Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Do you get Restless? Book Review


I know what it is like to be on the search for significance, to feel restless with the content of my life, to look outward for fulfillment, and to wonder why God really created me to walk this earth.

I am incredibly thankful to have learned several things that took a very long time to fully integrate into my heart and mind (and I find there are moments where I need to relearn them):

1.  God desires me for me, not for what I can do for Him.
2.  God wants me to live into the plans He has for me.
3.  The spiritual giftings and opportunities He gives me are designed to make people pay attention to Him, not me.
4.  There is value to dreaming, to figuring out the desires of my heart, to trying on new things to see if they fit.  If they don't, it's okay.  If they do, it is my job to use them to serve.
5.  Whose opinion of me counts?  God's.

I don't find myself particularly restless right now in my journey, but as read through Jennie Allen's new Bible study, I find  myself nodding my  head and saying "Yes! If only I had known this when I was in the restless place." 

Do you want to dream? Do you want to serve? Do you want to grab hold of God and allow Him to show you how He made you for more than what you can imagine today?  If so, I think you will find hope, introspection, and community through this bible study.  Here are my top five reasons I love Restless: Because You Were Made for More:

5.  The homework is divided up into "projects." These projects appeal to a wide variety of learning styles.  For example, in week one, she asks you to draw an image of the glory of God.  While this might be daunting and hard for some of us, it will speak to the hearts of others who learn though art and visualizations.  If this is not for you, it's a good way to stretch, to explore.  (Plus, no one is judging your work!)  In addition, the homework engages you with tangible tools and questions to help you along this journey.  You make lists.  You brainstorm. You pause and ask God what He thinks.  Listening always gets me the farthest along the fastest because I am actively seeking His voice.  He is my Creator! Of course I need to pull in and listen to what He has to say about me and to me.

4.  There is space to think about the Bible as a whole, not just individualized stories she pulls from various chapters.  What do Jesus' actions tell us about the very nature of God?  While this may be a daunting task for those new to the Bible, the chart makes it easy to see where we still need to grow in our knowledge of what Jesus did as He walked this earth.  It is important as sisters in Christ that we help each other build up our knowledge instead of tearing each other down for not knowing.  If you do this study, be prepared to dig into the Word and if you need help doing so, don't be afraid to ask.

3.  If you are leading this study, there is so much prep work done for you.  Each kit comes with a DVD, which has a 20 minute (or so) video of Jennie speaking to the group for each session.  In addition, there is a leader's guide and "ASK" questions, which help your group  get to know each other's hearts and to explore the concepts in Restless.

2.  Jennie sets the stage so that most any woman can use this book no matter if they feel a little restless, a lot restless, or not really restless at all.  She walks us through concepts that we can relate to our lives in a variety of different areas.  Sometimes we realize that though we may have learned a lesson long ago, we are in need of a refresher or we need to learn it again, but in a different way.

1.  Jennie's study builds community based on authenticity, vulnerability, and trust.  She herself shows her own struggles, heartbreaks, victories, and defeats.  Her reflection questions show that she values wherever we are and gives us the courage to validate own spaces.  This in turn enables us to respond to each other without fear, judgement, or other defensive walls.

Want to learn more about this study?  You can read some very detailed reviews about kit content on Amazon, as well as order the entire kit.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this kit free from Shelton Interactive, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

Linking up with Emily for Imperfect Prose, Jennifer Lee for #tellHisstory,  Women to Women Sharita for Everyday Jesus, Lyli for Thought Provoking Thursday, and Laura for Quitting Thursday.

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