Book Review: The Life Ready Woman by Shanti Feldhahn & Robert Lewis

Feb 16, 2011

the-life-ready-womanI took a nap today. And felt guilty about it the entire 45 minutes.

I’ve had a big week. A conference, business meetings, writing deadlines, as well as a special birthday for my youngest son. Throw in Valentines Day, a speaking engagement, the fact that my husband is finishing our basement, and our middle son’s high school graduation is three months away … YES. Our lives have been tipping the chaos-meter.

So, I confess, I napped. And fought a sense that I was failing as a mother, wife and writer for doing so. Because, after all, a better woman would be able to do it all with bright eyes and a smile, right?

No. This two-letter word provides the definitive answer authors Shaunti Feldhan and Robert Lewis offer to the age old belief that we can have it all. It’s simply not true. As Feldhahn explains in their new book, The Life Ready Woman, “This seductive promise is one that can’t be fulfilled … We can’t have it all–all at the same time. Something or someone always gets left out or deeply hurt when we try.” (pg. 17) Sometimes that person is me. Many other times it’s the people I love.

I discovered this firsthand over a decade ago when I quickly moved up the sales chain in computer networking company. In the span of less than two years, I was promoted to manager replacing my former boss. I was young and previously inexperienced, but upper management noticed my hunger and determination. Those qualities, along with a knack for building solid relationships, made me a good fit for the leadership of our sales team. Or so they thought.

But then they told me I’d need to travel at least a full week each month to our sister office two time zones away. This put a bit of a kink in my illusions of corporate grandeur. I was a single mom of a toddler at the time. Having a good job and income were extremely important, and this promotion would certainly help–we’d been scraping by for months. But what about the cost? At least one week a month someone else would have to raise my son. It was doable, but was the cost too high?

As it turns out, it took me less than a week to make up my mind (now I wonder why it took me that long). I went to my boss and turned down the position. At the time, I wondered if I was being foolish. I knew my career wouldn’t progress much beyond my decision at this crossroads. Now, a dozen years later, I know it didn’t. But my toddler son is now preparing to enter highschool. Do I regret missing out on being a manager in a powerful company? Nope, not one bit. Could I have done the job? Yes. But would I have regretted missing out on 25% of my son’s early childhood? Without a doubt. Even as I write this, my relief is tangible.

Our life’s calling isn’t to do it all. It’s to do what we’ve been equipped and purposed for, and do it well, without the stress and regret that often accompany poorly-made decisions. But there’s the rub–trying to determine precisely what it is the “right” thing at this moment in life. Feldhahn and Lewis help tremendously by walking us through both a biblical model of womanhood and practical individual application for the varying seasons of life. Ultimately, these decisions are individual decisions. A magic one-size-fits-all formula doesn’t exist. But it IS possible to prayerfully and wisely walk through these decisions with wisdom based on the Truth of God’s beautiful design and a healthy dose of reality.

For more information on this insightful new book, check out Shaunti’s video with MomLife below. And, if you leave a comment, I’ll be giving away a free copy of The Life Ready Woman. Simply answer this question:

On a scale of 1-10, how “balanced” is your life right now? Why do you think that is?

Looking forward to reading your answers!

In celebration of Shaunti Feldhahn’s Life Ready Woman, MomLife Today is giving away 2 Weekend To Remember Gift Packs and much more!

Not only, is MomLife Today helping promote Life Ready Woman, but they are thrilled to announce that Shaunti will be joining MomLife Today as a regular contributor!!!

Weekend To Remember Get-Aways offer marriage-changing principles that you can take home and apply to your daily lives to strengthen your marriage. Whether you are newly engaged or have been married for 50 years, you will find value in the tools provided at the getaway.


Don’t miss this opportunity to receive a conference registration for you and your spouse … and more! MomLife Today will be randomly selecting NINE lucky recipients to receive one of these great gifts:

  1. 2 Weekend To Remember Get Away conference registrations for two. $259 value each pair (Two couples will receive this.)
  2. 2 Life Ready Woman DVD packs. $149 value each (Two different people will receive this gift.)
  3. 5 The Life Ready Woman books. (Book will go to 5 people.)

To enter click one of the icons below then tell your friends. Winner will be announced on March 2nd on the MomLife Today website.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

MomLife Today provides encouragement, advice and resources to help YOU with your daily Momlife! Because…every MOMent counts!

NOTE: This book was provided for review by the Litfuse Publicity Group.


  1. mandythompson

    Hey!! I really enjoyed this post–not just because it's a giveaway, but because it speaks to my life right now. Just a few weeks ago I decided that I don't have the time/energy/resources to add anything else to my plate. And you'd be amazed at how many invitations and requests and compelling opportunities have come my way! I've regretted saying yes to a few things. And I've determinedly put my foot down on other things. But, as far as balance right now, I think I'm close to tipping… If one or two more things were added, it'd be too much. I'd end up in that land of "I'm overwhelmed and can't do everything." and I don't like that world… So I'm trying to avoid it. But I'm so close to the line…

    • Michele Cushatt

      I understand only too well, Mandy. I’ve lived in the land of “overwhelmed” for waaaaaay too long! A few months ago I finally decided ENOUGH. Since then, I’ve eliminated some of my responsibilities, and I’ve said “no” more often. Have a ways to go, yet. Only this morning I told my husband “I’m overwhelmed.” :o) Still learning, but committed to the process. Thanks for the comment! Send me your address via email and I’ll mail you a book!

  2. mandythompson

    I use that word "overwhelmed" a lot. grrrr I'm not a fan of it.

    But Oh yay! I get a book!! I don't have your email… Can you email me? so I can email you? 🙂


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