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Grace, Not Perfection (with Bonus Content): Celebrating Simplicity, Embracing Joy

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  4,109 ratings  ·  372 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

Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Thomas Nelson
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  4,109 ratings  ·  372 reviews

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Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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,
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
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  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Dec 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sara M. Abudahab
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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!!
Rachel A.  Dawson
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 ...more
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Diane Estrella
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Rachel McMorran
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written - as if we were enjoying a cup of coffee chatting about life. Loved it!
I have been wanting to read this since hearing Emily speak on Jen Hatmaker’s podcast. I was so lucky when Netgalley granted me this book as a wish, as I have been unable to find it anywhere here. Which is crazy to me because I literally live in Pensacola, the same place as the author. Unfortunately I didn’t love this book as much as I hoped. To begin with the formatting for the kindle version I received was AWFUL. Sentences would begin on one page and finish three pages later, or often you would ...more
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
A pretty book with no substance and too much religion for my taste.
Laura Cason
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 ...more
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Hunter Mallone
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Zuleyka Araiza
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.
Molly Fauver
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Natalie Shawver
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a firm believer that sometimes you read a book (or listen to in my case) exactly when you are supposed to. Grace, Not Perfection had been on my Amazon wishlist for quite a while so when I saw it was available via Libby app I knew it was time to give it a listen. And I'm so glad I did. Emily's words hit home - especially in this season of my life as a still relatively new mama (am I allowed to still call myself that when he's 18?) and with a recent change in job. She reminded me that it's OK ...more
I would really rate this 3 1/2 but that's not possibly in Goodreads.
There were many useful and interesting things in this book. I enjoy hearing how someone 'made it' and Ley writes in a friendly, conversational way. I think she took liberty with 2 specific Bible verses she quotes. She took Gal 5:13-14 ( your neighbor as yourself) as permission to love yourself more. She says in order to love others as ourselves we have to first love and take care of us. We can't be good mothers,
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to hand this book to all the women I know who have young children right now. Even not being a mother myself I got a lot of little tidbits of wisdom from this book. Emily Ley brings the same simplicity to this book that she brings to her planners. Lots of practical advise with little fluff. She tells just enough stories to bring her points to life, unlike a lot of other books in the self help genre. The only part I find ironic is that Emily Ley stresses not to live a Pinterest perfect ...more
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Emily Ley is the founder of Simplified - a brand of planners and organizational tools for busy women. Emily has been featured in Forbes, Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens, Glamour, and Good Housekeeping. She has been recognized with numerous awards, including Best New Product at the National Stationery Show as well as Top 10 Designers to Watch by Stationery Trends Magazine. Emily and her ...more
“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?” 6 likes
“Don't sacrifice the good to chase the perfect.” 3 likes
More quotes…