Upon Waking: 60 Daily Reflections to Discover Ourselves and the God We Were Made For – Jackie Hill Perry

Upon Waking: 60 Daily Reflections to Discover Ourselves and the God We Were Made For by Jackie Hill Perry
Also by this author: His Testimonies, My Heritage: Women of Color on the Word of God, Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was and Who God Has Always Been
on October 3, 2023
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Devotional
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What do you wake up to each day? What do you discover once your eyes have opened and you put your feet to the floor? A mountain of notifications? An endless feed of headlines that make you angry? A flood of tasks that you can’t possibly get done in the next twenty-four hours?

What if you could wake up each day to discover something so much bigger—and so much better for you—than all that chaos? What if you could discover God? What if you could discover yourself in light of that God? What if your eyes could be opened to the things that really mattered? What if, in one simple devotional a day, you could glean principles from timeless wisdom to sharpen you for each day's inevitable challenges?

In her lyrical, compelling, and poignant voice, bestselling author and Bible teacher Jackie Hill Perry offers sixty short, daily reflections on specific passages from Scripture to help you awaken to the God you were made for, the life you were made for, and the person you were made to be.

This devotional from Jackie Hill Perry involves sixty days of Scripture verses and short reflections. The Scripture selections are wide-ranging, involving verses from the Old and New Testaments, and the author includes verses from Bible stories and verses that are teaching-focused. As she explains at the beginning of the book, devotionals can often be very shallow, and she wanted to write devotional readings that would help people delve deeper into Scripture and build their relationship with God, instead of just checking off a spiritual duty or reading something that’s sweet and encouraging without any real depth. Jackie Hill Perry isn’t afraid to call out sin and point out deeper issues, and she combines a clear-sighted view of the world with deep, gospel-centered encouragement.

Upon Waking: 60 Daily Reflections to Discover Ourselves and the God We Were Made For will appeal to fans of Jackie Hill Perry, and to people who are looking for daily readings with real substance. This book stands out in a crowded devotional market because of the author’s distinctive voice and focus on spiritually deep reflections that apply to all Christians, regardless of their age or life stage. This book will also appeal to people who are looking for something from a Black cultural perspective. Scripture is the focus here, not the author’s thoughts or life experiences, but her voice and lens on life will resonate with people who don’t feel represented by the average Christian devotional.

Although I enjoyed this book, it needed more editing prior to publication. Some of the sentences have a confusing flow, and even though they might work well in spoken English, which is often the author’s medium as a spoken word poet, the structure felt confusing on the page. I would sometimes read lines a few times before I felt like I fully understood them. In addition to this, there were a lot of typos, and I found that very distracting. Most of the typos involved homonyms, which typically slide through spell check, but these should have been obvious to a professional editor. Spelling isn’t everyone’s area of expertise, so I wouldn’t fault the author for it, but an editor should have caught these errors as quickly as I did.

Upon Waking is a deep, thought-provoking devotional book with sixty short readings that engage with a variety of different Bible verses and biblical themes. I enjoyed reading this, and I would recommend it to people who are looking for brief devotions that will help them engage with Scripture and deepen their relationship with God. The readings don’t include reflection and application questions, which some people may find disappointing, and my fellow grammar nerds will find the typos distracting, but this book has a lot of depth and can appeal to readers in many different stages of life.