Tuesday, April 14, 2009

On My Own Now by Donna Lee Schillinger--Book Review

Are you concerned over what decisions your daughter might make once she's out on her own?

Are you a young woman searching for guidance now that you no longer live with your parents?

Are you a pastor seeking to guide young single women in your church?

Do you know a young woman living on her own or soon to be living on her own who would benefit from some Godly guidance?

If you answered yes to any of these, then you'll want to pick up a copy of On My Own Now: Straight Talk from the Proverbs for Young Christian Women who Want to Remain Pure, Debt-free and Regret-free by Donna Lee Schillinger.

In this interesting and thought-provoking exploration of the book of Proverbs, Schillinger takes young women along a journey that will help them to make better, safer, and more sound decisions.

The author takes a unique approach to the book of Proverbs by reversing the gender in many of the proverbs from "he" to "she"--which she discusses in this guest post from April 13th; though she does include a modern day translation of Proverbs 31:10-29 about the traits of a good woman at the back of the book.

Exploring such topics as how Proverbs applies today, staying pure until marriage, dealing with anger and jealousy, developing good habits, tithing, using passion to make a positive impact, and the importance of not making rash decisions, Schillinger shows how the book of Proverbs can guide young women to be the women they want to be and stay that way.

On My Own Now can easily be used as a daily devotional, each section concluding with a thought for the reader to hold on to, such as "What I can't have honestly, I simply won't have."

Its hip cover and conversational style will attract young women, and Schillinger is careful to get her point across without being overly preachy. There are also word bubbles throughout the book that capture important portions of the text to focus the reader.

I have to admit that the overuse of the exclamation point made it lose its effectiveness for me; but in the hands of a younger woman, that may not be the case. I also found a couple portions of text where I stopped to ponder the impression a young woman would be left with when reading these passages.

The first was the "Hold this thought" found on page 162, "I will confess that I was a sinner but am no more." I could not grasp the author's full meaning after reading this portion of the chapter on confession, but this ending thought bothers me because we will always be sinners. That doesn't change when we accept Christ as our Savior; but we willingly seek to not sin because of wanting fellowship with God. I'm not sure the ending thought makes that clear.

The other is found on pages 179 through 181. The chapters in this section deal with friendship, and these particular pages cover depression and finding help when you need it. Schillinger talks about chemical imbalances possibly being a cause of depression and how modern medicine can help if we aren't too proud to ask. She first suggests creating good eating, sleeping, and exercising habits, and then if that doesn't make the reader feel better after 21 days she should start taking multivitamins, St. John's wort, and other supplements recommended by a pharmacist. She then goes on to say that if this works, "don't stop taking them...vitamins are something our body needs every day for the rest of our lives."

While the author does make a point to mention that St. John's wort may interact poorly with some medication and to talk to a healthcare provider if the reader is on any prescription medication, it seems it would be safer and prudent to suggest the reader talk to her healthcare provider or a registered dietician about adding supplements to her diet prior to taking anything.

Those areas aside, On My Own Now, is an excellent resource for young women on how to use proverbs to guide their lives. I am going to talk to our pastor about purchasing copies of this book for female high school graduates from our church.

Title: On My Own Now
Author: Donna Lee Schillinger
Publisher: The Quilldriver
ISBN: 978-0-979639-5-1
SRP: $14.95 (U.S.)


Donna Lee Schillinger said...

Hi Cheryl, Thanks for the review! I appreciate your critique of my theology! I am no theologian. I have to reprint my books (at no charge) because of a problem with most of them and have decided to change that one "hold this thought" to "I confess I was lost in sin, but am no more." I was glad to have read this in time to make that change in the new print run! (oops, there I go with the exclamation marks again...)

Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by Donna. I'm glad you liked the review. It's wonderful that you're reaching out to young women to help show them how the Bible can guide them through their lives.

Hopefully this will encourage them to read all of Proverbs and beyond.