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Embracing Your Second Calling: Find Passion and Purpose for the Rest of Your Life [NOOK Book]


A woman's guide to the second half of life.

Do you ever wonder if the best of life is in the past? Are you longing for more passion and purpose in the second half of your life? Take a deep breath and prepare for a great adventure as Dale Hanson Bourke resoundingly affirms that midlife is a time for reflection but also a time for action. In Embracing Your Second Calling, she challenges women to respond to God's call specifically for this season ...

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Embracing Your Second Calling: Find Passion and Purpose for the Rest of Your Life

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A woman's guide to the second half of life.

Do you ever wonder if the best of life is in the past? Are you longing for more passion and purpose in the second half of your life? Take a deep breath and prepare for a great adventure as Dale Hanson Bourke resoundingly affirms that midlife is a time for reflection but also a time for action. In Embracing Your Second Calling, she challenges women to respond to God's call specifically for this season of life and offers practical ideas for finding new meaning.

Bourke's vulnerability and story-driven approach offers essential principles and specific suggestions as well as interactive elements including:

  • Questions for reflection and going deeper
  • Ideas on how to become more involved
  • Prayers for wisdom and commitment
  • Action steps for moving forward

For women searching for God's purpose and passion in middle age and beyond this book offers an inspirational road map to meaning and adventure.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Like more than 40 million other middle-aged American women, Bourke is coming to terms with aging. A successful businesswoman and author (The Skeptic’s Guide to the Global AIDS Crisis), Bourke was depressed by her 50th birthday. She uses the biblical story of Naomi from the Book of Ruth as a model for life’s second act. Life inevitably entails loss: of youth, social status, physical robustness. But what comes next can be rich and authentic, Bourke argues. The author draws much on her own life and circumstances in sketching an arc for fulfillment through service to what is truly important. Some may find her too self-absorbed, a common complaint about the sizable baby boom cohort. But many of her age peers will find something of use in the many practical suggestions she offers, or nod in agreement with one of many insights. Bourke is at her best when she writes about the trips to Africa she has taken, which moved her quite literally outside her comfort zone. This is a book that women of a certain age may wish to give to friends. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781418560362
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/4/2010
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 672,833
  • File size: 514 KB

Meet the Author

Dale Hanson Bourke is president of the CIDRZ Foundation supporting women's health in Africa. She spent 20 years as a marketing/publishing executive, wrote a syndicated newspaper column, authored eight books, and served on several international boards. Dale and her husband, Tom, have two sons.
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Read an Excerpt


Find Passion and Purpose For The Rest of Your Life

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2009 Dale Hanson Bourke
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8499-4697-4

Chapter One

A New Day Dawning

Somewhere between the memories of what has been and the hopes of what might be, we pause, take a deep breath, and wonder. Until that moment, we have charged forward, propelled by circumstances and opportunities toward what felt like a limitless beyond. We dreamed with abandon, first on our own behalf and then on behalf of our children. "Anything is possible," we told ourselves. But now, as we pause in our middle years, we begin to see some boundaries. Optimism is tempered by realism. The wild dreams are no longer goals. The limitless hopes give way to quiet acceptance of facts. We begin to tally our wins and losses, and we assess that we have been more fortunate than most. "It's not so bad," we tell ourselves.

In the act of taking stock, we realize how much we have changed. We no longer abandon the past like a change of clothes. We pick it up, examine it, and hold it a little closer.

And as we look forward, we do so with a bit of hesitation. We know from experience that the future is not always our friend.

It is in this parenthesis, this time of reflection, that we are so very vulnerable. We are now at a point of reevaluation. We are in a moment when, whether we realize it or not, our future will be marked by what we have come to believe.

Listen to the market, and you will learn what you must consume in order to continue to have value. Take vitamins, color your hair, and prop up your hormones. Do these things to stave off the inevitability of waking up to discover you are older.

But listen to your heart, and you will learn something else. You are softer, gentler, wiser, and calmer than you have ever been. You are emerging from the whirlwind of your youth and seeing the present more clearly. You are becoming more fully and completely who you were created to be.

If you listen carefully, you will hear a whisper. It is not the cacophony of advertisers telling you to hide your fine lines and wrinkles. It is something far more pervasive and subtle. It is a whisper that says you are being called to something new. It is a gentle voice that seems to say, "Ah, now I have your attention." It is a voice that has been patiently waiting to speak truth you would be able to hear.

