Author: Elisa Morgan
Info: Copyright 2015: Nashville: W Publishing Group
Rating (on a scale of 1-4 stars): ✮✮✮✮
Where Acquired: Purchased from the author.
Category: This falls into two categories Impulse Reads and Recommended Reading. The author spoke at a ladies' brunch at my church and shared insights from this book. Her share time was so good, I decided to purchase of copy to get more of the story.
Synopsis: Beautiful. How many women actually see themselves as beautiful through the eyes of the Almighty? Using scripture and personal examples, Morgan takes the phrase "Hello, beautiful" and expounds on the elements of each portion of the phrase. Hello: the call to wake up to the hiss of enemy's lies. Beauty: The true godly elements of beauty that the world may or may not recognize. Full: the call to truly live life to the full as God intended.
"More pleasing to me than all your prayers, works, and penances is that you would believe I love you." - Brennan Manning, p. xxii
Rather than abandoning me to act sinful, God invites me into acting saved. Rather than leaving me indentured as a slave to shame, God releases me to unfettered freedom. Rather than only rescuing me from how I've been wounded, God heals me whole, as if the evil never occurred. - p. 13
At the turn of the first millennium, a monk named Bernard of Clairvaux clarified four stages of love, each building in maturity on the others:
1. Love of self for self's sake.
2. Love of God for self's sake.
3. Love of God for God's sake.
4. Love of self for God's sake. - p. 73
Quaker Parker J. Palmer wrote, "Our deepest calling is to grow into our authentic selfhood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be. As we do so, we will not only find the joy that every human seeks--we will also find our path of authentic service to the world." - p. 76-77
- I've waited so long for a woman of great influence to say much of what was said in this book. The message was very empowering to women without the need to emasculate men to accomplish it. She talks about how men and women are called of God to work together and to exercise their influence to better the Kingdom of God. This was so refreshing to hear.
- I found the premise of the book quite clever.
- Unlike many authors of this genre the author puts her own life into the book. She didn't distance herself from the reader as if to say, "Hey I've got this all figured out. Now I'm going to tell you little people how to straighten up."
- I enjoyed Morgan's dry, self deprecating humor.
- Morgan wrongly asserts that "It's well documented that women uniquely struggle under the shadow of shame, both real and imagined." (p. 37) Women are not unique to shame. In fact, much of the research done by Brené Brown, whose material she cites and I have read, conveys the exact opposite. Yes, Morgan's book is geared toward women, but men's experiences of shame and insecurity shouldn't be dismissed.
- If she mentioned MOPS international once, she mentioned it a dozen times. We get it! Her time at MOPS is not what give her book credence, her honesty, her openness, her willingness to put herself into the book; that's what gave it credence.
- Her assertion that female sexuality and the "ability to turn a head, just because I'm a girl" is somehow some gift from God is ludicrous, not to mention degrading. Women are not just sexual objects for men to ogle over.
- While I thoroughly appreciate that this wasn't a wives and moms only book, her chapter on "Womb" left me cold. While she acknowledges that every woman isn't called to be the mother of a biological child, her wording seemed to indicate that those who are called to "birth" other things are merely getting a consolation prize from God and are still second class citizens among "real" godly women.
I would recommend this book to any woman who struggles with her identity in Christ. I most likely will reread this volume; there's so much to absorb and so much more soul searching to do.