True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created

True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created

by Michelle DeRusha

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Many of us are bent on producing and achieving, striving and hustling for our self-worth. Beneath this relentless drive churns a deep yearning to uncover our true selves and our purpose in this world. Gardeners familiar with the technique called "pruning open" know that the secret to healthy plants and trees lies in subtracting rather than adding. Similarly, we begin to flourish as we let go of our false selves and allow God to prune us open.

With powerful stories and revealing research, Michelle DeRusha helps readers:

- learn how to declutter their hearts, minds, and souls through the practice of directed rest

- let go of busyness, striving, and false identities to embrace their truest selves as beloved children of God

- grow in their relationships, vocations, communities, and intimacy with God

True You
offers those exhausted by the pervasive do-more, be-more messages of our society a path toward rest, renewal, and, ultimately, wholeness in Christ.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493416288
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/01/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 465,952
File size: 11 MB
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About the Author

Michelle DeRusha is the author of 50 Women Every Christian Should Know, Spiritual Misfit, and Katharina and Martin Luther, which is a finalist in the Memoir/Biography category for the 2018 Christian Book Awards. She publishes a monthly column on religion and spirituality for the Lincoln Journal Star and writes about faith in the everyday on her blog, She lives with her husband and their two boys in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9

Introduction: A Tale of two Trees 13

Part 1 Know the Tree

1 Leaves and Branches: How We Clutter Our Lives, Minds, and Souls 23

2 Beneath the Canopy: Hearing What's Been There ALL Along 41

3 Broken Limbs: Do You Want to Get Well? 57

4 Seeds of Desire: Facing Your Deepest Brokenness 77

Part 2 Fukinaoshi of the Soul

5 The Hard Prune: Letting Go of the Last Handhold 97

6 The Far Side of the Wilderness: Following God, Even When You Can't See The Way Through 117

7 Rooted: Practicing the Discipline of Staying in Place 135

Part 3 Shaping

8 Twine and Splint: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back 157

9 Way Opens: On Coming Alive 177

10 Water, Wood, Air, and Stone: We Are Better Together 197

Epilogue 219

Appendix 223

Index 227

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True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Lisa Anderson More than 1 year ago
This book is so full of hope and grace as a guide to hearing the Lord’s calling and discovering who He made you to be. It’s NOT a ‘do this or else’ guide to growth, it’s NOT a ‘pull yourself up and work harder’ guide to success. It’s a ‘be still, listen, follow your design’ breath of fresh air for a fulfilling life of following Christ as He uniquely designed you.
SASSE More than 1 year ago
True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created is the newest book by one of my favorite authors. In this beautifully written book, Michelle DeRusha tells stories of her own experiences to explain how we can start on the path to discovering God’s purpose for our lives. She shares Bible passages, scientific research, and quotes to support her stories, and includes questions at the end of each chapter to encourage us to apply what we are reading to our own lives. The author introduces us to the concept of directed rest, where stillness and solitude, for as little as five minutes a day, can slow down the busyness of life and give us time to tune into the Holy Spirit to gain a deeper understanding of our authentic selves. She describes how important it is to spend time in nature to observe and appreciate the beauty of God’s creation, and how, by experiencing the healing qualities of nature, you can change your outlook and discover creative gifts you have not recognized before. Throughout the book, Ms. DeRusha illustrates the similarities between trees and people, how they both live in communities and need to be shaped as they grow. She describes open center pruning, the Japanese method of shaping a tree in which a gardener prunes from the inside out so that the tree’s true beauty is revealed and compares this to the way God works in us, pruning out the old habits and false personas that hold us back from discovering our true identity in Him. The pruning process, while difficult and sometimes painful, is abundantly worthwhile in the end because, when we are more open, we can feel how much God loves us and wants to have a close relationship with us, and we can begin to understand and follow His plans for our lives. I admit that I am affected deeply by this book because the words the author has written so closely describe my own faith journey, and it seems as if we are traveling parallel paths. I appreciate her willingness to open her heart and write her stories so that others can benefit from her words and wisdom. Thank you, Michelle De Rusha!
kettleheadhats More than 1 year ago
