Adorned book review
Goodwill and local thrift stores are my go-to place for books. I am the person who will scan every shelf in hopes of finding another paper treasure so imagine my delight when I discovered the book “Adorned” by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. I have enjoyed books by Nancy before and always learn something from her so I quickly scooped up this hardback edition (another bonus) and left, after paying for it of course. Though it would be a couple of years before I actually read it, my limited schedule can make it hard to read. This was a book I really needed and walked away feeling refreshed in my soul and challenged in my walk with the Lord. I wanted to highlight five sections that were such a help to me and caused me to change some things in my life.
The value of older women
Sadly, we live in a society that tends to downplay the value and wisdom of older women. The younger generation feels that they have all the answers or if they don’t they can quickly find it on Google. Senior citizens are tossed to the side as just a group of old-fashioned folks who don’t understand young people. Part of the problem lies in a breakdown in communication and relationships with the fault lying on both sides which is something Nancy brought out. Just because a younger person may not talk to you doesn’t mean you can’t start a conversation with them and vice versa. Both sides ought to be cultivating relationships with each other to bridge the age gap. I can attest to the value of older friends since they make up a good portion of my acquaintances. As an only child, I was often surrounded by older people and their influence impacted me in so many ways. I would listen as they shared stories of their past which often was lined with a lesson of faith as well as warnings of things I should avoid. I cherish the older women in my life who have graciously invested in me and helped me become the woman I am today. Can I challenge younger girls to seek out the older women and build relationships with them, maybe take them out for coffee. Can I extend the same challenge to older women as well? The younger generation needs you more than you know.
Don’t give up on that modeling career
Speaking of older and younger, I loved how Nancy used a fashion show to illustrate the beauty of aging. Consider what a fashion show is, a group of young girls walking up and down a runway modeling the latest outfit. They are lined on both sides by women eagerly looking at them wishing they could have the same gown. While a modeling career is usually for the young, in the Chrisitan realm it is just the opposite. The modeling runway is lined with young girls looking to the mature women to see what it means to live by faith, to have a meek and quiet spirit, or to love their husband and children. The older we become the more of an example our life should be to those who are coming behind and this is not limited to senior citizens. The young college student has elementary girls looking at her and the young moms have teens watching her. This should cause us to stop and think about the lessons we teach. What does our life show as we make our way up and down the invisible runway of life? Our choices matter not just because they affect us but they can influence someone else. I pray we are models of God’s love, mercy, kindness, goodness, and so much more so when others look at us they will see just how amazing it is to be called a child of the Most High God.
Grow up and step up
I chuckled as Nancy shared the story of Joy Brown, a woman in her seventies that had spent a great deal of her life as a diligent student of God’s Word. When asked if she was making disciples, she felt that she wasn’t ready, but ready or not her pastor told her that she would be leading a Bible study for teenage girls. While it was a little nerve wracking, Joy soon looked forward to these meetings as prepared notes were exchanged for real life questions answered from her seventy years of living and studying the Word of God. She would continue to lead these groups into her nineties and her ladies were affectionately known as “Brownies”. This story is absolutely heartwarming and inspiring but as Nancy said, “it shouldn’t be all that unusual.” We all have something to teach as each season in our life can be used for God’s glory just as Joy shared her weaknesses, failures, and wins to encourage and instruct the girls in her group. We are to be good students of the Word, diligent in our studies but if it is only for our benefit we have missed the point. Our life was meant to be spent on others, to share what God has taught us in life with those He brings onto our path. May we be ready and willing to be a Joy Brown.
You don’t say
These next two were the most eye opening and convicting to me yet oh so necessary. It is common knowledge that when women gather excess words fly though men can do their fair share of this too. While we may feel slightly offended, it is true but Nancy took this a step further and emphasized slander. I believe we don’t think much about how our words can be slanderous or how dangerous they can be but this chapter made sure to clear up any doubt. Often when men had a problem with another man they confronted them even leading to a physical argument (which is not right either) but women fight with their words. When someone offends us we “share” it with a friend sometimes under the disguise of a “prayer request” or asking for “advice” on how to handle it. Now there is nothing wrong with sharing but it should be done with discretion and limited details. Yet how many times do we unload unnecessarily and to too many people? The word “false accusers” found in Titus 2:3 comes from the Greek word “diabolos” which is where we get the word “diabolical”. That ought to make us sit up and take notice. I was very convicted after this chapter and don’t want to be a woman whose words are diabolical when speaking about someone else and this requires me to become a “Sophron” woman.
