Click Here For Free Blog Backgrounds!!!
Blogaholic Designs

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Freefall to Fly

Rebekah Lyons is the author of Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning. She is a mother of three, wife of one and dog walker of two living in New York City. She’s an old soul with a contemporary, honest voice who puts a new face on the struggles women face as they seek to live a life of meaning. Through emotive writing and speaking, Rebekah reveals her own battles to overcome anxiety, depression, and consumer impulses—challenging women to discover and boldly pursue the calling God has for them. As a self-confessed mess, Rebekah wears her heart on her sleeve, a benefit to friends and readers alike.
Alongside her husband, Gabe, Rebekah serves as cofounder of Q Ideas, a nonprofit organization that helps Christian leaders winsomely engage culture. Her favorite pastime is spent with her nose in a book and a discriminating cup of coffee in hand. You can find Rebekah on Twitter and Facebook.

The dark night of the soul in the city that never sleeps...
At first glance, Rebekah Lyons's life path seemed straightforward:  walk the aisle, take the short road to motherhood, and build a family on a suburban cul-de-sac in the South.  But life looked radically different when her family relocated to the heart of New York City.  She was forced to navigate a new normal with three kids, two toy poodles, and a minivan.  Blindsided by crippling despair, Rebekah wrestled with bigger questions women often ask:  Why am I here?  Does my life matter?

My Thoughts:
I'm not quite sure what to think about this book.  While there are many things to appreciate about Rebekah's story, there are more things with which I'm not quite connecting.  To be honest, the subtitle to the book, "A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning" is what caught my attention and made me want to read the book.  Who doesn't want to live a life of meaning?  I'm always interested in knowing what people consider as "a life of meaning"; especially influential people such as Ms Lyons. 
Here are some of the things I marked from the book:
  • "Limitations of the mundane that used to come so easily.  This city would push me to get on my knees, to grovel, to fully enter into my weakness.  To strike a child's pose.  Rest there.  In my cries of lament, I heard a word so clearly it almost sounded audible.  Stay.  What does that even mean?  Stay in the freefall.  A truth hit me in that moment.  All my life.  I've been running.  Running to the next greatest thing"  (pg. 35)
  • "We aren't depressed because we are getting old; we are depressed in the prime of our lives.  During the years when we ought to be making some of our greatest contributions to others and to the world, we are stuck.  Caught in a quagmire of confusion, hardly able to put one foot in front of the other.  What is going on?  And why now?  I'm no medical doctor, and I have no degrees in psychology, but I do love to listen to the stories of women.  Women who are in the sweet spot of this demographic who are fighting to make sense of their lives.  I hear the stories, unpack their pain, and consistently find a common perpetrator. We don't know who we are."  (pg. 67)
  • "Every life path always works this way, crooked and bending with every decision we make.  As difficulty presents itself, do we retreat?  Do we teeter for a long while?  Do we throw in all our chips and blindly jump?  Our choice makes all the difference in where we'll end up.  The way we respond to this life happening shapes us.  It gives way to the trajectory we find ourselves on."  (pg. 78-79)
The above quotes give you a good picture of much of the tone of the book.  In many places, I feel Ms Lyons paints with too wide a brush in her observations of women and the "state" we are in.  I appreciate her raw honesty about her experiences (especially those interactions with her down syndrome child and the tender love between her as a mother and this son) and her transparency in sharing them is commendable and will be a help to many.  However, all women, especially all stay-at-home moms, are not depressed, struggling through their days wondering, "Why am I here?"

I guess Chapter Six is the one that left me the most confused as to exactly what Ms Lyons was trying to say.  In this chapter, Ms Lyons recounts a trip she and her husband took to "steal away" for a while.  Much of her book seems to be about this need to "steal away" and "find yourself" escape the mundane for a while.  But what concerns me is this:  Ms Lyons writes very poetically.  Her prose is beautiful.  And she asks contemplative questions that make the reader think.  But she talks circles around real truth.  She asks questions like:  "What treasure am I seeking?"  "What if eternal treasure is engaging what God uniquely created me to do?"  "What is more despairing?  That our treasure from God exists and we can't find it?"

I just wanted to scream the whole time I was reading this chapter, "The treasure is Christ!  The treasure is knowing Him and making Him known!"  I continued reading past chapter six to the end of the book hoping that Ms Lyons would finally get to real truth, but unfortunately she never gets there.  Her discourse continues down more of the same.  Me, myself, and I and what is my destiny and me and I and so on it goes.

Thank you Julie with Handlebar Central for sending me the book in exchange for this review!