Well, hello friend! If you are here because you saw the title of this blog post and answered in the affirmative, I have GREAT news for you. First and foremost, I want to tell you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Next thing I need to share with you is this…I have got a great book for you whether you know for sure you are a Hot Mess, and need all the help you can get, or whether you secretly believe you are a Hot Mess, and keep it covered up real nice for everyone, but long for help.
Friend, I have got you covered either way, because today I have a book to share with you and a long overdue book review. So, do me a favor, will you? Go get your cuppa, and get comfortable because this book review has a bit of a backstory…
As my writing commitments have increased over the past few years, my reading time has been compromised. Book reviews have been out for the most part. I have had some of my devout reading friends take on a few of my book review commitments and I’ve turned down reviewing books despite being asked fairly often.
Enter Julie Gillies. Julie wrote a book that came to me by chance in 2013, but it was not happenstance, I assure you! I won it through a fellow blogging friend’s giveaway, and the title was “Prayers for a Woman’s Soul”. It tuned out to be one of my favorite devotional books and prayer resources for woman of all time. I reviewed it on my former blog, not because I had to, but because I loved it THAT much! You can check the details out by clicking HERE.
Fast forward to sometime in 2017. I find out Julie is getting ready to launch her next book, “From Hot Mess to Blessed- Hope to Propel Your Soul and the Promises That Change Everything”.
I find out late, because, hello- who checks their e-mail every day?
STOP THE PRESS. I read the details and e-mail Julie and tell her though I have missed the deadline to be in the launch group, I MUST be part of this…because, well…when you know you love the writer and you know that despite your crazy schedule, the fact that you are overly committed, and twenty other reasons you should not add another ball into your juggling mix- but BECAUSE you know you know…I just knew I had to be part of this launch. I get Julie, and I think Julie gets me…because when I read her, its clear to me, she gets what I get…and that is the reality and intimacy of a God who gets us and we need to get. END run on sentence/paragraph.
SOooooo…about the book. Oh. did I mention I was overly committed in 2017? Multiple public events with poetry readings, author appearances locally, and artist collaborations? Also, I was trying to pull together details for multiple book projects, including my first attempt at self-publishing.
Phew. So reading that book I was graciously sent did not happen until a lot later than the launch (shame on me!) and the book review is a year late. BUT, no less worth your time and focus! So now you know the backstory. I finally read the book in 2018 and by the way, it was the best timing for me to be reading this book. Maybe you will find that this year is the best time for you to read Julie’s book as well.
From Hot Mess to Blessed is a book that will encourage your faith and your personal intimacy with God as you read Julie’s struggles to overcome an abusive past, personal insecurities, self-doubt, emotional upheaval, and the continual reminders of previous perceived failures. It is the story of one woman’s battle to overcome the past and take hold of the truths found in scripture to bring forth victory and freedom in daily living.
One of the reasons I appreciate Julie’s sharing is because of her honest and open writing about her painful past. Her story includes similarities to some of my own experiences, such as an interrupted education, turmoil at home and disruption during childhood years. God uses those who have suffered in challenging circumstances to speak to the hearts of others who are challenged similarly and in doing so, brings freedom. This is true of Julie’s writing. She shares bravely, and that bravery brings us closer to the power available to each one of us through honestly assessing and actively affirming truth in our own lives.
Each of the twelve chapters deals with transforming truth from Scripture interwoven with stories from Julie’s faith journey, and how God led her to moments of grace, truth and personal revelation. When a woman of God is teachable, I believe there is no stopping her from receiving an abundance of lessons from the greatest teacher, the Holy Spirit. These lessons are the meat of this book. Without sounding preachy, each chapter builds it’s own sure foundation on the precepts of scripture which assure us of our salvation, security and true identity as God’s own.
Each of the chapters is based on a promise of God found in scripture. Julie calls these Promises for a Hot Mess and are as follows:
- I will make you whole. (Mark 5:34)
- I will give you a new identity. (Revelation 2:17)
- I will work all things for good. (Romans 8:28)
- I will enable you. (Philippians 2:23)
- I am your stability (John 16:33)
- You are brave. (2 Timothy 1:7)
- You are significant. (Psalm 139:1-2)
- I will give you hope. (Hebrews 6:18-19)
- I will give you my unfailing love. ( Psalm 23:6)
- You are a woman of destiny. (Ephesians 2:10)
- I will bless you. (Genesis 15:1)
- I will help you count the cost. (Colossians 1:11)
One of my favorite parts about the book is each of these chapters begins with an affirming focused statement (promise). At the end of each chapter there is something called “Your Personal Proclamation”. A brief scripture saturated statement which helps to affirm clearly the truth presented in the chapter. It is an opportunity to take hold what is being taught. “Say it. Know it. Believe it.” These are powerful truths to speak and believe. I looked forward to reading them and loved rereading them.
Quotes from the Book:
“We are His. We are not the sum total of all the awful things we’ve done or the hurtful things we’ve endured. Our true identities are eternally secure and sealed. Because of the finished work of the cross, God has stamped our hearts with His Spirit. We are approved and protected.”
“Many of us are not only tethered to parts of our past, but the lies and distortions we’ve accepted for entirely too long have become deeply embedded in our souls. Though we attempt to do our part and sincerely love and trust the Lord, in those areas it feels like we are completely chained.”
“Satan’s intentions are clear. The enemy wants to silence our voices and destroy our hope in believing that God’s promises are actually true and actually for us. He wants to prevent us from discovering a balanced, biblical, healthy perception of who we are.”
“Our circumstances, however arduous, are temporary. Our destiny and our future are not. And there is an incomparable future glory that surpasses everything our mind can conjure.”
“If the enemy can- through fear- keep our eyes glued to our mistakes, our bad choices, and our past, then he wins. The enemy wants to bully us into a corner and extract every penny of faith from or pockets.”
“The first and most powerful key in combatting Lie is to become fluent in God’s Word- absorb it, ponder it, meditate on it, memorize it, and pray it out loud.”
It is my opinion that if you have suffered (or know someone who has) any kind of abuse or neglect in childhood, I believe this book will be especially empowering and edifying. It stands on its own because of the strong scriptural foundation BUT I think because of the author’s experiences, certain readers will relate and receive well the faith affirming messages presented. It is especially useful for anyone who suffers from insecurity, self-doubt, or struggles with believing God’s promises for themselves for any reason.
I think this book would be a great book to use for personal Bible Study and Quiet Time and for women to use together in groups or one – on – one discipling and mentoring relationships. I have found there are many women who need the opportunity to sit with another woman, not in a group, to allow for building trust, and sharing which is not possible or realistic to share in a group situation. It is my opinion this book would lend itself well to this type of relational opportunity. Having experienced both, I can attest to the fact that one- on one discipleship and sit down study opportunities which help women develop their own relationship with the Lord are sorely missing and needed in our churches today.
Head over to Julie’s site to buy this book and also get the FREE resources to go along with it!
You can buy both of Julie’s books here: http://www.juliegillies.com/p/julies-book.html
So many great FREE resources from Julie here: http://www.juliegillies.com/p/free-resources_14.html
Julie’s Prayer for a Woman’s Soul Facebook Page is here: https://www.facebook.com/PrayersForAWomansSoul
From one Hot Mess to Another…
Thank you to Julie for her gracious heart and faithfulness to bring this book to fruition, and for her patience with a very behind-in-everything writerly chick who is grateful she said yes.
If you have any questions about either of the books, leave your comments below!