Thursday, June 3, 2021

Book Review: It Is What You Make Of It

How is it only Thursday? I mean, I'm asking for real. It's weird because it feels like the week just started but also, I am fully over this week. Matt and I started our nightly walking again and lord alive.... I am out of shape. So.. I'm not looking forward to going out tonight, but I need to because my pants are tight and I refuse to buy bigger ones. Not going to happen. 

It Is What You Make Of It - Justin McRoberts

“It is what it is”—a common phrase you hear and maybe even say yourself. But the truth is that there is not one square inch in the whole domain of our human existence that simply is what it is. Justin McRoberts invites you to embrace a new mindset: it is what you make of it.   

With warmth, wisdom, and humor, McRoberts shares key moments from his twenty-plus years as an artist, church planter, pastor, singer-songwriter, author, neighbor, and father, passing on lessons and practices learned about making something good from what you’ve been given rather than simply accepting things as they are. 

Thought-provoking but actionable, It Is What You Make of It declares that love doesn’t just win, mercy doesn’t just triumph, and light doesn’t just cast out shadow. Rather, such renewal requires the work of human hands and hearts committed to a vision of a world made right (or at least a little better). When we partner with God in these endeavors, we love the world well and honor the Creator in whose image we are made.

We will not be remembered for who our parents were or where we were born or what our socioeconomic circumstances were. We won’t be remembered for our natural talents and strengths or the opportunities we were given or the challenges we faced. In the end, each of us will be remembered for what we made with what we were given.
One of the most annoying things I hear personally about my struggles is "it is what it is"... that is right up there with "it could be worse". Every time I hear it my eye twitches and I want to go completely off on the person but I don't because I know people say it with good intentions. Usually I think they don't know what else to say so it's a conversation filler. I think as humans we have to really try to listen to the words we say and just know sometimes the only thing you can say is, "I'm sorry, that is just awful." and be done with it. 

I sometimes have a hard time with non-fiction like this, and I think it is from having been through significant life trauma and knowing that the majority of people cannot relate to what my reality is. Not everybody survives death after giving birth and are left with a multitude of ailments that disables you, including memory loss that leads to loss of some independence. 

I mean, if there is a support group for that specifically, I have yet to find it. 

One of the healing things that helps many is a support group, a place that you can relate to others in your situation and get validation. When you don't have that, it can be incredibly lonely and upsetting, especially when most people around you have no idea what you are going through. It's really hard to be a half-full kind of person in that scenario. That is where this book comes in, it gives you a lot of interesting suggestions on how to turn negatives into positives, or at least a new perspective in looking at things. 

The great thing is that it's rather short, just under 200 pages, and it makes a great read for people graduating, maybe embarking on a new adventure, stepping outside of their comfort zone, or maybe people generally just stuck in a rut and don't know what to do. The author brings humor to heavier situations, which makes this a lighter read and easier to get through. 

Also, I just have to share that there is such a thing as a competitive event involving Shakespeare. And it's kind of like a rap battle but with... Shakespeare verses. I mean, I finished the book and I keep thinking about this because it's bizarre but also... I mean... you've really got to be smart to get through that, right? 

Back to the review though, I just had to include that because it's so strange and I can't stop thinking about it. The book does have a Christian theme to it but it isn't overly Jesus, so if that isn't your thing, I think you can still take something away from the book as a whole. I think this would be a particularly interesting book for high school students to read and have a discussion with it, especially now when we put so much pressure on teenagers to make big life decisions, what are you going to do after school?, when most adults have no idea what their grand plan for life is. How can we expect a 17 year old kid to know? 

Overall? I'm giving this a solid 5 star. I don't normally do that high of a rating for a non-fiction but honestly, this one had me thinking about the times I've been rejected in a new light. It actually gave me the permission to close the door on some things that had really bothered me and it was because I was looking at them the wrong way. Or at least, I was missing some obvious questions I should have asked myself as to why things were the way they were. I just really got a lot from it and I think you will, too. 

A big thank you to TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson Publishing for sending me a copy for review and having me on this tour! 

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Why Girls Are Weird said...

I think I need to read this. Thanks Sara.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

This sounds pretty helpful actually, and I'm glad it had a lot that you appreciated. And seriously - I STILL don't know what I want to do with my life or where I'll be in five years. Like, for real. hah


p.s. I'm taking two dance classes at the moment and that's been great but I really do need to move more on other days and just eat better and ugh, i'm gaining weight again and I'm kind of obsessed/depressed about it. I hate it. hah I hope your walks start getting a bit easier!