We are no longer in that part of life when we simply respond to parents, children, husbands, jobs, the PTA, and recycling schedules. We are not spending every single minute trying to keep everyone else happy. We are suddenly not so busy. In fact, we might even be feeling a little lonely. Where did all the noise and activity go? Where are all the people who once needed us? One day, we realize we are facing down the gaping abyss known as the second half of life.

If you are a Christian woman, as I am, and if you read the Bible, as I do, you may at some point begin to realize that if you listen hard enough, you hear something holy in that whisper. It is not a voice of doom but of promise. It is not about condemnation but about deliverance. It does not say that you are all washed up but that you are being baptized into a new life.

God, it turns out, doesn't really care if we are sagging or graying or aching. He doesn't care how much estrogen we have or whether our falling arches have moved us from stiletto heels to Birkenstocks. And here's a hot flash for us all: in God's economy, the fact that we are becoming less physically attractive may be just the way he wants us.

God is mostly concerned with one aspect of us: our hearts. He wants them to be in tip-top shape. He wants them strong, responsive, and enthusiastic, even if he has to wait until we are eighty and looking back fondly on the days of fine lines and wrinkles. But it would be a shame if he had to wait that long!


Looking back at my twenties and thirties, I'm not sure how I did it. Much of those years are a blur, but the following particular thirty-six hours stand out in my memory.

The client called just as I was serving dinner. I cradled the phone against my ear as I served the peas ... a last-minute emergency, really need you to attend an important meeting in Los Angeles tomorrow. My husband finished cutting our younger son's meat while I grabbed a pencil and paper and took notes.

I had the flight schedules from Washington, DC, to Los Angeles memorized because I flew the route so often. I knew I could catch the 7 a.m. flight, rent a car, and be at the client's office by late morning. "No problem," I told the client, who promised to fax me information I could review on the flight. We finished dinner, I put the boys to bed, and then I called the airline and the rental car company. I booked a morning flight and a red-eye return flight for the next day. I'd meet with the client all afternoon, drive back to the airport, and fly through the night. If all went well, I'd be back in time to drive carpool the following day. I went to bed and set my alarm for five hours later in order to get up and catch the flight. I'd try to catch a nap on the plane.

The airplane was somewhere over the Midwest when I remembered: I was room mother for my older son's class, and they were having a St. Patrick's Day party the next day. If I ended up staying overnight, the class wouldn't have decorations. Thank heavens for overnight deliveries! After renting a car in Los Angeles, I drove to a mall, filled a box with green party decorations, and then stopped at a Federal Express office. I scribbled the teacher's name and the school address on the box and checked the square to be sure it was delivered first thing in the morning. Just in case I had to stay over, I'd still fulfill my duties as room mother.

It all worked out. The meeting went well, and the client launched a new project with my company. The flight back arrived too late for me to drive carpool, but my husband filled in, as he often did. The decorations were hand-delivered to the school, not by me but by a man in a uniform. I drove to the office from the airport, did several hours of work, and then went home, cooked dinner, and went to bed as soon as my children fell asleep.

Looking back on those days, I can only think I was out of my mind. But at the time, I really thought I had it figured out. I was running a company, traveling so often that the people at the airport knew me by name, driving carpool, cooking (or at least thawing) dinner, and taking my turn as room mother, among many other responsibilities. My life was whizzing by at such a fast pace that I'm not sure I appreciated much of it. I did have help, though. My husband deserved a medal for taking on so much, we had a regular baby-sitter who was always on call, and I had a terrific and energetic staff who was willing to jump in on any project, personal or professional.

If you had asked, and if I had found the time to reflect at all, I might have said that I felt called to each of my roles. I loved being a mom. And being a good mom meant taking my turn driving carpool and being a room mother. I was the owner of a company and had a dozen people depending on me for their incomes. I had several clients, each with compelling missions that drove their organizations. I was also a wife, daughter, church member, and board director. I did not understand how my own needs and addictions propelled me forward, nor did I realize that every opportunity was not necessarily a calling.

As it is for many women, the first half of my life was centered on family. But I was also part of the generation that believed we could have it all, and many of us just about killed ourselves trying. We worked because doors opened to us for the first time, because we had been well educated and encouraged not to "waste" our education, and because the lifestyle we wanted to live required the income from two careers. We had been given choices at the great buffet of life, and many of us decided to take "one of each."

