I love being sent books to review!
Thank you SPCK for this very beautiful one.
I know you’re not meant to judge a book by its cover – but when this one came out of the envelope I just wanted to dive straight in. To me it seemed full of possibility as a devotional as a very busy Mum of 3, in a complicated-never-dull family trying to make the most of every opportunity to serve. It looked like the kind of devotional that would be ok to be dipped into when needed or dived in wholesale with a bar of choc and coloured pens when the opportunity arose.
Each page spread is a warm and colourful illustration, a journal prompt and a lined page for jotting.
So this morning in between getting our youngest dressed by the TV downstairs, working out how to create a star-on-a-stick for a puppet, and prompting our eldest in & out of the shower I grabbed a pen and picked a page that seemed fairly straight forward. ‘List opportunities or possessions you are thankful for in your life’. Today this became a very neat linear list as I was reminded of all that God has placed in and around my life. It moved me to thankfulness without thinking, and there was no sense of guilt when the moment ceased and I was needed for the next thing.
For me, in this season of life (which has been quite long already and who knows how much longer it will last!) most devotionals leave me riddled with guilt. No fault of their own, its that feeling that I can’t keep up with their demand, haven’t time to really do it justice, having to leave it unfinished – or not even started, the dated page glaring at me – I’m left feeling I am a very poor example of a good devoted Christian! So to find I could leave a page having thought, prayed, and feeling no guilt was rather special.
The prompts range across prayer, scripture, worship, church fellowship; challenges, opportunities and hopes and dreams. And I think most of them could be both taken very much at face value or sat with for a while with God depending on the day, and what else is kicking off around you. Which is useful.
The illustrations by Olivia Holden are lovely. Undemanding and inviting. Many contain Bible verses drawn out, dancing alongside you as you write and think. My instinct of course is to want to draw and doodle, and I wonder whether the lined pages might feel restricting on those days but so far that’s not been the case.
The prompts would be good to chat about with others over coffee, or good to spend some time (when you get it) with a Bible or a podcast, or a book you would like to glean from. Its a book to leave out and have to hand, to dip into when there’s an unexpected moment. And I suspect it will be one I will look back into in years to come and will be reminded of God’s faithfulness in the busy years.
You can find ‘Faith Lists, your spiritual life in lists’. Illustrated by Olivia Holden at SPCK.