The Worn Out Woman
Dr. Steve Stephens and Alice Gray Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 2004 228 pages ISBN 1-59052-266-4
It took me thirty seconds to grab this book off the shelf in my local bookstore. The subtitle, coupled with the title, says it all: “When your life is full and your spirit is empty.” Weary, frustrated, driven by expectations, self-imposed or otherwise, joyless, discouraged, with lives filled with things they really don’t want to do, many women come to a point in their lives when their heart cry becomes: “Stop the world, I want to get off!”
Author Gray describes the catalyst that prompted the writing of the book. As she sat with a group of women during a retreat, “The common thread that drew us together was a deep desire to be the kind of women God had in mind when he created us. But as we talked I began to see another commonality—the sense of being too worn out to pursue our passions” (page 14). That’s a chord that strikes many of us at the heart.
Stephens and Gray take the personal experiences of many women, coupled with sound expert advice wrapped in Biblical principles, to put together a package to bring sanity, focus, pleasure and renewed spiritual vigor to the lives of women everywhere.
Several key chapters, in my opinion, include those on forgiveness, on worry, on dealing with what the authors call “burlap people,” those who suck the energy out of us, and on soul-nurturing. As well there is an important chapter on doing what God intended us to do rather than what others expect us to do. The issue is often not the workload as much as it is feeling trapped doing what we were never designed to do in the first place.
The Worn Out Woman is full of practical suggestions that will help women to manage, in a healthy fashion, all those things that cause the exhaustion that so often dogs their footsteps each day.
At the end of each chapter the authors give the reader several “exercises” to do to apply the principles of the chapter. I normally cringe when I see homework coming at me. The last thing a worn-out woman needs is more work! However, they wisely noted that the reader only needed to choose one of the options given. At the end of the book are study questions that allow the material to be used in a group setting.
Steve Stephens is a licensed psychologist, a marriage and family counselor and the author of more than a dozen books. Alice Gray is “a recovering worn-out woman” a popular conference speaker and the author of more than thirty books.
The Word Out Women is well worth the reading—and the applying.
Reviewed by Lynda Schultz