Bob Buford has helped many men make the transition into the second half of life through his books Halftime and Game Plan. I've read both books and have learned a great deal from them. Anyone who has been very career-focused in the first half of life will benefit from Bob's wisdom and encouragement.

One of Bob's themes is that we must move "from success to significance" in the second half of life. I can't count the number of men who have quoted that phrase to me with something like awe at how well it sums up their desire. Rich Stearns, the current president of World Vision, and Chris Crane, the former president of Opportunity International, are two men who left extremely successful business careers to become heads of ministries. I have heard each of these men admit that they consider themselves to be examples of individuals who heard a godly call in that direction.

But there is something about that phrase-"from success to significance"-that does not quite relate to most women I know in the same way. Most of us, whether career-oriented or not, found significance in relationships in the first half of our lives. Nothing about my career or other activities holds a candle to how I feel about being a wife and mother. Few of us experience either the satisfaction or heartache over work that we invest in our children or our other relationships.

Something else is going on with women, I'm convinced. God may be calling men from success to significance, but I believe he is calling women to something not only significant but far more revolutionary-and possibly less definable. He wants more of us-and less. He wants us to know that the best is not behind us. God is calling us from others to him. He wants more of us than we can even imagine because he wants to do more through us than we could possibly know.

I believe God has a special purpose for women in the second half of life that is world-changing in its scope. If we can understand what God is calling us to and can turn away from those voices calling us to stay attached to our youth, we will be given a power and purpose beyond anything we have experienced.


For twenty-one years, I have been meaning to put our family photos into a proper photo album instead of keeping them in the dozens of boxes that have accumulated and spilled out of the cabinet next to the television. As my own sons leave home and establish their own households, I want each of them to have an album of memories. This photo album project has become a labor of love.

Now that I am no longer running to games every weekend or standing watch over homework, I have time to actually take in all those days that once rushed by us. I have time to look through all the boxes of photos, searching the faces of the boys at each birthday party to see big smiles and occasional pouts. Our vacation photos show us looking young, happy, and relaxed.

My husband and I are sitting in the family room as I sort through two decades of snapshots. Every few minutes, I interrupt my husband's reading and hand him a photo. Chase, looking in terror at the clown we had hired to entertain him and his friends on his birthday. Tyler, mugging for the camera, already showing signs of the actor he will become. More than twenty years of family life. Sometimes my husband chuckles as I show him a snapshot. Sometimes he smiles sadly, like when I discover the picture of his father sitting with his uncle and our two boys sitting in front of them. Granddad Bourke and Uncle Bill have both passed away.

Our little boys are now men. Our older son, Chase, is twenty-six as I write, living in his own condominium in Atlanta, where he is working toward his PhD. His twenty-two-year-old brother, Tyler, is a senior in college. There is no doubt that they are no longer little boys. Time has passed faster than we can even comprehend.

It was a crazy life, but it was a good life. I could have baked more cakes from scratch, spent more time reading bedtime stories, and created better holiday decorations. But I don't have any huge regrets. The first half of my life was a whirl of activity, a series of new projects, a bustle of anticipation. I never seemed to have enough time although I now marvel at all the things I felt I had to do. I was in such a hurry to build a résumé, add to our savings account, get my sons on the right track, find the perfect vacation spot, and be the best at every role I took on.

I am working on the photo books when it strikes me: I was in a hurry to get here. All of those hectic, crazy days brought me to where I am now. If a client called me today and asked me to be in Los Angeles tomorrow, I would just laugh.

There was all that noise then, and now there's so much silence. And in that silence, perhaps, a sense that God is calling us to him. He has waited patiently as we raised children, built a résumé, and scurried about building our lives. He has always been there, of course, but most of us fit him in around all the other aspects of our lives. Then we come to a point when something is different. We naturally fear the sense of loss. As we realize that we have decades ahead of us, we also begin to wonder how to fill them. What will we do?

Here's what I am learning: God wants us to spend the second halves of our lives worrying less about what we do and more about who we become. He wants to turn our lives upside down and use us in magnificent, unexpected, world-changing ways. He is mobilizing an army of women who have unprecedented health, wealth, and education.

He is calling us to step up to the challenge and to leave the past behind.