Michelle DeRusha takes on one of modern society’s biggest lies in her latest book—the badge of busyness. “Part of our need to be busy and productive comes from our desire to be valued and known,” she says. “If we are busy, we must be needed, and if we are needed, we must be important.” But wearing the busyness badge just makes us feel even more harried and worn out—when in reality, we need to seek intentional rest. On her quest to find the antidote to busyness, DeRusha takes the reader along on a soul-searching journey. Using the metaphor of a tree, she shows how easily we let life turn us into a jungle of lists and things and striving. Like sucker shoots, all the things take energy from our true selves until we lose sight of our true identity—children of a loving Father. We forget that God values us and knows us more intimately than we know ourselves. When we take time for intentional rest, we allow the Master Gardner to prune and shape us. Pruning and shaping might not feel comfortable at the time. But when we ask God to do the work in us, we discover that his plan exceeds our wildest expectations. By scheduling intentional rest into our daily routine, we make room for God’s plans and shape for our lives to take root. We allow him to gently train us in the way we should go. DeRusha combines her journalist’s skills with her memoirist’s eye to create the perfect combination of research and story. Each chapter ends with study questions that take the reader deeper into the quest of letting go and discovering the person God created. This Book is For You If… If you’re a busy person—the kind that constantly strives and secretly takes pride in having a full schedule—this book is for you. Our culture has built up the cult of busyness to unhealthy heights, and this book serves as a wake-up call to step away from the pyre. If you feel empty, no matter how much you accomplish, this book is for you. You’ll discover a better way to live. A way that doesn’t include submitting to a never-ending to-do list, but instead includes submitting to a never-ending God. Readers who enjoy Jennifer Dukes Lee’s book It’s All Under Control will enjoy this book.
Helianthus More than 1 year ago
I’ve been blessed to serve on the launch team for True You, a contemplative book written by Michelle DeRusha. It’s so good that my small group will be using it for our weekly discussions this January. If you’re looking for a great read to help you make a fresh start, True You is an excellent choice. Letting Go of Your False Self In our fast-paced world, it’s so easy to lose sight of our souls. Our lives are crowded with noise and stimuli, and it can be hard for our souls to get the nourishment they need. Michelle uses the metaphor of pruning a tree to open it up for more beauty and life. She shows us practical ways to do that in True You. This book is about slowing down, becoming more mindful, and listening to our heart cries while we explore our faith journeys. Michelle leads us through her own story of discovery and helps us see what we need to do differently to cultivate deeper faith. I enjoyed Michelle’s honest, vulnerable prunings of pretense and insecurities. Few authors are willing to talk about their circuitous and frustrating paths toward success, and even fewer are willing to say that past book sales struggled along. Her transparency about failure inspired me to take a harder look at the masks I wear and gently set them aside. Uncovering the Person God Created By sharing her own journey toward spiritual contentment, I learned the value of sitting still and just being the me God created. Through this book, I received permission to set aside my massive responsibilities and simply enjoy nature, read a book, or take a walk every day. Those activities soothe my soul and help me listen more closely to what God is whispering to my mind, heart and soul. As a gardener, I truly enjoyed Michelle’s extended metaphor about pruning and I gained many personal applications. Today, the first day of 2019, I’m looking at my schedule and deciding what needs to be pruned out so I can nourish the most important branches and bear more fruit. I’m skimming through my favorite quotes from True You to help me decide what matters most. Favorite Quotes from True You There are so many rich, thoughtful ideas in True You, and here are some of my favorites. “We do not need to heal ourselves–the indwelling Holy Spirit does that for us–but we do need to want to get well; we need to desire wellness and choose it.” “Confronting your false self and naming it is a necessary and critical part of deep transformation.” “God didn’t just lead Moses into the wilderness; he led Moses to the far side of the wilderness–to the quietest, loneliest, most isolated, most desolate place possible. And it was only in that place, away from the demands and distractions of ordinary life, that God spoke to Moses.” “God calls us to stay and wait, and all the while, he is working out something we can’t see or even imagine.” “Deep, radical transformation does not take place overnight. It is a slow process, requiring time for healing, waiting, listening, watching, resting, and recovery.” “Nature has always been the place that frees me to be my truest self and the place I most often sense God’s presence.” “Like trees, our well-being depends in large part on our connection with and integration into our community. We need each other for nourishment, connection, and support.” I enjoyed Michelle’s personal stories, her practical application tips, and the frequent bursts of artistic descriptions of the beauty of nature. True You is like a lovely walk through the woods that leaves
BubbaBoBob More than 1 year ago
This book was like a breath of fresh air to my bedraggled spirit. After finishing each chapter I felt challenged, encouraged, and renewed. DeRusha shares openly about spiritual struggles that she has undergone, and having faced many similar trials myself, reading her book left me with feelings of solidarity and optimism. This book is the most important and impactful book I have read this year and I highly recommend it.
