A Reminder to Women & Mothers to Live Their Dreams and God Giftedness

I am posting this video because it is important. It is important to hear as women, Christian women, and mothers. Shauna Niequist, the amazing author of “Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table,” gives an incredible Q Ideas Talk called “What I Learned from My Mother.” It is an incredible reminder to women, especially mothers (& young moms), to not table their dreams because of the logistics and practical concerns of taking care of kids and the home. She stresses the correlation between women living their dreams and happiness. Although we know that motherhood is a calling from God, God also gives women a voice and dream.

She recalls her mother saying, “they (her children) didn’t get to see, up close and personal, a woman fully alive in God.” She challenges us, as mothers and women, to not give up our dreams and passions for others — their unique gifting from God.

I encourage you to watch this video – and if necessary, rediscover your dreams, passions, and God-giftedness. Thank you Shauna for the reminder.

Wishing you hope, joy, peace, and dreams,

Hope

{Rooted} “Restless” Study – Chapters 9, 10, & 11: The Project, Immovable Fabric, & the Starting Place

Hello Rooted Ladies,

This week, my awesome co-leader, Karina Allen, developed the discussion questions for our study of “Restless”  by Jennie Allen. I have posted them below.

Chapter 9: The Project

Yeah, so this chapter brought some tears. I just think that I am a bit overwhelmed at what God might show me in this whole process of sorting through my threads. On page 75, Allen talks about God untangling our souls, stories, gifts, etc… I LOVE that! I often make a mess when I try to figure things out on my own or try to make something happen. Continue reading

{Rooted} “Restless” Study – Chapters 6, 7 & 8: Pleasing God, A Parable, & The Process

Hello Rooted Ladies,

Well, we are now starting to get into the thick of understanding why we are “restless” and how to determine if our dreams and visions are our own selfish thoughts or for God’s will and purpose. For me, this book is already ten times more useful than many books about finding your purpose because Allen actually gives us questions to ask ourselves to probe deeper. And her own struggles with knowing whether her vocational ministry was out of her own arrogance or even fear rather than God’s will really helps to illuminate the tension between the two. Most of us wonder if our goals are really God’s plans for our lives or our own selfish desires. Continue reading

{Rooted} “Restless” Study – Chapters 3, 4 & 5: Die to Live, Permission to Dream & Uncertainties

Restless

Hi Rooted Ladies,

Last week, my esteemed co-leader, Karina Allen, prepared the discussion questions for our study of “Restless” by Jennie Allen. So, below is her guest post. For those of you that are following along online (& not a member of our Facebook group), here they are.

Chapter 3 – Die to Live

This chapter is extremely challenging! It is incredibly hard to die to our flesh and our dreams. I think that this dying becomes a whole lot easier when we fully realize that God’s best dreams and plans for us lie on the other side of death. Continue reading

{Rooted} “Restless” Study – Chapters 1 & 2: Dreams and Tangled Threads

Hello Rooted Ladies,
We recently officially kicked off the Winter Session of the (in)courage groups.Rooted reached the maximum number of women registrations and we even added a few more. God is good!

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This session we are going to explore Jennie Allen’s latest book, Restless. According to Allen, the book is a practical plan to identify the threads of your life and how to intentionally weave them together for God’s glory and purposes. Allen says, “We are called to dream but we’re afraid to. But because we are called, when we don’t act on it we become restless—restless to find purpose, to make a difference in the world, to matter.”

This book immediately made me feel like all of the things that I’ve gone through – good or bad – were somehow tied together to be used by and for God. It gave me hope that it all has meaning. Let’s jump into the chapters and the questions.

Chapter 1 – A Call to Dream

1. Can you identify with Allen’s feelings of restlessness? Why or why not?
2. Do you think of “calling” and “purpose” as two different things? Allen talks about motherhood as her calling but still wanted to know her purpose.
3. Allen says the book is about vision and obedience. She writes about discovering our purpose so we don’t waste our lives. Do you feel the same urgency?
4. Allen says that God would fill people with the Spirit and He promised that he would give people vision and dreams. She quotes Joel 2:28 from the Old Testament and Acts 2:16-17 from the New Testament. Quite beautifully Allen writes, “the Spirit of God has dreams for you.” Does knowing that your dreams and God’s plans are connected and evidenced by scripture change how you think about your life, your dreams, and your time left on Earth?
5. What do you think about the statement – “all lies in our control and about how nothing is in our control?”

Chapter 2 – Tangled Threads

1. Allen talks about chains which cause us to go through life completely shutdown by lies and fear. What chains do you see in your life?
2. Are there chains or threads holding you back that no longer need to?
3. Can you picture a life free of chains – with more dreams and more freedom?
4. I love how Allen says that “No unique purpose for your life will fill your soul. The only thing that will fulfill and settle your soul is God.” Does this statement ring true to you? Are you looking for outside satisfaction rather than purpose according to God’s will?

I love how Allen is getting us ready to turn our tattered lives over to Christ to be used for his purpose. It’s amazing that we are Spirit filled and that Spirit has a dream for my life and your life – and they are different and unique. Doesn’t that thought bring hope! Because as long as we are breathing God is still using us for His will.

I’m looking forward to your comments on chapters 1 & 2. And please share how God has or is showing you the threads in your life.

