Cover Image: In Bloom

In Bloom

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Member Reviews

Most women that I know seem to deal with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy.  In today’s world of advertising, social media we are in a culture that is fueled by makeover shows, celebrities, and advertising that tells us how to dress, how to look and how to live.   Most of the average day to day women have been hurt by the lasting memories of mean girls, or by other events much more wounding to the soul, we can become accustomed by self-doubt that it becomes ingrained to our self-image and thinking.
The focus of this book is to retrain our thoughts and to take another look at who God has created and how much He loves us and because He loves us we can love ourselves.

Kayla Aimee has written a book that many women can relate to.  As you read the book you feel like she has reached into your own life and pulled out hidden feelings that you may not even realize are there, until you think yes, I’ve been there and felt that too.

Kayla Aimee has written a funny story using her own transformation from the self-doubt and inadequacy using examples from her own day to day life.   In this book, she opens the way 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.

This book is for every woman who longs for belonging, they will journey through Kayla’s writing and the biblical promises.  

 What I enjoyed about this book is the fact that the writer is so easy to identify with.  I found myself in many of the examples of her own life that she wrote about and that made it so much easier to understand that I am not the only one dealing with accepting myself and who I am.   

 Any woman dealing with insecurities of any type would really appreciate this book.  It is written by a woman who has been there, written in a warm, friendly way that invites the reader in and makes them 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.
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I've been following Kayla and her blog for quite a few years now, since first hearing about her and Scarlette's story through a message board after Scarlette was born. (Which, if you haven't read her first book Anchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected you should check that out too!)

So when I received the email looking for people to be part of the launch team, I signed up not really knowing much about the book but knowing if Kayla wrote it I would certainly enjoy it!

Little did I know how much this book would really resonate with me. Insecurity, feeling inadequate or inferior are feelings every woman of every age deals with, and I have definitely had my struggles with them. This book will force you to dig up past hurts, disappointments, and insecurities and help you to learn to see yourself as God sees you. 

This book had me literally laughing out loud at some of Scarlett's antics (like when she thought her new baby brother was a robot), cringing at other moments, and nodding along with the biblical truths found within this book.

I just felt like Kayla really put into words so many things I've felt but didn't know how to say. So many times she talked about  situations that felt so personal and close to things I've gone through or thought about some of the mixed messaging found within the church and society. 

The bible verses throughout the book are used well and come across naturally without sounding forced or in a beat-you-over-the-head-with-a-bible kind of way.

Overall, there is a lot I could say about this book! This book had discussion questions in the back and can easily be used in a book club or bible study. Kayla Aimee is someone every reader can easily relate to and I think this book is a great first step towards overcoming our insecurity and helping us to live and see ourselves how God wants us to.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come. (2 Cor. 5:17)

I received an e-book copy of this book from NetGalley and B&H Books in exchange for an honest review.
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Insecurity is one of those funny things that is ironic in its very nature. Everyone who struggles with it thinks she is the only one, and yet you'd be hard pressed to find a woman in any room who didn't say she struggled with it at least once in her life.

Kayla tackles this pervasively isolating topic head on in her new book. Kayla is a wonderful story teller and so it's easy to read what she has to say, without feeling instructed, lectured, or preached at. But her words are rich and meaningful. She approaches her topic with a, "sister, let me tell you what I've learned about this," tone, rather than a "sit down and listen to what I'm gonna tell you." As she tells her story, you can't help but glean from it truths for your own walk.

She challenges the reader to examine the lies she believes about herself, to evaluate whose approval she's seeking, and to find significance, purpose, and truth in the heart of her Creator.

The story telling is a bit back and forth (think "This is Us") but it's evident that her meandering is purposeful, drawing you "further up and further in" as she peels back the layers of her story, and of her challenge to you.

I think this book's greatest strength is its ability to appeal to women across the age spectrum. Teen girls will identify with the "thick of it" that many of the stories are set in. Young marrieds and moms of small children will identify with newlywed and new mom Kayla, and even those who feel they've conquered insecurity will be challenged to reflect on all God has taught them and delivered them from.

Kayla is heavy and direct on the use of scripture, but she is not preachy and the truths she explores are true even for the nonbeliever. 

Kayla is laugh-out-loud funny, which makes this a very entertaining read, as well.

At the end of the book, a study guide is included, which makes this a useful tool for both personal and group study.

