Books in Review: Not Part of the Plan
Although I have enjoyed and been inspired by all of the books released by Kristen and Bethany, I believe that this book is by far their best yet. In certain respects, I feel like this book was both written for me and could have been written by me with my life stories inserted into it. I don’t know if I have ever experienced that while reading any book written by other authors. The challenge of trusting God with the twists and turns of your story is a message that will resonate with every reader that chooses to take its message to heart. Being a part of the launch team and helping plan the launch of the book has just been the icing on the cake. This is a book I cannot recommend enough ~ Bethel
Change. Disappointment. Rejection. Worry. All of us have experienced these detours from the narratives we had planned for our lives. No matter how well we plan things out or how good our intentions may be, life is bound to throw us some curveballs. Knowing how to navigate these changes is hard and often painful, especially when we are dealing with major life changes. We want to believe that God is good, but it can be hard to understand His plan or feel His presence when we feel the rug ripped out from under us again and again. It makes us ask the question: How can I learn to fully trust God when life doesn’t go the way I expected?
In their book Not Part of the Plan, authors Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal dive deep into helping their readers navigate the twists and turns of their story while trusting God fully. Kristen and Bethany open up in a way they never have before about their stories not going according to plan. Through Bethany’s years of unfulfilling longings for marriage and Kristen’s years of struggling with infertility, they discovered that even when life doesn’t go according to plan, God is good, ever-present, and can bring us hope and peace amid heartache and disappointment. Pairing their stories with Scriptural and practical truth, this book is designed to help young women to work through past and present detours in their stories. Each chapter includes prayers, reflection questions, and challenges to help them dive deeper. This book is honest and real in a time in history when everyone has faced challenges due to changes from a worldwide pandemic. This is a book that every young woman needs to read. Get your copy today!
*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review
Note: This is an affiliate link, which will allow me to earn a small commission from every sale made at no cost to you
Check out my reviews of Kristen and Bethany's other books:
Sex, Purity, and the Longings of A Girl's Heart
To learn more about my next book, Redeeming the Beast, click here
Books in Review: Shine Bright
When I heard that Kristen and Bethany were coming out with a devotional, I was so excited. Having been a part of the launch of their three previous books, I know how well they do at helping young women understand the beautiful design and powerful purpose behind their womanhood. Even before I read this book, I knew that combining this strength with plenty of Scripture in a devotional would be a great combination. This prediction was proven to be accurate. I was excited to once again serve on their launch team for this book (which now marks the most book launches I have done for any author!) and recommend this book to any young woman wanting to learn how to “shine bright” ~ Bethel
In their devotional, Shine Bright, sisters Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal help young women get into God’s Word with 60 days of Scriptures, journaling prompts, and other spiritual exercises. Sharing stories and insights that are both new and familiar to the followers of their ministry GirlDefined, Kristen and Bethany connect the Scriptures they share with real-life experiences in a way that is engaging and relevant. Through the variety of Scriptures and topics they discuss, you are given a picture of what it looks like to become a woman defined by God’s Word, which will give the readers the ability to “shine bright” for Christ, if they choose to embrace these truths. This book is well-written and well-designed (the cover is so cute!). Designed to encourage the reader to build consistent Bible study habits, this book would a great option for any teen girls or young women that want to develop the discipline of doing devotions. Get your copy today!
*I received a copy from the publisher for the purpose of this review as part of my involvement in the book’s launch team
NOTE: There have been issues with their book distributors and keeping the books stocked. If you are interested in ordering the book to support the launch (which I totally recommend), their publisher Baker Books is currently running a sale of 30% off and free shipping. For more info, click here
Check out my reviews of Kristen and Bethany's other books:
Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart
Project Modesty (e-Book)
To learn more about my book, Beyond Your Wardrobe, click here
As I was a part of the launch for their last book a year ago (Love Defined), I heard they were planning on releasing another book this year. But I admit I was surprised when I heard about the topic. Not because I didn’t think they would do a great job, but because it was very closely related to the subject of their last book. Not to mention that I have read many books on the subject over the years, I was curious if they would be able to provide a newer perspective for a generation of young women who don’t want to do when it comes to the subject of biblical sexuality. But in the end, I was not disappointed. What I found I liked the best about the book is that it doesn’t feel like some purity books that are written by older women that give lists of do’s and don’ts. This was written in a friendly tone by sisters who feel like they are your big sisters, trying to help you understand what to do with this confusing topic in an honest and vulnerable way. I am so grateful that that Kristen and Bethany were willing to address this topic, and that they remind us that even though we have all experienced some form of sexual brokenness, God can and will redeem all of it in His time for His glory. If a girl is the right age (see my ratings at the end of the review), this is a book I would definitely recommend ~ Bethel
Purity. It’s made to feel like a dirty word in our culture, because it is something that our culture refuses to honor. And even those of us that try to honor it eventually come to realize that the impurity of the culture around us has seeped into our hearts and minds. We have a hard trying to wrap our minds around the topics of purity and sexuality in a God-honoring way, but we are afraid to ask the questions that will help us find answers and freedom. We are scared that we are the only one that has questions or struggles, so we clam up and are left in fear. It makes us ask the question: how can I learn the truth about God-defined sexuality?
