Sure as the Sunrise (Book Review)

Scripture Connection

The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue,

fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.

Lam. 3:22-23

Theme/Design

The book has a strong morning theme and the daily devotions are designed to be read in the morning. Frequently, Ley offers a challenge for the day or the week. Overall, I would use the word “refreshment” to describe the key message of the book. It’s a message of rejuvenation in truth, of exchanging the cares of the world for Christ’s light yoke.

Organization

The devotional is divided into twenty chapters, or “weeks,” consisting of five daily devotions, followed by a reflection section with space for written introspection. Then, there’s a simple reminder in pretty cursive on a pink gradient, in honor of the sunrise.

While I’m accustomed to daily devotionals consisting of standalone studies, I really liked this approach, which developed themes over several days, allowing for a deeper dive. Rather than brushing the surface of the topic via short devotional, the reader has the opportunity to revisit the topic, from various angles. The format also makes it easier to relocate a favorite section.

Each titled devotion begins with a verse, followed by several paragraphs of discussion and concluding with a point of personal connection (i.e., a challenge, questions to consider, or a prayer).

A Favorite Quote

May you accept the bountiful grace God is offering you. May you lay down your lists, your tasks and your calendar and allow the Creator of the heavens and earth to renew your spirit, to create abundant space within you for peace, calm and rest.

Emily Ley, Sure as the Sunrise, Day 66

What I Liked

In an addition to the chapter organization, I really enjoyed the content, itself. Ley’s writing is sweet, encouraging and engaging. She invites her readers into her life, as she shares about how the Lord has been present with her in various circumstances. In doing so, she also invites the reader to experience the grace found in Jesus. And the grace she talks about is real— not cheap nor something we can earn. It’s in and from Him.

I especially liked the last part of each devotional, which provided a personal touch point for the reader. These sections offer tangibles in the form of prayers, reflection questions and challenges. My favorites are the written-out prayers, which are honest and do a great job of putting into words than I’ve felt but wouldn’t necessarily know how to express. I also appreciate that the challenges are specific, rather than general.

Emily Ley is well known for creating Simplified® planners and, although I’m not familiar with the product, I definitely see how God has gifted her in this area. Just as planners allow the user to itemize the details of the day, Ley itemizes specific ways to care for one self and rest with Jesus. The tangibles are one of my favorite things about the devotional—and one of the ways it stands out.

On top of the daily interactives, the end of the book includes resources for planning your morning routine (the importance of which is established in the book), along with Emily’s own routine. Again, I appreciate how practical this is, and I think it’s neat that the author is using the gifts God gave her to draw others close to Him. It’s such a blessing (especially for someone with autism—me— who really values specificity and planning).

Audience

Sure as the Sunrise is a women’s devotional, best suited to married moms. There are quite a few references to raising children or at least being married; although the author does provide alternate examples for those who are not, I would say this is the Target readership. Nonetheless, although I’m a single woman, the Lord really used this book for me. There is so much truth and refreshment packed in the pages.

Recommendation Status

This is a great women’s devotional that encourages readers to breathe before the busyness of the day—and spend time with Jesus. While I’d recommend it especially to women who are married and have children, I think it’s a valuable resource for all women, regardless of marital status.

Published by Stephanie Agnes-Crockett

Hi, there! My name is Stephanie and I’m a Fresno, CA native. After studying at Biola University, I received my MLIS (Masters in Library Science) from San Jose State University. I live with my mom, poet Kimberly Vargas Agnese, and serve as her unofficial agent. We reside at MeadowArc, a food forest in its infancy. I am called to, and passionate about, purity. In fact, the name Agnes means “pure.” Before I was born, my mom felt led to include the name Agnes in her name, and in the names of her children. My full, hyphenated name includes 26 letters (but not the whole alphabet).

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