It has been a long time. I wonder how many writers start the year with similar words. Usually I would beat myself up but not today. Not this year. Maybe not even ever (if that is even grammatically correct). And yes, I just called myself a writer.
A few hours ago, before a delightful creative nap, I put down a witty book written by Janet Evanovich titled How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author. A girlfriend gave the book to me as a graduation present. I have never read a single book by Mrs. Evanovich but the title sucked me in. With it being the first non-academic book I have read in a long time, I devoured it whole in a few hours. I will have to revisit it again in order to deeply absorb it's contents. For the time being, Mrs. Evanovich has rekindled and renewed my truest passion: to write.
The past few months have been a roller-coaster of sorts. I was under a great deal of self-imposed pressure to finish my undergraduate degree by December 2010. At the same time I decided to revisit other passions of mine such as photography, painting, and other crafty endeavors while making more time for family and friends. Yes, I was busy but I was busy figuring out me...for once. Can I get an amen?
With all of that activity, the visionary I am got lost in the future of what if's and what then's (I know I'm grammatically incorrect again). I did the best I could to remind myself of the primary goal: to graduate. At times I didn't listen to myself and began to worry. Had I plotted my course out right, if at all? Don't worry, I won't drag you through the muck and mire of it all.
Suffice it to say, reading How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author has caused me to remember what really makes me tick: writing. I'll keep on painting but it's words that I can really paint with. I love photography and I plan on making pictures forever but it's not enough. I plan on finding a job to pay the bills and sustain me through graduate school. Yes, I know that this year will contain just as much activity and busyness as the last. Yet, I must write and so I shall. Heck, I already am.
I have run out of time and so next week I look forward to sharing my progress on deciding which idea to run with for my first work of fiction and then I shall, as Mrs. Evanovich would say, "Stick to the freaking first idea and make it work" (189).
This year I am a writer.
The term "pay attention" is an interesting one. Does it really cost to focus our attention on something? It's a term parents and teachers use frequently and perhaps so do a few wives. Are you paying attention? Why can't you just pay attention? I think it's been so falsely ingrained in us that we must pay attention that we avoid it. The truth is that giving our attention is an act of surrender designed to pay us in rich rewards.
A few weeks ago my aunt asked my uncle to dig up a couple curly willow trees that had grown too close to her house. Their invasive roots can damage the foundation of a house. I suppose she hadn't any room, or perhaps she felt sorry for my sorry backyard and its lack of greenery, and she asked if I wanted them. Of course I said yes. They were green and curly beauties. My husband brought the two trees home and my brother planted them for me. Within two days all of the leaves wilted and turned the color of hay while the smaller branches began to harden and turned a crackly deep brown.
That's the thing about transplanting. Sometimes you can't tell whether or not the plant will take to the new soil. The same is true for humans. At best my aunt expected we'd know whether they would survive by next spring. That's a long time to wait. Nevertheless, I've been faithfully watering the two dead looking brown trees for a couple weeks now. It's a stretch for me. I like immediate results. Who doesn't in this speedy world? Actually growing things takes a lot more time. It takes help as well. My brother has been faithful to ask me, "Did you water your plants today?" He mentions the weeds too but I'm slacking in that department.
Speaking of dead things, last night I stayed up until the wee hours in the morning until my mind was dulled and cloudy. I was trying to write for my other project called Ladies By Design but I just couldn't write. I'm used to a natural flow but it felt like my free flowing creativity had died up. I tried and I tried but I finally went to bed in defeat. This morning, I returned to my morning pages even though I felt my words were as dead as my two little trees. My heart said, "What's the point?" I also finished Chapter Two of The Artist's Way. It was ironically titled Recovering A Sense Of Identity. It was right were I was at. Isn't it funny how the universe works that way?
Cameron talked about her grandmother's talent for paying attention. She said, "Life through grandma's eyes was a series of small miracles; the wild tiger lilies under the cottonwoods in June; the quick lizard scooting under the gray river rock she admired for it's satiny finish." Her words reminded me of me. Especially at Ladies By Design, I like to write about the extraordinary found in the ordinary. Lately I've been so focused on what lay behind me as well as what may lay before me...I've forgotten to pay attention to the now.
