Eve: The Nature of Womankind & Life-Giving Mother [Women of the Word Series: 1]

Women of the Word Series: 1

Introduction:

Let’s go back to the beginning, where did we come from? Where did as we as WOMEN come from? We see in the world and society today, women standing up everywhere raising their voices for something they believe in. Women, who are we? What do we stand for? But more importantly, WHO do you belong to? I don’t care what political party, agenda, belief of left or right, I just want women everywhere regardless of their background to know that before anything or anyone else YOU ARE A DAUGHTER OF THE KING! That’s why we are going back to basics. The origin of humanity is simple, to say the least: mankind (Adam) came from dust, womankind (Eve) came from his rib. But yet, as simple as it sounds it is also complex and intricate in detail. The human body is made up of cells, fibers, tendons, ligaments, bones, muscles, tissues, organs, blood, and organs. We can taste, smell, see, hear, touch and feel. Each part of the body functions separately but works together as one. We were created to move, breathe, walk and talk; but so much more we were created to live, think, have emotions and feelings, to love, to be all that He made us to be, and to have a relationship with Him. Humans are unlike any other creation of God’s; we are His masterpieces. Let’s go back to Eden…

Perspective:

{Portion told from Adam’s perspective} “The moment I felt the breath of Life, come into my lungs I felt such a powerful awakening purpose. I was dust and dirt. Then suddenly every fiber in my being came to life by the One who created me. I knew to think, to feel, and I knew Him instantly. He gave me the most beautiful home to live and take care of. All of the plants and animals, I was given to name and take stewardship of. But yet, although I knew and loved my Creator; something was missing. He knew and I knew. I remember Him saying *“It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Then all I remember is feeling at peace, and falling into a deep sleep. When I woke up, I couldn’t believe what a beautiful gift I’d been blessed with…” She was beautiful beyond words, **”This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” I called her by name, ***Eve…the mother of all living. And my Eve; she was made for me and she was and is the woman of my dreams… (*Gen. 2:18, **Gen. 2:23, ***Gen. 3:20)

So let’s take a moment to pretend we are taking our very first breath as the first woman created: “Mrs. Eve”.

Her Story:

{Told from Eve’s perspective} “I was crafted and molded from him, my beloved. From his bone, I became flesh. Not from his head to be above him or superior, not from his heel to be walked over or inferior, but right by his side-a rib, under his loving, strong arms to be protected and held, but close to his heart to be loved. We are equal; we are fully made and sculpted by our Creator. I felt the Giver, the breath from Him bring an invigorating, life-giving passion and purpose. It was a surreal feeling, because immediately I knew who I was because He created me, and I had a purpose. Every cell and fiber in my being came to life by one single breath from God; the same way my husband , my Adam was made. We were and are crafted to be like Him, in His image. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked at the beauty of my home, Eden was literally paradise. Made just for me and my beloved husband to live, to grow, and raise our family one day…but even more beautiful was the idea that we could walk and talk with our Creator. I was made to be a helpmate and companion of my husband; he is the head of our home, the leader and keeper of my heart. I am his and he is mine. I heard Adam’s love in his voice when he said, *”This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”* He was talking about me, the love of his life.

One day, I was just strolling through the garden admiring the beauty that God created; Adam was strolling not too far behind. Then, along came slithering a snake through the grass and up the tree that I was standing by; the most beautiful tree in the garden. This tree wasn’t just any tree; it was the Tree of Life…the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God said to never eat of this tree, or Adam and I would die. Die? The fruit of this tree was not poisonous, it was forbidden. If we ate from it, we would know the difference between good and evil? I know what is good; everything around me in this beautiful place was good! It was beautiful, God made it! But what is evil? I’d never heard of or experienced, let alone seen such a thing. Could evil be that bad? Will it hurt me and my husband? Then this snake started talking to me, saying some interesting things, “Did God really tell you that you couldn’t eat from this tree?” I thought about it: It was a command, it was dangerous. But then, that sneaky serpent said “You would know everything and be like God.” Well, what was I missing? If we were made in God’s image, are we supposed to be like Him? I’m not sure that’s what God wants, but my curiosity got the best of me I tried the fruit from the tree. Immediately I saw everything differently, I was naked. I was vulnerable. I was confused. What just happened? Did I do something wrong? Something didn’t feel right. Everything didn’t seem quite as beautiful as before, it was tainted. Adam then ate of the fruit to see what was happening. Immediately he felt the same way I did. He was naked too. We were both confused and vulnerable. We went to make clothes from leaves. God saw that we were confused and trying to cover our shame. He knew what happened. The most cunning creature of all had found the upper hand. I was so ashamed. I was scared. I now knew what evil was, I met it face to face that day….

