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Reading Ann Voskamp's writing is a breath of fresh air.   I love her poetic sense combined with the raw and unclouded truth of the gospel.  In our life there will be storms.  There will be heartache, grief, suffering, and paths that we simply don't which way to go; however, God, Our Waymaker is the One that makes a way.   When we let go of our expectations and grip onto to the Waymaker to lead our way, we can begin to find true satisfaction and joy.   We can be happy with things of this world but they are fleeting and only last a moment.   The Waymaker shows us how to have a true joy that last no matter the storm or path we are on. 

Ann states,  "Prayer isn't about moving heaven to do things our way but about moving us to do things God's way on earth."  

My favorite quote from the book:
"The moment you let go of expectations, much suffering lets go of you.  Expect nothing but hesed. Expect God to knock on your door, expect God to rise on your horizon, expect hope and mercy and miracles and a glass of cold water, but just don't expect God to come looking any way you expect. Expect nothing but hesed--the lovingkindness of God--just not the kinds of ways you'd ever dreamed. Pain will come, but name it a mystery, and find manna in it and taste bits of miracle even in what you can hardly stand and don't understand."

"...I'd seized a pen and wielded it like a weapon against the dark and jotted down gifts, moments of grace, throughout the day, and for years I'd fought for joy because any life worth living demands that you refuse to let anything steal your joy because what steals your joy, steals your strength. "

God's hesed love (steadfast love, mercy, grace, compassion) is all we need.   He is the miracle worker, promise keeper, light in the darkness.  He can make our darkness into light when we surrender our desires to His Will!  Oh what a wonderful read and reminder of God's faithful Word!

I read this book before it was published and then had to download the audiobook and listen again.   This will be a book that probably read once a year!

Thank you Thomas Nelson and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this wonderful reminder of God's Faithful Love.
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Finding the Way to the Life You’ve Always Dreamed Of
by Ann Voskamp
Pub Date 15 Mar 2022 |
 Thomas Nelson--W Publishing,  Thomas Nelson

I am reviewing a copy of Waymaker through Thomas Nelson W Publishing and Netgalley:

In Waymaker Ann Voskamp reminds us that in a disorienting world, with obstacle after obstacle, and the landscape of our lives shifting in ways we never expected, we can trust that as we look to our Maker, the WayMaker, our road will lead us to arrive exactly where we always hoped it would, though maybe not at all in the way we imagined. And those dreams for our lives? They can still happen—in ways only He perfectly dreamed of.

The reader is also reminded that heartache, grief, suffering, obstacles, all come in waves and we cannot control life’s storms but we can learn the way to walk through the waves.  In Way Maker Ann Voskamp, a bestselling author hands us a map that makes meaning of life, that shows the way through to the places we’ve only dreamed of reaching, by a way we never expected. 

Voskamp reveals how God is present in the totality of our lives, making a way
for the marriage that seems impossible,for the woman who longs for a child of her own,for the parents who ache for the return of their prodigal,for the sojourner caught between a rock and a hard place, andfor the wayfarer who feels as though there is no way through to her dreams.

We can encounter the WayMaker in surprising ways and begin to see Him not only making poetry out of pain but working in every miraculous detail of our lives. Even now, the Way is making the way to walk through waves and into a life more deeply fulfilling than our wildest dreams.

I give Waymaker five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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I found this such a beautiful and also challenging book - I kept coming back to it and re-reading sections because I found it really touched and helped me. I had the pleasure of interviewing Ann for Woman Alive - I have posted the link below.
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WayMaker: Finding Your Way to the Life You've Always Dreamed Of by Ann Voskamp is a life changing book. Ms Voskamp writes with incredible vulnerability to tell her life story and the way in which it has led her directly into the arms of Jesus, Our WayMaker. Written in a bit of a stream of consciousness form of writing, her story and the way it parallel's our relationship to Jesus interweave in a beautiful, relatable form. I read part of the story myself and also listened to part on audiobook. Both forms were wonderful. Pick this book up for a fresh revelation of who Jesus is and where He is in the midst of our life's storms. So life changing. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.
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I’ve read other books by Ann Voskamp in the past and have struggled with her ornate language often losing the message. With Waymaker, that was not the case!  Voskamp was genuine, authentic, honest, raw, and real! She wrote of the SACRED way and losing her way, but mostly her story points the reader to the only WAY. This was a beautiful redemption story, and I’m so glad I read it.
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This read started out really well, then fizzled out for me around halfway. There isn't a ton of "narrative," per se; it's not linear, by any stretch, and jumped around a fair bit--which is fine to a point! But I struggled.

