â€œThis devotional is a collection of thoughts and truths that God has impressed upon me as I have journeyed with him through daily life in the home,â€ Sandra Byrd writes in the introduction to her book, The One Year Home & Garden Devotions.
~ What ~
At four hundred pages, this book that is meant to be read daily throughout a year blends home and garden topics with learning more about God and His love. Using mainly the New International Version of the Holy Bible, also referenced are the NLT, ESV, Voice, and Message.
Each page is dedicated to a day in the year with a title. Several paragraphs follow of Byrdâ€™s experiences, memories, and thoughts that include her personal feelings and frustrations, husband, children, friends, and church to name a few. The last one to three paragraphs correlate to God and how to apply the theme to Him. One-to-three Bible verses are written out at the bottom of the page. Pages of creative food recipes, garden tips, DIY projects, and homemade gifts start every month.
Discussing her husband, children, dog, house, garden, food, self, and a plethora of incidences, the author encourages the reader to change, grow, and get closer to God throughout a year. Some of the stories are funny or charming, while others are observant, insightful, or emotional. Being a personal diary of sorts, she shows her strengths and faults as she reminds to rely more on the Savior.
~ Why Not ~
Since the book is based on Byrdâ€™s relationships and experiences, it is more of a personal journey that she may relate to more than the reader. With each story being from her perspective, there is little Bible study or research that some devotionals include such as prayers, fill-in-the-blanks, or bullet-point reminders.
~ Who ~
Best-selling author, Byrd has written over forty books including those for tweens, teens, and adults. She enjoys mentoring and coaching new writers.
~ Wish ~
Hoping not to hurt this good authorâ€™s feelings, I expected the book to focus on God more than anything else. Unfortunately since this one contains no prayers or in-depth study, I found it concentrated on the I, me, my, and mine instead of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Also, my preference is that all pronouns of God are capitalized for reverence.
~ Want ~
If you like devotionals that are based on the writerâ€™s experiences as she relates to God, this is a good book, but it is not the best addition for me to be read with the Bible every day.
Thanks to Tyndale House for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reviewerâ€™s honest opinion.