About this book: Gwen Smith knows how easy it is to dismiss God’s plans with the thoughts, I can’t make a big difference for God because I’m just an ordinary woman with an ordinary life. Yet God created us to join Him in doing amazing work in the world. He created us to live with abundant joy, courage, and influence. But not the joy, courage, and influence of the world. He offers His grace for each failure, His love that shatters hate, His peace that soothes the turmoil, His comfort, guidance, wisdom, rest, power, and significance. Every blessing He has for us is ours for the taking.
I Want It All will ignite a fire in your heart to experience more faith, more power, and more impact. More of Jesus. All of Jesus. Everything that God has for you.
About the author: Gwen Smith is an author and volleyball enthusiast who lives in sunny North Carolina and has been married to her college honey, Brad, for 23 years. They are tired parents to three competitive-sport-playing teens who keep them on their toes and on their knees. Her online friends meet at GwenSmith.net to connect and be encouraged, and her goal is to help women think big thoughts about God and be inspired to live out the grace and truth of Jesus. Gwen speaks, leads worship, and eats potato chips at women’s events everywhere, and she is a co-founder of the conference and devotional ministry Girlfriends in God.
Genre: Non-fiction/Religion/Christian Life/Women’s Issues
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Reflection: In her opening pages, Gwen Smith writes: “If…you struggle to connect your questions to God’s answers, or the harsh realities of your life to God’s power, or your choices to God’s wisdom, or your apathy to God’s calling, then settle in a big, comfy chair. I expect we’ll become good friends…” (p. 15)
I like how she lays right out in front who this book is for, and what it’s about. And funny she says bit that about becoming good friends because that’s exactly the tone she adopts throughout I Want It All: friendly. Warm and upbeat, yet honest and real; chummy…sometimes downright folksy. Its tone, I believe, dictates that this book will find its greatest appeal in the under-40 crowd. And even though I can’t strictly count myself among these young folk, I found in reading her book that I want this woman as my friend–and I sensed she might actually want me for hers too.
From page one, I knew Gwen Smith and I would see eye to eye on a lot of stuff, because she’s all about dreaming big and aiming high–not for our own sake but because that’s what God wants for us, and for others. And too often I look around and see that we are living small, sisters. Gwen sees too, and she aims to change it. But not in any big, bad, guilt-inducing way. In an encouraging, it-could-be-so-much-more way.
Each chapter contains questions that would make this book a great source for a women’s Bible study or class, and though the questions are fairly basic, they would at least serve to get the convo started.
More than many, I felt that this author understood me–especially me as a woman. There’s honest confession about feelings (thank you! I wish I didn’t feel so ruled by feelings, but I do…and apparently am not alone) and frustrations of faith. I also appreciated the helpful chapters on resisting temptation, and eliminating hurry, and facing trials with courage. I especially liked this exhortation, which I will leave you with it as it provides a good sense of Gwen Smith’s style and what she is about:
“The truth is, you CAN stand strong when fear shakes you…. Seriously, you can. No matter what you face. This is important for us to realize, because the way you and I walk in faith tells the world about our God. It makes a statement. Tells a story.” (p. 73)
Amen to that, sister. Amen to that.
Thanks to Litfuse Publicity and David C Cook for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
See what other Litfuse reviewers are saying here.
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After words: Have you read a book lately that’s spoken to you in a particularly personal way? Books by Lysa TerKeurst do that for me, as well as Shauna Niequist. If that’s happened to you, please share!