I really did want to add Evans personal explorations to my study of women. After studying the handful of Biblical women a few years ago for Walking With Women, I wanted to expand that to modern counterparts. The problem: Picking Modern Counterparts. I suppose Mother Teresa is a wee bit obvious after all.
Before purchasing the book, I picked up the book to take a look at the opening pages. I didn’t want something negative or completely bizarre. The first few pages resonated with me and I’ll admit I actually laughed out loud at a few of her statements. I decided this looked like a year with some quirky “life is stranger than fiction” moments as much as it would prove insightful.
I was not disappointed.
Evans voice flat-out worked for me. It felt like she sat beside me, telling me the story of her adventure filled year. Sometimes, when you read those “real life tales”, you get the exact opposite. Something so promising falls flat, dry, or outright boring. Not so with “A Year of Biblical Womanhood”.
I appreciated Evans diligence to her task. For instance, she didn’t just sit at home with her family Bible. She chose to read and compare/contrast different translations. In my personal study, I will sometimes look at different translations because I find it very enlightening. Occasionally, doing this allows me to think of possible meanings in my own life for certain verses.
An example, for me, is from First Corinthians. We all know it. The KJV states: Charity is… Other translations use the word “love” in lieu of “charity”. I find charity deeper than standard love, but sometimes we forget that charity is also an act of love. Pondering of both meanings enriches my study of these verses.
I learned a few things I never knew but I also looked at some things differently. I will admit I read and reread some of Evans decisions and scratched my head thinking, “This sounds really wackadoodle” but the good news is she pretty much admits that sometimes things were very wacky. In a way that just kept you grinning. My favorite example is the month she decided to call her husband “Master”. In no way have I ever thought the Bible has ever expected me to do this, and it seemed a little out there. In the book, she recounts the conversation where she informs her ever-patient husband about this plan and I dropped the book I laughed so hard. I won’t spoil her words for you, but let’s just say it pretty much had them admitting that this was going to be very…different.
I do know those that cover their hair, lived in Amish Country Ohio, opened my home to the most lovely of Muslim girls (I love my Moroccan Foreign Exchange Student “daughter”!), learned about kosher from a close Jewish friend, and have a friend that spent several years working the faith and services beat for a local newspaper. And, I’m a Mormon. The one thing I’ve learned is that we all have beliefs someone else is going to think, “This sounds really wackadoodle”. I’ve also learned that is A-OK and sometimes you learn the most from the absolutely wackiest of circumstances.
My top five favourite parts of this book:
- Evans adventures in cooking – mostly because I struggle with this myself.
- The pitching of her very own “Red Tent”. (Evans, I’m with your friend, I nodded when I read what she said to you!)
- Along with the Red Tent – the brilliance of using a stadium seat while you were “unclean”. Seriously. Brilliant.
- Visiting the Monks. Ok, that was just awesome. I kind of want to do that myself now. That was a powerful chapter to me.
- Sitting on the roof of your home for penance. That was just creative.
Summary: I’m really glad I accidentally found this book mentioned on the web. Totally a crazy random happenstance that left me with one of the most interesting reads of 2013 so far. I spent a few days reading this book, and texting with a friend about the contents of the book. If you think reading an interesting and personal tale of a woman in Modern America attempting to live “Biblically” sounds like a good idea, you won’t be wrong.
Give this book a shot.
I’d love to talk to someone else about it. I think this would be an excellent book club read.