Life Ready Woman by Shaunti Feldhahn

The Life Ready Woman is the latest book I’ve received for reviewing from Litfuse, and this time, they’ve also provided a copy for me to give away too!

So, I’m not going to make you jump though 15 hoops of twitter and facebook and everything else… if you’d like to be entered into the giveaway, just leave a comment. You’ll need to at least fill out the email to be able to contact you if you win… (and I suppose for that matter be willing to send me a postal address to send the book to if I do email you that you’ve won). Yup, making the lurkers de-lurk if they wanna join in. 🙂

Anyway, back to the topic. The book.

Honestly, my thoughts run pretty split. There are parts of it that I love, and then parts that I remain unconvinced.

The book starts off pretty well, discussing both the new freedoms and progress made by women, and the way women get pulled into different directions between balancing career and family, and the trade offs on both sides.

It won big points with me on this by seeming pretty well balanced… it doesn’t tell you point blank your place is staying home and it does point out how the often pushed model of the stay at home mother and working father is nowhere specifically supported in the Bible, and that even the whole Proverbs 31 woman thing clearly shows she had business interests outside her home. (The authors seem to go for the literal interpretation here, not seeing her as a metaphor for the bride of Christ)

The next part starts off well too, discussing priorities, and the sets of life purposes… the first set being those God expects of everyone, the second being ones specifically suited to our roles as a female, and the third being the ones specific to you as a person. Good thoughts.

But then they get more specific and go into each in details.

The three primary life purposes that they say God has given everyone that should be the first factor in guiding your life are: To “leave and cleave”, to “be fruitful and multiply”, and to “subdue and rule”.

Yes, all three have a biblical reference in Genesis, but other than that, they don’t really go into why these three things out of all the many things said are the primary ones.

So, these three primary objectives are a given in most of the book. While they do allow that sometimes God allows people to meet them in other ways besides marriage and having children, especially in the next few chapters these seem pretty much an afterthought, and sometimes even almost condescending in tone. It’s mentioned that almost every female will be married at some point, so from there on, it turns into the currently married instructions vs the pre wife training mode. Those who are called to be single are said to be rare exceptions who should still be in training mode.

They do off and on introduce people who are single and remain single, however it’s often to show them as a wonderful example for pursuing the multiply goal through adoption, and gets pretty specific that you should always be preparing to someday be married and remain ready and waiting and preparing for that time. They mention several times a story of a particular person who put off going to grad school she needed to attend for a boyfriend who hadn’t yet proposed hoping that things would progress with him within a few years… that he did later propose makes putting her life on hold for someone who wasn’t yet ready to commit to her be seen as a positive move.

If this is the sort of view that you come from, you will probably like this book a lot. For me, there were places that I probably would have put it down had I not agreed to finish and review it.

The book does get better, and the later chapters do seem to have a lot less of the “pre-wife training” thoughts with the exception of a chapter about dealing with men, but with that basis it tends to be a bit touch and go as to how much it colors the content.

There’s a later section that goes into some great thoughts about life seasons, and that there are times of life that are meant for devoting more to certain things that can really be missed if priorities are elsewhere during that time, such as delaying kids past 40 for the sake of your career.

However, then they try to specifically spell out what these particular phases are for everyone… ending up in a mold that even they admit doesn’t fit for just as many people as it does fit. Their solution to this is to merge the goals of the two closest ones. So if you are newly-wed and now a step-parent to teenagers, your goals for this phase of your life are the same as those of a newly married childless woman and then you add in the goals of a mother who is the biological parent of teens and raised them from birth up to that point. Somehow, I don’t think things with the teenagers is going to go very smoothly working from there.

So the book sort of frustrated me. Because a lot of the points they make a really good points.. and they do in most cases seem to get a good balance on the topic of working and career goals vs family and home goals. But then, there were a lot of tones in parts that reminded me why I avoid the vast majority of women’s conferences.

Overall, I think for most Christian women, especially married ones, this is probably much less of anything they would have issues with.

And I’m reminded again of how much I appreciate some of those who lead women’s programs that encourage growth in them as women regardless of their current or future roles.

 

 

The official details:

About The Life Ready Woman:

Are you a ‘Doing it all’ or ‘Do what matters’ woman?

