Smith, G. (2016). I Want It ALL. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook.
Summary: The book is based on Smith’s desire to experience exceptional living under God’s authority. The author crafted the information based on three categories: faith, power, and impact. Readers are given many personal examples throughout each of the fourteen chapters as a method of transparency in conveying how God can work in and through our daily lives.
Smith reveals some deep hurts, pains, and trials endured which refined her life and assisted her in discovering the greatness of God’s love, grace, peace, joy, courage, direction, and wisdom. Each chapter highlights the many blessings God has for believers when they surrender items such as temptation, pride, fear, doubt, trials, fickle emotions, etc.
The author frequently list steps to take and/or catchy acronyms to assist in practical application along with scripture reference. Smith backs her writing with quotes, poetry, reflection and response questions, and a study guide located in the back section of the book. Smith overall message is for readers to embrace “living with great expectations of what God can do in and through your life”.
My $.02: I have read a multitude of devotions written by Gwen Smith through Girlfriends in God, a conference and devotional ministry. However, I had never read any of her books until now.
Smith has a unique way of just “talking” to you in her southern dialect and making you feel welcome. Each chapter seemingly feels like a mini-book on a particular topic. This talented writer infuses her poetry and touching personal stories throughout, using the right timing and conveying the precise message. There were times in the book where I could visually picture her examples through her expert delivery.
The reflection and response questions allowed for personal inventory and application. There are numerous sections that were eye-opening, extremely relevant, and sometimes even convicting. Although my intent of reading the book was to gather a sense of writing style and exposure to her online book study delivery, the writing proved to be a supportive resource for the Proverbs study group I am currently leading.
Smith’s material is timeless and will still be applicable fifty years from now. My favorite sections were over the topics of taming the tongue, dealing with temptations, defining the fear of the Lord, and exchanging weakness for God’s power. Smith is bold and inspiring.
Whether you are a new believer or a seasoned follower, the depth of the book will be measured on your willingness to listen to what God’s message is for you as you journey through the pages. I believe if you ever have the book in your possession and begin engaging with the material, the Lord has a reason for it and wants to personally show you exceptional living under His authority. Then pass it along to someone else as a tool to help them grow as well. As for me, it is going to stay in my personal library for a bit to reference and support future teachings.