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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: Sand to Pearls by Heidi McLaughlin

Synopsis: Illusions of success and instant pleasure can seduce us into making poor choices. We long for fulfillment but are haggard from life’s trials and overwhelmed by what the future holds. Broken, we feel unworthy to ask God to intervene in our lives. Blinded by it all, we often overlook that God has the potential to use everything in our lives--whether good or bad.

It's time to S.T.O.P. and let God help us make bold choices to enrich our lives with freedom, fulfillment and incredible beauty!

McLaughlin shares from her personal discoveries how God heals and restores all failures and pain. If God can take a tiny grain of sand and turn it into a gorgeous pearl, then He certainly can turn our worst decisions and biggest mistakes into a magnificent new beginning!

About the Author: Heidi is the author of Beauty Unleashed ... Transforming a Woman's Soul. This is her second book. Heidi is married to Jack, a pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Kelowna, BC. She is a mom and step-mom of five children and grandmother of seven. Besides her speaking engagements and writing, she is the Controller at a VW/Audi Dealership.You can find her at writing at her blog, Hear's Connection, on Twitter and on Facebook!

Review: This book is for anyone who is in need of personal growth, be it from getting out of a bad relationship/divorce, fighting with parents/siblings, or trying to make changes in the personal lives. I wasn't too sure of it when I started reading it, but while it has Christian beliefs and prayer in it, most of the ideas about letting go of past hurts and resentments and living for YOU, will speak to anyone wanting to change their lives, no matter what denomination they are.

Her chapters deal with friends/frien-enemies,  self-sabotage, resentment, instant pleasures/no patience, blended families, comparison/contentment, fear/fortitude, regrets/rejoicing, shame/radiance, panic/prayer, and career/calling. As you can see, most of us would find parts of ourselves in those chapters, and areas we know need fixing/working on!

McLaughlin gives excellent examples, and quotes other Christian and lay authors on the different topic, to help illustrate the points she is making. Then she includes a STOP program at the end of every chapter for you to follow.

McLaughlin's STOP program is very simple and easy to understand:
  • S- Scripture verse- there is a verse for every situation, and for reflection on your current problem
  • T-Thanksgiving- be thankful for what God has the power to accomplish/has done for you already.
  • O-Observation- what wisdom is God unleashing for you in the verse above. How can you change your actions to better suit it
  • P-Prayer-ask God to change your struggles to joy, sand to pearls.
The chapter on blended families, and the Mission Statement that McLaughlin and her current husband made before they blended their families, should be read by anyone in the same situation. She has some really great ideas on how to 'make things work' for everyone involved. If you know of a friend that has sought out a Christian life, but is having issues over their past, this book can help them get thru and over that hurdle!

I think this book should be read by ALL women, and definitely recommend it for college age women, so that they can start now an changing how they react to situations, and learning how to handle hurts, so that they will not haunt them and bring down the rest of their lives, knowingly or unknowingly. if you have a friend or family member who needs help to live a more practical, Christian life, this is the book!

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