First, I hope you’ll pop over to my friend Meghan’s site, where I wrote a guest post titled “Why You Don’t Need to Be A Perfect Leader.” I’m thankful that Meghan hosted me last week, and I always love to visit her helpful site for Christian writers!
In this social-media driven world, the temptation toward self-proclamation is nearly irresistible. Everyone wants to tell their stories in perfect pictures. When we read others’ social feeds, the monster of comparison threatens, “You’re not good enough because you are unseen.”
God thinks it’s perfectly fine, even preferred, for us to feel unseen. In the hidden places, he meets us most personally and profoundly. Yes, he calls us to service and to invest our talents, sometimes publicly. But the real work in our hearts occurs in the hidden spaces. In the mundane, tiring, and even boring activities all of us undertake every day.
Sara Hagerty‘s first book Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet reads like a memoir. I liked that book, but I found this one even more satisfying. Unseen probes the depths of obscurity with lyrical prose and teaches us to develop friendship with God in those quiet places.
Sara shares intimate, everyday stories from her life as a wife and mother. She tells about her own seasons of feeling unseen and not used to her full potential. I can relate to feeling that way and I appreciate her positive encouragement to view unseen seasons as opportunities rather than liabilities. This is a book I’m savoring slowly in my current time of relative obscurity.
Jesus worked in obscurity for nearly 30 years before he began his public ministry. He used that time to ground himself deeply in his relationship with God and with the people he loved. If Jesus embraced his obscurity, I need to do so as well. Unseen is helping me embrace it with joy.
I saw a book review on Deeper Waters by my friend Bev, and I was delighted after downloading my preview copy. Denise Hughes writes with a thoughtful, intelligent voice. She is a teacher, and I appreciate her organized delivery. She is also sensitive, so this book is rich with detail. Of the many books I’ve read this year, Deeper Waters is definitely a favorite.
Denise has a passion for God’s Word, but it wasn’t always that way. Even though she grew up in a Christian home, she didn’t develop a hunger for God’s Word until she was a young adult. She weaves in personal stories with honesty and grace. I loved hearing her insights.
She offers several different methods for studying the Bible, based on a passage in Ezra. Even though I’ve been a student of the Bible for decades, I learned some new things from Denise’s study suggestions. Something as simple as writing out verses to help them stick to memory. This is a simple yet powerful tip that I plan to do this week.
What has stayed with me the most from reading Deeper Waters are the ways Denise applied God’s Word to her life situations. Whether it was coping with her brother’s paralysis, dealing with divorce, or struggling as a new mom, Denise turned to God’s Word for help. She gave many inspiring examples of how to search the Bible for help when you are hurting.
Anyone who is looking to plumb the depths of God’s Word with a caring guide will appreciate Deeper Waters. I highly recommend it.
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