This is a question that every woman asks and one that must be answered correctly? This book was a great read and I wanted to share a few highlights from it.
1. The question is mine to ask but the answer that truly will fill and give strength will only come from God. We can ask if we are beautiful but the only answer that ever can complete us is from God. He alone has the answer our soul is desperately searching for.
2. Maybe the purpose of the question is to take me by the hand and walk me into the presence of the Creator. This was an interesting point. Sometimes we wonder why there are certain questions and feelings within us that almost seem impossible to answer, perhaps it is because God wants to drive us to Him. He alone has the answer, He alone can satisfy that longing but we turn everywhere else. There comes a time when we need to be lead into His presence because it is there that all our needs are meet.
3. He (God) is the only one who will ever be enough. His love promises to make you whole. Satan is good at convincing us that the world has what we need, that if we just keep looking around down here we will find that one thing more that promises to make us whole, complete and content. But all it does it lead to more holes than wholeness. Only the one who created us, the one who loves us more than anything else, is the one who can fulfill that promise. Only He can make us whole so that we are no longer wandering around lost, empty, and broken. In His presence there is healing and contentment.
4.We look into the mirror with our eyes. That is the problem. God does not see us as we see. I loved this. Every time I look in the mirror I am discontent, but that is because I see through my eyes, I see all my faults, imperfections, and failures. God looks down at me and sees a very different reflection. He sees someone who was made in His image, one who was meant to reflect Him to a dark world. He sees what I can become if I simply trust Him and let Him have control. This requires me to stop looking in the mirror as a person but instead look at it as He does, a work in progress.
5. Maturity in Christ is not about finally attaining some level of pseudo-perfection. It is about remaining in the arms of God. Abiding and staying even in my weakness, even in my failures. This was a great reminder for me. A mature Christian is not one that can withstand anything, or one that has "arrived". They are the ones who realize they can do nothing without Christ. They are the ones who have realized that they need to stay in the arms of God. When I am weak, or have failed my God again, I tend to want to run and hide, but those are the times I need to run to Him. He is there, waiting for me to come to Him. In His arms I will find healing, comfort and grace. It is here that I must abide because without Him I am nothing.
This book was a great reminder and help to me, I am something not because of who I am but because of whose I am. I am a child of God and that makes me beautiful, but this is not a beauty that is mine, it only comes when I abide in Him, when I spend time in the presence of my Creator and let Him work in and through me. In order to stand I must learn how to kneel and realize that He is my everything. Without Him I would be nothing at all, but because of Him I am beautiful and so are you!
I enjoyed reading this book last June by Elizabeth George. There were several things that stood out to me but first let me give you the description from the back of the book.
Letting God shine through life's hard moments. How does it feel to be hurt by another person or treated unfairly? What about when we suffer for doing what is right? These experiences often cause feelings of frustrations, bitterness, and even anger. But God calls His women to respond in a different way - a way that those around us don't expect. He desires for us to put on a gentle and quiet spirit, one that puts our Heavenly Father on display to a watching world....and brings greater glory to Him. Discover how to:
1. Let others see God in your life even in the difficult times
2. Successfully handle life's challenges
3. Rest completely, in God's strength
There were so many good thoughts and points made in this book. One quote from the book was that "Gentle means not creating disturbances and Quiet means bearing with tranquility the disturbances caused by others." I found that such an interesting statement. We are to not cause disturbances or disruptions around us, but should be able to handle, with grace and a sense of calm, those caused by others. So often I let myself get pulled into the heat of the moment and dragged down to the level of those raising a fuss. Instead my attitude should be to try and calm the situation down or have the ability to simply walk away.
Here is another quote, "We should live life in utter reverence and awe and worship of God...reverential fear is the attitude of mind in the person who is always aware that she is in the presence of God". I am never alone, this should guide my choices each and every day. I should always keep this in the forefront of my mind and I go about my day. How I live life in front of those around me shows them my view of God.
