BOOK REVIEW: Grace NOT Perfection by Emily Ley

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Book Review of Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley

Emily Ley is the creator behind the Simplified Planner and author of Grace Not Perfection (2016). I am a huge fan of both the planners and book. The planner was created with a few things in mind and focuses on meeting the needs of women in every season of their life. An excerpt from her website reads,

“Designed minimally on purpose, its open pages serve as a fresh start every day. We believe margin matters, and our mission is to inspire women to organize, simplify, and carve white space for the good stuff of life.” (EmilyLey.Com)

I was first introduced to Emily Ley VIA social media. I fell pretty hard for her planners.  What’s not to love! They are super cute. I have followed Emily on Instagram and Facebook over the years and have loved her candidness and ability to simplify things. The planners are beautiful.

You can find her 2017-2018 Daily Simplified Planners through my affiliate link here:

Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner Vs. Erin Condren’s Life Planner

This is a tough one for me… I love both the Erin Condren Planners AND Emily’s Simplified Planners as well. There is just a mature sophistication that is present with the Simplified Planners. I have been debating between the two for the next calendar year. Erin Condren Planners can be found here…  Probably my favorite thing about EC Planners would be the ability to design my own cover and to switch it out whenever I want to. I think for 2018 I’m going to use both planners and see which I end up using more.

The whole point of sharing the information above on the planners was to share the way that Emily has the ability to simplify things. It was only natural last year when she released her book, “Grace Not Perfection” that I jumped right in and purchased the book. I was a fan of hers before reading this book and I am even more so now.

Grace Not Perfection the Book

So where do I begin with this first book review? I’ve never actually done one before now. I looked to Amazon and Barnes and Noble for some type of formatting… I probably should have googled it. There’s a part of me that just wants to be me and share as if we were having coffee together as friends. So that’s what I’m going to do. 🙂

For the last two years or so I’ve been working on giving myself grace. I wrote about it here. In short I am guilty of holding myself to a standard of perfection and very rarely accomplish it. I can be incredibly hard on myself when things don’t go how I want them to go. By exploring grace I have been practicing giving myself permission to drop the perfection nonsense and pick up an attitude of grace.

Well, what is grace?!

Why do I talk about grace so much?


I didn’t wake up one morning and declare that I’m going to give myself grace and while I’m at it others as well… It IS something that I woke up and said, “I’m done with being so mean to myself. I’m tired of holding myself to such high standards. It’s time to make a change.” From that day forward I’ve made a conscience effort to live a grace filled life. This doesn’t mean I’ve perfected it. Each and every day I’m making an effort to live a life that glorifies God and challenge myself to accept the gift of grace.

grace not perfection book review

Grace Not Perfection Book Review

Purchasing Grace Not Perfection came out it was a no brainer for me. Here I am 2 years in to my journey toward grace and still have so much to learn. The book I feel does a great job at giving a simple view of grace. Her writing style makes it feel like you are sitting down with a good friend, sharing every day stories about how God is revealing the beautiful, priceless gift of grace. This excerpt was one of the first ah-ha moments I had when reading this book… and I never looked back.

“One night, as Pinterest ran dry, I laid my phone on the armrest of the rocking chair and closed my eyes. Exhausted didn’t even begin to describe how I felt. Brady had finally fallen asleep – his little head nuzzled into the space between my shoulder and chin. I breathed his sweet baby smell and prayed for him. And as I did, God laid an enormous truth on my heart: “I love you the same way, Emily. I get it.”

The book is divided in to three easy to read, practical parts that include: grace with yourself, grace with your people and grace in your calling. Each chapter offers personal stories of how grace has impacted the way Emily lives her life. There is a real practical application of scripture to support grace.

Emily encourages her readers to simplify their lives and prioritize what is most important. She wrote a lot about being a mother and business woman and juggling all the many hats that each position has. Emily  encourages other busy women/mom’s to slow down and enjoy the little things like, snuggling their kids on the couch, taking evening walks or spending time with friends and loved ones.

Grace is such a beautiful gift to embrace. I would recommend this book. If you struggle with balancing -all the things- life/family/work and need to explore giving yourself grace. The concept of giving oneself grace and not holding themselves to perfection is like a breath of fresh air.

In Closing This Book Review

One thing I didn’t utilize within the book is the workbook or worksheet type sections labeled “My thoughts.” Emily offers various sections throughout the book where she encourages people to think deeper and process what has been read. I didn’t utilize these sections of my book because I want to be able to pass the book around to family and friends. Early on I made my mind up that I wasn’t going to write in the book so I feel like I breezed through the pages faster than if I had really delved in to these sections.

Also worth noting! In just a few short weeks Emily Ley will be releasing her next book: “A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living.” I actually just pre-ordered my copy on! I really look forward to reading this book when it releases. You can pre-order your copy at this link. If you end up ordering it can you let me know? Maybe we can read it together? I’d really love that. I’ve noticed first hand how simplifying my life and removing the clutter has rocked my world. I cannot wait to hear what Emily Ley has to say about cultivating simplicity! I’m a big fan.

*Check out this video below from the EmilyLey.Com website.

About Author

Amanda is a lifestyle blogger that blogs about her faith, family, food, fitness & a whole lot of GRACE.


  • Brittani Coore
    November 8, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    I recently listened to the audiobook. Great review, I also really enjoyed her book. It’s good to know that the physical book offers those resources.

    • graceinspiredhome
      November 15, 2017 at 9:47 am

      Ohhh and audiobook! I need to utilize more audiobooks! I really enjoyed this book, it was an easy/relatable read. What book is next on your agenda? Currently I’m tiptoeing through “Dance, Stand, Run: The God-Inspired Moves of a Woman on Holy Ground” By Jess Connolly. 🙂

  • Tiffany
    November 9, 2017 at 3:23 am

    What a great review! I am often guilty of being so busy and hard on myself as well. What a great reminder that it is ok to live a little and give yourself grace to enjoy the life God meant for you. Definitely will be checking out this book!

    • graceinspiredhome
      November 15, 2017 at 9:45 am

      Tiffany, thank you for you so much for your comment. The concept of grace has changed my life. I definitely recommend reading the book! I hope you enjoy it!


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