If you are in or approaching the second half of your life, this book is for you. It contains no beauty tips or slimming secrets. It does not contain any advice on facelifts, liposuction, or tummy tucks. You can do all or none of those things, and it really doesn't matter. This is about heart work. God is calling you to build spiritual muscle, to develop a résumé of soul work, to find peace and joy like you have never known. God wants to take you on an adventure unlike anything you have ever dreamed. "He will whisper to us not in the mad rush and fever of our striving and our fierce determination to be someone," writes Emilie Griffin, "but rather when we are content to rest in him, to put ourselves into his keeping, into his hands."


I was sitting on an elevated stage, one of ten women between the ages of forty-five and seventy. We were here to talk about lessons we learned about "having it all." The other panelists were very accomplished women: a judge, a partner in a major law firm, the owner of a television station. We were attending a four-day event that brought people together from all over the country and from various backgrounds to talk about everything from international security risks to spiritual lessons. Panels were assigned, and I wondered why I was on this one. Everyone else seemed so much more accomplished, so much better at really having it all. I felt like an imposter.

But then the stories began to emerge. The businesswoman whose breast cancer gave her a new appreciation for life. The "perfect mother" who became an accomplished artist after her children left home. The television producer who nurtured her love of gardening into a second career. The engineer whose husband became an ambassador and who now made a career of hosting receptions and representing her country.

We all had stories. No matter what we had done in the first half of life, we saw the second half differently. It didn't matter if we had been homemakers or judges. We each, in our own way, felt a call to something different in the second half of life. Some had reached that conclusion through trauma, such as illness, divorce, or the death of a loved one. Others simply described it as an awakening. Said one woman, "I woke up one day and wondered what I had been thinking all those years." I don't know how much the audience appreciated our musings, but we all had a great time.

When the session was over, we stayed on the platform and talked to each other until they chased us out of the room so the next session could start. Our paths might never have crossed in the first half of our lives. But where we stood, at the dawning of the second half, we had everything in common.


Naomi would have fit right in with the group of women on that platform-Naomi from the book of Ruth in the Old Testament, that is. I had begun to study her a few months before, learning from her example as a woman God had used to accomplish his will. I had developed a certain kinship with Naomi I had never before experienced with a biblical character.

Naomi is the archetypal second-half-of-life woman. When we meet her in the book of Ruth, she is firmly planted in midlife. She has gone from a full first half of life to an empty future. Life is so bad that she announces she was changing her name to Mara, which means "bitter."

God called Naomi in midlife, just as he called me and is calling you. He promised her something more than she had ever imagined if she would trust him in the second half of her life. She did, and despite losing her husband and sons, the story ends with her caring for her newborn grandson Obed, who later becomes the grandfather of King David.

Naomi became part of the greatest story ever told, not because of what she did in the first half of her life but because of what God did through her in the second half. In a few short chapters of the Bible, she moves from tragedy to miraculous victory and an ending far beyond anything Naomi would have written for herself.


Excerpted from EMBRACING YOUR SECOND CALLING by DALE HANSON BOURKE Copyright © 2009 by Dale Hanson Bourke. 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.

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Table of Contents


1. A New Day Dawning....................1
2. Getting Personal....................17
3. What really Counts....................33
4. Making Peace with the Past....................51
5. Leaving the Baggage Behind....................69
6. Giving Up idols....................83
7. A New identity....................101
8. Without a Prayer....................119
9. You've Got to Have friends....................139
10. Living in the Present....................155
11. Passing it on....................173
12. The story Doesn't end....................191
Appendix: The Book of Ruth....................207
Recommended Resources....................217
About the Author....................223
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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    My Book Review Of 'Embrassing Your Second Calling'

    My review of 'Embracing Your Second Calling By Dale Hanson Bourke'. I have to say that I was really looking forward to reading this from the definition of it on Booksneeze. But after I really got into the book, I was not greatly impressed, but it was not the worst book I have read lately either.

    I really enjoyed her 'Reflections' in the book as well as some of the prayers at the end of the chapters. I did feel it was geared toward professional women journeying into the second half of their lives. I am not a professional, but I am on my journey in the second half of my life. So there were some things I did learn and could and did take from the book. There were an awful lot of references to other books, but some of the books I would not mind reading at all, it's just she referenced too many in my opinion. All in all I would recommend this, but just look past the professional carrier gig.