Sarah823SP More than 1 year ago
Releasing January 1st is perfect! This timing is impeccable as each new year many of us look for a fresh start. A new goal. An improved plan. Or focus. This book shares the author's journey to peel back the layers of herself and find the one whom God calls her to be. She artistically uses the image of pruning a tree to help the reader grasp how to peel back the layers that keep each of us from showing ourselves first and then our community who we really are. I found her approach so helpful. At first I wasn't sure how each chapter was different from the next, but as the book progressed, I realized that she was peeling back the layers we have that hide our true selves from the surface to the core, and that they are all inter-connected, but the deeper you go, the more reflective and intuitive your search is. Each chapter end with reflective questions to help this process move along at the needed slow transforming pace. The author integrates scripture and quotes from others who have found their true identity in meaningful and engaging ways throughout the book. I found these chapter questions so helpful, and as I said earlier, the first chapters seemed similar as they layers we hide beneath overlap, but as you move in to the core of you are, peeling back the identity, false identity, perceptions, lies you hide beneath, you are finding your true you! I will be revisiting this book often. It helped me begin to find my inner passion and goals, but battling all the layers will take time to breakdown and focus on the core me. Thankful to partner with Baker books and read an advance copy to review.
NEOdyssey More than 1 year ago
This is a book that I will read again and again - a perfect read for anytime that I need to reflect on what really matters. Through Scripture and personal stories, the author challenged me to consider who God really created me to be. Too easily, we push through the daily grind without pondering what our purpose is. This book reminded me that God has beautiful plans for me. I only need to prayerfully consider what they might be. While this is not a light read, it is such a worthwhile one! What I learned will positively impact my life.
Clark_Roush_PhD More than 1 year ago
“True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created” by Michelle DeRusha is a beautifully written memoir that could easily lend itself to a fast read. I’m glad I resisted that temptation. The book metaphors our spiritual journey to the pruning and shaping necessary for a healthy Japanese tree. As the book unfolds the reader becomes aware that this book, transparent and personal, is intended to cause deep reflection - just as the author has done - about one’s life. If one slowly absorbs the material and accepts the challenges presented by the fine prose, one takes an important journey towards greater personal and spiritual awareness. The author takes the reader through her spiritual epiphany in a humble, yet encouraging way. She never sets herself up as having THE answer, but lovingly and passionately shares her conviction that the way to uncover the person God created is through the opposite of the busyness and achievement culture that bombards us. Echoing the sentiments of Henri Nouwen and Thomas Merton, the author calls for a return to silence, solitude, and reflection. As she weaves her way through biblical stories that illustrate her points, she shares salient thoughts of not only Nouwen and Merton, but also of Richard Rohr, John Ortberg, Parker Palmer, Mother Teresa, Ruth Haley Barton, and St. John of the Cross - to name a few. As the author shares, she never leaves the impression that she is “name-dropping” (although clearly she is well read and you have to admit those are some impressive people), but rather creating a tapestry of thought intended to encourage the reader to slow down, reflect, and shed the necessary trappings and filters that tend to cause us to live diametrically opposed to how we should. The author’s verbiage is intelligent and provocative, but never superior. The eloquence of the writing is surpassed only by its significance. Each chapter ends with a “Going Deeper” section provided by the author. These are actually some of the most challenging parts of the book. The author takes the main points of the chapter and provide questions and prompts for the reader to internalize the concepts into their own life. Going deeper is a most fitting label for these sections. I must admit, some of them made me pretty uncomfortable - which I think was the point. This book will teach you much about gardening, but if you’re open to the metaphor it will also teach you much about yourself and the selves around you. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I have read other works by this author, and this is her “magnum opus.” The book leaves you the impression that it had to be written - that the book chose the author. I can assure you I am different, and better, for having read it, and I consider it not only a must read, but one of the most significant books I’ve read in a while. This one will stay with you. I received an Advanced Reader Copy from Baker Books.
SunshineRays More than 1 year ago
True You reminds us to stop and savor the beauty around us. I really enjoyed Michelle’s comparison of the art of pruning a tree to shedding the baggage we carry with us. This book was a good reminder that the steps of letting go and finding the path to your true self is something that can be achieved by anyone. The publisher sent me an advanced copy of the book so I can give an honest review.
Lmpreiss More than 1 year ago
