I am thrilled you have come by for a visit for YES to GOD! I just wish we were sitting in my kitchen talking face to face, but via Internet works too.
As I mentioned in my last post I am without a computer. My old school computer I believe has gone to computer heaven and we shut off our Internet service anyway to prepare for the loss of income from November-March from Gene's disability. My Dad has blessed me with access to his computer so I can still post on Tuesdays. My point of sharing this with you is if I don't stop by your blog just know that I'm not being a blog-snob, just with my limited access sometimes I only have time to post.
This week we are discussing chapters 6 & 7, so let's get started...
CHAPTER 6: COSMETICS FOR THE SOUL
Remember, anything in blue is a quote from the book.
*Society has much influence over our thoughts and actions.
Society has a hold on us and it doesn't plan on letting go anytime soon.
*Satan is a liar and yet we hang on to his every word with much belief.
Satan has been lying to us for a long time, but we seem to be buying into his lies now, more than ever before.
*Our own bad choices bring guilt, shame and regret.
We have tried and failed at controlling our own destinies, only to learn in the process that with free will comes the responsibility to own the consequences of the path we choose.
Unfortunately, I have gradually fallen for all three of these points Lisa made about how we lose our identities at some point in my life.
Lisa shared the story that was all over CNN last year of Anna Nicole Smith's life and death.
Identity theft...born Vicky Lynn Hogan, died Anna Nicole Smith.
She was influenced by society, lied to by Satan, and very hurt by her choices. In a year's time she had a baby girl, lost weight, buried her son and ended her life and for what? None of her life pointed to God.
Life is short, and God wants us to be fully satisfied in Him while we are here.
I agree with Lisa that it didn't look as if Anna ever knew God when she died. Every cover up of her soul that she invited into her life was just a false and unsatisfying filling of emptiness, where if she had only invited Christ into her life she would have experienced a satisfaction that would have lasted.
In order to find full and lasting satisfaction, we have to look to the heavenly things, not the temporal things of this world. Our ultimate goal has to be to seek Him and His righteousness, above all else.
CHAPTER 7: THE FEELINGS WE CONCEAL
As women, we spend much of our lives trying to conceal things we don't want others to know about us.
We conceal our past. We keep our real agendas hidden. We mask our true feelings and cover up our sins. We just can't bear the thought of someone knowing what is really going on inside our souls, so perfectly hidden by "beautiful" things they see.
Lisa shows us the feelings we are trying our hardest to conceal from the view of others...
Insecurity~ Women are notoriously insecure over our bodies, our abilities, our mothering, our relationships with our husbands, our reputations in the church, and our standings in the community.
Insecurity is the sparks that lead to the bonfire of jealousy.
Jealousy~At some point, most of us have been the recipients or the instigators of very hurtful behavior that threatens the kindred spirit we long to have with other females.
Before my uncle got remarried, we were very close to each other. When he started dating his now wife she was very jealous of our relationship. It has gotten to the point that I can barely stand to be in the same room with her now. My uncle and I don't have much of a relationship now, which is not a loss I don't lose sleep over. His wife and I have talked about it, forgiven each other (because I too am to be blamed for some high school behavior), and I am fine with how things are between us. Because of this broken relationship though I am sometimes very guarded with women, especially Christian women.
Loneliness~We all experience times of loneliness. And we all like to pretend to others that we are completely fulfilled, totally satisfied, and doing just fine without the help of anyone else. But loneliness is an issue that touches our souls and makes us believe that we are uncared for and invisible to others.
Oh how I see this very thing being played out in my teen daughter's life. From getting pregnant again to buying a dog...all gestures of trying to fill the void in her life. If only she'd turn to her Savior.
I can hardly wait for this scene Lisa describes to unravel in my daughter's apartment...Loneliness may make the loudest noise, but it can't hinder the mighty arms of God from reaching down and picking up a broken soul who's all alone in the middle of a lonely night.
Fear~When we women fear the reactions of others to who we really are, we fear not being able to control the way they feel about us. They might not like us, if they know us. They might not hold us up in high regard or respect us. They might think we are unintelligent or incapable or not able to cope. What we really fear when we pretend to be someone we are not is rejection by others.
I have talked before about being at a Women of Faith conference with the thoughts "if these women really knew me". That type of living in fear is so crazy because it keeps you right where Satan wants you. He wants you sit in the seat of unworthiness, because he knows that as long as he can keep you quiet, shamed and withdrawn then he has stifled your testimony of God's greatness in your life and on that day...the enemy has won. Fear isn't about being afraid of the dark because you feel a loss of control, it's about being controlled by Darkness and feeling loss.
A few years into our marriage I would go shopping and I started falling for the credit card offers given at the cash registers by the teenagers behind the counter. You know the ones, "you can save 15% today if you sign up for a Kohl's card". I knew Gene didn't want us to have a bunch of debt, especially at a clothing store, but for some reason 15% sounded like a huge savings to me at the time so I'd sign up. Pretty soon my wallet was filled with a card from Old Navy, Pier 1, American Eagle, Victoria's Secret and JC Penney. I did school shopping, spring/summer/fall & winter shopping and home accessory shopping and never paid a dime for any of it...until later. Then I found myself covering up all my cards. I'd secretly pay the minimum on them, rip up any evidence and stuff down into the garbage.
Trying to get home before receiving my statements made me a major wreck, so I decided to invest in a P.O. box. What a pain that was to have to drive out of my way to check that. Then I decided to do some home improvements on my own without consulting with Gene. I cashed these checks we received from a Sears credit card, okay Gene unknowingly received in the mail and began to fix our home up. They were the cash on a credit card checks....lots of interest.
Finally, at almost 15,000 dollars later I came clean to my husband. Oh it was not pretty, but he was so sweet and forgiving. Lots of grace showed to me that day and years to come. The cards are paid off now, but what a pricey lesson to go through.
Do you see how I had the actions of Eve though? I talked myself into needing all of these things and when I ate the forbidden fruit I began to panic and look for a cover-up. The post office box was a temporary relief for me because what was out of sight was out of mind. Then the late fees piled up...oh it was such a mess!
Cover-up only leads to more choices made in desperate times. On the outside, even my husband couldn't tell the internal hell I was putting myself through. He never knew all the nights I cried myself to sleep because I had let things get so out of my control.
During those times I felt the feelings of insecurity in finances, jealousy that my friends were so honest with their spouses, loneliness as I distanced myself from my husband and fear that I would be found out. Too much to deal with. Too much cosmetics for my soul.
Again Lisagirl, you have knocked the ball out of the park, slammed dunked the basketball through the hoop, got a strike on the bowling alley and aced your serve on the tennis court. You really allowed yourself to be honestly open in this book and let God use you to speak to us. Thank you, sweet sister for surrendering all to Him. I know you'd say, "It's worth it...y'all, it's worth it". You know I love you and really thank God for bringing us together the way He has.
Okay, you know what's next...sign up under Mr. Linky if you have more about these chapters on your own blog. We are so close to ending this study and I just can't believe where God has brought us. Hopefully we won't be the same women we were when we started this study in September.