Cover Image: In Bloom

In Bloom

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In Bloom Is a beautiful book. It is a book about insecurities. Many women face this problem in their life. It is a hard thing to deal with and hard to get over but there is one way to do it - you leave it in GOD's hands - you have to see yourself through the eyes of JESUS - our loving SAVIOR - HE loves us just the way we are and HE thinks we are the most beautiful person inside and out - you just can't beat that period.
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This is a beautiful book that lets you know you are not alone. All those things you feel insecure about, well there are many other people who have felt the same way and totally get it. The way we sometimes compare ourselves. The way we want our friends to include us in everything they are doing. The hesitancy about inviting people to our home because we fear we may be judged and found wanting.
And then it opens your eyes to how you can enjoy the gift of friends and family without feeling inadequate. I can't say enough about this book but to recommend it heartily.
Kayla's writing style is awesome. She's really funny. 
Please read this.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for this opportunity. This is my honest review
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I enjoyed reading this book, and I really connected with the author, being a rather "awkward" person myself at times who has experienced insecurity often. Some points that stuck with me from this book were:
"Defining ourselves by the narrow perspective of another person limits us to only a small portion of our potential."
"The only words that truly define us are the red-letter ones, the capital letter Word who 'became flesh and made his dwelling among us' (John 1:14)."
"I loved learning to reframe that chapter (Proverbs 31) of Scripture as a blessing, allowing it to name the value in me and virtue in my work. Without the binding constraints of chastisement that I had so often heard in the preaching of those verses, I was able to fully embrace the beauty in the poetry."
"Our identities are not defined by our responsibilities."
"Oftentimes overcoming doesn't mean we no longer experience fear, it just means we keep going in spite of it"
The author included a lot of personal stories, which were often funny, very meaningful, or both. I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you are working through feeling insecure or less than, and are looking to find your identity in God.
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I don’t know about you, but I am pretty sure that if there were pictures in the dictionary, you would find mine right beside the word “insecure“.

So, it’s no surprise that I was thrilled to read this book as soon as I saw the title, because, who doesn’t want the Biblical kind of confidence in this thing called life?!

So, within even the first few pages of this book (I am reviewing the digital version), I knew this book was written for me. Kayla is so completely honest in this book about her life, her fears, her insecurities, her mistakes, from adolescent age to adult…that any mom cannot help but relate to something within the pages of this book. But, most likely, you’ll be like me…laughing…crying…nodding your head…and wondering how she could possibly know so much about you when you know you have kept it hidden well beneath the walls of your life.

She mixes her life story, her testimony, with lots of witty humor and with God’s word, and how she’s learned from it over the years.

It’s one thing to know you are insecure, but this book takes it to a whole new level as it challenges you to learn that God didn’t make you to be insecure…to set unrealistic expectations for yourself and your life as a mom/wife/employee/homemaker/etc. And how to change.

I read this book pretty slowly. Much due to the busy life I have with the three kids and all that we are uncles in as a family, but I decided I liked it more in short sessions–a little laughter with a challenge during my little one’s nap time. I personally wouldn’t recommend rushing through it, though it is not a hard read at all!

The Word is our metamorphosis, coming to life within us, and we emerge stretching damp gossamer wings of grace.

If you are a woman/wife/mom, this book is for you. I am not sure that I have ever read a more open and honest book. It was refreshing to feel that I’m not alone in my innermost thoughts and fears, and that there are others who not only have been there, but have found their way away from their fears and insecurities and straight to God’s grace and confidence in who He designed them to be.
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I won't say I got this book for some profound reason. What immediately caught my eye was the cover photo. I mean that beautiful floral art with its simple touch of femininity and beauty just grabbed my eyes. As I continued to browse the cover I spotted that the book was called In Bloom and its focus is about "trading restless insecurity for abiding confidence." Before reading the synopsis I was hooked! The cover just really grabbed me and then the title and subtitle just flowed seamlessly with the artwork. This is indeed one stunning book.

