Book Reviews

Book Review: Girl, Wash Your Face

I finally did it. I read Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. If I’m being honest, I didn’t even know she existed until I saw this book. This book that everyone was raving about. This book that seemed like the trendy thing for 30-something hipster Christian moms to read. So, I said no way. Not for me. I’m not going to read it.

I have a general dislike of all things trendy that are just trendy for trendy sake. While I am quick to embrace some trends if I genuinely love them, I’m also not one to follow the crowd. This book was like that. It was the book that all the crowds were raving about, but I had no clue who this author was or that she has a huge social media following and is a media mogul. So, I just didn’t think much about it. I read some positive and negative reviews of the book from Christian bloggers and it solidified my “not for me” mindset.

Some of the negative reviews I read were highly critical of the theology in the book. Friends, this book is not a book on theology. It’s about the personal journey of one woman. It’s her advice on how to overcome lies in practical everyday ways. It is not a Bible Study. I’d equate it to the girl version of “Capital Gaines”. You know the stupid stuff people do and believe on their way to success in life. So, if you’re looking for a bible study, look elsewhere.

But, if you’re looking for an autobiography from a woman who overcame personal trials and lies of the enemy to get to a place of success, then check it out. She’s a woman after God’s own heart and whether you agree with everything she wrote or not, her desire to live a Godly life shines through in her writing.

I’ll be honest, I wanted to hate the book. I wanted to write a scathing review because it was so popular. Why would I want that? How ridiculous am I? How obnoxious and judgmental is that? Ugh.

It reminds me of the season when I first came to the Lord. I started college and there was this fiery, red-headed girl who was full of joy and was ridiculously bubbly. She was annoying. And a runner. And my roommate was also a runner. So, one day she came looking for my roomie, and I was there instead. And she invited me to dinner. The nerve. But this young woman’s abounding joy was the catalyst for me coming to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

Rachel Hollis’ book reminded me of that season. Of that moment in time.  Why? Because she is ridiculously bubbly. It shines through in her writing. It shines through in her smile (you know when I finally got around to checking out her social media pages).

As I started reading, I was bored to tears. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration. But the first few chapters didn’t exactly speak to where I am at. Those are lies I have for the most part worked through, so there was nothing new I gleaned from those chapters. But when it got to the part about being a terrible mom and an awful writer, those ones hit home.

I struggle all the time with wondering if I’m a good enough mom. I struggle with wondering if my kids will grow up okay. I struggle. And I think all of us moms can relate. But momma, you are enough. You are enough for your kids whether you work outside the home, in the home, or don’t have a “job”, your role as mom is so important, more important than any vocation you could have.

And writing? I can rock those words. Sometimes. And sometimes they fall flat. And that’s okay as long as I am willing to grow and learn and write and write some more.

I learned a couple of things about myself as I read through Girl, Wash Your Face.

The first was that I have gotten really judgmental. And not about the things that matter. Just nitpicky about the little annoying things. You know how I know this? The fact that I didn’t want to read this book because of the negative things that OTHERS had to say about it. How dumb is that? I found myself thinking very critical thoughts, and as I did, I asked myself the question: Is this really me? Yuck. I don’t want to be that person. I want to be full of truth AND love.

The second is that I have a story to share. Well, you may already know that, but now I know that even more. And I don’t need to be afraid of whether or not everyone will hate what I have to say. Some people won’t connect with my story, and that’s okay. But for those that do, I hope they can find something that helps them grow, heal, or move forward with their dreams and goals.

And the third is that my desire to create is a direct reflection of my Maker. He is the creator. I don’t need to fight my creativity, instead, I need to use it for His glory. He designed me to be creative. My creativity is not secondary, in fact, it is at the core of how God made me.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is this:

I will not let a nightmare have more power than my dreams.

Rachel Hollis.

This quote had meaning far beyond I can explain here. But the reality is that what the enemy means for harm, God can turn into a story that can impact the world for good. Your dreams may be far bigger than your ability to achieve them. But go after them anyway. Go after them with everything in you. And when you’ve given your all, God is always there to do the rest.

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