DOING LIFE DIFFERENTLY: The Art of Living with Imagination
Luci Swindoll started telling the story of her life in I MARRIED ADVENTURE, and here she brings her readers up to date with what's been going on in her life since the 2002 release of the first book. The fact that an update is necessary attests to the author's popularity as a Women of Faith conference speaker and writer and to the richness of her life. She is indeed married to adventure, and she has indeed done life differently.
At an early age, Swindoll knew she was not cut out for marriage or parenthood, nor was she cut out for an ordinary life. Although she spent most of her adulthood as an executive with Mobil Oil, she made the most of her free time by traveling the world and exploring creative outlets like photography, painting, writing, and singing with the Dallas Opera. And she chronicled every bit of that life in the extensive journals she kept --- an activity that provided a wealth of material for this book and others she's written.
In this memoir, Swindoll encourages her readers to dream --- and dream big. With her own life as evidence of the value of entrusting those big dreams to God, she offers one example after another of how an imagination, under the control of God, can lead to possibilities and opportunities that far exceed the human imagination. She writes, too, of the transforming power of truth. In fact, to Swindoll, truth and imagination go hand-in-hand; truth without imagination is dull, while imagination without truth is destructive.
Throughout, Swindoll is honest about her own faults and the way God has dealt with her at those times when she wanted more control over her life. She's also honest about her regrets, something many high-profile Christians are reluctant to admit (maintaining that a life led by the Spirit should not be characterized by regret). She lists her regrets one by one --- such as never having lived in Europe and never having taught art history --- and includes one in particular that few people in an animal-loving culture would ever dare to admit: she regrets that she never wanted to have a pet. And then she lists some things she would still like to do, like build a boat, memorize the Constitution, and star in a Die Hard movie. Yes, she is a woman of eclectic tastes.
Although the focus of DOING LIFE DIFFERENTLY is on her own adventures, Swindoll makes it clear that no one has to duplicate her experiences to live an adventurous life. She believes that everyone can live a full and exciting life if only they would recognize the gift that life is and make the most of every single day. Better yet, she shows her readers how they can accomplish that for themselves by inspiring them to reflect on their lives and take full advantage of what they discover.
Today, at age 77, she continues to travel, largely with Women of Faith. Though her readership generally includes women of all ages, older women in particular are likely to find a great deal here to which they can relate. And younger women may just discover a path for their lives that differs dramatically from the one they think they have to follow.
--- Reviewed by Marcia Ford (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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