Whether a stay at home; or working mom, an airplane-hopping executive, an empty-nester caring for multiple generations or a single juggling high demands of career and personal life, today’s fast-paced modern world leaves women gasping for balance. We as modern Christian women want to look to the Bible for guidance on how to manage our lives — but because the world of women looks so different today than it did when the Bible was written, it is hard to find chapter and verse that seems to apply to our situation today.

Thankfully, God has given us exactly that timeless, unchanging guidance for how to find peace, clarity, and God’s best for our lives once we know where to look! The Life Ready Woman: Thriving in a Do-It-All World, reveals a profound biblical roadmap for how each of us can find the abundant life we are longing for, rather than the stressful, torn, how-do-I-balance-it-all life we often feel like we are trying to keep up with today. Actually being a LifeReady Woman means that you are clear about your life, bold in your faith, and able to find God’s best for you, and the end result will be that you not only survive but thrive in our do-it-all world.

God has given every wonderfully unique woman different skills and abilities, different desires, and different temperaments — and every woman around the planet and through the ages is certainly living in different circumstances. But no matter what a woman’s life looks like, the Bible says that God has an individual mission and plan that He’s carefully designed for each of us. And He wants us to find it. Starting January 2011, The Life Ready Woman and the Life Ready Woman Video Series will help every wonderfully unique woman to thrive as she identifies and courageously pursues God’s unique design and callings for her. LifeReady Woman puts you on a roadmap to make decisions that will lead to relief, delight, and fulfillment instead of regret.

Link to Buy Book:

http://www.amazon.com/Life-Ready-Woman-Do-All/dp/1433671123?ie=UTF8&tag=sprightly-20&amp

About Shaunti Feldhahn:

Shaunti Feldhahn is a former Wall Street analyst, best-selling author of the book For Women Only, national speaker, and regular commentator in the media. She has been featured on The Today Show, PBS, TNT and Fox News- to name a few. You can learn more about her many activities by visiting her website Shaunti.com or get some great mom advice from her at MomLifeToday.com. She and her husband live with their two young children in Atlanta, Georgia and enjoy every minute of living at warp speed.

About MomLife Today:

At MomLife Today you will enjoy community with real moms experiencing every age and every stage of MomLife—right alongside you.

Moms need friends we can walk through life with, but more importantly we need friends who will encourage us and equip us in our role as moms in an honest and transparent way … and that’s just what you’ll find by becoming part of our MomLife Today community! We believe that every MOMent counts!

We admit it, being a mom 24/7 is not easy. Rather than lament the role of motherhood, however, we choose to embrace that role and learn from each other how to make it through each day with the right attitude. Come share the joys, sorrows, insanity, and special moments of motherhood with us as we live it and candidly write about it…we’ll have lots of fun along the way! Join us, and do tell… What’s happening in your MomLife Today? www.momlifetoday.com


In celebration of Shaunti Feldhahn’s Life Ready Woman, MomLife Today is giving away 2 Weekend To Remember Gift Packs and much more!


Not only, is MomLife Today helping promote Life Ready Woman, but they are thrilled to announce that Shaunti will be joining MomLife Today as a regular contributor!!!


Weekend To Remember Getaways offer marriage-changing principles that you can take home and apply to your daily lives to strengthen your marriage. Whether you are newly engaged or have been married for 50 years, you will find value in the tools provided at the getaway.


Don’t miss this opportunity to receive a conference registration for you and your spouse … and more! MomLife Today will be randomly selecting NINE lucky recipients to receive one of these great gifts:

  1. 2 Weekend To Remember Get Away conference registrations for two. $259 value each pair (Two couples will receive this.)
  2. 2 Life Ready Woman DVD packs. $149 value each (Two different people will receive this gift.)
  3. 5 Life Ready Woman books. (Book will go to 5 people.)

To enter click one of the icons below then tell your friends. Winner will be announced on March 2nd on the MomLife Today website.

MomLife Today provides encouragement, advice and resources to help YOU with your daily Momlife! Because…every MOMent counts!

Blog Tour Schedule: :http://litfusegroup.com/Blog-Tours/life-ready-woman-by-shaunti-feldhahn.html

And on it goes..

