The Cinderella Rule
As I was once again browsing a local thrift store, this tile grabbed my eye since I am a girl who enjoys a good fairy tale. I was intrigued by the description of the book, especially the commanding sentence in bold “Stop looking for Prince Charming. Let him look for you.”. I had never really thought about it but the story of Cinderella is different from the many other fairy tales. While Ariel traded her voice for legs so she could “run” after Eric, Cinderella ran away from her Prince at the stroke of midnight leaving him a glass slipper as his only clue to find her…if he wanted to. While I don’t agree with everything in this book, there were a lot of great points made as well as advice given that single girls could benefit from.
What we invest in we value
When we like someone, we will invest time, money, and energy into them, but when a girl does this with a guy she is left wondering if he really loves her and wants her. If you are the one constantly starting the conversations, arranging activities so you can hang out, and making sure you are near him when does he have a chance to pursue you? I know this is hard, especially in our society where so many girls have made the first move because the guy was shy or taking too long, but what Bethany said really struck me. We forfeit a lot when we do the pursuing instead of being the one pursued. I also know that it can be hard when you really like the guy but in the end it is better to know for sure that he is interested in you rather than being left frustrated and wondering if he really cares. A man who pursues you removes all doubt as to whether or not he likes you. “There is no fear of rejection when you are the one being chased.” - Bethany Jett. We just have to be willing to step back and wait. This brings out another good point, use that season of waiting to focus on your relationship with Christ, in becoming a woman worthy of being pursued by a worthwhile man. While that may sound a little strange, remember that what you are attracts the same.
Don’t change who you are
So many times when a girl likes a guy, she changes her laugh, walk, and even interests just to catch his attention. Change is not a bad thing. We are to be changing more and more into the image of Christ, that needs to be the only motivation for change, not to please a man. One day I will stand before my God and judged for my life, a life given to me to be lived for His glory. Now this does not mean we can’t change some things such as wearing our sweethearts favorite color or trying something new or maybe altering an annoying habit but our core values should not change. Our standards should not change. Even the things we enjoy shouldn’t change just so he can be with us. I liked what Bethany said, “Go after your dreams and let your man find you doing what you love.”. I have read where girls met their future spouse at conferences or even on a mission trip. They were doing what they loved, what they believed God was calling them to do at the moment and God used that to bring them together. Be willing to change but only into the image of Christ not into something you think some guy wants.
Modesty is a big issue today with plenty of people weighing in with their opinion. I don’t really want to talk much about this, only mention a couple of solid points brought out in this book.
This was a thought that came from one sentence in the book and it grabbed my attention because of what was unknowingly implied. Typically we say a girl has lost her virginity but that is not really true, because a lost item is one that we have misplaced and there is a chance to recover it. Your virginity is precious because it cannot be restored once it has been surrendered. I do want to make it clear that I am not referring to someone who was assaulted or raped, only to girls who have made the choice to become physically intimate with a man in this manner. Bethany shared her personal struggles she faced in her youth as well as some background from her husband before they had met. She mentioned how it was hard for her at times to know that she was not her husband’s first. This is one reason preserving your virginity matters, because one day you will have to face your future spouse and tell them the truth. If you are one who is still a virgin please don’t surrender it, hold tight and refuse to yield ground no matter what. No matter if people tease you about being an old prune or a man tells you if you really loved him you would go all the way. Let me just say that a man of that caliber is not worth keeping. You are valuable and a man of character, a man of honor will never ask you to yield but will defend your honor with all that is within including your reputation. Joseph remains a wonderful testimony, when tempted by Potiphar's wife to commit adultery, he said “...how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9. Years down the road he would marry and he could stand before his wife with a pure heart. For those who may have already surrendered their virginity please know that God will forgive and we can move forward committed to abstaining from any sexual relation until marriage.
There were a couple of things I wanted to highlight about this book in closing. One was how Bethany challenged the girls who were engaged to remain on the lookout for red flags. Just because your wedding is a few weeks away doesn’t mean you can’t call it off if there are things about your future spouse that don’t feel right. Please don’t ignore them because it will grow into something big and can lead to years of heartbreak. It is always best to have a bruised heart that can heal with time instead of one that is shattered into tiny pieces. Even though you feel like you are on a fast moving train and afraid to get hurt, it is best to jump now instead of crashing later. Talk to those who have gone through a divorce and they will say the same thing. I have a friend who shared her story of calling her wedding off four weeks before it took place because this man was not the right one for her.
Second, I love this quote from Abraham Lincoln that was included in the book, “Character is like a tree, and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it, the tree is the real thing.” Over and over again, Bethany emphasized the importance of developing your own, personal walk with God. This is where our character will develop and a reputation will follow. We must be women committed to walking with the Lord and that begins by spending time in the quiet place.
I do want to say that this was a good book, one that I enjoyed in many ways but I would not recommend it to younger girls due to some of the topics that she discusses. Though they are needful it would be best for a mother to first read the book and then maybe with her daughter, using it as an opportunity to talk about these issues. I also don’t agree with everything Bethany said but believe she did address some good points that have been sorely missing in youth groups for some time. No matter how much you like a guy, let him be the one to pursue you, you were made to be pursued and he to pursue. Take a page out of Cinderella's book and let Prince Charming find you in God’s time.
Adorned by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
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.
Don't Fear the Silence
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.
New Product now available!
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.