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Do you ever question GodÆs ability to catch you when you fall?
Do shame, fear, and brokenness keep you from fully trusting God?
Do you secretly believe your dreams are unreachable? Do you secretly believe your dreams are unreachable? You are not alone.
This is a book about trust. How we fight it. How we learn to do it. How it transforms us. Life is not safe. That reality slips over us as we grow. ...
Do you ever question GodÆs ability to catch you when you fall?
Do shame, fear, and brokenness keep you from fully trusting God?
Do you secretly believe your dreams are unreachable? Do you secretly believe your dreams are unreachable? You are not alone.
This is a book about trust. How we fight it. How we learn to do it. How it transforms us. Life is not safe. That reality slips over us as we grow. Our response to the Father in that reality allows us either to swing higher and higher with the trust of a child . . . or fearfully shrink back from the swing set altogether. As we weigh that choice, God whispers: Trust me.
In a remarkably transparent account, author and speaker Sheila Walsh opens wide her lifelong battle with trust and the moment-by-moment choices she made to follow where God led. Sheila has lived a life ruled by the ôhidden placesö of insecurity and brokenness and knows the overwhelming beauty of a life wholly handed over to Christ.
As you encounter her struggles and triumphs, you also meet ten of the BibleÆs transformedùTabitha, David, Paul, and othersùwho teach us that in spite of overwhelming circumstances, just one trusting encounter with Christ sets beautiful things in motion. It can resurrect dreams, instill purpose, and ignite hope.
Back home in Virginia Beach after being released from the psychiatric hospital, I began to see a therapist, initially three times a week: Dr. Frank Gripka. This kind, gentle, gray-haired gentleman had a profound impact on my life, an impact that continues to this day. One of the most powerful things he said to me was, "Sheila, Jesus didn't come to get you out of the pain of life; he has come to live in you through it."
That one statement alone was worth months of therapy.
I began to realize that my prayers had been focused on getting through this difficult time and returning to whatever kind of normal I could find. I wanted this disruption to be over. I wanted to feel better, to be happy again. I had prayed that Jesus would "fix me" so that no one else would know what was true about my story. I didn't want to be the girl with the kind of issues that madepeople whisper.
Only that "normal," shiny, controlled, pre-disrupted life would be shallow, Dr. Gripka was showing me.
Slowly I began to embrace the truth that my life was no longer mine to control. I belonged to Christ, and he wanted to live his life through me-through the good days and the difficult ones too. This fresh understanding gave me the courage to do the thing I feared most: to listen to what other key people in my life had to say to me. I didn't want that. I didn't want people seeing all my doubts, fears, and uncontrollable imperfections. I wanted to run away and start a new life somewhere else where no one knew me, where I could be just the girl with the funny accent, a cat, and no past.
How Long Are You Going to Run?
That was when one of my closest friends, Steve Lorenz, challenged me. I still remember that day. I was very upset by a phone call I had received. The caller, someone I knew, said that they heard from a reliable source that I had quit my job and was running away from anyone having any input into my life. I was hurt because this person didn't ask me what was going on and simply believed what someone else supposed. I wanted the caller's and my history together to mean something-enough to give me the benefit of the doubt. Never mind that there was some truth to what the caller had said. I just shut down. I felt physically too weak to deal with any criticism. I called Steve, in a panic, hardly able to breathe.
"Sheila," he asked, "how long are you going to run? When will you stand still and see that god is with you? Why are you so afraid of what other people think?"
Why indeed? It was true that I had built my security on what other people thought. I couldn't deny to Steve what my actions told both of us, that I believed if the person on the phone thought I was flaky, that had to be true.
Steve reinforced what Dr. Gripka had said: I was being called to stand still, confident that Jesus was with me. I had nothing to be afraid of, especially the truth. Steve also reminded me that walking away from what I am afraid of doesn't make it go away. I had to feel and face the fear. I had to know I was not alone.
I read the truth of this that night in the book of Isaiah-another of the awesome promises about the coming King: "A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out" (42:3 NIV).
Either Way I'm in Trouble
Certainly I was feeling very bruised and close to broken. It seemed to me that there were those around me who would gladly snuff me out. In fact, the days leading up to my time in the hospital, I had tried to find out how a diagnosis of clinical depression would be viewed, and discovered that mental illness is very controversial in many areas of the church. Not everyone acknowledges the validity of clinical depression as an illness, seeing it instead as a lack of faith, a surrender to weakness, or an indication of some secret sin. I had worked with some people during those five years whom I considered friends only to discover that when I needed them most, they were not only distant but also dismissive. One staff member went as far as to tell my boss, Dr. Pat Robertson, that he considered me to be a pathological liar who was making up everything for sympathy and attention.