Of course, it really isn't about paying attention as it is receiving a gift. This morning, I happened to notice a little green glimmer as I watered my seemingly dead trees. Usually I just placed the hose nearby quickly looking away from its ugly deadness. Today I looked at them. Really looked at them. I stooped down and discovered three tiny buds at the base of the smallest and most deadest looking tree. Isn't that just like the Great Creator? Sometimes life appears in the deadest of places.
If you are where I have been, I encourage you to keep watering your dead places. Write your morning pages. Try a couple assignments. I did the Monster Hall of Fame (38) and Ten Tiny Changes (58). Keep reading...or start reading and sharing. It makes a world of difference. Now, I'm going to see about watering Ladies By Design. Let's see if these seemingly dead places can live!
A-haa. Dreams must be excavated. Not clutched for somewhere up in the stars. No reaching for the stars and settling halfway for the moon. Pardon my french but that's B.S. "We begin to excavate our buried dreams. This is a tricky process. Some of our dreams are very volatile, and the mere act of brushing them off sends an enormous surge of energy bolting through our system. Such grief! Such loss! Such pain! It is at this point in the recovery process that we make what Robert Bly calls a 'descent into ashes.' We mourn the self we abandoned.'" - Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way.
Ahh . . . dreams, volatile? Yes. They can be. Not because they are glittering stars . . . that would mean they lie outside of us. A natural distance between us and them. Safer that way? Safer than something so intrinsic to us that they cannot be removed, ignored or left alone. It is within our skin that our dreams exist. Like seeds in the soil. Is this perhaps why I have shied away from certain dreams? Handled the nicer dreams with more ease and approval and misinterpreted other ones as too risky, too volatile? When I touch them, they frighten me because they are too big, and they are too much a part of me. If they are rejected, disapproved, or die, I die with them. If I don't expose them to rejection and disapproval, they will at least be safe. I can play nice. Watch them like tiny little combustible fireflies in a jar. Pretend they are stars to be reached for, rather than fires that burn me from the inside out, begging to be bonfires and fireworks and fearful smoke.
P.S. I wrote you those nice poems only because the honest ones would frighten you. - Jewel, A Night Without Armor
Cameron pinpoints the culprit. "In dealing with the suicide of the 'nice' self we have been making do with, we find a certain amount of grief to be essential." Our nice self. (Nice, ie. comfortable, appeasing.)
Not time to play nice. Not time to define what Sunny should look like, as an artist, as a person. But what Sunny does look like. Why do I always cloak it with who I want to be or who I should be? Offer it as an atonement? Point my finger to the stars and ask you if they are pretty? It's safer to leave them outside of me, rather than open my skin and show you my insides. More so, to open my skin to my "nice self" and watch her lift an eyebrow or look afraid. I'm stripping it down to the bare bones again so the seeds my Creator embedded flesh out. Think Avatar - the bioluminescent glitter embedded in the blue skin. This is how dreams exist. They are embedded in our selves. And must be excavated. Volatile, but alive.
I am the type of person who only wants to do something if I can do it well. Yes, it's called perfectionism, performance-orientation, etc. The Creator must have known what he was doing when he created me as an artist. Of course perhaps we are all artist's and all of us scared to get messy and be bad before we can be good. Either way, I have a feeling that despite my fears, the Creator planted stronger desires within me to get messy. I am feeling them now even though I'm still scared to move forward. That's where I am.
My copy of The Artist's Way is marked and highlighted, at least through the second chapter. I tried doing this study on my own last year and I wasn't successful. I know there are a few in our group that are dragging their paws. Some have just tucked tail and are running away. It is tough to acknowledge the hunger within to be the person we were created to be. If that's you, I encourage you to come back and dive in...right where you are. As the author, Julia Cameron says, "Progress, not perfection, is what we should be asking of ourselves."
Before anything will change, I first have to admit where I am. The truth is, I've gotten stagnant once again. I written glorious new beginnings galore since becoming a blogger. It seems again and again I've failed to live up to my standards.
This week I was reminded that this study is for me. Nobody is grading me. No-one is looking to see if I've fallen. There's just me and it's time to start noticing my achievements rather than my failures. So, what have I done this week?
