Are you a life-ready Woman?

by Anna Blanch on February 28, 2011

I have to admit I approached Shaunti Feldhahn’s Life-Ready Woman: Thriving in a do-it-all world with the cynicism only a professional woman, who’s read more of the “how can you be a godly Christian woman” in today’s world books than she cares to admit, can. I’d pretty much given up reading those kinds of books in light of realising that the women around me who love their communities, their churches, and their families have offered me far healthier and theologically complex models. 

The publisher describes the book like this: 

Are you a ‘Doing it all’ or ‘Do what matters’ woman?
Whether a stay at home or working mom, an airplane-hopping executive, an empty-nester caring for multiple generations or a single juggling high demands of career and personal life, today’s fast-paced modern world leaves women gasping for balance. We as modern Christian women want to look to the Bible for guidance on how to manage our lives — but because the world of women looks so different today than it did when the Bible was written, it is hard to find chapter and verse that seems to apply to our situation today.

Thankfully, God has given us exactly that timeless, unchanging guidance for how to find peace, clarity, and God’s best for our lives once we know where to look! The Life Ready Woman: Thriving in a Do-It-All World, reveals a profound biblical roadmap for how each of us can find the abundant life we are longing for, rather than the stressful, torn, how-do-I-balance-it-all life we often feel like we are trying to keep up with today. Actually being a LifeReady Woman means that you are clear about your life, bold in your faith, and able to find God’s best for you, and the end result will be that you not only survive but thrive in our do-it-all world.

God has given every wonderfully unique woman different skills and abilities, different desires, and different temperaments — and every woman around the planet and through the ages is certainly living in different circumstances. But no matter what a woman’s life looks like, the Bible says that God has an individual mission and plan that He’s carefully designed for each of us. And He wants us to find it. Starting January 2011, The Life Ready Woman and the Life Ready Woman Video Series will help every wonderfully unique woman to thrive as she identifies and courageously pursues God’s unique design and callings for her. LifeReady Woman puts you on a roadmap to make decisions that will lead to relief, delight, and fulfillment instead of regret.

The first half of the book suprised me, and in a good way. It allowed me to sit with my hard-fought cynicism acknowledging that I probably had it. It won me over gradually as Feldhahn spoke alot of common sense. The last third was somewhat disappointing, but I’m sure it will speak to woman in a different place in their lives than I!

It has a few killer lines, though my favourite is probably – even though I beg to differ with its characterisation of the Victorian era (I am a scholar of that period after all) – that being a housewife is not biblical, it’s victorian. The model, without hammering it, is much more reminiscent of Proverbs 31: The woman who uses her skills to take care of the home, earn some money, educate her children and care for her husband. It’s a model that has been used to justify the suggestion that within some Christian circles, woman can have it all. A strange kind of mish-mash of third wave feminism with contemporary evangelical middle-class values. What Feldhahn and Robert Lewis argue persuasively is that you can’t have it all – there’s simply not enough hours in the day to care of all your responsibilities without something giving. They promote a decision making framework that seeks to encourage a long term awareness of the consequences of short term self-satisfaction.

I do feel like they suggest that its going to be highly unlikely that you will see women in the upper echelons of corporate america or in government unless they do not have children, unless there is some way in which that mother has worked out to nourish those children and care for them in the midst of massive career responsibilities. This doesn’t sit well. 

But maybe that’s because prioritising first things is often not comfortable.


So where am I left after this book ? –

I’ve long been a fan of the biblical model for the way in which I, as a woman, can flourish in my community. This book has confirmed that and given me hope that books in the christian women empowerment genre are starting to gain some common sense. However, a book like this will always fall short if it seeks to speak into every woman’s life – we’re just too diverse a bunch for that. Finding a few older women to mentor you is still one the best ways to mature as a christian woman.

I’m even more convinced that “traditional” models are problematic and worrisome.Woman get all sorts of unhelpful messages thrown at them every day that tear down their sense of  worth, and bring before them a picture of what society says it means to be a woman, a mother, and to have a successful career that are twisted. We women often guilt ourselves and others into certain ways of seeing things too. We’ve got to give each other a break.


What do you think it means to be a Life Ready Woman? Are you one? 

