Wednesday, January 16, 2013

God IS My Refuge!

I come from a long line of worriers. My Granddaddy was a worrier. My Momma was a worrier. And I fit that description, too. It's one Smith trait I wish I had not inherited.

So when Teri Lynne asked me if I would be willing to review a new devotional by Kathy Howard called God Is My Refuge: 12 Weeks of Devotions and Scripture Memory for Troubled Times, I was instantly on board.

As I flipped through the book, my excitement grew. Learning to make the Lord my true refuge from worry and fear is one of my top priorities in 2013, and from what I can tell, this twelve-week devotional will be an excellent way to start my journey.

(Read Kathy's bio here.)

Kathy covers topics like lonliness, broken relationships, uncertainty, trouble (boy, can we relate to those today or what?!), and discontentment, but the ones that stood out to me were illness, fear, and worry. I wonder why? *snort*

Sound Man and I  have had so many health issues (not life threatening, just really, really annoying) over the past few years that when I read, "Your heavenly Father is intimately familiar with your body. He knows when  you are healthy, and He knows when you struggle with illness or injury. You can trust Him with the body He so wonderfully made" (pp 61-62, emphasis mine), it immediately calms my spirit. Oh, I know I can pray that the Lord will heal me or my husband, but just knowing that He knows exactly what's going on with the intricately designed, hidden part of just brings me peace.

God Is My Refuge is set up for twelve weeks, broken into five days each. Each day is a different aspect of the topic for that week. Each week starts out with a memory verse (LOVE that!) that deals with the topic. I love, love, love the verse for the week of "Fear":

I sought the Lord, and He answered me;
He delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:4

This verse holds special meaning for my husband, and has infiltrated my mind, as well. I can't really get away from it, seeing as how it's literally tattooed on his arm. But the more I've thought about it, the more precious it becomes. At the end of each "day" there is a "Memory Minute" that helps you memorize that week's Scripture. 

So. Good.

Each day of the devotional there is a passage of Scripture to read, then the memory verse reference is given as a reminder to memorize (!). Then one of my favorite parts of any devotional...thoughts by the author. Through just sharing her heart or reliving a life experience, Kathy brings an intimate way to make Scripture personalized. She then asks questions relating to that day's thoughts and Scripture reading, and ends with a "Prayer Prompt."

(Read an interview with Kathy Howard about God is My Refuge here)

By the end of the twelve weeks, I hope to have a better grasp on how to trust my heavenly Father, no matter what troubling situation I'm faced with. I think it's interesting that my word for the year of 2012 was "trust," but I find myself at the beginning of 2013 desperately needing the same word again. 

Methinks God Is My Refuge has come at the perfect time. 

Please visit Kathy Howard's website for ordering information.

Just as a disclaimer, I was given a copy of God is My Refuge in exchange for an objective review. All opinions shared are completely mine. 



Kathy Howard said...
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Kathy Howard said...

Heather, thanks for sharing "God Is My Refuge" with your readers! It's a blessing to hear how God is already using it to encourage you through His Word!