Now that I'm done raving over the gorgeous cover, lets talk about the "meat" of this beauty...the content written inside. One thing to note is that this book mainly uses the CSB translation with references to the ESV, NLT and MSG occasionally. For some it may be a bother. I am not a huge fan of these translations as I prefer the NKJV but I find that having my Bible or even Bible App handy works wonders in reading the scriptures shared in this book. 

I've never read any work written by Kayla Aimee so I was extremely excited to dive into this book head first with a pen, journal and highlighters (yesssss, I highlight and write in my books!). This book goes into what all women have, but don't want to discuss which is insecurity and Kayla dives into it in such a humorous way so that it's not all serious to make you cry your eyes out.

Is this book rooted in all scripture? Not at all. There are many points where she focuses on her own personal life and experiences to help connect with the readers and it contains few scriptures for reference. For me, I wish there was more scriptural references as I prefer to be able to connect a persons thought and/or experiences to the Bible. Does this fact dilute the effect of the book? Not at all. This is definitely a book I enjoyed reading and fell in love with Kayla's writing.

I love the study guide at the back of the book that helps to make the reading experience more hands-on. Do I recommend this book? Yes I do. I think it's a good one to read. It will help you get insight on yourself and make you want to search scriptures for yourself to understand more about yourself.
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A cute uplifting book on just loving yourself. I thought her stories were cute and relatable. It is a good reminder to just know your worth and have confidence with yourself. This book discussed everything from issues with self-confidence, friendships and even love. There was also a lot about her daughter and just parenting in general in there. It was relatable but I feel like there is so much more to be said that the writer will eventually learn as her child grows. It was good if you are just in the mood for something to read to kill a bit of time or even a mood lifter.
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Every woman is intimately acquainted with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. Whether fueled by a culture of makeover shows, by the lingering memories of mean girls, or by events much more wounding to the soul, we can become so conditioned by self-doubt that it becomes our inner monologue.

What we want is to be free of shame and comparison, to turn our uncertainty into a bold confidence. But to flourish in our own skin, we first have to rewrite the narrative.
In this fearless, funny, and refreshingly relatable chronicle of her own metamorphosis from the insecurity that once held her captive, author Kayla Aimee unfolds the blueprint for women to:

• Identify the deep-seated sources of our assumed inadequacy and replace them with steadfast truths of scriptural affirmation
• Replace our need for approval with the enduring promise of acceptance
• Uncover our purpose, unlock our potential, and celebrate the God-given gifts in our unique personality

To every woman who longs for belonging, this journey through Kayla’s inviting prose, biblical promises, and journaling prompts will help guide her from restless insecurity to a beautiful becoming.

What I enjoyed about this book is the fact that the writer is so easy to identify with. I could see myself in many of the examples of her own life that she wrote about. The honesty in the words of Kayla spoke to my heart. Her words remind me that we are not alone in daily struggles and also, there is always something to laugh about.

Any woman dealing with insecurities of any type would really appreciate this book. It is written by a woman who has been there. The book is written in a warm, friendly way that invites us in and makes us feel welcomed.

At the back of the book is a study guide, so that this book can be read and discussed as a group or individually. This would be a good book for a mom's group to read together.
I was provided an ARC of this book by the Publisher & NetGalley. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and without influence.
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DNF @ 13%

I really wanted to finish this one because I received a free copy but I couldn't do it. I have a few things fundamentally wrong with it that made it hard for me to continue.

1. I keep seeing reviews that say you don't have to be a Christian to pull something great out of this book. Great, we should be reaching those who aren't Christ-followers. But also, I want a book that is so infused with the gospel and scripture that you can't "get" the point of the book without opening your Bible or looking to Christ.

2. I don't feel like she actually said anything in the few chapters that I did read. It read way more like a memoir or diary than a non-fiction. That's fine. I like memoirs. But I don't like a book that says it will deliver a whole bunch of gospel truths in relation to insecurity and then just tells all about the author's struggles with it in story format without offering too much in the way of how we, as Christians, should respond to it.

