Happy Monday, friends! I’m coming at ya with my very first book review this morning! I’m a MAJOR bookworm of both christian and non-christian books and would love to share some of my favorites with you! It is my goal to share a book that I have read recently (or reread.. Anyone else love to do that??) once a month so you can add to your library!
A few of you emailed me after my “How’s Your Quiet Time?” post (see here) for more details on what I read for my quiet times. I plan on doing another full post for a more indepth look into my quiet time, but hopefully some of these book reviews will help as well!
February Review: Whispers of Rest by Bonnie Gray (Christian Devotional - buy here!)
I read this back in September when I needed a major reset in my quiet times. I was in a bit of a drought and this book for sure got me back on track. This book is a 40 day devotional so it’s perfect if you’re trying to set a goal of getting alone with the Lord for a certain number of days or have a fast you’re doing and want a devotional that is the same length.
What captured me about this book is that each “day” is short chapter so it’s longer than your average one page devotional, but not too long where you can’t finish it in one sitting. I am a big fan of one page devotionals to get me going in the morning, but when it comes to my quiet times I need something a little “meatier” and this did just the trick!
I really enjoyed each chapter because the author, Bonnie Gray, did a great job pulling you in with a short personal story, but then quickly took you to scripture and each day centered around a certain story in the Bible and how we can connect it to our own lives. Miles makes fun of me because I struggle with being a little too critical if I don’t think something is “biblical” enough. I mean don’t get me wrong, personal stories are great and important to let the reader know they are not alone in how they are feeling (helllooo, I’m a blogger, I’m all about connecting through personal stories), BUT I am not the biggest fan when a christian book is almost ALL personal stories. The most common question Miles and I get from new christians in our church is how to even begin reading the Bible so we know this is a major issue out there! I think a devotional/bible study book is doing a great job if it leads you to not only a verse, but walks you through what that verse means and how we can apply it to our lives and this book does just that!
Also, I am a big fan of how the author writes out a prayer for you at the end of each day’s devotional, but then has an area for you to journal and pray on your own when you finish that chapter. I think this is great if you are new to praying (or not!) and don’t know where to begin. I remember when I was new in my faith one of my biggest fears was being asked to pray out loud at something. I would purposely avoid eye contact during that time in my youth group or even duck out to use the restroom. SO silly! This book shows you how simple prayers can be, but then also gives you the space to do it on your own so you have the opportunity to share your heart with the Lord and get into a habit of praying! He WANTS to hear from you!
There is only one thing in this book that wasn’t really for me (just being honest!), but you may love it! At the end of every chapter there is a “challenge” and it’s all about taking care of yourself (which I’m all about), but in a more artsy, nature-y way that is just not me haha. I remember one day it said something about setting your book down and going for a walk outside to admire the nature and I was like “Hmmm I have a baby sleeping upstairs I can’t really abandon and I can see the trees from here thanks.” Some days had you doing something artistic and I'm not sure if I have an artistic bone in my body (I wish I did!), but you may and that may be right up your alley! I’m sure there is something VERY therapeutic about it, but that’s just not really my style so I didn’t always participate in that part.
Last bit, and this may be a little too nerdy for you, but I LOVED it. She adds a little blurb at the end of each chapter about some scientific study that was done to support self care. From things like listening to nature sounds (not me) to the benefits of drinking coffee (SO me). I always felt a little smarter after reading those and can now defend my caffeine habits better. Ha! Win win!
So if you’re looking for a little soul detox, a life recharge, or just a new devotional, grab this book! I truly enjoyed it and hope you do too!