August 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 12 – “An Irreplaceable Role” (Reading Assignment)

I can’t believe this study is coming to an end!  It has been an honor to serve as your co-leader the past 12 weeks.  I pray that you have grown over the past 3 months, and you are ready to be the captivating woman you are!

 

Here is the reading assignment for our last week together:

Monday: Jackie – An Irreplaceable Role through The Power of a Woman’s Life

Tuesday: Tonya – Your Irreplaceable Role through In the Body of Christ

Wednesday: Carissa – In the World through Do Not Give Way to Fear

Thursday – Michelle – Be Present through Take My Hand

Friday: Edwina – Weekly Review (Epilogue)

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Our next Online Bible/Book Study begins NEXT Monday, March 25th!!

Click on the picture below to join us! 

GWS

Captivating: Chapter 11 “Warrior Princesses” (pp 199 – 203)

Warrior women are strong yet vulnerable women, women rooted in Christ Jesus who know whose she is and therefore know who she is.

I love that description.  Who wouldn’t want to be that woman?  I know I do.  When I see that description I picture a confident woman.  Confident not because of the way she looks or what she does, but for who she is in Christ.  That kind of confidence opens doors that no other can.  When you have confidence in Christ, you can be yourself, you can be loving, you can be vulnerable.

Be yourself?  I know that many times I will not say or do something because I worry about what people will think.  I can’t state my opinion because then that person may not like me anymore.  I can’t dance around the park being a goofball with a friend or my son, people may laugh or stare.  I can’t sing that solo at church because I may mess up and everyone will know I’m not perfect. (And yes, I overcame that one two weeks ago!)  How much better would it be if I was secure enough that I could state my opinion, dance around or sing that solo because it’s ok.  My opinion is just as valid as anyone else’s, I can have fun, and if people want to make fun, that’s their issue not mine, and what would be the worst thing that would happen if I messed up my solo?  God still loves me, and He is the One that created me to be the opinionated, goofy, imperfect singer I am!  And isn’t that what’s important?

Be loving?  When you feel loved by our One True God, it is much easier to give that love away.  When we feel the true love of Christ, we have an amazing example to follow.  We can love our family, friends and yes, even strangers, with a kind and mercy-filled love that is only available to those who live in Christ.  You may have heard the saying “hurt people hurt people?”  Well, loved people love people.

Be vulnerable?  This one makes me want to run in the other direction!  If you have faced any hurt in your past, the thought of being vulnerable, to opening yourself up to that kind of hurt again may be more than you think you can handle.  Child, guess what?  God is right there in that fear!  How much better would it be to be so secure in Christ that you can take any chance, form any bond, go anywhere and know that no matter what happens, you will be ok.  And not because of anything you will do, but all because of what He will do in you.

Remember, ladies, we are warriors.  Every day we must put on the armor of God to battle the demons that Satan sends our way.  No one is immune to it, but the more we prepare ourselves for battle, the better our chances are to conquer the enemy each and every day.  Stay strong, be prepared, and depend on God!

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LET’S PRAY:

(Today I would like to use the beautiful prayer that ended this chapter.)

I now put on with thanks the armor which You have provided for me – girding myself with the belt of truth; binding up all that is vulnerable of my femininity; first my need to be pursued and fought for.  Thank You for daily pursuing me and fighting for me as well.

I also gird up my desire to be irreplaceable in a grand scheme of Yours.  You have placed this desire within me and I wrap Your truth around it, in hope of what You will do.  Grant me eyes to see each day in light of Your activity, to live in the bigness of Your story.

I gird up my desire to offer life through my gifting, the beauty You have bestowed on me.  I ask You to continue to reveal and confirm what You desire to do through me and all You have given to me.  I trust that You have called me by name and have given me a love, a beauty, a gift to pour out on my family, my friends, and those You bring to me.  May this day be an offering of love poured out before You on the altar of my life.

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Our next Online Bible/Book study beings March 25th.

GWS

To sign up for this study, click on the picture above and complete the registration process.  As soon as we receive your registration, we will email you further details.  We hope you will join us for this amazing study!!

Captivating: Chapter 10 – “Mothers, Daughters, Sisters” – “The Long Road Home” (pp 168-173)

 

Adam named his wife Eve,

because she would become the mother of all the living.

 GENESIS 3:20 

If you want to understand any woman

When I think about the woman that I have become, I give all the credit to my mother.  I may not have been the perfect daughter, but I did my best to be who she wanted me to be.

