A combination of anecdotal faith memoir and spiritual meditation manual offers advice to readers.
Jeffers opens her nonfiction debut with a long account of her life in rural Missouri and her personal spiritual rebirth. This smart strategic move serves to orient her readers and encourage them to feel a personal connection that will then underpin the stories and anecdotes that will follow. The pattern of the following pages quickly becomes clear: Jeffers tells a tale—about her marriage, her routines, her children—and links that story to spiritual observations and religious insights. The balance mostly works, with the tales about her church or family acting as counterweights and fairly smooth lead-ins to her more general lessons on the meaning of Scripture—teachings that are uniformly strong and often eloquent. “God wants you to trust Him,” she writes in a typically direct manner. “Open your hands. Let go of all the things you can do nothing about.” The brightness of these spiritual ruminations and extended prayers is consistently bolstered by her reversions to her own story about accepting Jesus as her personal savior. “He took my cold, hard heart of stone and gave me a heart of flesh,” she writes. “He turned everything that was wrong into everything that was right. I no longer stumble my way through the obstacles of life.” This is the underlying message linking both aspects of the book: that Christianity can be an ease, a surrender to a comfort unknown to those without faith. Believers can feel safe in God’s care, she asserts: “The one who is all present and all powerful—the one who is all—is standing the night watch for us, neither slumbering nor sleeping so that we can.” It’s a warm, soothing vision of Christianity, one that will appeal to a great many readers in the stressful modern era, and Jeffers’ presentation of many of her thoughts as prayers will add to the value of the book for them.
A fully fleshed-out prayer guide with warm autobiographical tones.