I cannot describe how betrayed and wounded I felt. I was already low, not sleeping or eating well, and overwhelmingly sad. I found myself wondering if they were right. What if I was imagining this illness to excuse myself from being a responsible adult? That agony was the final straw that caused me to seek help.
I sat in Dr. Robertson's office one day and said, "I don't know what's true anymore. If those who are standing against me are right, then I need help. If what I am experiencing is legitimate, then I also need help. Either way, I'm in trouble."
When I returned to Virginia Beach after the monthlong hospitalization, Dr. Robertson was kind enough to offer to find me a job at CBN until I felt well enough to be back on-air, but I knew that wasn't the best option for me then. I had a lot of things I needed to work through. I wanted to understand why I was so afraid of what other people thought of me. I needed to resolve the anger and hurt I felt toward those whom I felt betrayed me.
I also wanted to find out why, for as long as I can remember, I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Perhaps you know that feeling. It's an insidious intruder that whispers to us whenever we begin to feel hope again. For me, I was afraid to be happy, because I assumed at that very moment I finally found happiness, there would be a thud.
Facing My Fear
I spent a lot of time meeting with those who felt I had let them down and those I felt had dismissed me. The fresh realization that god knew my story and loved me gave me the ability to open up to the input of others. My heart at every meeting was to listen so I didn't defend myself. I simply listened to what the person in front of me was saying and tried to put myself in their shoes.
I was fascinated by the power of listening; it became a very revealing exercise that I continue to this day. I discovered that when I am defensive, I am deaf; but when I have an open heart, I can hear clearly.
Still, not every meeting ended as I hoped. There were many tears shed. At the end of some meetings, I was sad but not destroyed. It may seem strange to you to think that a grown woman would feel so helpless against the opinions of others. The truth is, there was a wounded child inside me who at times still liked to take center stage. I was learning to bring that part of me to the feet of Jesus to be healed and loved out of shame.
Though I did give opportunities to everyone who felt they needed to say something to me, I did not let every Tom, Dick, or Harriet dump his or her personal preferences or beliefs on me. The people I sat with were those I had a real relationship with; integrity called for accountability. It was a very cleansing pursuit. It felt good to be responsible for my choices and take ownership of my own life. After several weeks of counseling and conversations, I knew that it was time to take a next step. I knew that I didn't want to return to the spotlight, so I began to ask god what that next step should be.
For too long I have tried to dance one beat ahead of time, yet deep inside an ancient song sings to this soul of mine and told me not to be afraid of things that shadow me. In facing them at last, I will be free. London and Paris.
I also had a cat named Abigail. Every time I watched Abigail wash her paws and clean her fur, I saw a picture of myself. Having come through such a dark time, my small sanctuary in Laguna Niguel seemed to be a place to lick my wounds and recover. I quickly settled into my apartment and life as a seminary student, and weeks turned to months.
All seemed quiet on my new western front. I would have been quite happy for it to stay that way, but there was a change in the air. I didn't feel it until it was right upon me.
One sunny morning, I was sitting out on my balcony with a cup of coffee in front of me, Abigail on my lap, and my Bible open to the book of the prophet Isaiah. I found such comfort in a particular passage that I underlined the verses:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (43:1-3)
As I read on, I came to a couple of verses I just couldn't get past. I read them over and over, each time arrested by something in the text that felt deeper than my immediate understanding:
Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? (vv. 43:18-19)
At first, I looked at the obvious new things in my life. I was living in a new place. I was a new student in seminary. I had just met and was dating a great guy, Barry. But none of these realities felt as if they fit the weight of what god was speaking to me. So I underlined the verses, marked the date-March 5, 1993-and let it rest.
The following year was full of discovery. I was surprised and happy that I could still learn new things. Since one of the side effects of clinical depression can be short-term memory loss, I worried that I wouldn't be able to retain what I was learning in my first class at Fuller Seminary.