Have you ever made New Year’s Resolutions only to break them by February? I think many, many people fall into this category. It is difficult to make changes, especially hard ones. One thing I have noticed about New Year’s Resolutions is that most of the ones people make – exercise more, lose weight, get in shape, eat better, etc. – are purely physical in nature. Maybe there is a better resolution to make. True You by Michelle DeRusha is a book about becoming a better you – the truest you that you can be. The Subtitle says it best – “Letting go of your false self to uncover the person God created.” This is not a physical transformation, but a spiritual/mental transformation. Is it still a hard resolution? Oh yes! But Michelle walks you through it step by step. Using her own story, wonderful metaphors and in-depth, thoughtful questions, Michelle helps you take a look at yourself to find the True You hidden beneath. This is such a wonderful book. I have read a few books like this before, but I have not felt the overwhelming need to underline passages. It also makes me want to re-read it slower with even more purpose than the first time – truly digging deep to uncover myself. It may not be an easy read, but it is a thought provoking read; a soul searching read. I think reading this at the beginning of a brand new year, is one of the best ways to start the year with a resolution you just might be able to keep. I received an advance reading copy of “True You” by Michelle DeRusha for an honest review of the book.
Stephanie Campbell More than 1 year ago
One of the things I love and still find amazing, even as a mature woman with a supernatural faith, is how God will orchestrate and time things in such a way that we have no choice but to believe it was Him. In my life right now, I’m standing at a fork in the road. I have to choose – this way or that way. I was lucky enough to get the newest book by Michelle DeRusha, True You, and watched how God used her voice and transparent, heartfelt experiences to help this woman reveal her truest self-whilst eagerly reading it. Something that is hard for many of us is to allow ourselves to sit in the quietness that surrounds us. To not fidget, fill the time with one thing or another, not even with the intent to be prayerful – just to sit in our own quiet. The struggle of that in my own life has been near impossible. True You helped give me permission to be in my own quiet. While there, we have the opportunity to let things organically bubble to the surface, not by prodding them or praying them there… but just sitting and breathing. Once we allow ourselves to get comfortable there, Michelle walks us through digging into that space and finding our deepest self, our brokenness, our desires, and our failures. How we move from those revelations into a space of hard pruning, or as Michelle calls Part II of the book, Fukinaoshi of the Soul. This Japanese gardening technique is broken down to a relatable tool for us to do our own hard pruning. Part III, Shaping… this was probably my favorite part only because it’s nearing the victory lap… we’re able to see the end now. It started in what seemed like an empty place and we can see how all the sitting, pruning, being rooted all comes together now. I don’t know that I’ve ever come to the end of a book completely transformed, I am a work in progress and totally fleshy humanness wins more than I’d like it to win, but by the end of this one – I feel prepared. I feel ready to dig into that fork in the road that’s begging me to make a choice, even if I’m not feeling fully ready – I do feel prepared. Michelle has given us a gem of a toolkit to find our purpose, our true self, and the person whom God has created us to be. In each chapter, we’re given opportunities to go deeper, ask hard questions to our own self, and finding community among one another. This book is a must read! Thank you to Baker Books for the advanced copy of this book so that I might provide a thoughtful and honest review.
LynnMosher More than 1 year ago
If busyness has taken over your life, this book will draw you away from it to a more intimate level with God. Intentional slowing down will lead to not only soul-searching but also soul-finding. If you are harried from wearing too many hats, this book will lead you to stillness and rest. To begin a New Year right, this book is a must read. To be pruned to the True You is essential in these times of chaotic living, to rest and live a life of purity and faith. She compares the pruning away of old leaves and limbs of a tree to peeling away the old layers of ourselves to reveal the new True You, Michelle causes the reader to dig deeper and reflect on the message by asking questions to ponder at the end of each chapter. If you’d like a fresh start, a new focus, for the New Year, then this is the book you need to read. And probably at the beginning of every year. This is my honest review of True You as I received an advanced copy from the publisher.
LisaAmanda More than 1 year ago
Having grown up part of a faith community and now working for the church, I really thought I knew my identity: I’m a beloved child of God. While that’s still true, Michelle DeRusha’s book took me deeper and into reflections that were challenging. How does my ego get in the way of being the person God created me to be? In what ways does my busyness stand in the way of my soul’s journey? True You was and continues to be a gift, and I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
