As the mother of 4 daughters, I was thrilled to receive a copy of Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women from Zondervan. I have been on the lookout for something to read during some mother-daughter time with my youngest. She’s growing up so fast and I am trying to savor the days. Curling up with our favorite hot cuppa, reading and discussing scripture as they apply to our lives and hearts is what I had in mind and this beautiful little devotional book does exactly that.
As soon as it arrived, I flipped through to get an overview of this little devotional. My first impression was “how lovely!” It’s the perfect size for young hands, it’s beautifully designed and the pages are a nice quality. The look and design is elegant and classy, not cutesy and childish. It will tell my girl she’s special, that she’s of great worth.
Next, I was impressed that there was an order to the material. Rather than a year’s worth of random thoughts and ideas, Beloved follows through from the beginning of scripture and takes time to delve into the lives and experiences of womeon mentioned in the passages studied.
Our girls today are bombarded with all sorts of messages from all sides. They read things in social media, hear things from friends, are filled with thoughts from television and movies. Not all is true and noble and virtuous – I’d venture to say that a large majority of what they see and hear actually tears them down. The messages in this book are positive and uplifting and strengthening.
Written for girls ages 13-18, Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women brings you exactly what the title says – 365 daily devotions. Each page contains a short reading and encouragement. A scripture is given at the top the page, followed by a couple paragraphs to help guide the reader to deeper thought and conviction and then a space for jotting down thoughts and questions and ideas of your own.
While the idea is obviously to use this book daily, the lessons are not assigned to a particular day in the calendar year, so Day 1 can be used on any day of the year. And if you miss a day? No problem, just pick up where you left off. I was happy to see the entries were not season-specific, so we could work through at our own pace.
You may be wondering what sort of things are discussed in the daily entries. Women of the Bible are the inspiration behind the excerpts. Not just as a fact-gathering history lesson, but as examples of how to make wise choices and discern the very best things in life. Some women made great decisions. Others, not so much. The women in scripture are much the same and our girls will become strong, stable, well-balanced women by paying attention to these examples, learning from their strengths and their weaknesses.
So far, Bekah and I have read and discussed the lives of Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Leah and others. We look forward to reading more about Miriam, Hannah, Delilah, and many more. My 12-year old daughter is quickly growing up and I appreciate having a resource like Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women to open up dialog about sometimes difficult topics. Mature subjects like choosing a mate, lying, vain and shallow beauty are more easily discussed when we have a conversation starter there in front of us in black and white. Because scripture introduces each theme, we are beginning with truth. That is oh, so important, and the foundation we want our daughters to build on.
I highly recommend this book as a mother-daughter study, or a devotion that could be used with an older sister or friend with a younger girl. I can see woman using this as a tool when mentoring a young woman. I also see this not just as a resource for young girls, but girls of any age. It helps put our focus on having a God-centered attitude, rather than a self-centered attitude. That is something all girls (women) can be reminded of.
Several of my Review Crew Mates have been reading the devotions in the book from Zondervan. Click the image below to read about their experience and opinion!