Ordinary on Purpose: Surrendering Perfect and Discovering Beauty amid the Rubble

Mikala Albertson. Bethany House, $17.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-7642-3947-2

Doctor and blogger Albertson encourages readers in her uplifting debut to seek beauty in the ordinary and acknowledge their imperfections. Albertson describes how trying to control her husband’s drug addiction while caring for their young children and completing her family practice residency left her feeling scared, lonely, and exhausted until she decided to stop chasing “perfection” and instead pursue a “real, hard, lovely, ordinary life.” To that end, she recommends tuning out “all the noise” and listening to “God’s whispers on the breeze” in order to discover what one really loves. Albertson reminds readers that God doesn’t promise an easy life and that challenges such as raising children during a pandemic are part of the mess of ordinary living. The author urges readers to stop expecting praise or other people to make them feel better, and instead to place their expectations with Jesus, the source of “beautiful, unending grace.” Recounting personal anecdotes, Albertson sensitively navigates issues ranging from addiction to sexual abuse, harnessing a hopeful but honest outlook that confronts life’s hardships with an unwavering faith in God. Her candid voice and straightforward message offers solace from a hectic world. This “How-NOT-To” manual is a stirring and deeply felt guide for Christian living. Agent: Blythe Daniel, Blythe Daniel Agency. (Mar.)