Book Review: Lighten Up! Finding Real Joy in Life

March 3, 2015


Lighten Up!  Finding Real Joy in Life
Chieko Okazaki
232 pages
Kindle edition

From the Publisher:
Lighten Up! brings Sister Okazaki’s fresh perspective and sparkling personality from the podium to the page. Each chapter is filled with insights. Sister Okazaki’s straightforward, practical, and cheerful view of life has brought strength to people all over the world. A leader with both feet firmly on the ground and a twinkle in her eye, she believes without equivocation that the gospel is good news.

I came across a Relief Society program that I helped put together a couple years ago for church when we lived in Washington. (learn more about what Relief Society is)  The program was based on a book that I read by Sister Okazaki.  I just loved the book, and I have tried, and tried, and I can’t remember which book it was…too bad I didn’t write it down or blog about it! haha  I think I borrowed it from my mom, so I’m pretty sure it was Cat’s Cradle, which I now cannot find on amazon, or Deseret book.

Bringing it back to this book, after reading the program, it really wanted to re-read the book.  So I looked through my kindle books and thought this one might be it.  Well, I am pretty sure this is not the book I read a couple years ago, but I am SO glad that I read this one!

I really love Sister Okazaki’s fresh perspective.  It was not a book that made me feel bad or guilty at all.  It always left me feeling better and feeling inspired to do a better job.

I also really felt this was a good book that ANY Christian woman would enjoy.  You do not need to be a member of my faith to understand the concepts and material.  I love that.  

Some of my favorite passages from the book:

“Lighten up!  If you are doing the best you can, that’s good enough.  I don’t know many women who aren’t doing their absolute level best in every way, but plenty of these women keep track only of the things they don’t do perfectly.  The women I know accomplish a phenomenal amount, but often they don’t pay attention to what they’ve done.  Rather concentrate on what has been left undone or what remains still to do.”  

“In principles, great clarity, In practices, great charity.”

“Ideals are stars to steer by.  They are not a stick to beat ourselves with.”

“Whatever your season is, enjoy it.  Don’t concentrate on the tasks of another season, or cram too many season together.  Put your zori firmly, freely, confidently, and joyously.  Don’t stumble or crush the zori by trying to do too many life tasks at once.”

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I marked so many passages it was hard to pick which ones to post for the review.  I hope to find the book I was originally looking for by Sister Okazaki someday, but in the meantime I am glad that I found this one.  I am looking forward to reading thought many more of her books in the future.

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