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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Moments of Miracles: Living With Everyday Enthusiasm

Moments of Miracles: Living With Everyday Enthusiasm

This is a reflection of life’s littles and bigs.

Every day is full of moments. Moments are made up of minutes and seconds. Minutes and seconds are what make up our lives. But our lives aren’t founded upon and latched to minutes and seconds, but laid upon the foundation of moments. And sometimes it’s small miracles that make a difference between a minute and a moment.

What is a miracle? The definition of miracle is described in three different but similar terms: 1) a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency, 2) a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences, 3)an amazing product or achievement, or an outstanding example of something.

Miracles are beautiful wrapped in the ordinary and the extraordinary paper. Miracles can be beautiful and frightening at the same time, something that takes our breath away or shocks us so much we can’t even explain. That’s the point, miracles can’t be explained. Life itself can’t be explained. It’s beautiful, yet frightening because it’s the “fear of the unknown” that holds people back. I’m quite guilty of it at times. To me, I’d rather live life as “why not?!” instead of “what if?”.

As my 26th birthday just passed a month ago in March; I always get a bit more reflective, adventurous and sentimental than usual. Last year when I turned 25, to me it was more of a big deal than 18 or 21. An age where you really start to see your life shaping up around based on the decisions you make, responsibilities you face, values you hold on to, and the memories you make. I love living for Jesus, and because of Him I am a one who gives it my best to live without fear and be adventurous. Experience. It’s been said (although I can’t remember who said it) “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away”.Therefore one of my motivations is my bucket list! I don’t let this “checklist” control my life like we can with our “to do lists” day-to-day. I let it push me and motivate me, when I feel like I’m not doing well to my own standards or my “imagined” standards of other’s opinions of me (which I know and we all should Who’s opinion and standards truly matter-my Heavenly Father’s), or when I feel stuck in a rut and discouraged with where I am in life, or even when I just feel up for adventure or something purposeful…I look at my bucket list for motivation, to reflect on the accomplishments and places that God has already brought me to and through. I can’t help but get excited! This is what I call living with everyday enthusiasm.

What is “everyday enthusiasm“? To me that means, having a reason to get up out of bed in the morning when I wake up, to thank God for letting me open my eyes and draw another breath into my lungs. By enthusiasm, I don’t mean the chipper and cheesy, oh-so-annoying perky morning person that drives everyone crazy with their sunshine and rainbows. (I have been guilty). It means to simply CHOOSE JOY. Joy is a daily thing, like taking a daily prescribed medicine or a multivitamin. We have to choose it each day. Happiness is circumstantial and temporary, joy is eternal and solid. Our happiness can be tested, or change. Joy is something we choose in spite of circumstances. Once you have joy, and set mind and heart on it-IT CANNOT BE TAKEN AWAY. Circumstances like: devastating news, a breakup, a lost loved one, a grim diagnosis of cancer or another aggressive illness, a divorce, job loss, loss of a friendship, or simply sometimes just a bad day. But a bad day does not mean you have a bad life. Circumstances could be on the opposite end of the spectrum too: the little things in life that bring us joy: a long chat with one of your best friends, your favorite song on the radio with the sun shining and windows down, sitting on a porch swing, driving your truck down a dirt road, your favorite fishing spot, that endorphin high from a great workout or that extra mile on your run, your favorite kind of coffee in your favorite mug curled up with your Bible or a good book, a little bit of good news from a friend or family member, a sweet hug or smile, a high-five from a little kid, or just a random act of kindness from a kind stranger. Those are what I call “moments of miracles”. The things we take for granted, memories and everyday moments. Miracles are everywhere in the world around, we can look outside at God’s creation and see it!

