of Becoming the Woman God Wants Me To Be
Reviewed by Melissa J.
Becoming The Woman God Wants Me To Be : A 90 Day Guide
to Living the Proverbs 31 Life by Donna Partow
"...a relevant and practical resource for the academic world as well as leaders in the church."
Becoming the Woman
God Wants Me to Be captured me, heart and mind, in
the first few pages.
Typically one to stand in a Christian bookstore flipping aimlessly through women's Bible studies and coming away feeling as if none of them either pertain to my life or will take me deep enough, I had the delightful opposite reaction just in reading the intro to Donna's study.
Donna spoke to me directly as she shared that every time she read Proverbs 31 she had the thought that "the Proverbs 31 woman was a mythological creature or worse---I thought she was a weapon spiritual leaders use to make all of us ordinary Christian women feel bad about ourselves."
"Now here is a fellow Christian sister who is refreshingly real when it comes to the model Proverbs 31 woman", was my first thought. "I can read a Bible study like this!" Donna then went on to introduce me to a real-life Proverbs 31 woman that she had met in her travels. By the end of the written introduction, I had been inspired and captured by the thought of, "I sure wish I could become a woman like that someday!"
Donna assures me, as well as the rest of her readers, that this is possible. "The process will not happen overnight", she cautions, "but instead will be a result of a deliberate application of God's Word and daily surrender to Him. The Proverbs 31 life is within our grasp as women."
The program overview of Donna's 90 day study, as given in the introduction, includes every aspect that could possibly make up a woman's life. Just two weeks into the study, with a quick speed-reading through the rest of the book, and it is apparent that Donna tackles each issue with down to earth counsel and godly advice, as well as a practical hands-on approach for her readers.
Throughout the course of the 90 day study a woman will work through the following areas of her life: faith, family, fitness, personal appearance and fashion, finances and retirement planning, household management, ministry, business, and self-management.
Micro-categories within these main categories include such things as memorizing the entire passage of Proverbs 31:10-31 and establishing a routine of spiritual disciplines, beginning the daily habit of a prayer walk, following a simple cleansing diet, developing a well-balanced approach to personal appearance and learning the keys to appropriate dress.
Donna also includes helpful tidbits in her daily devotionals such as implementing a debt-reduction strategy and creating a retirement plan, getting your home in order by de-junking, de-cluttering, and creating a routine, turning your home into a center of life and ministry, studying what the Bible stays about self-employment, and restoring strength and stability to your soul.
Donna walks along side her readers and helps them meet each of these goals by encouraging each one to start a personal notebook. In the notebook, sections are gradually created for each of these goals as the study progresses. While this exercise may seem daunting to certain personalities, other personalities will thrive on such an approach. Whether her approach fits the reader's way of doing things or not, the truth remains, it brings each lesson home in a practical fashion that should not be quickly disregarded.
Not only was I thrilled with the general overview of the entire study, I benefitted particularly from the first day exercise in which Donna encourages her reader to develop their own Personal Vision Statement. She does this through a series of exercises and I was excited to see what the end result was. Two weeks out from doing this and I am still finding that creating my Personal Vision Statement is having a great deal of impact on my daily life.
Each day's study follows the same format Monday through Friday---a Scripture to memorize and a passage to read. These are then followed up with a written prayer and a personal application. Donna's person applications are not just shallow, "this is what you should do paragraphs" but instead, are dig-deep and hit-hard readings. She follows up each of these heart-searching and thought-provoking devotionals with a daily affirmation to meditate on and then a practical way to implement everything into the reader's personal life.
Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for a review of everything that was addressed during the week.
Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be is refreshingly deep and spiritually motivating. Put another way, the study is absolutely brilliant! The study may last for a mere 90 days but the results, if truly worked through and personally applied, will last a woman's lifetime!
Melissa J. Carswell: Melissa is a Board Certified Christian Counselor. However, due to the appearance of a little bundle of Miracle in the past year, the counseling practice is now on indefinite hold. Instead, Melissa has entered the world of freelance writing from home. She is currently one of the content writers for TotallyHer.com (to be launched in September of 2008). Melissa has a passion for mentoring teen girls and young women and does so whenever possible. Her heart longing, along with her husband, is to use her education and credentials someday to have a home full of abandoned, abused, and terminally ill childen. They are still waiting for God's hand to unfold that particular chapter of their lives. When Melissa isn't changing diapers, doing laundry, cooking meals, mentoring the afore-mentioned young women, tending to her garden, being her husband's biggest fan, and soaking in every cuddly moment with her daughter, she reads and she writes. It is not unusual to see 2-3 books laying around the house at any given time and the hard drive to her computer houses several partially-written manuscripts to the secret dreamed-of-published books Melissa hopes for in the future. You can check out A Weak Rose here.