Hello Rooted Ladies,
Happy Ash Wednesday! It is fitting that we are discussing “Restless” on the first day of Lent!
I hope you all are enjoying this study as much as I am. I am finding that the questions Allen gives us for our journal is really making me engage with the material in a whole new way. The questions are helping me go deeper and become closer to God. This week we are discussing Chapters 12, 13, and 14. Can you believe we are halfway through? Let’s jump in.
Chapter 12 – Threads of Gifts
Allen starts us off by telling the story of her children racing go karts on the track – feeling free and full of life. Are we using our gifts in wild abandon for God or are we in the parking lot? Whoa! I also could really identify with some of the struggles with knowing and naming your gifts. Like many of us, I just wasn’t sure the abilities that I think I have are actually from God. And I am still figuring out how to use my spiritual gifts for God’s kingdom. I think Allen’s friend Jessica hit the nail on the head when she said, “Maybe I have a responsibility to quit being afraid of my motives and start using the gifts and passions God has put in me.” (see page 99).
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1: 17).
1. Keeping the story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50) in mind, could God have you “waiting” to use your spiritual gifts?
2. Is there any part of you that thinks you don’t have spiritual gifts?
3. In thinking about your spiritual gifts, on pages 103 & 104, Allen asks: What are you great at?
When do you feel God’s pleasure?
4. Did you have a spiritual and secular divide when you think about your spiritual gifts? Is this divide holding you back from realizing your spiritual gifts?
Chapter 13 – Threads of Suffering
I love this chapter because it helps to make sense of one of the hardest things for us to comprehend – Suffering. In this chapter I learned that God uses our suffering for His glory, to help us grow, and to help others, comfort others, and bring people to Christ. Wow! God truly uses everything for good!
“We boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Rom. 5: 2– 4).
1. On page 108, Allen writes that the messiest waste of our lives becomes the most fertile soil. Can you think of a time in your life when that’s been true?
2. How do you feel when you read that God lets us suffer? Is it comforting that Jesus suffered the most? And he suffered for sinners?
Second Corinthians 1: 3– 4 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
3. Have you been able to surrender to suffering?
4. Has there been a time when God turned your suffering into something beautiful?
5. Allen writes that as we suffer and He comforts us, we comfort others. Have you experienced this? P115-116
Chapter 14 – Threads of Places
In this chapter, Allen explores the importance of where we live, our “places,” in relation to our God-given purpose. This chapter caused me to step back and really reflect on how I am using where I live currently to bring God glory. I think most of the time, if I am completely honest, I use where I live as an excuse. I live in the “super intellectualized” San Francisco area where being a Christian is not cool. It’s not only not the thing to be, but it is strongly criticized. I hear comments that believing in God is only for stupid people. When we all know that believing in God is both logical, rational, emotional, and spiritual. And when we are quiet with ourselves, we know that we were built for something more. We naturally yearn for God. Anyway, this chapter has pushed me to think about where I live to strategically bring glory to God.
1. Are you living the will of God but living afraid?
2. Are you happy or satisfied with your places (where you are) right now? If you aren’t satisfied, do you stay in your current place or do you go?
3. On page 122, Allen says place is really important to your purpose. How important is place in your life right now?
4. On page 122, Allen explains that God’s will is moving and that we just have to jump on. Are you afraid he won’t catch you? Do you find yourself over-analyzing?
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4: 6– 7)
I love how Allen says it’s not our place; it’s what we do in our place on page 123. Wow!
5. Are you set in the places you are in because that is the most strategic place to preach the gospel? Have you thought about where you are in this way?
6. Would your feelings change if you thought God was behind you or proud of where you are?
How are your threads looking this week? Are you beginning to see patterns and purpose? Please share what God is showing you. The bible verse I am meditating on this week is:
“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10: 31).
Wishing you a week of purpose, clarity, and discernment,
Hope (aka Brooke)