But what about those circumstances in life that call for major miracles? I recently went to the theater and saw “Miracles from Heaven” on Easter Sunday with my parents. The movie is about a young girl about 9 years old who gets very sick with an intestinal disease and there is no cure. The story is one that follows her and her family (two sisters, mom, and dad) through her illness and how one crazy turn that could’ve been catastrophic actually was the miracle they had been praying and searching for. The young girl falls 30 ft into a hollow tree which could’ve killed her, yet she is healed from her disease! Sometimes circumstances, the good along with the bad and sometimes downright painful leave us begging for relief: some type of miracle. Some lose their faith or at least struggle with it. Others gain faith that they need even knew they needed or wanted. It teaches us. It strengthens us and weakens us all at the same time if that even makes sense in our human minds. I know friends and family members right now in need of major miracles and serious prayer. Prayer and faith can move mountains. Miracles-the unexpected and unexplained. So I simply leave you with this-find your joy, seek and pray for your miracle or one for someone you love, choose to live your life with “everyday enthusiasm”, see the miracles in every moment. Choose JOY. Be grateful, and always Be HOPEful.

With joy,
your sister in Christ

Heather

What Drives You & Who Defines You by Heather H.

“What Drives You and Who Defines You?”

What defines you? Who defines you? Is it what you do that makes you who you are? You can be a doctor, lawyer, model, teacher, artist, musician, scientist, entrepreneur, manager, mom, daughter, dancer, grandmother, or anything. We each wear multiple hats, because as women let’s face it…we are the queens of multitasking! Let’s just be honest for a minute, we could probably run circles around our male counterparts and coworkers backwards and in high heels! But of each role we play in our busy lives, every role is important but these roles aren’t what defines you, the real you. These are things that drive you, these challenge to strive to better and thrive to do what you know you have been called to do. Do you ever wonder why you feel so driven by and drawn to these certain passions?

You could be a lover of the classics, with a creative force inside you that can’t be tamed. You may have an eye for color or the aesthetics of natural beauty whether it’s abstract or not. You find beauty in everything, especially details. Maybe you were born to be an artist using your God given talents and passions for a great and beautiful purpose. God is the maker of beautiful things, what a great way to glorify Him! You could have a distinct style and eye for fashion, you know what works and what doesn’t. You know how to match together a coordinated ensemble just with the snap of your fingers…and boom! You’re a fashionista! You could be called to be a famous designer. What could possibly be a better way to share about true beauty and modesty than using your inner passion for fashion? Do you have a love for science and how things work? Or what about a fascination with how the human body works? You may have the intelligence it takes to study medicine. Combine that with a love for people and wanting to help save lives, maybe you were born to be a doctor! God still works miracles in many ways, He might use you! Do you have a nurturing touch and giving heart that loves to care for others? You could be a nurse! If you have a passion for teaching others and helping them learn to grow, you could be a teacher! You may have a passion for debating and proving the right thing, and a way of creative crafting your words into solid logic. You can confidently defend what you know because you’ve done your homework and want to preserve justice. Maybe you were born to be a great lawyer.

You may have a heart and call in your to be in ministry! If God calls you to teach or preach, then you go forth in that boldness to proclaim the Gospel! Ministry isn’t just in the church, or just being a “pastor”. God can use girls and women just like you, for anything! You may be called and prepared in your heart to be a loving mother and godly wife one day, or you may already be a wife and mother and want to grow more. You may be an elderly lady, a seasoned and experienced woman of virtue and integrity that can pour wisdom and discernment to ladies of this generation. Don’t put ministry in some type of sterotypical box, or believe that their is some cookie-cutter form of a career! Just like every woman and girl is created differently; your life, your purpose, and your dreams are all different! Guess what else?! It’s okay to not have it figured out! Life is part of a beautiful unfolding plan. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord; plans for a hope and a future not for destruction.” When the prophet Jeremiah wrote this, the Israelites were in a time of captivity and exile. They felt stuck and trapped, and felt as if they had been waiting forever for something to happen! God kept His promises, and He still does! He will use the waiting period to prepare for the big things He has planned for you. It’s who you are in Christ that defines you, not what you do…what you do is what drives you to be all that He has called you to be! Go ahead girlfriend, walk in your purpose!

-In Christ Love, your sister Heather

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