I recently had the privilege of reading Valerie Woerner’s new book, The Finishing School, and I can’t wait to share with you my thoughts on the book. When I came across the opportunity to review her book I quickly signed up because I knew what she wrote would be at the heart of what I want to be about – living an intentional life and applying what I’m learning. I know that you can’t live a truly intentional life without figuring out how to move from knowledge to action and habit, and I’m always looking for things to help me in that quest.
That’s what The Finishing school is all about. It highlights Valerie’s journey to start living what she learned. What makes this book so special, and different from many others, is the focus she places on application for the reader. At the end of every chapter there is the option to download a worksheet for that chapter’s content. The worksheet helps you process through what it means for you personally, and there’s also a list of resources for further reading on that subject.
I loved it, and learned so much. Here are a few of the highlights and chapters that stood out the most to me.
1. A Guide to Minimalism
I was slow to acknowledge that this was a problem of mine for such a long time. I’m quick to get rid of things in our home that we’re not using – I truly don’t like to keep stuff. Because of that, I believed we lived a pretty minimalistic lifestyle. At the least we didn’t over buy. However, God definitely used this book to convict me of my tendency to purchase impulsively. More often than not, specifically in certain areas, I’m slow to fight the urge for newer, better, prettier.
As a result of what I read, and the conviction that followed, I re-committed to a capsule wardrobe, I stopped following so many cute small businesses on Instagram, and I’m committed to praying about whether or a not a purchase will be stewarding our resources well.
2. A Guide to Contentment
Directly related to minimalism is contentment. At the root of my impulse purchases is really a discontentment with something. What I learned from Valerie is the need to notice when I fall prey to temptation. What’s going on inside – what am I feeling and thinking when I make that purchase. That temptation loses power when I actually define it. For me, it’s usually the result of feelings insecure about something, and subconsciously I buy hoping it will make me feel better. Instead of giving in, I need to dig deep and get to work on what’s really going on.
At the heart of it, I’m placing too much value on the stuff, believing that it’s the cure, and not nearly enough value on my Savior. The only one who can truly heal.
3. A Guide to Self-Control
When I got to this chapter I was almost afraid to read it. I knew it was another way God was reminding me that he wants to help me grow in this area. I knew I needed to do the hard work of being disciplined in self control. But that’s just it, it’s hard work that didn’t sound fun. With the help of this chapter, and the worksheet provided, I made the commitment to dig in and get to work.
A few key points Valerie mentioned on this subject were:
- What am I being led by? Are my feelings and impulse guiding my decisions, or am I allowing the Spirit to lead me? Too often it’s feelings, and I don’t event stop and think long enough to hear what the Spirit is saying.
- I was reminded that when God is asking me to work out conviction, he will absolutely give me the tools I need to make the change.
As a side note, I also use Valerie’s prayer journal and absolutely LOVE it. It’s added so much intention to my prayer life.
If you’re interested in reading The Finishing School yourself, you can find it on Amazon. Enjoy!