Then I discovered a great friend in Barry. As our friendship began to grow into something deeper, I found myself wondering if I was too fragile to form a serious relationship. I had never allowed myself before to feel fragile-I wanted to see myself as a strong person, someone others could lean upon. Now I was learning things about myself that belied that myth. I was finding out that my only true strength was in following Jesus, trusting him, and leaning on him. So after a series of on-again, off-again moments in my relationship with Barry, it became clear to me that he was a good man and my love for him began to grow. What really mattered to me was that he and I were on the same path and we were following the same Shepherd. We both knew brokenness and healing. That seemed to be the hallmark of every new relationship I was making.
Part of learning to trust god was learning to trust that he would lead me and keep me on not necessarily an easy path but a safe one. I had spent the previous thirty-six years charging ahead, confident that I knew what I was doing. Now I was very much in the shoes of a child, learning to take one step at a time; as a child looks into the eyes of her mother to see if she's doing it right, I set my gaze on my heavenly Father. I knew that he would catch me if I fell.
It was clear to me that many of the friendships and relationships I had formed in the past were based on what I believed I could offer someone. Now my heart was tuned to find others who were following after the Shepherd in simple trust.
One of my fondest moments of that time is the gift of my friendship with Frank and Marlene Rice. Marlene got my telephone number from a mutual friend and called me to suggest we meet for lunch. From that first meeting I knew we'd be friends for life. Marlene is funny and kind and a little eccentric. She has a passion to share the love of Christ at every opportunity. At that time, Marlene worked with open Doors with Brother Andrew, an organization supporting the persecuted church around the world. I liked the fact that she was deeply spiritual but not in the least judgmental. I had no way of knowing that god was about to use her to open a door to a new resurrected life.
Bottom of the Barrel
The phone rang one morning as I was rushing out the door to get to class. I almost let the machine take it, but as all my family live in Scotland and England, I never want to miss a chance to hear their voices. It was Marlene.
"Sheila, I need you to do me a favor," she said.
"Sure. Just name it; what do you need?"
"I need you to speak at a women's luncheon at a country club in Palm Springs on Saturday."
I laughed. "I would rather stick my hand in a blender than do that!"
Marlene persisted, "Sheila, I really need you to do this."
"Marlene, you know I don't do things like that," I reasoned.
"I know that," she said, "but I'm stuck."
"Ask someone else," I said. "You know lots of women who are talented speakers. I've been a singer and a talk-show host, but I'm not a speaker-never have been, never will be. Thank you, and amen!"
"Okay," Marlene finally admitted, "here's the deal. I've already asked everybody else. You are the bottom of the barrel."
Honestly, that was the only reason I said I would do it. I mean, how high could the expectations be from the bottom of the barrel?
Then Saturday morning rolled around, and I was so mad at myself for agreeing to speak. Have you ever done that? You say yes to something, not really thinking it through, then suddenly it's upon you and you start praying for the imminent return of Christ.
I took a look at my sparse wardrobe and sighed. I'd left my five years' worth of on-air clothes behind me in Virginia Beach for the next cohost, and I had nothing suitable for a country club lunch in Palm Springs.
Finally settling on a pair of dress slacks and a silk blouse, I dressed and dragged my sorry self out to my car. It was about an hour's drive from my apartment to Palm Springs, and I complained to the Lord the entire trip: "I don't have anything to say! What do I have in common with these women? Why didn't you stop me? This is not going to make you look good, you know!"
Lord, This Is Not Funny!
As I pulled into the palm tree-lined driveway, I saw exquisitely dressed women relinquishing their car keys to young valets in red blazers.
Excerpted from Beautiful Things Happen WHEN A WOMAN TRUSTS GOD by SHEILA WALSH Copyright © 2009 by Sheila Walsh. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Author's Note vii
Introduction: Swinging in the Arms of God ix
1 Why are you So Afraid?: The Beauty of Courage 1
2 An Open Door: The Beauty of Brokenness 9
3 The Hunger to Belong: The Beauty of Transparency 25
4 A Broken Dream Becomes a Beautiful Life: The Beauty of Waiting and Being Present 41
5 Why the Pain?: The Beauty of Crying Out to Jesus 51
6 Into the Darkness to Find the Light: The Beauty of Seeing 73
7 The Life of Christ in Us: The Beauty of a Quiet Trust 95
8 Trusting God with Your Fear: The Beauty of Taking a Step Forward 113
9 Trusting God with Your Dreams: The Beauty of Forgiving 133
10 Is it Ever Too Late to Start Again?: The Beauty of a Last Chance 157
11 Trusting God When You Have a Lot to Lose: The Beauty of Giving Your All 177
12 Trusting God with Your Journey: The Beauty of a Pilgrim 197
Conclusion: We're Going Home, into the Arms of God 221
Discussion Guide 231
Bible Study 234
About the Author 269
Posted January 15, 2011
When I first decided to review this book, I thought it looked really good and would be a good read, but I had no idea just how good this book would be for me personally! This book is really helping overcome and move forward. I am trusting more in my Heavenly Father and I am more excited for the future! My whole life I have avoided doing things, I have not trusted anyone really (except my husband), and I have always beat on myself for not living up to more. This book is helping me pull out of this terrible hole that I have slowly fallen into ever since I was a young child.
