I still can’t believe that its already almost the third month of twentytwenty! This year has already been so beautiful, and I am looking forward to everything else that it brings.
To kick it all off, I deleted Instagram off my phone on New Years Eve. I wanted to start the year off on the right foot, spending time in the Word and focusing on some of my goals without distraction. One of those goals was to get through four books on my list. You will notice that they all have the same central theme of womanhood – this is an area of passion that has been sparked in my heart lately, and these books have provided wonderful insight and been a great blessing! I am in constant pursuit of how I can be a more biblical woman and fill the roles that God has created for me, and these were excellent resources to start the year with.
It has been ten years since this book was first released, but the message is ever true today. In fact, a lot of the issues are probably more rampant than they were when she originally wrote it! The focus is on beauty – how God intended it to be, how the culture has distorted it, how we as God’s set-apart women can return to God’s design for it. She touches on many different areas, including inner beauty, modesty, insecurities and body image disorders, maintaining mystique in our relationships with guys, and the overall characteristics of women who are filled with dignity and grace. It is packed with stories of truly beautiful and inspiring women, quotes, and Scipture references. All in all, I loved this book! Leslie’s goal was that it would feel heart-to-heart chat over coffee with a good friend, and she definitely captures that in her writing style. Everything she says is out of love for the reader. It is a very important message, however it is very contrary to what all of Hollywood (and even most church circles!) teach to young women regarding beauty. It is a book that must be approached with an open and willing heart, as it would be easy to be offended by it’s content. (Some of the points she made certaintly did sting, but simply because they brought to light problem areas in my own life I wasn’t willing to admit.)
The first point I would like to make with this book is that it is very similar to The Lost Art of True Beauty. There are many stories about the same women in both books, and often she makes the same points when there is a crossover of topics. So because I read them back to back, this one became quite dry. I will admit that I did a lot of speed reading and just skimmed over some of the sections because of the repetiveness. There were a couple of really great sections in it though, one being about ridding your life of idols and steps to take toward “fortifying your life against the attacks of the enemy.” It is so valuable to take inventory of what causes us to stumble in our lives, and then remove them so that they can’t take root. Another section I enjoyed was titled “Sacred Ardor”, and focused on marriage – I found it particularly encouraging as she talked about how happily ever after does exist and marriage doesn’t just have to be a mundane thing! The more you both prioritze your personal relationships Christ, the stronger your marriage will be. The more selfless you are, the happier your marriage will be. These are just a couple of simple principles that make all the difference in whether your marriage is worldly or holy.
It only took me two and a half days to get through this book because I couldn’t put it down! Jen offers so much wisdom on studying the Bible, by laying out simple, practical principles. Theres a big difference between just reading Scripture and actually studying it, and studying can be one of those things that is very intimidating if you don’t know how. It is one of those things that took me a long time to figure out, and I’m still so far from where I would like to be! This book is an incredible tool. It provides the encouragement and tools to just start – which is always the hardest part. I look forward to applying her method of studying in the upcoming weeks, and highly recommend this book to those searching for resources on how to study the Bible.
Let Me Be a Woman | Elisabeth Elliot
This was my favourite book of all four, and has earned a place in my top favourite books EVER. If you don’t know who Elisabeth Elliot is, I encourage you to look into her story. She is a truly inspiring and incredible woman of God, and one who I admire and look up to greatly. This book is a series of letters that Elisabeth wrote to her daughter, Valerie, in the months of Valeries engagement. She writes candidly of almost every topic in regards to what it means to be a Christian woman and wife – from things as simple as what makes a marriage work or the basic differences between masculinity and femininity, to the more controversial topics like submission or what a womans roles in the home should be. This book is all about pursuing womanhood according to God’s design. Elisabeth recognizes that men and women are created differently, with different purposes, but equal value and importance. She counters feminism in a way that is full of grace and love, offering the Biblical alternative without attacking the movement. How much more important her message is in our culture today!! This was such a blessing for me to read. I learned something on nearly every page! It also really took on special meaning because the stage of life her daughter was in is the same one I am in now. The practical advice she passed to her daughter for beginning her marriage are ones I will cherish as I walk into my own marriage.
If you stuck with this post all the way to the end, thank you for reading! I know it was a long one. I’m excited about all I learned in the past couple of months, and Lord willing hope to shed some more light on the topic of womanhood in future posts.