I love reading at night before I go to bed. One of the types of books I enjoy reading are devotionals. I like reading year-round devotionals and also devotionals on a specific topic. So, I was so excited when Marsha asked me if I would like to review her devotional.
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40 Days of Faith and Fitness A Devotional Journal by Marsha Apsley is a very encouraging book that helps you grow your faith and work on your fitness goals at the same time.
Why Marsha Wrote 40 Days of Faith and Fitness
In the introduction Marsha says, “I gave my heart to Jesus when I was 9, and I’ve had regular daily quiet times since then. At about that same age, I started struggling with insecurities and body image. It essentially became a lifelong battle until about the time I was turning 40. Some of that journey is shared in the following pages.” She prayed and read Scriptures to help her deal with her insecurities and trouble losing weight. She also tried lots of diets, but when she finally decided to give all of it to God, she “found freedom.” She “started writing the verses down and what they meant to me.”
Marsha joined some 40 Days groups on Facebook and also hosted her own. She shared the verses she had written down, in an email to her 40 Days group, and it was well received. So, she decided to write them in a book, in the hope that “these devotions speak into your life and help you build your fit life on a firm foundation.”
About the 40 Days of Faith and Fitness
The 40 Days of Faith and Fitness Devotional includes a verse, devotional, prayer, action step, and journal space for each day.
The verses are from both the Old and New Testament.
This devotional is Marsha’s thoughts about the verse and include personal examples to help make her point clear. Each devotional, when you read it, is only about 5 minutes long, or less. So, it’s definitely something you have time for in the morning or before bed.
The prayer is written for you, so you can just read it to God. It’s asking God to help you apply what you learned in that day’s devotional.
Each action step is a suggestion for something you can do to apply what you learned.
The journal page is a blank page for you to write down what you learned, write your own prayer, or just to reflect on how you can apply what you read to your life.
My Opinion of 40 Days of Faith and Fitness
I really enjoyed reading 40 Days of Faith and Fitness and was disappointed when it was over. I read the devotional at night before I went to bed. I head to bed around 10:30 and get up before 5:00 in the morning, so I don’t have much time to read, although I love reading! So, the fact that this devotional only takes about 5 minutes to read through, is fantastic for me! Also, having the prayer already written out was a great benefit that also saved me time, but still allowed me some quiet time with God.
I have reached the magic age of mid 40s where things are starting to go downhill and I’m really struggling at keeping the pounds off. I eat a heart healthy diet and I also walk 50 minutes a day, yet still a few pounds are starting to try and creep on. So, I’ve been starting to feel a little bit negative about what I see in the mirror and this devotional addresses that! It’s like Marsha was writing to me!
I learned something every day out of the 40 days of devotions! I even had 11 days that I wrote down as my favorites. They are Days 2, 6, 11, 16, 17, 18, 25, 28, 32, 34, and 39. I’m not going to tell you about all 11 because that would take too long and I wouldn’t want to ruin the book for you. If you read the devotional, you’ll have to come back here and see what days were the most meaningful to me, and see if they were also the ones that hit home with you.
However, I will tell you about some of the things that impacted me from those 11 days. I needed to be reminded that I am precious and was created with care and for a purpose. I needed to read about the peace that God gives and the freedom from all the struggles and thoughts running through me head, especially when I compare myself to others; and even about the negative words that come out of my mouth about myself. “Every day is a new day” is such an encouragement that I needed to hear, that I have a chance to try again. Looking in the mirror is difficult for me, even though my weight is still fine, it’s something I’ve struggled with my whole life, and several of the devotions talk about how to look in that mirror and be fine with what you see because God thinks I’m beautiful.
So, if you noticed, the common themes in all of those are worry, comparison, struggles, and low self-esteem. These are all things most women struggle with too, but won’t always admit to each other. Reading this devotional was like having a best friend talk to me and give me the encouragement I needed and sometimes the tough words I needed to hear. In my notes I made as I read, several times I wrote, “just what I needed to hear when I needed it.”
I think that every woman, young or old, would benefit from this devotional. We, as women, struggle with our body image and need to hear these verses, words, action steps and prayers in this devotional. A lot of these devotions are applicable to life in general too, not just about fitness and losing weight. I can see why she chose the title “of Faith and Fitness” because the devotionals do apply to both.
If you would like to read this devotional for yourself, or buy one for a friend, or 10, just click here.
Giveaway Information for 40 Days of Faith and Fitness
Marsha Apsley has been generous enough to offer a book for a giveaway to my readers. You have a chance to win a free copy of Marsha Apsley’s book 40 Days of Faith and Fitness. This giveaway is open to the US. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below, fill out one option or as many as you want. The giveaway ends at 12:01 a.m. eastern time on 11/23/17.