Friends! Happy New Year! Let’s rejoice we have a fresh start…a new year, a new calendar, a do-over (anyone?), a mulligan for you golfers.
Recently I discovered a multi-talented young lady by the name of Erin Loechner. Some of you know her from her wildly popular blog, www.designformankind.com Others of you may have caught her when she was on HGTV. I found her from her latest book which caught my eye: Chasing Slow—Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path. The book cover plus its’ title grabbed me right away.
The layout of the book is clean, easy to navigate, and includes some amazing, healthy recipes. SOLD. Divided into three parts (“Chasing More”, “Chasing Less”, and “Surrender”), you’ll get thirty-four small chapters to absorb.
Because I’m forever using phrases like, “I’m chasin’ my tail today.” Or “I’m playing beat the clock and losing again…”, Chasing Slow sounded wildly appealing.
Erin takes you on her journey while showing us what it looks like to look for, but avoid, the lion. You know, the roaring one lying to you through his teeth.
Newly married and living in LA, Erin and her husband, Ken, learn he’s got a brain tumor. Couple that with depression and anxiety on Erin’s part, and they’ve got more than a full plate.
She says, “In my mind’s ocean are jaws of depression, tentacles of anxiety. I live daily in the hope that if I work hard enough, if I paddle fast enough, I might outswim the sadness. I might outsmart the tension. I might overcome life’s ambiguity with sheer will, force of mind….” (Notice how many times she uses “I”.)
Then she remembers this verse:
She concludes, “I do know that with God comes wisdom and time, and with wisdom and time comes perspective, and that sometimes, overcoming depression requires an oversized cocktail shaker of all of those things, on the rocks, please.”
Bottom line? She carries on her sense of humor: “But sometimes, often, the most reverent spiritual practice is to pick up the pug dung and get back to work.” In other words, just do the next thing.
You’ll get to see how her blog was born, which she says is her escape, a way to “silence our lions.” She honestly reveals many of their highs and lows. In an article in Relevant magazine from last fall, Erin says, “It’s all about creating margin, ‘Sabbath’ is there for a reason.’”
Another fun fact from the layout of this book, is every so often Erin gifts us with a math lesson. My favorite is #004: “No = a Complete Sentence.”
Savor this from G.K. Chesterton:
You’ll also get to see how Erin and Ken get themselves into a financial mess, which leads to a move back home in the Midwest with Erin’s family. An opportunity with HGTV suddenly arrives and Erin remarks, “The thing about apples is that we’re always biting off more than we can chew. It is hard to see which bites might nourish and which might cause us to choke.” That’s another case of beware of that prowling lion!
Erin teaches, “Here is the secret to subtraction: It doesn’t matter what you remove. What matters is that you stop adding it back.” POW.
Erin and Ken become blessed with a new baby daughter, they name “Bee”. Their navigation into parenthood is a blast to read. If you’ve had a newborn in your life before, you’ll laugh along with them. Another one of Erin’s math lessons for us is #010: “Sticker sheet + Toddlers = 5 minutes of peace and quiet for Mama.”
While Erin was writing Chasing Slow, her circle of friends began passing a book around called, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. You might imagine Erin adores it given her book topic. Don’t miss her hysterical remarks about the book. It was passed around my circle of friends as well. As I survey my surroundings, I spot signs of mega clutter. It’s occurring to me I may need to dig that meddling book back out with the new year. Sigh…
Finally, when you hit chapter 34, you find yourself wanting more from Erin, and yet her encouragement, use of Scripture verses, and prayers throughout make you want to roll your sleeves up and start chasing slow. Erin suggests, “Chase what God wants for your life, and ask Him how to get there.”
The grande finale of the book holds TWO surprises before you read the last page: (1) The Resource section. “From A to Z, a Few Easy Changes to Slow Your Life” will bless you further. And (2) “Five Methods of Decluttering Your Home”. These are priceless.
Thank you, Erin, for a delightful way to start 2018!
‘Til next time!