When I first read the description of this book, I was drawn to it. It seemed like a book worth checking out, so that’s what I did. It was a book that took much longer than I expected to complete, but I was so grateful when I did. I enjoy the perspective of both Chris and Megan as their poured their hearts out onto the pages of this book. I completely relate to a desire to want to help women see their beautiful, their value, and their potential in Jesus, not in the answers our culture tries to provide. Although a few of their theological points were a little off and their some of the point of view shifts were a little confusing, I enjoyed the book and got a lot out of it. I also really enjoyed the chapter written by their husbands at the end of the book. If you have struggled with making peace with your reflection, this is a book I would recommend ~ Bethel
“Beautiful” is a word that is overused and even misused in our culture today. Women in our world are constantly bombarded by messages that distort their understanding of beauty and self-worth. It makes many of them desperate reach for idealistic goals that no one can achieve and may even cause self-harm in the process of getting there. This often results in an obsession over our reflection or a hatred of our reflection. Either way, so many of us don’t know how we will ever see ourselves as beautiful. It makes us ask the question: Can I really make peace with my reflection?
In the book Beauty Begins, Chris Shook and her daughter Megan Shook Alpha help their readers make peace with their reflection by finding the places where beauty does begin. This mother and daughter team walk through the lies that our culture sends that distort our perception of beauty. They help us identify our struggles in this area of self-worth, demonstrating that the scars from this area of brokenness can heal into something more beautiful. Finally, they encourage their readers to rebel against the mold that our culture tries to put them in. We are reminded that when we focus on our internal beauty through our thoughts, attitudes, and actions, that will be what will make us the most beautiful and will leave a legacy that honors the Lord. All of this is done in the context of Scriptures and stories from the lives of both Chris and Megan that make the truths they present stand out. When you come to the end, you are given hope that beauty can be found outside of our culture’s cookie-cutter mold, a beauty that will last into eternity.
This book is honest and relatable in so many ways. This mother-daughter are a great pair for this project and you will hopefully be inspired to find true beauty, if you take the time to read. I would recommend this for girls about 15 and older. Get your copy today!
*I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange in this review
Male-Friendly Rating. This book is a great option for fathers and husbands trying to understand issues related to beauty in our culture, especially since there is an addendum written by the authors’ husbands, Kerry Shook and Jordan Alpha, as a challenge to men. Even if their just read that portion, it could be of great value to them
Personal Rating. I had two critiques of the books. First, there were moments while I was reading that I struggled to identity the narrator’s voice between the two authors. Second, there were a few comments made throughout the book that I disagree with from a theological point of view. Aside from those small issues, this is a great book that I would recommend.
This book is incredible. From the moment I first heard about it, I knew that it would be. When I first signed up to participate in Moody Publisher’s Blogging Review Program, this book was absolutely at the top of my list. Being a single woman who’s never even been on a date and had so many questions I’ve been afraid to ask, this book was exactly what I needed to read at this time of my life. Although the bible study format is not my favorite setup based on personal preference, the study is a great opportunity to really dive in to these topics to build a solid foundation for our sexual theology based on the truth of God’s word. Personally, I wanted to consume the material so much, I read the book in only a week (about one week’s worth of material per day), which could be an option for you too. This book really inspires and challenges you to heal from past brokenness and draw into a deeper relationship with Jesus. I would totally recommend this book to college-aged girls without hesitation. ~ Bethel
Women long for intimacy. It’s been that way since the beginning of time. Those of us that do not have that in a physical relationship struggle with how to fulfill these longings in a legitimate way. But most of us don’t even know where to start. We struggle with understanding how our sexuality can even be a part of our lives in a God-honoring way if there we are not married. This can often result in shame and the decision to compartmentalize our sexuality, to the point that we become “sexual atheists,” choosing to shut God out of the bedroom completely. It makes it harder and harder to determine what is and isn’t true, often because we are afraid or even embarrassed to ask the right questions. It makes many young women ask the question, “Can I be sexual, spiritual, and single at the same time?"