This quote ties into the one above but I felt it was worth mentioning on its own, "We're to live a good life filled with good deeds on a daily basis". To me this implied the idea of choosing to do good on a regular basis because a lost world is watching. We should be characterized by a helpful and caring attitude especially to other believers. The world will only take notice if we have love for one another and that love is manifested in the deeds we do each day. Doing good deeds should become a common practice not a once in a while activity.
Lastly, "When it comes to mistreatment, you and I will have to choose whether to react or to respond. Rather than hate our enemies and retaliate against them and fear them, we must quietly - with a gentle and quiet spirit - trust in the Lord". This was such a good thought. So often it is easier to respond in the flesh than to react in the Spirit. Our flesh wants to avenge when we have been wronged or hurt but that will not aide in the spreading of the gospel. When people see that we have been wronged and we don't react as they would we can make a statement for Christ. Choosing to trust that He will make things right in His time will be a far better choice than reacting and losing our testimony for Christ.
I hope you get a copy of this book and read it for yourself. There are discussion questions that make this a great book for your own quiet time. We are to always seek to grow more into the image of Christ and I believe this book will be a great help.
For my third choice I decided to read the book A Woman after God's own Heart by Elizabeth George. I read another book by her entitled Loving God with all of your mind which I thoroughly enjoyed and wrote a review about it that can be found under the book section. This book is Elizabeth's call for women to follow God with all of their heart and to seek to let Him have full control of their life. It was a blessing in so many ways and reminded me of several things that are needful in my life. I thought I would share just a few with you all.
1. A whole-hearted love for God looks to Him through His word and prayer....ready to act on His expressed desires. As I spend time in God's Word as well as in prayer it provides me with the opportunity for God to speak directly to me. This quiet time is essential in my pursuit of God. I cannot know what God's will for my life is if I don't spend time with Him each day. As I create the habit of seeking Him daily I will know what He desires for my life and can pursue it.
2. A woman after God's heart will cultivate a servant's spirit no matter if she is single or married. Wherever you are in life you can still serve. We are all called to serve others in love, Galatians 4:13. Our society tends to breed selfishness, calling us to look out for ourselves but that is not to be the description of true followers of Christ. A woman seeking God with all of her heart looks for opportunities to serve wherever, whenever and in whatever way she is able.
3. Don't give away to others what you have not first given away at home first. Our loved ones should always be our first earthly priority, after all they are given to us by God. As I just mentioned, we are called to serve but that includes our family. How often we go to great lengths to help others in need yet neglect the needs of our family. Elizabeth shared how she would make meals for someone in need at their church and how she had spent so much time preparing their meal that her family would get leftovers. She soon realized she needed to make two meals, one for the family in need and one for her own. This caused me to really think. So many times I give my best to others that there is nothing left for my mom, my precious loved one and that wasn't right. I should be willing to go the extra mile for her as much, if not more than I would for everyone else. God gave me someone to love and I wouldn't be doing a very good job is she simply got leftovers( and that was not in reference to just food!).
4. Deal with today. This was a great thought! Did you know that a good day turns into a good week which then turns into a good year and ultimately a good life? Yes, I know that not every day is great, believe me I have had my share of missing items and locking myself out of the house(worst feeling ever!). What I am saying is that we should focus on today. We can get so caught up in planning the future, which we should, but we can lose sight of today. Our tomorrows are made up of todays and our todays came from our choices yesterday. So maybe instead of fretting about tomorrow we should focus on our relationships today, our relationship with Christ, our family and friends. I think it will make our life a little less stressful. "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself"....Matthew 6:34.
5. Train yourself to think sweet and kind words to others. For most people being kind doesn't come naturally, I know it doesn't for me! It takes real effort and work to exercise kindness on a regular basis. Just like a toned body doesn't come without some hard training and denial, kind words toward others takes training and denial of self. James reminds us that our tongue has to be bridled and I know I need work in this area. It is so easy to be critical and talk ill of others but a woman after God's own heart seeks to be a blessing with her words and build others up instead of tearing them down. I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman who has the law of kindness in her mouth.
I hope these have been a blessing to you. I know that they may not have been easy to read but being a follower of Christ is not easy. It takes work to be different, to be a light in this dark world and spread a little salt around. I really do want to be a woman that is know for following after the heart of God.
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.
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