*This review originally appeared in The Budget’s Feb. 8, 2017 Local Edition.
By Pat Edgar
At the beginning of each calendar year, many of us make resolutions or, at the very least, plan for a new start with a clean slate. For me another important task is finding a devotional book that will feed my soul and provide inspiration for each day.
Deborah M. Coty, author of Too Blessed To Be Stressed, has filled that need with her devotional titled Too Blessed To Be Stressed, Inspiration for Every Day (Shiloh Run Press, 2017). If you have read any of Coty’s books or used some of her tools for Christian living, the two things that will stand out are the author’s deep faith and her life-enhancing sense of humor.
Both a writer and a speaker, Coty stresses her very personal relationship
with God. She refers to God as “Papa God,” a name she coined in her first book of fiction, The Distant Shore. Each of the 365 devotional entries contains a scriptural reference, several paragraphs that help us understand the verse cited and a short prayer. She writes about her children and grandchildren, her own fears and insecurities, her husband of 38 years and her pets–among them, Fenway, a dog, and Sammy-Q, a cat. (Actually, her cat was originally named Suzi-Q before her veterinarian suggested a more masculine name for the MALE kitten.)
Coty’s humor and insight provide both encouragement and peace to her reader. In describing her work, the author says it is “full of everyday kisses from Papa God . . . a warm toasty reminder that your heavenly Father’s there, He’s aware, and He cares about you every single day of your life.”
Coty’s January 4 entry refers to one of my favorite scripture passages, Philippians 4:6-7. In the devotion, she tells us that the message contained in these verses is the antidote of the four “Killjoys” of every- day living: Conflict, Anxiety, Stinkin’ Thinkin’ and Fretting. Who among us can’t use these remedies?
Some of the other topics she tackles with her down-to-earth and laugh-out-loud devotions are our relationships with our siblings, the aging process, our spiritual journey, and even how our facial expressions reflect God to others. Coty uses her dog Fenway to demonstrate what good relationships can do for us and her cat Sammy-Q to show the futility of refusing to turn our problems over to God. She spends two days discussing the top ten greatest fears of women and how to address them through faith. Her January 21st entry begins with “When Papa God asks us to serve him, He doesn’t mean as an advisor” and goes on to explain how listening in prayer is even more important than petitioning.
Some of my favorite entries feature her grandchild. On January 5, Coty entitles her entry “Perfecting My Stinky Face.” Her three-year-old “grandbuddy” Blaine has joined her while she applies makeup and cologne. As most curious three-year-olds would do, Blaine wants an explanation for every step in the process.
He’s especially curious about why “Mimi” would want her face to be pink instead of white. Little Blaine also comments that Mimi’s cologne smells a lot like his Pampers. The talented Coty is able to turn even this incident into an inspirational message.
The book would be a perfect gift book for any occasion. Since the entries are dated but do not include the day of the week, you can use the book any year and can start with any date. The author says in her introduction that she has heard from male as well as female readers who enjoy her writing. If you are able to fit this book into your devotional time each day, I guarantee that you will receive an important lesson and a large dose of laughter.
Debora M. Coty began her Too Blessed To Be Stressed line of faith tools with Too Blessed To Be Stressed, Inspiration for Climbing Out of Life’s Stress Pool in 2011. Her franchise includes a planner, cookbook, adult coloring book and several devotional books. She is the mother of two and grandmother to three. Her full body of work includes more than 30 inspirational works. Currently, she lives in Florida with her husband and is working on Too Blessed To Be Stressed for Moms due out in 2018.