By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent
ODENTON, Md.—“If I hear one more well-rested, highly credentialed, self-helped, live-your-life-perfectly-like-me type tell me how to improve my life, I think I’m going to cry…”
And so begins “Stories of Hope for the Sleep Deprived” by Tasha Levert, a pastor’s wife, mom, licensed counselor and sought-after women’s ministry speaker.
“I don’t want to get up and be one more perfect female,” she said, sharing that she is much more interested in “being still, knowing God and smelling the roses.”
She added, “I don’t want to give my best efforts to my laundry.”
Levert, whose husband, Tim, formerly served as lead pastor of Crossroads Church in Odenton, Md., is worried about the frantic females of today’s society.
“This generation is very anxious,” she said. As a former Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist (LCMFT) for CentrePointe Counseling Services in Odenton, Md., she urges instead, “Just enjoy life. Breathe. It will be okay.”
In 12 self-contained chapters, which could be read in any order, Levert shares what she has learned along her journey of following Christ, being married to a pastor, being mom to three children—and all the other “hats” that she wears.
“Most women that I talk to, when I ask them how they are doing, they tell me that they are exhausted,” Levert explained, noting that the “sleep-deprived” doesn’t necessarily mean lack of sleep.
“The women that I serve are busy women—whether they have kids or not,” she went on. “People want to have more spiritual conversations, but they’re just too tired.”
So Levert’s approach to her book (written mostly in a two-week period while her husband was on a mission trip and her girls were with their grandmother) was to offer insights grounded in humble, poignant and funny real-life experiences.
Like when she lost her precious new dish set driving down Interstate 37 in Louisiana. Or when she thought she’d lose her life whitewater rafting in Alaska.
After each chapter are Book Club questions that small groups can use to discuss deeper issues in their own lives.
“My book isn’t a self-help book, but life lessons do fall out,” she said.
Though she feels the book is entertaining, Levert hopes that her readers will walk away from reading it feeling challenged and refreshed.
But not overwhelmed.
“The book has a lot of white space, margins and shorter chapters. You really can be sleep-deprived and still get it,” she said.
“I just don’t want to be that perfect woman with high expectations. I’m a dork and I’m tired, and I am living the same life as everyone else to find balance,” she shared.
“But if I can help people find rest in Jesus, then I won’t feel guilty about resting, too.”
To get your copy of the book or to book Levert for your next event, visit online at www.tashalevert.com.