Well, I did do my morning pages on three separate days. I admit, I am not the type that loves to do them. Although, like last year, I am quickly coming to value them. It really helps to get the junk out of my head. Imagine all of those words swirling around in my brain like a clogged drain. That's what my mind has been like.
Technically I did not go on my artist date this week. My husband and I share a vehicle and so it's hard to get out and about. However, since I am focusing on retelling positive things I can say that I did spend a few hours tanning in the backyard. I felt spoiled but it was worth it! It was also nice to just not think for awhile. The dogs ran around and I ate a delicious Fuji apple. It was perfect!
My recovery has begun...again. Rather than hiding from what I love to do, I'm ready to be present once again. Rather than living as a shadow artist, I know that I can nurture myself. Rather than being safely blocked, I want to be free to speak. What say you?
Something that stands out to me every time I study a figure in the Bible is how very human they each were. We tend to idealize the "Great Fathers of the Faith" as they are often called. Abraham, whose faith was counted to him as righteousness (Hebrews 11:8-12), David, a "man after God's own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22), Peter, the rock on which Jesus said He would build his church (Matt 16:18). We tend to forget about their frailties, their innate sinfulness. Or we go to the opposite extreme and critisize them for their weaknesses: Abraham for lying about his wife being his sister, and worse yet, sleeping with his wife's servant to try to fulfill God's promise of an heir. David, an adulterer, and a murderer, Peter who denied Jesus three times, emphasizing with a line of expletives. Then there are those whose weaknesses seem to define how we see them. How many sermons have you heard on "Don't Be a Doubting Thomas"? How easlily we forget that Jesus chose Thomas, too.
It is important to remember that the lives chronicled in the Bible were real people, with very real flaws. They all experienced difficulties and loss. They all struggled with relationships to those closest to them, and with their disappointments in life. They all struggled to follow God, and none of them found it easy. Many of the writings of the New Testament are (generally) attributed to Paul, a former persecuter of the church, who had a dramatic encounter with Jesus that changed his life. Much of the Christian faith is based upon the writings of Paul, penned as he shared the gospel throughout the (then) known world. Paul himself said, "I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway." (Romans 7:19) The Message version puts it this way:
"I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time."
The key in this verse is that we do not have what it takes. We are sinful (not we were). That's why we need Jesus. So many in these recent years have been disenfranchised with the church, not because we aren't perfect, but because we, as a body, fail to admit it. In our striving to "Walk in the way" we have to be careful to remind ourselves that "all of our good works are as filthy rags". We can't earn our grace. We must stop trying to pretend that we are better than the world, for we aren't. We too, are sinners, in great need of Jesus, daily. Hourly, even. And when we forget this, and turn our judgement on others, we forget why He endured the torture and the agonizing death on the cross for our sins. The world will never come to the the Lord Jesus Christ until His church admits that we who follow Him still need Him so desperately.
Isaiah 64:6 says,
6 We are all infected and impure with sin.
When we display our righteous deeds,
they are nothing but filthy rags.
Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,
and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
Out of all the places we've moved over the past several years, all the churches we've visited, there is one that stands out to me. One church where the pastor almost weekly (if not every week) stood up and reminded us how much we each need Jesus. Each message was an exhortation to follow Him, and a confession of how he personally, as our pastor, was so very aware of his own imperfections and his great need for grace. He freely admitted he had not yet arrived, not yet been made perfect. He admitted that he, too, struggled, but was committed to follow Jesus, as best as he could, claiming abundant grace all the way. We can learn from this example of authenticity. First of all, it lets the world know we are real, not painted happy faces.
One caution, here. We don't have to share all the gory details with everyone; nor should we. This particular pastor did not, but he did have solid relationships that offered accountability, and he encouraged each of us to do so, as well. It is imperative to have a small group of friends, one or two, even, that we ask to hold us accountable, to encourage us to grow. Relationships that are built on trust, and grow over time.
I am not saying we need to air all the skeletons in our closet for the whole world to see. That is neither wise, nor profitable. But I am saying that we need to be honest about our great need for grace. And to remember that when we are tempted to judge someone else.
