and enlightening.

I receiv
Hunter Collins
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If this doesn't make my Top 10 Books of 2017, I'll be very surprise. This book had a profound effect on me. It affected my heart and all of the thoughts I had going on in the beginning of the year. While she does promote her planner, she doesn't try to get you to buy it. You really can apply the important part of her planner to any planner.
Her ideas and solutions really sparked my own ideas for a better life. This book is well recommended by me. I know of at least three people I will be purchasi
Rachel McMorran
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written - as if we were enjoying a cup of coffee chatting about life. Loved it!
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sweet book. I did a LOT of thinking while reading this and was challenged to changes things in my life that were weighing me down.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I heard Emily Ley on a podcast and that was the first time I had heard of her so I picked up this book to read. It is a BEAUTIFUL book and I am going to recommend it to a whole lot of new mamas. But as a mom of teenagers, I still found a lot of good in it.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
A pretty book with no substance and too much religion for my taste.
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What can I say I loved this book. This book is stunning – not just visually (I mean who doesn’t love a hot pink book with a gold pineapple), but the content….

It is full of encouragement, practical advice and exercises (and ones that don’t require special equipment or taking a year out of your life to travel the world) to help you find what is important to you, where you want to be and places you can simplify (Hello word of 2017) your life and appreciate the joy in the everyday. It provides a rem
I think that this book did not appeal to me very much because I'm simply not the person that the author had it mind when she wrote this. I'm sure that mothers of young children - harried and trying to do it all and be it all - would lap this up. For me, it was not a difficult read, but there was little to be gleaned for me, an empty nester still struggling with multiple responsibilities. A nice book - just not for me.

One quote I liked:

The joy is in the journey, even the hard ones.
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was so excited to find this book on the new shelf at my library. It is designed beautifully and it was a pleasure to read. There are strong references to religion, but overall the book captures enjoying your passions, seasons, and simplicity of life. If nothing else, read pages 197-218.

"The peace of contentment is just as valuable as the confetti that comes with achievement." -Emily Ley 209
Jan 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the practicality of this book, however as a single 21 year old who is not married, no kids etc it was hard to relate to at times. Most of her struggles came from being a mom with a business. Most of her suggestions for improving grace in her life were things that I found myself already doing. I would say this books is definitely geared toward those who are married and have kids. Overall it's a practical book but for a specific audience.
Jade Geary
I think I would have loved this book more if I was a Momma. I find this book pretty unrelatable as this is not the stage of life that I am at. I would revisit this book when I am a Mom to give it another shot. If you are a mom, someone struggling with infertility, a stay at home Mom, entrepreneur, and Christian you would probably really enjoy this book. The author is clearly extremely sweet and caring as she shares her life and advice so if that is not your style you will not enjoy this book.
Zuleyka Araiza
Jan 17, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars - I picked up this book because the title caught me - who doesn't want to embrace simplicity and let go of perfection? I like that she has a lot of different exercises you can do, but after a while it seems repetitive. I also feel this book is more for married women and women with families. Overall, I'm glad I did read this.
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I picked this up because it's a pretty self help book, but I'm not exactly the target audience for it. Parts were irrelevant to me, but it's a nice book.
Laura Cason
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was essentially written for me: the stressed out, tired working mom of young children. But I really struggled with relating to author because her social media accounts and planners are exactly what I cannot relate to at this stage in my life. The perfect Instagram life doesn't exist and who has time to plan out their life in a planner that is so pretty you almost don't want to write in it? I can barely remember all my children's bags when dropping them off at daycare. So I definitely d ...more
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you’re like me, you wear many hats….woman, wife, mom, co-worker, sister, daughter, friend, homemaker, believer, volunteer, homeschooler, chauffeur, etc. It’s easy to feel like we have plates spinning on poles and we have to keep running around to keep them all spinning so they won’t stop and fall. When things are so chaotic, it’s hard to do everything well….or sometimes anything well. This book is written for people who desire a simpler life. It talks about changing our expectations….to exten ...more
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
Emily Ley has a planner and stationary company. She also has a gorgeous Instagram feed and is a Christian writer. The book itself is beautiful but its content is nothing new or in any way original. It is full of the same ideas that are being touted by multiple writers these days: simplifying, decluttering, organizing, meal planning, getting rid of mommy guilt, and having gratitude.

Emily is a young mom with three children under the age of five. I had to laugh when she said that she had struggled
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I got this book as a Christmas gift, and am so glad I did. Even though I would never have suspected I would fit in the target audience (I'm not a mom, don't obssess over Pinterest, and don't have Instagram) based on the cover, I found so many parts of this book relatable and insightful. Emily's vulnerability made the book authentic and freeing, and the times for reflection and action steps in the book made it helpful on a practical level. It's so easy for us to get wrapped up in things like comp ...more
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Humans do grow weary in doing good. If we do not give up we will reap a harvest. The reading of Grace not Perfection can be likened to an effort in doing good ( for oneself). Continuing past the first few chapters takes some resolve. This book does not offer the fleeting appeal of a suspense thriller nor the lure of an erotic romance, but gut response that there is something in this for me. The knowledge of Grace is often shrouded in too much information. Grace not Perfection paints it beautiful ...more
Margaret Bronson
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really appreciated the self reflection prompts and the over all message of the book. I do feel as though there are several places it missed the mark for me. My source of fulfillment and joy is found not in giving myself grace or achieving simplicity or my goals but in the gospel. Also, I feel like there were certain parts of this book that were only written to upper middle class, upper class readers and are completely unattainable for the rest of us.

But, it was a nice, quick read with a lot o
Hope Eifert
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. I love her Instagram, and I would love to get one of her planners one day, but didn't really like this book much at all. It was 200 pages long, and I'm not even really sure what was said for those 200 pages. It definitely didn't have a thesis, or really much of a unifying theme. It just kind of rambled and told vague anecdotes. I felt like the good nuggets in the book, like her Sunday night laundry basket routine, could have been (and have been) posts on her Instagram.
Lynn Tweedie
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a perfect audiobook for my January get-rid-of-everything-in-this-house haul. I started this book a few months ago, but it wasn't the right time. It hit perfectly, now. Emily's methods aren't revolutionary but they are necessary.
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“Your job is just one tiny part of your life. We talk so much about choosing jobs or selecting careers. But what if we chose a life instead?” 4 likes
“Don't sacrifice the good to chase the perfect.” 3 likes
More quotes…