Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Book Review: The Worrywart’s Prayer Book by Allia Zobel Nolan

Don’t Worry, I’ve Got a Great Book for You
By Lauren Yarger
Are you a worrywart? If so, stop fretting. Have I got a book for you!

It’s “The Worrywart’s Prayer Book: 40 ‘Help-Me-Get-A-Grip God’ Meditations and Prayers" (Faith Communications, 2006) by Alia Zobel Nolan and it’s full of humor and insightful thoughts sure to quell the most worrisome of worrywarts.

Each brief chapter attacks the different things that make us worry, like losing a job, being alone, taking a test, losing a loved one or failure, just to name a few. I suppose I could add “worrying that no one will think I was influenced in writing this review by the fact that I like the author” because in the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you I have had the pleasure of recently getting to know Nolan, a Connecticut resident, at meetings of the CT Press Club, of which we both are members.

Each book chapter starts with quotes from Scripture or famous people, then provides Nolan’s insight into the subject of worry and concludes with a prayer. The format works well for use as a daily devotional, a full read of the book or as a handy reference for when individual worries surface.

Nolan, a self-described worrywart, packs tons of wisdom into the small chapters and at times, you’ll feel like you’re learning at the feet of Jesus. Her practical, down-to-earth, and at times slightly sarcastic advice, like that listed below, will help you follow God more closely whether or not you’re a worrier.

• “Worrywarts soak up other people’s worries like a dry sponge on a wet countertop.”
• Her husband’s philosophy: “Let there be no crisis before its time.”
• “It’s about losing control – the control we think we (not God) have over the events that take place in our lives.”
• “Our goal is to get to the point where ‘Thank you, God!’ not ‘Oh, my God!’ becomes our automatic response to any and every situation that arises, even when we can’t imagine what good can possibly come of it.”

The sections in which Nolan shares her worries over writing a worry book and how worriers would rather “stick a scorpion up their noses” than accept change caused me to laugh out loud, but the book had immediate practical application in my life as well. I read it on the commuter train into New York on a morning when I’d left my son, heavily medicated and recovering from kidney stones at home.

In typical worrywart fashion I had envisioned every possible harm that might befall him until I could return home and attempted to prevent them all with preparations before I’d left. I was half way through the book and reading about how God uses angels to care for us before the irony hit me: I had spent a lot of time worrying and trying to control the situation, but never had actually asked God to take care of my son. Duh! So I prayed and felt a lot less worried as I read the rest of the worry book. In all seriousness, it’s one of the most helpful books I’ve ever come across. It will go on my shelf as a handy reference the next time worry takes over.

You can purchase the book here. You can visit the author's helpful blog at http://theworrywartsprayerbook.wordpress.com/.

Note: A free review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

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Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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