Just like Stasi Eldredge, I went through different phases while growing up.  I, too, did things I am not proud of; and I, too, gave my mother grief during my college years and my early twenties.  When I was at home, I made sure I was doing everything as I was told but all the while hiding the things I was doing.  I wasn’t into drugs, but I portrayed myself as someone who wasn’t dating or going to parties.  However, no matter how hard you try to hide, things come out in the end and, in my case, they did. My mother was disappointed and threatened to have me withdrawn from college.  For a while I lived up to her expectations until I started working and began to live with my aunt.  Well, my aunt made sure she reported everything I did—if I came late from work, my mother knew about it; if I had a date on Saturday afternoon or if I didn’t go to church on Sunday morning, my mother would ask me why on Monday morning.

My relationship with my mother was restrained during this time, and it made me hide who I was from her.  I longed to be a good daughter…but I couldn’t be since all she heard were the bad things that I did.  My mum would say that “I needed Jesus.”  All the “bad” I was doing was because I didn’t know Jesus.  Well, like a daughter who wanted to be in the best books with her mother, I received Jesus at a major crusade that took place.  I stopped pretending that I loved the Catholic Church and started going to a Pentecostal church.  I broke up with my boyfriend at that time because he didn’t share my new faith.  My weekends were spent at church or at home if there wasn’t a church program.  I became someone who my mum and aunt were proud of.  The reporting slowly stopped and life was good.

I wish I could end here and say that things were like that over the years.  Unfortunately it wasn’t.  I wasn’t always the good girl and this wasn’t the last time I would hide or make wrong decisions in life and disappoint my mother.  However, despite my shortcomings, my mother was there to correct me and show the correct path.  My mistakes did not stop my mum from loving me.  She was there with me through the heartbreak and pain that I suffered in my relationships.  She always rushed to be by my side when I needed her the most.

“Girls’ hearts flourish in homes where they are seen and invited to become ever more themselves. Parents who enjoy their daughters are giving them and the world a great gift. Mothers in particular have the opportunity to offer encouragement to their daughters by inviting them into their feminine world and by treasuring their daughters’ unique beauty” – Stasi Eldredge.

Looking back at my life now, I cherish the life that my parents gave me and my siblings.  We were given opportunities to excel in everything that we did.  My parents encouraged us to dream big and rejoiced with us when we did well in school and never failed to show us how much they loved and cared for us.

My mother went to be with the Lord last year after she lost her battle with diabetes.  She left behind a legacy of love, strength, and care.  She was always full of advice.  She was not someone who would embarrass you when you did something wrong;she would call you aside, listen to your side of the story, and tell you what you did wrong and what doing the right thing looked like.  My mother lived by example.  If she wanted something done, she would be the first to do it.  She was someone who would be the first and last to leave a room, making sure everything was fine.  I pray that I  become half the person that she was.

I know that some of you cannot say such things about your relationship with your mother because of the pain she may have caused you; but at the end of the day, a mother and daughter’s relationship is the most of important of all.  It’s the relationship that helps us when we grow up and become mothers ourselves.

My prayer is that no matter what went on in the past or if it may still be happening right now, we would look to the Lord to help us restore the relationship with our mothers.  My mother said I needed Jesus—and she was right.  Our faith in the Lord is what cemented our relationship.  Every time we discussed issues regarding faith, all our differences would melt away.  When we talked about Jesus, we were not mother and daughter but we were both children of the most High God, we were both daughters.  I enjoyed hearing my mother say “I am praying for you” because I knew that she meant it.

Be Blessed

Jackie

LET’S PRAY:

Lord, I thank You for the precious gift that You gave to me—my mother.   I thank You for the life that I had with her, and what she meant to me and my family.  I pray for my fellow sisters whose relationships with their mothers are not great right now, that You will restore it.  May they cherish one another and learn from one another.  May their relationships be Christ-like and forgiving.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT:

How is the relationship with your mother or daughter?  If you were given an opportunity to write about her, what would you say?  Please take time today and tell her how much she means to you.

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GWS

Our next Women’s Online Bible/Book study begins March 24th!

We hope you will join us.

Click on the picture above to sign up today!

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If you would like to send Jackie a private email in regards to this blog post, you may email her at:  Jackie@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com

Captivating: Chapter 1 Review — The Heart of a Woman

 

Gen1_27

How are you after reading this first chapter? How are you feeling about who you are as a woman created in the image of God? So many emotions went through my heart as I read this chapter. Some of them were raw and some were just those emotions that you could not describe because they are mixed.