    I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers ( as part of their book review bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's Guidelines.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Worthy Read

    Embracing Your Second Calling, Finding Passion and Purpose For the Rest of Your Life, A Women's Guide by Dale Hanson Bourke may be touted as a book for women entering the second half of their lives but really it's message applies to any woman at a crossroads in her life. Sometimes it doesn't take years for us to realize we need to find a new focus and a new direction for our lives. This book serves as a workbook or study guide to women who find themselves in such a place. Through many comparisons to Naomi and Ruth, Bourke has presented an inspiring book that challenged me not to retreat into old patterns but to embrace the potential in ourselves. That said, I don't think this book was really for me.maybe my mom. I've never had a hard time with finding passion (maybe I'm just a tad to selfish.) but I know MANY women who would find much truth in this book. I also think that just because the advice inside the pages didn't apply to me it wasn't well written to an extent that I could appreciate. I enjoyed the narrative the author spoke in as well as the exercises and reflections. If you're a woman who has never really found your place and purpose this book may be just what you need.
    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the 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."

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  • Posted October 25, 2010

    My Thoughts

    Monday, October 25, 2010Embracing Your Second Calling - Book Review
    I have had this book waiting to be read and reviewed for months. I started it twice; it finally happened today, while I was home with a bum knee. I was very interested in reading this book since the title practically screamed at me, "This is for you!" But after reading the book, it sort of says, "hmmm, maybe not for you after all."

    The book begins with great promise, laying the foundation of Dale Hanson Bourke's life up to now. She talks about approaching middle age and realizing that what satisfied her in the past, namely her career and accomplishments, no longer mattered as much. She wanted to make a difference. So she retired, a few times. Like me, it took her a few times to really figure out what God wanted from her. And while she admits her struggles, doors open for her in ways they do not for most people. A few times she admitted that she had more options than most and I think she focused on herself too much.
    The book is filled with great quotes, thoughts to ponder, and stories. The personal stories though, are what turned me off a bit. Most women embracing our second calling are not going to Africa, sitting on the board of World Vision, or becoming an AIDS activist. I wished Bourke would have used more examples of ordinary women.
    I appreciated Bourke's honesty about her struggles with prayer and growing older. To me, the book was more an autobiography than a way to get some advice as to how to get over this hurdle of learning what my second calling is going to be. The examples were more distracting than helpful, though they certainly speak volumes of God's plan for us.
    What I did pick up from the book though is that prayer is most important and that the past is over. We can learn from our past, but we should not dwell there.

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  • Posted August 8, 2010

    Embracing Your Second Calling is Wonderful

    I have just finished reading this wonderful book. At first I was a little skeptical since I am not yet 40. But I felt like this book was written for me. I loved the attention that the writer gave to Naomi and Ruth. I read this book with a highlighter so that I could highlight passages that I felt very strong about and didn't want to forget. Little comments like "...if I was too busy for friends, then I was too busy." (pg 140) hit home. Reminded me that I need to make time to stay connected with my friends. My favorite sentence has to be found on page 157. the last sentence of the first paragraph. "You simply had to trust God." How true is that?
    The writer shared so much of the things that she went through at different times in her life wrote them in such a way that I just ended up feeling like I was her friend.

    I was very depressed at the fact that I am approaching 40 but after reading this book I feel like I am ready to accept it and that the best is yet to come...

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  • Posted July 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Embracing Your Second Calling by Dale Hanson Bourke

    Embracing Your Second Calling: Find Passion and Purpose for the Rest of Your Life, written by Dale Hanson Bourke, is a wonderful study guide to making sense of what Ms. Hanson Bourke calls the "last third of life." The twelve chapters are filled with insights on the new role a woman faces as the children grow up and leave the house. "What purpose do I now have?" is a question that seems to be asked by all who reach the magic 5-0.

    In my opinion, Embracing Your Second Calling is a must read for all women who are a the threshold of 50 or soon entering "empty nesthood" phases of life. The premise of this study book is a married woman with children, however, as a single person with no children, I found myself identifying with many of the concepts Ms. Hanson Bourke presents. I certainly could see this resource used as a women's Bible study course. Each chapter is filled with sidebar activities for personal reflection or action. My favorite is in a Reflect sidebar in Chapter 7 A New Identify:

    Reflect: What is your "original giftedness"? How can you reclaim it?"

    So often life has a way of making us very busy and we forget about our sense of calling from the younger years of life. I was awakened to a need to go back and refocus my life in connection with my "original giftedness", the God-given talent that gave my life joy. Ms Hanson Bourke takes those questions women ask and uses Biblical character sketches and examples from women in today's world to formulate a guide in finding answers to the "what's next?" part of life. Embrace is one of those books I plan to have nearby for years to come to use as a reminder that the "last third of life" doesn't have to be the worst third.