Things are a bit in the crazy spell this week, but a couple random updates on things…

 

The random girl from the weird facebook situation never did add me, and hasn’t said anything to me at church since. Not even sure if she’s been there honestly. Just makes the whole thing even more puzzling. lol

 

Unofficially rejected from one of the main programs I was trying to get into for next year. I haven’t gotten the letter yet, but they gave the weeks they would be doing calls for interviews… and its a few weeks past. Sigh.

Wish I could say “oh well, on to the next one” especially when this one I knew was a bit of a far shot on admission because they favor towards those working in related professions… but unfortunately has me more discouraged than I expected it to. I know there’s a plan in it, eventually… just really tired of rejections after the past few years of job rejections numbering in the hundreds… maybe even thousand by this point.

I really should have thought to fill out the apps for all three possible programs at once so my mindset was better, but the other two aren’t due till april and may. Though this one would have worked out a lot better practical wise… one of the two remaining would be a big stretch on finances, and the other would require a really long commute.. enough to be a big hassle.

 

And in spite of the fact kiddo has only been seeing therapist since the summer, they are dropping visits down, with goal of ending and going just with meds in the next couple of months. While things have been going much better, and this should be good news on progress… this still slightly terrifies me.

Sequin Bible – Pink (Shiny Sequin Bible)

Ok, it has to be mentioned right off, but pictures don’t do justice to this Bible! So to start, here’s at least a bit better pic..

This is the Sequin Bible (or Shiny Sequin Bible as it’s listed in some spots). And shiny it is. You see those tiny dots in my pic? That’s glitter.

We just got the Sequin Bible from Thomas Nelson for reviewing it, and we are big fans!

First off, it’s really pretty! Especially to a tween who is into everything glitter and sequins. Wasn’t all that sure I was going to be as big of a fan as she was looking just at the official cover pic, but it really does look nice in person.

It’s listed as paperback on one of the sites I looked at, but it’s actually softcover… sturdier than just paper… and the base material is covered entirely with fabric in one solid piece.

It’s also well built. I messed with it a bit testing it while kiddo was out of the room. The glitter is very securely attached… I couldn’t get any to come off, which says a lot for anything glittery. The sequins and beads are stitched to some sort of backing, which is firmly attached to the cover. The only thing that caught or was even slightly loose at all was a few of the bead areas at the tip of the flower when it happened that the space between stitches was right by the end. Even that I don’t think would be likely to catch of anything or get pulled off without some strong deliberate effort on your child’s part.

The contents itself is International Children’s Bible (ICB). This was actually one of the biggest points to me, as when I was looking for a new Bible for my then 8 year old for Christmas last year, she had no tolerance for the younger aimed children’s versions, but most of the ones that she liked were aimed for girls a few years older and mostly used NIV. Not the worst thing, but it was still a bit above her current level.

The Sequin Bible also avoids one of the other issues with the ones aimed at young teens, as it doesn’t have much in the way of additional non-verse content to have concerns over it having topics like dating that are still a bit in the future for her.

No pictures either. It does have a helpful section in the back that has a dictionary, a sort of an index of various common Bible stories and where to find them, a couple of pages of maps, a section of God’s promises, and a neat section of memory verses for my life which has a lot of good verses on things that apply to tweens generally like friendship and honesty. The latter two consist of direct verses, not article style editorial content.

The book also goes with a good physical style for older kids. It’s about the same size as my main adult Bible, and uses print that’s fairly easy to read. Not overly small like some of the adult ones, but not overly huge like some of the ones aimed at younger kids either. Pages are thin, but not so thin as to be hard for kids to use without ripping.

If I were to change anything at all, it would be to make the pages thicker to be easier on kids turning them not always as gentle as they should be, and to have tabs or notches for the books already built in to make it faster for kids to find the right place. But really, we can totally deal with both of those.

I was really impressed. As sort of silly as a sequin Bible sounded to me at first, my 9 year old loves it, and it really does seem to be a well done book for girls and tweens.

Thomas Nelson page

Christianbook.com

Protective pain interpreting

Me and ice have never gotten along well. Probably doesn’t help that I sometimes have some balance issues from ear issues either.

