What’s in a Word: A Book Review

When I first saw this book I was really excited to read it. I have this memory of being 10-years-old and sitting in the back of my mom’s sedan. We were listening to Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story” on the radio and he was explaining the origin of a common phrase. I found it so interesting to discover the history behind the phrase and told my mom it would be cool if someone wrote a book about it. I’m not making this up…and yes, I was that much of a nerd.

So, fast forward to 2010. I see on BookSneeze this book by Webb Garrison entitled What’s in a Word? I waited expectantly for it to arrive in the mail and opened it as soon as I received the package. Maybe I’m not as much of a nerd now as I was at 10, but I found it to be boring. It wasn’t a book I wanted to sit down with for an extended period of time. The first chapter was about technological terminology and it seemed outdated (floppy disks?).

I set it aside, thinking that it would make a really good bathroom reading book or coffee table book.

Then, one night we had a friend over and he picked it up. He skipped around in the book instead of trying to read it cover-to-cover. He spent the next hour sharing with us little tidbits of knowledge that he gained from the author. It was interesting and fun.

So, what do I think of this book? I think that it’s slightly outdated, not for someone who’s seriously into the study of etymology and, yet, can still provide some entertainment on a quiet night.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God: Book Review

“So this is a book about trust: how hard it is to trust, how we learn to trust, how we live with trust, and how our lives are transformed by trust.” ~ Sheila Walsh


I was slightly turned off by the title.

For the second book in my book reading challenge I was browsing the available titles in the Thomas Nelson Booksneeze program and this one popped out at me; not in a good way.

I thought, “Great, another fluffy book for women that will say a lot without actually saying anything.” I’d never heard of Sheila Walsh and so all I had to go by was the title and the cover. I judged the book by these.

Despite that, I chose to read it. And I got the usual result of judging: I was completely wrong!

{How much?}

Christianbook.com $14.99 (purchase currently includes a free download of her book “Living Fearlessly”)

Amazon.com $14.95

{What’s included}

By relating personal hardships (a battle with depression that led to a month-long stay in a psychiatric ward) and delving into the lives of ten Biblical characters, Sheila Walsh portrays the impact that trusting God in all areas can have on your life, relationships and future.

She has an engaging style of writing that made me eager to read the next chapter, while her genuineness and honesty caused me to feel like I was sitting down talking with a friend. Her intelligence and education showed in her handling of scripture and I found myself looking at passages I’ve studied before in a new light.

There is also a Bible study included with the book that allows you to delve deeper into the subject and look at it from a personal perspective.

{What I Liked}

  • So often devotional books meant for small groups or personal study force you to purchase a separate workbook; this one has the Bible study included in the back of the book. Each chapter has Scriptures to study further and questions to answer that transform the book from just a good read to a catalyst for personal growth.
  • Sheila Walsh has been speaking with Women of Faith for over 10 years and yet her book comes across in a humble, relatable way. She doesn’t shirk away from sharing her fears and doubts, but also shows how God utilized Biblical figures and people in her life to walk her through them.
  • As someone who personally struggles with times of depression, it was refreshing to see a woman who is such a public figure discuss her own battle with it. Sheila addressed the shame, guilt and rejection that so often accompanies depression, but also offered hope for what God has done in her life despite it.

{What I Didn’t Like}

  • I already mentioned that I didn’t really like the title. I don’t know if I would have bought the book if I’d just seen it on the shelf at the bookstore. But, I’m glad that I ignored my initial instinct.
  • I forgot that the Bible study was there until I’d finished the book. I wish that there would have been a reminder or something at the end of each chapter (i.e. “For dig in deeper turn to the Bible study at the back of the book). If I was reading the book in a small group setting, this obviously wouldn’t have happened.


I really enjoyed reading this book and I now follow Sheila Walsh on Twitter because I want to know more about her. She is genuine. I highly recommend this book and would love to do a woman’s small group with it someday. It isn’t the type of book that will lose its value over time; the truths in it are universal. Go get it!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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Fearful Bragging

So, ever since I posted the last post about Josh’s music, I’ve been feeling a tad bit guilty.

Not because I was bragging about him, but because I’m being kind of hypocritical. I’m always getting on Josh’s case for not letting people know about the newest song he’s written or opportunity he’s had.

I couldn’t understand why he would be reluctant to let people know about something that is such a passion for him.

Splinter…let me introduce you to Log. Over the last few months I’ve once again taken up the idea of trying to become a freelance writer. I have loved reading, writing, journaling, whatever since I was a kid and I feel this is a way I can make a contribution while still being home with our kids.

It provides me an outlet so that I don’t feel so secluded and spiritually useless. I have pretty much kept this a secret from my friends and family because I didn’t want to look like I was tooting my own horn.

Then I looked today at the last post and realized I was being just as reluctant as Josh to share the thing God was doing in my life.

So, here we go…toot toot!

There’s a webzine called Ungrind that I came across, which provides encouragement, advice and support for Christian women in their 20s and 30s. I have had the privilege to take part in their weekly Fresh Brew Fridays and next month I have an article which will be published on their main website. I’m so excited for the opportunity and experience they’ve given me and I’m looking for other places where I can cut my teeth as a novice writer.

Another place where I’m gaining some experience is as a book reviewer for Thomas Nelson publishing. It’s a great way for me to get free books and get my name out there more.

At this point I’m not getting compensated for any of this, but I’m fine with that. I am just happy that someone thinks I have enough talent to allow me to have a voice in their publication.

So, as scared as I am right now to click “publish post,” I realize that it’s now time for me to set my fears aside and let everyone know the latest thing God’s been doing in me.

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