Cover Image: When Life Doesn't Match Your Dreams

When Life Doesn't Match Your Dreams

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PUB DATE 19 FEB 2019



I am reviewing a copy of When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams through Revell and Netgalley:


There is no denying that life is full of twists and turns.  Ups and downs.  Relationships don’t always work out, careers end.  There are times we may be faced with choices we never want to make and we may have situations we don’t understand thrust on us.  The fact is through it all God is on our side, even if in the moment he feels far away.


Novelist Jill Eileen Smith uses her extensive research on the women of the Old Testament she turns her pain to draw from women like  Eve, Noah’s Wife, Hagar and more.



In this this book readers will learn what these women did right and even what they did wrong when it comes to crushed dreams and dashed expectations. The readers will  come away with the confidence that ours is a faithful God who loves us and is forming us through our trials into the women he longs for us to be.



If you’re looking for a great book on women of the Old Testament  When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams fits that bill perfectly.



I give When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams five out of five stars!



Happy Reading!
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I was so excited when I saw that Jill Eileen Smith had written this book, a Christian Living title, as I have read every single novel she has written and have come away with a deeper, and clearer knowledge and understanding of various individuals who are in the Bible.  This new book, "When Life Doesn't Match Your Dreams," is an obvious choice to read, because when does life ever go exactly how we have planned?!  We each have our own ideas of how life should be, but God is the one who decides and has our lives all planned out and He is always right there with us.  However, that does not mean that we are not going to experience lows or have moments of feeling alone.  Jill's purpose for this book is to provide us with hope, to remind us that God is in control and He is by our side through it all.  Each chapter is this book focuses on a specific woman from the Bible, some that are well known (Eve), others not so much (Noah's wife).  Jill states the passage from the Bible as to which each chapter is based upon and then the story and the details that really "complete" the story are shared.  Each chapter has a section of applying the story to the world today, to our life right now and also thoughts to ponder and questions to reflect upon.  I really enjoyed each of these chapters as I feel like I have a better understanding of these women and what their lives would have been life, and also I am left feeling hopeful and reminded of God's role in my life.  My two personal favorite chapters were the ones that focus on Noah's wife and Potiphar's wife; two lesser known individuals, but filling such big roles.  I highly recommend this as a book to read on your own or even with a small group.
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This is a nonfiction book that reads somewhat like a fiction book.  I really enjoyed reading about the women of the Bible and what they might have thought when stuff was happening to them.  This is very inspirational.  I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
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When Life Doesn't Match Your Dreams: Hope for Today from 12 Women of the Bible by Jill Eileen Smith is her first nonfiction book and I hope not her last. 
We've all been there, living life the best way we know how and no matter what in any given situation our life just doesn't match our dreams. In this book Jill gives us biblical examples of women going about their daily lives as best as they can responding to situations the right way and the wrong way and trying their best to just hold on. After reading their stories you can have confidence that God loves you and the trials that you go through are developing you into the woman God wants you to be.
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I just finished reading Jill's latest Book " When Life Doesn't Match Your Dreams"and must say that I thought it was an excellent read.
It is based on twelve woman from the Bible. Some of which include Eve, Noah's Wife, Sarai, Lots Wife, Rebekah and Rachel. Some we know more about than others, but all of great importance, if mentioned in the Bible. 
We often, try to understand how these women might have felt during their their lives, but have little to no imagination to comprehend, which is why Jill's take often brings life to these Biblical Scriptures and women and helps us to understand that these woman were real, not simply , just another character in a book. 
This Book looks at the some of the decisions each of these woman possibly faced, some decisions harder than others and some made out of raw emotion and how those decisions may have effected the remainder of their lives.
 IE: How did Eve feel after she convinced Adam to eat the apple? Did she feel Remorse? Regret? Anger?
I believe any woman can read this book and relate to at least one of the 12 woman written in this book.
I  found Jill's raw honesty about her own struggles in life touching  and her Points to Ponder Sections, with well intent, thought provoking. It made me take a deeper look into recognizing certain things about myself. I'm hoping that by bringing other readers to the same place that she brought me, that we can all help each other with each of our own brokenness thru kindness and knowing that we have a God who truly loves each and everyone of us. If we think we have made mistakes along the way, which we clearly have, also know that even woman in the Bible who proceeded before us did also, yet God Loved them and continues to love each of us.
Thank You, Yet again Jill for a wonderful book, I look forward to your next one.
Memo: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, however these opinions are strictly my own.
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I’m not normally a fan of nonfiction books, but this book blew me away! It was so spot on about different aspects of our lives. Jill Eileen Smith did a great job of taking the stories of these Old Testament women and bringing them to life. She used their lives as examples and ties it in to modern life. Some of our problems that we face aren’t that different. This book moved me in so many ways! I highly recommend it for all women!

