Monday, February 25, 2013

A 40 Day Habit Between Friends: Taking it to the Next Level? by Cheri Swalwell

About the book:

Do you ever feel like life is out of control and you just need a chance to stop and catch your breath?

If you wrestle with questions such as fear versus faith or how to find balance in such a fast paced society, then A 40 Day Habit Between Friends: Taking it to the Next Level is a great solution.

Get ready to relax with a series of forty devotionals taken from the author’s blogs where she just talks to you, friend to friend, about life’s challenges with a spiritual perspective. It’s small enough to fit in your purse or briefcase, great to give to a friend who needs some encouragement, and reasonably priced so you can pick one up for yourself at the same time. Available at

To read a bit of the book, go here:


This book originally began as various posts for a blog that I created in October 2011. When I started receiving such positive feedback and someone suggested I take the posts and turn them into a devotional, the idea was born and God graciously opened the doors to allow it to happen. Below is the very first post that was created for the blog while I was hanging out laundry, thinking about the suffering of some of my friends. I pray it will touch your life and you will want to read the whole devotional.

Give or Allow?
James 1:12: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

Quite a few of my friends lately have been going through some really rough times. I mean, real, gut-wrenching, 'don't want to get out of bed' struggles.

I overheard someone tell one of them, "God doesn’t give you more than you can handle." Even though that message was meant to encourage, I personally couldn’t agree with that statement, and here’s why. That implies that God is the one giving us the bad times, the hardships, the pain; and the God that I know and have come to believe in doesn’t do that.

Instead, I like to think in terms of this sentence, "God doesn’t allow more than we can handle." That statement conjures up an image of God and Satan fighting head to head; Satan and his cronies being the ones that are trying to make life miserable and God only allowing them to go so far before He steps in and says, "Enough is enough."

Another way to look at it would be seeing the picture of loving parents who willingly allow their child to suffer natural consequences of the sinful world, either through a mistake their child made himself or because of someone else's mistake. The loving parent stays in the background, watching, monitoring; waiting for the child to cry out, "Help me!" before stepping in. Does this mean the parents don’t love their child? No, just the opposite. The parents love the child so much that they are willing to allow a little bit (or a lot) of hurt to help the child grow into the mature, responsible, independent person that child needs to become in order to reach his full potential.

Does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Yes, that’s what free will is all about (which is a topic for another day). Do I believe that God purposefully gives people hard times, pain, and suffering? No, that belongs to sin and the Bible states very clearly that God hates sin and all that sin represents.

Having said that, will my friends' lives be free from the pain they are suffering right now by saying "God doesn’t allow more than we can handle?" instead of "God doesn’t give more than we can handle?" No, not really. Their circumstances won’t change overnight. However, instead of picturing a God who is purposefully causing pain, as comes to my mind with the wording in the second sentence, I instead picture God as a loving father, keeping the enemy from completely destroying my friends' lives (or mine) when reading the first sentence. I picture God protecting, sheltering, and only allowing so much; enough to help them (or me) grow and reach their (my) potential instead of being completely destroyed by the enemy who is trying to do just that. In addition, the God I love provides ways of escape for His children. It doesn’t always look the same for everyone, but it’s always the best as God ultimately has the best in store for His children.

I hope this encourages not only my friends who are going through some rough times, but anyone else reading this who needs extra hope today. God isn’t the enemy; He’s the One keeping us from being completely destroyed when the bad times inevitably come. And, as you trust fully in His plan, you’ll see how He provides for you during the pain, in His time.

To buy the book, go here:

If you purchase my book through the above link, I will receive a small commission. Thank you ahead of time.

About the Author:
Cheri Swalwell is a wife, mother, and avid reader, but first and foremost she is a Christ follower. She has a degree in Psychology and has been blessed to be a guest on a variety of blogs including, Circle of Friends, and She is a regular contributor to Book Fun Magazine. She enjoys reading and reviewing a variety of fiction books in genres of Amish, women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, medical drama, contemporary, and historical to name a few. She also enjoys many nonfiction titles including devotionals and other inspirational type books.  

If you want to hear more about the heart she has for marriage, parenting, and relationships from a Christian perspective as well as read reviews from various new and well-known authors, feel free to “like” her on: 


She loves to interact with her readers, so she would love to connect at:

Cheri is giving away a copy of A 40 Day Habit Between Friends: Taking it to the Next Level. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.  To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown


Teela said...

Cheri, I wish I had this book before Lent started! A friend of mine and myself are accountability partners during this 40 day time. We've both gone thru JUNK,but want to grow closer to Christ. Thanks for offering this giveaway and maybe I'll WIN!

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this book of inspiration

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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