Beauty in the Everyday Bookshelf.....Breathing Room by Leeana Tankersley

Hello friends! Welcome to the very first post to the Beauty in the Everyday Bookshelf! I am so excited to start sharing with you all the amazing books that I have been reading this year.

Wait!! Don't run away! If you are like me, you may be thinking "Oh great, Chrissy! All we need are more lousy self help books that tell us how screwed up we are and how we will never measure up!" (I used the sarcastic voice font for you for emphasis.)

Trust me. I've been there. If you had told me a year ago that I would even be reading non-fiction, let alone reviewing it, I would have rolled my eyes and laughed at you. I have never been a fan of books telling me what to do. Books are for fantasy, adventure, and escape. Or so I thought.

This year of self discovery and saying yes to things that make me feel more like me has opened me up to a whole new world of books. I have discovered that there are other people out there who love Jesus, but who also struggle with things. I have found that they aren't pushing magic thinking or just "having more faith" in order to work through my junk. There are people who are real and honest and who acknowledge that none of us have it together, BUT that there is HOPE. I have been devouring books left and right now and I am excited to share them with you. Maybe you will find some that connect with where you are too! {PS: Not all the books will be Jesus books...I happen to partial to Him, but there will be some other things thrown in there too.}

Because of my new found love of non-fiction books, I have been on the hunt for new voices and people that I connect with. A co-worker sent me a link to a publisher, Revell, who runs a program for bloggers. As a blogger, I was given a copy of the book (for FREE! Yay!) to read and share my review with all of you. My first book to choose from was no accident. I know it was meant for me to start with. 

letting go so you can fully live
by: Leanna Tankersley

Just the title struck me. I didn't need to know more. I ordered it immediately. 

Then I read the back cover teaser:
"Catastrophe or no catastrophe, if you are unhinged, disoriented, suffocating, or otherwise generally dragging, I'm inviting you to pull up a chair at this table..."
Wow. Yep, she was talking to ME! I am all of those things!

By the time I was half way through the first page of the prelude, you read that right...the prelude, I knew that this book would be life altering for me. Leanna said this that described me perfectly:
"I had been holding my breath for years-probably more years than I realized-trying to manage the pain in my chest. Trying to stave off surrender. Trying to keep it all together. Until I couldn't anymore."

I read those words and let my breath out for the first time in ages and tears ran down my face. Yes. This was me too. I have held my breath for so long that I don't think my body knows what having oxygen is like. 

I devoured the first 5 chapter before I knew what hit me. It felt like my new friend, Leanna, had opened up herself and had written me a beautiful letter sharing her pain, struggle, and crazy, but also her hope, healing, and how she learned to breathe again.

Through stories, quotes, scriptures, and observations, Leanna paints a beautiful picture of how our letting go of our need to control, manage, perfect, and hold together every bit of everything can open us up to a beautiful, creative, open, and expansive life that is enjoyed and savored rather than endured. She offers no "how to" list or things that we need to beat up ourselves over. Quite the opposite, actually. She encourages us to stop bullying ourselves, to listen to our bodies and what they need, and for us to love and mother ourselves the way we would a beloved child.

I wish I could share with you every bit that I highlighted, underlined, and wrote YES!!! next to, but then that would spoil it for you. :) 

If you are like me and in need of a breathing lesson or two, read this book. I laughed at her writing and several time wondered if I actually wrote parts of it. Other places, I cried because they touched me in a dark place that I hadn't believed anyone else understood.

Can I say this again? Please read this book. I know that you will feel like a breeze blew through the room and made you able to let your breath out. I am already planning on giving it to several friends as gifts because I know they deserve to breathe again too.

For more on the book, where to purchase, etc., you can visit Leanna at

Friends, thank you for stopping by and reading. I would love to hear what you think of Leanna's book and how it spoke to you. Leave me a comment after you read it...and we can talk about our favorite parts!

Remember are loved and you are beautiful!!

peace, love, and breathing again,
chrissy :)

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  1. I. LOVE. YOU.

    Oh, how I love your honesty, but more than just your honesty in your struggles (which is really commendable!!!), I love your honesty in dealing with your struggles! I feel that there are times where I think I've got it all figured out...and BAM! my nasty side/struggles/whatever rises and even though I've defeated them once, they are back at it again! Thanks for being honest in the process!!
    Love you friend!
    JO/Ms. Oates


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