Monday, February 16, 2015

Book Review - Heartfelt, A Woman's Guide to Creating Meaningful Friendships


In previous generations women lived in close-knit communities and encouraged one another in all areas of life, including marriage, parenting, homemaking, service, and spirituality. But in today’s society, we often live far away from extended family, making it ever more difficult for women to establish those same levels of relationships. Dr. Kirby show how to develop connected relationships with other women, glean wisdom through their experiences, and gain a sense of emotional intimacy and wholeness from being heard, known, and supported by women who truly care about them.


Dr. Joneal Kirby is probably best known as the founding leader of Heart to Home, a multi-generational mentoring program, now known as Heartfelt Friends. This organization has seen blessings of unprecedented growth over its dozen years of service is now known as Heartfelt Ministries.

She was crazy enough to go back to school at the “old” age of fifty to earn a PhD in marriage and family therapy and now looks back over her shoulder in wonder – “How did I do that?”, because she now has trouble remembering her own phone number. Much less Analytical Statistics.
She started a private counseling practice and then opened up a counseling center to partner with God to help bring healing to many broken hearts and families. Her passion for her faith in Jesus and her love of all things family wakes her up every day ready to do God’s work. Although sometimes she’d like to crawl back under the covers, after a couple of cups of coffee, she is ready to shake up the evil one’s plans.

Joneal is also a talker – a “SPEAKER”. For those who will ask her, she speaks to audiences throughout the country on topics ranging from Biblical womanhood to marriage and family issues and whatever else God puts on her heart. She will travel anywhere to do this. However, her schedule fills up very quickly. There is a speaking schedule available somewhere on this website. And a request form if you want to see if she is available to do your event.
Her unique speaking style combines practical advice and humor - she hopes - along with Biblical wisdom – she prays. Everything she does is rooted in her passion for strengthening families and honoring God’s name. She is humbled her Heart to Home Bible Studies have been used by thousands since the founding of the Heart to Home Ministry in 2003.

Joneal has written some books. Her oldest is a parenting devotional book, Heart of a Family for Mom. And her newest is Heartfelt, A Woman’s Guide to Creating Meaningful Friendships, with Worthy Publishing. She’s excited about this book telling all about Heart to Home. It is full of stories of the women who have been blessed by this mentoring program, and Miss Kay Robertson and Missy Robertson are two of the most wonderfully fun testimonies in the book.

She has been producing a radio show for a gazillion years. Heartfelt Radio is heard daily by her amazing group of listener/fans in her home state of Louisiana. This has been going on since 2005. She has done some television too. It was a great surprise to her that she really didn’t like it. But she and her girlfriends created and produced a Bible study for Legacy Network for about three years called “GIRLFRIENDS”. Dr. Kirby loves radio. Enough said.

It would be silly not to mention this about her. She is related to the family of Duck Dynasty fame. Her sister is Korie Robertson’s mom. They lived and raised their kids in houses right next door to each other. This little known fact about Dr. Kirby is told here only because she is so proud of what Korie and Willie have done in bridging the gulf between the Christian community and the culture by their willingness to be courageous and not only entertain, but to engage the world, in a conversation about Jesus Christ.

Joneal and her husband, Randy live on 130 acres they share with deer and ducks, a few gobbly turkeys, some loud-mouthed owls, some pot-bellied pigs and alligators, and a couple of normal, good dogs. Their daughter and son-in-love live next door with two of their grandsons on this family land in West Monroe, Louisiana. Three of their children and two grandkids live in the next door state of Texas. They love being a part of their church and this Forever Family partners with them to help lots of families and marriages grow stronger. The Kirbys will talk to anyone who will listen about building a courageous family living boldly for the Lord. After four decades of marriage and a full life of blessings and many fun family times, they consider their greatest joy to be doing life now with their four amazing grandsons.


This book is so timely for me, as I'm sure it will be for you. We women long for deep relationships with other women where we can share our heart. In this day of social media, it's not always easy to really make the effort to have those relationships. We find ourselves clicking the "like" button on Facebook and calling that person our friend. Really, though, these relationships are not the deep friendships we long for.

This book gives us the tools to create our own small group and draw wisdom from this book as well as the Bible. Heartfelt gives us stories from women who participated in the group and how it changed things for them in a positive way.  I really liked the stories because I could relate to so many of these women's thoughts and feelings.

We are also given questions to answer and reflect on as well as prayers and Scripture to meditate on. Dr. Kirby's book is so inspiring and I am now so excited about starting my own Titus 2 group. I love that this book shows us how to be a better friend/mentor and how to enjoy the friendship we find with other women. In the back of the book, she shares how to set up our own small group and gives ideas of what we can do together as a group. I really enjoyed this as sometimes it's hard to know exactly what we need to do to set up a small group.

This is a book that every woman really should read.It will bless you so much and give us the tools to create deeper, more meaningful relationships with other women. I really got a lot out of this book and I highly recommend it. I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Worthy Publishing

Blessings - Julie

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