Review: Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy

This book has inspired me to carve out a peaceful space for the next few weeks. I’ll take a blogging break from now until July 31. Thanks for understanding, and I’ll resume my normal Monday, Wednesday, and Friday posting schedule then. Now, for the book review!

Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy: Making Room for Your Soul in an Overcrowded Life is Nicole Johnson’s story of how a personal crisis made her realign her priorities. She was pushing herself too hard, spinning in the crazy circles so many of us understand and experience. Between being a wife and mother of two little children, trying to keep her household running, working, traveling, and attempting to maintain friendships, she was wearing herself too thin.

After an unexpected end to a close relationship, she learned her need to stop and process her pain in a quiet space. This particular space created new calm in her soul, and she rebuilt her life around it.

I found Nicole’s story to be refreshingly honest. She’s funny and witty too. This quote made me laugh:

If I had a nickel for every time someone suggested balance as a solution for crazy, I could buy my own beam.

So true of myself! And this quote made me think:

There is nothing money can buy that is worth having if we can’t come home to ourselves.

The part of the book that resonated with me most was about processing old wounds. In her grieving process, she uncovered her buried reasons for feeling compelled toward a crazy schedule. Her crazy schedule was based on a need for fulfillment and importance, needs that never got met in her troubled childhood.

I understand how that feels. I understand the need to keep striving to prove my worth, because I struggled with feelings of low self-worth in my own troubled childhood. Nicole did a great job of probing the heart of the problem with tenderness and poignancy, and she inspired me to look deeper into my own subconscious motivations for pursuing the crazy life.

She walks you through her method of identifying the crazy factors in your life, carving out a calm center, reducing and replacing, and living with more intentional choices. I learned some new things from her method, and that’s why I’m carving out this quieter place in my writing schedule for the next three weeks.

What I’ll be doing in my peaceful space:

  • Focusing on writing my book proposal to present at She Speaks 2017 (prayers appreciated!)
  • Forming a master creative plan for the next six months
  • Finding more time with God to reflect, pray, and praise

I plan to come back in three weeks with less crazy and more calm in my schedule. My schedule will never be perfectly aligned, but I can balance it better so I don’t burn out so quickly.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from the Booklook Bloggers program.

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  • Beauty in Christ

    Carving out that quiet time to spend digging into God’s Word, wanting to know Him more, meditating on His goodness and mercy and justice and truth and love is something that really re-centers my soul. I need to do it more.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hello, thanks for visiting! Yes, her book is a great prescription for the busy life temptations in this digital age.

  • Thank you for sharing. This sounds like a great read. Enjoy your blog break!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thanks Barbie! Blessings to you!

  • robin

    Sarah, I’m so glad God brought us together! Your writings are so refreshing. At this moment in my life, I’ve found my quiet time, time spent alone with God, is a non-negotiable. I too understand how it feels to perform or strive to prove my worth. I look forward to reading Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Sarah Geringer

      I’m thankful for you too, Robin! Glad God has woven our paths together.

  • Another book to add to my growing list. Good thing I’m retired!

    • Sarah Geringer

      I love reading, can’t live without it!

  • This sounds like a great book. Thank you for the review. I think I need to take a rest and just read.

    Sarah – Praying for your book proposal. Wish I was going to She Speaks this year. I would love to meet you. I am gong to a wedding. Enjoy your time of rest. Maree

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thanks Maree! Are you a Compel Training member? You can stay up-to-date with She Speaks in there, and you can see videos from the conference. I believe the registration is opening again soon. I highly recommend!

  • Brandi Raae

    Sometimes I feel like the weird one who doesn’t like to operate on crazy mode. Most days homeschooling, cleaning, cooking, etc. are enough to keep me plenty busy! I know people who seem to be on the go constantly, and just thinking about it makes me tired. 😉 Thanks for sharing this book review at the Literacy Musing Mondays linkup. Enjoy your time away from blogging!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you Brandi. You sound like a very busy mom, similar to me!

  • Aimee

    This book sounds good! I love it when we women can get down to the root of why we do what we do. I’ll share this on FB! Also, would love to know what resources you use for making a “master creative plan”? I want to do that, but feel a bit lost as to where to start.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you so much, Aimee! I use the Arc notebook system from Staples. I simply chart out one week at a time, and make a master blog post list on there. It’s just a calendar style and my own thoughts, not a specialized system. That’s what I meant, and I hope you find a system that suits you!

  • Oh Sarah, I’m so glad you’re able to take a little break as well. I’m just now starting to feel a tiny bit rested from my break. These times of rest are so needed. Thanks for sharing the book review, this looks like one that definitely needs to make it on my reading list. — Can’t wait to see you *next week!* Woohoo! She Speaks, here we come! 🙂

    • Sarah Geringer

      Yes, can’t wait to see you too Brenda! Hugs to you!

  • I hope your break is refreshing and everything you and God want it to be!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you Katie! Blessings to you!

  • Sounds like a great summer read! Can’t wait to hear about She Speaks! I’m not going this year but I went a couple years ago and it was an amazing conference. Hope you connect and refresh!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Glad to know it was a great conference for you, Lisa! I’m looking forward to it very much!

  • Allison Wixted

    Hi again Sarah! Really enjoyed this post! Dovetails nicely with my new life commitment to rest, as well as my recent post on the subject. I’ve had this book on my list and now it’s moved to the top!

    Prayers coming your way as you prepare your book proposal for She Speaks! Hope to meet you in person there!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you for your prayers, Allison! I can’t wait to meet you too. Blessings to you as you prepare!

  • Praying for your blogging break to be restorative, Sarah! Enjoy the time off.

  • Good for you! Often we read books and never apply them. Thanks for setting the example.

  • This sounds like a must read book! Enjoy your time away.

  • Great post and review, Sarah. This, “If I had a nickel for every time someone suggested balance as a solution for crazy, I could buy my own beam.” So true…haha. Thanks!

  • Wonderful review, Sarah. I have always enjoyed hearing Nicole speak so I think I will be adding this one to my “to read” list. Praying you have wonderful appointments as you present your book proposal!

  • This book sounds amazing friend. I am glad you are getting away for a bit. It is always fruitful to listen to his voice. Blessings to you!

  • Praying you have a wonderful time at She Speaks! Can’t wait to hear all about it!