It’s Time to Exhale

Breathing Room by Leeana Tankersley:  A Book Review

Generally speaking, for most of us, it’s not the catastrophes that wear us down.  It’s the frictional grind of too many little things:  cars that fail to start, toddlers with a missing shoe, teens with missing respect, too much month and too little paycheck.

Standing under a sound roof in a sound body, with a healthy family and a full refrigerator, we question the goodness of God and poke holes in our theology.  We covet and carp and compare, backing ourselves into a tight and suffocating space.

Leeana Tankersley has walked that path of self-contempt, feeling small and trapped and that it was “not OK to struggle.”   She welcomes readers into her process of discerning that the breathing space she was seeking is God Himself.

In the Hebrew Scriptures, one of the names for God is Ha-Makom meaning ‘the omnipresent,’ literally translated ‘The Place.’  This name for God is often used in the traditional Jewish sentiment offered to someone in grief . . . ‘May The Place comfort you.’

Without handing out blank checks for self-pity, Tankersley shares her own pain, using imagery from 12-Step programs and highly diagnostic insights gained during her years with three small children and her Navy Seal husband in the foreign culture and geography of Bahrain.  She shares insights from a broad range of authors and thinkers:  from Anne Morrow Lindbergh to Anne Lamott; from C.S. Lewis to Stephen King.  The author’s humor and poetically descriptive language lighten her message:

We’ve gagged the ache with Doritos and Diet Coke.  We’ve covered it up with bronzer.  We’ve smothered it with layers and layers of trying-too-hard.   We’ve shut it up with the how-richly-blessed-we-are-talk.

Breathing Room is an invitation to the life revealed by the Lord of Isaiah 55:2:  “Let your soul delight itself in abundance.”

I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.

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Michele Morin

I am a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. I have been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 27 years, and our four children are growing up at an alarming rate. Nonetheless, two teens still remain at home, and along with an incorrigible St. Bernard, we laugh, make messes, clean them up, and then start all over again. I love hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop me in my tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. I lament biblical illiteracy and advocate for the prudent use of "little minutes." I blog at Living Our Days because "the way I live my days will be, after all, the way I live my life." You can connect with me on Facebook or Twitter.

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