In the same vein as yesterday’s book, today’s book explores those instances in life where thing don’t (or didn’t) go the way you planned… but unlike yesterday’s book, this one is specific to women and women’s issues.
What Happened to My Life?: Finding New Passion, Purpose, and Joy – Danna Demetre
Summary (from the publishers):
Here’s your 40-day plan for reclaiming your life
Do you feel too busy? Do you worry about the future? Do disappointments in life drain your joy? It doesn’t have to be that way! In What Happened to My Life? personal life coach and speaker Danna Demetre invites you to join her on a 40-day journey where you’ll learn to
- slow down and make good choices
- reinterpret life and have more realistic expectations
- choose the very best from all the good
- pursue God in a life-changing way
Whether you’re dealing with a crisis or simply feeling that life is not all you’d hoped for, you’ll learn to find authentic contentment and joy regardless of your circumstances.
It’s time to move from simply surviving to truly thriving once again!
In this book, Demetre has woven a narrative that speaks directly to women — all women — no matter what stage they’re at in life. At one point or another, we’ve all lost our passion and purpose, and it can be both helpful and encouraging to read a book like this that speaks as ‘one woman to another’.
It’s clear that the author is no stranger to heartache and pain. She openly describes how she single-handedly destroyed her first marriage through selfish thoughts and actions, and she discusses her struggles with eating disorders, anxiety, and broken relationships. This is a woman who’s had to pull herself up out of the darkest places — with God’s help. Clearly, this woman knows what she’s talking about, because she’s been there before.
The book itself is divided into two sections: the narrative, and the devotional. I found a lot to like in the narrative, and wouldn’t hesitate to pass it on to a struggling friend (or anyone, really)… and while I haven’t completed the devotional portion of the book (it’s a 40-day program), I like what I’ve read and the format — Scripture, “story” (ie. some more thoughts from Demetre), and personal questions — is easy to follow and quick for busy women to complete.
My primary complaint is… the book doesn’t SAY it’s a devotional up front. Yes, on the table of contents page it’s clear that there are two parts to the book, and on the back the text says “here’s your 40-day plan for reclaiming your life”, but if you’re picking this up off a bookshelf, you might just assume that it’s a regular book with 40 chapters. Or 40 scheduled readings. Or you might not think anything of the number ’40′ at all, since it’s not explicitly said “this is a devotional guide”.
That bothered me, and I think it would have been best to state right on the cover “40-day plan” or “40-day journey” if the publisher wanted to shy away from “devotional” — I can see how that might be the case, since the focus is on learning how to find authentic joy and contentment again, and not on developing spiritual disciplines (or whatever other expectations the word ‘devotional’ conjures up to the average reader).
One other thing that’s relatively minor was the use of quotations from the author’s previous books. In a few chapters, large chunks of text were taken from Demetre’s earlier works. I can understand the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, but would it really have taken that much time to re-phrase the points being made? To me, it seemed like indulgent self-promotion, but that’s really a matter of perspective and it might not bother other readers.
I’ll leave you with a link to an excerpt from the book, which you can find here: *EXCERPT* (pdf file)
It’s a very well written book, because Demetre takes a conversational approach to the subject and is very open and candid about her own struggles. Women at different places in the their lives will get different things out of it, and I think it’s the kind of book that you read once, place on your shelf for a few years, and read it again as your life changes and you encounter new obstacles and pitfalls.
I encourage you to read the excerpt and, if you know God, to pray about who think book might be best suited for. If you’re not a Christian, you’ll be able to tell from the excerpt whether or not you’d be interested in this book, but I think there’s something for everyone here, regardless of where they’re coming from — after all, we could all use a little more encouragement and joy in our lives, right?
Available now at your favorite bookseller from Revell,
a division of Baker Publishing Group.