A couple of things jumped from the pages of the book straight into my heart. Let me just highlight one or two things that I found to be fundamental while read this chapter. “God created you as a woman. “God created man in his own image … male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).

Whatever it means to bear God’s image, you do so as a woman. Female. That’s how and where you bear His image. Your feminine heart has been created with the greatest of all possible dignities-as a reflection of God’s own heart. You are a woman to your soul, to the very core of your being.”

“Every woman in her heart of hearts longs for three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. That’s what makes a woman come alive.”

 

With that said let us go through our review. There are so many things to take away from this first chapter alone.

Monday: Introduction: I (Jackie) started us off by telling you what this book is not about – what we are failing to do as a woman.

• I also talked about the stereotypes that we face as women and that we should not be defined by them. Whether I relate more to Cinderella or Joan of Arc, the most important thing that I should embrace is that I AM A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN.

• Lastly, I shared about the expectations that have been placed upon us by our families, cultures and churches. How the Proverbs 31 woman has impacted on our lives.

Tuesday: Unseen, Unsought, Uncertain – The Heart of a Woman: Tonya pointed us to the reality that most of us women avoid dealing with matters of the heart and how she feels like a failure because she cannot live according to the standards of a woman.

• Tonya shared this profound statement and I quote “One night, a while ago I was reading this verse and I realized that I need not guard my heart from outside influences but I also need to guard my heart from myself; from my mind and from my words, from my self-imposed standards. I realized that what I say to myself can do just as much damage as what others may speak into my life.”

Wednesday: To Be Romanced – Beauty to Unveil: Carissa took us to the movies as she talked about how love transformed Lizzy in Pride and Prejudice. She highlighted the reasons why most of us women are ashamed to show our desire to be seen, wanted and pursued.

• Our culture tells us to be ashamed of such desires. • Women don’t want to show that they are vulnerable and helped by being romantic.

• Most of us have hardened our hearts so that we do not show the desire to be the Beauty because we feel like the Beast of the story. Carissa also noted that a shared adventure does not necessarily have to be shared with a man. It simply involves people.

“I know that God has a great adventure in store for each of us – and as women, it’s our duty to seek it.

Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” We must seek Him to discover these desires – the desires that He’s laid on our hearts from our very creation.”

Thursday: By Way of the Heart:  Michelle looked at how we were created as men and women.

• Men want a battle to fight, adventure, a beauty to rescue; women want to be romanced, to play a role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. “A woman in the presence of a good man, a real man, loves being a woman. His strength allows her feminine heart to flourish. His pursuit draws out her beauty. And a man in the presence of a real woman loves being a man. Her beauty arouses him to play the man; it draws out his strength. She inspires him to be a hero.”

• Michelle also highlighted the fact that as much as we have these desires “the reality of all this is that many of these desires haven’t been met, hopes or dreams have been broken. And that is okay for now. This is why we are here. This is why we draw close to God. We don’t want to live that double life where everything is fine on the surface, in front of your friends, family, and church; but when you go home and are alone, it doesn’t feel fine. It feels like something is missing. God doesn’t want us in this place. He will meet us there, and He will bring us to where we are meant to be.”

Let me conclude our review with this from Stasi. “God did not place these longings in our hearts to torment us. Rather, they reveal the secret of who we truly are and the role that is ours to play. There is so much hope here, hope to become the woman you secretly long to be, the woman who is romanced, irreplaceable, and utterly beautiful.”

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LET’S PRAY

Father, thank You for this week. Thank You for helping me understand who I am as a woman and that I should not be ashamed of the desires that You have placed in me. I was created for romance, I am irreplaceable and beautiful. Help me to allow these truths to sink deep in my heart so that I can embrace my femininity. In Jesus Name. Amen.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT

There so many things to take away from chapter 1 and I have just reviewed but a few. Share in the comment section below statements, quotes or Bible verses that have left a mark in your heart from this chapter.

Be Blessed,

Jackie



If you are interested in joining this amazing online Bible study, click HERE to sign up. Once you are registered, you will receive an email with further details.

If you would like to send Michelle an email in regards to this blog, please send it to: Jackie@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.

Captivating: To Be Romanced – Beauty to Unveil

 

Ok, I have a confession. When it comes to movies, I’ve subjected every man I’ve dated to watching my favorite. Unfortunately for them, it’s not an action. It’s not a comedy. And some would say it’s not even in English. To what movie can I be referring? Why, to the one and only “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen.

