Become a pastor they said. And when you do, everyone will give you “God books” they (really no one) said. And when they do, you’ll receive it graciously and say thank you because it is kind they thought of you. And when you do, sometimes you’ll read the book and sometimes it will sit on your shelf for a long time and then sometimes you’ll donate it without even reading it.
That’s what I thought was going to happen with this book.
This year, over spring break, my kids and I were able to travel to Florida with my parents and my niece joined the trip. During that time, she gave me Embraced: 100 Devotions to Know God Is Holding You Close. It is a lovely book! Cloth covered and hard bound. Sturdy and lovely colors. Just the kind of book I typically love to have. I was touched my niece thought of me when she saw it and spend her hard-earned money on the gift for me. I was in the middle of something else and had another thing planned next and knew it would likely sit on my shelf and I’d probably never get to it. I’ve read plenty of Lysa TerKeurst’s books and have found transformation through some of the writing. I also knew I was in a season of needing something different and other than the physical beauty of the book, I didn’t figure I’d find anything for me.
Weirdly, when I finished my last devotional reading, Grace Filled Life, and I went to my shelf to find the next thing, Embraced drew my eye. I didn’t have 100 days until the end of the year (I wanted something to finish in 2022), but the readings were short, and I figured I could read several a day and finish it up.
What I didn’t expect was the readings throughout that touched me. I did indeed read several “days” a day. And because I’ve read enough of Lysa’s books, I could see that many of the readings were edited excerpts from other books, or at least edited concepts from other books. And yet there were several days that I would read something, and re-read a paragraph, and sit back in reflection. There tucked into the pages were reminders for me, words to encourage and guide.
Overall, Embraced is a lovely devotion book. I think it is great for a woman who might be new in her Christian walk, or someone who is just getting into a daily devotional reading. I will be passing this book on to another woman in my life who I think will enjoy it.
And to my niece – thank you for your generous and kind heart. I love that you love my family so well. Always remember that YOU are embraced by God and by me.