Update: Hello, hello, hello. I bet you've all been wondering where I've been....I've been sick. I had a monster cold this past week and although the congestion is still hanging on, the fever is gone and I'm starting to feel a bit better and get some of my energy back. Of course, now my daughter, husband, and baby boy have it...sigh.
So, today is the re-posting of the review that I accidentally posted on the wrong day a couple of weeks ago! If you didn't catch it the first time, enjoy! The contest for the free copy of the book will be continued until next week, so be sure and leave a comment if you would like to be entered in the drawing!
Finally, I'll be announcing the winner of the "Generation NeXt Marriage" and "Generation NeXt Parenting" books later today, so you still have time to leave a comment on that post if you want to be entered.
It's finally time! Today is my first post on the Blog Book Tour, and I'm so excited! When I was first approached about participating in this tour, I had two thoughts: 1) Cool, free books...my favorite thing in the whole world! and 2) What if I don't like the books? What will I post? So, I decided that if I was going to agree to participate in this tour, I was going to be totally honest about each and every book. After all, if I don't tell what I really think, what's the point? If it's not real, then it's pointless, right? So, I received my first book on the tour and I opened it determined to be totally objective...
From the minute I opened the package I knew I was going to like Lisa. My package came straight from Lisa herself, and included a personal note written to ME, and it totally cracked me up! This wasn't some stuffy writer who was going to tell me how I should be doing my devotions...properly. This was a real woman who struggles with the same things I struggle with (ie. daily life with kids, a husband, and a "To Do" list that is out of control), and I liked her immediately! Here's the biographical information I received about Lisa:
"Lisa T. Bergren is the busy wife of Tim, an artist, mother to three kids (Olivia, 12, Emma, 9, and Jack, 'almost five'). She is the author of over thirty books, including the bestselling God Gave Us You, The Begotten, and What Women Want. She works into her schedule some freelance editing, and occasional maintenance of several web sites--Satisfied Heart, and the new Family Tripster (launching in March) and Busy Mom's Devotional (launching in April). She is active in her church and is currently at work on a new Colorado historical series."
Sounds like someone who understands both the difficulty and the importance of spending quiet time alone with God, doesn't it? She does understand, and she doesn't want devotions to become one more thing on an already too full list of "Things I Ought to Do", but rather a way for busy mothers to begin to see God everywhere they look...or what Lisa calls the "devotional life". God has been trying to bang into my little head for a while now that He just wants a relationship with me. He doesn't want me to spend my day with a list of things I'm supposed to do for Him. He wants me to spend my day with Him. So, I jumped into this book eager to find new ways to do just that!
The book is made up of 52 ten-minute readings. You guessed it, it's a ten minute per week devotional guide! TEN MINUTES! Even the busiest mom can find ten minutes somewhere in her week. But here's the thing...right from the beginning, Lisa assures you that the "10 minutes a week" isn't a hard and fast rule either. You can choose to use the book daily, or twice a week, or whatever you want to do. I loved that she included that in the book, because while I personally have no problem adjusting other people's agendas to fit into my plan, some women don't feel that freedom and may feel badly if they don't do their "10 minutes" every Monday at 6:30am. So, for those women, Lisa releases them from that pressure and rigidity immediately. I love that she thought of that!
Now, on to the meat of the book itself. You may be thinking that little 10 minute devotions can't be deep, or life-changing, or even all that meaningful...but you'd be wrong. In fact, I've found a few of those little 10 minute sessions to be downright uncomfortable! Each reading that I've done so far has had this format: 1)a scripture to read, 2) a personal story from Lisa that illustrates and amplifies the truth in that scripture, 3) a personal prayer from Lisa, 4)an opportunity for you to ask God what He is saying to you specifically from that scripture, 5)an exercise to make that scripture become personal and more meaningful to your own life, and finally 6) a chance for you to pray your own personal prayer. What I love about this is that it really encourages me to listen to God and seek out what He is trying to communicate to me through His Word. And then I find that as I go throughout my week, I'm looking for ways to live out what I think He's asking me to do, or even just looking for glimpses of Him in my daily life. I find myself talking to him throughout the day about it.
Now, it is not unusual for me to be talking to God throughout my day, but the conversations were usually more along the lines of "God, these kids are driving me crazy! Lord, I'm not sure how much more I can take. Or even the old faithful, 'HELP!'" Now though, I find myself more in conversation mode. I'm telling Him how I feel, and asking Him to guide me and teach me. Often I think we make the mistake of not sharing our thoughts and feelings with God because we think "He already knows everything, I don't need to tell Him". That's true, He does. But He also enjoys spending time with us and He loves it when we want to talk to Him. Think about your own children. How many times have they come and told you all about something that you really already knew, but you let them talk just because they were so excited about it, and really, you were just happy that they wanted to share with you? God is no different. He enjoys spending time with you, and He wants you to enjoy spending time with Him. Because truly, what is devotion? According to the dictionary, devotion is "profound dedication", "consecration", "an earnest attachment to a cause or person". I think perhaps that's how the word "devotions" came to be associated with our quiet time with God, because if you are truly devoted to someone, you spend time with them...precious, precious, time.
The sub-title to Lisa's book reads "10 Minutes a Week to a Life of Devotion", and I think that says it all. If you are looking for a more devoted life with Jesus, and you feel you need some help and guidance along the way, I encourage you to get a copy of Lisa's book, The Busy Mom's Devotional. It will encourage you, guide you, stretch you, but never overwhelm you. I absolutely love it!
And, here's the best part...I don't have to let go of my copy! Lisa told me to send her the name of one of my readers, and she would personally send you a copy of the book! So, if you'd like to receive your own copy from Lisa, just leave a comment on this post. I'll close comments on Monday, April 21st, and announce the winner on Tuesday, April 22nd. If you just can't wait, and you'd like to purchase the book yourself, you can go here or here and get one for yourself, or you can go here and read more about Lisa and her other books.
I'm definitely checking out some of her historical books. I adore historical fiction!