"It is by grace we are saved, though faith. This is not from yourselves- it is a gift of God. Not of works, so no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8
I love the New living version:
8 God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
Now let's look at the Message version of this verse, Ephesians 2:7-10
7-10Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
11-12But don't take any of this for granted. It was only yesterday that you outsiders to God's ways had no idea of any of this, didn't know the first thing about the way God works, hadn't the faintest idea of Christ. You knew nothing of that rich history of God's covenants and promises in Israel, hadn't a clue about what God was doing in the world at large.
13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. (NLT)
So let's remember that the work is His. We can't earn salvation, and the best news of all is that we don't have to. Let's give ourselves and others grace, because He already has.
Any gardener could relate to Stasi's despair left in the wake of a major storm that ravaged her beloved garden. After all, blood, sweat and tears cultivate a garden. Oh, the loss of beauty pierces the soul. Although I haven't a beautiful garden, like many women, I share her heart wrenching story in more ways than one. I always thought I was the only one who failed myself, my family and my friends. As it turns out, as Stasi said, "If you will listen carefully to any woman's story, you will hear a theme: the assault on her heart." This assault comes in various forms, some causes pale in comparison to others. Nevertheless, the heart of the wounded hurt.
In the midst of a group of women, sniffles escalated into open weeping as we read about the vicious treatment of women. Past, present and future, intentional pain inflicted upon the daughters of Eve. Should we recoil in apathy or form a first in anger? Would it really help? Who do we blame? Men? Ourselves? Society? Or perhaps there is a deeper, darker enemy at work. On that point, we agree with Stasi.
Stasi urges us to not only recognize our enemy but also to understand our value. Why do you think the enemy is at your heel? Because you are worthless? Absolutely not! He seeks to wound you and paralyze you with fear because the enemy knows just how beautiful you are. He is jealous of you. In your imperfect glory, blemishes, dirty laundry and all you are more beautiful than can compare.
While the enemy would love for you to protect your wounds, there is One who desires to heal you. He longs for your restoration. He created you to shine and he can polish every tarnished area of your life. Are you ready to live a life of healing? Are you ready to let go? Can you trust the One who loves you? Do you want to make this choice?
We encourage you to read and re-read these two chapters as much as you need. He cares for you more than you can imagine. If you have a story of restoration you would like to share, please leave a comment below. We urge you to reach out, first to the One who loves you and second to a community that will walk with you through this life. There are safe places for your heart to heal. If we can be of service to you, please feel free to contact us. Be vulnerable, you are worth it!
A few years ago, I (Marilynn) stepped of a plane and into another country for the first time in my life. I was in London and thought I'd never see the light of day. Round and round, I walked through the tunnel maze called Heathrow airport. Stopping to re-shuffle my many bags, I looked up and saw this woman. I had to take a picture of this picture to tease a few women I knew that were so concerned about their wrinkles at the time. Aren't we all concerned about our so-called imperfections? In a sense we miss the telling of great stories when we mask ourselves having fallen for an age-old lie: He can't be trusted. This woman seemed pretty resigned to her fate. Aren't we tempted to do the same? As Stasi says, "we vacillate between striving and resignation" hoping never to be exposed.
Speaking of being exposed, I am taking a class on non-verbal interpersonal communications. We've been watching a British series called "The Human Face" narrated by John Cleese. It's fascinating stuff and Liz Hurley is his perfect sidekick of sorts. While the series covers a multiplicity of ideas, one really leaped out at me. According to scientific study, our attitudes become grooved into our face over time. Up until forty years of age, we aren't responsible for how we look. However, from forty on, we have become the creators of our condition. Have you ever noticed an older man with sad droopy eyes and a permanent frown? Most likely, he's lived a life filled with sadness. The same goes for those that looked embittered, hagged or, on the other side of the coin, youthful, joyful and forgiving. After forty, we can't blame God for the mug that we have. Why am I sharing these thoughts? If you have delved into chapters three and four, you may understand where I am going. What happens when we refuse to look in the mirror? Inevitably, un-forgiveness, judgment and misunderstanding create deep faults within our hearts. Worse yet, we position ourselves to pass generations of ignorance down to our children. How did Eve get so off track?
