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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families...Review

About the book:
Frenzied families find themselves fragmented in this high-speed, fast-paced, goal-oriented society. Even while racing to second jobs, appointments, lessons, practices, games and clubs, we crave an antidote. How do we counteract the effects of our over-committed culture? Replenish our depleted selves? Restore our rushed relationships?

Not So Fast: Slow-down Solutions for Frenzied Families explores the jarring effects of our high-speed, high-pressured, highly-scheduled lives and offers refreshing alternatives. Author Ann Kroeker relates her own story of how embracing a slower everyday pace has resulted in a richer, fuller, and more meaningful life.

Practical ideas and insight will spark creativity and personal reflection. Plus, ponder real-life stories from parents who put the brakes on the high-speed lifestyle and reaped the rewards of richer relationships. Not So Fast offers hope that families struggling with hurried hearts and frantic souls can discover the rejuvenating power of an unrushed life.

You can find a lot of talk around the Internet and news about the busyness of life, and the busyness of families. We live in a 24/7 world that never shuts down. Email and cell phones have made our lives "easier", but they've also made us accessible 24/7. In the drive to succeed, many of us put our children in as many activities as we can, hoping to make them into better people. Is that necessary? It's your decision. In this book, however, Ann Kroeker has had the courage to step up and say, no it isn't necessary.

In her book she talks about the effects that an over-committed culture can have on our families. Her perspective is Christian and she shares her own story about how embracing a slower pace of life has impacted her family in positive ways. I love the parts where she talks about the importance of letting children have a somewhat unstructured childhood, and encouraging them to explore and play and have fun.

With chapters called, Slowing Down Childhood, Too Fast to Care and Too Fast to Rest, or Slow Enough to Savor Traditions and Slowing Down Spending, Ann gives honest practical advice. Each chapter ends with Slow Notes, a section with practical ideas you can implement immediately. Each chapter also ends with Live From the Slow Zone, with anecdotes and experiences from people who are actively living a slower paced life. Applicable scriptures are sprinkled throughout the book.

One highlight for me was the family Load Line, where much like a ship has a load line or limit to how much cargo it can carry before it is unsafe, so a family has that same load line where too many activities can negatively impact family life. Another highlight was about traditions and the importance of not only having family traditions but taking the time to savor and enjoy them.

I love the resources at the end of the book. Ann has extensive footnotes which give references and sources for her information. She also lists blogs and other resources at her website.

I thoroughly enjoyed this gem of a book. It is one I will reread as I look to find ideas and ways to simplify my family's life.

Thanks for First Wildcard and Audra Jennings of The B&B Media Group for the opportunity to review this book. You can find out more about Ann Kroeker here. You can read the first chapter here. You can purchase your own copy of this remarkable book here.

Read 8/09

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5/5 Stars


  1. What a wonderful concept for a book! Sounds like she fully understands that God teaches balance in our lives. Too much stuff to do, too many activities, too much expectation, just adds unnecessary stress in a child's life.

    L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”

  2. Sounds like a much needed book for our times. We, as a society, do need to slow down. I like the names of the chapters.