3. This was actually my breaking point in this one. The author blatantly writes about her lust for Ewan McGregor. I'm not about that life, especially in a Christian book. It's hypocritical. In this same illustration to uses a scene in the movie trailer to explain that she is her own worst enemy. Girl, no you aren't. Satan is.

These few things really rubbed me the wrong way and I really do not agree with them and therefore decided this book was not for me. For a more secular look into insecurity, I'm sure it's great. But not for me.

** I was provided a free e-book from NetGalley in an exchange for an honest review.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Kayla has such a way of sharing her story and having us feel like saying yeah, me too. Being a teen is difficult on it's own, without adding hateful remarks from “mean girls.” I believe most of us can relate to at least some of the insecurities  Kayla faced. I know I have my own scares, but I too have been able to find the comforting truth in God's word and grow from it. Kayla does a wonderful job of honestly sharing her pain, but she doesn't leave us there. She helps us find our compass or true North. I went through all emotions reading her story. One minute I was crying, the next I found myself laughing out loud. I must say Scarlette, Kayla's daughter was my favorite thing in the whole book. She was 5 going on 30. What a delightful little girl. Just one example, when Scarlette comes in the room seeing her mother dressed ready to drive her to school, in yoga pants and a sweatshirt : “Scarlett walked in, looked at me, shook her read and said, “Mommy, You can't just keep wearing your jammies ALL DAY all da time! You needa wear CLOTHES sometimes, You know! REAL clothes! Just try it!” I enjoyed this book and would recommend it. I received a copy of this book from B&H Publishers. Opinions expressed are completely my own.
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I enjoyed this book. The author had an approachable, fun voice as a writer. I think it is a great entry level book for those struggling with insecurity and wanting to know how God speaks to this struggle in our lives. However, I only gave it three stars because it is definitely entry level. And I was hoping for a little more depth. Overall though a fun and engaging book for those looking for encouragement.

I received this book for free from B&H in exchange for an honest review.
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A must read for all women because, let's face it...we all find ourselves lacking in some area of life, right? This book is a life-saver. It brought me up when I was feeling down. I don't re-read books often, but this one is going to be a yearly read. Get ready to laugh out loud! This book is honest and super amusing. Love it!
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This is a great book for anyone, but especially women who feel insecure and doubtful at any time. Refreshing!
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This book is for EVERY woman!
ByAmazon Customeron February 7, 2018
I truly believe every woman can relate to the honest feelings and stories Kayla writes about in this book. She’s funny, real, and vulnerable in a way I appreciate so much. The way she writes is so unique and I have really enjoyed both of her books. If you grew up in the 90’s, you will especially enjoy her references to many of the things we loved in that decade. It also has questions so you can do a group study - I think that would be so fun!
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Haven’t finished this book but I feel good about it. I love her voice and style, her writing is smooth. Her story is one of laughter , tears and honesty. After reading just a bit I felt much better about my own struggles and how I raised my daughter. Very  human and down to earth
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Really great read that will have you laughing, cringing a little, and enough heart and wisdom to really make you think.
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I received a copy of In Bloom from NetGalley in exchange for a review.

First of all: Kayla Aimee is a great writer.

She has this way of making you feel … comfortable. Accepted. Welcomed. Understood. This is really key for the message she is trying to send. In Bloom explores what happens when you silently absorb the messages that the world around you have given you. What happens when other people’s words reduce you, when you allow them to define you. What happens when you start to lose touch with who God thinks you are.

What happens when shame starts to take root in your life.

I’ve been a Christian for a long time now, and I was sure I’d had all the bases covered, introspective-prayer-wise. I didn’t decide to believe in God in a neat and tidy conversion experience: it was actually a long, messy process that involved a lot of thought (I mean, you know how I like to think about stuff). It involved a ton of prayer. And an awful lot of unraveling all the things I had previously believed about the world and my place in it.

