Remarkable Things Spoken

With a huge garden, an apple tree that produced two pies this fall, and a rainbow of full canning jars in my basement, it is quite possible that my life approximates Rachel Macy Stafford’s day dreams in the Home Depot outdoor garden section.

Or could it be that my brand of rural chaos demonstrates that her book, Hands Free Life, is helpful for anyone in any context who wants to begin noticing what is truly remarkable?  It’s for the woman who believes that “life is best lived with open hands, open eyes, and an open heart,” but nonetheless, struggles to embrace the sacred pauses; fails to stoop down and marvel at the color of a ripe tomato; and forgets to make time for looking straight into the eyes of a wild Morin boy before he explodes out the door into the woods in search of squirrels and adventure.

In a glorious follow-up to Hands Free Mama, Rachel, a former special-education teacher and mother of two, sets forth nine habits for overcoming distraction, living better, and loving more.  Four mournful words from Rachel’s husband changed her trajectory:

“You’re never happy anymore.”

Busy-ness, fretting over inconsequential details, and the ceaseless striving for perfection and productivity had stolen her joy and had led to a lifestyle of distraction and impatience.

Each of the nine chapters of Hands Free Life is a parfait of Rachel’s family life layered with principles that emerge in which she trumpets the breath-taking virtue of “keeping track of life” — cultivating a focus on what truly matters through the implementation of mindful strategies that curb distraction and perfectionism, of principles that promote balance:

  • Leave a legacy by grasping simple joys.
  • Fill the spaces by seeking two fully available moments each day.
  • Take the pressure off by accepting a less than perfect day.
Hands Free Life is an invitation to join Rachel in the joyful discovery that “a life well-lived [begins] with a minute, an hour, a single day well-lived.   As Annie Dillard so wisely observed:
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
Shall we begin filling our days and our hearts with the things that are remarkable so that when we open our mouths to speak, we will have words of consequence to say?

This book was provided by Zondervan through the BookLookBloggers program in exchange for my review.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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31 thoughts on “Remarkable Things Spoken”

  1. Thank you for this review! I loved Hands Free Mama and this follow-up sounds great. The struggle to stay focused on really matters feels like an hour by hour decision for me, but Stafford addresses that so authentically in her first book. I can only imagine this one will be equally encouraging!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michele, this sounds like another book I need to read! I am just finishing another of your recommendations, Taming the To-Do List by Glynnis Whitwer. I can’t tell you what a blessing it has been to me. I hope anyone who needs to get a handle on procrastination, perfectionism, and so much more will go find your review on Glynnis’ book, too. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glynnis’s book has really stayed with me, too, and I’m thankful to say that her suggestions have as well. I’m still walking nearly every day, and having some success at dropping some pounds! Very thankful.


  3. Michele, I’m in the middle of reading this book now. 🙂 I don’t know that I would have picked it out myself, as it seems like more of a younger-mama type of book at first glance, to me. (It was part of a prize I won in a little writing contest.) But, I’m a few chapters in and am really glad to be reading it. I like her writing style and, so far, the words are pertinent to all stages of motherhood, not just younger moms. Glad to see that you enjoyed it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing. ((blessings))


  4. Hey Michele,

    Another great review about another investing book! I love stopping by to see what you are reading!

    Found your post on Women with Intention.

    Hope you have a fabulous Wednesday~


  5. This book must be so good!
    I like this quote too…
    “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
    Thank you for sharing about this book.
    Many Blessings to you Michele

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This sounds like a great book! These are the lessons I am soaking in as I live my busy life with 4 kids who are growing up so fast. I hope this book is available to review for my next review on booklook bloggers.


  7. It’s so easy to be swept away in minutiae and details of life that don’t add up to a lot. I love this reminder to find those moments in your day – especially considering the impact it could have on those around you. So glad I found you through the Literary Musings linkup.

    Liked by 1 person

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