Work, 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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