I actually started this book months ago, but I guess I was not ready for the change yet. I started it again the first of this year, and I cannot put it down!
I have never read a book by Shelia Walsh before this one. Her writing in "Beautiful Thins Happen When A Woman Trust God" is so captivating, to the point and yet gentle and loving! She really makes you think, dig deep into God's Word, and into yourself!
This is a perfect book for anyone who knows they can do better and just needs the encouragement, for anyone who wants to trust more, and for anyone who wants to know why some people have a hard time trusting and for those who want to help others trust more!
This is a wonderful book for reading the first of the new year! Or whenever you want to take the step and start anew!
Posted October 4, 2010
In February I signed up to review Sheila Walsh's new book, "Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God." I started reading it and then life caught up with me and it sat on my nightstand collecting dust. I'd much rather think that it wasn't the right time for me to read it than my priorities being skewed! When I picked it back up today, I realized just how much of an impact this book will make on someone.
Guilt. Anxiety. Depression. Mistrust. Every single one of us, at one point or another, has fought one of those demons. Sheila so openly shares her personal battle with each of these and does it in such a way that you feel like she's having a one-on-one sharing session with you. This book is a must read!
*I was provided a complimentary copy of this book via Book Sneeze in return for my honest review.
I'd also like to recommend "When God Stopped Keeping Score" by R.A. Clark. It's revealing look at the power of forgiveness. If you ever felt trapped by anger, guilt, resentment and/or pain, then this book is for you.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 20, 2010
I Also Recommend:
Even as a lifelong Christian, Sheila Walsh struggled to trust God completely. It took a complete emotional breakdown for her to address the fear and shame that had kept her from making a final step of faith so that she could live completely for God. Even then, as her Biblical profiles exemplify, faith involves a moment-by-moment commitment to believing in God's provision.
I was astounded that a Christian with such a public life as a writer, speaker, and singer would lay bare what are probably the darkest moments of her life, in order to demonstrate her understanding of trust in God, forged in the trenches, so to speak. In fact, I was encouraged by the idea that we can trust God to make our dreams come true, when those dreams are of God and for His purpose. Welsch blends in her personal experiences, with detailed stories of people we think we know from the Bible: Anna, Joseph, Martha, Abraham... letting us see through fresh eyes the faith dilemmas these people faced, and giving the opportunity to accept the all-encompassing love of a Savior. My faith was deepened and challenged, and my heart touched by what God has done in the lives of his children.
I recommend this book especially to women who feel lost in the shuffle of life, and wonder if God still has a plan for them. He's never left your side.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
Posted June 13, 2010
If you've ever struggled with depression and anxiety this book will speak to you. Sheila's struggles and the triumph of God in her life are a beautiful picture that illustrates how much God cares about each one of us. I loved the way she brought the characters to life in her retellings of Biblical stories to illustrate points in this book, but at the same time I felt like she bordered on being a little bit too free with her interpretations at times. So that was both my favorite and least favorite part about the book. :) I teared up while reading it 2 or 3 times when a point hit home. I would recommend this to any Christian mature enough to take the Biblical interpretations with a grain of salt (and having a desire to study the Word and see what parts fit with the real story and what was purely added for effect), especially if they've ever struggled with depression, anxiety, or trust issues. I'd give it a 4 out of 5 stars.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 6, 2010
"I think I am more like Gideon than Tabitha. At certain moments in my life I've felt God calling me to places I didn't want to go because others would do a better job than I would. At this point in my life, I'm finally getting it: there will always be those who can do things better but God chooses each of us to show what He can do. I titled this book Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God because I see that in my life-the way God took a scared little girl and kept calling me to follow Him and see where He is going." - Sheila Walsh
My expectations for this book were not disappointed. I have always loved Sheila Walsh. Her books have helped me in my journey as I traveled along the rocky cliff and through the long dark nights. God asks us to trust Him-not just trust Him sometimes, but totally. It may feel like someone has tied a blindfold around our eyes and asked us to take one step forward when you know you see a cliff. You think you'll fall. You think it will cause more pain than you can handle. And then, you step forward and find to your surprise solid ground.
