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Once upon a familiar story we sometimes pretend not to know.

If you know Jamie Ivey, it’s probably from a happy hour. Well, not just any happy hour....her cleverly named Happy Hour podcast where you can listen, learn, and laugh as she interviews guests from all walks of life. At almost two hundred episodes as of this post, she’s spoken with entrepreneurs, celebrities, authors, and speakers but all of her guests (but one) have one thing in common. They’re always female.

Yep; that’s right. Unless you’re Jamie’s husband, accomplished musician Aaron Ivey (or president George W. Bush who has yet to accept her invitation...but all her listeners are hopeful!) you must be a female to speak on Jamie’s happy hour. Luckily, you don’t have to be female to listen to the weekly show and I am quite certain several men sneak in on an episode here and there. They’d be smart to do so, as Jamie and her guests frequently offer relevant insights for all humans (and great info on bra-shopping, too!).

Well, now Jamie has another channel for people of all genders to enjoy. She’s written her first book - part-autobiography, part-spiritual lesson - and all Jamie. She’s titled it, “If You Only Knew” to tease the books main theme, which is that no matter what you’ve done, or how you’ve lived, Jesus is better. Jamie presents her story to show how freedom in Jesus is by far the better way. She offers example after example of how she’s found He offers no shame, only love. He offers no condemnation, only grace. And, she concludes...choosing Jesus means choosing a life far richer than anyone could imagine.

Jamie writes boldly, carefully balancing oversharing against authenticity. She isn’t afraid to tell the bad (well, she actually admits it was terrifying to write, but she bravely wrote anyway) without honoring, condoning, or allowing it to be the main attraction of her missive. Instead, her words are much like her podcasts and Instagram account. She’s smart, funny, sometime meandering, and always real.

I mentioned her book’s main theme is Jesus is Better, which she uses to title her final chapter. Based on a song her husband co-wrote and appropriately titled, “Jesus is Better” Jamie crafts this final essay in an elevated, more cohesive way than her preliminary pages, leaving this reader humbled and moved by both her skill and testimony.

If You Only Knew, My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Freeis sure to positively impact many as they recognize their own story in Jamie's. Maybe your life or mine don’t perfectly align with some of her experiences, but the tenets ring true for all. Jesus is better.

Jamie’s book releases January 30, 2018 and I was able to review an advanced copy of the book as part of her official launch team. #yay

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