These devotions are different from any I've read before. They are more like stories of women sharing their own experiences and then giving us lessons. These devotions are meant to encourage and inspire on a very personal level.
The book is divided into three sections. Stories in the first section are aimed at helping us connect with God more deeply. The second section encourages us to engage with friends while the last section helps us connect with our community.
Each devotion is written by a different woman. Many are published authors or bloggers. That makes the quality of the writing pretty good. The stories are heartfelt accounts from women writing about their lives and having to rely on God, establishing relationships with friends, and ministering to their community. They write about actual experiences of loneliness, jealousy, fear, forgiveness, hurt, and many more. I think my favorite was from Lisa-Jo Baker on how her high school friends helped sustained her as her mother was dying of cancer. There are some questions included at the end of each devotion, a challenge, and a prayer. There are also a verse, something to consider, and a suggestion for engagement at the beginning of each reading
I like this collection of stories. The idea is for us to see ourselves in the stories and I could certainly identify with many of them. I was impressed with the insights the women had to offer on some hard topics like sin and the words coming out of our mouths.
I recommend this book to women who want to connect with others. It could certainly be used by an individual for a month of inspiration. It would also be a good resource for a ministry leader of women.
I don't think this book is suitable for discussion among a large group of women. I see it more as a springboard for one woman connecting with another, perhaps over coffee a couple of times a week. The stories are good for initiating an openness through story telling but it would have to be with a trusted person.
Food for thought: “Love is being willing to inconvenience yourself for the sake of another – and finding joy in it.” (225)
You can find out more about the book and watch a trailer at http://www.incourage.me/cravingconnection.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
The authors are women affiliated with (in)courage, an online and conference community. You can find out more at http://www.incourage.me/
B&H Books, 288 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Icon Medial. My comments are an independent and honest review.