Wednesday, May 11, 2011

‘Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves’ by Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD – Book Review

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I love books that are not ‘self-help,’ but ‘Christ-help.’ Such is the case with ‘Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves’ by Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD.

Here is the synopsis of this book:

Imagine Life with Unlimited Possibility, where fear, misconceptions, and insecurities don’t have the power to rob you of your potential or your dreams. Many women have trouble seeing this vision because they are bound by lies that keep them from living free.
In Set Free to Live Free, Saundra Dalton-Smith shows you how to break free from seven mental ties that hold you back and steal your joy, like striving for perfection, comparing yourself to others, and having an all-or-nothing attitude. Through compelling stories and inspirational writing, she encourages you to embrace spontaneity, be transparent, nurture your body, and cultivate a balanced life.  

Here is the biography of this author:

Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD, is a board-certified internal medicine physician who has been practicing medicine since 1999. She treats a predominantly female population and has firsthand experience with the struggles women face trying to imitate the American dream. Dr. Dalton-Smith has been an adjunct faculty member at Baker College and Davenport University in Michigan. She lives in Alabama.

Dr. Dalton-Smith focuses on the 7 lies that women tell themselves (p. 207):

1.    Perfection is the goal
2.    I would be happy too if I had her life
3.    If I do this, I can look like that
4.    Life is an all-or-nothing activity
5.    Being in control is better than spontaneity
6.    Emotional imbalance is only for crazy women
7.    Everything comes with conditions

I have to admit that I struggle with some of these lies. I love how Dr. Dalton-Smith makes them so transparent and easy to understand. People who are deceived by these lies often don’t even realize they are believing these deceptions. Along with enumerating these lies, she shares lots of scripture verses at the end of each section which directly refutes these lives. She also gives real-life examples from friends and patients of hers that give illustration to these untruths.

I saw myself in the ‘Life is an all-or-nothing activity’ lie. This paragraph was powerful:

Control is the enemy of freedom. Those who live with the image of being in control have a difficult time embracing freedom. Freedom and control cannot be active at the same time. You cannot be free to speak whatever you want if you are controlling your tongue. You cannot be free to enjoy whatever is at the buffet table if you are controlling your diet. You cannot be free to enjoy the banquet of adventures God has in store for you if you are trying to control every moment of your day. Once you determine that you want to have freedom in any area, you must relinquish control. (p. 134)

Truth has been an issue in my life. Dr. Dalton-Smith makes it clear that it is safe to trust in the Lord, who will never fail us.

Dr. Dalton-Smith is a very strong writer. I loved this particular section; it really spoke to me:

Imagine a life with unlimited possibilities, with no limitations. A life free from the gravitational pull of your own insecurities, fears, and misconceptions. An open expanse of opportunities and experiences set before you, beckoning you to soar to new levels of fulfillment. An incredible overflowing display of endless possibilities extended upon a sea of grace. The only thing that can prevent you from walking into this new area is a lack of movement. The murky waters of uncertainty may not look strong enough to hold you up, by as you step out you will begin to feel the strength of God’s promises keeping you afloat. Open your mind wide and allow God to enlarge your perception of what is before you. (p. 192)

I really feel like the Lord has brought this book to me ‘for such a time as this.’ I think He is going to do some mighty works in my life in the near future, and I think He wanted to bring these truths to my attention at this point in time!

I really enjoyed this book! Dr. Dalton-Smith is a compassionate physician whose love for Jesus is strong! My personal physician is pretty good, but I would make a special point of visiting Dr. Dalton-Smith if I were in the vicinity of Anniston, Alabama. She is certainly a living example of how to put Jesus first in her life and also living a balanced life as a professional woman and a wife and the mother of young children.

This book includes an Eight-Week Group Study Guide. I think this would be a great book to study with a friend or two or even a larger group of ladies. I plan on recommending it to a friend of mine; we have our own personal Book Club! This is a very valuable tool to help women find freedom in Christ; I thank Dr. Dalton-Smith for sharing what she has learned with her readers to help them live more victorious lives!

You can order this book here.

Available May 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. This book was provided by Revell for review purposes.

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