Review Crew: Apologia: Journeys of Faithfulness

I have a house full of girls over here!  We’ve got those boys outnumbered and soon we’ll be adding another pink bundle to our bunch!  So, I’m always looking for ways to disciple our daughters and share some special mommy time with them.  What better way to build our relationship than through studying the Bible together?

Journeys of Faithfulness is written by Sarah Clarkson and published by Apologia Educational Ministries.  The book is a devotional guide for girls and women which details the lives of 5 women of the Bible.  Journeys of Faithfulness explores the lives of ordinary women who God used in extraordinary ways.  The author examines the faithfulness, courage, conviction, challenges, and fears of each women and includes a personal devotional with Scripture study to go with each section.

The book is divided into 4 sections with stories about different women in each section:

Mary and Martha
Mary, the mother of Jesus

Journeys of Faithfulness is recommended for girls and women ages 12 and above and retails for $13.

How did we use this book?
I read through much of the book before sharing it with Curly since she is only 6 (soon to be 7!).

Then Curly and I slowly read through the first section of the book-the stories about Mary and Martha.  I read the chapters aloud to her and we stopped at many points to discuss the themes and vocabulary.  We would then read the devotions together and I helped her look up the Biblical passages.  We didn’t take any written notes but used the book as a discussion starter.  It raised many questions and I enjoyed the time I got to spend talking with Curly about the Biblical stories and application.  

What didn’t we like?
The book is certainly a fictionalized account of the Biblical stories, complete with dialogue, detailed descriptions, as well as internal thoughts and feelings of all the characters.  The author takes a lot of liberty with the Biblical stories with all the inclusion of narrative and emotions.  While I was familiar with each of the Biblical accounts in the book, I sometimes got a little lost along the way with the details included by the author.  In a few of the stories, I felt a little bogged down with details and dialogue.  I guess I’m just used to the Biblical account straight-up without the fictional narrative.

What did we like?
The stories are very well written, despite the liberties taken with the Biblical accounts and the large amount of added details.  The author does give you a glimpse of life in Biblical times as well as a peek into the heart and lives of the women in the stories.  The reader can relate to the characters very well.

I especially enjoyed the devotion section.  Sarah Clarkson is transparent and honest when describing what she has learned and how the truths apply to her own life.  The devotions are personal and were one of my favorite sections to read.

The last portion of each chapter contains the questions and Scripture references.  Usually the sections had 3 to 5 references with accompanying questions.  I found this to be just the right amount for each section of the chapter.  The study was enough without being overwhelming.  In short, it was doable!  I can easily see it working well with Curly in a few years as the amount of work required would be just enough for her.

What did we think overall?
Curly is on the younger end of the age spectrum for this book.  While she did enjoy the stories as well as our discussion time, I think I’ll save this book for a time when she’s a little older and more ready for the depth of discussion needed.

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy this book as a devotion for myself to examine the lives of extraordinary Biblical women.  

I think this book is an excellent mother/daughter study for girls at least 10 or the recommended age range of 12 and older.  I look forward to using it with my girls when they are a little older.

Table of Contents:  You can view the table of contents here.
Sample Chapter:  You can see a sample chapter from the book on the Apologia website.

See what other Crew members thought about the book at the Crew Blog!


Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book at no cost to me in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are mine.

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