Monday, October 31, 2005

Captivating Chapter 1: The Heart of a Woman

I've figured out that I learn more from a study if I journal as I read it. Usually I jot the high points down with pen and paper, but now that I've got a blog, I might as well keep it here. I know that this book came highly recommended to me from several different people, so hopefully those people will be able to add their thoughts on a chapter by chapter basis.

The book is Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul by John and Stasi Eldridge.

Chapter 1 talks about how little guidance women generally get about how to be a woman. She talks about how we sometimes feel that we don't measure up....because we don't know what we're supposed to measure up to. Our measuring stick is all screwed up. Who do we look to in order to compare our excellence as a woman? There are so many mixed messages out there. There's the feminist idea of a woman, the proverbs 31 idea of a woman, we can look at celebrities and models to see what we're 'supposed to look like', but somehow we never measure up.

On page 7 she says this:

We feel unseen, even by those who are closest to us. We feel unsought--that no one has the passion or the courage to pursue us, to get past our messiness to find the woman deep inside. And we feel uncertain--uncertain what it even means to be a woman; uncertain what it truly means to be feminine; uncertain if we are or ever will be.

She says that we've missed out on what the heart of a woman is supposed to be like. "The heart is core to who we are," she says on page 8.

Proverbs 4:23 says:

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Your heart is your most important part.

She asserts that every woman longs for three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty.

To back this up, she asks us to look at the things we loved and games we played as children. We wanted to be have someone who so wanted to be in our lives that he would rescue us from danger and wisk us away. Now we look back on it with shame because we're expected to be I-don't-need-you women. But what if that's just the way our hearts are built and we're supposed to have those longings we had as a child?

We want to be part of an adventure that needs us as the completing piece. Many of us want to have children, as one example. She says on page 12, "We don't want to be alone in it [adventure]; we want to be in it with others."

We want to be beautiful. This one was kind of hard for me. I'd rather sleep in than do my hair in the morning. I put on a minimal amount of makeup each day. I don't have a whole lot of clothes because I sort of hate shopping. However, if I didn't care about beauty, I wouldn't: work out, put on even the minimal amount of makeup, feel worse about myself when I'm wearing clothes that don't fit me right, etc. If women didn't care about beauty, there would be no liposuction, no women-only gyms, no hairstyle magazines...

On page 16 she says, "And it's not just the desire for an outward beauty, but more--a desire to be captivating in the depths of who you are."

This is true. I'm the type of person who is somewhat hard to get to know. At least it seems that way to me. But I love that about weeds out the people who aren't willing to investigate the depths of who I am.

On the flipside, men long for adventure, but where would they be without a woman to fight for, to offer their strength for.

Many times our desires go unmet and we've learned to settle for just getting by, but God doesn't intend for us to just "get by"--he offers abundant life.


jasonandjennyt said...

I'm so excited you're reading this book. I've been dying for any of my friends to read this book so I can have someone to talk to about all this good stuff, but none of the people besides you whom I've recommended the book are really reading it. I'm gonna be one of the people to comment on your blog the most I think. :) I agree with you that you're a little hard to get to know...but I've gotten to see many sides of you and I think you're beautiful and "captivating".

Lemonchick said...

Ah J....I was right, you ARE captivating because God says you are!