January 1 is the perfect release date for this book. At a time when we're "turning over a new leaf" or hoping for a fresh start, I can't think of a better book to be our companion on that journey. Michelle DeRusha's writing is invitational, refreshing, honest, and vulnerable. Slowly, as the words open up to us on the page, we are invited — without really recognizing it as it's happening — to get comfortable with the end of going through life as if it's a performance, with the requisite expectation of critiques and comparisons. I want to live my life present for each moment, each relationship, each emotion, each joy and sorrow, each surprise and disappointment. I want to be, in this one life, the person I was created to be. I want to be comfortable with who I really am, whether that's in front of a mirror, in front of the world, or in front of God. I imagine you do, too. This book is the good news about who you really are. DeRusha shows you how to find and embrace your true self and the life you were meant to live. I received an advance full version of the book from the publisher for the purpose of giving an honest review. This is that honest review.
lorgoode More than 1 year ago
Michelle DeRusha took me, the reader on an epic journey to uncover more of who God created me to be. Through her excellent communication skills, Michelle led me, by true life, relatable stories, as well as personal and vulnerable experiences to an honest evaluation of my inner self. I have been incorporating daily directed rest into my busy days as well as continuing to identify and live out my God given authentic self. I am more aware of my “Beloved-ness” in God’s eyes through the questions and spiritual practices of “True You”. Michelle put words to the process of pruning, of releasing, of seeking community and finding my “far side of the wilderness”, the place where I commune with God and embrace the person He created me to be. I was fortunate to receive an advance copy to review, what a privilege to give this book a 5 star rating! I’m ordering it for all my friends and family!
Lynn Morrissey More than 1 year ago
It all began under a Japanese maple tree. As author Michelle DeRusha stood beneath its lacy umbrella of laquer-red leaves, light sifting through airy fanning and thinned-out branches, she was mesmerized. Why did this exquisitely sculpted tree capture her imagination? As the botanical-garden guide described the art of Japanese “open-center pruning,” where extraneous branches and leaves are cut away to reveal the tree’s true essence, God pierced Michelle’s heart with a life-changing metaphor. Thus began her soulful journey to discover her true self, her true essence, the person God had created her to be. As an aspiring author, who’d always been an over-achiever to prove her worth, she’d branched out in multiple directions, acquiring shiny “leaves” of status and success. But one day, on a spiritual retreat in Tuscany, her tree, top-heavy in showy pretense, with shallow roots in God, toppled. She fell under the emotional weight of her own empty pursuits of worldly success, realizing in not truly knowing who she was “underneath,” she didn’t really know the God who had created her. Already a Christian, who’d written about her serious doubt and subsequent faith in her memoir, Spiritual Misfit, this revelation rocked her. Finally surrendering to the sheers of her loving Gardner, God, she asked Him to reshape her soul from the inside out. As she met God through the spiritual practices of silence and solitude, He pruned her, leaf by fallacious leaf, branch by busy branch, until He cut away all that was inauthentic in her life. At first, she didn’t recognize herself. But over time, groping through the “dark night of her soul,” the light began to dawn: Michelle became acquainted with the truest self God had intended her to be all along … His beloved daughter. Finally understanding she had nothing to do to prove her worth, she knew she was worthy because God loved her. Knowing she was deeply loved freed her from false, empty, status-seeking pursuits to seeking God’s will, alone, for using her gifts to bless others. Trees don’t flourish in isolation. They provide shade and beauty among other trees in the garden. Now Michelle is free to flourish selflessly, offering beauty in community to those who most need the shelter of God’s love. I highly recommend True You, and love it so much that I’ve read it twice, highlighting, underlining, and personally applying what I’ve read. This book has changed me in ways I would never have imagined! I know it will change you too in the best and truest ways! I received an advance copy of True You from the publisher, and this is my heartfelt, honest review.
BonnieH21 More than 1 year ago
Michelle DeRusha has written an introspective book which encourages us to find our true self and be the person God created us to be. By taking 5 minutes during our busy day to rest, silently listen and self-reflect, we can come to know ourselves, know God, and the plan He has for our life. Michelle beautifully compares this transformation to pruning a tree, to opening up to new growth, releasing what is no longer needed (false self), and eventually supporting and nurturing our community, as do the trees in the forest. This is an excellent book. I received an ARC from Baker Books.
NancyKBWolfe More than 1 year ago
Michelle DeRusha's newest book, True You, is all about finding out what God has in store for us. What His plan is and remains to be even when we are off "figuring it out" for ourselves. It's about the discomfort of discovery and the pain of spiritual pruning. It's honestly like no book I've read before. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher.)
MaineMummy More than 1 year ago
