Kimberly approached me recently, asking if I'd be willing to review her book. Because my own focus tends to be devotional or spiritual-growth in nature, I gladly accepted and she sent a PDF version of the ebook to facilitate my review.
First off, I have to say I love the cover art! Growing up near the ocean and always loving waterways of all types, this image totally appeals to me on so many levels. The artwork would seem to indicate a drop-off near a few of the stepping stones in the water, suggesting a person with great balance would put one foot in front of the other while walking near this place where the water falls away. The stones eventually veer away from this drop-off as they make their way toward the water's landing place a distance away. This image is so true to life lived in the spiritual realm for the believer. Some steps in life seem so close to falling over the edge, while others lead closer to safety. But the stones leading to safety are not reached unless the traveller passes over the stones so close to peril and danger. For the person looking at their devotional life and wondering how on earth they will ever get into a routine or be more biblical about it all with so much going on around them, they might be on the stones near the drop-off at this time.
Kimberly's book will take such a reader from that perilous position, and walk them through a series of changes in mindset toward the whole concept of devotions, offering a foundation from which to move towards regular, active and rewarding personal quiet times spent between them and God in the Scriptures.
Kimberly begins with the smashing of a whole list of misconceptions many believers have regarding the concept of personal devotions. With that out of the way, she then asks the reader to assess their priorities and take steps to eliminate distractions. After that, she offers some very good tools and focus options when considering where to begin and how to continue. I have to give her a huge slap on the back for encouraging the reader to steer clear of following their emotions or "their heart" as the world puts it, and instead, put action into place regardless of how they feel. Scripture, in various words and ways, teaches through principle that when we do what is right even when we don't feel like it, the feelings will eventually follow. Kimberly draws this out very well. This is extremely important when developing a consistent personal devotional life.
She mentions one common statistic that tends to change depending on what study you look at or from whom it came, but she mentions how long it typically takes to build a new habit. Her sources suggested 90 days or three months. Other sources suggest 30 days or 40 days. Depending on your personality and how quickly you latch onto new routines, any of these three time frames could be what you need to develop a new habit. I had to darkly chuckle at the 90 day suggestion, because my own life seems to change routine every three to six months. As a single mother, that has made a consistent time frame for personal devotions almost non-existent at various times in my life. Sometimes life will throw curveballs that throw your current routine out the window. When that happens, I'd encourage you to look for a different time slot, place, or routine that can help you stay in God's Word on a regular basis.
Kimberly's book is undergoing further preparations for eventual debut on the printed page. The ebook does have some overlooked edits that will hopefully be caught enroute to becoming a physical book you will enjoy holding in your hands. But overall, I give this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars. If the concept of personal devotions seems daunting to you, make sure you buy a copy of this book!