When I receive the book, dove right into the book and had it finished reading in approximately 2 days. Just couldn't put it down. Love the title. There are 12 chapters. They are not very long chapters. Each chapter is like a conservation going on. It makes you feel like you are sitting next to them as they speak to each other.
One thing I notice is that in each of the chapters there are different sayings from different authors. They are totally great. Here are some of the sayings are: "God is in charge. Every disappointment is His appointment." Kay Arthur, "Prayer is an invisible tool which is wielded in a visible world." Leo Tolstoy, "Daily prayers will diminish your cares." Betty Mills, "Until further notice, celebrate everything." David Wolf, Matthew 6:34 (NIV) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own, Proverbs 27:4 (NIV) Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? Proverbs 13:3 (NIV) those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin. "There are some tragedies that are too big for a heart to hold, and they defy any description that makes sense." Carol Kent, The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Chinese proverb, "Waste not fresh tears over old griefs." Euripides, "I found myself at the end of my rope, and the only knot I had was Jesus." Author unknown, "One hundred years from now it won't matter if you got that big break, took the trip to Europe, or finally traded up to a Mercedes_It will greatly matter, one hundred years from now, that you made a commitment to Jesus Crist." Author unknown, and "When you look for the good in others, you discover the best in yourself." Martin Walsh. I enjoyed all of them. There were so many, that I had hard time picking and choose the few that I pick.
Yes there were only 12 chapters in the book. The name of the chapters were If Only, Choose to Forgive, Choose to Pray, Choose Joy, Choose Not to Worry, Choose to Be Content, Choose to Respond, Choose Generosity, Choose to Dream, Choose to Hope, Choose Jesus, and Choose Daily. I loved the title of each chapter. In addition, they give you a sense of choose to do each one either weekly or even daily.
At the end of each chapter there were questions to be answered. Here are the questions that I choose to ponder on: Chapter 1) How do "If Onlys" and "What Ifs" control your actions and decisions? Chapter 2) Do you ever have difficulty accepting/believing in God's forgiveness? Chapter 3) How can you set aside time daily to pray for others? How might the use of a prayer journal help you? Chapter 4) Read James 1:2-4. What do you learn from James about trails? Chapter 5) What things cause you to worry (health, finances, family, potential accidents, etc.)? Chapter 6) What is the difference between being content and being complacent? Chapter 7) Can you identify a time when you chose to react? A time when you chose to respond? Which outcome was more positive? Chapter 8) What things keep you from becoming a generous friend? Chapter 9) Is there an "if only" or "what if" you are facing right know? Chapter 10) What is something you hope for? In whom is your hope place? Chapter 11) Have you ever found it difficult to share the gospel with someone special? What made it challenging? Chapter 12) Can you anticipate any time during the upcoming week when you might need to choose again (for example, not to worry, to be generous, to dream or hope)?
In the end of all the chapters you get a feel of sense of belonging in the book called Live Free. I totally enjoyed the book. Yes I would recommend the book to anyone I know. In addition, would I read the book again? Yes I would read the book again. It was short book that has a powerful impact on life.
I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from the MPNewsroom. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Do you live in a constant state of if only this would happen then my life would be better or if only that hadn't happened my attitude would be better? What about the what if questions--what if something bad happens? Worry has its own set of problems.
Kendra Smiley uses the real life stories of real women who have faced the if onlys and what ifs of life and chose not to live in fear and worry and not let their circumstances rob them of their joy and peace. They chose instead to be content and trust God to provide protection, provision and peace. They chose to dream, to hope and to respond rather than react.
Kendra's stories inspire and encourage. Most of the stories are extreme examples of how God works in the lives of His children. We will all experience struggles in our lifetime. The goal is to put our lives in God's control and trust Him. We should respond to the events of our life with faith and trust. Knowing there are people who have succeeded in responding in a godly way can encourage and inspire us to be the best Christians we can be.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from MP Press as part of Moody Publishers' Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Live Free is a life and attitude changing book! When we are slapped with painful and unexpected experiences, we have all fallen into the trap of asking ourselves the questions, "what if"and "if only".
Ms. Smiley does a beautiful job of gently showing us that these two phrases take away our peace, joy, and contentment from the present, and cause us to focus on the past. A past we can do nothing to alter or erase. We waste the beautiful opportunities and blessings of the present.
The bottom line is that we are not putting our full trust and faith in God. Instead, we are refusing to believe He loves us so much that He would only choose what is the very best for us.
The book is divided into the positive attitudes we should choose in response to difficult challenges we handle it with God's Word and the mind of Christ. Each chapter shares unbelievable trials a woman has faced and her incredible choice respond with courage and confidence in God. These women were just like us, with families, plans, and bright futures, never expecting the storm that was about to turn their lives upside down. Being able to relate to these women really helped me apply what I learned.
The author shows how each lady decided to focus on Christ and Scripture exclusively rather than their problem. They all could have just as easily given into hopelessness, despair, and fear. Throughout the book are beautiful thought provoking quotes and scriptures that give insight and encouragement into HOW they accomplished this. I looked at them as the stepping stones these ladies used to walk with Christ through such deep valleys.
It was so helpful the way Ms. Smiley showed in detail how each woman used the scriptures to find strength and peace in such horrible circumstances. These women were not perfect and each openly revealed where they faltered and stumbled. They illustrate how instead of laying down where they fell; they turned to the Lord for strength and continued on. I liked all the scriptural references that anchored them to God in their storms. Ones that will help me too.
At the end of each chapter there is a "Choose to Reflect" section with a scripture and a closing thought. Excellent study questions are included that help you apply what you have learned to your life and circumstances.
This book is a keeper, one to read over again and share with friends. Mine is filled with highlights and personal notes! I found this book to be inspiring, encouraging, and comforting. Thank you Ms. Smiley for not only putting my trials into perspective but showing me how to find the "Light" in the darkest hours!
I received this book free from Moody Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255