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
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"He doesn't withhold the fulfillment of our dreams to hurt us.  Sometimes He delays our dreams to teach us to trust Him.  We trust Him by surrendering those dreams into His care."

I don't read much non-fiction.  I read the Bible, some commentaries on the Bible, and the occasional books that we read for our church group gatherings.  When Jill Eileen Smith released a "non-fiction" Christian living book based on 12 women of the Bible, I wasn't sure about the book but knew that the author would have wonderful, fresh insight into what lessons we can learn from these Biblical women.  So I dove in.  Wow, am I glad I did.  The book is incredibly well-written, with the author's trademark writing style that flows so easily, engages from the first sentence, and leaves the reader pondering and praying long after the last page is read.  

Each chapter begins with "If I Were ___" that puts the reader in first person narrative into the heart of each woman.  Then the chapter transitions into "In Our World" to put the same issue the Biblical woman wrestled with into our current day.  The imaginative Biblical scene again comes to life in the next section entitled "Imagine with Me" where the author takes the reader further down in the Biblical woman's life and then the chapter concludes with a lesson learned (such as "From Regret to Freedom" and "From Duplicity to Trust") and points to ponder, as well as questions to take the lesson further.  The book spans such well-known women like Eve, Sarai, Hagar, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah but also focuses on the lesser known or celebrated women like Adah (Noah's wife), Melah (Lot's wife), Dinah, Aneksi (Potiphar's wife), Tamar, and Zipporah.  No matter how or why life has derailed for each of these women, it is clear that God has been there through it all and there is always hope in Him.

This is a book that will have you running to the store to buy for your sisters and friends.  This is a book that will stay on my bookshelf for many years to come so that my daughters, when they are of age, can read and glean from the heartbreaking lessons written on the pages.

I was given a copy of the book by Revell (Baker Publishing Group) and was under no obligation to post a favorable review.  All comments and opinions are solely my own.
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What do you do when “Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams?” Have you ever wished that your life could be different in every way? Jill Eileen Smith tells us the answer, giving us “Hope for Today from 12 Women of the Bible.” Jill assures us that God can be trusted and we can always hope in Him. God is our only hope in the twists and turns of life, when we are confronted with unwanted choices and difficulties. Extensively researching women of the Bible, Jill Eileen Smith wields her pen with a flourish to teach us priceless lessons in trusting God from the lives of ancient women like Adam’s wife, Eve; Noah’s wife, Adah; Abraham’s wife, Sarah and her maid servant, Hagar; Lot’s wife, Melah; Isaac’s wife, Rebekah; Jacob’s wife, Rachel; and many others. We learn what all these women did, right or wrong, when faced with deferred dreams and shattered expectations. We will confidently believe that our faithful God loves us and shapes us, through our trials and difficulties, into the people He intends us to be. This book bridges the wide gulf between the ancient women of the Bible and the modern women of today. Jill Eileen Smith makes her characters spring to life, addressing the myriad problems that women of all time struggle with. This book inspires us to look to Christ and the Bible for a transformed life. Jill Eileen Smith vividly details the life stories of women of the Bible, portraying each one from what might have been her own unique perspective. Just like us, all were imperfect women, with flaws of their own, facing unexpected situations in challenging circumstances. Yet, God loved them with a love beyond compare. Jill expertly connects these women of the Bible to women of modern times. Jill inspires us to reflect upon our own unique lives’ experiences and times of trials, gently reminding us that God is always with us, even on our darkest days and in our most difficult times.
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I was recently given the opportunity to read this book prior to its release date free of charge. There was no pressure on me to give it a positive or negative review. But after reading the entire contents I will say this book is worth the purchase. 