Her Hope:

Adam and Eve were created from the dust of the earth, by the hand of God. They lived in pure paradise, full of laughter and filled with light and joy. They were with their Creator. No discontent, no dysfunction, no discord or corruption. No shadows or fear. However, that joy was sharply diminished. Order gave way to chaos. Harmony gave way to discord. Craving and yearning to know more, created a hunger pang of deep despair and misery that could never be satisfied. Sin drove a wedge in the relationship between God and humankind. Sin planted seeds of confusion. Sin had bitten a piece of their mind and heart, just as they bit into the forbidden fruit.

Despair and hope are total opposites, they can’t really coexist much like peace and fear. But out of one springs forth the other…hope springs from despair. Her sorrow was deep. Her guilt was deeper. God knew exactly what happened and whom was to blame. Revenge belongs to the Lord. Scripture says in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Sin came with a high price: death. But life is still full of hope hinged on a specific and prophetic promise found in Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring ; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Let’s expand on the two surrounding verses 14 & 16. To the serpent, God said “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.” (v.14) and to Eve, the woman He said “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and He shall rule over you.” Eve’s decision affected others besides herself. (Thanks Eve for mother nature’s visit and childbirth pain!) Any woman who is a mother, you know that childbirth is the most painful thing you will endure. But, out of pain comes the beauty of new birth. Adam wasn’t left out either, God said to him “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, You shall not eat of it, cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Each character in this story in history were impacted, therefore impacting their children and the rest of us who long came after. Her hope came from Genesis 3:15 that one day the offspring of her children’s children-her ancestry would defeat this cunning serpent once and for all. Her life did go on. God still used her and her family.

Her Prayer:

Eve later on experienced the pain of childbirth and joy of motherhood. They had two sons Cain and Abel. Sadly, we know how the pain of sin affected their family…jealously crept in just like the serpent had before; Cain murdered his brother Abel. I can’t imagine a mother’s heartbreak and grief. Later on her and Adam had Seth, and many other sons and daughters as scripture says. Eve was called the mother of all living. She was the first of many. She birthed humanity into flesh and bone. She was the first woman, therefore she experienced every emotion we face as women. She felt beautiful and alive, full of joy and awestruck wonder. She felt curiosity which led to the life-altering decision, then shame and guilt quickly followed. She was the one who cried the first tears, and yet God still collected them in a bottle, wiped her cheek and called her His own. She felt sorrow, after being deceived. She experienced self-doubt and humiliation. She experienced repentance and forgiveness. She was able to laugh and smile, love life again with her husband. She experienced grief, motherhood struggles, worry, and being a “boy mom”. She experienced life. I imagine she told Adam how she felt from time to time. I imagined she prayed to God through all of her emotions, through laughter and tears. A woman who loved her husband and children. She took pride in exactly who God created her to be A woman who made a mistake but was and is still God’s beloved daughter. Her purpose was not overshadowed by that huge world-changing decision although it tells her story, it’s not her whole life.

Prayer & Reflection

Lord, my Father and Creator. The One who gave me life. Thank You for bringing into the world You created, for handcrafting my body, heart, mind and soul just as You did Eve. Thank for forgiveness and not allowing my mistakes and sins, to define my whole life and write my entire story and purpose because You already created my purpose. Thank You for grace and mercy. In the face of many emotions we face as women, God You created us to think, know, and feel every emotion with every fiber of our being. As women, You created us emotional by nature. We feel, and love and get upset, and cry, and sometimes doubt ourselves, and yet we nurture and care and help husbands and raise children to love You. Help us, help me Daddy to know that above all else I am Your daughter. Amen.

