Book Review: Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire

My voice feels very small in comparison to the many voices of women (and a handful of men!) who are sharing the impact and quality of this book that was officially released two days ago. Jen has praise from many respectable authors and voices. Me? I’m just a 27 year old Minnesota gal who loves words and loves stories and is slightly (completely) a fangirl of authors as real and admirable as Jen Hatmaker.

I was lucky enough to be apart of the launch team (1600+ participants!) and therefore got to read it in early March.

I became a Jen Hatmaker fan in 2017 when her book “Of Mess and Moxie” came out. I was enthralled by her tone and her humor and the ease with which she carried herself in interviews, on her social media platforms, and in the words throughout the book. As I navigated postpartum depression, her words were growth indicators and buoys for my soul.

Naturally, I had high hopes for her latest release Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire – the guide to being glorious you releasing April 2020.

I wrote two reviews, one on Goodreads and one on Amazon. I didn’t copy and paste because I had so much to say, and truly I could go on and on.

I believe this book is for the masses. I think that what makes it unique is that a reader could be drawn in as a young twenty something trying to get their footing in adulthood or as a woman well into their fifties who is navigating the latter half of life.

For me, this book came before news of Covid19 was becoming real, and I was deep in my “normal” routine trying to take up the right amount of space as a mom of two, wife, elementary teacher, and aspiring writer. I am always juggling many roles, and I love that about my life. I love that I have the option to pursue various passions at once and serve people in so many different ways. Now, more than ever, I am conscious of these roles as I am doing all of them from my home with no clear distinction between one or the other.

In this book, Jen devotes an entire section to women taking up their space and owning their passions in life. The chapter is titled “You are exactly enough” and in it she addresses women in terms of being Mega, Mezzo, and Modest – each of which is equally important, though they differ tremendously. She describes each “volume” in thorough detail and ends with this:

“There is no superior volume to aim for – we are in great need of Mega, Mezzo, and Modest Women – rather, determine your proper container… My agenda is not for all women to take up more space. I want you to say confidently, “I take up the right amount of space.”

Jen Hatmaker – Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire

Each chapter is full of practical advice, stories, and encouragements for readers to use as they navigate whatever waters they are currently charting. I was very impressed by the number of important topics covered and the depth and care each one were given. Jen did not skimp on any area.

Going into this book, I was curious about the spiritual component. I am in the middle of reconstructing my “faith” after 5 years of sometimes horrific and sometimes stagnant deconstruction. I am nervous to read books by Christian authors who may oversimplify or assume too much of what their readers are dealing with. Jen set the table for all of us. Those with a background steeped in Christianity and those with no background in it at all. She sets the table and she helps us dine, and does not make it feel there is a “them” or an “us” but rather a collective “we”. I’ll share one quote that left me weeping – it’s out of context, so go read the whole book for yourselves people!

“A person asking hard questions of her faith system cares, and that means something.”

Jen Hatmaker – Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire

Furthermore she takes great care to invite women not to bury their feelings or swallow hard seasons of life. She says:

“Healthy, integrated women speak up when they need help. What they feel on the inside, they say on the outside. They choose not to bury their needs out of fear or pride, because those get buried alive. You better believe those needs will rise from the dead. They’ll come out of our mouths stinging with passive aggression, out of our body language seething with resentment, out of our eyes in tears of frustration, out of our posture sagging under unrealized dreams. We’re fooling no one, not even ourselves.”

Jen Hatmaker – Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire

Lastly, Jen hits the nail on the head with her words and experiences surrounding connectedness. How deeply we need it, crave it, and often sabotage it in an act of self-preservation.

“Connectedness forges resiliency in our souls, and its accrued effect results in stronger, healthier, braver humans. We are all going to suffer, but togetherness is more powerful than pain.”

Jen Hatmaker – Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire

SO, from one everyday woman with no fame to speak of to another, go get this book. Read it. Laugh, cry, get fiery inside and then share it. Let it be a connecting piece for you and your people. Let it pull you into your own space and let it compel you to exist fully, seen and known. It is an absolutely phenomenal book well worth your time and your dollars.

Now go blaze on, fierce, free, and full of fire!