Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book Review of A Year of Biblical Womanhood

It isn't ironic that as a New Year begins and I reflect back on the past year that I can write a book review for the best book I read in 2012!

It filled all  my reader wants - humour, intrigue, love and of course learning more about my Saviour.  All in one book.

Rachel Held Evans wrote a book about her journey to follow the instructions to women in the bible literally for one year.  When I requested the book I was on a journey of my own - questioning who I was as a mother, wife, pastor's wife and friend.  I felt like I had not only missed the boat, but I had never made it to the right dock.  I thought maybe this book would point me in the right direction.  Who says you can't learn new tricks at 40?

So I ordered the book, opened it and was amazed at this woman who most likely changed my life without changing my direction one bit.

October 30, 2012,
 Thomas Nelson Here is the Publisher's blurb:

Strong-willed and independent, Rachel Held Evans couldn’t sew a button on a blouse before she embarked on a radical life experiment—a year of biblical womanhood.
Intrigued by the traditionalist resurgence that led many of her friends to abandon their careers to assume traditional gender roles in the home, Evans decides to try it for herself, vowing to take all of the Bible’s instructions for women as literally as possible for a year. Pursuing a different virtue each month, Evans learns the hard way that her quest for biblical womanhood requires more than a “gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4).​ 
It means growing out her hair, making her own clothes, covering her head, obeying her husband, rising before dawn, abstaining from gossip, remaining silent in church, and even camping out in the front yard during her period. With just the right mixture of humor and insight, compassion and incredulity, A Year of Biblical Womanhood is an exercise in scriptural exploration and spiritual contemplation.

What does God truly expect of women, and is there really a prescription for biblical womanhood? Come along with Evans as she looks for answers in the rich heritage of biblical heroines, models of grace, and all-around women of valor.

Overall, I recommend this book to any woman.  The content is light-hearted and filled with wit, while teaching context and depth to the biblical scriptures related to womanhood.  Rachel puts all our fears to rest as she comically works through the ideals and traditions that tend to plague women.

I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style - honest and real.  She admitted her failures and mistakes and made my heart feel at ease.  I cried when she failed and I cheered when she succeeded. Her year long project covers topics such as homemaking, motherhood, marriage relationships, purity issues and social justice to name a few.

Just to give you a teaser I will share one of my favorite parts of her book.  In the month of May Rachel tackles the large looming issue of motherhood.  She had reservations about if she should start a family, when she start a family and so on.  So, she tackled it head on by ordering an electronic baby from Virginia. During the project she blogged about her experiences and her thoughts, receiving a wide array of comments.  This particular time she shared her fears about motherhood and was amazed at the comments she received.  They were from real life moms struggling with real life mom issues - not ideas and tactics from a parenting book.  She concludes:
"There's a certain security that comes with feeling like you've found a magic text, be it authored by Sears, Ezzo, or God Almighty, that tells you exactly when to have children, exactly how to raise them, exactly how to love them and exactly how to be a good mom ... right down to the last detail.  But no such text exists because faith isn't about having everything figured out ahead of time; faith is about following the quiet voice of God without having everything figured out ahead of time."

This book is a great read, easy and fun to wade through the adventures and mishaps Rachel finds herself in.  The book also includes comments from a journal kept by her husband during the year and lots of links to more information and details on line.  A fantastic book for anyone ... woman or not!

This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to review it positively.


  1. Sounds interesting! Thanks for the reviews, Jodi.

  2. I'd like to borrow this one from you one of these days:)