Jill has a way of making these people come to life, of bringing their short biblical stories and adding to them without taking away from scripture, and then applying their stories to our every day lives, like no one I have ever read before.The Author takes 12 women from the bible and applies her imagination to their life stories, all of which have lives they never dreamed they would, and then applies that knowledge to our lives today helping us to learn from their lives. 

I love Christian Fiction, but whether you do or you don't I can guarantee you will love this Christian Fiction meets non fiction book.
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This book bridges the gap between women in the Bible and us in present day. It brings the Bible time women to life and brings their struggles into today. Women struggle with the same things throughout history. This book touches on many things that women today struggle with. We need this book. It doesn’t make excuses. It speaks into challenges and encourages the reader to look to Christ and the Bible for transformation. 
I received a copy of this book from the author as a member of the book launch team. I was under no compulsion to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
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I have loved and learned from every work Jill Eileen Smith has written, but When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams: Hope for Today from 12 Women of the Bible is one of those books I can sincerely recommend to every woman. 
In it, Smith shares the background and struggles of a dozen women from the Bible’s Old Testament: Eve, Adah (Noah’s wife), Sarai, Hagar, Melah (Lot’s wife), Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, Dinah, Aneksi (Potiphar’s wife), Tamar, and Zipporah.  She tells each woman’s story from what we might imagine would have been her own unique perspective.  Like us, all these women were imperfect and faced situations they never expected. But God loved them through all their challenges, just as he loves each of us and is shaping us through our trials.  
I was impressed with how well Smith connected these historical women and their stories to modern times.  In doing so, she prompted me to reflect on my own life situations and reminded me that God is with me through all my ups and downs, even on my darkest days.
As it is in each of Smith’s books, the extensive research she did in putting this manuscript together is readily evident.  Each reader will likely have a different take-away from the book, depending upon her unique life experiences and trials.  However, I believe that, like me, nearly every reader will find comfort in knowing she is not alone in her struggles and will be encouraged in spiritual growth.
I highly recommend this book for personal reading or for use in a small-group study.  I received a complimentary copy from the publisher but was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I’ve expressed are entirely my own.
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Book Review of "When Life Doesn't Match Your Dreams" by Jill Eileen Smith
Hope for Today from 12 Women of the Bible

"When Life Doesn't Match Your Dreams" is a book every women can relate to in some way, as without a doubt most of us have encountered a similiar life situation that one of these 12 biblical women faced, because, as most of us will agree, life does not always go according to what we hope, plan or dream for.  

Yet, this book shows us that even though life often doesn't play out the way we thought it would, we can still keep hoping and dreaming, for everyday is a new day and a new chance, for our God is an Awesome God who can work ALL things together for good in our lives.  

Of the 12 Women in this book, some might be more familiar to you than others, but all of them were real women.  Sometimes when reading the bible and its stories, we tend to forget it is about real people.  It's stories about real people who lived real lives and went through real life experiences like we do, the only difference is that it was many years ago.  

Have you ever wondered when reading about Adam and Eve's story, what Eve might have been thinking and feeling?  After all, she was the one who got enticed by the serpent and caused Adam to join her in eating the forbidden fruit.  Ever wonder why she did that, or what was going on in her mind to cause her to do such a thing and how she felt about dealing with it all afterwards?  

And what about Noah's wife, ever wonder how she felt about the whole Ark building venture?  The bible doesn't tell us much about her, but her in Jill's book we can imagine what she felt and thought about all that was going on in her life at that time and after the flood.  

And many others, like Lot's wife, why did she look back when she was warned not to?  Or Potiphar's wife who seemingly had it all, yet risked everything to try to win Joseph?  This book looks at women who faced abandonment, betrayal, lonliness, and wrong choices.  Women who had to live with consequences of actions done by them in desperation, or done to them by others.  Women who took risks and lost, or lived with regret,  women who made the best of what they had and trusted God, women with problems just like you and me. 

This book imagines what these women might have thought and how they may have reacted and dealt with their circumstances and life choices. I believe it shows us that there is always hope for the future even though our life doesn't end up being the life we dreamed about, we can still have hope for the future, because we have God and He will help us if we ask Him to.  

I think this is a book that you will find yourself relating to in many ways, and one which you will want to read again and again.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, but I was not expected to give a favorable review.  All thoughts are my own.  

Leona J. Atkinson
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I received a copy of the book When Life Doesn't Match Your Dreams: Hope for Today from 12 Women of the Bible from the author/publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not required to write a positive review.

