Thursday, July 26, 2012

Book Review: "Work, Love, Pray"

Work, Love, Pray: Practical Wisdom for Young Professional Christian WomenWork, Love, Pray: Practical Wisdom for Young Professional Christian Women by Diane Paddison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I honestly almost put this book down about 1/3 through. I had bought it after reading part of it on a blog somewhere and thought it sounded intriguing, but I was starting to get disappointed in the beginning. The first 1/3 to 1/2 of the book is a necessity (I now see) for Diane Paddison to establish her credibility as a very successful business woman, but I was looking for more advise and less autobiography. Now, however I am so glad that I stuck it through and learned where Paddison was coming from!

The second half of the book makes it so worth it, so KEEP reading!!! After sharing her personal stories, Paddison really gets a lot more practical and encouraging on HOW you can balance your faith, family, and career. And why should we even bother with the balancing act? She says, "We don't give God only our spiritual selves when we surrender to him. We give him everything, and that includes our talents, our gifts, and yes, the part of us that goes to work every day" (location 1722).

Another great quote: "I'm far from perfect and have experienced my share of the dry times, but when my faith is strong and I am closest to God, the benefits spill over into my family and my work. I am a better parent, better spouse, and better worker when I put God first" (location 2088). AMEN!

Paddison sprinkles the book (the last half anyway!) with great verses to reference. She writes, "the best way you can become a shining light for Christ is to be the best employee in the company (Colossians 3:23)." This is one of my favorite verses that has gotten me through some pretty bad jobs in the past - it says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters" (NIV).

Her advise covers everything from finding a good church family, growing an accountability group, making Bible study a daily habit, physical exercise, putting your kids and husband first, financial concerns, spiritual retreats, business conferences, travel, boundaries, and more! I have so many highlights in my Kindle edition and have a long list of websites and books that she referenced that I want to check out! Many of her suggestions are listed on the website of Diane Paddison's non-for-profit ministry, 4word. She also has a blog there that I have begun following.

I recommend this to any Christian woman (18+) who plans on spending ANY time at all in the work force. Eli and I are so fortunate that with our jobs and schedules, we can be stay-at-home parents with full-time jobs; but I still find "doing it all" and "having it all" to be quite challenging at times, and this book has been very encouraging to me! Hope you will find it to be so too!

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Monday, July 23, 2012


Well, a lot has happened in the Casey family in the last month, so here's a quick update!

Eli has been back to work for almost a month now (went back June 26th) and has had no complications or setbacks after his miraculous recovery!  Luckily, he is at a relatively slow station and he does not have to do any transfers on his own.  He is basically acting as a first responder on all his calls, so even in that God has taken care of us more than we could have thought to even ask for!  The nystagmus is still present, but is much better (according to Eli) and may continue to get better.  Before Eli's surgery, I read a book called Conquer Chiari and in it, the author mentions that his symptoms still flare up in the summertime (even after a successful surgery) due to the heat and humidity.  Considering that we are having one of the hottest summers ever, that could be what is going on...  Anyway, he'll go back in for a follow-up appointment on August 15th so we'll know even more then probably!

As for this little baby girl, we are still waiting...  

I have to admit that it is VERY difficult being patient at this point.  Micah was 10 days early; so for some reason (I know, totally illogical!), I thought for sure she would be early too!  Well, she might still be, but we're 7 days out now and I had a doctor's appointment today and showed no real signs of being close (no dilation, effacement, etc.).  So, please join me in praying that this little girl gets the show on the road in the next 10 days or so.  Because I had a C-Section with Micah (you can read the whole story here), conditions have to be pretty good for my doctor to allow me to attempt to go natural this time.  Fortunately, so far everything has looked good.  Kenzie is healthy, my C-Section scar is healed nicely, I don't have any complications, BUT they will not induce me, so if she is too late in coming, it will be another C-Section for her too.  (For the curious, my doctor will not induce me because the pitocin-induced contractions are so strong and have been known to tear open old C-Section scars, so it has to be natural contractions or C-Section.)  I was terrified of having a C-Section with Micah, but luckily I learned a little humility and grace from God who taught me that He can bless us with a healthy baby in ANY scenario He chooses, so while my hope is a natural delivery this time, I'm a lot more open and willing for whatever God's plan may be!  Though I confess I hope He acts soon!  LOL!  It is HOT here after all!