In the book study, Sex and the Single Girl, Dr. Juli Slattery guides her readers through 6 weeks that will answers your toughest questions, challenges your perspective, guides you towards healing and freedom, and helps you draw closer to God. Through 5 days of reading and questions for 6 weeks, Juli helps us understand why our sexuality matters, helping to understand the beauty of God’s grand design. She walks us through sexual boundaries, and helps determine where they should fall by creating a biblical grid. We learn to discern the difference between temptation and sin, and Juli gives us tools to stop temptation before it leads us to sin. Then Juli helps us come back to the feet of Jesus, understanding that our sexuality is part of who God created us to be, and no matter what we’ve done with it in the past, it can be reconciled to bring us into a more intimate relationship with Him. This is all done within the context of a study that guides readers through Scripture to support it. This book is profound. It answered so many of my questions by directly addressing single women. It helped me see that I can be sexual, spiritual, and single at the same time and still honor God in the process. I would recommend this book to any young woman 18 or older. Get your copy today!
*I received a copy from the publisher for the purpose of this review
Personal Rating. My only criticism of the book is that the study format was not to my personal taste. I personally absorb more from reading a book straight without stopping for questions. However, I also recognize the value of writing this as a study, especially in a group setting. Aside from this, I give this book my highest recommendation to any adult single woman, hands down!
When I was part of the launch team for the book Girl Defined a year ago, our whole team received this ebook as a gift. I was quite excited about it, since I was really inspired by Girl Defined and enjoying studying the topic of modesty. When I finally took the time to read it, I couldn’t put it down! I loved Bethany’s and Kristen’s perspectives on the topic, especially when it comes to grounding our view of modesty in Scripture. This is something that millennials need to learn, not just in relevance to modesty, but in all areas of life. Although some of their opinions on modesty standards are a little more conservative than my own, I was challenged to re-evaluate my own standards, which is a good thing to do when it comes to modesty because fashion is an ever-changing presence in our culture. It challenged me to remember that my standards of modesty must always seek to honor God, which is exactly what these girls do. Their passion came through once again as it did in Girl Defined. Part of me wishes that the book could have been longer and had been a physical book! This is a great resource that I would highly recommend to women of all ages ~ Bethel
When it comes to modesty, most girls don’t want to think about it. We have all had fights with our parents about the appropriateness of our outfits. We all want to be beautiful and attractive without regarding the consequences. So many of us have bought into the lie that modesty and fashion do not go together and therefore, we can’t honor God and still keep up with the latest fashion trends. Our culture is trying to sell to us that the less clothes we wear, the more attractive and empowered we will be as women. All the while, as we reveal more of our body on the outside, we also expose our struggles with attitude and selfishness on the inside. These leaves so many of us caught in the tension of wanting to honor God, but not wanting to dress like our grandmothers. It makes us ask the questions: What does God think about modesty? Is there a way to dress modest and fashionable?
In the book Project Modesty, Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird share a biblically grounded perspective about the importance of modesty in the life of a Christian woman that wants to honor the Lord with her life. They walk through the problems with our culture’s views on how much we can take off and then they walk us through the reason why we even have to wear clothes, tracing it always back to the Garden of Eden and the first sin. They help us understand that modesty isn’t about rules; it’s an act of obedience to God and shows gratitude for all Christ did for you. They even bring in the opinions of a few guys to help us understand the importance of making modest wardrobe choices. After they walk through the reasons, they actually demonstrate what modesty looks like, and how you can still be fashionable in the process of being modest. They devote about half the book to walking through their personal modesty standards in several different areas of clothing, and then showing you how you can wear things modestly but including dozens of full color pictures of Kristen, Bethany, and their younger sisters modeling their fashionably modest outfits. In the end, you are left with a powerful challenge to honor God in your wardrobe choices, but you are reminded that you can still dress fashionably in the process.
