I recently had the awesome opportunity to be part of a book launch for one of my favorite bloggers. Ruth Soukup from www.livingwellspendingless.com is an inspirational blogger who is also a talented writer. After reading her book Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life, I was sure we could be best friends in real life. I loved the book so much that even though I received a free pre-published copy of the book, I still ordered it in paperback form. I feel like a loser because I wanted to write about the book on my blog before it actually came out at the end of December but I was so caught up in figuring out what in the heck I was doing with this blog that I just didn’t get to it. Now that I feel a little more comfortable with this whole blogging thing, I’m ready to introduce to you this incredible book!
I’ve admitted before that I’m a self-improvement junkie. I love to read and listen to audiobooks and programs. I was so psyched to be part of launching this book because I am so passionate about its contents. Ruth has a knack for hitting home with her powerful examples and use of words. While reading her section about a typical shopping experience at Target, I was literally laughing out loud and thinking how pathetic it is that I am EXACTLY the same way. I go in there for one thing and end up filling my trunk with stuff I felt like I NEEDED and then have to think of a way to justify it all the way home. It’s sad but now I know I’m not the only one who does this.
This book talks about 12 different secrets to help you make the most of your life. It offers lots of bible references that help drive the point home of how God has indicated we should live in order to be happy. One of the major points Ruth makes is that STUFF does not bring happiness. Although we hear that all the time and we may even profess that we believe it, don’t we all still suffer from the “I want” syndrome sometimes? It’s a good thing I live in a super rural community where the shopping literally consists of one, completely understocked Walmart. However, this book has inspired me to really focus on other things and being grateful for what I have. Ruth teaches that contentment is a choice. Sometimes I get in a rut thinking, “I’ll finally be happy when ________.” Is that ever really true? Whatever I’m waiting for might make me feel happy…for a while…until I realize there’s something else I need to wait for now in order to be happy. I don’t want to live my life like that. I want to be happy now and continue being happy in the future. That requires a conscious choice.
This book also inspired me to follow my dreams and realize that it’s ok to want to do something with my life in addition to being a mother. While my kids are literally my life, I want to teach them to follow their dreams and work hard for something great. Can I really do that if I am spending all my energy only on them 24 hours a day? Kids need to know that mommy is an actual person, with feelings, needs, and dreams just like them. While I would never sacrifice my kids for professional success, I want to be an example for them to do something creative and exciting in their lives. So I’m starting with this blog. I’ve always loved to write and since I graduated high school the only writing I’ve done is for academic papers or in my journal. It’s time I put that passion for writing to use.
I look forward to re-reading this book and for Ruth’s future books. She feels like a kindred spirit to me. Sometimes I try to tell myself that I don’t need friends now that I have my own family. The simple truth is that women need women, period. Reading Ruth’s book was almost like sitting across the table from her and having a friendly conversation.
If you decide to read her book, which you can find wherever books are sold, you will also have the opportunity to participate in her Secret 13 Essay Contest. The grand prize is an all-expense paid, week long Carnival Cruise for up to four people, including airfare. I totally entered. That post will be up on Wednesday 🙂 Let me know what you think of the book and if you have a blog, you should be part of the blog tour. Also, for a chance to win one of five $100 Gift Cards follow Ruth’s super easy challenge by snapping a picture of her book in or in front of any Target. Click here for more information on that challenge. Happy Reading!