OH MY SOUL by Shannon Guerra

OH MY SOUL

Encountering God in Honest, Unconventional (and Sometimes Messy) Prayer
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A woman with six children tells stories of her life, including her ongoing dialogue with God through prayer.

Guerra (Upside Down, 2017, etc.) begins her reflective collection by describing a typical day in her Alaskan home: “The light is streaming, the shadows shrinking, and kids are stirring.” This peaceful atmosphere is quickly punctured by the discovery of a “poop-tastrophe” that makes the author want to sell the entire house. But even now, she’s comforted by the knowledge that God is with her. In sections organized loosely by theme, such as “Friendship,” “Identity,” or “Abiding,” Guerra’s pieces each follow a similar pattern, creating elegant, poetic portraits of her inner thoughts and the environment around her before bringing in modern or mundane elements. In various essays, she struggles to get her kids to learn to read and to keep her large family fed, or she works on her writing, attempting to meet deadlines without getting distracted by the latest Pinterest list. Throughout, she remains in constant dialogue with God—a calm, reassuring voice that responds to her needs: “Read anyway, He says. Don’t miss this,” she hears in her mind at one point when she tries to skip through an important Bible verse. As in similar devotionals, Guerra includes verses from Scripture that are important to her as well as profound quotes from figures such as Winston Churchill and C.S. Lewis. However, what makes this book stand out from other contemporary Christian writings on prayer is the author’s crisp prose and sharp sense of humor. She expertly balances deeper, more contemplative thoughts with hilarious passages that delve into such topics as buying food in bulk and her late-night internet addiction. While obsessing over a broken link on her website, for example, she admits, “Truth is, I’m not even sure how to change the ink in our wireless printer.” It’s a warm, relatable voice that’s perfectly suited to guide other Christian mothers through the abstract concept of prayer.

An insightful, honest, and genuinely funny author delivers a standout devotional.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 2018
Page count: 131pp
Publisher: Copperlight Wood
Program: Kirkus Indie
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