I love how theological sound and straightforward this book is. Bethany and Kristen pack a lot of great truth into this ebook and this is one that I highly recommend. This ebook is currently only available for purchase on Bethany and Kristen's blog, Girl Defined Ministries. To purchase a copy, click here. Get your copy today!
Personal Rating. My only criticism of the book is that their personal standards of modesty are possibly a little too conservative in relevance to the topic of swimwear. (Although I agreed with most of what they said, I personally believe that there are modest and appropriate ways to wear one piece bathing suits.) However, even though I did not completely agree with the standards they presented, they challenged me to re-evaluate my own standards, as I think it would for you too. So in the end, I still love this book and would recommend it to anyone!
Another Great Resource
If you are interested in learning more about the topic of modesty, then I recommend that you also check out the blog of Bethany and Kristen’s younger sister, Rebekah. Hello Modesty is a website dedicated to “inspiring Christian girls to dress modestly while still looking totally adorable.” Like her sisters do in Project Modesty, Rebekah shares pictures that demonstrate ways to dress modestly for all sorts of occasions. If you like Project Modesty, then you definitely want to check out Hello Modesty (click here)!
I would have never guessed she grew up in a cult. I “met” Anna online when she was the publisher’s leader of one of my most recent book launches. In fact, I realized we had been on other book launches together! She is so fun and full of passion, especially when it comes to reading and launching books she believes in. (She even called herself the “cat header”, lol) When she friended me on Facebook, I was excited to find out that she had written her own book, but I was shocked to discover what it was about. I was very curious and brought it soon after. I was amazed when I finished it, amazed by all that this woman has overcome. Much of her story is shocking and unsettling, especially for those of us that haven’t grown up in a polygamist culture or in extreme poverty. Being this vulnerable about her broken and difficult past wasn’t easy, but God has used it for His glory. I am so grateful I found this book and for Anna’s courage in sharing her story. I hope that anyone that reads this book will be inspired to let God use the broken pasts of your past for His glory ~ Bethel
Many people with broken or difficult pasts struggle to share their story. Especially when you are still in the process of healing from your brokenness, most of us would tend to suppress memories of our past trials. This tends to lead to a feeling of isolation and can often hinder the healing process. Therefore, it takes great courage to write a book that shares your life story when you have brokenness in your past. In fact, after reading this book, I’ve come to realize that writing a autobiography or memoir is one of the most courageous and vulnerable things any writer can do.
In Anna LeBaron’s memoir, The Polygamist’s Daughter, we meet one of over 50 children of the infamous Ervil Lebaron, the murderous leader of a Mormon fundamentalist group with 13 wives. Anna and her siblings grew up in the worst of condition, as their family was extremely poor and constantly on the run from law enforcement due to her father’s illegal activities. She was often separated from her mother and mistreated by her father’s other wives (sister-wives). They all believed that Ervil was a prophet of God and they have to do whatever he told them. As a result, they all suffered at his hands. When her father was arrested and eventually died in prison, the oppression from the cult did not stop. They living conditions did not improve and many of her siblings and the sister-wives were forced to work for slave wages or no wages. When Anna’s mother and some of her siblings moved away from the cult’s leader, things finally started to turn around for their family. They had some money to provide for basic needs and things were going well for them. But when the cult’s leader convinced Anna’s mom to move back, Anna knew that she could not go with them. She ran away when she was 13, moving in with her half-sister Lillian, her husband Mark, and their six children. After being enrolled in a Christian school, Anna (as well as Mark and Lillian) can to know Christ and they lived changed for the better. But this doesn’t mean that their troubles from the cult were over. After several years past, some of the people that escaped the cult were murdered at the exact same time, Anna’s life was once again turned upside down. Several years later, after 5 children and a marriage that she through twice, Anna found healing throughout that time through the help of counseling, and was finally able to break down the walls of defenses she had built up to survive during her childhood in the cult. And seeing where she ends up is probably the best part of all.
