Christian Book Previews Home
Christian Book Previews
Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
174 pages
Mar 2006
Harvest House Publishers

When You're Running on Empty

by Cindi McMenamin

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Fifteen years ago I co-authored a book called How to Stop Living for the Applause with Holly G. Miller. I was bombarded with mail from women's organizations, asking me to give talks on this subject, for the whole Helen Reddy "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar" nonsense had fallen flat with most women last decade. They realized that it was Mission: Impossible to be a full time employee, sexy wife, doting mom, dedicated church worker, and someone who also had a private life.

Apparently, not all women got the message. As a result, 21st century women need to learn the lessons all over again, and Cindi McMenamin's book When You're Running on Empty: Hope and Help for the Over-Scheduled Woman does a good job of getting them started on a new track. Admittedly, the book's first 60 pages are much too touchy-feely, with a redundant message that most women don't spend enough time praying and meditating on the Scriptures. This is probably true, but two chapters, not six, would have sufficed to make this point.

However, the author does kick into high gear later in the book by including excellent chapters on such pragmatic subjects as getting adequate sleep, learning how to play and have fun now and then, cutting the clutter from one's home and life, and developing a plan of exercise. Every chapter ends with a "Pick Me Up Prayer" that women can pray along with McMenamin as a way of realigning their focus on God and their lives on positive acts. The author's use of pertinent Bible passages shows that the Lord has much to say about burnout, dedication, priorities, self-fulfillment, and time management.

One fun aspect of reading this book is that the author uses herself often as a "bad" example or makes herself the butt of a joke. Readers can picture her, the important pastor's wife and Bible teacher, having to bend down each week and clean the stains out of the church carpet. This sort of humility is appealing. However, what is very annoying in this book is that it is laced with imbedded commercials to sell various products created by McMemamin. For example, on page 35 she suggests that her readers minister to other people, and then she strongly recommends that they go out and buy her previous book When a Woman Discovers Her Dream so that they'll know how to do this properly. The book ends with promotional pages to hype her web site and advertise her books. This cheapens the "ministry" aspect of this book.

Overall, however, this book has solid merit. Whether it is discussing the right kind of vitamins and nutrition that females need, or recounting stories of women who have found ways to achieve proper balance in their lives, the information is valuable. It's an easy book to read, heavy on anecdotes, and its chapters are short, making it fit into even the busiest woman's life. Any woman who feels burdened--emotionally, spiritually, or physically--will find help in this book. – Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Many Christian women give of themselves relentlessly. In the midst of their many responsibilities they get tired, yet there’s simply no time to stop and become refreshed. What can a woman do when she’s running on empty?

Cindi McMenamin shares how women can renew their energy and passion and press on. She touches upon every area of a woman’s life, offering practical advice on

knowing when to say no
serving to please God and not people
maintaining good health habits that recharge one’s energy
simplifying one’s priorities
taking time to rest and play

Every chapter concludes with a “Pick–Me–Up Prayer” designed to help women do all things in the Lord’s power and not their own.