Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Book Review: The Me Project by Kathi Lipp

Do you long to make baking or perhaps food photography your career? Or do you just have a dream to take your food obsession to the next level? :)

If you've got a goal to accomplish (food-related or otherwise) but have no idea where to start, you might want to check out Kathi Lipp's book The Me Project: 21 Days to Living the Life You've Always Wanted.

If you've been following my blog, you know I started reading this book several weeks ago. I had originally planned on reading the book as intended--one "project" at a time for 21 days--but life never goes as planned, so I flew through the last seven chapters yesterday to post my review on time.

This book was almost exactly what I thought it would be. Yes, it reminded me of Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. Both books talk about following your passion one step and one day at a time, and both talk about your passion being from God.

Cameron emphasizes that God is the Creator, and thus all creative acts and thoughts come from Him. He wants us to be creative! We shouldn't feel guilty about our artistic endeavors. God is the ultimate artist. Why wouldn't He want us to be artists, too?

Kathi Lipp has a similar belief. If we pray and we listen to Him, God will always lead us down the right path. We shouldn't feel guilty about following our dreams; our dreams were planted in our hearts by God. Our goal is to use our God-given talents as God intended, in whatever life He has uniquely designed for us. (Sounds a lot like what I used to tell my Catholic school students!)

As I also predicted, Lipp's book at times reminded me of Catholic author and speaker Matthew Kelly. In chapter 3, Lipp tells us to start a 50/50 journal, basically a journal in which you write down 50 goals you want to accomplish in the next 50 years. When I read this, I thought, Hey, wait a minute! I've done this before.

I hopped up, ran to my nightstand, and sure enough, there it was. A folded piece of loose-leaf paper numbered 1-50. Last year when I heard Matthew Kelly speak, one of his requests was that we all go home and write down 100 goals for ourselves, a task he made all his employees do.

I unfolded my piece of paper. Only 29 goals. Yikes, I was behind! For the next few days, I tried to add more goals. I'm still only at 43, but maybe that's a good thing. The truth is, I think I could come up with a longer list of goals I've already accomplished.

So who should read this book? Busy moms who feel unfulfilled.

I wouldn't recommend this book to men. The intended audience is clearly women.

And to be perfectly honest, I'd have hesitations about recommending it to single women. As someone with a lot of experience in this area, I cringed after the first few chapters. It's clear the author is expecting moms to read this, and it feels like, once again, the single woman got shafted.

You see, Lipp talks at length about using her husband for support while at the same time explaining that women need to take time for themselves. They can't devote all their time to their husbands and children, letting their own dreams fall to the wayside.

While I wholeheartedly agree with Lipp, I can't help thinking of those women whose dream might be to become a wife and mother. To hear a woman with a husband and kids complain her life isn't all she thought it would be could be a little stab in the heart to some women. Let's fact it, some women never find their soul mates no matter how many times they ask God for a life partner. And even if they are lucky enough to find a man who loves them and is willing to marry them, the woman still might not be able to have the children she wants.

And then there's the kind of single woman who is perfectly content to be single. She's come to terms with the unmarried vocation God is calling her to. (See this book by Catholic author Beth Knobbe for an example of that.) Even that kind of self-assured woman might get a little squirmy during the opening chapters of this book. Lipp seems to be saying that husbands and kids can take up most of a woman's time, keeping her from working on her dreams.

Gee, is that all that gets in the way? If that's true, I should be J.K. Rowling, Agatha Christie, and C.S. Lewis all rolled into one by now! I've got so much free time on my hands because I'm not caring for a husband and kids, why haven't I made more of my life?

O.K. I'm exaggerating, but you see how guilt can quickly set it. All I'm saying is that I think there's room for another book in this market, one aimed at single women who want to accomplish whatever plans God has intended for them.

The good news is that Lipp delivers her 21 steps with a lot of humor and a realistic perspective on life. She isn't a preacher on a soapbox telling you what to do. She seems like the kind of woman you want to chat with at the coffeeshop--and she'd be more than happy if you paid for her latte. :)

Lipp deftly weaves in inspirational quotes from everyone from Walt Disney to Samuel Johnson while still tying in plenty of scriptural passages. Her ideas are do-able and she provides practical examples from people who have followed her advice.

So if you know a busy mom who needs a jumpstart to following her dreams, consider sending her The Me Project. It's a little spiritual booster shot for creative women.

Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker, currently speaking each year to thousands of women throughout the United States. She is the author of The Husband Project and The Marriage Project, serves as food writer for Nickelodeon, and has had articles published in several magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman and Discipleship Journal. Kathi and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four teenagers and young adults. For more information visit her website: www.kathilipp.com

1 comment:

  1. After that review - I'd buy your latte. Thanks for the amazine review and yes - I think there is plenty of room for another book in this area. But thanks for the list of books you mentioned - I have a lot to check out!