Writing from a biblical perspective, Carol Cornish helps readers to discover how God is working in the midst of the deep distress of losing a spouse. She provides the reader with direction in finding true and lasting comfort in Christ. Cornish, who lost her husband of 38 years to lung cancer, encourages widows to use their widowhood for God's glory. Ministry to widows needs to be a priority for Christian communities, and Cornish equips churches, families, and friends to come alongside those mourning the loss of a spouse.
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When I read the title of this book, The Undistracted Widow, by Carol Cornish, I assumed I thought what it meant and then I spoke with my daughter's piano teacher. She shared with me a story which gave me more insight. Her mother had been a widow for many years. After 15 years, she and her brother spoke to her mother about starting to live again. When her husband died, her mother stayed focused on the past rather than living in the present. She was distracted, so to speak. I wanted to read this book because someone I care about deeply became a widow a few years ago. I hoped that reading this book would give me some insight. I read through the book and reached one of the final chapters which is written for family and friends of a newly widowed woman or man. In the chapter is a chart of what to say and what not to say. This chapter was quite helpful to me--because many of the times when I would be prone to say something, the author's advice was to simply say nothing. As I found myself at the end of the book, I realized that I didn't know if I could say this was an especially good book or not about widowhood. I thought it had some sound and biblical advice. I thought it would be encouraging to a widow, but I didn't know for certain because I am not a widow. So, I asked my daughter's piano teacher, who has been a widow herself for 8 years, if she would read the book and share with me what she thought of it. She said that it was encouraging and refreshing to her. She identified with the first few chapters and she explained to me that these are the things you aren't sure how to talk to anyone about when you become a widow. For her, reading the book reinforced what she has learned over the past few years. I asked her if it would be a good read for someone who had been widowed a short time. She felt very certainly that it would. As she explained to me, life completely changes when you become a widow. You are no longer two, but one. You have lost part of yourself when your spouse passes away. You have to become--undistracted and focused on the Lord, not your circumstances. I would recommend this book to you if you are a widow. My hope is that this book will encourage you. You many not find that all of her advice fits your situation (and that is okay), but I think that is true of all books. If you feel that you would like to give this book to someone, I would encourage you to pray about it and give it to the person if you feel that it is what the Lord would have you do. That is what I am going to do. I am going to pray about giving it to my friend and ask if she is interested in reading it before I send it her way. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway Publishing for review.
Widows are all around us. They walk down in the aisle at the local grocery store, live down the street from your house, and sit in the pew next to you at church. However, all to often, widows are a neglected and overlooked group among us. Carol Cornish shares from her personal experience of widowhood, adjusting to changes in her life, and provides helpful insight into the world of widowhood in her book Undistracted Widow. Not only does she provide a glimpse into her own adjustments, she lays a solid foundation of gospel-centered and provides great helps for those who are struggling with widowhood. Throughout the book the reader is also able to glean very helpful and direct ways to encourage, pray, and come alongside widows as believers and the body of Christ.To help her 'push forward' one exercise described in the book was called "Mending by Intending". Ms. Cornish read through Philippians and came up with 15 resolutions to help her 'stretch forward and glorify God in [her] widowhood.' To help others share with widows, Ms. Cornish gives a list of things NOT to say and things TO say. Throughout the book are tips and suggestions, quotes, multiple verses of scriptures all pointing to helping widows bring honor and glory to God through widowhood.As a pastor, this book was very insightful. While I have talked with widows in my family and in my church, this book opens up and lays all the cards on the table. Ms. Cornish's book will be an invaluable tool for widows, but also will help others understand a little better what is going through the minds of widows, what to say, what not to say, and how to encourage widows through a focus on the gospel of Jesus Christ.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Crossway book review bloggers program. Disclosing in accordance with Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.