So, I was able to read the theme devotional for MOPS this year Intimate Conversations by Alicia Britt Chole. There are 52 wonderful devotionals, while I only had a few weeks to read the book, I would have preferred and would encourage you to take 52 days (or weeks) and read this book. There are 12 sections, which lends itself nicely to reading one section a month and one devotional a week. That would probably be a very realistic reading schedule for the intended audience – busy mothers of young kids. Each section is titled “Dear God…” as a prayer for various phases or seasons of life.
I found that the devotionals were perfect for me: I could easily relate to her stories and examples; they were the perfect length for reading while nursing or between various activities and interruptions; they were deep and meaningful and most importantly relevant to daily life and struggles. And that wasn’t even my favorite part, I really loved that application section. Often I find the application section of devotionals to be a bit contrived with questions that are too obscure or too obvious as to not be applicable, but Ms. Chole was spot on with the simple verse followed with three or four points for discussion and reflective journaling. These really are intimate conversations – between me and God. I loved that so many of the points were to wait, listen, pray to God. I wouldn’t want to go through this with a group unless it was a very intimate and safe group because the questions are hard and really get to the root issues in life.
That said, some of the sections were a little too much for me – mostly because I am not at that point currently. I really appreciated the section entitled “Dear God… Why Do I Feel So Unproductive?” because that is exactly how I feel so many days. But, I am not fully at the end of my rope and didn’t get as much from the section “Dear God… I’m Not Sure That I Can Keep Going.” The single devotional entitled “The Call” was the probably one of most personally profound devotionals that I’ve ever read, dealing with the lie that only full-time ministry pleases God rather than obedience to whatever He calls you.
I’m a little bit surprised that this is the MOPS theme devotional as it seems very much geared towards those who have been in a relationship with Jesus for a long time and want to grow more intimate, but not for the wide range of MOPS moms who are not even believers in God. This is not an intro to God, but a dig deep and get real with God type of devotional.
I will definitely re-read this devotional over a much more spread out time period and journal and grow still more in my walk with God.
Available September 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.