Jill Eileen Smith has written several thought provoking fiction books that give us insight into how life may have been for the women we read about in the Old Testament. In this non-fiction book When Life Doesn't Match Your Dreams: Hope for Today from 12 Women of the Bible she combines a fictional narrative with everyday circumstances to instill hope where there may have been despair. We have all looked at our lives and been a little disappointed by the way some situations went. For me the main theme of the book wasn't just hope it was trust. Each of these twelve women created circumstances that were not the norm because they were unable to trust/obey God. Whether God spoke to them directly as He did with Rebekah and Hagar or through their spouses as He did with Eve and Sarai, submitting to His will seemed inconceivable when things took unexpected turns. Sometimes it was a lack of patience as was the case with Leah and Dinah. Either way these women suffered from some of the same personality traits, impatience, lack of trust, and the need for control. 

My favorite chapter was actually about Hagar. Nothing for her seemed to go the way it should have according to the traditional ways of love and marriage. Having all of her choices made for her resulted in her becoming fearful and impulsive. Only when she was pregnant with Ishmael did she feel accomplished. Beyond that time period she was invisible and treated no differently than an inanimate object. God was gracious enough to grace her with the knowledge that he saw her if no one else did and had chosen her to carry the origin of a great nation. That's grace personified in my book. No one regardless of where they come from is beyond God's vision. He sees us all.
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I was honored to take part in the launch team for this book, which looks at the lives of twelve Biblical women and discusses how they relate to the modern-day woman. I didn’t connect with every story, but some were certainly relatable. Readers are likely to find this to be the case with at least one woman and her struggle. For Christians, the women and their stories will likely be familiar, but Smith provides a lot of things to ponder in this book. The women and topics included are:
•	Eve: From Regret to Freedom
•	Noah’s Wife: From Chaos to Hope
•	Sarai: From Duplicity to Trust
•	Hagar: from Invisible to Noticed
•	Lot’s Wife: From Clinging to Releasing
•	Rebekah: From Controlling to Trusting
•	Rachel: From Wounded to Forgiving
•	Leah: From Risk to Faith
•	Dinah: From Loss to Acceptance
•	Potiphar’s Wife: From Rejection to Denial
•	Tamar: From Broken Promises to Restoration
•	Zipporah: From Fighting to Freedom
Each chapter starts with a fiction story (“If I Were…”) that’s told from the Biblical woman’s perspective. Then, “In Our World” moves the reader to how things relate to modern-day life. “Imagine with Me” shows how the fiction story (blended with Scripture verses) played out. Each chapter has a “Ponder this,” which provides time for reflection and “Taking it further” section for questions. 
Smith provides the reader with an opportunity to walk in these women’s shoes and share in their disappointment and choices that shaped their lives. Scripture is woven throughout. Smith helps the reader see that there are lessons to be learned in each case, and discussion questions are included to help with this, making it a good resource for individuals or small groups.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.
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For some time now, I’ve enjoyed Jill Eileen Smith’s series of novels based on the lives of women in the Bible. Because of her excellent Biblical research, I always learn an aspect of their story that I had never known or considered before.

This is a Christian non-fiction devotional book by this author.  Through short “first person” accounts, she imagines what twelve different Old Testament women would say to us about their difficult situations.  In each case, life did not match their hopes and expectations.  Some turned to God in love and trust, some did not.  By reading about their situations and considering how they might have felt, we’re able to look at our own life situations through the eyes of faith.  I especially liked the chapter on Noah’s wife; and I also liked viewing Rachel’s  and Leah’s situation from both of their viewpoints.  

I enjoyed reading the author’s thoughts on all twelve ladies’ lives and also her willingness to be open about situations in her own.  As I finished reading this book, I found myself comforted, encouraged, and challenged to view every situation in my life through the lens of the Bible.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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With her signature attention-to-detail and meticulous research, Author Jill Eileen Smith has chosen twelve women of the Old Testament to showcase their hopes and dreams for themselves and their families. Just as life always seems to throw a curve and we face setbacks, each of these twelve women face disappointments and learn how to trust God. Each chapter lists the scripture reference which is a useful resource. This book is an encouragement that ‘when life doesn’t match your dreams’ there is always hope. A great gift for a friend and for yourself!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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What a fantastic read! I know Jill Eileen Smith for her biblical historical fiction. This book takes it one step further, merging fiction and non-fiction. This book takes the lives of 12 old testament women (nearly all from Genesis) and relates their mistakes and things that happened to them to life today. 

