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firstname.lastname@example.org Allen’s Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard Empowers Women to Stop Striving to Measure Up
“We strive to be seen, to be known, to matter. We’re desperate to believe we are doing a good job at whatever has been entrusted to us. But we are not enough. We are not God. We don’t have all the answers, all the wisdom, all the strength, all the energy. We are finite sinful beings. And that is okay. In fact, it is the confession that unleashes the freedom we are aching for.” - Jennie Allen, Nothing to Prove
IF: Gathering founder, in-demand speaker, Bible teacher, wife and mother of four Jennie Allen is bringing her signature raw honesty, transparency and wisdom to help women address their fears, fight feelings of being overwhelmed and inadequacy and stop walking through life numb to real emotions and real feelings in her new book NOTHING TO PROVE: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard (WaterBrook; ISBN: 978-1524733995; January 31, 2016; $22.99)
“Numbing and striving are two indicators that we are trying to find our worth in something other than Jesus,” Allen writes.
A brilliant entrepreneur and provocative thinker, Allen has become one of the world’s most trusted voices when it comes to empowering women. As the founder of IF: Gathering, one of the fastest growing conferences for women in the world, Allen reaches millions. Launched in 2014, the movement remains dedicated to its original goal: to unleash the next generation of women to live out their purpose. More than one million viewers in a total of 122 countries tuned in to IF: Gathering 2016 for an inspiring two-day event live-streamed from Austin, Texas. The 2017 installment took only four minutes to sell out.
Drawing on scripture and her own struggles with an eating disorder, ADD, social anxiety, supporting family and friends through crises, the social pressures of being a pastor’s wife, mom guilt, and loneliness, she is leading a generation of women to let go of their striving and attempts to measure up by embracing that they are not enough, but God is. Topics in NOTHING TO PROVE
• The beauty in the mundane.
Allen wants readers to wake up to the gorgeous, routine moments they think are mundane, and recognize that fulfillment doesn’t exist in a purchase or a break, but in the people and world they experience every day. “The small things aren’t only building eternity; we also find Jesus as we live them. Jesus is in the midst of each ordinary messy mundane moment. It is where we often meet with Him, as we build spreadsheets in our cubicles, as we drive carpools, as we share a meal with friends, as we do dishes,” Allen writes. “These are the places we dwell with Him. Vision and rest and work and joy and Jesus and difficulty are meant to co-exist. But too often, caught up in our own cycle of striving and numbing, we lose sight of the beauty and grand story unfolding.”
• Mom worry and guilt.
Moms everywhere will recognize the crushing weight of feeling like they’re not enough – and will find relief and hope in the subsequent advice Allen offers through her own stories and struggles of inadequacy and guilt.
• Letting go of what you carry.
Allen wants women to name their fears, their insecurities, their pain. She urges them to call a close friend and talk about the junk they carry. And then, let those things go. Take the weight of those things off yourself and feel free. “It is not enough to simply acknowledge that Jesus is our enough; we need to be freed from our backpack existence quite regularly. We are missing our lives. Striving is stealing our joy, our moments. We are not meant to simply tick off the days until we go to heaven,” Allen urges.
• Marriage is not an idol.
Marriage and family have become idols and markers of achievement in our society, especially in our church. Through a touching interaction with her young daughter, Allen reminds women that no man and no dreamy wedding are necessary to complete, nor fulfill them. Their purpose and God’s plan for their life may or may not include a husband and children, and either way, they will be 100 percent complete.
Allen is candid about the struggles and feelings of not being enough for her adopted son. “We’d been home for several months and Coop’s English skills were coming along. But I noticed I felt as if I was carrying a heavy backpack. A new pressure was growing in me. Cooper’s needs were unlike the needs I’d grown familiar with in my other kids, so parenting the way I’d always done was actually hurting him, pushing him away.”
• Vulnerability vs. transparency.
“I am learning the difference between vulnerability and transparency,” Allen writes. “Vulnerability
is the edited disclosure of personal feelings or parts of yourself. Transparency
is exposing the unedited, unfiltered, unflattering parts of our souls.” Allen acknowledges that transparency can be a terrifying thought, but, “it’s the only way we can truly be known.”
• How to develop more calm.
From meditation and journaling to taking a technology fast and making time for rich conversations,
Allen outlines crucial ways to cultivate inner peace.
With Allen’s open, convicting dialogue, readers are challenged to stop numbing out with the many distractions our society has to offer – Netflix, alcohol, social media, shopping, exercise, career and more – and start embracing and living God’s unique callings for their lives.
“What if I told you today you could stop trying so hard and simply rest?” Allen writes. “What if I told you today you could start enjoying yourself and your life without performing or striving for another minute?”
ABOUT JENNIE ALLEN:
Jennie Allen is a staunch believer in the power of just one life beautifully lived – and she is determined to pass her belief on to women everywhere. With her own purpose to disciple a generation as inspiration, the in-demand speaker, author, and teacher officially launched IF: Gathering, an innovative forum for women, in 2014. The event has since become one of the fastest growing conferences and movements in the world, empowering participants across continents and denominations to live honestly and deeply. With stark candor, humor, and vulnerability, Jennie connects women to purpose by sharing her own struggles through her blog, acclaimed books, talks, and more. Jennie lives with her husband Zac and their four children in Austin, Texas. For more information, please visit www.JennieAllen.com.