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Wild and Free: A Hope-Filled Anthem for the Woman Who Feels She is Both Too Much and Never Enough Paperback – May 3, 2016
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Wild and Free is equal parts encouragement and challenge to live the wild and free lives our heavenly Father has planned for us. Through Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan’s open and honest writing, I felt like I’ve gotten to know them better, to know myself better, and most importantly to know the loving God I serve better! Read it for yourself and for your daughters. (Korie Robertson, Duck Dynasty and author of Strong and Kind)
Imagine living in the moment with God, defined by His truth, without the weight of shame, fear, insecurities, or expectations of others. It’s not too far out of reach! Page by page, Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan are the friends who take your hand and transparently lead you to that beautiful place with the Lord. Every woman needs to read Wild and Free! (Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries)
I tend to play it safe, hesitate, and shy away from becoming all God created me to be. With the passionate voice of two visionaries and the beautiful blend of gut-honest truth shared from their own stories and struggles, Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan have written a message every woman needs to read. (Renee Swope, author of A Confident Heart and Proverbs 31 Ministries radio cohost)
As a woman who sometimes doesn’t believe it’s actually possible to live wild and free, this book is water to my soul. Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan’s words are full of grace and truth as they remind us that being wild and free is actually how we were always created to be. (Jamie Ivey, podcast host of The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey)
Wild and Free is a breath of fresh air. Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan share their hearts and their story with refreshing candor, vulnerability, and grace. I love them. I love this book, and I know you will too. (Alli Worthington, author of Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy)
Wild and Free is the missing puzzle piece for anyone who has ever felt like they are stif ling a rebellious streak, crazy whim, or creative idea. This book promises to point those urges in God’s direction and will bolster your confidence to help you live out your hidden purpose. (Whitney English, founder and creator of Day Designer)
Wild and free are two of my favorite words, and now there’s a book that explores both in a way that is practical, applicable, and relatable. I love how Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan dig deep into not only the how but also the why behind each word! Each chapter will make you feel inspired and encouraged to pursue both, not just in principle, but in practice. (Bianca Juarez Olthoff, writer, teacher, and chief storyteller for A21)
Into the milieu of self-help, “do more, try harder” books and Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pressures, Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan have given a sweet gift to the women of their generation---freedom from finding our identity in anything aside from the love of our heavenly Father and the work of Jesus Christ. With refreshing transparency and deep devotion, they respond to the pressures women experience today with answers that are any- thing but trite religiosity. Because we are loved by God, we can live in freedom and find a place of rest as He grows us into all He has for us. I’m honored to recommend their fine work. (Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, author of Good News for Weary Women)
Open these pages only if you are ready for your life to be radically changed. Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan have penned an important message of grace and truth for women, freeing them from the chains of misplaced identity. Like a conversation with two wise friends, Wild and Free is refreshing balm for weary souls like mine. I laughed, cried, and danced in celebration as I devoured these nourishing words! I’m grabbing extra copies for my daughters to read when they are older. This book will no doubt change generations as women walk alongside Jess and Hayley, uncovering the truth that in Christ alone, we are free. (Lara Casey, author of Make It Happen)
If you feel small and scared, constantly worried about pleasing God or finding his good plans for your life, then I have good news! Wild and Free is the key to unlocking that cage of anxiety and f lying straight into the freedom Christ died to give you. (Susie Davis, author of Unafraid and cofounder of Austin Christian Fellowship)
Wild and Free touches the deepest parts of a woman’s heart, giving her permission to both live with abandon and shed the shackles of doubt and unworthiness. Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan’s friendship is felt with the turn of each page and reminds us we’re not alone. In fact, their relationship reminds us we’re part of a beautiful community of women who desperately want to love big and live unapologetically meaningful lives---wild and free. (Emily Ley, creative director of Emily Ley Paper & Gifts and author of Grace Not Perfection)
Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan have given you the key to unlock the dungeon of performance and perfectionism. Read this book and watch the chains fall off---and then come outside and rest in the warmth of God’s great love. (Jessica Thompson, author and speaker)
What Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan have done here is a beautiful work. It reflects not only the truth of the gospel, but also the truth of who they each are and how uniquely God has made us. I’m thankful for the way Wild and Free gave me permission to be me and to love others the way Christ does. (Annie F. Downs, author of Looking for Lovely and Let’s All Be Brave)
Where social jockeying is the norm and self-worth is measured in clicks, our hearts are in exile. Where do I fit? And can this world even handle me? Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan’s words are gospel-soaked arrows of hope shot through the desert noise. As it turns out, the opposite of lost is free. (Shannan Martin, author of Falling Free (available fall 2016))
If ever there was a time for a book about how freedom in Christ directly speaks to womanhood in our demanding culture, it is now. No matter what our particular calling as women, we are enough! But goodness, I needed this truth in this way from women who are struggling to figure it out, just like I am. (Jami Nato, blogger/writer/speaker)
Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan are a dream team role model duo for young women everywhere. Their minds, souls, and spirits are wildly different, but together, their hearts gracefully point to one common purpose: to find freedom and rest in God alone. (Erin Loechner, author of Chasing Slow (forthcoming), Design for Mankind blog)
In a culture where we are constantly bombarded with the message to fit in and conform, Wild and Free is a desperately needed call to action, summoning the passions, desires, and dreams that have, for far too long, been hidden in the caverns of our hearts. Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan have somehow managed to unpack our Christian boxes and ideologies, leaving us with the freedom--- God’s freedom---to run wildly in the direction of the call of God in each of our lives. (Kennesha Buycks, inspirational speaker and writer, Restoration House blog)
About the Author
Jess Connolly is a gal who is in the thick of it herself. She is the co-owner of All Good Things Collective print shop and helped start both She Reads Truth and The Influence Network. She and her husband planted Gospel Community Church in Charleston, South Carolina where they live with their four children. She blogs at jessconnolly.com.
Hayley Morgan is a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur who inspires women to create lives of more passion and less fuss. She and her husband started Wildly Co., an ethical children’s clothing line, and she is also the cofounder of the Influence Conference and Network. Hayley lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her husband and their four sons. She blogs at www.HayleyEMorgan.com.
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This book had me at its tagline. As a “spiritual-but-not-exactly-Christian” woman, I hesitated as to whether or not I should read it. In the end, I am so grateful to have followed the gentle nudging of my heart toward this book and its message.
Let’s be clear: this is a Christian book -- written by Christian women, for Christian women. And, while I have recently followed the gentle tug of my heart to explore the Christian faith, I don’t know that I could honestly or accurately call myself a Christian. As a “non-Christian,” I read this book knowing that I am not the intended reader - and that my interpretation of its message may differ from that intended by the authors.
In my fledging exploration of Christianity, I will admit that I found myself stumbling around some of the language used throughout this book. The authors define WILD as: walking in who God made us to be and FREE as: resting in what Jesus has done for us.
I still struggle to fully understand or accept this definition of FREE. Even so, I cannot help but express that the message underlying this book is such a beautiful call: one of turning away from the limiting stories of the dominant culture, and instead surrendering our lives to the call that has been placed in our hearts: to share our gifts in service and as an expression of God.
Jess and Haley share so openly their own struggles and wrestling with feeling both “too much” and “not enough,” a theme I believe all women in this culture can relate to. I found their heartfelt stories of struggle and surrender so comforting and encouraging. The book’s tagline is not an empty declaration: this book is, in fact, a hope-filled anthem.
If, like me, your heart tugs yearningly as you read this tagline, I urge you to open your heart and your mind to hear the underlying message within this book’s pages. You may stumble, as I did, with the specifically Christian perspective of this book. Even so, it is worth the open-hearted wrestling the book will inspire in your heart and mind.
I recognize the irony of reading a book in which the ultimate message is redemption in Christ, while conveniently “reading around” that particular part of the message. I hope the authors of this book will forgive this as I read their book through the lens of my own authentic (if imperfect) faith.
“… you have access to wild and free living right now. You’re as holy as you’ll ever be, as wild as you’ll ever be, as free as you’ll ever be, and as loved by God as you’ll ever be.”
Please note: I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for this honest and heartfelt review.
So often we put God in a box and try to fit Him into our lives instead of living wild and free. Y'all God is wild, and we were created in his image. He created us to live in freedom for His glory!