In their newest book, Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girls Heart, sisters Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal help us find the beauty and freedom that comes from choosing to pursue God-honoring sexuality. Helping us see that we all have experienced sexual brokenness and struggles with lust, they help us identify where our culture has steered us wrong by identifying four lies about our sexual design and challenging us to replace them with truths from God’s word about the way He designed our sexuality. They offer tools for combating temptations and the battles within your mind and take time to address many specific questions about “hush hush” topics and questions that they asked their readers during a survey. And finally, they help us see that God has help us walk the path of freedom from past and present struggles with our sexuality, helping all of us see that God can redeem anything in His time, including our sexuality, if we choose to walk in faith and surrender to Him. This book is much needed and powerful. It’s the kind of book I wished I had as a teenager. Kristen and Bethany are honest and relevant in their writing style, and have a genuine heart to help girls and women get back to the women God intended them to be. This is a book that I recommend to women and girls about 16 and older. Get your copy today!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of my involvement in the book's launch team and for the purpose of this review
Teen Rating. Although the topics in this book are well addressed, I would struggle to recommend this book to a younger teenager. I think that some of the topics discussed could cause a loss of some innocence if she is not to that level of maturity (I am not mentioning these topics by name for concern about teens that may read this review). But at the same time, I do recognize that these topics are completely and totally necessary to discuss. I would recommend it for girls about 16 or older. For teens 15 or younger, I would recommend Bethany and Kristen's last book, Love Defined, as a better starting point for their age
To check out my review of Kristen and Bethany's first book, Girl Defined, click here
To check out my review of their second book, Love Defined, click here
Books in Review: Love Defined
When I first heard that sisters Kristen and Bethany were releasing another book, I was so excited. Since I was on the launch team for their first book, Girl Defined, I knew that this was a book I did not want to miss. I was excited to be accepted onto the launch team for this book as well. Although recent circumstances in my life prevented me from being prepared for the book’s launch day on May 1, I was so compelled when I finally got around to listening to the audiobook version. I basically listened to it straight through. When it comes to explaining the ins and out of singleness, marriage, and everything that comes in between, these sisters have you covered. I once again enjoyed the balanced perspectives of Kristen, who’s married, and Bethany, who was single at the time of writing the book. They are very understandable and relatable in their writing style and in their desire to help women everywhere to pursue God’s plan for finding lasting love. This is a book I would highly recommend ~ Bethel
The methods that our culture tries to present us for finding and maintaining lasting relationships are not working. Everything from infatuation disguised as love to sex before marriage to everything magically working itself out in marriage, Hollywood has tried to convince us this is the recipe for success and societal acceptance. But when you look carefully at the lives of those pursuing those methods, their lives are less than perfect. In fact, the statistics for divorce, abortion, and STDs are higher than ever before, but society won’t admit it because their methods are working. They continues to deceive us into a vicious cycle of infatuation and feelings that always results in our hearts getting broken, but we always go back to the same method. It leads many women to ask the question: How can I pursue God honoring relationships with guy, regardless of what season of life I’m in?
In their book Love Defined, sisters Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird of Girl Defined Ministries help us discover the ways that we can pursue God-honoring relationships that led to God-honoring marriages, all while giving hope that God has a plan and purpose for those of us that are single. They help us identify our culture’s “fairytale façade” and “Merry-Go-Round” method for satisfying relationships. They lead you to see that following these methods will result in disappointment and brokenness if we continue to rely on them. Instead, they offer a perspective on love, sex, and romance that is radically fresh and truly fulfilling when compared to our culture’s methods. To counter our culture’s methods, they offer a method to approach relationships that puts God in the center and won’t leave you broken, even if it doesn’t work out. Bethany also takes time to watch through the struggles of singleness, but offer advice on how to live your single years well while learning to be satisfied in Jesus. Kristen also walks through her relationship with her husband, and how they involved God in the process of their relationship. Together they address big questions like how to be just friends with guys, if you should date a non-Christian, or warning signs that its time to end a relationship. They conclude with a challenge to live our love defined by God, regardless of what phrase of life you are in. These sisters are a dynamic pair as teachers and writers, and they will inspire you to redefine what you know about romance from God’s perspective. Get your copy today!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review, as part of my involvement in the book’s launch team
To read my review of their first book, Girl Defined, click here
To read my last post (which explains the recent circumstances in my life), click here
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. 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!
Lion's Eyes Reviews is a blog dedicated to reviews of Christian books, most of which are non-fiction, but may also occasionally review movies and musicals. It will also feature the work Bethel does to help launch and promote the works of Christian authors.
The name is derived from one of Bethel's favorite books, Through the Eyes of a Lion by Levi Lusko. Through these reviews, Bethel hope to give Christians the tools they need to look at the world "through the eyes of a lion" so they can find the courage to "run toward the roar".
To find the detailed archives of these reviews, you can check them out here:
Books In Review
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To understand the rating used in these reviews, click here
Bethel Grove is a Christian young woman who loves to read and write, eat Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzards, and disciple teen girls as a youth leader. What started as a hobby of writing book reviews and doing deep biblical studies eventually led her down the path of self-publishing and helping other Christian authors launch their books. She hopes to someday be a vocational youth minister and well-known author.
Lion Eyes Reviews
Author Bethel Grove
Simple Youth Ministry
Teen Girl Youth Ministry