I was eager to read Claire Diaz-Ortiz’s new book, Greater Expectations, because I had enjoyed her self-published e-book, The PRESENT Principle. Come to find out, this new book IS her self-pub volume revised under the Barna Group’s series, “Frames.”
The benefit of this new edition is its additional content on surviving in our “always-on” digital age.
As with any book done with the Barna Group, it comes front-loaded with stats that sober the reader into understanding the need and also some proposed solutions.
- Engaging info-graphics and an intro chapter put proof to what we all feel. Because most Americans are perpetually connected to their devices—and social media specifically—the quality of life has nosedived.
- Technology, which was supposed to give more margin and quality to life, has done just the opposite. Margin is squeezed out and quality seldom enters the scene.
The bulk of the book centers on Diaz’s PRESENT Principle.
- I like her idea of the importance of scheduling a daily time to take care of yourself. I don’t mean a time of selfishness, but a time of responsible self-maintenance that includes good input and honest evaluation.
- For me (like Claire Diaz-Ortiz), that time occurs by reading the Bible and praying in order to realign my priorities with God’s. That takes a daily renewal of the mind.
Greater Expectations gives excellent, general advice that works well for singles or marrieds without children. I guess it could work for parents, given days of exception. That is, once you throw kids in the mix, the expectation of a consistent morning routine is pretty well shot.
If you want a good, quick read on how to organize your ideal morning, Claire has given it to you. Just do it before your kids wake up.
The RE/FRAME chapter by Diane Paddison is as helpful as it is brief. Her challenge to create realistic boundaries is really a call to establish priorities that promise a life of no regrets. I especially appreciated the permission to care for yourself, a priority that often gets misunderstood as selfishness but is nothing more than godly stewardship.