From the very first paragraph, all I could think was, "I want to be this chick's friend!" Her writing is very conversational while be loads of fun. AND she's local to me! Double love!
Gwen Smith's book is NOTHING like I thought it was going to be. I expected to be a little annoyed with the entire "I want it all" attitude, until I understood where she was taking it.
"If I really want it all-Everything God has for me_it's going to be a battle. A beautiful, bloody battle of a girl gone wile for Jesus. A gloves-off, nitty gritty, leave-it-all-on-the-floor-of-life brawl against a real enemy."
Oh yes. THIS. This is gonna be good.
And it is.
Gwen doesn't hold back. I could honestly picture this feisty woman using her hands and having vivid facial expressions while reading this. It was like she was sitting next to be pouring not only her wisdom and knowledge into me-but sharing her fears and shortcomings too.
She won me over even more when she wrote about the Samaritan woman at the well with Jesus. I identify with this woman and its my favorite Bible story of all time. I seriously get tear-eyed every time I read it. But Gwen writes about the moment Jesus brings up about her adultery,
"Dang! He called her out. As light invades darkness, this conversation instantly went from veiled and casual to exposed and personal."
She goes to address that "worship in the Spirit and in truth" response that Jesus gave the woman,
"What did Jesus mean by saying we must worship God in truth? ...it means we must bare all to the One who sees and knows all. It means that we should come as we are, allowing our stained hearts to be made white as snow in the presences of our holy God, who dwells in unapproachable light."
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Even typing that gives me goosebumps.
Gwen touches on other subjects, and the one that hit a little hard for me was chapter twelve, "Sticks and Stones and Salubrious Tones". This is her chapter about the words we speak. She hits it on the nail over and over again, especially writing about being "quick to listen and slow to speak." This is a weak spot for me-so it really bothered me and encouraged at the same time.
Gwen Smith's writing in, "I Want It All" is incredibly relatable. Her voice reminds me of Priscilla Shirer in "FerVent". These are the kind of women you want to mentor you in your walk with the Lord. They stand a firm ground, follow the narrow path, but are also vulnerable and transparent in order to be an even better example of redemption and grace.
Both "FerVent" and "I Want It All" get me pumped to dig more into the Word and spend more time in prayer. Gwen Smith's joy that peeks through her words are so contagious, I can only imagine how she is in person!
I give this wonderful book 5 out of 5 stars!
"I want the beauty of God's Spirit to be visible in my life. Don't you?"
About the Author:
Gwen Smith is an author and volleyball enthusiast who lives in sunny North Carolina and has been married to her college honey, Brad, for 23 years. They are tired parents to three competitive-sport-playing teens who keep them on their toes and on their knees. Her online friends meet at GwenSmith.net to connect and be encouraged, and her goal is to help women think big thoughts about God and be inspired to live out the grace and truth of Jesus. Gwen speaks, leads worship, and eats potato chips at women's events everywhere, and she is a co-founder of the conference and devotional ministry Girlfriends in God. Find her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+.
*I received this book in exchange for my honest review*
I'm Dominique, aka. Mama Bear! I'm a: Jesus lover. Wife to a musical red head. Mama to 4 cubs. Homeschooler. Aspiring author. Friend of books. Self-proclaimed hippie. Health Enthusiast. Yoga Newbie. So glad you're here!