Giveaway
I have TWO copies of Shaunti Feldhahn and Robert Lewis’s  Life Ready Woman (2010) to give away! that’s a copy each for TWO lucky readers! Leave a comment below: I’M A LIFE-READY WOMAN… or A LIFE-READY WOMAN IS… to win!

Competition will close Monday 7th March!!!!


You will get an extra entry if you tweet about this (make sure you include @goannatree in the tweet and a link to this post)

About Shaunti Feldhahn
Shaunti Feldhahn is a former Wall Street analyst and the best-selling author of For Women Only and now The Life Ready Woman with Robert Lewis. These resources investigate and illuminate those easy-to-miss truths that have the greatest power to transform lives.

Shaunti is also the mom of two active young kids, and wife to attorney and entrepreneur Jeff. In the middle of juggling work deadlines, soccer runs, church activities, business opportunities, field trips, and time with her husband, she has seen personally how vital it is to have a biblical blueprint for life balance.  For more information about Shaunti, please visit her website at www.shauntifeldhahn.com.

Disclaimer: I received the review and giveaway copies of the book gratis from Litfuse.

  • http://www.gilliangamble.com gill

    I'm a life-ready woman 🙂

  • http://www.annadrew.blogspot.com Anna Drew

    A life-ready woman knows when to say yes and when to say no. She can take a risk, but knows where her priorities lie. I want to be a life-ready woman but more often I'm a sleep-ready one! That said, my new year's resolution to say no to more stuff (for my sanity's sake) has actually turned into a year of yes and is working out well so far…
    My recent post Too beautiful to ignore

    • http://goannatree.blogspot.com Goannatree

      how did i miss this comment! I like it!

      "A life-ready woman knows when to say yes and when to say no. She can take a risk, but knows where her priorities lie. "

      How has it worked out so far? – the saying yes and no bit

  • Steve S.

    Soooooooooo…

    It actually sounds like much of that applies to men and women alike. (I know, I know, marketing and all. You sell more books if you can identify a demographic market.) It's not as if men aren't also under serious pressure to "do it all," especially now that men are culturally allowed to actively participate in raising their children. Career, family life, church activities (at least three a week!), home/car maintenance, civic associations, plus a man-hobby of choice (fishing, hunting, bowling, building stuff) all demand more time than we can give. I think you're quite right about many successful career women not having children, but I wonder how many successful career men also have healthy family lives, not to mention vibrant spiritual lives. The personal lives of many "successful" men are in shambles–affairs, divorces, custody battles, substance abuse, gambling, etc. A lot of "successful" men I have known have very small families (0-1 kids) and are married to career-driven women, making the relationship more like a professional partnership than a romantic relationship. That's not necessarily a bad thing in itself, but it does suggest that certain types of career-success may be incompatible with having a large family. I suppose there are a few that can "do it all," but they are notable because they are exceptional. For most of us, family and church and career all compete for very limited resources. It frequently feels like we have to sacrifice one necessary good to secure another.

    Now I do acknowledge that career-oriented women are under more pressure–or are pulled harder in different directions–than are most career-oriented men. So I recognize the value of writing a book like this for women. But in discussions about "women's issues" or "men's issues," I'm often surprised at how much of what is said applies to both sexes.

  • gail

    Not being 'a former Wall Street Anylist', nor a career/family juggling Mom, why am I continually fascinated with the dialogue circling the issues of these women? Do these matters ever completely become settled in any persons thoughts? I read the Book of Esther yesterday, the Book of Nehemiah the day before; today I began the Book of Ezra. Yes, so far removed from the lives we live in this era, but completely real. Names, people, living, moving, interacting, building, surviving. They lived, they died; they made a difference then, where they were, how they were, who they were, when they were.
    I have in the past been the major influencing factor in the lives and education of four children who are now adults. Their lives reach out and touch an ever widening circle of people. With all this said, I will not say that I am 'content' with how my life has played out. But I think that I have been astonishingly successful at being myself!! But now I am rambling! Even so I would like to read the book being offered.

  • Hanna

    To be honest the whole Christian woman thing is something I've kind of given up on. I'm never really sure what it is or where I fit into it, just get tired trying so at the moment I'm mostly trying just to be me. Guess that entails being woman by nature ^^
    wouldn't mind reading the book though
    xxx
    Hanna

  • Pingback: Why I don’t read “Christian woman” self-help books — Goannatree()

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