Don’t you love this cover? The dresses the women are wearing might be vintage 1950’s, but the book’s contents are for those of us wrestling with life in the 21st century.
30 Ways to Embrace Life: Wise Women Share Their Secrets by Lucinda Secrest McDowell & Friends has just been released this month, and I’ve already purchased personal copies to share with family members at Christmas. Cindy has recruited some of my favorite Christian writers to contribute stories of tragedy and triumph, faith and fun, possibilities and perseverance.
“Share Hope from Brokenness” by Carol Kent reminds me that it’s the difficult things we navigate in life that make us more useful to others. Few can identify with our successes, but God uses our struggles and heartaches to comfort and mentor others.
Gail MacDonald’s “Comfort One Another” is a chapter I turned to immediately. On our women’s retreat last weekend, I was struck by the fact that ministry most often happens not from the “top down” but as women come alongside each other. I met with a women’s leader once from a Dallas church who started a ComfortHer ministry in their area. What wonderful imagery of women listening to the voice of the true Comforter while reaching out to one another.
Virelle Kidder is yet another superb writer whose insights are captured in 30 Ways. In her chapter “Make a Fresh Start”, Virelle confesses her struggle with adjusting her attitude after her husband Steve asked her to fulfill a lifelong dream of his to move south.”Why stop trusting now?” Virelle writes. “Learning to lean harder on Him through the uncertainties of change will be good for me, even if I am a little scared. It’s another way He is growing me up.”
But my favorite stories of all are the ones Cindy McDowell tells herself. Her story “Follow God, Trusting His Plan” is worth the price of the book alone. How would you feel if you discovered that you were the answer to a dying woman’s prayer, and that woman was your husband’s first wife?
We all have stories to tell, and perhaps some of yours will appear in a book like Cindy’s some day. If you’d like to win a copy of 30 Ways to Embrace Life, just leave a comment after this post.