A Sophron state of mind
This was my favorite and most challenging chapter in the Adorned book. Self-control is not a popular word in our culture. We enjoy the all-you-can-eat buffet or the endless refills but self-control is a fruit of the Spirit and one that permeates every area of our life. I love what Nancy said, “Self-control is both a lifetime need and a lifetime pursuit.” meaning that it is an essential part of our life and we will be always working to exhibit it. This is where she introduced the term “Sophron” which comes from two Greek words and when put together mean, “saved mind” or “sound mind”. Nany put it this way: “A Sophron lifestyle begins with a sophron state of mind, a way of thinking that affects everything about the way we live. A sensible, sound, self-controlled mindset will result in sensible, sound, self-controlled behavior.” In essence you are what you think and if we have no self-control our lives will be out of control. I lack in this area so much and have made it my goal to be actively pursuing this. I downloaded the PDF available on Nancy’s site Revive our Hearts and placed it in my prayer notebook so I can pray over one of the 49 items each day. I would encourage you to print it and just place it somewhere you can read over it and take time to consider what areas you need to grow. I want to be a woman who is pursuing self-control every day.
An adorned woman
There is so much packed into this amazing book that I encourage each of you to grab a copy on Revive our hearts, Amazon, or maybe you can find it at a second hand store like I did. There is also a small group Bible study guide available as well that would make a great topic for your next ladies Sunday School or private study. I promise that you will not be the same after reading this book.
With Christmas just two short weeks away I wanted to share a few of my favorite small business shops with you. Supporting small businesses means your purchase actually helps a real person grow their passion instead of a large corporation. If we all shopped with a few local businesses together we could do a lot to help our own home front economy. Let me introduce you to some amazing people!
Have Faith Studio
If you have been a long time reader of the Sit Still my Daughter magazine, you will have noticed the beautiful ad located on the back of every issue. These uplifting products are the work of Jeri Stunkard, founder and creator of Have Faith Studio. She has been an amazing support and encouragement to me and has a passion to help others. Her products include journals, books, cards, and other unique gifts.
Cook 2 Flourish
Robin is the genius behind the many delicious recipes featured in every issue of the magazine but she also has a youtube channel, cookbook, and handmade jewelry that makes the perfect gift for mother, daughter, in-laws, and grandmothers. Cook 2 Flourish is a place where you can find a beautiful handmade gift or a recipe for that next party.
Kait & Crowne
If you are looking for clothing that not only fits exactly the way you need it to and that is feminine as well then Kait & Crowne is for you. Sarah has a heart to celebrate timeless elegance and femininity. Her apparel is where British lifestyle meets Charleston charm and will delight those who love both.
Having met on Instagram through her posts, I have only enjoyed getting to know Sarah more over the last few years. She has been on my podcast twice and has such wisdom to give. She is the author of numerous books that will be a blessing to so many and her blog is also filled with helpful tips and tools to strengthen and encourage your walk with the Lord. Be sure to see all that Sarah Geringer has to offer this holiday season.
Encouragement from Women who’ve been there
Not only is this a wonderful resource with articles that range from forgiveness to friendship for women of all ages, EFW also offers wonderful books that will encourage and challenge your hearts. They also have released a new one meant to be read by mothers and daughters.
The Prayer Notebook System
Are you struggling with your prayer life? Does it seem a little hard to concentrate or remember to pray for that person you said you would? Do you wonder how to better organize your prayer requests so you can pray for family, friends, missionaries, co-workers, and more? You need this prayer notebook! Ruth Bumgardner created this notebook for herself as she wanted to learn how to pray better and now shares her wisdom and experience with us. I love mine and can honestly say it has changed the way I pray!
The Shoppes Off Trade
For those who live in the Greenville South Carolina area, you will enjoy this sweet shop filled with more than 80 local vendors whose products range from handmade soap to jewelry to decor items. If you are looking for personalized and unique gifts, Shopps Off Trade is for you.
Let’s shop local
While it is definitely easy to order from large companies like Amazon and Walmart, choosing to go with local companies is a wonderful way to support women who are looking to honor the Lord with the talents He has given and each purchase helps them continue in their wonderful work. So let’s go local!
In case you haven't heard, this weekend is National Day of Unplugging, a day created to challenge people to walk away from their devices for 24 hours. While it sounds easier, there are many who struggle going just one hour without their iPad, phone, or other electronic devices. We are definitely connected to our devices and that is not a healthy thing. I read this quote from Elisabeth Elliot and chose to included it in the Spring 2022 magazine. Mrs. Elliot said:
The devil has made it his business to monopolize on three elements: noise, hurry, crowds. He will not allow quietness.
Let those words settle in your mind. Satan is not our friend, everything he does is meant to keep us from doing what is right and good. He has had a long time to study man and discover the things that will prevent us from deepening our relationship with God. A large part of that is noise, hurry, and crowds. Why? Because all of those things prevent us from being still and knowing God. Remember what I said before. We can only know God in the stillness, there is no other way.
We Run from the Silence
Sadly instead of embracing the moments of silence we run from them. Think about it. What is the first thing you do in the morning? Reach for your phone to check for messages and browse social media? Do you turn on the radio or listen to a podcast when you get in the car? When you come home do you turn on the TV or call a friend? Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this, but if we do this to block out the silence all the time it might be. Why do we work so hard to avoid the silence, what drives us toward the noise and away from the quiet? I believe it is because we fear it. Silence forces us to listen, to face our true selves and we dread that confrontation. Perhaps this is why God tells us in Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God”. Real change cannot happen until we learn to linger in the silence because it is in the quiet place that we truly become who we are meant to be. Why? Because it is where we meet with God and He has the opportunity to speak His truth, His purpose, and His reflection into our hearts and minds. This principle is vital for us to grasp because it comes from the One who created us, the One who knows what we need to do in order to deepen our relationship with Him. The first step in knowing Him is to dwell in the quiet place, free from distractions so that our heart can be ready to learn about Him.