In the movie, Lizzy, a very headstrong young woman, is notoriously independent and has an extremely quick wit. Her sister, Jane, even warns, “One of these days, Lizzy, someone will catch your eye and then you’ll have to watch your tongue.” I love that about Lizzy. She doesn’t need a man. She even turns down men and marriage proposals because she’d rather be single and destitute than live unhappily with someone for the rest of her life. But if this is where the story would end, I doubt so many women across the world would claim it as their favorite as I do. Oh yes, the story goes on.

The strong, “don’t-need-no-man” Lizzy falls in love. She falls in love with a conveniently rich and handsome gentleman by the name of Mr. Darcy. As we watch the rest of the story unfold (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen), we also see Lizzy herself unfold. Her true heart. The heart God created in her. The heart that longed to be romanced, the adventure she yearned to join, and the beauty that she ached to unveil to one, special man. In this dramatic tale, we see many sides of Lizzy: the lover, the warrior, and beauty.

[“At some core place, maybe deep within, perhaps hidden or buried in her heart, every woman wants to be seen, wanted, and pursued.”]

Our culture tells us to be ashamed of this desire – the desire to be romanced. But why? Romancing involves vulnerability. Much like Rapunzel, it involves waiting. Waiting is not glamorous or exciting. But we must wait on God’s timing for our prince to arrive and rescue us. It’s a helpless position, and certainly not one worthy of admiration. A woman of the 21st century doesn’t need to be rescued. Certainly she can rescue herself. But how silly would the story have been if the prince never came? If Rapunzel attached her hair to a nearby tree and climbed down the tower on her own. That’s a pretty lame story if you ask me. We need the prince and the death-defying rescue to create the adventurous story that we all know and love. Thus, our stories cannot be just about ourselves, our own power, and our own will. Our stories must include other people!

[“Made in the image of a perfect relationship (the Trinity), we are relational to the core of our beings and filled with a desire for transcendent purpose. We long to be an irreplaceable part of a shared adventure.”]

So cool! And I think it’s noteworthy that this “shared” adventure doesn’t necessarily have to be shared with a man. It simply involves people! This relates directly to our purpose for life as pointed out by Jesus in Matthew 22:37-39: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

I know that God has a great adventure in store for each of us – and as women, it’s our duty to seek it. Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” We must seek Him to discover these desires – the desires that He’s laid on our hearts from our very creation.

[“Many of us have hardened our hearts to this desire, the desire to be the Beauty. We, too, have been hurt so deeply in this area that we no longer identify, perhaps even resent, the longing. But it’s there.”]

How have you been hurt? I can recall many times throughout my life when I felt more like the Beast than the Beauty. Sometimes I am consumed with these hurtful memories. Sometimes they evidence themselves when I look in the mirror or can no longer fit into my favorite pair of jeans. But the Healer and Lover of our Souls has crushed all of those hurts. He gives us strength when we have none. He restores our hearts when we rest in Him and His love. God reassures us of our TRUE BEAUTY.

 

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Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, we praise You for instilling in each of us these womanly desires. Lord, we know that You knew us even before we were born, before the world even knew we would exist. Father, I pray that as each woman seeks You throughout this study, that each of us would find ourselves in You. I pray that each of us would embrace the unique and special woman who You created us to be. I pray that each of us would embrace the desires You have laid on our hearts no matter what our culture says or our hurts from the past. Heal us, restore us, and renew us, Father. We surrender our hearts, our desires, and our lives to You because You alone are worthy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Your Assignment

I absolutely love that God has given each woman’s heart these desires pointed out by Stasi and John. The best part, I believe, is that each desire manifests itself differently in each woman.

Think back on your childhood. Can you see these desires evident in a particular instance? Share your stories please!

.
Praise Him!

Carissa



If you are interested in joining this amazing online Bible study, click HERE to sign up. Once you are registered, you will receive an email with further details.

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

.

 

Captivating: Unseen, Unsought, Uncertain – The Heart of a Woman

To be honest, dealing with matters of the heart, dealing with heart issues and things along these lines is something that I try to avoid if I can; I think a lot of women do the same. I am a strong, independent woman who is working full time, being a wife, raising a family, running a home, all at the same time as trying to look like the woman in the magazine. I may at times pull off this illusion but I’m not fooling myself, and I’m most definitely not fooling God.