Questions:

1. Imagine if you were Eve, opening your eyes for the first time, drawing your first breath. The first thing you saw was your Creator and then the one who you were created for, your husband? Look around at the beautiful place you get to call home, Eden. What words and emotions would you use to describe everything?

2. The serpent told Eve, God just doesn’t want you to know everything, He’s keeping good things from you and Adam. Just eat the fruit and find out what you’re missing. What lies about yourself or about God’s truth has Satan led you to believe in your life?

3. Read Genesis 1:26-28 along Genesis 2:18-24. We are ALL made in His image, man and woman. Man was made in His image and woman made after man’s image. We are equal. But woman was created to be a helpmate and companion to man. Adam said she is bone of my bone and flesh of flesh. Basically, she’s mine and I’m hers…and together we’re His! This passage affects the basis on how each human being treats another (in his image), and the basis and foundation of marriage. How do these verses compare to our society and world today? Has society forgotten those values?

4. Think about the last paragraph “Her Prayer” talking about emotions and being a woman, as well as how Eve’s life-altering decision affected but did not define her life and purpose. How’s can you apply that to your own life?

I encourage you ladies to not only read this, but follow along in your Bible, reflect on the questions, comment and share! I would love for this to be an interactive series!

-With love, Heather

Women of the Word: A Series of Women of the Bible and Their Stories

Have you ever wondered how it must have felt to be woman or girl living in Biblical times? Society and the world in general were much different. Customs and cultures were different. Family, your work, and your faith meant everything; much like it does today. Women however weren’t mentioned as much in ancestry and genealogy throughout the Bible because names and inheritance were passed down through fathers to sons. Women’s opinions and leadership weren’t discussed near as much, but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t have a voice or leadership. There are many women in the Bible mentioned by name for their role they play in important, life-changing, historical events in the Bible. After all, without mothers who gave birth how would any of us be here?

Too many times throughout history, there’s a common misconception of the past that women were “to be seen and not heard”. In my humble opinion, I’ve seen numerous stories of women in the Bible and throughout the course of history worldwide that have challenged that stigma and rumor because they were called by God to make a change someway somehow. So we are going to take a little journey back through time and into the hearts and minds of women and girls who walked those same dusty roads that Jesus did. The women who walked, talked, and did life together with their husbands like Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob-just to name a few! Scripture itself says God created woman to be a helpmate to man; neither inferior nor superior. Genesis 2:18 says “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Ladies, we were handcrafted carefully and uniquely by God. He doesn’t make mistakes; He saw that everything He made was good. He makes beautiful things, with beautiful purposes. So in this next series we are going to explore the depths of each of these women’s hearts. To walk in her shoes, or sandals so to speak. To feel what she felt. To know her story, not just her name.

Each devotional narrative will include an introduction to the chapter/book of the Bible, such as the setting, cultural context, and character as well as characteristics and virtues in her (or that describe her), perspective-telling her story from her own point of view-her hopes, her dreams, her fears, her struggles, her lessons learned, and most importantly her faith. Each section will highlight three aspects: Her Hope, Her Story, Her Prayer, and reflection/prayer with reflection questions, Scripture based guided prayer points just for you! Get ready to dig into the Word through the eyes and hearts of women who lived it!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: JANUARY 2017, WE BEGIN OUR SERIES!

-Your Sister in Christ,
Heather

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At The Cross: Ransomed, Resurrected, Redeemed.

At The Cross: Ransomed, Resurrected, Redeemed.

 

At the cross. Where pain and agony was on display. The cross, a from of execution and torture. A symbol of fate for criminals. Something so messy and dark, became a symbol of GRACE and LOVE. How can that be? Why? Simply because the death and resurrection of one man, a man named JESUS of Nazareth. Son of God. Son of Man. Healer and Miracle Maker. Prophet. Teacher. Friend. At the Cross, where grace and suffering meet.