    (**Thomas Nelson provided the book to me, so that I could submit a review, but it had no changing influence upon my opinions of the book. Thank you, Thomas Nelson!)

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  • Posted July 5, 2010

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    Re-Thinking My Second Half!

    Never did I doubt my first calling, that of being a wife and mother; I couldn't wait! I loved almost every second of it, until my youngest daughter was a teenager with PMS swings. She gave me moments of great doubt for a time. It was with apprehension I began working part time when our last child was in high school, but it didn't take long to overcome those fears and rush headlong into full time work. At a time when I needed to feel purpose again and value in a work situation, it was a pleasant, fulfilling time and it led to starting my own business.
    So when I opened Dale's book, I quickly felt I'd been sitting with an old friend sharing our fears, doubts, victories and dreams for the "next great thing." I "met" Dale years ago through reading Today's Christian Woman, which I thoroughly loved. Dale was the editor of the magazine and contributed articles also. I felt akin to her then and more so now. In Embracing Your Second Calling, her experiences of listening to her own inner voice of questions, struggles and wonderment was like someone reading through your own diary. While in our working life of a fulfilling career, it is great to feel a sense of accomplishment and value, but there comes a moment when we all, I assume, look around and ask "where is this going?" or "what am I doing this for?" or just plain "why am I still here?"
    At some point, we can re-evaluate our busy-ness: accomplishing our lists of to-do's or someone else's and ask ourselves (and better, God) "what is next on YOUR list for me?" Isn't that what we should all be asking every day? Dale challenges her readers to think bigger than they ever have before, reminding us that the answers may surprise us and fill us to overflowing! While I feel this is a Third Calling for me personally, Dale has really spoken directly to my heart. Very good principles and reminders for us all!

    (**Thomas Nelson provided the book to me, so that I could submit a review, but it had no changing influence upon my opinions of the book. Thank you, Thomas Nelson!)

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  • Posted June 29, 2010


    Dale Hanson Bourke didn't capture my attention until the later chapters in this book. It's all about finding passion and purpose for the second half of your life. Throughout the book the author related the story of Ruth and Naomi and how Naomi wasn't at her fullest potential to be used by God until her second half of life.

    Obviously the book was written for women in their second half of life but I found myself being very discouraged at the fact that I felt the author assumes that every woman gets caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and climbing the corporate ladder therefore she has to get beyond that stage of life to really be used by the Lord. For those women that lived that way the first half of their lives, I think this book would be great for you. For those women that are living like that now in your first half of life, I think there are many jewels to be taken away from this book to motivate you to seek the Lord's fullest potential for you now. For young women and moms that are seeking the Lord and willing to be used by Him in the first half of their lives, this book may not be for you although there is a lot to ponder about the second half of your life approaching. The author made me realize that I don't want to be 40 or 50 years old looking back and wishing I had sought after God's plan for me early on.

    So, although the author didn't captivate my attention at first I realize that there are many nuggets for women of all ages in this book. She had a lot of great questions to reflect on and ACTS to get involved in that would enhance your spiritual growth.

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  • Posted June 21, 2010

    Embracing Your Second Calling (Find Passion and Purpose for the Rest of Your Life)

    If you are a woman over the age of forty and want more passion and purpose in the last half of your life then you should read Embracing Your Second Calling by Dale Hanson Bourke. When I first opened the book I thought it was going to be just another how-to improve your life book but in just a few pages I was impressed with what the author had to say. The book is somewhat autobiographical but the author writes in such a way that we can all gain from her experiences. The book is well written, easy to understand, and even entertaining at times. The author goes into great detail about her life work before she turned fifty when her emphasis was on what she accomplished and how it would affect her life. After she turned fifty, she completely changed her life; she began helping others without any thought of what it would do for her image.

    On almost every page there are lists labeled Act or Reflect that suggest things that women in the second half of life can do to add purpose and passion to their lives. Act suggestions are aimed primarily at Bible study groups but could also be done alone. Reflect suggestions are more for the individual but some include ways to help others. I am of the opinion that if I would try to do as many of the Act and Reflect suggestions as possible, I would have a much closer relationship with God. I also could be of help to many people that I meet, be it at church, at the grocery store, or any place. The information that the author gives is great advice for those of us in our seventies or eighties as well as younger women. Even though Embracing Your Second Calling was written for women, I personally think that men could benefit from reading this book.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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."