Sheila addresses in her book ten of the Bible's transformed who teach us how one moment of trust, like dominoes, sets into motion beautiful happenings. I knew most of the stories, but I learned about each one. They were not so different than us. She brought into perspective Joseph's struggle with his brothers.
"If that's not foolish, I wouldn't recognize foolish if it sat up in my porridge wearing a kilt! Why did Joseph share this dream with his brothers? No one asked him about it, this wasn't a dream that needed interpreting, he had to know this would make his already jealous brothers even more so," explains Sheila in, "Trusting God With Your Dreams." She goes on to say, "You can't chalk this mistake up to Joseph's youth-that he just didn't know better. Contrast his insensitivity to the grace and maturity of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary was a young teenager when she was visited by an angel and told she would be the mother of the coming Messiah. We are told that on several occasions she 'pondered these things in her heart.' There was no sense of entitlement but rather gentle humility. Can you imagine Mary walking around the market square in Nazareth saying, 'Pleased to meet you. I am about to be the mother of the Savior of the world, but you can call me Mary.' No, Mary knew, if not from instruction then intuitively, to keep certain information close to her heart-to think on how her words and actions would affect others."
Her words on Paul hit a familiar chord.
"When I sang in church, which I did fairly often, Mr. Hornal (a deacon in her childhood church in Scotland) expected that it should always be an appropriate hymn from the book we used for Sunday evening services, The Redemption Hymnal. The first time I sang a song by Jamie Owens, an American contemporary Christian artist, Mr. Hornal stopped me as I attempted to creep past him. He asked me in a tone ripe with disapproval, 'What number was that in The Redemption Hymnal?' So in my young mind, if Mr. Hornal was an ardent disciple of the Apostle Paul, then Paul must have been a cranky single guy who messed with things that were not his business. I couldn't have been more wrong-about Mr. Hornal or Paul." Sheila continues, "Both loved God deeply. They wanted to protect His laws and more, (to read more: www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com)
Posted May 25, 2010
Posted March 25, 2010
Sheila Walsh's Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God is a wonderfully organized book that will be an encouragement to women, regardless of geography or generation. It is a book that mixes Walsh's biographical story with Biblical story in a way that teaches about the beauty and the fulfillment in total and complete trust of the High King of Heaven.
The book is comprised of chapters with titles such as "The Beauty of Courage" and "The Beauty of Crying Out to Jesus." Jumping off these themes, Walsh uses anecdotes to tell a story, often first a personal story, and then a Biblical one. The reader gets to know people like Joseph, Gideon, Tabitha, Samson, and Saul. Through these stories of the men and women of the Bible, the Christian woman in 2010 is shown that trusting God is not a recent challenge; that even in the days of the Old Testament, through the life of Jesus, and into the time of the early church, trust has been a difficult issue. In each of the stories though, Walsh paints a picture of the beauty of the Christian life, and ultimately, the beauty of being able to place our trust in the hands of the Lord of all.
With so many situations that give us a reason not to trust, women can find comfort in clinging more and more to the perfect trustworthiness of God. This is a book that will plead that case and pave the way for the beauty of trusting in our Abba Father.
Posted March 12, 2010
Review of Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God
By Shelia Walsh
Shelia Walsh was once a television personality with Pat Robertson's CBN. A native of Scotland, Shelia shares a painful time in her past when she suffered a breakdown and subsequent rebuilding of her life and faith journey. Now part of the popular Women of Faith tour, Sheila shares her story and gifts through public ministry in speaking, singing, and writing.
Beautiful Things Happen is a story of struggles and triumphs-discovering that we are not alone. Walsh chooses ten Biblical people to teach about what beautiful things can happen when we trust God.
Beginning with her story of the journey of trust, Walsh makes the point that even when you think you're at the lowest point possible of life as you know it, following the example of people who faced life-changing circumstances can encourage you to walk in faith. It is then that Christ's beauty shines through.