I thought I’d outsmarted it this year by getting some coleman shoes… that were shaped like sneakers but had the soles of hiking boots.

They did really well through the 2 major snowstorms… until only the last bit of ice was left on the sidewalks, and I happened to find a patch in a shadowy area between buildings. Ankle went one way, body the other… right into a nice wet patch of slush. And I can’t really tell you exactly how my elbow got involved, but apparently it did, because after day 2 the area just above my elbow was the part hurting worst.

Ah well. ‘Tis life in a not very friendly climate. It happens. Ankle and arm are both only minor-ly sore now.

So, I’m sure you can’t understand why my thoughts have been on pain lately. 🙂


Physical pain is an interesting thing. It obviously hurts… but it does so in protection.

But it sometimes takes a bit of judgement to figure out exactly what it wants. Is it yelling “Hey! Don’t do that!” as if it thinks I might try the ice skating again… or “Hey, take it easy for a bit for me to get things reinforced that got stressed”… or “You just majorly messed something up and need to have someone look into helping fix it”.

Known to more sane people as “Do I need to go to the doctor to see if its broken, or just not walk on it for a few days and put ice on it and assume its probably sprained, or just minimize walking a bit and its probably just twisted and will settle back down soon?”

In any case, the pain is letting me know that was not a good move, not in my body’s best interests, and I should avoid repeating that particular action and be more careful on ice. Protective role to warn me not to injure myself further… but about my least favorite way to be protected.

How do I know which of the signals it’s trying to give me? I look for the signs… in this case it was purple and swollen but only mildly… and unfortunately I have quite a bit of experience with all three possibilities… and then there’s always those with more experience and knowledge to ask for input. Not black and purple enough to be likely to be a break, too swollen for just a twist, mother who is a nurse hands me an ace wrap when I stop by her house to show her a few hours later.


But as I’m taking some advil a day or two later, it strikes me how differently we read emotional pain than we do physical pain.

Theoretically, it should be for the same purpose… to prevent us from getting injured further and let us know that our actions are not in our own best interest.

But how many people take an emotional sprained ankle, and vow never to walk outside when its icy again? Or for that matter, aren’t even that aware of the factors involved, and swear off walking on campus sidewalks at all by refusing to trust huge general categories of people because of an injury from one.

Or because the ankle is sore, refuse to move it at all even long after the injury should have healed and create all new issues from non-use?

How many people can’t tell the difference between “be careful and cautious for a bit“ and ”seek professional assistance immediately“?


Are we even trying to figure out what the pain is trying to tell us to know how to treat it? Do we even know what the options we’re trying to judge between really are?

They see a bit of swelling, assume broken, and jump directly to extreme solutions and throw the baby out with the bath water.

Or, they see that its black and doesn’t get any better with time, and yet they firmly insist that nothing is wrong with it even as the rest of the world winces at their attempts to hobble along and ignore it.

Counselors don’t get to have the firm visual of xrays to prove to us hidden deep issues, and don’t get the benefit of being able to cut us open to repair things… but they can sure do about the same in other ways. If we let them.

And in this age we even have things we can take to act like the advil does and reduce the discomfort while we either heal or get worse… that still do little to heal, they just lessen the warning signal for a while.


Anyone reading here realizes I’ve got my own previously injured ”ankles“ I’m still overprotective of, and my own sidewalks that I’m still a bit skittish on crossing when I have to do so, so I’m far from trying to point fingers here.

But really… if we had half the clue on dealing with emotional pain as most of us do on physical pain… oh how different this world might look.

Tablets vs wonder

In reading lately, I went through the story of Moses. This time, a thought that stuck with me afterwards was related to the tablets Moses broke after coming down the mountain to deal with the people and their new golden calf.

It seems a bit crazy to break them, even in anger. I mean, here is something that was apparently written on by the hand of God, personally.

As someone who basically scribbles, I find myself wondering, what does God’s physical handwriting look like?

How mad would you be at yourself later if you broke something that special because you were (justifiably) so upset in the moment?

I think I’d be devastated to have destroyed even something trivial like a grocery list that was written by God, let alone a list he wanted you to act on. (Yes, I realize God probably doesn’t exactly have grocery lists… still..)

