BOOK REVIEW: My Own Worst Enemy: How to Stop Holding Yourself Back, by Janet Davis

Weaving a vulnerable re-telling of her personal story with ancient Biblical examples, Janet Davis brings a fresh and optimistic perspective to the struggle of self-sabotage.  My Own Worst Enemy is a daring look into our darker areas of shame, unworth, sadness, and fear, while exuding hope on each page.  Such a juxtaposition deserves praise, but the writer is not self-seeking, one rather senses she would be just as happy to have you sit down for coffee with her, and tell your story of growth and healing.  I love stories, and the successful weaving of old favorites with new provides much to glean from.  Janet summarizes the need for this book: “the dynamic of being our own worst enemies carries with it an inherent self-containment and great temptation for isolation.”  This, I easily resonated with.  Each chapter (and even the titles cause one to ponder) begins with a “consideration question,” which stirs the thoughts well before she has delved into her topic.  Loosely arranged around 3 examples of self-sabotage: the unimagined life, the unworthy life, and the unlived life, she follows quickly with our phases of healing and our choices to obtain wholeness.   This book is meant for savoring, for slow-growth, and is excellently suited for a deep Bible study or personal growth exercises.  From the title, I would not have thought this book would have so much to offer me, but any woman struggling with worth, worthiness, or place will find wisdom to draw from.

My thanks to Janet for writing such a tender book, and to Bethany House, for providing the advance copy in return for my review.

For Further Reading:

Janet Davis



other works:  The Feminine Soul; Sacred Healing


BOOK REVIEW: The Exceptional Life, by Stephen Arterburn

In sync with my glowing review of Stephen Arterbur’s previous work, Healing is a Choice, his current book  The Exceptional Life felt like a natural extension of the message: change is possible for anyone.

I was anticipating a continuation of healing principles thoroughly explained, and was not disappointed.  Stephen asks “Want to upgrade to the Exceptional Life?” and it would be a moldy person who did not answer in the affirmative.  In each of his 8 chapters, he gives practical help for recovery from guilt, shame, resentment, fear, anger, instant gratification, learned helplessness, isolation, and addiction, in order to gain the exceptional life, of God’s design.

Stephen doesn’t candy-coat our issues, nor the work needed to regain God’s best for us.  In each chapter, stories are woven to bring into focus each trait – of need for change, and the steps that will accomplish it.  In stark contrast to the superficial life advertised everywhere we look, Arterburn’s book will delve into the pain of alcoholism, overeating, adultery, and less-notable traits like shame and anger.  Few Christian authors dare to say clearly that there is more work to living the life of Christ after reading and praying, but Arterburn is one, and I thank him for his continual stand for growth and change.  Still fewer will stud their theories with personal stories and humility, but Stephen is also of this camp.

If you are looking for change, but do not want the hubris of an Oprah book, I encourage this read – it will become a journey into life!

This review was written for Bethany House Publishers, in return for my advance copy.  You are welcome to join also!


Stephen Arterburn’s online radio presence : New Life Live Show’s listing of his written works

Amazon’s page: Stephen Arterburn

Book Review: Same Life, New Story: Change Your Perspective to Change Your Life by Jan Silvious

Jan SilviousSame Life, New Story captivated me.  It brought together most of my favorite themes: positive change, encouragement, strength-despite-tragedy, and clear Biblical examples, in order that the reader might actively enjoy their benefits.  Citing Naomi, Leah, and the more unusual Jehosheba, among ten marvelous women’s stories of the Bible, Silvious weaves their facts into your struggles, making it possible to both believe in personal change, and become empowered to see it occur.  Jan speaks to those enduring loss, abandonment, abuse, infertility, and aging, among many other struggles, with cheering grace.  Each chapter grabs your attention, (“Don’t be held hostage by the past” and “Delete the drama of the day”) in a progressive layering of Biblical coaching, week by week, including personal reflection questions, journal entry prompts, and group discussion questions.  I wanted to savor this book slowly, drinking in the hopeful words, and giving myself time to absorb her insights.  I highly recommend it for women seeking life-change of any type.  This would be an excellent choice for group or personal study.

This review was done for Booksneeze: in which I received a complimentary copy of the book, in exchange for my review.  You can do the same: click on the button!