October 23, 2017

Captivating: Chapter 12 – An Irreplaceable Role – The Power of a Woman’s Life

Mary responded, I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true.    

Luke 1:38

IT ALL STARTS WITH AN INVITATION….  Invitations to the prom, the Christmas party, New Year Eve’s party, your best’s friend’s wedding, and even your own wedding.  Whether the question is ‘will you be my date’ or ‘will you dance with me’ or ‘will you marry me,’ things turn around upon your acceptance.

Just like a gentleman would ask you any of the above questions depending on where you are in life, so too does our God.  God does not bulldoze himself into our lives.  He invites us to the most important and irreplaceable role in this world; and everything depends on our answer.

Stasi Eldredge takes us through the life of Mary, a teenager who is betrothed to Joseph.  The Angel comes to her and gives her the news that she is to have a child—not just any child—but the Son of God.  Imagine with me how it was… First of all, the message is being delivered by an Angel—a heavenly being with wings and full of light.  Secondly, Mary is a teenager who has not yet slept with her fiancé, Joseph, (or anyone else for that matter).  And thirdly, this child she is going to have is the Son of God. How is it going to happen?  This must have been a conversation to discuss with your family at length before saying yes, right?  But not so with Mary.   “Mary responded, I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true” (Luke 1:38).

Most of us have received invitations to do something for God.  But, unlike Mary, we have and still continue to deliberate over our answer.  We ask ourselves “Is this really God?”  “What if I fail?”  “I am too young or too old to go on a mission’s trip.” “What will my family, and friends think of me?” The debate within ourselves goes on and on until we convince ourselves not to do it.  We hide in the words: “I have prayed about it and my heart is at peace.”  Wait a minute!  Your heart is at peace for refusing an invitation to do God’s will?

What would have happened if Mary said “No.” to the Angel?  If she had told him that she was too young to be a mother or that she was afraid that if she got pregnant out of wedlock the elders of the village would throw her out of the village and stone her to death or Joseph will divorce me if he hears I am pregnant.  All these were valid reasons to say “no.”  But Mary chose to trust God and said “Yes!” to the most important and irreplaceable role of her life.  She said “Yes” to become the MOTHER OF OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.

My sister, you and I have an irreplaceable role to play in this world. God is waiting for us to accept that role so that He can use us for His glory.  You and I have the power to influence our world for God.  As our precious authors point out:

“There is much lifesaving that needs to be done yet, and someone needs to do it. Not in a pressure-filled, You’d better get to it kind of a way. Rather, an invitation. Your feminine heart is an invitation by your Creator. To what? To play an irreplaceable role in his Story. Isn’t that what your Lover wrote there? Some dream, some desire, something so core to who you are it almost hurts to think of it. The very longing is such a part of your being it’s scary even to give it a voice. You may not know the dream itself yet. But you know the longing to play an irreplaceable part. That is a good beginning.

Ezer is woven into the fabric of your feminine heart. You must live this out. What lives, what destinies are hanging on your “Yes” to God?”

My prayer is that we will all accept this invitation by our Creator in order to become who we are meant to be.  Our callings may be different.  Some of us are called to be mothers, wives, teachers, nurses, counselors, prayer warriors, leaders in the church or community, deacons, evangelists, preachers, caregivers, or whatever it is that you are called to do.  The most important thing to do is accept this invitation with faith and trust that God will prepare and equip us for this role.  Some roles may look like they are less important than others but in God’s eyes each role is equally important.  All we have to do is say YES and watch how God will use us.  WILL YOU ACCEPT HIS INVITATION?

In closing I would like to thank you so much for being with us for the past 12 weeks that we have been together on this journey.  It has been challenging and transforming but I have enjoyed every moment.  I hope your life is no longer the same because you now see yourself as CAPTIVATING.

I would love you to join us for the new study so we can take this journey even further with Lisa Bevere’s new book GIRLS WITH SWORDS.

LET’S PRAY:

Father, thank You so much for taking us through this Bible study.  You have taught us so many things throughout these 12 weeks and our lives have been transformed because we know how much You love us and how much You want us to know that we are Captivating and Irreplaceable.  May we live what we studied and be doers of Your Word.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT:

What is the role that God wants you to play and you have been putting off?

 

Be Blessed,

Jackie


Captivating: Chapter 9 – “Emasculating Women” – “Arousing Women” (pp 158-161)

As I read about each “type” of woman, I attempted to pin myself to one of the three types.

Am I the Emasculating Woman—always trying to be the boss and control my man in order to get my way? Is my heart hard and do I send the message that “I don’t need a man. I can do everything on my own?”

Am I the Desolate Woman—super needy for love and attention because I’m trying to fill the void in my heart that only God can fill? Am I hiding in activities and business to disguise the hurt and desperation I have to be “completed?” Does my desire to “get a man” define me?