She hid, much like we hide behind controlling behaviors, unrestricted appetites and means of image maintenance. Why are we hiding? Why did Eve hide? I am convinced that had Adam and Eve immediately turned around and ran to their friend and father, he would have forgiven them on the spot. Instead, they fell for the lie: something is horribly wrong with me that I must hide. I know I have spent years and a fortune trying to hide my heart from those I loved. What if they rejected me? And so, I ran and embraced a lifestyle of hiding in place of a life filled with relationships. According to Mr. Cleese, had I continued my face would have told my story regardless.
I never really ever stopped to find out what I was hiding from. I sought out friends around whom I was normal. It wasn't until I interacted with people that lived lifestyles of forgiveness and healing that I realized what I had become. I had divorced my heart. Who are you in hiding with? Look around yourself. Are you surrounded by women that challenge you or pat you on the back and hand you another chocolate bar? Most of us are hiding from a common source of hurt: our wounds. They come wrapped in different experiences. Some of us still hear words spoken by an angry father, we see ourselves banished from the playground from taunting peers. It doesn't stop there, our wounds continue to build past, present and future. For those of us that are married, we know that an argument with our spouse can lead to these words, "Oh forget it, never mind." We can have the same reactions to a conflict with a friend. In doing so, we buried our true feelings under a pseudo compliance and "we adopted strategies to protect ourselves from being hurt again."
I am painting a pretty bleak picture aren't I? If you made it to the end of chapter four you may have encountered this statement "The wounds that we have received over our lifetimes have not come to us in a vacuum. There is, in fact, a theme to them, a pattern. The wounds you have received have come to you for a purpose from the one who know all you are meant to be and fears you." The questions, the hiding and the wounds tell a story of the power and potential of your heart. I challenge you to take a deep look in your heart. What is mirrored there that you don't like? This past Sunday, a group of us met in person and discovered the power in acknowledging our hidden hearts. It was real and raw, ugly and beautiful all at the same time. We stopped running and positioned ourselves in vulnerability. A funny thing happened. We realized that He can be trusted and we emerged much stronger than we ever knew we could be. I challenge you to be free today, reject resignation and trust your heart to the One that loves you!
A couple of years ago, while strolling around The Metropolitan Museum of New York, I found myself drawn to a myriad of powerful and provocative images. I was entranced by the glorious hues of Tiffany glass. I was impressed by the wealth of ancient Egyptian tombs and relics. However, I was most intrigued by the haunting beauty of women. Although captured in marble, stone and paint, they seemed to breathe on their own accord. Who might this woman have been? Was she simply the figment of an artist's mind? Or perhaps she was a woman so beautiful, she captivated the attention of a creative mind and willing hands.
Beauty is often a word many woman are comfortable using to describe a picturesque landscape, the innocence of a child or a skillfully carved statue. Sadly, we are much more hesitant to affirm our beauty. And what is beauty anyway? Whether we are considering outward appearances or inner qualities, beautiful is largely defined through culture. What does beauty look like to you? As John and Stasi Eldredge point out, women are the "crown of creation." Can you believe that you are crowned beautiful?
I grew up in a religious atmosphere that admonished women to hide their beauty so as not to tempt men. Women were not allowed to cut their hair or wear jewelery, makeup and pants. While I believe in modesty, I have never understood the rational behind hiding beauty. In fact, I have witnessed the "healing, restorative power of beauty" through a woman known to many as Aunt Betty. She has a heart for women who, like myself, have been deeply wounded through the choices and chance encounters that our journeys often pass through. One such woman, Alicia was imprisoned in a federal penitentiary. Aunt Betty didn't just visit Alicia. She wore her cutest outfits matched with her finest jewelery. She beautifully made her face up and spritzed on her best perfume. Alicia's eyes feasted on Aunt Betty's beauty. Through one woman's beauty Alicia's soul was giving a vision of life outside the drab prison walls. Beauty brought hope! I bet you too have a story about the power of beauty.
There is a fiery resilience that resides in the heart of women. Perhaps we show our determination as did the beautiful model for this sculpture. Or perhaps, our resolve shines through our diligence to keep an immaculate house. I know this does not describe most of us! We may not cook gourmet meals every day. We may dribble BBQ sauce on our blouses. Nevertheless, we are"desperately" desired and altogether enjoyed by living and loving God. We were created in His image, not as afterthoughts but an intentional act of creation. What did the artist desire to convey through this sculpture? Why did the artist use a woman? Why not a man? What is it about you that spoke to God's heart? Indeed, there was something very special about you that drove him to create you. The world was not complete without you!
