I've been reading Mended: Pieces of a Life Made Whole, by Angie Smith, and her lyrical, anecdotal writing is helping me realize that every piece matters. That God "shines through the cracks" in our broken lives. That even when it doesn't feel OK, we have a God that is bigger than our hearts.
Through her own life stories and discoveries in Christ, Angie walks readers through chapters that show us how our brokenness can be used of God. That there is no broken life He cannot use.
Angie writes in a way that makes me want to meet her in real life, sit down, have a cup of coffee and talk. You feel her openness through her words, and it makes you want to open up, too. I found myself longing for a Christian friend I could share this kind of open spirit with about the innermost feelings of my heart.
Each chapter ends with thoughts and questions for "mending" your life... helping you think more deeply about what she's just written.
As far as devotionals go, I loved this one! It doesn't offer "pat" answer to difficult life problems. It doesn't leave a hole, where you're thinking, "Yeah but what about MY problem?" Angie's life story, yes, sadly contains a lot of heartache, but the blessing is that she is able to relate to so many hurting people because of her pain. This is a book that seems REAL, not full of Christian cliche, but raw and real.
Now, it's not exceptionally Scripture-heavy. Some passages contain references or paraphrased verses, and others none at all. I might have enjoyed seeing a few more connections to scripture. However, I view this type of devotional as more memoir-style than "preaching/teaching" style. And in fact, in the addendum pieces in the back of the book is a key phrase Angie writes about how to have a closer walk with the Lord:
After talking about how she was leaving her "canvas" blank and instead simply reading about how to love the Lord, she realized she simply had to "Disregard the manuals that people have written and pick up the brush."
And so, she acknowledges even her own book will not provide all the answers - they come from the Word of God. You have to pick the Bible up for yourself, not get your Bible reading from whatever verses are included in the devotional.
It was refreshing to read an author so transparent as Angie Smith.
About Angie Smith: Angie Smith is the wife of Todd Smith (lead singer of Dove Award winning group Selah), author of "I Will Carry You and What Women Fear," and one of the most popular speakers and blog writers in the country. She holds a master’s degree in developmental psychology from Vanderbilt University and lives with her husband and daughters in Nashville, Tenn.
Mended: Pieces of a Life Made Whole by Angie Smith is a devotional book you'll want to read. Purchase Mended on Amazon.com or look for it in Christian bookstores.
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Thanks to Shelton Interactive for sending a review copy and providing a giveaway! All opinions are 100% my own.