I just finished reading through Courtney Joseph's Women Living Well book.
I'm going to do my reviews a little differently though. I want to leave you with bullet points on the areas that are most important to me when I dedicate the time to read a book (a resource I don't have a lot of, so a book has to meet certain criteria before I will finish it).
I will rate each of the following on a scale of 1 to 5.
5 being the best.
TABLE OF CONTENTS . . . . . 5
(was the subject matter relevant to me?)
Yes, this focuses on areas I struggle with all the time, for example:
I want the spa, but I need solitude with God
The effects of the media revolution
Marriage in the age of media
Parenting in the digital age
Juggling Homemaking, Mininstry, and work
Routines that bring rest
DRAW . . . . . 4
(Did the book draw me in while reading,
and make me want to come back to it when not reading?)
I live in a house with 3 boys and a husband. There is rarely (read: never) a quiet time where I can sit down with coffee and a blanket and read without distraction. So if I can tune the noise and activity out and really be pulled into a book, it's saying something! This book definitely had pull, but I found myself wanting MORE. She seemed to just touch on the things I struggle with.
I did like how the book is set up in sections, one for me, one about my husband, another about parenting, and the final about homemaking. So it kept me drawn and thinking about it enough to want to come back and read that next section.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION . . . . . 4
(Can I take the information read in this book and apply it to my life right now to make a difference?)
This was really close to making it a 5, but I still found myself wanting MORE. Courtney does a great job of having a lot of steps you can do now to improve yourself in a lot of areas.
Some items I was able to pick up and do right away:
-Memorize Scripture method... in fact, I even wrote a post about it here. LOVE it!
-Three ways you can be a helper to your husband, and then on the next page she gives real life practical examples of what that looks like for her. Nothing ground shaking or 'new' but good reminders on how to prioritize. She has a section for a two week Marriage Challenge with great practical daily things to do to improve your marriage. I haven't done these yet, but definitely plan to.
There was useful, practical information on parenting that gave me food for thought, such as: Not just teaching, but training. Teaching is giving my children the information they need to succeed. Training is giving my children the discipline to carry out what they have been taught.
For the homemaking section, I enjoyed the section on how to change the atmosphere of your home. Things as simple as lighting a candle, flowers, read alouds, etc. I really REALLY liked her practical example of lighting the candle, then every time I see it or smell it, I pray for peace in our home, which is what we need SO much more of!
DOG EARS AND WRITING . . . . . 4
(How many things stood out to me enough to highlight, underline, dog ear and write?)
This book got a high score here too. Many sections I have highlighted and underlined and written in the margins of. I write things that are ACTION STEPS I can take now, like some of those listed above. Others I underlined or marked were some things like:
-How we handle our husbands' shortcomings reveals more about our own character than our husbands'.
-Write out five things you love about your husband, and then tell them to him.
-telling the kids "Whoever is more mature will be the first to apologize."
I underlined the entire section of evaluation at the end of the book. Good stuff --hard stuff-- on evaluating my walk with God, my marriage, my children, homemaking, etc.
END THOUGHTS AND WOULD I BUY IT?
I did get this book for free from the publisher to review, but was under no pressure at all to give it a positive review. Because I did get this book for free, I also want to rate it on if I would spend my very limited personal money to buy it. I guess I hold most books up to Elizabeth George's A Woman After God's Own Heart as the ultimate example of the most practical women's book I've ever read. This book was very good, but like I said earlier, I wanted MORE. She covers SO many topics in this book, each could really be a book on its own.
But, because she does have so many practical applications, I'd say it is well worth the $12 it's selling for on Amazon right now, because I've actually started doing some of the things I learned from this book. So overall, YES, I would add this book to my Amazon cart and eventually buy it. It is relevant, real, and practical.
You can find the book on amazon here:
If you've read it, let me know in the comments below what you though. Let's "book nerd" together!