Much like this sculpture, as the image bearers of God, we bear a message for the world. When your co-workers see you, perhaps busily working away behind a desk, what do they see? Are you authentically representing his essence? Or, are you trying to be somebody you think you should be? What are your children learning through your beauty? How are you impacting your friends? We encourage you to keep reading no matter how vulnerable you may have begun to feel. Pick up a study guide if you are able. Oftentimes we search for answers while failing to ask the right questions. We are honored that you have chosen to spend a bit of your day with us. We would love to hear your heart. Remember, there is a beauty upon your life, a beauty that is uniquely and divinely captivating!
Our journey into "the heart of a woman" has begun! It would seems a daunting feat to unveil "the mysteries of a woman's soul" as determined by the authors of Captivating, John and Stasi Eldredge. In fact, society has, through time and space, propagated the belief that women are just too complex to be understood. Is it true? Perhaps we have simply relied on the wrong voices to tell us who we are. In the coming weeks, you will be introduced to a single voice who dares to whisper against the strongest winds that you are captivating!
Our journey begins with a question? What does it mean to be a woman? Today for example, I was cleaning my house in Cinderella fashion, toilets and all, while a friend was hurriedly dropping her daughter off at camp. Another friend of mine was planing a business trip overseas while others sat behind desks and busily clocked the day away. We women occupy different places and spaces. We are different ages and races. Apart from the obvious gender differences, what is it that defines us as women? Through our shared stories, we expect to be challenged to get real, each of us dropping our masks we so deftly wear everyday.
When does the journey into womanhood begin? Do we arrive at a certain age, fully grown and ready to begin a woman's journey? Or, do we begin to understand what it is to be a woman through our mother's journey? What did she teach you? My mother had a hard time relating women's issues to me. She sent me to my aunt to learn the facts of life. I sometimes wonder what her mother taught her. We live in a markedly different time than our grandmother's were raised in. Some of you are grandmother's and you have much to teach this hungry generation. Some of you never had children. Others of you did not have a mother figure at all. Who taught you what it is to be a woman? More than ever we must understand who we are.
Who we are largely depends not on our mood, our fancy or our desires. Who we are is determined by who we believe we are. Take a look at the ladies captured in this picture. Circled around this table sit women who have engineered magnificent events. Someone on this table daily fights for the lives of individuals who have been incarcerated. Another has been successful at cultivating an atmosphere of love in her home. A specific woman has sacrificed her entire being to ensure her autistic grandson is loved and able to passionately pursue his life's purpose. He is now an authentic musician with a published album! What challenges they have overcome. What victories they have tasted. At the same time, they have endured tremendous sorrows. However, at some point they began to believe in who they were. Through these examples, it is not hard to understand why the heart of a woman is indeed captivating.
Nevertheless, I know there are those of you who may be smiling brightly yet ever conscious of the darker voids in your heart. Some of you may be locked away at home, afraid to face the mailbox yet alone conquer the world. Some of you may be chasing a man, career or numbing your hurts with food. Just as every princess comes to know, there is a villain who would dare to taunt your failures and shame before you. He lures you into playing dress up with drab garbs of self loathing. His voice is echoed in the numberless magazine articles that question your ability to measure up. As a young girl I was tormented by the jeers of the boys at camp. I wasn't happy to play dress up in the cabin with the other girls. I longed for an adventure in the woods. In return for revealing my heart, the boys labeled me a "wom-Man" emphasizing the man over and over again. I long wondered if God really meant to make me a woman. Or, had he made a mistake?
The truth is, you and I are desired beyond our wildest dreams. In you, God did not create any mistakes. The story is just beginning and we highly desire your participation on this journey. Our authors firmly believe that stories strengthen community. The villain would rather you isolate yourself. Which path will you choose? Go on, get the book and begin reading chapter one. We invite you to leave a comment and be sure to stay tuned throughout the week as our discussion unfolds to reveal the heart of a woman. Who will be the first to spark this week's discussion. I'm ready to get real...are you?