Loved Back to Life {book review}

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Loved Back to Life: How I Found the Courage to Live Free by Sheila Walsh

Beautiful and talented, Sheila Walsh was at the pinnacle of her career.
One day (twenty years ago), she found herself walking away from it all
and checking in to a psychiatric hospital, where she stayed for a month.

Loved Back to Life takes readers on Sheila’s journey
of the soul from hopelessness to joy as she finds that although the road was terrifying,
at every turn God called her to follow and to trust him. And He never let her go.
(back cover)

I was thrilled to discover Sheila had written a book about her journey I had only heard bits and pieces of.

“Sheila, if people find out you are in a mental institution,
if this goes public, it’s going to do tremendous harm to the ministry.”

 “I thought these people were my friends”
(those who had just walked away from me
when my life had started to unravel).

Thankfully, Sheila didn’t let others opinions get in her way.

“Depression will not go away by pretending that it does not exist.”

Sheila is such an inspiration to me as she made the choice to seek God not hide from Him.


Seeing Sheila speak at Women of Faith, it’s easy to think she has it all together. She’s beautiful, and that Scottish accent is to die for. I have so much respect for her in sharing her story in such a transparent way.

I highly recommend this book to anyone dealing with depression, or “other addictions or things we use to distract or numb ourselves”. Be inspired to seek not hide as Sheila shows you how prayer and reading God’s Word can give you the courage to live free.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Sand in My Sandwich {book review}

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“The hardest stuff is the quickest way to God.”
A mother of three children, two of whom are on the autism spectrum,
Sarah has experienced plenty of ups and downs.
But from the chaos of her “ordinary” life,
she pulls truth packed with humor, poignancy, and a naked honesty
that will make you realize you are not alone
in this delightfully messy thing called motherhood.
back cover)

Memoirs are not my favorite to read.  However, when I discovered this one was written by a mom of children with autism, I was intrigued, as I too have a son with autism.

Sarah quickly captured my attention in chapter 1:

“My life’s a mess.  Ask my friends.  Actually, don’t.
They won’t see it through the veil of forced perfection.”

“Matt and I bonded quickly and married within a year of meeting.
This is where things stop sounding like a Nicholas Sparks novel.”

“This is the story of how God used my children and my life’s messes
as instruments of His presence…And I learned that,
on this grand adventure, chaos looks a lot like perfect order in disguise.”

This was a fun read.

While it is difficult to parent children with autism, Sarah is quick to point out the blessings she sees in them.  If for nothing else, I would recommend this book for that alone. I recommend this book to moms with children with autism – it would make a great mothers day gift!

I received this book free from the Revell Reads Blog Tour Program.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.  

Life Unstuck {book review)

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When I came across Life Unstuck by Pat Layton, I was immediately drawn to the beauty of the cover and the subtitle:

Finding PEACE with your Past, PURPOSE in your Present, PASSION for your Future

Peace.  Purpose.  Passion.  Yes please!

Then after reading this review, I was sold:

Life Unstuck is a beautifully written book by my friend Pat
that takes a fresh look at Psalm 139.
Using this treasured Scripture as a guide,
she speaks to our problems and questions
with deep reassurances of God’s promises.
Readers will be able to identify where and why
we’ve gotten stuck so we can move forward with great joy.”
~ Lysa TerKeurst on Life Unstuck

Little did I know how stuck I was until I took Pat’s quick assessment.

“Sometimes I feel like the masks I wear for everyone else
are going to completely take over
and I will disappear behind somebody
I don’t even know.”
~ Pat Layton, Life Unstuck

Pat provides further self-reflection with her Garden of Personality Test.

“This tool will help as we move along
to uncover those stuck places in your life
and see how some of what we see as stuck,
God sees as potential.”
~ Pat Layton, Life Unstuck

I enjoyed Pat’s easy-to-read writing style, her personal stories, and mostly God’s Word she reflects on throughout the book.  Pat gives us “Unstuck Truths” (God’s truths) within each chapter that will be easy for you to remember when you are stuck.  Here’s a glimpse at key words that will change your life.

My favorite part of Life Unstuck was Section 2:  Peace with the Past.  My highlighter almost ran dry in this section and I will definitely be spending more time here in days to come.

“God desires to use our past, not to shame or condemn us
but to break the stonghold the enemy has on our testimony
and use our story for His glory.”
~ Pat Layton, Life Unstuck

Also in the book, Pat shares:

  • basic needs that are critical for life unstuck
  • dangerous places she’s discovered for getting stuck in the past
  • typical lies that keep women stuck in darkness
  • God’s truths to remember

The good news is we do not have to stay in our stuck places.  Using the truths found in Psalm 139, Pat shows us “what we see as stuck, God sees as potential.”

I highly recommend Life Unstuck.  It would be a great choice for your next book club.  It will be a resource I revisit time and again.

Be sure to check out the Life Unstuck website where you will find the book trailer, free downloadable study guide, and other resources.

I received this book free from the Revell Reads Blog Tour Program.  After getting just a glimpse of Life Unstuck, I also joined Pat’s launch team. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.  

Linking up to:



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You’re Loved No Matter What {book review)

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You’re Loved No Matter What:  Freeing your heart from the need to be perfect by Holley Gerth


Free my heart from the need to be perfect?  I didn’t think that was an issue for me.

“At the root of every desire for perfection is simply this:  fear.”
~ Holley Gerth, You’re Loved No Matter What

Now fear is something I can relate to.  When my friends ask “how are you”?  My response is almost always “I’m fine”.  I’m scared if they discover “who I really am”, then they won’t like me.  And those fears lead to the desire for perfection.  Now I get it.

“Fear held me back and held up the corners
of my smile like strings on a puppet”
~ Holley Gerth, You’re Loved No Matter What

Yes, Holley too, a best-selling author, counselor, and life coach, struggled with fear.

Where did our fear-driven expectation to “be perfect” come from?  Holley helps us identify that from the most common places she’s discovered.

Then, through her own imperfect progress, she writes to share God’s truth with us that God’s love has no expectations:

“In every human relationship, we encounter expectations.
But God doesn’t have any for us.  He already knows our hearts,
and therefore we can’t surprise or disappoint him.”
~ Holley Gerth, You’re Loved No Matter What

Yes, we are loved no matter what.

I am a huge fan of Holley’s books.  I just sit and read and imagine she’s right here with me, lifting me up with her encouraging words.

But this isn’t just a “feel good” book.  Holley challenges us in each chapter with tools and space for self-reflection.  Also included are action steps to help you immediately apply what you’ve learned from this book.  And, as with her previous books, she also includes a Go Deeper Guide for more in-depth study of each chapter.

I highly recommend this book to women of all ages who are ready to face their fears and hear the truth that You’re Loved No Matter What.

My review is based on a quick read through (it’s hard to put down).  I look forward to joining Kristin Hill Taylor’s online Book Club beginning March 16.  Won’t you purchase a book and join us?

I received this book free from the Revell Reads Blog Tour Program.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Linking up my review to Literacy Musing Mondays and:

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