Book Review: Choosing Real by Bekah Jane Pogue

December 1, 2016 Bekah Jane Pogue, Christian, nonfiction 4

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about the book

Are you ready to release your control of needing to be everything for everyone? . . . The invitation is yours. 

In Choosing REAL, author Bekah Pogue walks with you into life’s unplanned circumstances–specifically frantic schedules, pain and transition, feelings of unworthiness, loneliness, and tension. . .  

And she’ll remind you that it is in these very moments that God invites you to notice, respond, and even celebrate how He shows up in every little detail.

“I was so inspired by Bekah’s words on embracing the everyday, living fully with all of our senses, and celebrating the life right in front of us. Choosing Real will motivate you to look for the beauty in the middle of the unplanned and unexpected.”
—Crystal Paine, Founder of MoneySavingMom.com, New York Times bestselling author of Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

Choosing REAL is a fresh breath of air. The pages bring God to life; the stories inspire faithfulness; and the transparency makes the warmth of Christ’s love come alive. No doubt this book will leave you feeling lighter, stronger, and a whole lot more connected to God.”
—Kelly Balarie, Author of Fear Fighting (Baker Books), Speaker, and Blogger at www.purposefulfaith.com

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GENRE: Christian Nonfiction
PUBLISHER: Shiloh Run Press
RELEASE DATE: December 1, 2016
PAGES: 224

“Choosing Real trusts God has a beautiful plan in the mess, in the scary, in the unknown, in the tears, and in not feeling enough.”

The tagline of this book is what drew me in – “an invitation to celebrate when life doesn’t go as planned” Can I be REAL with y’all for a minute? My life? Not going as planned.

In some ways, this is a good thing. I planned on being an elementary teacher. Instead, I was able to teach English as a Second Language to international adults for 10 years and loved every. single. second. And now I have my dream (unpaid) “job” of reading books!!! Somebody pinch me – gently – please?

In other ways, I’m not loving the “not going as planned” part of life so much. I always figured by this point in my life I’d have a couple of kids, a decent bank account, and be reasonably cute and healthy. Instead? No kids. Living paycheck to paycheck. Some days barely able to get out of bed because the pain from my autoimmune stuff is so bad. And let’s not even get into the side effects of the medications.

The joy you (hopefully) see in me online or in person IS also real and only comes from knowing that “My health may fail and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” (Psalm 73:26) And I have much to be thankful for. A husband who makes me laugh. A family who loves and likes each other. Nieces and nephews who are cute and smart and talented and sweet of spirit. An adorable dog who makes me smile.

But … celebrating? It’s tough to do that.

Yet it’s in the pages of Choosing Real that I find the freedom to say, as the author does, “This is so not how I thought faith would look, but God’s path proves more spontaneous and life giving, more inner-healing abundant than anything I was creating on my own.”

Choosing Real by Bekah Jean Pogue is a book that I will be re-reading in order to really absorb the truths here. These truths are things I know – have known – and yet somehow along the way I’ve gotten off track in applying them in the everyday. Especially when it comes to valuing rest. (The irony of this is that, even as I typed those words, a dear friend messaged me to make sure I did indeed take the nap I promised her I would take today. I didn’t.)

The chapter that focuses specifically on rest (Chapter 2 – Enjoy the Journey) and the one which talks about finding freedom in an online culture (Chapter 7 – #REALISTHENEWPERFECT) are the chapters which are lingering with me the most so far. These both convicted and encouraged me … and wrapped me in peace.

Bottom Line: Bekah Pogue’s writing style is conversational and friendly, and you will feel like you are laughing (or crying) together at your favorite cafe as you read. The chapters reflect her personality (and now I totally want to be her best friend) and help readers connect with her and what she’s saying. From the major losses in life (cancer, divorce, anxiety attacks) to the “Cheerio-sized” losses (flat tires, Internet is down, insecurity), Pogue offers us an invitation to experience God in our day-to-day realities. To see the connection between “real life” and faith. To let Jesus present Himself to us as so very Real even as He shows us – “YOU matter”.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from Barbour Books. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Really good!!

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about the author

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An “everyday Jane,” Bekah Jane Pogue is an author, speaker and heart-felt encourager.

Bekah loves communicating, whether in small groups or large conferences, as if you were sitting on her couch and catching up as old friends. She is a guest writer for Yellow Conference and loves coaching new writers in their journey.

You can find her at the beach, reading, baking, rearranging furniture or flea-marketing. She and her husband, Bryan, have been married a dozen years and have two energetic boys. They reside at the Pogue Cottage in Southern CA, where dance parties are a regular occurrence.

If you’re looking for vulnerability, down with talking about hard things and desiring real join Bekah at www.BekahPogue.com.

What about you? How do you find rest in an online culture?

Carrie

4 Responses to “Book Review: Choosing Real by Bekah Jane Pogue”

  1. Winnie Thomas

    Carrie, my BFFF, my heart hurts for you. Sometimes life is a bummer, or at least some parts of it are. Sometimes life just doesn’t cooperate with our plans. Think of all the joy, though, that you’ve brought into other people’s lives. You are a ray of sunshine in so many lives, including mine–such an amazing friend and encourager(is that a word?) to so many people. I’m sure you don’t realize how many lives you’ve touched with your awesome wit and adorable sense of humor. Who would believe that a reserved introvert (yes, I really am most of the time) from northern Utah would “meet” such a friend from Kentucky and feel a kinship with her without actually meeting in person? I’m sure there are many, many others who could say the same thing about you! Hugs, my BFFF. Love you lots!

    Oh, I almost forgot to say the book sounds intriguing. I’ll have to look into it.

    • Carrie

      my sweet BFFF – you have the gift of encouragement! HUGS HUGS HUGS! I love you lots and I cherish your sweet words.