And yet, while I read this book, some small, hidden, niggly little things started to come to the surface. Words people had spoken over me that I had absorbed, but forgotten about. Somewhere they remain in me, and they have a way of changing the way I think and behave. How is that possible? How is it that comments from years and years ago can still sting even now? Aimee kind of describes it here:

‘The small slight that we are currently agonizing over is magnified by the power of memory. It somehow soaks up all the spillover we never quite mopped up from earlier brush-offs. It becomes every rejection all over again, rolled into one.’

With sensitivity and humour, Aimee covers topics like rejection, friendships, feeling insignificant and how social media inflames that, self-esteem, body confidence, love, jealousy, spreading yourself too thinly, longing for approval, and taking people as they are. She ties it all up in an encouraging way: you’ve said this about yourself? God says this. You feel this way about your body? Well, God says this. And all for the hope of a better, newer, more exciting, more meaningful life, free of shame and fear and labels that no longer fit us, enabling us to encourage others to see themselves differently, too, holding a candle up to each others strengths, and learning to celebrate one another’s successes.

She is also unafraid of gently challenging the way we deal with certain topics within the Christian faith. In the chapter ‘Between the Sheets’, she discusses how the purity culture within certain denominations can be damaging, particularly for young women. She also tackles the subject of the Proverbs 31 woman, and how Christians have taken what was originally intended as a blessing song for husbands to sing to their wives over a Sabbath meal, into a list of impossible-to-live-up-to instructions on female existence, and whether we can finally let go of that ‘perfect Christian woman’ ideal.

Mostly, In Bloom is a celebration of the new things God can do, and is doing, in us. How to shake off shame in order to concentrate on the tasks God has given you to do.

‘It’s a laborious remaking, a rebuilding, but the thing about God is that even when you burn it all down, He is quite capable of restoring from ashes.’

In Bloom made me remember the rebuilding God has done in my own life, and the work still to do. I plan on buying a copy for, like, everyone’s birthday for the next year or so. (You’re welcome, friends and family.) I can’t recommend it enough.
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Kayla Aimee is real...I want to sit and have coffee with her and talk about all of the things she's learned.  Her memories of adolescence made me alternately laugh and cringe...and so much of what she wrote feels like a conversation with a good friend.
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This book is for anyone that has dealt with shame and/or feeling inadequate. Growing up in the 90s I found her references to that era so funny. I mean who didn't buy TigerBeat and pull our that JTT poster? But the heart of her message really struck me. It helped me to uncover what was at the root of some of my personal shame and the feelings of being left out. Once you identify that and bring it to light, it doesn't have as much power if any. Thankful for a book woven with scripture!
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In Bloom is a wonderful book on a struggle common to so many women. She shares her insecurities and struggles in a real (and humorous!) way. This book will be encouraging for any woman, especially for anyone who feels lonely, lost, or just out of place. What a great reminder of His love for all of us!

Major bonus points for the level of humor in this book. I laughed out loud more than once. As in...I was still laughing pages after reading a funny story. You know it's good when you are still snickering pages later. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! And I found myself wanting to hang out with Kayla. :)

I received this book free. I was not required to write a review. All opinions above are entirely my own.
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I really really wanted to love this book. The description was great and I had (maybe too high?) high expectations for it. The author is very open and honest with her reader and isn’t afraid to say the ugly things we all think and feel. I commend her for that. It’s not easy to say to a close friend let alone strangers who will pick up your book. I could relate to what she was saying but that’s about it. I wanted more in terms of how can we practically get over these things with the help of the Lord. I wanted deeper revelation. Deeper biblical application. It left me feeling rather fluffy... comfortable with my insecurities (cuz other people feel them too... they could relate) as opposed to presenting a solid biblical way to turn those insecurities into wings to fly on for the glory of God. 
I received a digital copy of this book from netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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