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  • Posted June 1, 2010

    Inspiration for the second half of our lives

    This book was a very timely read for me. There have been a lot of changes in my life, and I truly am in the second half of my life. I devoured this book and it opened my eyes to the new possibilities awaiting this new season of my life.

    Dale opens up her life and takes us with her on the ups and downs of navigating this new time of her life. She's honest about her life and makes the reader feel like they are not alone in this new adventure. She uses the story of Naomi from the book of Ruth in the Bible to guide us through this new time of our life. She opened up my eyes to things about this story I had never thought about.

    The greatest thing about this book for me was to realize that my life hasn't passed me by and that God has a plan for the second half of my life, too! In fact, Dale emphasizes that as mature women, we are going to make better choices because we understand what's important. She also reminds us that we need to rely on and follow God for direction as to what His plans are for us.

    There are great journaling prompts in the book that I found helped me focus in on what my strengths are and what I feel called to do in this very exciting time of my life. There were also some great quotes dispersed throughout the book that I found very inspiring.

    I've been a fan of Dale's since she was the editor of, "Today's Christian Woman" magazine. I've read most of her books throughout the years and always found her to be a great writer. This book is a great book for those of us who are beginning the second calling of our life. It will help you to figure out what you want and where you're going.

    I'm going to re-read this book again because I know there will be more information I will glean the second time around, and besides, it was that good.

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  • Posted May 31, 2010

    A Book All Women Over 40 Can Relate To!

    Embracing Your Second Calling by Dale Hanson Bourke is a down to earth, simply written journey through the transition of midlife and the realization that perhaps the best time of your life is actually just beginning. She writes as a good friend would talk, sharing her innermost thoughts, frustrations, embarrassing moments and insights, that make you feel like you are not alone in what you are personally going through in life. Throughout the book, she notes the journey of Naomi and Ruth, and how God is calling us to find new meaning.
    When I began the book, I lost interest right away as I was not at the same point in my life, and I didn't think that I could really relate. After all, she has grown children at midlife, where mine are still young and in school. She has accomplished many huge successes in the business world, and has the freedom to make career choices and travel, where I am a teacher who is still just that, a teacher. I didn't think Dale's "journey" could have any similarities to my life.
    When I took time to open the book again, after school was finished for the summer break, it was instantly obvious that I could have written this book! There were so many feelings, situations and thoughts that I could really relate to. Self-doubt, dieting, physical changes, worshipping the wrong idols, struggling with prayer life, feeling defeated when the number of birthdays reaches 40 and higher...women are not alone in this travel through life.
    Letting go of the past, and being fully in the present moment to allow being able to hear God's direction are major themes in the book. Women are often too busy "doing" or "regretting" to hear and follow God's call. If we listen, He will guide us to places in our lives that perhaps we could never have imagined or accomplished on our own. He has a plan for me, and for you, especially during the "second calling" part of life!
    I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Booksneeze. My review is my own and I am thankful for the opportunity to read it. A great read for women over 40...with older kids, with younger kids, in the business world, teachers like me...all!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2010

    This book reads like a good candy bar!

    Oh my gosh, this book is so it!

    I couldn't wait to read "Embracing Your Second Calling," by Dale Hanson Bourke, because I am in that second phase of life where all things are new and foreign.

    If you are in that spot, too, or know someone who is, then this is the book to read. The author has been there and has had the same questions, and her book reads like a treasure chest of answers and direction.

    Dale Hanson Bourke writes with great clarity and ease. I found myself devouring her book over a period of two days. Now, I want to go back and complete some of the journaling exercises that she suggests, and I also want to take some time to study the book of "Ruth," which I will read in a whole new light.

    Dale is not stingy with her information. She shares it all - the ups and downs, the joys and challenges.

    She also helps women understand some of the thought processes they are going through during this second phase. Too often, we think only of the physical challenges of things, like menopause, but we don't spend time studying and thinking through the changes that go on in our hearts and minds.

    This book will help you understand why you are thinking the way you are, making it easier to navigate your arrival on the doorstep of the second half of our life.

    If you have time, and a group of friends who are interested, this book also would be a great Bible study option!

    You must read it ... it is well worth the time and investment.

    ABOUT THIS REVIEW: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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."

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  • Posted May 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    not for the younger person

    "Embracing Your Second Calling: A Woman's Guide" by Dale Hanson Bourke has plenty of insights to offer, even to a man. Bourke uses her own experiences and stories from the Bible to show that the older person can find purpose in the faithful life, focusing on God instead of on the highs of the past. The best is yet to come, and, as long as you're alive, God can still use you.