Free from Distractions
Satan also knows the secret of the quiet place which is why he works so hard to distract us. There is nothing he loves more than a distracted Christian. Remember the three things? Noise. Hurry. Crowds.
Noise is everywhere, you almost can’t escape it. Music blaring in grocery stores, dings from text messages, and even videos running when you pump gas. We are bombarded everyday with noise and it can keep us from the quiet place.
Crowds are another distraction, lots of people gathered together in one place often means you can barely hear yourself talk let alone think.
While hurry is not necessarily something you would include on a noisy list, it is one that goes on the distraction list. When our day is too full we will miss out on the quiet place as well. We spend our time rushing from one event or errand to the next never realizing that we forgot to spend time with the Lord.
These three things that Satan likes to monopolize can be overcome with the same tool, intentionality. To escape the noise you must be intentional about turning it off. To leave the hurry behind you must be intentional about hitting the pause button. To avoid the crowds you must be intentional about walking away when necessary. Jesus gives us this example, on many occasions He walked away from the crowds so He could be alone with His Father. It is not wrong to step away from people for a time, in fact, you could say it is necessary to refill our tank, our spirit by spending time with God.
To enter the quiet place, we must be intentional, it is up to us to carve out that daily time to be still so that we can begin to know our God. To know someone means you spend time with them and God Himself invites us to know Him. How amazing is this. We have the privilege to come into His very presence, that is what happens when we sit still. Our God longs for us to know Him, but He will never demand or shout to get our attention. He speaks in a still small voice which is easily lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Preparing for the quiet place.
So how can we prepare ourselves to be in the quiet place? First is intentionality, second is to remove the distractions such as your phone, music, and television. I know that it is hard to resist checking your phone when you see it light up from a text or email notification so consider placing your phone somewhere else. Music and television can easily distract us as well which is why they need to be turned off or choose a location that is quiet.
Personally, I enjoy sitting in my favorite, comfortable chair in my room with my tall floor lamp beside me. It is a quiet environment that allows me to stay focused on what I am studying. Creating a place where you can go and spend that time with the Lord is important so I encourage you to find a corner of your own. It can even be outside, sometimes being surrounded by God’s creation is the perfect setting for your time with Him.
A Final Ingredient
I believe there is one more ingredient for being in the quiet place and that is reception, and I am not talking about the phone, but our heart. God tells us to be still so we can know Him. We cannot know Him until we are receptive, a willingness to change. Change can only happen when we allow it, when we let truth penetrate our heart and mind, then we will begin to alter our behavior and our thinking habits. This is another reason Satan wants to keep us from the quiet place because he knows its power. He will do all that is necessary to hinder our ability to be still, even if he has to portray it as a place of dread.
But it is the exact opposite, it is the place where our soul finds the rest it is seeking because we meet God there. I will warn you, you need to be prepared to face some resistance. Satan will do what he can to disturb our ability to have those quiet moments. For instance, as I was trying to prepare for this, my cat, which is usually well-behaved, decided it was the perfect time to run around, and make a lot of noise plus a neighbor's dog chose to howl and there were a lot more vehicles driving through my relatively quiet neighborhood. All of this noise was quite this distraction for me as I was trying to collect my thoughts about being still! As they say, the struggle is real, but I will add that the reward is great when we choose to persevere.
Take a step away from your devices
For those who are curious about National Day of Unplugging or wondering why I even mentioned it. I believe that our technology has become a big stumbling block in our ability to sit still. We are often more connected to it than to those around us and especially God. I have heard it said that if we treated our Bibles like we do our phones we would see more growth in ourselves. That is a true statement. Can I encourage you to consider taking this 24-hour challenge? If you find yourself struggling to put your phone down for 24 hours you might want to reexamine your attachment to it. God made us to connect with real people and with Himself, not to a bunch of screens. Take that break and choose to spend it differently. Here are some wonderful ideas:
Remember, dwelling in the quiet place is essential and requires us to be intentional, remove the distractions, and be receptive to what the Lord wants to teach us. Lean into the stillness, don’t be afraid of it, and I promise when you do it will bless and refresh your soul in ways you never knew where possible.
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Did you know that Sit Still my Daughter has a magazine for women? Real woman share real stories of their struggles with self-worth, fear, anxiety, infertility, and waiting on God for their spouse. Click here to read it!
I am just an ordinary girl who is loved by an extraordinary God and I seek to love others the same way. I love to bake, read, do puzzles, watch Hallmark movies, and go shopping with my mom! This blog was created as a place where I could share some thoughts that the Lord has shown me and to be an encouragement to others who desire to know Him in a deeper way. My prayer is to learn to sit still and trust God with my future.