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I Can't Do It All: Breaking Free from the Lies that Control Us

224 pages
Bethany House
ISBN: 0764200666

What are the Lies?

I Can't Do It All covers each of these myths that women often believe.

"I deserve to have it all, and to have it all right now." (Read excerpt)

‘I need a man/baby/career/money to be happy and fulfilled."

"I can do it all."

"I can’t trust anybody."

"I can make my own truth."

"If I am unhappy, I don’t have to stay."

"I don’t have time to be healthy."

"I must be thin to be happy—for the media tells me so."

"True love is like a romance novel."

"I can be young forever."

"It’s my choice."

"The more I do, the more God likes me."

"I don’t need to forgive—and I don’t deserve forgiveness."

"I don’t need God."


Myths That Women Live By – In our fast-paced and complex society, women are constantly barraged with hundreds of messages. But which are true and which are false? This is the topic of a new book for women. Written from the heart, I Can't Do It All: Breaking Free from the Lies that Control Us, brings women face-to-face with the lies that women often believe.

In a refreshingly transparent and vulnerable style, the authors (Tracie Peterson, Allison Bottke, and Dianne O'Brian) address the emotional, mental, physical, and
spiritual aspects of life common to women. After exposing lies such as “I can make up my own truth,” “I must be thin to be happy—for the media tells me so,” and “True love is like a
romance novel,” readers are nurtured in ways to eliminate the fallacies and rebuild their lives based on godly, grace-based truths revealed in Scripture. Included are frank discussions about health, aging, body image, divorce, trust, instant
gratification, and the need for God. Discussion questions are included in each chapter for individual or group use.

Allison Bottke, author of the popular God Allows U-Turns series, is one of the authors of I Can't Do It All. Recently, she discussed the book.

When did the lie that women “can do it all” begin to take control of our society?

It began during World War II when we saw women go into the factories and other jobs that had before only belonged to men, in order to support the troops. We see the first real organized daycare centers, women’s labor groups, and a strong attitude they could “do it all” – work, raise children, provide for the home front efforts, and be supportive wives to absentee husbands. Because they had to. Rosie the Riveter and her “We Can Do It” mentality suggested to an entire generation that failure was not an option. And considering in that situation that failure to perform was linked to losing the war, women really had no choice, but to respond.
 Each chapter illustrates the flaws of the lies and contrasts them with grace-based truths from Scripture. How did you decide on the lies to include in the book?

Each author came to the table with specific issues the Lord had placed on her heart. In sitting down and talking, we discovered that while we shared similar lies, many were uniquely specific to the era in which we had been raised.
 What is the benefit to readers of having the unique voice and firsthand experience of three separate authors identifying the lies that women commonly believe about aging, body image, happiness, romance, and so on?

The benefit is the shared understanding that we are not alone. No matter the age, location or upbringing, we will all age, we will have issues with our bodies and bank accounts. Every woman will find something in this book to which they can relate. We relate to one another based on shared experiences and common ground. When we know a sister has walked in the same shoes, a bond is formed. But we want to offer more than just a bond. We want to offer hope. Hope that the lies can be overcome with truth—that it’s never too late to undo, what has been done.
 Why is it important for women to return to the solid foundation of God’s unchanging and liberating truth?

Because in trying to “do it all” in the natural—using a distorted and ever-changing worldview of what’s right and what’s wrong—we have found ourselves utterly and completely lost—without direction. Only when we get back on course with God as our Navigator, can we gauge how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to travel. God is constant and unchanging, and we desperately need a constant in our lives. As the world changes and the world’s view of truth changes, we can find solace and solid foundation in His unchanging Word.
How does believing the lies that bind a woman’s heart have the potential to destroy her emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being?

Satan wants nothing more than to keep us in bondage—to keep us from being light in a dark world. Believing the lies we’ve shared in this book creates a pretense of power, influence, and control over our lives and the lives of those around us. But it’s only a façade, and as with most imaginary things it will fade in time. As we educate and expose ourselves to the truth, the lies lose their power. That’s why it’s not only important to recognize the lie and eliminate it, but to also replace it with the truth.

 When a woman recognizes the lie that has kept her in bondage, how can she keep from feeling worthless and guilty as she tries to eliminate the lie(s) from her life?

Only in keeping our eyes focused on the One who When we truly repent of sin in our life, and walk with Jesus on our journey of hope and healing, He becomes the number one relationship in our life. Satan is the one whispering in our ear that we are worthless—that our guilt is too much for God to forgive. He is the only one who stands to gain from our defeat. In Christ, we can overcome and realize that the sins and guilt we bare have already been nailed to the cross. We are victors in Jesus—we needn’t focus on the past or the “what should have beens”. We need only to focus on Him.
How has trying to “do it all” robbed women of having a deeper relationship with God?
The key to any good relationship is spending time getting to know one another. Knowing God involves an active participation via prayer, quiet time reading His Word, and searching our heart in contemplation. When we’re over-busy, trying to do it all, we miss out on the very essence that is Jesus – our ability to commune with Him one-on-one at any time of the day.
Why have you included individual reflection questions at the end of each chapter?

So that individuals or groups may ask themselves sometimes difficult questions that will ultimately allow them to break through the barriers that may be keeping them from being the best they can be and walking in God’s will for their life.
 In what ways do you suggest that women use this book to work through the various lies that have been identified?

Group Bible studies are an exciting way to grow closer to God. When we make personal self-discoveries that allow us to cast off the old in favor of the new—coupled with the fervent prayer and support of fellow sisters-in-Christ, we are empowered in a way that brings glory to God and a newfound peace and hope to our life.
Do you feel that there are “lies” that only apply to women at certain ages in their lives?

I don’t know that I would use the words “only apply.” There are lies that are definitely more noticeable and applicable to certain ages or seasons of our lives. The lies we believed when we were single women and longing to fill the empty place in our life with a man are much different from the lies we believe after we’ve been married twenty years, or find ourselves suddenly widowed or divorced. Even so, lies are lies and can filter into our lives at any age. The need for a deeper relationship with God—a stronger walk of faith is often mistaken as the need for a new human relationship or a new babble or trinket. The fear of trusting someone or the feeling that we need to do more to be loved more by God is a pretty ageless kind of lie. No matter the age there is something in each of the lies we’ve shared that will either have immediate recognition for the reader’s own life, or it will perhaps open her eyes to the lies that bind those around her.
 From your experience in writing this book, have you discovered that there is one main “lie” that you continue to deal with?

For me, (Allison) the lie that I can grow my relationship with God and not spend time in daily prayer, reflection, and Bible study is something I continually battle. Spending time with the One who transformed my life is vital if I’m to walk more closely with Him. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. God is the only one who can open the eyes of our heart to the truth. The older I get, the more successful I become at removing that lie from my life.

In this excerpt from the book, author Tracie Peterson discusses the lie
" I deserve to have it all, and to have it all right now.

Read more excerpts and author interviews on

Courtesy of Bethany House Publishers. Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.


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