    As a younger person, I couldn't get into this book. I found myself wondering why I have to wait until later life to focus on God and my faith life. The sidebars, while helpful, proved distracting. I did, however, get something out of Bourke's use of the Bible to get her points across, and there's still a lot for the reader to learn, no matter what age.

    Definitely a book I'll come back to when I've gotten a little older.

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  • Posted May 21, 2010

    Embracing Your Second Calling

    I ordered this book as my next read because I was captivated by the title, "Embracing Your Second Calling". I am near middle age and have recently gone through a career change, so I was excited about where this book would take me. However, I found it to be rather dull reading. I had hoped that this book would touch me on a personal level, offering some new insight and fresh perspective, however, I felt as though the material was too similar to that of a woman's bible study. Not that there is anything wrong with going to bible study, but in my experience I have found most of them to be a bit stale.

    The book had suggestions and assignments but they were not presented in a workbook form. I think it would have been more effective if the author had created some worksheets within the book, perhaps at the end of each chapter. Perhaps it is due to my wide variety of experiences and unquenchable thirst for learning, that I found this book dull. It did not offer me anything new.

    I think it would be best to use this book in a bible study or group setting where the reader could expand upon the material and discuss it with other women, perhaps taking it to the next level. It felt as though the writer had just started and it was a good start, he has to be more transparent, more passionate about his subject.

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  • Posted May 21, 2010

    Embracing Your Second Calling by Dale Hanson Bourke

    I looked forward to read Dale Hanson Bourke's book "Embracing Your Second Calling" and enjoyed the first half of the book. The book guides readers on their journey to discover what God has in store for them as they enter the latter part of their lives. About halfway through the book seemed to get repetitive, rehashing information and ideas from earlier chapters and frankly, I lost interest. However I would recommend this book to other women searching for the path that God wants them to take.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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."

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    Embracing Your Second Calling by Dale Hanson Bourke

    The subtitle for this book is, "Find Passion and Purpose for the Rest of Your Life." Dale Bourke writes in a homey and conversational tone making the reader feel right at home - and you need to feel comfortable as some of the topics can be tough to hear. I was in tears by the second page. Dale Bourke takes the reader through a series of challenges and relates her personal experiences through the biblical filter of Naomi in the book of Ruth.

    The timing of this book is amazingly significant for me as my youngest child is about to graduate high school and I will soon be free from my homeschooling duties for the first time in over 18 years. I was very encouraged by Dale Bourke that God has definite, purposeful plans for me for this next chapter in my life. She made me smile (after having made me cry) and gave me hope that God has much more planned for these upcoming years than I could ever imagine.

    My relationship with this book was a bit of a love-hate nature. I felt that there were just too many additional sources cited and too much emphasis placed on angst over being unattractive to men. There is also a definite slant to the professional woman and career. But at the same time I loved subject matter, the sidebars and calls to action, the inclusion of the book of Ruth, and the great bibliography. The personal stories also made the lessons much more real and captivating.

    Anyone facing this huge middle age change in life will find solace and inspiration in facing the next half of one's life in service for God. Don't be distracted by the parts you cannot relate to, rather embrace the heart of this book and the author's message of finding purpose in your "Second Calling".

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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."

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Embrace Your Second Calling Now this is a book I really liked. Maybe it's because I am of that delicate second calling age. You know, that age where we wonder what on earth we pushed so hard for. Wonder why we chased after all the wrong things. And w

    Embrace Your Second Calling
    Now this is a book I really liked. Maybe it's because I am of that delicate second calling age. You know, that age where we wonder what on earth we pushed so hard for. Wonder why we chased after all the wrong things. And wonder if it's too late to start over. Yes, that is where I've been for this last little while.
    Dale Hanson Burke gives thought, direction and comfort in this book. With the addition of reflections, quotes and prayers, she makes the path clear.
    We are not too old. We are not too frumpy and we are not finished. God always has a plan that will bring us to a better place. He loves us just the way we are but wants to help us get to a better place, one where we can fully trust Him as He restarts our life into new directions, careers and beginnings. None of them involve a rocking chair!
    Ms. Burke ended up in a brand new career, once she allowed herself time to reflect and think on where God was leading her. When she was ready to go, they went. And so, she points out, can we!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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