Born of a heart burdened during a period of prolonged health problems, Seasons of the Heart: A Year of Devotions from One Generation of Women to Another, is a book written by Donna Kelderman as a way to minister to other women who might also be in the midst of struggles in their own life (whether those struggles are health-related, financial, family-related, etc.). As the burdens of these struggles weigh us down, there are a myriad of ways that God can minister to His children, and these ways are what this devotional would like to assist with (alongside of prayer and Bible reading). In Donna’s own words: “Since I have often been fed with the writings of these dear sisters in the Lord who have gone before us, my prayer in compiling these devotional pieces is that their writings, such a rich treasury, would not be forgotten but that the Lord would use these devotionals to correct, admonish, comfort, cheer the downcast, and lead many to the foot of the cross.” The question that I want to answer in my review is, “Does this devotional accomplish the goals that the author set out for it to accomplish?”.
With any devotional, you almost have to begin with who is contributing the writings for each day of the week. Is it one author throughout the whole book writing on a multitude of topics, or are there multiple authors contributing to the book? In either case, the main thing that a reader needs to be concerned with are if the author(s) are theologically sound or not. The two questions readers need to ask with any Christian book: “Are these devotions grounded in the Word of God or do they reflect the spirit of the age with its fascination with materialism and self-esteem? Or does this book ead the reader to awe and wonder of a Savior in Jesus who purchased His people with His own precious blood and has equipped the saints to walk in momentary obedience to Him through the power of the Holy Spirit?”
Seasons of the Heart is a daily devotional with contributions from a variety of authors, all of which are extremely sound theologically speaking. There are 12 authors in total, and they include the following godly ladies: Mary Winslow, Elizabeth Julia Hasell, Frances Ridley Havergal, Ruth Bryan, Susannah Spurgeon, Sarah Hawkes, Anne Dutton, Susan Huntington, Katherine Parr, Harriet Newell, Sarah Hawkes, and Isabella Graham. One of the neat things about this devotional is not only are the ladies theologically sound, but they lived in both Great Britain and America during the 16th – 20th centuries, so readers are getting exposed to women throughout church history who overcame their struggles, and are willing to share their stories with modern readers. This book exposes readers to church history without having to read an academic book on the subject. My continual hope and desire, and seemingly Donna’s desire as well based on what she put in this devotional, is that we never lose sight of the fact that our church fathers (or in this case, “church mothers”) of the faith can help encourage/exhort us in overcoming the trials, struggles, and temptations that we continually face in our lives.
I personally have to thank Donna for putting together a devotional that is both theologically sound, and is geared towards ministering to women. My wife has read this devotional almost every day since I received it in the mail, and she has thoroughly enjoyed it. I love the fact that my wife is being ministered to by a group of ladies from church history that will help encourage her to maybe broaden her horizons and read other writings by these ladies as she gets the time.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Reformation Heritage Books (October 21, 2013), via Cross Focused Reviews, a service of Cross Focused Media, LLC, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”