One caveat for moms or youth leaders considering this book for tween girls. While the topic of insecurity is very relevant for young women, adults should know that Kayla does discuss a choice she made in her youth to have marital relations out of wedlock. She treats the subject respectfully and tastefully (no vulgarity or graphic descriptions), and she speaks freely about what that decision cost her, but adults should know that the topic is discussed, so that they are prepared for any questions should they arise.
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My heart needed this book. 

One of the first books I got to read in 2018 and I am confident it will be in the running for best book I read in 2018. In Bloom was so many of the things I needed to hear from a friend. And that’s exactly the way Kayla Aimee writes to you. She invites you in to her precious family and tells her stories in an honest way that will forever challenge to be vulnerable in my own life. I count it a privilege to read her words, because each of her triumphs and struggles shared told the truth of who God was in the midst of them. 

Kayla’s insecurities, written in such a raw form, helped to define the lies and things I have taken on in my own core. There were multiple lightbulb moments for me just by the way she was able to word things I didn’t know how to express, but have since been able to work out with the Lord. I’m thankful for that gift. 

I appreciated her wit and pop culture references as they combined to make this a super fun and spunky read. I intended to post a favorite quote along with this review, but I literally cannot pick because so many of the lines have become journal prompts for me over the past few weeks. Is it cheesy if I say this book changed my world? Because the honesty and encouragement literally is doing just that. Thank you for this book, Kayla!
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I love this amazing book. It is great read for women of all ages. I love how the author Kayla told the story of her experiences, her downs, and her triumphs.
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If you’ve ever struggled to remove shame, insecurity or not enough from your thoughts then this is the book for you. Kayla shares from her heart on these same struggles and walks through the path to hope and healing with a firm foundation set in God’s word telling who you are in Christ!!!
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Kayla Aimee’s writing has always spoken to me. She is an inspiration for the everyday mom, friend, and spouse. She doesn’t put on an act to seem invincible or flawless. She lets her flaws be known to her readers to draw in the everyday woman. 

‘In Bloom’ could have been written by me in each stage of my life. It’s the same uplifting message I would give to any of my friends who are in doubt of their self-worth or place in this crazy world, but something I never quite believe applies to my own life. The self-doubt, need to belong, and need for security in our relationships is something most of us can relate to. She keeps you laughing and thinking throughout the entire book in a way only Kayla’s writing can do. She tells embarrassing stories, stories of overcoming fears, and stories about her incredible tribe of friends. 

I love the references that focus your thinking back to teachings in the Bible, without any judgement on others beliefs. She uses many quotes throughout the book and the Bible verses blend in perfectly, tying it all together like a little bow.

It always helps when an author has the same sarcastic sense of humor and wise cracks that you do. I highly recommend reading this book, but also keeping a copy around, maybe filled with sticky notes to come back and read the uplifting text anytime you need a pick-me-up.
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I love the sampl, cute and funny, a personal experience of motherhood.
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When I was in school, I was not a cool kid.  Shocking, I know.  Even though I went to a very small private school (the Duggars have more kids than we had students.), there were still groups of who was 'in' and who wasn't.  It felt that way to me at least.  While I had friends, I wasn't into a lot of the same things, and I was a bit nerdy.  I was definitely a late bloomer, and I still cringe at pictures of myself taken pre-2005.  I've never been really athletic, or sporty, so I chose to spend a lot of my recesses indoors, reading or working.  I never really felt like I belonged with a certain group.

Add to my nerdiness the fact that my parents were divorced.  I think coming from a broken home nearly always leads to insecurities.  I was the only one of my friends to come from a divorced home, so I always felt like I was missing out.  I was also the oldest in my family, so I didn't have an older sibling to gently shepherd (or even violently push) me into the teenage world.  So, I stumbled awkwardly, never quite finding my way.  I remember times when I would go to school, and find out that my class had gotten together for something the night before, but had forgotten to invite me.  It only served to bruise my already weak self-image.

But, I made it to the other side of high school.  I guess I always  thought I would wake up one day as an adult feeling confident, beautiful and unashamed.  Well, I've been out of school for several years (no need to state how many), and I have yet to reach that radiant, confident place.  I'm a married mom of two wonderful boys, but my old insecurities still plague me.

I don't talk about the insecurities that I wrestle with.  No one does.  That's why we all seem to think that we face them alone.  In her new book In Bloom Kayla Aimee talks openly about how we all strive for acceptance from others, from ourselves, and even from God.  But, that's not how God meant for our lives to be.  I love that this book opens with the verse that says we are new creatures in Christ.  We can push off our old shame and insecurities, and live full, confident lives through Christ.

