Captivating

captivating Rarely will it take me more than a few days to read a book when I am reading it for my own pleasure or growth.  A few years ago Christina gave the book Captivating to me for my birthday. As usual, I opened it and read it very quickly; not really taking the time that it needed to sink into my soul.

Because Sarah is the only one of my children that I am schooling full-time right now, I decided that the two of us would take the time to read it out loud together. We started in August and will finish the book this week. Since we are only taking small, bite-size pieces at a time, my creator has taken the opportunity to speak to the deep places inside me about what a woman is and about who I am. It has been both painful and liberating.

John and Stasi Eldredge spend so much time emphasizing the beautiful strength that women have and the irreplaceable and incredible role that God desires for them to play. From the beginning, the enemy of our soul set out to destroy Eve (and all her daughters) despising her beauty, her role in relationships and her strength; despising all of the image of God in which she was created. This book points out what Satan has stolen and guides women back to reclaim the real identity that God intended from the beginning.

And I don’t have to look very far to see beauty. God has surrounded me with four amazing examples of what femininity should be, my daughters. I saw them on many of the pages of this book. The strengths that they possess daily inspires me to be what God has called me to be.

I see Christina as Deborah (Judges 4 & 5). It would take much too long to recount the story here and I could not do it justice anyway. Christina is a marvelously courageous leader like Deborah. She wasn’t afraid to go into battle even when Barak was. Just like Deborah, Stina sees God’s hand instead of the obstacles.  They both clearly hear God’s voice and nothing is going to detract them from following Him. An undeniable strength surrounds Stina just like it did Deborah. There is something about Christina that draws people to her. She has an uncanny ability to bring people together. Christina’s beauty is stunning.

I see Elissa as Esther. Her strength is quieter than Stina’s but no less. Her strength is in her vulnerability. Over and over again, Esther did not put up walls of protection around herself when in trying and dangerous situations. Esther saved the nation of Israel through her willingness to expose her heart.  I know my first response when I sense that something may hurt me is to do whatever I can to hide my heart; I think the vast majority of people do exactly that. When you really examine it, it takes a massive amount of maturity and strength to let yourself be vulnerable. The willingness to stay soft even when you know that the world wants to harm or destroy you, takes strength of Herculean proportions and it is intensively attractive.

I see Sarah as Mary, the mother of Jesus. Softhearted and obedient. Sarah is willing to let God use her however He chooses, even if it involves great personal sacrifice.  Both Mary and Sarah are trustworthy beyond measure. Sometimes I think about how shocking it was for God to place himself in the most vulnerable of all positions, a newborn baby. And who does he choose to care of this infant? A young, teenage girl. A girl who was probably about the same age as Sarah is now. And just like Mary, Sarah has that same spirit. Her beauty is captivating.

And then there is Michaela. I can’t wait to see the kind of woman that God raises her to be. Watching her dance, nurture her little brother and come up with crazy ideas and ways to make those ideas come to life, gives me complete confidence that she will be every bit as beautiful as her sisters.

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2 Responses to “Captivating”

  1. I loved this book. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book that understood my woman’s heart so clearly, understandibly and mercifully. This is a must read for all of us girls! P.S. I’m trying to get her to come speak at our women’s meeting in 2009.

  2. annettebudd Says:

    If you get her, please remember to let me know. I would love to come!

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