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.
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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.