Unveiling The Mystery Of A Woman's Soul
Well, I should probably start by telling you I have read the book I'm going to tell you about 7 times. Yes, you read that right. 7 TIMES. That's how good this book is! I read it for the first time towards the end of my senior year of high school and have read it once a year since.
This is one of those books that I stole off of my mom's bookshelf right before we headed for the mountains for a family weekend at a ski resort. I knew I'd have some down time, so I snatched a book and threw it in my bag. Little did I know I'd spend more time with my nose in this book that weekend than on the ski hill.
That weekend was like a dream. Spent the day on the ski hill and the evenings curled up with this book. The condo we were staying in had the perfect window seat. And I mean perfect. It had HUGE windows with a seat that was the equivalent to 1 1/2 twin size mattresses butted up against each other lengthwise. Sitting right next to this dream of a reading spot was a fireplace to make it even more cozy. My mom would bring me hot chocolate and I'd drink it without even looking up from the pages.
The book I am so anxious to start telling you about is Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge.
If you are one of my close girl friends, I have recommended this book to you more than once. As Demi Lovato would say: Sorry, not sorry.
Captivating is all about God's love for his daughters and how every girl wants to be captivating. Almost every page in my copy of this book has something highlighted or underlined, so I'm having a hard time deciding where to start! But, here it goes...
One of the overarching topics in this book is that women want to know the answer to the questions am I lovely? and am I captivating? We grew up reading and watching fairytales where the beautiful princess gets rescued by the charming prince. Where is our prince? Are we not captivating enough? Are we too much or not enough?
Woman bring these questions and desires to their boyfriends, fathers, and husbands. But, only God can give the real answers we deserve. God created us in His image. He wants to be loved and sought after just like us. God wants to be apart of your great adventure.
"Our core validation, our primary validation has to come from God. And until it does, until we look to him for the healing of our souls, our relationships are really hurt by looking to each other for something only God can give."
Unveiling The Mystery
"Every woman in her heart of hearts longs for three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. That's what makes a woman come alive."
Romance & Adventure
John and Stasi make a lot of movie references, which I very much appreciate! They talk about how we want to be rescued like in a classic Disney Princess movie. We want to be the heroine of the story that the prince fights for. But, we also want to be needed... Woman want to be in an irreplaceable role in a great story.
"We were meant to be apart of a great adventure. An adventure that is shared. We don't want the adventure merely for adventure's sake, but for what it requires of us for others. We don't want to be alone in it; we want to be in it with others."
Some women don't believe they have a beauty to unveil. But, beauty is in every woman. As John and Stasi put it, the essence of a woman IS beauty. Isn't beauty what the world is always seeking? Don't we stand in awe at the beauty of God's creation? Well, a little newsflash for you... YOU ARE GOD'S CREATION.
"Beauty may be the most powerful thing on earth. Beauty speaks. Beauty invites. Beauty nourishes. Beauty comforts. Beauty inspires. Beauty is transcendent."
One of the most important lessons that I learned in this book is that beauty is not something to attain. Beauty is something we already have. Woman are always trying to attain beauty. Like its something we have to climb a mountain to grasp in our hands. That's not beauty. Beauty is not forced. It doesn't come from Sephora or the gym. It just is. Our beauty is unveiled when our defenses come down.
"So the choice a woman makes is not to conjure beauty but to let her defenses down. To choose to set aside her normal means of survival and just let her heart show up. Beauty comes with it."
Eve's Irreplaceable Role
In Chapter 2, John and Stasi really breakdown the creation story to reveal the importance of Eve. Not only that Adam needed her, but that all of creation needed her. God knew there was something missing.
"She is the crescendo, the final, astonishing work of God. Woman. In one last flourish creation comes to a finish with Eve. She is the Master's finishing touch."
Woman was not a last minute decision or an afterthought. God saved the best for last. Woman is the crown of creation. She bears God's image in a way only woman can. God loves His daughters. He loves us in a way only a true father can.
Probably my favorite chapter is Chapter 11. I mean, the opening line is a quote from Princess Diaries! In all seriousness, this chapter changed my life.
John and Stasi really focus on spiritual warfare. The first time I read this, I wasn't all that familiar with it. But, it made total sense. Women are targeted by Satan specifically. There is a reason for it. He wants to take away and diminish, but women literally create life. Women bring new life and new innocence into the world. That's not to say men also deal with spiritual warfare by any means, women just are more at risk.
"Women are called to join in the Greatest Battle of all time- the battle being waged for the hearts of those around us."
This chapter has amazing stories of overcoming spiritual warfare that you just have to read for yourself. I am in awe of the stories each time I read them!
I could keep writing for hours and hours about this book. But, I don't want to give it all away. You need to read it for yourself. Captivating really taught me the importance of knowing you are loved. Without a shadow of a doubt, God loves each and every one of us. His loves is unwavering.