Out for a morning run on the prairies, it's so easy to feel small. The railway tracks traverse far beyond what my eyes can see, the gravel road stretches endlessly before me, and the cornfield needing to get worked in has innumerable stalks covering the quarter section.
When we feel small, we might succumb to thinking that we're insignificant, or that we're alone, without anyone to understand our struggles, our questions or our doubts. As women who spend our days executing a wide variety of tasks, our hands are often full and the balancing act tenuous at best. We find ourselves asking questions, about life and faith, then wonder if anyone else asks the same thing, or if there are any answers.
Author Simonetta Carr has published a series of beautifully illustrated biographies for young readers, which we bought during our homeschool years, and continue to read and enjoy. Her upcoming release is titled, "Questions Women Asked: Historical Issues, Timeless Answers" where she presents 31 short biographies of women in history, who have experienced questions in life and faith, and how they answered them.
We see these women search for answers by reading scripture, and engaging in dialogue with church leaders. Although the questions they hold are placed within their historical context, they are extremely relevant for us today: 'should we speak against injustice?' 'what should a mother teach her sons?' and, 'can I be a secret Christian?'
These women model for us what it looks like to grow in curiosity and learning, to bear a heavy burden in our soul, and to live out a calling with wisdom and discernment. The stories are packed with history that the author relays in a simple way for our understanding, and inspiration for us as we relate with these women and their concerns.
By far, the most valuable thing about this book, to me, is the 'Food for Thought' section at the end of each biography. The author presents discussion questions that, I think, would be excellent for a small group study. But the discussion is not for the faint of heart. The issues presented in the lives of these women are not easily or frivolously answered, they are timeless topics about sin, repentance, justice and motherhood, that help us to engage with our own personal values, how they relate to scripture, and impact our daily lives in the culture around us.
When we look around and feel small, within our own wrestlings, these historical women remind us that we're not the first to ask questions and seek answers. God has provided us with the truths of his word, and knit together a community of love and support, that we can draw from, if we reach out and ask.
I really enjoyed meeting these women, and I hope you will too!
This book gets 5 stars from me! To check out the list of women and their questions, check out the Goodreads page here.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Reformation Heritage Books, as part of the launch team, in exchange for an honest review.