Kayla deals with everything in this book, from showing up for her first day of seventh-grade in the wrong shoes, to worrying that her friends don't really like her.  The book is full of hilarious stories about Kayla's daughter, Scarlette, and it's these light-hearted moments that allow her to really deal with the tough issues--even ones like sexual sins.

I felt like nearly every page of this book spoke straight to me.  From feeling like I wore the wrong clothes, to having funny hair, to singing on the swing (American Idol still hasn't called), I could relate to so much of Kayla's story (although I always saw myself as the Mary Anne of the BSC).  And, not even just in childhood.  I have that 'acquaintance' who goes out of their way to make me feel or look bad, I struggle with fears that people don't really like me, and I hate the phrase "post-baby body."  And, like her, I'm learning to let it go, and live like the woman God wants me to be.

I love that Kayla addresses the importance of embracing our own gifts.  It's not prideful to know that you are good at something, and it's not wrong to want to shine in the gifts God has given us.  But, too often, I compare myself to others, who seem to be doing so much better at life than I am, and I just give up altogether.  I needed the encouragement offered in these pages.  I need to have words of affirmation spoken to me, and reading In Bloom made me realize that.  I also realized that others need words of affirmation, too, and I should be giving them!  We need each other to give support and encouragement whenever we can.

The fact that I spent half of the time I read this book laughing, did not change it's impact on me.  There are a lot of powerful truths here, woven among the funny stories.   I thought I was the only person who struggled to see my worth as a daughter of God.  But, I've been learning recently that most of us have issues with insecurities.  God didn't intend for us to live in the shadows, but He wants us to bloom full of love and grace.  He has made us new, and He wants us to live that way.

If your tired of a life of comparison, shame and insecurity, I highly recommend the new book In Bloom: Trading Restless Insecurity for Abiding Confidence by Kayla Aimee.  Click here to pre-order!

 

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review.  All opinions are my own, and a favorable review was not required.  This post contains affiliate links.
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This is a wonderful book. The Amiee is open, honest, and transparent.  
She shares her struggles with finding contentment with her identity in God and not in the eyes of others or the world.  I laughed, I cried, I got angry at how others treated her, and I rejoiced at her finding her identity in Christ.
All women could benefit from reading this book, but I think young women/young mom's will get the most out of it.
I highly recommend this book!
I received an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for my honest review of this book.
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In Bloom is a collection of stories from Kayla’s life from childhood through to motherhood about feelings of insecurities and inadequacies. The stories are grouped into themes such as rejection, fear and boys, and are very vulnerable at times touching on topics that most of us probably hide away inside.

You should read this book if you feel you are alone about feeling insecure and inadequate. This book doesn’t offer tips or exercises for you to work through to develop your confidence, but it has abundance of “you are not alone”.  I highlighted lots of quotes as I read the book and looking through them again has given me the feeling of having a friend who understands where I’m coming from.

In Bloom is classed as a Christian book, but I’m not religious and felt the bible quotes were appropriate and well used. Plus Kayla’s view on Christianity is very positive and about lifting people up, which is always a good thing.
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Have you ever struggled with insecurity, fear, felt you were less than enough, or wasted too much time comparing yourself to other? If you can say “yes” to any of these, then this is a book to add to your TBR (to-be-read) pile.

Aimee’s latest contains numerous personal stories in an honest, transparent way. She discusses her struggles with insecurity and finding her identity in Christ, and she wants to help the reader do the same. Various areas are addressed, including our bodies, our gifts, our relationships, and our pasts. The reader will likely find at least one area relatable. Aimee’s writing style is very conversational, and it often feels like she’s speaking right to you (and that she has been spying on you, as well!). Appropriate scripture verses are referenced throughout. 

You can read the full review on my blog: https://lmckeeediting.blogspot.com/2018/01/in-bloom-by-kayla-aimee.html

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy as part of the B&H Blogger Program/Launch Team, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.
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Thoroughly enjoyed the content of this book. The author's witty banter, and down to earth format made it an easy read. Each section of the book was related to a real life story that helped form an immediate connection to the topic, not only as a female, but also as an individual. At times the flow of the material was choppy, feeling more like several blogs put together, but the overall voice of the book was clearly heard through the deep analysis of self-reflection, and consistent encouragement through quotes and scripture.
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This gem of a book tackles what could be considered an epidemic. We, especially women, have all had feelings of awkwardness, insecurity and shame. Aimee cracks the myth of not being enough wide open with her words. She shares sweet and silly anecdotes but also points to what the Bible teaches about us being created in the image of God. Every woman, both young and old, should read this book. It was freeing to be reminded I’m exactly who I was created to be.
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I read Kayla's previous book, Anchored, and loved it. This one is about getting past your insecurities and realizing the gifts that God has given you. Kayla was so relatable and I found myself nodding yes at some statements and laughing out loud at others. Too many times these books are too long and drawn out or condescending. In Bloom was neither of those things!