Walsh uses the stories of people she knew, such as David Watson, a minister who was diagnosed and died from an illness at the prime of life and career, to both familiar Biblical figures, like Gideon who was asked to do something so far out of his comfort that he asked and received signs from God, and less-read and known persons, such as the prophetess Anna who waited her entire life to see a promise, to showcase how trust is the bottom line of faith. Trust doesn't mean believing God will do your will: Trust means that you are ready to do His, in any circumstance, and especially when you don't understand the immediate direction.
A Bible Study and chapter by chapter discussion guide are included.
Posted March 7, 2010
This is the first time that I have read a book of this kind where there is alot of scripture and reference to the bible being made. It was both enlightening and puzzling to me because I have never fully read the bible. I fully believe that there is a God and he/she is here to love and support us and not judge us. And I believe that Sheila was trying to convey that in her message with this book that if you trust in God he/she will be there to support you and lead you through your tough times. One of the things that I was wanting for in this book is that I wanted to hear more about Sheila's life and not so much about others in the bible. I wanted to know about her depression, her relationships with her son and husband.
For someone who is unconventional in my spiritual beliefs this book left my wanting more about Sheila's story but I did find in very fascinating that things that happened in bibilical times are still taking place now and that the references she used in her book are just as useful today as they were then.
I would definately recommend reading this book because I believe that how do you know something until you have had the opportunity to read or explore it. Being open to life and all things that happen in life is my philosophy.
Thanks to Thomas Nelson, Inc for this complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Genre: Christian Woman - Religious Life
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Posted March 5, 2010
Sheila Walsh's books can be compared to Max Lucado's books--except that they are specifically for women. Walsh looks at trust from a simple perspective and doesn't define what trusting God means. She assumes that--like most authors I've read--that trusting God is defined by what it looks like.
I wanted to read this book because the publicity said that she talks about her struggles with depression and her life after being hospitalized for clinical depression. She does talk about this part of her life at the beginning of the book. Then she transitions to talking about a different Bible character for most of her chapters. Gideon, Joseph, and Tabitha are among the people she talks about. Amidst the stories, she has some wise things she shares. Here's one quote that a teacher said to her during Bible college that I especially liked:
"God is more interested in what He is doing in you than through you." p.137
But, then I come to the issue that I am struggling to sort out about this book. She puts herself and asks the reader to put herself in the shoes of the Bible characters often. She expounds on the stories in the Bible. I am so used to seeing this in books and Bible studies. I suppose it all comes down to this--I Don't Want To Know How They Felt! I assume way too much in my life. I read into things and I battle those assumptions that are most often false! Even at this moment, I am battling inside trying not to assume things because someone hasn't emailed me back. My mind wants to go down that path, but I know it's not wise. The point of the Scriptures is to point towards God and not towards Man.
Maybe for some people it isn't an issue to read into the Bible stories. They are able to let such inferences go and realize that what is inferred isn't in the scripture while not details confused. I think though that it isn't wise for me and it bothers me because it feels like we as the body of Christ too easily get caught up in the people rather than focusing on God.
Maybe it's okay to read narratives or listen to sermons or read books that ask you to infer details into the Bible's stories once in a while to make a particular point. But, then we should go back to the scriptures and remember what is in God's Word and what isn't so that we don't get confused.
I am certain that Sheila Walsh prayed deeply as she wrote her book and this is the book she wrote from her heart. Her thoughts and what she shares are good and wise. I can feel that as I've read this book. I'm still not comfortable with how much she infers about the Bible stories, but there are strengths and really good things about this book. It would be very easy to read for someone who has recently come to know the Lord. There is also both a discussion guide and a Bible Study in the back of the book. I did read through them, though I didn't answer them and I thought they were good.
Is Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God by Sheila Walsh worth reading? Yes, if it's the kind of book you like. If you enjoy Max Lucado or other books by Sheila Walsh, I would recommend it. I would also recommend going back to the Bible and reading the story in the Word of each character that she writes about in her book so that you will know what is and what isn't in the scripture. She does a good job of writing to women with love and a deep desire for them to be encouraged in their walk with the Lord.
Posted March 3, 2010
I was recently given the oppurtunity to review this book from Booksneeze.com. At first I was hesitant to get it, my life is a mess, and my faith has been struggling for quite sometime. But something in me told me to get it, after all, if now isn't the time for it... it never will be!
Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God by Sheila Walsh is a well written book about the authors journey on discovering how to trust god again while struggling with depression in her life. The book itself is beautiful, the cover illustrating a key point of the book about trust and swings. Each chapter and segment raises questions from the author that really make you think and reflect. She uses people from the bible to explain her points from the biblical perspective, while keeping their stories easy to understand and relate to. Also included in the back of the book is a study guide that is helpful, especially for group discussions.
I have really enjoyed this book. I found myself reflecting on many of the questions asked. I felt the book was thought provoking and enlightening. I didnt feel like I was being lectured, rather I felt as though I was listening to an old friend. If you are looking for a book that will help you with your trust in God then its very likely that this book is for you. I would give this book 5 stars.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 25 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Posted February 25, 2010
This is the first Sheila Walsh book I have read. I picked this book from the Thomas Nelson Bloggers Book Club because I was hoping to strengthen my trusting relationship with God. I was also yearning for inspiration, direction and scripture. Ms. Walsh delivered on some of what I was looking for but fell short on others.
I enjoyed the stories from the bible and the different biblical figures she discusses. I am very weak in my scripture knowledge and I always enjoy the opportunity to learn more. Ms. Walsh told some of these stories in a way that I was able to learn and understand. I had several "ah-ha" moments but other times I was confused and lost. I probably would have gained more from the stories had I had a little better knowledge of the bible. However, I did walk away with a better understanding of the Bible's characters and their walk with God and how trust played such an important role.
Several stories of note:
1. Forgive Much & Loving Much- The story of Paul. Ms. Walsh writes of Paul "broken vessels seem to be uniquely crafted to carry grace. Paul never compromised the gospel of Christ but he brought it with a tender heart and compelling passion so that others would know this Jesus who saved him."
2. God's Grace - Time to Take a Stand- God's Grace. Ms. Walsh says "Do you see that no matter how often you fail, it is never too late to take your place at Jesus' side, never too late to trust him?"
3. The Call- Leap of faith. I enjoyed this chapter the most. Ms. Walsh talks about knowing that God was asking her to let go and to move on. This chapter is about taking a leap of faith or at least a little jump.
The best chapters of this book can be found toward the end. Unfortunately, this book did not captivate me and I had a hard time finishing it. I was left feeling incomplete and wishing for more.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Posted February 25, 2010
Sheila Walsh is an incredible speaker and writer who never fails to give her audience a glimpse of her heart and a glimpse of the heart of God. Sometimes, however, a glimpse is all you get.
Readers will catch several glimpse of both Sheila's and God's heart in Walsh's latest book, "Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God." While the book contains plenty of deep, Biblical insights, it doesn't flow well, and readers can find much of its content in Walsh's previous books.
Walsh uses her own testimony and the stories of several people in the Bible to teach readers about courage, beauty, waiting on God, crying out to God, trusting God, and realizing God has a plan for your life. Her words don't really begin to resonate until half way through the book, however, and even then, the lessons don't stick unless you make an effort to study a chapter a day and put the chapters into practice. All the lessons she teaches have deep truths, but don't seem to connect to one another.
Walsh begins and closes with the example of how much more fun swinging can be when someone you trust is pushing you, but she doesn't fully utilize the metaphor throughout the book, and some of her best content does not come until the end.
Walsh's best content, like her closing chapter on the parts of life that will unexpectedly transform into jewels and gold in heaven, doesn't entirely fit into the book's theme and would better suit a book of its own. Walsh's testimonies seem scarce and scattered, as well, and would resonate more if gathered into one book.
Overall, however, "Beautiful Things" is beautiful. Despite its flaws, the book offers plenty of wisdom if one makes an effort to digest and apply the trust in God that Walsh encourages.
P.S. This book is aimed at women, but would have just as much applicability to men.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion review for BookSneeze.com.
Posted February 24, 2010
This is a book about how hard it can be but how rewarding it is to trust God. The author uses real life examples and people from the Bible who faced similar examples to show how God is always faithful and it is never too late to trust. The writing is well done and the points are well made.
I am learning that this is an author I can always trust. She is biblical, relevant, practical, and true. In this book she reveals a bit more of her own story, presenting lessons and struggles that are common to so many of us. Then in each chapter she addresses this concern or issue through the life of a person in the Bible. She assumes the story is somewhat familiar but clarifies some good points and shows how their life story reflects trusting God (well or not so well, early or late).