Wishing you much hope and purpose,
Hope (aka Brooke)

{Rooted} Registration for Incourage’s New Session Starts Today!

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Today is a BIG day. Incourage.me, the site which provides support and encouragement to women who desire to follow Christ, is beginning registration for their small groups. I love the site. I love it so much that I decided to become an “incourager” for the site’s small groups.

I co-lead a group called Rooted: Women Rooted in God’s Word, Drawing Closer to Christ with Karina Allen. This group has been a tremendous blessing in my life. We have read, discussed and witnessed God move in our lives by reading the following books: (1) Anything by Jennie Allen, (2) Greater by Stephen Furtick, and (3) Your Beautiful Purpose by Susie Larson.

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This session we are excited to announce that we will be reading Restless by Jennie Allen. Restless explores this important question: “Do I matter?” And Jennie asks, “We live with lots of things, lots of people…but do we live for something?” We know God will use her words to draw us closer to Him. The group meets online in a secret Facebook group to ensure privacy and a safe environment to share with others. (After registration, you will be invited to the group via email.)

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Please join the fun and experience the blessing for yourself.

Regular registration starts today, January 27, 2017. Click here.

If you have any questions, please leave me a note in the comments.

Wishing you joy and community,
Hope

{Rooted} “Your Beautiful Purpose” Study – Chapters 3 & 4: Trust God’s Timing

Hello Everyone! (a special hello to Rooted Ladies),

So (in)courage sessions are back in full swing. And Karina Allen and I have started reading a new book with our group, Rooted: Women Rooted in God’s Word. {By the way, it’s not too late to join. If you are interested, leave me a note in the comments.} I couldn’t be more excited. We are reading Susie Larson’s, “Your Beautiful Purpose: Discovering and Enjoying What God Can Do Through You.” Doesn’t that title just give you the chills?!

Last week, Karina posted questions from Chapters 1 & 2 which related to Embracing Your Purpose. This week, we are discussing Section 2 entitled “Trust God’s Timing.” This section covers Chapter 3, “Wait on God,” and Chapter 4, “Face Your Fears.” I don’t think either of these chapters talks about easy things, but very necessary practices for us to learn if we wish to truly follow God.

God has had it with the proud, but takes delight in just plain people. So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you. 1 Peter 5: 5– 7 THE MESSAGE.

In Chapter 3, Larson does a great job at relating her story of waiting on the Lord for her calling – speaking, writing, and radio ministry. She shares how the Lord had her pray for another woman who was living Susie’s calling. I love how Susie admitted her initial inability to be happy for the woman because she was jealous. Isn’t that so real! But of course, the Lord has her waiting and puts her in training to prepare her for her current calling. It’s pretty interesting that her calling includes sharing other women’s stories about the way the Lord is working in their lives. God always brings it all together. Her story was just another reminder to me that nothing done for God is ever wasted.

I love this line from page 60. “When the dream of service seems far off and our flaws and foibles cloud our view, it’s the perfect time to be still and know that He is God (see Psalm 46: 10). God knows how to speak to us in a way we’ll understand.” It quickly sums up my personal struggle and God’s perfect response. It’s beautiful. {That is one of my favorite verses.}

I spent a good amount of time with her study questions. And I realized that God is probably speaking to me more than I notice. And even when he speaks, I often doubt or question his voice. I wonder – is that God speaking or is that my own ego/voice? I’m working on hearing and discerning God’s voice without doubting so that I can really follow His will for my life. {Thank goodness Larson is going to cover this topic in the next session.} What are you working on? How do you know that you hear God?

In Chapter 4, Larson does a great job at exposing the links between our fears and sin. And she explained how the devil uses our fears against us. For me, she really taught how much God protects us and covers us because He loves us. Her study questions really forced me to dive deep into God’s promises and our actions by looking at Psalm 112, Psalm 91, Psalm 27, and Psalm 62:7-8. And I really liked her thoughts on others judging us and its purpose. She asked us to study Isaiah 54:7. It made me realize that although there could be some truth to the judgment, only God can truly judge us and we should take it to prayer. We should also not seek to judge others (cover ourselves by covering others). Very powerful teachings.

It would be great to hear your thoughts on her discussion questions from Chapters 3 & 4.

Your Beautiful Purpose Book

Discussion Questions

Chapter 3: Wait on God

  1. How would you describe your current season of life?
  2. What kinds of stories and movies most inspire you and why? Do you notice a theme in those movies that may connect you to God’s purpose for you? Explain.
  3. What does obedience to God look like for you in this place?
  4. If you could step outside your circumstances and look at who you used to be and who God is making you to be, does the person you’re becoming encourage you? How so?
  5. Share about a time when God put a desire in your heart and then made you wait for its fulfillment.

Chapter 4: Face Your Fears

  1. Can you give an example of a time when, in the face of a fear, you trusted God?
  2. How did God show Himself faithful on your behalf?
  3. What kinds of things help strengthen your faith and encourage your perspective?
  4. What kinds of scenarios trigger fear or self-awareness for you?
  5. Whose courage inspires you and why?
  6. What’s something you wish you had the courage to do?

Looking forward to the discussion. Wishing you a week full of hope, joy, peace, and discovering your purpose!

-Hope