I received this book for free for my review, but truly loved it so much that I decided to purchase it to add to my collection.
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Have you ever felt like you’re just not enough? Not pretty enough, or not smart enough, not tall enough, or not funny enough? Do you compare yourself to other people and wish you had what they have? Have you ever struggled with your faith, or with who you are as a person? If you have never felt this way, then move along, no need to read this book. But if this sounds even just a little bit like you, then I promise you will benefit from reading In Bloom. It is raw, emotional, funny, a little bit sarcastic, and a whole lot of REAL. 
It’s almost as if Kayla read my 90s diary (if I had one that is) and embellished it with her own stories.
This book is classified as Christian lit, but you don’t have to be a Christian to fully appreciate the overall message of this book. It is full of bible passages (and a few quotes from Mean Girls), but it is most definitely not preachy. In Bloom allows you to confront your fears and fills you with grace. This will be the book that you will be picking up to read time and time again, when you just need someone to tell you that whatever it is your going through, it’s going to be ok.
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An honest look at what every single woman faces, insecurity.  Kayla takes story from her childhood and weaves a tale that I am certain most of us lived.  The feelings of loneliness, fear of rejection, just wanting to belong, things we have all felt at one point in our lives.  With doses of humor and honesty, Kayla gives hope and encouragement to all women.
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FREEING!

Whether you’re the new girl in school, the awkward girl in braces/thick glasses (or both), all the teenage angst, the bride trying to impress her husband with her culinary skills and cook his favorite dish “just like his Mother made it,” the new mom who who isn’t quite sure she’s ready to be fully responsible for a new baby or someone struggling to “find yourself” - all women have suffered/are suffering/will suffer from the from the feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. Kayla Aimee’s fantastic new book, In Bloom: Trading Restless Insecurity for Abiding Confidence gives an open an very honest look into some the causes and takes you to the Scriptures to find answers to help women regain their confidence. This book also comes with a Discussion Guide included in the back as a Bonus for Small Groups, Book Clubs, etc. 

Early on, Aimee talks about how often other people’s word’s have reduced us and made us feel invisible, inferior, inadequate or ashamed. Aimee wrote these beautiful words that are like a balm to those who have been wounded by words: “Shame is our captor, and we were never meant to be held captive. We were meant to be captivated.” ... “Our entire covenant is based on redemption. And the Bible holds the blueprint to interrupt our insecurity.” 

This book is filled with many deep concepts that will touch your soul. You will want to write them down in a journal. Print them on Post-Its to be reminded all throughout the day & night. Write them in the pages of your Bible. 

We are created for such a time as this! Be a “cut through the roof” friend! (Luke 5:17-19) This is YOUR moment!!

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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January 19, 2018 – Shelved
Review	I really enjoyed Kayla Aimee's first book chronicling her daughter's premature birth, then the multiple struggles and scares they endured in the NICU. It was a lovely mix of inspiration, humor and real life struggle.

I was excited to read her second book, In Bloom. Unfortunately, this book didn't feel like Kayla Aimee's voice. It was if she was trying too hard to be a motivational speaker. The anecdotes didn't resonate. The bible verses seem very forced and shoehorned into the paragraphs. The whole premise seems like it's trying to get SEO points by hitting all the self-esteem oriented woman click bait keywords. I was uncomfortable, not motivated. I couldn't relate to the way the message was being delivered.

I kept reading looking for that sparkle of her first book and of her past blog posts. I didn't find it. So I moved on to another book. Maybe I'll come back to In Bloom at another time.
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I was selected to be a member of the launch team for the latest release from Kayla Aimee.

This book is delightful. It is funny, endearing, encouraging, and truly relatable in Kayla's stories, experiences, references, and humor. I am so excited to be part of the launch team for this book, and highly recommend adding it to your 2018 reading list. We all have our insecurities, and it's reassuring to hear you're not alone.
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