It did prompt some interesting inner dialogue; much of the book is written about Christ and his bride the church, and marriage being part of the mystery. I, comparatively, am single...and I grew up in the purity culture. So part of me was sitting there reading this like, "Should I even be reading this? Like, ... what?!" LOL! I do think that married folks, or folks in a serious relationship, may get more out of it than me as a later-30s single. But it did encourage me to really deep-dive into Christ--the most important relationship any of us will ever have.

I received an eARC of the book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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Moving. Honest. Thought-provoking. Poetic. Though I am neither married nor adopted, I enjoyed this book that is largely about marriage and adoption. There were several times I underlined/highlighted a line and then sat with it for a while. So much power packed in such small sentences... 

4/5 due to its wordiness and repetitiveness. It could easily have been cut by 50 pages without losing the story.
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This book took me through a very vulnerable journey of Ann's adopting her little girl and the corresponding difficulties that came in her life. I truly appreciate other's sharing of hard stories and how they persevered. This is part memoir and part poetic spiritual guide.

This is the first book of Ann Voskamp that I actually finished. I really love her messages and the heart she puts into her writing, but it gets pretty flowery for me. I get a bit lost in the poetic nature of her reflections. That said, there were enough concrete portions of harsh reality here that kept me engaged and consequently encouraged to bear witness to another's conquering of a time of flailing. Or maybe it was more bearing witness to laying oneself down and letting our Maker walk her through.

If you have read any other of Ann Voskamp's books you will be prepared for her lyrical prose. If not, take small bites and work through this one like I did and you will be glad for the messages, encouragement, and reminder of Who has always been the One to make a Way when it feels impossible.

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for this digital ARC. This is available in print form on March 15, and if you preorder from her site, she has a ton of free gifts available!
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The WayMaker is a beautiful, heartfelt novel by Ann Voskamp. In her latest book, Ann is incredibly transparent with her life story in a poetic and God-inspired way. Whenever I read the author's words, it is like she is speaking to my soul. She has a gift for words. Drawing on her own personal experiences, she show us the way through. She offers us encouragement through disappointment, trials, and life's hardships. God is with us before, in, and after the waves that are a part of life. I found so much encouragement in this book. It is a timely read that I highly recommend. Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the ARC.
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Ann Voskamp's gift is the ability to share her spiritual growth, grasp of the Word of God, greek or Hebrew words, and their meanings, and her personal story for others to learn from her experiences.  This book is her most vulnerable and personal of all her books.   Because of this, I suspect it is not as applicable for all readers.  It's more complex, more biblically, and theologically in-depth than her previous books.   In some ways it builds on some concepts, she's lived out loud for her readers before, but in many, she is sharing her own personal journey and exodus of sin and losing her way, as well as remembering just what truly her life's focus is. 

As a biblically literate person, about her age, I appreciate her thoughts, her self-discovery of how to focus on God,  abide in the Way, focus on stepping into cruciform, and praise, over choosing to curve to your own desires, addictions, and way.  She continues with the repetition and building on concepts throughout the book as she has in previous writing, but she has learned through her marriage, adoption, and broken heart, each as their own metaphor and dimension, which I believe is more complex than her other books.  As well as the shocking events in her life that many of her readers will not comprehend her experience at all.  But we can all choose to learn from her.  

She continues to share her learning from therapeutic concepts, attachment/adoption with real-life experience, and she is brutally honest about her own experiences.  In her poetic way, she reveals how to live a life focused on dying to self, living in Him, and how easy it can be to alter your own course with minor life changes, but how large an impact that has on your soul your people.  This book is not as easily replicated in the reader's life, as her daily habits and focus require a lot of commitment to the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and personal soul-care/reflection.  But for me, they are healthy habits to weave into who I am, and it encourages me to press on and grow in Him.

Thankful to read an Advanced Netgalley copy.
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"God doesn't keep us from suffering; He keeps us through it."

I know Ann Voskamp's writing style is not for everyone but she does have a uniquely beautiful way of putting her soul on paper.

This is the most vulnerable writing of hers so far and there are alot of bits of wisdom and truth about marriage, life, suffering and pain that I think are worth toughing through the flowery, poetic prose for. It is a very honest look at her relationship with her Waymaker when the road ahead seems to have no hopeful way.

