Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Women Paperback – Oct 6 2009
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About the Author
Chicken Soup for the Soul is a favorite publisher of books that provide emotional and practical support for readers.
Susan M. Heim is a long-time Chicken Soup for the Soul editor and Christian author, specializing in family-oriented books and women’s issues.
Karen Talcott is an author and educator with an expertise in women’s issues, faith, and angels.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Susan Heim, Karen Talcott as well as a host of other contributors present these short inspirational packed stories that will bring perspective as you read each one.
In this day and age, high expectations are placed on women. Attempting to meet (and sometimes trying to exceed) these expectations can leave us feeling detached, removed, and distraught.
These 101 devotions that open with scripture, follow with a short, poignant story and end with a suggested prayer may be just what you need when you've superwoman-o-meter has maxed out.
Find yourself `Running From God' at times, read Lorie Bibee's story on page 35. You may find there is no such place.
Overwhelmed with your daily list of `To Do's", read Elizabeth Fenn's story on page 66. You may find there is no mundane task that God is not willing help you with.
Or maybe you wake up tomorrow and have an rebellious streak. Read Susan Heim's `Feeling Like Peter's" story on page 168 that introducing the idea that you cannot be `estranged' with God and playfulness has a definite place in all our lives.
As women, we need breaks from our busy lives. Each of us can spare a few minutes alone each day. When you come upon those few moments, grab this book and read a quick story. You may find the rest of your day goes much better with your perspective back in alignment.
I recommend this for personal bible study as scripture is a part of each devotional or for group meetings when short messages are in order or simply for those time we need a gentle reminder of who we are in Christ.
The review copy of this book was provided free of charge by the publisher and was donated to the library of Westwood Baptist Church.
Reviewed by: Keiki Hendrix
Reviewed for: Susan Heim
Any time the subject of spirituality is addressed, there is a fine line between preaching and inspiring. Selections that ring true do not tell the reader what to do. They do not end with a happily wrapped-up conclusion. Instead they depict a continuing struggle against life's challenges. Faith is the sustaining factor. These pages contain many personal affirmations that are worth celebrating.
In "Losing a Child," Nancy Purcell reflects on the unexpected death of her 16-year-old daughter. She beautifully compares the fulfilled expectation of spring with the promise of eternal life.
Twenty-five years later, I still think on her truth, her love of Christ, and her joyfulness as I dig in the earth and plant seeds, expecting a garden of beauties to rise come spring. And they do, just as Christ did that Easter morning. Because of Him, I never think of her as lost; I know where she is.
For anyone who has witnessed a loved one dying, the details in Janice Flood Nichols' "Hands Stretched Out" are spot on. The slow wasting away of an elderly parent or grandparent is difficult to watch. Small moments of hope help to ease the feeling of utter helplessness.
As I watched my mother transition from this life to the next, I came to believe that God, in His infinite love and mercy, had granted our family a glimpse into life's most poignant and final journey - a journey that may well be guided by those who have already crossed over. We were privy to a peaceful, glorious transformation.
The editors delve through the Bible introducing each story with a perfectly matched verse. For the topic of relationships, an obscure passage - I Peter 3:3-4 - touchingly illustrates the long-lasting impression of inner beauty: "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."
The lives of many women are plagued by anxiety - worries about children, financial concerns, job instability, etc. The words of Scripture offer a comforting alternative. The editors wisely include Matthew 6:25-27: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink ... Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
Other highlights include Talcott's "Learning to Love Again" about the integral part a pet has in a household. Heim's "Baby's Breath" is an illuminating reminder to cherish a child's precious moments in times of frustration. Darlene M. Gilbert, an elderly widow, appreciates the selflessness of her neighbor who always makes sure her grass is cut in "More Than a Cup of Sugar." Carrie Ellis goes out of her way to give an elderly woman a ride in the bad part of town in "Waiting for Jesus."
Others fall short in their attempt. Some themes are borrowed from country music songs. Certain endings border on the unbelievable. A few are so simplistic in composition they barely form a complete narrative lacking a beginning, middle and end.
Overall, the book is worth it for the Scripture verses alone.
Devotional Stories for Women is no exception. This is a wonderful light read to enjoy with a friend or two. Each story speaks of a women's personal relationship with God, their trials and joys, it enlightens the reader to the common adversity and mountain top that we can enjoy as women and children of God.
While the book is listed as devotional...I felt if it was more of "devotional light" ...the stories where inspiring but many did not quote scripture or theology but rather spoke from a personal standpoint.
In my opinion this would be a wonderful accompaniment to a more detailed devotional or bible study...Devotional Stories for Women is a great book to set your heart for your regular study or your day. Devotional Stories for Women is separated by topics: Faith, Motherhood, Life Lessons, Illness,Relationships , Parenting, etc. It is easy to find a topic that applies to your life at any given moment. Each story is highlighted by a written prayer that you can use alone or as a catalyst for a deeper discussion with God.
I look forward to passing this book on to other women as I feel that it will bless many hands.