Partow, Donna 1961–
Partow, Donna 1961–
Born December 6, 1961; married Cameron Partow; has children. Education: Rutgers University, graduated (summa cum laude); also attended the University of Pennsylvania.
Office—Donna Partow Ministries, P.O. Box 975, Scottsdale, AZ 85252.
Head of Donna Partow Ministries, Scottsdale, AZ; has also been a speaker on the Women of Faith tour.
Homemade Business, Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs, CO), 1992.
(With husband, Cameron Partow) How to Work with the One You Love—and Live to Tell about It, Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 1995.
No More Lone Ranger Moms: Women Helping Women in the Practical Everyday-ness of Life, Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 1995.
Families That Play Together Stay Together!, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1996.
Becoming a Vessel God Can Use, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1996.
A Woman's Guide to the Temperaments: How Understanding Your Personality Type Can Enrich Your Relationship with Your Husband and Your Kids, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1998.
Walking in Total God-Confidence, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 1999.
Living in Absolute Freedom, Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 2000.
A Ten-Week Journey to Standing Firm, Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 2001.
Becoming a Vessel God Can Use Prayer Journal: A Guided Devotional Journey, Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 2002.
A Woman's Guide to Personality Types: Enriching Your Family Relationships by Understanding the Four Temperaments, Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 2002.
(With Lin Johnson) Extracting the Precious from 2 Corinthians: A Bible Study for Women, Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.
(With Lin Johnson) Extracting the Precious from Isaiah: A Bible Study for Women, Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.
This Isn't the Life I Signed Up For, Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.
This Isn't the Life I Signed Up For: Growth Guide, Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.
(With Lin Johnson) Extracting the Precious from Galatians: A Bible Study for Women, Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.
(With Lin Johnson) Extracting the Precious from Nehemiah, Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.
Becoming the Woman I Want to Be: 90 Days to Renew Your Spirit, Soul, and Body, Bethany House Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.
Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture: New Direction for Life's Dramas, Fleming H. Revell (Grand Rapids, MI), 2005.
Let Your Life Count: Make a Difference Right Where You Are, Waterbrook Press (Colorado Springs, CO), 2006.
Becoming a Vessel of God's Power: Give God Thirty Days and See What He Will Do, Waterbrook Press (Colorado Springs, CO), 2007.
Partow's books have been translated into several languages, including Arabic, Chinese, German, Portuguese, Indonesian, Korean, Mongolian, and Spanish.
A best-selling author of Christian advice books, Donna Partow has traveled around the world, from Turkey to Papua New Guinea, giving speeches that foster Christian beliefs. She has also ministered to a diverse range of people, from middle-class mothers to the homeless, alcoholics, and drug addicts. Partow, however, admits that there was a time when she did not live a very Christian life. In an interview for Christianbook.com, she recounts that she had a fairly normal childhood until her brother returned from the Vietnam war as a heroin addict. Four of her siblings also became drug addicts. ‘I passed judgment on my siblings and said that I would never be like them,’ Partow commented in the interview. ‘And when you judge another person it's like whistling for the devil.’ When she flunked out of high school, Partow also began using drugs herself. The author recalled: ‘I became not only a drug addict but also a drug dealer and did everything you can imagine a person would do to support their drug habit. I went pretty low but thankfully God did not leave me at that place."
According to Partow her life changed dramatically in 1980 when she attended a Lutheran Brethren Retreat Center. Although her experience at the center turned Partow away from drugs and toward a more virtuous life, she still struggled with self doubt. ‘I spent a lot of years trying to make myself lovable,’ Partow said in the Christianbook.com interview. ‘And I thought if I could make myself attractive, if only I could make myself lovable, then I could have the life I signed up for. But God showed me that I needed to let go of that and receive the love that he wanted to lavish upon me and become a loving person."
Through the years Partow kept a journal about her struggles, which she eventually submitted for publication. She has since published numerous best-selling books, many of them focusing on guidance for women via biblical teachings. Among her most popular books are a series of ten-week devotionals that include Becoming a Vessel God Can Use, This Isn't the Life I Signed Up For, and Becoming the Woman I Want to Be: 90 Days to Renew Your Spirit, Soul, and Body.
Despite her popularity as a Christian writer, Partow acknowledges that her straightforward and frank style has not always been accepted by the established Christian community. ‘I've written about topics that make church people nervous,’ the author noted in an interview on the MaryAnn Dirio Web log. ‘After I wrote Standing Firm—which chronicled my journey out of a horribly abusive marriage—a lot of Christian bookstores pulled all my books off the shelves, not just that one. To this day, most of my books sell through Walmart, at truck stops and hospital gift stores—not Christian bookstores.’ The author went on to note that she believes ‘it's sad that the church just can't be honest about who is sitting in the pews,’ adding: ‘Most of the women I meet are more like me than some Barbie with a Bible."
Although she has faced backlash in the Christian community, Partow has continued to be a popular writer of Christian themes for women. In Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture: New Direction for Life's Dramas, she focuses on how women can face life's daily difficulties. She addresses a wide range of topics, from finding time to discover God and being in a bad marriage to the difficulties of parenting and facing economic strife. Constance Fink praised the book in Today's Christian Woman, noting that the author helps guide women in ways that will help them ‘respond calmly and confidently without dramatic knee-jerk reactions’ to common problems in life. ‘Throughout the text, Partow reveals her struggles sincerely and with frank transparency,’ according to Michelle Howe in the Faithful Reader. ‘It is this trait that will further endear her to Christians who struggle to gain and maintain an overall balanced mindset."
In Let Your Life Count: Make a Difference Right Where You Are, Partow discusses how women can turn to God for help in making their lives important on a day-to-day basis. The author's advice includes directing women not to ask God for opportunities but to listen to Him, who she believes will guide women to the proper path in making their lives count. She also addresses how women can continue to move forward with their goals even when they are afraid, as long as they are committed and strive to develop discipline. A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that ‘women looking for hope and a good kick in the pants will find it here.’ Commenting that the author ‘does a stunning job of detailing how essential it is to understand the inner motivation of the heart,’ Howe also wrote: ‘Donna Partow … has an uncommon gift of sharing truth with a gentle one-two punch.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Practical Homeschooling, July 1, 1998, review of Families That Play Together Stay Together!, p. 62.
Publishers Weekly, June 12, 2006, review of Let Your Life Count: Make a Difference Right Where You Are, p. 48.
Today's Christian Woman, September 1, 2005, Constance Fink, review of Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture: New Direction for Life's Dramas, p. 87.
Christianbook.com,http://www.christianbook.com/ (November 4, 2007), ‘Donna Partow Interview."
Donna Partow Home Page,http://www.donnapartow.com (November 4, 2007).
Faithful Reader,http://www.faithfulreader.com/ (November 4, 2007), Michele Howe, reviews of Soon to be A Major Motion Picture and Let Your Life Count.
MaryAnn Dirio Web log,http://www.maryanndiorio.com/ (May 17, 2006), ‘Interview with Donna Partow."