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Review: Growing Up Ziglar by Julie Ziglar Norman

We all know people who toy with the promises God has given them, playing with eternal fire.  We pray for them and reach out to them, but sometimes these efforts seem so pointless.  While we must continue with our efforts, God is the one who provides the growth in his own good time.

One example of this is Growing up Ziglar: A Daughter’s Broken Journey from Heartache to Hope by Julie Ziglar Norman.  Daughter of motivational speaker and writer Zig Ziglar, Julie was the black sheep of the family.  In love and loyalty to her beloved father she tried to hide her bad behavior and squelch her despair by being good and positive.  All she knew for sure was that she was positive she was miserable… and not good enough for God

Because Julie’s father did not become a Christian until she was 17, she was not ‘raised according to the Instruction Manual’.  However, she became a Christian and experienced God’s closeness when she was a teen.  When, subsequent to this, she slipped back into sin, she was shocked and horrified.  Assuming that her sin had broken the bond she had with God, she lived in despairing wildness for many years afterwards. It took her that long to understand that God forgives those who repent and ask for his forgiveness.

In Growing up Ziglar, Julie shares her almost perfect childhood, the disastrous consequences of a family move, marriage, single parenthood, second marriage, alcoholism, and more.  Throughout we see a woman trying hard to discover life on her own terms, not God’s, all the while searching for God.   And God did not let go of her.  She eventually came to understand forgiveness, and learned to love Jesus, to trust him, and even to live for him.  “Now I find out that my life truly wasn’t any of my business!  In fact, I exist for God’s pleasure and glory, not the other way around.”

Julie shares her story to encourage others.  She speaks directly to the reader as she discusses

  • becoming the right kind of person;
  • deriving meaning from God, not people’s approval;
  • how becoming a Christian influenced her dad (“…after he became a Christian, he never had to worry because he knew God had everything under control.”);
  • adjusting to change;
  • true success (“…true success in life comes when the choices you make during times of change are wisdom-based, not fear-based, and grounded in a desire to please God.”);
  • the necessity of reading the Bible;
  • and more.

The final chapter is a challenge list, encouraging the reader to

  1. Find an intimate church home,
  2. Read through the Bible yearly,
  3. Pray daily for godly wisdom, truth, and power,
  4. Be willing to let God change you from the inside out,
  5. Get right with your Maker,
  6. Get help if you feel you cannot accept Christ’s forgiveness.

Finally, let me quote Julie’s encouragement to her readers:

“You don’t have to understand the why of everything, but you must understand the WHO of God!  Knowing who God is, what His character is, who He says He is, and who you are in relationship to Him will absolutely change your life and your choices.”

God bless you. 

For more inspiration, see No Ordinary Blog Hop, Encourage One Another Wednesday, Women Living Well Wednesdays, Works For Me Wednesday , Raising Homemakers.   This is yet another book in the 2012 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge, and is also linked to Saturday Reviews.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Growing Up Ziglar from Litfuse in order to give you my honest opinion.


One Comment

  1. […] Other books I’ve reviewed that discuss how women deal with abortions they have had are UnPlanned by Abby Johnson, Uncle Sam’s Plantation by Star Parker, and Growing Up Ziglar by Julie Ziglar Norman. […]

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