Last week I had the pleasure of reading one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a long, long time. It was amazing! And a perfect fit for me. A combination of chick lit, inspiration, and feel goodness. I loved every second of it.
The book is the first in a series called The Yada Yada Prayer Group.
I stumbled upon this book while meandering the library and was intrigued. As much as I am involved in my faith, most of the books I read aren’t directly related to it, with the exception of whichever book I am reading for the lessons I plan for Sunday school. I just never really considered it because I get most of my reading ideas from others or from what I see in stores, where Christian literature is not exactly common. That makes me SO happy that this book found me with a random glance at a shelf in my local library. Yes, it is that good!
What is the book about? It is not as you would expect a “religious” novel to be. At all. It is similar to any story you could find out there among popular novels, like The Wednesday Sisters or The Friday Night Knitting Club, but with inspirational messages underlying the story. The novel starts with the protagonist Jodi, a teacher and mother who recently moved to a more urban area of Chicago due to her husband’s desire to work more with inner city families. She is attending a women’s faith conference because the principal of her school invited her to come along. She was very uncertain about the experience, especially when everyone was broken down to form smaller prayer groups. The other women in her prayer group were very different from the friends whom she was accustomed to spending time with. There was a former convict, a former drug addict, a high class real estate agent/social worker, a woman from Africa trying to convince her family to return, a very unhappy (at first glance) hairdresser, a Messianic Jew, and even a nonbeliever, among others. All the various characters are what really make this book interesting to read and discover more about each of them.
Over the course of the weekend, the group grows close when one of the members faces a family crisis. The group decides to keep in touch through email, and when email proves to be insufficient, they end up having gatherings with each other in person. The various troubles the women face through the novel are endearing to read. You can’t help but love them and get anxious to see what ways God will work in each of their lives. I honestly felt like I was reading about real people and wanted to join in prayer and worship with them. It made me long to be part of something like that group, and just moved me in so many ways.
There was not a single time that I picked up that book and left without some sort of message. Everything is covered. From what true worship really is and busting out of our comfort zones to trusting God,and not praying wants but praising Him for knowing He will do good for us. From breaking our social perceptions of others and forgiveness of others to truly understanding grace. It is all there. Hidden as tiny pearls of wisdom among a touching story of how a group of strangers with lots of preconceived notions ended up becoming the best of friends. I cannot wait to read the next one. Not only for the story, but for the motivation it brought to me. Every time I read it, I felt rejuvenated and ended up praising God. I was so happy while reading that book, for no other reason than that I was always aware of my blessings and His presences while wrapped up in the Yada Yada pages. In short….you need to read this!