Book Review: More than Enchanting

Name & author: More than Enchanting, by Jo Saxton

Why are you reading this book?

I got it from InterVarsity Press – every semester, they send staff a couple books they recommend. More than Enchanting is about being a woman, being a leader, and being a Christian.

What’s the first line of the first chapter?

Do you know an influential woman – a woman who, by her character and actions, changes people’s lives?

So, what did you think?

I loved it. There are tons of books out there about being a woman, and books about leadership, and books about Christianity. This one combined the three in a way that I hadn’t come across before. She talks about them in terms of finding a healthy balance between our leadership, our ministries (whether professional or relational), our relationships, and our own health.

I really appreciated the way that Saxton is not trying to argue with anyone from her book. She shares some pinions, but never in an abrasive way. She more wants to open eyes to possibilities than start a fight about where women should and shouldn’t be leading. Furthermore, she recognizes that leadership and responsibility encompass all parts of life: in the church, in secular positions, in a home, and in relationships. She speaks of being a stay-at-home-mom with the same respect as being CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Furthermore, she roots all of these discussions on calling in Scripture: looking at women in the Bible on which to base her encouragements.

One thing that struck me was that she regularly mentioned the importance of taking care of ourselves: making time to work out, to rest, to do things that are life-giving to us. While she never got on a soapbox around it, the fact that she kept bringing it up made me realize how little you see that in other leadership books, or sometimes even in other Christian books (unless they’re specifically on resting).

She also speaks to people in different stages of life. College, post college, in the midst of a career, raising kids. She speaks to the ways that singleness can affect things, and how marriage can. As an engaged girl, I could really related to both the chapter on singleness (recognizing myself in many of the shortcomings she mentions) and the one on marriage (as things I have wondered about, or know that I will face soon).

Was the ending satisfying? (Without spoiling it, please!) 

As nonfiction, there’s not really an ending to spoil. In case you can’t tell by the previous paragraph, I would definitely recommend this to women in my life, no matter where they are in figuring out their calling.

Is it worth …. 

__  collecting dust on the bookshelf

__  reading again and again

X   recommending to friends

__   trashing

Anything else to add?

One of my favorite quotes: “Sometimes the stuff of life can consume us all, and we are much the poorer for it.” What a good reminder to not be consumed by the things that do not (and should not) define us. It gave me a lot of things to think about in terms of what I let consume my time/thoughts/energy.

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