Worry Less So You Can Live More

I just finished another book (reviewing for the Nuts About Books program put out by Graf-Hill Communications).  It’s called “Worry Less So You Can Live More.”

image source: http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/worry-less-so-you-can-live-more/351991
image source: http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/worry-less-so-you-can-live-more/351991

I’ll be honest, when I said I’d read the book I expected it to be just like every other book on worry I’ve ever read.  I’m a worrier myself, so this is not the first Christian self-help book on worry I’ve cracked open. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it was not a word-for-word reiteration of what scriptures say about worry, but was instead a beautiful journey with author Jane Rubietta through what it looks like to live a life of worry, and what the alternative of living life leaning into God can look like.  Not that there’s anything wrong with a word-for-word exposé on what God has to say through Scripture about worry, but I was glad to find that this book was more than that. It’s a beautifully written anecdotal toolbox for how to replace worry with things like hope, praise, anticipation, and joy ~ because worry is the antithesis and thief to all of those things.  Jane Rubietta has a wonderful writing style which kept me engaged all the way through.

If I had to choose a favourite chapter (without spoiling anything), it would definitely be the one on fireflies.  And I’ll let you read the rest for yourself. Each chapter was accompanied by deep, thought-provoking questions which made me reflect deeply on some of my own worry-filled and worrisome tendencies, but what I appreciated the most about each chapter were the quotes, votums, and benedictions that Rubietta put at the end.  Quotes, both from Scripture and elsewhere, served to reinforce everything Rubietta had said in the chapter, and served as a clear reminder that if sometimes you feel that you’re the only one who struggles with this ~ you’re not.  Votums were like a prayer prayed right from my heart, even though I’ve never met the author.  Benedictions were like an answer to those prayers, each of which hit me with strength.

I finished the book feeling like I knew Jane Rubietta personally ~ like I could run into her in a coffee shop, give her a great big hug, and sit down and talk to her for hours over a latte.  Her writing was so deeply personal that it really connected me to the text and what she was saying.  This author is not someone who has perfected the art of living worry-free and is then preaching at the reader from a high horse of having it all figured out.  Instead, she crafted beautiful pieces of wonderful imagery woven together to show that we’re all in this together.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who struggles with worrying and perfectionism like I do.  It’s a good read, it’s a fairly quick read, and if I’m right about this book ~ I think it’s a read that will stick with you in the weeks to come.


The Crimson Cord | A Book Review

Recently, I’ve been looking to take thisblogisepic in a bit of a different direction.  I’m really excited to get into reviewing books, which gives the added bonus of forcing me to read since now I have deadlines!  I’ve been meaning to read more, too….

I’ve joined this program called Nuts About Books run by Graf-Martin Communications (a Christian publishing company).  They send me a list of books they’re offering, I choose what I’d like to receive, and they mail me copies of the book(s) that I then have a month to review!

I’m ready with my very first book review, and I’m glad to say that it was a good book.  I was nervous starting out…. what if you don’t like a book?  Then you have to publicly display your thoughts even though they aren’t great because you signed up to be honest… but thankfully I quite liked my first book (and have another to read in the next 6 days… whoops.  I’ll need to be more on top of this next month).

I read The Crimson Cord by Jill Eileen Smith.

It’s an Historical Fiction novel centered around the story of Rahab, the prostitute who gave safe passage to Hebrew spies in Jericho in exchange for safety for her and her family.

I admit that going into this book, I knew nothing about Rahab’s story other than just that — that she was a prostitute in Jericho at the time of Joshua, and then something about tribes of Israel marching around the city for 7 days until the walls fell.  That’s it.  Rahab isn’t mentioned that often in the Bible, so while I knew going into this book that a lot of details would be filled in by the author, I dare say she did a beautiful job at crafting a great story out of the life of Rahab.  I especially appreciate the ability to glean a deeper understanding of what life would have been like for a woman in Old Testament Jericho.  The Historian in me loves it, and I found that Smith struck an excellent balance between historical detail and creating beautiful, relational characters.

It started out a hard read, but only because lately I’ve been asking God to give me a heart for the things that breaks His, and one of those things has been a heart for women stuck in abusive situations and relationships who can’t get free.  At least the way it was written here, it spins Rahab’s life story very much in that light, but I feel that it was done very tastefully.

My favourite part of the book, without giving anything away because I really do encourage you to read it if you like historical fiction at all, was how much the Grace of God was highlighted.  Normally, I see the Old Testament and the New Testament as very different things.  I know that my God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, so in theory I have a deep understanding that the God of the Old Testament was still full of Grace, but I often forget that.  Much to my chagrin, I suppose.  The way that Jill Eileen Smith wrote this story really clearly showed that God was very much still a God of Grace during the time of Joshua, just like He is now.  Rahab was not an Israelite.  She didn’t need to be granted safe passage during the attack on Jericho, but she was, along with her family, because of her faith, and God continued to cleanse her and reward her faith through the rest of her life.

Toward the end of the book I became curious about Rahab’s family tree as the rest of the story started to unfold, and learned interesting facts in my search there as well.  If you pop on over to here, you’ll find what I found — that Rahab is directly involved in the line of King David (and therefore the line of Christ), and I just sometimes can’t wrap my mind around how amazing God’s grace really is.

Nuts About Books — The Crimson Cord Jill Eileen Smith