 

Many years ago the world saw the darkest day in history unfold…a day we call “good” seemed to feel anything but “good”. 11 men-the disciples (minus Judas the betrayer) and many other friends and followers saw their teacher, mentor and someone they loved…arrested, wrongfully accused, interrogated, beaten, stripped, whipped, spit on, and nailed to wooden cross beams to bleed and suffocate to death…how devastating and agonizing. But darkness fell over the earth when Jesus breathed His last, the veil that separated humanity from the Holy of Holies…God dwelling in the temple had been torn in two…no longer separated from God. Reconciliation came in the form of sacrifice and ransom. Friday was dark, dreadful and full of despair…Saturday it still weighed on their hearts. Shock and grief. Who would they put their trust in now that He was gone?
Have you ever felt lost in dark despair? Like rain and clouds covered your soul?HANG ON…THERE’S A “SUNDAY” (or as I like to say “SONday”) IS COMING!

 

Death is often thought of as sad and filled with sorrow, despair and grief. Friday came. Friday went. Saturday came. Saturday went. Sunday is here. And trust me, a lot could happen in three days. Those quiet tear filled days of mourning over Jesus were what was seen by human eyes on earth. But what was going on was something far more intense…the spiritual warfare that human eyes can’t see! The enemy, Satan thought he had won when Jesus drew His final breath and cried “It is finished!” Satan thought it was done and over when they put His lifeless body in the tomb. But when He cried It is finished! He meant devil you’re finished because I’m coming for you! Shots fired the battle was hot. Jesus defeated Death, Hell and the Grave by His own death. Something that only the power of God could possibly do! Love came down and laid down its life. SONday was the day the Son rose and darkness fled and brought forth a new day, light. What death had attempted to steal had been RESURRECTED!!! Death could NOT hold Jesus down.
The story itself is miraculous. But the reason why is even more amazing…the reason is YOU. The reason is ME. The reason is all of us. Jesus died and came to life was so we can be forgiven. To live in eternity with Him once we leave this world. To have a relationship with God, the reason we live.

 

Today, are you facing a storm? Maybe you struggle with an addiction to drugs and alcohol that has you feeling bound by chains? Like your substance is the only way to cope or numb the pain. Or maybe you’re the insecure shy teenager who feels so alone and outcast? Maybe you’re the single mom struggling to do the best she can for her kids who need her love and attention but also need a roof over their head and food in their tummies. Maybe you’re the scared, pregnant, unwed mother to be who doesn’t know the first thing about pregnancy? You feel alone. Maybe you’re the wife whose husband doesn’t pay her attention or affection anymore? You feel abandoned and neglected. Maybe you’re the elderly lady who is widowed, whose kids and grand kids rarely visit? Alone. Or maybe you’re the person who feels shaming stares and judgmental looks when you step into church? You are not alone. The thing is, every heart has a story. Everyone has been bought and paid for by the sacrifice Jesus paid AT THE CROSS.

 

YOU HAVE BEEN SET FREE, but you have to take that KEY to unlock your locked chains that have kept you bound and trapped so long. The sun will always come out and The SON will always shine- through the storms and after the storms; after all He is the Light of The World. Happy Resurrection y’all!!! Easter may have been yesterday, but we have reason to celebrate EVERYDAY! Reflect on the RANSOM (He paid for you), the RESURRECTION (the power of God on display for the world to see), and REDEMPTION (the freedom you now have through JESUS CHRIST!) At the Cross, where love came down to earth and changed the world.
Have you decided to follow Jesus today?

-with grace and humility,
Your sister in Christ, Heather

 

“Hope Springs Forth, Coming In Like a Flood” by Heather H.

 Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you…”

Sometimes we look for hope in the everyday ordinary things. (First things first, what you are about to read is not sugarcoated, it’s about to get real. This is not meant to be opinionated about any political or media view, just a look at reality.) We go through life on cruise control or autopilot sometimes, especially if day to day life is “normal”. We get comfortable and complacent, and use words like “I’m content”, or “It’s all good!” But when things spiral out of control we forget about “hope” or we search for it desperately like it’s a quick fix, shot in the arm kind of drug that can fix our problems so easily. We cry out to God when things in our world come crashing down, everyone says “Prayers Appreciated”, or “Please Pray” in difficult times of need. But when the sun is shining and everything is “normal” we forget to pray sometimes or even speak to God. There’s a quote by C.S. Lewis that comes to mind when I think of the ups and downs of life; “We can ignore even pleasure. Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

