Friday, December 7, 2018

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women - A Review

We were provided a copy of this lovely edition of Zondervan's devotional Beloved to use and review. 

Having the opportunity to review the devotional Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women by Zondervan became an early Christmas gift for me. The book itself is lovely, it is a nice size, a nice weight - yes, that can make a difference and filled with wisdom. While the book itself is a lovely gift, it has been the reading of the pages together with my teen daughter that has been the true gift. 

We have been reading one of the brief devotions about three times a week for the last several weeks. Given the length of each devotion a daily reading really shouldn't be difficult in general. We have just had a very packed and hectic schedule this month. Which has increased the satisfaction of the time we have been reading this collection together. We included the reading in our early morning still in pjs on the couch snuggle time which explains the lack of photos of us using the book in this review. Too early in the day for any portraits!

Your identity as a woman matters to God. 

Especially during this season of Christmas preparations and activities it has been so wonderful to slow down, be together and read the encouragement found in the pages of Beloved. Meant for young women, Beloved contains 365, one page devotions. Each page also has lined journal space for a written reflection.

Who of us, young or old, doesn't benefit from a bit of encouragement and reminders of our true state of beloved-ness. I know as a mom, my doubts can feel perpetual and that they mar my ability to pass the message of God's love on to my daughter by example. This volume of one page devotions is an easy to add tool for sharing the message of "you are beloved" with any young woman. When I distill all that I want to convey to my daughter as she comes into her own as a young woman, it can be so hard to teach by word and example when I am myself not tuned into the message of unconditional love but is surely the most important message of all. 

Having this tool provides an easy to reach for way to incorporate biblical examples that remind each of us, that our identity as a woman matters to God

You are all together beautiful... -Song of Songs 4:7

Our time reading the passages together has been nourishing. The passages are brief enough so that the actual reading of each takes only a few of minutes. It is the actual consideration of the verse and the accompanying paragraphs that has led short discussions and even the quiet considerations in silence together. Those moments have been the real gift of each page.  A bit more joy and love and thoughtfulness has been added to our mornings together during this busy time of life and the year's season. Each passage has also increased my thoughtfulness about mothering my daughter who is about to embark on her own journeys as a this young woman.

This is a wonderful volume of devotions for the intended audience of young women. The brevity of the passages increases the likelihood of even the busiest of teens to read regularly. Despite the short daily passages these pages are filled with details of and insight from the stories of the woman of the Bible. As I read ahead, on my own for this review in Beloved, I began to see the weaving together of the stories and the intended emphasis of encouragement for young women in their lives today. 

I love how the passages revolve around the theme of womanhood with so many biblical examples, each with a story that sheds light on God's promise. Any affirmation for our teen daughters of the beauty and wonder of ourselves as women is welcome. This devotional offers affirming insight from the woman described in scripture and how each of their stories emphasize God's love for each of us.

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