Updated: Apr 5, 2018
For the past few years I have made a habit of devoting time in the evening to read a devotional or spiritual book. Though some evenings I have been too tired to read, or may be out of town and have forgotten my book, I always try to take a minimum of fifteen minutes out of my day to read something uplifting and inspirational, whether it be Christian or spiritual based, or a personal well-being focused book. Sometimes I read more than fifteen minutes because I am going through a difficult time and need something to lift my spirits, and other times I read just enough to give me a quick positive, spiritual boost for my day. Regardless of how much I read, or how many days I go without reading, the times that I bring myself back to a book that uplifts me is a time where I can be at peace.
Last year, I had been searching for a new spiritual book or devotional to read, but I kept getting this vague memory of a book I had read a few years before that nudging at the back of my mind. I remembered reading this book while at the beach with my parents, specifically reading it in the evening on a bench outside of our hotel room. I could not remember the name or the author, and I barely remembered the cover of the book. I could only remember the emotions I felt reading the book, making me want to read it again. (I guess the saying, "People don't remember what you said, only how you made them feel," could also be said about books). I went to my bookshelf and scanned through my collection, hoping I had somehow kept it, yet nothing was ringing a bell. Since I no longer had it, and could not even remember the title I decided to give up and try to find something else.
A few days later, after my first recollection of reading this book, I had read an online devotional that I have sent to my email, which sparked a memory. I remembered that the author of the book I was trying to remember was an author for the ministry I received my email devotionals from, Proverbs 31 Ministries. I decided to go to their website, and found a list of all of the authors that wrote for their ministry. The list was long, and I had no clue where to begin my search. I have read other books by the authors listed on the page, yet as I scrolled though the list of authors, somehow one name drew me in. I clicked on the name Sharon Jaynes, and scrolled through the list of books she had written, and all of sudden, as if some magical force intervened, I found the book.
Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God by Sharon Jaynes was the book I had been searching for all along. Since I no longer had my old copy, I googled the book and purchased it online. Within a few days the book was delivered to my door, and I opened it the same night it came. For the next two months, Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God was my evening retreat. In those months when I read this book I smiled, laughed, and even cried as I reflected on my relationship with God. Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God is an honest and sincere book in reminding readers that God reaches out and speaks to us in our everyday lives. The book encourages us to open our hearts and spirits to the possibilities that God's love and presence are constantly around us and providing ways for us to listen to Him.
As I mentioned in a previous post, my mother recently gave me a bag of old books I left in her house from college. To my surprise, one of the books in the bag was my original copy of Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God. I flipped through the pages, and was amazed at how much I had written in this previous copy. While holding the older copy, I went through my old reflections and responses to questions offered in the book. Not only did I personally benefit from my most recent reading of this book, but I saw the evidence of change in the first time I read it. The second time I read it, I didn't write anything on the pages, but I still gained insight by going through it again. I first read it when I was eighteen years old and in a different period in my life, and recently read it at twenty four years old when my life has drastically changed. Though in a different state of mind and being during the times I read the book, I felt empowered and enlightened in a way that related to my relationship with God at the time.
As listed on the book's description on her website, sharonjaynes.com, the question asked is, "Do you find yourself longing to hear God’s voice – not as a once-in-a-lifetime experience but on a daily basis?" If your answer is yes, then this is a great book for you. For my readers who are faith filled, or curious in growing their faith, I certainly recommend reading Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God, which is available for purchase on her website for $12.99. I also recommend checking out the other fabulous books and material she has authored. Sharon has served as Vice President of Proverbs 31 Ministries and co-host for their daily radio feature for ten years. She is the author of 20 books with Harvest House, Moody, Baker, and Multnomah Publishers. She has also written numerous magazine articles and devotions. Sharon is the co-founder of Girlfriends in God, Inc., a non-denominational ministry that crosses generational, denominational and racial boundaries to bring the Body of Christ together as believers.