Holy Care for the Whole Self
Laura L. Smith
Our Daily Bread Publishing
February 6, 2024
About Holy Care for the Whole Self: Biblical Wisdom for Mental and Spiritual Well-Being
Learn how to have a healthy mind and spirit with a biblical approach. Whether you’re carrying emotional wounds from childhood or suffering from daily anxiety, depression, or intrusive thoughts, none of these are God’s intention for you. He lovingly knit you together in your mother’s womb and calls you to a life of abundance. He offers healing and freedom from these feelings of despair, and Laura L. Smith is here to help you receive them.
Join Laura as she guides you through tangible tools like prayer, healthcare resources, exercise, Bible memorization, setting boundaries, breathing exercises, gratitude, counseling, and so much more. Experience the rest and restoration our God has to offer.
Laura L. Smith is one of the few Christian authors that I still follow closely, and I am always glad I do. Her books are saturated with her faith but very centered on celebrating God’s love and encouraging others that they are worthy of every bit of that love. It’s always refreshing and grounding to read her books, and this one is no exception.
Not long ago, I left a Christian book award program when it awarded a book that I felt equated depression and suicidal thoughts with demonic possession. I realize the story was fiction, but it really left me with some ick feelings, and I kept thinking of the teens (and adults) I knew who’d been shamed for anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues as if they needed to have more faith or rebuke the devil better or something.
I wish I could say that organization was the only place I encountered that attitude. It’s absolutely not. I hadn’t realized that I still carry with me a guardedness toward books on faith as if I’m continually braced for the shame game when it comes to mental health concerns.
That said, this book is not about shaming anyone. In the early chapters, the author compares depression or anxiety to other illnesses or disorders. Can prayer help? Sure, she says. But if we have a child with a heart problem, we don’t simply pray for it to go away– we can pray, sure– but we also take the kid to a pediatric cardiologist and follow the doctor’s instructions. It doesn’t have to be either/or. We can have both, and in fact, that’s healthier. I love that.
This book gives a lot of practical tips for managing lower daily stress and anxiety, like making sure you’ve eaten or resting when you need to, etc. It’s very therapy-positive, with stories from the author herself as well as other friends she’s interviewed talking about the benefits of seeking professional counseling and medication where it’s needed.
You’ll find lots of encouragement in the pages of this book. It’s very grounded in the Bible, and each concept is connected back to a verse or passage from the Bible. When I have friends who are looking for faith-based help with mental health issues, this is absolutely a book I’ll recommend. (Good Boundaries and Goodbyes by Lysa TerKeurst is also on that list!)
Recommended for Ages 16 up.
The author is white. She shares stories from friends and professionals but doesn’t offer race information about those individuals.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
References to a person who was unfaithful in their marriage.
This faith-based book centered around Christian principles and practices to support mental health contains lots of references to Bible verses and biblical stories.
References to addiction.
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.