Why do we sometimes have a difficult time enjoying the one life we’ve been given? If we’re not working harder, looking elsewhere or planning for what’s next, we’re feeling guilty about the blessings we do have.
These are the essential questions Trillia J. Newbell explores in her book, Enjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God’s God Gifts. In plain and forthright language, she discusses our obligation to enjoy our work, relationships, sex, art, God, possessions, food, and environment. She concludes each chapter with reflection questions and practical assignments, which she calls “The Enjoy Project.”
This book gives permission to relax and receive the good gifts God has given us.
What I Liked
Trillia seamlessly weaves Scripture throughout the book, supporting each point with several examples from the Bible. She seems very familiar with this material and the book often reads like a talk she may have given to a group of women at a conference or retreat. I most appreciated the chapter on sex and the one on work, because I think Christians often do not understand how God wants to use each of these to His glory.
How to Read this Book
Rather than reading this book in isolation, I believe it would be a better book to read with a group. It could be read over a five-week time period, reading two chapters at a time and then discussing the questions at the end of each chapter, doing the suggested activities, and using the discussion questions provided at the end of the book. The book and questions provide a great launching point for women to intentionally go deeper in reflecting on whether or not they are truly enjoying the gifts they’ve been given.
Not My Favorite
Personally, I would give this book three out of five stars. Perhaps it is because I have been a Christian for so long, but I don’t feel like I learned anything new. I also felt like the writing was a bit lackluster and cliché, with an overuse of exclamation marks. But in spite of its simplicity and predictability, I know I would have gotten even more out of it if I had read it with a group.
I recommend reading this as a light book to discuss with a group of women who want to take a break from a more structured Bible study format. I would also recommend it to a new Christian with questions about how we are to feel towards the blessings lavished on us in the west or to someone wrestling with guilt over how their hobbies, interests or artistic leanings fit into God’s plan.
If you like Christian self-help type books or need a reminder that God doesn’t want you to flee the world, but to enjoy the gifts He is extending to you, then Enjoy might be the book for you.
*I received a free copy of Enjoy from Blogging for Books in exchange for this honest review.
**Includes Amazon affiliate links