So what happens when you or a loved one gets diagnosed with cancer or some other terminal illness with just months to live? Or when your child is disrespectful and belligerent, going against everything you raised them to be? Or you develop an addiction that has you bound in chains? Or you feel scared and alone in an unplanned pregnancy? Your boyfriend breaks up with you when you were honestly expecting a ring, or your devoted husband of many years decides he wants a divorce? You are struggling to take care of your family-meaning your children and your aging mother with Alzheimer’s who doesn’t even remember you, her loving daughter? Your best friend or close family member passes away? Or how about losing your job? Losing your home in a natural disaster? Life is full of ups and downs, unexpected events and catastrophes that can take the wind out of your sails, and pretty much leave you knocked down on the cold hard ground that is until you decide to GET BACK UP

We see on the news daily, robberies, gangs, drug deals, children being hurt and molested, car accidents, police officers and first responders under attack, plane crashes, school shootings, abortion, racism rising up, Christians under intense persecution, and war on terrorism, Constitutional Rights being challenged and taken away. What in the world is going on? What ever happened to love? SO MUCH CONFUSION. SO MUCH HURT. SO MUCH PAIN. We wonder when it will end. Or will it ever end? We sometimes even question God and His sovereignty, we ask things like “Why did God let this happen?!” We begin sometimes doubt our faith that we’ve known for so long. Doubt is sometimes a healthy part of growing our faith…to wrestle with life and its questions–to challenge our faith. Remember this word: GROW, tuck it in the back of your mind while reading the rest of this. Sometimes we are just searching for some tiny bit of good news, and other times it’s as if we are waiting for the other shoe to drop. In South Carolina, just a few weeks ago…October 4, 2015 a devastating catastrophic flood came sweeping in after days and days of rain, even though the weather alerts had warned about flash flooding no one expected what they call “A Thousand Year Flood” meaning no one has seen flood waters so destructive in 1000 years! Roads washed away, bridges buckling, dams breaking and busting forth washing out everything in their path. Businesses, homes, and lives were lost. But through every struggle, throughout the past year South Carolina has remained strong and stood together, united. Neighbors helping neighbors, strangers became friends. Everyone needs hope, in some way, shape or form.

I’m pretty sure Noah felt like all hope was gone when he saw the world around him crashing and crumbling into a pattern of sin. The truth is we live in a fallen, imperfect, broken world. Some things are completely out of our control, others are consequences of our own personal battles and decisions. The first we call, life and nature. The second we can call “mistakes” or sin, but we can also look back and call them growing pains and lessons learned. Sometimes in life we have to face storms, whether literal torrential rains or personal cloudy days filled with lightning and thunder in our hearts. I’ve heard it said before, “Sometimes we create our own storms, and get mad when it rains.” But the fact of the matter is without clouds how can we appreciate the sunshine? The SON is always shining. Every storm will finally run out of rain. Rains will eventually stop. But in all honesty, think about why do we need rain? Rain gives life to plants, trees, flowers and helps crops grow. Seeds, without being watered will not bloom or grow, they’ll die of thirst. We know in John 4, Jesus speaks to the woman at the well about living water. That Samaritan woman was searching for hope, something to quench her never-ending thirst. Water not only gives life, it washes away dirt and impurities. John the Baptist, Jesus and the disciples baptized people in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Living Water cleanses us of our old life, the old us before Jesus came into our lives, the hurt, the pain, the past. Baptism represents new life. The blood of Jesus paid the price and washed our sins away….water provides the thirst to grow. I think of Peter and the other disciples shaking in their boat as the waves crashed around them, and in the midst of the chaotic ocean walks Jesus ON THE WATER! Can you imagine seeing that?! Jesus can calm the storm! Just reach for His hand; He’s the best lifeguard you’ll ever know! Sometimes when the flood gates open wide and the storms comes crashing in, hope comes flooding in also. Next time you face a storm, remember the One who controls raindrops and where they fall. Let the rain fall down and cleanse your heart and soul, refreshing your spirit. Hope comes in the midst of difficult times; hope comes in the day-to-day pleasures. Hope can be found when you least expect it. Hope springs forth, coming in like a flood…one that you want to get swept away in!

-In Hope,

your sister, Heather

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