Each chapter begins with a fiction piece that incorporates the story in scripture - "If I were.... " and tells the story from that woman's perspective. After the fiction, there's a section titled "in our world" that brings each woman's plight home to us and compares to modern day trials. The next section of each chapter is "imagine with me", where we go back to the fictional story (again, grounded in scripture) and see how the issues have played out. The next section is titled something different for each chapter, depending on the circumstance of each woman. I'll touch on those in a moment. The next section is "ponder this", which gives deeper thought to the issue, and "taking it further" which includes follow-up questions to consider in your own life. The 12 women (and their individual sections) are as follows:
Eve - From Regret to Freedom
Noah's Wife - From Chaos to Hope
Sarai - From Duplicity to Trust
Hagar - From Invisible to Noticed
Lot's Wife - From Clinging to Releasing
Rebekah - From Controlling to Trusting
Rachel - From Wounded to Forgiving
Leah - From Risk to Faith
Dinah- From Loss to Acceptance
Potiphar's wife -From Rejection to Denial
Tamar - From Broken Promises to Restoration
Zipporah - From Fighting to Freedom

If you have ever felt the first word in each woman's chapter and need to get to the last word (with the exception of Potiphar's wife), I would encourage you to read this book and mine it for all of its hidden treasures. I love the references to these women in scripture and how they managed to still get to where God called them, in spite of their circumstances. 

Special thanks to Revell publishing and NetGalley for providing an advanced copy of this book. I was not required to write a review. The thoughts and opinions contained herein are my own.
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This is a beautiful non fiction book based on the  women of the Bible of the Old Testament. This book made me so happy to read. I felt like it could certainly be used for a bible group. Every chapter has a few questions you can answer about what you read. Each woman from the Bible deals with how her dream did not match her life, the author relates to it with her own experiences. This is a book all of us can relate to, Jill quotes scripture within each lesson. Get your highlighters out because you will want to underline and ponder on all that you read. Jill  Eileen Smith has truly given all women something we can definitely immerse ourselves into and come out feeling our Lords presence in each word. I cannot wait to share this beautiful book, What a blessing this book has been to me with each and every page.
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I have read a handful of books from this author. I am a fan of Jill's fiction books based on women of the Bible. This new book is not too different from those books on the fact that it does feature women of the Bible. However, Jill does provide readers a very in depth look into the lives of these women of the Bible and how their lives translate to present day. 

Jill really breaks down different aspects of each woman and relates it to how she would react. Than towards the end of each chapter, the author asks the reader to spend some time in mindful devotion thinking about how these women translate to our own lives. Some of the women's stories did resonate more with me. However, this does not mean that I did not take away something from each one. This book actually should be read and enjoyed more as a devotion guide. Not just to be read straight through but to take time to reflect. This book would make a good Bible study book.
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When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams by award winning biblical fiction author Jill Eileen Smith is an inspirational non-fiction book perfect for women of all ages. Jill Eileen Smith uses her extensive biblical research and the stories from the Bible to allow her readers to relate the situations that twelve women from Old Testament faced with struggles that women today encounter in society. This book encourages readers to use the lessons from the women of the Old Testament to reflect on their own lives and to always trust in God. 

The women from the Old Testament included in this book are Eve, Adah (Noah’s Wife), Sarai, Hagar, Melah (Lot’s Wife), Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, Dinah, Aneksi (Potiphar’s Wife), Tamar, and Zipporah. Each chapter begins with a section titled, “If I were…” and tells the story from the Bible from each of the twelve women’s point of view. Jill Eileen Smith’s detailed descriptions included in the “Imagine with me” sections allow the readers empathize with each of the women from the Old Testament and get a better understanding of what the women experienced.

She also connects each of the stories to current events and real-life stories of her own that readers can relate to. The chapters conclude with statements to ponder and thought-provoking questions for self-reflection. These discussion questions can be used individually to further the reader’s own spiritual growth or can be used in a group setting as a book club discussion. This fascinating book will truly be a inspiration to every woman who reads it. I definitely recommend this book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and NetGalley and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
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