There are days that the laundry and dishes don’t get done, the kids eat pizza for breakfast and cereal for dinner, I’m not the nicest to those around me, I get frustrated and lose my temper and I am as far from the character of Ruth as I can get. But I am a child of The Most High.

To continue with my honesty, I often feel like a failure, like I’m not living up to the standards of a woman, mind you, a lot of these standards were standards that I set in place for myself. In order to be successful in life, well, to be successful in my day, I need to accomplish a,b, and c; and I need to look pretty and appealing while doing this a, b and c. yes, I know it’s laughable, but it’s so real. Not only for myself, but for so many women.

When I started reading this section of the book I was screaming on the inside in response to the first statement regarding how she knew she wasn’t alone in feeling a sense of failure, I was screaming “no! You’re not alone, I’m right there with you!” From not finishing the dishes one night to not feeling like the woman God called me to be, it seems as if failure or at least the illusion of failure is everywhere I turn.

But, I can’t help but ask myself, who am I to shame myself into feeling this way? Who am I to allow satan’s lies of inadequacy fill my head? We were created in God’s image. He knew who He was creating when He created me and when He created you.

 

One night, a while ago I was reading this verse and I realized that I need not guard my heart from outside influences but I also need to guard my heart from myself; from my mind and from my words, from my self-imposed standards. I realized that what I say to myself can do just as much damage as what others may speak into my life.

Life can cause us to feel unseen at times, unsought, and these can leave us with a feeling of uncertainty.  God sees our hearts. God is seeking after our hearts. And in all the uncertain areas of our hearts, God is that certainty we can count on.

It’s time to learn our hearts again, it’s time to listen to our hearts again. The Eldredge’s presented some questions to us within these sections. “What is it that a woman wants?” “What is it that she dreams of?” Let’s make these more personal; begin to think about what you want, and what you desire.

 

With Love,

Tonya

_________________________________

Your assignment:

 

I am _________ enough!

 

So often we speak into our hearts what we feel we aren’t, but how often do we say what we are? Today we are going to shout and declare what we are and what God has gifted within us. We are going to speak positive words into our hearts.

_________________________________

Let’s pray:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for creating us in Your image. Please help us to remember this when we question ourselves and when the feelings of shame and failure began to creep into our hearts. We were beautifully and wonderfully made. Please open our hearts and minds as we shout the positive words today.  Please help us to see the gifts You have placed inside of our hearts. Thank You for seeing us Lord.  Thank You for seeking our hearts, and thank You for remaining the certainty we need in our lives.  In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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If you are interested in joining this amazing online Bible study, click HERE to sign up. Once you are registered, you will receive an email with further details.

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

 

Captivating: Introduction

 

Stasi Eldredge

 

 

Welcome Girlfriends,

It’s time to begin our journey through Captivating.  Are you ready? LET’S DO IT!

I must say that I was happy to read in the introduction that Captivating is not another book about all the things that I am failing to do as woman.  In this book, we are not going to go through 12 steps or 10 ways or 5 things on how to become Captivating.  No all of such books are bad or not worthy of your time but I am sure you and I have read a number of such books and like our author Stasi Eldredge, you have been left feeling like “you are not the woman you ought to be.” 

I am pleased to note that femininity cannot be prescribed in a formula.  So this means that I should not judge myself if I don’t love playing dress up, tea parties and china or if I shudder at the thought of women who love to hunt or go hiking through the mountains.  As a woman I have to be happy with who I am whether I am a professor, an athlete, a mom, a secretary or a social worker.  Whether I relate more to Cinderella or Joan of Arc, the most important thing that I should embrace is that I AM A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN.

It is sad that as women we tend to fall into stereotypes, if we don’t fit a certain group or clique, we sideline one another and this puts so much pressure on us to conform to a particular lifestyle.  We need to know that although we may have different lifestyles or likes or dislikes, we share something deep and true, down in our hearts.

Through this book we will find out what is at the core of each woman’s heart? What are our desires? What did we long for as little girls?  What do we still long for as women? And how does a woman begin to be healed from the wounds and tragedies of her life?

 

We are going to find that precious thing that has been lost –

OUR PRICELESS FEMININE HEART.