Thanks to NetGalley for giving me a chance to read it!
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Less about discovering the perfect life and more about recognizing the paradox of joy and pain in life, Waymaker guides readers to a place of holy recognition. In her poetic voice, Ann Voskamp reveals the wounds of young bride’s heart, the ache of a mother longing for her prodigal’s return, and the wilderness experience of a wandering orphan. If you prefer practical application and to the point text, this book isn’t for you. If lyrical artistry and the heartbeat of faith appeal to you, however, you’ll love Ann Voskamp’s newest book. #waymaker #netgalley #bookreviewer
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I enjoyed this book because of it's writing style, unique topic, and the fact that it really provided a thought-provoking experience. Recommended for readers who want to read slowly so as to take time to process.
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A raw, thought-provoking read filled with truth and timely wisdom. Voskamp always draws her reader closer to the Saviour.
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Ann Voskamp has a way of writing about suffering and hardship in the most poetically beautiful way that reminds you how important it is to cling to God and let him part your ‘red sea’ and make a way for you. She vulnerably shares her own story, her own heart, and her own ways through her own suffering alongside Bible based content. Whenever I read Ann’s words, I am in awe in how easily she experiences adoration for God and it gently challenges me to continue to grow in my own heart and in my own journey.
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This is an amazing book. 
I have enjoyed it immensely and it just so poignant in reminding you that God is present everyday. 
I have recommended it to others and can't wait to own it!
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Ann Voskamp is known for her almost poetic form of writing. In her latest book, "WayMaker", Voskamp details her personal life. From her wedding, honeymoon, marriage, family health issues, and the adoption of her youngest daughter, nothing is off limits. I appreciated her transparency and honesty. However, her poetic writing was a little difficult to understand at times, and I often wish she had a more straightforward form of writing so I could understand what she was saying better. I really enjoyed her chapters on adoption, since that is a topic that I'm passionate about.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.
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Ann has a beautiful way of writing and this book was heartbreaking and relatable and helps you to not feel alone. I love her perspective on God even in the hard parts of life.
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#WayMaker #NetGalley #bookreview 

Publisher: Thomas Nelson - W Publishing
ISBN: 9780310352198

Release: March 1, 2022

The Promise (Descr from Publisher): 

In WayMaker, bestselling author Ann Voskamp hands us a map that makes meaning of life, that shows the way through to the places we’ve only dreamed of reaching, by a way we never expected. Voskamp reveals how God is present in the totality of our lives.

The Expectation (mine after reading the promise, etc):

I debated about requesting this book from NetGalley because while I have friends and connections who love Voskamp, I find her depressing and not hopeful at all. I was angry in one of her books that was recommended to me by several people - when I got to the end and it was still depressing. So, while I'm hoping this is better; the description reads like it could very well be that same book just rewritten and updated; if so, I hope it contains more hope and peace. I hope that I don't get to the end of the book and discover that I have more hope here in this moment for this book than the book has. I'm giving Voskamp a chance to redeem herself in Waymaker. 

Favorite/Summary Quote:

Whenever we choose to connect, we disconnect from more pain. 

It’s never about the storm - it’s always about your sail. 

Welcome to life, where Plan A transforms into Plan Z to transform you. 

Life is the art of the turn.

What I connected with:

She has some good one-liners & quips & quotables. My favorite was about how Love lays down … and the remarks the pastor shared at her wedding. 

What I struggled with:

If a modern day Job was female and wrote her biography today, this would come pretty close. (Only I think Job was better). 

I struggle with not saying “I hate her writing.” Hate is such a strong word. Her writing is not for me. She time leaps. She throws in random stuff and wanders - often  -off course. I literally got a headache every time I picked up this book. She jumps from story to story. There is no map. The description to this book is so far from what this book is. This book is a biography of her marriage and family and all of the trauma and drama with Scriptures to show she relied on God. 

Her depression oozes through her writing.  For people who like this kind of book, then it’s definitely a good read if you can follow it. But it’s definitely not my kind of book - I’m disappointed that this is not what the description was in NetGalley. However, I’m not surprised because of who wrote it.

I know what it’s like to suffer from depression. It’s hell. So I’m not judging the depression of the writer. I just don’t want to be taken back into that journey and be reading a book that focuses on all of the bad stuff. I’d rather read the book of Job. 

But here is some redemption. If an aggressive editor for a hold of this and gave it some boundaries, easy to follow timeline, removed the unnecessary side bars,  and actually tied in applicable, relevant Scripture and and created the road map that was in the book description, I think there’s content here that would make an amazing book - which is why I am giving this 3 stars instead of one. I also understand her writing style is polarizing & people tend to love it or hate it.  I just fall in the latter category. 

I really think she has a personal story of endurance & faith that would make ONE amazing memoir - as long as someone else wrote it. If that happens, let me know. I would read it. 

But for now this is just a horribly written, time leaping, difficult to follow, memoir of a depressing woman who focuses on all of the drama & trauma of her life; but sprinkles in Scripture to show her faith & then marketed as an inspirational book for Christians. .  . again. 

What I learned:

I won’t be reading any more of her books. 

How it transformed me:

It didn’t. 

I won’t be recommending this book to friends and family. I don’t want a hard copy of the book. All I want is for my headache to go away after trying to follow this book. Where’s the ibuprofen?
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Ann Voskamp has done it again. This was absolutely beautiful and so relevant. Ann shows how we can turn to God  especially when life is challenging and difficult. This is one I'll return to again and again. Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.
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