I am encouraged and convicted by this book. I recommend it to all women seeking to live godly lives, dealing with brokenness, or needing fulfillment.
****I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own
Life is a journey that is full of challenges and in the book "Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God", Sheila Walsh shares her own personal struggles as well as those of some biblical characters with the purpose of showing how trusting God through all those times of adversities could bring beautiful things to our lives.
I recommend this book to everyone especially to women. This book will inspire and help you see the beauty of life even in those times of pain, fear, uncertainty and darkness. But while trusting God brings nice things to our lives, let's still remember that God helps those who help themselves. Have faith in Him, but still do your part.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Posted February 20, 2010
Faith is a journey. And sometimes that journey is long and hard, sometimes it twists and turns and we lose our way. We begin to question God, to wonder if he's trustworthy. Often we may feel alone but this book shows that we aren't.
In "Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God" by Sheila Walsh, the author shares her very personal account of her struggle with trusting God. Sheila tells stories of her battles with insecurity, doubt, a feeling of hopelessness and fear but also shares the wonder and beauty of her life once she it handed over to God. Not only does she share personal anecdotes but Sheila also weaves the story of ten individuals from the bible who trusted God and had their lives changed.
I sometimes struggle with non-fiction books because they can be dull and boring. This was NOT one of those books. Sheila has a writing style that feels more like a conversation with a friend than a lecture by a stranger. By the end of the book I was inspired to take a deeper look at my relationship with God, to realize that he is indeed trustworthy. The stories of Anna, Tabitha and Joseph, along with others, were weaved in beautifully with Sheila's. The bible study included was a wonderful addition to the book.
My copy of the book is filled with underlines and notes because I could so closely relate with what I was reading. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book not only to women who are struggling with their faith, but those whose relationship is strong. Sheila Walsh's book reinforces that "Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God."
(Thomas Nelson has graciously provided me with a complimentary copy of this book so that I may review it.)
Posted February 19, 2010
I have not read any books by Sheila Walsh till now and I'm blessed to have read this and grown some more in my Faith. I know this book can help those struggling with Depression and ease their mind. Some parts of this book did lose me and my mind wondered to my grocery list but overall I will recommend it to others.
This book was provided by Thomas Nelson for review.
Posted February 19, 2010
Most Christian women believe that if they can just do everything "right" they will be okay, and that if something bad happens in their lives it's because they haven't been "good" enough. They're ashamed of their short-comings, and try to hide behind the mask of "the good Christian". Sheila Walsh was one of those women, but as she began to fully trust God her eyes were opened. Suddenly she was able to see the beauty that comes from such trust. In her book, I believe Sheila relates to each of us on different levels. What I found most interesting is how easily we take for granted the awesome power of our Creator. Sheila's book has helped me to see the areas of my life that I try to control myself, and, now that I've given those things over to God, I'm experiencing the beauty she speaks of. I would highly recommend this book to any woman.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 18, 2010
Depression. Hospitals. Sadness. Hope. Truth.
These are some words that come to mind when I think about the latest book I have read, "Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God" by Sheila Walsh. Many people in today's society struggle with depression on a clinical level, as well as minor bouts of depression. This is a story of a woman's struggle with depression, and how she turned that struggle into something beautiful for God. Walsh is open and honest about the tough things that have occurred in her lifetime. She uses her struggles to take us on a journey through the Bible, highlighting characters' stories that have helped her learn and grow in Christ.
While my first impression of the book was not a very positive one, as I kept reading, I became more and more intrigued. The beginning of the book seemed to drag on, and I wondered if the promise of exploring people of the Bible was really going to be fulfilled before the last page. It was, however, and I found the contents to be very helpful and insightful. I learned to look at characters of the Bible in a different light, and I also learned about characters I had never read about. While I found the book to be a pretty decent read, I would say this about it: For the new Christian woman, reading this will not only expand your knowledge on characters of the Bible, but it may also give you a glimmer of hope as well. For the christian woman who has believed for a while, this book is a good refresher -- It will remind you of some very Godly women of the Bible, remind you of other characters, and help you see them in a way that may be more applicable to your life.
While the book was a bit hard to keep reading at times, and I often wanted to put it down and start a new book, I learned much from finishing it. If you are interested in learning about people of the Bible, I would suggest this book.