My teen daughter has recently expressed an interest in the discipline of Quiet Time, those intentional moments we spend with God. We've discussed bible reading plans and online communities, yet she hasn't found exactly what she had in mind. She thought a devotional might be the answer.
Disclosure: I was given the opportunity to review "Adored," receiving a copy from Handlebar Publishing. I have not been monetarily compensated, nor am I required to write a positive review. Views expressed are my own.
When she opened the package, my daughter squealed with delight. She 'oohed & aahed' over the cover design. The blue and gold hand-lettered look is on trend with today's teens. I like the size (about 5.25"w x 7.5"l x 1.25" thick), as I think she will be able to tuck it into her backpack or Kavu without it taking up too much space.
The pages are smooth with a pretty blue border on the outer pages that matches the cover. Though the print is small to my older eyes, my teenager can see the words clearly. There are 365 days of devotions, an entire year of reflection. My daughter especially liked the headings are numbered Day 1, Day 2, etc. instead of by Month & Day. When I asked why, she replied, "Because if I miss a day, I won't feel guilty. I can just pick up where I left off."
There is a bible verse at the top of the page (NIV translation is used) with a couple of paragraphs below, which are points to ponder. The wording is straight-forward, and will take under 3 minutes to read. Most of the pages seem to focus on why and how God not only loves us, but understanding He adores us. It is easy to 'hear' the author's voice, as if she is chatting with a friend.
The bottom of the page contains a few ruled lines to write a prayer, journal a thought, or make a note. I think this book will allow my daughter to better enjoy her quiet time with Him. She'll have something to dwell upon, a piece of scripture to reference it, and most of all, connect with her Lord.
The price point (Under $15 on most sites, though I've seen it as low as $10.99 on sale) makes this a wonderful idea for the teenager/young 20-something in your life. I would be comfortable giving it as a gift for a newly-baptized believer, stocking stuffer for a niece or neighbor, or even a 'just because' to a special church friend.
I think this will become a well-loved page turner for my daughter. I look forward to discussing her thoughts on each day's devotions, and watching her grow in Him.
I began a new bible study this week; and in an effort to help me process what I read, I want to write down my thoughts after each chapter. If you're interested in learning more about the study, click this link
I was excited to start this study, hoping to gain some biblical insight and understand what His Word says about the body...then I read the first chapter's discussion questions. My mind swirled and my heart sank. I was going to have to dig deep, truly soul search, if I wanted to gain and glean. The hardest part of growing is the pruning; the clipping back of our beliefs & experiences, so we flourish in Truth and into the beautiful creation He intended.
The most difficult questions for me are the last two of chapter one:
How would you define beauty?
What do you hope to gain through this study?
Hmm...do I give the Christianese answer, or the world's viewpoint answer? I turned to my daughter and her friend, and asked them. They are fourteen, and regularly inundated with the obsession of chasing beauty. Their responses were a little surprising, and encouraging:
I have so much to learn! They are looking beyond the surface, and deep into the hearts of the people they admire. Hoping to Gain
Not until I prayed about this question, did I realize I still had body image issues. I honestly thought for the most part I had dealt with the history of living life in this flesh He fashioned specifically for me. As I shared with my group what I hoped to gain from this study, tears from deep down bubbled up to the surface...and I'm not a crier by nature.
My hope is to once-and-for-all truly believe in the depths of my soul that I am who the I AM says I am. I want to KNOW - without any doubt - that all those verses I quote to my children and sisters and friends are intended for me, too.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You guided my conception and formed me in the womb. 11 You clothed me with skin and flesh, and you knit my bones and sinews together. 12 You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love. My life was preserved by your care.
Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
So today, I begin earnest prayer. As I seek the Truth of beauty, I seek His transformation of my perceptions on this subject and a willing heart prepared to accept what He shows me in this journey. May my desires for the perfect body, instead match His desires for me to glorify Him with the body I've been given. It's time to move and grow.