Oh can you smell it in the air? The sweet aroma of women all across the country and across the sea burning with the desire to say YES to GOD? Women who want to learn how to be real, how to let the stories behind our eyes finally have the spotlight? I do...from Arkansas to Australia the craving for more of Jesus is strong and the desire to just be ourselves cries out from the depth of our hearts. What better way to learn how to be the real deal than with the beautiful inside to out author Lisa Whittle as she walks us through her book, "Behind Those Eyes".
I am thrilled to introduce you to the first chapter and study of this book so without further delay, let's get started. Anything in blue is a quote from the book. Also, read yesterday's post to see where everyone signed up for this study is from...God is just too cool!
We put up the barricades, allowing very few to penetrate the walls we've erected around us as a means of self-protection.
We desperately hope and believe that someone, somewhere, somehow, will think we have our lives figured out and perfected to a T. This is the great charade of womanhood, and most of us have gotten really good at it. My 7 year old is in acting class right now. She is learning to become something she isn't. Right now her role is a sea monster. When she gets on stage her goal is that I don't see my Alivia, but rather a monster from the sea. She'll talk different, look different on the outside and even have a different attitude. No matter how much changing she does on the outside though, she will still be my Alivia on the inside. I know I've done this very thing with myself. I put on this face of the Christian I think I need to look like and go out into the world appearing as if I have my act together but inside knowing if the wind comes my way I'll crumble into a heap of false appearance.
In the same way, sometimes truths about our inner selves hurt to the point where we also want to make a change.
There are things that my husband has encouraged me in changing for the good. Things that I've expressed to him and he has lovingly pointed out to me that yes indeed a change in that area would be a good thing. Unlike Pat in English class who pointed out that I had a "patch of zits" on my chin or when Mario, my high school boyfriend lovingly told me that his mom said my legs were like telephone poles. Both hurtful and yet I cleared up the face and worked out harder. Changes were made from hurtful situations.
You can't really blame us for pretending to be someone we are not. We are somewhat geared this way. From a very early age, we pretend to be singers, beauty queens, pop stars, princesses, brides, and mommies.
I loved how Lisa pointed out that since we were little girls, we have been pretending. Oh my goodness, when I was in high school, I was Whitney Houston. My aunt even bought me a microphone. I cannot even begin to count the hours I spent in front of the mirror impersonating her. I knew how she flicked her hand up on top of the microphone when she sang, I knew how she scrunched her nose to the audience while she belted out her hit songs. It got worse after I drove 5 hours to see her in concert. I was a pretender because truth be known I make my grand baby Amiyah squirm when I sing "Jesus Loves Me" to her because Lelia cannot hold a note. But in the mirror I could pretend to be Whitney so well you couldn't even tell the color difference in our skin.
Make no mistake about it: women are yearning for something real. We're hungry for truth and authenticity. We crave honesty. We want someone to cut through all the fluff and get to the bottom line.
Amen amen amen sister!!! Lisa couldn't have hit this truth any harder on the head. I know when I go to my husband and ask him if something looks good, I'm going to hear the truth. I crave that in him. I would never want him to let me walk out our door looking horrible. Sometimes the truth can hurt like the Sunday morning before church when I asked him if my black pants looked okay and after turning in a circle for him heard him say, "Honey, you need to go to the gym". I know. I gasped too, but I knew he was speaking what I didn't want to hear, but needed to hear. A thumbs down would've been better received, but his honesty is what I crave and he was only responding to weeks of me complaining about how I look with a gym membership going unused.
The truth may initially hurt, but the truth may be the best thing that has ever happened to you.
It took me awhile, but I'm working out now and eating better. Best thing that has happened for my body.
In the Bible study for chapter 1 in the back of the book, Lisa asks us to define the word authenticity and what it means to you. How can you tell if someone is being genuine and real, or can you tell?
I really loved this chapter. I don't want to deal with it, but I know in order for me to be the woman God has called me to be, I need to hear the truth about myself and make the changes He desires for me to change. Last night Lisa called me and one thing she said to me that really struck me is that she wants us to learn how to be real...not just during this study, but for life. We have to get to the reason that keeps us from being real with God, ourselves and others. Right now my Grandma is in the hospital and last Friday had surgery. The surgeon was to go into her colon and remove the tumor; however, when she was in surgery he realized the tumor was bigger than what he had ever seen and due to the amount she was bleeding he was only able to remove 20% of the tumor. Yesterday he had a powerful scope brought over from another hospital determined to remove the rest. Again, only 20% of it was removed. She'll go home, but in two weeks has to go see the surgeon again. He knows he has to remove what doesn't belong inside of her or it will get worse.
I believe God is like this with us. He may not go in all at once and remove the problem areas in our hearts...He may take out 20% here and 20% there until we are changed into the real woman He wants us to be. I just want to encourage you, to let your hearts be open to surgery in this book. Let God get in there and do His thing. Lisa has written a God-led plan for us in learning how to be real women. Women with authenticity. No more pretending.
Okay, in the comments below answer the question above from the Bible study. Then, if you have more to say about this chapter and what God spoke to your heart then sign up under Mr. Linky so we can visit your blog. And remember, if you are not a blogger, leave your thoughts in the comments along with your e-mail address.
This is going to be good ladies. It is because He is.