*I received a complementary copy of Fruitful in exchange for my honest review.
You may already be familiar with Phylicia Masonheimer, having heard her on the podcast today talking about her first book, Christian Cosmo. Well, this fall she came out with a second book, this one entitled Fruitful: A Year-Long Guide to an Abundant Single Season. I highly recommend it!
We live in a day in age where girls are taught by the ultra-conservative sectors of Christianity that marriage and motherhood are a woman’s highest calling. This is done with the best of intentions, perhaps, in an effort to refute the lies of feminism which have so pervaded other sectors of the Christian church. However, this teaching leads to many adverse consequences today. When we fail to keep first things first and forget that a woman’s overarching highest calling is to be an image bearer of God and an ambassador of Christ, our priorities get mixed up and our fruitfulness for the Kingdom suffers. Marriage and motherhood are two high and holy callings, to be sure – they are beautiful outworkings of a woman’s highest calling of being a follower of God. When they are proclaimed as being a woman’s highest callings, however, what quickly results is what we see happening in the lives of many young Christian women – a desperation to get married and have children.
Many girls in Christendom today spend their single years in quiet (or not so quiet!) desperation as they spend their waiting season pining away for Prince Charming to come or else despairing over the fact that he hasn’t yet. Desiring marriage and motherhood is perfectly natural, beautiful, and right, but when we take that wonderful desire too far and begin to idolize those roles during our single years, the result is that we waste what could be some of the most fruitful years of our lives in terms of our ability to focus single-mindedly on Christ and His Kingdom.
This is where Phylicia’s excellent new book, Fruitful, comes in. Fruitful is a clarion call to single gals everywhere to no longer fritter away however many years of singleness they may have ahead of them. It’s a guide to help them make the absolutely most of this season of their life, both in preparing for any future roles they may undertake and also equipping them to grow in their relationship with the Lord and service to those around them.
Fruitful is meant to be read one chapter at a time, one month at a time, resulting in a book that will last you all year long and will, I believe, thereby result in wonderful changes in your life over the course of that year. Here is a break-down of the chapter titles, each of which capitalizes on the metaphor of our living “fruit”ful lives:
One thing I love about the way Phylicia set up Fruitful is that she ends each chapter in a very practical way, including a memory verse for the month, takeaway questions for reflection, and recommended resources for the topic you have been studying:
Here’s an example from chapter 2.
Phylicia doesn’t even stop there, however! In addition, she includes in each chapter this super helpful printable worksheet:
I really appreciate this, because I have found that the books I read which make the most lasting impact on my life are those which are very practical and hands-on in addition to being inspirational.
I believe Fruitful to be a book every single woman should read. Your faith will be strengthened, your productivity increased, your joy and fulfillment deepened, and your purpose in life strengthened as your excitement grows for all the Lord has in store for you in this important, worthwhile season of your life. I highly recommend this book!