Book Reviews

The Most Misunderstood Women in the Bible

Mary DeMuth did it again! Her superb storytelling skills brought real women from the Bible to life in a fresh way. Women are vital to God’s story of redemption woven through the entire Bible, yet many of them were mistreated and misunderstood. I mean, I’m not sure I’d want to be known as Rahab the harlot forever! After all, “No matter what your past, your present and future have a purpose, thanks to Jesus.” Thank you, Jesus!

I love the way Mary was able to connect the issues these women faced to issues that I face today. I gained a new appreciation for Eve and Bathsheba especially as I have tended to see them in a negative light. And I’m not so intimidated by the Proverbs 31 woman anymore. You’ll love seeing how your life intersects with these 10 biblical women too.

Book Reviews, devotional, writing

How to Write a Devotion Review

How to Write a Devotion, by Melanie Chitwood

Have you felt called to write a devotion or a devotional blog post, but you’re not sure where to start? How to Write a Devotion by my friend Melanie Chitwood is the perfect place to start. This concise, easy-to-follow book outlines five simple steps to writing a life-changing devotion! Melanie shows you everything from choosing a read-worthy topic to addressing your readers’ needs to finishing with a bang (or a prayer). 

This is not just a book, but it’s also a workbook for us hands-on gals who like to make notes right in the text! It’s packed with examples and practical advice for helping you to get your devotion written now! 

Melanie has written hundreds of devotions for Proverbs 31 Ministries as well as several books. She’s currently a writing coach and editor at Next Step Coaching Services. This book will give you the confidence you need to write and publish your devotion, so it’s ready for publication—whether you’re clicking “post” to your own blog or sending a devotional book proposal off to an agent or publisher.  

Everything you need to confidently write your next devotion is in this 45-page book in five easy steps. Just add prayer and Scripture! I’m giving this wonderful resource a resounding thumbs up! Run over to her website and grab your copy today!

Book Reviews, divorce, encouragement, moving on

When Happily Ever After Shatters (book review)

The big white dress. The flowers. The church. The kids. The years. The breakup. Wait–what? What do you do when your (or your friend’s) marriage disintegrates before your eyes? When you can stop crying long enough to read a chapter at a time, dig into Sue Birdsey’s When Happily Ever After Shatters, published by Focus on the Family in conjunction with Tyndale Publishers. Sue has first-hand experience in not only dealing with abandonment, divorce, and single parenting, but thriving through it.

Sue offers practical advice for those going through every step of this life-altering tragedy. She also offers advice for friends and families of those suffering. This book was so good that I read it straight through in two sittings. I highly recommend it for everyone because we all know someone going through divorce right now.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free of charge from Tyndale Publishing in hopes that I would provide a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Book Reviews, homeschool, organization, organizing

Bookshelf Reorganization

 

I’ve been rearranging. Yes, again. It’s been a while since I showed you my Expedit bookshelf, so I thought it was time for an update. I believe it’s in its fourth different room since coming to live with me. It doesn’t seem to mind, though, and it’s actually fairly easy to move–after removing all of the books.

One block is homeschool teacher’s manuals and such, one block is reference materials for editing, another block is teaching homeschool writing, but 2 blocks (almost) are devoted to teaching college writing. One block has my fiction books, while another block holds my yearbooks and diplomas (yes, I should probably recycle the yearbooks, but I can’t quite bring myself to do it). One plastic bin is my filing cabinet, while the other one holds extra file folders, printer paper, and similar stuff.

The black bins? Well, let’s just say they’re holding stuff, which is what they’re designed to do 🙂 The white tray is my to-file bin. I’d like to say that I file stuff once a week so that the bin is usually empty. Sadly, I can’t say that. Hey, just keepin’ it real here, folks.

Of course, you’ll also notice that I’ve got a few pretties on my shelves as well. Organization can be pretty!

Q4U: How are your bookshelves doing?

Book Reviews, change, encouragement

Unglued (book review)

Lysa TerKeurst’s new book, Unglued, was written specifically for me. Okay, maybe not, but it sure felt like it as I worked through it! Why is it that when I’m at church or out with casual friends, I can be Mrs. Calm, Cool, and Collected, but just let one of my kids leave dirty socks in the back of my car (oh yes!), and I become completely unglued in the mouth? I’d love to say I’m not a freak-out kind of person, but I’d be totally lying. I usually try to stuff it all in, but when that fails, watch out!

Lysa honestly, lovingly, and clearly unpacks the glue to help us put ourselves back together. She gives us permission to make imperfect progress, thank goodness. She backs up and applies her practical wisdom with God’s ultimate wisdom.

I give Unglued two enthusiastic thumbs up. Gather a group of girlfriends and start letting God glue yourself back together. Go buy it & the participant’s guide over on Amazon (not an affiliate link).

Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with an ARC copy of Unglued in order to preview and review it, but the opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Book Reviews

Pursuit of Proverbs 31 (book review)

 I don’t know about you, but most of the time I feel like I could never possibly live up to the ideal wife/mother/business owner portrayed in Proverbs 31. Fortunately, we don’t have to. Amy Bayliss, author of the brand new Pursuit of Proverbs 31 e-book, shares from her heart how to let go of unrealistic expectations.

First, Amy shatter the myth of the unattainable superwoman. Proverbs 31:10-31 is an acrostic poem filled with principles, not an impossible list of achievements. Phew! Then, she focuses on several principles found here that should be the desires of our hearts: a relationship with God, being a godly wife, being a godly mother, being a good manager of our households, being resourceful, and being transformed by God.

The only fault I could find within the pages of Pursuit of Proverbs 31 is that the leap from the poem in Proverbs 31 to the list of principles it holds was not clear. Of course, Amy does reinforce throughout the book that we are to study the Scriptures for ourselves (and the first chapter includes specific how-tos and resources); if we do that, then it’s not much of a leap from the impossible to a poem to the principles.

Each chapter gives very practical suggestions for how to apply the poem’s principles to our daily lives. The chapter titles are as follows:

  • Shattering the Myths
  • The Real Woman of Proverbs
  • Living In Relationship with God
  • Be His Wife, His Helpmate
  • Create a Biblical Marriage
  • Being a Mother
  • Home and Family Management
  • Pocket Full of Resources
  • A Woman of Ministry
  • Matters of the Soul

Lest we get hung up on the idea that Amy writes from a lofty position of having arrived already, she shares honestly and openly about her own struggles. She makes me feel life if she can pursue the ideals in Proverbs 31 without losing her sanctification, then I surely can, too.

Ready to be released from the seemingly impossible to-do list in Proverbs 31? Visit the Pursuit of Proverbs 31 website to purchase it for Kindle or as a PDF for only $4.99.

I highly recommend Pursuit of Proverbs 31 for any Christian woman/teen who wants to be a godly woman, but who feels too intimidated to open that chapter in her Bible.

Disclaimer: The author provided me with a fee PDF of this book in exchange for a review; however, the opinions expressed are my own.