The book: (from the publisher) In a culture that praises blending in over standing out, productivity over purpose, and noise over truth, many women find their God-given voice compromised, quieted, or even mocked. We all long to live out our divinely designed passions and unique talents, yet too often it becomes so much easier in the face of opposition to stay silent altogether. What if God is calling you to so much more?
As a working mom, wife, artist, and abolitionist, Natalie Grant has struggled to live on purpose while battling the worldly demands of keeping up the appearance of perfection. Emerging from her own dark spiral of suffocating inadequacy, Natalie found fresh hope in the truth that God has already given women everything they need to live out their God-given identity, passions, and calling. Finding Your Voice offers the heart-rallying, life-giving truth that a woman’s voice is not an uncalled-for interference to be silenced, but a gift to be used for God’s Kingdom purposes. In voice lessons as in life, a strong vocal identity requires us to first stand firm, breath deep, and finally, go for it—loud and clear.
With rich scriptural study and personal stories infusing every chapter, Finding Your Voice reveals how to discover your own unique talent, train it according to God’s Word, and start using it for the good of others—without guilt and apology.
The author: Four-time Grammy nominated Natalie Grant is known for her powerful and soaring vocals, heart-gripping lyrics and passionate performances, and has remained one of the top-selling Christian & Gospel artists since her 2005 breakout RIAA Gold certified album, Awaken. She has since gone on to have over 3 million in career sales. The Gospel Music Association has named her Female Vocalist of the Year 5 times and she has had multiple number 1’s on the Billboard chart. Her most recent project, Be One, released on November 13th, 2015.
More than just music and awards, Grant has built a relationship with her fan base on a personal level that goes well beyond the music. Regarded as real, authentic and transparent, that connection with people puts Grant at the top of the industry with fan engagement across all social media platforms.
Beyond her music career, Natalie has been an outspoken advocate for victims of human trafficking since 2005. She co-founded Hope for Justice International, which identifies and rescues victims of trafficking and then provides them with complete restorative care. The organization now has 6 offices spanning 4 countries and 3 continents. Though she is a Seattle native, Natalie makes her home in Nashville, TN with her husband, producer/songwriter Bernie Herms and their three children: twins Grace and Bella, and their youngest, Sadie.
Genre: Non-fiction/Religion/Christian Life/Women’s Issues
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Reflection: The subtitle of Natalie Grant’s book drew me in, as did a line in the book’s description: “In a culture that praises…noise over truth…” I paused when I read this, because lately in several conversations with other women, this theme has emerged. Or maybe more accurately, this fear has been voiced: that in her effort to make a difference, the woman is only adding to the noise. She’s afraid her voice is just one more shouting the same message. She wants to make a difference in the world, but she wants to use her voice uniquely, gracefully — and without shouting.
That is the desire. But how do we make it happen? For those of you asking this same question, Finding Your Voice offers many of the answers.
Natalie writes, “He’s created you to be a voice of hope and love to someone.” Few truths breath more life into a woman’s soul than this. We long to know that we are meant to love, and to bring hope, to the people God has placed in our lives. It is a great part of what lends us our purpose. But embracing this truth, and discovering who our “someones” are can be a journey, one in which an experienced guide may help by showing us the way.
Those familiar with Natalie Grant’s work will enjoy not only the guidance she gives, but also the insights she offers into her public and private life, as well as her singer’s perspective. Fans will appreciate her unique angle with which she approaches the subject of finding one’s voice. I particularly resonated with her teachings on finding your tessitura — your thrive zone.
“Your unique tessitura isn’t a concession,” she writes. “It’s the acceptance of who you really are. There is power in that. It means you are living and working from a position of strength, which is not only empowering but allows you to have a greater impact on the world around you. It’s your thrive zone.”
I love that.
The one aspect I didn’t love so much was that the narrative sometimes seemed to stretch to find enough material to fill an entire book. Quite honestly, it felt forced, as if someone had suggested to this well-known artist that it was time to branch out by writing a book. Which also had the feel of being ghost-written (by, I suspect, the lone person thanked in Acknowledgments. I could be wrong.). In terms of narrative, there was the occasional redundancy, and while its Scriptural foundation was solid, the teachings weren’t particularly original. Here, perhaps, Natalie Grant didn’t follow her own best advice, which is to speak your own message and nobody else’s. Not that the book’s content is inauthentic to her, but the medium is. It’s not her tessitura.
That said, fans and any woman who wants to understand better how to discover (or rediscover) her voice will enjoy learning a little more about this woman’s beautiful heart. And in the process, she will come away knowing a bit more about her own as well.
Thanks to BookLook Bloggers and Zondervan for providing me this copy free of charge. All opinions are mine.
After words: What God-given passion do you feel called to live out loud?