Do you remember when you first knew in your heart that you were no longer a girl, but had become a woman?  Was it high school or college? Or when you got married or when you become a mom? Like our author Stasi, I don’t either.  I have gone through all the phases of life as a girl and then as a woman but I cannot really pin point the exact moment when I can say wow, I feel like a woman now.  I sometimes look at myself in the mirror and still see the little girl in me.  The little girl who still wants to play with a Barbie doll, or the teenager who wants to stay indoors and read the romance books that the adults around her are reading or the first year student who wants to curl up and talk hours on the phone about the college guys or gossip about who is dating who or who got humiliated at the fresh man’s ball.  When I got married I couldn’t wait to join the women’s clique and talk about our husbands and children, share the secrets about how to treat your husband with respect or how to raise godly children, how to take care of the home and all sorts of things that we as women talk about when we are all gathered in one place.

In each phase of life, there are expectations that are laid upon us by our families, our churches and our cultures.  There are reams of materials on what we ought to do to be a good woman.  But that is not the same thing as knowing what the journey toward becoming a woman involves, or even what the goal should be.

As Christian women, most of us have been told that “you are here to serve.  That’s why God created you: to serve; in the nursery, in the kitchen, on the various committees, in your home and in your community.”  We are expected to be sweet, helpful, disciplined and composed.  Not a hair out of place.

Most of us look to the Proverbs 31 woman as an example of how femininity ought to be.  The more we try to do what she did, the more we fail.  In the end we become tired and disgruntled.  How did she manage to do all that she did and have time for friendships, for taking walks or read good books, our author asks?  Is this the measure we are to use in order to be characterized as godly women?

Let’s take this journey together to get the answer the above question and more.  Let us recover together the things we have lost. Most of all let us come to the point where we accept that we are CAPTIVATING.

 *****

LET’S PRAY

Father, thank You for being with us as we begin this journey together.  I pray that we will allow You to remove the things in our lives that have hindered us to become who we truly are.  Help us to embrace our true femininity and not the stereotypes that we have accepted in our lives.  Most of all lead us to the place where it all begun, in our heart.  Begin anew with us.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 *****

YOUR ASSIGNMENT

Let us get to know one another by sharing who we are by identifying the characters that we relate to? Are you a Cinderella or Joan of Arc, or Mary Magdalene or Oprah?  What delights you tea parties and china or are you the adventure type or woman who loves to hunt, mountain climbing or parachuting in the sky?

 

Read Proverbs 31 and tell me your thoughts on the Proverbs Woman.  In what way do you relate to her?

 

Be Blessed,

Jackie

 



If you are interested in joining this amazing online Bible study, click HERE to sign up. Once you are registered, you will receive an email with further details.

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

“Captivating” Coming Soon to Girlfriends Coffee Hour

Captivating

Lady in Waiting: Meditation: Reality Vs. Fantasy

2 Corinthians 10:5

2 Corinthians 10:5

Meditation from page 292 of “Lady in Waiting”.

“An important method of limiting your own self-defrauding is through daily discipline over “prenuptial fantasies.”  Such fantasies may provide you an escape from monotonous reality, but these moments are dangerous.  They will aggravate your struggle for contentment because they are not innocent daydreams, but an attack on your godly contentment.  You may be so used to daily fantasies that you might not even realize when you begin daydreaming again about your prince.”

“Often single women’s struggle with contentment can be traced back to her fantasies more than to her frustrating circumstances.  Just think for a moment about three words from 2 Corinthians 10:5: Casting down imaginations.  Fantasizing about a future with a guy you have been watching in Sunday school or at work is nothing more than your very active imagination.  What should you do when you start daydreaming about a guy you’ve never dated or even formally met?  You must take your thoughts to Jesus and leave them in His capable hands.  This daily discipline of taking your fantasies to Jesus is the foundation for your future as a contented woman, whether you are married or single.”

LET’S PRAY
Father God, we treasure our time with You. So many times we talk incessantly about our needs, our wants, our hopes and dreams. We know that You love hearing our cares, but we also know You love to speak to us also. Help us to slow down in our prayer and devotional time so that we can hear from You. It is You who guide us, and without taking the time to listen to the guidance we will become lost. Thank you Jesus for Your patience and love as we continue the process of drawing close to You.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT
Please share your thoughts on today’s meditation, either in full or in part, below as well as in our Facebook group. Our hope is that you take the time to journal these meditations so that you have them to look back on and use them to help you grow.

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Our Next Single Women’s Online Bible Study

“Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul”

by John & Stasi Eldredge

Begins January 6, 2013

To sign up for this Online Bible Study, click HERE and follow the instructions. You will also be given a link to where you can purchase this bible study. We’re looking forward to studying “Captivating” with you!!