True You comes with the challenging subtitle Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created. Michelle pulls no punches with herself from the opening page to the closing. It is a punch to the gut, in a good way. I found myself throwing it down every few pages, my inner monologue screaming I DON’T WANNA in a nineties Lindsay Lohan kind of way, ahem 38 this year, ahem, before picking it back up and absorbing the words within. Michelle has that uncanny knack of giving language to the unspoken jumbled up ramblings of my soul. January 1st is such a cliche for new beginnings, but I love that this book comes out then. That this year could be a year of clarity for all those who read it. That this could be a year without falsehood, without attempts to weave a fictitious self, when all he wants is you, you, you. If you have the stomach for it, True You has the potential to pull out the rotten places that have built up in your spirit, to help you name those things you feel but had no words for, to give voice to the holy spirit’s call on your life. Michelle is a great guide for anyone wanting to let go of those barriers we build up in our own mind, those controls and rules we self impose and won't let go of.
19247826 More than 1 year ago
True You is my favorite kind of book. I was impressed by how Michelle DeRusha wove together her personal story and a bigger picture spiritual life lesson I could relate to, with poignant quotes and teachings from other authors. I realized with her that I, too, often neglect the ways and spaces I best connect with God when I get too busy doing everything else. True You reminded me, however, that those very ways and spaces are the most essential if I want to know God and know myself - the good, bad, and beloved (even when ugly). True You remains a book I didn’t want to end, one I want to read again, and one I will definitely share with my friends. So I could share a personal review, I received an Advance Copy Reader from Baker Books.
BNostrant84 More than 1 year ago
This book has been an absolute life changer. An excellent read for anyone desiring to dive deeper into their relationship with God. Michelle DeRusha provides a simple, but effective way to implement directed rest into your daily life. I also really enjoyed reading about her own journey and the wonderful gifts she received through this practice. I felt like I was having a conversation with a dear friend.
Johanna Sheets More than 1 year ago
Our extra layers often provide a false sense of security. We hide behind our leaves in a forest of self-doubt, comparison, desires to please others and misguided vocation. We become entwined in anxiety and depression as a result. This book offers a solution that cuts through all the clutter. Not only will you discover a new and amazing view of yourself as God’s beloved, your beautifully sculpted branches will reach out and touch others in powerful ways. A must read for every single one of us!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved Michelle DeRusha's new book, "True You". Our hurried life is now the norm, but is it the "right" life for us? Are we meant to take another path? The author has such a readable, easy style. She takes you by the hand and allows the reader to discover a new path as you read her suggestions and examples. She causes you to question whether or not you really want a change and uses a metaphor of "pruning out" to let the reader know how to be the person you were meant to be. Although this book has a Christian message, I think people who are searching to know who they are meant to be, regardless of religious affiliation or beliefs, will enjoy and learn from this book. Small groups will find it to be a wonderful book to read together. My small group has already decided they will use it as their next text to read. I know I will read this book time and time again as I continue to "prune" and find the "true me". I give it my highest recommendation. The author is thorough, but not tiresome; researched but not stuffy; easy to read, but not frivolous. Just a fabulous book.
k2mulder More than 1 year ago
I've read a few books about uncovering your true self with God, and this one really encompasses the journey well. The metaphor of fukinaoshi (Japanese pruning to an open center) is so perfect for structuring the book and the topic. Michelle DeRusha weaves her personal story, Biblical story, historical story, science, and gardening into such a beautiful exposition of this essential journey. She leads you into some difficult to grasp concepts and the challenging place of facing things in ourselves we'd rather not see with wisdom, encouragement, and clear ideas. Each chapter ends with a "Going Deeper" section so you can spend some time with God reflecting and implementing practices to help you let go of your false self. She does not shy away from the difficult parts of facing our false selves. I was so glad to see her come full circle and finish the book with how uncovering your true self, while an intensely personal journey, is done within the context of community and has a great impact on how you live your life amidst others.
DonnaMoe More than 1 year ago
At first the words “False Self” put me off. As I read the book, it became clear. And yes, I have a “false self” to work through, to prune away as Michelle DeRusha writes. DeRusha’s new book is a combination of spiritual growth, mindfulness, and faith formation. Yet it is more: a fully God-centered Christ-lover memoir with spiritual direction. Each chapter ends with thoughtful, introspective questions which deepen the meaning for the reader. It is a book I will read again and again, to keep the “suckers” and dead branches pruned. I highly recommend this book.