This incredible woman should be an inspiration to all of us. I am personally in awe of the raw honesty in her story and as her courage in being willing to share it with her readers. Through many trials, she has overcome is now a strong woman in Christ. My heart grieved for what she went through, but also rejoiced to see all that she overcame. You will be moved, challenged and inspired by this powerful story if you read it. I highly recommend this book to anyone about 13 or older (due to moderate references to violent events and mild sexual content). Get your copy today!
The Polygamist's Daughter: A Memoir
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When Heather Hart (an acquaintance from a book launch team) approached me about reviewing a book she co-authored, I was excited. Although it took much longer than it should have to finally read it (like 9 months after I first received it! Opps!), I was grateful that I finally did. This book is powerful, relevant, and necessary in our culture today. Shelley worked hard to make her original edition of the book more relevant by bringing Heather on as a co-author, and I think it really paid off. As an adult, I find that I need to be reminded of my worth in God’s eyes, especially in the middle of a world that gives so many unfulfilling methods to find our value. Not only do I think that this book is great for teen girls (the primary target audience), but as a youth leader, I think this book is a fantastic resource for anyone working with teen girls, because it covers so many relevant topics. I also found that like Shelley and Heather, I too have a heart to proclaim similar truths about finding confidence in Christ to women that need to hear it, especially teen girls. This is definitely a resource I will use in the future. Thank you Heather for reaching out to me to review this book. I was greatly blessed by it. I know that any other woman or teen girl that reads it will be too ~ Bethel
Every girl wants to be beautiful. We all want so desperately to be thought of as attractive, especially by guys our age. But unfortunately, in the process of trying to achieve that beauty, we often turn to the wrong sources to find and keep our beauty. Everyday makeup, inappropriate clothes, overdone hairdos, relationships (good or bad) with guys, and the list could go on. In addition to that, as we seek affirmation, we also struggle with what the world tells us about how to live our lives and where we can find our happiness and contentment. They all look appealing, especially since everyone else is doing them, but none of them really work. All of this makes it hard to live life as a young woman in our culture today while keeping our self-assurance and our self-esteem intact. It makes us ask the questions: How can I find assurance in our world today? Am I really beautiful, or is there another way to measure my value and worth?
In their book, Mirror Mirror…Am I Beautiful (2nd Edition), authors Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart answer the questions of where women (especially teen girls) should find our value as well where to find assurance in our culture today. They take the opportunity to address many relevant issues that are so prevalent in our culture, and they share ways that we can understand them from a biblical perspective and demonstrate how we can use our responses to honor the Lord in the process. What makes this book so relevant is the number of topics it covers. This isn’t your typical Christian book on beauty and self-esteem; it’s really a guide book to help you find your confidence in Christ and to live your life in such a way that expresses that confidence. And this confidence in Christ will be what will make you beauty, not anything you can do to yourself or for yourself. All of this is communicated in easy to understand language and relevant examples from the lives of the authors and from other girls and women just like you. There are even discussion questions for each chapter in the back of the book that can be used for a Bible study. Whether you struggle with not having enough confidence in Christ, if you find you have too much confidence in the world’s ways, or if you find you’re somewhere in between, this book is for you. I would recommend to any teen girl around 15 or older, or anyone that works with teen girls, like parents, youth sponsors, or teachers.
This book, as well as a leader’s guide for the Bible study, are available on Amazon (both paperback and Kindle) as well on the book’s website: www.FindYourTrueBeauty.com. Get your copy today! (Remember to look for the 2nd Edition from 2016. The 1st Edition was released in 2008 by just Shelley Hitz)
Personal Rating. My only criticism of the book is that the quality of the printing and style of the book make it apparent at times that the book was self-published. I also did not completely agree with their conservative view on swimwear or their plan on salvation. Other than that, this is a great book and a great resource
Living in the Redemption of the price Jesus paid for you and me.
My name is Bethel, and welcome to my site, Princess Worth Dying For, where I hope to share Christian reviews, Christian Spoken Word, and a Christian Insights on everything from modesty to musicals. My main focus on this blog is book reviews, and the main focus of my YouTube channel is spoken word, but I do crossover work with both.
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