Seattle Christian Book Review Examiner
From the prologue to the epilog and the eleven chapters in between, Northwest native Deanna Nowadnick’s new spiritual memoir, Signs in Life is a refreshingly authentic, inspiring and often humorous read. Where she blends personal experiences with Old Testament Bible stories for how to “find direction in our travels with God,” the subtitle of her new release. Because she believes life, like an artist’s masterpiece, contains “lessons in perspective.”
She writes “…road and directional signs are an important part of safe travel and they are everywhere…” In a similar manner she believes God’s spiritual guidance “directs and redirects” our lives through Bible stories and life experiences that equip us to follow God and find God’s purpose for our lives. Fashioned from God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)
However, just as road signs for safe driving can be ignored or missed, we can also miss or ignore God’s spiritual guidance when we’re distracted, preoccupied or too busy to pay attention. That’s when flares of impatience, temper or critical attitudes reveal a selfish self-centeredness instead of turning into needed examples of divine guidance.
While chapters capture the book’s broader theme with topical titles such as “yield, stop and wrong way,” Deanna’s personal experiences blend with stories from the book of Exodus to offer realistic perspectives of what it means to live under God’s grace.
When she describes a “late night encounter with law enforcement” that results in a speeding ticket or having a bad attitude after she gathers everyone’s luggage but her own which means she has no makeup on vacation or impatience with a driver who takes too long at an espresso drive-through, she captures spiritual conditions common to us all.
Deanna believes in God’s divine guidance and feels our lives are important because they are part of a greater “chapter in God’s great story.” That’s why in her travels she looks for “God’s divine direction” which is often only found when she pauses to reflect. Because of that she includes five questions at chapters end designed to encourage memories of times when you, like Deanna, were brought up short by the “harness of God’s grace.” It’s these moments, what she describes as “teachable moments,” that help shape you into the person you are today.
I described Deanna’s writing as spiritually refreshing when I reviewed her first book, Fruit of my Spirit in 2012. Now, her second book, Signs in Life reveals a writer who continues to hone her craft, engage readers and leave them wanting more. “Signs in Life” would make a wonderful gift for anyone with questions about what comes next, but it would be especially good for a high school or college graduate.
Gail’s articles and book reviews appear in Midwest Book Reviews among other national and local publicaiton on the internet and in print media. She loves to read and believes God teaches and instructs her in which way to go, according to Jeremiah 29:11.