Am I the Arousing Woman—strong and confident in who I am in Christ? Am I gentle to the men in my life, encouraging them to fill their role and be the Hero? Do I act in love and beauty and offer it daily?

The truth is I have embodied all of these types of women at some point in my life.  And you probably have, too!

So the question is: which type of woman do you resemble most in your life right now?  How has God changed your heart in the past few months, years, maybe even decades?

Ladies, the men need us.  We’re their “ezer,” their support, and their strength.  What messages are you sending to the men in your life?

I love how our authors condense the Arousing Woman’s role into two simple sentences:

Need him.  And believe in him.

 

Praise Him,

Carissa

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Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father, we thank You for the men in our lives.  Lord, we lift them up right now, that they will seek You and find who they are in You and only You.  As we walk through this life, let us, as women, demonstrate to our men that we need them, and we support them.  Let us speak life to our men.  Thank You that we are able to do these things because of You.  In Your Name we pray, Amen.

 

Your Assignment:

What does needing a man in a healthy, God-centered way look like?  In what ways can we show the men in our lives that we believe in their abilities and goals?

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GWS

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Captivating: An Adventure to Share – Why Beauty Matters

An Adventure to Share:

Healer, Protector, Provider, Savior, Defender – BEAUTY.  So that last one isn’t typically in my vocabulary when I describe our God.  Before I read this part of Captivating, that may have been one of the last words I used to describe Him.  In fact, most of the words I typically use are associated with the heart of man – a strong leader.  But wait!  Women are strong too…in the most beautiful way!

Ezer Kenegdo.  I’m not sure I can even pronounce that right, so I’m glad this is an online study.  BUT how awesome is this concept! To be someone’s Ezer, to be someone’s “lifesaver,” to be someone’s only hope.  Wow.  WOW!  And that’s the role and the responsibility God has placed on the heart of every woman.

“Women are endowed with fierce devotion, an ability to suffer great hardships, a vision to make the world a better place.”

We can be someone’s “Ezer” with just a smile, a positive comment, a loving remark.  I have to constantly remind myself that every day!  God gives us the opportunity to be someone’s Ezer with friends, co-workers, family, and even strangers.  You never know what just a little smile can do – you may have saved someone’s life! And that’s the beauty in you! That’s you, acting in God’s image, and loving a hurting world.  To be an everyday Ezer Kenegdos…that’s our mission!

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After I graduated college, I moved to Philadelphia, a humongous city where I knew absolutely no one.  The year and a half that I lived there was the most trying time I may have ever been through.  Many times, I found myself so incredibly exhausted – in every way.  Mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically.

Fortunately for me, I only lived an hour away from the shore of the Atlantic Ocean.  One lonely Friday night, I decided to escape.  Escape people, my exhausting life and situation, and run away…to the beach.  So I threw some PJs, a beach towel, and my bathing suit in a bag, hopped in my old, rusted car and headed straight for the shore.  Did I have hotel reservations? No.  A plan for the weekend? Not at all.  But what did I find? As the sun was setting over the ocean, I found God.  As I walked through a local flower show, I found God.  As I listened to the crashing waves, I found God.  I found God because I found beauty.

When was the last time you stopped your life and found God like that? Have you realized yet that this beauty that we find in nature – we are that beauty?  We, as women, are beauty incarnate.

Does your life exemplify the beauty within you?  Set aside the make-up and jewelry, your career goals, your obligations, society’s pressures…I want you to take a big breath.  Come on, one big one!  And exhale.  Good!  Now surrender all of those things to God and ask Him to help you reveal your true beauty.  Ask Him to reveal it in your attitude, your thoughts about yourself and others, and your actions.

You are beautiful.  You are created in the image of God.  You are essential.  You matter.

Praise Him,
Carissa


Let’s Pray
Father, thank You for who You are and who You have created us as women to be: a living example of true beauty.  Lord, I pray that all doubts or thoughts of insecurity be surrendered to You.  We know, Father, that when we rest in Your beauty, all is well.  Lord, help us to be that example of beauty to those around us, that beauty that we were created to be.  We love You, beautiful Savior. In Your Holy Name we pray, Amen.

Your Assignment
Find beauty today.  Meditate on the fact that YOU ARE THE BEAUTY YOU FOUND – and so much more!  Being with a woman who is at rest, a woman comfortable within her own beauty, is an enjoyable experience. She is trusting God, not striving to become beautiful, but allowing His beauty to more fully inhabit her.  Have you had the experience of being with a woman who was stressed, striving, worried? And how did you feel around her?

Which woman do you want to be?



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If you would like to send a personal message to Carissa in regards to this blog, you may email her at: Carissa@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.