But then came the question to mind.. what makes that so different from anything else?

Why is it so special that he wrote some rules into a hunk of rock, when he also made the earth, the sky, the stars, the oceans, the animals? Things I appreciate, but never with as much wonder and awe as I probably should on a regular basis.

Why the special view of 10 short instructions being given, and so easily forgotten is the special state of the whole book given to us and currently so easily accessible here as to be mostly taken for granted?

Why would I place such value on a stone, which turned out to be replaced anyway, and place so much less on things he seems to value so much more… even numbering of hairs on each head, of even the person I might dislike the most.

Why the importance of the rules written in handwriting, and not more focus and reverence on the words written on the heart?

Why the amazement of a rock having been touched by God, and the ho-hum acceptance of touches into a life?

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure the answer lies in my being so caught up in everything else that I forget to appreciate the hugeness of all I’v been given.

Too lured by the small trinkets and too easy to forget the vastness they represent.

Seems a bit related to valentines too. How easy to focus on the rocks and forget how little they compare to the much bigger gift behind them that too often gets lost from focus.

Solid to gone

I’m not a big fan of shoveling snow any more than is needed to get my car on and out of our fairly steep sloped driveway.

Not just because its often hard work, and usually cold. But mostly because it seems so non-productive.

Yes, I can spend 2 hours completely clearing my driveway and have it dry by tomorrow. But, most of the time, I can clear a narrow path for the tires through the steepest sloping part, spending 15 minutes, and in 3 or 4 days all the rest will be gone anyway and you won’t be able to tell the difference of anything the extra work accomplished.

Unfortunately, when the snow gets to a certain level, it reaches the point that its too deep to just take the quick method if I’m actually going to be able to get my car back up the driveway.

So I’ve gotten to shovel it out of the way anyway twice lately.

And it got me thinking today as I was doing so about how odd snow really is.

I mean, if you were someone completely unfamiliar with the concept… how crazy would it be to try to understand?

You open the door in the morning and find that overnight there is suddenly a 6 inch thick layer of a wet and cold substance all over everything.

Solid, but sort of like sand… small bits able to shift shape. Soft, yet packs down to hard if you put pressure on it.

And then, over the next couple of days, it just gradually disappears, seemingly into nowhere, leaving things just wet.

It sounds like an insane concept.

Maybe it is an insane concept really.

But God apparently seemed to like it. He used it again on the manna.

But still… solid stuff that just appears and the disappears? Was he trying to drive pre-scientific humans crazy trying to figure this stuff out? LOL

The diagonal path

We’ve had 2 major snowstorms in the past 2 weeks here.

The one last week was a light, blowing snow… which ended up in large drifts. So one area of the yard would have 2 and a half feet of snow, while another area of the yard would have 2 inches, all based on how the wind was blowing.

As it happened, the sidewalk area ended up being pretty deep, so I told my daughter that when she was walking to grandma’s house, she should either walk close to the street under the trees where you could see grass poking out, or through the area of the neighbors yard where there was also grass poking out.

Normally we remind her to stay on the sidewalk when going back and forth. So this was a different path from normal.

Well, kiddo plays with the shovel, and having 3 days in a row where school was cancelled, she got bored enough she decided to shovel the path to grandmas.

Including shoveling a diagonal path across the neighbor’s front yard. Not deep enough to tear up the grass or anything, just a noticeable shovel-width path of reduced snow.

Not exactly what I’d meant by telling her she could walk that direction… but we mostly just laughed at it as cute.

So the weekend came, temps got higher, and all but the deepest of the drifts melted, so the sidewalks were clear again. Then the new storm came.

But this time, the snow was big wet flakes with little wind, so not a lot of drifting. Mostly just an even covering of the yard about 6 inches deep.

And again came the snow day today.

And again kiddo decided to shovel.

And again I came outside to find that she decided to put the path diagonally directly across the neighbor’s front yard, even though this time there was absolutely no advantage to that area over walking on the sidewalk.

Poor neighbor.

But then, I ended up wincing even worse when I got home from the store tonight, and found that the neighbor had now shoveled their sidewalk all the way from their driveway over to my mom’s driveway.

I made sure Boo got the hint to stay on the sidewalk.